Chapter 705: Little Zhang Unleashed!
Translator: Legge Editor:
At the top of the hill.
The atmosphere among the teachers was suddenly lively.
"Yeah, a poetry duel?"
"That is playing to Zhang Ye's strength."
"Teacher Liao isn't bad either. Teacher Liao Qi is not only an associate professor at Tsinghua University, he also holds a position in the Poetry Association, so his standards are really high too."
"But he still won't match up to Zhang Ye. Don't you know what sort of level Zhang Ye is at?"
"Haha, that may not necessarily be true. Teacher Liao is not weak either. It's just that Teacher Liao's works are more artistic, unlike Teacher Zhang's poems which are essentially tuned for the masses, so they are not so widespread and well-known by people. That is why we can't say that Teacher Liao's standards are inferior to Zhang Ye."
"Yeah, I think there could be a little competition between the two of them."
"Looks like Teacher Liao prepared ahead of time."
"That's right, to even dare to have a contest in poetry with Zhang Ye, he must definitely have come prepared. Looks like there's something we can look forward to here!"
"Start the duel then!"
"Teacher Zhang, go out!"
"Teacher Liao, come on!"
Quite a few people started to cheer them on in full anticipation.
However, Su Na winked a few times at Zhang Ye with full intent. She was also a part of the Chinese Literature question setting team and naturally knew that some teachers had some issues with Zhang Ye, a minority group of Chinese Literature teachers from Tsinghua and Renmin University led mainly by Liao Qi. They were very unhappy with the fact that a "tumor" of the literary and educational world like Zhang Ye was flourishing so well, so when the few of them suddenly created such a showdown during the contest, she suspected that they were surely up to no good. She wanted to remind Zhang Ye to be careful. As for his poetry, Su Na was not the least bit worried since she clearly knew Zhang Ye's abilities.
Behind Zhang Ye, two Peking University female teachers quietly tapped on Zhang Ye to remind him as well. From this, it could be seen that even though everyone was getting along harmoniously, speaking and laughing together with all the activities from earlier, it was all just fun and games. Now that this topic had been brought up, the atmosphere was no longer the same. This was the real thing. It felt like they truly wanted to challenge Zhang Ye. Naturally, most of the Peking University teachers were on the side of Zhang Ye. Peking University had long been old foes with Tsinghua University. When something like this happened, it was always clear to everyone where they should stand.
Judge Li Rui asked, "Has the male teachers' team chosen their representative for this round?"
Liao Qi nodded.
"How about the female teachers' team?" Li Rui turned his head and looked at the other side.
A female teacher from Tsinghua University smiled and said, "Our side is definitely sending Teacher Zhang out to compete this round. I don't think I need to further explain Teacher Zhang's poetry standards, do I?"
On the other side, a male teacher from Tsinghua University also chimed in, "Right, I've long heard of Teacher Zhang's abilities to compose a poem as soon as he lifts up the brush. Come forward then, Teacher Zhang."
The several Tsinghua University teachers began echoing each other, some praising first before attacking.
But who would have expected the following to happen? When Zhang Ye heard them, he gave a wave of his hands and said, "I'm not going to. I'd said earlier that I would be on this team only to help the ladies drink if they got punished. I'm a guy here and not truly a part of the female teachers' team."
Li Rui smiled. "The female teachers' team has already claimed you, so you're part of the group. Since everyone is recommending you, why don't you step up and take part in this final round?"
Zhang Ye was standing in front of the barbecue grill and only cared about cooking the meat. "You girls go ahead, I just want to eat my meat. My poetry is just so-so anyway." He was totally unable garner any interest in this poetry contest. "Oh, right, Teacher Su Na's standard is very high, so why don't we get Teacher Su to do it."
Su Na was speechless. Why do I have to do it!
Zhang Ye kept pushing it around, not wanting to take responsibility at all.
If it were anyone else trying to evade the responsibility, everyone would surely think that the person was not confident, was afraid to lose, or feared losing face, and thus did not dare to take up the challenge. But when it was Zhang Ye doing the evading, no one thought in that way at all. This was because Zhang Ye's poetry composition standards were something everyone already knew about. Those works, like The Furthest Distance in the World, Dead Water, Admiring the Mountains were there for everyone to see and were brilliant works without a doubt. It was impossible for Zhang Ye to not be confident or afraid to lose. The only reason he did not take up the challenge was-he was not interested or wasn't in the mood to do so.
"Zhang Ye, get up there."
"If you don't go, there will be no one representing the female teachers."
"Yeah, you're the only person on the female teachers' team who is well-versed enough at poetry."
"This is the final round, it's even the decider of the overall winner. We're all having so much fun, so Teacher Zhang, you will surely honor that, won't you?"
"Right, let's have a good contest."
After dragging on for a long time.
Seeing the situation, Liao Qi from the male teachers' team suddenly said, "Since there's no decision on who is to represent the female teachers team, then I will just have to shamelessly go first. The theme is 'husband and wife'?"
Judge Li Rui said, "Correct."
"Liao Qi asked, "Do we have a brush and ink?"
"Yes." A teacher said with some laughter nearby. "It was specially prepared for the typical contest. I knew that there would surely be something like this today, so I prepared it ahead of time. There. Everything is laid out now." He laid them out with the help from a few other teachers and even the table was set up. Of course, since they were in an isolated location on a hill, they were not too fastidious about the details of these tools and equipment. Everything were just the simplest items they could get their hands on.
Everyone was looking forward to the contest.
"Teacher Liao seems very confident."
"Who do you all think will win?"
"If Zhang Ye does it, then the chances of him winning are larger. But if Zhang Ye doesn't want to take part, then there's not likely anyone on the female teachers' team who can beat Teacher Liao at this."
"That's what I think too."
"The theme of the poem has to be related to 'husband and wife.' This won't be easy."
Under the attention of all the teachers, Liao Qi of Tsinghua University's Chinese Department slowly walked up to the table and stood there stolidly. He composed himself for a moment, and as though with great thought, a glimmer of bright light shone from his eyes as he held the brush firmly in his hands. He looked like he already had something in his mind and began writing!
Kǎishū (regular script) characters vividly came to life on the scroll: [1.]
We tied up our hair to become husband and wife.
Our love and affection we never doubted.
Without a pause, the poem was written out in one go!
When Liao Qi finally lifted his hand and put down the brush, the observing crowd couldn't help but cheer!
"This poem is too beautiful!"
"It fits the theme perfectly!"
"The couple's mutual feelings for each other were described too vividly! This is so great!"
"This poem is really quite good! It rhymes wells, the theme is clear and fits the mood perfectly. There's nothing to nitpick at all!"
"This poem is sure to win. Teacher Liao's really skilled at this!"
"Yeah, even if Zhang Ye were to step forward now, he might not win!"
"That's true, even if Zhang Ye were to write the next poem, how much better could it get than this?"
"That's not true. Zhang Ye's poems usually bring with them a certain strength I think can be better than this one."
"For the same thing, the benevolent sees benevolence and the wise sees wisdom, I suppose. When it comes to art, it has always been difficult to say who is better. In any case, I feel that Teacher Liao's poem is as good as perfect!" [2.]
Ma Qi from the Chinese Literature team started clapping. "Professor Liao, great poem!"
Judge Li Rui also applauded and gave his acknowledgment, "How wonderful!"
Liao Qi smiled slightly. "Thank you everyone. The mood just came to me and I was able to freely express it well enough."
At this moment, the young male teacher from the judging team looked in the direction of the female teachers' team with a smiled and said, "Who will you all be sending out? The topic has a time limit of 10 minutes, so if no one is going to do it, will you be drinking instead?"
Liao Qi smiled in the direction of Zhang Ye.
The others also mostly focused their attention to Zhang Ye.
But it was like Zhang Ye did not notice them at all. His back was still facing them as he continued eating. He gobbled up the scallops and oysters by the mouthful like a glutton who could never eat enough. It was like he was either acting high and mighty or purposely keeping a low profile. It was really just because he could not get into the mood to duel with poetry today. Was there any meaning to this?
A big sister figure on the female teachers' team walked over. "Little Zhang."
"Ai," Zhang Ye mumbled as he continued eating. "Mm...what's the matter?"
The big sis was didn't know whether to laugh or cry. "Stop eating. We're going to lose if this goes on. It's always been an annual tradition that the losing team also has to perform a group punishment besides drinking. Sometimes we have to do a group dance or a group run, and that's really quite embarrassing."
Zhang Ye acknowledged her and just continued to eat.
Su Na also came over. "Teacher Zhang, go up. It's your turn!"
Zhang Ye said with some amusement, "You're quite good at poems too. Why don't you do it and I will support you."
Su Na could only helplessly smile at that. "My level of poetry composition should not be shown on any stage whatsoever. Besides, I've already seen Teacher Liao's poem and it's at least five grades higher than my level. I don't want to embarrass myself. We're all depending on you, Teacher Zhang. You have to win this round for us!"
"Yeah, come on, Zhang Ye."
"Teacher Zhang, hurry up!"
"We're relying on you!"
"Stop eating already. Hurry up and go win!"
Many of the female teachers were constantly nagging him. Some of the younger female teacher might find winning to be more important, probably because they didn't want to perform the punishment and just wanted to quickly win the round.
Suddenly, a young male teacher from Tsinghua University shouted from his group, "If Teacher Zhang does not dare to take the challenge, then we should just get someone else.'
Liao Qi smiled at that.
Li Rui and the minority group of people from the Chinese Literature team were also watching the fun.
Doesn't dare to?
Doesn't dare to take the challenge?
When Zhang Ye heard that, he looked in the direction of where the voice came from and let out a laugh. "I know you're try to goad me into taking the challenge. Do you think that this kind of goading will work on me?" Then he put down the food he had in his hands and went over. "Yes, it works very well on me!"
Su Na: "Pfft!"
Liao Qi: "..."
Li Rui: "..."
The female teachers were highly amused by this!
Wiping his hands clean, Zhang Ye walked up to the table and confirmed with the three judges, "The theme is 'husband and wife,' right? There are no other restrictions on the poem type?"
Li Rui answered, "Yes."
Zhang Ye nodded and lifted up the brush.
With that, everyone came together to surround Zhang Ye at once, sticking out their necks and trying to glimpse the Xuan paper.
Liao Qi and the others were also in the crowd.
Even with so many people watching, Zhang Ye still looked very listless, clearly not too excited by everything that was happening. It was like he just casually picked up the brush without even thinking and just started scribbling onto the Xuan paper.
It was Xíngkǎi: [3.]
Gazing with dried eyes over the span of mountains and rivers,
How many a bosom friend have I met thus far?
[1. Regular script]
[2. "" literally means "for the same thing, the benevolent see benevolence and the wise see wisdom." It is a metaphorical description to express that different people from different viewpoints may have different understandings of the same problem.]
[3. Xíngkǎi: A running script font also known as a style of semi-cursive Chinese characters]