Chapter 427: I really don’t deserve it
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
General Ji remained silent for a long while after hearing that.
Autonomy was the most valued and important right in this organization. With a position like his, he needed to decide how to place that right, and whether or not he would be able to take it back in the future.
However, judging by how Huo Shaoheng put it, he wanted this right to be with the Special Forces permanently, especially with the Head of the Force.
This wasn’t an easy request.
Slowly, General Ji explained, “I am unable to make the decision for this. You know that we need a balance for all the rights given. If this autonomy was given to the Special Forces permanently, it will easily erode the precarious harmony we have now.”
Huo Shaoheng had known that General Ji would put it like this. Smiling, he provided a solution.
“Actually, it’s not hard to maintain the current balance. The Army’s Supreme Council appointed my position as the Head of Special Forces, and only the Army’s Supreme Council has the power to appoint a candidate for this position. Doesn’t this solve the problem already? You have absolute autonomy over me, as I do for the people under me. We now have a clear person to report to; doesn’t this fit all the criteria of a confidential department?”
General Ji was surprised by how obvious it was. “You’re right! The Supreme Council does have the right to appoint a candidate to fill your position. This is a great idea! Let me discuss this with them; they should be able to accept this.”
They definitely would. Huo Shaoheng knew exactly what the seniors in the Council had on their minds. They were a group of manipulative people who wanted to control every single person and situation in the military. Of course, they only wanted it for the benefit of the country; but Huo Shaoheng wasn’t willing to be a puppet in their game of monopoly.
Huo Shaoheng would therefore present them with a chance to have complete control over him, and to officially put this into the rulebook. He knew that the seniors would feel relieved after hearing this new provision; they wouldn’t have to worry that Huo Shaoheng would be taking advantage of anything if they were to give him the freedom to do things as he saw fit.
After they were done with work, General Ji finally asked about Gu Nianzhi.
“I heard that she sprained her ankle and injured her spine? Was it serious?” Standing up, General Ji left the meeting room with Huo Shaoheng. “I would like to visit her. Is it okay?”
Huo Shaoheng nodded. As General Ji was led down the stairs towards Huo Shaoheng’s mansion, he briefed him on Gu Nianzhi’s condition. “It was the most dangerous last night; she’d been running a high fever the entire night. But Chen Lie was around to watch over her and to correct the position of her spine. Her fever only subsided this morning, but she still couldn’t get out of bed. She’ll have to be on bed rest for a while more.”
“That’s really serious! It’s a terrible thing, injuring one’s spine at such a young age,” General Ji said.
Huo Shaoheng wasn’t afraid of the check ups anyway; there were the other two orthopedists to confirm and witness the diagnosis, X-rays, and MRI results as proof. None of them were forged.
Of course, the only thing that was abnormal were the results.
This was only known to Huo Shaoheng and Chen Lie. Others wouldn’t be able to tell, or even guess anything close to Gu Nianzhi’s unique condition.
Gu Nianzhi was lying in bed when she got the heads up about Genera Ji’s visit.
In reality, her back was already fine, but due to the abnormal fever, she felt weak all over.
“Good day, General!”
“Good day, General!”
Yin Shixiong and Zhao Liangze greeted General Ji formally at the entrance of Gu Nianzhi’s suite.
Gu Nianzhi sat up in bed in a more proper manner upon hearing the greetings. She felt slightly nervous. Her face was flushed, with tiny beads of perspiration on the tip of her nose. They made her look even more like someone who had just had a fever.
General Ji entered the suite, led in by Huo Shaoheng. Both his secretaries, who were also his bodyguards, were following closely behind. Zhao Liangze and Yin Shixiong remained at the door.
Huo Shaoheng looked at the two unfamiliar faces when they were at Gu Nianzhi’s room door, and said calmly, “Would the two of you please wait at the door? This is the room of a young woman; it wouldn’t be nice for so many grown men to enter together.”
General Ji nodded in agreement and turned to the both of them. “Just wait at the door. I’ll just go in and speak briefly to Nianzhi.”
“Yes, sir!” The two of them acknowledged.
Huo Shaoheng knocked on the door and called out gently, “Nianzhi? General Ji is here to visit you. We’re coming in.”
Gu Nianzhi did not respond. She just looked fixedly at the door.
The door creaked open, and Gu Nianzhi saw Huo Shaoheng’s profile outline from the hallway light..
Seeing him deepened the flush on her face; it even spread to the corners of her eyes, making her appear breathlessly beautiful.
Huo Shaoheng felt the heat rising to his own face the moment he set his eyes on her. He looked away and spoke to General Ji instead.
“This way please, General Ji.”
General Ji entered, and Huo Shaoheng closed the door behind him, not allowing the secretaries any view of her room or her.
Gu Nianzhi felt extremely awkward in the presence of Huo Shaoheng’s superior. Not knowing what else to do, she bowed her head, keeping her eyes fixed on the coverlet.
General Ji sensed her discomfort and approached her kindly. He walked over and bent down to Gu Nianzhi’s level.
“Nianzhi, do you remember me?”
Gu Nianzhi blinked, indicating ‘yes’, and then whispered, “You are General Ji—”
“Yes, just call me Uncle Ji.” General Ji said. “I heard that you’ve sprained your ankle and hurt your spine. I represent the Army’s Supreme Council, who send you their most heartfelt regards. We’re all wishing you a speedy recovery.”
Gu Nianzhi was flushing furiously. She felt her eyes become misty; the accident still held a great emotional toll on her, General Ji saw. “Th-Thank you General Ji, but I really don’t deserve it.”
General Ji felt that Gu Nianzhi was exceptionally adorable when she felt touched, and decided to tease her. “How could you not deserve it? You could even bring down our Major General Huo, so you definitely deserve it!”
Gu Nianzhi was speechless.
What is he talking about now? She wondered nervously.
She looked at General Ji in confusion. Looking from General Ji to Huo Shaoheng, she finally asked, “Uncle Ji, what are you talking about? Huo Shao is such a capable man; I can never outfight him. How could I have brought him down?”
“Ah? Haha, what an interesting little girl!” General Ji laughed loudly. “Surely, you would not be able to take down Shaoheng in a match. If you’d been able to, you wouldn’t be human. You’d be Superman!”
Gu Nianzhi smiled. “Superman is a male. I’m a female; so, not a superman.”
“Yes, yes. Our Nianzhi is the best.” General Ji was full of praises for her. “Clever, witty, and lovely. You grew up with Shaoheng, so you’d know many things even without saying.” General Ji pat Huo Shaoheng on the shoulders upon saying that
Standing beside General Ji, Huo Shaoheng remained silent. His lips curved upwards slightly, as he listened to the conversation between General Ji and Gu Nianzhi.
Shortly after, Gu Nianzhi showed signs of fatigue and gave a long sigh.
General Ji noticed and said immediately, “Tired already, aren’t you? I’m merely here to pay you a visit. You’re still young, Gu Nianzhi. Please don’t let anything happen else to your spine.” Turning to Huo Shaoheng, he reminded him and said, “Get the best doctor to treat Nianzhi.”
Huo Shaoheng replied confidently, “I trust Chen Lie to take care of her.”
After saying his goodbyes, General Ji exited the room. Huo Shaoheng turned off the lights in the room. “Nianzhi, I’ll be leaving now. Sleep well. Press the bell if you need anything. There’re people outside standing guard,” he said to Gu Nianzhi gently.
The room seemed pitch black even in the day the moment the lights went off.
Looking at Huo Shaoheng, she yearned for him to stay and accompany her. She hoped that Huo Shaoheng would turn and look at her again before leaving.
But he didn’t. He followed General Ji out of the room, just like that.
The sound of door closing was heard from outside. Gu Nianzhi knew that they had left.
Shortly after, Yin Shixiong came in and asked cheerfully, “Do you want to eat anything, Nianzhi? I’ll get them to prepare whatever it is you’re in the mood for.”
Feeling moody, Gu Nianzhi rejected the idea.
“It’s okay, I want to rest.”
“Okay, you rest well. It’s okay to wait for Mr. Huo before eating dinner together too.” Yin Shixiong could tell that Gu Nianzhi wasn’t in the best of moods, but he thought it was because of her injuries.
Seeing that she had already closed her eyes, Yin Shixiong closed the door carefully and left the room.
He heard Zhao Liangze calling Huo Shaoheng the moment he arrived at the corridor.
“Mr. Huo! Professor He keeps calling Nianzhi’s phone but couldn’t get through and he’s getting uptight now! What should we do?”
On the other end of the line was an expressionless Huo Shaoheng. “Get Nianzhi to call Professor He. Tell him that she’s injured; she can apply for her medical leave at the same time.”
Gu Nianzhi had just closed her eyes, when she was woken up by Zhao Liangze barging into her room. “Nianzhi, Nianzhi! Can you call Professor He?”
Gu Nianzhi remembered what she had promised He Zhichu previously and felt her head hurting immediately. She had to call; there was no way to escape from this. She was the one who had gone back on her words in the first place. Even if she could keep a distance, she did not want to burn all bridges with him.
She felt that the person who would be affected the most if they were not on speaking terms, would be Huo Shaoheng.
“Brother Ze, please give me the phone. I’ll videocall Professor He.”
Gu Nianzhi looked at her black night tie and changed into a coral colored cotton top. After lying in her bed properly, she held the phone and dialed He Zhichu’s number.