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316 Forced To Stop

 Gu Nianzhi lowered the car window and looked at Xu Piaohong with disbelief. "What are you doing? You want to have me take a breathalyzer test?"

"Yes, is that a problem?" Xu Piahong glared at her. "Hurry up! Don't waste my time!"

Gu Nianzhi was done playing nice. She took out her phone from her bag and asked her blankly, "Your name and badge number, please."

"What are you doing?" Xu Piahong's eye began to twitch; she suddenly had a bad feeling about this.

"I'm going to file a complaint against you," Gu Nianzhi enunciated clearly to her. "I'll have to ask your police station in which chapter and which section it states that passengers are subject to a breathalyzer tests!" According to what Xu Piaohong was saying, not only were people who consumed alcohol barred from driving, but somehow they should not be riding in cars either. That meant everyone who drank would have to walk home: even taking public transportation was against the law.

Xu Piahong's mouth twitched, unsure of how to respond. She had been raised lovingly by her family and all her classmates and teachers at the police academy knew about her family background, so they had made sure to take good care of her. She had never encountered anyone who didn't take her seriously. Xu Piaohong could have very well taken advantage of her family connections to get a better job, but she had been determined to find a job using her own abilities. She had chosen, in the end, the Imperial Capital Nancheng District Police Station and had started as a trainee. How could someone give her trouble when she was just trying to work so earnestly.

"Either release us, or tell me your name and badge number. I will report you." Gu Nianzhi smiled: she was no longer interested in teaching this rookie policewoman a lesson.

Xu Piahong had been working for more than six months now and her colleagues protected her so well that she'd never encountered such a difficult situation. Logically, she knew she was wrong and should let the two people off immediately; It would be useless to have the driver take a breathalyzer test, since it was obvious he wasn't drunk. It was early morning, so who would even be drinking at this hour? Most people in the Huaxia Empire didn't have such a drinking problem. But if she backed down now, it would go against her principles. The uncompromising and straightforward personality that she had developed from being spoiled by her family the past 20 years suddenly came to a head. Xu Piaohong's face was stony as she suddenly reached out to grab Gu Nianzhi's chin and used the other hand to force the tube into her mouth. "Do the test. I'll let you go if it's fine."

Gu Nianzhi was furious, when Huo Shaoheng leaned over and gripped Xu Piaohong's wrist hard enough to bend her hand, before pushing it away. He shielded Gu Nianzhi against his chest. He said dryly, "Trainee Xu, you've broken the law."

"You dare to attack a police officer?" Xu Piaohong only felt the scorching heat around her wrist and had goosebumps all over her arm. She stumbled backwards, flustered. "That was inexcusable!" Xu Piaohong's face was red; she was so angry that she immediately paged a colleague.

Yin Shixiong finally caught up and parked behind the police car. He looked at Xu Piaohong and said, "Officer Xu! We are all colleagues, so let's talk nicely!" As he spoke, he took out his own identification to show Xu Piaohong and turned to say to Huo Shaoheng, "Hello, Chief. It's alright now, you can go now. I'll take care if it."

Huo Shaoheng glanced at him and didn't say a word before arranging Gu Nianzhi's collar and scarf, then closing the car window and settling back into his own seat. He slammed on the gas and the sleek SUV sped away before Xu Piaohong's eyes.

She had been completely ignored and her heart felt like it had been hit by a large boulder. She stamped her feet angrily and screamed at Yin Shixiong, "Chief! Who the h*ll was that?! I'm telling you right now, I won't let this slide!" What was so great about a military license plate anyway, she fumed. Her father was the deputy chief of staff of the military tactical operations department-who could possibly have a higher ranking than he did? Xu Piahong believed that anyone else in the military with a more important position or higher rank were old men who definitely didn't drive themselves. She had never thought that the man in the SUV would actually be a Chief.

Due to the nature of Huo Shaoheng's work, he had stayed in the background for many years and, besides high-level personnel from the Special Operations Forces and the Military, there were few personnel in other departments who had actually seen him. So, Xu Piaohong would have never met him before, and even her father, deputy chief of staff of the military tactical operations department, Colonel Xu Guiqi, was not high enough in rank to be involved in Huo Shaoheng's work. Her father has never met Huo Shaoheng in person, but had of course heard of his name. Xu Piaohong had always preferred to draw a line with all the different ranks at work to show off her own loftiness. She had never come across Huo Shaoheng's name before.

"Watch your mouth!" Yin Shixiong didn't tolerate anyone insulting Huo Shaoheng, "What you've just said is more than enough for me to report you. You'll lose your job."

Xu Piaohong flushed even darker. "Report, report! All you people know to do to is threaten to report me. I was on official business! I was just doing my job!" These people were forcing her to use her father's power! However, she didn't wish to do that.

"Are you sure you were doing your job, and not abusing your power?" Yin Shixiong said. Zhao Liangze had already made it clear on the phone-this trainee officer was working alone and so that in and of itself was illegal. "Have your partner come talk to me: you're just a trainee officer and have no right to interrogate me."

Xu Piaohong froze. Yes... she shouldn't have been working alone, since she had just been taking a drive. She began to feel very uneasy.

"Scared now?" Yin Shixiong clasped his hands behind his back, his expression cold and serious. "Did you realize that you were harassing them? If it weren't for your father, we would've already locked you up in a cell somewhere."

"Lock me up? For what?" Xu Piaohong lost her temper: this man actually knew who her father was? But, was still so arrogant with her! She hated bullies more than anything.

"For what? For the obstruction of military affairs!" Yin Shixiong said. "Also, you were already breaking the law to begin with. The Chief's vehicle hadn't violated any traffic laws, but you had dared to stop him."

"He was driving at an inconsistent speed!!" Xu Piaohong was upset and her heart jolted again when she recalled the viselike touch of that large hand on her wrist earlier. Forcing herself to be composed, she objected, "That's dangerous driving. it's just like drunk driving. It was necessary to stop and examine them."

"Is inconsistent speed any of your business? He hadn't been impeding traffic, so why did you stop him?" Yin Shixiong thought she was an idiot. "You used your connections to get the job right? Who even let you in when you don't even know basic traffic laws?"

This was the straw on the camel's back. Xu Piahong finally cried from all the pent up frustration. She pointed at Yin Shixiong and sobbed, "I didn't use connections! I got the job on my own!"

"Are you sure? You don't even know traffic laws and dared to drive alone as a trainee. How did you get into the academy with your level of ability?" Yin Shixiong had no plans New Year's Eve; looking at her state now, he decided to help this girl out of the kindness of his heart. He was bored anyway.

"Of course I did!" Xu Piaohong took out a handkerchief from her pocket to wipe her tears. "How would I be a mere trainee officer if I used my connections?"

Yin Shixiong rolled his eyes. "Officer Xu, did you not know that the police are also disciplined troops? Did you not know that it all goes through background assessment?"

"Background assessment? No way!" Xu Piahong was dubious. "A mere police officer has to go through that too?"

"As long as there was an assessment, your family background would be out in the open. Your the deputy chief of staff, a Colonel right? How wouldn't the people at your station know?" Yin Shixiong shook his head. "You're very lucky that the Chief was in a good mood today, otherwise..." He trailed off ominously.

"You've been talking about this Chief all day now, but who is he?" Xu Piaohong tried to change the subject because she didn't want to think about what Yin Shixiong said. The more she thought about it, the more she didn't want to know whether she got the job because of her family connections.

"Let's just say that I'm a Lieutenant Colonel, but I'm just his personal secretary." Yin Shixiong dropped the hint. "Get it now?"

"What's your name?" Xu Piaohong's heart trembled. The man must be at least a Major General if he had a Lieutenant Colonel as a personal secretary. Although he appeared mature and powerful, he was certainly a young man unlike her father, who was already almost fifty.

"I'm Yin Shixiong, personal secretary to the Chief, Huo Shaoheng. Since your father is a soldier, you can go home and ask him who that is." Yin Shixiong turned around to leave. He still had to continue following Huo Shaoheng and Gu Nianzhi's car, but it was alright that he was leaving now because he couldn't get too close anyway.

Xu Piaohhong listened to Yin Shixiong's words and stood blankly on the empty road for awhile. The sky was still blue, and the clouds were still white, but something felt different. After spacing out for a bit, she finally called home. "Dad, it's Piaohong."

"Piaohong? When are you coming home? Today is New Year's Eve, and you're still at work? Do you want me to send a car to pick you up?" Deputy Chief of Staff Xu asked hastily.

Xu Piaohong's heart glowed with warmth. She chatted with her dad for a bit and then asked, "Dad, do you know who Huo Shaoheng is?"

"Huo Shaoheng? Yes, why are you asking about him?" Deputy Chief of Staff Xu froze. He had never expected his lofty daughter to actually ask about the military.

"Is he famous?" Xu Piaohong asked again. "Is he more powerful than Dad?"

"Silly child, how can I compare with him?" Deputy Chief of Staff Xu was still very proud even though he worded it humbly, "He's a young talent, a 28 year old Major General-the youngest one since the founding of the nation."

"Oh? So it's true." Xu Piaohong exhaled sharply and said, "I-I might have made a mistake today." She nearly burst into tears.

"What is it? Don't be scared, Piaohong. Tell me slowly." Deputy Chief of Staff Xu instantly felt distressed for his daughter. "What's the big deal anyway? I'll sort it out for you!" It was just a measly police station right? Just one phone call and he'd have the director of the station come give the "season's greetings," while bearing gifts.

Xu Piaohong's eyes widened when she heard her dad say this. She looked down to adjust her uniform and mumbled, "The thing is, I was on duty today and stopped a car on the Third Ring Road. Huo... Shaoheng was in it." The name rolled on her tongue and it took forever for her to spit out. Just saying it once left a sweetness in her mouth.

Deputy Chief of Staff Xu jumped off the couch and strode back to his study, slamming the door shut. He whispered, "Did you really stop Major General Huo's military vehicle?!"

Obstruction of military affairs was a serious offense! Sweat beaded on Deputy Chief of Staff Xu's forehead.

"No, it wasn't a military vehicle. He had a military plate though." Xu Piaohong bit her lower lip, her eyes glazed over as she tried to use the police database to find the license plate on the Mercedes SUV. "It's... It's his personal car."

Xu sighed deeply and wiped the sweat off his forehead. "Thank goodness he wasn't on duty. Thank goodness."

"Will I be in trouble?" Xu Piaohong asked nervously. "He was in the car with a young girl."

"Well, that depends on what law he broke." Deputy Chief of Staff Xu eased his breathing. "Even the Major General has to be punished when he violates the laws!"

Deputy Chief of Staff Xu grew cheerful when he thought he could do Mr. Huo a favour. It was too difficult to to form a relationship with him, so perhaps his daughter's chance encounter was an opportunity.

However, Xu Piaohong muttered, to his surprise, "Dad, He... He didn't break any laws."

"What?!" Deputy Chief of Staff Xu felt his blood pressure rise again and had trouble standing still. He leaned against the wall of the study and then sat on the couch, panting. He asked her through gritted teeth, "Why did you stop him if he hadn't broken any laws?!" His head spun. "Who was on duty with you today?" If it became necessary, they could just blame it on the full fledged officer on duty with his daughter today. Deputy Chief of Staff Xu sighed: his daughter was great at everything, but she was too cocky. She didn't even have a basic understanding of social relationships, so he believed that she needed to get married to a powerful person who could protect her from getting into serious trouble.

Xu Piaohong felt even more uneasy and stuttered, "No, No one was working with me. I was on duty alone."

"Alone?!" Deputy Chief of Staff Xu was dumbfounded. "That's not right! You're just a trainee. You can't be on duty alone!"

"I-I just wanted to help everyone out!" Xu Piaohong noticed something was wrong and her eyes turned red with unshed tears. "My colleague were rushing home for Lunar New Year, so I wanted to help." She had never expected such a thing to happen. She was felt anxious but also lucky that she'd had the chance to meet someone as important as Major General Huo. Xu Piaohong had always been respectable and thought highly of herself. Although she knew her dad was powerful, she had never wanted to take advantage of her family's influence for her own benefit-unlike the other power hungry children of elites in society. That was why she had chosen an entry-level police job.

Deputy Chief of Staff Xu could tell his daughter was about to cry. He frowned for a long time before finally saying, "Then, your colleague derelicted duty?"

"No..." Xu Piaohong's voice had grown even quieter. "There was no duty today. I just wanted to get to know the work environment and take a drive."

Deputy Chief of Staff Xu finally understood that the incident was due entirely to his daughter's arrogance. He struggled to turn over on the sofa and undid the heavy wool military uniform. He asked carefully, "Did Mr. Huo say anything when you stopped him?"

"No, he just said he had some important business to attend to and drove away. Then his personal secretary, Lieutenant Colonel Yin Shixiong, came over to explain."

"Yin Shixiong? I think I know him." Deputy Chief of Staff Xu was relieved to finally hear a familiar name. "Fine, hurry up and come home. I'll find a way to make up for it." They were all in the military, and although they weren't in the same department, they should still be able to have a conversation. Deputy Chief of Staff Xu immediately tried to find Yin Shixiong's number and finally connected to him after several transfers.

Yin Shixiong saw that Xu Piaohong's father was calling personally and didn't want to give him a hard time. His daughter was just a child who didn't understand proper protocol yet, and it was nothing serious, so he had given her a little scare as a lesson. Yin Shixiong was polite to Deputy Chief of Staff Xu. "That's too kind of Deputy Chief of Staff Xu. It's wonderful that your daughter was willing to work in an entry-level job. It's ok if she makes some small mistakes, as long as it's not serious. Our Chief went out today to buy some holiday goods and was in a rush. He didn't intend on giving your daughter trouble."

Deputy Chief of Staff Xu was finally relieved, but was also surprised that Huo Shaoheng had been buying holiday goods. "The Huo manor didn't make preparations? Isn't that the orderlies' jobs? Why does the Chief have to personally do it?" Deputy Chief of Staff Xu knew that the Huo family lived in the Imperial Capital, and although he wasn't' familiar with Huo Shaoheng, he had crossed paths with Grandfather Huo and Huo Guanchen.

Yin Shixiong parked in the lot of the Chengnan Shopping Center as he spoke to Deputy Chief of Staff Xu over the headset. "Our Chief's new official residence just completed construction and he plans to spending New Year's there. He won't be going home for now. I'll let you go now, since I still have some business. I wish Deputy Chief of Staff Xu an early Happy New Year!"

"Oh, I won't keep you any longer. I also wish you, and the Chief, a Happy New Year!" Before Deputy Chief of Staff Xu could finish the sentence, the line had been cut. Deputy Chief of Staff Xu thought about it and called Xu Piaohong again, saying, "Piaohong, come home now! I have something to ask you."


Huo Shaoheng and Gu Nianzhi were already walking around Chengnan Shopping Center. It was a massive place and was basically a whole street lined with shops on both sides. There were barricades on either end so cars could not drive through, allowing only pedestrians to walk inside it. It was already Lunar New Year's Eve, but there were still many people out. Everyone was smiling as they dashed through the stores to buy holiday goods.

Gu Nianzhi had never been there before, so she looked around and tried to search for stores on her phone. Huo Shaoheng was not in a hurry. He waited quietly at her side: he would take her wherever she wanted to go.