In the afternoon.
Old Wu’s residence.
Zhang Ye got out of his car after returning to the villa. The moment he stepped foot onto the front yard, he could smell the fragrant aroma of Old Wu’s cooking. The door wasn’t locked. He pushed open the door and entered the house. He saw Old Wu cooking in the open kitchen.
“Whoa, it smells really good. What are we having for lunch?” Zhang Ye probed.
Old Wu carried on cooking and said, “Shredded pork and red-braised pork ribs.”
“Great, they’re all my favorites.” Zhang Ye was delighted.
Old Wu asked, “Have you settled it?”
Zhang Ye answered, “Yes, I’ve settled it. How could I have come back otherwise. 90% of the top 30 scorers in the Beijing college entrance exam are now listening to Peking University’s admissions talk. As for how many of those students will end up applying to Peking University, I do not know. It all depends on them now.”
Old Wu said, “I heard that you even smashed their cars?”
Zhang Ye replied, “Your news is quite up-to-date.”
Old Wu stated, “Xin Ya gave me a call earlier. She said you did not give her any face and claimed that we were thick as thieves. Hur hur, you have really made her furious this time.”
Zhang Ye said, “You can’t blame me for that. It’s the people of Tsinghua University who didn’t know how to behave themselves.”
Suddenly, a phone call came in.
Zhang Ye answered: “Dean Pan, are you looking for me?”
It was from Dean Pan Yang of Peking University’s School of Mathematical Sciences. Once the call connected, Pan Yang asked with concern: “How are you, Little Zhang? Did you get hurt?”
Zhang Ye sniggered: “Me? Hurt? I’m fine.”
Pan Yang asked: “The police didn’t make things difficult for you afterwards, right?”
Zhang Ye said: “It’s all been settled. I’m at home now and getting ready for lunch.”
“Then that’s good.” Pan Yang said, “Peking University already knows about what happened this time. After hearing the news, the president even specially rushed back to the school. After conversing with him, the president told me to pass a message to you. He said that if you’re free, come back to Peking University for a visit.”
Zhang Ye smiled. “Sure, I understand.”
Pan Yang said: “Earlier, when everyone was chatting privately about this matter, many of those Peking University teachers who were not friendly toward you in the past spoke well of you. Everyone was chatting about you, including Little Han, I mean, Han Henian of the Math Department. When we were talking about the incident, he mentioned how he thought you did a marvelous job.”
Even though Zhang Ye and Han Henian did not have much bad blood between them, their relationship wasn’t that good either. In the past, they got into a war of words at the International Math Olympiad. There was also the incident when Han Henian pursued Old Wu, etc.
Zhang Ye asked in disbelief: “Teacher Han said something nice about me?”
“Those were his actual words,” Pan Yang answered. “Why would I lie to you?”
“Alright then,” Zhang Ye said noncommittally.
Pan Yang stated: “Many people will definitely scold you for the trouble you got into today. Can you shoulder all that scolding? If you can’t, I’ll talk to heads of the school and let Peking University help you out with this matter.”
Zhang Ye immediately replied: “That’s not necessary, Dean Pan. It’s no big deal. I could even take the pressure after cursing those foreign dignitaries, so how bad could this incident about smashing some car windows get? I’m fine and can handle the heat. Although, can you talk to the heads so that I do not have to compensate the car windows?”
Pan Yang laughed upon hearing this. “Of course. You’ve done a lot this time, so we couldn’t possibly ask you to pay as well, right?”
Zhang Ye’s appearance this time had truly been a great help to Peking University. In just a short time, he had reversed the disadvantage that Peking University faced in the situation involving the top scorers. Many of the Peking University teachers and professors were not of any help at all. Many of the teachers on the student recruitment team could only stare blankly at those Tsinghua University teachers as they took the examinees away. In the end—when nobody knew what to do—it was Zhang Ye, the suspended teacher from Peking University, who turned the tide. Without any hesitation, he smashed the car windows to take the examinees back. With just this point alone, many of those Peking University teachers who previously did not have a good opinion of him now saw him in an entirely different light.
Upon carefully thinking about it, Zhang Ye’s temper might be bad, and he often got into conflicts with his colleagues, had scolded foreign dignitaries at the auditorium, and even rebutted the school’s heads before. But however bad his temper, there was nothing they could criticize Zhang Ye for on what he had done for Peking University and not a single fault that they could pick on for his treatment of the Peking University students! Whenever there was trouble, he would really go and take it head-on!
At a newspaper firm, everyone on the entire second floor office was extremely busy.
Two interns returned very excitedly from their field work. One of them, holding a camera, said excitedly, “Chief Editor Chen, big news, big news. Tsinghua and Peking University were fighting over the students at the entrance of Tsinghua University. Zhang Ye smashed several of Tsinghua University’s cars as well. We got all the first-hand information and even recorded the entire scene on video from beginning to end!”
The intern beside him was also extremely excited. “Chief Editor Chen, did we do well this time?”
After hearing that, the editor-in-chief did not even look at them and just carried on with his own work. He yawned and told them, “Yeah, yeah, you two did quite well.”
Only quite well?
Is that…is that all?
The shorter intern exclaimed, “Chief Editor Chen?”
The editor-in-chief said in an unfriendly tone, “Write the rough draft up as soon as possible.”
“This news…” The taller intern blinked and continued, “Will it get published on the front page in the headlines today?”
A senior reporter beside them laughed. “Just do whatever the Chief Editor tells you to do. Don’t always try to claim the credit. This kind of news probably can’t get into the headlines.”
That intern was puzzled. “Why?”
The senior reporter guffawed, “When Zhang Ye manages to avoid making trouble for two straight months, then that will surely get into the headlines!”
This joke made all the editors in the office chuckle.
“That’s right. Has there ever been a day when Zhang Ye does not get into trouble?”
“He is such a troublemaker that something is bound to happen wherever he goes!”
“The two of you are new here and unfamiliar with the situation. Even if the media in Beijing lacks news about anyone, it won’t be Zhang Ye’s news. When you have worked long enough here, you will get used to it. There are incidents that Zhang Ye caused before that were more serious than this one, so what’s the big deal with smashing some cars anyway? If it can even get on as the front page’s second headline, it would be pretty good.”
The two interns: “…”
Even if it were slightly exaggerated, it represented Zhang Ye’s image with the media—which wasn’t that good after all. If it were Zhang Yuanqi who beat up someone, they would definitely be out in full strength to report on that news. If it were Chen Guang who smashed the cars, they would definitely and immediately send out a dozen or more reporters to the scene. As long as it were any other celebrity, they would be over a hundred times more newsworthy! All with the exception of one person. Zhang Ye smashed some cars? Wasn’t this a normal thing when it involved him? What’s the big deal? Ever since this fellow debuted, that has always been his style!
Central TV Department. In the program team office of The Voice.
Zhang Ye was on leave while the executive producer essentially did not partake in the production of the program. As the assistant directors, Ha Qiqi and Zhang Zuo had to take on the responsibility and supervision of work over here.
Suddenly, a female editor said in a speechless manner, “Aiyo! Director Zhang is on the news again!”
“What’s happened to Director Zhang again?”
The several people around her immediately looked over.
Ha Qiqi, Zhang Zuo, and the others also felt panicked and quickly rushed over to take a look. “What’s going on? Didn’t Director Zhang get two days of leave to rest at home? What sort of news is it this time?”
Upon finding out, the program team staff passed out in unison!
“Director Zhang fought with other people again?”
“He fought with the people of Tsinghua University this time? And even smashed their cars?”
“Is he alright? Don’t tell me that Director Zhang got arrested again?”
“No. The police seemed to have settled the matter already. He was only required to pay compensation for breaking the car windows.”
“Thank God! I was so scared. If Director Zhang really got arrested, how were we going to record the later episodes of the program? The executive director and host would have been gone!”
“I’ve refused to be convinced by anyone else in my entire life, but I really have to bow to Director Zhang. He can even cause such a big uproar while resting at home for two days? I’ve been totally bewildered by him!”
The program team staff were discussing fervently about this.
Very soon, the people at Central TV also found out about the matter and were constantly discussing it in private.
Deputy Director Jiang Yuan of Central TV Department 1 saw the news the moment it was first reported. His expression changed greatly and he immediately called Zhang Ye to make sure of his safety. After verifying that Zhang Ye had not been arrested by the police and it would not affect the recording of The Voice, Jiang Yuan felt a sense of relief, having worried for nothing.
On the Internet, the discussion was even more serious!
“Zhang Ye in trouble again!”
“Tsinghua and Peking University fight during student recruitment!”
“The ‘war’ over top scorers! Who is at fault?”
“Zhang Ye—How are we going to save you?!”
The news headlines came one after another and went viral online.
“Pfft, Teacher Zhang is in trouble again!”
“Why did Tsinghua University offend Zhang Ye again?”
“He’s fighting with his peers again!”
“Zhang Ye is such a pain in the ass! Whoever gets in his way will surely suffer from bad luck!”
The netizens were divided into two camps. One group fully supported Zhang Ye while the other scolded him. Obviously, those who were against Zhang Ye made up the majority as usual, with the Tsinghua University teachers as its main force.
Liao Qi posted on Weibo: “These days, some teachers have really low standards!”
An old professor at Peking University retaliated: “Do you think that you have very high standards? Forcefully trying to get the students to join you people! What if they never intended to join Tsinghua University in the first place?”
Tsinghua University and Peking University were cursing at each other!
Zhang Ye’s fans and foes were cursing at each other!
It became very chaotic!
In the end, even the Ministry of Education could not stand idle watching this any further and publicly issued a statement: “In lieu of the media reporting about the phenomenon of individual universities using improper ways to attract college entrance exam top scorers, the Ministry of Education requests the related universities to observe their discipline and conscientiously maintain the propriety of the student recruitment!”
Finally, they ended the statement with a stern criticism on the misconducts of certain teachers. Although there was no pointing of fingers, it was obvious that the term “certain teachers” included Zhang Ye. More precisely, this criticism was mainly aimed at Zhang Ye!
It was rare for the Ministry of Education to publicly criticize an individual. This showed that whether it was in his peers’ opinions or in the eyes of the organizational leaders, Zhang Ye’s name and reputation were terrible.
But Zhang Ye himself and his fans did not feel so.
“Haha, Teacher Zhang was indirectly mentioned and criticized!”
“There’s not much difference between this and actually naming him.”
“Dear Teacher Zhang, your reputation has become even worse now!”
“Hai, Teacher Zhang Ye, I really have to hand it to you!”
Actually, these matters did not have much of an impact on Zhang Ye, because those people who liked him would still continue to like him. Zhang Ye’s fans had already experienced too many similar situations, and wouldn’t abandon him over such a small affair. Instead, it was precisely because they had experienced so much criticism and doubt when they followed Zhang Ye that their cohesiveness became stronger and they became braver with each setback. Moreover, each time after Zhang Ye caused any trouble, the number of people joining Zhang Ye’s fan club would dramatically rise. The more people scolded Zhang Ye, the more his peers criticized him, the greater his increase in the number of fans and popularity!
Speaking of which, this would also be considered an urban legend of the entertainment industry!
In the afternoon.