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396 We Dont Know Each Other, No Thanks

 Gu Nianzhi had never expected He Zhichu to say this; she was unable to conceal her amazement. Her expression was clearly transmitted to He Zhichu's iPad and his own indifferent face revealed a hint of a smile. It was like delicate ice cracking on a warm spring day, dangerous yet beautiful. However, Gu Nianzhi wasn't in the mood to appreciate his beauty. Quickly composing herself, her refusal was immediate. "Professor He, I really don't accept that the reason she wants to meet me is just because she has a sister also called Gu Nianzhi."

He Zhichu placed a hand into his trouser pocket and the other on the desk as he spoke to the iPad. "That's your choice; I was just delivering the message."

"This Miss Gu Yanran must be an important person if she can ask Professor He to deliver a message." Gu Nianzhi teased as she tightened her jacket around and huddled in the large round chair in front of the vanity, wanting, but too lazy, to cover herself in a blanket.

He Zhichi carefully observed her surroundings but didn't notice anything peculiar. It was very tidy with only a few things strewn about, almost appearing like a show set. He could detect Gu Nianzhi's irritation with him but didn't take it to heart and replied coolly, "She's an important client with my American law firm, so we have some history. Tonight, she saw you at the restaurant and learned your name. She also found out you're my student at B University, so she called me."

Gu Nianzhi nodded coyly. "Is that so? Thank you for the explanation, Professor He. Please tell her, 'Aunt, we don't know each other, so no thanks."

He Zhichi nearly burst into laughter at Gu Nianzgi's words but he kept himself in check. His face was unreadable as he said, "She's just a mere two or three years younger than I am, but you're calling her 'Aunt?'"

"To me, she's the age of an aunt." Gu Nianzhi cocked her head. "Professor He is a professor, you can't be compared to her," Gu Nianzhi said firmly.

Relieved by her words, He Zhichu nodded. "Ok, well that's that." He hesitated for a moment before turning off the FaceTime. "I heard that someone gifted you a Ferrari today?"

Gu Nianzhi blushed. She finally gave a slow, shy smile after a small pause. "Professor He is really well informed; could you have planted spies around me?"

"Why would I need to plant spies?" He Zhichu said, miffed. "'Gu Nianzhi' is already a famous name on the B University forums. The school app was pushing through specials news on Valentine's Day, so it was hard to miss what happened."

Straightening in her seat immediately, Gu Nianzhi asked, "What did you say? What forum?" And what the h*ll is pushing news? Gu Nianzhi quickly got up to check her phone and realized that she hadn't downloaded the B University app yet. Once she did, she discovered that it was just as He Zhichu said: the hottest post was about the car Huo Shaoheng gave her! For some reason, Huo Shaoheng didn't appear in the news- it was only Gu Nianzhi's side profile and the flashy red Ferrari. Gu Nianzhi frowned and closed her eyes, feeling very helpless. Although she had mentally prepared herself because she knew Huo Shaoheng's dramatic act of gifting her a car in public was going to attract all sorts of rumors and gossip, having it published as news was another story. It was safe to assume that she would become a target when classes resumed and that made her anxious.

He Zhichu watched Gu Nianzhi massage her temples and he looked down at her to ask, already hating the answer, "Did Huo Shaoheng give it to you?"

Gu Nianzhi only said, "Thank you Professor He, I have to sleep now. Goodnight." She shut off the FaceTime on her iPad.

He Zhichu watched the image of Gu Nianzhi fade to black on his own screen and remained seated on his chair. He didn't sleep the whole night.

...

Gu Nianzhi had no patience to browse through all the posts on the forum and only read Ma Qiqi's screenshot of a trending post. When Gu Nianzhi went to search for the original post, it had already been deleted. The post was pure slander towards her, while most posts half supported her with the other half lambasting her.

Ma Qiqi had messaged her that Miao Yunxiao was the poster, but another student from the Computer Science department had tracked her IP and revealed her identity. Miao Yunxiao has been forced to remove the post, but because of this the evidence was also deleted, so it made it easy for her to deny. Miao Yunxiao could simply deny the screenshots. Gu Nianzhi shook her head with disgust at Miao Yunxiao's dirty trick. Luckily, she had quickly made the move to force Miao Yunxiao out of the dorm room-her life would be hell if they had to be roommates. Gu Nianzhi thought back to what had happened but quickly cheered up. Spying the unused face mask on her vanity, she was so tired her eyes couldn't stay open. After tidying up and relaxing with the fade mask treatment, she fell asleep as soon as she hit the bed and slept deeply without dreaming. She didn't wake until the next morning, when Huo Shaoheng called.

...

Gu Nianzhi heard Huo Shaoheng's special ringtone and nearly scrambled with her eyes closed for her phone on the nightstand. She unlocked the phone without looking and answered groggily, "Huo Shao?"

Huo Shaoheng knew from her voice that she was still half asleep. He spun idly in his office chair to look at the sky outside the window. "Are you still sleeping?"

"Yeah, I'm so tired from sleeping late yesterday." Gu Nianzhi murmured, her eyes still closed as she flopped back on the bed while holding her phone.

"You're tired from just that? What will we do in the future?"

"The future? Making love to you can't possibly be even more tiring." Gu Nianzhi thought she was actually more tired than usual from the mood swings yesterday.

Huo Shaoheng bit his lips, remembering how he'd held her in the shower. "Yesterday was just the appetizer. There's no way I'm satisfied yet."

"Not satisfied? Didn't you eat lots of food yesterday? You finished everything at the restaurant," Gu Nianzhi mumbled until she understood what Huo Shaoheng's snickers really meant. Her face flushed instantly and all sleepiness disappeared. Opening her eyes, she looked up at the canopy of the bed and secretly thought it was quite a unique wake up call. It was much more effective than Huo Shaoheng's previous threats of "10 kilometer cross-country runs." Rubbing her eyes with the back of her hand, she sat up and replied coyly to Huo Shaoheng, "How can Huo Shao say such things? I haven't even had breakfast this early yet and you already want me?"

Huo Shaoheng was momentarily flustered by her boldness. Well, he had underestimated Gu Nianzhi's learning ability-she could always win in every situation and even exceed the mentor. Huo Shaoheng coughed lightly before spinning the chair back to face his computer. Twirling a pen, he asked quietly, "Did you sleep well last night? Was the bed comfortable?"

"No, I slept very well. I didn't even dream." Gu Nianzhi was completely awake now and giggled. "What about Huo Shao? Did you dream?"

"Of course, I didn't sleep." Huo Shaoheng smiled. "Ok, get up early now. Are you going back to school today?"

Gu Nianzhi nodded and at the mention of school, she remembered He Zhichu telling her about the B University app pushing news. She suddenly whined, "Our school used you gifting me a car as Valentine's Days news."

"Really?"

"Yeah, you can look it up if you don't believe me." Gu Nianzhi couldn't help also recalling what He Zhichu said when she spoke of this. She felt she should tell Huo Shaoheng.

Huo Shaoheng stayed on the line as he opened the B University website to look up the news Gu Nianzhi mentioned.

Gu Nianzhi added, "Huo Shao, yesterday Professor He called me to say Gu Yanran wants to meet me."

Huo Shaoheng froze. "Gu Yanran? Why does she want to meet you? Why did she tell you through He Zhichu?"

"Well, what happened was that Professor He said Gu Yanran was an important client at his American law firm. She asked about me after we met last night and found out that I am a post-grad student at B University under Professor He, so she directly contacted him. I actually don't understand it at all; she could have easily asked Xue Jingjiang to contact me though, right? But, Professor He said she wants to meet me because her younger sister has the same name as me so she look a liking to me. I just think that's just an excuse." Gu Nianzhi pouted, refusing to believe Gu Yanran's excuse.

There were countless people with the same name in the world, so it wasn't as if that was a good enough reason for people to take a liking to just anyone merely because of the same name; was she playing her for a fool? Maybe she was using her as a way to approach Huo Shaoheng. Thoughts jumbled, the only thought that stood out was that Gu Nianzhi secretly disapproved of Gu Yanran. She assumed Gu Yanran's only motive was to get closer to Huo Shaoheng. Afterall, Gu Nianzhi held a grudge from the incident with the charity fund.

Huo Shaoheng's heart jolted violently when he heard Gu Yanran's reason and his tone changed slightly as well, "What did you say? Gu Yanran has a younger sister with the same name as you?"

"Yeah. Don't you think that's a flimsy excuse? How annoying?" Gu Nianzhi sat up, her voice tinged with disapproval, and bent over to find her slippers.

Huo Shaoheng's expression remained calm and he ended the call shortly after. As soon as he set down the phone, he snapped the pen he'd been holding in his other hand. Rising slowly from the chair, he folded his hands behind his back and stood for a while. Countless thoughts appeared in his head and they finally converged into one. "Big Xiong, come in for a second," Huo Shaoheng said to the intercom.

Yin Shixiong opened Huo Shaoheng's office door and entered. "Mr. Huo, what is it?"

"Close the door." Huo Shaoheng raised his chin, his expression severe. "Immediately find a way to get Gu Yanran's hair or blood sample."

"Roger, Chief!" Although Yin Shixiong didn't understand why, his job was to simply obey orders without asking for the reason. But because the matter was so serious, Huo Shaoheng still explained briefly, "You have to be careful not to alarm Gu Yanran or her people. She may have something to do with Nianzhi's past."

Yin Shixiong's eyes bulged slightly; he was so excited that he stuttered, "R-Really?!"

Huo Shaoheng made a non-committal sound before he said, "This is only a guess but I have no grasp on it." He would not allow even a sliver of a clue to slip by.