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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Upon seeing her best friend regaining her high spirits, Guo Caiying became silent for a moment with a grave expression before suddenly saying, “My dad also knows this Old Wang for several years now, so if he really goes to the foreign world to do some research, even if my dad purposely didn’t want to tell me, I would have still been able to catch some clues when I was talking to him. Don’t lie to yourself, Chuhe! It’s not worth it to do so for a man!”
These few cruel words made Ai Chuhe’s eyes that were gradually lighting up, dim once again. The bus stop was already in sight, so the three of them walked silently to the stop sign, not saying anything until they got on the bus and passed by a few bus stops to a bustling neighborhood.
After getting off the bus, it was Zhang Lisheng who saw the neon lights that filled his gaze and the fashionable men and women dressed in casual clothes who first broke the silence. “This must be a part of Silicon Valley, right? The people on the street are different from what I first imagined.”
“How did you imagine them to be that way? Should the Silicon Valley programmers wear sweatshirts while chewing on burgers across the street?” Guo Caiying snapped and crossed the road to enter a small-scale restaurant that had a signboard painted with a staggered knife and fork.
Sparkling crystal chandeliers illuminated the French-style western restaurant. The dining tables and chairs were made of unpainted mahogany that was covered with beautiful hand-woven tablecloths, appearing to be out of place within Silicon Valley at the cutting edge of the times.
Upon seeing customers walking into the door, a waiter wearing a white shirt and a black bow tie immediately greeted them. Before he even managed to open his mouth, Zhang Lisheng who followed the girls into the restaurant asked first in French, “Is there any table available?”
“Of course, Sir! Miss Guo has already made a booking.” The waiter was dumbfounded in a not obvious manner for a moment before flashing a smile that revealed his eight white teeth. Then, he proceeded to take the three of them to an empty table and handed them the menu.
“I’m very hungry but French cuisine is not that filling…” Zhang Lisheng took the menu and muttered to himself. Then, he ordered three full course meals in French and opened two expensive aged wines before taking out a hundred dollar bill. “Give me another five cans of iced Coke and the rest is your tip, thank you.”
Working in a French restaurant in Silicon Valley, the waiter would always come across some bizarre guests, so the waiter silently took the money and turned his gaze onto Guo Caiying and Ai Chuhe. “Is there anything the two ladies need?”
Guo Caiying, who brought Zhang Lisheng to the most expensive Western restaurant in Silicon Valley she chose just to embarrass him, did not expect the young man could speak fluent French. Not only that, he even ordered a red wine that cost more than 1000 dollars and the best course meal without even blinking an eye.
She opened her mouth in surprise and casually ordered a French braised duck set she often ate. After sending the waiter away, she carefully studied the young man, “Junior Brother, your French is quite good, huh?”
Zhang Lisheng who had lived in Johannesburg, South Africa, that used to be a colony of the European powers but was now a place of the gold rush, had managed to be proficient in French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and more through the Eternal Comprehension Spell. With a smile, he replied, “I can roughly speak a bit.”
“Stop speaking to us with Sichuan dialect already! After listening to you speaking in French, and then listening to you speaking in that weird dialect again, it really sounds awkward, you know. Junior Brother, judging from the way you spend your money so lavishly, you must be from a good background right?”
“Not really. I’m a native of Hengze City in Western Sichuan Province of Qu County. All of my family members are mountain inhabitants.”
As one of the most expensive private universities in the US, if one did not have any scholarship support while studying abroad at Stanford, the tuition fee would cost at least 70,000 dollars annually. Of course, nobody would believe a child from a mountain family in Western Sichuan could come here to study while speaking fluent English and French.
However, the question just now had crossed the social line a little, so even though Guo Caiying did not believe him, she did not say anything to openly refute him.
After a while, the waiter finally sent the food to them and they began to dine. Ai Chuhe, who had yet to eat anything, immediately gulped down two full glasses of red wine silently and tears began to fall from his eyes, drenching her makeup completely.
The other customers in the restaurant inadvertently noticed the weeping of the girl, causing a small commotion. After a while, the waiter came over again and asked, “Miss Ai, is there anything I can do to help you?”
“No, I’m sorry.” Ai Chuhe noticed her terrible manners in surprise and quickly stood up to head to the bathroom.
Looking at her disappearing back, Guo Caiying put down her knife and fork before lowering her voice to speak to the young man, “Junior Brother, actually, your speculation just now makes much sense. With that reminder of yours, I also think that it’s very likely for the country to recruit Old Wang to do biological research in the foreign world, so he’s forced to break up with Chuhe…”
“But you still…” Zhang Lisheng asked with wide eyes.
“I purposely put on an act! Didn’t you hear Chuhe? She said she would wait till he comes back! Once he goes to that damn terrible place, who knows whether he’d still come back or not? Besides, even if he can, it would be after five years. By then, who knows what would happen to their relationship? As the saying goes, it is better to just get it over with, rather than prolong the agony. Right now, the best path for Chuhe is to suffer a short period of pain and then restart everything again. When she gets drunk and asks you some questions later, I hope that you can…”
“I understand. I understand.” Now that Zhang Lisheng knew the good intentions Guo Caiying had for her friend, Zhang Lisheng nodded his head.
When Guo Caiying heard him agreed to her so readily, she was stunned for a moment. “I thought you would put in some good words for Old Wang, so I was still thinking about how to convince you. I didn’t expect you…”
“Senior sister, isn’t your intention the same with Old Wang? That both of you wish that senior sister Ai can have a new beginning? Isn’t it the same for me to help you or him?”
“Logically, yes. But… Ah, forget it. All in all, I realize you do indeed have a brain that nobody can understand.”
“I beg to differ. Oh yeah, senior sister. You said it’d be difficult for Old Wang to come back once he goes to the foreign world, is it that terrible over there?”
“Can you keep a secret?”
“Me too…” Guo Caiying smiled smugly. However, when she saw the young man’s upset face after she fooled her, her heart went inexplicably soft, so she lowered her voice to say in a half-truth. “Junior brother, because of your sincere inquiry, let me tell you one thing about the situation China discovered in the foreign world. It’s said that it’s a world of ‘One God’ where everybody believes in the same god, in which different branches and sects will kill each other to use death to please their god. That’s all I know.”
“A god that enjoys in seeing his believers please him through death?” Upon hearing this description, Zhang Lisheng’s eyes lit up as he remembered his own evil quality of enhancing his wizard power through others’ negative emotions, prompting him to mutter to himself, “If I become a god, perhaps I’d do the same thing as him as well…”
“What did you say?”
“Nothing, senior sister. You’re not going to the bathroom to see how senior sister Ai is doing?” As Zhang Lisheng was speaking, he saw Ai Chuhe walk back to her seat staggeringly.
However, despite the girl’s tipsy look, she did not lose her cool all the way until they finished their dinner and took the bus back to the Stanford campus center. She did not ask the young man anything contrary to what Guo Caiying had expected.
After sending the two girls back to their dormitory, the sky was already fully covered in stars. With the help of the bright moonlight, Zhang Lisheng rode the mid-ancient racing bike he exchanged using a hefty price along the campus road by following the guidelines on the mobile phone map, before reaching the library nearest to him.
As the university ranked second to have the largest book collection in the US, more than eight million books in more than 30 Stanford libraries distributed throughout the campus had been digitized and opened to the public on the internet. Even so, there were still quite a few books that would have to be borrowed from the library in person if one wanted to have a sneak peek, due to copyright issues.
On top of that, reading a book online and actually holding a book in your hands in a quiet library while being immersed with thousands of other equally focused ‘bookworms’ are two completely different concepts.
The efficiency of memory and understanding was far from different for some people. For this reason, after Zhang Lisheng locked his bicycle and climbed the steps to push open the door to enter this library that looked as though it had just been recently constructed, which appeared to be more like a giant fast food restaurant and far exceeded a normal library, he realized it was already overcrowded.
The more famous the university was, the more intense the competition among the students. Every year, a few Stanford students would commit suicide for being unable to bear the tremendous pressure of their studies. Other than the first and second-grade students who were still unable to find the goal of struggle for the time being, who still kept transferring between courses and who lived a comfortable life of just a passable credit, Stanford rarely had lazy students.
After glancing around under the bright ceiling lights at the front desk and seeing different colors of hair everywhere, Zhang Lisheng muttered to himself—”Are they really this hard-working on the first day of school?”—before starting to look at the book catalog on the public computer.
A good biologist must have at least a profound knowledge in biochemistry, cell, and molecular biology subjects. It was also best to have a basic grasp of advanced mathematics and physics too. The purpose of the young man’s trip to the library was to find one or two books of a related simplified treatise, but when he searched around on the computer, a book called “The Illustrated Handbook of Bio-anatomy and Chemical Reaction” caught his attention.
He hesitated for a moment before turning the computer screen to the black girl managing the library and asked, “May I know whether I can borrow this ‘The Illustrated Handbook of Bio-anatomy and Chemical Reaction’ out or not?”
“Oh? A Stanford freshman who can’t read the book label.” The girl looked at Zhang Lisheng first before looking at the computer with a puckered thick lips. “I’m sorry, dear diligent junior brother. This book can only be borrowed by graduate students. This school is more in name than in reality! It keeps looking down on us undergraduates, isn’t it?”
“I think that doing so is very good! At the very least, it can guarantee that these books are taken away by people who know how to use them when they leave the library, right?” The young man smiled and pointed to his badge. “Zhang Lisheng, a graduate student of Professor Steven Pigros of Biology Faculty. Can you tell me where ‘The Illustrated Handbook of Bio-anatomy and Chemical Reaction’ is? I want to borrow it.”
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