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48 Hours a Day

48 Hours a Day

48 Hours a Day
Chapter 684 - Director Gao

Chapter 684: Director Gao
Zhang Heng and Bai Qing met up for a short while, parting ways after discussing the next plan of action. Zhang Heng grabbed the homework that Bai Qing had completed for him and headed to the school. As for Bai Qing, she went to the old planetarium to investigate what the three children actually did before leaving this world.
The two communicated via mobile phone, where Zhang Heng would instruct Bai Qing from time to time to take some photos of the scene, how to find the right person to inquire about the incident, and where she should pay attention to.
If Zhang Heng had a choice, he sure hoped to exchange roles with Bai Qing.
Unfortunately, the aliens were actually more cautious of him. Since his clone from the giant cicada pupae beneath Workshop No. 3 was about to hatch, they would be keeping an eye on him more frequently now.
The moment Zhang Heng stepped into the school, he could feel someone watching him. Of course, he was more than capable of getting rid of whoever that was, but it would only serve to alert the enemies.
This was not the right time to engage in the final battle with them. The enemies surely were not limited to the hundreds of workers in the glass factory. Until now, Zhang Heng still did not know how many enemies were in the entire city. Allowing them enough time to gather at the same spot would be unwise, and taking advantage of their alertness to find a way to deal with the alien tree beneath Workshop No. 3 seemed like a better option.

Bai Qing acted swiftly. After a dash of simple makeup and quick change of clothes, she parted ways with Zhang Heng. Instead of riding a taxi, she chose to get on a bus. Instantly she got mixed-in with the morning crowd, and even had to change buses twice before finally arriving at the old planetarium. The place had now transformed into a children’s palace, and they were promoting all kinds of talent classes.
There were dancing, violin, and table tennis classes on offer, though Bai Qing saw nothing related to astronomy.
Thus, she went directly to the guard at the entrance and immediately showed him Lin Sisi’s photo on her phone. “Uncle, I’d like to ask. Have you seen this child? She should be with two boys all the time.”
The guard took the phone, put on his reading glasses, and when he saw who it was, he smiled. “Oh, her! I remember she would come here with two other boys every week. Sometimes, they would come here three or four times a week. They were very polite. Whenever they see me, they would greet me. By the way, I haven’t seen them for almost a week. Are you a friend?”
“Well, I’m her distant relative,” Bai Qing said, and asked again, “Do you know what they did here?”
The guard shook his head, “I have no idea.” After a pause, he added, “Director Gao should know more about them. They are always here to look for Director Gao.”
After asking the whereabouts of Director Gao’s office, Bai Qing thanked the guard. She then sent a message to Zhang Heng while walking upstairs.
Suddenly, she ran into a man holding a box on the third floor while running. Bai Qing’s mobile phone flew out of her hands, prompting her to scream. The man reacted quickly, putting down the box and attempted to catch the mobile phone. However, it was too late. Bai Qing’s phone flew off of the edge of the stairs and fell to the first floor.
When Bai Qing went to pick up her mobile, she found the screen completely shattered. She tried turning it on, lucky, but she could no longer type on it.
“Hey, are you okay?” the man asked while walking down the stairs.
The guard greeted the man, and Bai Qing knew that the man was a Children’s Palace teacher. The subjects he taught were drawing Chinese painting and calligraphy.
“I’m sorry, I couldn’t see you while I was holding the box. Is your phone’s screen broken?”
“Is there any place to fix it nearby?” the male teacher asked the guard.
“There is one phone repair shop 200 meters east of here. They’re not very ethical with prices, though. A parent once went there to repair a mobile phone. The technician took only two minutes to fix it, but the parent was asked to pay 50 yuan.”
Clearly, the male teacher wasn’t happy with the price. “Let me see what I can do for you. This is an Apple mobile phone. I will drive you to an Apple official aftersales service store.”
Upon hearing the proposal, Bai Qing shook her head. “No. I am at fault as well. I was running, and I ignored my surroundings.”
She had just received some information about Lin Sisi, proving that she was on the right path. Besides, she managed to send out the last message to Zhang Heng as well. Although she could no longer use her phone, she thought it was more important to talk to Director Gao first since she was now at Children’s Palace. In the end, since it had done what she was supposed to do, she decided not to fix her mobile phone.
Bai Qing made it clear that she did not want to hold the male teacher accountable. Still, he felt sorry for her and gave her 300 yuan to repair her mobile phone. Since she was in a hurry, she accepted the money and headed to Director Gao’s office on the fourth floor.
Upon the knock on the door, the voice of a middle-aged woman could be heard from inside. “Please come in.”
When Bai Qing heard the words, she pushed the door open. Director Gao raised her head. She carried a solemn look on her but spoke in a rather polite tone. “What’s the matter? The talent class registration is on the second floor.”
“I’m not here to sign up for talent classes,” Bai Qing said. “Actually, I have something to ask you.”
Director Gao raised her eyebrows. Instead of asking Bai Qing to leave, she pointed at the chair in front of her desk. “Please sit.”
“Thank you.” Bai Qing breathed a sigh of relief, sat in front of Director Gao, and thought about what she should say next.
“Do you know Lin Sisi and her friends?”
Director Gao immediately put down the pen in her hand. Instead of answering, she returned the question, “Who are you?”
“I’m a… relative of hers.” Bai Qing bit the bullet, repeating the lie she told the guard.
Director Gao was noncommittal. She took a sip of tea and said. “Before I took up this management job, I worked in the education sector for more than 20 years. And I have dealt with children of all ages. I can tell when they are lying.”
Bai Qing’s cheeks flushed.
“She was among the three children who drowned in the river, right?” Director Gao did not dwell on the fact that Bai Qing was lying to her. Instead, she sighed. “I had a bad feeling when I saw the news. Although they didn’t reveal the names and pictures of the deceased children, they did mention their age and the school they attended. After the news broke out, the three children have stopped coming here. Who are you? Her teacher? A reporter? No. You look too young to work those jobs. You should still be a student.”
“I’m a high-school student,” Bai Qing answered in a low voice. Facing the director was like facing her schoolteacher. After the director knew that she was lying, she could no longer use the lie that she had made up in her mind.