Chapter 471 - A Farce?
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Everything from Hundred Flowers Lane to the main street instantly became silent, and then burst into an uproar!
The crowd was in fervent discussion, the stewards of the Four Great Markets and those important figures under the awning speechlessly shook their heads, and those experts that had come to challenge the Orthodox Academy wrinkled their brows in displeasure. At such a time, the Orthodox Academy suddenly began to enroll new students? Just what did they want to do? The current Orthodox Academy didn't even have a real lecturer or teacher. Just what sort of student did they want to recruit? In addition, quite some time had passed since spring. Those students with decent potential had long since successfully entered the other five Ivy Schools. Even if they wanted to enroll new students, just what sort of students would they be able to get?
No matter what anyone thought, Priest Xin had already said his piece, and the announcement that the Orthodox Academy was admitting students had also already been put up.
The moment the Orthodoxy cavalry dismantled their cordon in front of the Orthodox Academy, the crowd surged forward like the tide to the Orthodox Academy and began to study the enrollment notice on the wall.
"A term of three years, with a final examination for assessment. If one passes, then one is recognized as a student of the Orthodox Academy. If one can't, then get lost?"
"Just who wrote this announcement? How can it be so sloppy?"
"Hey, look here! Students of the Orthodox Academy don't need to pay tuition, and they even get allowance and meals?"
The Orthodox Academy's enrollment notice used red paper and was written in black ink.
Red paper and black characters made for an exceptionally striking combination. It vividly fell on the eyes of every person.
Those simple yet extraordinarily complex provisions, those simple and even somewhat crude rules, immediately astonished the crowd, leaving them mystified as to how to respond.
The stewards of the Four Great Markets made a few copies of the enrollment notice's terms, thus allowing the people under the awning and those experts that had come to challenge the Orthodox Academy to know the specifics of the Orthodox Academy's enrollment.
After reviewing the announcement, the stewards were even more speechless. They could clearly see that this matter was not in accordance with Chen Changsheng's character. This was assuredly the handiwork of that young master of the Tang clan. Consequently, the stewards of the other three markets successively made their way to the Heavenly Fragrance Market's station and questioned it: 'Steward, just what does your market's young master plan on doing? Depend on this to stall for time?' 'Without mentioning anything else, we had a pretty good arrangement yesterday didn't we?' 'Next match, weren't we going to have Little Principal Chen try and use five moves?'
After reviewing the announcement, the crowd also did not scatter, but rather congregated in front of the Orthodox Academy's gate and conversed. No one knew why the Orthodox Academy had chosen the height of summer, a time not traditionally used for enrollment, to suddenly begin enrolling new students. However, this did not stop each member of the crowd from drawing their own conclusions.
The Orthodox Academy…would probably not enroll any new students.
Without mentioning that the other Ivy Schools had already taken in a round of students in the spring, the sole fact of the Orthodox Academy's current situation foreordained that there would not be many people who would dare to apply.
The present Orthodox Academy was no longer that taboo of the capital it had been before last year, the forgotten cemetery of old. It already had the signs of new life, but how could it deal with this year's tension in the capital? Especially because the Orthodox Academy was precisely the teeth of the storm, where two powerful forces clashed, if one were to enter the Orthodox Academy to study, rather than learning something, they would probably bring upon themselves endless and boundless troubles.
At this time, the Orthodox Academy's gate was once more pushed open. Chen Changsheng and the others carried out several tables, along with brush, ink, and paper.
With a rumble, the crowd surrounded them. The common folk of the capital had always feared nothing, and straight away began asking them the questions on their minds.
Fortunately, the Li Palace priests and Orthodoxy cavalry swiftly arrived on the scene. Without waiting for Chen Changsheng and the rest to grow dizzy from the endless stream of questions, they partitioned off a section.
Chen Changsheng, Tang Thirty-Six, and Xuanyuan Po sat themselves behind three separate tables. A stack of paper was arranged on the table, the ink on the ink stone had already been grinded out, and the brushes had been placed on their racks. Chen Changsheng's table also had the register of the Orthodox Academy and the principal's seal.
Everything had been prepared, only applicants were wanted.
It was now fully morning, eight or nine o'clock, and the new sun had already risen.
As time slowly passed, the place in front of the Orthodox Academy's gates still contained just three tables and three people.
The crowd surrounding the announcement had already dispersed, but still no one had come to apply.
Xuanyuan Po's gaze flitted over the delicate brush on its rack and then glanced at his rough and big hands. He thought to himself, uprooting trees is easy, but writing is too hard…luckily, it seems that no one will be coming today.
Chen Changsheng somewhat awkwardly lowered his head, but since things had already come to this point, he also didn't want to blame Tang Thirty-Six for anything. He just helplessly thought, could it really be that no one will come to apply?
Tang Thirty-Six's table was the most bustling. From time to time, a young maiden would bashfully walk up, place a sachet of perfume on his table, and then sprint away like a startled deer. There were even a few audacious maidens who requested that he write a few words on their fans. Of course, these young maidens only wished to borrow this rare opportunity to get a little closer to him, but not a one truly applied. Priest Xin, who was responsible for maintaining order on the scene, had an unsightly expression on his face, but Tang Thirty-Six seemed unaffected. Yes, he wasn't one bit embarrassed, or at least he didn't show it. He warmly laughed and whispered a few words to those young maidens and then gathered all those presents of perfume on the table. Moreover, he also indicated that he would definitely make good use of these gifts.
After a while, when Tang Thirty Six's table was somewhat less busy, Chen Changsheng availed himself of the opportunity to draw close and whisper, "Which one is Bie Tianxin?"
Tang Thirty-Six replied, "This sort of personage naturally won't randomly appear on the scene. I've already looked—he's not there."
Chen Changsheng relaxed a little, and then said, "Your table is almost full."
Tang Thirty-Six subtly raised his eyebrows. With an indescribable confidence and pride, he asked, "Envying this elder brother?"
Chen Changsheng lowered his head and said, "But your table doesn't have a single application form."
Tang Thirty-Six lightly coughed. "There's no need to rush."
Chen Changsheng replied, "Seeing how much you enjoy being surrounded by those girls, I can tell that you really are in no rush."
Tang Thirty-Six replied, "What do you know? I'm building up a good image! The Orthodox Academy wants to enroll new students. I am its living signboard. It's only a matter of course that I be patient and warm."
The news that the Orthodox Academy was enrolling new students very quickly spread throughout the entire capital. Many people, including those important personages, couldn't hold back their curiosity. By either coming personally or dispatching competent subordinates, they wished to know just what exactly those youths of the Orthodox Academy were up to.
There were two important personages who, in the past few days, would often appear in that tea house in Hundred Flowers Lane. Of course, they would not be absent today.
They were precisely Daoist Siyuan, one of those that had suggested the new rule of the All-School Martial Exhibition, and Mao Qiuyu, Archbishop of the Hall of Illustrious Persons and representative of the Pope's will.
Daoist Siyuan gazed at the desolate area in front of the Orthodox Academy, at those three tables and those three youths, and shook his head. "Truly a load of nonsense."
Mao Qiuyu sat across from him at the table and watched Tang Thirty-Six wave at the maidens in the crowd. Chortling, he said, "Truly a funny fellow."
Before he was the Archbishop of the Hall of Illustrious Persons, he was Principal of the Heavenly Dao Academy. Before Tang Thirty-Six entered the Orthodox Academy, he was his student.
Daoist Siyuan wrinkled his brow and said, "This sort of farce truly shames the Li Palace."
"A farce? I don't see it that way. Perhaps they won't be able to enroll a single new student today, but…"
Mao Qiuyu's smile vanished as he indifferently declared, "The entire continent will soon know, the Orthodox Academy…after almost twenty years, has finally begun to once more enroll new students."
The Orthodox Academy beginning to enroll new students once more was speaking of the fact that it was doing so formally and on a large scale. It was completely different from how Chen Changsheng had mistakenly entered the Orthodox Academy.
In the eyes of many of the elders of the conservative faction of the Orthodoxy, as well as the many people of the capital who still remembered the past magnificence of the Orthodox Academy, this was an incredibly significant event.
But at present, from morning until noon, this event really did seem just like a farce.
From beginning to end, the area in front of the Orthodox Academy only contained three tables and three youths. It was so desolate that even the spectators on the side felt rather embarrassed, let alone those involved.
At some point, Tang Thirty-Six had Xuanyuan Po find a big umbrella in the Orthodox Academy's storeroom. It was placed above the three tables, blocking out some of the sunlight and also allowing them to pass a boring period of time.
"Is this okay?" Chen Changsheng lowered his head and asked.
By now, the young maidens that had come to send flowers could no longer bear the intense heat and had reluctantly taken their leave. The spectators remaining in the lane were looking over as they engaged in spirited discussion. From the expression on their faces, it was evident that they were jeering, although there was no malicious intent.
However, in all of the capital, there might be many people who were ridiculing them, and with a deep malice as well.