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323 Reunion Dinner 1

 Everyone felt awkward when Huo Jialan said that.

Looking at how she treated Song Jinning, it's no wonder that Huo Shaoheng didn't want her around.

Using the excuse that she was on a mission, she had not come home for years. However, the Huo's were a military family. Would they not know the real reason she did not come home?

Using the same reasons too many times really just allowed it to be an excuse over time.

But Grandfather Huo and Huo Guanchen did not say these words out loud.

He only understood the real reason when Bai Jinyi's case surfaced. She was actually feeling unjust with regards to her mother...

Huo Jialan looked at everyone in the study, tightened her grip on the suitcase, lowered her head and said apologetically: "I trusted the wrong person and mistreated Mdm Song. It's my fault. I wanted to look for an opportunity to apologize personally to Mdm Song, but I did not expect that eldest cousin decided not to come back just because I'm here. Now, that made me feel worse..."

"...It wasn't all your fault." Grandfather Huo shook his head after being silent for a while, "Who knew what was going on exactly? Bai Jinyi was too good an actress; no one expected her to be so cunning."

Actually, someone saw through her - Huo Shaoheng. But it was true that no one else saw through her evil plot other than him.

Even Grandfather Huo and Huo Guanchen did not see through her, how could anyone expect Huo Jialan, a little girl who lost both her parents do it?

Upon hearing that, Huo Jialan broke down. Facing the door of the study, she dropped to her knees and kowtowed continuously: "Grandpa and second uncle had brought me up; there's nothing I can do to repay your kindness, except to kowtow to you. I will repay your kindness in my next life no matter what!"

She continued, "Since eldest cousin isn't coming back, these few kowtows are for Mdm Song. I did her wrong, I hope that she be gracious enough to not bear grudges with me. I will kowtow to her, and pray for her to hope that she lives to a ripe old age!"

Huo Guanchen was shaken. Rushing forward to help her up, he exclaimed: "Jialan! What's this for? Get up quickly! Get up quickly!"

Grandfather Huo walked over quickly as well. Standing beside Huo Guanchen, he consoled the Huo Jialan who was crying a river: "Don't say that, Jialan. Even though you're not one of our sons, but you're a daughter of the Huo's. You're the daughter of my eldest son, and thus is my, Huo Xuenong's granddaughter. Whoever dares treat you otherwise, get them to speak to me!"

"Grandpa!" Huo Jialan was touched but sad. She let go of Huo Guanchen's hand, fell to her knees again, and hugged Huo Xuenong's legs, crying until she almost blacked out.

"There, there, get up quickly and settle down in your room." Grandfather Huo made up his mind right there and then upon seeing Huo Jialan's never ending tears. "Since Shaoheng isn't coming back, it's okay. We shall spend the New Year at his place instead. Anyway, his just moved into his mansion, it's time for some housewarming. Let's all go and spend a happy New Year together, trash out everything we have to, and not bear any hidden grudges within the family!"

"Huh? We're going to Shaoheng's for the New Year?" Huo Guanchen frowned. "It's already past 7, will we be able to make it?"

"Why not?" Grandfather Huo rolled his eyes at him. "Go make the call and get the car ready. Just say that us, the Huo's, will be spending our New Year at Shaoheng's this year. Bring all our food for reunion dinner and eat there. It'll be even more homely!"

Huo Guanchen began to feel that Grandfather Huo was out of his mind - it was already 7pm on New Year's Eve, but he still wanted to get out of the house.

However, he thought deeper: he would be able to see Song Jinning if they were to go to Shaoheng's.

It's been a misunderstanding for so many years; he hoped to be able to speak to her properly.

No matter what, they loved each other before. If not for the fact that he mistook her for loving her older brother, how could he have divorced her?!

Huo Guanchen changed his mind and stopped protesting. Full of hope, he said: "I'll make the call. Shaoheng stays within the compound of the Special Forces; we wouldn't be able to get in without special passes. Thankfully dad and I have it. Let's just go there immediately."

He still understood his child to a certain extent - they wouldn't be able to enter his place if he had informed Shaoheng beforehand...

Grandfather Huo understood where his son was coming from as well. He understood Huo Shaoheng way better than Huo Guanchen did, and nodded: "Yes, we are behind time. Quick! Get the car ready and let's go now!" He turned to look at Qian Shihui, Zhang Baochen's wife, and informed her: "Inform the kitchen to pack the food for reunion dinner properly, and send them over to the Special Forces Headquarters."

Qian Shihui looked at this pair of father and son chiming in with each other. She did not know how to react, and looked at the senior nurse Zhang Feng who was diagonally behind Grandfather Huo: "Mum... What do you think...?"

"Listen to Grandfather Huo." Zhang Feng nodded at her with a smile. Turning to Grandfather Huo, she continued: "Grandfather Huo, bring Wenna and Wenjie as well, they're all young people, and it'll be easier for them to mingle. Baochen, Shihui and I won't be going. We'll look after the house."

"How can it be like that?" Grandfather Huo frowned. "It's the New Year; isn't it nice to gather as an entire family? Why should we have a gathering in the east and one in the west? It's not auspicious at all."

Grandfather Huo was getting on in age. He was old fashioned as well, and thus was especially particular about being together during Lunar New Year.

To him, it's the most important occasion of the year. The Huo's haven't been together for the past 6 years. How could he allow the family to spend the New Year in 2 different places again?

Finally everyone was in Di Du; can't they just be together on the Eve of New Year?

Grandfather Huo looked at Zhang Feng sadly. This woman who followed him around for almost forty years, looked at him smilingly without complaints, walked over to help him and told the people in the house: "Go get ready, you are going out soon. I want to speak to Grandfather Huo for a little while."

Huo Guanchen left the study without looking back. He wanted to get the car ready as soon as possible.

Huo Jialan left the study to wash up and have a change of clothes after giving it some thought.

Zhang Baochen quickly left with Qian Shihui to look for their children, Zhang Wenjie and Zhang Wenna.

To be honest, just like what senior nurse Zhang Feng said, it was true that there wouldn't be any difference even if the few of them didn't go. What was important was that Zhang Wenjie and Zhang Wenna were able to go and build a healthy relationship with Huo Shaoheng.

They were blood related cousins; it'd be a waste if they did not have a close relationship.

All of a sudden, everyone left the study. Only the two of them was left in the study that used to be crowded.

The only person who remained by his side all these years, was none other than Zhang Feng.

Grandfather Huo walked to the fireplace in the study, and looked intently at the 4 pictures that were placed along the ledge, lost in thoughts.

These pictures were old, but were well preserved. They were framed in wooden picture frames, with no signs of fading.

The first picture was a graceful and elegant lady. She was wearing a set of black habit and hat, riding on a handsome brown horse, with a smile that brightened even the darkest of places.

The second picture was the wedding picture of this lady with a handsome young soldier. This young soldier, was none other than Huo Xuenong, Grandfather Huo.

It had been half a century - the soldier then, was already awarded the highest rank in the army within the empire, and the lady beside him, had already passed away for many years.

The third picture was the same lady carrying a baby.

The final one was a family picture of 4. However, in the corner of the picture, was the side profile of a young nurse. She was standing diagonally behind Huo Xuenong.

That very year, Huo Xuenong got promoted to become a Major General. Because of that, he was entitled personal secretary and a personal nurse.

Huo Xuenong heaved a long sigh while looking at these pictures. "...Shaoheng's grandma passed away when he was only in High School. It had been hard on you all these years. I really owe you so much..."

Huo Xuenong turned to look at Zhang Feng, full of hurt in his eyes.

This woman had been by his side all along, did not mind that he did not give her an official title, and even gave birth to his son without his knowledge. She brought him up singlehandedly in her parents' place.

After his eldest son, Huo Guanyuan was met with a mishap, Huo Xuenong almost collapsed. It was Zhang Feng who remained by his side all these while, took care of him with her superb medical knowledge, and told him that even though he lost a son, he still had another one. He even already had grandchildren already...