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Home > Hello Mr Major General

388 Are You Negotiating With Me?

 Gu Nianzhi's whimpers echoed in the cold night air, crisp as the finest porcelain and chilling to the heart. The cold seeped through the phone to Huo Shaoheng's ears. His hands shook as he moved the cursor to open the GPS to find Gu Nianzhi's current location. Her lone figure appeared on the large screen. She stood at a wall beside the south entrance of B University and wore a knee-length down coat, backpack, and half her face tucked into her scarf. One hand pressed the phone to her ear and it was apparent that her skin was red from the cold. Huo Shaoheng was silent for a long time. Couldn't she at least use a headset when making a call outside? Why did she have to get her hands cold? Silly child; she has loses all reason as soon as she gets angry, he thought sadly. Huo Shaoheng gazed at Gu Nianzhi on the screen and listened to her sobbing for a bit before asking, "Where are you?"

"It doesn't matter where I am! I have something to ask you." Gu Nianzhi sniffed. Though her voice trembled, she sounded steely.

Huo Shaoheng leaned back against the chair and said, "Fine, but you have to go calm down in the dorm room first. I won't be speaking to you when you're like this."

Gu Nianzhi rolled her eyes. She looked around frantically, but didn't notice any of Huo Shaoheng's personnel nearby. She then looked up at the sky and pulled the hood of her coat down to cover her entire face. It was like she thought that by concealing her face, Huo Shaoheng won't be able to find her on the GPS.

Huo Shaoheng couldn't help smiling when he saw Gu Nianzhi's subconscious behavior. "Go back to the dorm first."

"Why can't we talk now?"

"Because you're angry right now and there's no reasoning with you," Huo Shaoheng said before pressuring her. "Hurry back and be good."

Gu Nianzhi was dumbstruck when she understood Huo Shaoheng already knew where she was, "So you'll ignore me if I don't go back to the dorm?" This was an attempt to "reason" with Huo Shaoheng.

"You can give it a try." Huo Shaoheng's tone was quiet, but Gu Nianzhi could detect the veiled threat.

Muffling the phone against her ear and leaning against the wall to the south entrance of B University, Gu Nianzhi felt very conflicted. She felt she couldn't appear weak because Huo Shaoheng always forced his ways and she always lost when it came to him. But then she thought: why should two lovers have to win against each other all the time? They were anything but enemies. She thought about it some more and wondered why she had to acquiesce all the time while Huo Shaoheng never seemed to be wrong about anything. Gu Nianzhi considered it quietly and knew she wasn't making a fuss over nothing this time-there was something that was truly troubling her. The photo was one thing, but the main cause of her anxiety was Miao Yunxiao saying that the military was setting Huo Shaoheng up. This was the true reason for her fear and unease. Gu Nianzhi knew that Huo Shaoheng viewed the military and national interests with the same importance. Gu Nianzhi was also well aware that she would never surpass the military and national interests in Huo Shaoheng's mind, but she had never been interested in vying for attention. She would be fine as long as everything could exist in harmony, but now, one thing was interfering with her. She could no longer determine which way Huo Shaoheng would lean. Perhaps Huo Shaoheng wouldn't change his feelings towards her, but what if a greater level of interest forced his compliance? Gu Nianzhi gripped the phone and stayed quiet for awhile before mustering the courage to say, "No, I'm not going back. I have to see you, right now."

Huo Shaoheng looked at his work at hand. The program the entire department had spent a month to create was running and as soon as it was paused or hackers learned of it, the consequences would be catastrophic. He had just assumed leadership of the IT team of the Special Operations Forces to defend against several attacks from across the ocean. In the invisible battlefield where the war always raged on, Huo Shaoheng had no way of leaving nor did he want to call a car to pick her up. He couldn't bear seeing her distressed face, but also knew he couldn't cater to all her silly whims. What would become of her if she became accustomed to running away after every argument? He needed to correct her poor behavior. Perhaps it was due to his nature as a senior rank or his feeling of responsibility for Gu Nianzhi regardless of his romantic feelings towards her, since he had practically raised her. Pursing his lips, he leaned forward slightly and looked at Gu Nianzhi's downcast eyes as she stood alone by the corner of the wall. He spoke without room for argument. "Go back to the dorm room first. We can talk when you get back."

Gu Nianzhi shut her eyes, voice more indignant that ever. "Fine, I'll go back but you have to answer my question."

"Go back first. You know that I never negotiate with people." Huo Shaoheng's voice grew even more stern.

Gu Nianzhi became even more uncertain about her importance to him. She bit her lip so hard several marks appeared on the skin as she whispered weakly, "What if I won't go back?"

She isn't going to let this go. Huo Shaoheng rubbed his temples. Before he could make a decision, the central control system's alarms rang once again when a wave of IP attacks appeared. Huo Shaoheng put on his headset and said to Gu Nianzhi, "Go back to the dorm room now, I'll call your room when I'm finished with work. Bye."

After the call ended, Gu Nianzhi pulled down the scarf covering her face and stared off at the night sky blankly. She just heard alarms go off in the line. What could she even say at this point? It looked like she had found the most inappropriate time to pick a fight.

Huo Shaoheng immediately took the lead in forming new defenses with the IT team of the Special Operations Forces to not only intercept foreign hackers from systematically compromising the Huaxia network but also launch counterattacks. Tracing the enemy's attacks and getting behind their defenses, they were able to attack the foreign host computers and secretly plant Trojan horses in their systems. However, he knew this type of Trojan horse had short longevity within the enemy system-they would be quickly detected and flushed out. The Special Ops only required one loophole to obtain a wealth of data, so it didn't matter if their virus was destroyed. Their mission was accomplished.

"No.1! No.1! The parcel has arrived! The parcel has arrived!"

"No. 3! No. 3! Close the IP port and begin defenses!"

"A has changed positions, guarding the five open ports!"

"B has gathered the net and wiped the enemy's hard drive as a warning."

Huo Shaoheng systematically commanded his team to raise their defenses in the intangible internet. They focused on intercepting, eradicating, and counter-attacking the enemy's malicious programs.

...

Gu Nianzhi carried her backpack and stood dumbly outside the south entrance of B University. As much as she wanted to return to the dorm, her pride didn't allow it. Head down as she kicked at the dirt with her boots, she mulled over what to do. The evening wind grew colder and calmed her rash head. However, she received no relief and couldn't even think clearly about the incident without getting upset again. The street by the south entrance of B University was very quiet at night and the occasional set of car headlights dashed through the dark.

Gu Nianzhi hung her head as she shuffled back to the dorm. When she arrived just outside the building, she saw a couple under a large tree inch closer together before finally kissing. Gu Nianzhi had no patience for them and turned to leave. Suddenly, a person dashed past her and yanked the man aside to slap him hard on the face. "Mo Renfang! So you're really cheating! I must've been blind to be with a loser like you!"

Gu Nianzhi gaped at the scene: her roommate Ma Qiqi was glaring furiously at the man and screaming, "Listen carefully! I'm the one dumping you!" She then turned to the woman, "You knew he had a girlfriend and still got together with him! How shameless are you?!"

However the woman sneered at Ma Qiqi. "It was he who dumped you, so don't even try to save your pride now. What's this about you dumping him? He was the one to kick you to the curb!"

Ma Qiqi was so angry she raised a hand to strike that woman. Her ex blocked her hand and bellowed, "Are you done now? I don't care if you hit me, but you can't touch her!"

Hmm? So he's defending her too. Gu Nianzhi also saw red and strode over to grab Ma Qiqi's hand to comfort her, "Qiqi, ignore idiots like these." She turned to the man and said icily, "A loser like you will have bad luck with everything. I just know that you will fail all your exams and lose your degree. You won't get a job and will have to rely on handouts from women forever! You'll be miserable forever!"

The man flushed from Gu Nianzhi's words and shot back, "Who the h*ll are you?! What are you cursing me for?!"

"I'm cursing you alright! You're a cheating liar who'll be cursed by everyone," Gu Nianzhi sneered as she dragged Ma Qiqi. "Let's go! Ignore them."

Ma Qiqi sobbed and covered her face as Gu Nianzhi pulled her into the elevator. "Nianzhi, am I a failure?" Gu Nianzhi didn't know what happened ao she only held her hand in silence. "My boyfriend cheated on me and I was the last to know. I was just preparing my Valentine's Day surprise for him in my room and someone texted me to go downstairs." The tears seeped through her fingers and wet the back of her hand.

Gu Nianzhi sighed. "Stop thinking about it, ok? Let's talk about it later." She thought about it and continued, "I'm hungry, are you? Should we order some food?"

Ma Qiqi nodded and choked out, "I want to eat duck tongue, crab cakes, fries, fried chicken, and beer. I want whatever makes me fat!"

Gu Nianzhi giggled, her sullen mood for the evening finally lifting slightly. She picked up her phone and found a takeout restaurant with good reviews to order from. "Ok, you can deliver to our building and I'll come downstairs for it." Gu Nianzhi gave out her name and address before going back to the room with Ma Qiqi. The two girls cleaned up their rooms and had just finished showering when the delivery arrived. Gu Nianzhi and Ma Qiqi tore through the food at the dining table. Although it was junk food, the fat and calories were natural remedies to their misery.

Ma Qiqi shoved whole crab cakes in her mouth and said to Gu Nianzhi, "I have to turn my misery into hunger. I won't stop eating until I can't eat anymore."

Gu Nianzhi didn't stop her and nodded her head vigorously. "Let's eat together and get fat! Who cares?" They had several beers between them and both got drunk quickly just from the small amount of alcohol. Just as Gu Nianzhi became totally drunk, Huo Shaoheng finally called back.