Hello, Mr. Major General - BestLightNovel.com
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Huo Guanchen quickly walked over to ask. "Father, are you still ok?"
"Still ok? You might as well kill me!" Grandfather Huo glared at Huo Guanchen and raised his hand to slap him hard in the face. He jabbed a finger at his son's nose and shouted, "Why didn't you tell me sooner if you knew already?" All the rage was being taken out on Huo Guanchen. He accepted it all.
"You two can cry to each other now. I won't be joining in." Huo Shaoheng b.u.t.toned his coat and said, "Goodbye."
"Stay right there!" Huo Guanchen barked at Huo Shaoheng sternly. "That's enough! Have you not embarra.s.sed our family enough?"
Huo Shaoheng stopped in his tracks and put his hands in the coat pockets before turning around, the corners of his mouth turned up as he snickered and shook his head. "You shouldn't have gotten into such messes if you're worried about being embarra.s.sed."
"It's one thing to teach your own father a lesson, but you dared to humiliate your grandfather." Huo Guanchen was livid. "I'll have to go ask Song Jinning how she raised such an insolent son!"
"That's where you're wrong." Huo Shaoheng bowed slightly and responded with politeness. "I was raised by Grandmother. Father, are you going to heaven to ask Grandmother how she raised me?"
Huo Guanchen deflated and lost all his anger at the mention of his wife. He collapsed on the sofa next to Grandfather Huo and cradled his head in his hands as he said helplessly, "If Mother was still alive, none of this would've happened. Mother loved Guanyuan the most, and if he was still alive..."
Huo Shaoheng looked at his watch and answered calmly, "My mother will be restarting the experiment very soon. We will find out what happened to Uncle." Huo Shaoheng had grown up under his grandmother's care and was thus familiar with his uncle, Huo Guanyuan. Huo Guanyuan had been the closest to Xie Ziyan, while Huo Guanchen had been closer to Huo Xuenong.
Huo Guanchen stood up instantly. "Your mother is restarting the experiment? When? Is she still living with you?"
Huo Shaoheng glanced at him and shook his head before turning to leave. This time he didn't look back no matter what Huo Guanchen said.
Huo Guanchen saw that he wasn't able to convince his son, so he could only try persuading Grandfather Huo. "Father, Shaoheng's temper is always like this. He's earned the respect within the ranks by hiding his feelings more and more. Even I can't understand him."
"I know. Shaoheng was promoted to Major General at a young age and is the most successful person in our family. He's more intelligent than Guanyuan was, and can endure even more than you do. It's only natural that he'd surpa.s.s you both." Grandfather Huo sighed as he huddled in the sofa and refused to get up.
"About Head Nurse Zhang..." Huo Guanchen said, glancing at Grandfather Huo, "What are you going to do?"
"I'll go see her tomorrow. It'll be the last time. I still need to ask her a few things." Grandfather Huo's eyes were very bright for his age, but now, devoid of energy, he could barely keep them open.
Huo Guanchen was unsure of what to say and so went to the coffee table nearby to serve him a cup of tea. "Drink a little tea and don't get too anxious. Is your blood pressure going up again?"
Grandfather Huo took his time drinking the tea and placed the gold rimmed china cup on the coffee table. He looked down. "This was your mother's favorite tea set all those years ago; haven't I said over and over to store it safely? Why is it being used?"
Huo Guanchen was uneasy. The tea set had been in use for a long time, but his father only realized it now. "Jialan asks the servants to set out everything being used in the house." Huo Guanchen coughed, awkward. "But, this tea set was only taken out for use by Jialan because Head Nurse Zhang said she'd liked it."
Grandfather Huo was dumbfounded. Sitting on the soda, he appeared like a clay sculpture: weak and unsteady. After a long time, by which the sky outside had already grown dark, he finally asked Huo Guanchen in a low voice, "Shaoheng said you knew too… What did your mother do at that time?"
"She actually didn't do much." Huo Guanchen poured himself a cup of tea uneasily and gently blew at it to hide his embarra.s.sment. "She just gave her a little warning when Head Nurse Zhang had her professional t.i.tle evaluated."
"A little warning?"
"Yes. Head Nurse Zhang seemed to want to make a move back then. It was at the critical time when Father was being promoted to Lieutenant General. Mother had wanted her to know that if word came out that she had an illegitimate son, she would not only lose the chance of ever getting married, but would also risk losing her own military rank. She would be forcibly discharged and have to go back home to make a meagre living," Huo Guanchen finished the anecdote and went on to continue, "But Mother didn't do anything but let Auntie Chang start a bit of gossip with a few people. Head Nurse was a smart person and had gotten the hint; she never showed up in front of Mother again."
"Is that so…" Grandmother Huo closed his eyes. "Your mother was truly smart; even though she had come from a high cla.s.s family and was spoiled as a child, she wasn't unreasonable." He had meant to say that Xie Ziyan had been stubborn and had never compromised; when they had fought during the times they'd dated, he would always be the first one to apologize. A woman like that had actually endured the incident with Zhang Feng silently. Grandfather Huo felt horrible now as he thought about it.
"Father, don't be too hard on yourself. Mother was very stubborn and Shaoheng has her exact temper." Huo Guanchen tried to console him. "It's been so many years since it happened, and you have a son who has grandchildren of his own too. Don't worry about it anymore." Time would never turn back—the things done and said would always leave a mark. What evidence was more d.a.m.ning than a live person?
Grandfather Huo knew he would never feel at ease again. He stood up and said wearily, "I'll go take a rest. You should try to sleep earlier too." However, Grandfather Huo was unable to sleep when he returned to his room. Tossing and turning all night, he got up before dawn the next day. After a rushed breakfast, he called for the driver and went to see Zhang Feng.
Huo Shaoheng got wind of this and personally followed him. He arrived at the visitation room in the detention center where the military police temporarily held prisoners. While Grandfather Huo went to visit Zhang Feng, Huo Shaoheng had already ordered Zhao Liangze to take control over all the video recording equipment in the room. If the two argued and revealed any sensitive topics, he would be able to cut off the camera in time. Grandfather Huo and Zhang Feng knew they were under strict surveillance, but didn't realize that Huo Shaoheng was the one in control.
"Half your a.s.sets have been auctioned off already and it was only enough to pay off half your debt." Grandfather Huo sat down and surveyed Zhang Feng. "What do you plan to do about the other half?"
"Auctioned off? How could that be?! Who allowed this?" Zhang Feng shrieked. "That's the money I'm leaving for Baochen and his children! How could you be so cruel?!"
Grandfather Huo frowned as he asked tersely, "You think I'm being cruel?"
"Elder Huo, that money was for Baochen and his children," Zhang Feng begged weakly. "They don't have the Xie's backing them like Shaoheng does. My family relies on me to support them, but I can't depend on them for help."
"Don't you still have the other half left?" Grandfather Huo warned icily, "Can't you just leave the other half to them?"
"I can't give them the other half right now." Zhang Feng felt pain all throughout all body when she thought about half her fortune being auctioned off. She begged Grandfather Huo desperately, "Grandfather Huo, please. I've never asked you for anything all my life."
"You've asked me for many things all your life. You always say the same thing everytime you ask me for something, but now you're going to say you've never said that?" Grandfather Huo raised his brows, "Zhang Feng, is your memory that bad?"
Zhang Feng's face flushed under Grandfather Huo questioning. Her mouth sagged as she wept pitifully and said, "I don't have anything. I only have you. I can only beg you."
"You only give me trouble, right?" Grandfather Huo scoffed. "Didn't you make some great plans back then? You even told Ziyan some things purposely at her sick bed…" Grandfather Huo's voice grew severe, and he raised his voice and said, "Zhang Feng, you have no shame!"
Zhang Feng was floored. Jerking her head up, she m.u.f.fled her face and looked at Grandfather Huo with surprise as she objected reflexively, "I didn't!"
"You didn't? It's one thing to treat me like an idiot, but you made a mistake when you took Ziyan for an idiot as well." Grandfather Huo's heart wrenched at the thought of Xie Ziyan knowing the truth about Zhang Feng and him as she wasted away on her sick bed.
"Elder Huo, Elder Huo! You have to save me!" Zhang Feng saw that things were not in her favor and began crying instantly. "I only have you. I don't want to go to jail! I've been by your side for so many years now, and we have a son together. If you won't help me and I can't think of another way, I'll just have to—"
"Have to what?" Grandfather Huo slammed the table angrily. "You'll have to tell everyone the unspeakable thing that happened between us?!"
Zhang Feng shrunk away from him and stammered, "I-If you help me get out of here, I'll never tell anyone." In other words, Zhang Feng wasn't going to let Grandfather Huo live down what happened and reveal everything if he didn't help her.
Now that things had ended up like this, Zhang Feng had become a leech, Grandfather Huo realized. Whereas, Xie Ziyan had tolerated the situation and protected everyone. Grandfather Huo looked at Zhang Feng's averting eyes and found it strange that he had actually intended to marry this woman. He stood up and managed to say, in a raspy voice, "You should have known what's good for you. If you dare say anything to anyone, I'll be the first one to make sure you stay quiet."
"Elder Huo!" Zhang Feng couldn't believe her ears. She had served Grandfather Huo, had taken care of Huo Xuenong for decades, and yet he was actually saying such heartless things to her. "What's going on? Who told you these rumors? They're all lies! I just want what's good for you!" Zhang Feng rose up to lunge forward and grab Grandfather Huo's sleeve from across the narrow table. "Did you forget all the things you said to me?"
Grandfather Huo pushed her away without saying a word. As he turned to leave, he saw the door to the visitation room open. Huo Shaoheng stood there, arms crossed as he leaned against the door frame. Holding a flash drive, he shook his head at Zhang Feng. "If it hadn't been for my supervision, you would've revealed everything today."