The teaching director of the high school department knew that these students were difficult to handle, so he looked for Han Laoshi, Shi Yan’s ex-form teacher, and called him out from class while he was teaching. Han Laoshi had taught Shi Yan for three years. You could say that he didn’t take Shi Yan’s background into consideration when he treated him well, and he did like Shi Yan quite a bit. After Shi Yan graduated, he had even given Shi Yan a call. Thus, Shi Yan was quite respectful towards him. When he saw Han Laoshi walk over, Shi Yan jumped off the windowsill to greet him. Han Laoshi patted Shi Yan affectionately, “You rascal, why didn’t you look for me after you came back? Let’s go to my office.”
How could they be willing to leave? That grandson would escape if they did. So Shi Yan smiled as he told his teacher that he would definitely go see him, but he didn’t want to disturb him during his working hours. Han Laoshi also knew his reasons, “If you have anything you want to talk about, let’s do so in my office. Or is it that after you graduated, Laoshi can’t even invite you to my office anymore? Laoshi will have to start arresting people in that case.”
In the end, only Shi Yan and Wang Feng — who were his direct disciples — went to his office. He was still a form teacher for the third years. Han Laoshi asked about their life in college before diving straight into the point about the dispute they were here for. He first talked about how Zhao Laoshi had crossed the line with his words, but he also explained in Zhao Laoshi’s defence that he was usually a crass person in his daily life who never pays much attention to what he says.
Shi Yan didn’t argue with his teacher either, because there was no need to. Han Laoshi looked at Wang Feng helplessly, who just shrugged, “Laoshi, don’t involve yourself in this mess. Did that teaching director fox look for you? He’s in hiding himself, and yet he pushed you out here for this.”
Han Laoshi laughed, “So you guys know that I’m in a difficult spot too? This is a task assigned to me by my superior. You guys…Zhao Laoshi was wrong, but can you forgive him this once? I believe that he won’t do that ever again. Although teachers might scold and shout at students sometimes, they all have good intentions. Aren’t they just doing it for the sake of their students?”
“Which word did that bastard say for He Nuo’s sake?” Shi Yan asked.
“He has probably never spoken like a human should before.” Wang Feng answered, “If it had been me, I would’ve beaten him up in class until he had to look for his teeth on the floor. Laoshi, you’ve taught He Nuo for two years too, is he the kind of ignorant guy who would cause trouble for his teacher during class? That damn snob just looks down on him and probably thought that He Nuo was someone he could bully. If Shi Yan was the one who was late, I don’t believe that grandson would even dare let out a single fart.”
Han Laoshi had also been questioned until he couldn’t come up with anymore excuses. Zhou Xiaodong suddenly opened the door without knocking, “Shi Yan, He Nuo’s form teacher brought He Nuo to that grandson’s office.”
Shi Yan jumped straight up and ran towards the fourth floor. Han Laoshi shouted at him as he tried to follow along. Shi Yan had long legs and huge strides, and when he reached the staircase he slid down on its handrails before jumping right over the last flew flights of steps. His other buddies were still standing in front of the window as they pointed at the closed office door. Shi Yan walked over and kicked it open while everyone else dodged — there were only three people inside: He Nuo, his form teacher and that damn grandson.
The three of them were all seated. He Nuo immediately stood up, and his form teacher reacted swiftly, “Everything’s alright, we’re just talking. It’ll be fine once we talk it out.” That guy whose name had already been replaced with the word ‘grandson’ was so frightened that he avoided Shi Yan’s murderous gaze.
“Come here!” Shi Yan said to He Nuo.
When He Nuo got close enough to Shi Yan that they could almost touch, he was harshly yanked over by Shi Yan and was glared at for a second, then Shi Yan faced the other two as he sneered, “You want to talk about it? Hng, it’s too late for that. Even if he allows it, I won’t!”
“Shi Yan!” He Nuo had just called out when Shi Yan’s gaze that was as sharp as a knife landed on him. He Nuo stopped talking, though he was reluctant to do so.
Han Laoshi was already at the door. He pulled Shi Yan and He Nuo over, “Okay, okay. Let’s all go back to Laoshi’s office.”
After they entered Han Laoshi’s office, Shi Yan asked, “Who asked you to talk to that grandson? What’s there to talk about?”
“Shi Yan, if you force him to apologise in front of the whole school, then how would he be able to come to school in the future? Would he still be able to teach? As long as we both admit our fault then we can just let this matter go ba.”
When he saw that Shi Yan wasn’t talking, He Nuo continued, “When I was at the office, my form teacher told me that Zhao Laoshi didn’t pass his Professional Title examination again, so it seems like he’ll have to face a lot of trouble in the future. That was why he was in such a bad mood.”
Shi Yan and He Nuo didn’t really understand what a Profession Title examination was, but Han Laoshi seemed to awake from a dream, “O, I understand now. No wonder he vented his frustrations on his students again. You guys aren’t working yet so you don’t know, Han Laoshi is a worker-peasant-soldier student1, and he’s on recommendation, so he has a weaker literary foundation than the rest. This wasn’t much of a problem in the past, but after batches of professional model teachers came, we began to feel the pressure. Now we’re also particular about improving the quality of high school teachers, so we can’t teach if we don’t have a certain professional title, but Zhao Laoshi could never pass that exam. I don’t know if he’ll still be able to teach next year.”
After He Nuo heard his detailed explanation, he didn’t want to pursue the matter any further. At first he only thought that it was wrong for his teacher to insult his parents, and didn’t care about anything else anyway. Moreover, he had already talked to Zhao Laoshi just now. As soon as he heard that Shi Yan’s condition was for him to apologise in front of the entire school, he objected to it. He knew that Shi Yan wanted to stand up for him, but all he needed was fairness. He didn’t want to subdue another person with force. How could he not leave some leeway for the other party?
“I don’t need Laoshi’s apology anymore, we’ve already talked it out just now. Han Laoshi, you don’t need to worry about it any longer.”
“Actually those worker-peasant-worker students are quite pitiful. If they had undergone professional training2, then they wouldn’t even need to take the examination before they can change their professional title. This is equivalent to not recognising their academic qualifications. He’s already this old before his qualifications weren’t recognised, and it’s too late for him to re-educate himself. He is quite pitiful, so don’t argue with him too much.”
“Laoshi, everything’s over, there’s nothing to argue about.”
Han Laoshi looked at Shi Yan. He was waiting for his promise before he could be at ease, “Shi Yan, give Laoshi some face and let this incident go, okay?”
Shi Yan leaned on the window to look out at the students on the field who had gym.
“Shi Yan, you’re not allowed to do anything else!” He Nuo walked up to him.
“Laozi will do whatever I want.” He maintained a stern face.
“You can’t do it even if you want to. You even threw knives at their door! All the teachers have been frightened away by you guys, are you trying to be a local hoodlum? I won’t allow you to be a bully.”
He Nuo angrily thought of the knives on the door. When he saw those knives, he was so surprised that his eyes had widened considerably. He really didn’t know how Shi Yan came up with that idea, he’s practically on par with a loan shark who was trying to collect a debt that was owed.
He heard a snigger. Shi Yan laughed with a teasing gaze, “But I like being a bully, and I really like being a Hoodlum Tycoon.”
The meaning behind his last two words was only understood by He Nuo, so a rosy flush immediately appeared on his face.
His goal had been achieved. Shi Yan never wanted to blow this matter up, so of course he didn’t actually want that grandson to apologise to He Nuo in front of the entire school. If he did so, then wouldn’t He Nuo become a mini malefic in his teachers’ eyes?
“Okay, since you won’t let me take care of this, then I’ll go home now okay? Young Master!” He whispered to He Nuo before looking up and said in a loud voice to his teacher, “Since Laoshi has already spoken, how could I not give you face?”
Han Laoshi was very surprised, he didn’t expect Shi Yan to give in so easily, so he repeated, “Good, good, good. That’s right, you’re all grown up now and can even empathise with people. Laoshi’s really happy that you’re doing me this honour.”
1. Worker-Peasant-Soldier students (simplified Chinese: 工农兵学员; traditional Chinese: 工農兵學員; pinyin: Gōngnóngbīng xuéyuán) were Chinese students who enrolled in colleges between 1970 and 1976, during the later part of the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976). They were accepted not for their academic qualifications, but rather for the “class background” of their parents. Children of workers, peasants, and soldiers were “Five Red Categories” and enjoyed privileges during the Cultural Revolution.↩
2. The raws used a term that can be roughly translated as ‘professional training class/school/institution’, but this term isn’t referring to where someone had graduated from. Rather, it refers to those who had undergone formal training and got to where they are through self-study↩
T/N: Guyssss do y’all still remember the Hoodlum Tycoon joke they shared around chap 30+? Jaklsndfjkns I was dying when I read this chap, the way they bicker is so cute