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375 Personal Ambitions

 "Hey! You're really becoming downright outrageous!" Brother Huang couldn't take it anymore. He pointed sternly at Brother Duan. "The fact that she lost both her parents and can't even talk about them is a pain she'll suffer for a lifetime. How can you make it sound like a good thing? 'No annoying in-laws?' What are you thinking? Are you even human?!"

Brother Duan shrunk back at realization that he may have been too cruel. He quickly bowed to Brother Huang for forgiveness. "Brother Huang, Brother Huang, I was just saying that. I didn't even think about what the joke meant. I only said it to you because I know how close we are so just forgive me this time for being an idiot. I didn't mean to make fun of her!"

"Lucky for you I was the only one to hear it. Do you know how sad Nianzhi would have been if she'd heard this? Even if you really like her, she would have ignored you for the rest of your life if you'd said such things to her. And you want to marry her too? No way!" Brother Huang was close with Gu Nianzhi so he couldn't stand someone insulting her.

Brother Duan chuckled awkwardly. "Ok, ok, I was just joking. I definitely wouldn't dare to pursue her if you put it that way." He sighed deeply. "It's all my own fault. Why did I call her Little Sister of all things! This was an omen! The Little Sister never belongs to the Brother."

Brother Huang didn't know whether to laugh or snap at Brother Duan's antics-if it weren't for their years of friendship, he would've really taught him a lesson today. "Well, I know you like running your mouth." Brother Guang pat his back. "How many times have I told you: you can't run your mouth like that if you want to be a lawyer? Control yourself."

Duan Cheun had always admired Brother Huang's character and was completed taken by his lecture this time. "Brother Huang, I understand. I won't ever do it again." He clasped his hands together. Today was my bad; how about I treat everyone to Jiuloufengyue someday as an apology?"

Brother Huang rubbed his chin and chuckled. "Jiuloufengyue? The restaurant in Scion Plaza? I've heard it's the most expensive place in the city."

"I'm not sure if it's the most expensive, but it has the best ambience." Brother Duan chattered on good naturedly and recovered from their previous argument. "It's the perfect place to take Professor He, Little Brother, and the Little Sisters."

"Best ambience?" Brother Huang shot him a suspicious look. "Is that the same Jiuloufengyue I know of?"

"There's only one in Scion Plaza. It's got to be it." Brother Duan heard the elevator arrive and went in with Brother Huang. He chuckled as he said, "In fact, it's the perfect place to pretend to be rich."

"That's enough out of you. It's fine as long as the food's good; what are you plotting in your head all the time?" Brother Huang chided him playfully and they didn't mention the incident again.


Soon after Brother Huang and Brother Duan left, the door to He Zhichu's suite opened once again. Brother Wei and Gui Suyao walked out as well. "Little Gui, what's your email address? I'll send the book list to you when I get back." Brother Wei reached out to press the elevator button.

Gui Suyao's mind was still on He Zhichu. She stood in a daze before finally asking, "Brother Wei, does Professor He give lectures frequently?"

"Not really. He arranges all the assignments and we hand them in after completing." As they chatted, the elevator arrived and Brother Wei got in first. He reached out to hold the door and waited for Gui Duyao to follow him in. "You just got here this year, right? Ask me anything that you're not sure about."

Gui Suyao was slightly disappointed but managed to answer Brother Wei and asked in a roundabout way.

"Then, did Professor He ever mention if he would agree if one of us want to enroll in Harvard Law School?"

"I'm not sure. You'd have to ask Professor He yourself." Brother Wei was a little surprised. "Little Gui, do you want to go to Harvard?"

"Who wouldn't?" Gui Suyao nervously tucked her hair back and smiled politely. "Of course, now that I've met Professor He, what's the point of going to Harvard?"

"That's true, you'd still be Professor He's student at Harvard." Brother Wei nodded in agreement. "You'd also have to leave home though; I know that wouldn't be able to do it, if I were required to move halfway across the world like that."

Gui Suyao only smiled. The pair were silent in the elevator for a while until it dinged at the first floor. After they got out of the elevator, Gui Suyao asked casually, "Brother Wei, do you know why Profesor He suddenly recruited a Master's student? I heard from the faculty that Professor He only started to mentor doctoral students after the school begged him over and over again. He also agreed to mentor five doctoral students, but ended up only recruiting three. I just got transferred here this year and Gu Nianzhi is known as the first student Professor He has personally recruited."

Brother Huang, Brother Duan, and Brother Wei all had different instructors and had been only transferred to the mentorship of He Zhichu after he'd promised to teach at the B University Faculty of Law. Of course, the transfer had been arduous and only by passing extremely difficult selection exams had they been finally admitted.

Brother Wei shook his head. "That I'm not sure about. But," he looked at Gui Suyao, "You are pretty impressive yourself for not even directly taking the exam before successfully transferring from a different professor to Professor He."

Gui Suyao had no intention of lying to Brother Wei, so she answered honestly, "That was with the help of my relative. My uncle's family is large and well connected, so Professor He was doing him a favor."

"Your uncle?" Brother Wei looked at her in amazement. "That's not too shabby." Someone who has direct connections to Professor He must be an important figure, Brother Wei thought.

Gui Suyao replied with a smile, "My uncle's surname is Dou."

"Dou?" Brother Wei thought about it for a while and the name that jumped to his mind was Prime Minister Dou. If Gui Suyao's uncle was Prime Minister Dou, then she wasn't a normal student after all, was she? Why was she settling as a paltry university tutor? He couldn't figure it out.

It can't be the Dou I'm thinking of, right?" Brother Wei asked her carefully. "Aren't you truly an esteemed student then?"

"That's exaggerating! My uncle started as an ordinary person, but he did well in school and was finally elected as Prime Minister," Gui Suyao answered nonchalantly. "We've rarely interacted since he was elected, but it was my first time asking for his help; that's how I became Professor He's student. It felt weird to flaunt that, so I never told anyone."

"So it is Prime Minister Dou!" Brother Wei exhaled sharply. "It's great that you're such an approachable person, even though you have these connections."

"Brother Wei is too polite," Gui suyao said as she looked back at the 28th floor. He Zhichu's suite lights were still on. Seeing this, she mused on how He Zhichu had always been a beacon of success and excellence. It was comforting to her, that she could be by his side.


At the same time, in He Zhichu's suite, Gu Nianzhi stood up and put on her backpack. She was about to say goodbye but He Zhichu waved her over. "Nianzhi, sit here for a bit. Tell me your plans."

"My plans?" Gu Nianzhi frowned. "I already told Professor He already though. However, you said at that time that didn't want to talk about it so that's why I haven't mentioned it since."

He Zhichu propped his head on his hand and leaned back in the sofa without looking at Gu Nianzhi. His eyes were focused elsewhere and after a while, he finally said, "That was about you wanting to graduate early, yes?"

"Yes." Gu Nianzhi nodded. "I did want to know more about it but Professor He didn't want to discuss so..."

"It's not that I don't want to discuss it." He Zhichu looked at her. "Sit down and tell me."

Seeing that He Zhichu was changing his tone, Gu Nianzhi sat down and said earnestly, "Professor He, I'm really considering this seriously. Can you tell me if there's even a small chance?"

Professor He stared at her intently, his gaze calm. Yet, his expression was extremely aloof. "Can you tell me why you want to graduate early?" He Zhichu finally asked what he hadn't been able to stop thinking about since she'd mentioned it on the phone.

Gu Nianzhi was stunned by his question. "Why? What do you mean? Anyone would graduate early if they could!"

"But you're only 18. Even if you take three years to complete your master's degree, you'll only be 21 by then. What do you want to do that you have to graduate early for?" He Zhichu regarded her cooly and then got up, walking to the kitchen.

Gu Nianzhi also stood up. "Professor He?"

"I'm making coffee." He didn't look back.

Gu Nianzhi thought about it and followed him inside. She began pleading her case to him. "Professor He, I really, really want to graduate early. Can you please help me, please? Can you tell me what I have to do to graduate early?"

He Zhichu took out a jar of coffee beans and measured them out into the grinder. "Well, you can start by telling me why you want to do it. Don't tell me that's what everyone wants; I don't care about that. I only want to know what you want."

Wringing her hands, Gu Nianzhi stammered for a bit before whispering, "I want to graduate early so that I can begin working."

"Oh?" He Zhichu's hands nearly trembled as he steadied himself. He continued making the coffee. Supporting himself against the countertop, he didn't turn to face her as he said dryly, "You really want to work? That's easy; you can work at my law firm while you're in school. I won't pay you less than anyone else who works there professionally."

"Thank you Professor He." Gu Nianzhi relaxed and broke into a smile. "However, working as a student and officially working are two different things. I want to work for real, full-time."

He Zhichi pursed his lips and glanced at her, his eyes flashing for a moment. He smiled faintly. "Then, why do you want to work early?"

Gu Nianzhi had forgotten how almost needlessly keen He Zhichu could be. He was striking the innermost parts of her heart with each question. These were thoughts she hadn't even told Huo Shaoheng. "Because I want to start earning money earlier, of course."

"You want to earn money?" He Zhichu's expression darkened. "All you think about it money! Do you need it badly?"

"I do need it badly," Gu Nianzhi answered quietly. "I don't have parents or a family, so I have to rely on myself. I don't want to rely on others for the rest of my life."

So that was the reason. He Zhichu's heart wrenched hard and he used all his restraint to control his unruly emotions. Turning around slowly, he looked at her quietly and sighed. "Then, what about you parents and family?"