The news of the State Science and Technology Awards was all over the television.
On Central TV.
On Beijing Television.
On Shanghai Television.
On Jiangsu Television.
There was a constant bombardment of this news!
And the more reports there were, the more detailed the information became!
On a military show.
An active colonel said excitedly, "Developing a fifth-generation fighter jet on our own is something that many other developed countries are still unable to achieve. This is a qualitative leap in standards for our country's military, so I'm hailing Professor Zhang as a technological hero. He has made a great contribution to our country. In fact, there are also a few other technologies like the radar system the Americans still do not have, yet we do! It was forcefully pulled out of nowhere by Professor Zhang! We're now the only country to have this technology and are at the forefront of this area in the global arena!"
The host said, "I can see that Colonel Sun is very excited about this."
"Yes, I'm extremely excited and also very proud of this."
"Then in your opinion, what status does Zhang Ye have in the field of science and technology?"
The colonel answered without even thinking, "He's currently the most outstanding scientist in China!"
The host followed up with, "Do you mean he is the most outstanding scientist, or one of the most outstanding scientists?"
The colonel laughed. "I dare not say that no one else comes close, but I can confidently say that no one can replace Professor Zhang's role in the field of science and technology in China!"
Back at home.
Xin Ya stayed behind for lunch.
Zhang Ye was in the living room playing with his daughter.
"Daddy, catch me!"
"Boo! The big bad wolf is coming!"
"Heehee! The big bad wolf can't catch me!"
"Watch out, the big bad wolf will catch and eat you!"
"You can't catch me! Daddy can't catch me!"
One was running away.
And the other was chasing after.
The father-daughter pair was nearly turning the house upside down. Several of the chairs had fallen onto their sides.
His mother had a headache. "Rascal, sit down and take a break."
Li Qinqin was preparing lunch and laughing as she said, "Just let them be since Little Ye and the child are both so happy today. I'll clean up the house afterwards."
His mother looked at them and said with a laugh, "Those two."
Half an hour later, lunch was ready.
Li Qinqin called out to them, "Little Ye, Sisi, it's time to eat."
His mother nagged, "Hurry up and come over quickly."
"Coming." Only then did Zhang Ye carry his daughter over.
Sisi was panting in exhaustion, and her head was full of sweat.
His father said, "Sisi, eat."
Sisi said breathlessly, "Pops, I'm tired."
Wu Changhe side-eyed him and said, "It was almost time to eat. Why did you let the child run around so much?"
Zhang Ye shrugged it off. "It's good to exercise a little."
Xin Ya rubbed Sisi on her head sympathetically. "You must've had really bad luck in your past eight lifetimes to have a father like this."
Wu Zeqing carried the child over to wipe off her sweat. While doing that, she asked Xin Ya, "Has your application to the Chinese Academy of Sciences been approved yet?"
Xin Ya smiled and said, "There's no news of that yet."
Wu Zeqing smiled. "Why don't you get my husband to help you with that?"
Zhang Ye played dumb. "Help with what?"
His mother said, "Aren't you a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Sciences?"
Zhang Ye said, "About the approval of new research fellows, my words don't count for anything."
Xin Ya said in annoyance, "You've won the Highest Science and Technology Award. Even if there are a hundred research fellows at the academy, you still rank at the front, not to mention that you're also a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Engineering too. Of all those who are Two Academies fellows and still alive, there aren't more than five, including you, in the whole of China. So how can your words not count?"
Wu Zeqing chuckled and said, "Enough, Little Ye, don't tease Little Ya anymore."
Only then did Zhang Ye say, "Actually, I already knew about your application to be a research fellow. I've spoken to those that I know. Fellow Chi Jr., Fellow Chi, and Fellow Zhou will surely cast their votes for you and help speak up for you."
Xin Ya said happily, "That's more like it!"
Wu Changhe asked, "Kid, do you really intend to stay and work in the scientific field?"
Zhang Ye laughed and said, "I will do whatever can make me famous. It has nothing to do with the industry."
Li Qinqin said, "How much popularity will you be able to get this time?"
"I don't know." Zhang Ye said, "I've gotta wait until they reopen my spot on the popularity rankings."
His mother said, "When are you going to reopen it then?"
Zhang Ye said, "I'm also waiting for news of it."
They all chatted for a bit.
Li Qinqin suddenly raised her gla.s.s and said, "Come, Little Ye, let's drink."
Zhang Ye hurriedly picked up his gla.s.s and said, "Let me give you a toast."
Li Qinqin smiled with a pleased look. "For you to have achieved what you've achieved, Mom is very happy for you."
"Thank you, Mom." Zhang Ye respectfully clinked his mother-in-law's gla.s.s and downed the drink. "I will work even harder from now on so as to not disappoint the expectations that the Party and country have for me."
His father nodded. "Well said!"
When Xin Ya heard that, she started wondering to herself.
You've already built an aircraft!
And you still want to work even harder?
d.a.m.n, don't tell me you intend to build a s.p.a.ceship next?
Ring, ring, ring.
Zhang Ye's phone rang.
When Zhang saw the caller ID, he smiled and answered the call.
On the other end of the line was Dean Pan Yang of Peking University's School of Mathematical Sciences.
"h.e.l.lo, Fellow Zhang."
"Dean Pan, long time no see. Oh no, I should be calling you President Pan instead. I heard that you were promoted during these few years. You're now the vice president of Peking University?"
"Haha, I'm still nothing as compared to you. Coming back after four years, you took the Highest Science and Technology Award just like that!"
"I was just lucky, just lucky."
"There's no need to be humble. Anyway, I'm looking for you for something."
"About the professorship at Peking University, why don't you continue on in the position?"
"Ah? Didn't I resign from my post a few years ago?"
"That's why I'm reinviting you."
"I had better not. I don't have time to give any lessons."
"There's no need for you to give any lessons. As long as you agree, I'll get someone to send the appointment letter to you by tomorrow. It's settled then. I'll take it that you've agreed whether you like it or not. I didn't say anything when you resigned a few years ago. I knew that you must've been afraid that you'd drag Peking University down over the hacking incident, so let's not talk about that anymore. Since you're back, don't turn down the offer. Peking University will forever be your home."
"Sure, alright then."
"Haha, great, then it's settled!"
After hanging up.
Another call came from Media College.
"I've sent off the appointment letter for your professorship. Don't forget to accept it."
"Ah? I'll become a professor just like that? You should have at least informed me beforehand."
"Is there a need to do that? You're a student who went through the doors of Media College, so you're forever a member of our Media College family. This professor position was originally yours anyway. I didn't agree to your resignation back then, so as it happens, we're rejecting your resignation from back then. You're still a professor of our school."
"d.a.m.n, alright then."
"Little Zhang, you've done well these past few years. You've done really well. You didn't embarra.s.s your alma mater at all!"
"Ahem, President Chen, I've been involved in scientific research and development for the past few years. I didn't do anything regarding broadcast at all—"
"Our university also teaches physics, mathematics, and aviation—uh, I think there's no aviation course yet, but we'll have it in the future. Where did you develop your talent? At our school, of course! You were developed and trained by Media College, isn't that so?"
"Ah, yes, yes, it's all due to my alma mater."
"Remember to say it like that to the media as well."
"Pfft, I understand."
However, that was not the end of it.
After putting the cell phone down and attempting to get back to lunch, it rang again.
But this time, the call startled Zhang Ye.
It was from General Li.
"Old Li, what's the matter? Didn't we meet at the Great Hall earlier?"
"So you mean I can't look for you for other matters?"
"Haha, of course you may, please go ahead."
"I am at the National Defense University right now."
"National Defense University?"
"Yeah, it's my alma mater. I was pulled aside by the school's president right after a meeting. He bought me a meal and spoke to me for such a long time. Only then did I realize it was because he wanted to look for you about something."
"What does the National Defense University want with me?"
"They would like to invite you to join the National Defense University as a professor. It's a full professorship too, not an a.s.sociate one."
"Professorship? But the National Defense University is the highest educational inst.i.tute for military affairs. Shouldn't that be a military rank? I'm not in the military."
"There are civilian professors too."
"d.a.m.n, why me again?"
"What do you mean again?"
"Ahem, it's nothing."
"They understand that you're busy, and that their invitation to you to join the National Defense University after you've won the Highest Science and Technology Award might feel like it's a bit of an afterthought, as though your efforts are there for the picking, so they feel a little embarra.s.sed about it. That's why they found me to talk to you about whether you're willing to join the university. They even said that you basically wouldn't need to give any lessons. It's fine to just show up over there once in a while, and you won't need to worry about anything else. It's just going to be a t.i.tle, so what do you say?"
"If that's the case, it's fine."
"Alright, I'll help you say yes to them then?"
The call finally ended.
Zhang Ye walked back to the table and sat down.
His mother said in annoyance, "Why are you so busy?"
Li Qinqin smiled and said, "Little Ye has just won the highest award and is currently in the news, so he's busy."
Xin Ya asked, "Who was that? Look at how gleeful you are."
Zhang Ye grinned. "It's from a few universities. Peking University, Media College, and National Defense University all approached me to take on a professorship role with them. I ended up agreeing to it since I wouldn't suffer any losses and it would help me with my popularity too."
Xin Ya was stunned. "The National Defense University also came looking for you?"
Zhang Ye said, "Yeah."
Li Qinqin said happily, "That is a good thing!"
Xin Ya said helplessly, "You've become so sought after! The National Defense University is the military's highest educational inst.i.tute in the country, but even they're fighting to get you to join them?" Pausing for a moment, she sighed and said, "But that's not exactly surprising either. You've attracted so much attention this time. The Highest Science and Technology Award that hadn't been given out for the past two years was even won by you, so it's only expected that they're fighting over you. If you join them as a professor, it will also be an honor for their schools, and they'll be able to rub off of your glory."
Sometimes, comparisons were torture.
Xin Ya had spent her entire life doing mathematics research. It was so during her school days and also the same after she had graduated. She was now almost 40, yet she still hadn't managed to get the t.i.tle of a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. For now, she was still just a researcher with the academy. But Zhang Ye? He was a celebrity who had graduated with a broadcasting major, someone who totally had no relation to the scientific community and had never stayed long in a field of work. Instead, it was someone like that who was appointed a research fellow at the Two Academies, as well as securing professorship t.i.tles at the various key universities of China. He even reached the summit after having won the Highest Science and Technology Award, so what would you make of that?
Several years ago, Zhang Ye had lost all his honor when he left.
Several years later, when Zhang Ye returned, he regained all of that glory and even more!
A Two Academies research fellow!
Three professorship t.i.tles!
This was totally unprecedented!
What could time do about him?
This guy was absolutely unable to be measured with any common sense!
Xin Ya said goodbye.
Wu Zeqing smiled. "Do you need me to see you out?"
Xin Ya said with a laugh, "Sure."
Wu Zeqing acknowledged, "OK."
Zhang Ye even urged from behind, "Old Wu, come back in quickly after you see her out. The appointment from the National Defense University has been sent over already, and it's full of words. Help me take a look at it."
Wu Zeqing gave him a smile. "Sure, why don't you put it down."
His mother stared at him. "Don't you know how to read it yourself?"
Zhang Ye said, "My wife is better at such things than I am."
His mother harrumphed, "Without Zeqing around, I doubt you'd be able to survive."
The two of them walked to Xin Ya's car, which was parked outside.
Wu Zeqing smiled and said, "What did you want to talk about?"
Xin Ya looked at her. "When you got married to Zhang Ye, I've mentioned that you two might not be right for each other. I'm taking back those words of mine."
"Why did you suddenly think about this?" Wu Zeqing asked.
Xin Ya laughed. "I just wanted to get it out since I remembered. I'm not as good as you when it comes to choosing a man. I'm just curious how you managed to snag such a great person out of the crowd."https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PLA_National_Defence_University