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It was the next day when Lu Zhou wanted to buy Chen Yushan food as a show of gratitude for helping him get this job.

However, he did not know if they should eat KFC or yellow chicken and so, he was stuck in this decision.

So he asked the only person alive in his dorm for advice: Liu Rui.

Liu Rui was playing video games with his online friends. He was killed and sent back to the respawn fountain. He felt annoyed and did not pay any attention to Lu Zhou’s question. He did not even turn his head to anwer, “Spicy hotpot. It’s cheap and affordable!”

Then…

Lu Zhou decided at that.

They went to a place called Shancheng Spicy Hotpot on the street in front of their school. Chen Yushan had a ponytail and sat across from Lu Zhou. She was sticking her tongue out from the spiciness.

Chen Yushan wanted to cry from the spice but she powered through. She continued eating as she asked, “How was it? Is there any hope for my cousin’s mathematics?”

Is it even that spicy?

Lu Zhou ate a fish ball and was confused. He chewed and spoke at the same time, “Hope? Probably? I’ll try my best.”

“Then I’ll have to rely on you. My cousin… In fact, her science scores during middle school were pretty good, but then… Ahh, it’s so spicy!”

Lu Zhou gave her a cup of water and asked, “Then what?”

Chen Yushan drank the cup of water and stuck her tongue out cutely as she took in a breath before saying, “Then… My auntie and uncle had some relationship problems. They’re fighting for Meng Qi’s custody. I don’t know the exact situation. In short, Meng Qi is living with my Auntie right now.”

Lu Zhou nodded his head quietly and did not say anything.

He did not care about other people’s personal business as he was a very private person.

After they finished eating the spicy hotpot, Lu Zhou sent Chen Yushan back to her dorm. He then walked back to the library.

While he was walking to the library, he received two emails.

The first email was from Professor Liu. It was feedback on the data modeling exercise.

The second email was a reply from the [Modern Communication and Geographic Information Technology] journal. It said that the payment for the theses had already been transferred to his bank card. 150 per thesis, 1350 yuan in total.

“…”

Only 1350 for nine SCI theses, academics really don’t earn any money…

Lu Zhou could not help but think.

1350 yuan was still quite a bit of money. If he added the 3000 he earned yesterday, he would have 7000 yuan in his bank account. It would be enough for his tuition fees.

He wanted to delay the payment and pay right before he graduated, but he did not have to do that anymore.

Over the next few days, Lu Zhou had a very structured lifestyle. He would grind books all night on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Tuesdays and Thursday were used as revision days. In addition, he kept up with his mathematical modeling practices.

Sometimes, he felt that if he could maintain these good studying habits, he could become a genius even without help from the system.

It was just that his progress increased with the system’s help.

It was like he was traveling at the speed of a rocket…

It was finally Saturday. As usual, Lu Zhou went to Mrs. Yang’s house to tutor Han Mengqi in mathematics.

It might have been due to the previous incident or that Mrs. Yang had reached an agreement with her daughter because when Mrs. Yang left for work, she did not lock the door. She only asked Lu Zhou to take care of her daughter.

The mother was expressionless when she left. Han Mengqi looked at Lu Zhou and said, “Let’s start then.”

She turned around and walked into her room.

Lu Zhou followed Han Mengqi footsteps into her bedroom. It was only a week since he last saw her, but he was surprised to see her room tidy and clean.

They did not have any unnecessary conversations. Han Mengqi opened the book and turned to the bookmarked page. She looked at Lu Zhou.

“I’ve already studied the topic [analytic geometry] from the outline you gave me, now what?”

“What?” said Lu Zhou with his eyebrows raised. He smiled and said, “Do you not understand something?”

“I understand everything. It feels pretty easy,” said Han Mengqi. She raised her tiny head and said impatiently, “Now what?”

“I’ll test you,” said Lu Zhou. He took an A4 paper and started to write on it.

[In the Cartesian coordinate system x and y, the left and right focus of the ellipse C1:x^2/a^2+y^2/b^2=1 (a>b>0) are F1 and F2, respectively. Where F2 is also the focal point of parabola C2:y^2=4x, point M is the intersection of C1 and C2 in the first quadrant, and |MF2|=5/3. Find the equation for C1.]

Lu Zhou finished writing the question and made a gesture of invitation.

Han Mengqi raised her eyebrows. She had not expected Lu Zhou to test her.

She clenched her teeth, picked up the pen, and stared at the draft paper for a long time.

Ten minutes had passed and she only solved the first step.

Which was:

[From C2: y^2 = 4x, F1 = (1,0).]

Lu Zhou waited for 10 minutes. He looked at his watch, smiled, and said, “In the exam, you’d have 10 minutes for this question at most. Looking at your answer, you’d only receive 3 marks.”

“Well…” said Han Mengqi as she clenched her teeth. She did not want to give up. The more you force yourself to solve a problem, the harder it was to solve.

Lu Zhou smiled and took out an exam paper from the pile of study materials. He pointed at question number two and said, “The most important part is, you got this exact question wrong in your exam.”

“… You’re bullying me,” said Han Mengqi. She threw her pen down angrily as she continued, “I know I’m stupid, okay?”

“I’m only teaching you. I didn’t say you are stupid. Actually, I think that you are very smart. Don’t put yourself down,” said Lu Zhou. He picked up the pen she threw and finished the question on the A4 paper. “The key to this problem is to determine the value of M, so the second step is setting M as (x1, y1), and according to | MF2 | = 5 / 3, and M2 on the parabola C2…”

“Our second goal is to find the semi-focal length of the ellipse C1. Once you solve this step, the remaining parts are just understanding the equations.”

Lu Zhou wrote down the key steps on the A4 paper and clarified the problem-solving process.

Han Mengqi was annoyed at first, but she soon started to stare at the paper intently.

Finally, her face was enlightened.

Han Mengqi nodded and looked at the paper seriously. Her eyebrows tensed up and her tiny mouth moved, “So this is how you solve it…”

“Your teacher has definitely explained this to you. You just didn’t listen.”

Han Mengqi’s tone was argumentative, “My teacher… Didn’t explain it in so much detail.”

Lu Zhou replied, “Try telling that to your maths teacher. He’d be insanely pissed off.”

Han Mengqi was so angry that her teeth started to rattle. She did not have anything to say and just groaned.

“No wonder my sister said you were harsh…”

Lu Zhou: ? ? ?

Someone talked sh*t behind my back?

I can’t pretend that I didn’t hear this.

Lu Zhou coughed and diverted the conversation. He picked up a pen and said, “This question is a typical intersection to find an elliptic equation problem. I think that when you encounter this question next time, you can at least get half of the marks.”

Han Mengqi tilted her head and asked, “What about the other half?”

“The other half of the marks are in question two. This type of high school exam question usually contained a vector problem in the second part…”

Lu Zhou talked and wrote on the back of the exam paper.

[The point N on a plane satisfies vector MN = vector MF1 + vector MF2. Straight line L//MN, C1 intersects A and B. OA*OB = 0, find the equation of L.]

Han Mengqi saw the question and was instantly stuck. Helpless, she looked at Lu Zhou.

However, Lu Zhou did not look at her. He sat next to the bed, picked up an exercise book, and started to look for the next example.

“Try doing it yourself. I’ll help you if you can’t solve it. 15 minutes. Start now.”

Han Mengqi did worse than the first question. She was only able to write one line that was correct and everything else was wrong.

It might have been because Lu Zhou had a younger sister who was similar in age to Han Mengqi. So, he was not impatient at all. He did not laugh at her or call this a “free marks question”. Instead, he explained the solving steps to her patiently.

When Han Mengqi saw the steps on the paper, her eyes widened and she said quietly, “Wow you’re so good…”

“My study technique is to constantly evaluate my mistakes and learn from them. I hope you can copy down the questions that you can’t solve into a book, then every week I can explain them to you,” said Lu Zhou. He gave Han Mengqi the pen back and continued, “Having a book full of your mistakes is how you learn any mathematics or science subject. If you want to learn science subjects well, you have to be prepared. It’s like an attack and damage carry buying a Doran’s blade or a support buying wards. It’s all basic preparation.”

Han Mengqi’s eyes lit up. She was suddenly interested and interrupted, “You play League of Legends as well? Which server? I’m good at support!”

“… Black rose server.”

“Let me add you as a friend! Give me your QQ number!”

Lu Zhou reached out and knocked her forehead. He looked at her and said impatiently, “Stop playing games and get 100 marks in your exam first!”