Chapter 78: Ling Xuan’s Heart Knot, Mingyue Building
In the end, Jiang Fuyue declined.
Xu Kaiqing didn’t understand.
She replied with just one sentence: “I’m still young, and the future holds endless possibilities.”
And Q University and scientific research were not the only paths.
Xu Kaiqing respected her decision (he couldn’t not respect it), and promised that the recommendation letter would be kept for her, and if one day Jiang Fuyue changed her mind, the doors of Q University’s Physics Department would always be open to her.
Furthermore, Jiang Fuyue requested that he keep her identity confidential, especially not to tell Xie Dingyuan.
Xu Kaiqing was slightly surprised.
【Xu】: Do you know that Xie guy?
【I live with a worried heart】: Not very well.
【Xu】: Any grudges between you?
【I live with a worried heart】: Mhm.
Xu Kaiqing understood.
On the other side, the chat ended, and both of them went offline.
In the blink of an eye, Xie Dingyuan’s call came in. Xu Kaiqing let out a soft “hey” and answered.
On the other end, there was first a series of inquiries and polite questions, displaying the extent of his thoughtfulness and consideration for his seniority: “… Just get used to it. Did you manage to get any information about ‘Chou’s’ whereabouts from that student?”
Xu Kaiqing’s old eyes flickered, and then he sighed deeply: “I don’t have precise information about her whereabouts, but it’s not as if we came away empty-handed.”
Half true, half false, the easiest way to gain trust.
“Oh?” The voice on the other end remained steady. “What happened?”
Xu Kaiqing explained, “After she bought those old books, she resold them to a young person.”
A young person? Xie Dingyuan raised an eyebrow.
“Judging by the age, the other person is likely not ‘Chout.’ If we want to continue investigating, we’ll need to find that young individual.”
The other side caught onto the key point: “Check the surveillance at the place of the transaction.”
With video footage available and a little influence, as long as that person was still in Linhuai, it wouldn’t be difficult to find them.
Xu Kaiqing sighed again, “I went to check, it’s a secluded street, there are no surveillance cameras.”
And a secluded street meant that it was impossible to retrieve footage from the opposite side or the surroundings.
So, was it still a dead end?
“Ah Yuan, you’ve been considerate these past few days. I’ll take care of things from here on out.”
Xie Dingyuan replied, “No trouble at all,” and offered to help with the search.
“No need for that. It’s originally a private matter between me and him. I heard from Old Shen that you’re currently preparing an SCI paper, and your experiment is at a critical stage. Don’t let your focus be divided.”
Once the conversation reached this point, Xie Dingyuan couldn’t insist further.
But he still felt that things weren’t so simple, and there seemed to be a subtle connection with Jiang Fuyue…
“Sis, are you catching a cold?” Little Brother Jiang ran into the living room, quickly bringing a cup of warm water.
Jiang Fuyue rubbed her nose; this was her Nth sneeze tonight.
“Thank you.” She took the cup and drank a couple of sips.
Little Brother Jiang looked at her with shining eyes.
Jiang Fuyue understood and raised her hand to ruffle his hair, the gentle touch carrying a warm sensation.
The young boy blushed shyly, lowering his head, his eyelashes trembling, and his cheeks turning visibly pink.
Well, he’s quite adorable.
The next day, Jiang Fuyue attended her classes as usual.
Meng Zhijian was curious about her conversation with Xu Kaiqing yesterday, but he didn’t dare ask, so he looked at Jiang Fuyue a few times with the intention of speaking but held back.
However, she simply ignored him.
After the Physics Olympiad training session, Jiang Fuyue and Ling Xuan had returned to their Math Olympiad class and resumed their regular classes.
Xu Jing seemed determined to make up for the lessons they had missed, and he handed them stacks of practice papers as if they were handing out freebies.
Jiang Fuyue didn’t mind. For her, this wasn’t a burden; on the contrary, she found enjoyment in diving into a sea of problems.
However, Ling Xuan wasn’t as relaxed.
He had always considered himself smart. Before Jiang Fuyue rose to prominence, he had been the unwavering top student in the eleventh grade—a synonym for “academic overlord.”
Therefore, he was confident in all subjects, even physical education.
However, Jiang Fuyue’s meteoric rise completely changed everything.
He went from being number one to number two. Even though everyone still called him “academic overlord,” Jiang Fuyue was now referred to as the “academic god”!
Just one word made all the difference, often marking an immense gap.
An academic overlord might be impressive, but they were still a “person.” An academic god, on the other hand, was a “god”!
Ling Xuan gradually felt the pressure, and his competitive nature was thoroughly ignited. He began to subtly compete with Jiang Fuyue—
If she could participate in two competitions simultaneously, he could reapply to return to the Physics Olympiad class.
If she could submit her papers early, then he must speed up too, racing against time for every point.
Her accuracy was one hundred percent, so he demanded perfection from himself, making not a single mistake.
However, each comparison ended in defeat, and Ling Xuan fell into a strange cycle named “Jiang Fuyue.”
On the same test papers, Jiang Fuyue finished well ahead of him.
In the same amount of time, Jiang Fuyue’s accuracy was more than double his.
Even the highly anticipated first round of the Physics Olympiad ended with Ling Xuan losing to Jiang Fuyue by a margin of four points.
Ling Xuan was frustrated for two whole days.
He couldn’t fathom how Jiang Fuyue’s mind worked, and he couldn’t understand why he cared so much.
It wasn’t like he had to be in first place; however, he couldn’t tolerate Jiang Fuyue.
A memory suddenly flashed in his mind— the image of a girl handing a love letter to him, her eyes lowered, her eyelashes trembling.
The scene played out, but the girl’s shy and hesitant black eyes turned cold and indifferent. Her gaze toward him was as if she were looking at a stranger, her lips parted slightly as she said word by word, “It was just a bet. Who would have thought you’d actually believe it?”
Turns out, her confession to him was just a bet.
Ling Xuan took a deep breath, and his wandering thoughts gradually converged.
He placed a hand on his chest, faintly hearing a voice echoing from deep within his consciousness—
“You’re just not willing to accept it.”
But that voice didn’t tell him whether he wasn’t willing to accept being robbed of the top spot or if he wasn’t willing to accept Jiang Fuyue’s joke-like confession.
If it was the former, he could simply give his all to reclaim the first place.
But if it was the latter, what should he do?
Well, he should make Jiang Fuyue pay for humiliating him.
But… what kind of price should that be?
He could have her write another confession letter and show genuine nervousness and shyness this time, turning this bet-like confession into a genuine one!
He could nod and agree, telling her that they would officially become a couple.
The moment this thought emerged, Ling Xuan was stunned. He couldn’t believe he had such a fantasy.
The sudden shock and astonishment immobilized him in place, and he couldn’t regain his senses for a long while.
In the silence, he heard his own heart pounding like thunder—thump, thump…
“Ah Xuan?” Zhou Qin’s concerned voice reached him.
Ling Xuan suddenly snapped back to reality, his gaze still somewhat dazed. “Mom.”
“Why are you covered in cold sweat?” Zhou Qin touched his neck and frowned.
Ling Xuan sidestepped, avoiding the touch. “It’s nothing, just a bit warm.”
Zhou Qin hesitated for a moment, then withdrew the hand with a smile. “Go down; the teacher is already here.”
He had a team of private tutors, and today he should be attending the Physics class…
As night fell, the sound of a car engine approached the gate.
Zhou Qin, who had been reading a magazine on the sofa, immediately stood up. She adjusted her hair, checked her attire, and made sure everything was in place before walking to the entrance, wearing a gentle and graceful smile to welcome her returning husband.
Ling Qingzhou was on the phone, absentmindedly handing his briefcase to Zhou Qin. He changed into the slippers she had set out, all the while speaking with a hint of anger in his voice:
“Regardless of how much the Yis donate, I’ll double it. The science building at No. 1 High School must be named the ‘Mingyue Building.’ Do you understand?!”
When Zhou Qin heard the words “Mingyue Building,” her smile froze, and her normally rosy complexion turned pale in an instant.