Imperfections Volume 1 Chapter 9

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校对:拿铁,emu,半江,kk

The auditorium was magnificent with its vast dome designed as an artificial sky which looked incredibly realistic. It can turn clear or starry as you like it.

Despite the splendor of the decoration above, the students sitting beneath did not seem to match this glorious beauty.

As the opening ceremony was about to begin, the students inside were all seated-- each consideredthemselves a hero, although in fact they were actually masters of trouble-making. They seemed to be here to start a thug life, rather than schooldays. 

Once the sc.r.a.ppy kiddos were together, a gang fight was inevitable. 

On the southeast wing, a boy looking broad and muscularwho was too lazy to go to his own seat inside took someone else's aisle seat, which soon started up a fight. Other students around kicked up the fuss and soon the gang fight escalated into a celebration of indiscipline onthe stand.

In the northwest wing, a girl was groped by a schoolmate who was actually a hooligan. Without a word, she took out a laser gun straight from her bag. With a single shot,she startled all the students around, which almost caused a stampede before security robots quickly came to control the situation. To everyone's surprise, the laser gun was homemade.

Among the central seats, there was someone even more outstanding: sticking to the principle of "eloquence, notfists", he brought in a micro speaker and hacked into the sound systems of the auditorium. Through the 360-degree surround sound system, he shouted "f.u.c.k you,John Wu!"

n.o.body knew who John Wu was, but the shout laid out the vulgar atmosphere of the whole opening ceremony. Laughter burst out around. The three deans sat in the front with a group of scholars in the middle of the chaos, like a group of devotional monks trapped in the devil's lair.

Bixing Lu remained calm even though everything was in a mess, because he thought that geniuses like him did not need teachers as self-study was enough for them---it was the ones the least possible to teach that was worthteaching.

But......

He glanced over at the empty VIP seat and sighed softly.

Anyways, given that Headmaster Lu had been running the school full of wild kids for this long without getting a myocardial infarction, he did have a mind as broad as the skies. He soon got over it—if B4 came, it would be a wonderful surprise, and if B4 didn't, it would be just as he had expected, and there was nothing to lose.

Quickly adjusting himself, Bixing Lu headed to the podium with a calm face. In the thundering burst of laughter which almost turned the roof over, he made quite a splashy appearance.

The lights suddenly dimmed, leaving only a single beamon the podium. The podium rose slowly to the middle of the air, approaching the dome which was casted with a star atlas. All the stars spun slowly in the stretch of the night sky. 

Lu stood imperturbably on the platform, although no one paid any attention to him.

"Dear students......"

A bang came off the balcony closest to the podium: a student was pushed down violently. Then the auditorium acoustics were drowned out by all the ensuing swearing. The hall became a battlefield. 

The cranky dean of Mech Operation jumped to his feet and decided to leave right away.

Bixing Lu shut up temporarily. He calmly took out aheadset, clipped it on his head, and tapped the platformwith the tip of his shoes. Then as the hall's acoustics hummed a huge tremor, everyone inside the hall turned into the dices shaken in the cup, and anyone who did not get seated in place were shaken down.

The auditorium fell into complete silence for a short while.

Bixing Lu took off the headset and continued, "h.e.l.lo, everyone, welcome to Star Sea Academy. I know you guys really want to beat me up now, but sorry, you can't reach me. And I know you are planning to do it when I finish and get down. My speech takes about 15 minutes. You have 15 minutes to consider thoroughly whether to beat your headmaster or not. After all, up till yesterday, the largest shareholder of our academy has become the Blackhole."

Hearing this, the front-row staff lowered their heads like they were mourning in the cemetery, feeling that their salary had been tainted by the awful hooligans.

"I, together with my colleagues, will accompany you for the next few years---perhaps the most important years of your life."

The boy who hacked into the sound system just nowsuddenly chipped in, "Headmaster, do you teach how to pick up girls or dudes?"

"It seems that this mister is rather flexible about partners, so I suggest everyone remember this voice in case of starting a relations.h.i.+p with the wrong guy in the future. 'By the way that's a good suggestion. In the future, we will offer some selective courses on this topic, focusing on how to avoid undesirable relations.h.i.+ps." Bixing Luanswered smoothly.

The boy b.u.t.ted in again through the speaker, "Will you teach us how to make a million?"

"Of course," said Bixing Lu, "or where do you think theschool's money came from?"

The crowd did not expect him to be so frank, and the hall went quiet for a moment.

"The best mech designers are rarer than gold, and both the gangsters and the government are kneeling to spend a fortune on them; and if you want to join the army, become an interstellar smuggler or a superior hatchet man, you have to be a good mech operator, and good at information technology too, needless to say," Bixing Lu pointed at the boy who kept chiming in, "How should I call you?"

"White."

"Okay, White, suppose that the cla.s.smate next to you had some money at disposal, he would definitely like to pay for the small equipment you used to hack into the sound system. But,"said Bixing Lu, kicking on the platformlight, conjuring up a transparent screen. He lifted hisfingers and furiously entered in a string of code, and the noise in the microphone immediately disappeared. 

"Sorry, you've said too much. Now it's your schoolmates' turn." 'Upon his words, a trace of fluorescence suddenly appeared and then disappeared into every direction in the auditorium. He snapped his fingers stylishly, and then the fluorescence stopped and landed in the corner upon a seat, turning into a small arrow, pointing at the person in the seat.

Everyone turned around, as Bixing Lu nodded.

"Try to say something, young miss."

The girl whom the fluorescence pointed to whispered "f.u.c.k", which was announced to the public by the dutifulloudspeaker, and the hall burst into laughter.

"What the f.u.c.k are y'all laughing at," the girl cursed rudely. 

As asked to, she remarked very straightforwardly, , "Headmaster, you scholars keep talking about money,too."

"It's simply because poverty kills more people than stupidity," Mr. Lu, who had just sold himself for money, answered honestly, "Next one, please."

The next question was specified directly. The one chosen at random asked without hesitation: "Is the Blackhole really backing us? Then why have I never met B4 overthe whole year I'm here?"

The nonsense-orator Lu hesitated for a moment before he said, "That's a matter of ......" 

He did not finish his words when the hall back door suddenly opened. A group of people marched in along the VIP channel with a challenging presence.

The one on the very front wore a long, stiff coat, which wouldn't ruffle like a cape. Since the coat reached down to the ankle, anyone wearing it could simply look like a limbless bucket. But perhaps it was because the man was really tall, or maybe it was because of how he walked with his shoulders straining in a natural curve. Such an attire like this suited him just well, as if he was used to wearing armor-like jackets.

He walked with a cigarette in his mouth, not looking up as if there was no one around. All the others followed behind him, keeping a few steps' distance consciously.

Whispers were heard, and several of his "sidekicks" were recognized.

"Isn't that-Penny?"

"Penny? Who?"

"…What a peasant you are...THE Penny! oh f.u.c.k, she's looking at me!"

"Who was that man in the front?"

"Oh G.o.d, it can't be..."

"Hush--"

A wave composed by different hushes spread out, and the buzzling auditorium was washed over by the tide, leaving everything dead still.

The VIP channel was lit separately, and a shower of light fell from the top of the auditorium came slowly up to the crowd. The man in the long coat raised his head and made a quick eye contact with Lu, greeting with his iron-grey eyes before taking the seat.

When B4 glanced at him, Lu felt his silver tongue turned to lead.He struggled for the rest of his words, "Predestination...."

The spotlight dispersed like fireworks, and B4's figure disappeared in the dark. In the suddenly silencedauditorium, words escaped Lu's overraptured mind.

Hundreds of eyes fixed on him, Lu could not remain silent awkwardly. So he pressed his cuff b.u.t.ton stealthily, and counjured an invisible layer of membrane covered on his eyes.

He read out the draft prepared by another teacher, "Star Sea Academy may not guarantee your academic achievements, and due to poor skills or bad luck, for many of you, what you learn at school don't necessarily translates to money. Then, what can the school offer you,if money and glory were not an option?"

"In this era, we have an average life expectancy of 300 years with 200 years of youth; the longevity is reaching immortality. Historical data suggests that within every decade, or half a decade, our lives will be transformed beyond recognition. In this era, as individual intelligence and efforts sometimes seem to be negligible, either your success or failure depends on where the tide of the timessends you to."

"In your long life, there will be countless peaks and troughs...."

B4pinched his cigarette and was looking for a place to flick the ashes. Before Zhanlu reached over, Penny had already handed over an ashtray.

Penny did not know that Zhanlu isn't human and had had a bone to pick with him for a long time. Tall and st.u.r.dy as he was, however, not only did he stick to B4 all thetime like a sugar baby, but from time to time he could be so obsequious as to pick up ashes.

B4 didn't embarra.s.s her, and nodded as a gesture of thanks.

"Where did Lu's speech come from?" "Penny started talking causually.

B4 politely made a listening posture, "What?"

"Change happens every five years? This G.o.dd.a.m.n cursedplace has been half-dead like this since I was born. Andthe average life expectancy is three hundred years? It's the average for people other than the Eighth Galaxy, right? I attend funerals every year, and more than half of the rubbish I had grown up with is now buried six feet under. Thanks to B4, I'm close to aging past the average life expectancy."

"You're not old," said B4, without lifting his eyes. After a while, perhaps feeling his answer sounded too perfunctory and cold, he added, "it's said that a girl like you is still an unmarried maiden at the capital planet."

Penny smiled, the corner of her eyes turning upwards. 

"I'm not a little girl, but I'm not married either. Has B4 still got a place for a woman?"

There was a subtle change on B4's face. He didn't answer---he just lowered his head to take a deep pull, and occupied his mouth with the remaining half cigarette, sinking into silence.

B4 was not a moody person---he was even reasonable. Otherwise Bixing Lu would had been dead for quite a while. He seemed to be saving his temper on hispriorities, and ordinary trivias never received his attention. He only cared about what he wanted to.

Penny saw what he meant in his silence, and her eyes no longer sparkled. A stiff smile appeared on her face. She forced herself to turn her head and looked at Lu, who was pouring chicken soup* on the platform.

Headmaster Lu's speech had come to an end: "I hope you will be on the cusp of the day and never get carried away.Think about your hard efforts in at the academy. When you fall down to the valley of the shadow of death, don'tdegenerate into the darkness. Think about the cornerstone the academy laid in your soul."

Lu Bixing paused and scanned the last sentence of the speech that he really wanted to skip, as he felt he would make a fool of himself. However, as he glanced off the stage and saw the old dean of Information Science straining his neck and looking at him with full expectation, he understood immediately where the speech came from.

Bixing Lu and the old dean looked at each other for a second. Then he was defeated in silence, and spoke the heartfelt words of the old man helplessly, "Dear students, I hope you will bear this from now on: more valuable than wealth, is knowledge; more valuable than knowledge, is immense curiosity, and the most valuable of all, is the stars above us."

Half of the students were "woodenheaded", and the otherhalf were "addlebrained". Hearing that, they remained silent for a few seconds, and then burst into collective laughter: all of them felt that Lu's acting was too much.

Bixing Lu himself had no choice but to smile, adding one more sentence of nonsense: "This dome of stars is worth six million, and before the completion of the Mechdesign lab, it is the most expensive thing in this campus, so please have some respect, so from now on,the first rule in our college is 'no anti-personnel weaponsallowed' in the auditorium !"

Below the stage, the white-haired old dean stood up, andleft along the edge of the auditorium with his back stooped.

After the opening ceremony, Bixing Lu failed to find B4.He and his gang seemed simply to show up just on timebefore disappearing without anyone noticing after they had finished their mission.

Bixing Lu was somehow disappointed. But he had no time to feel it carefully as he had encountered the biggest crisis since the founding of the college---all three deans and sixteen excellent teachers said that they were just common people who did not deserve such intractable tasks, and that he'd better to find someone better qualified.

On the first day of school, Headmaster Lu managed to get sacked by all of his staff, left on his own.

TBC

Notes:

*Chicken soup(ji tang)as in "chicken soup for the soul",is a slang term in colloquial Chinese to the inspiring quotes,with a satirical connotation indicating the quote being"cheesy"and impractical in reality. E.g.The chicken soup is a mind poison to make you think that you really can be that of importance-let's face the reality: you're just n.o.body.

Imperfections Volume 1 Chapter 9

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Imperfections Volume 1 Chapter 9 summary

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