Translator:Henyee TranslationsEditor:Henyee Translations
After Lu Zhou turned off his laptop, he began to feel a bit hungry.
It was around noon, so he sent a text to Wang Peng and walked downstairs in a new outfit. He sat in Wang Pengs car and drove toward the cafeteria at the demonstration reactor construction site.
This cafeteria was located on the inner side of the construction site. It was originally reserved for the third phase of the Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant. However, just like the construction site, it was now given to Lu Zhou.
Just like the other researchers, Lu Zhou only came to Haizhou a week ago. He didnt start cooking at home, nor did he have any cooking utensils.
Even though he was used to cooking for himself, he wasnt a picky eater. Over the past week, just like the other researchers, he ate all three meals everyday at the cafeteria.
Honestly, the food here was quite good. The chefs in charge were military cooks, who were transferred over from the army.
Apparently, in order to provide food for more than 2,000 scientific researchers, the military squadron near the area intentionally expanded their team of military cooks.
Lu Zhou heard these rumors from Wang Peng.
Lu Zhou ordered a side of Yuxiang shredded pork and braised pork leg. He asked Wang Peng to get him a bowl of soup from the other counter. Then they both sat down in the cafeteria seating area.
Lu Zhou was still thinking about that blueprint when Wang Peng suddenly said, Oh yeah, sir, theres something I want to discuss with you.
Once Lu Zhou heard Wang Peng call him sir, he knew that this was something serious. So, he asked, Whats the matter? Lets hear it.
Wang Peng: My higher-ups want to strengthen your security.
Security? Lu Zhou munched on a piece of pork leg as he asked, Did something happen?
Wang Peng shook his head and said, Not like that, its mainly for cautionary reasons.
Lu Zhou said, Im fine with anything. You guys can just do whatever you want. Im only responsible for the research.
Of course we still need to consult your opinion. Wang Peng smiled and said, After all, we dont want to bring too much trouble to your daily life.
Lu Zhou smiled and used his chopstick to grab another piece of pork leg. He then asked, Speaking of which, let me ask you, what department is your boss in?
Wang Peng paused for a second before he asked curiously, Do you not know?
Lu Zhou shook his head and said, I dont know. I was never interested before, but now that youre bringing this up, Im kind of interested. Of course, you dont have to tell me if its not appropriate.
Theres nothing inappropriate about this. Wang Peng looked around before he answered in a hushed tone, Ministry of State Security.
Lu Zhou was stunned when he heard this, and he looked at Wang Peng suspiciously.
Wang Peng was amused. Of course Im sure, why would I lie?
Nothing. Lu Zhou coughed and said, I just feel like
Wang Peng: I dont look like it?
Lu Zhou nodded and said, Yes.
I mean you dont even wear a suit or sunglasses.
Also, with your physique, it doesnt look like you can fight very well.
Of course, it could also be that Lu Zhou just couldnt tell.
After all, Wang Peng didnt know a lot about academics.
Wang Peng was speechless, and he said, This We dont look like the bodyguards in movies, and the nature of our work is quite different.
Lu Zhou looked at the sweaty chefs behind him chopping vegetables, and he jokingly said, Hey hey, look at that guy chopping vegetables, how many of him can you take on?
Youre hilarious. Wang Peng coughed and said, I was trained in the special forces, so its humiliating to compare me to a chef.
After Zhou Chengfu got back from Europe, he had been staying in Beijing. He had to deal with the aftermath of the China International Nuclear Fusion Energy Program Execution Center.
Since China withdrew from ITER, the China International Nuclear Fusion Energy Program Execution Center was now in an awkward position.
Even though it wasnt going to be dissolved immediately, most of its cooperative research projects that were linked to ITER were basically all suspended. Their research fundings were also given to the STAR-2 demonstration reactor project instead. It was basically like they were dissolved.
Also, what hurt Zhou Chengfu even more than the dissolution, was that the higher-ups only had one demand. Which was to fully cooperate with Chief Designer Lu Zhou and participate in the STAR-2 demonstration reactor project.
Yes, fully cooperate.
Zhou Chengfus heart burst into flames whenever he heard these two words.
However, this anger was contained in his heart since he had nowhere to vent.
After he finished some work, he planned on going to get some food. However, he suddenly received a call.
He took out his phone and saw the call was from Pan Changhong.
Zhou Chengfus mouth twitched, but he still answered the call.
Old Zhou, how are you?
Zhou Chengfu smiled coldly and said, Ah, are you calling to laugh at me?
Pan Changhong: Why would you say that, what is there to laugh about?
Zhou Chengfus eyes squinted, as if he wanted to say something.
However, the other end of the phone spoke first.
Were long-time friends. Even though you dont like me sometimes, I still think of you. I have a bottle of liquor with me, are you coming?
Zhou Chengfu wanted to refuse at first.
However, he didnt know why he agreed to it.
He came to the restaurant that Old Pan mentioned on the phone and sat down. Soon after, he saw a familiar person walking into the restaurant while holding a bottle of Maotai.
Boss, the usual, give us some dishes that pair well with alcohol.
The boss of the restaurant, who was behind the counter, walked into the kitchen.
Pan Changhong sat across from Zhou Chengfu and smiled.
The traffic was pretty bad, thats why Im a bit late. I didnt expect your old a*s to come this early.
Zhou Chengfu said, If you have anything to say, just say it.
Pan Changhong said, I dont have anything to say, Im only here today to drink with you and talk about the old days. What, you dont even have time to eat one meal with me?
Zhou Chengfus eyebrows furrowed; he had no idea what this guy was trying to do.
Pan Changhong didnt explain anything. He took two cups and poured the Maotai into each of the cups.
After I left your place, I started to think. I answered a lot of my own questions, but there are still some things that I dont understand.
Zhou Chengfu faked a smile as he asked, What dont you understand?
I dont understand what your plan is.
Zhou Chengfu frowned and didnt say anything.
Seeing that Zhou Chengfu didnt respond, Academician Pan continued to speak, Money is too boring for you, Im sure you dont care about it. Fame? Our students are scattered all over the world, so its not an exaggeration to say that in China, there isnt anyone in the controllable fusion field that doesnt know your name.
Zhou Chengfu snorted and grinned.
You asked me to drink with you today just so that you could kiss my a*s?
Pan Changhong chuckled.
Im already retired, so why would I need to kiss your a*s? Are you getting dementia?
Zhou Chengfu stared blankly at Pan Changhong.
Just give it to me straight, stop beating around the bush.
Pan Changhong stared at Zhou Chengfu for a while.
Youve changed, he said all of a sudden.
Zhou Chengfu frowned.
Pan Changhong took a sip of the liquor and licked his lips in a satisfying manner. It was like he was being nostalgic about the past.
A few decades ago, we were less developed back then. The state wanted us to learn from the western countries, the Americans were researching the stellarator C machine at that time, so we made the Lingyun.
Then the Americans stopped their research and followed the Russians into researching the tokamak instead. We figured out that we couldnt continue with our Lingyun research, so we started researching the tokamak as well. Then inertial confinement fusion replaced the tokamak on the international stage, so we decided to research that instead. Then the Americans failed at their NIF ignition experiment, so the inertial confinement fusion field cooled down again and the tokamak became a hot topic again.
At that time, I said we shouldnt do this. Well always be behind other countries, well never be the leaders. You agreed with me and said that the only way we can develop our own technology is if we participate in the most cutting-edge research in the world. So, we turned our attention to ITER because we thought that was the path to success. I wrote a letter to the Communist Party of China while you went to Europe for negotiations. Then after a few years, we finally made China a country member of ITER.
After returning, you joyfully told me that I had no idea how hard you worked to secure this deal.
After that, Chinas controllable fusion research went on the highway. More and more research institutes joined the field. The Southwestern Institute of Physics was no longer the only research institute in the field of controllable fusion. From Rongcheng to Lu Yang, we created more than a dozen fusion machines. Within twenty years, we went from the followers to leaders
Zhou Chengfu smiled coldly as he interrupted, What about now? Your blood, sweat, and tears are destroyed by that kid.
They left ITER, the HL-2A was still under repair, the Southwestern Institute of Physics was falling behind in the controllable fusion field Even though half of this was because Zhou Chengfu didnt want to cooperate, but that root of all this was Lu Zhou.
Zhou Chengfu thought that Pan Changhong would be somewhat emotionally affected. He didnt expect Pan Changhong to smile and sip some liquor.
Zhou Chengfu said with a blank face, Youre not hurt at all?
Hurt about the tokamak or ITER? Pan Changhong smiled and said, Ask yourself, we are pursuing the label of tokamak or ITER, or are we pursuing the controllable fusion field? Right now, my blood, sweat, and tears became the STAR-2 demonstration reactor. We just took a big step toward the finish line, so why would I be hurt? How about you tell me, why should I feel hurt?
Zhou Chengfu had a subtle change in expression.
Pan Changhong looked deep into his old friends eyes and said emotionally, Old Zhou, I only have two words for you.