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Imperfections - Volume 1 - Chapter 8

Published at 25th of October 2018 04:26:56 PM

Chapter 8

While Headmaster Lu’s opening ceremony, which was newly added to B4’s schedule by Zhanlu, was yet to start, he had encountered a bit of a problem .

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The opening ceremony was arranged in the morning, and before that was the faculty and staff meeting .

The newly established Star Sea Academy had three departments: Mech and Mechanical Engineering, Mech Operation, and Information Science . All the course materials were headmaster compilations…plus some other pieces gleaned from god-knows-where .

According to Headmaster Lu’s great conceptions of the future, Star Academy is to become the greatest hall of human wisdom, having the most advanced laboratories and synesthetic libraries, and the most authoritative publishing press in the universe . It would become the constellation of the best of the humanity with research centers across all eight galaxies . Echoing with the Black Orchid Academy as mind and muscle, it would leave a mark on all the brilliances of human history .

Bixing Lu might be poor in worldly possessions, but he was definitely rich in transcendent aspirations .

Without the accumulation of tiny steps, you cannot walk thousands of miles— and Headmaster Lu strongly believed that the three scorned departments he had was the first tiny step of his great career .

But just as the opening ceremony was ready to start, the three “tiny steps”—the deans of the three departments, grimaced together at Headmaster Lu, and showed him the harsh reality .

The cranky dean of Mech Operation spoke before Headmaster Lu could finish his wonderful expectations for the new semester .

“I can’t teach these students anymore, Headmaster Lu! Last semester, the failure rate was higher than ninety percent, and I had already adjusted their scores by multiplying the root number by ten . What else can I do, Headmaster?”

The dean of Mech and Mechanical Engineering added with a rather offish face, “My failure rate was a hundred percent . ”

Lu, having heard these appalling numbers, still managed to remain considerate, “Engineering majors have higher requirements for basic education . That’s okay—we can extend the school year if we need to, and maybe you can be a little more lax on their first year, and give the ones close to passing a few more points to let them pass . ”

“Won’t work,” said the dean of Mech and Mechanical Engineering with a tragic expression, “If I use the hundred mark system, I would only have one student who has an average that actually reaches double digits . ”

Bixing Lu: “……”

“I won’t talk about my department, as we don’t even have data,” the dean of the Information Science was a thin, white-haired old man who spoke slowly, “I don’t know how you advertised our school, Headmaster, as most of the students who enrolled in my department are simply here to learn how to tap into people’s secrets . I explained to them that my course isn’t a course on spying or espionage, and guess what —of the forty nine students who registered, fifty of them dropped out . ”

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Lu ran the old dean’s words through his mind again, speaking confusedly, “……How come there were more students who dropped out than those who registered?”

“A student found out that a group of gangsters who were his enemies were also at the school, and as he didn’t want any trouble, he dropped out halfway through registering,” spoke the old dean .

The teachers at the school were all scholastic pedants whom Lu discovered from all the corners of the Eighth Galaxy, as they were an endangered species here .

Upon arrival, they were expecting to teach a group of elites, and guide them onto the glorious path towards truth and knowledge . Unfortunately, as they settled down, all their work was those of a zookeeper’s, which was a complete disgrace to them .

The three deans sat together in a circle, three pairs of eyes accusing the headmaster of deceiving them .

Lu was unfazed, “That may be the inappropriate course materials and curriculum . I’ve only taught a few students in private before, and this is my first year to actually run a school, which means I have absolutely zero experience . If we come across a problem like this again, we can have a meeting more early on, and fix it in time . ”

“Headmaster Lu,” said the dean of Mech Operation, “do you know how much you need for a primary degree?”

The education system of the Eighth Galaxy was simpler and much different than other places, which had only two levels: primary and senior . A primary degree meant basic education, which was possible by studying at a public school for fifteen years, or studying on your own and passing an exam at an appointed location . After you have received a primary degree, you can choose to enroll into vocational training and then start working, or choose the higher level for further education .

Needless to say, higher education wasn’t affordable for everyone . In the Eighth Galaxy, there were eighteen planets with residents, but only eleven schools—and six of them were already closed, with only the empty buildings and a few security guards to keep the homeless and criminals from making it a place of their own .

Most people wouldn’t know what a college looked like .

Schooling is useless—that was common sense in the Eighth Galaxy .

Under these conditions, it was a miracle that Star Sea Academy could enroll more than a hundred students, receive more than three hundred application forms on the second year, and even have an actual enrollment rate . This miracle was not because of Headmaster Lu’s attractiveness and charm-it was said that B4’s the sponsor of the school .

This is the generation when even colleges needed the support of rogues, after all .

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“Thirty dollars for a fake degree with complete assurance for quality, and with another hundred and eight, you can even have the full application materials, also with a full guarantee for passing,” said the dean of Informational Science, “All done by the people who dropped out of my department . ”

Bixing Lu: “……”

The dean of Engineering had a pair of naturally downturned eyebrows, and now they were more drooped than usual, making him look particularly distressed, “Headmaster Lu , most of the students you recruited are here to get a peek at that mister . We may work hard like devoted gardeners, but planting a whole garden of mice is too much for us . ”

Lu quickly calculated how much cash he could receive by selling himself, and smiled, speaking in a mysterious way, “You shouldn’t say it in a way like that—every road to greatness is covered with thorns, and every wise man’s doing have once been viewed as the legendary Yugong who tried to move the mountain . There is the saying that ‘only the road to hell is filled with good-willed flowers’, and isn’t hardship the undoubted road to one’s dreams?”

The three deans lowered their heads together like three withered eggplants as Headmaster’s “chicken soup for the soul” was a little too rancid to consume .

“I know that all of you work extremely hard, so we’re going to raise the salaries for all faculty members by twenty percent this year . ” Said Lu .

The eggplants silently grew out new sprouts, and regained a bit of liveliness .

Bixing Lu separated himself into two characters, and switched into the unpleasant one with a cold face, “According to known statistics, the dropout rate of the Eight Galaxy is as high as ninety percent, and most of the people with full application materials haven’t actually finished primary education, having used fake degrees to apply . I’m aware . But who knows if there are students who was grabbing a last hold of hope and did not drop out of school voluntarily? Do you know, my fellow coworkers, that in the same world as ours, primary education is not even needed in the other galaxies that are not even far away from us?”

Someone murmured, “Eden…”

“Eden,” Lu stood up with his hands behind his back, speaking with fervor, “The children in Eden are instilled with primary education through mental network before they are ten—they call it “painless learning” —they just lie in a nutrition cabin for a month, and then automatically understand the knowledge naturally, as if they were magically enlightened . ”

“Can you imagine that? They don’t have to go through the process of memorizing and forgetting over and over again, or explore down the wrong path with no one to help them work out the problems in their minds . You dislike the student’s weak basics, but on this notion, all of us here had weak basics . We might have lost at the starting line, but so what? We can adjust the course materials, teach them bit by bit slowly, and help them learn slowly . ”

“If you give up on them just like that, can you face your conscience, and face the confused, helpless person you once have been in the past?”

Complete silence spread through the conference room, unclear if it was caused by Headmaster Lu’s worries or the salary raise .

Lu glanced around, feeling that he had successfully persuaded everyone by logic, and ended the conference, with the lamenting tone, ready for the opening ceremony to start . He found a corner with on one around . and checked his appearance in the glass: wide shoulders leading to a slim waist, formal wear unruffled, hair slicked back perfectly, a forehead that could enter the Intergalactic Forehead Beauty Contest, and dignified features .

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The real-life epitome of Apollo .

Then the gorgeous man tried to smile at the glass, testing first the way of lifting the corners of his lips but not showing his teeth, then the standard way of showing eight teeth, and lastly a combination of the first two—a reserved way showing only half a side of teeth .

All three kinds had their merits, and were all perfect . Mr . Metrosexual Lu had a choosing disorder, and after a series of rigorous comparison, he chose option three due to his identity as headmaster—even though he really, really wanted to show his beautiful, white teeth .

After everything was set, he changed into his most careless posture, walked round the tutor building, and strode towards the auditorium .

Stepping on the threshold of the auditorium, Lu shoved his hands into his pockets, and nodded back to everyone who greeted him .

On this beautiful planet full of walking bumpkins, Lu was probably the only one who had the ability to sense that Zhanlu was not human . As the local AIs had an average IQ lower than eighty, it was indeed difficult to think of Zhanlu as the same species as them .

Lu also knew that Lin wasn’t from the Eighth Galaxy, or one of the extraterritorial interstellar pirates—Lu had grown up under the guidance of Monoeye Hawk, and had seen many interstellar pirates before . Lin wasn’t like them—they were malevolent, harsh, like wandering vultures .

When they first talked about Eden, Zhanlu tried to correct his imaginations about the First Galaxy twice . However, it was interrupted by Lin both times . Bixing Lu pretended that he hadn’t noticed that— and keeping that unspoken boundary was how he could become friends with Lin .

Lu met Lin when he ran away from home . Lu had drifted close to Beijing-β, and before he decided whether to land or not, he encountered a drift bottle… or rather, an unknown eco-pod .

It had no identification, and was orbiting Beijing-β outside its unanimated artificial atmosphere, exquisite like a celestial visitor from another dimension, with a minimalist styled shell gorgeous enough to turn any researcher into a stalker . Lu, mouth drooling, followed the unidentified eco-pod around Beijing-β thrice, and intercepted the eco-pod, even though he knew that picking up unknown items in space was pretty much committing suicide .

The whole interception process took almost three hours, and after it was completed, Lu found out that the eco-pod had a tough encryption system, and would self-destruct if forcibly opened .

The contents of the delicate eco-pod could be a huge secret, or some deadly virus . Either way, it could be extremely dangerous, and with normal thinking, one would return this thing to where it was, and get as far away as possible from it .

But our young Mr . Lu was clearly not normal .

As a scientist who couldn’t control himself from fiddling with the eco-pod, Lu was actually not curious about what was in the eco-pod . But he fell in love with the almost provocative encryption system at first sight, forgetting all the things he was supposed to do, and after two months of trying, he finally cracked the “sphinx” open .

In extreme rapture, Lu wrote a fluent and voluminous interstellar travel journal with two bottles of whiskey, recording his great feats . He finished the journal, got himself tipsy in the process–then he kicked the pod door open accidentally .

Pandora’s box opened, and the alcohol in Lu’s body evaporated along with his guts .

He rubbed his eyes once, then twice, over and over again, and sat down on the floor to make sure he wasn’t hallucinating—

There was a living human inside the pod .

Lu took a handful of antialcohol drugs, examined the person inside the eco-pod, found out that his vital sign was dangerously low, and had a mechanical arm clasped to his arm like an accoutrement . It was probably an AI of some sort that was unable to turn on due to lack of energy .

Low vital signs may be able to preserve one’s life in extreme conditions, but could also cause irreversible damage if maintained too long . Lu didn’t know how long this “sleeping handsome” had slept, and took out all of his medical equipment, afraid that he would die in his sleep . But this “celestial visitor” had not used common drugs to lower his vital signs—not the ones the medical equipment could identify . As Lu wasn’t a doctor, he was afraid of using waking drugs he didn’t knew, so he only injected him with nutritive medium and used microcurrents to try to wake him up .

On the third day, Sleeping Handsome’s eyelids lightly fluttered once . Lu tried to get a response from him after that, but failed .

Out of boredom, Lu took a dozen books, and started to read beside Sleeping Handsome’s ears, the books ranging from Advanced Mechincal Engineering to History of Earth . At last, he read a vulgar piece of erotica involving a lot of alluring fairies–and his audience finally opened his eyes, unable to endure it anymore .

As it was dry in mech cabins, and Lu was getting to the intense part of the story, Lin saw two lines of bright red streaming down under Lu’s nose just as he opened his eyes .

Lin’s waking drugs were kept by Zhanlu, and as Zhanlu couldn’t start up due to low energy, Lu did not wake up Lin in the normal way, and therefore the waking process became severely painful .

At first, Lin was like a mummy, with only his eyes able to move, and had to soak in nutrition fluid for months to regain physical mobility . Mr . Lu then realized how much trouble he had caused, and had to start acting as Lin’s nurse voluntarily .

In the dark and bleak space, Lu spent three months with the paralyzed Lin, with whom he built a friendship unexplainable by words .

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