Chapter 27 — Fair, Objective, and No Personal Feelings
Everyone in the timeout line takes their hands out of their pockets one after the other, intently and sincerely giving Xiao Yan a round of applause.
Zhang Shu slaps Xiao Yan’s shoulder while Tang Yuan moves to give him the spot of honour in the line; Fan Yue shakes Xiao Yan’s hand with tears in his eyes, giving him a single, emphatic nod.
The students in the classroom hold in their laughter, some holding up their books to hide the maniacal curves starting to form on their lips.
“I know your class has very good class spirit.” Mr. Xu puts the exam papers on the podium, looking at Xiao Yan in the middle of the timeout row, frowning and completely unable to understand the highschool kids these days. “But you don’t need to be this unified in spirit?”
The First Metropolitan campus forum is live reporting this incident.
[Hahahahaha I just passed by Second Year, Class 3, all their alphas are standing in timeout, I’m going to die laughing.]
1L: As the title says, [Picture attached], very orderly, not a single one left out. They are all getting scolded one by one by Mr. Xu.
2L: Can someone tell me what happened?
3L: Seems like in the health exam, they all got the first easy points question wrong.
4L: What question was it? Is there anyone here from Class 3? Let us all take a look.
5L: Here, here. It was just a general knowledge question, and it wasn’t like the entire class got it wrong, Yan-ge got it right! But he walked into the timeout line of his own accord just now. [Photo attached], he’s the only one with full marks in our class.
6L: Happily go with him, hahahahahaha, what is up with the alphas in this class? Why so honest, it’s just a test question.
7L: Interesting, very interesting. Doge.jpg. I suggest all omega students to be careful of Second Year, Class 3, everyone in there is a fuckboy, hahaha.
8L: What’s up with the one who got it right and still went to go timeout hahahaha, is this team spirit?
“I heard all the Second Year, Class 3 alphas got put in timeout.” Jing Ximing finishes scrolling through the campus forum, “Everyone has gone to laugh at them, should we go look too?”
First Year, Class 3 organizes their own sightseeing group, ready to go upstairs to see what’s going on.
“All of them?” Luo Zhiyu has his head buried in exam papers and looks up at those words, rummaging for his phone, “What kind of hard question made the entire class get it wrong?”
Luo Zhiyu opens the campus forum and finds the post, tapping open the uploaded photo from Class 3.
Luo Zhiyu: “……”
This Question 1 seems to perfectly parallel how he went to bother Xiao Yan last night.
But he was not provocative — he was provoking; there is a difference. So it is not his fault, it is a certain someone’s own problem that they read the question wrong.
Thinking back to Xiao Yan’s reaction last night, and somehow recalling the entire cause and effect of the situation, Luo Zhiyu buries his head into the stack of exam papers and refuses to move, no matter how his deskmate tries to convince him.
“So unlike him.” Jing Ximing says to the rest of the sightseeing group, “Usually when Xiao Yan gets in trouble, he is the first to celebrate.”
It seems as if Luo Zhiyu did not hear this at all, sitting at his desk without wavering, his entire attention on the exam papers in front of him — as if he has never had such a burning passion for learning until now.
Not long after the Class 3 sightseeing group leaves, their homeroom teacher, Qiu Yi, enters the classroom.
“Why is half the class gone?” The homeroom teacher looks over the empty seats, “Why are they out and about during self-study?”
“They went to the washroom.” Luo Zhiyu says calmly, “The food at the cafeteria was too salty.”
“That many people went?” The homeroom teacher is a little suspicious, but does not interrogate further. He thinks there are more important things at hand, “I’m here to make two announcements. Considering that your curriculum will be more demanding next year, the school administration decided to move health class to this semester. There will be four classes in total; once they end, we will have a final exam. We’ll assign health teachers for each class later.”
“Another thing.” Mr. Qiu hits the blackboard, “This weekend, we will have our first major exams since the first years started school. Take note of that, everyone, study well. Let us try to start off on the right foot.”
The homeroom teacher leaves after he announces the exam information, leaving the evening self-study time for his students. The sightseeing group upstairs is met with Director Xu doing her rounds, who scolds them back down, the members all lowering their heads over their homework.
“Learn from Luo Zhiyu from your class.” Director Xu is still mad, standing at the door to Class 3, “His grades are excellent not for good reason. Look how he didn’t go and get in on the action at a time like this.”
Luo Zhiyu: “……”
“Director.” Luo Zhiyu starts modestly, under the respectful gaze of the sightseeing group members, “No need to praise me, I’m getting embarrassed.”
There is still half an hour left till the end of self-study. Luo Zhiyu finishes his homework for the day and slumps over his desk aimlessly, giving the pictured historical figures on his Literature textbook some doodled pigtails.
His phone vibrates in his pocket; the stinky orange has finished his timeout and sent him a message.
[Stinky Orange]: Busy, are you?
[Stinky Orange]: How come I didn’t see you come and sightsee?
[Not Zhiliao]: What, there was high traffic outside Year Two Class 3, was that not enough for you?
[Stinky Orange]: Luo Zhiliao.
[Not Zhiliao]: Huh?
[Stinky Orange]: You’re such a handful.
[Not Zhiliao]: No no, it wasn’t me. I didn’t mean to, don’t nag this on me.
[Stinky Orange]: My reputation is becoming more of a wreck by each day.
[Not Zhiliao]: Is that so? Stinky orange.
“Not Zhiliao” has recalled a message.
[Not Zhiliao]: Since we’re here, let me ask you a question.
[Not Zhiliao]: [Picture attached].
[Not Zhiliao]: I’m writing a practice exam right now. Supposed to be rewriting this passage in vernacular terms, but it doesn’t seem right and I can’t find the answer.
[Stinky Orange]: ……It’s only been a month, how is your book doodled into this state?
[Not Zhiliao]: Blah blah blah.
[Stinky Orange]: I wrote the same exam last year, you can copy off mine. Let me go find it after class later.
[Not Zhiliao]: Okie.
That weekend, the first years welcome their first monthly exam since starting the school year. On Sunday afternoon, Luo Zhiyu, who finished writing ages ago, sits in the examination room until the very last second and hands his paper to the proctor assistant. He slowly meanders out of the exam room and meets up with Jing Ximing; they pass by the offices and run into Xiao Yan.
Xiao Yan is holding his thermos, filling up on hot water at the dispenser.
Jing Ximing has a familiar but bad premonition.
Luo Zhiyu is still holding onto some extra scrap paper from the exam. The moment he sees Xiao Yan, he balls up the paper and aims at the back of Xiao Yan’s head.
This again. Jing Ximing is ready to flee.
“Luo Zhiyu.” Xiao Yan spots Luo Zhiyu in the reflection from the metal surface on the machine, making out a familiar figure and turning around immediately, “Don’t move. What could that be, in your hands?”
He walks over, unfurling Luo Zhiyu’s fingers one by one, seizing the “murder weapon” from Luo Zhiyu’s palm.
After countless times of goofing off, this is one of the first times Luo Zhiyu is caught in the act. He blinks at Xiao Yan, expression very innocent.
“Zhiliao, do you really have to start something every three days?” Xiao Yan asks lowly, “I thought you could maybe go for a week without testing me?”
“I was just passing by.” Luo Zhiyu pretends he is just a random passer-by.
“Continue then.” Xiao Yan says, “You already had your hand up just now.”
The door to the offices opens to reveal Director Wu next to the doorframe: “You two, again……”
“We were just having some nice, friendly conversation.” Luo Zhiyu whips his hand away and slaps Xiao Yan’s shoulder twice, hard. He smiles, changing his expression faster than flipping a page of a book, “Right? Yan-ge.”
Xiao Yan: “……Right.”
Luo Zhiyu, who tried to start trouble but was caught on the spot, leaves the site; Xiao Yan, who caught Luo Zhiyu in the act but was not able to get back at him, goes back into the office to help with the marking.
The first years’ monthly exam papers are all stapled into stacks, covering the students’ names on each paper.
“When we are reading the exam papers, we must stay objective and fair. Same goes for all the second year students who are helping out.” Director Wu takes a sip of tea, reading out the marking precautions, “There is an answer key for the questions with set answers, and the evaluation questions have lists of points that must be included; only give the marks if these points are mentioned — it is a must to be looking out for keywords. Please make sure that you are staying objective and fair, and that you are completing the marking process in a calm manner, so that we can give each student a fair grade.”
The marking teachers and students all nod their heads, flipping open the exams assigned to them.
Xiao Yan also flips open the exam that was assigned to him, smoothing it out. Checking with the answer key, he finishes marking the portions of the questions with set correct answers, and fills in the space for “Examiner” with Director Wu’s name.
With brackets: Xiao Yan, Examiner assistant
This is a very good student who only answered the last multiple-choice question wrong. Xiao Yan moves onto the evaluation questions.
Xiao Yan: “……”
There is a lot of personality in the handwriting on this exam. The first few characters written in the space left for answering are vaguely in the vein of Slender Gold Style — wonky in all directions, but at least recognizable. After about two lines, the student seems to have decided that they are not writing fast enough, without enough flair, and immediately breaks from the original handwriting style’s constraints, completely letting themselves go.
In all the written responses, this student has methodically and intently filled out every line, but the handwriting is all slanted on a certain angle. The characters only look begrudgingly tidy once Xiao Yan angles the exam paper sideways.
Without the need to look at the class number and name, Xiao Yan already knows whose paper this is.
Director Wu has started to emphasize again–
“All teachers and students who are participating in marking should not bring their personal feelings into the marking process, do not lean towards certain students, do not play favourites……”
“Director.” Xiao Yan raises his hand, “Please give me a different exam.”
Director Wu: “???”
Author’s note: This novel will go into VIP Chapters on May 7th, with a double update on that day. Come keep Zhiyu and xiao-Yan company as they grow up.
Translator’s note: Thank you to everyone who has confirmed their purchase of the novel on Changpei!! It is very motivating and great to see everyone support the author on the original platform <3
Chapter 28 and onwards will be password protected for those who have confirmed their purchase! If you are looking to verify but haven’t done so, feel free to join the #supportauthors discord— the general rules, info, and questions channels can help get you started on the process. Hope to see everyone in the next chapter! (No double VIP update lol we are only going to Chapter 28 this week)