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Published at 20th of July 2017 09:44:18 PM

Chapter 18

No one dared to speak, and no one dared to lift their heads .


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Zhu Yun was thinking that, while she was being scolded here like this, her senior graduate students could still concentrate so well on their work . In fact, they seemed more engrossed in their work than usual . It was rather like the chairman reading books at the execution ground .  (t/n: More on Caishikou Execution Grounds)

Zhang Xiaobei pointed at Zhu Yun and pelted her with reprimands . “What have you turned a good program into? Garbage! I brought it over for the company to check, and their expressions—aiya, you should have seen their expressions! Why are you hanging your head without saying a word? Don’t you know what it is to be ashsamed?! And you’re just a young girl…

“I only looked away a moment, and you made this mess! It’s my fault for trusting you too much . You came to me with such confidence, but what is this now? How thick is your skin that you can still come into this laboratory?!

“Tell me . Speak up . Is this how Teacher Lin taught you?!”

Zhu Yun quietly hung her head and didn’t look at Zhang Xiaobei .

When Zhang Xiaobei didn’t get a response from Zhu Yun, even after all her scolding, she clenched her teeth . She shouted to the rest of the room, “No response at all! Do you all see this?! No response at all! What a troublemaker!”

In her anger, she shoved Zhu Yun . Her fingers were sharper than her voice .

Zhu Yun stepped back and quietly said, “I’m sorry…”

“Sorry?!” After getting a response out of her, Zhang Xiaobei shouted even louder, “This is a government project! Do you think a single ‘Sorry’ is enough to make up for anything?! You’ve cost the school its reputation! Can you handle that burden?!”

Zhu Yun had thought she’d been very collected . It wasn’t until she exited the lab that she realized that her heart was beating extremely fast . Regardless of what she really thought, Zhang Xiaobei was still a teacher . And since ancient times, a teacher and student had never been equals . Zhang Xiaobei had that advantage over her .

In the hallway, Zhu Yun fanned herself . She really did sympathize with Han Jiakang and the other graduate students . She also wondered how they would all turn out after working under such an advisor for several years .

Carrying her laptop, she headed back to her dorm room . Zhang Xiaobei gave her two days to edit the program . Zhu Yun’s last chance, she’d called it . She’d put a lot of emphasis on each word when she said it, and Zhu Yun truly felt the weight and significance that came with her ‘last chance . ’

Zhu Yun returned to her dorm, to find the busy Fang Shumiao inside .

The weather was getting colder and final exams were right around the corner . Half a month ago, Fang Shumiao became part of the group of ‘outstanding students,’ as she started to prep for her exams . When Zhu Yun walked into their room, Fang Shumiao greeted her but quickly returned to organizing her study materials .

At this point, Fang Shumiao rarely showed up to the project base . And suddenly, Ren Di’s words echoed in Zhu Yun’s head . ‘She won’t last long . With Li Xun… Most girls wouldn’t be able to keep up with him . ’

Zhu Yun didn’t linger long about the meaning of her words . Instead, she opened her laptop to take care of Zhang Xiaobei’s kindness in giving her a ‘last chance . ’

……

She really wanted a smoke . If only Fang Shumiao weren’t in the room .


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She’d been given two days time, but on the afternoon of the second day, Zhu Yun was called in for a meeting . Their conversation that day wasn’t in the lab, but rather in Zhang Xiaobei’s office . There weren’t many professors who had their own office, but unfortunately, Zhang Xiaobei happened to be the youngest of them .

Zhang Xiaobei rarely used her office, as she was always busy in the lab or in talks with businesses . The whole way there, Zhu Yun wondered why Zhang Xiaobei called her to this kind of hidden away place to admonish her .

Was it possible she’d gained a conscience and didn’t want to humiliate Zhu Yun in public? Probably not…

With these complicated thoughts swirling through her head, she knocked on the office door . A calm voice said, “Come in . ”

Zhu Yun entered the office, and the air inside chilled her to the bone . Zhang Xiaobei stood beside her desk, a fresh cup of tea on the table .

“Students nowadays are really something . ” Zhang Xiaobei spoke very softly now, a complete turnaround from her previously loud shouts . After hearing her voice though, Zhu Yun would have rather she’d yelled .

Zhang Xiaobei walked up to Zhu Yun . Their heights were similar, but Zhang Xiaobei had the advantage of a pair of heels . She looked down at Zhu Yun and quietly asked, “You think you’re something great, don’t you?”

That’s right, there were in fact some areas where she was quite good . But Zhu Yun wasn’t sure what exactly Zhang Xiaobei was referring to, so she remained quiet .

“I asked you a question . ”

How do I answer?

“You’re not going to talk?”

Zhu Yun really didn’t know how to reply to her . Yes? That definitely wouldn’t work . No? That didn’t seem like it would work out either . Just as Zhu Yun was contemplating her options, Zhang Xiaobei picked up the cup of tea on her desk and splashed it onto Zhu Yun’s face .

“I’ve been teaching for so many years! But this is the first time I’ve met a student as low as you!” Zhang Xiaobei couldn’t stop herself . Her laboratory voice had returned in full strength . “You think you’re so clever, don’t you? You tried to make a fool of me? I really didn’t know that students nowadays had such evil thoughts! Purposefully writing it poorly to make me look bad? You still dare to be a student?! If you could do such a thing to embarrass your teacher, what wouldn’t you dare do when you join society?!”

Zhu Yun finally understood why Zhang Xiaobei had called her into her office . How could she admit that she’d been deceived by a lowly undergraduate student with all her subordinates watching?

Zhang Xiaobei pointed at her . “Go back and fix it all . I’m telling you, Zhu Yun, your behavior is really too vile . Go home and think it all over, whether or not you’ll ever be able to study abroad or join a postgraduate program . Do you still want the school’s recommendation? You’d better figure out how you’re going to explain all of this to me!”

After Zhang Xiaobei finished throwing her fit, she left .

Zhu Yun wiped away the tea on her face .

When she left the office, she felt a bit chilly since her clothes were wet . She wanted to get back to her dorm quickly . Then she heard someone call out, “Wait!”

Zhu Yun turned around and saw a boy running over, a grave expression on his face . She recalled that his name was Zhou Jinyang, one of Zhang Xiaobei’s grad students . He didn’t usually speak much, always sitting in the corner working . He didn’t have much presence in the lab .


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He pulled Zhu Yun over to the side and quickly told her, “Han Jiakang told her . ”

Zhu Yun didn’t react .

“Han Jiakang told her,” Zhou Jinyang repeated .

Zhu Yun continued to look at him silently .

“Han Jiakang’s task wasn’t completed well so Zhang Xiaobei told him off . He tried to win her favor, so he told her about you intentionally writing the code poorly . You get it, right? Zhang Xiaobei’s anxiety caused her to quickly forgot about his mistakes . ”

Zhou Jinyang must have snuck out of the lab . He spoke nervously and his voice shook . She could see the thrill of revealing a secret in his eyes . When he was done spilling the secret, he looked at Zhu Yun, waiting for her reaction .

Previously…

Zhu Yun was thinking . Previously, what had she been wondering about?

“I have to get back . ” Zhou Jinyang looked at Zhu Yun, who still hadn’t moved . He started leaving, but then he turned back to Zhu Yun and said, “You’d better not tell Han Jiakang that I told you . ”

She remembered—

Those seniors of hers . After working under this kind of advisor for a few years, what kind of people would they become? As he left, she looked at Zhou Jinyang’s stooped figure . She felt that she’d figured out the answer .

Zhu Yun returned to her dorm, her screen displaying the ‘last chance’ that Zhang Xiaobei had given her . Zhu Yun didn’t want to look at it anymore, and she shut her laptop .

She went to take a shower, to scrub away the smell of tea all over her body . After she changed into her pajamas, she made herself a cup of coffee and then pulled out a programming book from her bookcase . She leisurely enjoyed the rest of her afternoon .

Not long after, she received Li Xun’s phone call . “Come to the base,” he said .

Zhu Yun was about to ask him why, when Li Xun changed his mind . “No . Go to the sports field . Bring your laptop . ”

It was already December, and the grassy field had naturally turned yellow . There weren’t many people on the sports field . It was finals season, so everyone was locked up with their books .

Li Xun was sitting in his old spot, near the broken soccer post . The post was rusting, but he didn’t seem to mind as he leaned against it still . He was looking down .

Zhu Yun was thinking as she walked over . He spent all day, every day, glued to his laptop, constantly working, but why wasn’t he near-sighted… It really makes a person jealous .

Li Xun was smoking . When she arrived, he looked up . “I’m pretty sure I told you to bring your laptop . ”


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Zhu Yun sat down next to him . “I’m too tired . ”

Li Xun frowned as he smoked . Zhu Yun looked over pensively .

Li Xun asked, “What is it?”

Zhu Yun replied, “You’re really strange today . I didn’t follow your instructions, but you’re actually not scolding me . ”

Li Xun gave her a look . “You haven’t had enough yet?”

“……”

How did he find out .

Zhu Yun looked away . The wind rolled through the grass, which swayed wantonly, without direction . She felt cold, but with him beside her, she didn’t want to move .

“It was you that day, wasn’t it?” Li Xun pulled out his smoke and continued, “I was standing at the door of the room, and when that person left, their steps were really loud . ”

She suddenly grew nervous . Compared to Zhang Xiaobei’s questioning and yelling, Li Xun’s soft sentence made her much more nervous . Her heart was nearly jumping out of her chest .

He leaned against the peeling goalpost and quietly said, “Actually, when you accepted Zhang Xiaobei’s proposal, I should have guessed . ”

Zhu Yun’s fingers tightened . She waited quietly for what he would say next . She didn’t want to let him know that someone had heard his discussion that day . It’d be better if everyone who witnessed such an embarrassing thing were to all die off .

After a long moment of silence, Li Xun laughed gently . “I say, Princess…”

She felt like she was on thin ice .

Li Xun pulled up his right leg and rested his arm on it, and then he laughed in the chilling wind . “Do you think I’m made of tofu?” (t/n: To be easily damaged)

“……”

She turned to him . His hair was blowing in the wind, just like the dried grass, wanton, without a care . She felt that she would never forget his laugh in this moment .

Suddenly, Li Xun kicked her foot with his other leg .

“You * . ” (t/n: Originally censored)

Zhu Yun, “……”

“With what time did you waste on her? Do you have that much free time?”

Zhu Yun, “……”

“I’m going to have to chain you to a pillar so that you won’t fucking blindly go messing with psychological games . ”

Zhu Yun, “……”

He put out his cigarette in the grass .

Zhu Yun had finally found the power to reply . “What are you doing?”

“What do you think?”

Zhu Yun didn’t say anything . Without any care to the environment, Li Xun kicked his cigarette butt into the distance . Then he pointed at Zhu Yun and said, “If you’re not going to bring your laptop over to the base, I’ll just go to your dorm to work . ”

“……”

“Don’t look at me like that . When the time comes, you’ll find out whether I will or won’t do it, Princess . ”

You will . You’re so particular, there’s nothing you wouldn’t do . You could even fly if you wanted to .

When he was done speaking, Li Xun got up and pat off his bottom before walking away .

“Hey!” Zhu Yun called out . She couldn’t get up as quickly, but she didn’t want to let him leave, so she grabbed onto his legs . He turned back . Looking up to him from this angle, Zhu Yun felt her neck was going to snap . “Don’t worry about this . Just focus on our group’s work . ”

Li Xun, a bit helplessly, replied, “I said—”

“You don’t have to say anything . ”

Zhu Yun finally got up and walked over to Li Xun’s side . She looked at him in the eyes and said, “Li Xun, I’m not a princess . ”

Li Xun had never been looked at this way by her before . He was silent .

“But I’m not a * either . Let’s just wait and see . ”

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