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194 Gu Nianzhis Intuition

 Huo Shaoheng's features relaxed, but he did not smile fully. Sensing Grandfather Huo's and Huo Guanchen's eyes on him, he looked up to meet their gaze, "What is it?"

Grandfather Huo wanted to say something, but swallowed the words when he saw Huo Shaoheng's protective expression. He picked up his chopsticks, "Let's eat."

"Let's eat."

Huo Guanchen, Uncle Zhang and Aunt Zhang immediately picked up their chopsticks. Zhang Wenna and Zhang Wenjie smiled at Gu Nianzhi, "Miss Gu, let's eat."

It was standard practice to eat in silence at the Huo household. Gu Nianzhi had been taught this when she grew up with Huo Shaoheng, but she enjoyed talking to Song Jinning and was reluctant to pick up her chopsticks.

Song Jinning heard the signal to eat and whispered to Gu Nianzhi with a smile, "...Let's chat after dinner."

"Ok." Gu Nianzhi nodded seriously.

The rectangular walnut table was laden with dozens of dishes, but there was a certain order to everything. Grandfather Huo, Huo Guanchen and Huo Shaoheng all had their own three entrees and one soup that only they can eat from. Gu Nianzhi had the same, prepared by the orderlies as Huo Shaoheng asked. The others ate the food made by the Huo family cook.

Song Jinning was accustomed to having her meal upstairs, but her food was brought down this time since Gu Nianzhi invited her to stay. Gu Nianzhi scrutinized Song Jinning and noticed she ate elegantly, chewing with her mouth closed, taking small bites and holding her chopsticks well. Her manner of eating was a mirror of Huo Shaoheng's. As for Gu Nianzhi, she learned from Huo Shaoheng. Now that she was sitting next to Song Jinning, she suddenly realized where Huo Shaoheng learned his manners from. Thinking about how his mother had become so ill, Gu Nianzhi was crestfallen and kept her head low as she eat. She didn't want to speak when it was time for tea after dinner. Song Jinning had finally found someone who was willing to speak with and listen to her after so many years, so she was very attached to Gu Nianzhi. She looked at her with wide eyes and even brought the small red clay teapot to pour her tea. Shocked, Gu Nianzhi promptly took the teapot, "Mrs. Huo, let me serve you."

Song Jinning beamed at her, "What's your name?"

"I'm Gu Nianzhi." Gu Nianzhi bowed her head as she poured tea for Song Jinning, then filled her own cup. Just when she was about to take a sip, Huo Shaoheng took it from her hands and remarked dryly. "It's almost bedtime, you shouldn't have tea."

Gu Nianzhi agreed and recalled that she slept all day. If she had tea now, there was no way she would sleep tonight. She set the cup down.

Song Jinning looked at Huo Shaoheng shyly and whispered in Gu Nianzhi's ear, "...Is he your boyfriend?"

Gu Nianzhi, "..." Blush uncontrollably spilled over her cheeks as her misty eyes grew dreamy and seemed a little drink. However, she could feel Huo Shaoehng's eyes pricking her back like needles. Gu Nianzhi managed a pained smile and shook her head gently, "He's not my boyfriend."

"Then he's your husband?" Son Jinning was brimming with curiosity as she surveyed Huo Shaoheng from head to toe, "He's very good looking, you look good together."

"Ah... Oh..." Gu Nianzhi stared blankly at Song Jinning when she realized a cruel truth. If Song Jinning didn't remember getting married, that meant she didn't remember having a child? That meant she forgot Huo Shaoheng was her biological son?! Gu Nianzhi exhaled sharply and turned to look at Huo Shaoheng with sympathy.

Huo Shaoheng glanced at her and immediately understood what she was thinking of and got frustrated. It was true that he had feelings of when he was younger, but he was now strong enough that he didn't need to rely on anyone or emotions for support. "It's getting late, go rest." Huo Shaoheng rose and pulled Gu Nianzhi up with him, "You still have homework. The semester is about to start, go back to your room to work on it."

Gu Nianzhi became tongue tied, since when did she have homework?! But one look from Huo Shaoheng was enough for her to simmer down and smile feebly at Song Jinning, "Mrs. Huo, I have to go do homework, I'll play with you tomorrow?"

Song Jinning was somewhat afraid of Huo Shaoheng and turned her head as soon as she felt his stare. "Ok, I'll chat with you tomorrow." Song Jinning stood up as well.

Huo Jianlan promptly came over to take her arm and walked her upstairs with a smile.

Gu Nianzhi politely said goodnight to Grandfather He and Huo Guanchen, then to Uncle Zhang, Aunt Zhang, Zhang Wenna and Zhang Wenjie. Afterwards, she followed Huo Shaoheng back to his suite. Huo Shaoheng closed the door as soon as they entered. The suite was completely soundproof, so even gunshots and explosoves outside couldn't be heard from the inside. When they went inside, Gu Nianzhi dropped her pretenses and looked at Huo Shaoheng resentfully, "Huo Shao, when did I ever have homework? Why didn't I know about it?"

"Call me Uncle." Huo Shaoheng instinctively reminded her while choosing to not argue about her homework. It was an excuse and he saw no reason to explain. Huo Shaoheng went to his study alone and told her, "Rest early, you just had a fever."

Gu Nianzhi glared at Huo Shaoheng and refused to believe that he would just walk away like this. However she didn't dare follow him to his study. When she used to live with him, his office was restricted to her. Unless he allowed her, she couldn't go inside. Gu Nianzhi stamped her feet and went to wash up in the main bedroom. She remembered something when she changed into pyjamas and ran over to knock on the office door.

"Come in, it's unlocked." Huo Shaoheng's voice came from inside the study..

Gu Nianzhi gently pushed the door and it opened. Huo Shaoheng looked up from behind his desk. The sleeves on his white shirt rolled up to his elbows to show off his muscular forearms, while the crew neck on the black T-shirt displayed his exquisite collarbones. His dark jade-like eyes quietly watched her, "What is it?"

Gu Nianzhi pointed to his black T-shirt, "Uncle Huo, you promised to give me a few of those T-shirts as pyjamas when I came back..."

Huo Shaoheng thought about it, "I brought a few here, but hey aren't new."

"Not new?!" Gu Nianzhi's eyes lit up, "Old is great! Old is more comfortable, I love old ones!"

Huo Shaoheng was speechless and looked at her dubiously. He lowered his head as he continued typing on the keyboard, "It's in the main bedroom closet, go look yourself."

Gu Nianzhi agreed happily and turned away. Huo Shaoheng suddenly remembered something else and hastily got up from the desk and caught up to Gu Nianzhi in a few strides, "I'll get them for you."

Gu Nianzhi followed him to the main bedroom. Huo Shaoheng opened the closet doors and found three black T-shirts for her. They were all worn, but freshly laundered and had the clean scent from the dryer. "You use this side of the closet." Huo Shaoheng took out the clothes from the right side of the closet and pushed them to the left. His wardrobe was very simple and consisted of military issued clothing, winter tactical uniforms, official uniforms and casual clothes. His coats were in a separate closet, so it was easy to pack up.

Gu Nianzhi brought her suitcase over and hesitated, "...But I'm only staying here for a few days, Uncle Huo doesn't have to make room in closet for me?"

Huo Shaoheng's hand paused as he pursed his lips and turned out. He spoke calmly, "You'll be doing three years of post-grad studies in the Imperial capital, you'll be back here plenty."

"But..." Gu Nianzhi grit her teeth and attempted to argue, "I'm already 18. Uncle Huo, you're not my guardian anymore."

"I may not be your guardian, but I'm still your uncle." Huo Shaoheng put his hands in his trouser pockets and leaned his back against the closet, the white light illuminating his entire body and accentuating his resolute expression.

Gu Nianzhi greedily took in the sight. She was reluctant to let go and neither dared nor wanted to object. The courage she mustered earlier all but dissipated under Huo Shaoheng's dark stare, she lowered her head and crossed her arms, "Fine... I'll put my things in."

Huo Shaoheng looked at her pitiful expression and couldn't walk away. He considered it and sat on the sofa, beckoning Gu Nianzhi with his hand, "Come over."

Gu Nianzhi turned around, but didn't want to walk there, "Uncle Huo, just tell me. I can hear you."

Huo Shaoheng didn't insist and rubbed his temple with his hands as he finally talked about what happened today, "Nianzhi, about my mother..."

Gu Nianzhi perked up and walked over to sit beside him. She pulled his arm and asked, "Is Song Jinning really your mother? Biological mother?"

"Yeah." Huo Shaoheng leaned forward, clasping his hands together and resting his elbows on his knees. He looked straight ahead, "Thank you for talking to her today. But don't do that again."

"Why not? If she's sick, wouldn't talking to her help with recovery?" Gu Nianzhi was confused. She knew an important treatment in psychology was to allow the patient freely speak as much as possible in a relaxed environment. Speaking was a form of confession and could relieve stress.

"The problem is..." Huo Shaoheng looked at her, "She's going to sleep and by tomorrow she'll forget about what she said to you today. She won't even remember you, so you have to introduce yourself and have the same conversation again. You think many people have the patience to introduce themselves everyday?"

"Oh?" Gu Nianzhi patted her chest, "Aunt Song has short term memory loss?!

"No." Huo Shaoheng looked up and sighed, "16 years ago, something happened in my family and my mother... suddenly fainted. When she woke up, she only remembered what happened before she turned 18 and believed she was 18. Ever since then, she would forget what happened the day before..." Gradually, nobody in the Huo household wanted to speak with her and grew to ignore her. They only provided food and had a physician regularly give her her medical exams--but other than that, she was like an non-existent person in the manor.

Gu Nianzhi held Huo Shaoheng's arm sympathetically, "So she forgot you too?"

"Yeah." Huo Shaoheng turned to look at her, "But it's not a big deal, it doesn't affect me. Don't overthink it."

Gu Nianzhi, "..." Fine, since the powerful Uncle Huo didn't need any sympathy, Gu Nianzhi could only rub her nose, "I understand. But..." She thought about it and finally spoke, "You said Aunt Song would forget the previous day, but I don't think that's the case."

Huo Shaoheng didn't speak or correct her, only watched with curiosity as she continued. "Last night she was the one who came to my room." Gu Nianzhi locked eyes with Huo Shaoheng, "You already knew this yesterday, didn't you?" That's why he didn't allow further investigation. Gu Nianzhi's room was on the first floor and the south wall was entirely French windows. Somehow the windows were unlocked and could be opened from the outside. Song Jinning snuck in sometime and watched Gu Nianzhi at her bedside. But it snowed nearly the entire night, so Song Jinning must've left footprints. So the outside lights were conveniently broken to temporarily conceal the tracks. By the time it was morning, the night of snow had completely erased Song Jinning's footprints and close the case without suspicion.

"...So it wasn't only Aunt Song's fault that she came to my room last night. Someone intentionally did this." Gu Nianzhi concluded, "We don't know why this person did this."

Huo Shaoheng stayed silent and finally spoke after a long time, "That's mostly correct."'

"But..." Gu Nianzhi wasn't finished yet, "When I came out for dinner this evening, I ran into Aunt Song in the hallway again. I think she remembered me. Her look and interest in me meant that she wasn't oblivious about what happened yesterday."

Huo Shaoheng frowned, "Are you serious?"

"Yeah, I guarantee it." Gu Nianzhi nodded seriously before continuing, "Uncle Huo, you know my intuition is very accurate."

"Your intuition?" Huo Shaoheng squinted at her, his eyes almost full of contempt.

Gu Nianzhi couldn't help continuing, "...Isn't that right? Hasn't my intuition been very accurate?"

Huo Shaoheng pursed his lips and looked away, "Go to bed, tomorrow..." He paused, "Tomorrow I'll take you to my mother."

Gu Nianzhi was overjoyed and nodded quickly, "Good, I planned on buying Aunt Song a Chanel outfit for New Year's."

"Mhmm, use this card." Huo Shaoheng took out a card he had prepared long ago from his trouser pocket, "From now on, you can buy your things with this too."

"I'm fine, thanks." Gu Nianzhi immediately declined, "I have scholarships and subsidies, it's enough to live on."

Huo Shaoheng flicked the black card and cast his eyes downwards, "How much in scholarships do you have?"

"...I have tens of thousands a year." Gu Nianzhi muttered, "And subsidies too, its about two thousand a month, that's enough to eat at the cafeteria. I can also get a part-time job..."

He Zhichu previously offered to have her help with cases, so she would earn commissions.

"Your Chanel outfit is more than tens of thousands." Huo Shaoheng gave her a look and took her hand to place the black card in her soft palm, "Be good, take it."