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399 Direct Confrontation 2

 "Professor He, Nianzhi made a unintentional mistake. Can you please give her chance and forgive her..." Gui Suyao tried to salvage her dignity with trepidation, He Zhichu merely glanced at her quietly, his icy eyes like the moon on a winter's night--brilliant yet chilly. Gui Suyao couldn't help shivering and looked away quickly because she didn't dare meet his eyes.

Brother Huang saw Gu Nianzhi's tiny face scrunched up like she was about to cry but was trying her best to hold it in. He couldn't stand it anymore and began to defend her, "Professor He, Little Gui has a certain point. Nianzhi didn't do it on purpose, this is her first time. Can you forgive her?" Brother Duan and Brother Wei also chimed in for Gu Nianzhi.

"Have you all decided to defend her now?" He Zhichu's eyes were as cold as moonlight as he glanced at his four doctoral students, "Then are you going to take her penalty on your own grades?" They all looked down, no longer daring to say anything for Gu Nianzhi again.

Gu Nianzhi's chest was tense as rage appeared on her face. Making fists, she tried to control her emotions and keep her tone calm as she countered He Zhichu, "Professor He, this is not a joking matter. The law is based on the balance between rights and responsibilities. Your rule of arriving half an hour early is not officially stated in the rules and regulations of B University, but considered an additional clause. Both parties must mutually agree to it before the clause may take effect. In my case, your message was not delivered in time so I wasn't aware of this additional clause. Under these circumstances, the additional clause does not apply so you cannot unilaterally use this to punish me."

The living room was suddenly silent as the four doctoral students stared at the youngest girl. Someone admired her ability to boldly debate against He Zhichu at a time like this, without missing a beat. Another admired her clever brain and quick reaction--she truly possessed the potential of being a good future lawyer. Yet another dismissed her and thought she only had a stubborn mind unable to adapt to situation--she didn't know her place and dared to rebuke an instructor, her future was over...

He Zhichi studied Gu Nianzhi quietly and a subtle smile appeared on his lips after a long moment. The look of admiration flashed across his face so quickly no one else noticed it. "You're saying that my message wasn't delivered so the additional clause was not established, therefore you shouldn't receive punishment for it?" He Zhichu replied slowly, his cold expression unreadable.

A student secretly thought this was it, the consequences of rebuking an instructor meant that she would have a hard time from now on.... They secretly gloated with explicit contempt at Gu Nianzhi.

Gu Nianzhi considered it carefully and felt she made no mistake. If someone must take responsibility for the error, it shouldn't be her. "Professor He, I already made it clear and I think you also agree with my reasoning. If you really want to pursue responsibility, then it shouldn't be from me." Gu Nianzhi said as she looked at Gui Suyao pointedly, "So shouldn't Sister Gui explain herself and assume the responsibility for failing to deliver the message?"

In the corner, Gui Suyao was smirking at the drama but didn't imagine she would get caught in the crossfire as well. She pointed her herself, "Are you talking about me?"

"Yes, is there another Sister Gui in the living room?" Gu Nianzhi spread her palms, "I didn't want to make things difficult for you, but Professor He would not relent so I have no choice but to figure out the root of the issue." The roof of the issue was that Gui Suyao promised Brother Huang, but did the opposite instead of delivering the message to Gu Nianzhi.

Gui Suyao's expression darkened instantly as she gripped her computer mouse tightly with a forced smile, "Classmate Gu, it's good to have a sharp tongue but being unreasonable is not such a good thing. It's your own fault you're late, how did I make you late? Also on Valentine's Day your Ferrari became the talk of the campus, who would would dare disturb you and interrupt your fun? I didn't do anything against my morals and you can try to shift the blame, but everyone can see the truth clearly."

Gu Nianzhi raised her brow at this Sister Gui's willpower--it was enough to win against an experienced debater. Unfortunately, her opponent was Gu Nianzhi. "Sister Gui, you shouldn't confuse logic and twist the truth when you speak since you're a doctoral student at B University's Faculty of Law." Gu Nianzhi's fighting spirit ignited whenever she came across obstacles--she seemed to illuminate and her large eyes sparkled, "I was indeed late because of you. How could I've been late if you told me to arrive half an hour early? So the person being unreasonable is you, and the person setting others up is also you." Gui Suyao snarled and was about to object when Gu Nianzhi interrupted her with a frown, "Sister Gui, there's something I've wanted to ask you for a long time now."

Gui Suyao looked angry but managed to spit, "Ask."

"By all reason, you are a doctoral student at B University's Faculty of Law, and although you are still in school you are already in the doctoral program. So how can you disregard the law and your responsibilities to this extent?"

"Gu Nianzhi, that's enough from you!" Gui Suyao didn't think Gu Nianzhi would keep taking things further and couldn't help getting irate, "Don't change the subject and exaggerate a tiny thing into some great issue."

"I didn't exaggerate." Gu Nianzhi decidedly to lay everything out in the open with Gui Suyao, "On my first day of school, you took out my personal information to share with other students and instructors. You did this as the tutor for Year 1 Class 1 of the post-grad masters students of the Faculty of Law and I was already very displeased. But considering you are a tutor I decided to suffer it in silence. --Did you know that what you did was violation of my privacy? It's also considered disregard of the faculty and school regulations! You made three mistakes. One, went back on your promise to Brother Huang and failed to carry out your duty. Two, you attempted to shift the blame to me when there was a mistake so you lack reliability. Three, you attempted to twist the truth and discredit Professor He. If Professor He really deducts my grades for this, I will have suffered measurable loss and can go take you to court to reclaim the tangible equivalent to the damage to my grades."

Gui Suyao countered instinctively, "I didn't! How dare you accuse me!"

"Sister Gui, we are all law students so we should use legal jargon. If you don't agree with my statements then you should say, 'objection.' Using an emotional and frankly useless phrase like, 'how dare you accuse me,' only serves to lower your professional capabilities."

Brother Duan understood Gu Nianzhi's snide remarks so he couldn't help but snicker as well. Gui Suyao immediately glared at him and he could only rub his nose awkwardly, turning his face away without laughing again.

He Zhichu froze, "When was this? Why didn't I know about it?"

"I already said it was on the first day of school. I didn't want to make a big deal at the time so I chose to let it go and keep quiet. But it's obvious someone didn't learn their lesson or my accepted my goodwill, so they decided to take up another notch and set traps from time to time for me to fall in." Gu Nianzhi stared fixedly at Gui Suyao, "Sister Gui, you're also my tutor. Are you going to give me a hard time from now on because of what happened today?"

Gui Suyao's lips trembled, unable to find any words. She almost wanted to punch herself. She was truly an idiot for volunteering to help Brother Huang pass the message that day. She knew now that Gu Nianzhi was not someone she could cross... This girl would latch onto a tiny mistake and exaggerate it continuously, what a joke! Gui Suyao answered gravely, "Of course not." Yeah right... Gu Nianzhi shamed her front of all these people, how could she let it go? What a joke!

But before Guy Suyao could even plan how to make Gu Nianzhi pay the price of her humiliation, He Zhichu interrupted, "Gui Suyao, is this true? You just have to answer yes or no."

Face blanched, Gui Suyao's voice trembled, "Professor He, I... Which incident are you referring to?"

"The one of you sharing Gu Nianzhi's personal information for everyone to see." He Zhichu's eyes grew stern, his gaze so heavy it almost stifled her breathing.

Gripping her laptop's mouse tightly, her hand almost spasmed as she fearfully looked back at He Zhichu. However He Zhichu's icy glare scared her so much she looked away. Hanging her head, she shook uncontrollably and whispered, "...Actually I went to check student information at the Faculty and happened to see Classmate Gu's too, I didn't mean to..."

"So you did do it?" He Zhichu's expression became fierce, "This is a serious violation of privacy. Nevermind the fact that you're a doctoral student at B University's Faculty of Law, but your actions have already crossed the line as merely a tutor."