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99 So Much Drama

 Gu Nianzhi stared at her phone, hardly believing her eyes.

Professor He was being way too nice to her...

Gu Nianzhi did not know how to react. She had to think long and hard before texting her carefully worded reply: "Professor He, I'm still a minor. I will be 18 this October, but before that, the law states that I have to be accompanied by my guardian when going overseas..."

At this moment, He Zhichu was on the highway, heading towards the Imperial Capital Airport.

He was sitting in the back seat of a luxurious Rolls-Royce, his tall, slender body dressed in a dark blue casual suit. His nose was tall and straight; below it, his thin lips were compressed into a straight line. His bright almond eyes were slightly red and unfocused. He looked like he had been drinking.

He held his phone in one hand, his slender fingers deftly moving across the screen. He automatically tapped out a message, without stopping to think about it: "...Get your guardian to sign over temporary custody of you."

Gu Nianzhi frowned.

An internship at the US Congress was a rare opportunity, even for students from the prestigious Ivy League Law Schools.

For most of the students in the Empire, it was just a pipe dream.

This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The students in Gu Nianzhi's college had gone wild when they heard that He Zhichu was recruiting graduate students.

This was because He Zhichu wasn't just any old professor - he was a powerful man with powerful connections.

Anyone lucky enough to have him as their mentor would receive a massive boost to their career.

Gu Nianzhi was young, but she had seen and experienced many things. She was as world-wise as her older classmates, if not more.

She was highly skeptical of anything that looked like a free lunch.

If something seemed too good to be true, it probably was.

After some deliberation, Gu Nianzhi decided that she could not give Professor He an answer now; she would have to discuss it with Uncle Huo first.

She did not think Professor He had ulterior motives; nevertheless, it was a good idea to be careful.

After her two recent ordeals, she was beginning to be a little paranoid.

Having made up her mind, she sent a message to He Zhichu.

[Gu Nianzhi]: "...Thank you, Professor He, for your kind offer. I have to discuss this with my guardian."

He Zhichu stared at Gu Nianzhi's message. He gradually sobered up.

He propped his elbow against the car window, and put a hand to his forehead. He closed his eyes and let out a long, silent breath. Suddenly, he smiled.

His face, as cool and frigid as winter frost, was suddenly full of the warmth of spring. The brilliance of his smile illuminated the dark interior of the car like a bolt of lightning.

Wen Shouyi, who was sitting next to He Zhichu, saw his smile, and was so astonished by it she was momentarily at a loss for words.

She hurriedly turned away. She suppressed the wild beating of her heart, and fixed her attention upon the night view beyond the window instead.

The streetlights on both sides of the highway flew by, blurring together into an endless streak of light.

He Zhichu knew that Gu Nianzhi was having doubts. He rubbed his brow. His cool, clear voice was light and amused when he said, "So much drama. It's always one thing or another with this girl."

Wen Shouyi: "..."

"But I can't blame her - I shouldn't have texted her while drunk." He Zhichu lowered his gaze and looked at the messages he had sent Gu Nianzhi. He shook his head - what had he been thinking? His finger moved across the screen, tapping out his reply to her: "If you can't make it, that's okay. There are two spots open for the internship. If you're interested, leave your details with my assistant and take the test. Everyone competes for a spot, fair and square."

Gu Nianzhi hesitated for a brief moment. She could feel the golden opportunity slipping through her fingers. She hastily texted back: "Understood. I will get back to you as soon as I can, Professor He."

There were no more messages after that.

He Zhichu tossed his phone onto the car seat and closed his eyes, his jaw clenched tight. His temples throbbed with pain.

Although Wen Shouyi was looking out the window, she was still watching He Zhichu out of the corner of her eye.

She saw that he was done with his phone call, and noted the frown on his face. She quickly opened the small refrigerator inside the car and handed him a bottle of cold milk. "Here, this will help your hangover, Professor He."

Milk helped reduce the absorption of alcohol by lining the stomach.

He Zhichu waved his hand. His brow wrinkled further. "Nauseating. Get me something else."

Wen Shouyi quickly exchanged the milk for iced tea. "This will help, too."

Wen Shouyi held the drink out for him. He Zhichu bowed his head and drank a few mouthfuls of the iced tea. He chewed mint-flavored gum after that, and his splitting headache finally subsided a little.

Wen Shouyi automatically put her hand on He Zhichu's head and massaged his scalp. She said in a hushed voice: "What's wrong? Gu Nianzhi doesn't want to go? But it's such a rare opportunity!"

"Yeah." He Zhichu wasn't too bothered by it. "Doesn't matter, lots of other people to take her place. Once we're back in the States, I want you to put up a notice on the website for B University Law School - anyone interested in the internship will have to sign up and sit for a test. We'll select the best students. I don't want anyone to accuse me of favoritism."

Wen Shouyi said nothing. She lowered her eyelids as she mentally rebuked him: you were literally playing favorites just a moment ago!

The Rolls-Royce soon arrived at the Imperial Capital Airport.

Several men in suits were already waiting for them. They walked over to greet He Zhichu and Wen Shouyi as soon as they were out of the car, and escorted the two of them to the VIP passageway.

Half an hour later, He Zhichu and Wen Shouyi were on board a plane headed for the United States.

"Professor He, the International Extraordinary Women's Commendation Conference will take place in C City in a month's time, and you have been invited to attend. How do you want to respond?" Wen Shouyi was not only He Zhichu's teaching assistant; she was also his secretary, and it was her job to help him with his daily affairs.

He Zhichu closed his eyes and said impatiently, "Are you seriously asking me that? When did I become a two-bit actor, desperate to show up at every event?"

Only a two-bit actor would be shameless enough as to jump at every opportunity for exposure and publicity.

"...But many of our clients will be attending the ceremony," said Wen Shouyi hesitantly. "The office called and specifically asked for you, several times."

He Zhichu pursed his lips. After a while, he said dispassionately, "You go, then." He glanced sideways at Wen Shouyi. "You're a woman. It would be more appropriate for you to go, instead of me."

Wen Shouyi did not know whether to laugh or cry at this. "Thank you, Professor He, for giving me a chance to shine. I appreciate the favor. Yes, I will gladly attend the ceremony on your behalf."

He Zhichu did not reply. Wen Shouyi decided to take his silence as his way of saying "go ahead."

Shortly after, the plane roared to life and took to the skies.

The lights in First Class dimmed.

Wen Shouyi looked out the window beside her. She saw only the dazzling lights of the Imperial Capital, brilliant and resplendent against the surrounding mountains. It was a stunning view; she could not think of anything more beautiful.


Gu Nianzhi spent most of the day lazing about on the grass lawn of C University's library, only reluctantly getting up to leave when the sun had gone.

She hesitated for a long moment before finally calling Yin Shixiong on her phone. She asked as she walked: "Brother Xiong, is this a bad time?"

"Nope, not at all." Yin Shixiong had finished his dinner and taken his shower. He was sitting on the sofa, about to call Zhao Liangze on his laptop.

His brothers-in-arms were away on a mission, and he missed them very much.

Huo Shaoheng had left the country with his men; they should be settled in at their destination by now.

The eight mercenaries on the list were high-ranking employees of the European Whitewater Security Group. Three lived in Prague, the capital city of Czech Republic. Four lived in Vienna, Austria. One lived in Luxembourg.

The 6th Military Region had just been established, and this was their first mission. To ensure its success, Huo Shaoheng had gone to Europe with his men, and was now running the mission himself.