Chapter 83: Shameless

One of the students immediately exclaimed in horror, “Isn’t that family too stingy? Two people have to share a bowl of rice? How in the world do they eat like that?”

Yang Wei’s face darkened. “Why are you picking faults with the question? We’re here to answer the question, not to gossip about whether the family is stingy or not.”

Zu An chuckled softly under his breath. He couldn’t understand why Yang Wei would think such a simple question was actually difficult. Or could it be that people in this world didn’t understand the concept of algebra?

Zu An did a rough calculation before writing down ‘60’.

Gulp~

Yang Wei swallowed a mouthful of his saliva in shock. How could this be? Did the fellow see the answer key beforehand? No, that’s impossible. I came up with these questions on the spot! Are these questions actually easy?

He started to doubt his sanity till he finally saw the confused looks on the faces of the students all around. Nay, how can that be? That fellow must have guessed the question, and he happened to get ‘60’ on his first try. Yup, it must definitely be the case.

Zu An moved on to the third question.

‘In Brightmoon City’s market, a rooster is worth 5 qian, a chicken is worth 3 qian, and three chicks are worth 1 qian. The farmer used a total of 100 qian to buy 100 animals. So, how many roosters, chicken, and chicks did she buy in total?’

Hm? This question looks pretty interesting. There are three unknown variables but we can only formulate two equations here. However, since the number is pretty small, we can just do a guess and check.

Of course, it’s not like we’re going to exhaustively guess all of the possibilities to figure out the answer. There’s a trick to it. Taking the number of roosters, chickens, and chicks to be x, y, and z respectively, we can simplify the equation to y = (100 -7x)/4.

Given that the number of roosters, chickens, and chicks have to whole numbers, the equation (100 - 7x) must be a number that is divisible by 4, which means that x has to be an even number.

From there on, we can quickly deduce that there are 4 roosters, 18 chickens, and 78 chicks in total!

When Yang Wei saw Zu An writing the answer out, he felt his mind blanking out for an instant. Three questions! He has already managed to answer three questions correctly!

He couldn’t pull his weight and insist that Zu An’s answer was wrong because there was a huge crowd watching right now. These students might not be able to solve the questions properly, but it was still easy enough for them to verify the correctness of the answer by working backward. Not to mention, Shang Liuyu was watching him too! 

How in the world is the fellow doing this? Isn’t he supposed to be trash? How is he able to answer all of these questions so easily? On top of that, the speed at which he’s solving these problems is unbelievable!

Given that Zu An had already answered three questions correctly, he had already lost the bet. He couldn’t chase the other party out of the academy anymore. Instead, he had to pray that the other party wouldn’t be able to solve all of the questions, or else he would be put in a spot.

He had never thought that such a situation would occur, so he agreed to the bet without any hesitation. Zu An’s high proficiency in arithmetic was unexpected, and it left him panicking inside.

No, there’s nothing to fear. The questions are getting progressively harder, especially for the last one. I found it in an ancient record. Putting aside the students, even he couldn’t solve the question himself!

No matter how incredible this fellow is, there must be a limit to his capability. There’s no way he can solve such an ancient difficult question too!

To his dismay, Zu An’s brush moved swiftly as he solved the questions one after another, inducing shocked exclamations from the surrounding students. Initially, everyone thought that he had just lucked off and somehow managed to guess the right answer. However, the fact that he was able to solve question after question correctly with hardly any downtime proved that he was a true arithmetic prodigy.

Many of them were hoping to see Zu An make a fool out of himself. After all, he had married Chu Chuyan, the most beautiful woman in their academy, and flirted with many of those in the Sweetheart Ranking. They couldn’t accept how he had a harem when the rest of them were still single. If they could chase him out of the academy, they would definitely do so without a sliver of hesitation.

But surprisingly, as the bet went on, the crowd wasn’t disappointed to see Zu An answering the questions one after another. Instead, they were starting to tremble in excitement. After all, the one thing that was more interesting than seeing a fellow classmate being expelled was seeing their own teacher being expelled!

A faint trace of a smile also crept onto Shang Liuyu’s lips too. Her eyes were focused on Zu An as she thought that he looked quite suave when he was focused on a task on hand.

She couldn’t help but remember their first meeting in the gazebo, and this further spurred her curiosity about him. Just how many secrets is this fellow hiding?

In contrast to Shang Liuyu’s relaxed demeanor, Yang Wei was frequently dabbing his forehead with his handkerchief to wipe off his cold sweat. He could sense the eyes of the crowd silently lingering on him, and it left goosebumps rising all over his body. Calm down, calm down… Yes, there’s nothing to worry about. There’s no way he’ll be able to solve the last question!

Finally, Zu An reached the last question.

‘Two farmer’s wives brought a total of 100 chicken eggs to Brightmoon City’s market to sell, and the two of them earned the same amount of money after selling out their goods. The first farmer’s wife told the second farmer’s wife, “If I had as many chicken eggs as you, I would be able to earn 15 silver qian.” The second farmer’s wife then replied, “If I had as many chicken eggs as you, I would only be able to earn 6 and two-third qian.” How many chicken eggs do each of them have?”

The students began discussing the question fervently amongst themselves.

“This is weird. They’re both selling chicken eggs, right? Why are their prices different then?”

“Isn’t that perfectly normal? It’s obvious that one of the farmer’s wife is better-looking than the other. People will naturally buy from the farmer’s wife that looks better even if it’s more expensive, and the uglier looking one has no choice but to lower her price to bring in customers.”

“What wise words!”

… 

Zu An was stunned to see this question. He turned to Yang Wei and asked, “You can’t be thinking that this question is actually hard, right?”

Yang Wei was bubbling with frustration. Of course! Why else would I leave it for the last? However, at this point, he dared not to underestimate Zu An anymore. So, he chose to respond with a vague answer, “Those who are able to solve it naturally see no difficulty in it.”

“It’s indeed not hard,” replied Zu An.

This was basically just a problem involving simultaneous equations with four variables. Its calculation was tedious, but it was, by no means, difficult.

Yang Wei was pissed off by Zu An’s answer. I was just being courteous with you, but you sure are climbing over my head, huh? Why don’t you try solving it and show me the correct answer then!

You have successfully trolled Yang Wei for +222 Rage!

Zu An shot a perplexed glance at Yang Wei. He quickly wrote down a series of working on another sheet of paper before finally jotting down the answer: The first farmer’s wife has 40 eggs and the second farmer’s wife has 60 eggs.

Many of the students had been diligently checking Zu An’s answer for him, and soon, one of them exclaimed excitedly, “He got it right! He managed to get all 20 questions right!”

The crowd was astonished. Many eyes began to dart toward Yang Wei as the bet they had made earlier was still fresh in their mind. Given that Zu An had successfully answered 20 questions, it was time for him to resign from his job at Brightmoon Academy.

On the other hand, Yang Wei seemed to hear a ringing in his ears. Everything that had just happened defied his common sense. He thought that he had just received a sweet and easy mission to trample upon an incompetent student, but who could have thought that he would end up having the tables turned on him?

This isn’t right! Isn’t he supposed to be a renowned wastrel in the city? How can he possibly be so skilled at arithmetic? 

Zu An turned to look at the ravishing Shang Liuyu, and he asked with a smile, “Teacher Shang, right? Since you’re our witness here, I’d like you to declare the winner of the bet.”

“Needless to say, you’ve won.” Shang Liuyu nodded in response as she directed a knowing smile at him.

With everything decided, Zu An turned to Yang Wei and said, “Teacher Yang, right? I recall someone mentioning that he would resign from the academy if I manage to answer all 20 questions correctly. May I know if your words still hold true?”

Yang Wei’s face swiftly flushed bright red. He pointed his finger at Zu An in agitation as he bellowed, “You cheated! That’s right, you must have cheated!”

He couldn’t even care about embarrassing himself before his goddess anymore. What was more important right now was for him to keep his job, or else he would become the first teacher in the entire Great Zhou Dynasty to be forced to resign under the pressure of his student. He would never be able to raise his head again if he were to be humiliated like this!

“Tsk!”

Disgruntled snorts echoed in the classroom. The students were all rather dissatisfied to see that he was intending to renege on his promise.

Shang Liuyu also frowned as well. “Teacher Yang, all of us can bear witness to the procedure. How could he have possibly cheated?”

Yang Wei felt as if Shang Liuyu was looking at him with eyes field with contempt, and it made him even more agitated. He hurriedly replied, “I remember it now! These questions can actually be easily guessed as long as you’re lucky. The numbers aren’t that big anyway. He could have just tried each answer one by one. Look at his workings! Does any of you understand anything at all? He’s obviously guessing his way through!”

Some of the students took a careful look at Zu An’s working, and they found themselves agreeing with Yang Wei’s words. They are really illegible… If he really guessed all of them isn’t his luck way too good? But again, he did win 7,500,000 silver taels from the casino just yesterday, so he probably has no lack of luck.

Zu An sighed deeply. “I’ve long heard that you’re a shameless person, but you manage to exceed my wildest imagination. You sure have no qualms spouting nonsense before your own students. Why don’t you just tell us whether my answers are right or not?”

“What’s the point of getting the answers right? If your working isn’t right, it’s all just flukes and deserves to be given a zero!” Yang Wei forcefully pushed his logic forth. “This is simply the common rule of arithmetic classes. The purpose of the rule is to deal with those who copy answers and people who luck out like you!”

Shang Liuyu chuckled softly before remarking, “Teacher Yang, I think that your words don’t make much sense here. Even if he’s lucky enough to guess an answer or two correctly, he can’t possibly be that lucky to get all twenty questions correct. Could it be that he’s using a method that’s so novel that no one has seen it before?”

Her good looks and her refined disposition allowed her to convince others easily even if she didn’t aggressively push her point of view.

“Teacher Shang is right!”

“It doesn’t make sense for there to be such a huge coincidence in the world.”

… 

Yang Wei’s eyebrows twitched in anger. Is this woman intentionally trying to go against me? With both his job and honor on the line, he couldn’t care that much anymore.

With a darkened face, he began putting down Shang Liuyu, “Teacher Shang, you’re a foreign language teacher, so I don’t blame you for not knowing arithmetic. The methods he has jotted down are absolutely nonsensical such that even the arithmetic teachers of the Royal Academy in the capital wouldn’t understand them. There are no such methods in the world, so the only possibility is that he managed to get everything correct by chance. Otherwise, why don’t you get him to explain the steps behind how he got the answer then?”

He had already decided that no matter whether Zu An’s explanation made sense or not, he would simply shrug them off as nonsense. This had already escalated into a fight with his reputation on the line, so he couldn’t care about his appearance anymore.

Shang Liuyu was put in a spot. Yang Wei was a renowned arithmetic expert in Brightmoon City, making him quite an authoritative figure on the subject. She wasn’t in a good position to comment on this matter.

With no way to help, she turned her gaze toward Zu An. To be honest, she was quite curious to see how he intended to deal with this situation. He always had a knack for resolving problems through unusual means.

Zu An calmly replied, “With your poor aptitude in arithmetic, even if I do try to explain the methods to you, I doubt that you’ll understand it.”

Yang Wei was so angry that he began laughing instead. “Hahaha! Do you hear what that arrogant man is saying? I’ve never heard such an insolent student before. I’ll report this to the academy and have it expel you under the grounds of disrespecting your teacher!”

You have successfully trolled Yang Wei for +521 Rage!

----

Tael and qian are units of weight measurement used in Ancient China, with 1 tael (~37.7g) roughly being equal to 10 qian (~3.7g). However, qian is more frequently used in reference to coins whereas tael is used in reference to the larger ingots.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter