Hello, Mr. Major General

Chapter 318 - Stuck Like Glue

Chapter 318: Stuck Like Glue

Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio  Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio

Yin Shixiong was confused as he drove out of the parking lot and questioned Zhao Liangze. “What do you mean? Why does it matter who took initiative?”

“Of course it’s important!” Zhao Liangze’s mood soured but he had to worry for Huo Shaoheng’s sake. “It has to be Nianzhi taking the initiative, you idiot!” If Huo Shaoheng took initiative, he could kiss any future advancement in the military goodbye.

Yin Shixiong suddenly understood, his expression turning grim. After staying silent for a bit, he asked with complete seriousness, “Where is Mr. Huo right now?”

Zhao Liangze threw away his cigarette butt and went back to the central control room to re-establish connection with Huo Shaoheng’s sunglasses. Huo Shaoheng could feel the subtle current in his headset resume, however, he didn’t say anything and continued driving.

Gu Nianzhi leaned against his shoulder and refused to let go. Huo Shaoheng let her do whatever she wanted, taking comfort in her adorable clinginess.

Zhao Liangze found their location and notified Yin Shixiong. “Mr. Huo’s car is heading towards Scion Plaza.”

“Got it.” Yin Shixiong opened the GPS and stayed on the phone with Zhao Liangze. “Little Ze,” he said, ” I think with this thing, it’s best that we find a way to change Nianzhi’s silly mind.”

Zhao Liangze asked sullenly, “You also don’t think that Nianzhi is suitable for Mr. Huo?”

“They look compatible and are both good looking people, but there’s too much of an age gap. They are from two different generations.” Yin Shixiong couldn’t logically or emotionally accept the couple. “But, I can understand why Nianzhi likes Mr. Huo. I don’t blame her at all. Mr. Huo is a good catch, so lots of women are interested in him. Plus, he’s only nice to Nianzhi, so how can a young girl like Nianzhi resist a man like him?”

“Yeah, I was thinking that too.” Zhao Liangze finally agreed with Yin Shixiong on one thing. “Do you remember Mr. Huo saying he lost his virginity back when we went to Japan last year?”

” Last year? Oh! I remember!” Yin Shixiong’s mind clicked and he slapped the steering wheel. “So, Mr. Huo really had no choice since he has a girlfriend already—he won’t be flirting with Nianzhi anymore?”

Zhao Liangze sighed, then enunciated carefully, “You have to remember that Mr. Huo didn’t flirt with Nianzhi. Nianzhi was sticking to him like glue and he didn’t know what to do, so he purposely did it in front of us to make us aware so we can help him find a solution.”

“Oh? Really?” Yin Shixiong rubbed his head. “Why couldn’t he just tell us directly?”

“You’re being an idiot again!” Unable to hold back his temper anymore, Zhao Liangze pounded at the desk and shouted at him, “How can he possibly tell us directly?! How would Nianzhi feel? I’m warning you, stay away from this situation. You’re too dumb, so I’ll find a way to solve it.”

“Hmph! You’re the real idiot!” Yin Shixiong refused to back down. “You haven’t even sorted out your own mess yet, and you want to get involved with Mr. Huo and Nianzhi’s business?! I think you should relax and try not to freak yourself out!”

Both men were in a bad mood but the quarrelling actually helped to alleviate their stress and tension. They stopped fighting when Yin Shixiong arrived at the underground parkade at the Scion Plaza. After taking it out on each other, they both finally calmed down. “Big Xiong, we have to hide this and not let anyone from the military find out. If this gets out, we will have to insist that Nianzhi was the one to take initiative and that Mr. Huo is trying to find a way to reject her. Got it? Nianzhi isn’t a soldier, so it doesn’t matter if we say she took initiative. If Mr. Huo was the one to take initiative, he’s done for!” Zhao Liangze frowned as he began combing through the central control system to make sure all traces of the earlier video had been deleted. “Also, hurry up and find Mr. Huo and Nianzhi. Say that you’re helping them carry stuff so that Nianzhi won’t have a chance to do something even more risqué.”

Yin Shixiong nodded and said, “I got it, I’ll go now.” He looked at his phone and found Huo Shaoheng and Gu Nianzhi’s location. They were already on the 8th floor of Scion Plaza, where all the top international brands were.

Huo Shaoheng and Gu Nianzhi walked out of the Chanel flagship store in Scion Plaza. Gu Nianzhi had chosen two new outfits for Song Jinning—a black and white dress suit and a caramel pant suit, as well as two matching bags for her to wear at important occasions.

“Why didn’t you buy an outfit for yourself?” Huo Shaoheng eyed the bags Gu Nianzhi carried—they were all presents for other people.

Gu Nianzhi shook her head and said, “Auntie wears Chanel now, so I won’t anymore. I don’t want to clash.”

“It’s not even the same style.” Huo Shaoheng took her hand, bringing her to a stop. “How would it clash? You used to buy the younger looking collection from Chanel, so it’s not even the same ones that my mother wears.”

“Wearing the same brand is also clashing.” Gu Nianzhi giggled. She actually didn’t want people to say she was wearing matching outfits with her “mother.” She wanted to be Song Jinning’s daughter-in-law, not her “daughter.”

Huo Shaoheng glanced at her again and then checked his phone. “There’s a Hermès store up ahead. Go pick out a couple things from there.” He knew Gu Nianzhi liked Hermès silk scarves, but wasn’t too interested in their other things. Gu Nianzhi so happened to like a bucket bag that Hermès had just released and wanted to see the actual thing. “Let’s go check out the Hermès store.”

The pair headed in that direction, but suddenly ran into Huo Shaoheng’s childhood friend, Xue Jingjiang. Xue Jingjiang owned a restaurant on the ninth floor and often wandered around the mall, so it was inevitable to run into him. However, he felt gloomy today and was now ecstatic to see Huo Shaoheng, immediately trying to drag him to the 9th floor to have a chat.

Gu Nianzhi was very understanding. “I’ll walk around in Hermès alone for a bit, and then come find you on the 9th floor?”

“Nianzhi, that’s your name right? I remember you! Go to the Hermès store and buy what you like and tell them to put it under my name. It’s my Lunar New Year gift to Little Sister Nianzhi.” Xue Jingjiang was very kind to Gu Nianzhi and saw her as a younger sibling.

“That’s not necessary.” Huo Shaoheng laughed. “How can my companion use your money?”

“Fine.” Xue Jingjiang was just being polite to Gu Nianzhi and didn’t argue about paying for the gift because he knew how Huo Shaoheng was very wealthy himself. It was almost New Year anyway, he could just give Gu Nianzhi a generous red pocket and problem solved. He pulled at Huo Shaoheng’s arm. “Where should we go chat?”

Huo Shaoheng remembered that he had promised to accompany Gu Nianzhi for the whole day, so how could he leave her all alone? He politely refused Xue Jingjiang’s offer. “What is it? I’m on holiday right now; where are you spending Lunar New Year?”

Xue Jingjiang said, “Huo Shao, my dearest, dearest Huo Shao, I beg you—if I can’t talk to you today, my New Year will be ruined.”

Huo Shaoheng chuckled but still insisted, “I’m afraid I can’t help you unless it’s an urgent matter. If it’s not urgent, how about we talk about it after the New Year?”

Xue Jingjiang’s problem was neither urgent nor trivial, but it should be fine as long as someone like Huo Shaoheng could help. Xue Jingjiang sighed deeply and could only nod, saying, “Fine, I get it. I’ll come to your house to give holiday greetings after the new year, and we’ll talk then?”

Although Huo Shaoheng wasn’t going back to the Huo manor on Lunar New Year’s Eve, he could still find a day to visit between the first and fifteenth of the first month of the lunar calendar. It would be best to meet him then. “Yeah, just let me know ahead of time which day you’re coming, and I will wait at home for you.”

“You’re such a good friend!” Xue Jingjiang was elated and thumped Huo Shaoheng’s shoulder good naturedly. “Great! I’ll let you get back now, so you go ahead!” Grinning broadly, Xue Jingjiang strode happily back to the 9th floor. He had been stressed out the past month, but had finally found someone with the ability and willingness to help him. He called his two partners when he went back to the 9th floor and said, “It’s all good now! I found Huo Shao so you can stop worrying. Gu Yanran won’t give us a hard time if Huo Shao steps in.”

Huo Shaoheng sent Xue Jingjiang off and looked up to see that Gu Nianzhi was already at the entrance of the Hermès store. Just when he was taking his time to catch up with her, Yin Shixiong’s voice sounded from behind,” Mr. Huo! I finally found you guys! Hey, where’s Nianzhi?”

Yin Shixiong looked around but didn’t see a trace of Gu Nianzhi.

Huo Shaoheng folded his hands behind his back, his face stoic. “Why are you here? And you are showing yourself too?” According to the rules of the Special Operations Forces, Huo Shaoheng would always be protected by a myriad of hidden and obvious guards, even if he was in civilian clothes. Yin Shixiong was his personal secretary and couldn’t typically intervene with Huo Shaoheng’s private time, so if necessary, he had to take care of him from afar and could not be discovered. But Yin Shixiong had not only allowed Huo Shaoheng to discover him, but also loudly greeted him as though he didn’t care about flouting the rules.

Huo Shaoheng looked at him quietly, and although he appeared calm, his piercing gaze was enough to make Yin Shixiong fear for his life. But he had no choice: he had the important task of protecting Mr. Huo’s career and Gu Nianzhi’s happiness. Yin Shixiong wouldn’t retreat even if he was terrified of Huo Shaoheng. “Mr. Huo, where’s Nianzhi?” Yin Shixiong purposely acted cheerful. “I just saw her now, but where did she disappear off to?”

“Just now? When was that?” Huo Shaoheng raised his chin to examine Yin Shixiong. “What are you trying to say?”

Yin Shixiong was now more afraid of Huo Shaoheng—this was his superior and Chief. No matter what, Yin Shixiong couldn’t defy Huo Shaoheng in any way because he must be absolutely loyal. This was his duty and responsibility as a soldier. However, Gu Nianzhi had just turned 18 and had practically been raised under Yin Shixiong’s care. His moral duty and paternal instinct battled against each other in his mind, but loyalty eventually won. He spoke calmly to Huo Shaoheng, “Mr. Huo, I saw what happened between you and Nianzhi at the Nancheng shopping mall earlier.”

“Yes?.” Huo Shaoheng was unperturbed and continued his way to the Hermès store. “That was all?”

“Mr. Huo, don’t be hard on yourself. We can help you sort it out.” Yin Shixiong forcibly displayed his loyalty. “Nianzhi is still young and you are a remarkable man, so it’s no surprise she has these silly thoughts. Don’t spoil her too much, it just makes things worse. Ignore her for a bit and she’ll see reason.”

Huo Shaoheng stared at him.

This isn’t how I expected Yin Shixiong to react, Huo Shaoheng thought.

“I know that you purposely let us see that interaction today so that we could help you with the problem. It’s Nianzhi’s fault for having such feelings, but you have to understand and forgive her; don’t make her feel too embarrassed,” Yin Shixiong urged with such passion that he himself was touched.

Huo Shaoheng was still silent.

“From now on, don’t take Nianzhi out anymore. Don’t give the little girl too much hope, just so it’ll be easier when you two separate in the future,” Yin Shixiong babbled on and discovered that he unfortunately had the potential of being a great mother.

Huo Shaoheng squinted at him, confused. “What are you saying? Who is separating? Nianzhi and I?”

“Yes!” Yin Shixiong slapped his knee. “Let’s forget how much older you are than Nianzhi and talk about her background—we still don’t have a clue. How can anything good come out of you being with her? Isn’t that right?”

How much older…what an ugly phrase. Huo Shaoheng silently endured it but he didn’t want to entertain Yin Shixiong’s foolish thoughts. He glared and said sharply, “How is this any of your business?”

“How is this not my business?!” Yin Shixiong nearly shouted, “You are my superior! I watched Nianzhi grow up too, so of course I want you both to be happy!”

Yin Shixiong’s thoughts were splitting with tension. Give me a break, Chief! Nianzhi may be naive, but you aren’t! You have no future with her!

“You’re saying that… she won’t pass the background check?” Huo Shaoheng attempted to make sense of what Yin Shixiong was saying.

Yin Shixiong froze: why were they now talking about the background check?

Huo Shaoheng looked at him. He didn’t want to reveal it, but he knew that Yin Shixiong and Zhao Liangze treated Gu Nianzhi like family and that they were important to Gu Nianzhi as well. He spoke up, saying, “We already know the name of Nianzhi’s father. We are investigating it right now.”

“Oh?!” Yin Shixiong exclaimed to the surprise of the passerby, then muffled his mouth and whispered, “Did you really find out the name of Nianzhi’s father?!” If they had the name, then they would be able to find the person any day now! However, even if they found Gu Nianzhi’s family and unearthed her background, she had still been raised by Huo Shaoheng; if they became romantically involved after she became an adult, Huo Shaoheng’s political enemies would use the fact that he had been her guardian against him. This would negatively impact Huo Shaoheng’s career. Yin Shixiong truly believed their age gap was too great— if a three year difference was a one generation gap, then that meant Huo Shaoheng and Gu Nianzhi had about a three generation gap between them.

“Yes, I discovered it a few days ago, but wasn’t able to take time to investigate it with all the other things going on. We will start looking into it after the new year,” Huo Shaoheng said as he walked through the entrance of the Hermès store.

Hermès was not only known for its expensive items, but also “hunger marketing.” Money alone wasn’t enough to allow people to purchase from them. Hermès sales people were notoriously wily and crafty. If a customer wasn’t on their VIP list, it would be basically impossible for them to buy one of their classic handbags. The staff would first inform the customer that there was none stock, then convince them to purchase all sorts of random items to build the relationship. After six months, the sales people would finally deign to offer the customer the opportunity to buy a bag that was between tens to hundreds of thousands US dollars. It must be paid in full and no installments were accepted. Just like that, the customer would feel that they were given a huge favour. Despite this rigor, countless women on Blue Planet obsessed over Hermès bags and most people would never be able to afford one, because not even money would allow a customer to obtain it.

Gu Nianzhi was in such a dilemma. Huo Shaoheng was the one who had bought all her Hermès items, so she had thought it like Chanel, where she could simply pay to get what she wanted. When she eyed the classic pearly blue bucket bag, the beautiful salesperson didn’t hesitate to lie to her face. “I’m sorry, Miss,” the woman simpered, “This bag is not available.”

Gu Nianzhi pointed to the bag disbelievingly. “Isn’t there one right here?”

“That one?”

The woman didn’t bat an eye, “It’s already been reserved and that’s the last one in our store.”

Gu Nianzhi frowned, disappointed. Fine, she wouldn’t bother if that were the case. Gu Nianzhi gazed longingly at the bag again and whispered shyly, “Will you be restocking this again?”

The woman stood elegantly behind the counter and smiled, but made no indication of answering. Her gaze was already focused on the entrance.

Gu Nianzhi really liked the bag, so she tried again even though the saleswoman ignored her. “Can you please let me know if you are restocking it? I can pre-order and put down a deposit.”

The salesperson glanced at her with a smirk: she didn’t seem to care.

Gu Nianzhi had never thought that selling Hermès could make an employee feel so superior. Hmph! It’s just a bag! She fumed. The woman was making it seem like it was the end of the world and that the bag was the last sack of grain. Gu Nianzhi wouldn’t die without the bag: it wasn’t a necessity. Silently cursing in her heart, Gu Nianzhi walked out of the store.

“Nianzhi!” Yin Shixiong came over to greet her when he saw her come out. “Hey, what’s wrong? Who pissed you off?”

“Brother Xiong? Why are you here?” Gu Nianzhi asked Yin Shixiong and shot Huo Shaoheng a curious glance.

“There are no shopping carts here, so Big Xiong came to help us carry things.”

Carry things?! Yin Shixiong wanted to cry. He was a Lieutenant Colonel for goodness’ sake, how could he be demoted to a mere servant’s role?However, he couldn’t possible correct Huo Shaoheng and tell Gu Nianzhi, ” Oh by the way Nianzhi, I’m here to keep an eye on you and stop you from sticking to Mr. Huo.”

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