Chapter 41: After the wine
Fu Cheng brought Fang Yunyao over, and Huang Yaming brought Tan Qinglin over. A few of their other classmates whom they were closer to came as well. Fortunately, having gone over to her grandma’s, Yao Jing did not come.
The meals of village families could not be considered good, but they were simple and bustling. As the only teacher here, Fang Yunyao inevitably received much attention. Faced with the warmness of so many uncles and aunties, she really didn’t know how to cope with it. Soon, she had drunk quite a bit, her face all red as her voice began to slur slightly.
Xu Tingsheng gave Fu Cheng a look.
Fu Cheng went forward.
Only to soon fall into a state of drunkenness as well, him and Xu Tinsheng’s youngest paternal uncle both with a hand on the other’s shoulder as they addressed each other as bros.
Xu Tingsheng’s uncle asked him, “Huang Yaming already has a girlfriend; what about you?”
Fu Cheng glanced at at Fang Yunyao.
Indeed, wine bestowed upon one reckless courage.
Fang Yunyao’s heart trembled as she hurriedly raised her glass, “Mr and Mrs Xu, let me toast you in congratulations for having such a brilliant son.”
In the eyes of parents, the appraisals of teachers always held the most value. Hearing Ms Fang’s words, while they remained humble with their words, smiles were already bursting forth on their faces as they hurriedly raised their wineglasses and reciprocated the toast.
Fu Cheng too was shocked by his earlier action as having sobered up greatly, he hurriedly changed the topic, “Uncle, that’s where you are wrong. You should ask me about Xu Tingsheng’s situation. Let me tell you this, it really is rather complicated. Let me tell you thoroughly about it…”
Those who were drunk could not be stopped, not even through intimidation. Fu Cheng messily spewed out everything about Xu Tingsheng’s relationships, talking about Yao Jing, Wu Yuewei, even Apple.
Xu Tingsheng felt completely helpless as Mrs Xu gained interest, her eyes full of anticipation as she looked at him, continually pressing him, “Tingsheng, tell mom-which of them do you like the most? ...Sigh, why didn’t you call them over for mom to see today?”
“Call them all; let mom pick.”
Xu Tingsheng was defeated by his mother.
His uncle said, “I guess that it’s that, that Wu Yuewei. Didn’t Fu Cheng say it just now; Tingsheng even fought for her once.”
“I think so too,” His wife said.
“Didn’t he pursue the one called Yao Jing for two years?” Mr Xu’s sister asked.
“Isn’t it that the one with the whatever foreign name has the best figure? ...Is she really a foreigner?” Her husband asked.
“If she’s a foreigner, better to forget about her then.”
The discussion went on just like this.
Meanwhile, in a function room at a hotel, Principal Xu asked Old Zhou, “Where’s Ms Fang? How come she isn’t here?”
Old Zhou said apologetically, “I only just learnt about it too. She’s been invited over to Xu Tingsheng’s house.”
Vice Principal Lou interrupted emotionally, “That’s wrong then? How could that fella have invited just Miss Fang but not me? ...Even if he didn’t invite me, he didn’t even invite Old Zhou and you other teachers. Really, this fella’s way too much. Pass me the phone; I’ve got to call him and tell him off.”
Old Zhou hurriedly explained, “No, it’s not like this. Ms Fang explained just now that he decided to only invite us next time round because he thought that it might be inconvenient if he invited us to his village.”
“What’s wrong with that? It’s just a village-we all came from villages too!” Vice Principal Lou looked at Principal Xu, asking him, “Principal, why don’t we kill our way over?”
This idea was very interesting, and many other teachers approved of it as well.
In a rather good mood today, Principal Xu said with a sweeping flourish of his hand, “We’ll kill our way over...still, I believe that there should be quite a number of people there. When drinking later, you’d better be able to hold on. Don’t let our troops be completely annihilated.”
The principal having spoken, the chairmen and teachers all cheered in agreement. Just like this, the sentiment of the wine table as a battlefield was set.
Old Zhou gave them Xu Tingsheng’s address. While the Xus lived in a village, the village was located in the outskirts of the city, with basically everyone here having heard of it before.
Old Zhou said, “I’ll call them first then.”
Vice Principal Lou stopped him with an upraised hand, “Don’t. Let’s perform a sudden sneak attack.”
A bunch of people suddenly appeared at the Xu Family’s doorstep.
A few students were frightened to the point of leaping up from their seats. What kind of lineup was this? Four principals, a whole bunch of chairmen as well as their own teachers. From the looks of it, they weren’t just here for congratulations. They seemed here to ‘wreck the party’ as well.
As students, which side should they be standing on?
As soon as Vice Principal Lou entered, he said, “Xu Tingsheng, hosting a dinner but not inviting us, you’re really too much...See, now we have to shamelessly knock on your door begging to be let in.”
Sweating profusely, Xu Tingsheng hurriedly apologised.
Fortunately, Mr Xu was still able to deal with things. He borrowed a large round table from their neighbouring family, serving up some dishes, serving up some wine.
“The conditions in a village are not so good. I’m sorry, but you’ll just have to bear with it a little,” Mr Xu said to them.
They all said in unison that it was fine, Vice Principal Lou being the most straightforward as he said directly, “I grew up in a village as well. Xu Tingsheng’s dad, let’s not talk about this today. Let’s talk wine.”
Seeing this, Xu Tingsheng hurriedly told his youngest paternal uncle, “Uncle, it looks like a war’s about to break out. Hurry up and go call all those strongest drinkers of our village over.”
His uncle hurriedly excused himself from the table.
This meal went on from 6.30pm all the way to 9pm.
Xu Tingsheng’s youngest paternal uncle was the first to fall, taking down two subject teachers with him.
Afterwards, two student affairs office chairmen, awkward expressions on their faces, drunk themselves down as well, staggering up together on that final glass as they said to Mr Xu, “Bro, those words back then...sorry, we apologise.”
Mr Xu hurriedly said, “A child’s words; chairmen need not take them seriously.”
Still, he drunk the glass down to great satisfaction.
The teachers collapsed one by one.
“Things are not looking good,” Vice Principal Lou said to Principal Xu, “It seems like we are ultimately doomed to fall here today.”
Principal Xu nodded, “Let’s focus our firepower and take down Xu Tingsheng’s dad. After that, we can only retreat.”
As continuous toasts were sent over, Mr Xu seemed unable to refuse any single one of them as the teachers said, “No matter what, I’ve taught your family’s Xu Tingsheng for three years. You have to accept this glass, no?”
What could Mr Xu say to that? He could only accept all the toasts that were sent at him.
Mr Xu was already beginning to falter a bit. Then, Mrs Xu entered the battlefield. Others could not accept those toasts on his behalf, but if it was Mrs Xu, no one could say anything about it.
Everyone underestimated Mrs Xu’s alcohol capacity. When she collapsed, there were merely a few principals on the school’s side left as empty bearers of their side’s standard to a non-existent army. Old Zhou was in a rather more terrible state, having been drunk down by Xu Tingsheng’s paternal uncle along with some other helpers in a single round.
Vice Principal Lou looked at the overall situation. Good, it was still under control. At the very least, it looked like there weren’t any paths of retreat left for Mr Xu.
Afterwards, Xu Tingsheng and his sister, Xu Qiuyi, took to the battlefield.
Mr Xu said proudly, “Two kids...it’s fine, right?”
Vice Principal Lou said, “Bro, this isn’t fair. They’re just kids-how can you expect us to harden our hearts?”
Mr Xu chuckled, “Relax, the alcohol tolerance of these two kids is not any weaker than their mother’s. They’ve been drinking since young. When young, when my wife and I were both busy, it was my mother who helped to take care of them. My mom’s method of coaxing children is that if they cry or make a ruckus, she will take a teapot filled with some homemade rice wine and stuff it into their mouths, letting them fall asleep when they’re drunk.”
The remaining principals didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. Who was it who said that children who drank wine would become stupid?
Principal Xu raised his hand, calling, “Ms Fang, come over for a bit. You’re from our side...I order you on my authority as Principal; these two kids-take down one of them.”
Events proved that Fang Yunyao’s alcohol capacity was inferior to even Xu Qiuyi’s, currently only just having graduated from junior high.
In a drunken stupor, holding her head as she sat beside Fu Cheng, Fang Yunyao suddenly said, “A pity you’re much too young.”
Similarly in a drunken stupor, Fu Cheng forgot his fear as he mumbled, “I’ll grow up if you just wait a bit. Wait for me, okay?”
Their eyes met, their hearts beating furiously…
Huang Yaming quick-wittedly separated the two.
Xu Tingsheng did not dare to drink too much, pretending to be drunk after his first round of wine.
Finally, only Mr Xu, Principal Xu and Vice-Principal Lou were left at the wine table. At this moment, the ‘wine battlefield’ had already lost its initial intensity. The three drank harmoniously, talking about Xu Tingsheng, talking about the general situation of their era, the youths back then, the girls back then, the songs back then…
Mr Xu ultimately fell as well.
It was the same for the two principals. Vice Principal Lou lay strewn across the table, indistinctly clamoring that he would bring a few Physical Education teachers along next time, battling it out once more.
Other than the two drivers, there was already no one on the school’s side who could still stand stably. The wine gods of the village opened a table and began competing amongst themselves, and on the side of the students, Tan Qinglin fell as well. Her results had actually exceeded the second-tier cut-off for normal universities by quite a bit, but she was a prideful one who had set her sights high, having been fully set on reaching the cut-off for key universities. Currently, she was still conflicted on whether or not to repeat the year and sit for the university entrance examinations again. Amidst her chaotic state of mind, she had had too much to drink.
Xu Tingsheng crawled up, supporting the people from the school up onto their vehicles along with those other students who were still sober, to be taken care of by the drivers.
Old Zhou grabbed Xu Tingsheng’s arm, slurring indistinctly, “...Happy...proud...fill in a Qingbei…”
Vice Principal Lou and Principal Xu also said, “...Fill in a Qingbei…”
“Qingbei, is it?” To a student, the attraction of Qingbei would always be boundless. However, Xu Tingsheng was not just a student. To him, there was a very big problem with Qingbei. It was too far, too far from Xiang Ning.
Also, his results might not have attained the required standard.
Xu Tingsheng said, “My results might not be good enough.”
They pleaded, “It’d be a pity not to fill it...go for it, the second aspiration will cover your bases.”
Xu Tingsheng scratched his head, recalling with all his might. In his brain, a vague figure appeared. While he didn’t remember the exact mark, he remembered the ‘1’. Only a single Humanities student from the comparatively backward Jiannan City had made it to Qingbei that year.
Xu Tingsheng was ranked third in the city.
Therefore, he said, “Okay.”
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