At 5:30 in the evening, Sheng Hua video-called Fu Zhi through WeChat.
He seemed to be in a spacious room when his weather-worn face appeared in the video. He seemed rather distraught as he said, “Do you still remember the direct participation right that the Education Bureau wanted to give you? Well, since you rejected it, we gave it to a small member of the association and we’re considering making her the team leader. By the way, will you stay in the competition after you’ve gotten the 500,000 yuan?”
Fu Zhi reckoned that he was in the Physics association office, as there were desks and chairs around him. He got to his feet and stood by the window sill, wondering whether or not he should jump down and end his life.
Fu Zhi drank from her bottle. School had just ended, so her surroundings were noisy.
Then, she lay on her table and replied flatly, “Yeah, I will be participating.”
“That’s good to know. This means I don’t have to jump off to pressure you,” Sheng Hua said, heaving a sigh of relief. Then, he thought of something else and added, “In the past, didn’t you always give guidance to the participants before they went abroad for the competition? Well, I think the effect is not the best, so I’m thinking of conducting an academic exchange meeting in Yu City. Will you be able to coach them as a participant after the final tournament?”
Fu Zhi pressed her lips firmly.
Where there were people, there were problems. She did not want to show herself in public as an instructor, but it was true that China had not become world champion for a long time.
After a short bout of rumination, Fu Zhi nodded and said, “Alright.”
When Gu Yan got all her textbooks organized, she looked at the time. It was about time for her to give Fu Zhi and her team a Physics tutoring session.
Outside the classroom, someone was talking to Su Xing. “Will two cups of bubble tea do? I’ve had stomach cramps for a long time, and my period is late. I don’t want to drink herbs. Can she really cure me?”
Before Su Xing could say anything, Gu Yan frowned and replied in a cold voice, “I’m sorry, but I’m in a hurry to give a tutoring session. I don’t have time to see you, so let’s do it some other time. Now, will you please excuse me?”
The girl who had been talking to Su Xing was stunned. She was holding a cup of bubble tea in her hand. She took a step sideways to make way for Gu Yan.
“I… I’m not looking for you…” she said in a thick, awkward voice. “I’m looking for Fu Zhi.”
Gu Yan suddenly stopped in her tracks. Turning around, she stared at the girl and replied, disbelief accenting her voice, “You’re looking for Fu Zhi? You want her to treat your stomach cramps?!”
The girl nodded. Then, Su Xing took her to meet Fu Zhi.
Gu Yan looked at them, not knowing what she should say when she saw Fu Zhi insert a few silver needles into the girl’s arm.
‘Fu Zhi is a doctor?’
However, since having a late period was not a big deal, Gu Yan was not too worried about it. Then, she saw Fu Zhi wave her hand at the girl, who gave her bubble tea.
The girl replied with an ingratiating smile on her face, “How about I bring you 20 cups of bubble tea tomorrow? Is that okay with you?”
Gu Yan frowned when she saw Fu Zhi accept the offer.
She doubted Fu Zhi was a certified medical practitioner, nor was she someone equipped with vast medical knowledge. After all, if she really was the real deal, she would never accept any flattery or benefits from other people.
Friday was the day Gu Yan would be tutoring Lu Yubai and his teammates in the meeting room of their school.
Fu Zhi had not arrived yet. In fact, Fu Zhi had not attended class even once.
When Zhou Zihuai and Lu Yubai arrived at the meeting room, they heard a commotion from inside.
“What’s wrong?” Lu Yubai took a seat next to Zhou Zihuai and looked at Xu Wenhao and Sun Tian, who were gathered around the podium.
“Great news, Brother Bai!” Xu Wenhao shouted excitedly. “The official website of the Physics association says that they will invite a participant to coach the finalist teams quickly for this world championship. Besides, the association also says that this person is a member of the Physics Association, and the lecture session will be held in Yu City!”
He pulled out the video of Sheng Hua’s interview, which had been uploaded to the official website of the Physics Association. There were thousands of comments under the video, most of which were from current contestants who were also popular figures at school, and all of them were guessing which genius would be giving them the lesson.
The answer was as clear as the sky.
Sun Tian looked in admiration at Gu Yan and said, “You’re so awesome, Gu Yan. It’s such a shame that you withdrew from the competition last year, or we’d be the world champion!”
Lu Yubai and Zhou Zihuai turned their heads and gazed at Gu Yan in unison.
Gu Yan was dumbfounded. There was no doubt that she was qualified for this task, but she had not received any instructions from the association yet.
Being able to give a lecture to all of the participants was the highest recognition given by the Education Bureau.
Lu Yubai licked his lips and thought Gu Yan was that person as well. He said, “Congratulations, Ms. Gu.”
Lu Yubai was Lu Yushen’s cousin, and Gu Yan was very concerned about what the Lu Family thought of her.
“I haven’t received any orders from the association yet.” Even though she had received higher education abroad, she still felt quite honored and excited to receive such recognition from the Education Bureau of China. That said, although all the descriptions—be it that the lecturer was a member of the Physics association or that the lecture would be held in Yu City—were pointing at her, she was still able to remain calm and not let her emotions get the best of her.
Clearing her throat, she said, “Alright, settle down. We shouldn’t count the chickens before they hatch. Let’s wait two more days for the announcement of the association. Let’s proceed with our lesson today. I’m going to fill you guys in on the rules, what to do, and what not to do during the competition.”
Lu Yubai and his group nodded.
Then, Gu Yan looked around and asked with a frown, “Anybody seen Fu Zhi? Why is she absent again?”
“About her…” Lu Yubai chuckled. “She’s busy earning money. You don’t have to worry about her. She can take care of herself, and our team will make the cut anyway.”
‘It’d be best if she did not score full marks this time.’
After all, he was Fu Zhi’s cousin, and it made him look really lame every time Fu Zhi scored better than him.
Gu Yan nodded. She had never seen Fu Zhi’s report card before, but she’d heard that Fu Zhi had gotten full marks in the preliminary round. As for Lu Yubai, she was his ex-deskmate, so she knew how capable he was very well. Therefore, with him and Lu Zihuai on the team, she’d just give them a little push and she was certain that they would make it to the top 30.
Gu Yan and Lu Yubai talked for more than 30 minutes. Lu Yubai was kind of impressed by her ability and thankful for her help. Before they went their separate ways, he said, “My friend has assembled a new racing car. If you’re comfortable with it, why don’t I take you home?”
Lu Yubai loved racing cars, but he was not in the habit of sitting in the same cars with girls.
Gu Yan knew this was the first time Lu Yubai offered a girl to ride in his car. She kept a distance from him and waved her hand. “It’s okay. I have to go buy some medicine for Yushen.”
Lu Yubai shrugged and left in his car.
Zhou Zihuai, Xu Wenhao, and Xun Tian were walking at the back.
Xu Wenhao felt uncomfortable when he thought that Fu Zhi had refused to join the tutorial class. “Don’t you guys think Fu Zhi is being a jerk? I heard she’s the reason Gu Yan agreed to give us tutorial lessons, but Fu Zhi didn’t even show up once…”
“Besides, Gu Yan is the only candidate who has the direct participation right to take part in the international competition,” Sun Tian added. “Fu Zhi is kind of a jerk. Director Liu has already said that the final round is different from the preliminary round. All participants have to go through a selection series, and the most elite amongst us will be tested by the questions set by both the Physics Association and the Education Bureau. I’ve never seen Fu Zhi revise before, let alone come to the tutorial class.”
Those who had made it into the final round would get a direct admission offer from Tsinghua University. That was the reason they worked so hard.
They knew Fu Zhi was smart. However, Fu Zhi had refused to revise with them recently, and they’d heard that she had been playing games and sleeping every day. Therefore, they wondered if she would be able to keep up with them or not. Besides, Gu Yan had been helping them recently, so they felt bad for her.
Zhou Zihuai, who was walking ahead, suddenly stopped in his tracks. Frowning, he turned his head around and said in an impassive voice, “Have you guys forgotten that if it were not for Fu Zhi, you wouldn’t even have gotten a chance to participate in the preliminary round?”