Chapter 87.3 – Competition Start (3)
The competition site was spread entirely with a red carpet. When Du Xiao Li saw, her first reaction was thinking that she’d arrived back in her past life watching those celebrities walk the red carpet.
Directly across from the competition site, in front of the audience seats, were a few tables and chairs in place. That was where the judges from the various countries sat. Four countries, each country producing two people. These eight people must make an impartial and fair judgement. For the sake of ensuring fairness, Du Xiao Li even gave an idea.
In the past, in this kind of competition, the judges would discuss amongst themselves and determine the first, second and so on places. After Du Xiao Li learned of this, she gave Han Ming Ze a suggestion, changing it to let each judge give a score. And among the scores they gave out, remove the highest and lowest scores, then calculate the average, using this as the student’s score. This way, they can avoid unfairness caused by liking or disliking a certain student as much as possible.
This was Han Ming Ze’s first time hearing about this kind of idea, feeling it was doable. Thus, he had Imperial Tutor Meng, Old Imperial Tutor Meng, Elder Fu, and such people gathered together, and have everyone collectively discuss this matter, finally feeling to just do according to her idea.
That’s why, right now, on the eight tables, all had ink, brush, and paper placed on top. When needing to make a score, they can just write the score onto the paper.
Aside from this, the audience seats behind the judges have gone through meticulous planning. This place was different from the surroundings. This was built with a lone stand, and even had a temporary cover to block the sun. At a glance, one just knew it was prepared for the imperial family.
The male and female competitions were separate, first the male, then the female. Actually, this competition was mainly prepared for the male students. The female portion were all held as an addition.
The male portion’s competition were respectively poetry verse, song essay, in addition to qin, chess, literature, and painting, each one also divided into preliminary, quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals. Each category ranked the top seven, with the first three all getting rewards, and once all the competitions finished, rank the top three according to the ranks each person obtained. These three people, regardless from which country, in the days after, will all receive their country’s high regard.
Each student must participate in the culture type competitions, then in the qin, chess, literature, and painting categories, pick two as supplement. Each country had twenty-eight male students participating. With four countries, there was a total of one hundred and twelve people. The preliminaries eliminated half, with fifty-six people remaining; the quarterfinals eliminated half, with twenty-eight remaining; the semifinals also eliminated half, with fourteen people remaining. The finals then selected the top seven.
At chen hour (7-9am), the participating students and the spectators all arrived. For the sake of visiting this competition, Han Ming Ze ended morning court early, leading the officials directly to the competition site.
Meng Wei Ren took charge as this competition’s host, and once everyone all arrived, he walked to the center of the competition stage, using his loudest voice, “Welcome everyone for coming to participate in this student competition. For the competition this time to be able to be held in my Feng Ming, we sincerely welcome the other countries’ competitors with our greatest enthusiasm!”
“I am the host for this competition, Meng Wei Ren. The competition’s rules, I believe everyone already knows. I will say them again here, the competition this time………”
“……….Next, for our Emperor to say a few words to everyone.”
Everyone’s gaze all gathered towards the direct center of the viewing stand. Han Ming Ze got up and said a few words, nothing more than just encouraging everyone to properly perform their best and so on. Once he finished, the competition began.
The first round of the competition was very simple. It was some of the simplest questions, all just filling in the blanks of those great poet’s verses, and also some common literary knowledge. The center of the stage also displayed one hundred some tables and chairs. After the competitors sat down, the examiner began issuing the topic to everyone.
Du Xiao Li sat at the edge of the competition ring, with Han Ming Xiang, Fu Ya Lan, Meng Jiang Zhuo, and also Ji Liu Xia sitting at her side. They were softly gossiping about the contestants.
“Look, sister Ya Lan’s gaze on Xiao Li’s older brother hasn’t moved at all.” Ji Liu Xia looked to Fu Ya Lan who had been staring at Du Xiu Heng the whole time, covering her mouth and secretly laughing.
Getting exposed by someone, Fu Ya Lan’s face instantly reddened, shouting, “What nonsense are you saying!”
“How am I saying nonsense? Princess, you also saw, right?” Ji Liu Xia originally sat next to Fu Ya Lan, but fearing that Fu Ya Lan will hit her, she came to sit on the other side, tilting her head and looking to the people on this side.
That gathering that day, Han Ming Xiang didn’t go, but she heard from Ji Liu Xia afterwards what happened that day, learning that Fu Ya Lan and Du Xiu Heng had mutual feelings. She was also happy for them. Seeing Fu Ya Lan blushing, she suddenly was interested and said with a smile, “What’s wrong with her looking at the person she admires? If she doesn’t look at him, would she be looking at you instead?”
“Ha, princess is right, sister Ya Lan, continue staring then, I won’t say anything!” Ji Liu Xia giddily said.
“Still making fun of me. Look, your future husband is also sitting down there!” Fu Ya Lan, seeing Ji Liu Xia and Han Ming Xiang singing in duet, also had Ji Liu Xia pulled into the water.
“Which one is Qu Yi?” Du Xiao Li asked Meng Jiang Zhuo next to her.
“The one behind brother Du.” Meng Jiang Zhuo looked for a moment and saw Qu Yi behind Du Xiu Heng.
No wonder Fu Ya Lan saw Qu Yi, turns out it was just in passing.
Du Xiao Li looked in the direction of Feng Ming students. As expected, not far from Du Xiu Heng, she saw Qu Yi, just seeing him wearing the unified student uniform, tall and thin, a scholarly look. He had his head buried, filling in the answers. Seeing him writing at a tremendous speed, presumably towards those questions, he was very familiar with.
However, this scholarly appearance, can he keep Ji Liu Xia’s unrestrained personality under control?
“Ayaa, hasn’t sister Ya Lan been staring at brother Du the whole time? How come still have time to look at someone else?”
“Make fun of me again and I’ll hit you!”
“Alright, how about we compete then?”
“If you and I compete with musical instruments, then I’ll compete with you.”
“Eh, then never mind.”
Du Xiao Li, Han Ming Xiang, and also Meng Jiang Zhuo, seeing the two of them bicker, all couldn’t help laughing. The usually calm Fu Ya Lan, when encountering this kind of situation, would also become flustered!
“That’s right, Xiao Li, last time, didn’t you say to let Prime Minister Du go propose marriage? How come we never heard news?!” Meng Jiang Zhuo asked.
“Because my father said to let my brother first participate in this competition. If he can obtain a good result, then they’ll have face to go propose marriage.” Du Xiao Li answered.
Ji Liu Xia, hearing Du Xiao Li’s words, said, “Then there isn’t a problem. With brother Du’s achievements, getting a good result in this competition this time, that is also a simple task! Big sister Ya Lan, you can just peacefully wait!”
“Liu Xia, you’ll be reaching marriageable by the beginning of the year right? Your wedding date seemingly is a month after you reach marriageable age. Regardless of what, you will marry before me!” Fu Ya Lan smilingly countered.
Speaking of this, Ji Liu Xia’s mood instantly dropped, looking to Qu Yi, then looking to Ji Liu Feng standing to the side in a white armor, sighing, “Sign, my older brother hasn’t even married, yet I, this younger sister…………”