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85 Do You Have a Girlfriend?

 He Zhichu blinked at Gu Nianzhi's reply, his slender fingers idly tapping the screen of his phone. He turned his phone off and went to sleep.


"Class Rep, the school said we can have the next two weeks off. Want me to send you home?" Strongman bent over Mei Xiawen's bed and shook him.

Mei Xiawen had not been held hostage during the graduation trip, but it had been a terrifying and exhausting ordeal all the same. It had been too much for his body to take, and he had become feverish as soon as he was back on campus.

He had escorted Gu Nianzhi back to her dormitory, pretending he was perfectly fine the entire way, only to collapse the moment he was back in his own dorm room.

Strongman hurriedly poured him a glass of warm water. He also gave him some medicine for his fever.

Mei Xiawen was not the type to take any kind of medication without consulting a doctor first; he politely thanked Strongman, and went to sleep after drinking the glass of warm water.

He had only slept for a brief moment when Strongman woke him to say that school was temporarily out for them.

Mei Xiawen was burning up; he could not drive himself home in his condition. He was forced to get up, call his family, and request that they pick him up.

He had just ended the call when he thought of Gu Nianzhi. He hastily texted her: "Nianzhi, now that school's out, where do you want to go? Wait in front of your dormitory, I'll get a car to take you wherever you want to go."

Gu Nianzhi heard her phone ring; she looked down, and saw that it was a message from Mei Xiawen.

Her lips curved upwards. She smiled as she texted back: "That's okay, thanks. My family will be coming over to pick me up and take me out of the city. They'll be here any minute now."

Mei Xiawen was glad to see her reply. He had a fever, and wasn't looking his best; he did not want Gu Nianzhi to see him like this.

He did not want to appear before Gu Nianzhi looking all sick and disheveled, so he merely replied with: "Take care. Message me when you get home."

Gu Nianzhi's response to this was simply: *^_^*

A moment later, she received another message on her phone.

This time, it was from Yin Shixiong; he had arrived at her dormitory.

He did not honk because it was late at night.

Gu Nianzhi got in the car. Once inside, she turned to look at Yin Shixiong; she stared at him for a long moment, as though sizing him up. Her fixed stare made Yin Shixiong uneasy, but he did not show it. He kept a poker face as he started the car, turned the steering wheel, and reversed the car. He asked, nonchalantly, "What's with the sudden school holiday?"

Gu Nianzhi finally looked away. She pursed her lips, leaned back into her seat, and said, sullenly, "The reporters keep on coming. The college administrators can't deal with them, so they let us go home instead."

As soon as she said the words "go home," a lonely look stole across Gu Nianzhi's face. She could not help it.

She leaned her head against the window and stared at the pouring rain outside, deep in thought. She considered getting Chen Lie to try hypnotizing her again; maybe this time, she would be able to regain her memories from before she was 12, before the car accident...

Gu Nianzhi and Yin Shixiong were chatterboxes by nature, but neither of them spoke. Yin Shixiong found himself unnerved by the silence in the car.

He gave an awkward cough as he steered the car onto the highway. He turned on the anti-tracking device in the car and looked carefully about him. When he was sure that they were not being followed, he merged into the high-speed lane that would take them to the military base.

Yin Shixiong decided to start a conversation. "Nianzhi, what do you want to do after you graduate?"

Gu Nianzhi, her head still against the car window, said softly and shyly, "I want to intern at a law firm, for half a year."

She was graduating in July, but would only be starting her postgraduate program at B University Law School next spring. If she did not look for a job, she would have nothing to do for six months.

Since she would only be available for six months, formal employment was out of the question. She could only hope for a part-time job, or an internship. Nothing was guaranteed, however.

He Zhichu had previously told her that he wanted her to help him out with a few cases after graduation. He had not contacted her about it since, however, so she was forced to assume that he had only offered out of courtesy.

Yin Shixiong nodded. "Let me know when you find something. I'll check and make sure everything's legit."

Gu Nianzhi smiled. "Brother Xiong, I'll be 18 in October. I'll be a proper adult then. You can stop scrutinizing everything that comes my way, I can take care of myself now."

"You can be turning 80 for all I care - as long as I have orders from Mr. Huo to take care of you, I'm going to run through everything with a fine-tooth comb!" said Yin Shixiong with a laugh.

Gu Nianzhi was amused by the thought. She covered her mouth as she giggled, and said, "How old will you be when I'm 80, Brother Xiong?"

Yin Shixiong deliberately put on an exaggerated angry face. "Hey! That's low! I know I'm old, you don't have to remind me!"

"Oh? Brother Xiong, I thought only women are allowed to get mad when someone asks about their age." When Gu Nianzhi smiled, her eyes sparkled with radiant light.

Yin Shixiong glanced at her, and smiled. "Nianzhi, you're all grown up now."

She had grown into a beautiful woman. It was hard to reconcile her appearance now with what she had looked like when she was 12 years old.

Who would have thought that the chubby little girl with a face as round as a dinner plate would look so different now that she was slim and all grown up.

Gu Nianzhi was so beautiful she could have walked straight out of a comic book. Her large, gentle eyes were as docile and guileless as those of a small woodland creature, yet irresistibly charming and haunting at the same time.

Gu Nianzhi pulled down the sun visor above her and checked her reflection in the mirror. She shook her head and said, "I'm not 18 yet." Having said that, she glanced over at Yin Shixiong and asked, tentatively: "Brother Xiong, I have a question, but it's kind of personal. You don't have to answer if you don't want to."

"Yeah? Ask away. I'm listening."

Gu Nianzhi lips curved upwards. She laughed as she asked, "Do you have a girlfriend, Brother Xiong?"

Yin Shixiong gave an inward start and mentally cursed. This was one of the last things he wanted to think about.

He wanted badly to have a girlfriend, but as the saying went: if wishes were horses, beggars would ride...

Yin Shixiong gave a wry laugh. "Nianzhi, why are you asking about this, all of a sudden?"

"You and Brother Ze are always with Uncle Huo, every single day. If you have a girlfriend, won't she complain that you're not spending enough time with her?" Gu Nianzhi asked curiously.

Yin Shixiong gave a loud shout as he thumped the steering wheel. "That's a great observation, Nianzhi! I'm so busy working, my life practically revolves around Mr. Huo right now. How am I supposed to get a girlfriend? I don't have the time or the opportunity to get one!"

"I see." Gu Nianzhi had been waiting for this; she had finally turned the topic towards Huo Shaoheng. She suppressed the giddy feeling inside her as her cherry lips curved into a smile. She asked, smiling gleefully, "You're right, you won't have the time if you have to accompany Uncle Huo wherever he goes. What about Uncle Huo, then? Does he have a girlfriend? You're always with him, so you should know everything about him, right?"

Yin Shixiong sighed as he shook his head. "Mr. Huo? He's a total workaholic! We keep praying he'll get a girlfriend soon, because then we'd actually get some time off to relax. Oh man, I'm tearing up just thinking about how busy we are..."

"You're saying Uncle Huo still doesn't have a girlfriend? He really should, he's not getting any younger." Gu Nianzhi propped an elbow against the window, and cupped a rosy cheek in her delicate, milky-white hand. The smile on her face widened.

Yin Shixiong suddenly chuckled. "You should tell Mr. Huo that. No point telling me about it." He glanced sideways at Gu Nianzhi in a cheeky, suggestive manner.

Gu Nianzhi had to concentrate very hard to stop herself from blushing in front of Yin Shixiong.

She nodded, pretending not to care. "All right, I'll be sure to talk to Uncle Huo about it in person, when I see him. He should get a girlfriend, so his personal secretaries will finally have the time to get their own girlfriends, too."