Fantasy Romance Xianxia Anime Sci-fi Historical WNMTL
Home > Hello Mr Major General

199 With You 4

 Xue Xinran's voice was clear and sweet; it cleaved through the noise and general hubbub to reverberate loudly throughout the room.

As soon as Xue Xinran finished her sentence, Gu Nianzhi had the distinct impression that the room was suddenly dead silent.

But, it was probably just her imagination, since a second later the clinking of glasses had resumed, mingled with the beeping of the karaoke machine as Guo Huining fiddled with it.

Mrs. Cui, who was sitting on Gu Nianzhi's other side, gave her a gentle, teasing push as she cheerfully said, "I want to know too! Little Gu, do you have a boyfriend? If you aren't seeing anyone, I have a number of young, handsome studs to introduce to you!" She winked.

Apparently all the cultured ladies from distinguished families were fond of match-making, Gu Nianzhi realized. She did not know whether to laugh or cry at this; did she really seem so young and desperate? She stammered out, flustered, "W-What? A boyfriend? Um..."

She remembered when Mei Xiawen had tried to date her in college: Huo Shaoheng had calmly and sensibly told her that he did not care who she went out with.

At that time though, she had not understood why her heart had sank like a rock at his words. She understood now, but she would never be able to tell anyone about it. And, it did not matter what he felt about it-she knew she would never be able to love another.

"Tell us! Don't be shy now." Xue Xinran nudged her arm in a teasing manner. "You already graduated from college, right? It's totally normal for you to have a boyfriend. But don't feel pressured, you don't have to tell us if you don't want to."

Gu Nianzhi took a deep breath, and straightened up. There was a faint blush on her face as she slowly said, "I...don't have a boyfriend."

"Great!" Xue Xinran snapped her fingers. "Where's your phone? I'll give you my younger brother's number, he-"

Xue Xinran did not get to finish. Gu Nianzhi interrupted her with a smile: "But, I have someone I like."

She had been careful to keep her voice low; nevertheless, unknown to her, her remark passed through the gaps in the screen and reached Huo Shaoheng's ears, who was sitting just behind it.

His hand momentarily stilled in the middle of clinking glasses with Bai Tianqun and Hong Ziqi, but he quickly recovered and downed his drink.

"Bravo! Huo Shao, you can still drink like a fish! Actually, no-you're an even better drinker now!" Xue Jingjiang laughed heartily as he filled Huo Shaoheng's cup once more.

"You have someone you like?" Mrs. Cui's interest had been piqued. "But you said that you don't have a boyfriend. Are you saying it's a secret crush?"

"A secret crush? Is that still a thing?" Guo Huining, who was sitting on the karaoke stage, turned to smile at Gu Nianzhi. "If you like someone, tell him. I don't think anyone would ever say no to a girl like you."

Gu Nianzhi smiled, but said nothing. She regretted having revealed so much of herself to these women-she barely knew them!

It was none of their business who she was dating, or even who she liked. However, she just couldn't resist the desire to confide in her heart, and so had taken the opportunity to talk about her feelings for Huo Shaoheng.

But, just as she had expected, he had not shown any reaction, at all.

He evidently did not care about who she did or did not like.

Gu Nianzhi smiled as she brusquely got up and asked Mrs. Cui, "Where's the bathroom? I'll be back in a minute."

Mrs. Cui and Xue Xinran exchanged a look: they knew they had upset Gu Nianzhi by being too nosy and pushy.

"Come with me, I'll show you the way. Go out, take a left-it's at the end of the corridor." Mrs. Cui stood up and extended a hand to Gu Nianzhi.

Gu Nianzhi quickly said, "That's okay, Mrs. Cui. You stay and sing a few songs with the others, I can look for it on my own. The place isn't that big." She laughed lightly at their worried looks and said, "I'll be fine, I'm not a child." With that, she turned and left.

Mrs. Cui looked after her. It was clear that Gu Nianzhi did not want anyone to follow her, and it seemed perfectly safe to let her wander the place alone: it was still early, the sun was still out, and Xue Jingjiang, who owned the place, would never let anything happen to Huo Shaoheng's family. Satisfied that Gu Nianzhi would be fine on her own, Mrs. Cui let her go without following her, and began to look through the karaoke song catalog with Xue Xinran and Guo Huining.

Just then, Huo Shaoheng stood from his chair and said to his four companions: "Take your time drinking. I'm going out for a smoke." He went out.

Xue Jingjiang and the rest of the men were light-headed from all the drinking; Huo Shaoheng had drunk them all under the table. They saw Huo Shaoheng get up to leave, and could only wave vaguely in his general direction in reply. They were already seeing double, but they were too happily intoxicated to stop from pouring themselves another round.


Gu Nianzhi walked out of the private room, alone, and found the ladies' bathroom. She went in and adjusted her hair and clothes in front of the mirror. When she was done, she exited the bathroom and made her way to the terrace to get some fresh air.

The private room had been too warm for her. She was wearing a high-neck cashmere sweater and sheer black tights; she could practically feel the sweat waiting to break out from under her skin.

She arrived at a terrace, and saw that it was an open-air terrace that was protected from the elements by a retractable glass ceiling in the winter. When the glass ceiling was down, the terrace was transformed into a greenhouse, warm enough for the large and verdant plants inside to flourish. There was an artificial stream somewhere; there was a soft, persistent sound of running water in the background. The winter sun shone through the transparent ceiling, warming the air to a comfortable temperature.

Gu Nianzhi looked around. She spotted a stone bench beneath a banana tree, and walked over to it. She sat down, got out her phone, and unlocked it as she wondered who she should call.

Mrs. Cui and her companions had stoked Gu Nianzhi's desire to confide in someone, and she was now feeling restless and frustrated. She was dying to ask someone whether her feelings were appropriate.

Gu Nianzhi opened her list of contacts on her phone, and scrolled down the long list. She found Little Temptress's profile picture, and tapped on it.

It was noon. Gu Nianzhi was pretty sure Little Temptress was either having lunch or taking a nap.

The phone had only begun to ring when Little Temptress answered it. She had been just about to take a nap.

"Nianzhi, is that you? Where are you now?" Little Temptress asked anxiously. "Are you all right?"

Gu Nianzhi's former roommates had received a Christmas greeting from her on Christmas night, but they had not heard from her since.

Little Temptress, Lady Cao, and Green Tea Fang had all been worried about her.

Gu Nianzhi smiled. "I'm fine. I'm eating out with a few friends right now."

"Oh, I'm just glad you're okay." Little Temptress let out a sigh of relief. "Please don't run off without telling us again-you really gave the three of us a fright the other day."

"I won't do that again." Gu Nianzhi was sure she would never react that way again-she was a lot stronger now, mentally. She switched her phone to her other hand as she asked in a hushed voice, "Is this a good time to talk?"

Little Temptress nodded. "I'm in my bedroom, all alone. I was going to take a nap, but if you want to chat, I'm up for it. I've been sleeping most of the holidays away, and it shows-I've gotten fat."

Gu Nianzhi imagined Little Temptress letting herself go, and could not resist laughing out loud. "I wanted to talk to you. I'm feeling really annoyed and frustrated right now-"

"Is this about Mei Xiawen?" Little Temptress was immediately wide awake. She sat up and leaned against her pillow. "Do you want me to avenge you? Just say the word."

Gu Nianzhi quickly shook her head. "No, of course not. Why would this be about him? I'll be honest with you, Little Temptress-I was never in love with him."

She knew now what it meant to be in love with someone.

"Well, if you don't like him, what are you all upset about?" Little Temptress was perplexed. She had found her iPad and unlocked it, fully intending to watch a TV show on it as she chatted with Gu Nianzhi.

Gu Nianzhi stammered for a moment, before finally saying in a hushed voice: "I-I have someone else that I like..."

"What?! Really?! Who is it? Tell me!" Little Temptress sat up in excitement. She tossed her iPad away onto the bed beside her. "Let's see if he's worthy of you."

"You don't know him."

"Yeah, I'll never know him if you don't tell me who it is." Little Temptress snorted. "Come on, tell me! I'm warning you, young lady-you can't just say something like that and leave me hanging! That's, like, a criminal offense!"

Gu Nianzhi was silent for a moment. She finally said, "I'm in love with someone, but he will never love me."

Everything about her-her identity, status, background, and current relationship to him-presented an insurmountable obstacle to her love.

Little Temptress was speechless. She checked the number displayed on her phone, before returning the phone to her ear. "I am talking to Gu Nianzhi, yes? Are you serious? Why would anyone turn down a girl like you?! What, is he blind or something?"

"Shhh, lower your voice!" She had not been using the loudspeaker feature on her phone, but Gu Nianzhi was almost certain everybody in her immediate vicinity must have heard Little Temptress. She quickly covered her phone with her free hand. "Don't talk so loud."

"Okay, okay, I'll lower my voice." Little Temptress paused. "Why are you so sure he doesn't like you? Have you already confessed your feelings to him?"

"Of course not." Gu Nianzhi felt her blood rush to her face-she did not have the courage for something like that!

"I see. Nianzhi, secretly crushing on somebody-who would have thought?" Little Temptress laughed as she teased her. She sobered up however, and said, "Still, I think you should let him know that you like him."

"I don't want to," Gu Nianzhi said automatically. "I'm afraid it'll ruin everything I have with him. I may not even get to stay friends with him once I tell him."

If he rejected her, she would die of embarrassment. There was no way she would be able to hang around him and pretend nothing had happened, after that.

"Well, how about this then-seduce him." Little Temptress waved her arm. "I'll teach you a few of my best seduction moves. He won't be able to resist you!"