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106 Leaving In A Hurry

 Gu Ninazhi's undergraduate thesis was fine tuned by He Zhichu, and she was highly skilled to boot. Thus the defense was a walk in the park and the defense committee unanimously approved and also declared her to be the best thesis in the graduating class. Gu Nianzhi was not surprised by the results. To her, the defense wasn't the challenge--rather, she had to concentrate her efforts to prepare for He Zhichu's exam. This exam would determine if she would be one of the two students interning at the United States Congress. Gu Nianzhi began to regret not accepting his offer straight away, and now she had no choice but to study for a grueling exam. However once she finished all the readings on American law and the structure of the US Congress assigned by He Zhichu, she understood his intentions and agreed it was beneficial to sit through the exam. At least it would force her to quickly familiarize herself with the basics of the American law system and the constitution of law through the US Congress.

On June 15th, she only had time to gobble down her breakfast. She had came out of her thesis defense in the conference room of the Law Building in the morning, and attended He Zhichu's exam in the afternoon. He Zhichu's exam format was very unique. It was not a typical paper exam, but was a live question and answer session that simulated the US Congress. He would integrate various types of knowledge questions to observe their grasp and coping ability.

He Zhichu was hosting the exam from the States. All the students, with the exception of Gu Nianzhi, were located in B City. Hence this exam was conducted through a online video conference. Gu Nianzhi opened her laptop and connected to the exam address. He Zhichu's handsome face appeared on the monitor. A pair of sultry eyes gazed at her through the screen, and they seemed eeriely capable of reading minds. Gu Nianzhi sighed internally, someone with such eyes should be a judge, rather than a lawyer. With just one glance, even the criminals with the tightest lips would immediately blurt out a confession?

"...Before we begin the exam, I'll take attendance first." He Zhichu's cold voice traveled from the headset and Gu Nianzhi hastily straightened in her seat. When her name was called, she answered crisply, "Here."

He Zhichu was sitting alone in his large office. He clicked on the cursor lightly to enlarge Gu Nianzhi's window, and the other 37 examinees shrunk into little black dots on the monitor...

"Today's exam questions: Number 1, how does the US Congress introduce bills? --Enter your answer in the window, no need to speak. You have one minute."

The short time limit ensured the students couldn't look up the information. Gu Nianzhi easily answered all the knowledge questions and proceeded to the debate portion. This also wasn't difficult for her, as she was articulate to begin with and excelled at the ripping at deficiencies in other people's arguments. She was unperturbed, even in face of doctorate students several years her senior. She attacked from all angles and sparkled with wit. Although her arguments left no room for rebuttal and were laced with sharp remarks, she spoke at an even pace and her voice was sweet. Even her opponents couldn't resent her. Before they knew it, she was able to control the rhythm of the debate.

He Zhichu's smile grew as the joy bloomed from his heart and melted into his shimmering eyes. Three hours quickly passed, and the arduous exam was finally over. The examinees all collapsed in their seats, exhausted.

He Zhichu cooly remarked, "So exhausted by just that? Once the Congress is in session, it normally takes seven to eight days of this level of work to pass a bill."

Everyone immediately straightened, afraid to relax. After the exam, it was time to await for results.

All the examinees already knew that one of the two positions would be given to Gu Nianzhi, the post-grade student. Her performance was brilliant and the doctorate students accepted their defeat. As to who the other student would pass, that wasn't Gu Nianzhi's concern.

The truth was, He Zhichu had texted Gu Nianzhi within 10 minutes after the exam, "Congratulations, get ready to go to the States."

Gu Ninazhi almost jumped out of her seat in joy. She didn't even remember to disable the webcam before pumping her fists and screaming as she ran around the dorm. Because she was having a video conference exam, her roommates had all went out to give her privacy and hadn't returned yet. Gu Nianzhi was the only one there, and she totally lost all composure.

He Zhichu watched her happiness from the other side of the world, his hands propping up his chin as he rested his elbows on the desk. He smiled faintly.

He closed all the windows of all the students, save for Gu Nianzhi and when she finally calmed down, he languidly said, "Nianzhi, your... webcam's still on."

Gu Nianzhi's jawdropped when she heard He Zhichu's voice from the laptop speakers. She shuffled to the desk to see his handsome face in the monitor, his eyes full of amusement. She closed her eyes and reached out to close the laptop with a bang.

Soon after, her ringtone sounded. Gu Nianzhi looked over and saw it was an overseas number.

She unlocked her phone, "Hi?"

"Nianzhi, why did the connection fail just now?" It was He Zhichu's cool voice.

Gu Nianzhi, "..." He was doing this on purpose?!

"Why aren't you saying anything?" He Zhichu asked, "Did you get a visa? When can you come here?"

Gu Nianzhi sighed in relief, she had been so embarrassed earlier. Thankfully He Zhichu was tactful and knew when to stop teasing her.

"My passport is renewed and I can only apply for the visa once I get proof from you." Gu Nnianzhi answered honestly, "If it's just a travel visa, I won't be able to intern at the Congress."

He Zhichu nodded, "You don't have to worry, I'll be sending the documents for your visa right away. Apply for a F1 student visa and when you come, I'll apply for OPT for you. Then you'll be able to intern."

"Thank you, Professor He." Gu Nianzhi answered cordially, before hanging up the phone.

Today, aside from a minor mishap in front of He Zhichu, was very satisfying for Gu Nianzhi. The debate was over and she had passed He Zhichu's test, so theoretically she was already his student. To her, her undergrad life had finally come to a close today. The passport was ready, next was to go to the US Embassy to schedule a visa application. He Zhichu's documents quickly arrived and by the weekend, Gu Nianzhi had received her American F1 student visa. He Zhichu kept asking for updates. As soon as he knew she had the visa, he asked Wen Shouyi to book tickets for her and another doctorate student. They would fly out June 20th for the States. Because they had a F1 student visa and He Zhichu was the recommending professor, they had to earn a certain number of credits to satisfy the visa requirements.

Yin Shixiong didn't think it would happen so quickly. After he notified Huo Shaoheng, he packed his luggage to go to the States with Gu Nianzhi.


At the C City International Airport, Mei Xiawen held Gu Nianzhi's hand longingly, "You'll come back, right?"

"Of course. I'm just going for six months. I'll be going to B University next spring." Gu Nianzhi smiled as she consoled him, "Don't overthink it. It's so easy to talk nowadays, remember to keep in touch."

Mei Xiawen nodded and walked Gu Nianzhi to security. Yin Shixiong didn't stop him and followed from an even distance to conceal his identity. Mei Xiawen only left unwillingly when he saw Gu Nianzhi's back disappear past security.

However as soon as he left he terminal, he saw the person who had haunted his dreams walk out slowly towards him from the exit, luggage in tow. Mei Xiawen froze. He didn't recover his senses until after a long pause. The woman pushing the luggage stopped in front of him and exclaimed in surprise, "Xiawen? Why are you here?! I'm so glad to see you right after landing!"

It was his first love, Jiang Hongcha.