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404 Envy and Hate 2

 "Who is this anyway? How are they so well connected?" Gu Nianzhi asked curiously as she let her legs dangle down from the sofa and straightened her back. She clutched the panda pillow tightly.

"No idea. I just heard it was an undergraduate girl." Ma Qiqi rolled her eyes and got up, trying to dash outside. "I'll go find out!"

"Come back!" Gu Nianzhi frantically got up from the sofa and grabbed Ma Qiqi's arm. "It's fine, I was only asking. Don't go find out who it is; who cares anyway? It's not as if her family can make the decision for Professor He?"

"But she has recommendation letters from the Prime Minister, the Minister of Education, and our dean!" Ma Qiqi wanted to knock some sense into Gu Nianzhi. "Her family might as well make the decision for him. Do you think Professor He will read these kind of letters and not consider the feelings of the Prime Minister at least?"

Gu Nianzhi hesitated. She wasn't sure either. After all, He Zhichu had only told her yesterday that the powerful person backing Gui Suyao was Prime Minister Dou. Could this applicant be her? But, Ma Qiqi said the person was an undergraduate student, not a doctoral student. As soon as she considered this, Gu Nianzhi's thoughts clicked into place and she recalled meeting a person who was an undergraduate law student at B University who was also close to Prime Minister Dou. After pondering for a while, she whispered, "This undergraduate student might be the youngest daughter of Prime Minister Dou, Dou Aiyan, right?" Gu Nianzhi was more familiar with Dou Aiyan's sister, Dou Qingyan. She barely knew the younger girl at all. They had met once at the New Year's banquet at the Prime Minister's official residence. The girl had made a significant impression on her, only because of how insufferable she'd been. Gu Nianzhi could still recall Dou Aiyan's outfit that night, along with her smug face and the rude things she'd said to her. Afterwards, they had met again at B University-Dou Aiyan brought two underlings along to give Gu Nianzhi a hard time. They had even walked to He Zhichu's building together. At the time, Wen Shouyi was still He Zhichu's teaching assistant and she'd been very kind to Dou Aiyan. She remembered the smitten look on Dou Aiyan's face when she looked at He Zhichu. If the applicant was indeed her, everything made sense.

Ma Qiqi was shocked. "Huh? The Prime Minister's daughter is also a law student here? Why didn't I know about this?"

It seemed that Dou Aiyan was fairly low key within the B University Faculty of Law, so not many people were aware her true identity. The confidentiality work for Dou Aiyan had been ample and at the thought of this, Gu Nianzhi felt disappointed. Dou Aiyan was an important person so all the instructors and staff who knew about her had probably made a pact to protect her identity. She would have never suffered someone casually circulating her personal information for all to see. Gu Nianzhi knew that she because she was an insignificant person and had neither a solid nor and esteemed family background, she was treated like nothing and had no privacy. If not for He Zhichu's intervention, her time at B University would have been very difficult.

At this moment, Gu Nianzhi sorely missed her years at C University. The instructors and classmates had been so kind, except for her lousy ex-boyfriend, Mei Xiawen, who had pursued then cheated on her. However, Mei Xiawen wasn't an entirely bad person; at least he hadn't revealed her personal information.

"Is it really her? If that's true, we should give up now." Ma Qiqi sighed and slumped on the sofa while using Gu Nianzhi's panda pillow to cover her face. She pounded her fists on the sofa and wailed. "Why are we so unlucky? How can we compete against the Prime Minister's beloved daughter?!"

Gu Nianzhi collected her thoughts and stopped wallowing in self-pity. The situation had already gotten to this point and while she was an orphan girl, she had no shameful secrets to hide. The important thing, then, was to emerge stronger and surprise those people who only valued family backgrounds! "Qiqi, don't feel too sad." Gu Nianzhi walked over to give Ma Qiqi a gentle nudge. "So what if she's Prime Minister Dou's daughter? She still had to apply and submit the recommendation letters. What's there to get upset about?"

Ma Qiqi considered it and soon agreed to her logic. She immediately sat up on the soda and waved her fists, her passion renewed. "Nianzhi, you're right! So what if she has three impressive recommendation letters? She still has to go through the application process like everyone else! If her influence alone could have determined the outcome, she would've already been internally selected as a teaching assistant. Why would Professor He have gone through the trouble of recruiting from the entire faculty? Isn't that right?"

"Yes, of course." Gu Nianzhi nodded seriously. " With Professor He's status, he doesn't need to worry about the Prime Minister, Minister of Education, or our dean. As far as I know, the Prime Minister and our dean are indebted to Professor He, and while I'm not sure about the Minister of Education, in terms of his position he's a member of the cabinet and answers to the Prime Minister. So Prime Minister Dou is his superior, and if even the Prime Minister himself is indebted to Professor He, the Minister of Education would never dare disrespect Professor He."

Ma Qiqi agreed with Gu Nianzhi's analysis. She stood up to hug Gu Nianzhi. "Nianzhi, you're so good with your words! I'm completely convinced by you now!"

"You haven't been convinced by me, but by logic and reason." Gu Nianzhi winked at her. "Ok, did you get your recommendation letters yet?"

"Not yet. I totally thought my chance was zero when I heard this from someone. I didn't even want to ask for recommendation letters; but, now that you've explained it, I want to ask again." Ma Qiqi stood on her tiptoes

danced into her room, twirling and gliding until she closed the door elegantly with a lift her foot. Gu Nianzhi chuckled before organizing her homework, reading the reference books He Zhichu assigned and finishing several case study analyses. She lost track of time when she studied and by the time her phone rang, her watch already read 10pm. She had been reading for nearly four hours so her stomach was grumbling. Gu Nianzhi grabbed her phone, dialing her favorite number. Once the call connected, she asked, "Huo Shao? You haven't slept yet?"

Huo Shaoheng's deep voice sounded from the other line. "You haven't slept yet either? What are you doing? He paused, "Turn on the video call."

Gu Nianzhi turned on the camera giddily and quickly connected with Huo Shaoheng. He wore a black T-shirt loose pants, looking casual even though he was in his office. The fabric was tight against his muscular arms and Gu Nianzhi quickly averted her eyes when she felt a blush creep across her face. She stared into Huo Shaoheng's dark eyes and said, "Huo Shao, there's something I want to tell you."

"What is it?"

"Professor He is recruiting for a teaching assistant within the students in the faculty and I applied," Gu Nianzhi told him nervously. Was it wrong of me to apply without discussing it with him?

Huo Shaoheng froze and he stared at her. "He Zhichu's teaching assistant? Isn't that Wen Shouyi?"

"Teaching Assistant Wen left and won't be coming back." Gu Nianzhi was repeating He Zhichu's words. "He needs another one now."

Huo Shaoheng nodded. "Ok, so how is he recruiting?" Gu Nianzhi opened the application site and read all the conditions to Huo Shaoheng. Huo Shaoheng asked after she finished explaining, "He needs three recommendation letters? Do you want me to write one for you?"

Gu Nianzhi shook her head with a smile. "That's fine. I already asked people to write them for me."

"Who?" Huo Shaoheng was a little curious-he knew all of Gu Nianzhi's acquaintances after all; he wasn't aware of anyone else who could write recommendation letters for her.

Gu Nianzhi noticed Huo Shaoheng's confusion and blushed slightly as she whispered, "I asked my roommates from the undergraduate dorm."

"What?" He thought she wasn't taking this seriously enough. Would a person like He Zhichu even look at those letters? Huo Shaoheng happened to know that many students in the faculty had strong family backgrounds, so they would submit recommendation letters from high-ranking government officials or respected members of society. Gu Nianzhi's three newly graduated roommates could never compare. He thought about it for a while and asked Gu Nianzhi again, "Are you sure you don't need me to get you recommendation letters?"

Gu Nianzhi continued to shake her head. "It's really ok. I don't think Professor He specified a format for the recommendation letters, so it's fine to get them from people who know me well right?"

"Well, alright then." Huo Shoaheng stopped asking since he wasn't worried even if she was not hired. He began asking about how Gu Nianzhi was doing recently and finally said, "I'm free this weekend, are you going back to the apartment?"