[Chapter 032] Bian JinYuan: You’re handsome
Lu YunFei coughed twice and snatched Li YuanQing’s phone to enter the discussion board.
OP: [picture] [picture] [picture] Let’s have a go! Who among Bian JinYuan, Lu YunFei, and Wen MingYi are the school grass, grade grass, and class grass! This is an announcement to vote for it, and may all students utilise your precious voting power to choose the most handsome boy from each grade!
Was there still a need to vote? It was definitely him! Lu YunFei unashamedly cast a vote for himself, only to see that out of 200 votes, Wen MingYi was leading with 98 votes, while he and Bian JinYuan weren’t even hitting 60 votes.
Lu YunFei observed the thread and soon found the reason why.
75L— Our maneuver in the autumn field❖: Will my Humanities sisters take a look at our little cutie Wen MingYi!!! He’s the only representative of the Humanities major!!! Is this a solo competition? No! This is a battle for glory! Humanities will never admit defeat! The school grass has got to be from our major!
This announcement was very effective, and was constantly bumped up.
The Science major students were not one to back down.
94L—Mendel’s morals⨁: The Science stream has always produced handsome guys! Is it our fault that two of these are from Science? Of course not! If we are to be blamed, it’ll be for having too many outstanding boys! My sisters! It’s time to convene! With two out of three chances to win, we have got to emerge victorious!
The Science students were in agreement: That’s right! The school grass has got to come from the Sciences!
And then, the question came: “So, do we vote for Bian JinYuan or Lu YunFei?”
The Bian JinYuan supporters exclaimed, “Definitely vote for Bian JinYuan!!! What’s there to hesitate about, is the halo of being the top student in our grade not shining brightly enough! It’s so bright that it’s blinding my Carslan large eyes𝝓!
Lu YunFei’s supporters exclaimed, “Definitely vote for Lu YunFei!!! He’s charismatic and wealthy – the epitome of tall, rich, and handsome★! Why would there be any hesitation in choosing him? There’s no need for discussion, listen to me, just vote for Lu YunFei, all you need to do is listen to me!”
“It’s your business if you feel that there’s no need to discuss this, but I don’t want to go by your feelings, I want to make my own decisions. Listen to me, and I mean it for this matter, choose Bian JinYuan! It’s got to be Bian JinYuan!”
In the end, supporters from both sides gave themselves nicknames. Supporters for Bian JinYuan were called Jin Cakes#, while supporters for Lu YunFei were called Yun Clouds∇. Both sides continued to argue until someone shouted, “Stop fighting, Wen MingYi is about to lead with fifty votes!”
Both sides ceased and decided to employ the strategy of points-scoring: First gather their friends to support whomever they wanted to support, and then two hours before the polls close, see who among Lu YunFei and Bian JinYuan got the most votes, before consolidating their effort to support whomever had a higher chance of winning.
“No matter what, the school grass has got to be from the science stream!” Jin Cake and Yun Cloud sisters swore an oath!
Lu YunFei was taken aback by this entire activity. He looked at Bian JinYuan walking beside him and stared for a long time, until Bian JinYuan asked: “Is there anything on my face?”
Lu YunFei shook his head and said curiously, “Bian JinYuan, who is the more handsome between us?”
Bian JinYuan hadn’t expected this to be the reason why he had been stared at for so long, and he couldn’t help but let slip a smile as he said, “You’re more handsome.”
Bian JinYuan nodded.
He did think that Lu YunFei was handsome. He had the kind of good looks that were pleasing to people; especially when he smiled and his eyes curved, it looked as if light shone from the corners of his eyes.
Out of all the people he had seen, Lu YunFe’s looks were the most outstanding.
Lu YunFei was pleased upon seeing that Bian JinYuan meant what he said, “You’re not bad looking yourself.”
Li YuanQing was about to interrupt to tell them not to toot each other’s horns, when he heard Lu YunFei unashamedly follow up with the next sentence, “But I also think that I’m slightly more handsome too.”
Li YuanQing: …
He looked at Lu YunFei who was preening beside Bian JinYuan and really wanted to ask, on what basis are you proclaiming that you’re more handsome when you’re half a head shorter than this guy?! Especially when looks are comparable! Height will become the final straw which crushes the camel okay!
However Li YuanQing didn’t blurt out his thoughts, after all they were bros and ought to have each other’s backs.
Because he had basketball practise after school, in addition to possessing the Tmall Genie at 9pm, Lu YunFei made full use of the breaks between each class to work on his homework.
Bian JinYuan didn’t go easy on him just because he was busy with homework. He gave him a spelling test as usual to solidify his memorisation.
School ended at last, and Lu YunFei was just about done with his homework, so he went to play basketball.
“Hey, did you see that discussion thread?”
Lu YunFei had just arrived at the basketball court when he saw Jiang Rong walk over to him while holding up his phone, “You’ve been nominated for the school grass selection.”
“He not only saw it, he also voted for himself,” Li YuanQing said without missing a beat.
“That’s because I’m handsome and am claiming what’s mine,” Lu YunFei wasn’t only not embarrassed, in fact he was pretty self-righteous, “Since we’re on it, you haven’t voted yet, so vote for me.”
“I’ve voted. Given our relationship, who would I vote for if not you.”
Wen MingYi who was sitting nearby laughed sarcastically.
Jiang Rong immediately threw the pot saying, “MingYi, it’s not that I don’t want to vote for you, but you’re in Humanities. If you were in Science, I’d have immediately voted for you.”
“What’s wrong with Humanities? Humanities hold up half the sky!”
“That’s right, which is why I can only stand on the other half with Science.”
Wen MingYi directed the fountain water to spray at Jiang Rong, who promptly dodged it and even showed Lu YunFei the poll count, “Look, you and Bian JinYuan are catching up to Wen MingYi. I think that by the end of this game, both of you would be leading.”
Lu YunFei took a look to find that it was true, “Alright, no more of this, let’s practise. I’ve got to go home after the game, so I won’t be able to eat with you guys later.”
“Why not?” Jiang Rong asked, “Haven’t we always had a meal together after basketball? Why is it different this time?”
“I’ve got something on.”
“Nothing you need to care about,” Lu YunFei put down his bag and walked to the middle of the court to pick up the basketball.
How could he even say out loud that he has to cosplay as a Tmall Genie every night at 9pm? Even if he did, no one would believe him.
“Here, let’s begin. Three versus three, one hour.”
“Alright,” everyone agreed.
Time always passed by quickly while playing basketball. Lu YunFei hadn’t even scratched his itch when he heard the alarm go off. He looked at his watch to find that it was already 8pm, and so he told everyone, “Let’s end here for today.”
“You’re really not joining us to eat?” Wen MingYi asked.
“No, I’m going home.”
Uncle Li was already waiting outside the school gates. Lu YunFei got into the car and opened up the school grass discussion thread.
The thread was trending with over a thousand replies. Lu YunFei entered the poll to see that he and Bian JinYuan were both behind Wen MingYi by tens of votes.
The Humanities students were enthusiastically pulling in votes: Sisters!!! We’ve got this!!! There’s still four hours till midnight!! We’ve got to hold the fort!! The school grass from this cohort has got to come from the Humanities!!
The Science students were also passionately galvanising people: Friends!!! Charge!!! Just a little bit more!! Our Science stream has so many guys! Does it make sense if the school grass doesn’t come from us but from Humanities!!
The Humanities students from the other side: It does make sense! Things that are rare are precious! Humanities may have fewer boys, but they’re top quality!
The Science students didn’t back down: Forget it! The glorious first place belongs to the top student of our Science stream okay! Even now, the subjects of Language, Mathematics, and English also taken by the humanities are topped by Bian JinYuan. Comparing quality? Talk about it only if you can get rid of Bian JinYuan!
“What’s more if I remember correctly, before we were split into our majors, Bian JinYuan was also top for Social Studies, History, and Geography. Does Humanities really want to compare academic results?
The Humanities students immediately retorted, “By your logic, shouldn’t Lu YunFei who’s failed English be disqualified?”
Lu YunFei almost spat blood onto his phone, what kind of twisted discussion was this!!! Isn’t the school grass based on looks!! Why are they looking at English scores!!!
His supporters obviously thought similarly, and quickly rebutted, “This is a school grass selection, not the top student selection. What are we looking at English for, look at the face! Even if Lu YunFei failed English, it doesn’t obscure the fact that he’s handsome! You guys are going off topic!”
Bian JinYuan and Wen MingYi’s supporters quieted down upon this, and once again activated their networks to call their schoolmates to cast their votes. In the end, they even pulled the year three seniors and year one juniors.
The junior sisters were surprised, “So this is how our school grass is selected!”
The senior sisters were confused, “Why is it that our cohort doesn’t have a school grass?”
The junior brothers exclaimed, “Shouldn’t the school grass be selected from the entire school? Why is it that only year two seniors are participating in this?”
The senior asked, “I think that I’m not bad-looking, could I enter the battlefield?”
Everyone in year two: …
Lu YunFei: ???
Whew this was a long one to work on with all the footnotes!
❆ For the benefit of anyone who hasn’t read Reborn as the Villain President’s Cat & Dog yet, Wen MingYi is the protagonist of this shared universe story and is described repeatedly as a chuunibyou (中二病, zhōng èr bìng, is a Japanese term which literally means ‘year two of middle school disease’ that made its way into Chinese use too). Instead of delusions of grandeur or thinking they’re a special snowflake, I think the author uses it to mean that Wen MingYi is stubbornly hanging onto his childish rebellious teenage phase.
❖ ‘75L’ means that this post was the 75th in the thread. Posts in a thread are referred to as 楼 (lóu, floor), which likens the discussion thread to a building which extends floors downwards with each reply.
Also, here’s another unexpected danmei-induced culture time: This username is derived from the last line of the first stanza of a poem from the Song dynasty, Dance of the Cavalry · A Lyric in a Heroic Vein for Chen Tongfu (破阵子·为陈同甫赋壮词以寄之) by Xīn QìJí (辛弃疾). Translation from here, which I’ve edited.
Tipsy, I light a lamp to gaze at my sword.
I dream of the horns sounding from my camps.
Under banners, the warriors share grilled beef.
Along musical strings, frontier tones floated.
It was our manoeuvre in the autumn field.
⨁ This username 孟德尔的德 is a double entendre. 孟德尔 (mèng dé ěr) is the transliteration of the name ‘Mendel’, you know, the guy who took gardening to a whole new level. The next two characters in the username indicate a possessive (的, de) of the character 德 (dé), which means virtue or morals. One way of reading this username is: the character ‘dé’ I’m referring to is the same character as the ‘dé’ in ‘Mendel’. The second way of reading it is how I translated it, Mendel’s morals.
𝝓 Carslan is a large makeup brand in China, whose advertisement for their mascara employed the phrase “Carslan large eyes” (卡姿兰大眼睛, kǎ zī lán dà yǎn jīng) – using their mascara would give the illusion of larger eyes. You can watch an example here on Youtube. This phrase later became internet slang by fans to express their love.
★ The term 高富帅 (gāo fù shuài, tall wealthy handsome) is used a lot of describe an ideal man in China, to the point where it’s now used as a noun.
# Bian JinYuan’s fans did a homophonic pun with his name ‘Jin’ (晋, jìn). They’re called 镜糕 (jìng gāo), which is a cake made out of glutinous rice and red dates (jujubes). Interesting trivia about this cake which I learnt for this footnote – this term was actually derived from 甑糕 (zèng gāo), but the city of Xi’an in China misread the character 甑 (zèng) as ‘jìng’, and they just ran with it and even adapted the cake to be eaten from sticks! You can find pictures of zeng gao and jing gao here (Chinese site).
∇ Lu YunFei’s fans had a better time because the ‘Yun’ in his name means ‘cloud’ (云, yún), and so they named themselves 云朵 (yún duǒ), which also means cloud. According to this answer (in Chinese) on the differences between the different ways of referring to the concept of a cloud, it’s said that the term ‘yún’ is used by people after middle school, while ‘yún duǒ’ is used by primary school kids. So I guess that the fans are trying to be cute by naming themselves thus.