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377 Matchmaking 1

 "Yes, I already said it was Professor He." Gu Nianzhi nearly bounced along the campus path. It was 9:30pm and the streets were quiet. Because it was the first day of school and classes hadn't begun yet, the chilly weather had deterred most people from leaving their dorms. Walking quickly, Gu Nianzhi said to Huo Shaoheng on the phone, "I didn't have a class meeting with Class 1, but with Professor He's other students."

"You had a meeting with Professor He's doctoral students?" Huo Shaoheng threw another dart. It almost landed on the same spot as the previous one. The bull's eye region was completely perforated.

"Yeah! I'm the only Master's post-grad student mentored by Professor He," Gu Nianzhi explained to him. "He's even in charge of my classes, grants, and internships. The faculty only keeps my academic records and personal file while Professor He is the one to provide my transcripts."

Huo Shaoheng remained silent as he kept listening to Gu Nianzhi. She chatted the whole way until arriving at her dorm. "Huo Shao, I have to hang up first. I'm about to get in the elevator and the signal is bad in there."

"Ok. I think we're done for today anyway." Huo Shaoheng had merely wanted to ensure that Gu Nianzhi returned to the dorm safely; he wanted to spend what little time he had at least doing that. "Go back and rest. Are you prepared for classes to start tomorrow?"

"Well...just about. I'll read the course schedule when I get back."

"Ok then. Goodnight, and good luck tomorrow." Huo Shaoheng quickly ended the call. Gu Nianzhi looked at her phone with shock-Huo Shaoheng had hung up on her again.

....

While Huo Shaoheng had been speaking with Gu Nianzhi, he actually hadn't returned home, but had been in the office. For several days and nights, Zhao Liangze has been running the program he had written in order to narrow down the scope for DNA testing. He hadn't slept for a few days and finally couldn't take the exhaustion anymore, so he'd covered himself in an army blanket and was passed out on the large sofa in the corner. Huo Shaoheng was helping him watch over the program.

Few people actually knew that Huo Shaoheng was a computer genius himself. All those years ago, the fact that Zhao Liangze has been convinced by Huo Shaoheng to join the Special Operations Forces proved that he had impressed the younger man. Sitting at the computer desk, he watched the results display one by one on the screen, red x's appearing next to them. He studied them in silence.

After a while, the office door opened and Bai Yueran walked in. "Hmm? Mr. Huo is still here?" She looked at him with surprise. "Mr. Huo is probably the only General who often works overtime, even though you have such a high rank."

Huo Shaoheng clicked the cursor and immediately hid the program running on the computer. Yin Shixiong stood up from behind a nearby desk and said to Bai Yueran, "Welcome, Director Bai. What can we do for you?" He walked over. "Would you care for something to drink? Coffee or tea?"

Bai Yueran waved her hand as she turned down his offers. "I just need to tell Mr. Huo a few things and then I'll be going. I don't want to work overtime like you guys!"

Yin Shixiong chucked. "What happened to 'through thick and thin?' Director Bai shouldn't be so flimsy with your words!"

"You think you're so funny." Bai Yueran giggled before coming over to Huo Shaoheng's desk. "Is this Little Ze's desk? Where did he go?"

Huo Shaoheng spun around on the chair to indicated at the sofa in the corner with his chin. "He's sleeping over there. He's been working without sleep for a few days now and he finally crashed."

"Working overtime so much isn't good for any of you; you're practically eating and living in the office. No one will say anything even if you work overtime everyday since m you don't have your own families yet. But, once you get married you'll know what it means to be helpless." Bai Yueran sat in the chair by the desk and frowned worriedly.

Huo Shaohen clasped his hands in front of him. "Thank you for your concern Director Bai. Now then, what can we do for you?"

"Well, two things." Bai Yueran placed a file in front of Huo Shaoheng. "First, Zhang Feng filed an appeal from prison. I prepared a document to send to the military court, but can you see if it's ok?"

Huo Shaoheng read it over and gave a noncommittal grunt.

"Second is the question of the Institute of High Energy Physics and the restarting of their experiment." Bai Yueran took out another report. "All the departments that are requesting to participate are all included. Will you please see what you want to do?"

"No." Huo Shaoheng immediately rejected the second proposal. "The Institute of High Energy Physics' experiment is strictly confidential-no one else can participate. We can't fulfill the requests of these departments."

"Mr. Huo, politics is not about merely saying no and expecting them to back down." Bai Yueran pinched the bridge of her nose. "Our nation's society is based on social connections. You can't just burn all the bridges."

Huo Shaoheng walked away from behind his desk and rubbed his forehead. "Let me think about this." He picked up the darts and threw them one by one.

Bai Yueran sat for a while and watched Zhao Liangze sleeping peacefully on the sofa. His army blanket had slipped off, so she quickly went over to pick it up and gently replace it on him.

Zhao Liangze opened his blurry eyes at the movement and saw Bai Yueran's beautiful face. He immediately woke up. "Director... Bai?! Why are you here?" He struggled to sit up but felt a little dizzy.

Bai Yueran eased him back down. "Just sleep a bit more, ok? I was going to leave after speaking with Mr. Huo for a bit."

"Oh." Zhao Liangze's voice held a hint of disappointment. He removed the army blanket "I should get up about now anyway. I slept all night."

"It was only two hours! What do you mean all night?" Yin Shixiong gave him a look. "Go home and sleep tonight. Mr. Huo and I will watch over here for now."

Zhao Liangze picked up the jacket on the other end of the sofa to put on and looked at Bai Yueran inquisitively.

Bai Yueran considered it for a second. "Let's go together then."

"Ok." Zhao Liangze's mood instantly relaxed and he draped on his coat before leaving the office with Bai Yueran. The night was especially beautiful; the moon was bright and stars dotted the sky. The pair chat as they walked. Zhao Liangze tested the waters as he asked, "It's Valentine's Day soon. What does Director Bai have planned?"

Bai Yueran laughed. "I don't have a Valentine; what's the point of Valentine's Day?"

"No way! How could Director Bai not have a boyfriend?" Zhao Liangze failed to conceal the excitement in his voice. "That's hard to believe."

"It's the truth. It's because men don't bother with me." Bai Yueran stated seriously, but her eyes glimmered playfully.

Zhao Liangze's heart thumped violently. He forced himself to appear calm on the outside as he said with a smile, "Director Bai is too humble and being too humble means that you're actually being proud. I think Director Bai's standards are too high to consider the simple folk?"

"Little Ze, you are such a jokester! I don't have high standards. The truth is that I'm too busy. I had a boyfriend before but I barely saw him except for a few times a year. Later on, he couldn't stand it anymore and we broke up." Bai Yueran sighed. "Well, I don't care anymore."

Zhao Liangze glanced at her. "Director Bai is such a great person. I'm sure that you will find a good partner."

"With your blessing, maybe."She stopped when they reached the parking lot. Patting his shoulder gently, she said, "Well, I have to go back now. Goodnight, Little Ze."

Zhao Liangze watched her retreating back. He decided that he would try asking her to dinner for Valentine's Day.

A few days later, Zhao Liangze's program was almost finished running and the target list was narrowed down from several hundred to a few dozen people. It was ready to be officially reported to the Supreme Military Council. Huo Shaoheng immediately took the list of names to the Supreme Military Council to request for both the Supreme Military Council and the Senate to authorize the Special Operations Forces for domestic operation.

General Ji looked at the list he brought and smiled with satisfaction. "Shaoheng, you haven't disappointed me. It's been six years and we can finally solve this."

"Yes, we've never given up all this time." Huo Shaoheng sighed in relief. The incident was coming to an end and the next step was to await authorization to bring these people to the Imperial Capital.

He was about to ask about vacation times when General Ji said, "Right! The Xu's daughter happened to come over for dinner tonight too. You can take her home after the meal tonight."