Hello, Mr. Major General - BestLightNovel.com
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General Ji had encouraged him to step out of the shadows and take center stage, but for the moment Huo Shaoheng's name was known only to the military and the upper echelons of the Empire. The common folk on the street did not know who Huo Shaoheng was.
But Wen Shouyi had called him "General Huo." She obviously knew both his name and his real ident.i.ty.
Huo Shaoheng knew who Wen Shouyi was. He had ordered his men to run thorough background checks on He Zhichu and Wen Shouyi when Gu Nianzhi had applied for B University Law School.
It was strange for Wen Shouyi to know who he was, however. Or, to put it another way, nothing in Wen Shouyi's background indicated any connection to Huo Shaoheng, or any possible interest in him.
Something stirred within Huo Shaoheng's mind. He kept the indifferent expression on his face as he turned to look at Wen Shouyi and wait for her reply.
There was a flicker of panic in Wen Shouyi's eyes. She quickly glanced towards He Zhichu, a faint blush creeping across her cheeks, before lowering her head. She gripped the iron bars on the window of her room, and said in a stammer: "…I saw you at the dinner party in the Prime Minister's official residence. I asked Qingyan who you were, and she told me."
The explanation was water-tight.
But Huo Shaoheng did not let his guard down. He asked: "Oh? Are you good friends with Dou Qingyan?"
"I was Qingyan's defense lawyer when I was abroad. I helped her with a lawsuit." Wen Shouyi gradually calmed down. She looked up at Huo Shaoheng, silently appraising him.
This was the first time she had seen him up close, and she was not quite prepared for it.
Huo Shaoheng was so devastatingly handsome, the sight of his face was enough to send most people into an existential crisis.
She stared at him for a long moment, before averting her gaze. The major general had been handsome enough in his photos, but she had not expected him to be even more beautiful in person…
Huo Shaoheng glanced sideways at Wen Shouyi. He gestured for his men to open the door to He Zhichu's room.
He Zhichu emerged from the room, his expression stony. He said to Huo Shaoheng: "General Huo, you seem very interested in my a.s.sistant. Why?"
Huo Shaoheng smiled, but did not reply. "Professor He, this way, please."
He Zhichu snorted. The expression on his face had grown even icier. He pressed his lips together and walked towards the room opposite them.
Just as Huo Shaoheng turned to leave, he caught sight of Wen Shouyi's face out of the corner of his eye. There was a faint smile on her face.
She was watching He Zhichu's retreating back with her complete and undivided attention. Beneath her thick bangs, her narrow eyes seemed alive with emotion; her snowy white skin, her round face, her slender eyebrows and her small mouth seemed oddly familiar. Huo Shaoheng was momentarily overcome with a sense of déjà vu.
Upon entering the interrogation room, He Zhichu stopped to sweep his gaze over the room, before seating himself at the rectangular table inside. He chose to sit facing the door.
Huo Shaoheng did not enter the interrogation room after him. Instead, he entered the room next to the interrogation room, and seated himself. He crossed his legs and lightly tapped the table before him with a slender finger as he said to Zhao Liangze, who was standing behind him, "Begin the interrogation."
"Yes, sir." Zhao Liangze exited the room and entered the interrogation room next door.
Huo Shaoheng took up a leisurely stance as he fixed his gaze upon the window before him; it was actually a sophisticated one-way mirror, disguised as a normal wall on the other side.
He could see everything that was going on in the interrogation room next door, but the occupants in the interrogation room could not see him.
Zhao Liangze walked into the interrogation room, and was instantly met with a frosty look from He Zhichu as the professor looked him over. Zhao Liangze suddenly felt as though their roles had been reversed—who was the suspect being questioned here, exactly?
"I see you're taking this in stride, Professor He." Zhao Liangze calmly sat in the chair opposite He Zhichu. He opened the laptop he had brought with him, and began the interrogation. "What is your full name, Professor He? Where are you from? What are you doing in the Huaxia Empire?"
He Zhichu leaned forwards. He said frostily: "Why are you the one interrogating me? Where's General Huo?"
"General Huo is the commander of this outfit. He has better things to do, obviously." Zhao Liangze put on his best "I can't believe you're too dumb to realize that" look to go with the undisguised condescension in his eyes.
This was not the first time Zhao Liangze had met He Zhichu.
They had met in the United States when Zhao Liangze had replaced Yin s.h.i.+xiong as Gu Nianzhi's guardian.
Back then, Zhao Liangze had been extremely polite and courteous to He Zhichu—a total 180 from his skeptical, condescending att.i.tude now.
He Zhichu sat up straight and gave a contemptuous snort. "I forgot that you lot are experts when it comes to disguising yourselves. You pull the wool over everyone else with your deceptions, but you probably start to believe your own lies, too."
Zhao Liangze: "…"
Zhao Liangze looked up at He Zhichu and repeated his question. He added: "Professor He, please answer my questions. I'm sure you are aware of the consequences if you don't cooperate."
"He Zhichu." He Zhichu placed his hands on the long table before him. "Don't you know who I am?"
"I'm just doing my job. What I do or do not know in private has no bearing on the current situation. Please cooperate, Professor He." Zhao Liangze began typing out a record of the conversation.
In actual fact, the interrogation room was equipped with surveillance cameras and microphones. Every word He Zhichu had said had already been recorded, but Zhao Liangze went through the motions of typing out a record anyway.
He Zhichu lowered his eyes. He was struggling with conflicted emotions, but no one could see them. "I have a US pa.s.sport. I came to the Huaxia Empire because I was hired by B University's Law School as a professor. Aren't you Gu Nianzhi's guardian? She's my post-grad student—you know that, right?"
Zhao Liangze nodded. "What is your relations.h.i.+p with Dou Qingyan? When did you first meet her? Why did she suddenly return to the Empire?"
The corner of He Zhichu's mouth lifted into a sardonic smile. There was a hint of a smirk in his s.h.i.+mmering, sultry eyes. "I have nothing to do with Dou Qingyan. She is my a.s.sistant's client. If you have any questions about Dou Qingyan, please direct them to my a.s.sistant."
"Your a.s.sistant? You mean Wen Shouyi?" Zhao Liangze checked his records. "Well, we'll be interrogating her next. But I don't believe for a moment that you don't know anything about Dou Qingyan. Are you insulting our intelligence?"
"Mr. Zhao, a good lawyer has to be able to insult his or her opponent's intelligence at the drop of a hat. How do you think court battles are won?" He Zhichu replied with a straight face. His eyes swept across the interrogation room, taking in his surroundings, before resting on one of the walls.
He Zhichu was certain that this "wall" next to him was actually a sophisticated one-way mirror.
Huo Shaoheng was probably behind that wall, watching him…
Zhao Liangze's mouth twitched. He Zhichu's haughty att.i.tude annoyed him, and he wanted badly to punch him in the face. At the same time, however, the way He Zhichu's mouth curved into a slight smile before turning into a mocking, lopsided smirk seemed oddly familiar to him…
"Professor He, Wen Shouyi is your a.s.sistant, which means you're her employer. Please forgive me for being blunt, but I don't believe for a minute that you wouldn't know what she's up to, or that you'd leave her to fend for herself if she gets into trouble."
"That's where you're mistaken." He Zhichu leaned backwards and spread his hands in a gesture of indifference. "Wen Shouyi may be my a.s.sistant, but I'm not her employer—that would be Harvard Law School, B University Law School, and my law firm in America. She reports to me during working hours at Harvard and B University because she's my teaching a.s.sistant, but she's also a fully qualified lawyer, and handles her own cases. I have absolutely nothing to do with the cases she takes on."
He Zhichu had adroitly shrugged off all responsibility for Wen Shouyi's actions.
Zhao Liangze frowned. He knew he should have gotten either Yin s.h.i.+xiong or Gu Nianzhi to interrogate He Zhichu.
He Zhichu was a famous, highly accomplished lawyer. There was no way Zhao Liangze—or most other people—would be able to out-talk him.
As Zhao Liangze inwardly kicked himself, He Zhichu nonchalantly looked away from the wall he had been scrutinizing, and fixed Zhao Liangze with a frosty glare. His tone was just as icy when he said: "Here's a question for you, Mr. Zhao: Nianzhi lived with the Special Ops from between the age of 12 and 18. Was she treated fairly? Or did you interrogate her every day, the way you're interrogating me now? Did you brainwash her? Did you put her through psychological torture?"
Zhao Liangze was momentarily stunned. He retorted, without thinking, "This has nothing to do with Nianzhi. Please don't try to change the subject."
"Well, I have nothing to say to you." He Zhichu knew it was within his rights to stay silent. "I will only speak with General Huo or Nianzhi. It's either that, or I stay silent until you release me, at which point you'll be getting a lawyer's letter from me."
Zhao Liangze was not afraid of his threats, but he did not want to involve Gu Nianzhi in this mess, either. He slowly typed out a message on his laptop to Huo Shaoheng, asking him what to do.
Huo Shaoheng sent him new instructions from the opposite room. "Interrogate Wen Shouyi. We'll leave He Zhichu alone for the moment."
Zhao Liangze replied with a simple "Yes, sir." He ordered his men to take He Zhichu back to his room, and bring Wen Shouyi over instead.
Wen Shouyi seated herself across Zhao Liangze, her expression uneasy. She c.o.c.ked her head as she looked him over; finally, she said: "Mr. Zhao, I wasn't expecting us to meet again like this."