Chapter 40: The Interview (3)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“She said her name was Wen Shouyi.” Gu Nianzhi scrutinized He Zhichu’s expression— he appeared to be calm, but she could see the stiffness in his shoulders. She laughed lightly and said, “Professor He, maybe she did it for my good own? Please don’t be upset.”
She paused, her voice tinged with sarcasm. “Or maybe, she knew that I’m the type who can’t stand to be goaded, so she prodded me at the last moment to encourage me to perform better in the interview. See, didn’t I do well today? You’ll still be sending me the letter of acceptance, right?”
He Zhichu tidied the file, unperturbed. He stood up and glanced at Gu Nianzhi. “You are quite eloquent. Keep it up and work hard to be a successful barrister.”
Befor he left the room, he took out his phone to send a text, then clicked “Admit” on Gu Nianzhi’s name on the B University School of Law’s admissions site. He confirmed the change and showed it to Gu Nianzhi. “You can check your inbox; the admissions email should have been sent automatically. You should receive the hard copy in three days, but call me if you don’t.”
Gu Nianzhi checked the inbox on her phone. A notice of admission from the B University School of Law Post Grad Admissions Office was already there. With this, Gu Nianzhi finally sighed in deep relief and shrugged the tension off her shoulders. She immediately forwarded the admissions email to Yin Shixiong and Chen Lie. She didn’t send it to Huo Shaoheng, because he didn’t have a personal email. She didn’t bother with his work email either because rather than going through it himself, he had it monitored by his personal secretary, Zhao Liangze.
“Thank you, Professor He. I look forward to working with you.” Gu Nianzhi bowed at He Zhichu again. “I hope that you will graciously forget that I was late twice.”
He Zhichu was still texting on his phone. “If I truly hadn’t wanted to admit you, I could’ve simply failed you after your interview. Why would I go through all that trouble and give you a special position in the spring semester? I don’t have the free time to make your life miserable.”
Gu Nianzhi made a silly face behind He Zhichu’s back and then giggled. “I knew Professor He wasn’t a petty, two-faced backstabber. That’s why I came to interview despite the great mental pressure. Thank goodness I made a winning bet.”
He Zhichu paused and turned around to look at her, his black brows raised. “That’s silly.” He then changed the subject. “You have over half a year from between graduating this summer till classes start next spring. What do you have planned?”
Gu Nianzhi shook her head. “I haven’t decided yet. I still have to discuss it with my family.”
“You really listen to everything they say?”
Gu Nianzhi shrugged and laughed, “I’m still young; I’m not even eighteen yet. Of course I have to listen to my family, they would never do me harm.”
He Zhichu didn’t say anything more and instead dialed a number. Gu Nianzhi’s phone began to ring, but the call ended just as as she was about to pick up.
He Zhichu raised his phone. “That’s my number; save it. If you don’t have much going on, you can help me with cases this summer break.”
Gu Nianzhi was delighted and quickly saved He Zhichu’s number. “I will definitely contact you then.”
He Zhichu said goodbye and had her leave first, then sat down in the small office next door. Wen Shouyi appeared not long after and asked gracefully, “Professor He, you called?”
He Zhichu pushed a file towards her. “I’ve admitted Gu Nianzhi. Complete her registration.”
Wen Shouyi was floored. “Professor He, you’re really admitting her? But she…”
Notwithstanding that Gu Nianzhi had been absent twice, she had also argued with He Zhichu. Wen Shouyi had known him for years and Gu Nianzhi had certainly touched a nerve.
“Business is business. Don’t overthink it.” He Zhichu lit a cigarette, his eyes focused on hers. He didn’t ask the question aloud but Wen Shouyi already understood that Gu Nianzhi had already told him of their encounter. Wen Shouyi smiled a bit helplessly and played yesterday’s recording for He Zhichu.
“That was all. I was being kind and didn’t want Professor He to be vexed with her later on. I also didn’t want anything to happen to this young lady’s future because of her previous mistakes. I didn’t think she would be so sharp tongued and skilled at twisting people’s words. I almost feel cornered by her,” Wen Shouyi carefully said in a quiet voice as she opened the file He Zhichu had passed her. She organized all the documents inside by category.
He Zhichu blew out a ring of smoke, his inky eyes half-open. He stared in the direction of the door for a while. until the recording ended. He did not speak.
Wen Shouyi sat elegantly across from He Zhichu, lifting her eyes to smile at him. The morning sunlight was sliced into strips by the blinds and illuminated her, casting her half in light and half in darkness. He Zhichu smoked and shifted his gaze to Wen Shouyi’s face, deep in thought.
Before him, Wen Shouyi slight but full figure was outlined by her sleek business dress ensemble. Her brows and lips were delicate, her nose straight and fine, and her almond eyes slightly lifted at the corners. She was like an ancient beauty from a classical painting—voluptuous, enchanting, and possessing the graceful bearing of one who had weathered through many a storm.
He Zhichu stubbed the cigarette in the ash tray. “Is there anything else?”
Wen Shouyi relaxed. She took out her electronic organizer. “There was a request today. A client in C City is seeking to hire you as an attorney, for a generous sum.”
He Zhichu was not only a partner to a major American law firm, but he also held a law license in the Empire. He had his own law firm in the capital as well.
“Oh? Who is it?”
To hire He Zhichu as an attorney, one not only needed deep pockets, but would also be in big enough trouble.
“This family…has a bit of history with you.” Wen Shouyi withdrew a file from her briefcase. “Do you remember the first student you interviewed, Feng Yixi?”
He Zhichu took the file and skimmed over it. “Didn’t Feng Yixi violate the school rules and get expelled? The Feng family, yes? What’s going on with them?”
“Feng Yixi did violate the school rules and not only was she expelled, but she was also sentenced to one year of community service.” Wen Shouyi said, her voice expressing the pity she felt. “What a shame for this student. She somehow messed with the wrong people and got into trouble.”
“Shouyi, remember that you are also a lawyer. Your unprofessional verbiage is enough grounds for termination.” He Zhichu tossed the file back. “I don’t want my people to spout this kind of nonsense and be seen as a joke.”