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102 Time to Make a Move

 Yin Shixiong supported himself on the coffee table to crawl up from the floorboards and sit down on the sofa. He lowered his head and didn't dare to look at the monitor, uttering gloomily, "Nianzhi's post-grad instructor, Professor He gave her an opportunity to intern at the United States Congress for six months. So Nianzhi asked me if her passport was still valid and if she could go..."

"An opportunity from Professor He?" Huo Shaoheng used the mouse to open B University's Faculty of Law website to check He Zhichu's homepage and CV.

"Thoroughly investigate He Zhichu's background and origin in detail, if there's nothing wrong, help her with their passport." Huo Shaoheng was silent for a long time, his inky eyes inscrutable, "As to whether not not to intern at the United States Congress, let Nianzhi decide for herself."

Yin Shixiong agreed, then asked, "But Nianzhi won't be 18 until October, so she needs a guardian to travel abroad with her before then." He studied Huo Shaoheng's expression to gauge his reaction.

Huo Shaoheng rose from his seat to move away from the monitor and stood by the window. He had a cigarette between his fingers and lowered his head to light it, inhaling deeply. He watched Prague's sparkling starry sky outside the window and said dryly, "If Nianzhi chooses to go, Big Xiong, you go with her. It's only six months and it's a good chance for you to see how the goldfishes in America are doing..."

The Empire and the United States were the only two super nations on Blue Planet. Other than normal exchanges and trades, there were also secret tensions and all sorts of espionage. The American CIA had spies in the Empire and the Imperial Special Operations Forces also planted men in America. Thus they were doing the same thing and neither could stand on higher moral ground and point fingers.

"Ok." Yin Shixiong nodded at the monitor, "Nianzhi won't graduate for another two weeks, we'll make arrangements then." After they finished discussing Gu Nianzhi, Yin Shixiong then asked about Huo Shaoheng's overseas mission.

Zhao Liangze shook his head at the webcam," Just focus on taking care of Nianzhi, don't worry about our side. Everything is normal."

Yin Shixiong couldn't say anything more and cracked a few jokes before turning off the computer and going to bed.

Huo Shaoheng was still concerned and specifically asked Zhao Liangze to do a complete investigation on He Zhichu. As long as there wasn't anything fishy with the professor, he could set his mind at ease and let Gu Nianzhi go with Yin Shixiong to experience America. Even if Huo Shaoheng didn't say anything, Zhao Liangze would've dug up He Zhichu for Yin Shixiong. When Hi Zhichu was recruiting at C University, they had already fully investigated him and didn't find anything illicit. They also had a third party verify his CV and everything lined up. Because it involved the United States Congress this time, they had to revisit He Zhichu's information again and check if anything had been missed. He Zhichu's social relations was the focus of this investigation.

"Mr. Huo, are you really not worried?" Zhoa Liangze expressed his concerns in a low voice as he browsed online, "Nianzhi's grown up under our secure protection for the past six years, and even so, there has been a few mishaps. Are you sure about her leaving our turf and going to America for six months?"

The cigarette in Huo Shaoheng's hand glowed, but he didn't smoke from it. His gaze was heavy on the night sky out the window, "It's because she's been with us for six years and we still haven't been able to find out her past, that's why..." That's why it was time to make a move to see if when it is dark in the east, it is light in the west. Perhaps they would find unexpected results.

Zhao Liangze merely listened and didn't speak again for a long time. However the sound of his hammering on the keyboard grew much louder, tatatatatats like he was venting. The keyboard on the laptop was about to fall apart.

Huo Shaoheng turned to him and smiled dryly, "...You have a concern?"

"How could I dare be concerned." Zhao Liangze's smile was nearly mirthless, he looked up at Huo Shaoheng, ready to righteously debate about Gu Nianzhi. But as soon as Zhao Liangze met Huo Shaoheng's icy gaze, he became a deflated ball and lost all bravado.

"Why aren't you talking?" Huo Shaoheng moved away from the window and sat on the single-seater sofa under under it. He rested his long legs on the round ste pstool in front of the sofa and appeared relaxed, completely unperturbed by anything.

Zhao Liangze looked at him again. Huo Shaoheng's face was a portrait of composure, as stately and dependable as a mountain. Under the lights, he was despairingly handsome and cold enough to cause palpitations. Whenever this happened, his coldness nearly overcame his beauty--like a legendary sword that only exuded lethality that completely blotted out its beauty.

Recalling Gu Nianzhi's unquestioning dependence and trust for Huo Shaoheng, Zhao Liangze gritted his teeth and buried his head at the laptop. He hastily muttered, "I'll say it then! --Mr. Huo, can it be that even though Nianzhi's been with us for six years that she's nothing to you?"

Huo Shaoheng remained silent and only took another puff of the cigarette, then languidly blew out a ring of smoke. The white smoke snaked before his eyes and obscured his view.

Zhao Liangze looked up from his laptop and couldn't read Huo Shaoheng's exquisite eyes though the smoke. He went with his gut and continued, "Wouldn't you miss even a cat or a dog you've raised for six years? How can you bear to throw her out like a lure? Just to figure out her past? Or is it because... there's another reason?"

"What other reason do you think I have?" Huo Shaoheng stubbed the cigarette in the ashtray. He crossed his legs, one elbow draping on the armrest and the other to supporting his head, "I didn't think you and Yin Shixiong were so rash and soft hearted. It seems like that I misjudged you. I don't need soldiers like this."

Zhao Liangze's heart nearly leapt out of his throat. He quickly rose and stood at attention before Huo Shaoheng, loudly declaring, "Mr. Huo! You asked me to speak from the heart!"

"Yes." Huo Shaoheng adjusted his collar, "But your answer was extremely dissatisfactory."

Zhao Liangze pursed his lips to tightly the stubble on his face stuck out and his handsome face grew uncharacteristically red, "I... I... I... I'm human! Not a robot!"

Although Huo Shaoheng was aware of this, he had always treated himself like a war machine and didn't tolerate a trace of humanity. Huo Shaoheng looked up and swiftly glanced over Zhao Liangze, "Fine, go finish what you're doing."

"Roger!" Zhao Liangze saluted him, his head rise and chest out. Before his courage dissipated, he bravely said, "Mr. Huo! Nianzhi's not 18 yet, it's hard for her too, you..."

"I know." Huo Shaoheng raised his hand to stop Zhao Liangze from continuing, "I know what to do. But remember, the military had us take care of Gu Nianzhi, not babysit her. Our duty is to find out about her past. --Before we figure it out, she's only our target and subject of observation, do you understand? I know you're human, but to be an excellent soldier, an excellent Special Ops member, you have to overcome your personal weaknesses to be truly undefeatable."