Chapter 11: Who Does She Think She’s Kidding?
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Huo Shaoheng’s face was inscrutable, but his eyes seemed to grow darker, like the gloomy, sunless sea before a hurricane. He looked at Chen Lie, his arms crossed and his gaze imperious. “Is there no other way?”
“Well, not exactly,” said Chen Lie, smugly. He wiped the beads of sweat off his brow with a handkerchief. He then removed his glasses, and began taking his time by leisurely wiping them with a cleaning cloth.
“What do you mean?”
“If you absolutely insist on wiping your memories, the only way to do it is to physically remove them—surgery, in other words. We’ll cut a piece out of your frontal lobe—” Chen Lie risked glancing at Huo Shaoheng, but did not wait to see his reaction to what he was being told. He barreled on. “But this will have serious consequences. Boss, you are a high-ranking military man, the military will never let you undergo a surgery of this kind. And besides, the military will want to know why. What are you going to tell them?” Chen Lie was completely candid in his analysis of the pros and cons.
“F*ck!” Huo Shaoheng slammed his fist into the metal door, hard enough to leave a dent.
Chen Lie’s brows shot up at this. He laughed, and decided to have a bit of fun at Huo Shaoheng’s expense. “What’s the matter, Boss? Why are you getting so worked up? With your incredible willpower and self-control, I’m sure all you have to do is tell yourself you want to forget the experience and the memory will be gone, just like that, easy-peasy! Surely something as trivial as this isn’t going to be a problem for you?”
“Of course not.” Huo Shaoheng loudly and deliberately cracked his knuckles in front of Chen Lie, his face as rigid as stone.
Chen Lie began to sweat again. If he wanted to live to see tomorrow, it would be best if he quickly changed the subject. In his flustered mind, he remembered Gu Nianzhi and immediately used her to deflect Huo Shaoheng’s anger. “Boss, I have to go check on Nianzhi. A little virgin girl like her, God only knows what you did to her last night—”
“Hold it.” Huo Shaoheng stopped him, his brows furrowed. “Get a female doctor to check on her.”
“Boss, you are discriminating against male doctors!” Chen Lie protested with a straight face, but before Huo Shaoheng could react to this, Chen Lie quickly switched on his pager and said, “Doctor Ye, please report to General Huo’s quarters. We need you for a secret mission.”
At this, Huo Shaoheng finally let him off the hook. He dropped his hand, walked to the window, and stood looking out, his arms folded. “I assume you understand that some things will have to be kept confidential.”
“Confidential! Yes, of course, no problem!” Chen Lie nodded vigorously and deferentially, the very model of contrition. He did not want to get on Huo Shaoheng’s bad side again.
Huo Shaoheng merely gave him a cold look and said nothing.
It didn’t take long for Ye Zitan to appear with a medical kit. She greeted Huo Shaoheng with a military salute, then looked over to Chen Lie. “Doctor Chen, what is the mission?”
Chen Lie indicated the bedroom and led Ye Zitan towards it, saying, in a low voice, “You know Gu Nianzhi, yes? She was attacked, if you get what I mean. We only just rescued her. Go check on her, see how bad it is, and treat her injuries.”
Ye Zitan was also a Medical Officer, working under Chen Lie. She was shocked to hear this and immediately asked, “What? Who did it? Have you arrested the culprit?”
Chen Lie’s eyes flew towards Huo Shaoheng, who turned wordlessly away from them and towards the window. Chen Lie’s mouth twitched. He coughed softly, then said indignantly, “Don’t be nosy. And anyway, did you honestly think that General Huo would let the attacker go free? I’ll have you know that he’s already smashed the bastard’s bones to pieces and spread his ashes to the wind. Now remember, you absolutely have to keep this a secret. General Huo will have a military order ready for you to sign when you’re done. I’m sure these precautions implicate to you just how serious this situation is.”
Ye Zitan nodded solemnly. “I see. I understand; this will be kept strictly confidential.” She walked into the bedroom with her medical kit.
The room was dark, so the first thing Ye Zitan did was turn on the lights. She put on her gloves before lifting the thin blanket that was covering Gu Nianzhi.
What she saw made her suck in a breath.
“Oh my god! Animals! Savages! How could they do this to such a young lady?!” There were bruises of every kind on Gu Nianzhi, and the sight of them made Ye Zitan see red. She swore up and down in the bedroom, cursing the man who had done this and declaring the bastard’s certain fate to burn in Hell.
Chen Lie stood in the doorway, his features contorted. He was trying very hard not to laugh, but he would be suffering internal injuries very soon if he continued to keep this up.
Huo Shaoheng was standing by the window. The corners of his mouth twitched a few times. When he turned away from the window, his usual stony expression was back in place. He casually walked out the front door.
His hands were shoved into the pockets of his camouflage pants. He had already put on his Bluetooth headset out of habit. He descended from the third floor, saw that it was still early, and decided to go for a bit of morning exercise. A 10-kilometer obstacle course would be just the thing to release his pent-up energy.
He had just started his run when a call came through to his headset. It was from the call operator stationed at the military base.
“Sir, someone left a voicemail on your civilian phone line. It’s about Miss Gu. Do you want to hear it?”
Huo Shaoheng was Gu Nianzhi’s guardian, but he had never publicly disclosed his true identity.
The number he had given Gu Nianzhi was a civilian number; the identity he assumed was that of a lowly wage slave. Because of this, Gu Nianzhi’s classmates and friends were under the impression that she was an orphan under the care of an uncle who was not particularly rich.
“This is about Miss Gu’s final interview for her post-grad admission. Her university tried to call her all morning. They said they dialed her number at least 10 times, but no one picked up the phone. They finally gave up and called your number instead.”
The final interview for post-grad admissions?
Huo Shaoheng’s furrowed his brows. He suddenly remembered: Gu Nianzhi had previously told him that she was going to sit for her post-grad admission exam. Had she already taken the exam? Was her interview up next?
Huo Shaoheng stopped running. He called Chen Lie and asked, in an impassive voice, “Chen Lie, did Gu Nianzhi sit for her post-grad admission exam?”
Chen Lie said, “Oh, that. Yes, she did. She got first place, too. What about it?”
Huo Shaoheng lit a cigarette. He asked, “When will she be up? Her final interview is today, did you know?”
“Interview? Forget it. Even if she wakes up today, she won’t be able to get off the bed. She’s been through hell and back. I expect her to stay bed-ridden for a week,” said Chen Lie, rapping his knuckles on the table.
Huo Shaoheng took a long, unhappy drag on his cigarette, before breathing out a lungful of smoke. He said, calmly, “Okay. Make up a medical condition for her—the worst you can think of—and put it on a medical leave certificate. I’ll get someone to take it to Nianzhi’s university and see whether we can get them to postpone the interview.”
Chen Lie did not object. He knew that Gu Nianzhi had her heart set on going to law school. He fiddled with the hemodialysis equipment in the bedroom as he said on the phone, “No problem. Just a suggestion: you may want to send someone who’s a real smooth talker. I mean, we may have a problem if whoever’s calling the shots at her university is a hardass who insists on playing by the rules.”
“I’ll get Yin Shixiong to handle this,” said Huo Shaoheng. He immediately ended the call and dialed Yin Shixiong’s number.
Yin Shixiong was one of Huo Shaoheng’s personal secretaries. He was usually the one who handled all of Huo Shaoheng’s external affairs. He was loyal and good at dealing with people. In addition, his powers of persuasion were such that he could even coax a starling out of a tree.
Yin Shixiong took the call from Huo Shaoheng and immediately agreed to do what was required of him. He came over, took the medical leave certificate and medical report, and personally drove to Gu Nianzhi’s university to request that she be granted sick leave.
It was now 15 minutes before the interview.
Feng Yixi, dressed in a light gray skirt suit, waited with a dignified air in the conference room. Professor He Zhichu of B City was personally interviewing the post-grad candidates today.
Gu Nianzhi was still nowhere to be seen. She was probably not coming.
Feng Yixi bowed her head to hide the smirk on her face.
In the office next door was a man in a white suit; he was He Zhichu, Professor of Law at B University, located in B City. He had his back to the door. He said impatiently, “If she can’t even make it in time for the interview then she may as well forget it. Sick leave? Who does she think she’s kidding?”
“Professor He, Miss Gu really is sick. It was very sudden and unexpected. I have her medical leave certificate, issued by a fully qualified doctor. You can have a look at her medical report, too.” Yin Shixiong’s acting was impeccable. He produced the medical report he had gotten from Chen Lie.
It went without saying that the medical report was a complete fabrication. The truth had to remain a secret.
He Zhichu turned from the window. He looked at the medical leave certificate and the report that Yin Shixiong handed over to him.
Yin Shixiong quietly looked He Zhichu over, secretly surprised. He had not expected the renowned professor of B University Law School to be so young!
The professor was tall and well-built. His tailored white suit was perfect on him: it complemented his suave demeanor and exceptionally handsome face.
He Zhichu had long, narrow eyes that slanted upwards into his temples. He was famous for his bewitching, dewy, almond-shaped eyes.