With Jiang Li running to the research institute every day, Old Master Feng started to have opinions. However, his annoyance wasn’t directed at Jiang Li, but at his son, who used to be absent from home but now kept leaving early and returning later due to Jiang Li’s presence.
Late one night, Old Master Feng went to his youngest son’s room, wearing a helpless expression. “Isn’t it a bit inappropriate to have Xiao Jiang Li accompany you so often? Both of you are leaving early and coming home late every day.”
Feng Qi raised his eyebrows, “You mean, I should live in the research institute with Xiao Lizi?”
“…” It took a solid half-minute for Old Master Feng to recover from his stunned state. He looked at his son helplessly and said, “Just forget that I came here.”
He knew his youngest son’s temperament well. If he managed to irritate Feng Qi, there was a high likelihood he’d take his granddaughter and move to the research institute.
Fortunately, Xiao Jiang Li didn’t follow her uncle every single day. At least on weekends, she stayed at home. Although learning Sanda with her second brother made her a bit tired, it was still beneficial for a girl to learn some self-defense skills.
As he started teaching Jiang Li martial arts, Feng Song noticed that she actually had talent here. Though she started later, she quickly grasped the technical aspects, but the only drawback was her lack of strength, making her movements sometimes look flashier rather than useful. But he also understood that many girls faced this issue, so he had to think of ways to compensate for it in other aspects.
Thus, Jiang Li finally established a delightful routine for her vacation: accompanying her uncle to the research institute on weekdays and practicing martial arts with her second brother on weekends.
Tong Yi, who was in the United States, would chat with her daily, sharing details of his life abroad. When he learned that Jiang Li followed her uncle to the research institute every day, he appeared quite pleased, although Jiang Li couldn’t fathom why.
However, Jiang Li soon discovered that wherever there were people, there would be social dynamics, even within the research institute.
After a week of visiting the research institute, Jiang Li noticed a male student who seemed to have peculiar eyes when looking at her.
Fang Tong informed her that the student was Zhao Qiang, who attended the same school and was in the same grade as her. Now, he was interning at the same institute.
Fang Tong mentioned that Zhao Qiang was academically excellent but not very sociable, hardly interacting with his classmates.
Jiang Li nodded quietly, thinking that Zhao Qiang appeared somewhat anxious. Despite being around the same age as Fang Tong, he seemed much more mature.
If someone were to tell her that Zhao Qiang was older than her uncle, she wouldn’t hesitate to believe it.
At first, Jiang Li felt that Zhao Qiang’s gaze towards her was strange, but she brushed it off, thinking it might just be her imagination.
However, she soon confirmed that her hunch was correct.
day, as she was walking back to the laboratory after using the restroom, Zhao Qiang stopped her.
Zhao Qiang was not good with words, and the first thing he said while looking at Jiang Li was, “Actually, you can study with me. I can teach you well.”
Jiang Li was utterly confused, not understanding what he was up to.
The young man’s face turned slightly red as he opened his canvas bag, taking out a few old softcover notebooks. “These are the notes I took during my university days—very detailed. If you study with these notes, it will save you a lot of trouble. If there’s anything you don’t understand, you can ask me; I’m always online.”
Jiang Li frowned and asked, “Can you just directly tell me your purpose?”
Her remark left Zhao Qiang completely stunned, appearing as if he wanted to say something, but hesitated, making both of them uncomfortable.
“If you won’t say, I’ll just leave.” Jiang Li planned to bypass him directly.
Zhao Qiang wanted to reach out and grab her arm, but quickly pulled back. “Uh… well… you see…”
Jiang Li sighed helplessly, “If you don’t say it, I’m really leaving.”
“I want to participate in Professor Feng’s project.” Zhao Qiang blurted out, feeling much more relieved.
Jiang Li: …
However, this matter was beyond her control.
“I know nothing about my uncle’s project and can’t speak for you,” Jiang Li replied candidly.
Zhao Qiang scratched his head a few times. “But… but Fang Tong joined the project, and I don’t think I’m any worse than her, really. You can check my resume, and I can show you all my award certificates.”
Jiang Li suddenly felt that Zhao Qiang was a bit naive, but in a cute way. He seemed to focus all his topics around academics, even though it might be a bit abrupt. Jiang Li didn’t find his behavior annoying, however, she could only shake her head helplessly. “I don’t know why my uncle allowed Fang Tong to join his project, so I can’t help you.”
Hearing Jiang Li’s response, Zhao Qiang looked extremely disappointed. He put his notebooks back into the canvas bag and handed it directly to Jiang Li. “Even though you can’t help me, I’ll still give you these notebooks because I’ve noticed that you love learning.”
Zhao Qiang hung the bag on her shoulder before she could say anything, and then he disappeared before she could respond.
Jiang Li: …
Well, that was quite an extraordinary encounter.
Upon returning to the laboratory, Fang Tong noticed Jiang Li carrying a familiar canvas bag and asked, “Why does this canvas bag look like the one that weird guy, Zhao Qiang, carries?”
Jiang Li nodded and then shared what had just happened, excluding the part where Zhao Qiang claimed he wasn’t any worse than Fang Tong.
After listening to the story, Fang Tong immediately said, “Although Zhao Qiang isn’t great at socializing, his academic abilities are genuinely strong. He won several awards during his university years. People have been speculating that he chose to intern here because of Professor Feng.”
Jiang Li agreed with a nod and inquired, “Is it difficult to join my uncle’s project team?”
Fang Tong nodded enthusiastically but then looked puzzled, “Indeed, it’s very difficult, but… I got in. It felt like a dream. At the time, I also had doubts, but Professor Feng said I had too much energy and that he saw great potential in me.”
With Jiang Li’s current level, it was impossible to judge who had potential and who didn’t. However, since her uncle had decided to let Fang Tong join the team, it meant that she must have great potential.
So, she patted Fang Tong’s shoulder, encouraging her, “I trust my uncle’s judgment, and you shouldn’t underestimate yourself.”
Fang Tong: …
She was being comforted by a young girl who wasn’t yet a senior high student, but for some reason, it made her feel more motivated.
Looking at the canvas bag on the table, Fang Tong sighed, “If Professor Feng agrees to have Zhao Qiang on the team, I would definitely feel much more at ease.”
“You can suggest it to my uncle,” Jiang Li said.
Fang Tong shook her head vigorously, “I wouldn’t dare. I’m afraid to be scolded to cry by Professor Feng.”
Seeing Jiang Li’s surprised expression, she realized her slip of tongue and quickly explained, “Professor Feng… is quite serious.”
Jiang Li felt that it might be more than just quite serious, so she asked curiously, “Then why do all of you want to join his team?”
Fang Tong spoke as if it was a well-known fact, “Of course. You might not know this saying circulating in our research institute: ‘We’d rather cry under Professor Feng’s guidance than laugh under any other professor’s.'”
Jiang Li: …
Well, she indeed didn’t know, and now that she knew, she found it hard to believe.
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