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302 Speak Normally

 Since leaving the courthouse, Gu Nianzhi hadn't returned to the Huo manor. Instead, she followed Huo Shaoheng back to his official residence at the Special Operations Forces base to continue preparations for the next round of trials. She sat in the small conference room in Huo Shaoheng's office suite to review information. A few minutes later Huo Shaoheng, Yin Shixiong, and Zhao Liangze walked in. Everyone began discussing the results of the day's trial and the normally chatty Yin Shixiong pretended to be oblivious to Gu Nianzhi's confusion. Since there were no outsiders in the small conference room, Gu Nianzhi kicked the leg of Yin Shixiong's chair. "Brother Xiong, why aren't you saying anything?"

Yin Shixiong had been drawing on his tablet. He rolled his eyes at her when she kicked him and then connected his laptop to the projector. Everyone looked the chart Yin Shixiong pulled up, which showed a sketch of a phone and a birth certificate drawn by him. "Have you thought about whether Huo Guanyuan's missing phone and the birth certificate may be connected?" Yin Shixiong scratched his head. "Why were only these two things missing?"

"I didn't think of the connection between the two." Gu Nianzhi held a pen and clicked the cap underneath her chin. "I just know that these two items are directly related to Luo Xinxue's death."

Huo Shaoheng's finger tapped on the conference table as he asked Gu Nianzhi stoically, "You still think this birth certificate is related to Huo Jialan?"

"Actually, I don't know if it's directly related to Huo Jialan. I was just making a logical inference. I said that in court in order to probe her." Gu Nianzhi twirled the pen in her hand. "If she's innocent, we can investigate the other people related to Luo Xinxue."

"That's a good idea too." Huo Shaoheng considered it, then said to Zhao Liangze, "Go to the Huo manor to collect Huo Jialan's blood or hair right now and then give it to Chen Lie for a DNA test."

Zhao Liangze agreed and departed quickly. He returned to the office at the base less than a hour later. He said to Huo Shaoheng, "I've already sent it to Dr. Chen."

Gu Nianzhi teased him quietly, "That quickly? Brother Ze, did you threaten her with force?"

"You're the one who's an actual terror.!" Zhao Liangze rolled up his sleeves and put his hands at his waist, scolding Gu Nianzhi. "Do I have to resort to doing those things to collect evidence?!"

"Why are you so upset? It's fine if you didn't do those things, but you do seem awfully guilty." Gu Nianzhi mocked him. "Also, regarding that phone number, can you find out anything about it?"

"You think I'm a spinning top? Kick me from the back and I'll only spin for you?" Zhao Liangze glared at Gu Nianzhi before running off to his own office to run the program.

Gu Nianzhi studied Zhao Liangze's retreating back; he was acting strange. When she started to follow him to ask what was going on, Yin Shixiong pulled her back. "Don't go." He shook his head at Gu Nianzhi. "Let him be alone for a bit."

"What on earth is going on?" Gu Nianzhi was anxious. "What could have made Brother Ze unhappy? I didn't think that there was anything in the world that could be difficult for him!"

"Yes, yes. To an internet addicted child like you, your Brother Ze is the king of the internet and can do just anything. But we live in the real world, Nianzhi, not the internet." Yin Shixiong explained patiently to Gu Nianzhi, Oddly, he was speaking in English.

Gu Nianzhi shot him a glance. "Speak normally."

Yin Shixiong chuckled and thumped his chest. "Well, lately your Brother Ze had a little crush but then he got rejected." Seeing Gu Nianzhi's disdainful look, Yin Shixiong knew he had wasted effort talking to her. He reached out to viciously yank Gu Nianzhi's ponytail.

Gu Nianzhi freed her hair and jumped away, asking in shock, "So Brother Ze likes someone?! Oh no, did my suggestion get him in trouble?!" Gu Nianzhi automatically connected Zhao Liangze's unrequited love with the collection of Huo Jialan's DNA. She clasped her hands together and squeaked, "Brother Ze likes Huo Jialan?!"


Zhao Liang was drinking tea at his desk and spat a mouthful out when he overheard her outburst. "Nianzhi! Get over here!" Zhao Liangze rolled up his sleeves to teach her a lesson.

"For what?" Gu Nianzhi winked at him, then picked up her laptop and ran off giggling. "I have to go talk to Mrs. Song; you guys have fun with each other!"


Gu Nianzhi left the office building in the Special Ops headquarters and returned to Huo Shaoheng's official residence to take a shower and change before talking with Song Jinning.

Song Jinning lived on the third floor. Gu Nianzhi knocked on the door. Song Jinning was able to see that it was her from the camera. She opened the door and asked, "You all went to trial today? What happened? What was the result of the trial?"

Gu Nianzhi smiled. "We just got back from the courthouse. There are some things I'm not sure about, so I wanted to ask for your advice." She entered Song Jinning's room.

Song Jinning closed the door behind Gu Nianzhi, offered her a seat, then poured a glass of water for her and placed it on the coffee table. She sat on the sofa across from Gu Nianzhi. "Go ahead, tell me about what's going on."

Song Jinning she spoke concisely and didn't waste time so Gu Nianzhi was secretly impressed. She opened her laptop to show Huo Gunyuan's inventory of belongings and mentioned his missing phone. "The witness from the military was Senior Colonel Huo Guanyuan's orderly. He said that Huo Guanyuan's phone battery was specially made by a genius scientist from the Institute of High Energy Physics. The battery life was incredible: it was said that one charge could last ten years. Is that true? If so, it's amazing technology!"

Song Jinning had been a scientist at the Institute of High Energy Physics and her father Song Haichuan had been the director at the time. Gu Nianzhi realized that Song Jinning should definitely know about the high technology from the Institute had developed 16 years ago.

Song Jinning became alert as soon as she heard this. "A phone battery that lasts ten years with one charge?" She sighed quietly. "It was a small thing I made for Senior Colonel Huo back then."

Gu Nianzhi was floored. As expected, she was a real genius! A small thing she had cobbled together led technology by several decades. As far as Gu Nianzhi knew, there was no battery as powerful as that in the world right now. Batteries that lasted ten days were already amazing, so ten years was something that could only appear in fiction. Gu Nianzhi moved to the sofa Song Jinning was sitting on and grasped her hand. "Can you make a small thing like that for me too? I can pay you!" What a money-making invention!

Song Jinning shook her head with a wry smile. "You silly child; you think it's so simple? If it could be made so easily, our Institute of High Energy Physics would have gotten a patent long ago and made a fortune off commercialization."

Gu Nianzhi couldn't understand what she meant. Physics for her was a complicated subject.

Song Jinning took her to the computer and pulled up some information. "That kind of battery is mainly composed of graphene. Graphene is a two-dimensional material with the thickness of one carbon atom. It's mainly in the state of a planar film in which carbon atoms in sp2 hybrid orbitals form a hexagonal honeycomb lattice. Graphene is derived from graphite crystal. Is is very difficult to separate. I had polished the material it by hand and spent four or five years making enough to produce a phone battery, but the total material yield was very small. At the time, Senior Colonel Huo had done a big favor for my father, so I gifted the battery to him as thanks." Song Jinning had gone into great depth, explaining the complexities of the process and left Gu Nianzhi completely baffled.