Chapter 285: Peking University’s Invitation!
That night, outside the airport.
It was already 8:30.
Zhang Ye got out of the taxi and while walking straight into the airport lobby, the cellphone in his hand rang.
It was his mom. “Hello, son. Tomorrow is New Year’s day. Are you coming home?”
“I’m coming back.” Zhang Ye hiccupped from drinking as he chuckled, “I just finished treating people to a meal and I applied for half a month’s leave with my Leaders. I’ll be right back.”
Mom asked, “Why is it so noisy on your side?”
“I’m already at the airport and I’m about to board.” Zhang Ye had already booked his tickets.
“Alright, then I’ll wait for you at home with your dad. We’ll leave you some supper.” His mom hung up.
The airport hall had a festive atmosphere. Many people were dressed in festive colors, either red or green. Many had smiles on their faces, as they had the anxious feelings of homesickness. By looking at their appearances, Zhang Ye guessed that they were a reflection of his current appearance. Having left home for nearly a month, this was the first time he had left Beijing for such an extended period of time. This New Years was a day that family gathered together, hence, Zhang Ye would rush home at all costs. It was also why he had been desperately finishing his self-assigned task of recording all of “Zhang Ye’s Talk Show”.
A holiday that spanned more than ten days allowed him to stay with his parents at home. He could also consider what to do after the following half month. However, he needed to count on his broadcasting application to be approved. Review, approval and implementation would probably take a month or so before he could get it settled. Only then could “Zhang Ye’s Talk Show” be restored. Hence, Zhang Ye first applied for half a month’s leave. If his approval application was delayed, then he could even spend the Lunar New Year in Beijing.
After getting past security.
His tickets were checked before boarding.
Zhang Ye was in first class, so he did not need to line up to board the plane. First class tickets were expensive, and it was not Zhang Ye burning cash. It was because he had lifelong honors with China Airlines. He did not need to spend a single cent be it first class or economy class, and there were really no tickets for economy considering that it was New Years. Hence, it wasn’t due to Zhang Ye deliberately trying to take advantage of China Airlines.
At the entrance to the cabin.
Two air stewardesses were standing by the side. They were professionally smiling while welcoming the passengers.
When Zhang Ye saw them, he was slightly stunned before he said in amusement, “Yo, what a coincidence.”
The fat air stewardess on the left and the thin air stewardess on the right also saw Zhang Ye. Although he was wearing sunglasses, they could identify him immediately, having tethered on the verge of death together.
The two people were pleasantly surprised.
Zhang Ye walked over, “It’s almost New Year’s and you’re still working?”
The fat air stewardess smiled, “That’s right. It’s our job. The holidays are peak season for air travel. We have to service our passengers.”
Zhang Ye gave them a thumbs up, “To sacrifice yourselves for the greater good. Well done.”
“Hurry up and go in. We’ll chat in a bit.” The thin air stewardess said as she noticed that there were passengers behind him who wanted to board.
“Alright,” Zhang Ye headed towards first class and found his seat. His hands were empty because he did not bring any hand luggage. He sat down straight away.
In a while, the cabin doors were closed.
A familiar voice could be heard throughout the cabin. Zhang Ye could tell that it was the old air stewardess. She told everyone to fasten their seat belts and switch their phones off.
After a few more minutes, when the airplane was in line to take off, the fat and thin air stewardesses moved around. The old air stewardess also came over to first class with a smile.
“Teacher Zhang,” The old air stewardess waved at him.
Zhang Ye also greeted them, “Hur Hur, it’s been a while. How has everyone been?”
The fat air stewardess could not stop her laughing, “All thanks to you, we are having a good life. Everyone was basically given a suite and our wages have risen.”
Zhang Ye exclaimed, “That’s nice. All of you are rich now.”
The old air stewardess glanced at him, “I heard you aren’t doing good these days?”
The thin air stewardess was also at a loss whether to laugh or cry, “That’s right. Why did you mess up a live broadcast? Just an hour ago, we were even discussing it. Why are you first on next year’s SARFT blacklist? You are being specially targeted now, so how are you going to work next year?”
Zhang Ye threw up his hands, “I guess, one step at a time.”
The old air stewardess smiled and poured a glass of fruit juice for him, “No matter what others say of you or how they criticize you, we will certainly support you.”
The fat air stewardess was more cheerful as she patted Zhang Ye’s shoulder, and she blinked, “Not only us, all the air stewardess are supporting you. After that incident, which air stewardess or attendant does not know you? They all consider you as their idol. You have many fans in the airline industry!”
Zhang Ye sat up and said, “Am I that famous? So many beauties like me? Then I don’t need to worry about finding a wife in the future!”
A few of the air stewardesses began to laugh.
From the “Yi” sound them made, it was obvious that they all watched “Zhang Ye’s Talk Show”. Clearly, their support for Zhang Ye was not all talk.
Many first class passengers surrounding them looked on in a speechless manner. Zhang Ye was wearing sunglasses, and even if he did not wear them, many people here would not recognize him. Most of the people who sat first class were not busy with work. They paid little attention to the entertainment industry and they could probably only recognize the S-list celebrities. Hence, when they saw Zhang Ye board the plane with all the air stewardess in the cabin surrounding him while giggling, they were still wondering when did the airline company have such a f**king service. Weren’t they too intimate? Who was this person?
Many people looked enviously at Zhang Ye who had fallen into the village of warmth. They did not know that the trust and friendship between Zhang Ye and the air stewardesses was built on a foundation of that momentarily life and death situation.
“Aiyah, it’s almost time to take off.”
“Teacher Zhang, we can’t chat any further.”
“If you have anything, call me. We have to busy ourselves.”
With the air stewardesses gone, the plane quickly reached tens of thousands of meters high.
Zhang Ye looked at the night sky through the window with his hand on his chin. Then, he drank a mouthful of fruit juice to moisten his throat. Having drank a bit too much with everyone at the restaurant, he was beginning to feel tired, as he yawned. Suddenly, Zhang Ye looked sideways and he saw a pair of eyes staring at him. It seemed like this person had been looking at him from the very beginning. From the hair style and figure, it was clear she was a woman, and a woman with a voluptuous figure. However, maybe she was not accustomed to the air on the airplane, she was wearing a face mask, so her face was obscured.
She looked at Zhang Ye.
Zhang Ye also looked at her.
Suddenly, the woman released her seat belt and stood up. After straightening her clothes, she walked towards Zhang Ye. She then loosened the white coat on her body before sitting beside Zhang Ye. This plane’s first class cabin had two seats on each side. The seat to the left of Zhang Ye had been empty from the beginning. It was unknown if the passenger did not manage to catch the flight or if the ticket to the seat was not sold.
Zhang Ye asked in wonder, “You are?”
The woman’s voice was soft and elegant, “Are you Teacher Zhang Ye?”
Zhang Ye was stunned, “That’s me. Why are you looking for me?”
The woman smiled gracefully, “Just now the air stewardess called you Teacher Zhang, and I felt that you resembled him, but I did not dare confirm it. I never expected it to be really you. Well, let’s get to know one another. I’m Wu Zeqing, a Vice President of Peking University.”
“Hello, nice to meet you.” Zhang Ye immediately shook her hand but then, he suddenly reacted, stunned by the woman’s introduction!
What did she just say?
Peking University’s Vice President?
What the heck!? Is this real or not?
What sort of school was Peking University? That was a prestigious school domestically and even internationally. According to Zhang Ye’s knowledge, his world’s Peking University was an organization under the Education Ministry. Just from the administrative level, the rank of Vice President was already one of the national cadres. As for what it meant in this world’s Peking University, Zhang Ye did not know. However, it could not be much different. From the woman’s eyes and figure, she was like in her early to mid thirties? She was not even forty years of age, but she had already reached such an important position at a young age? She took the initiative to speak to him? This can’t be right?
Maybe Wu Zeqing noticed the disbelief in Zhang Ye’s eyes as she gently removed her face mask. Maybe she was not used to the air in here, so she covered her nose with her index finger while smiling.
She has an extremely beautiful face!
It was a face filled with dignity!
A woman that was graceful, elegant and warm had appeared in front of Zhang Ye. Even Zhang Ye, who had seen numerous beauties, could not help but feel shocked!
She was so pretty even though she held a high post?
Was she really a Vice President of Peking University? A heavyweight in the education sector?
“President Wu, nice to meet you. Sorry for not recognizing you.” Towards a person in education, Zhang Ye was extremely respectful, “Are you out on a business trip?”
Wu Zeqing gave a shallow smile, which resembled a reserved smile that ancient women had, “That’s right. There was a school celebration in Shanghai. I attended it while representing Peking University. Are you on a business trip too?”
Zhang Ye chuckled, “No, I’m returning home.”
“Oh, right. I recall, you are a Beijinger.” This Peking University Vice President seemed to know Zhang Ye quite well, “I heard that you recently got into trouble?”
Zhang Ye casually said, “Just some trifling matter. I just can’t work temporarily, maybe after the new year.”
The beautiful woman looked at him and said, “I have basically seen all the poems you wrote. Although many of your poems are not suitable for the situations or conditions for announcements, and have not been recognized by the official or literature circles, your literature skill has nearly been recognized in this circle. I told two famous authors and literature scholars about you. Both of them are full of praise for you, including me. Of course, I do not know about others.”
With a smile punctuating her sentence, the beautiful woman said, “Now, our country’s literature circle is lacking a person who can wave the flag. Personally, I feel that the people in the literature industry are lacking the qualities required. If we talk about a thousand years later, to pick someone in the country that can fly the literature banner, I believe that you will be one of the most likely candidates.”
This evaluation was too high!
And it was an evaluation from Peking University’s Vice President!
Zhang Ye was instantly flattered, “I don’t dare to accept that. I lack the qualifications and experience. All I do is just mess around.”
Wu Zeqing suggested, “Let’s exchange phone numbers?”
“Sure, I could only wish to do so. If there are any matters on literature in the future, I will still want to consult you.” Zhang Ye as a member of the younger generation still appeared very modest.
Wu Zeqing smiled and waved her hand, “You can consult me on other matters, and I won’t brush you off. But if it’s a literary discussion, I do not dare to think highly of myself in front of you. At best, I am more experienced than you, which allows me to communicate with you.”
Take a look at her!
Look at how well she can chat!
Zhang Ye was feeling extremely good, but he could not say it verbally. He only said, “You are being modest.”
They exchanged numbers. Since they could not switch their phones on in the plane, Zhang Ye wrote his on a piece of paper, while Wu Zeqing handed him a name card. The name card was handwritten. It did not have any details about Wu Zeqing’s post, only her name. There was a cellphone number beneath it. Zhang Ye guessed that this was most likely Wu Zeqing’s handwriting. It was very elegant and beautiful. It looked very polished and clearly, she was a calligraphy expert.
The plane was quickly approaching the capital’s airport.
The flight from Shanghai to Beijing was short as they were very close to one another.
During this period, Wu Zeqing sat beside Zhang Ye and chatted with him. For some reason, Zhang Ye felt that she came to him for a reason.
However, she didn’t say. As this was the case, it was inappropriate for Zhang Ye to ask.
Only when they disembarked the plane and were about to go their separate ways did Wu Zeqing say something that caught Zhang Ye off guard.
Wu Zeqing said, “Little Zhang, will you be staying in Beijing for half a month or more? If you have no other work or matters to tend to during this period, are you interested in teaching at Peking University?”
Zhang Ye was dumbfounded, “Teaching at Peking University?”
Wu Zeqing smiled, “Yes.”
“Are you pulling my leg?” Zhang Ye was in disbelief.
Wu Zeqing smiled slightly, “Would I pull your leg on such a matter? Now, in my capacity as Peking University’s Vice President, I’m formally inviting you.”
Zhang Ye gasped and said worriedly, “I know myself. I’m just a student, so what can I teach? I’m afraid that I’ll teach the wrong things to students, leading them astray.”
Wu Zeqing looked at him, “Before I boarded the plane, I was still thinking of something, nor did I have any candidates. However, after meeting you, it might be a matter of fate. After some thought, there really is no one more suitable than you in the literature arena. I’m not asking for you to teach anything else but your old trade. You can teach in the Chinese language department.” With a pause, she carried on, “The compensation might not be very high, and it can’t compare to the wages of your broadcasting host job. Since your main job is not this, we will not restrict you to other jobs on our side. When you need to host, you can go do your hosting. If you have the time and energy, you can use your spare time to teach at Peking University. You can be considered an adjunct lecturer. There have been similar cases of hiring hosts or famous authors to be university lecturers in recent years, so it’s common. The response from the students is also very good. I still have an assistant professor spot on my side. It’s not that I can’t give you the title, so if you are interested, you can give it a try. Then, we can talk based on your results. What say you?”
Zhang Ye hesitated, “This… ”
Wu Zeqing said, “You can think about it and reply me tomorrow. The school is on break for half a month. If you are ready, you can begin classes at anytime.”
Zhang Ye took a deep breath, “Alright, I’ll think about it when I get back home.”
“Alright, there will be a car picking me up outside. I’m leaving first.” After the beautiful woman bade him farewell, she walked slowly away in her flats.
He went to a taxi waiting area. The moment he entered the taxi, he rubbed his temples as he looked out of the window in excitement. He was both hesitant and excited! Why was he excited? Of course, it had to do with the prestige of Peking University. It was a institution of higher learning of the world. By inviting him to teach, it was a form of affirmation and trust towards Zhang Ye. It could also increase his popularity and qualifications. If he went out and said that he had an additional job of being a lecturer of Peking University, everyone in the industry would give him a second look. This sort of reputation and fame was not something money could buy. And it was something that no one could dispute it. And according to the beautiful woman’s intention, if he did well, he could even be given the title of assistant professor?
That was a professorship!
A position that most Masters or PhD holders could not obtain!
Zhang Ye was just a Bachelor’s graduate. Now, he had a chance to obtain the honor of being an Assistant Professor? It would be a lie if he was not excited!
But at the same time, he was hesitant and worried!
Peking University’s Chinese department was extremely famous even in a heavy weight institution like Peking University. It was also famous world wide. The Chinese department had the greatest breadth and depth in the entire country’s Chinese literature studies. Every development of history had attracted and produced many famous scholars. Some of them were masters and figures who led the literature world!
But who was Zhang Ye?
What sort of qualifications did he, Zhang Ye, have?
Did he have the qualifications to teach these students who would have promising futures?
Zhang Ye had even said some angry words to his mother a few days ago, saying that if he could not stay on in the entertainment industry, he would go to a university to be a lecturer. However, that was him just saying it in passing, he never believed that he had the qualifications. He also couldn’t believe that any university would want such a literary hooligan. And now, the one inviting him was not any other institution, it was the world famous Peking University! Zhang Ye knew how important this was. Hence, he was worried that he could not do a good job teaching. He feared that not only would he fail to get any accolades, but he would end up being cursed and criticized. He did not matter, but if he sullied Peking University’s reputation, and lead his students astray, it would be a serious matter. This pressure and responsibility was a bit too much for Zhang Ye, as it wasn’t something that only affected him.
He was a carefree soul!
He was free to fight everywhere!
But if he implicated others, or led future famous literary scholars astray due to his bad teachings, Zhang Ye would not feel good about it! He was a jerk, and he was quite a hooligan at times, but the essence of his character was that of a considerate person!
What should he do?
Should he go?
It had to be said that the temptation thrown at him by the Peking University was too great!
On the way home, Zhang Ye kept mulling over the issue. He still did not come to a conclusion even after having a headache. He was not an indecisive person, but neither was he someone who did not think. He liked to measure the pros and cons before deciding on a matter. However, once he decided on a matter, he would rush to the end regardless if the sky was falling!