Hello, Mr. Major General - BestLightNovel.com
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Huo Shaoheng shook his head."You think this is cold? I'd be ok even just in a s.h.i.+rt," he retorted, half-joking. Although, when he had been sent on a mission years ago, he had remained hidden in the roof of a church in Moscow for an entire night, with only a leather jacket to keep him warm.
Yin s.h.i.+xiong parked behind Huo Shaoheng. He jumped out of the car saying loudly, "I finally caught up to you guys! Hey, why aren't you going inside?"
Huo Shaoheng unlocked the trunk and glanced at Yin s.h.i.+xiong. "You take care of this." He then nodded to Gu Nianzhi and said, "Go inside first, I have to handle something at the office."
Gu Nianzhi waved at him. "Come home soon!"
Yin s.h.i.+xiong glared at Gu Nianzhi as soon as Huo Shaoheng left, disapproval apparent in his eyes. "Nianzhi, come over here. Help me carry a few bags."
Gu Nianzhi's previous joy was entirely wiped out by Yin s.h.i.+xiong's frosty look. She pursed her lips as she went over to help carry the Chanel bags. "Brother Xiong, I heard you're on your period? Is that why you're making such moody faces at me?"
"What?!" Yin s.h.i.+xiong was so upset that he rolled up his sleeves, fully prepared to hash it out with Gu Nianzhi. "Who did you hear that from? Have them come fight me!" What the h*ll! Who has dared to insult me? I'm going to teach them a lesson, Yin s.h.i.+xiong plotted.
Gu Nianzhi turned away to hide her smile and made a gesture in Huo Shaoheng's direction. "Well, I heard it from him."
"Who is "he"?! He—" Yin s.h.i.+xiong looked at where Gu Nianzhi pointed and was ready to launch himself, but deflated as soon as he saw that she had meant Huo Shaoheng.
Gu Nianzhi got the upper hand and made a cheeky face at him before walking through the iron gates with the bags in tow. She hummed an unknown melody.
Yin s.h.i.+xiong watched her bounce around cutely and couldn't help breaking into a smile. He quickly realized that this wasn't right, he couldn't spoil her like this. There were certain things that had to be said and taught. Although he doted on her, it still had to be within reason. He couldn't spoil her into becoming a reckless and stupid child. Mr. Huo as well, doted on her too much: he gave her whatever she wanted and now couldn't even bear to reject her when she asked for him as a man. Yin s.h.i.+xiong sensed that Mr. Huo's unconditional accommodation of Gu Nianzhi was unlike his character. However, he didn't think too deeply about why that was, or perhaps he didn't dare to.
From the way he and his team members saw it, Mr. Huo must always be right. If something went wrong, then someone else must take the blame—even if that person had to be Gu Nianzhi. Yin s.h.i.+xiong sighed again. Why couldn't this silly child like someone else? Yin s.h.i.+xiong was young and das.h.i.+ng, while Little Ze was handsome and cool. There were many women interested in them. How could she treat them like family, but have stray thoughts about Mr. Huo? Jeez, what an ungrateful child, she has poor taste!
Yin s.h.i.+xiong knew that even though Gu Nianzhi had an unknown background, they would never object if she liked someone and would even help her win his heart. Anyone except Huo Shaoheng that is. He was their hope and glory—they couldn't allow their idol to be tarnished in any way. Even if the personnel at the Special Ops approved of Nianzhi because they had watched her grow up and were fond of her, the military would never accept this relations.h.i.+p. Huo Shaoheng carried the hopes of all the old leaders of the Supreme Military Council, and Yin s.h.i.+xiong and Zhao Liangze knew this better than anyone else. If the leaders somehow learned of Gu Nianzhi's silly thoughts…Yin s.h.i.+xiong gave an involuntary shudder. Earlier he had been feeling so hot that he had been getting grumpy, but this full body chill was as though he had fallen into an ice cave. The bitter winds of mid-winter in the Imperial Capital was truly worthy of its name.
Huo Shaohang arrived at his office building. It was New Year's Eve and the only people in the building were the soldiers on duty. Most of the soldiers on the base went home for Lunar New Year. The sound of Huo Shaoheng's leather boots echoing in the empty hallway sounded especially loud. Exiting the elevator, he went to his office and saw Zhao Liangze guarding the large s.p.a.ce alone. He saluted him solemnly.
Huo Shaoheng nodded to him. "It's almost time for New Year's dinner, so you can go first." He opened the door to go in. Just as he was about to close the door, Zhao Liangze stuck a foot to block it. "Mr. Huo, there's something I want to say."
"Then come in." Huo Shaoheng looked at him and let go of the door, then went to sit down at his desk.
Zhao Liangze reached out to the wall by the door to turn on the lights. He left the main lights off and only turned on the floor lamp behind Huo Shaoheng. It emitted a warm yellow glow, much like the color of the nightlight in Gu Nianzhi's room. Zhao Liangze walked up to Huo Shaoheng's desk and his mind whirred as he considered how to put it all into words.
Huo Shaoheng watched him calmly. He stretched his long legs out and rested his arms on the armrests as he waited for Zhao Liangze to speak.
Silence exerted unparalleled pressure compared to any other stress, because a person's thoughts and senses amplified infinitely when they couldn't hear anything—whether it be joy or fear. The most powerful way to extort a confession was not physical torture, but to lock the suspect up in a silent dark room. The suspect would be driven crazy. At the moment, Zhao Liangze felt like he was in such a silent dark room. Taking a deep breath, he was heavy with guilt towards Gu Nianzhi as he blurted, "Mr. Huo, I have deleted from the Central Control all the footage of…you and Nianzhi today. It's completely gone and no one else will ever see it."
This again. Huo Shaoheng looked up at Zhao Liangze. "Why did you delete it? You better give me a good reason."
"Mr. Huo, Nianzhi is young and not sensible. You have to worry about her." Zhao Liangze grit his teeth, his knees were unsteady from Huo Shaoheng's fearsome gaze. Zhao Liangze was even timider that Yin s.h.i.+xiong, and couldn't take a verbal beating as well either: Huo Shaoheng looked like he wanted to tear into him.
"I've always been accommodating." Huo Shaoheng's voice was still very calm, "So, what is it that you are trying to say?"
" Don't be so accommodating!" Zhao Liangze mustered his courage and closed his eyes as he shouted, "You're so kind to Nianzhi, so how can the poor girl not fall for you? It's only natural that she likes you. But, you don't like her and also can't be with her, so stop giving her hope!" The greatest pain in the world was not failing to obtain what is desired, but to obtain it only to lose it.
Huo Shaoheng's face hardened, but his posture remained unchanged. He moved his hands away from Zhao Liangze's line of sight and curled them into fists. Zhao Liangze actually had the same thought as Yin s.h.i.+xiong—they both believe that I don't have a future with Nianzhi? Huo Shaoheng was not accustomed to explaining personal things and had only ever asked that his actions and words be trusted and accepted. It was quite alright if it wasn't understood, as long as his orders were executed to his will. He was a Major General, a commander—not a kindergarten teacher. He had no duty of preaching or explaining to his subordinates. Perhaps he had spent all his patience on Gu Nianzhi. He looked down and replied dryly, "I understand, leave now."
Zhao Liangze almost fell over when he heard this answer. His knees shook and almost collapsed into Huo Shaoheng's desk, "Mr. Huo… do you really understand?"
"Yes." Huo Shaoheng turned on his computer and opened a program. "If you don't want to leave yet, then go help me look for someone using the Household Registration and Identification System on the National Intranet."
"No problem! Who are you looking for?" Zhao Liangze noticed that Huo Shaoheng didn't seem angry. He was finally able to relax his breathing and tried his best to express his loyalty.
"I'm looking for someone named Gu Xiangwen." Huo Shaoheng wrote the name on a piece of paper—his handwriting was neat and bold, printed clearly. He was truly a reliable man that could take good care of a spouse. Zhao Liangze had felt bad for Gu Nianzhi for a long time. Huo Shaoheng was a great person but unfortunately could never be with Nianzhi.
"Gu Xiangwen?" Zhao Liangze glanced at the note and asked as he headed out, "No problem, but who's looking for him?"
Huo Shaoheng looked up at him. "He's Nianzhi's father."
"Nianzhi's fa— what?! Nianzhi's father?! Mr. Huo, you found out about Nianzhi's background?!" Zhao Liangze instantly turned back and bolted to Huo Shaoheng's desk. "Is this true?!"
"We'll know if it's true once we find this person and do a DNA test," Huo Shaoheng replied calmly. "Hurry up, we have New Year's dinner tonight."
"Roger, Chief!" After a day of brooding, Zhao Liangze was finally able to let go of his stress. He strode out of Huo Shaoheng's office and closed the door for him. Humming a tune, he went to his computer to look up the person.
Once Huo Shaoheng's door closed, he finally looked up from his computer and glanced at the door as he picked up his phone to call the kitchen in the official residence. "Yes, Nianzhi wants to eat stewed ribs and lotus root, so please remember to make it for her."
Inside Huo Shaoheng's official residence, Gu Nianzhi brought all her purchases for the day back to her room and wrapped them carefully. She wrote greeting cards to tuck inside the gifts before sending them out.
Downstairs in the kitchen, several chefs busied themselves with preparing for the New Year's dinner. It was important that they did a good job since this was their Chief's first New Year's dinner at his new and official residence. The Chief had specially called to ask them to make stewed ribs and lotus root, so preparations had begun immediately. Stewed ribs and lotus root was not a difficult dish to make, but they did require the best ingredients. Only the freshest lotus root and most tender ribs could give the authentic taste. The chefs had access to the best specially supplied pork ribs in the refrigeration room, but had no fresh lotus root. Frozen lotus root becomes dry when it thaws and wasn't very good. The Chief had bought some fresh lotus root that day, but it wasn't specially supplied so it couldn't be served to him. After some discussion, they made an urgent call to the special supply military base and requested them to send fresh lotus root over. The base had a pond where lotus root was grown, so of course, they had it available. The personnel immediately dug up fresh lotus root from the pond and expedited it by car. Half an hour later, it was delivered to the Special Operations headquarters. If it had been farther away, they would have delivered by helicopter.
Meanwhile, Gu Nianzhi had no idea about all the work that went in to fulfill her casual request of stewed ribs and lotus root, but Yin s.h.i.+xiong was fully aware. Arms crossed, he arrived at the kitchen of the official residence and watched the fresh and tender lotus root get cut up in chunks, blanched in broth, and stewed together with the fragrant rib soup. Before making the phone call, the orderly chefs had already cleaned the ribs, blanched and rinsed them, and then stewed them at a low heat. By the time the fresh lotus root arrived half an hour later, the ribs were almost done. Fresh lotus root cooked quickly and the base had the top quality kind which was soft and tender, so the dish was ready in no time. As soon as the clay pot was opened, the aroma instantly permeated the air and everyone in the kitchen smiled. Yin s.h.i.+xiong chuckled: if Mr. Huo kept spoiling Nianzhi like this, how would she ever stand to be with someone else after she broke up with Huo Shaoheng? It was difficult to go from luxury to frugality. He got out of the kitchen and looked at the two sets of staircases on either side of the living room. After some consideration, he finally decided to go up. "Nianzhi?" Yin s.h.i.+xiong knocked on Gu Nianzhi's door, and said, "It's me, Brother Xiong."
Gu Nianzhi had just finished showering. She opened the door wearing a pink fluffy robe.
Yin s.h.i.+xiong balked at her appearance, "You're showering? Hurry up and get changed! How can you answer the door like this?"
Gu Nianzhi looked down at her modest bathrobe and giggled. "Brother Xiong is not an outsider. Please sit. I'll go change."
Yin s.h.i.+xiong went to sit down in her living room and looked around. This was his first time in Gu Nianzhi's suite. The first thing he saw was the large living room with an exquisite set of couches placed in the middle. They were very wide and two people could sleep on it side by side with comfort. The cus.h.i.+ons were very firm and didn't collapse like most soft couches. It was obviously very high quality and expensive—there wasn't even a logo, so must be custom made. Facing the south wall was a small cherrywood table with a pot of bluegra.s.s. On the east wall were rows of bookcases arranged in a traditional shelf of many treasures style. In addition to various sizes of books, there were also other ornaments. The majority were s.h.i.+ny porcelain pieces in fresh colors like coral, aqua, sapphire, and created in simple, elegant shapes. The various tableware in pastel colors accentuated every corner of the bookcase and was of unknown antiquity. Although Yin s.h.i.+xiong wasn't familiar with these things, he knew Huo Shaoheng would have never put fake items in Gu Nianzhi's room. As soon as the thought crossed his mind, he began to feel uneasy.
Gu Nianzhi changed her clothes. Because it was Lunar New Year, she chose a bright red off the shoulder cashmere sweater in a checkered print. It had mid sleeves and slightly exposed her collarbone. Her slim wrists were pretty, but she wore no jewelry. She paired the top with black ankle length pants in a cashmere and wool blend, which showed off her delicate ankles. Wearing fluffy white slippers, she sat across from Yin s.h.i.+xiong. Gu Nianzhi's hair was still slightly damp but she didn't use a dryer since Yin s.h.i.+xiong was waiting for her. Instead, she used a towel to dry it.
Yin s.h.i.+xiong walked behind the couch when he saw this and said to her, "Let me dry it for you." He had dried Gu Nianzhi's hair more than once when he had accompanied her in the United States, so he was very skillful.
Gu Nianzhi took a longan from the coffee table, peeling it and offering to Yin s.h.i.+xiong. "Brother Xiong, do you want to have one?"
Yin s.h.i.+xiong took it with his mouth deftly and didn't even touch Gu Nianzhi's finger. He mumbled, "Thanks."
"Brother Xiong doesn't need to be polite with me." Gu Nianzhi beamed, her mood was better than ever. "I didn't even take the weird things you said to me at Scion Plaza today to heart."
Yin s.h.i.+xiong grimaced. "Nianzhi, I wouldn't blame you if you got upset."
"Don't say that, Brother Xiong. Who are we to each other anyway? We fight because we're close, right? Politeness is just a nice way of saying how distant people really are." Gu Nianzhi peeled another longan and put it in her mouth, she nearly mewled in pleasure when she tasted the flavor of the sweet fruit on her tongue.
"It's good that you know it," Yin s.h.i.+xiong sighed as he continued to dry Gu Nianzhi's hair. He had no idea where to begin with his troubled thoughts. The room grew quiet and Gu Nianzhi knew something was amiss. It was never silent when she was around Yin s.h.i.+xiong.
"I wonder what kind of delicious food will be served for New Year's dinner tonight." Gu Nianzhi forced herself to break the ice, "Also, shouldn't Brother Ze be going home this year? Why isn't he leaving? I remembered that Brother Xiong went home last year and Brother Ze stayed back."
Speaking of Zhao Liangze, Yin s.h.i.+xiong could finally delve into the topic. He didn't hesitate to betray Zhao Liangze's little secret. "Little Ze? He didn't want to go home because his family is pressuring him to get married and forcing him to go matchmaking. He's miserable and so purposely stayed back."
Gu Nianzhi giggled. "Oh? Why would Brother Ze need matchmaking? All the girls would launch themselves at a great catch like him!"