Chapter 42: The First Class
Wu Junyi looked at the time flashing on his communicator’s display screen, and couldn’t stop his features from scrunching in to a frown. He looked at the young man standing on the teaching dais, calmly arranging his teaching materials.
His first impression of this Lan Jue had been pretty good; intelligent, modest, and refined. He was precisely as a teacher should be.
But in his capacity as the Teaching Director, and keeper of the rankings, he couldn’t simply make decisions based on appearances alone.
This gentleman had been hand-picked and appointed by the university’s Dean himself, and given the title of associate professor. It was, in a word, unprecedented. Elective teachers had a rather high turn-over, and as a result weren’t very reliable. Generally they were just given a lecturer post. This guy became associate professor in a day, which needless to say was quite the pay bump. Wun Junyi had argued vociferously, and the Dean had agreed to hire this Mr. Lan provisionally as a normal teacher.
He didn’t appreciate this guy’s willingness to circumvent the normal order, sneaking in through the proverbial back door. But more than that, he simply didn’t agree with the course subject.
If it hadn’t been expressly permitted by the Dean, Wu Junyi definitely would’ve considered whoever made the decision to add the class had been hit on the head. It was utterly useless.
Ten minutes till two, and not a single student had arrived. If, in the end, no students chose to attend it would still be recorded in the annals of university history. And would be remembered as a big joke.
But in truth, his respect for this teacher has grown despite his reservations. Even now, with not a student in attendance he did not appear the least bit flustered. He revealed no sign of anxiousness. This sort of temperament was hard to come by.
“Mr. Lan.” A voice arose from the door of the classroom. Directly following a young woman in a long white skirt entered. Jin Yan.
She had intentionally changed her clothes in the interim, wanting to appear more youthful and attractive.
“Ah, Miss Jin. You’ve come,” Lan Jue greeted with a smile and a nod of his head.
“I’ll sit in the back,” she stated. “Oh! Director Wu, you’ve come as well.” She smiled as she noticed his presence.
Wu Junyi had always been a man of stony countenance. At fifty five, conservatively dressed, and with cold and piercing eyes he certainly fit the look for a teaching director.
“Mm,” he responded with a nod of his head.
Jin Yan peered toward Lan Jue, witnessed his composure, but in her heart she harbored a secret anxiousness for his situation. The director was present but not a single student was to be seen. This definitely did not look good.
She moved to the back, and chose a seat not too distant from Director Wu.
Just that moment, a silhouette filled the doorway. They rushed in, yelling as they did so: “Is this the Etiquette classroom?”
“It is,” Lan Jue responded. But once he saw who it was that had rushed in to the room, a frown came unbidden to his face.
In the same instant Jin Tao also recognized who he was talking to, and stood with a stupid look on his face. “You’re that cheap-ass with the bicycle! You’re a teacher? Ya sure looked like a cool dude at first, but you sure were some kinda miser. Imma ride that thing later, and don’t be surprised if I’m not mister manners about it.” As he spoke he shook his fist towards Lan Jue.
“Jin Tao!” The growling hiss had come from somewhere in the back of the classroom.
“Who asked y-“ it was then he saw the two people he least wished to meet in the whole school.
“O-older Sister…” He trembled visibly upon noticing Jin Yan. And then, half a second later, the formidable figure of the Teaching Director drew his eye. He was a problem student, and he sure knew who the director was.
Suddenly he found himself at a loss for words. Meek as a mouse, he took a seat in the front row and sat in silence.
Lan Jue drew his eyes towards the director. The man had said not a word from beginning to end but that suffocating presence was stifling. Secretly Lan Jue had begun to fill with doubt.
His first inclination towards Jin Tao certainly wasn’t a friendly one, but he hadn’t known he was Jin Yan’s younger brother. But beyond that what could he say – he was his very first student.
Maybe it was Jin Tao’s peach-colored Mohican that brought him luck, but after he’d arrived students suddenly begun to enter in twos and threes. In each of them was the tell-tale shimmer of curiosity in their eyes.
But to Lan Jue’s consternation, no less than half of the newly arrived students had oddly colored heads. It made his classroom look like a dye-works. A host of young men looking for cute girls and trouble. A Pervert Legion.
Luckily the Director’s presence alone served to frighten these potential troublemakers in to silence. A few had tried to flee once they noticed him sitting there, but at a glance from the intimidating man they sat in obedient silence.
Much to Lan Jue’s pleasure the Director appeared to be acting in the capacity of a monkey trainer. It saved him a fair deal of trouble.
Lan Jue extricated a pocket watch from his vest and peered at the time. He made his way towards the door, preparing to begin his very first class.
As the door began to close, a slender hand suddenly pressed against it.
“Wait a moment!”
A young blond haired woman squeezed through. The crestfallen Pervert Legion inside, a moment before visibly dejected, suddenly came to life. Their eyes widened and if he didn’t know any better, Lan Jue could have sworn he saw the glint of saliva in the corner of the young men’s mouths.
Another figure slipped in behind the blond, this one with black hair. The thunderous sound of the Pervert Legion’s jaws collectively striking the floor was deafening.
But it wasn’t just them, even Director Wu Junyi’s face betrayed a hint of color.
Two pairs of eyes met. Zhou Qianlin regarded Lan Jue as though they had never met, offering only a nod. She pulled Tang Mi with her towards the back row. The Director’s presence kept the Pervert Legion at bay, restricting them to muttered hellos and coy smiles. The two young woman found some empty seats and settled in.
The collective hate of the young men towards Director Wu was almost palpable! If it weren’t for his presence, they’d all be scrambling to surround the two campus belles. Of course now, no one dared move a muscle.
Lan Jue followed Zhou Qianlin as she made her way to a seat. His eye lid twitched imperceptibly. She was just going to pretend she had no idea who he was. And she was the one so insistent on him coming here to be her bodyguard…
He shut the door, and slowly made his way back to the podium. His eyes swept over the students, most of which were here for the promise of being near the two beautiful girls. He cleared his throat.
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome. Henceforth, I will be leading our class in Etiquette.”
“I imagine you’re all curious. What is this class all about? After all, who doesn’t know the basics of proper living? What I aim to teach you is character. Meaning. I’m going to turn each and every one of you, in to aristocrats.”