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Home > Hello Mr Major General

406 Envy and Hate 4

 Gu Nianzhi read He Zhichu's email and hesitated for several minutes. She wanted nothing more than to spend the weekend with Huo Shaoheng, but He Zhichu was her instructor-what if he had something important to tell her? After struggling to make a decision, she finally texted back: "Professor He, was it something urgent? If I can complete this at home, then you can send it to my email and I'll finish a portion of it on the weekend."

He Zhichu read Gu Nianzhi's reply and took a few minutes to write back: "No need, have a good weekend." After sending it off, He Zhichu checked the recruitment inbox with a stony face. Midnight the night before had been the deadline for submitting recommendation letters. He deleted all emails that were sent after the deadline; half the applicants were disqualified. He then looked at the remaining applicants' year of study and academic records. Fourth year undergraduates were not accepted, and second and third year post-grad students were also not suitable. Another half of the applicants were deleted. That finally left about 50 of the most suitable students with sufficient grades who submitted recommendation letters in time.

He Zhichu quickly clicked through the applicants and selected Gu Nianzhi's recommendation letters to peruse carefully. Curious about what Huo Shaoheng had written, He Zhichu was surprised to see that it was only Gu Nianzhi's roommates from her undergraduate years that had recommended her. There was no trace of Huo Shaoheng. He Zhichu read the letters with a frown and although he shocked, he felt oddly satisfied. He also read the remaining recommendation letters and selected a dozen decent ones from hardworking students. After making a shortlist, he posted it on the official B University website. As soon as the list was up, all students regardless if they applied or not were able to see it.

Gu Nianzhi had just returned to her dorm building when He Zhichu's preliminary list of candidates had already circulated throughout the faculty. Since she was still buzzing with excitement at meeting Huo Shaoheng right away, she was not yet aware that He Zhichu's list was out. When she stepped out of the elevator, she could see several girls from the dorms huddled together in front of Miao Yunxiao's door. They were babbling and squealing occasionally. Within the group of girls, Gu Niaznhi easily picked out Ma Qiqi's tall figure. She walked over and tapped Ma Qiqi's shoulder. "Qiqi, what are you doing?"

Ma Qiqi turned her head and smiled when she saw that it was Gu Nianzhi. "He Zhichu's preliminary list of candidates just got released. Nianzhi, your name is on there too! That's amazing! You got selected even with just your old roommates' recommendation letters! It goes to say that Professor He is very eclectic and unbiased!"

Gu Nianzhi was shocked. "What? Already?" She grumbled internally that He Zhichu hadn't said a word to her about this on the phone earlier. "Yeah, the news was published to the entire faculty. How can it be wrong?" Ma Qiqi winked at her. "I'm on it too!"

Gu Nianzhi congratulated her sincerely. "That's great! We can study together?"

"Right! I didn't plan on going home this weekend anyway so I'll stay and study. I have to do well on the exam for a better chance of being accepted!" Ma Qiqi waved her arms fiercely; she was full of charming confidence.

Leaning against her room door, Miao Yunxiao crossed her arms and glared at them. She snidely remarked, "How can that be? Two friendly roommates can work together, but only one will be accepted by Professor He."

Gu Nianzhi looked at Miao Yunxiao with the intention of arguing her, but Ma Qiqi pulled her arm. "Let's go, we should head back instead of wasting our time with her."

Gu Nianzhi shut her mouth and followed Ma Qiqi back to their dorm room. The crowds of girls dispersed as well. Among all the first year masters students, only two were shortlisted; Miao Yunxiao wasn't one of them.

Ma Qiqi said, "She's just crazy with jealousy. Ignore her; it's just a case of sour grapes."

Gu Nianzhi nodded with a smile. "Fine, I won't have anything to say since you don't mind." She paused and took Ma Qiqi's hand, "But Qiqi, I think Miao Yunxiao is still right. I want to tell you now that no matter which one of us Professor He chooses, let there be no hard feelings between the two of us."

"I know that," Ma Qiqi replied quickly. "If you get selected by some luck, you have to treat me to hotpot at Jiuloufengyue. I heard they just put out a new nourishing hotpot with a very good broth. Also, I want sweet pea cakes and fried rice cakes, three boxes each!"

Gu Nianzhi bent over in laughter. "Qiqi, you're such a darling!"

"Well, my family's always called me a happy kid!" Ma Qiqi said smugly.

Gu Nianzhi knew that Ma Qiqi had grown up in a middle-class family and got along with her parents. She was an only child and was very loved. Children raised with care never grew up to be too sensitive, paranoid, or calculating. Just like her physical appearance, Ma Qiqi had a gracious and bright attitude. Gu Nianzhi was happy to have a roommate like Ma Qiqi. "Qiqi, I'm going home this weekend, so you'll have to study hard by yourself! Opportunities are only for people who are well prepared, so good luck!" Gu Nianzhi hugged Ma Qiqi and returned to her room. After taking a shower at a record speed, changing her clothes, and putting the dirty ones in the washing machine, Huo Shaoheng texted her just as the clothes were drying: "I'm here, come downstairs."

The simple words from him were enough to make Gu Nianzhi squeal with delight. She put away her phone and poked her head out her bedroom window to see a black Mercedes SUV parked downstairs. It was Huo Shaoheng's usual car. It was inconspicuously luxurious and considered a fine car, though it was much more low key than the flashy Ferrari from last time. Gu Nianzhi put on her backpack and tried to remain calm as she left her room. She knocked on Ma Qiqi's door. "Qiqi, I'm leaving now. Have a good weekend!"

"You too!" Ma Qiqi called out from inside the room. Gu Nianzhi locked their front door and then went inside the elevator; it travelled down from the sixth floor and Gu Nianzhi felt slightly nauseous from the mounting excitement. She arrived at the first floor but when the elevator doors opened, Gu Nianzhi felt a bit unbalanced. Supporting herself on the elevator door, she managed to stumble outside and before she could steady herself, a beautiful girl in a sapphire blue, belted down coat rushed over to her. The girl carefully regarded Gu Nianzhi. "You are...Gu Nianzhi?"

Gu Nianzhi looked up into the pretty face of the girl with a bright and dewy face: it was Prime Minister Dou's youngest daughter, Dou Aiyan. The girl had barely spared Gu Nianzhi a glance the first time they had met and had even insulted her the second time. However, she seemed especially polite today. "Sister Gu, I'm Dou Aiyan." Dou Aiyan paused and said with great sincerity, "I want to ask you for a favor."

Gu Nianzhi rubbed her temples in attempt to dispel the dizziness and secretly thought that the world must be ending, to have the haughty Dou Aiyan to be so polite to her. "Classmate Dou, there's no need to be so polite." Gu Nianzhi smiled but her face was slightly pale. Was she sick from the elevator ride?

Suppressing the dark disdain in her heart, Dou Aiyan continued sweetly, "Sister Gu, the thing is, I really want to become Professor He's teaching assistant."

Gu Nianzhi blinked hard. Why is Dou Aiyan talking to me if she wants to become Professor He's teaching assistant? I am not Professor He; what's she trying to pull? Gu Nianzhi looked at Dou Aiyan quizzically.

Dou Aiyan continued, "I submitted three persuasive recommendation letters: one from my Daddy, one from the Minister of Education, and one from the dean of B University. However, I still didn't make the shortlist."

Gu Nianzhi was beginning to feel impatient. She stared at her wordlessly.

"Sister Gu, I asked many people to understand your situation." Dou Aiyan licked her lips and her pretty face suddenly grew serious. "I want to make a deal with you. Are you willing?"

Gu Nianzhi rubbed her forehead and replied sternly to Dou Aiyan, "Classmate Dou, everyone is competing with their own abilities to get the position of Professor He's teaching assistant. I'm just another one of the applicants; aren't you talking to the wrong person by asking for my help?"

"Sister Gu, if you can give your place to me, I can ask my Daddy to allow you to intern at the cabinet's Ministry of Justice." Dou Aiyan had resolved to follow a certain person's advice and strike this deal with Gu Nianzhi, propriety be damned.