On the other side of the capital, in the Chu Residence…
Chu Hao had sent two messages to Fu Zhi, but before Fu Zhi could read his messages, they were pushed to the bottom by other messages.
He did not dare call Fu Zhi, but he was certain that Gu Yan was an imposter.
Chu Hao wanted nothing to do with Gu Yan. He planned to kick her out, but Chu He had stopped him. He had taken Gu Yan under his wing, even though Chu Hao was against it. He helped her settle down in a room in his courtyard. “You don’t have to care about Chu Hao. He has always been very strict and does not have many pupils under his belt. I like the dosage and techniques you use to create incense. I’m sure you have a promising future.”
This was the first time Gu Yan heard a good comment about her ever since she had fallen down, not to mention that the comment came from the elder of the Chu Family. She nodded excitedly and kept talking to Chu He as she followed him. “By the way, what’s the name of the herb that’s given as a prize for the first place in this examination? What’s it used for?”
“Oh, are you talking about the Lacroix Grass? Yeah, it’s a kind of ancient herb comparable to the Valley Orchid. However, it has lesser medical properties compared to the Valley Orchid, and its main effect is to act as a sedative. It has been written in ancient books that it can be made into the Minor Exchange Pill and can be used for conditions such as autism.”
Gu Yan’s expression changed, and her mind went blank.
She had run here with Lu Yumo’s invitation, but she hadn’t looked into what exactly the invitation in Lu Yumo’s hand was used for!
However, she knew right now. There was only one person in the Lu Family who was equipped with medical knowledge and skills and had the qualification to participate in the Chu Family’s entrance examination.
“So Fu Zhi is planning to get this herb to treat Lu Yushen…”
She was talking under her breath, but Chu He heard her.
“Hold on a second! Are you talking about Fu Zhi?!”
Gu Yan was stunned. Then, she asked carefully, “You… Do you know her?”
Chu He sneered coldly, “Do I know her? Of course I know her. She’s my enemy!”
Chu He started fuming with rage upon thinking that he still needed Fu Zhi’s pill to extend his life. “Since she needs this prize so badly, you’ll have to work harder to defeat her in the examination. Don’t let her get what she wants!”
“But, master, I’m not so sure about anything other than incense, especially about the treatment of highly burned vocal cords. Besides, I don’t have any good herbs on hand, but Fu Zhi has the Valley Orchid…”
Gu Yan was worried. She was worried that if she could not help Chu He get back at Fu Zhi, he might kick her out of the Chu Family, and she would be doomed then.
“I heard that Chu Hao has specially prepared the Thousand Spirit Grass for a student. It’s a kind of herb that’s very effective when it comes to treating damaged vocal cords, but we only have one in our hands, and if something goes wrong during the process of making the medicine, the herb will be destroyed. Besides, I’m sure you also know how important it is for a druggist to have a good-quality herb to work with…”
As the old saying went, every extra penny was worth its value. If one did not even have a high-grade medicinal material and still wanted to make high-grade medication, wouldn’t that be a fool’s dream?
Thus, Chu He looked at Gu Yan and said, “I see that my senior brother treated you well just now, so is the Thousand Spirit Grass that has been kept in the treasure room for you?”
Gu Yan gulped. She wanted to fight Fu Zhi fair and square, but at the same time, she wanted the Lu Family to loathe Fu Zhi.
The pleasure of revenge blossomed in her heart. She thought no one knew she was the imposter, so she nodded. “I was invited by Master Chu Hao. Although I’m not sure if he’s going to oversee the examination or not, I’m certain that the herb is for me. Can you help me get it out?”
After she came back from the Ouyang Family, Fu Zhi collected a full bucket of Valley Orchids from her garden and gave them to Li Nanli. Then, she began preparing for the Chu Family’s entrance examination. She watered and fertilized the Senzhi Herb every day, and she hoped that it would bloom quickly.
It was worth mentioning that the person who had come to give Fu Zhi the Valley Orchid was still Lu Yumo, who had skipped class.
There were oversized sunglasses on top of his nose, and he was wearing a flowery shirt with a pair of straw shoes on his feet. His hair was tied into two ponytails with a cherry hairpin. The reason he had put on this kind of attire was that he was afraid of getting robbed.
Fu Zhi was speechless. She did not know what to say, so she just took her plants and tried her best to get as far away as she could from Lu Yumo, for she feared that she might get infected by his idiocy if she stayed too close to him.
However, that did not prevent Lu Yumo from following her here and there. It had been a long time since he had last seen Fu Zhi. He had missed her a lot, so he just wanted to spend every single minute with her right now. “You have about a million fans on the internet, and do you know that someone is talking about what a great couple you and President Fu would be on Weibo?”
Lu Yumo then showed the topic to Fu Zhi.
This was a topic that had received a lot of attention on another website before it had been moved to Weibo.
The owner of the topic idolized both Fu Zhi and President Fu a lot. In his opinion, one of them was an influential figure in China’s economy who stayed in an 888-story, luxury high-rise, while the other was a poor young girl who would not give up living despite growing up without a father or a mother…
Nobody was able to resist the love story between a high-handed president and an adorable, optimistic girl.
Yes, some people were fond of this kind of setting, and some fans even began to write a few fanfics about them.
Fu Zhi was stunned when she saw all this.
‘Me? I’m my own wife? What am I? An amoeba?’
Of course, it went without saying that there was also a bunch of netizens who were against something like this. After all, one of them was the president of the Fu Corporation, which was worth a few million, while the other was just a young girl of unknown origin. They thought that Fu Zhi was just taking advantage of the popularity of President Fu to get everything in her own way.
Lu Yumo then comforted her. “You don’t have to read the comments. They are not important. Our mom has unfollowed President Fu’s Weibo, and she hates him now because he’s the one who caused you to get scolded by the netizens. Besides, she will also go read the poisonous articles about President Fu with dad when she’s free. I saw her like a few posts the other day.”
Fu Zhi was even more stunned.
‘It’s okay if you don’t want to follow me on Weibo, but how can you become my hater?’
Fu Zhi then asked, “Hasn’t she always said that President Fu is her idol? How can she change her mind so fast? Does she not have a bottom line?”
Lu Yumo replied, “You’re her bottom line!”
After a short pause, he patted Fu Zhi’s shoulder and added, “Don’t worry, Zhizhi. If President Fu’s fans scold you, I will help you get back at him by scolding him like the articles that badmouth him!”
Fu Zhi did not know what to say. After all, it did not matter anymore.
After saying that, Lu Yumo put his phone away. When he saw the ugly pot of bristlegrass-like plant in Fu Zhi’s hand, he frowned and asked, “What the hell is this thing?”
“It’s the Senzhi Herb. A kind of exotic herb. It flourishes in extreme conditions such as lava areas. Long story short, it can effectively treat damaged vocal cords. Well, that’s all you should know. After all, you wouldn’t understand even if I told you everything.”
Lu Yumo was speechless.
‘How could I not know this?’
The Senzhi Herb. He had seen it on the television when he was a kid. It was an extremely rare and precious herb, as there were only ten or so of them left around the globe. He remembered that one of them had been auctioned off abroad for hundreds of millions of dollars.
Anyway, he knew how precious this herb was compared to other herbs just by looking at its price. However, the problem was that, according to his memory, the Senzhi Herb was nothing like the bristlegrass-like grass in Fu Zhi’s hand, not to mention that it smelled like a rotten egg…
As if she could read his mind, Fu Zhi said, “A pair of good-looking parents may not be able to give birth to good-looking children. You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Although this plant doesn’t look like it, it has a pure soul!”
Lu Yumo was left speechless again.
‘It’s just a plant. How the hell do you know if it has a pure soul or not?’
While Fu Zhi was raising the Senzhi Herb, Chu He taught Gu Yan a lot of theoretical knowledge. There was no unusually outstanding student in this batch, and Chu Hao was disappointed. That was why he did not want to oversee the examination anymore.
Although Chu He did not expect Gu Yan to make the most of the Thousand Spirit Grass, he was certain that her medicine would be better than other people’s considering the rarity of her ingredient.
Chu He could not wait to see Fu Zhi’s remorseful expression.
If Fu Zhi really showed up, he swore to God that he would force her to give him the antidote, and he would show her who was the boss here.
The Chu Family was considered an elite family in the capital. As such, they had invited some reporters to write a report about this examination, which was only held once a few years.
At that moment, at the site of the last round of the examination…
Every disciple of the Chu Family and the teachers were there. All of them were sitting around, talking to each other.
“Look! That’s Master Chu He’s disciple!” Somebody shouted, prompting everyone to zero in on Gu Yan, who had just gotten out of Chu He’s car.
Gu Yan had dressed up today, but she did not take her mask off.
She looked confident, even though so many people were watching her.
When someone saw the Thousand Spirit Grass in her hands, they gasped.
The Thousand Spirit Grass was very thick and leafy, and there was a small pink flower on top of it. It was small and exquisite, and it had a strong fragrance.
“Is this the Chu Family’s treasured Thousand Spirit Grass?”
“It really deserves being known as the magic medicine. Just smelling it makes me feel so fresh.”
“She’s so lucky that she became the disciple of Master Chu He. Everyone knows how important high-grade herbs are to people like us. There is nothing for us to see during this examination anymore. Even if she makes the medicine with her eyes closed, she’s going to get first place.”
“But I remember someone saying that Master Chu Hao is going to use this herb to cure our senior uncle’s damaged vocal cords. We have only one such herb in our treasure room. Is it okay for her to take the herb? Does Master Chu Hao know about it?”
Everyone was looking at Gu Yan with a variety of looks on their faces.
Gu Yan once again felt satisfied, but she didn’t notice that a disciple quietly slipped away from the venue. She bowed graciously and said, “I will definitely make good medicine and try to cure senior brother’s illness. I hope everyone will give me more guidance if I don’t do well.”
Initially, the crowd was a bit jealous, for they were not happy that she, a junior, had such an opportunity. However, when they saw how modest she was, they lightened up and cheered her on.
“Compared to Gu Yan, who originally entered the competition, I heard that we have a guaranteed participant in this examination,” some informed disciples muttered. “I remember that her name is Fu Zhi, and I heard from other disciples of Master Chu He that she got Master Chu He’s letter of recommendation through a dishonest method. She doesn’t know anything about medicine, yet she still wants to join the Chu Family?”
These words immediately drew a mocking crowd over.
“Through a dishonest method? How are you going to save a life if you can’t stay down to earth?”
“There are so many reporters present today, so if she can’t even make the medicine, she’s going to make the headlines!”
Everyone was looking down on Fu Zhi.
Upon seeing this, Chu He nodded in satisfaction and sat down on the playing field.
“Hey, hey, hey, Fu Zhi is here!” Suddenly, a disciple shouted as he ran in, causing the others to immediately turn their heads in unison and look in the direction of the door.
The girl had a delicate face and a pair of pretty eyes. Her skin was fair, and she looked just like a goddess beside Lu Yumo.
However, everyone’s gazes were soon attracted to the pot in her hand, and they were all confused.
“What the hell is that in her hand? It looks really ugly and it smells very bad. Is she going to use that thing to make medicine for our senior uncle? Is she crazy?”
A person’s first impression was the most important.
They already did not have a good impression of Fu Zhi, and they despised her even more when they saw the pot with the ugly herb in her hand.
Upon seeing her, Gu Yan approached Fu Zhi, pitched her voice low, and said, “I know you want to get the herb for Lu Yushen, but I suggest you drop the thought because I’m going to win this time!”
There were only three people in the final round.
Fu Zhi felt that Gu Yan’s confidence stemmed from the pot of grass in her hand.
Gu Yan hated Fu Zhi, but at the same time, she was very happy that she was one step ahead of Fu Zhi and had already joined the Chu Family, while Fu Zhi was still in the same place.
She wanted to use her medical skills today to completely crush Fu Zhi’s pride—
Before Gu Yan could finish her thought, she felt a strong force come from her right side, and before she knew it, she was flung to the floor with a loud thud.
“Oopsie, so sorry about that. I must have had too much rice recently, so I got a little bit stronger.” Lu Yumo rubbed his wrist and looked at Gu Yan with a smile. “But don’t be angry. I was just chasing a fly away! It keeps buzzing around me and it’s making my brain hurt!”
After a pause, he added, “My sister is going to win this competition!”
Gu Yan froze for a moment. Then, she let out a laugh and looked at Lu Yumo contemptuously. “I think you must be out of your mind. Do you know what the Thousand Spirit Grass is? In all the recorded books, there are only two types of herbs that are better than the Thousand Spirit Grass when it comes to healing damaged vocal cords.”
Fu Zhi chimed in, “So why are you so happy? You haven’t gotten first place yet.”
Gu Yan did not know what to say, as she was stumped. It was very tough to cultivate the Thousand Spirit Grass, and everyone knew that the Senzhi Herb was going extinct, so how was there any chance Fu Zhi would get her hands on the Senzhi Herb?
Gu Yan then said, “I don’t have the Senzhi Herb, but how about you? Don’t tell me that this thing in your hand is the Senzhi Herb?”
Fu Zhi subconsciously touched her Senzhi Herb. When she came back to her senses, she wiped off the dirt and oil on Lu Yumo’s sleeve.
Then, with a straight face, she nodded and said, “Yes, this is the Senzhi Herb.”
No one had expected this answer, and Gu Yan froze. She felt like there was something wrong with her mind.
The rest of the people also looked at the pot in Fu Zhi’s hand.
Then, someone laughed, and everyone else began to laugh as well.
“This plant looks really ugly, so there’s no way it could be the Senzhi Herb.”
“Do you really think we have not seen the Senzhi Herb in a textbook?”
Fu Zhi was stunned. She did not understand why they all insisted that the plant in her hand was not the Senzhi Herb.
Well, she was at fault as well. If she had watched the plant closely, it would not have grown into such an unsightly plant.
Fu Zhi lowered her head and sighed, but everyone thought she was afraid of being exposed.
Gu Yan got up from the ground. “Ms. Fu, you have always been arrogant, but I didn’t expect you to be such a good liar as well. You disgust me!”
Lu Yumo interrupted her. “Why are you so sure that this is not the Senzhi Herb? Besides, what are you feeling so proud of? Did you get your herb by yourself? My sister relies on herself for everything, and I suggest you behave and watch your mouth, or you might ruin your reputation again today.”
Gu Yan couldn’t say anything to him, so she only said in the end, “Suit yourself. I want to see how proud you will be after the examination is over!”