Chapter 54 To Lose and Find Again
The more Teacher Lin comforted me, the sadder I felt. My crying had turned me into a complete mess.
Teacher Lin said in a displeased tone: “You said that you will marry Teacher Lin when you grow up. Did you see anyone in the village crying like a muddle-headed man in the arms of his wife?”
These words had an instantaneous effect. I stopped letting out crying sounds immediately, even though I still continued sobbing spasmodically.
“Really? When I grow up, Teacher Lin, you will become my wife?”
Teacher Lin upon seeing this earnest appearance of mine began broke into a gentle laugh: “For that, you must wait until you have grown up before saying it as a man.”
Perhaps I was somewhat tired from crying, but I unexpectedly fell asleep in Teacher Lin’s embrace.
“Ji Ji, Ji Ji” [TLnote: Chirping sfx]
I felt as if I heard a bird’s cry in my sleep which sounded very much like Red Autumn. However, my eyes remained closed.
The sound of fluttering wings resounded in the room and I felt a gust of wind blow in my face followed by a forceful hit. It seemed as if something had fallen onto my bed.
I opened my eyes in a daze and hazily saw a red coloured bird standing on the headboard leaning towards the left of my head and then towards the right. It was looking at me in astonishment.
I yelled out in a pleasant surprise. It was really Red Autumn. It had come back!
My abrupt yell frightened Red Autumn. It immediately flew into the air, but after hearing my voice it flew in a circle and landed back down once again. Leaving the bed, I immediately extended my hand to hold Red Autumn. Red Autumn also began using its head to rub against my cheek.
“Jiji, Jiji.” Red Autumn chirped twice and freed itself from my arms to fly into the air. It flew outside the door and began circling in the air while chirping at me.
My sleepiness was already long gone. I didn’t even change my clothes, just got up, wore shoes and ran outside in pursuit. Red Autumn seemed to be deliberately leading me outside and when I came outside, I found a pleasant surprise. Not only had Red Autumn come back itself, it had even brought along the young and old of its family along with it. There were several kestrels in my house’s orchard.
“Teacher Lin, Teacher Lin!” I yelled out loud.
Teacher Lin was preparing dinner in the kitchen and upon hearing my shouts came running outside.
“What happened? Huang Jingyang.”
“You see! What is that?” I pointed towards the flock of kestrels on the peach trees.
Teacher Lin was also overjoyed beyond expectation: “Red Autumn returned?”
“Yes. It even brought its family members over.” I was wild with joy.
“There are so many kestrels, how about you give one to Teacher Lin?” Teacher Lin exposed her beautiful smile. This was her most powerful weapon.
“Teacher Lin, it is not that I don’t want to give you. Even if I were to give you one, you wouldn’t be able to tame it. Kestrels are too wild, and they are prone to pecking at people. By any chance, if you were to get injured, Grandpa wouldn’t let me off.” I promptly shook my head. These kestrels wouldn’t listen to me.
There were altogether four kestrels that had come together with Red Autumn. One of them was a bit bigger, it should be Red Autumn’s lover. There were three others which were small, they should Red Autumn’s children. They all looked almost the same, with no good way to differentiate between them.
Teacher Lin thought for a bit and she too found it to be impossible. She didn’t have my capabilities. All animals that stayed together with me for some time would become very obedient to me. Red Autumn was an example. However, Teacher Lin still wrested the authority to name them. Red Autumn’s wife was named Red Spring. The three little kestrels were named after celestial objects, viz., Red Sun, Red Moon, Red Star.
But I didn’t know how the news reached Huang Shulang and Ma Jindong. At the break of dawn, they both came running to my house holding their backpacks.
“Master, Red Autumn has brought its family along?” Huang Shulang looked at me expectantly.
“Yes, ah. However, you all shouldn’t get any ideas. You are not aware of the temperament of kestrels. Even Teacher Lin wanted me to give her one but I refused. Kestrels are too wild and are capable of injuring you.” I promptly dispelled these two’s notions. Don’t know what thoughts were running in their head when they came running here first thing in the morning.
Huang Shulang and Ma Jindong were very disappointed. Even though raising a dog was very cool, but compared to raising a kestrel, there was a difference of heaven and earth.
“You don’t have to fight with me here like Teacher. If you have the ability, you can go to the mountains by yourself. Even if I wanted to give the ones here to you, you wouldn’t be able to raise them.” I said impatiently.
Seeing me getting displeased, Huang Shulang and Ma Jindong didn’t dare ask again.
The sudden arrival of kestrels had made this orchard become silent all of a sudden. Those little birds were not foolish. Upon seeing the kestrels here, they all gave this place a wide berth. Even though the kestrels didn’t linger around the orchard all day, as they also went out to hunt for prey, but the smell of kestrels made it so that those birds didn’t dare approach.
At last Teacher Lin didn’t have to worry about the birds eating up the delicious peaches anymore.
The time for taking final exams followed immediately thereafter. The entire town was preparing for the country-wide unified examination which examined the education quality of schools in all towns. Teacher Lin also assigned a great importance to this final examination. Every day she would cover all kinds of topics. Even though as far as I was concerned, this trivial issue of taking the exam was not really difficult, but even so I was made to revise the topics everyday. Indeed, I was made to suffer greatly. However, I had no place to run, Teacher Lin was there to keep a watch on me at home.
“Huang Shulang, you need to get good results this time. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to learn Wushu from Huang Jingyang later.” Teacher Lin threatened along the way to school.
“Teacher Lin, I will definitely not take the first place from the bottom.” Huang Shulang vowed solemnly.
Teacher Lin knocked Huang Shulang on the head: “Who asked you to not be the first place from the bottom? Your previous term’s results were so good, this time’s term exam should only be better. In the last term’s exam you took the third rank, shouldn’t you go ahead in rank this time’s exam?”
“Teacher Lin, spare me. There is Master in front of me and Li Lijuan. Me being able to secure the third rank would be good enough. I would definitely not be able to surpass Master. Li Lijuan is also too ferocious. I cannot compare to them.” Huang Shulang said frowning. He was somewhat regretting not going easy on the last time’s term exam leaving some room for him to go up. Now he had pushed himself into a pit.
Teacher Lin glared at this uninterested Huang Shulang: “Anyways you do as you see fit. If you don’t get good results, then you shall receive your due. What about you Ma Jindong?”
Ma Jindong stuttered in nervousness: “Te, Teacher Lin. Senior Brother Huang doesn’t want to take the second rank, but I will.”
“You? You say that again when you are able to talk to Teacher Lin without stuttering.” Huang Shulang said disdainfully.
Classmate Li Lijuan was also looking forward to the final exams very much. Early morning in the school she walked to my desk and said to me loudly: “Huang Jingyang, I won’t lose out to you in this time’s final exams. I will take the first position!”
“You? You won’t be even able to beat my apprentices, and yet you are thinking of comparing to me.” I said disdainfully.
“Huang Jingyang, you are underestimating me!” Classmate Li Lijuan began crying unexpectedly.
Everybody in the class immediately turned towards me.
Huang Zeyu who shared a desk with Classmate Li Lijuan immediately ran to report to Teacher Lin with embellished accusations: “Teacher Lin, Huang Jingyang is bullying Li Lijuan.”
The facts were actually distorted to this extent! I opened my eyes wide, finding myself unable to understand as to which action of mine could be considered as bullying.
Li Lijuan used her hand to close her lips and quickly returned to her seat before starting to cry while laying down on the bench.
The crucial point was that I even had two apprentices who liked pushing their Master into a pit. Huang Shulang immediately rushed up and grabbed Huang Zeyu’s collar: “Huang Zeyu, why did you say that my Master bullied Li Lijuan? You unexpectedly dared to complain! Just see if I don’t beat you to death.”
Ma Jindong also stood up and slammed his desk with force: “Whoever dares to make irresponsible remarks about my Master, will have irreconcilable differences with me!”
I had a big headache at that time. Could they push me into pit even more?
Teacher Lin entered and directly pulling me by the ear dragged me to her office: “Why did you bully a female classmate?”
My mind was muddled somewhat: “It was her who had come to find me. I hadn’t said any words to make her start crying. Even this is my fault?” She was crying as if hurt deeply, added onto that Huang Zeyu’s complaint, and there even were two fierce looking thugs serving as contrast. She even believed that I had done something to Li Lijuan. Who knew that even if I were to go to sleep I would still be shot.
“Anyways, boys should be magnanimous. Your manner of speaking just now was not good.” Even Teacher Lin didn’t know what to say.
When I came out from Teacher Lin’s office, Huang Shulang and Ma Jindong came to meet me.
“Master, did Teacher Lin scold you? It’s all due to that Huang Zeyu. How about Ma Jindong and I go beat him up.” Huang Shulang said.
“Can you two try not to always push me into pits? If you two go beat up Huang Zeyu, wouldn’t I end up in even bigger trouble? Hurry up and get lost.” I kicked Huang Shulang.
Huang Shulang let out a miserably cry and ran away together with Ma Jindong.
A week later, finally the rankings for the final exams were announced. I was undisputedly number one once again. Almost reaching a perfect score.
Ma Jindong really came second, but Huang Shulang was still as before on the third place. Li Lijuan came fourth. It was really just like I said, Li Lijuan couldn’t even beat my apprentices. Li Lijuan was naturally unable to accept such a result. Even though she had obtained good marks, but Huang Shulang and Ma Jindong had obtained more marks than her.
Li Lijuan cried once again owing to the anguish of being in the same class as geniuses because you would undertake a hundred times the normal efforts, but still be ultimately left with a view of his back. Li Lijuan was a very outstanding student in Ba Jiao Primary School. However, she was very unfortunate in being my classmate. Now it seems there were even Ma Jindong and Huang Shulang.
Ma Jindong and Huang Shulang were quite intelligent children comparatively. Now being quenched by my Primordial Qi on a daily basis, they were quite superior compared to other ordinary children. In addition to that, they usually tagged along with me and received the attention of Teacher Lin in a similar manner. It was only normal for them to achieve pass with flying colours. After all, the contents of first grade amounted to only so much, but I had learned the nefariously difficult seal script and oracle bone script.
The response of the villagers was even more delayed. They too understood that I was the fundamental reason for the changes in Ma Jindong and Huang Shulang, because they had me as their Master.