Aerial Rain
Translating Web Novel

ATCF Ch 36 Part 3 – Four Neatly Aligned Trees (III)

Feng Qi ran with Jiang Li all the way, but their speed gradually slowed down. They alternated between running and walking, and just when Jiang Li felt completely exhausted, she saw the entrance gate of the research institute.

Unable to hold on any longer, Jiang Li squatted down on the spot and looked up at Feng Qi, gasping heavily as she asked, “Third Uncle, didn’t you… say today… you don’t have… work?”

Feng Qi nodded, “Yes, but I wanted to familiarize you with the route.” He reached out and grabbed Jiang Li’s arm, lifting her up, “You’ve just exercised intensely, don’t squat on the ground, stand up and walk slowly for a while.”

Jiang Li extended one finger, “Let me… stand in place… for one minute.” This jogging was more like a marathon. It was much more exhausting than the previous 800 meters, and she now felt like her legs didn’t belong to her. In short, she was very uncomfortable.

Feng Qi finally realized that he might have pushed her too hard from the beginning. He spoke softly, “Then let’s walk slowly. Do you want to take a look around the research institute?”

Jiang Li immediately answered, “Look! But we have to… take it slow.”

After walking slowly for a few minutes, Jiang Li finally regained her senses. She looked up at Feng Qi and murmured softly, “You said before that it only takes half an hour from home to the research institute.”

But they had just run over here, and it took them more than an hour.

Feng Qi nodded, “Yes, I said at least.”

Jiang Li: …

That’s right, her jogging speed was probably not much different from walking in Feng Qi’s eyes.

Feng Qi was supposed to have a day off today, but he came to the research institute. Jiang Li thought his colleagues would surely be surprised, but as they walked along, those people respectfully addressed him as “Professor Feng” without a hint of surprise in their eyes.

From this, it could be seen that her third uncle must often use his day off to come and work overtime.

“Why do they all call you Professor Feng?” Jiang Li was curious. In her impression, there were only two professors in the family: Second Uncle and Second Aunt.

Feng Qi replied, “I supervise a few doctoral students.”

Jiang Li widened her eyes in astonishment, “That’s impressive!”

She only knew that her third uncle was academically accomplished, but she didn’t know that he could also mentor students. Doctoral students, even.

A smile appeared in Feng Qi’s eyes, “Actually, they do most of the hard work themselves. I just occasionally offer some guidance.”

“Well, it’s still impressive,” Jiang Li continued to look up to him with admiration.

Feng Qi: …

In this research institute, there were people more accomplished than himself, especially those senior experts who practically ran the institute. He couldn’t help but feel inferior. But seeing the admiring look in his little niece’s eyes, he decided not to explain for now.

As Feng Qi made his way to his laboratory, people seemed to greet him normally, but there were quite a few curious gazes. Being accomplished at such a young age, he naturally attracted attention. However, he was too low-key, and most of the people in the institute were engrossed in their research, leaving little time for gossip. Thus, all they knew was that Feng Qi was unmarried and came from a prestigious family, but nothing else was clear.

Now, seeing him bring a girl in her early teens, everyone couldn’t help but speculate that she might be his little sister, as they looked remarkably alike.

Feng Qi was a workaholic. Even if today was his day off, since he came all the way to the lab, he couldn’t stand staying idle. He asked one of the research students there to take care of Jiang Li and went off to attend to his work.

It was only at this moment that Jiang Li realized that her third uncle was indeed the serious and reserved Third Master Feng in the eyes of others.

The research student appointed by Feng Qi to look after Jiang Li was called Fang Tong. She had just started her internship at the institute and felt a bit nervous when she heard Feng Qi’s instructions. She awkwardly asked if Jiang Li needed anything.

However, this research room was filled with various equipment and other implements, which didn’t seem to interest the young girl much.

Jiang Li politely replied, “Sister, you can focus on your work, no need to worry about me.”

Seeing that she didn’t mind, Fang Tong felt relieved and went back to her tasks. She then noticed that Professor Feng’s little sister was particularly well-behaved. While she conducted experiments, the little girl was attentively observing, as if she could really understand what was happening.

During the waiting time for the reaction of the chemicals, Fang Tong had some free time, so she couldn’t help but ask Jiang Li in a low voice, “Is your brother also very serious at home?”

Jiang Li thought that Feng Qi had talked about his family with his colleagues, so she asked, “Which brother are you referring to?”

Fang Tong was taken aback and pointed in the direction of Feng Qi’s office, thinking, “Does Professor Feng have many brothers at home?”

Helplessly, Jiang Li replied, “He is my youngest uncle.”

Stunned, Fang Tong quickly apologized, “I’m sorry, Professor Feng looks so young, I thought…”

Jiang Li shook her head, “It’s okay, you didn’t know. But is my uncle always so serious at work?”

Fang Tong nodded with some trepidation, “We intern usually don’t dare to talk to him.”

Jiang Li couldn’t help but laugh, “He may appear serious, but he’s actually easy to talk to.”

Fang Tong:…

No, no, that’s probably because you have a filter for your relatives. Your ‘easy to talk’ uncle made an intern cry just last week.

However, this little niece of Professor Feng seemed to be raised in pamper, so it’s better not to tell her these things, lest she be scared.

After Fang Tong resumed working, Jiang Li quietly watched her conducting experiments. Occasionally, Fang Tong would explain a few things to Jiang Li, but most of the professional terms went over her head. Nevertheless, it didn’t stop her from being interested in what was happening.

At lunchtime, the staff brought in their work meals. Jiang Li noticed that Feng Qi’s laboratory door was tightly closed and frowned, “Doesn’t Uncle have lunch?”

Fang Tong hurriedly explained, “He will go to the cafeteria after finishing his work. You must never interrupt his experiments; the consequences would be severe.”

After hesitating for a few seconds, Jiang Li decided not to knock on the door. However, not having meals on time was not a good habit. She planned to talk to her third uncle about it on their way home.

Finally, at three in the afternoon, the door of Feng Qi’s laboratory opened. He walked to the entrance of Fang Tong’s lab and noticed Jiang Li engrossed in watching Fang Tong’s experiments. Without calling her, he went directly to the cafeteria.

On her first day at the research institute, Jiang Li felt that time passed quickly. It wasn’t until evening when Feng Qi finished his work that they left the institute at a leisurely pace.

Outside the institute’s gate, Jiang Li looked at Feng Qi with a vigilant expression, “We ran for over an hour in the morning, do we have to run again in the evening?”

Feng Qi smiled and ruffled her hair, “How about riding a bicycle?”

Jiang Li:…

Prior to transmigrating, her poor health didn’t allow her to learn to cycle. As for the original ‘Jiang Li’… she couldn’t either.

After seeing her expression, Feng Qi understood everything and asked with a smile, “Do you want to learn?”

After hesitating for a couple of seconds, Jiang Li nodded very slowly. Although cycling was also a form of exercise, it was definitely more interesting than running.

During the process of learning, Jiang Li found her third uncle to be a very patient and good teacher. In the beginning, he helped her balance the bicycle, but as she gradually got the hang of it, he let her ride along the flat ground while following behind.

Jiang Li couldn’t help but exclaim, “Third Uncle, I think those who can be your students are truly lucky.”

Feng Qi: …

He couldn’t help but wonder if Fang Tong had said something to Xiao Lizi, leading her to make such sarcasm.

After riding a few meters ahead, Jiang Li noticed that her uncle hadn’t caught up yet. She pressed the brakes and turned back to see him lost in thought.

Calling out to him from a distance, she asked, “Third Uncle, what are you daydreaming about?”

Feng Qi snapped back to reality and quickly caught up, saying, “I was thinking that not only are those who become my students fortunate, but even those who study at my research institute are quite lucky.”

For instance, Fang Tong. Although she wasn’t his student, he could give her some additional attention and assign a couple of extra projects to her.

After all, young people also need to feel valued and nurtured.


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Author’s Note:

Many years later, someone interviewed Fang Tong, who had become a renowned scientist, and asked who had the greatest influence on her.

Without hesitation, Fang Tong answered, “It was Professor Feng Qi. When I first entered the research institute, I thought I could lead a leisurely 9-to-5 life, but Professor Feng told me that I had unlimited potential and only needed to be deeply explored.”

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3 thoughts on “ATCF Ch 36 Part 3 – Four Neatly Aligned Trees (III)”

  1. Thank you for the chapter! Lolol, I wonder how Fang Tong would feel about this “blessing in disguise” if she knew the real reason behind this extra attention

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