[Chapter 054] Bian JinYuan: “Not impossible.”
Bian JinYuan raised his eyes to look at him while Lu YunFei indicated to the podium, “A country cannot survive a day without its ruler, students cannot survive a day without a teacher. I think that you’re pretty good at teaching, so why don’t you teach us?”
Bian JinYuan: …
Lu YunFei added, “Everyone here wants to study, but Zhang YanRong obviously doesn’t want to teach. Other teachers aren’t able to teach us either. You’re the best at English in this class, so it can only be you.”
Bian JinYuan thought that this was a naive suggestion, “It doesn’t work that way.”
“Of course it doesn’t, but we don’t have a choice. Look, a quick glance shows that everyone is about to climb Mount Liang#. If you don’t swoop in to lead us, how will us outlaws fare?”
Bian JinYuan: …
Lu YunFei clasped both hands in a prayer, “Please.”
“Lu YunFei, Bian JinYuan, what are you talking about?” Zhang YanRong said, “Come up here to say it! Let everyone hear what you have to say.”
Lu YunFei: …
Lu YunFei felt that he really couldn’t control his desire to beat up Zhang YanRong anymore.
Bian JinYuan saw how he was about to blow up and said gently, “Don’t be angry.”
And then he stood up, took the monthly exam papers, and walked over to the stage. Lu YunFei followed him and was about to snark at Zhang YanRong when he heard Bian JinYuan say, “Lu YunFei had asked me about a question in the monthly exam. Since teacher Zhang told us to let everyone listen, then will everyone please take out your papers.”
Lu YunFei was pleasantly surprised, the students were shocked, and Li YuanQing thought, Fuck, Bian JinYuan’s moves are great!
Zhang YanRong hadn’t expected Bian JinYuan’s words and was stunned as well.
Lu YunFei hadn’t brought his paper along, and so he stood closer to Bian JinYuan to share his.
Bian JinYuan said calmly, “We’ll start from the first question. The answer to the first question is B. Any questions?” He looked at Lu YunFei, who shook his head and then looked at their classmates in front of them.
Everyone also shook their heads, “No.”
“The second question is C. Any questions?”
“Why is it C?” He Pan asked.
“The phrase being tested…” Bian JinYuan explained in a calm manner, and even talked about other situations to use the other options.
Zhang YanRong never would have thought that he would really teach the class, and her anger mounted to the point where her internal organs were about to fuse together. Yet, Bian JinYuan’s expression remained neutral, as if he didn’t think anything of her, as he calmly went over the English paper.
When the bell rang, Bian JinYuan had already gone through half the paper. He stored it and said, “Class dismissed.”
Saying that, he prepared to return to his seat.
“Stop right there!” Zhang YanRong shouted angrily.
Bian JinYuan turned back to look at her, “What’s the matter?”
Zhang YanRong laughed dismissively, “Not bad teaching. Who would have thought that there was a hidden talent❖ in our class. What, does student Bian want to be a teacher?”
“Fine,” Zhang YanRong slammed her hands against the table, “Since you want to show off, then I’ll grant your wish. From now on, you’ll teach English.”
Bian JinYuan looked at her and couldn’t even be bothered to raise his eyelids, “Okay.”
Zhang YanRong glared at him disbelievingly. Bian JinYuan didn’t bother with her and walked towards his seat. Lu YunFei saw this and smiled benignly and gleefully at Zhang YanRong, causing her to storm out of the classroom with her materials.
The atmosphere in class one instantly swelled! The girls and boys started laughing as they recounted Zhang YanRong’s expression.
“Hahaha, that was hilarious. Did you see her face just now, it was so green.”
“Fuck, why didn’t I think to take a photo just now. To think that I didn’t capture such an iconic moment.”
“Let her be arrogant again, she really thought that we couldn’t live without her.”
“However, Bian JinYuan’s class was pretty good, it was well-explained and highlighted the main points. It’s so unlike her class, where she’d randomly claim that foreigners say it this way and there’s no other reason, just choose this option.”
“That’s right, no wonder Lu YunFei scored above 90 this time. I used to think that his luck was good, but now it looks like it was thanks to Bian JinYuan’s tutoring.”
Everyone discussed this while turning back to look at Bian JinYuan who was seated at the last row.
Bian JinYuan was still the same cool expression as he bent his head to work on papers. Lu YunFei sprawled out beside him and asked, “Are you really planning to teach the class?”
Lu YunFei enthusiastically grabbed his arm, “Teacher Bian, you’re the saviour of mankind, the male god of First High!”
Bian JinYuan couldn’t resist a smile, “Let me remind you that you still haven’t finished memorising your common mistakes.”
“I’ll memorise them right now,” Lu YunFei said before he thought of something else, “Wait a moment.”
He clamoured out of the classroom and ran to class twenty to knock at the desk of Wen MingYi, who was currently playing a mobile game.
Wen MingYi raised his head, saw that it was him, and asked while continuing his game, “What’s up?”
“I’m here to borrow your English notes. What have you been covering lately? And what’s your homework?”
“What are you asking these for?”
“Isn’t it because of Zhang YanRong. Even though she had agreed to make peace after teacher Li talked to her, she still refused to teach us properly, and so our class democratically chose a teacher.”
“Bian JinYuan,” Lu YunFei smiled, “No one else could carry this responsibility other than him.”
“Tch, and democratically at that. Your class is playing some high-risk games here.”
“So please lend me your notes, I’ll let him refer to them.”
“Wen MingYi rubbed the back of his head, “Wait a moment, I’ll go borrow the notes for you. Didn’t I tell you before, I don’t take notes during class.”
Lu YunFei: “… You never did.”
Wen MingYi smiled reassuringly and ran to the study representative of his class, spoke to her for a bit, and came back with her notes.
“Here you go, the important points are also highlighted here, in addition to the teacher’s assigned homework. Return it to me after school today.”
Lu YunFei held his prize and ran back to his classroom to hand it over to Bian JinYuan.
“Here, take this for reference. This is the progress for English classes at class twenty.”
Bian JinYuan received it and flipped through some pages before commenting, “It’s a girl’s.”
“Yep, the study representative of class twenty.”
“You’re also close with girls from other classes?” Bian JinYuan raised his eyes to look at him, his tone very gentle.
Lu YunFei shook his head candidly, “Nope, I’m not close to her, Wen MingYi helped me borrow it. I initially wanted to borrow his notes. but he doesn’t take notes, so he helped me borrow from someone else.”
Bian JinYuan nodded, “I see.”
“Mmm, I have to return this to her after school today, so take a look first. If you need, I’ll make a copy for you.”
“Not necessary,” Bian JinYuan said, “I’ll just need to take a look.”
Lu YunFei didn’t bother him after this and started to memorise the words he commonly made mistakes on.
Bian JinYuan looked at the notebook in his hands and thought about the fact that he was teaching the entire class, and couldn’t help but feel complicated. However, he recalled Zhang YanRong’s face as she left and smiled slightly. This was also good — he had found Zhang YanRong to be an eyesore lately.
Bian JinYuan did as he promised. During English class the next day, just as Zhang YanRong stepped into the classroom, he also stepped onto the stage to go through the later half of the month exam paper, disregarding her. His classmates also went along with it, each one asking questions, and someone even called him teacher Bian.
Zhang YanRong was so angry, yet her words couldn’t be retracted, so she now had to accept the consequences. As Bian JinYuan’s assistant, Lu YunFei made sure that everyone in the group chat were updated every day according to the pace of homework given out at class twenty. And then after each morning reading, he would post Bian JinYuan’s answers to let everyone refer to it for self-study.
Of course, he didn’t need to self-study. As teacher Bian’s sole disciple, student Lu YunFei had the privilege of having teacher Bian personally mark his homework.
Everyone wanted to prove that they could score well in the mid-term exams without Zhang YanRong, and worked even harder than before.
Nobody posted this situation on the discussion board, and neither did anyone update Li Li or the department head on Zhang YanRong relieving her duties. Everyone was focused on studying to improve their English scores. In no time, the studious atmosphere of class one swelled and its students got closer to each other.
Zhang YanRong came to class and left the class on time. Inside the classroom, no one realised that the person teaching had changed, and no one within the classroom wanted anyone else to know.
These were youths who didn’t want to admit defeat. They wanted to figure out a solution to this problem themselves, and also wanted to prove to all the teachers the saying, water can float or sink a boat*. Teachers were but an instrument to imparting techniques to students. In a teacher-student relationship, mutual respect was crucial for both parties.
Three days before the mid-term exams. Bian JinYuan gave Lu YunFei three sets of handwritten papers as usual.
Lu YunFei asked, “Can I send these to the group chat too?”
“Sure,” Bian JinYuan said indifferently.
Lu YunFei took photos of them, named the photos ‘☆ Top Secret Exam Papers’ and posted them in the group chat.
“Hahaha, top secret exam papers,” Everyone was amused.
“Don’t laugh, this came from teacher Bian.”
This time everyone didn’t mock it. It was to be said that during this period when Zhang YanRong abandoned teaching them, the one person whom they were most grateful to was Bian JinYuan. Who would’ve thought that he would stand up for the class when they were most distressed, shining a light of hope for everyone.
Prior to this event, they had not been familiar with Bian JinYuan. All they knew was that he was the top student study god, and was to be admired from afar. After this event, Bian JinYuan seemed to have come alive and became a bona fide member of their class. Everyone listened to Lu YunFei’s words and seriously worked on the three sets of mock exam papers, before entering the exam hall with a determination to surpass.
Because Lu YunFei had scored 28th at the monthly exam, he had unexpectedly entered the first exam hall together with Bian JinYuan.
Before the English exam, he ran over to Bian JinYuan as usual to borrow his luck.
The students in class one who were also in the same exam hall saw how he held both of Bian JinYuan’s hands, unwilling to let go, and asked in confusion, “What are you doing Lu YunFei? Holding hands even? How gay✤.”
“You’re gay. I’m borrowing his luck, may our study god convey blessings for me to score a little better for English later.”
“Does it work?” students asked.
“It explains why I passed the last time.”
The students heard this and immediately got excited. They walked over to him and eyed his other hand, “What’s that, study god, let us also borrow your luck please.”
Bian JinYuan calmly placed his hand behind his back, a show of indifference.
This chapter actually has some words originally written in English (‘OK’, ‘gay’), but they don’t affect the translation compared to when Lu YunFei has to do spelling tests for actual English words, so I didn’t make a note about it at the beginning of the chapter. Just thought you might want to know!
# Mt. Liang (梁山, liáng shān) is a mountain featured in one of the great Chinese classics, Water Margin《水浒传》(shuǐ hǔ zhuàn). I think that them likened to gathering at Mt Liang signified that they were about to rebel against the authorities just like in the story.
❖ Zhang YanRong used the idiom 卧虎藏龙 (wò hǔ cáng lóng), which I thought you might be interested to know is the title of the popular film, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (quite a literal translation). I’d never heard of the idiom used outside of the film title, so it was interesting to learn that it’s an actual idiom! It means that masters are hidden, unnoticed.
* 水能载舟亦能覆 (shuǐ néng zài zhōu yì néng fù), literally meaning how I translated it – water can carry a boat or sink it. This is a Confucian saying which likens a ruler to a boat, and the water it floats upon its people. If the people are nervous or frightened, the ruler will be unstable as well. If the people are assured and at peace, then the ruler will have an easier time ruling. There’s a reddit post which explains the actual meaning here!
✤ Yea this internet slang is a bit insensitive. The phrase used is ‘gay里gay气’ (gay lǐ gay qì), and is used to describe a weird atmosphere or actions, so the connotation of ‘gay’ is used negatively. Here’s more (in Mandarin).