Chapter 16: Following the Vine to Find the Melon(4)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The next morning marked the second day of Gu Nianzhi’s coma.
“Has her fever broken?” Huo Shaoheng stood at the door for a while, but, as was usual now, did not enter. He took out a pack of cigarettes from his trouser pocket. He plucked one out and put it in his mouth, deftly lighting it, and then inhaled once and blew out a ring of smoke. “Will she wake tomorrow?”
“You’re getting worried? Feeling concerned all of a sudden?” Chen Lie snarked at Huo Shaoheng and waved his hand in attempt to dissipate the cigarette smoke curling in the air. Unexpectedly, Chen Lie detected a tinge of lethality from Huo Shaoheng after his snarky comment. He smartened up and quickly said, “Not to worry, not to worry. Eat dinner first then go for a smoke.”
Huo Shaoheng remained silent, keeping one hand in his trouser pocket as the other one held the cigarette. He squinted at the murky night sky outside the window, his strong silhouette unmoving.
“I’m not worried.” Huo Shaoheng flicked the ash and said, “If Nianzhi’s fever doesn’t break, should we take her to the hospital?”
“Hospital? Why would you want to take her there when you have me here?” Chen Lie gave a snort of extreme contempt. “Wherever I am is where the best medical care is to be found!”
“Then why does she still have a fever? Why hasn’t she awaken?”
Huo Shaoheng’s questions hit right on the mark. Chen Lie gave in to the temporary defeat, unable to provide an answer for all his medical genius was worth.
At the same time, it was utter chaos in the Feng household in the Dexing villa precinct of C City.
Feng Yixi’s father, Feng Guodong, had seen the extensive coverage on the online news and his fury nearly induced heart attack. He bellowed at his wife, Hu Qiaozhen, “Look at what your nephew has done! My daughter has always been obedient and smart. How could she have snorted that stuff?”
Hu Qiaozhen’s eyes were swollen from crying. She was worried on the one hand about the trouble her daughter was in, and on the other, about her nephew, who was now the prime culprit. She screamed back at her husband. “My nephew was also set up! Both he and Yixi are victims!”
“He is a victim?” Feng Guodong pointed at the door, his face livid. “It’s not the first time he’s snorted that stuff! I saw it with my own eyes not long ago! And now you’re telling me about him being set up?! It was he who set my daughter up! His whole family set my daughter up!”
“Feng Guodong, do you have a conscience or not? How could my brother’s family set Yixi up? My brother and his wife treat Yxi better than even their own daughter. Do you look down on my side of the family that much?!” Hu Qiaozhen covered her family’s faults to an almost desperate extent. She was quick to jump in with retorts as soon as her husband accused her own side of the family.
Feng Yichen stood on the side, her brows knitting closer and closer together. She couldn’t stand to listen anymore and interrupted her parents’ fighting. “Father, Mother, now is not the time to blame each other. We have to quickly find Lawyer Yan to get Yixi and Chuanxin out before things get out of hand.”
At these words, Feng Guodong and Hu Qiaozhen stopped fighting, but they glared at each other relentlessly. They both turned to look at Feng Yichen. “Yichen, hurry and find Lawyer Yan, take him to the police station to get your sister and cousin out.”
Feng Yichen shook her head, “Mother, you take Auntie and Lawyer Yan to the police station. I still have something to discuss with Father.”
“What could be more important than your sister and your cousin?” Hu Qiazhen was extremely displeased. She jabbed her finger at Feng Yichen and screeched. “Do you even understand what is going on here?!”
Feng Yichen shut her eyes briefly. She passed the phone she had been holding and her voice was low as she said, “Of course, but there is is something more important. Here, look for yourselves.”
Feng Guodong and Hu Qiaozhen leaned over to look at the screen in Feng Yichen’s hand.
They only saw an extremely popular exposé post on one of the Empire’s online forums, titled, “Let’s Talk About My Classmate—C University Faculty of Law 4th Year Girl, Feng Yixi”. It not only revealed her name and identity clearly, but also the Feng family history in explicit detail. It even exposed the news that the Feng’s family business, Fengting Home Improvement Company, was about to go public.
With the release of the news, there was an increasing number of all sorts of people coming out with exposés. Even their competition went into action immediately, employing Internet Water Armies1 to kick them while they were down. They had manipulated a criminal case into stock market incident related to going public.
There were already people immediately making defaming posts about the behind-the-scenes of the Fengting Home Improvement Company going public.
Huo Qiaozhen’s face blanched. She grabbed Feng Yichen’s phone, babbling and cursing. “What nonsense! The sheer absurdity! These people get a quick rush from creating rumors, but our family is the one to suffer!”
Feng Guodong was panicking. “What should we do? What should we do?! If this affects the Fengting Home Improvement Company going public, then we are going to suffer a huge loss!”
“Father,” Feng Yichen said, “stay here with me. I have a couple of friends and they have connections to the Internet Water Army companies. We’ll spend some money and use them to restore our reputation. Also, we’ll pay Qiandu2 some money to block all kinds of searches related to this incident, so it’ll be ok as long as it doesn’t come up on a search engine.”
Feng Yichen was quite familiar with the internet. She was also a Faculty of Law student at C University and was about to graduate with her post-grad, so she knew some people who made a living online.
Trouble with the family business held precedence over Feng Yixi’s personal reputation. The family ceased fighting then, and quickly came to agreement.
Hu Qiaozhen would take Lawyer Yan along with her brother and sister to the police station to get them out. Feng Guodong and Feng Yichen would stay home and contact different Internet Water Armies and also get in touch with the planning department of Qiandu to clamp down on related search terms.
Though Hu Guodong and Feng Yichen made a round of calls, they found that not a single company wanted to take on the job. Although Qiandu agreed to work on the search terms, they quoted an exorbitantly high price.
“50 million?! Why don’t you go to hell!” Feng Guodong threw his phone. He held his head in his hands and was just short of crying out loud.
That night in C City, many people were unable to sleep. Huo Shaoheng had another sleepless night. When the morning came, he opened the curtains in his study to find it was gloomy outside and drizzling. Spring rain was as precious as oil. The end of spring and beginning of summer were the best seasons in C City, but he had no interest in enjoying this scenery.
It was already the third day.
“Chen Lie, has Nianzhi waken yet?” Huo Shaoheng emerged from the bathroom in the guest bedroom after taking a shower. He asked this as he was drying his hair.
Chen Lie was carrying the medical box as he left the bedroom and shook his head helplessly. “She is still running a high fever. I’ve already called Dr. Ye to come and give her a transfusion.”
Huo Shaoheng did not say anymore, but the space between his brows had hardened with resolve. He had always been this way—the more difficulty he faced, the more he was able to stay calm. Many said he had the way of great generals, so the majority wholeheartedly accepted him being promoted as Major General at a young age. This was because his military rank had been exchanged from real blood and life.
Taking a seat to enjoy breakfast, Huo Shaoheng called Zhao Liangze. “Move the original plan to a day earlier.”
An hour later, Huo Shaoheng was sitting inside a silver Chrysler sedan. This car was neither expensive nor cheap. It was the least distinctive car to park near Fengting Home Improvement Company, perfectly blending in with the similarly colored and modeled vehicles. Huo Shaoheng sat in the backseat and quietly watched the thirty story high building across the street.
The Fengting Home Improvement Company occupied the first to fifth floor of the building. It was certainly not a small scale company, but even so, this was an extreme case of putting on airs for a standard home improvement company.
Zhao Liangze was in the front seat and briefed Huo Shaoheng on his findings on the situation with Fengting Home Improvement Company. “This company has been established for over thirty years, but has curiously remained small scale. In the last two years, they have been raising funds to go public, and so obtained a major bank loan to put on a front—”
Before he could finish, a van stopped in front of the building across the street. Several men in white police uniforms and security uniforms exited the vehicle and entered the building. Huo Shoaheng was impassive as he leaned back in his seat. His eyes were dark as he watched the scene across the street.