Chapter 30: Confessing My Heart
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“No, no, I came back yesterday. Nianzhi had to go to school today.” Chen Lie explained in a rush. “Do you want to see her?”
Huo Shaoheng shook his head. “No need; we’ll talk at the base.” The orderly, Fan Jian, parked on the side of the road. Huo Shaoheng, Zhao Liangze, and Yin Shixiong got on and arrived back at the base shortly afterward.
Chen Lie was waiting for Huo Shaoheng in his office. Huo Shaoheng walked in and threw a backpack at him as soon as he entered. “See if this is useful.” Chen Lie opened the backpack and took out a pencil case. He opened it to find a box of vials. He then opened it and when he saw the liquid filled vials, his heart nearly leapt out of his throat.
“Boss! What…w-what is this stuff?!”
“The natural viral copy from Oda Masao. See if you can combine it with his data to find the antibody soon and develop a vaccine.” Huo Shaoheng was looking at Chen Lie with a seriousness that took him aback for a moment.
“Got it.” Chen Lie nodded, then pondered briefly before he assured Huo Shaoheng. “Don’t worry about Nianzhi, I’ve kept a close eye on her condition. At the moment, there hasn’t been any sign of deterioration.”
“At the moment? It’s only been a week.” Huo Shaoheng would not let his guard down even in the wake of Chen Lie’s positive review of her health. “Can you make a guarantee for the future?”
Chen Lie snuck a look at Huo Shaoheng and tried to decipher what had changed in his expression. But, as always, the general had the same aloof expression. It was hard to tell what the man was thinking.
“I’ll make sure to perform thorough body checks on Nianzhi. Last time, I told her that I had created an antidote for the aphrodisiac, and that she hadn’t needed to do…that… with a man.” Chen Lie quietly said this as he put the test tube containing the viral copy Huo Shaoheng had brought back into refrigeration, “Also, Nianzhi asked me not to tell you about her being afflicted by an aphrodisiac. So, don’t let it slip.”
Huo Shaoheng didn’t answer at first, instead reaching inside his coat for his lighter. He lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply before he finally grunted in acknowledgement.
Chen Lie returned to sit down at his desk and turned on the computer. He opened up two comparison images for Huo Shaoheng. “Don’t worry, Boss. I’ve found that Nianzhi’s condition is much better than the others, so maybe it’s not as bad as we thought.”
Huo Shaoheng walked over and stood behind him. He squinted and looked at the monitor, one hand holding a cigarette and another hand crossed behind his back as he listened to Chen Lie explain.
“On the left is the image of the data from Oda Masao’s findings. Look here: all the vital stats are at least half of those of normal people. The data image on the right is Nianzhi’s results from the past week. See? She’s healthier than ever. Even normal people don’t have such good stats.”
Huo Shaoheng’s eyes locked on the monitor for a while before he turned away. He sat before Chen Lie on the sofa pushed up against the wall. He had one elbow on the back of the sofa and held the smoldering cigarette in his hand. After thinking for a while, he finally said, “Develop the vaccine quickly. I’ll come back to check on it in three days.” He then got up and turned to walk away.
“Three days?!” Chen Lie’s voice rose. “Sir, there is no way to set a definite time for developing a vaccine! Do you think this is a military mission for your subordinates? This is scientific research! Scientific research, I say!” Chen Lie glared at Huo Shaoheng’s receding back and almost screamed out in frustration.
Huo Shaoheng left Chen Lie’s building and returned to his own quarters in time to see Yin Shixiong set down the main phone.
Huo Shaoheng glanced at him and Yin Shixiong quickly reported. “Sir, it’s Gu Nianzhi. She’s going back to school and asked when you’re to come back.”
Huo Shaoheng waved his arm and threw the cigarette butt. It drew an arc in the air before landing in the garbage. “I have to return to the Military Headquarters. Little Ze1 will come with me. Big Xiong2, you stay here. It’s easier if you’re close by, in case Nianzhi needs you.”
Yin Shixiong gave a quick “Yes, Sir” in confirmation and returned to his own desk in the office. He opened the computer to check his schedule and furrowed his brow. “What about Nianzhi’s final interview for post-grad admissions?”
“You can take it from here.” Huo Shaoheng said and walked out without looking back.
Early Monday morning, Gu Nianzhi had her backpack on and a small rolling suitcase. She had just left the Fenya Precinct to hail a cab when she saw Class Rep Mei in a light grey, mid-length Burberry trench coat. He was leaning on a Buick parked on the side of the road by the entrance of the precinct and smiling at her as she walked towards him.
“Class Rep?” Gu Nianzhi was more than a little surprised and looked both ways. “You’re…?”
“Yep, I was waiting for you and wanted to give you a surprise.” Mei Xiawen walked over and smoothly took the suitcase from her. “You’re even bringing a suitcase back to the dorms? You should’ve called me earlier if you had so much to bring.”
Gu Nianzhi raised her head to look at Mei Xiawen. Under the morning sun, his face clearly showed how fair and handsome he was. His eyes were bright behind the gold-rimmed glasses and his voice was gentle as he said, “Why are you looking at me? What, you don’t recognize me suddenly?”
“That’s not it…” Gu Nianzhi quickly shook her head. “Class Rep is truly Class Rep. If I have the chance to be in your class again, I would definitely choose you as my Class Rep.”
“Mei Xiawen laughed out loud, “Nianzhi, I didn’t come pick you up for the vote.”
He extended his hand and opened the door for Gu Nianzhi. “Get in.”
Gu Nianzhi had no choice but to sit in the car. She smiled. “Tell me Class Rep, what are your intentions then? I’ll have to see if I can afford it!”
Mei Xiawen grinned as he seated himself behind the wheel and said, “Nianzhi, can’t you tell that I’m pursuing you?”
Gu Nianzhi’s blushed. “Class Rep…you shouldn’t joke about something like that.”
“I’m not joking. I’ve liked you for two years but you never picked up on it. So I decided it was high time that I confessed.” Mei Xiawen winked at her before he drove, and then glanced at Gu Nianzhi.
Gu Nianzhi was not yet 18, making her four to five years younger than the others in their class. Compared to them, she was certainly a late bloomer. All her classmates knew she was young, and so most of the male students treated her more like a younger sister and took care of her, but never pursued her as a potential girlfriend.
This feeling was new and exciting. Her fair and delicate face couldn’t help blushing pink, her cheeks as round and tempting as a ripe peach.
“Why aren’t you speaking? You don’t believe me?” Mei Xiawen chuckled. “I even confessed with your uncle present yesterday, and you still don’t believe me?”
Gu Nianzhi finally blinked, her eyes huge and misty, “Class Rep, I really hadn’t realized that you were pursuing me.”
“You really didn’t know? Whenever there was a good opportunity to intern at a large firm, I would always tell you first. I would only tell the others in our class if you didn’t want it. You don’t like the morning runs, so I helped you get out of it. You would come back late after studying, so I would always be the last to leave so I could wait for you, and take you back to the dorm entrance before heading back. You like to sleep in and skip breakfast before class, so I bought milk and honey cakes for you during the breaks: Gu Nianzhi, I’m not telling you these things so you can thank me, but it’s because we are about to graduate. If you still didn’t know I like you and am pursuing you, then I’ve totally failed as a man.”