Chapter 2: It’s not that enemies don’t get together and take a walk on Huangquan Road
Qi Xi couldn’t remember how the graduation ceremony ended on such pins and needles. The following night, after graduating and leaving the school, she was still a bit dazed about what happened.
Zhao Yanyan sat across from Qi Xi. As well as being her friend and classmate, she was also Qi Xi’s roommate. She always believed in the ‘mean.’ As such, her grades will always remain in the middle and upper-middle. She is competitive, but she still chose to take the civil service exam without pomp. Now that she successfully finished, she was just waiting for graduation before beginning her new job at court.
As a result, despite Qi Xi’s passionate speech, there was no sadness in the meal between them. Rather, Zhao Yanyan was excited.
“Qi Xi, I saw a link for the video of your speech at the graduation ceremony!”
Qi Xi drank her juice reluctantly, “Where’s the link? Send it to me.”
“Are you going to report the post again so the video is deleted?”
“What else can I do? Wait for Gu Yan to sue me for infringing and slandering his reputation?” Qi Xi’s head hurt when she thought of the mess. “My brain slipped into the waters, and it is my mistake for speaking on an impulse. I am willing to remedy all the costs, take responsibility and make amends.”
In fact, Qi Xi wanted to apologize to Gu Yan after the incident, but who knew Gu Yan would disappear after the graduation ceremony? She couldn’t find him, so she could only apologize to him on WeChat.
Because she wasn’t able to get Gu Yan’s WeChat, she found Zhang Jia Liang, the initiator of it all, on WeChat in anger. As a result, when questioned, Zhang Jia Liang, the stranger man, had a somewhat reasonable answer.
“Why should Gu Yan bring the confession letter to you? Because I’m shy and introverted! I have liked you for a long time, and I am afraid to confess. I am afraid that if I look at you one more time, my heart will be beaten. I saw the LSAT book you forgot in the library, and immediately, I thought of expressing my emotions in a romantic and and classical way. I wrote the letter, and because Gu Yan happened to pass by, I had him bring it to you. It’s like that in the movies, right? If boys and girls communicated directly, it wouldn’t be romantic. There’s always a middleman to help communicate.
“As for the signature, I’m a rather humorous person. In order to make you feel as though you are riding a rollercoaster, I thought of joking with you. You would be lost when you see that Gu Yan confesses to you, and after turning the letter and seeing my name, you would be lost in ecstasy!”
Ecstasy your foot! The devil would like you! Even liking Gu Yan is better than liking a freak like you!
Looking back on it now, Qi Xi still feels that she is out of breath.
Zhao Yanyan patted Qi Xi’s head sympathetically, “To be honest, Gu Yan didn’t reply because you are already very disciplined. If you were an ordinary person, he might’ve beaten you!”
“He wouldn’t beat me,” Qi Xi said with lingering fear. “Isn’t he a Muay Thai practitioner? One single punch, even if he isn’t using all his strength, would cause a second degree injury. It’s enough to be sentenced for intentional injury on another, and it would be a criminal case. Even if you want to be a lawyer in the future, your license would be revoked.”
But even after saying that, Qi Xi also knew that Gu Yan’s self-cultivation was surprisingly good.
Although she posted an official apology statement letter on the school forum and Weibo, she made up a rumor to refute the original speech, her work was still fruitless. Both methods didn’t cause much heat…
She really committed an unforgiveable death penalty against Gu Yan. Gu Yan can do whatever he wants. It is reasonable even if she is prosecuted. And Qi Xi is willing to bear all legal consequences.
However, Gu Yan didn’t do anything. He didn’t accept the apology, and he didn’t scold her. He didn’t prosecute her, and he didn’t even take the initiative to clarify those rumors.
But how can I face Gu Yan in the future?
Apart from not seeing him ever again in the future, Qi Xi had no better plan.
She definitely fell to the extreme and to the absolute rock-bottom with the plan, but it was also the method in which she would be extremely peaceful.
She took another sip of her juice in distress when an email reminder came on her phone.
Qi Xi glanced reluctantly at the header message of “Congratulations.” The subject of the email caused a sudden adrenaline rush to her heart.
This is an acceptance letter from Columbia University Law School!
After Qi Xi’s trembling hands finally clicked on the email to confirm the content, she couldn’t help but jump from the chair.
“Zhao Yanyan, I was accepted into Columbia Law School for my JD!”
Only law school students know the prestige of Columbia Law School. Zhao Yanyan’s eyes brightened immediately, “Oh my god, Qi Xi! You are too fierce! Let me tell you, your LSAT score is very high! As high as the sky. Your GPA is also high, and you have passed the domestic judicial exams. You must do it! Columbia University! You can go to New York!”
When ranking American law schools, in addition to Harvard, Yale, Stanford Law Schools, Columbia Law is also no less. At Harvard/Yale/Stanford, it is uncommon to see fresh graduates with no relevant legal work/experience be admitted. Therefore, Qi Xi thought it best to apply to Columbia.
And when she went to the US, she wouldn’t have to face Gu Yan. After all, in a prior employment survey they filled out, Qi Xi remembered that Gu Yan filled out he would directly enter a law firm post graduation.
It’s just that when Qi Xi came home with a bright vision for her future to tell her father the shocking good news, she did not get congratulations or praise.
Qi Rui Ming was not only unhappy, but also furious, “Didn’t you agree to take the civil service exam after graduation? You secretly took the LSAT? Secretly applied to school?”
“Didn’t you promise me that you would find a stable 9-to-5 job in the civil service? I know that the civil service exam is tough, but Dad doesn’t necessarily want you to work in public security law. If you don’t pass the exam, I am here. Knowing people in Rongshi Daily, it’s not a problem to have you be the editor of the legal publication department. It’s usually very easy. You just review and review, and wait for the public exam next year to try again.”
It’s the same old words again.
Qi Xi suppressed the discomfort in her heart and argued with reason, “But I want to be a lawyer. If I can graduate from Columbia Law with a JD, whether I work in the US or in China, I will be more competitive in the law firm. Even if my income will not be high, and I will be poor, in terms of employment, I could have better choices.”
Qi Rui Ming didn’t give Qi Xi a chance to finish her speech, so he interrupted her again, this time with a bit more sincerity in his voice, “Xi Xi, you are a girl, girls don’t have to be so tired, take it easy, find a stable and decent 9-to-5 job, find a better person to marry in the future, and in the future, help the next generation as a housewife. Look at your mother, just like you and me, she graduated from Rongda Law School. Isn’t her life easy and happy? What’s wrong with it?
Qi Rui Ming frowned, “As for being a lawyer, that’s what boys do. Do you know how stressful working in a law firm is? I am a veteran lawyer, and I really don’t want you to be so tired. Look at the top partners in the law firm. How many of them are women? Becoming a lawyer is not as easy as you think. You also need to socialize and drink. You need to make connections. Look at how busy your father is. As a girl, do you want to live this kind of life?”
He persuasively said, “You are still young, once you become a lawyer, you will do one thing and hate another thing. Not to mention, women themselves are worse than men in terms of legal logical thinking. See for yourself, you have finished your undergraduate law education. Since beginning, when did you ever surpass Gu Yan in your class? Wasn’t he always number 1? If it’s like this in school, it will only be worse when you enter society and the workplace.
“There are a lot of excellent male lawyers out there, more than what you met in school. Your character is too competitive and hard. Once you enter the law firm, your mentality will only worsen. With your temperament, the future of your marriage will not be too happy. I’m speaking for your own good.”
Qi Rui Ming played hard and soft, before finally bringing out what he wanted to express.
“Anyway, if you’re going to America, I won’t pay.”
At the beginning, her father clearly stated that as long as she was admitted to Columbia Law School, he would pay for her education.
“But dad, you said at the time—,”
“First, girls don’t need so much education. Your bachelor’s degree is enough. Second, I don’t have that much money. School tuition in America is high, and the cost of living in New York is also high. You know dad doesn’t have much money. Lawyers don’t make as much money as you think. It’s not easy for me, and I still have case materials to prepare late at night.”
Qi Rui Ming’s attitude was very firm. After finishing speaking, he glanced angrily towards Qi Xi’s mother, Xi Win, who was on the side, “You take care of your daughter! Girls are so ignorant!”
Qi Xi finally understood.
In fact, from the beginning it seemed Qi Rui Ming never planned on paying for her education in the US. He agreed because he felt she would not apply for Columbia Law…
Even though her father was not a successful lawyer, he was a partner in a small law firm. There was no problem in terms of income for him to support her education. She is an only child, too, so there are no other siblings for them to spend money on.
Qi Xi’s heart was full of grievances and discomfort. As soon as her father left, she turned to her mother to complain, “He just looks down on girls. If I were a son who was accepted into Columbia Law, he would send me to America even if he had to break pots and sell the iron…”
Xi Wen’s voice was gentle and helpless, “Xi Xi, don’t trouble your father. He’s also under a lot of work pressure. It’s useless to blame me. If I had a job, your father wouldn’t be so tired and you would have money for your studies. But your father’s words make sense. It’s a blessing for girls to be safe and secure.”
Qi Xi slammed the door and threw herself on the bed, not wanting to listen to the clichés from her parents.
Most of the top law schools in the US are private schools with expensive tuition. International students like Qi Xi should be thankful to be admitted. How could they expect any scholarships? And they couldn’t apply for student loans like American students.
Her father’s attitude made Qi Xi completely give up… her JD dream was about to be dashed.
“So you received such a good offer, but you can’t go?”
Qi Xi stayed at home for two weeks before finally reluctantly accepting this painful reality. She asked Zhao Yanyan to come out for dinner.
Facing Zhao Yanyan’s question, Qi Xi nodded listlessly, “If you don’t have money, you have no right to speak.”
“Then what do you want to do? Go to the editorial department of the legal publication arranged by your father?”
“I won’t go,” Q Xi’s face was indomitable. She was a person who refused to admit defeat. “I urgently submitted by resume, and now I received an offer from a competing firm. Anyway, I can’t follow my dad’s wishes. He doesn’t like me as a lawyer, and I just want to be a lawyer. I received an offer from Columbia Law right after my undergraduate studies. With two years of work, I will have a better resume, and I might apply to a better school. Earn money for yourself.”
Zhao Yanyan still looked on with admiration, “Qi Xi, you are very hateful you know? It’s either an offer from Columbia Law or an offer from a co-op institute. In your world, it’s like buying a bunch of spring onions when going out. You really are able to do what you want.”
The job offer is from a very good company in Rongshi. The competition is quite fierce, and being hired by a co-op is also good news. But Qi Xi still couldn’t help but feel anxious, “Will Gu Yan also be in this company?”
“No, no, don’t worry,” Zhao Yanyan lowered her voice, saying, “As per the latest news, I heard that Gu Yan suddenly decided to go to the US for further studies. He doesn’t plan to work in the country. You also planned to go to America before, but I was afraid that you would be under further stress, so I didn’t tell you at the time.”
Qi Xi felt a little guilty, “Is it because I slandered his name during the graduation ceremony? Is he so sad that he plans to leave the country?”
“No, he changed his mind about going abroad before the graduation.”
Ah, such a good thing?!?
Qi Xi’s gloomy heart suddenly became warmer as the clouds escaped, revealing the sun. “God is helping me, too! Now, he’s going to the US while I stay in the country. In the future, our well water won’t be mixed into the river water, and we won’t have to see each other again in this lifetime!”
Although she was envious of Gu Yan going abroad for higher studies, Qi Xi quickly cheered up.
After all, she committed a monstrous crime against Gu Yan, and this creditor traveling far and wide was not a bad thing at all.
With this relief, Qi Xi soon went to the company to report.
“Because you applied for the job late, even though your resume is otherwise excellent in all aspects I will have to assign you to one of our newer female partners, Gu Xuehan since the senior most partners have full teams. Gu Xuehan was recently promoted as partner.”
The HR member explained to Qi Xi as she visited the firm, “But Partner Gu is very young and energetic. She’s the youngest member to be promoted as partner, and has just newly formed her team. You can follow along and work hard as you will be the core member of her team in the future. Partner Gu will catch up with you later to chat.”
Qi Xi checked Gu Xuehan’s information on the Internet. She is also a top student who graduated from Rongda Law School. Said to have risen with unparalleled speed as partner, she is both beautiful and capable. At first glance, she is a strong woman who is resolute, and the income she generated in the first year has already topped the annual revenue stream in the company. Several legal circles are very optimistic about her, thinking she may be the strongest rising star in the industry, both in terms of competition and cooperation.
“I see that in many forums, Lawyer Gu is known as the New Generation Goddess in the legal world,” Qi Xi said with a smile, “If I can work with her, I will definitely learn a lot of new things.”
She wasn’t sure if the atmosphere in the company was serious, but her compliment made the other colleagues in the personnel administration stunned, “That’s right, following her you will definitely learn a lot.”
Following the words from her colleagues, Qi Xi tidied up her appearance, and before she had the time to think about it, she finally walked into Gu Xuehan’s office in a state of apprehension and nervousness.
The she saw the strong visual impact… Gu Xuehan looked even better in person compared to the photos on the law firm’s official website, wearing a high-end suit. She looked indifferent and elegant. She doesn’t know if it’s because she naturally favored Gu Xuehan, but Qi Xi felt as though she saw some familiar shadows in Gu Xuehan’s eyebrows, and this made her feel naturally closer to Gu Xuehan.
It’s no wonder she is called ‘Goddess’ Gu Xuehan. Qi Xi feels that her appearance and temperament is nothing less than that of ‘Goddess.’
Seeing Qi Xi’s face, Gu Xuehan was also a little surprised. She smiled, “It seems like my team is the most visually appealing in the company. Qi Xi, welcome to the company!”
Qi Xi involuntarily sat up straighter. She was still somewhat nervous as she entered the company straight from school.
“Although I have a lot of work, my goal is to have a small, yet skilled team. Previously, most of the projects were completed by a group of lawyers without having a formal mentor. This time, I want to set up a team with two newcomers. Beside you, the other newcomer is a boy, my younger brother. But you can rest assure, I will never show favoritism when it comes to business or money distribution.
So my future colleague is the boss’s younger brother? It’s time to have a good relationship.
Qi Xi was thinking about how to get close with her future colleague, when she heard Gu Xuehan continue.
“My brother and you should be classmates. Both of you are graduates of Rongda Law School this year.”
Being classmates is good. She has a good relationship with all her male classmates in the class with the exception of Zhang Jia Liang and Gu Yan. But Zhang Jia Liang had returned to his hometown to work and Gu Yan had gone abroad.
Was it Gu Xuehan’s younger brother or perhaps cousin? If the surname is Gu, maybe it is Gu Cheng or Gu Yimin?
She shared a good relationship with both of them. They were at least normal classmates without any bad blood spilled between them.
Qi Xi calmed down as she thought about working with her old classmates. She is now confident that her future career life would be brilliant and filled with happiness.
“In the first few days, you should get used to assisting and helping out with small tasks, and then after warming up, you can start with small cases. My brother went to court to file a case. When he comes back, I invite you to a simple welcome meal with him.”
Gu Xuehan took a sip of water and then looked at Qi Xi with elegance, “I have something I want to ask you about your warm-up case.”
Qi Xi stood up immediately, “I don’t mind, just say it!”
“You don’t need to be nervous, it’s just a personal matter,” Gu Xuehan smiled, “Since you and my brother are in the same school, do you know who slandered him at the graduation ceremony?”
Qi Xi was stunned.
Is this what I think it means?
She stared at Gu Xuehan, feeling as though she needed to be rescued soon.
Gu Xuehan lowered her head and took a sip of water. She didn’t notice Qi Xi’s stiffness. Her voice was cold, “As a sister and lawyer, I must defend my brother’s rights.”
When Gu Xuehan said this, she glanced at Qi Xi again, her red lips slightly parted, “Forgot to mention, my brother is Gu Yan, your future teammate. Are you familiar with him?”
“…” Qi Xi was sure that she could declare her mission as an absolute failure. It was best to just pull her out and cremate her directly.
Gu Yan? Shouldn’t Gu Yan be abroad?
Before Qi Xi could digest her emotions, she heard the elegant and cold Gu Xuehan indifferently say, “Now, go and find out the name, ID number, and contact number of this girl.”
“This is the first job I give to you, so complete it well with due diligence. I heard many people watched a video recording of the speech at the time, but when I tried to find it, someone reported the video and had it deleted. You are responsible for finding the video as a part of collecting the evidence.”
Gu Xuehan had a straight forward and decisive personality. She quickly explained her first assignment, “This is your first case. Consider it a warm up.”
“…” Qi Xi didn’t know what to do except force a smile on her face.
It was at this moment the door to the office was pushed open. A face she never hoped to see again reappeared in front of her at the door…
“The case has been filed. The other party involved in the dispute said the meeting in the afternoon needs to be rescheduled.”
“Gu Yan, you came just in time. Let me introduce you to another member on the team. She’s your classmate, Qi Xi.”
Qi Xi’s heart wanted to cry.
At this moment, she really… If not for us enemies of being together, I would have taken a walk on Huangquan Road.
Author’s Note: JD means Juris Doctor or Doctor of Law in the US. You need to complete an undergraduate degree (can be with an unrelated major) before you apply to law school because there is no law undergraduate program in the US. For international students, this means they would apply to law school only after completing their undergraduate degree. You can apply after graduation. The schooling system is generally 3 years, and according to the Study Abroad Center of the Ministry of Education (in China), the JD is equivalent to getting a master’s degree after returning to China.