Chapter 12: A grateful heart, thankful to you
Translator: Legge Editor: Legge
Ren Xiaosu had a very serious discussion with Yan Liuyuan on what they could do to quickly reap the gratitudes. As he was a very “down-to-earth” person, once he learned how valuable each of these sincere gratitudes was, he understood that he needed to have them.
It was just that Yan Liuyuan felt that Ren Xiaosu had used the phrase “down-to-earth” in the wrong sense.
“Bro, I think that you can go out and perform some good deeds.” Yan Liuyuan said, “Wouldn’t that be the most direct method to gain other people’s sincere gratitude? For example, you can hand out food to hungry people or give out water to the thirsty.”
Ren Xiaosu glared at him. “Am I such a person? If I give them food and water, what would I have left to eat and drink? And what will you have to eat and drink!”
Yan Liuyuan said resentfully, “Then, bro, please don’t expect to get any sincere gratitude from anyone!”
“No.” Ren Xiaosu rejected Yan Liuyuan’s statement. “There must be other ways!”
Since a long time ago, Ren Xiaosu knew that the current era was not kind to humans. Or rather, it was also very difficult for humans to treat other humans with true kindness.
There was once a beggar in town, and a kindhearted girl would bring him something to eat every day.
But after the girl got married, she no longer sent him any more food.
The beggar pursued the girl to her home and asked her why she did not give him food anymore. In the end, he was thrown out by her family as that girl’s husband was not as kind as her.
Everyone thought that the matter would end there. Some people in town even purposely went to mock the beggar and wanted to see when he would starve to death. But on that very night, the beggar made his way back to where the girl lived and murdered the couple.
Ren Xiaosu always felt that there was a much greater philosophy in life behind these events. But as he was still young back then, he only had a vague understanding that he had to be careful when sleeping at night.
The next morning, a hubbub clamored from the streets. Ren Xiaosu got up and lifted up the curtain door to have a look outside. He was surprised to see the people from the band making their way out of town with an acquaintance next to them.
That man was also an experienced hunter in town who was very skilled. He appeared quite happy as he walked beside the band members. It was as though he finally had the opportunity to get to know important people from the stronghold.
In fact, many successful people in town also started off this way. It seemed that whoever the important people from the stronghold picked to do their bidding would lead to those people living prosperous lives.
And the “prosperous life” would mean opening a grocery store like Wang Fugui had done.
Ren Xiaosu had once asked Wang Fugui why he always fawned upon those who came out from the stronghold. Surely not everyone in the stronghold were people of importance, right?
At that time, Wang Fugui gave a mysterious smile and said, “There are indeed poor and rich people in the stronghold as well, but only the important people are allowed to freely enter or leave the place.”
Based on what Wang Fugui had said, it would mean that it was also very difficult for the poor to come out from the stronghold.
The towering walls did not only stop people outside of the stronghold from getting in. It also stopped those on the inside from getting out.
Wang Fugui was also following alongside the band members. As he walked past Ren Xiaosu, he kept staring at him. Finally, he whispered to him, “You ingrate, I recommended such a wonderful job to you and you rejected it? Do you know something? I heard the band say that they intend to find a capable guide to bring into the stronghold so that they will have someone to guide them whenever there is a need!”
Ren Xiaosu was stunned as he did not expect it to be an opportunity like this.
If he knew that it would turn out this way, would he still reject the opportunity?
Yes, because even though he would be brought into the stronghold, Yan Liuyuan would definitely not be allowed to go in with him. How could he leave Yan Liuyuan on the outside by himself?
Yan Liuyuan whispered, “Bro, why don’t you talk to those people from the band again? You’re much more capable than that Old Liu. He always returns home empty-handed from his hunts. Besides, he’s never dared to venture too far out of town either.”
“Stop spouting nonsense.” Ren Xiaosu frowned as it was impossible for him to not regret or feel tempted by the opportunity. However, he had already made his decision. “Let’s go, I’m sending you to school.”
When Ren Xiaosu and Yan Liuyuan reached the school, Zhang Jinglin was already in the classroom cleaning the blackboard. He nearly jumped when he turned around and saw Ren Xiaosu and Yan Liuyuan standing there. They had very deep and dark circles under their eyes that made them look like ghosts.
“What happened to the two of you?” Zhang Jinglin asked with some uncertainty.
Yan Liuyuan tried to explain. “My brother insisted on—”
However, before Yan Liuyuan could finish speaking, Ren Xiaosu slapped him upside the head and cut him off. Ren Xiaosu then said, “It’s nothing, we just didn’t sleep well.”
“Oh?” Zhang Jinglin did not try to pry into their private affairs. He asked, “Have you thought about what you’ll be teaching for today’s lesson? It will be your first day as the substitute teacher.”
“Yes, I have.” Ren Xiaosu nodded.
For most of the day, he would be sitting in the classroom as a student until it was time for the last period in the afternoon when he would take over as the substitute teacher to teach the survival lesson.
When it came time for the last period, Zhang Jinglin started worrying about Ren Xiaosu not having any experience in teaching, so he sat down in the back row of the class to give him some support.
When Ren Xiaosu walked up to the podium, the class monitor shouted, “All rise!”
Then, everyone said loudly, “Good afternoon, Teacher!”
To the students, Ren Xiaosu was a unique presence in class. He was their “classmate,” the oldest one among them, as well as a well-known person in town. So it was a really refreshing experience for them to have Ren Xiaosu teach their class.
It was at this moment that Ren Xiaosu suddenly said, “Don’t you guys think that it’s tough for Mr. Zhang to teach us? We’re all allowed to sit down during the lessons, but Mr. Zhang has to stand all day.”
In such circumstances, how could the students say that it was not tough? As Zhang Jinglin was still around… they could only agree.
Then Ren Xiaosu said, “So shouldn’t we be showing our gratitude for Mr. Zhang?”
“Yes!” the students answered in unison.
Yan Liuyuan’s expression changed as he cheered madly in his mind. Here it comes!
Ren Xiaosu nodded in satisfaction. “Then from now on, there will be no need to say ‘good afternoon, Teacher.’ We will say ‘thank you, Teacher’ instead!”
Zhang Jinglin was dumbfounded throughout this as he did not understand what Ren Xiaosu was trying to do!
“Alright, everyone, please sit down. Let’s give it a try!” Ren Xiaosu said with a smile.
“Thank you, Teacher!” the students said in unison again.
However, when Ren Xiaosu had an internal look at the typewriter in the palace, he was sorely disappointed. None of these little bastards were actually being sincere when thanking their teacher!
Was it so difficult to show sincere gratitude to educators these days?!
This wouldn’t do! He had to come up with another way now that his first attempt had failed!
However, failure was not something that Ren Xiaosu was unfamiliar with. Accepting his failures with grace was actually one of his greatest strengths.
Ren Xiaosu heard of a saying once: Life is no bed of roses.
What this means is that most of the time, life doesn’t go your way.
But even so, wouldn’t you still have to continue living? Of course!