At the same time, Bai Yao chimed in, “Are you certain you’re not exaggerating things? Fu Zhi’s performance is not stable. Besides, only one team from No.1 High School managed to make it to the preliminary round, and the team leader is Wanwan.”
After Bai Yao finished speaking, besides Madam Xu, everyone else was stunned too.
“Her performance is not stable? That just doesn’t make sense. If that’s true, then how could she have been chosen as one of the participants?”
“Yeah, right. Could Lu Chuwan’s grades be better than Fu Zhi’s grades? Is that why the school authorities decided to bench her?”
“If my memory serves me right, Fu Zhi came from the countryside, right? It’s normal for her performance to be unstable. I think the school authorities must have considered various aspects before making such a decision.”
“Well, the good of our province must come first. Fu Zhi’s grades are decent, I’ll give her that, but Lu Chuwan isn’t bad either. Otherwise, there’s no way Madam Lu would think so highly of her!”
Madam Xu’s expression grew darker as she listened to the discussion around her. She smacked the table hard and snarled, “Who allowed these changes to happen?”
Hearing the question, Bai Yao lifted her head proudly and replied, “Shen Hui, the director-general of the Education Bureau. He knew Wanwan was a better candidate, so he agreed to change the team leader.”
Fu Zhi chuckled when she heard Bai Yao’s answer. Lifting her brow, she looked at Bai Yao and said, “Are you sure that he’s changed the team leader?”
Even though Fu Zhi was just asking for confirmation, the way she looked at Bai Yao with her brow lifted and her apathetic tone gave Bai Yao a hunch that she was challenging her.
She had always known that Fu Zhi was different from other students. Not only did she have a flawless appearance, but she was very smart as well. Be that as it may, she still believed that her daughter was the best. Therefore, she straightened her back and replied, “What do you mean by that? Are you saying that I’m telling lies? You’re the one who knows your own abilities the best. Wanwan is better than you in every aspect, so that makes her the most suitable candidate to lead the team. Director-General Shen saw through her potential, which is why he decided to change the leader!”
Then, she took a deep breath before adding, “Anyway, what is done cannot be undone. I don’t want to waste my time arguing with you anymore, and you should stop acting unreasonably here. Leave Wanwan alone so that she can learn more from Madam Xu and bring glory to our province!”
Madam Xu felt disappointed. She opened her mouth, but before she could say anything, a strong male voice echoed from the back, prompting everyone to turn their heads in unison toward the source of the sound.
“Who told you that I saw the potential in Lu Chuwan?”
The newcomer was none other than Shen Hui, who had just finished his work at the office. His countenance was ashen, and he added, “Fu Zhi is the hope of our province! Her grades are absolutely top-notch, and if you want me to say it, she’s on a whole different level compared to Lu Chuwan. She’s the perfect team leader, so there’s no way I would replace her!”
Of course he would not replace her, or to be more precise, he would never have done it.
First, Li Nanli had given him a warning. Then, he had been given a good beating while walking home in the middle of the night. All his suggested projects had been rejected, and no one had been willing to offer him any support while he’d been seeking help. It was only then that he’d realized many people were supporting Fu Zhi from behind the scenes, not to mention that all those people were both rich and powerful. Therefore, unless he wanted to die, there was no way he would change the team leader and give the position to Lu Chuwan.
“Director-General Shen!” Bai Yao’s expression changed. Gone was the prideful and arrogant woman she had been. Her voice was trembling slightly, and her eyes were filled with disbelief. “But that’s not what you promised us the other day!”
“What did I promise you? I just said that Fu Zhi is a budding youngster, and you guys should focus more on her. How can you blame me if you misunderstood my words?” Shen Hui could only do his best to deny everything Bai Yao said. “I have full faith in Fu Zhi. As for the other students… you guys couldn’t make it past the qualifying round, so what makes you all think that you can judge her? In my opinion, it would be better if you put your extra time and energy to good use and worked harder so that you can perform better next year.”
Shen Hui’s words were a huge slap in the face for Lu Chuwan and Bai Yao. On the other side, Madam Lu wanted to say something, but no words came out of her lips.
A commotion began to break out amongst the crowd.
“So that means that Lu Chuwan’s been lying to us?”
“As a good student, how can you lie like this? I’m really disappointed in you!”
“Can’t you see that Fu Zhi’s just standing there and looking at them as if she’s watching a show? They are just like a bunch of clowns in front of her…”
Everyone chose to believe Shen Hui. After all, he was the director-general of the Education Bureau. Therefore, the only people who were telling lies right now were Bai Yao and her family.
Just as Bai Yao was about to say something, Madam Lu went forward and stopped her, as she knew that it would not do them any good if they displeased Shen Hui right now. She then said, “It’s a misunderstanding…”
Shen Hui harrumphed, then turned to Fu Zhi and said, “Don’t feel too stressed. Just treat the competition as a normal examination. I wholeheartedly believe that you’re going to do very well!”
The anger in Lu Chuwan’s heart grew even more intense when she saw Fu Zhi nod at Shen Hui indifferently. Her fists were clenched so tightly that her knuckles were turning white. Just as she was about to lose control of her anger, she remembered the painting…