Hello, Mr. Major General - BestLightNovel.com
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The days that followed weren't particularly exciting.
Three weekends quickly pa.s.sed; it was now the end of April.
Gu Nianzhi had dutifully returned to her Fengya Precinct apartment very weekend, and let Chen Lie run his tests and draw blood samples.
Every Sunday evening, Mei Xiawen picked her up and drove her back to school.
Huo Shaoheng, on the other hand, never called again.
Chen Lie had profited the most out of the past month.
He had discovered, from the health checks conducted on Gu Nianzhi over the last four weeks, that she was completely unaffected by the virus.
The horrific decline in health that had been observed in other imperial women - Oda Masao's test subjects - did not apply to Gu Nianzhi, at all.
She had miraculously recovered from the virus. Chen Lie was also convinced that Gu Nianzhi's body had produced antibodies that were 100% effective against this bioweapon.
"…That's all. I've extracted the antibody." Chen Lie was proudly showing off the latest results of his research to Huo Shaoheng.
The antibody was a blood serum. If anyone fell victim to the virus again in the future, they would be able to counter it simply by injecting the antibody into the victim's blood stream. It was fast, and convenient.
The next step would be to develop a vaccine, so everyone would be immune to the virus.
Huo Shaoheng crossed his arms. He looked at the test tube in Chen Lie's hand, his eyes dark and gloomy. "Don't report this. You have the antibody. That should be enough."
He did not want the Imperial Army to be any more interested in Gu Nianzhi than they already were.
He had been her guardian for six years now; at no point had Huo Shaoheng ever felt that Gu Nianzhi was in any way abnormal or different.
He wanted Gu Nianzhi to be able to live the life of a normal girl. He did not want her to become Chen Lie's lab rat.
Chen Lie understood what he was implying. He rolled his eyes, and said, "Hey, I resent that! Did you really think I'd stoop that low? Who do you think I am - Doctor Frankenstein?"
Huo Shaoheng looked at him, his expression stern and solemn. "You signed a military order. Don't forget."
"Yeah, yeah." Chen Lie put the test tube back into the medical refrigerator. "Okay, that's it then. Everything's settled. It won't be necessary for Nianzhi to come here and be my lab rat anymore."
It was the end of April, when the weather was at its best in C City.
It was also the best time for the seniors at C University.
The graduating seniors were mostly done with their job hunting and graduate school entrance exams. Their graduation theses were also nearly finished; all that was left was to polish it, and to look up a few more references to prepare for their thesis defense.
Gu Nianzhi and Mei Xiawen had been inseparable the past month; they went to cla.s.s together, studied together, and worked on their theses in the library together. They even ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner together.
The students were beginning to think of them as conjoined twins.
"Cla.s.s Rep, why don't you marry our dear Nianzhi after graduation?" Little Temptress had b.u.mped into Gu Nianzhi and Mei Xianwen at the cafeteria; she laughed as she cheekily tapped her rice bowl with a spoon. "Look at you two lovebirds, all lovey-dovey wherever you go. The C University student body will be protesting your PDA very soon, I'm sure."
Mei Xiawen looked at Gu Nianzhi. He smiled easily, and said, "If she agrees, I'll get started on the paperwork, right away."
Gu Nianzhi laughed, and changed the subject. "Little Temptress, shouldn't you be at the food counter? I hear they have your favorite today, bitter melon with scrambled eggs. If you don't hurry, it'll be all sold out…"
Little Temptress had unique tastes; this dish was, indeed, her favorite.
She gave a little shriek and ran to the nearest counter.
Mei Xiawen looked at Gu Nianzhi, who was blus.h.i.+ng at Little Temptress's joke. He found her naiveté particularly charming.
His school mates would never believe him if he told them, but the truth was, he and Gu Nianzhi had only ever held hands in the past month, after officially becoming a couple. He hadn't even kissed her cheek yet.
For the other students, a couple wasn't really a couple unless they'd already had s.e.x. That was their golden standard for what counted as an "official relations.h.i.+p".
So were the two of them really in a romantic relations.h.i.+p? Or were they something more than friends - but not quite lovers?
Mei Xiawen was not in a hurry. He smiled and led Gu Nianzhi to a window seat on the second floor of the cafeteria. He hung his school bag over the back of a chair, and placed his phone on the table. "Sit here. I'll go get our lunch."
Gu Nianzhi nodded. At this very moment, her phone began to ring. She saw at once that it was Huo Shaoheng's number, and immediately took the call with a swipe of her finger.
"Uncle Huo!" cried Gu Nianzhi joyfully. Her small, exquisite face instantly brightened; it was as though there was a light s.h.i.+ning from within her.
It didn't matter what she told herself - she just couldn't resist a call from Huo Shaoheng. She was a believer who could not shake off her faith.
At this very moment, Gu Nianzhi was like a flower that had suddenly opened up into a full bloom; her loveliness dazzled Mei Xiawen, swept him off his feet. He had to turn his head slightly and avert his gaze as he quickly made for the food counter.
He did not see Gu Nianzhi's face fall the very next instant, when Huo Shaoheng's Personal Secretary, Zhao Liangze, spoke to her from the other end of the line.
Zhao Liangze held Huo Shaoheng's phone in his hand; he was feeling very guilty, and had to force himself to say, with a wry smile on his face, "Nianzhi, this is Brother Ze speaking. Mr. Huo has been very busy recently. He's about to go on a business trip, so he won't be able to call you for quite some time."
"Oh. I understand," said Gu Nianzhi in a small voice. She had already recovered from her disappointment.
At this very moment, Zhao Liangze was standing on the balcony of the Fengya Precinct penthouse. Several orderlies were packing Huo Shaoheng's belongings.
"Nianzhi, Huo Shao said to tell you, you're all grown up now, you can do whatever you want. You don't have to keep asking him for his opinion." Zhao Liangze kept a watchful eye over the orderlies as they searched the apartment. He turned from the balcony, and went to the gym on the second floor.
Huo Shaoheng was checking the fitness equipment inside the gym.
Zhao Liangze's words sounded like a farewell speech.
Gu Nianzhi felt as though she was walking on a tightrope; buffeted by the wind, her feet swayed in mid-air, trapped between the sky above and the ground below.
It was noon; the cafeteria was full of sunlight, people, and the sound of talking and laughter. But Gu Nianzhi felt like she had suddenly been transported to a barren wilderness.
Gu Nianzhi had to bite her lip to suppress the extreme panic that was bubbling within her.
It was as though she was back in the burning car: she was crying, shouting, but no one answered her.
The fire had cut off all exits, separating her from her past and her future. Everyone that had showed up in her life had proved to be no more than a pa.s.sing traveler. She was alone. Again
Even Huo Shaoheng was leaving her…
"Nianzhi? Nianzhi? Are you still there?" Zhao Liangze waited for a long moment, but did not hear a response from Gu Nianzhi. Something seemed off; he could not help but cover the mouthpiece and say to Huo Shaoheng, who was busy turning a screw, in a low voice, "Sir, Nianzhi doesn't seem happy."
Huo Shaoheng ignored him. His hands moved methodically, precise and efficient.
Zhao Liangze grinned, and walked out of the gym with the phone in his hand.
On the other end of the line, Gu Nianzhi finally recollected her wits. She forced herself to smile as she said, "…I'm here, I hear you. I understand."
Zhao Liangze breathed a sigh of relief. His voice was light and easy now. "Great. Okay, if something comes up, look for Big Xiong. Mr. Huo and I will be going on a business trip, so we won't be seeing you for a while. You be sure to take care of yourself."
Gu Nianzhi was in a panic now. She quickly said, "Brother Ze, don't hang up! When… when will the two of you be back? Can I see Uncle Huo before he leaves?"
Her voice was loud over the phone; anyone nearby could hear her.
Zhao Liangze was about to agree to her request, when he saw that Huo Shaoheng had come out of the gym. His dark, inky eyes were inscrutable as he gave Zhao Liangze a small shake of his head.
Zhao Liangze was forced to say, "No time to talk, you know how it is… okay, I'm hanging up, we have to go now, see you!"
Zhao Liangze hung up the phone, his brow drenched in sweat. He turned to Huo Shaoheng and said, resentfully, "Sir, did you have to go so far? Nianzhi practically grew up under our noses. How could you?"