Chapter 346: Sent Away
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The elevator doors opened. He Zhichu hadn’t expected to see Gu Nianzhi standing at the door. He looked at her in surprise and blurted out, “Nianzhi why are you here? Are…” Are you here to see me? The last sentence lodged in his throat. They had had an altercation the other day and Gu Nianzhi avoided him like the plague since. Things had only eased when he had taken the initiative to call her, but she still was wary of him. She would never have come to his office to see him willingly. He Zhichu had one hand in his coat pocket and carried a briefcase with the other. Swallowing his conflicting emotions, he stepped out of the elevator and nodded to Zhao Liangze standing beside Gu Nianzhi. “Happy New Year, Mr. Zhao.”
Zhao Liangze was shocked that He Zhichu would be so polite to him. After all, He Zhichu’s haughtiness had been something he’d reckoned with when they’d spent time together in the United States. “Happy New Year, Professor He.” Regardless of how surprised Zhao Liangze felt, he was able to quickly compose himself and give a professional smile as he responded with holiday greetings.
Gu Nianzhi repeated their words. “Happy New Year, Professor He.”
“Yes, you still haven’t answered my question. What you doing here?” He Zhichu looked up at the entrance of his own Sovereign Law Office, “Which way did you come out from?”
Gu Nianzhi couldn’t help smiling when she recalled Wen Houyi and Lawyer Jin’s expressions. “I just left your law office.”
He Zhichu regarded her silently. “What’s going on?” It couldn’t be a good thing if she had come from the law office—she was either legally representing someone or needed legal representation.
“You’re the boss. How can you not know?” Gu Nianzhi laughed lightly. “Your lawyer is representing Zhang Baochen, and I came to negotiate as the military’s legal representative.”
“The military’s legal representative?” He Zhichu frowned and said, “You’re working for Huo Shaoheng again? Did you forget what you promised me?”
After the incident with Dou Qingyan, He Zhichu had made Gu Nianzhi promise not to act as the military’s negotiation expert. Gu Nianzhi had agreed.
However, Gu Nianzhi had thought that the current situation was not the same. “Professor He, I’m now representing the military as its lawyer, and not as an employee of the military. I didn’t go back on my word. ” Gu Nianzhi had always been eloquent in front of He Zhichu and could argue her way out of anything.
“It’s good that you remember.” He Zhichu peered down at her carefully. “Is this resolved now?”
“Yes.” Gu Nianzhi patted her small backpack. “Goodbye, Professor He. I have to go now.”
He Zhichi nodded and watched her step inside the elevator with Zhao Liangze. The elevator doors closed before him and the down arrow on the display appeared as the floor levels decreased until reaching “1.” He Zhichu walked away. He then entered his law office and looked around.
Wen Shouyi was just walking out of her office and her heart dropped as soon as she saw He Zhichu. She hastily asked, “Professor He, it’s only the second day of the lunar new year. What are you doing here?”
He Zhichu studied her eyes and replied slowly, “What case did you accept? It’s related to the military, yes?”
Wen Shouyi forcibly collected herself. “It’s not a case, but just a minor negotiation. Both parties have reached an agreement and the incident has since been resolved.”
“Really?” He Zhichu strode inside. He passed the reception desk and walked around the stone waterfall display before turning into a hallway. On the left was the conference room where Gu Nianzhi and Lawyer Jin had just crossed paths once again. Zhang Baochen, Zhao Da, and his lawyer were still inside, questioning Lawyer Jin anxiously. He Zhichu observed them silently for a few minutes before knocking on the door.
Lawyer Jin turned around and quickly stood up as soon as he saw He Zhichu. He walked up to him and bowed politely. “Happy New Year, Mr. He.”
He Zhichu nodded as he coolly glanced at the people in the room before replying to Lawyer Jin, “Have them leave. You may come to my office in five minutes to report on what happened.”
Lawyer Ji nodded immediately and watched He Zhichu go inside his office before speaking to the three people remaining in the conference room, “You can all go back for now. As for Mr. Zhang, we shall act according to the negotiation. If Mr. Zhao wishes to use us as his legal representative, please contact our offices. We’ll chat after signing the legal representative agreement. My apologies, I still have business to attend to.”
Zhang Baochen, Zhao Da, and his lawyer had no choice but to get up and leave. Lawyer Jin went to see He Zhichu right after.
“Sit.” He Zhichu sat behind his desk and pointed to the chair across from him. “Tell me what happened exactly.”
Lawyer Jin told him the entire incident.
He Zhichu listened in silence and searched online before replying, “Very well, you reacted fairly quickly. The Zhang Baochen situation is concluded, and as for Zhao Da, we will not be accepting his case.”
Lawyer Jin was not inclined to taking Zhao Da’s case after going through the whole incident. Zhang Baochen had minor liability and the military was willing to let things go as long as he repaid the funds. As for Zhang Feng and Zhao Da, the military was clearly going to make an example out of them. There was no question that they would end up sentenced with jail time.
“Mr. He is wise.” Lawyer Jin offered up flattery as he scratched his head sheepishly. “I didn’t think that Gu Nianzhi would be so formidable—this is the second time I’ve lost to her.”
He Zhichu peered at him from over his computer. His tense expression relaxed and his tone warmed up as he smiled faintly, “It’s inevitable that you’d lose to her.”
Lawyer Ji knew that Gu Nianzhi was soon to be He Zhichu’s student and intended to flatter He Zhichu by complimenting Gu Nianzhi. He had never thought He Zhichu would outright accept the compliment without hesitation. How highly does he regard her exactly? Lawyer Jin grumbled internally.
He Zhichu glanced at him and threw the pen in his hand on the desk before standing up. He walked to the window and looked down. “Don’t believe me? She’s always been much more capable than any of you. If she hadn’t been delayed for all this time, she would have already been chief counsel a few years ago.” He stopped his flood of appreciation for her. “You can go now, but tell Wen Shouyi to come see me.”
Lawyer Jin was speechless. He left He Zhichu’s office with a sullen face and began to doubt himself.
“Professor He, you asked to see me?” Wen Shouyi smiled politely as she arrived to He Zhichu’s office.
“Close the door.” He Zhichu turned away from the window and put both hands in his trouser pockets as he casually leaned against the glass. The sun shone from behind to illuminate him in a golden halo.
Wen Shouyi was stunned by his splendor and dared not look directly at him. She turned away to close the office door.
“You better have a good explanation for why you accepted Zhang Baochen’s case.” He Zhichu’s voice was frigid, his eyes cool with indifference.
Wen Shouyi stayed silent and curled up her fists involuntarily. “Why shouldn’t we accept it? He needed a lawyer and we were able to provide one. He can also afford to pay the legal fees.”
“Really?” He Zhichu pursed his thin lips. “Would you have accepted this case if you had known that it had to do with the Huo’s?”
“Am I that kind of person in Professor He’s mind? What are you trying to say?” Wen Shouyi was angry and forced into a corner by He Zhichu’s icy glare. She blurted out, “Is this because of Gu Nianzhi?!”
“You know exactly what the real reason is.” He Zhichu’s expression darkened. “Just because I didn’t pursue the matter, doesn’t mean that I forgot what happened.”
Wen Shouyi’s whole body shivered and her eyes fearfully widened instantly. “Professor He, I… I didn’t do it on purpose. I didn’t mean it that way.” She was sweating nervously and wanted to to explain herself, but didn’t know where to start.
He Zhichu’s gaze and tone were too hurtful. “I don’t care what you meant. I’ve already give you enough chances.” He Zhichu sat back down at his desk. “I just notified the people back home. I’ll give you three days to pack up. Your position here has been terminated.
“You’re sending me away?!” Wen Shouyi muffled her mouth and the tears pooled in her eyes as she sobbed. “Why? What did I do wrong? Elder Mr. He will not agree to you being alone here!”
“Whether he agrees or not is none of your business. Don’t use my father to intimidate me.” He Zhichu leaned back against his chair, his eyes cold. “I would’ve fired you already if it weren’t for Nianzhi treating you as her savior. You should be thankful that you’re still well received because of her, instead of giving her trouble.”