Chapter 59: A Shocking Vote Count!
In the audience.
Under the attention of everyone, Zhang Ye went back to his seat.
The atmosphere of the Mid-Autumn Festival Poetry Meet was pushed to its peak by “Shuidiao Getou”. Everyone was getting more and more excited about the final results of the voting. Right now, the top ten spots are all held by people from the Writers’ Association. Even the next ten spots were scattered with people from there. It was an almost unanimous victory for them. But the breakout of Zhang Ye had put the whole contest into suspense and uncertainty!
“Teacher Zhang, you were great!”
“Good job! You didn’t embarrass the Literature Channel!”
“Those Writers’ Association guys don’t dare to speak up anymore? That’s what they get for showing off! They are all humbled now!”
“Haha. Teacher Little Zhang, give me an autograph later; I want it as a memento.”
The members of the Literature Channel were seated in the same area. When Zhang Ye came back to his seat, everyone gave him a thumbs up. Even Tian Bin, Jia Yan and Wu Datao did not dare to make snide remarks. The poem had them in awe, too!
Zhao Guozhou, who was originally seated the furthest away, changed his seat with several subordinates and said to Zhang Ye, “Little Zhang, you have impressed everyone yet again!”
Zhang Ye replied, “Thank you for your acknowledgement, Leader.”
Zhao Guozhou queried, “Why did you not canvass for votes?”
“That would be unnecessary, right?” Zhang Ye had felt it wasn’t necessary, “Everyone is not stupid; they all have their own artistic appreciations and if they thought my poem was good, then they will vote for me. If they felt the other poems were good, they will vote for them. There’s not much meaning to canvassing for votes. It’s not a contest, but an exchange of literary learning. It’s better to keep it simple.” He had said so logically, but self-righteously.
Wang Xiaomei said, “You seem rather relaxed.”
Zhao Guozhou asked everyone from the Literature Channel, “What ranking does everyone think Little Zhang will get? Teacher Xiaomei, what’s your opinion?”
“In my opinion, from just the quality and literary qualities, Teacher Little Zhang would definitely get first. But that’s just my own opinion. We don’t know if the audience has been convinced by it. Vice-President Meng Dongguo’s poem was good, too. Perhaps some will find it to be better. It’s all possible.” Looking at her watch, she said, “Besides, there’s only about 20 minutes left.”
“Ah, yes! The voting will be ending soon!”
“Aiyo, then there’s no hope; how can we catch up to them!?”
Everyone felt a little pity; such an amazing poem appeared, but it could not achieve a good result due to the lack of time!
From behind, the Literature Channel’s Big Sis Zhou came back alone. So as to not block the people behind her, she bent over as she squeezed all the way over. “Excuse me. Liu’er, Zhou’er, let me get past.” In the blink of an eye, she was beside Zhang Ye, “Eh. Leader, you are here, too?”
Zhao Guozhou tersely acknowledged, “What did you do?”
“I pretended to go to the bathroom.” Big Sis Zhou held her cellphone, “Actually, I was checking the voting results for Little Zhang. There’s no internet reception in the auditorium and I can only see it outside.”
Auntie Sun asked with concern, “So how was it? How was it?”
The other people from the Literature Channel also tilted their heads over, wishing to know.
Big Sis Zhou pointed to her cellphone. There was no more internet connection, but the web page that she had opened before could still be seen. “Little Zhang’s ‘Shuidiao Getou’ has already caused quite a sensation. Three minutes ago, the website staff had uploaded his poem after he finished reciting it. ‘Shuidiao Getou’ already has more than 900 votes. Look at their comments. The comments left by the netizens are practically going nuts. It’s almost explosive!”
The cellphone’s screen showed densely packed messages.
“This melody poem is invincible!”
“Can it not be so powerful?”
“Who is Zhang Ye? Why have I never heard of this Teacher?”
“Did I hear wrongly? Previously, I thought Meng Dongguo and someone from the Writers’ Association were going to criticize Zhang Ye’s poems? Using him as a negative example? With the melody poem out, why did no one criticize it?”
“I’m laughing. I’m really laughing!”
“The Writers’ Association is so hilarious! Their faces are swollen from being smacked!”
“Haha. I have always supported Teacher Zhang Ye. Today, I want to see who dares to say that Teacher Zhang Ye doesn’t know how to write poems! From today onwards, I want to see who still dares to say that Teacher Zhang Ye’s works have no literary value!”
“To be going against the Teachers from the Writers’ Association, I can only now express my heartfelt condolences!”
“If a person who can compose a melody poem like “Shuidiao Getou” does not know poetry, then the whole f***ing world doesn’t know poetry. Are the people from the Writers’ Association stupid? And a Vice-President at that? I want to ask you now: are you the ones who do not know literature or is it Teacher Zhang Ye who doesn’t know?”
“Right, cut the crap. Voting is of utmost urgency. Time is running out!”
“Troll army, gather! Although we won’t be able to catch up and we are too far behind, when have we ever been afraid of anyone? We fear no one! Even if an individual is weak, we will contribute that tiny amount of energy to Teacher Zhang Ye! Not for anything else, just because of the spirit of Teacher Zhang Ye’s courage to fight with anyone! We must not fail him!”
“Troll army signing in!”
“Vote has been cast!”
“My large saber is again again again again again unable to endure the thirst!”
Zhang Ye’s fans came to support him. There were many others who first got to know about him through the poetry meet, who were touched by “Shuidiao Getou”. They all sent in their support!
“Just 900 votes?” Zhao Guozhou frowned.
Big Sis Zhou said, “That happened in an instant. Isn’t that already a lot?”
“Sis Zhou, what is Little Zhang’s ranking now?” Wang Xiaomei inquired.
“Before I went offline, there were 925 votes, so he was ranked at 41.” Big Sis Zhou spoke for Zhang Ye, “It may seem low, but that was just in a few minutes. If it increases at that speed, then it would definitely be higher than those people from the Writers’ Association. Little Zhang is too formidable!”
41? Zhang Ye was not very satisfied.
Aunt Sun sighed, “Hai, there’s no way of catching up. There’s no need to think further. The others have accumulated their votes for two hours, while we only had a bit more than 20 minutes. The difference is too large. Besides, the people from the Writers’ Association have fans that number in the hundreds of thousands. How many fans does our Teacher Little Zhang have? His popularity definitely can’t compete with them.”
Big Sis Zhou curled her mouth, “But there is still hope. Many listeners had just heard it and might not have the opportunity to vote yet. There will be more. I believe that Little Zhang will be able to fight for the top ten! No, maybe even the top six is possible!” Holding her cellphone, she said, “Look at this. Other than first-placed Meng Dongguo, who is leading far ahead with 37,000 votes, the ones after him have considerably fewer votes. Sixth place only has 11,000 votes. I think Teacher Little Zhang definitely has the chance of overtaking this! Even if it was any worse, tenth place had 8,500 votes. Even if he didn’t enter top six, there is still chance to enter top ten. I don’t think there is a problem!”
An editor from the Literature Channel said, “Entering the top ten would be enough. At least we can break the monopoly of the members from the Writers’ Association. It will also gain some glory for our channel.”
“May the Heavens bless you!”
Everyone also began to accept the harsh reality.
Big Sis Zhou suggested, “I think we should take turns ‘going to the bathroom’. Let’s go five at a time to help vote for Teacher Little Zhang. The higher Little Zhang’s placing is, the more glory our channel will receive! I have already voted for Little Zhang once just now!” This old sister sure was warm-hearted.
Zhang Ye sweated profusely, “There’s no need to; there’s no need. Thank you, everyone, but there’s really no need!”
What was this poem?
This was Su Shi’s poem!
This was the famous “Shuidiao Getou”!
Did he need to rely on his colleagues’ ten or so votes to help pull up his vote count by pretending to go to the bathroom? That would be too drastic a drop in this work’s value. This would be too much. If this was seen by people from his world, they would all be laughing their heads off! Anyway, Zhang Ye would not do something this embarrassing! If people did not appreciate this melody poem, “Shuidiao Getou”, then Zhang Ye was also helpless. He was also helpless if the vote count did not increase.
Let’s resign ourselves to fate.
Whatever Zhang Ye could do, he had done. He had also worked hard. Now, to see if Su Shi’s masterpiece was able to reverse the situation and whether it was able to help Zhang Ye trample on the bunch of people from the Writers’ Association and establish his fame. All that he could do was wait. Everything was in the hands of the people to judge!
Time flew. Even if Zhang Ye was looking forward to it and more time was given to him and the listeners, the watch would not stop. Soon, it was already 2 o’clock!
“Alright, now the voting has ceased.” Zhang Huo announced, “We are waiting for the notaries to consolidate the final scores. While they are reviewing it, let us recount the classic poems from before.”
With the recording played, Meng Dongguo, Zheng Anbang and Big Thunder’s poems were replayed once again.
Soon, a man and a woman from the Chengdong District’s Notary Office came over with a book. “It’s done.”
The female host, Sun Mengjie, smiled, “The comrades from the Notary Office have done the statistics, and I’m dying to know what the results are. I need to first take a look.”
She immediately took a peek at the results.
Zhang Huo was also very curious. He also looked at the rankings in the notary’s hand.
This look did not matter, but Zhang Huo and Sun Mengjie were completely stunned!
Upon seeing the two hosts’ expressions, there was a commotion from offstage. They did not know what had happened, and were even more curious!
“What’s the matter?”
“Are the results too exaggerated?”
“Could it be that Vice-President Meng’s votes are leading by too much?”
The female notary held the microphone, “September 8th, from 12:00 to 14:00, Chengdong District notaries Li Hai and Zheng Meihong as supervisors have declared the votes to be fair for this Mid-Autumn Festival Poetry Meet. I will begin to announce the top ten!”
Zhang Ye listened attentively.
Zhao Guozhou, Wang Xiaomei and company stared straight ahead!
Meng Dongguo, Big Thunder and company were more relaxed. They felt there was no suspense.
“Tenth place, Little Red Mushroom. ‘Auntie Moon’. Vote count: 9,300!” the female notary read.
Upon hearing this, Big Thunder congratulated with a smile, “Congratulations. This is a poetry meet, yet a fairy tale writer like you can get into the top ten. This sure shows Teacher Little Red Mushroom’s skill.”
Little Red Mushroom said, “Come on. Don’t flatter me.”
The notary carried on, “Ninth place, Big Thunder, ‘Untitled’. Vote count: 9,800!”
Little Red Mushroom smiled, “See? You are even better than me. Who said your melody poem was too niche? See, the listeners still recognize it.”
Big Thunder waved his hand modestly, “Actually, I was not pleased with this melody poem of mine. It doesn’t have my character or mood. A poor response from everyone is also normal.”
“Fourth place, Zhou Anyi, ‘Onlooking the Moon’. Vote count: 16,001!”
At this point, the fourth to tenth places had been read out. All of them were people from the Writers’ Association. Not a single netizen’s poem entered the top ten!
“It’s time for third place!”
“I’m so nervous. Who will it be?”
“Why haven’t we heard Zhang Ye’s name?”
“That’s right; could it be that he took third place?”
“It can’t be that high. He only had twenty minutes of voting time, so it won’t happen.”
As everyone was discussing, the female notary announced third place, “Third place, Zheng Anbang, modern poem, ‘Feelings of Mid-Autumn’. Vote count…19,822!”
Zheng Anbang was third?
Big Sis Zhou urgently said, “What about Little Zhang!? Why isn’t there Little Zhang!?”
Tian Bin said, “There’s no need to ask. He definitely did not enter the top ten.”
“It’s a conspiracy! There definitely is a conspiracy!” Big Sis Zhou said angrily, “Little Zhang did not even enter the top ten? Who would believe it! It’s such a good melody poem!”
“Hai, it was all for naught in the end.”
“That’s right; there was too little time, or else this result might be unthinkable!”
The people from the Literature Channel were all feeling a sense of regret. Some sighed, while some refused to accept the outcome!
However, when the female notary announced second place, everyone was silenced. It was as if everyone was muted suddenly. There was complete silence!
“Second place, Meng Dongguo, ‘Thoughts of a Rainy Mid-Autumn Night’. Vote count…40,058!”
Meng Dongguo was second?
There was an uproar offstage!
Meng Dongguo was also shocked. How could it be possible!?
Big Thunder and Zheng Anbang looked each other in the eye as a bad premonition hit them!
Everyone suddenly had a staggering thought. Meng Dongguo wasn’t first? Then who was first? Who would be the champion for this Mid-Autumn Poetry Meet?
The female notary paused for a while before looking and said loudly, “Voted first for this Mid-Autumn Poetry Meet, Zhang Ye! ‘Shuidiao Getou’! Vote count…” Upon reading up to here, the female notary’s voice also had a tinge of surprise. Actually, she and her colleague had already seen the votes and placings; however, now upon looking at it again, the female notary felt that it was unbelievable. “The vote count for ‘Shuidiao Getou’ is…158,600!”
What the f*** to your fifth granny!
Upon hearing this, the audience was completely shocked!