After looking around for a moment longer, Zhang Xuan realized that the books in the library were just like the moon reflected in the water; they were visible but intangible, it was impossible to retrieve them from the shelves. Thus, he lost interest and he retracted his consciousness from his mind.
"Time to eat lunch. After lunch, I'll find some way to coax a few more students in."
Gazing out the window, the sun slowly rose overhead, and it seemed to be approaching noon. Out of the eighteen students who passed by his classroom in the morning, he had only managed to rope in one of them. His acceptance rate was way too low. He mustn’t continue at this pace in the afternoon. Regardless of the situation, he was a transcender. If he was unable to dupe even those who came from the ancient era, how could he proudly claim that he came from a world that was in the digital age?
Stretching his back, he walked out of his classroom and headed for the canteen.
Just like the high schools in his previous life, Hongtian Academy’s canteen was rather large. Its size was sufficient to house more than ten thousand students concurrently. In good spirits after successfully hoodwinking a student into his class. Zhang Xuan ordered a few additional side dishes and sat by the corner to enjoy his meal.
"Isn’t that Zhang laoshi?"
While Zhang Xuan was in the midst of enjoying his meal, a disdainful voice sounded. Lifting his head, he saw a young man gazing at him with a bright smile. Yet, his face didn't carry the slightest hint of warmth, and his smile felt fake.
"Cao laoshi?" Zhang Xuan recognized the other party.
Cao laoshi’s full name was Cao Xiong, and he entered the academy at the same time as Zhang Xuan. He was fond of comparing his achievements with others, and inflate his ego through it.
The previous host of the body couldn't tolerate insults, and this fellow played a huge role in the reason why he drank to his death.
"Today is the day that the freshmen are going to choose their teachers. How is your recruitment going? Judging by how you are in the mood to eat, you seem to be doing well! Look, these are the students that I have just recruited, and there is a total of twelve of them. I'm here to have a meal with them before bringing them to their dormitories!"
Cao laoshi gazed at Zhang Xuan with a look of superiority. He grandly gestured to the students behind him as he bragged his achievements.
No doubt about it, he was here to boast and inflate his ego.
There wasn’t any grudge between Zhang Xuan and him, but as the both of them joined the academy at around the same period, it was hard to avoid comparisons between them. Thus, he often made use of Zhang Xuan to boost his self-esteem.
The bunch of youths following behind him glanced at Zhang Xuan curiously. As new students, they seemed to be fascinated by everything around them.
"Gentlemen, allow me to introduce him to you all. This is Zhang laoshi, a celebrity in our academy. He's the very first teacher to score a zero in the Teacher Qualification Examination ever since the inception of our academy! He's a man who created history!"
Cao laoshi introduced to the crowd.
"Zero marks in the Teacher Qualification Examination?"
"Ah! I've heard of him when I was on the way here. Apparently, the cultivation of a student under him went berserk, and that student nearly became a cripple!"
"I've heard of it as well. Quite a few people warned me against choosing him as my teacher. Otherwise, not only will my cultivation not advance, I might even die under his tutelage!"
"To think that he would be the legendary teacher that everyone is talking of. I didn't expect him to have such a kind face!"
Upon hearing Cao Xiong’s introduction, a commotion broke out among the students.
The score for the Teacher Qualification Examination was based on an evaluation on various aspects of a teacher, and of which, the examination results of his students played a significant role. As long as a teacher had a student under him, he would earn some points. Obtaining zero marks was truly making history.
"Are you done with your introduction yet?"
Facing the snide remarks of Cao Xiong, Zhang Xuan remained composed.
The one who scored a zero was the previous Zhang Xuan, what did it have to do with him?
However, even though he wasn't angry, this Cao laoshi's action on stepping over others to boost his ego had gotten on his nerves. He waved his hands impatiently and said, "Since you're done with your introduction, you can scram. Don’t interrupt my meal!"
Cao Xiong thought that this fellow would cower in embarrassment when his history was revealed, but not only did Zhang Xuan remain nonchalant, he even asked him to scram. Cao Xiong’s face darkened in an instant. He flung his hand backward, and putting on the authoritative airs of a teacher, he chastised, "To break the lowest record of the academy by scoring zero points in the Teacher Qualification Examination, don't you feel ashamed at all?"
"Ashamed? Why should I feel ashamed? You've already said it yourself, I have broken a record, and because of that, all of the freshmen know who I am. But what about you?" Zhang Xuan raised his hand and pointed toward the students behind Cao Xiong’s back. "Do they know how much did you score in the examination? Before arriving at the academy, have they heard of your name? If it wasn’t for your persistence, even going to the extent of treating them to food, do you think they will acknowledge you as their teacher? Despite being a figure whom no one knows about, you still have the face to brag before me? What in the world are you feeling so proud of!"
If anyone else were to score zero in their Teacher Qualification Examination, they would lower their heads when in public in fear of disgracing themselves. Yet, this fellow was the direct opposite. He was gleeful about the matter, and he seemed to take pride in it. On top of that, he even despised Cao Xiong for not scoring a zero.
Cao Xiong was about to explode.
His skin was really way too thick! More importantly… With this kind of results, how in the world can he remain so proud of himself?
Dumbstruck, the students behind him stared at one another blankly.
What about his reputation?
This teacher… wasn't he a little way too shameless!
Shame? Thick-skinned? What a joke! In the era that Zhang Xuan lived in, in order to become famous, some celebrities went to the extent of doing all kinds of shameful deeds. They did everything that one could think of, be it nude photos or fake news, without the slightest sense of shame. He scored zero for his Teacher Qualification Examination, but it was nothing in comparison to the deeds of those people!
Cao Xiong’s face flushed scarlet, "The main responsibility of a teacher is to guide students. I won't squabble with you over this today, let’s cross blows after you find yourself a student. Then, we’ll see whose student is more skilled!"
Leaving behind those words, he turned around and walked away
At this point, the conversation between an old man and a young lady sounded behind him.
"That teacher is really not bad. His personality is good as well…"
The voice of a dazed lady sounded. However, having witnessed the sight before, there was a slight hint of hesitation in her voice.
"Second young mistress, just listen to me on this matter. The young master has entrusted me to bring you to Lu Xun laoshi before we came here, yet you refused to heed my words and shook me off. On top of that, you even chose him of all possible teachers…"
The voice of an old man sounded out, and a tinge of frustration could be heard from his tone.
"That teacher… is not as bad as you said. H-he is a good person, and he even examined my constitution. He said that… if I were to train properly, I can become the top of the cohort…" The young lady replied hesitantly.
"You still hope to reach the top of the cohort under him? If you were to really study under him, it'll already be a blessing if your cultivation doesn't go berserk. Second young mistress, do you know who he is? He's the most useless teacher in the entire academy. He scored a zero the previous Teacher Qualification Examination… My little ancestor, you should hurry up and withdraw from his tutelage. Otherwise, if the young master hears of this, he'll kill me…" The old man pleaded.
Upon hearing the old man bring up the young master, the little girl seemed to be intimidated. Her face warped in fear, and she fell into a dilemma.
Hearing those words, Cao Xiong’s eyes lit up. He stopped, turned around, and smiled at the eating Zhang Xuan. "Zhang laoshi, could this young lady be the student that you just recruited? Haha, looks like things aren't going well for you. It seems like she intends to withdraw from your tutelage!"
Since teachers could pick their own students, then naturally, students were also allowed to pick their own teachers.
If a student felt that their teacher wasn't able to bring out his potential, he could return the identity token back to his teacher.
Cao Xiong’s loud voice attracted quite a bit of attention. The young lady and old man who were in heated discussion a moment ago turned their attention over as well.
"Second young mistress, is he the teacher that you just acknowledged?" The old man’s gaze fell on Zhang Xuan.
"Yes!" The young lady nodded.
The old man immediately stood up and walked over to Zhang Xuan, "Zhang laoshi, the young mistress of our family has decided to withdraw from your tutelage!"
"Old Liu…" The young lady didn’t expect the old man to act instantly. With a flushed expression, she hurried over and faced Zhang Xuan with an apologetic look, "Teacher, I…"
She was the student Zhang Xuan had just accepted, Wang Ying.
"Wang Ying, you know that I don't accept students easily. It's only because of fate that I took you in. Why do you want to give up on such a good opportunity? Do you know how many people desire to become my student, only to be refused in the end?"
Of course, given how much effort Zhang Xuan had given into coaxing her, how could he allow her to escape? Assuming the tone of a disappointed elder, he lectured Wang Ying.
"What the hell…"
Hearing his words, the students in the surroundings, especially those who were aware of his background, felt their vision turning dark, and they nearly keeled over.
Big brother, can you at least have a sense of shame? What do you mean by many people desiring to be your student, only to be refused in the end… It is clear that you are the one who is unable to recruit any student!
"I... don't intend…"
Under Zhang Xuan's vehement lecture, Wang Ying immediately hesitated, but before she could finish her words, she was interrupted.
"She's going to withdraw from your tutelage!" Seeing how indecisive the second young mistress was, the old man, Uncle Liu, stepped forward, "Zhang laoshi, our clan’s second young mistress has officially decided to withdraw from your tutelage. I'll be relying on you to conduct the withdrawal procedures!"
"Withdraw?" Zhang Xuan’s eyelids twitched. "You better reconsider your options. Withdrawing from a teacher's tutelage will leave a student with a bad reputation, and it'll be unlikely for other teachers to accept you! Are you going to ruin your young mistress's future just because of your stubbornness? Are you sure that you can take responsibility for it?"
"This…" Old Liu froze.
Students could withdraw from a teacher's tutelage, but this act was an insult to the teacher. Besides, if one could withdraw from a teacher's tutelage once, they wouldn't hesitate to do it again. Usually, students with such 'bad track record’ would not be accepted by the other teachers.
After all, who would be willing to accept a student who has no regard for the prestige of teachers?
Besides, accepting such a student would mean insulting the other teacher. The teachers in this school were colleagues, and it wasn’t wise for one to offend their peer over a single student.
If a student couldn't find himself a teacher in the academy, his future would be ruined.
Knowing that Zhang Xuan's words were true, Old Liu's determination wavered.
In the end, he was just a servant. He wouldn't be able to bear the consequences if the second young mistress’s future were to be implicated over a lapse in his judgement.
"Rest easy, your family’s second young mistress has good talent. I'll teach her well so that she can score well in the examinations…" Seeing that Old Liu's determination was wavering, Zhang Xuan immediately pushed on.
You must be joking! How can I allow something that is already in my grasp to get away?
"Hold it right there, who says that no teacher will be unwilling to accept her? Young lady, if you were to withdraw from the tutelage of this teacher here, I'll immediately accept you as my student!"
Before Zhang Xuan could finish his words, Cao Xiong stepped forward, and he spread his arms grandly.
His dignity was just trampled by Zhang Xuan, and since an opportunity to get back at him had presented itself, how could he simply let go of it?
"Cao Xiong, what do you mean by this?"
Zhang Xuan’s complexion darkened.
"What do I mean by this? Don't you think that it'll be a pity if such a good bud goes to waste? I'm only offering her a place if she were to withdraw from your tutelage. After all, the students came to the academy to study. It's natural for them to choose the best teacher to guide them, and not someone who scored a zero in the Teacher Qualification Examinations!"
Cao Xiong chuckled gleefully.
"Poaching students from me publicly, do you think that I dare not report this matter to the Education Bureau?"
This was no longer a bicker, the other party was publicly poaching his student!
While the academy encouraged teachers to choose their own students, they did not pardon the poaching of another teacher's students! Not only would such actions sour the relationships among teachers, it could also affect the culture of the school.
"Poaching students? You're exaggerating the matter. How about this, why don't we have a fair competition? We'll offer our pointers to a student and allow her to choose by herself. Do you dare to accept the challenge?"
Cao Xiong said.