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 He Zhichu quickly picked up the phone. Gu Nianzhi didn't know where he was that she could even hear the whistling wind from the line. His cold voice seemed to come from far away and was like an icy star that could pierce skin. "Gu Nianzhi, did you completely forget what you promised me?!"

"Professor...Professor He...?" Gu Nianzhi was shocked from his instant barrage, "I...I had a reason."

"What reason! You'd better tell me right now! I'm almost at your Special Operations Forces headquarters base! I'll wait at the door and wait here until you finally come out!" Carrying restrained anger, He Zhichu's words came out through through his grit teeth. Gu Nianzhi could almost see his outraged expression with the veins bulging on his forehead.

"What?! You're on the way?" Gu Nianzhi sat up straight in surprise. "You're coming to the Special Operations Forces headquarters base?"

"Is that a problem? Since you didn't call me or send me any messages, I have no choice but to come see you myself." He Zhichu didn't want to mention how he had survived the past two days. There was now only one thought in his mind-to personally see Gu Nianzhi or he'd never feel reassured.

"Professor He, where are you?" Gu Nianzhi paused before trying to change the topic. "Is this not a good time to talk since you're out?"

"It's a good time. With you, it's always a good time to talk!" He Zhichu shut his eyes and gripped the steering wheel tightly as he sped towards the Special Operations Forces headquarters base. Expression sombre, his eyes were full of anger, as though he were a barrel of gunpowder ready to explode.

Gu Nianzhi stopped breathing for a second and laughed nervously. "Please don't be like this, Professor He. You're really scaring me."

Hearing her voice, He Zhichu's anxiety from the past two days gradually dissipated. When he had shouted before, most of the anger had already been released. His only concern was for Gu Nianzhi's health. "You're scared by just that? You don't seem that timid." He Zhichu scoffed and slammed on the brakes to reduce his speed on the highway.

"Professor He, I'm ok. I'm really ok." Gu Nianzhi anxiously turned on FaceTime. "Professor He, you can see that there's nothing wrong with me. It was my fault yesterday, I promised to call but ended up forgetting." Gu Nianzhi felt a little guity and tried to smile into the camera.

He Zhichi left one hand on the wheel and answered the video call with the other hand to see Gu Nianzhi's face appear on the phone screen. He scanned her surroundings. "You're in bed?"

Gu Nianzhi sat on the bed and held the phone up to face herself with a smile. "As you can see, I really had a reason. I hurt my spine and just had surgery yesterday, then got a corticosteroid injection and had been asleep since. I just woke up today but can't move yet."

He Zhichu regarded her silently for awhile and drawled, "Is that so? You really can't get up? Why did I remember you saying you hurt your foot?"

Gu Nianzhi smiled and was about to answer, "Of course it was my foot, but I hurt my back too," when her brain whirred and she recalled what He Zhichu said to her that day before she did the X-rays. "You'd better get the ligaments on your foot checked, it must be treated right away if there are any problems. Otherwise you'll never recover." And also what Chen Lie told her calmly, "Nianzhi, did you ever injure the ligaments on your foot? This clearly indicates that there was a previous injury." There was finally a direction and answer to the strange feeling she's been having the past two days and Gu Nianzhi blurted, "Professor He, how did you know the ligaments in my foot had been previously injured?"

Not answering directly, He Zhichu glanced at her and ended the video call himself. He put on a Bluetooth headset and questioned her calmly as he drove, "Is your back really injured?"

Gu Nianzhi blinked when she realized that He Zhichu had avoided her question. Looking at the now dim screen on her phone, she pouted. "Of course it's true. How can this be faked? It hurt so much that I couldn't get off the bed. If it hadn't been discovered earlier, I might have ended up paralyzed on the bed for the rest of my life."

He Zhichu snorted before replying dryly, "You? Paralyzed on the bed? That's the greatest joke in the world."

Gu Nianzhi felt even more peculiar. "Why can't I be paralyzed on the bed? Death and illness is normal for all humans, and I was accidentally hit on the back and suffered injury to my spine. If it weren't for the skilled doctor, I might not ever be able to get up again, honest." She paused and used a flattering tone to say, "But I'm fine now. Please go back, Professor He. I'm really ok, but..." Recalling suddenly that Huo Shaoheng had asked her to request for two more weeks of vacation, she couldn't help sighing. What should she do? She was stuck in a rut. If she insisted that she was fine, there would be no reason to request for two more weeks of sick leave. But if she said was severely injured and needed to recover for two weeks, He Zhichu would not relent and insist on coming to the base to see her. She knew that He Zhichu would never be let inside. Would she leave him in the cold? That didn't seem right; he was her instructor after all, and she couldn't very well avoid him for the next two and a half years. What should she do?

"But what?" He Zhichu peppered her with questions. "What else are you hesitating for? I'm just visiting you. I don't have any other business there."

"Professor He, this is not a place you can enter." Gu Nianzhi grit her teeth. "I'd better get up and go see you. Can you please stop a hundred yards from the entrance and tell me your license plate? I'll come see you myself. Is that ok?"

Growing silent, He Zhichu considered it for a while and turned the steering wheel with a squeal. He stopped on the shoulder of the highway to video call her comfortably. "Gu Nianzhi, be honest with me. Did you really hurt your back?" He Zhichu's eyes bored into the screen; he wanted nothing more but to have X-ray vision to see right through Gu Nianzhi's organs and bones and verify her good health for himself .

"It's true." Gu Nianzhi nodded sincerely. "I have X-rays, and if you'd like to see them, I can send photos to your phone when you get back. Is that ok?"

"But you're already ok now, right?" He Zhichu confirmed once again. From the screen, Gu Nianzhi appeared pink and rosy-her skin was luminously milky. She looked like the special kind of kiln fired pink pottery from his hometown, pieces that captured a pink hue that was even more transparent that white jade. Normally, only the most well cared for babies exhibited such milky and perfect skin. She didn't look like a seriously ill patient unable to leave the bed.

"I'm really ok now." Gu Nianzhi said and she held the phone as she got off the bed to walk around the bedroom a few times. "See, aren't I normal? Also my foot," As she spoke, she lined her feet up to show He Zhichu and said smugly, "Can you tell which ankle was dislocated? It was still swollen yesterday but it's already healed."

A pair of rosy feet appeared on He Zhichu's screen, her toes round and soft; it gave one the urge to bite them gently.

He Zhichu averted his eyes and sighed uncomfortably. "You left foot is healing well, but remember to watch where you're going instead of walking backwards like you did a few days ago. Your back doesn't have eyes and you end up like this when you get hit."

Gu Nianzhi giggled. "I know, Professor He. You're so good to me; it's really my good fortune to have a mentor like you. Thank you." She became more polite to He Zhichu and kept thanking him to increase their distance.

He Zhichu said indifferently, "No need to thank me. You can go rest for two weeks and come back to school after."

Gu Nianzhi was overjoyed. She hadn't expected He Zhichu to give in so easily. Feeling that she had manipulated him, she quickly said, "Thank you so much, Professor He! You have no idea how important these two weeks will be for me!"

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He Zhichu tapped on the steering wheel gently and his eyes were icy as he replied, "But you must agree to one condition."

"What condition?" Her happiness was premature. She'd been naive to think He Zhichu was someone so easily driven away.

"I have a document I'll be sending to you. You can sign it and fax it back to me." He Zhichu said as he sent an authorization to her inbox.

Gu Nianzhi opened her email and quickly scanned the document. She froze: it was a legal power of attorney-He Zhichu wanted to be her total legal representative. He had the right to help her sue others, and of course, defend her when she was sued.