It was not that the association could not afford to lose. It was just that the situation had not been in their favor in the past two years.
Nearly no one had ever brought home a trophy from an international competition. People had started to scoff at the young people for their incompetence, and no matter how much effort they had put in, no one appreciated it. This had put a lot of pressure on the participants, who felt suffocated.
Considering Gu Yan’s ability, she was undoubtedly a very good candidate. However, she lacked sincerity and was narrow-minded.
Sheng Hua did not know what he should say.
The world had changed. The stereotypical dogmatic etiquette of the past had been abolished, and he could not see any of the good virtues that had been passed down by their ancestors, such as loyalty, filial piety, and benevolence, in Gu Yan.
Perhaps he saw the expression on Sheng Hua’s face, as the vice-president patted his shoulder and moved on. “The competition will be held this Saturday, and I heard that Jiang Zong has come to Yu City as well. It’s good that he wants to participate in the competition, but unfortunately, he’s too volatile. Otherwise, he would make a good captain.”
Sheng Hua’s brows were tightly drawn. He did not say anything as he continued to browse through Gu Yan’s Weibo.
Then, he saw a post written by one of Gu Yan’s followers throwing shade at Fu Zhi. That said, this was not what infuriated him the most. The thing that ticked him off was that Gu Yan had liked the post.
There were also several comments praising Gu Yan underneath the post that Sheng Hua suspected had been made by commercial accounts.
[Gu Yan is the only participant in the history of the Chinese Physics Association to be directly guaranteed entry to an international competition! According to reliable sources, she will be the first female participant in the last decade to take up the position of team captain and lead the team to the competition…]
Due to the provocation of the participants from Country R, Gu Yan had once again received a lot of attention throughout the country, and every post that mentioned her had more than millions of comments.
Fu Zhi did not want to become the center of focus, so the association had decided to make Gu Yan the captain.
Gu Yan was smart, so she had possibly noticed this as well.
Sheng Hua did not care if Gu Yan rode on Fu Zhi’s popularity to get famous. If Fu Zhi was someone who sought reputation and fame, she would have done it 10 years ago, and her achievements by now would be at a level that Gu Yan would not be able to catch up to no matter how hard she tried.
However, the thing was that not only had Gu Yan taken away the slot that was supposed to be given to Fu Zhi, but she’d also insinuated that Fu Zhi was not as good as her, which made Sheng Hua feel really disappointed in her.
After some serious contemplation, he called the human resources department and barked out his order in a grave voice. “I’m calling regarding the team leader for the upcoming competition. I want you guys to remove Gu Yan and replace her with Fu Zhi.”
The vice-president was stunned. “The match with Country R is around the corner. Gu Yan is pretty capable and has some connections to the team of Country M, so maybe she can help us get some first-hand information. If we remove her now, it might…”
Sheng Hua shot daggers at him and asked, “Are you telling me what I should do?”
Gu Yan was unable to help them win the match, and Sheng Hua knew it very well. If Gu Yan behaved herself, he would not mind if she relied on Fu Zhi to get a bright future.
Unfortunately, she was not.
This time, Sheng Hua was not going to let anyone share Fu Zhi’s glory.
The vice-president knew there was nothing he could do now to change Sheng Hua’s decision. Keeping his head low, he said, “Then let’s announce the changes after the competition this Saturday. It will be much better.”
On Saturday, the final round of the national Physics competition began.
Unlike the preliminary or qualifying round, the venue of the final round had been decided by Yu City’s Education Bureau, and the entire process would be thoroughly monitored by a set of highly-advanced monitoring systems.
The first two rounds of the tournament had been brutal. Many of the teams had been eliminated, and only two teams from Yu City had managed to make it into the top 30.
After Xu Wei took Fu Zhi to the examination hall, she went to a bubble tea shop and waited for her.
Fu Zhi entered the examination hall ahead of time.
Lu Yubai and Zhou Zihuai were a little late, and before they could enter, they were stopped in their tracks by someone.
Frowning, Lu Yubai looked at the arrogant Sun Tian and sneered, “Is there anything we can help you with?”
“Gu Yan would like to have a word with you two in the classroom over there.” Sun Tian had gotten very close to Gu Yan recently. One reason was because he admired Gu Yan for being valued by Sheng Hua, and the other was that Gu Yan was a member of the Physics Association and had a lot of up-to-date information about the final round on hand.
Lu Yubai chuckled. “What is the thing that she wants to talk to us about?”
“Well, I’m not sure about that either. It would be better if you two went over there and asked her yourselves,” Sun Tian replied. It seemed to them that he would not go away unless they followed him to meet Gu Yan.
Lu Yubai had a bad impression of Gu Yan, especially since she had played a part in the series of events that had happened recently. Since he disliked Gu Yan, it went without saying that he would not be startled by Sun Tian. “I’m busy.”
Sun Tian had expected this, so he added, “Gu Yan said that this matter is related to Fu Zhi.”
Lu Yubai stopped in his tracks once again after he heard what Sun Tian had said. Since they still had some time before the competition started, Zhou Zihuai tugged at Lu Yubai, looked at Sun Tian, and asked, “Alright, which classroom is it?”
Sun Tian told them the location of the classroom where they could meet Gu Yan.
Holding a pencil in his hand, Lu Yubai followed Zhou Zihuai. “Let me get things straight. I don’t have anything to say to her.”
Zhou Zihuai chuckled. “So are you going to wait for me outside?”
“Nah, let’s go in since we’re here. Besides, I’m intrigued by what she wants to tell us as well,” Lu Yubai replied as he pushed the door open.
The classroom was not large, and Gu Yan was sitting at the podium. When she saw them, she offered them a toothy grin and pointed at the seat in front of her. “There’s still an hour left before the competition, so let’s sit and talk.”
Lu Yubai waved his hand and got to the point. “There’s nothing for us to say. Just get straight to the point. Stop beating around the bush.”
Gu Yan shrugged indifferently. Playing with her phone, she hurled a stack of documents on the table and said, “I think we had a misunderstanding before because of Fu Zhi, and because of the misunderstanding between you two and me, the students of Class 21 were also dissatisfied with me.”
Gu Yan could feel that before she had gone to Class 21, the students there had had high regard for her. However, after the incident on Weibo, even though they had not mentioned it outright, she could feel that Song Fang and his friends were fed up with her.
Even though she looked down on them, that did not mean that she would not be angry at them for treating her so badly.
Lu Yubai said, “So… You think that there’s nothing wrong with what you’re doing per se?”
“I already told you I can’t control what my fans want to say! Alright, I don’t want to talk about that,” Gu Yan said. Then, she pushed the documents on the table and added, “The question papers in this document are very similar to the question papers set by the Physics association for this competition. I haven’t shown them to Sun Tian or Xu Wenhao yet. I know both of you want to win, especially you, Zhou Zihuai. Your family is pretty poor if my memory serves me right.”
Both Lu Yubai and Zhou Zihuai knew where Gu Yan was heading to. “I have confidence in your memory. As long as you guys memorize the question papers, you will get good results in this competition. However, in exchange, I hope you two can persuade Fu Zhi to change class.”
As if he had heard the most hilarious joke in the world, Lu Yubai laughed and said, “You want Fu Zhi to change class? Why don’t you change yourself? Besides, do you know that it’s an offense to expose the question paper before the competition starts? I haven’t seen you for a year, and you’re getting more and more daring!”
“Why must I be the one to change class? Besides, do you think Ma Mingquan would let me go?” Gu Yan could not bring herself to change class, as she deemed it to be embarrassing. “I was guaranteed to participate in the international competition, and there is a good chance that I will be the team leader. I will be the one to push my weight around, so if we want it to be fair to the other participants, all I need to do is inform the people in charge and remove you two from my team.”
If she did not choose them as her teammates, it would mean that she was removing them from the national team.