"Do you know what this sentence signifies?"
Sun Mo felt a little touched as he looked at the papaya girl in front of him who was wearing green clothes and had a pair of innocent eyes.
Lu Zhiruo still had her head lowered and spoke as soft as a mosquito, "I know."
In Middle-Earth's Nine Provinces, it was a tradition to honor and respect your teacher. Once a student had acknowledged a master, they should not change their affiliation easily. If they were to acknowledge multiple masters, they would be condemned universally.
Because of this tradition, as long as the teachers had some ethics, they would not take personal disciples easily. But once they took a student in, they would teach with patience.
"Be happier, I am not so pathetic to the extent where you have to sympathize with me!"
Sun Mo rubbed Lu Zhiruo's hair. Under normal circumstances, internships had to last a full year before the school decided whether the intern teacher stayed or left.
As Gu Xiuxun's performance was overly superior, the school had promised her that as long as an intern teacher could recruit five students, they would be able to become substitute teachers and join the faculty officially. In the past, intern teachers like Sun Mo would never be qualified to recruit students at all.
"But… But.. You are a nice person!"
Tears dripped down Lu Zhiruo's eyes. She would never forget the day when she lost her money pouch. The memory of how she sat alone for two days and one night amid the pouring rain was still vivid.
She was staring blankly at the Qinhuai river in front of her; the whole world seemed to have turned dark. At that moment, she had planned to jump off a few times at least.
It was Sun Mo, the teacher with a good-looking smile, who gave her a sweet osmanthus cake, some piping hot meat buns, and a shelter over her head.
As Sun Mo was a kind man, Lu Zhiruo didn't want to see Sun Mo end up empty-handed.
"I know you are worried about me, but you don't have to give me a good person card, you know?"
Sun Mo opened up the wrapper of a pear blossom candy and stuffed the candy into her mouth.
Lu Zhiruo was at a loss.
A young man with a big nose came over. After looking left and right, he then lifted his shirt placket and said, "You are a teacher, right? Do you want some students' information?"
Sun Mo almost lifted his leg to kick the guy had he not spoken fast enough. Sun Mo thought that they had met a pervert as there had always been a flasher near No. 2 High School who harassed female students after their self-study sessions at night.
Lu Zhiruo was startled when she saw a stranger come near. She quickly ducked behind Sun Mo and clenched onto his sleeve tightly.
When the big-nose guy saw Sun Mo's unfriendly gaze, he didn't dare to spout any nonsense and went straight to the point. "Do you want this? Five hundred taels of silver for one booklet. It has a record of every famous child in Jinling city and its nearby area."
Sun Mo was speechless when he saw how people came up with such methods to earn money.
The big-nose guy flipped open a booklet and presented it to Sun Mo. "Here, you can see their surnames, hometowns, capabilities, and even what they are famous for."
"How many people are there?"
Sun Mo reached his hand out for the booklet, but the big-nose guy took it back just as fast.
"Five hundred people." After his reply, the big-nose guy quickly explained further, knowing that the number was too little. "The student recruitment meet only lasts for three days, and it's already considered good if you manage to interact with two hundred students. Hence, even though the name list is short, it's sufficient."
Sun Mo shook his head.
"Oh, my great teacher, you can earn money easily by teaching a few classes. But we? We have to run our legs apart to collect these names, and all we hope is to earn some cash these few days!"
The big-nose guy complained tearfully.
"One hundred taels of silver!"
Sun Mo bargained.
"That's too little, four hundred and fifty taels of silver!"
The big-nose guy requoted a price.
"One hundred taels of silver!"
Sun Mo was persistent.
"Four hundred taels of silver! Look how much weight I lost this year by living on the streets and having nothing to eat!"
The big-nose guy insisted.
Lu Zhiruo stared with her jaw dropped. She was swept off her feet after hearing how the price was bargained to one hundred and fifty taels.
She wished she had such bargaining skills!
She could have saved some money here and there to buy more pear blossom candies!
"One hundred and twenty taels of silver! It cannot go any lower than this."
The big-nose guy cried out.
"Forget it then!"
Sun Mo turned and walked away.
The big-nose guy was stunned. How could Sun Mo not have persisted? He was almost removing his pants, but Sun Mo still wanted to leave. Thus, the big-nose guy could not let this go and chased after Sun Mo.
"Fine fine fine, one hundred taels of silver!"
The big-nose guy put up a performance where he shed tears.
"Fifty taels of silver!"
Sun Mo continued to re-quote the price.
The big-nose guy trembled with rage. He would have spat on Sun Mo's face if he was not in the territory of Central Province Academy. He thought to himself. Sun Mo might as well kill him if he wanted to bargain to this extent.
"I'll take it for one hundred taels of silver."
With this timely interruption by a middle-aged man, the big-nose guy's raging expression started to beam. He received the money and went away.
Lu Zhiruo cowered behind Sun Mo's back again.
The middle-aged man was square-faced with dashing eyebrows. Even as he smiled, an imposing aura was emitted out of him.
"Young man, don't be stingy when it's time to invest."
The square-faced guy advised.
Sun Mo spoke back with anger and thought to himself, who was this guy? Did people even know him? Who was he to lecture Sun Mo?
Lu Zhiruo tugged at Sun Mo's sleeves and reminded softly, "Teacher, I think he's right!"
"Hehe, young man, don't lose yourself for the sake of winning."
The square-faced guy was warning Sun Mo but had his eyes fixed on Lu Zhiruo.
Lu Zhiruo cowered behind Sun Mo instantly. This middle-aged man was very imposing, how scary!
"Just ask around casually and you'll find out who these famous children are. Don't even waste your effort in checking. I believe that some schools have collected such information or have even sent it to their teachers," said Sun Mo coldly.
Even though Sun Mo had never seen An Xinhui before, as an honor graduate of Heavenly Mystery Academy, she was considered a genius of the century. If she hadn't been scheming, how could she have revitalized Central Province Academy?
The square-faced guy raised his head and measured Sun Mo with his eyes while flipping through the booklet. He had thought that Sun Mo couldn't bear to spend some money, but he never knew that Sun Mo had such deep thinking.
"Even if you're right, you don't have the information, do you?" said Lu Zhiruo. She didn't get it. "Or are you going to ask the principal for it?"
"I mean, if everyone could collect such crucial information, then this recruitment meet won't have any value left. Besides, all the schools would have sent some scouts to examine good seedlings, and these seedlings would surely receive an invitation after their aptitude was confirmed," said Sun Mo.
He had seen many such occurrences. When normal students had not even started researching the school and their majors, Tsinghua and Peking University had sent vehicles out to every city to fetch these top scorers.
"After those good seedlings are chosen and selected by other schools, only the leftovers will come to Central Province Academy. Even if they come, those very experienced teachers will get the first dips on them."
Sun Mo hadn't even mentioned anything about great teachers. Those students who knew that they had the talent would have taken the initiative to meet these great teachers before the recruitment meet, aspiring to be taken under their tutelage.
Lu Zhiruo was enlightened.
"Is there any other reason?"
The square-faced guy was curious.
"There are bound to be teachers who buy students' information. The demand is high, but the supply is low. Even if you have set your eyes on a specific student, there will be competition from other teachers. To recruit a student, you must spend a lot of time explaining your teaching rationale or even proving your teaching ability."
Sun Mo shrugged. "The student recruitment meet will only be open for 3 days. Instead of competing, why don't you pick those unpolished jades (undiscovered talent)?"
"Not bad!" The square-faced guy touched his chin and seriously observed Sun Mo. "There's nothing capable about depending on information! You will only have the potential to become a great teacher if you pick students through your own judgment!"
Lu Zhiruo was amazed. She had thought that it was merely them buying some information. However, it turned out to have so many twists and turns. She was totally impressed.
(Teacher Sun has formidable analytical capability! If it was me, I would have probably wasted all this money.) Lu Zhiruo thought.
Favorable impression points from Lu Zhiruo +3.
Prestige connection with Lu Zhiruo: Neutral (8/100)
"What are you rambling about?"
The square-faced guy roughly flipped through the information and tossed the booklet into the rubbish bin even before he had finished reading it. He had purchased it out of curiosity, not because he wanted to use it as a tool to pick students.
Sun Mo thought to himself. The actual reason why he didn't buy this information was because he has his Divine Sight. He could see every student's potential value just by glancing around, and he would never recruit any bad goods (untalented student).
"Have you discovered any unpolished jade?"
The square-faced guy had no intention to leave.
"What is a teacher from Myriad Daos Academy doing at our school? Are you here to poach our students?"
Sun Mo intentionally ostracized the square-faced guy.
Lu Zhiruo looked at the square-faced guy. Her surprised expression turned into alertness as the guy seemed ready to yell at any moment.
"Young man, don't try any tricks!"
Despite his words, the square-faced guy was not angry.
"Tell me, which students have you set your eyes on?" Sun Mo teased.
"What are you guys talking about? Why don't I seem to understand?" asked Lu Zhiruo.
Her head bowed with sorrow. She could neither catch up with their logic, nor could she understand the scheme Sun Mo was plotting.
Lu Zhiruo's silly character was very adorable; hence, the square-faced guy explained to her patiently despite his usually stern personality.
"Since we're all from Jinling City but born to be enemies, the chances of Myriad Daos Academy to spy on you guys were higher than that from any other schools. Sun Mo did not question if I was a teacher from Myriad Daos Academy as he was very certain about it. By using the word 'inquire', he had wanted to make me angry so he could extract information from me through deceit. You must know, when people get angry and impulsive, their inferential ability becomes weaker, and they may let out confidential information through their words."
The square-faced guy looked at Sun Mo with much admiration this time around. He had wanted to say something but held it back instead.
"We still have to observe for a while."
Hence, the square-faced guy quietly followed behind Sun Mo.
"Hey, are you the kind of pervert who likes to tail behind people?"
Sun Mo frowned. This man gave him goosebumps. He'd rather be followed by pretty ladies like Jin Mujie.
"Hehe, what a toxic mouth."
The square-faced guy wasn't offended but quietly marked Sun Mo down in his heart. He pointed to the nearest flower bed. "I saw that student on the information booklet before and he's quite good, why don't you go and recommend yourself?"
As Sun Mo turned his head, he saw a student who was brandishing a two-feet red spear. A middle-aged man in his forties stood at his side. He was wearing an azure long robe, the uniform of a formally employed teacher in Central Province Academy.
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