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61 Concentric Circles 4

 The black SUV parked before the resort villa's administration building belonged to the Big Circle Boys.

Once they had confirmed that the seniors of C University's law department would be coming here for their graduation trip, the Big Circle Boys had made frequent trips to the villa. They had visited the villa more than ten times now, just to stake out the place and work out the logistics.

They were back again, and this time they had driven straight to the administration building after entering from the gate.

Yang Dawei, the leader of the Big Circle Boys, got out a key he had prepared in advance, and led his men directly to the managing director's office, located on the top floor of the administration building.

They quickly subdued the managing director's security personnel, before rushing into the director's office to take him hostage.

The director turned out to be an unexpected windfall for them. They had originally planned on killing him right off the bat, but the moment they rushed in the director had immediately proposed that they spare him in exchange for money: five million yuan!

The Big Circle Boys were after money.

An extra five million yuan, and all they had to do was add the director to their hostage list. It was easy money, and they saw no reason to refuse.

So instead of killing him, they tied him up and knocked him out before shoving him under the table.

Since the director was willing to cooperate, it was now much easier for these Big Circle Boys to carry out their plans.


Gu Nianzhi swam effortlessly, and before long she was already swimming near Mingyue Court.

She deliberately swam towards the spot where she was sure she had seen someone jump off the passageway and into the lake. She circled the area, but did not find anything strange under the water.

What was going on?

Was she making a fuss over nothing?

Perhaps she had been hanging with the Special Ops men for far too long, and she was now turning into one of those paranoid conspiracy theorists...

Gu Nianzhi inwardly chided herself for being silly, before flipping over gracefully to swim on her back.

The moment she flipped over, she caught something dark green and fluorescent from the corner of her eye. It had come from one of the back walls of Mingyue Court that was facing Little Mirror Lake.

Gu Nianzhi's eyes widened. She immediately looked towards the wall, and there it was: another one of those concentric circles, the ◎ marking!

This discovery made Gu Nianzhi's heart sink again.

She was about to swim closer for a better look when she heard splashes coming from Mingyue Court; it was the sound of people getting into the water.

A few of her fellow students from Class One and Class Two had decided to go for a swim as well.

She did not want them to see her. She quickly dove below the surface, and swam back to Qingfeng Garden.

As she climbed the stairs leading to the terrace, dark clouds drifted towards the moon, blotting out the bright moonlight.

The villa was now completely dark. Gu Nianzhi stealthily made her way back to her room under the cover of darkness.

"Back already? How was Little Mirror Lake? Fun?" Lady Cao had showered, and was now sitting on the bed before her laptop, adding the finishing touches to her graduation thesis. She heard Gu Nianzhi enter through the door, looked up at her, and said, with a click of her tongue, "Wowzers, I had no idea. Nianzhi, you're really busty for your age."

When Gu Nianzhi had first arrived at C University, she had been very shy, and hadn't known how to react to her roommates' lewd jokes. Now, however, she was completely immune, and knew not to take their remarks seriously. She took off her swimming cap and said, with a smile, "The size of an adult woman's chest is determined entirely by her genes. Age has nothing to do with it."

"But you're not an adult, you're not even 18 yet," argued Lady Cao, but half-heartedly. She was just having some fun with Gu Nianzhi. She pointed in the direction of the bathroom and said, "You should go take a shower, before the others come back. I think the water isn't hot enough today."

"That's okay, it's a warm day today anyway." Gu Nianzhi got a change of clothes, went to the bathroom, and carelessly dried herself off with a towel.

When she was out of the bathroom and settled comfortably on her bed, she saw she had received two messages on her phone.

One was from Yin Shixiong, asking whether she had arrived at Dufeng Mountain Resort Villa.

The other was from Mei Xiawen, asking if she wanted to go over to Mingyue Court, since everyone else was there. They were playing Truth or Dare.

Gu Nianzhi absolutely hated playing Truth or Dare, so naturally, she ignored Mei Xiawen's message. She sent a reply to Yin Shixiong: "Brother Xiong, I've arrived at the villa. I've just had my shower and will be going to bed now."

Yin Shixiong received Gu Nianzhi's message, and immediately replied: "Good night."

This exchange was actually nothing more than a formality.

In truth, there was already someone shadowing Gu Nianzhi at Dufeng Mountain Resort Villa, watching over her in secret. There were also a few other precautions in place to help ensure her safety.

As long as she was within range of their communications system, her safety was guaranteed.

Gu Nianzhi looked at Yin Shixiong's message, a sweet smile on her face. Her finger was now restlessly tracing circles on her phone; she wanted very much to call Huo Shaoheng.

But she thought of Huo Shaoheng's status and rank, and suppressed the urge to call him.

Her phone calls with Huo Shaoheng had almost always been initiated by him; she had not had many opportunities to call him directly.

And most of the time, it was Zhao Liangze who took the call before transferring it to Huo Shaoheng.

Gu Nianzhi put her phone away. Her eyelids were already drooping. She lay on her bed, mumbling to Lady Cao as she did, "Wake me when the others are back..." and promptly fell asleep.

She slept soundly, undisturbed by dreams. When she woke up, she was surprised to see it was already noon!

Lady Cao was still sitting before her laptop, on her bed. She had headphones on now, and appeared to be watching a TV show.

Gu Nianzhi rubbed her eyes and sat up. She did not see Green Tea Fang and Little Temptress, but noticed that their beds were messy. She covered her mouth as she yawned and said, sleepily, "...What time did they come back yesterday?"

"This morning, you mean." Lady Cao replied without even lifting her head. "Mingyue Court's pretty big, so most of our classmates didn't come back last night. They partied through the night, and only returned this morning to get some sleep. "

"Where are they now?" Gu Nianzhi pointed towards the empty beds of her other roommates. "They returned this morning to sleep, you said - but it's only noon!"

"Well, you may be a lazy pig who can sleep all day, but not them!" Lady Cao laughed as she glanced over at her. "They got up an hour ago. They're out hiking with Class Two now."

"That's insane. Must be the endorphins from all the fun and excitement," said Gu Nianzhi with a shake of her head. She was wearing a long black T-shirt for pajamas, with nothing on underneath to cover her long, milky legs. She got off her bed, put on her slippers, and made her way to the bathroom with her toiletries.

After washing up, she decided to follow Lady Cao's example and be a good model student. She turned on her laptop and began polishing her graduation thesis.

She busied herself with her thesis; it was almost evening when Gu Nianzhi felt her neck had gotten a little stiff. She told Lady Cao she was going out for a walk.

Lady Cao, too, had stayed inside the whole day and was feeling a little sick of it. She shut her laptop and said, "I'm coming with you."

Gu Nianzhi and Lady Cao changed into their dresses and went for a stroll, away from Qingfeng Garden.

A few male students were still sleeping in their respective rooms when they left, so Qingfeng Garden wasn't completely empty.

The two of them exited Qingfeng Garden from the yard gate, the one facing the main road, and made their way to the small, winding path leading towards Mingyue Court.

Mingyue Court was very quiet. There were only two male students there; they had stayed behind to watch the courtyard. Everyone else had gone to climb Dufeng Mountain.

Gu Nianzhi and Lady Cao stood beside Little Mirror Lake. As they watched the sky gradually darken, they both let out a long sigh, at the exact same moment.

The two of them looked at one another, before bursting out in laughter. Off in the distance, they spotted their classmates, back from climbing Dufeng Mountain.

"Looks like rain tonight," said Gu Nianzhi, her eyes on the increasingly large gathering of dark clouds up in the sky. She continued, frowning, "Those clouds, they're the kind that messes with mobile phone signals."