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380 Matchmaking 4

 He had changed from calling her "Little Sister" to "Nianzhi." What a quick change. Gu Nianzhi smiled but felt that Brother Duan was asking her an inappropriate question. Valentine's Day was such a personal thing, so why would she talk to a stranger about it? "Valentine's Day? I haven't thought about it." Gu Nianzhi cocked her head with a smile and looked inside the shop. "Oh my, there are so many people! I'd better go buy pancakes. Talk to you later!"

Duan Chun watched Gu Nianzhi dart away like a gust of wind into the store. There were indeed a lot of people inside the store so it wasn't like he could force her to talk about Valentine's Day with him. He could only shake his head with a sigh and mutter, "The Little Sister doesn't belong to either the Elder Brother nor the Second Brother." He went back to the dorm with a heavy heart.

Gu Nianzhi went inside the pancake shop and stood in line for a while. When it was her turn, she smiled at the shopkeeper. "I'd like two pancakes with two extra eggs each and hot sauce on the crispy bits."

The shopkeeper expertly made the order and placed them into two paper boxes with a smile. "That comes to 16 RMB."

Gu Nianzhi fished out the money for him and took the two boxes back in a small bag.

...

As soon as Gu Nianzhu returned to the dorm room, Ma Qiqi smelled the delicious scent and ran out of her room. "You're' finally back! What took so long?! I was about to pass out!"

Gu Ninanzhi passed the bag to her and pat her head. "Eat it now. There were lots of people there. I was worried you'd be very hungry so I got two."

"Oh! That's great! I was regretting not telling you to get some more! One isn't enough for me, I need two at least!" Ma Qiqi took the two boxes out of the bag and took a deep whiff. "It smells so good!" She set it down and went to her room to get money for Gu Nianzhi. "Thanks for helping me."

Gu Nianzhi quickly refused it. "That's fine. It was only a few dollars for the pancakes."

Ma Qiqi insisted. "If you won't take my money then I'll give the pancakes back to you."

Gu Nianzhi was shockedz "Qiqi, what's wrong with you? It's just two pancakes; why do you have to be serious about it?"

"Nianzhi, I know it's not much money, but I had asked for you to help buy them for me! These are separate situations, of course I have to pay you back. It's a different case if you were treating me." Ma Qiqi pushed the money into Gu Nianzhi's hand. "I can't have you go get them for me and pay too? Do you think I would take advantage of you like that?"

Gu Nianzhi giggled as she took the money. "I get it, I get it, it's such a small thing though. Look at how you talk so seriously about it!"

"It's not about taking things too seriously." Ma Qiqi bit into her pancake happily and mumbled, "It's just like borrowing money: there can only be a second request if the first request was repaid, right?"

"Yes, yes, you know everything." Gu Nianzhi pinched Ma Qiqi's button nose and went back to her room. "I'm so tired today. I haven't even showered yet."

Ma Qiqi sat at the dining table in the living room and put the remaining pancakes onto a plate then poured herself a glass of soy milk. She took her time eating as she glanced at Gu Nianzhi's room and remembered she said she was shopping. However, she had somehow went out for hours and only brought back two pancakes. "This little girl... she's hiding something from me." Ma Qiqi's mind spun as she thought about the possible reasons.

The most likely one was that Gu Nianzhi went to see the man she liked. She wouldn't say that he was her boyfriend because they weren't official yet. From the way Ma Qiqi saw it, couples who didn't make it official yet weren't considered official. This was Gu Nianzhi's privacy after all, so Ma Qiqi wouldn't ask if she didn't mention anything.

Gu Nianzhi went back to her room and took off her coat and threw it onto the double seater sofa in the corner of the room. She went to the bathroom to shower and stood under the water, where the hot liquid gushed over her body. Recalling what happened earlier, she couldn't help giggling and blushing. She hummed a song as she showered and the water seemed to rinse away the day's exhaustion and stress. Gu Nianzhi felt happy and went straight to sleep after the shower.

...

The next day was Friday yet by the time it was 5pm Gu Nianzhi still hadn't gotten anything to eat the entire day. She finally finished the paper He Zhichu had assigned and sent it to him by email. While she was putting things away in her backpack, her stomach rumbled loudly. Rushing out of the library, Gu Nianzhi intended to go back to the dorm to take a shower before calling Huo Shaoheng and ask him about the car. Her phone rang suddenly but it wasn't Huo Shaoheng's ringtone.

Gu Nianzhi took her phone out and saw it was Fan Jian calling. "Brother Fan, where are you?"

"I'm already at your dorm building. Where are you now?" Fan Jian's voice sounded a bit urgent.

Gu Nianzhi hastily replied, "I'm at the library. I just came outside and was going to go to the dorm."

"I'm already at your dorm." Fan Jian exhaled with relief. "Princess, come back quickly!"

Gu Nianzhi giggled. "I'll be back right away, so just wait." She left the library and found her bike then rode quickly back to the dorm.

"Nianzhi, over here. Get in the car." Fan Jian stood in front of the car, his posture straight and alert. He too was very handsome, so his entire demeanour seemed to exude righteousness.

"I'm not going back to the dorm?" Gu Nianzhi locked her bike at the racks in front of the dorm and walked over. "But I haven't packed my things yet."

"You have things over there too; what would you need to bring?" Fan Jian quickly opened the door. "Please, get in now. Mr. Huo has been extremely busy the past few days and had barely even had time to eat. We're hoping that he'd eat one proper meal with you there."

"Oh? Why isn't he eating?" Gu Nianzhi grew anxious. "Ok, I'll leave with you now." She took out her phone to leave Ma Qiqi a voicemail: "Qiqi, I'm going home so I won't be at the dorm. Have a good weekend!"

Sitting inside the car, Gu Nianzhi had just fastened her seatbelt and looked through the tinted windows to see Miao Yunxiao stare at her from not too far away. Gu Nianzhi didn't know if she was staring at her or Fan Jian's car. She paid her no attention and said to Fan Jian, "I'm ready, let's go."

Fan Jian started the car and quickly drove out of the south exit of B University towards the official residence in the Special Ops headquarters.

"Huo Shao has been very busy lately? Why hasn't he been eating?" Gu Nianzhi was confused. "With his current position, is that even necessary?" Huo Shaoheng was already a Major General, which meant he managed people rather than going into matters directly himself, unless it were urgent. Only by gathering a group of capable people could he maximize his capacity within his role. It wouldn't make sense to do everything himself.

"It's a long story and we are only his subordinates; it's hard for us to tell him what to do. If Nianzhi really cares about him, then please help us talk some sense into him." Fan Jian smiled as he looked at her from the rearview mirror. "Mr. Huo will listen to what you say."

Gu Nianzhi's heart glowed with warmth at Fan Jian's words but she was also feeling shy. Leaning forward, she placed her arms against the back of the front seat. "It should be me obeying Huo Shao. Why would he listen to me?"

"If your words have reason, Mr. Huo was naturally listen." Fan Jian glanced at her again, "Nianzhi, you and Mr. Huo..."

Gu Nianzhi flushed red immediately and she shrunk back in her seat as she replied weakly, "There's nothing between us, Brother Fan. Please don't misunderstand."

"It's best there's nothing." Fan Jian sighed with relief and he cheered up. "Mr. Huo is kind to you and we all know it. He's been like this to you since you were young, so it didn't start just now right?"

"Yes, it's obvious." Gu Nianzhi nodded. "I've known Huo Shao since I was young-I remember it all." The two joked in the car and arrived at the Special Ops base shortly after. Huo Shaoheng had just been called away by Speaker Long, so his car almost crossed paths with Gu Nianzhi's.

Gu Nianzhi had no idea what was happening from inside the car, but Fan Jian knew about Huo Shaoheng's whereabouts from the central control system. He gazed at Gu Nianzhi from the rearview mirror and said quietly, "Nianzhi, you'll have to eat and rest alone when we get back. There's been a change in plans."

"Oh?" Gu Nianzhi froze, "What is it? Did Huo Shao have something urgent come up?"

"Yeah. I just got notice that Speaker Long called Mr. Huo over. Mr. Huo just left the base." Fan Jian couldn't bear to tell her that their cars had crossed paths just now because she would be even more upset. Just as he expected though, Gu Nianzhi's mood was affected.

She held onto her backpack and mindlessly pulled at a keychain on it. The excitement in her heart had all but vanished and she was embarrassed that her mood swings were too dramatic; it was even more so when she had lived with Huo Shaoheng before. At that time, Huo Shaoheng had also often left for missions or attended meetings, but she had never panicked like this. She tried to console herself but her heart wouldn't calm down. Her previous expectations for Huo Shaoheng and her current feelings weren't completely different now. The car stopped in front of the door to Huo Shaoheng's official residence and Gu Nianzhi opened the door to get out. The night had grown dark and when she looked back at the road they came from, it was already enshrouded in the thick night.

...

Huo Shaoheng sat in his car and massaged his temples. He said to Yin Shixiong at the driver's seat, "Fan Jian has already gone to pick up Nianzhi?"

"Yes, he left after 4pm. He should be on the way back now." Yin Shixiong called Fan Jian. "Little Fan, are you back now?"

"Big Xiong, we're back. Nianzhi just got out of the car." Fan Jian replied as he handed the phone to Gu Nianzhi, "It's Big Xiong."

Gu Nianzhi quickly accepted the phone. "Brother Xiong, is Huo Shao there?"

"Mr. Huo is here." Yin Shixiong passed the phone to Huo Shaoheng."

Huo Shaoheng took the phone and his m voice sounded from the speakers. She teared up at how it soothed her uneasiness. "Nianzhi, just wait a bit. I'll be back soon."