Chapter 74: The Competition (2) (Part One)
The viewing platform wasn’t big.
There was only one row of chairs enough to seat about ten people. Since the Emperor and the Queen weren’t here, the person qualified to sit in the middle was Yang Jin, Royal King Yi. The senior who was dressed in ordinary clothes and sitting beside Royal King Yi was no other than Zhou Banchuan, the principal of the Martial Arts Academy.
At this critical competition, Principal Zhou fell asleep on his chair. He was having a great rest as saliva could be seen on his lower lip.
“Can we start?” Royal King Yi asked, but Principal Zhou still didn’t answer.
Since it was clear that Principal Zhou was sleeping, Royal King Yi felt helpless and ordered one of his maids to bring over his cape before covering Principal Zhou with it personally.
This simple action had two meanings.
First, it was showing respect toward Principal Zhou. Second, it was telling Principal Zhou that it was time to wake up.
However, Principal Zhou who seemed to be anywhere between 60 and 80 years old didn’t seem to get the message. He was still asleep, and his saliva looked shiny under the sunlight. He didn’t have the prestige of a principal at all.
Since Principal Zhou wasn’t awake, this last competition couldn’t begin.
Therefore, Royal King Yi, a rank 2 official, and several rank 3 and 4 officials could only wait on the side. They had to act patiently and respectful, not daring to make any loud noises.
The professors of the Martial Arts Academy and the generals of the Imperial Six Guards who were sitting under the viewing platform weren’t surprised by this, especially those professors. They were used to this scene.
In fact, during every big event of the academy, Principal Zhou would be sleeping most of the time. Then, he would be zoning out for a portion of his awakened time.
After a while, Principal Zhou was still not up. Royal King Yi who was bored stood up and stretched. Then, he looked at his four beautiful maids and said something unexpected, “How about you four perform a dance and entertain everyone?”
Everyone else’s face changed color, afraid that this prestigious royal king was going to turn this serious event into a dance show.
Fortunately, Royal King Yi knew what was going on. Before someone tried to dissuade him, he laughed and said, “I’m joking; I’m just too bored.”
Everyone relaxed and thought, “Having an unpredictable principal is already bad enough. If this royal king is also unpredictable…”
Great General Xu Xiaogong of Right Reverent Guard was here to watch the competition under the command of the Emperor, and he was the calmest out of everyone here. He sat straight with his head slightly lowered, meditating like an old monk. This old general who was more than 50 years old was once a subordinate of Principal Zhou, so he didn’t dare to interrupt Principal Zhou who was napping right now.
Among the six great generals who commanded the Imperial Six Guards, Xu Xiaogong was the second oldest. He just had his 53rd birthday a few days ago, and he received a folding fan from the Emperor that the latter personally wrote on.
Overall, Xu Xiaogong was one of the most unique great generals among all 16. He had never fought in a massive war, and he didn’t earn any significant military merit that was worth remembering.
Some people had commented in disdain, calling Xu Xiaogong the most useless among the 16 great generals. People said that he was only a great general for three reasons. First, he had the seniority. Second, he was humble. Third, he had a great background. When he joined the military, he became a scout captain under Zhou Banchuan’s command. His 30-year-long military career was stable without big rises and falls. It took him 30 years to become a great general, so it couldn’t be said that he stepped into Heaven with one step.