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 Gu Nianzhi had thought she had learned how to keep her composure from observing Huo Shaoheng in the last six years. She had been sure that nothing could surprise her any more.

However, as soon as she heard of Bai Jinyi's other role, the corners of Gu Nianzhi's mouth began to twist in frustration.

Idiots!

How could they let Mrs. Song's rival-in-love be her primary doctor? The whole family must be nuts!

The situation was now so incredible to Gu Nianzhi, her rising temper actually deflated like a popped balloon from the sheer ridiculousness of it all. She looked to Huo Shaoheng, saw that he was entirely unruffled, and collected herself.

The Huo family was no ordinary family: both Grandfather Huo, Huo Xuenong, and Huo Shaoheng's father, Huo Guanchen, held high-ranking positions in the military.

These were powerful, highly educated men; Gu Nianzhi found it difficult to believe that they had made such an elementary mistake.

And Huo Shaoheng-he was Song Jinning's own flesh and blood. It was strange for him to not care about what was going on.

Gu Nianzhi did not think, for even a second, that Huo Shaoheng had made a mistake.

In her mind, Huo Shaoheng was always right. If anyone thought otherwise, Gu Nianzhi would know to doubt their own intellect and sanity. A man as accomplished and esteemed as Huo Shaoheng didn't get to the position he had as Major-General by making careless mistakes.

Was there something else going on here? Something she wasn't aware of?

Gu Nianzhi recalled that Huo Shaoheng had said he would tell her all the details later that night; unfortunately, Bai Jinyi had arrived before that could happen.

What should I do?

The wheels in Gu Nianzhi's head spun rapidly. She decided that her top priority now was to get Song Jinning away from Bai Jinyi and Huo Jialan.

Gu Nianzhi knew there were almost certainly other things going on in the background, things she wasn't yet aware of. Even so, Gu Nianzhi felt it was probably better to remove Song Jinyi from the clutches of the other two women.

Gu Nianzhi had made up her mind. She gave a cough and called out, "Physicist Bai?"

Bai Jinyi was looking at Huo Guanchen with a resigned expression on her face. Her lips were pressed in a straight line, and her face seemed pale and lifeless. She was a lot less lovely to look at, compared to Song Jinning.

"What is it?" Bai Jinyi's gaze flickered from Huo Guanchen to Gu Nianzhi. "I have things to do."

"Oh, I know you must be very busy. You're the chief scientist, your time is precious, and all that fun stuff. On the other hand, Mrs. Song here requires urgent treatment-which is why I think we shouldn't take up your time with it." Gu Nianzhi cocked her head as she said, smiling, "We should get someone else to be Mrs. Song's psychiatrist. I think that would be best for all of us."

"I'm not as busy as I used to be. Like I just said, I can take a few months off to live with Jinning and concentrate on treating her condition." Bai Jinyi looked away, clearly reluctant to continue the conversation with Gu Nianzhi. She looked at Huo Guanchen instead. "Guanchen, what do you say? When do I move in?"

Huo Guanchen nodded. "You can move in whenever you like."

Huo Jialan smiled and clasped her hands together gleefully. "Aunt Bai, did you bring your things with you? That's okay if you didn't, we have everything here. If we don't have them, well, write down whatever you need in a list, and I'll get someone to buy them, right away."

Gu Nianzhi's eyes widened in disbelief. She looked at Huo Guanchen, and then at Huo Shaoheng, who had remained silent all this while. She could feel anxiety and unease begin to gnaw at her insides.

What was wrong with these two men?

Did they really think it was totally ok to have Bai Jinyi treat Song Jinning?

She walked over to Song Jinning, slid her hand around the older woman's arm, and said sullenly to Huo Guanchen, "Uncle Huo, you have a... special relationship with Physicist Bai. I don't think she should be Auntie Song's psychiatrist, or even her primary doctor. Think of the gossip!"

"Gossip? What gossip?" Huo Jialan rolled her eyes as she tightened her violet Peruvian wool shawl around her. "What are you trying to say? Don't beat around the bush. We're all family here, except for you. Spit it out."

Gu Nianzhi's temper flared at the blatant hostility in Huo Jialan's tone.

What did she mean by "we're all family here, except for you"?

"Miss Huo, I think I made myself clear. Uncle Huo is in a relationship with Physicist Bai. How can he let his current girlfriend treat his ex-wife? That's just ridiculous! You know everyone would laugh at how absurd that sounds if they hear about it." Gu Nianzhi watched Song Jinning's expression carefully as she said this, but saw only a look of slight confusion, mixed with boredom and disinterest.

Was it possible Mrs. Song did not actually understand what everyone was talking about?

Gu Nianzhi didn't know how to proceed.

Huo Jialan had been waiting for Gu Nianzhi to say this. She dropped her smile, and said, with a sneer on her lips, "Aunt Bai is a decent, moral person. How can you think of her that way? And anyway, Aunt Bai only got together with my second uncle after he divorced. There's a dove in the magpie's nest, all right, but it isn't her."

"If that is your concern, Miss Gu, all I can say is that your imagination has gotten the better of you. I'm not so depraved as to deliberately sabotage someone who is mentally ill. Yes, I've been busy with work for the last few years, and I've been neglecting my duty as her doctor, I don't deny it. I want to make up for it now." Bai Jinyi had also caught on to what Gu Nianzhi was hinting at, and was now refuting the implication with an expression of increasing bemusement.

Huo Jialan immediately backed Bai Jinyi up. "Miss Gu, I don't blame you for not knowing about it, but it wasn't at all easy for Aunt Bai to get Mrs. Song out of her initial state of hysteria. You'd probably faint from shock if you had seen how her condition had been, back then. Aunt Bai is the only one who has the skills, the patience, and the qualifications to get close to Mrs. Song and treat her, which is why our family and the military decided to leave Mrs. Song in her capable hands."

Huo Jialan and Bai Jinyi's increasing confidence unnerved Gu Nianzhi, but she did not give in. She would keep up her assault, so long as Huo Shaoheng didn't tell her to stop. "Yes, Physicist Bai is extremely talented, I know. But it's been 16 years, and Mrs. Song still hasn't recovered. Why shouldn't we find someone else to give it a try? We shop around when we buy important necessities right? And we look into the long term value as well. Shouldn't we do the same for doctors?"

"But Mrs. Song's condition is special; her illness is connected to the military's top-secret experimental plan. In order to prevent confidential information from leaking, the average Joe on the street isn't allowed to be anywhere near Mrs. Song. If you want to get another doctor for Mrs. Song, you'll have to submit a request to the military, and wait for them to vet your candidate. Who knows how long that will take-years, probably." Huo Jialan's counter-argument was water-tight, and there was a self-satisfied gleam in her eyes. She looked at Gu Nianzhi indulgently, like an adult watching a child throw a pointless tantrum.

"That's true. I'll add that hypnosis is a major component of psychotherapy, which is why we need someone we can trust. What if Jinning ends up revealing confidential information during a hypnosis session? We can't be too careful with this. I was part of the laboratory back then, too. I wasn't an active participant in that specific experiment, but I know everything about it, which is why the military decided to let me handle her treatment." Bai Jinyi had regained her composure, and was now patiently and amiably explaining the details to Gu Nianzhi.

Gu Nianzhi felt as though she had fallen into a spider's web; she saw Huo Jialan and Bai Jinyi standing before her, their expressions frosty as they watched her struggle.

However, she was not the type to go down easily. Gu Nianzhi immediately bounced back with a new argument: "Well, what about a medical officer, then? Like Chen Lie, for example-he's the top medical officer in the country, I'm sure you've heard of him. Why not let him give it a try? He's a soldier, and his security clearance level should be high enough. You won't have to worry about confidential information potentially getting into the wrong hands if he takes over as Mrs. Song's doctor, right?" Gu Nianzhi spread her hands in a nonchalant shrug as she played her trump card.

Huo Jialan refused to budge. "Chen Lie is a top doctor, one of the very best. I don't refute that. But I've never heard anything about Chen Lie knowing the first thing about psychology, and he has zero experience as a psychiatrist. Aunt Bai, on the other hand, has 16 years of experience."

Gu Nianzhi arched an eyebrow. She did not back down, either. "What do you mean, Chen Lie has zero experience?" She was about to bring up Chen Lie's psychotherapy sessions with her, but Huo Shaoheng suddenly spoke up and interrupted her. "As long as the military agrees to it, you can let Chen Lie try, of course, but as far as I know Chen Lie is a busy man these days. He may not have the time."

Huo Jialan, Bai Jinyi, and Huo Guanchen were surprised to see Huo Shaoheng side with Gu Nianzhi.

Bai Jinyi and Huo Guanchen exchanged a look, but did not say anything.

Huo Jialan was not persuaded. She gritted her teeth and spat out, annoyed, "Cousin Brother, you should stop humoring Miss Gu and her silly fantasies." She glared at Huo Shaoheng. "Cousin Brother, I hope you haven't forgotten that my father was also in the lab that day. When the experiment went wrong, the military came to my mother and me and told us that my father had gone missing." Huo Jialan pointed a finger at Song Jinning, who was standing beside Gu Nianzhi. "She's the only one who knows what really happened in the lab that day! You want to take her away? Over my dead body! She knows what happened to my father!"