Men Also Have to Valiantly Face Problems
The weather was fickle today, clear after noon and then raining a while later. The wet black and white walls were sticky to the touch.
Wang Zi entered the classroom in a gloomy mood, saluted her teacher and then took a seat. Even the worst behaved students of the academy wouldn’t dare to raise their voice when speaking to Professor Kong, but it was hard for Wu Dayong’s small group not to notice the usually energetic girl was unsettled despite her burying her head in her book. Unsurprisingly, as soon as Professor Kong wasn’t paying attention to her, she whispered to Shi Weiliang.
Upon seeing Shi Weiliang’s reaction, from behind, Wu Dayong asked, “What’s the matter?”
Shi Weiliang almost turned around to shoot Wu Dayong a glare. In the end, though, taking into consideration they were in Professor Kong’s class, she covered her face behind her book to whisper to him.
After he picked up his jaw, Wu Dayong turned around the back to pass on the news. “I heard Su Xiao has been hurt bad.”
“Someone hurt Su Xiao bad.”
“Someone hurt Su Xiao bad. He jumped off a building.”
“Su Xiao jumped off a building and landed on Sir Bao from Shuntian Prefecture. Sir Bao wants his life now.”
After listening to the message he received, He Shi repeated back, “A bull crushed Su Xiao and Sir Bao when they were shepherding cattle in the west?” He looked to Wu Dayong and mouth, “Really?”
Wu Dayong mouthed back, “Why are we talking about Sirius?”
Wu Dayong: Nerds sure function on a different plane.
He Shi: Why is he asking me why I’m asking, “Serious?” Who else should I be asking?
Wu Dayong and He Shi whipped their heads back, but they didn’t dare to look Professor Kong in the face.
As he swept his gaze over the two, Professor Kong chided, “Hmph, some students are like their names, destined to be useless. Some other students think they are all that over a small accomplishment. They’re also destined to never achieve anything worthy of mention.”
He Shi and Wu Dayong rose up and applauded with giddy expressions. “You are absolutely right!”
You would second guess if elephants could climb trees if a professor wasn’t telling off a student from their class, let alone be surprised that a rock-bottom placer and a student with a problematic attitude were having their ears chewed off. It certainly wasn’t the first time the two had copped earfuls.
“You are wasting my time! Sit down! What do you think you’re doing?!” thundered Professor Kong.
Despite Professor Kong’s scolding, Wu Dayong had already rolled up a sheet of paper into a ball and boldly tossed it to He Shi.
He Shi sat down to read, “Su Xiao has been hurt badly and is currently at the physician’s place.” He looked up again to see all of his teammates wearing grim looks. He, too, scribbled onto a sheet and then passed it to Zhou Teng, who was closest to him. After Zhou Teng finished reading, he passed it to the next person and so forth until it reached their last teammate – Wang Zi. She opened it to read, “Let’s go visit him.”
Even though all of them had their eyes on Professor Kong, they all bobbed their heads in synchrony. Mistakenly thinking he said something wrong, Professor Kong cleared his throat and switched books for his lecture.
As amused as He Shi found everyone’s reactions, he was equally concerned for the reason that they still had a long time before school was out. Professor Kong’s class alone still had two hours to go. Fortunately, looking at his teammates gave him an epiphany. He scribbled onto another sheet, rolled it up and subsequently threw it to Wu Dayong while Professor Kong wasn’t paying attention.
“What’s the matter?” questioned Professor Kong.
“What a strong ominous breeze,” remarked He Shi, standing up awkwardly. He took big strides to reach Wu Dayong’s side and, in an extremely slow motion, bent over to pick up a book. Smiling, he added, “The wind is not literate. Why thoughtlessly open a book?”
Catching on quick, Wu Dayong used his book to cover his mouth, then whispered, “You have an idea?”
“What is it?”
“Will it work?”
“When he asks you, just read out what’s on the sheet of paper.”
“We’ll all be able to leave afterwards.”
“Leave it to me, brother.”
With the sheet now in Wu Dayong’s hands, He Shi jogged back to his seat.
Professor Kong shook his head whilst sighing. “This class truly is beyond saving.”
Professor Kong always took pride in teaching the advanced classes. Unfortunately, due to Professor Xie taking sick leave, he had to stand in for Professor Xie. Not once did he leave their classroom on a positive note.
“Now what?!’ Professor Kong was once again agitated due to the sudden cry. He looked to Wu Dayong and questioned, “What?”
“I’m not feeling well!”
“What’s wrong?” Though strict, Professor Kong was a teacher who genuinely wanted the best for his students, so he couldn’t bear to scold Wu Dayong.
“I…” Wu Dayong glanced down to the sheet of paper and, before he could process what he was reading, blurted, “… am on my period.”
Whilst the students burst out in hysterical laughter, Wu Dayong slowly looked over his shoulders to He Shi for answers. He Shi flicked up a thumb.
Wu Dayong: Stick that thumb up your rear!
“Y-you are on your period?”
Wu Dayong looked back at He Shi again. He Shi shook his head, pointed to the rear of a portly classmate.
Wu Dayong: Big?
He Shi drew a big circle with both hands in the air.
Wu Dayong: Picture? Oh, big picture!
Wu Dayong inhaled deeply and, on shaky legs, replied, “Y-yes. Are you being sexist?!”
“N-no. In that case…”
He Shi jumped up. “Dayong! Why didn’t you tell us?! Zhou Teng, give me a hand. Let’s take Dayong out to rest.”
Zhou Teng and He Shi grabbed Wu Dayong and bolted out.
“Stop right there!”
He Shi: “Professor, a life is at stake. It takes two of us to support someone as heavy as Wu Dayong.”
“I don’t mind that, but why are the two girls following you?”
Wang Zi exclaimed, “Have you had a period before?! Do you know what to do about it?!”
“This old one…”
“We know. Without someone knowledgeable providing instructions, what happens if something goes wrong?”
“Only one person needs to accompany them, then.”
“Our bodies are different. My body is different to Weiwei’s, so we can provide different viewpoints. Weiwei may not look like it, but every nearby village knows she’s the expert on periods, right, Weiwei?”
Shi Weiliang, face as red as a ripe tomato, muttered under her breath, “Yes…”
In the end, Professor Kong had to concede. Once they were out of his view, the five turned their walk into a run before Professor Kong caught on. They, however, didn’t notice a group stealthily tailing them once they left the academy grounds.
Serious and Sirius –I tried to get as close as I could for the homophone gag. It worked far better in Mandarin.
“The wind is not literate. Why thoughtlessly open a book?” – It’s a throwaway phrase here, but it was a poetic line in the Qing dynasty, one that, during the eighth year of Emperor Yongzheng’s rule, was a phrase that caused a huge stir in the imperial court. I’m going to condense this as much as possible.
Xu Jun was accused of harbouring treasonous motives for writing the phrase, leading to his eventual execution. The phrase itself is innocent. The catalyst that turned it into a malicious phrase was the intent of the readers, resulting in speech crime. At the time, all eyes were on Emperor Yongzheng’s moves to eliminate his brothers from the picture, so you could say it was internal strife. Xu Jun wasn’t part of the imperial court. To create a common “foreign” enemy for the imperial court (and their ethnic group), despite knowing it was a harmless phrase, Yongzheng pursued the matter to get the heat off him.
A bum and a circle – Bum = Chrysanthemum. Big = big. Circle = Surrounding. Translated literally like that, it shares the same pronunciation as “Prioritise the bigger picture”. It’s with great regret that this joke doesn’t translate to English.