Chapter 704: A poetry duel?
Translator: Legge Editor:
The contest began.
As they ate, everyone was happily engaging in each other with a competitive spirit. The topic of the contest hadn't been decided yet, but the male and female teacher teams were already starting to snatch things from each other.
"Don't take that from me!"
"That's ours, haha!"
"Put down that chicken wing of mine!"
"Damn, I barbecued that, since when did it become yours?"
"We can't beat them! Teacher Zhang, come and help us, quick!"
"Don't you all know about 'ladies first!?'"
"Wow, the scallops are delicious, so delicious!"
Finally, the group divided into two teams, with one team standing in front of the barbecue pit towards the northern side, while the other team stood on the opposite side. The two teams drew a clear boundary from each other, not showing any weakness. Although it was just a friendly contest to relax from the tense work they were dealing with before, both parties were aiming to win. Everyone had a strong sense of team spirit and honor-well, except for Zhang Ye. Zhang Ye basically did not have any interest at all for this sort of contest.
Zhang Ye wasn't bothered by anything and was only concerned with eating. In his position as the only man in the group of women, his only duty was to drink should their team lose. Nothing else mattered to him.
"Don't steal food anymore, it's time to compete."
"Which side gets to decide the topic first?"
"Let the ladies do it first."
"Then we'll go ahead and set the topic."
"The usual rules apply. We'll have three judges to decide who wins or loses."
In the end, three teachers volunteered to be the judges without needing to be chosen. The judges' team was made up of the Chinese Literature team's Li Rui, a male teacher from a foreign language school, and an almost-retired professor who was previously from Tsinghua University who looked to be around 60.
The judges got ready.
The female teachers huddled together to discuss and then came up with the first topic: "The first topic will be Last Letter with song lyrics. Everyone will sing a line from a song and the next person must use the last word of the song to begin the next line." This was a traditional game they'd always had and something they always played. It was also the game the female teachers were best at. [1.]
The male teachers did not lose their morale.
Last Letter with song lyrics began.
The first female teacher to sing a line was Su Na. "When will the moon be clear and bright..."
The male teachers' team sent a young history teacher to the front. "Bright heart o' mine suddenly awash by the downpour..."
A cheerful-looking teacher from the female teachers' team continued on from their word. "Downpour of confusion conspire to leave me lost..."
With a line coming from each side, the teams were evenly matched.
When the game was heating to the stage of becoming white-hot, the victory came as a surprise when someone from the female teachers' team sang a line of lyrics ending with the word "kiln." There were almost no songs that had lyrics beginning with this word, leaving the male teacher who was next in line hesitating for a long time and unable to come up with a line.
After five seconds.
The three judges announced that the female teachers' team won.
The female teachers scored the first victory and high-fived each other in celebration!
"Heehee, it's too easy!"
"Teacher Chu secured the victory."
"Drink, drink, drink!"
"Losers, admit your defeat!"
The male teacher who did not manage to come up with the line to carry on the game took a bottle of beer with a saddened expression and chugged it down. He took great effort to finish it, clearly showing that he wasn't much of a drinker at all. After he finished it and with the alcohol kicking in, he said in a very upbeat manner, "The next round's topic will be decided by us. Our topic will be the Imitation Game." From his quick suggestion of the topic, it was clear that the male teachers had already discussed this while the female teachers were discussing about their previous topic.
A female teacher asked, "What are we going to imitate?"
The male teacher explained, "We will imitate actions and expressions. Each team member will make an action or expression and the other team will have to follow suit. The team that is not able to follow along will be the losers."
"This is something new."
"We've never played this before last time."
"OK, no problem."
"We accept your challenge. Come on!"
The female teachers were full of confidence.
This first action was to be done by a male teacher who walked to the front with hearty laughter. He got down on the floor and did a one-handed push-up. This action might not even be possible if Zhang Ye were the one doing it, as it was related to body strength and muscle groups holding up the person's weight. It wasn't something just anyone could do.
But it turned out the female teachers' team also had an able member. It was a young, petite, and slim female teacher. She walked up silently to the front, then got down on the floor with both hands on the ground initially to try out the posture first. Then she lifted her left and placed it behind her back and imitated the action of a one-handed push-up, persisting for one second before she could not hold it up anymore. It was only for that one second and not as long as the male teacher, but was still considered to have passed.
The male teachers were amazed.
"She really did it?"
"Who is that teacher?"
"I know her. She's not a teacher from the universities, rather she's a deputy head at the Chinese Literature department of one of the high-ranking high schools. I think she has danced since she was in her teens. That's why her physical condition is quite good."
"Even I couldn't do that!"
The female teachers were also applauding and cheering!
"Teacher Ku is too coo'!"
"Teacher Ku, impressive!"
Then this Teacher Ku stood up and immediately did an action. She did the splits right where she was. "Who's next?"
The splits were still a considerably common routine, but that was more in the context of a woman whose body was more flexible. For a man, even if he was very flexible, the splits still very difficult to handle.
However, there were also incredible people in the male teachers' team.
"Let me give it a try." A skinny male teacher came forward and adjusted himself for a long time before slowly splitting his legs apart and getting lower onto the floor. However, at the last bit of the action, he was unable to go down any further. He clenched his teeth and turned around to ask for help. "Can two people help me out a little here? Press me down slowly, I should be able to do it."
Two male teachers went over to help.
In the end, he really was able to do it!
The male teachers' team cheered!
Teacher Hu really gave it his all!"
"Really well done!"
"I've heard that Little Hu used to practice taekwondo as an amateur. Looks like that's true."
"Little Hu's ligaments are really elastic!"
That male teacher got up with the assistance of his team members. When he finally stood up, he was already swaying around a little, unable to stand properly. This round was enough to cause him some pain and even very nearly took his life.
The victor was decided in the next round by a male teacher. When he made the action, the female teachers all fainted at once. They saw him stick out his tongue and pushed the tip up and up and further up and touched the tip of his nose.
"What the heck!"
"He could do that?"
"That's really amazing!"
"We're done for!"
The female teachers were totally at a loss for a response. They attempted to imitate the same action but failed after countless tries. Don't even mention being able to lick the tip of your nose, most people couldn't even make their tongue cover the philtrum.
The judges announced and declared with great laughter the male teachers' team as the victors of the second round.
Su Na waved her hands and said, "Teacher Zhang, stop eating already. Come here and drink up."
Only then did Zhang Ye put down the razor clams in his hands and turn around to look over. "You all lost?"
A female teacher said, "We lost, so it's your turn now."
Zhang Ye acknowledged that and walked over to pick up the bottle of beer. He composed himself a little and then gulped it down in a single breath. As he drank too quickly, he could feel himself swaying a little from the alcohol and the ice-cold temperature of the beer!
The contest was getting more exciting as it progressed!
In the third round, the female teachers team won.
The fourth round was taken by the male teachers.
After the sixth round, both sides were still tied at 3-3.
Zhang Ye had drunk three bottles of ice-cold beer and with his alcohol tolerance not exactly high, he already felt like he couldn't drink anymore. His belly was already bloated.
But everyone else was still playing around happily, not feeling tired amid all the laughter.
"Teacher Zhang can't take it anymore?"
"Haha, Little Zhang can't drink anymore, let's keep going for victory!"
"Why don't we make the seventh round the decider?"
"Agreed, the seventh round will decide the winner!"
"Then who shall decide the topic?"
"I think for the sake of fairness, we should let the judges decide the seventh round's topic."
"That would be great!"
"This is make or break!"
Everyone agreed to make the last round the decider.
The three judges began their discussion and communicated for a long time before finally agreeing on a topic together. The Chinese Literature team's Li Rui stepped up and smiled as he announced, "After our discussion, we've decided that everyone compete in the final round on the topic of...poetry. As for the subject, this hill we are currently residing on used to have a couple staying here. A classic saying was even coined because of them, so in accordance to this setting, the subject has been decided as 'husband and wife.' Any sort of poetry theme will be accepted, so whoever comes up with the neatest and most elegant version that also fits the theme well will win this round."
Everyone was very surprised by this.
Among the judges, Li Rui was part of the Chinese Literature question setting team. Even those who weren't on the Chinese Literature question setting team had heard of Zhang Ye's reputation in poetry, so how could Li Rui not know that this what Zhang Ye's expertise. Zhang Ye had first became famous because of his poems, so from this decision on the topic, did it show Li Rui and the judges team favoring the female teachers team and wanted them to have the advantage in winning? But that was not it. Quite a few people knew that Li Rui was not especially fond of Zhang Ye's poems and had also criticized Zhang Ye on the Internet when Zhang Ye was involved in the scolding battles with his literary circle peers. Besides, Liao Qi and a few of the Chinese Literature team teachers like Liao Qi and Ma Qi had clashed with Zhang Ye privately over the college entrance exam work that they had been working on the past few days. They felt that Zhang Ye's literary standards had been deified too much by people. Even though they admitted that Zhang Ye's literary standards were high, they did not think that Zhang Ye was as great as what everyone thought him to be. They did not believe that he deserved the status he was revered with. At the top of the great pyramid of the literary circle, there were only a few surviving masters. While many people mentioned Zhang Ye in the same breath with those masters, they did not feel that Zhang Ye was qualified enough.
Then what was the meaning of this topic?
Suddenly, Liao Qi came forward and said, "Send me up for this round!"
When everyone saw that, they were suddenly enlightened and could roughly understand what was going on. It was no wonder that Li Rui had chosen to use poetry as the topic. It was because those people from the Chinese Literature team were not convinced of Zhang Ye's talent and wanted to use this chance to test him and go up against him. They had come prepared and even came up with a subject that was rather subtle. Everyone knew that Zhang Ye's standard in poems specializing in scolding was very high, so they were not careless either and did not clash head-on with Zhang Ye. As such, they had chosen the theme of "husband and wife" for the subject. This theme was something that had never been reflected in Zhang Ye's previous works before. They were trying to limit his skills so that they could beat him.
[1. Last Letter game - ://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word_chain]