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417 Having Backup

 "What? Professor He? Why would he want to video call?" Gu Nianzhi hadn't expected that the words "Your Professor He" would have come from Huo Shaoheng. She was stunned for a moment, and then slowly, a smile lit up her pretty face. It complimented her bright black eyes perfectly, exuding an inexplicably adorable aura.

Huo Shaoheng looked away. "He got wind of the fact that you were injured. He wanted to visit, but I declined. So he requested for a video call."

Huo Shaoheng explained the situation quickly, before adding, "Enjoy your conversation," and leaving the room.

Gu Nianzhi looked at her phone and then looked towards the direction in which Huo Shaoheng had disappeared. She was full of questions but could not ask him just yet. She dialed He Zhichu's number.

Wearing a robe, He Zhichu stood at the French windows of his condominium apartment. He alternated between looking at the view in front of the windows and his watch, holding on to the phone on the other hand.

Just when he was about to go straight to the hospital, the phone rang. It was the customized ringtone for Gu Nianzhi.

He answered the call immediately. "Hello?"

Hearing He Zhichu's voice, Gu Nianzhi shot Chen Lie a look, that told him to leave the room.

Chen Lie glared at her before leaving the ward.

Only then did Gu Nianzhi begin talking to He Zhichu. "How did you know that I was injured, Professor He?"

Upon hearing Gu Nianzhi's voice still strong and sweet, he knew that her injury wasn't as serious as he'd thought. A sense of relief washed over him.

"The video was spread like wildfire. Your Huo Shao is now a famous man," He Zhichu said coldly as he placed a hand in his pocket and watched his reflection in the window.

Gu Nianzhi was stunned.

"Video? There was a video?"

"You don't know?" He Zhichu's brows furrowed. "It has already been taken down. Someone recorded it secretly from the supermarket and uploaded it onto his Weibo account." He paused, and then continued reluctantly, "There weren't any of your front profile though. Your Huo Shao only had his back recorded as well. The mother and daughter pair were the ones who became popular overnight."

All of a sudden Gu Nianzhi remembered how aggressive Xu Piaohong had been. She grimaced and said unhappily, "That Xu Piaohong was really ridiculous! I have no idea who on earth gave her the confidence to even do those kind of things in public."

He Zhichu was uncomfortable with what Gu Nianzhi said, but he could only agree with her just in case she got mad again.

"She has some backup, doesn't she? If not, I really can't think of any reasons why she could be so daring," He Zhichu said indifferently, and then turned on Facetime on his phone to video call Gu Nianzhi.

He Zhichu immediately saw her extremely fair but pale face, a pair of beautiful doe eyes showing a hint of lethargy. At the tender age of 18, she had no signs of earthly haggardness.

He Zhichu felt a pang in his heart upon seeing Gu Nianzhi pretending to be alright even after being injured.

This act of always being careful is the result of being under the wings of others for a long time, he thought. When she was under apprenticeship with me, did she undergo distresses like this?

Perhaps it was also because she was young, and didn't know how to behave according to how others thought of her. It wasn't due to her not knowing how to; it was because there wasn't a need to.

He Zhichu looked silently at her. He caressed her face on the screen, and asked hoarsely, "Where are all your injuries? I didn't see anything on the video. Little Ze said that you've sprained your ankle.Was that it?"

He Zhichu's question reminded Gu Nianzhi of her injuries. She touched the side of her waist down to her back, and frowned slightly.

"There was a dislocation in my ankle, but it has been fixed already. But there's still a sharp pain in my back, near the side of my waist. I'll be going for an X-Ray later."

He Zhichu nodded. "Go now then. Don't delay things like that."

"I'll go after our call," Gu Nianzhi nodded. "Thanks for your concern, Professor He."

He Zhichu looked at Gu Nianzhi again. "You better get your ankle checked a second time. See if your ligament is torn. Get it treated immediately if it is, or else it won't fully recover, " he said after choosing his words carefully.

Gu Nianzhi didn't feel the need to really take his advice to heart, but she was still thankful for his concern. "Yes Professor He. Thank you."

These 'thank you's' after every sentence were really making him throw up. The formality was too much, and it emphasized the distance between them, not just physically, he felt, but emotionally as well. He wanted to be someone closer to her heart.

The corners of his mouth twitching down, he finally said, "Call me after you're done with the X-Ray and let me know that you're fine."

"Yep, definitely. Professor He is really such an amazing lecturer!" Gu Nianzhi said cheerfully.

It doesn't feel sincere, though, he thought.

He Zhichu knew that she was maybe entertaining him superficially, but he didn't ask her. He merely continued, "I'll keep calling if I don't receive your call or text in 30 minutes."

He ended the Facetime abruptly after that.

Gu Nianzhi started at the dark screen of her phone, and shook her head, smiling. Turning off her phone, she spoke to Chen Lie through the intercom.

"Brother Chen, I'm done. Can we do the X-Ray now?"

She needed an X-Ray for her back and another for her ankle, to make sure that it was connected properly.

Huo Shaoheng had insisted on it even though both the orthopedists had confidently assured them that there wouldn't be any residual effects.

Chen Lie has agreed with this as well, so Gu Nianzhi just went along with them and went for the X-Rays.

Chen Lie pushed a wheelchair in upon hearing that she was done and helped her into it before wheeling her to the radiography room for her X-Rays.

The best doctors in the Special Forces hospital gave Gu Nianzhi the best treatment. The radiographer who was to take her X-Ray was the best in the hospital as well. This was because Huo Shaoheng had made it known to them that Gu Nianzhi was affiliated with him.

20 minutes later, the X-Rays were fully developed. They sent a copy each to Chen Lie and Huo Shaoheng.

...

Upon returning from the radiography room, Gu Nianzhi began eating snacks and milk on the sofa in Chen Lie's office.

She was extremely hungry but the fried rice Huo Shaoheng had promised wasn't ready, so she'd requested for a slice of cake and a glass of milk first.

She sighed when she remembered that all this had happened just because she had wanted to have steamboat together with Huo Shaoheng at home.

Meanwhile, Looking closely at the X-Ray, Chen Lie was becoming more and more serious. He looked at the Gu Nianzhi who was eating happily and asked, "Have you injured your ankle before, Nianzhi?"

Gu Nianzhi quickly swallowed her cake upon hearing the question and answered, "No...? I haven't injured my ankle before. This was my first time spraining my ankle."

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She had never been seriously injured even with all the 'military trainings' Huo Shaoheng had made her go through all these years. She'd always had a clean bill of health. The number of times she had a could be counted on one hand.

"The X-Ray here shows that your ligament was injured before, but that it was recovered well. So, naturally there weren't any residual effects." Chen Lie showed the images from the X-Ray to Gu Nianzhi. "Look here. If this area had never been injured before, it would be smooth. However, you have a small bump here. This means that you've had a past injury there, but it healed."

Gu Nianzhi looked at the X-Ray of her ankle in surprise for a while, and then laughed.

"Brother Chen, you're really something. Pictures like these only look like a few bones here and there to me. I could never tell the difference."

"Why would you need doctors like us if normal people like you could understand these?" Chen Lie joked. He continued to say, "Maybe...it was an injury from your childhood."

Gu Nianzhi fell silent. She couldn't remember what had happened when she was a child, so she couldn't be sure.

Suddenly, a flash of memory entered her mind. She asked Chen Lie instinctively, "Brother Chen, you said that my old injury on my ankle ligament happened when I was a child?"

"You hadn't injured your ligament for the past six years you were with Mr. Huo, until now, of course," Chen Lie said confidently. "So, that injury to your ligament must have been made before you turned 12."

"Before I was 12?" Gu Nianzhi tried very hard to grasp the memory from before, but her usually quick mind hurt again as it did when she tried to look into the six year gap in her memories.

She hugged her head and sat on the sofa, looking extremely pale. Only managing to find strength after a while, she asked, dejectedly, "Will I never be able to regain my memorones?"

"It's hard to say for certain. The human brains is a marvelous thing. Perhaps one day, your brain will get stimulated by an incident similar to what you went through, and you'll remember everything. Or, it could all come flooding back when you least expect it. The circumstances to the recovery of your memories needn't be extraordinary." Chen Lie pat her comfortingly on the shoulder.

"Owwwww!" Gu Nianzhi cried. "Brother Chen, why did you use so much strength? You're breaking my back."

There was a sudden cramp in her back, and it made it difficult for her to sit properly. She had no choice but to lie down on the sofa.

Chen Lie quickly looked at the X-Ray of her back, and gasped. "Oh God, your spine is really injured! We wouldn't have noticed it if not for the X-Ray. Don't sit or flail about anymore. You'll have to use a back brace for now; I'll apply some ointment, and have a jab to stabilize your injury. It'll be best of you just lie in bed for the next 10 days. If not, there will be serious stress to your injury and it'll affect the rest of your life."