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166 The Most Important Thing

 "Problem with the application?" Gu Nianzhi was perplexed. "What could've gone wrong?"

"I heard that when the application was sent in, there was a problem with the background check. The credit card company investigated the two cases you were involved in, and although things ended up being ok, the card company requested the applicant to provide a notarization certificate, so it's still being processed." Brother Huang eagerly explained on Wen Shouyi's behalf. "Nianzhi," Brother Huang urged, "we don't want to cross our professors. No matter what, Teaching Assistant Wen is still our professor-so why are you always targeting her? I don't believe this credit card incident was intentional. Listen to your Brother Huang, and go and buy some more food. You can use my card." Brother Huang handed the credit card over without another word; he was happy to be generous since he didn't have to pay it off anyway.

Gu Nianzhi didn't need it right away and quickly refused. "It's really ok. I don't want to eat too much because I'm on a diet." She casually steered the topic of conversation away from the previous matter and instead asked after Brother Huang's work and how things were going at the Commission For Unrestricted Ocean Travel. Finally, he began to talk about the Naval warships that had recently withdrawn from the Gulf of Aden.

Brother Huang attempted to use all sorts of topics to pique Gu Nianzhi's interest and huddled closer to her, saying in a low voice, "Nianzhi, this incident was really peculiar. I heard that the large number of warships deployed were not only to launch a big attack at the Somali pirates, but was more importantly used to protect a research vessel."

"Research vessel?" Gu Nianzhi frowned, feigning confusion. "First the US Navy, now a research vessel? What the hell are they doing?"

"Haha, I thought it was strange too. All that effort and money, and we have no idea what observations the research vessel was making." Brother Huang shook his head in confusion and focused on his lunch. Gu Nianzhi's mind was mulling over these details and forming a plan. She finished her lunch with Brother Huang and rushed back to the funding committee office to check the naval expenditure for the m warships deployed to the Gulf of Aden two months ago. She discovered quite an interesting history with the source and allocation of funds.

Gu Nianzhi easily found the name of the research vessel from the list of system suppliers. It turned out that the research vessel belonged to Physical World Ltd. and that they had been involved in the naval operation as a partner. Gu Nianzhi's eyes lingered on the name, and she committed it to memory. When she returned home that evening, she went to Zhao Liangze's room and told him what Brother Huang had said and what she found out about the company the research vessel belonged to.

Zhao Liangze was very satisfied and patted her shoulder proudly. "Good job. I knew I could count on you." He then had her continue studying computer science. "You can never have too many skills. Since I'm going to be taking care of you for the next six months anyway, do you want to keep learning about computer networks with me?"

Gu Nianzhi could not think of anything that she would want more. She was bored to death everyday and if she could learn some practical hacking skills from Zhao Liangze, then the next six months wouldn't go to waste. Seeing that Gu Nianzhi quickly agreed, Zhao Liangze gave her a hacking manual he had written himself. "Only read this here, at home. Don't bring it to Capitol Hill."

"Of course not. I'm interning there and getting paid. How could I think of doing a side job right there?" Gu Nianzhi turned her nose up at him mockingly before smiling as she went back to her room.

Zhao Liangze began researching about the company Physical World. Strangely enough, he couldn't find anything about them as hard as he tried. In this online age when even a business registration could be found online, how could a fully named company with official ties to the US Congress and Navy be virtually nonexistent? Zhao Liangze looked at the search interface and chuckled-this was peculiar enough. The Americans probably didn't understand the notion that covering up too much would arouse suspicion. The fact that absolutely nothing could be found was a giant red flag itself. He sent this information to Huo Shaoheng in an encrypted email.

Huo Shaoheng read the email and realized that Gu Nianzhi had found the information for them once again. He was silent for a moment, then forwarded it the the archival department of the Special Ops. At the same time, the Special Ops also had their own intelligence department to investigate. Sometimes it wasn't enough to use the Internet.


The next day, Gu Nianzhi received the news from Zhao Liangze before she went to the Capitol Hill. "You really couldn't find anything online?" Gu Nianzhi was surprised. "I'll go look in the system and see if there is an actual address or phone number." She quickly found the list of suppliers after returning to the small office in Capitol Hill. However, this time, Physical World had completely disappeared from the supplier list, no matter how much she looked. Gu Nianzhi's heart dropped, but she couldn't help continuing to search. After struggling for a long time, she finally found out that the security restrictions had been added to the list of suppliers to the navy. As an intern, Gu Nianzhi didn't have the security clearance through her account, so she couldn't access the restricted list of mysterious suppliers like she had the day before. This research vessel had entered the Gulf of Aden with the US Navy's support, but had somehow turned into a supplier. In other words, not only had the US Navy not charged this company, but they had also paid them. Was the American government truly that charitable? Gu Nianzhi rubbed her chin and pondered. Someone interrupted her thoughts with their knuckles rapping on her desk.

Gu Nianzhi looked up to see Wen Shouyi's face. "Teaching Assistant Wen." Gu Nianzhi rose and greeted her with a smile. "What can I do for you?"

Wen Shouyi placed a credit card on her desk, "This is yours, I'm sorry it's a few days later than Little Huang's. It was because I needed to find a notary to prove that your two lawsuits have been settled for the background check."

"Teaching Assistant Wen, the first case was someone suing me, then they withdrew the case. The second time I made a counterclaim and the other party pleaded guilty and paid a huge sum." Gu Nianzhi shook her finger at Wen Shouyi, "Neither cases were settled, so please don't be mistaken."

Wen Shouyi nodded with a smile. "I know, and it wasn't your fault. You've suffered the past two months while I was away. If I had been here, things wouldn't have ended up in court. Professor He is a very busy man who may sometimes neglect your care, but please don't mind him. In Professor He's heart, he cares about nothing more than the well-being and success of his students."

Although Gu Nianzhi didn't like her words, she couldn't argue and insist that Professor He treated her specially. Even if that were the case, it would sound bad if she outright admitted it. So, Gu Nianzhi merely took out the credit card He Zhichu gave her and smiled sweetly as she waved it at her, "Teaching Assistant Wen, Professor He is truly good to us. When he found out I didn't have a credit card to use, he simply handed his for me to use. Generous, you say? This is pure selflessness. Teaching Assistant Wen, can you understand this sentiment?"