Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
He Zhichu stood in front of the French windows. The moonlight spilled inside and outlined his silhouette in its mysterious silver glow. With both hands in his pockets, he quietly watched Huo Shaoheng wake Gu Nianzhi up. Gu Nianzhi was deep asleep; merely calling her name would never rouse her, He Zhichu thought mockingly. After trying a few more times, he found that she wasn't responding so he had no choice but to remove the blanket covering her and carry her up from the sofa. The sudden movement finally woke her. She blinked groggily but then immediately fell asleep again. Huo Shaoheng looked up He Zhichu, annoyed.
"Professor He, what exactly did you say to Nianzhi? Or did you use hypnosis?"
"Hypnosis? Mr. Huo, you think too highly of me. I'm not that capable." Upon seeing Huo Shaoheng's suppressed irritation, He Zhichu cheered up. He had managed to break off a small chip of the famed Major General's exterior. "Mr. Huo, I think you can understand what I'm feeling." Standing up straight in front of the window, his gaze fell on Gu Nianzhi then quickly looked away to an antique plum vase in the corner. "Anyway, it's late. Mr. Huo, please take Nianzhi back to the dorm. Remember to close the door behind you when you leave." He Zhichu didn't look back as he returned to his room and slammed the door shut.
Zhao Liangze was fearful of even breathing too loud as he followed Huo Shaoheng out of the suite and carefully closed the door. The two men helped bring Gu Nianzhi into the elevator; Zhao Liangze hesitated for a moment before reminding Huo Shaoheng, "Mr. Huo, it won't do to bring Nianzhi back like this." It wasn't as if they could carry her back while she was passed out.
Huo Shaoheng also seemed to realize this and he considered it for a second before finally setting Gu Nianzhi down. "What the h*ll, honestly. How is she this sleepy?" Huo Shaoheng asked in frustration. He held Gu Nianzhi's waist with one hand so that she could lean against him.
Zhao Liangze watched the sleeping Gu Nianzhi for a moment and then replied, "She'd said she was sleepy around 9pm, so maybe she really is tired. Kids always tend to get sleepy early," he joked.
Huo Shaoheng stared at Zhao Liangze quizzically. His subordinate's words had a strange ring to them but he couldn't pinpoint why. Putting it in the back of his mind, he half carried Gu Nianzhi out of the elevator.
After getting inside Huo Shaoheng's car, Zhao Liangze turned around and scratched his head.
"It's already this late, so isn't Nianzhi's dorm building locked up now?"
"It shouldn't be. This is a post-grad student dorm. It's different from the undergraduate ones." Yin Shixiong checked the dorm regulations for B University. "However, the Resident Advisor might have something to say about it. Also, we can't carry her inside like this. It would look too strange."
Huo Shaoheng looked at Gu Nianzhi, who was still passed out in his arms. "Let's wake her up."
Yin Shixiong and Zhao Liangze shared a glance then got out of the car together. "Mr. Huo, you can wake her up. We'll wait outside." Even the driver Fan Jian got out as well.The three men stood ramrod straight in three positions around the car and watched the surroundings intently.
Huo Shaoheng shook his head, embarrassed. What kind of dirty things were these three people thinking? He gripped Gu Nianzhi's wrist and moved his fingers up until he reached the sensitive inside of her elbow and then pinched hard. The sharp pain finally reached Gu Nianzhi and she shifted in Huo Shaoheng's arms. Huo Shaoheng increased the pressure and finally roused her from her slumber. She shrunk her arm away and mumbled, "Professor He, it hurts!"
"Are you awake now?" Huo Shaoheng lifted her arm and massaged it. "You wouldn't wake up until you finally had to be pinched. Did you take something? You were sleeping so soundly at He Zhichu's."
Blinking her eyes, Gu Nianzhi had just realized that the person in front of her was not He Zhichu but Huo Shaoheng. She sat up in shock and looked around to also see that she was no longer in He Zhichu's living room.
"Huo Shao, why are you here? Didn't you leave me there and go for a meeting?" She said weakly and nuzzled Huo Shaoheng.
Huo Shaoheng didn't push her away or hug her back. He only asked, "What did He Zhichu say to you? Why did you fall asleep at his place?"
Gu Nianzhi frowned and tried to recall. It all came flooding back to her and she stammered, "P-Profesor He showed me a doll, a-and I tried to remember what happened before I was 12 but I couldn't remember anything. My head was killing me and I thought I was going to die from the pain. Then, I fainted." She sat up and look at Huo Shaoheng. "When I opened my eyes again, I saw you, Huo Shao…"
Huo Shaoheng pinched her little nose, and laughed. "You fell asleep from looking at a doll? Did he use hypnosis on you or what ?"
"Of course not," Gu Nianzhi denied instantly. "I remember it clearly, my head had really hurt so much that it felt like it was going to split. I've never had such a headache. All the other ones before were nothing in comparison."
"Really?" Huo Shaoheng glanced at her. "Then, what kind of doll was it? Why did it make you react so strongly?"
"It was like the doll Huo Shao custom ordered for me, the same one from my childhood photo," Gu Nianzhi said nervously. "It also looks a bit like Wen Shouyi." She was still puzzled as to why she would have a doll that looked like Wen Shouyi. The fact that Gu Nianzhi had been so attached to that doll made her even more concerned.
"He Zhichu showed you the same doll from your photo?" Huo Shaoheng frowned slightly. "Did you ask him where he got it from?"
Gu Nianzhi nodded. "I asked him but he told me to think about it myself. That when I got the headache." She pointed to her head. "I really think that I will never be able to recover my memories, if this is how it'll be."
Huo Shaoheng looked at her intently. "For now, go back to your dorm first. Wait for the weekend and I'll take you to Chen Lie for an examination to see what's going on.""
"Ok." Gu Nianzhi rested her head on Huo Shaoheng's shoulder and said quietly, "Huo Shao, I really wished you could've stayed with me earlier."
Huo Shaoheng shifted his body so Gu Nianzhi could lean comfortably against him, but said dryly, "Today was a special military meeting. I really couldn't stay."
Gu Nianzhi was a little miffed, but she also knew that it wasn't Huo Shaoheng's fault so she was even more upset; her loneliness and fear in from that moment could find no one to blame. He pat her head sweetly and then dropped her off at the dorm.
Opening her door, Gu Nianzhi saw that Ma Qiqi was already asleep, her door slightly ajar. The living room was still the same state she had left it in—slightly messy, with the cushions on the sofa askew and several small stools upturned in the corner of the room. Gu Nianzhi sighed and walked straight through the mess to her own room.
From downstairs, Huo Shaoheng watched the light in Gu Nianzhi's room turn on, he sent her a text goodnight, before ordering Fan Jian to drive back. Fan Jian started the car and drove out of B University. Yin Shiixong and Zhao Liangze were silent in the car. When they reached the headquarters base, Huo Shaoheng finally said to them, "Ask the personnel in South America to hurry up and report what they've found so far. The He's are very powerful, so don't tell me they didn't find anything yet." The two men noticed Huo Shaoheng was openly frustrated; this was rare. They shared a glanced and said a strong "Yes Chief!" in unison.
The next day was Monday and Gu Nianzhi had class in the morning. She got up early, bought breakfast, and ate it at the table before going out. The class would still be held at He Zhichu's suite in the professor's' building. As soon as she entered the elevator, she saw her older classmate and tutor, Gui Suyao, run over.
"Please wait! Please hold the elevator!"
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