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374 Winner of Life

 Gui Suyao turned around to see Gu Nianzhi watching her. She nodded with a bashful smile and got up to say to Gu Nianzhi, "What do you want to drink? I'll go pour it for you."

"Thank you Sister Gui, I'll have coffee please." Gu Nianzhi also stood up, "Let me help you."

He Zhichu frowned, "Nianzhi, why are you drinking coffee in the middle of the night? Ther'es milk in the fridge, heat it up in the microwave."

The corners of Gu Nianzhi's mouth twitched as she grumbled, "I'm not a kid, it's like I don't even have a right to drink coffee."

Gui Suyao shot her a look and whispered, "You dare talk back to Professor He?!"

"How am I talking back to him?" Gu Nianzhi wanted to sew her own mouth shut so she'd be a silent as a statue in front He Zhichu from now on. The more she spoke the more trouble got into.

Gui Suyao took her by the arm to He Zhichu's kitchen and opened the fridge with familiarity. First she took out a bottle of milk, creamer and tea. Gu Nianzhi took the milk and heated it in the microwave for two minutes then poured it into a glass to sip from and warm her hands. She watched at Gui Suyao dexterously take a beautiful violet glazed ceramic jar from the pantry and pour out a small amount of coffee grounds to put into the coffee machine. Soon after, the fragrance of coffee wafted from the kitchen.

Gu Nianzhi inhaled the coffee scent as she drank milk and asked Gui Suyao, "Does Sister Gui make the coffee every time?"

"This is the second time." Gui Suyao busied herself at the kitchen counter, "Brother Huang taught me how to make it the last time I was here."

Gu Nianzhi laughed, "Brother Huang knows how to make this kind of coffee? I remembered that he only loved instant coffee."

Gui Suyao chuckled and set five cups of coffee on the tray, "Last time he made instant coffee and Professor He didn't even touch it."

Gu Nianzhi pouted as she chasitised He Zhichi for being so picky, but she certainly dared not to voice it out loud. She followed Gui Suyao out of the kitchen and returned to the living room.

"Sister Gui's coffee is really something." Brother Duan praised generously, "What an amazing woman!"

"Yes, there are plenty of women who know how to cook, but far too few know how to make coffee properly." Even the reticent Brother Wei chimed in humbly. Gu Nianzhi cradled her glass of milk and appeared slightly unimpressed.

Brother Huang disagreed and picked up his cup with a frown, "These beans were ground at a coffee shop? I don't taste a difference from instant coffee! It's so annoying to make too.." He took a sip and licked his lips before growing silent. Fresh ground coffee is incomparable to instant coffee, anyone who has tried both can attest to it. Brother Huang quickly downed his cup and looked at Gui Suyao slyly, "Sister Gui, can you make me another cup? I'll get you two book lists."

Gui Suyao agreed with a smile, but from the corner of her eye she saw He Zhichu take a sip and put it aside. It was impossible to tell if she was happy or disappointed before she returned to the kitchen to make more coffee.

Gu Nianzhi finally sat down and propped her head against her hand as she watched her glass of milk, "Will Sister Gui always be the one making coffee?"

"...Not every time. It's only been twice..." Brother Huang grumbled.

He Zhichu nodded, "Nianzhi is right, we can't have Little Gui make it all the time. You guys can make a schedule and have everyone do it once. We don't have many meetings and with just monthly meetings, four people can rotate over the four months."

Gu Nianzhi pointed at herself, "What about me? Professor He doesn't want me to make coffee?"

"You're not drinking it, why would you need to make it?" He Zhichu's expression grew cold, "You're still young, you can watch the older students make coffee." It was like he was scolding a child.

Gu Nianzhi was speechless. The downside of skipping grades was that being a younger age meant less respect from others. Even if she was smarter and more capable than other people, her age alone would categorize her as a child.

Gui Suyao came over with another cup of coffee ro Brother Huang and set it on the table.

He Zhichu had already discussed the outline for their theses. "You can go now." He Zhichu nodded to the two male students, "Just send the finished copies to my email."

"Ok, Professor He." They got up to say goodbye.

Brother Duan walked a few steps then turned around to smile at Gu Nianzhi, "Little Sister, I'm totally serious here. Tell me the truth, do you have a boyfriend?"

"What if I do and what if I don't?" Gu Nianzhi smiled slyly, "I've just met Brother Duan for the first time today, isn't it too soon to be talking about this kind of thing?"

"That's not how I see it." Brother Duan was growing more charmed by Gu Nianzhi, "As long as you don't have a boyfriend, I have a right to pursue you publically, isn't that right? Whether you accept me is another matter, I won't force you. Oh yeah, what's your phone number?"

Gu Nianzhi smiled and didn't get a chance to refuse before Gui Suyao interjected, "Her number is 136XXXXXXXXXX." She winked at Brother Duan, "Brother Duan, don't be like Ling Huchong who lost out a little sister to someone else..."

Brother Duan guffawed and took out his phone to call the number Gui Suyao gave.

Gu Nianzhi's phone rang and she showed it to Brother Duan after looking at the call display, "Is this your number?"

"Yes." Brother Duan was reassured and turned to Gui Suyao, "Sister Gui, I am indeed a Duan, not Linghu! --You've read Jing Yong's Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils, right? What kind of person is Duan Zhengchun? A total winner of life! All the famous women in that novel were either his women or his daughters!"

Pfft-! Brother Wei nearly spat his coffee out. Brother Huang grabbed Brother Duan, "Go now and stop embarrassing yourself!"

After the two men left, Brother Duan grew serious and spoke to Brother Huang, "I really want to pursue Gu Nianzhi, do you think I have a chance?"

"You just met her for the first time, did you fall for her already?" Brother Huang glared at him wordlessly, "I didn't know you were so impulsive?"

"No, I'm not being impulsive. Gu Nianzhi fits what I require in a wife." Brother Duan nearly counted it out on his fingers, "You see, she's smart enough to be a Masters student at the age of 18 at one of the top schools in the Empire. Also, she pretty with a good figure, narrow waist and long legs. Not only is she pretty and mart, but her parents are dead so they'll be no annoying in-laws to deal with. You know my situation at home, I don't need a political marriage."