“Why do I feel like it’s alive?"
Editor(s): Amalea, FistFullOfDollars, Juurensha
The time of semester for Chen Yekai's classes had finally arrived. Yu Hao didn’t expect that this many people would actually attend the class for Basic Theories of Personality Structures. This was just one of the specialized courses for the Psychology class, but the entire multi-purpose classroom was occupied. Girls accounted for half the class, and there were still people dragging their unwilling boyfriends from the sports department to attend the class.
As soon as Yu Hao entered the classroom, he was dumbstruck. He never thought of arriving in advance to reserve seats. Zhou Sheng said, “I knew this would happen, luckily I asked them to help reserve seats for us.”
The sports class always occupied the last three rows at the back. Yu Hao thought, phew. The lot of you who came here just to see Chen Yekai almost made me miss roll call.
“You’re not allowed to look at him later.” Zhou Sheng threatened, “If I get jealous, I’ll wreak havoc in heaven.”
Yu Hao knew that Zhou Sheng was joking so he casually pushed his head away and flipped open his printed textbook. At this moment, he heard a series of sporadic, soft shrieks and knew that Chen Yekai had arrived.
The weather had turned cold, and the temperature had dropped by nearly ten degrees. Chen Yekai wore a black turtleneck sweater, and after he went to Beijing, his hair had grown out a little. He put on his headset and said, “Yo, so many people came?”
His words triggered another round of screaming, but Chen Yekai said calmly, “If you’re not here to listen to my class then get lost. I’ll catch whoever I see next, report me if you have the guts to.”
Yu Hao almost cheered for Chen Yekai’s charisma, it was too cruel! But if he cheered, he might have to get lost himself. Coincidentally, Chen Yekai seemed to be searching for someone and caught a glimpse of him and Zhou Sheng sitting in the third row from the back. Yu Hao gave him a thumbs up.
“Roll call first.” Chen Yekai continued, “Go back and inform those who aren’t here that I’ll do roll call for every class. If you’re absent thrice, then you’ll have to pray for yourself.”
Yu Hao laid sprawled on the table from laughing too hard. Zhou Sheng was also being unusual and didn’t heckle him, lest he got stabbed instead. Chen Yekai was different from Xue Long -- his classroom was sacred.
Chen Yekai spent some time doing roll call before saying, “The theoretical basis of personality structure is an expansive topic, new theories are still being discovered all the time……second row, fourth one from the left, get out!”
The photographer was caught by Chen Yekai, and the whole classroom fell silent. Chen Yekai continued his lecture. Zhou Sheng whispered, “You’re not allowed to look at him.”
“If I don’t look at him then where do I look?” Yu Hao whispered back.
“Your book.” Zhou Sheng said, “Is there a book on the teacher’s face?”
“Look at me.” Chen Yekai knocked on the whiteboard, “What are you doing with your head down?”
Yu Hao almost burst into laughter while Zhou Sheng was still folding paper hearts under the table for Yu Hao. He whispered, “Tsk.”
Time passed by very quickly in Chen Yekai’s class; it had a good rhythm and cadence that enabled people to unconsciously follow his train of thought the entire time. Yu Hao thought, if only he taught all of the subjects. There were some classes where it wasn’t that he didn’t want to listen, but that the professors teaching them really made him drowsy.
【Come to my office with Yu Hao.】Chen Yekai messaged Zhou Sheng.
After class, they went straight to Chen Yekai’s office. The college had cleaned up a row of ancient buildings for the tutors they hired with a high salary -- it was right outside the gingko forest in front of the back gate, and it had a subtle scholarly atmosphere to it. Chen Yekai and Liang Jinmin shared a large office, and the books inside were piled up so high the heap was practically a mountain.
“There are……even more books here than a library.” Yu Hao really, truly liked his office.
“If heaven exists, then I think it should look like a library. Heaven’s gates will always remain open for you guys.” Chen Yekai threw a key to Yu Hao. Yu Hao didn’t dare accept it.
“How could I take a key to your office?”
But Chen Yekai said, “Keep it ba. After the last incident, Liang Laoshi would occasionally be a little forgetful and sometimes lock herself out of the office. So there needs to be a spare key.”
Thus Yu Hao accepted it.
Zhou Sheng sat on a pile of books and asked, “How is it?”
Yu Hao knew that Zhou Sheng was a little nervous. Although he had often said that he didn’t care, the Golden Crow Wheel was so closely connected to him that it was impossible for him to not care at all. Sometimes, Yu Hao would remember the first time he saw the magnificent Golden Crow Wheel in his dream. Zhou Sheng took him there to accept the baptism of its flares. At that time, the Golden Crow Wheel had imbued Yu Hao’s spirit with strength.
Zhou Sheng had said that those flares were all fragmented information, and it was just like language or reading a book -- after learning it, you wouldn’t use it systematically, but when you encounter a particular situation, the information would spontaneously surface in your mind.
Later on, although the Golden Crow Wheel was handed over to someone else, Yu Hao has always felt that the information had been imprinted into his mind.
“It has been appraised in three respective institutes .” Chen Yekai said, “But the relevant information was sent to a lot of places. I didn’t tell anyone about the dreamscapes, please rest assured.”
Their takeout arrived. Chen Yekai had ordered three sets, and he distributed them to Zhou Sheng and Yu Hao. Yu Hao thought, this one box of rice should cost about 100 ba……Yu Hao snapped his chopsticks apart as he prepared to eat, but Zhou Sheng remained silent as he held his own lunchbox while he waited for Chen Yekai to continue.
“The respective places that received the information were private offices under the National Museum, Institute of Culture and STA.” Chen Yekai said, “STA is a scientific institution, and their scope of research covers nanotechnology and electronic communications.”
He shifted the swivel chair as he spoke, opened a drawer, and took out a small box. He carefully opened the password lock, then took out an envelope from the box and handed it to Zhou Sheng.
Yu Hao’s heart immediately leapt into his throat as he looked at the envelope. Chen Yekai gestured to indicate that there were grains at the corner of his mouth.
Zhou Sheng opened the envelope. There were several printed materials in it, as well as the Golden Crow Wheel that seemed untouched.
“The National Museum thought I was kidding and had brought them a handicraft for fun.” Chen Yekai said helplessly, “I asked for a carbon-14 isotope calibration. The curator and several experts said it wasn’t necessary, that with just one glance at this handicraft, they could tell that it was a mass produced type. The marks of machine processing are very obvious on it, and they even searched up many pictures for comparison.”
Yu Hao, “……”
“I guessed as much.” Zhou Sheng said, “I thought you’d go to the cultural relic identification centers.”
“Those institutions are basically involved with collectors.” Chen Yekai waved his hand, “There’s no need.”
“The appraisal given by the Institute of Culture was similar to that of the National Museum.” Chen Yekai continued, “They think it’s a handicraft, and they can’t appraise it. But the deputy director is someone who likes to talk about everything under the sun, so he ended up talking to me for a long time. During which, we talked about some unpublished content on the ruins relic of the 24-bridge in Chengdu."
Zhou Sheng and Yu Hao both knew that Chen Yekai wouldn’t casually mention irrelevant information, so there might be clues in that.
“In short, in their excavation of new archaeological sites, they discovered a new way of offering sacrifices related to the Golden Crow Wheel, which was expressed through several bronze statues. There were two priests; one of them had his arms in front of him……” As he spoke, Chen Yekai crossed his hands together and made it seem like he was holding something.
“I’ve seen that before.” Zhou Sheng said, “Sanxingdui’s bronze man grasper.”
“It held two elephant tusks in its hands.” Chen Yekai nodded, “It appeared in the 24-Bridge ruins too. Also worth mentioning is that there was another bronze priest carrying something flat……” As he spoke, he made a gesture as if he was carrying a plate, “And in front of it was another bronze man who was kneeling down on one knee with his eyes closed……let’s demonstrate it for a bit?”
As he spoke, Chen Yekai knelt down on one knee and said, “The height of the bronze statue was different……”
Zhou Sheng bent down slightly and lifted his hands up like he was carrying a plate. Yu Hao wore a bewildered expression on his face, and after a short moment, he put down his lunch and stood at one side as he emulated the first bronze man’s action.
Yu Hao, “Like this?”
“Chen Laoshi!” Xue Long pushed the door and entered, and was immediately dumbstruck.
Xue Long, “……”
Chen Yekai cast a sidelong glance at him as he knelt down on one knee.
Yu Hao, “……”
Zhou Sheng, “……”
Chen Yekai, “……”
The three of them quickly returned to normal. Xue Long looked as if he had just seen three lunatics. It took him a long time to snap out of his stupor. “That……today my class had a male student……who was……scolded by you.”
Chen Yekai said, “Yes.”
Xue Long said, “He said that he was helping his girlfriend take a picture of the lesson plan on the whiteboard and forgot to turn off the flash.”
Xue Long had come to apologise on behalf of the male student. After explaining in a naggy manner for half a day, Yu Hao and Zhou Sheng both thought, if he wants to apologise then come by himself ah, why get the counsellor to come over? It should be enough by now. In the end, Chen Yekai nodded and said, “Okay, I got it. Xue Laoshi, thanks for coming.” It was practically a direct eviction order.
Xue Long’s expression didn’t look too good. He had knocked into a soft nail again, but he couldn’t afford to provoke Chen Yekai, so he could only leave.
“Let’s continue.” Chen Yekai said as if nothing had happened, “What do you guys think they were doing?”
“I don’t know what they were doing.” Zhou Sheng’s mouth twitched, “But Xue Long must think that the three of us are lunatics ba. That guy’s seriously annoying, he always makes people so fucking uncomfortable.”
Chen Yekai said, “His thoughts aren’t important, and he’s not important either. He won’t occupy any important position in your lives; at most he will be equivalent to the disposable chopsticks people drop on the ground after using them in the canteen. If you’re in a good mood, you’ll pick it up and throw it away, but if you don’t want to bend over, you’ll wait for the cleaning aunts to sweep them away. It's foolish to waste time discussing him……let’s get back to business, Yu Hao, what do you think?”
"Yu Hao, I think that you can also be quite lethal at times.”
Although Chen Yekai has never cursed out anyone before, his demeanour that gave the impression that he despised everything was even more harmful than swear words. From the very beginning, he had regarded Xue Long as a cockroach crawling through a stack of books. He was someone who could be casually shooed away and swept into the trash can without anyone even knowing his name, and Chen Yekai would not tolerate even the slightest resistance from him.
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), kee.