Zong Lizi turned around and looked at her opponent, her eyes full of calmness and confidence.
He seemed to be a sophomore and was said to have three private teachers for him at home; and he had a high value of yuanqi and was skilled in the actual combat.
Yet, she thought that she had a private teacher as well and a higher value of yuanqi; but as far as the actual combat was concerned…
She suddenly recollected what Jing Jiu said to her at the foot of the cliff.
"It'll work as long as you're fast enough."
What did this statement mean? Was it the same as "The quickness is the best method of martial art", which was often stated in the movies?
Zong Lizi was thinking of this while putting on the protective gears.
The male student said to her with a faint smile, "We'd better hurry up because I'll have at least three more rounds to go through."
It would take so many rounds to come out as the final victor. It seemed that he had the confidence to reach the final round.
Zong Lizi spoke much less than before, looking more like an icy beauty; it was unclear if she was affected by Jing Jiu. She curled her right forefinger backwards a few times.
The male student was taken aback for a moment before he charged forward.
The silvery hair sifted out from the cracks of the protective gears, turning into a great many lights.
The surprised screams sounded smothered when they were shielded by the transparent barrier, like the rumbling thunder that she had heard of but never experienced.
The sound of falling of heavy protective gears could be heard clearly.
She put down the remaining half of the staff, feeling a bit baffled. Instinctively, she turned toward the small door.
The figure was not there anymore.
But her eyes didn't show any expression of disappointment but a smiling intent.
The difference of intelligence between humans was negligible, so were their potentials. More often than not, what one needed was nothing but confidence and hope to succeed.
Jing Jiu knew she would succeed; so he had no need to stay around. He left the gymnasium and went to the empty library.
He connected to the internet in the reading room and got in the private network of the Twirling Rain Company. He had spent a few minutes going through all the application processes that would usually take twenty or thirty days for a large company to complete. Normally, the studio should have already commenced the project; but why hadn't he received any private message?
After searching the private network of the Twirling Rain Company, he found a few encrypted files and discovered the reason, realizing that he had made a big fuss this time.
The gymnasium became deathly quiet after a barrage of surprised screams.
The front gate was pushed open as Zong Lizi walked out. Lu Shuiqian came up behind her and asked, "Where are you going? We've planned to have a dinner party to celebrate your victory."
"I have to go up," replied Zong Lizi with a faint smile.
Though she said that she would go to the upper ground, she went down to the lower neighborhood first. Since Jing Jiu was not in the library, he must be at home.
She led him to a barbecue stall in the black market and ordered plenty of foods, including two high-grade steaks and a bottle of grape wine.
It was an authentic grape wine, made from real grapes; it was not the cheap wine made from the mixture of alcohol and flavor essence. The wine was quite expensive and worth a month of her living expense.
Yet, she thought it was worth it. She had won the first place in the level-testing and obtained the quota for exchange student. As such, she should treat Jing Jiu with a good meal.
The beef gave off a sizzling noise on the barbecue grill and appealing meat scent around the stall. But it smelled a bit greasy for Zong Lizi who was used to eating the allocated foods all year long.
It was not so bad for Jing Jiu; it was because he couldn't smell anything. All he could do was analyze the condition of the particles.
The value of the grape wine couldn't be realized when it was poured into the plastic glass. It looked like blood when the glass was being shaken slightly.
Zong Lizi took a sip of it and furrowed her eyebrows. She found it was rather sour and bitter.
Jing Jiu didn't drink it since he couldn't taste anything.
"I'm really happy right now. I'll study hard and cultivate more diligently after I'm exchanged to the University of Stargate. I'll try my hardest to get a higher grade there. By the time I collect enough credits, I'll try to go through another gene modification."
Zong Lizi could drink a bottle of rice wine at most. She had a flush on her face after a few sips of the grape wine, and spoke to Jing Jiu nonstop.
She had intended to tell him that her illness would be cured if her gene modification were successful. Yet, she thought better of it since he didn't know anything about her illness.
Jing Jiu was listening quietly while sitting in a chair; he didn't pay attention to what she was talking about.
He was reading the books amid the cooking smoke and noises of the night market.
There were a great many books stored in his brain, which would occupy him for a long time.
He suddenly looked at Zong Lizi and raised the wine glass in his hand, saying, "It's really worth celebrating."
Zong Lizi felt startled since she didn't expect him to have such a response. She picked up her own glass hastily while asking, "What has happened?"
Judging from her reaction, she was a very smart girl; and she had a clear comprehension of this society and herself.
As expected, Jing Jiu intended to celebrate another matter. He said after emptying the red wine in his glass, "I've solved a difficult issue in physics."
The issue he talked about was in the last chapter of the specialized physics book.
It was not a physics question but a conjecture raised by a scholar.
Many physics conjectures could be proved through the empirical experiments so long as the testing apparatuses were accurate; and some of them could also be solved through the mathematical calculations.
He didn't use the experiment but the latter method.
Zong Lizi had no idea how significant the physics question was, wondering how he felt so excited about it.
Jing Jiu was aware of what she had on her mind. After reviewing the specialized books on physics in the past few days, he said with certainty, "I've solved all the physics issues in this world."
If Zong Lizi didn't know he had an extraordinary background and was very good at learning things, she would think he was mad.
After some thought, she decided not to mock him. After setting down the wine glass, she picked a bean cooked with black pepper with the chopsticks and ate it.
By the time she had finished eating the seventeenth bean in the black pepper, she suddenly raised her head and said to Jing Jiu, "Thank you."
Jing Jiu didn't give a response while looking at her quietly.
Zong Lizi continued while staring into his eyes, "Though I don't know how you helped me, I'm certain that it has something to do with you. No matter what, I need to thank you."
"You should know that I'm just using you," said Jing Jiu while looking at her.
"Of course, I know. I'm not an idiot."
Zong Lizi toppled forward after giving a foolish grin; her forehead dropped onto the table heavily, giving off a thudding sound.
She was drunk only after three glasses of red wine.
Jing Jiu saw the silvery hair spread gradually over the edge of the table, wondering if she could still remember the conversation when she woke up the next day.
The owner of the barbecue stall came over with a plate of barbecued eggplant. "The most expensive dish is here," said He. "Eh…this little girl is drunk already?"
Jing Jiu uttered "hmm".
The owner of the barbecue stall tilted his body backwards slightly while looking at Jing Jiu expressionlessly.
After a while, Jing Jiu understood what he meant by doing that. He came before Zong Lizi and put her on his shoulder.
The owner of the stall had a more amiable look on his face now, saying, "I'll wrap up the left-over for you."
Jing Jiu had no patience for such a thing. But thinking of the habit of the girl, he halted his steps.
After some thought, Jing Jiu shook his fingers a few times while pointing at the bowl of beans in the black pepper.
"No, no, no. According to the rules of the institute, we haven't done anything wrong."
A thick, fat and white finger swayed in front of Zong Lizi incessantly, looking like a wiggling worm that had just climbed out of feces.
Zong Lizi restrained herself from vomiting. She took a deep breath and looked at the president of the institute sitting behind the desk, demanding, "The value of my yuanqi is the highest, and I'm the first place in all three tests; the quota for exchange student is mine. Don't you think something is wrong?"
The New Era Institute had posted the notice in the afternoon in the network of the institute. The person who would be the exchange student at the University of Stargate was not her, but a male student in his sophomore year.
Those students who had been asking about her secrets in Cultivation and congratulating her stopped talking abruptly. Lu Shuiqian consoled her while holding her hand, her face full of sympathy.
If she were another female student, she would run to the grassy ground and cry out; if she were a male student, she would run to the other end of the grassy ground and punch a tree among the row of trees with a fist. They were still a youth in the age of fifteen or sixteen; facing such a sudden setback and frustration, what could they do against those adults of the institute? And what did they dare to do?
However, some youths were different, like Zong Lizi. She couldn't just give up because she had no way to retreat. Under the shocking gazes of her classmates, she pushed open the door of the classroom forcefully and went to the office of the president of the institute; then, she knocked on the door politely before walking in.
"Your performance in the tests was outstanding; all the teachers have witnessed it. The top scholarship and the Leap-Forward Award will be yours for sure this year; but the quota for exchange student is not determined this way."
The president of the New Era Institute stood up and continued while looking at her tenderly, "The exchange student will study at the University of Stargate for half a year. We are the lower-level college, so we have to follow their rules…Let me elaborate on it; your performance in the classes was not very impressive, and you didn't participate in the activity of any society. No matter how I spoke on your behalf, the University of Stargate wouldn't agree to take you. There is nothing I can do."
"It has been less than twenty hours since the tests yesterday. President, you have already sent my information to the University of Stargate and they have already checked it out in such a short time; and the both sides even have time to persuade each other."
Zong Lizi said this while staring into the eyes of the fat president. As he grew more uncomfortable and was about to lose his temper, she suddenly added, "The exchange student the year before last year, Chen Xuefeng, had an ordinary performance during his years at the institute; the exchange student seven years ago, Mo Hai, had a worse performance than me during his years at the institute; but how did they pass the examinations of the University of Stargate?"
The fat president didn't expect this girl with silvery hair to have remembered all the information about the other exchange students. He couldn't help but slap the table with his palm, yelling, "Don't you shout at me! The University of Stargate has different criteria every year for accepting the exchange students. I have no idea why they have made such a decision."
Zong Lizi had no intention to back down so easily. "Now that the University of Stargate has declined my application, they must have given an official reply," said she. "Where is it? I'd like to see it."
Since the fat president was forced by Zong Lizi to a corner, he had no intention to conceal the fact any longer. He loosened his tie as he scolded, "It's not something you can see when you want to. How can you talk to a teacher in this way?!"
He suddenly smelled something. After sniffing around like a dog, he exclaimed to her with a sneer, "Did you drink alcohol last night? The smell of alcohol is all over you. A student came to the school after drinking. It's quite inappropriate! Get out of here!"
Zong Lizi didn't bother explaining herself, but kept on staring into his eyes.
The fat president suddenly felt somewhat unsettled. He walked over from behind the desk and attempted to pat on her shoulder in an effort to console her.
Zong Lizi backed up a step to prevent his extended hand from touching her.
The fat president grew more embarrassed, his face red with rage. He was on the verge of losing his temper.
She said while still staring at him, "If I hadn't backed up in time, you would have touched my body, and I could sue you for sexual harassment."
As the fat president shot a glance at the surveillance camera in the corner and thought of the near miss earlier, a slight change of expression occurred on his face. "Do you intend to frame me?" he demanded.
"No, it's because I don't want to become someone like you."
Having said that, Zong Lizi turned to leave the office of the president. She didn't restrain her emotion when she closed the door behind her this time.
The whole of the institute had heard a loud boom.
A grayish white flying device descended from the sky, bringing up a strong gust of wind and many grass crumbs.
Hearing the commotion, the students ran out from the classrooms. They looked at the grassy ground while leaning against the railing, their eyes full of curiosity.
A student recognized the trademark on the flying device. "Why did the people of the Twirling Rain Company come to our institute?" he wondered in astonishment.
Everybody knew about the Twirling Rain Company, which was the largest gaming company and was the sponsor of many agencies, including the University of Stargate. It had a great influential power in the community.
As Zong Lizi walked out from the office building, the grayish white flying device happened to have landed. She heard the discussions among the teachers and students.
She wondered if she could change the decision if she knew someone in the Twirling Rain Company.
It would be better if the youth in her apartment was an illegitimate son of a high-level officer in the Twirling Rain Company.
She walked toward the other side of the grassy ground while flashing a wry smile.
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