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414 Collision

 "Huo Shaoheng! I respected you as a Major General and you're actually lying right to my face? How dare you say you're not Huo Shaoheng?!" Xu Piaohong stormed up to Huo Shaoheng, her pretty face red with rage. She rained a flurry of light blows with her fists as she screamed at Huo Shaoheng like a little leopard.

Huo Shaoheng frowned slightly. Putting both hands into his trouser pockets and stepping back from her onslaught, he said coolly, "I merely said that you've mistaken me for someone else and that's that." As he spoke, he shot a warning look to Xu Piaohong's mother. The young girl may be ignorant, but the almost 50 year old woman should know better, right?

Mrs.Xu noticed Huo Shaoheng's look and her heart dropped with dread. What kind of look was that? It was a thinly veiled warning! Mrs. Xu had been living luxuriously with her husband for many years, and she had always been the one to be respected. There had never been an instance where she had groveled before others. Even high ranking people like General Ji and Prime Minister Dou were polite to them. Huo Shaoheng, however, had a higher rank and position than her husband did, so she knew she was at a disadvantage and should back down. Although, she thought, her daughter was getting married to him-if she softened her stance now, how would her daughter ever be respected in the Huo household? She might as well be bullied by Huo Shaoheng for the rest of her life! Both Mrs. Xu and Deputy Chief of Staff Xu were form C City, where the custom was for daughters to have a hundred suitors so that they appeared rare and desirable. Women never deigned to chase after men themselves. Moreover, the military was fully supporting the marriage between Xu Piaohong and Huo Shaoheng. General Ji was the matchmaker, so if Huo Shaoheng dared disrespect Mrs. Xu and her daughter, they wouldn't mind it but General Ji would certainly be offended, Mrs.Xu assumed. Was Huo Shaoheng not concerned about this negatively impacting his future prospects? Even the least ethical and lecherous men feared nothing but jeopardizing their career. In a split second, Mrs. Xu was able to clearly map out the cause and effect. She was sure Huo Shaoheng wouldn't dare to really harm their reputation in any way, so she straightened her back and raised her chin to mirror Xu Piahong's superior posture. Looking at Huo Shaoheng, Mrs. Xu said arrogantly, "Major General Huo, why are you giving me such a look? Are you somehow afraid to admit your name? What did my daughter do wrong? Maybe you should give a clear explanation."

Huo Shaoheng's eyes narrowed to slits. The mother-daughter duo had long since exceed their limits and he was thoroughly fed up with their pompous behavior. At last he understood how an idiot like Xu Piaohong had been raised. Like mother like daughter; Deputy Chief of Staff Xu was an impressive person alright. Huo Shaoheng was embarrassed for him, but his expression remained neutral as he replied calmly, "I have absolutely nothing to say to either of you."

Xu Piaohong couldn't stand Huo Shaoheng's indifference. It was like she had been imagining things when he had shown that gentle expression before-there was not even a trace of it left on his solemn and beautiful face. Embarrassed and enraged, Xu Piaohong brought her hand to her mouth to conceal her sobbing voice. She said with great grievance, "Major General Huo, what did I do wrong? Just tell me and I'll fix it. You acting this way is really disappointing me. I never thought you were this kind of person."

Overhearing this from behind Huo Shaoheng, Gu Nianzhi's mouth twitched. She couldn't help scoffing at Xu Piaohong internally. What kind of person did you think he was? Do you even know him?

Huo Shaoheng took no notice. Their Special Operations Forces training had prepared them for all sorts of sudden situations and they were equipped to face people even more annoying that Xu Piaohong, or situations even more embarrassing. It had all been simulated, so Huo Shaoheng felt no pressure dealing with this at all. He was merely perplexed about what exactly General Ji saw in Xu Piaohong. Why did he insist on matching her with him?

After ranting for a long time, Xu Piaohong saw that Huo Shaoheng was still silent. His expression was calm and there wasn't a trace of warmth in his eyes-he wasn't even looking at her. His eyes were looking at the shelves nearby, focused on the snacks. The humiliation of being totally ignored angered her even more than if he had shouted back or avoided her. She had never been subject to being treated like this all her life! And this was also the man she liked. The shame mixed with the humiliation of losing self-esteem caused Xu Piaohong to grow even more angry. Her hands clenched and her entire body shaking, she yelled, "Major General Huo, don't you have anything to say?!"

Huo Shaoheng thought by now that it was about enough and looked coldly at her. "You should take medication if you're ill so that a minor condition doesn't turn into something major. It might end up incurable." He turned to leave.

Xu Piaohong lost all her reasoning after being insulted by Huo Shaoheng, she rushed up to grab Gu Nianzhi from behind him. "This is Gu Nianzhi, and you dare say you're not Huo Shaoheng?!"

Gu Nianzhi was surprised at how bold this girl was. She quickly backed up and remembered Huo Shaoheng had told her to keep her head down to avoid anyone being able to take a photo of her face. She kept her eyes on her toes and backed up too quickly, losing her balance. At the same time, a person was pushing a cart loaded full of food was coming up behind her. The cart had so much in it that it blocked the shopper's vision and prevented him from seeing Gu Nianzhi backing up. He pushed the cart at full speed and they crashed into each other with a loud bang!

Gu Nianzhi's back rammed against the cart and the pain was enough to make her cry out. She tried to move out of the way but her left foot couldn't shift in time, so it twisted underneath the shopping cart wheel. Pain shot up her left ankle and she lost her balance. She fell to the ground and instinctively reached for the cart for support, but it was imbalanced from all the food to begin with. As soon as she grabbed it, everything crashed down onto her.

"Careful! There's someone there!"

"Stop pushing! You hit a girl!"

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The onlookers grew anxious and began shouting.

Huo Shaoheng turned around to see what had happened and rushed over to push off the heavy steel cart. He quickly picked up Gu Nianzhi then said in a panicked voice, "Please move out of the way! She needs to go the emergency room!"

"Major General Huo! You can't leave! We still have to talk!" Xu Piaohong wouldn't allow Huo Shaoheng to escape like this. She walked up and grabbed Huo Shaoheng by the arm.

He looked back at her, the icy glare enough to make Xu Piaohong shiver. She shrunk back fearfully. The people in the supermarket parted a path for them and the tall and desperate man carry Gu Nianzhi out quickly. Her left foot hung at a strange angle and the injuries appeared serious.

Astonished, Xu Piaohong and Mrs. Xu watched Huo Shaoheng run out carrying Gu Nianzhi. Their faces burned as though they had been slapped. "I didn't think Gu Nianzhi would know how to fake injury at such a young age!" She shrieked. "Mom! We should follow them and see if she's really hurt or just pretending!"

"Hey lady, they already said they didn't know you. Why are you still following them, don't you have any shame?" A customer asked with blatant disgust.

"Yeah! You injured that girl's foot and now you're saying she's faking? How about I break your ankle and you show me how well you act?" The onlookers called Xu Piaohong out for her nasty behavior.

Unable to defend herself, Xu Piaohong felt that everyone had turned against her-there seemed to be no more justice left in the world. She burst into tears and grabbed Mrs. Xu's arm. "Mom, I want to see what happened to Gu Nianzhi! I don't want to be blamed for this; I won't accept it!" Obviously, Gu Nianzhi lost her balance and hit the cart herself; how could it have been Xu Piaohong's fault?! Huo Shaoheng had looked like he wanted to kill her when he left! What was wrong with them? What did she do wrong?

Mrs. Xu saw all the onlookers point at them and whisper amongst themselves. She was very unhappy but was more resilient than Xu Piaohong, so she quickly dragged her out of the bulk supermarket and berated her.

"What are you crying for?! You know how to cry now but you should've really cried in front of Major General Huo earlier! 'The crying baby gets fed,' don't you understand that?"

"Mom...I want to see Gu Nianzhi. I need to see how long she can pretend for!" Xu Piaohong still refused to believe that Gu Nianzhi had eally injured her foot.

Mrs. Xu was weighing the options too. If Gu Nianzhi was really hurt, they should go visit her in person and explain what happened. But if she was faking the injury in order to let Huo Shaoheng escape, then they should have a good chat with General Ji. Her daughter had never been wronged all her life, and Mrs. Xu didn't want to see her suffer after getting married. How would she ever survive?!