Chapter 2

Translator: XHu

Editor: Isabelle

Quality Check: Kittsune

First Published on Ainushi. 

 

When I was eighteen, I passed the entrance exams for NT University [1]. As a result, I left my home in Chiayi [2] behind and came to the bustling city of Taipei. It was only after I arrived that I discovered that the cost of living in Taipei was far greater than I had ever imagined, and the monthly allowance from home simply wasn’t enough for me to live in Taipei.

As a result, I started working part-time. To make it more convenient for my job, I moved out of the university dormitory and rented a small apartment not even 10-ping [3] in size. Furthermore, on the recommendation of a senior at my extracurricular club, I accepted a job as a private tutor.

I heard that the child that I was going to teach was the son of the president of a major financial group. He was a junior high school student, and due to the fact that his family was rich, the pay for a private tutor was five times the amount of an ordinary tutor’s salary. I figured that my student was going to be an extremely poorly behaved, bratty, and spoiled little bastard with terrible grades. After all, on television, young masters from wealthy families were all like that.

Carrying the address that my club senior gave me, I found the home of the student I was going to tutor — a luxurious villa located on Mt. Yangming.

After pressing the doorbell, a cold and serious voice carefully interrogated me for my visiting reasons. Then a stony-faced butler who looked around sixty years old opened the door and let me in.

Walking through the main entrance of the Zhao family residence, it was hard not to be dazed. Rich people are seriously extravagant, building a luxurious villa nearly 1000-ping in size in Taipei where the real estate is so expensive. As for me, merely renting a 10-ping small apartment leaves me practically broke.

In a reception room that was so big that it could fit an entire indoor gym inside, I met my student. Unexpectedly, what caught me off guard was that there were two of them.

They were twins, and they looked exactly identical. Moreover, these two children were very handsome, and I felt like even the popular star idols of today couldn’t even compare against them. Their stature was extremely tall, and by visual estimation, more than 180 cm [4], which made me feel flabbergasted. Didn’t my club senior say that they were only fifteen years old? My little brother at home is also fifteen, but he still has a baby face and is not even 160 cm [5] tall. What did they put in the food for these rich kids to make them grow like this?

Pulling myself together, I hurriedly put a smile on my face and walked over to introduce myself.

“Hello, my name is Shi Qing Xia and I’m a first year student at NT University in the Informatics Department. I’m your new tutor.”

The two of them silently examined me and didn’t give any response, letting the friendly hand that I had extended awkwardly float in midair, leaving me unsure on whether I should withdraw my hand or not.

By the time I felt like I was embarrassed to death, the boy who stood on the right suddenly reached out to grip my hand. He smiled and said: “Hello teacher, my name is Zhao Yi Bo. This is my younger brother Zhao Yi Xuan. We are third years [6] at ATN Junior High. Welcome.”

Seeing his friendly manner, I finally relaxed on the inside. It looked like they weren’t too difficult to get along with.

“Why don’t we start class now then?” After giving my simple self-introduction, I hurriedly cut to the main topic, since I was being paid to come work after all. It wasn’t proper to waste time while ‘at work’.

“Okay, let’s go to the study.” The one who responded was still Zhao Yi Bo. He took the lead towards the study room and I hurriedly kept up. Zhao Yi Xuan who hadn’t said a word the entire time also followed soon afterwards.

The study was also frighteningly huge, but what surprised me most was that the quantity of books inside was so large that it was comparable to a library. Just from the covers alone, I could tell that most of the books in the collection were hardcover editions, so the value wasn’t cheap. As you might expect from wealthy people, they were lavish spenders.

We separated and sat in front of a massive desk, and they took out their textbooks. I also took out a test booklet that I had prepared in advance and placed it in front of them.

Looking at the examination sheet in front of them, the Zhao brothers stared blankly and lifted their heads to gaze attentively at me.

Flustered, I hurried to explain.

“I wasn’t planning on having you two do problems during class time while I laze around and do nothing on a regular basis. It’s just that today is my first time teaching you, and even though I’ve prepared a lesson, I don’t know what level you two are at, so…”

Under their long stares, a blush came to my face. Seriously, I wasn’t being lazy, but having them simply do exercises for the first lesson probably gave them the impression that I was just trying to kill time. I hurriedly took out the notebook that I had crammed with lesson notes to show to them, trying to prove my innocence.

Zhao Yi Bo laughed, and even though Zhao Yi Xuan didn’t laugh out loud, the corners of his mouth raised slightly. I figured that they must have found my flustered explanation rather funny, which was mean of them.

Despite this, they obediently took up the examination booklets and started working.

Taking advantage of the time they spent working, I hurriedly gave myself some silent encouragement on the inside. I absolutely could not embarrass myself again and give them something to laugh about, otherwise next time I wouldn’t have the face to come back.

With hardly any effort, they were soon finished. As I carefully marked up their exams, I discovered that their grades were extremely good. They simply didn’t need a tutor to come teach them. However, I did not point this out because I really needed this job. Otherwise, I’d be living in the streets next month.

According to their level, I started to conduct a lesson, and during my lecture I again discovered that they were extremely intelligent. They barely needed any additional explanations to understand the content that I was teaching them. No wonder their grades were so good. My academics were also very good, but that was only because I put a lot of effort into studying. Almost all of my free time went towards studying, which was why I had grades like mine.

Once again, the two of them made me feel like God isn’t fair.

Teaching intelligent students is always a pleasant experience, and two hours went by very quickly. At that point I assigned some homework for them, collected my things, and left the Zhao family residence.

It was like this that I started working as a private tutor.

 

Translation Notes:

  1. NT University — most likely National Taiwan University, the top-ranked university in Taiwan [back]
  2. Chiayi — Chiayi County, a province southwestern Taiwan [back]
  3. 10-ping — Unit of measurement equivalent to 20 tatami mats, or 33 square meters [back]
  4. 180cm — Approximately 5’ 11” [back]
  5. 160cm — Approximately 5’ 3” [back]
  6. Third year in junior high — 9th grade [back]

 

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