Hello Mr. Major General Chapter 107
"Wow, what are the odds? You know what this means? It means the two of you are still fated to be together." It was Ai Weinan, standing a short distance away. She smiled and waved at Jiang Hongcha. "Welcome back, Hongcha. I said I'd be here, and here I am." She winked at Jiang Hongcha as she said this.
Jiang Hongcha was a young, mild-mannered lady in her 20s. Her features were exquisite, and her voice was soft and sweet. She never raised her voice, because she never lost her temper.
Like Mei Xiawen, she was a big literature enthusiast, and wrote mostly for her own amusement.
"Why are you acting all shy? You're blushing. You lived abroad for four years, you should have a hide like an elephant by now." Ai Weinan made a face at Jiang Hongcha. "Do your parents know you'll be back home today?"
Jiang Hongcha's face, small and fair, had turned a shade of pink. She shook her head. "I haven't told them. I want to give them a surprise."
Mei Xiawen finally recollected his wits. He helped Jiang Hongcha with one of her suitcases, and smiled as he said, "It'll be a nice surprise for them, all right. I'm happy to see you, too."
Jiang Hongcha cocked her head as she looked at Mei Xiawen. "Really? You're happy to see me?"
Ai Weinan quickly grabbed the remaining suitcase and said cheerfully: "Of course he is. I can guarantee that Class Rep has been extremely well-behaved over the last four years. He hasn't been fooling around, nope, not him. He doesn't even have a girlfriendhe's been waiting for you to come back, all this time!"
Jiang Hongcha smiled gently at Mei Xiawen. "No girlfriend? I'm sure that's only because you set the bar too high. I mean, you're so talented, and from such a good family, too. I doubt any girl would refuse you."
Mei Xiawen stared at Ai Weinan. "But I do have a girlfriend. In fact, I was just sending her off when I bumped into Hongcha."
The color immediately drained from Jiang Hongcha's face.
Ai Weinan immediately smacked Mei Xiawen on the arm. "Oh my god, Class Rep, why are you so stupid?! Hongcha has been single the whole time she was abroad. She never got another boyfriend, because she couldn't forget you! I was trying to help put in a good word for you, and you just had to say that! All my effort, wasted!"
Mei Xiawen looked straight at Jiang Hongcha. He arched an eyebrow, his expression frigid.
Mei Xiawen knew that Jiang Hongcha had been in another relationship while abroad.
But Ai Weinan did not seem to know about it. She wouldn't have said all that otherwise.
Jiang Hongcha hastily averted her eyes and forced a smile, confirming Mei Xiawen's suspicions. "Weinan, you've gotten so bold over the years! Okay, we should go now, we really shouldn't be standing here, right in front of the door."
Mei Xiawen said, "I'll drive you. You didn't tell anyone in your family you'll be back today, right? That means no one sent a car over to get you."
Jiang Hongcha's original plan was to take a taxi home and surprise her family.
She had not expected to meet Mei Xiawen here.
She gave Ai Weinan a capital-L Look. A few days ago, Ai Weinan had called her and talked her into moving her return flight to today. It was now entirely obvious why she had done it
Ai Weinan gave her a wide smile, and took her arm. "Hongcha, let's go. Class Rep drives an SUVall your luggage will fit, don't worry."
"Let's go to the parking lot." Mei Xiawen led the way to the airport's elevator.
They arrived at the parking lot and got into Mei Xiawen's car. They were soon on the road, headed for the highway.
"Hongcha, are you back for a holiday, or are you staying for good?" Ai Weinan and Jiang Hongcha were both sitting in the second row. They sat close together, and appeared to enjoy each other's company.
Jiang Hongcha glanced sideways at Mei Xiawen. She lowered her eyes and stroked the string of white jade prayer beads around her wrist. "I had an offer from the Imperial Symphony Orchestra, and I took it. I'll be starting in September."
"The Imperial Symphony Orchestra? Oh, that's in the capital!" cried Ai Weinan. "Hongcha, are you really going to run off to work in the capital, all by yourself, and leave Class Rep and me behind? Can't you stay here instead?"
After graduating from college, Ai Weinan would be returning to C City to join her family in managing the family business.
Of course, her family was not as distinguished as the Mei family and the Jiang family, not by a long shot.
Jiang Hongcha had gone abroad to study at Julliard, the performing arts conservatory in New York. She had majored in violin, with a minor in cello. She was an exceptionally talented musician.
While studying at Julliard, she had won a number of international awards, and had also produced several best-selling albums featuring post-modern violin music. She was already famous, both at home and abroad.
She was more than qualified to play the violin at the Empire's best symphony orchestra.
Mei Xiawen's heart swelled with pride upon hearing this. He smiled and said, "You never cease to amaze me, Hongcha. You've made good use of your four years abroad."
"I was lucky. I had a good mentor." Jiang Hongcha smiled and nodded. "I'll be here for the next few months, I need to spend time with my family. The International Extraordinary Women's Commendation Conference will be held here in July, right?"
"Yeah, the city takes it very seriously. We're almost done with the preparations," said Mei Xiawen as he steered the car. "I'm a volunteer."
"Oh, really?" Jiang Hongcha was delighted. "I'm the first violinist, the concertmaster, for the conference. I suppose you could say we'll be working together as colleagues soon, Xiawen."
Mei Xiawen chuckled. He turned the steering wheel, merged into the highway, and drove towards Jiang Hongcha's house.
Mei Xiawen and Jiang Hongcha were a lot friendlier with each other during the second half of the journey.
They had settled back into their old rhythm after getting over the initial awkwardness. The distance between them slowly disappeared.
Ai Weinan smiled awkwardly. She looked away, and kept her eyes on the high-rise buildings beyond the window. Her fists were clenched so tightly she could feel her fingernails digging into her palms.
After a 12-hour flight, Gu Nianzhi arrived at Boston with her companion, who was a doctoral student.
This student had also been hand-picked by Professor He. His surname was Huang, and he called himself Apothecary Huang, because he enjoyed researching ancient Chinese remedies in his spare time.
Gu Nianzhi flattered him by calling him "Brother Huang" instead.
The plane landed at Boston International Airport.
Harvard University was in Boston, and He Zhichu was a tenured professor at Harvard Law School.
He was teaching students in the doctoral program at Harvard, as well.
Yin Shixiong had not sat with Gu Nianzhi during the flight; he had watched over her from several rows behind her.
He caught up with her once they were off the plane, however.
Gu Nianzhi introduced him to Brother Huang in an easy, confident manner. "This is Brother Xiong, my guardian. He has to accompany me for the next couple of months, until the day I turn 18."
Brother Huang pretended to have a fit. He clutched at his chest as he said, "My dear child, I know I'm old, you don't have to remind me. I may not be a woman, but I'd rather keep my age a secret all the same, thank you!"
Gu Nianzhi could not stop giggling at his theatrics.
Brother Huang was a lot older than she was. He was 28; he had worked for several years before pursuing his doctorate, and was set to graduate next year.
Yin Shixiong looked at Brother Huang's hand, and noticed a diamond ring on his left ring finger.
So he was a married man.
"Nice to meet you." Yin Shixiong extended a hand and shook hands with Brother Huang.
With a single handshake, Yin Shixiong was able to determine that Brother Huang was exactly as he seemed: a regular Joe who had never trained in the martial arts.
Brother Huang tapped Gu Nianzhi on the shoulder. "Hey, about your guardianwhat about his work? He'll be staying with you, here in America, for the next few months, right? That's a huge sacrifice to make."
Gu Nianzhi, without missing a beat, promptly fabricated Yin Shixiong's "occupation" for him. "Brother Xiong is a businessman, he was planning on coming to America anyway. He wants to see for himself what the market's like over here."
"Oh, I bet you're one of those nouveau riche!" Brother Huang's eyes lit up. He grabbed Yin Shixiong's hand and shook it. "Good day, sir. Might you be in need of a lawyer, a legal representative? I know just the person for the jobme."
"Get outta here!" Gu Nianzhi laughed as she shoved Brother Huang away. "Brother Xiong has me, I'll be his lawyer. You haven't got a chance!"
"Oh, right, I forgot! Your grades are definitely going to be better than mine. Oh well." Brother Huang was hamming it up; he hung his head dejectedly and gave an exaggerated sigh. "And I wanted so badly to mooch off the newly rich! Oh, the pain of rejection! I can't take itquick, someone, stab me with a knife instead!"
Yin Shixiong was completely dumbfounded.
He looked down at himself: he was dressed in the latest Brooks Brothers polo shirt and slacks. On his feet were Under Armour sneakers, and there was a string of sandalwood prayer beads around his wrist.
He could not deny it: he did look like a gaudy antiques enthusiast who had recently come into a lot of money
Wen Shouyi was standing a short distance away. She watched them for a long moment, and finally walked over with a smile. "Nianzhi, Little HuangProfessor He sent me to pick you up."
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