Chapter 130: “Lecture Room – Zhang Ye’s Analysis of the Three Kingdoms”
The recording studio.
Ma Hengyuan and the others stepped onto the stage and waited. But after a while, Hu Fei, Zhang Ye and the others still had not come over. Ma Hengyuan just went ahead and signaled to the cameraman to turn on the cameras. He then stood behind the rostrum and got ready to begin speaking without the host.
The cameraman said, “The host is not back yet.”
“There’s no need to wait for him.” Ma Hengyuan said straightforwardly.
“But the executive producer is not back yet, too.” The cameraman, of course, would not listen to him. He was bothered by it, too, thinking, “Why was this guy acting like a big shot? Wasn’t he just a professor? Did he think he was the Station Head!? To be commanding us like this? Do you think that the TV station is your family’s business? Mental! Even if you were the authority on the Three Kingdoms, and even had some influence in Beijing, you still couldn’t do this. You are looking down on others too much!”
Ma Hengyuan was frustrated, too. He looked at the cameras and asked, “Are we recording or not? I have something to do later!”
Ma Hengyuan thought that he was very famous. He had the pride of a scholar. But the audience did not approve of it.
“Why is he such a diva?”
“Ma Hengyuan? Never heard of him!”
“I do know about him. He had been on Central TV before. He was quite famous last year.”
“Even so, he shouldn’t be overriding the staff. He is even giving out instructions now? Isn’t this the Arts Channel’s program? Is he the station’s Leader?”
“What’s with the standard of this person?”
“Right. I almost fell asleep listening to him!”
“It was so uninteresting. He’s pretty snobbish!”
Everyone had seen diva behaviour before, but that had been from the big stars. Regardless of whether such behaviour was right or normal, those were still stars who could afford to do so. But who the heck are you? A respected literary figure who was a professor from the university with a diva behaviour? This was an uncommon encounter!
At this time, Hu Fei and his team came out.
“Let’s get started, Producer Hu!” Ma Hengyuan said impatiently.
Hu Fei was just about to speak, when Zhang Ye stopped him. He wanted to say this himself. Hu Fei understood, Little Zhang wanted to take the responsibility for offending them. He did not reject this after some thought, but just nodded. He and Xiao Lu, Hou Ge and Hou Di returned to their own respective positions. Zhang Ye wasn’t afraid of offending anyone. He had already done so to too many people. There wasn’t any more burden if he were to offend another one.
Ma Hengyuan ignored Zhang Ye and continued speaking, “Let’s talk about Zhou Yu next. Although this person had been characterized in a very positive way in film and TV, in actual fact he was a very jealous person. He….”
“Professor Ma.” Zhang Ye interrupted him without holding back.
Ma Hengyuan face sank, “I’m in the middle of a lecture! What are you interrupting for?”
Zhang Ye said very impolitely, “We don’t need you anymore now. Get lost to as far as your learning goes!”
“What did you say?” Ma Hengyuan was stunned. His face has turned black, “Say that again!”
Editor Xu said, “You, this junior! How can you speak to Professor Ma this way? Eh?”
Zhang Ye said without a change in expression, “I will speak however the person speaks to me!”
Teacher Xu also furiously said, “Incorrigible! You don’t need Professor Ma now? Then you will give the lecture?”
Looking at the two guests surnamed Xu, Zhang Ye said, “And to the two of you: we don’t require you here, too. If you are willing to listen in the audience, then go there and listen. The production team will leave a few VIP seats at the front for you. But if you intend to make trouble onstage and affect our program, then I’m sorry, but I will still say the same. Get lost to as far as your learning goes. We do not welcome troublemakers and divas!”
As far as your learning goes?
Get lost as far as that?
Haha! This line was too good!
A simple line from Zhang Ye turned out to be a refreshing line to the people in this world. The audience was also stunned upon hearing this. Some of those who knew Zhang Ye’s personality were reminded that many of the most popular curses online were created by him. They understood that this person who cursed at others without any worry for repercussions was clearly annoyed by Ma Hengyuan and company. Not only him, after all the events earlier, the audience also began to dislike Ma Hengyuan and company.
Big Sis Zhou said loudly, “Little Zhang, well said!”
Auntie Sun also added, “Go quickly. Everyone is working hard for the recording. You didn’t intend to cooperate and even put on airs and made trouble! What kind of people are you! It’s the first time I’ve seen people like you who took a payment and still showed an attitude to his boss! Do you even make sense?”
The two Xus clenched their fists!
Ma Hengyuan looked coldly at Zhang Ye, “Remember what you said today!”
Zhang Ye said with pleasure, “Don’t you try to threaten me. Of course, I remember my words. I want to tell you another thing. Remember your face today!”
Hu Fei did not bother with them anymore, “Teacher Little Zhang, let’s start.”
Zhang Ye nodded and signalled to the staff to move the sofa away, “The sofa is not needed anymore. Please help to move it away.” He turned to Reporter Ci and said, “I’m sorry. There will be some changes to the program. Please proceed to the VIP seats. You made a wasted trip today, so we will treat you to a meal as an apology.” Reporter Ci wasn’t bad. She had been very cooperative and had shaken Zhang Ye’s hand earlier, too. Therefore, Zhang Ye was very polite to her.
Reporter Ci laughed, “It’s fine.” Then she went to her seat.
Ma Hengyuan finally understood the situation. He laughed angrily, “Don’t tell me that you are going to lecture on the Three Kingdoms? You are just a young person. What would you know of the Three Kingdoms?”
Zhang Ye laughed, “Whether or not I know, you just have to listen to find out!”
“Okay. Then I will have a listen!” Ma Hengyuan laughed hysterically and walked off the stage to his seat in the first row.
The two guests named Xu also followed and sat beside Professor Ma. They were waiting to see Zhang Ye make a joke of himself.
Ma Hengyuan didn’t leave. Of course, he actually had hoped to be on TV very much. Even though this was a local station, it was still located in Beijing, which had a strong viewership. He stayed behind as an audience member, as he thought he knew the program staff was fooling around. Let the host lecture about the Three Kingdoms? Let a 20-something-year-old host talk about history?
Isn’t this an international joke! Like he’d know a fart! Like he could say a fart! When that happens, you all would still need to swallow your pride and beg me to do the lecturing! Hur. Ma Hengyuan had already thought about it. In a while, he would make Zhang Ye apologize to him in front of the audience, and make the whole program team apologize to him, too. Otherwise, he wouldn’t help them!
The audience members were also in discussion.
“Let him lecture?”
“Does he even know about the Three Kingdoms?”
“This person is too young. He definitely can’t do it.”
“I know him. He’s very good at literary works, and has written a few poems which were very good. But how could he lecture on history? Didn’t he graduate as a broadcasting major? Isn’t he a host?”
Xiaofang did not like what she heard, “Teacher Zhang can do it, right? Big Sis Zhou, Auntie Sun?”
Auntie Sun coughed, “About this, I don’t know either.”
Big Sis Zhou was also a little worried, “Hopefully, but the Three Kingdoms have already been discussed so many times. Everyone would have seen it before, too. This isn’t too good to discuss about. And Teacher Little Zhang’s history knowledge? I don’t think we have heard of it before. We have not witnessed his talent in this field before.”
As his old colleagues were worried about him, so were Hou Ge, Dafei and the other new colleagues.
The audience members were skeptical. A lot of them did not believe that he would be able to present it well.
As for Ma Hengyuan and the two Xu guests, they were just waiting for the show to start, so that they could gloat.
Only Zhang Ye was not affected by any thoughts. He waited for the staff to redecorate the stage settings before he stood back on it. He said a few things to them before testing his mic, “Sorry, everyone. Today’s program has a few changes. There won’t be any guests or a host. I will be the one to talk to everyone about the Three Kingdoms. The segment title will be called ‘Zhang Ye’s Analysis of the Three Kingdoms’. It cannot be said that this is a lecture, as it will involve some personal opinions of mine.”
Xiaofang applauded. Big Sis Zhou and Auntie Sun also clapped. Everyone else in the audience did not really react. They stayed quiet. Some of them were not even paying attention.
Zhang Ye did not mind. He gave a thumbs up towards Hu Fei.
Hu Fei acknowledged, signalled to the cameraman and did a countdown on the mic, “Get ready. 3, 2, 1, start!”
Zhang Ye wore a smile, and then did an introduction which changed many of the audience’s opinions, “Using stories to talk about characters. Using characters to talk about history. Using history to talk about culture. Using culture to talk about human nature. Hello, everyone, and welcome to ‘Lecture Room’. I am Zhang Ye and I will be bringing to everyone an ‘Analysis of the Three Kingdoms’. Let us talk about some of the things about the Three Kingdoms. The first episode’s title is called ‘Great River Flows East’!”
A strong opening?
He even wanted to talk about history through characters? Using history to talk about culture?
Ma Hengyuan and the two Xu guests looked at each other. They were all chuckling.
Zhang Ye then continued by saying, “What was it like during the Three Kingdoms period? It was a chaotic time. It was a time of hardship. But it was also a time of heroes. Cao Cao had even written a poem about this period of time: ‘the bones were left to the wild, not a sound of chickens within a thousand Li’. At this period of time, a lot of people, for the sake of re-unifying the country, had contributed their intelligence and wisdom. For example, the heroic and talented strategist Cao Cao, the loyal and devoted Zhuge Liang, the graceful but not showy Zhou Yu, and the fortuitous Liu Bei. These were the heroes of those times!”
This speech was very interesting!
Many of those who were not paying attention earlier were now listening attentively. They had not expected anything worthy of listening to being said by the host. But who would have thought that he had that up his sleeves?
Ma Hengyuan and the others were still dismissive. All of that was in the books. Did you need to say it? Who wouldn’t know all of this!
But Zhang Ye’s next lines were aimed directly at Ma Hengyuan. Actually it wasn’t exactly aimed at him. Zhang Ye was just quoting directly from the show, “Firstly, let’s talk about Zhou Yu. Those who have ever read Romance of the Three Kingdoms, heard about Romance of the Three Kingdoms reviews or watched any Romance of the Three Kingdoms shows, usually have the wrong impression, of Zhou Yu being a very spiteful person. Because we remember the story of the ‘Three Infuriations of Zhou Yu’, we remember the saying, ‘If (Zhou) Yu were to be born, why must (Zhuge) Liang exist as well?’. What we remember was the saying, ‘throw the helve after the hatchet’. All of these have become part of our daily pet phrases.” He slowly explained, “But the real situation.. was not like this!”
Not like this?
Then how was it!
Ma Hengyuan nearly laughed out loud. See! He was full of nonsense already and this was only the beginning!