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398 Direct Confrontation 1

 Huo Shaoheng walked in circles in front of the lab with his arms crossed. He frowned slightly and finally looked up at Chen Lie after a while. "Are you sure?"

"100%." Chen Lie answered gravely, "Boss, you can go take it for cross-validation at other labs to confirm I'm correct."

"Cross-validation is going to happen for certain." Huo Shaoheng closes his eyes but couldn't tell what it was that he was feeling-the matter at hand was both a relief and yet, a heavier burden.

"Ok, there are still some samples I don't need. Do you want to take them?" Chen Lie spoke as he went into the lab to bring out both the report and the remaining samples.

Huo Shaoheng glanced at Yin Shixiong. "Big Xiong, take these back and have the military labs test it again. Also, go find a civilian lab to test these anonymously."

Yin Shixiong took the report and samples. "Roger, Chief."

"Then, we'll be going now." Huo Shaoheng nodded to Chen Lie and left the lab building, his mind reeling as he head back to his own office.

...

"Mr. Huo, what a coincidence!" Inside Huo Shaoheng's office, Zhao Liangze sat across from his desk with a thin laptop. Fingers flying across the keyboard, he was running his own program on the computer to search online for information on Gu Yanran. Just like with Gu Xiangwen, there was strangely very little news about the extremely wealthy woman from Barbados.

"Little Ze, contact the personnel in South America to have them investigate Gu Yanran's family situation; focus on her parents, family and friends. We have to check their CVs and inquire in detail," Huo Shaoheng commanded as he considered the situation.

"Roger, Chief!" Zhao Liangze left Huo Shaoheng's office carrying his laptop.

Huo Shaoheng took out a pack of cigarettes from his desk drawer and lit one. Opening the office door, he began smoking on the balcony. He had been too busy lately but the work was not too stressful. He was a casual smoker, but was also inclined to smoke when he felt too much pressure; today's situation rekindled his desire for it. The white smoke drifted up before his eyes and his mood settled gradually. The matter hovered in his mind but he was unable to grasp the key point. Gu Yanyan had a younger sister also named Gu Nianzhi who was also close in age. If this was a coincidence, it was too uncanny. Also, how could Gu Yanran and Xie Qingying not be related? Huo Shaoheng's gut told him things were not as simple as they seemed. But the DNA test results was evidence he couldn't refute, so what was going on?

...

On the Monday morning after Valentine's Day, rode her bike to class at He Zhichu's suite at the professor's building. Countless students stared at her on the way and a few male students purposely sped up past her on their bikes and turned around to whistle. A bolder boy with colorful hair even asked her, "Hey! Pretty girl! Where's your Ferrari? Why didn't you drive it to class? You should let us have a look at it!" His tone was not malicious so Gu Nianzhi didn't get upset. She instead said with a grin, "There are no parking spots on campus. I have no choice but to park at home."

"Ok, then I hope to get the chance to see your Ferrari one day!" The boy whistled at her with a smile then sped up on his bike, leaving Gu Nianzhi to head to class at the Math building.

Gu Nianzhi rode her bike leisurely and arrived at He Zhichu's professor's building on the time. It was exactly 9am, the time the group discussion was scheduled to start at. She stepped out of the elevator and rang the doorbell. Since Gu Nianzhi was the only masters student- the other four were doctoral students-He Zhichu had allowed Gu Nianzhi join his class of doctoral students. This was a discussion class anyway so He Zhichu could answer any questions in class.

The door opened and Duan Chun peeked out to see Gu Nianzhi. He shouted immediately, "Our Ferrari girl is here!" He waved and bowed. "Please enter, my Queen."

Gu Nianzhi laughed. "Brother Duan is too much! Aren't you making fun of me?"

"I wouldn't dare. How could I make fun of you? That would be me just asking for trouble!" Duan Chun half joked as he let Gu Nianzhi inside.

Gu Nianzhi entered the room and observed the round couch that was already filled with people. He Zhichu sat at the single seater sofa in the head position, his expression indifferent. He merely nodded when she arrived and pointed to the seat beside him. "Sit."

Gu Nianzhi had already surveyed the layout in the room as soon as she'd come in. Gui Suyao sat at the first seat to the right of He Zhichu and Brother Sun sat next to her. Across from them were Brother Huang and Brother Duan, who had let her in. She didn't want to sit with Duan Chun nor Gui Suyao, so she was only left with the seat at the right of Brother Huang. This was also where He Zhichu had asked her to sit, which was left of him. Gu Nianzhi sat down and greeted everyone politely. "Good morning everyone. Why are you all so early? Doesn't the class start at 9am?" Glancing at her watch, she saw it was just five minutes past because Brother Duan held her up at the door.

Brother Huang explained to her, "Nianzhi, we have a habit of coming at 8:30am for 9am classes. That way everyone can chat and connect, or even talk about the legal cases in the textbooks."

Gu Nianzhi gaped with surprise and looked at He Zhichu, "Professor He, I didn't know about this rule. I will make sure to come half an hour early next time."

He Zhichu looked at Brother Huang with dissatisfaction. "Little Huang, didn't you tell Classmate Gu these things beforehand?"

Brother Huang shot Gui Suyao an uncomfortable look. He had originally planned on telling Gu Nianzhi the details about classes, but he had happened to have something come up that day. Gui Suyao had volunteered to tell Gu Nianzhi so he hadn't expect her to still be clueless about it. Had Gui Suyao not delivered the message?

Gui Suyao noticed Brother Huang's accusatory look and quickly answered, "I went to her dorm room that night, but she was being driven away in a luxurious Ferrari. I heard it was a Valentine's date so I didn't want to call her that night and interrupt."

Gu Nianzhi coughed uncomfortably. "Valentine's Day was the day before yesterday. I came back to campus last night. Sister Gui should've really sent me a text instead of waiting to see me personally."

Gui Suyao laughed heartily. "That won't do! How could I explain all the rules over text? Brother Huang asked me for help so of course I had to explain in person."

Gu Nianzhi laughed. "Sister Gui, what era do we live in that a text can't explain something like this? If one isn't enough, you can send two. Or you can just call me. Why is it such a big deal that you would have to tell me in person?" She paused. "Sister Gui had already memorized my phone number. Why didn't you think of calling me as a reminder?"

Gui Suyao detected the doubt in Gu Nianzhi's voice and smiled kindly. "Fine, fine. I'll admit it was my fault. I'll make sure to call you from now on. Don't get angry, Nianzhi-you'll get wrinkly and turn ugly."

She was basically treating her like an ignorant girl. Gu Nianzhi's eyes narrowed and she wanted to giver her, a sharp retort, but she saw the three men amusedly watching the women bicker. She could only swallow her anger and say to Gui Suyao, "Actually, Sister Gui is a doctorate student herself and also has to be the tutor for us first year masters students. It's not easy." She turned to Brother Huang, "Brother Huang, if something happens again and you can't find me, just text or call me. You don't have to bother others."

Brother Huang grew even more embarrassed and tried to appease her. "Ok, Ok. It's all good now! This is just a minor thing. Isn't that right, Professor He?" He turned to look at He Zhichu.

He Zhichu replied icily, "Being tardy for half an hour is 'minor?' I'll mark this down and treat it as being late. 5% will be deducted this time, so being late three times in a semester is a 15% deduction."

Gu Nianzhi panicked. B University used a 100% system, with coursework accounting for 30%, midterms 30%, and finals as 40%. He Zhichu had just deducted 5% out of her 30% total coursework and if this continued, her perfect academic track record would be broken. "Professor He, this was not my fault. How can you deduct a percentage from my grade?" Gu Nianzhi refused to back down and suffer in silence.

Gui Suyao said nervously, "Professor He is just joking, isn't that right?"

He Zhichu remarked coldly, "I never joke during class."