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453 Neglected

 Even though the picture was captured using a pinhole camera, its composition was surprisingly good. The expressions were natural, the sunlight made the picture more beautiful than any artificial light ever could. A picture like that could easily be turned into an oil painting or a postcard. Huo Shaoheng actually looked at it for a good ten minutes! He had not intended to look at it for so long, but when he finally snapped back to reality, the time had already passed.

The mouse under his finger moved swiftly, as if it had a mind of its own, and deleted the picture. Turning the computer off and swirling his chair back, he looked at the afternoon sun. In an impulsive moment, he dialed Gu Nianzhi's number. Gu Nianzhi did not answer the call. It wasn't intentional. She was looking up some information in the library and had to silence her phone. Moreover, she'd worn a dress without pockets today, so her phone wasn't on her. It was in her bag.

Gu Nianzhi looked through the information and keyed them into the computer quickly. It was almost mealtime before she was done, and she finally noticed Huo Shaoheng's missed calls. There were seven or eight of them. Startled, she returned the call, but there was no response from Huo Shaoheng. She looked at her phone and couldn't understand why he called her so many times. After contemplating for a while, she called Zhao Liangze.

"Brother Ze, are you busy?" Gu Nianzhi asked carefully, carrying her backpack as she stood by one of the pillars around the main entrance of the library. Her long legs made her look amazing.

Zhao Liangze had just finished his dinner and was relaxing at his office table. He had both his feet up and was chatting with Bai Yueran on an app via voice messages. He was having a great chat with her and nothing could distract him. When he received the call from Gu Nianzhi, he immediately sent her a text.

"Something cropped up. Will contact you later."

Bai Yueran also replied promptly with, "go get busy. I've got something on too. Let's talk another time."

Zhao Liangze was in an extremely good mood even though his chat had been disturbed. His chat with Bai Yueran had broken all their previous duration records: 30 minutes. He didn't even mind that most of their conversation revolved around work.

"Is something wrong, Nianzhi? Have you had your dinner?" Zhao Liangze expressed his usual concern for Gu Nianzhi's health and wellbeing.

He and Yin Shixiong had spent six months in America with her and had developed a caretaker mindset towards her.

Gu Nianzhi breathed a sigh of relief and smiled. She held her phone to her ears as she walked down the steps of the library. "I'm just about to go and eat. Just want to know if you guys have any emergency cases today?"

"Nope, it was a day peaceful day. Everyone is enjoying their weekend." Zhao Liangze said cheerfully. "Why did you return to school all of a sudden? A lot of work to catch up on?"

"Yeah, I just came out of the library. I'm doing my thesis." Gu Nianzhi looked at the evening sky and finally broached the main topic. "Brother Ze, what is Huo Shao doing? Is he very busy? I called him but couldn't get him."

"Nope, he isn't. We didn't have much going on today. Had a meeting that lasted the entire afternoon, but that was about it." Zhao Liangze was in full alert. Could it be that Mr. Huo had already thought about his subtle hint this afternoon? And was keeping his distance from Gu Nianzhi now? But one sentence from Gu Nianzhi washed away his concerns.

"Is it? But Huo Shao called me about seven or eight times. I set my phone to silent and placed it in my bag, so I didn't hear any of them. When I finally did, I called back immediately to check if anything was wrong, but I can't get him no matter how hard I try."

The number Gu Nianzhi called was his personal number. It was made known to only a small number of people. When Gu Nianzhi had dialed this number in the past, Huo Shaoheng had always picked up. There was definitely something going on if he didn't pick up. That was why Gu Nianzhi asked if something happened. She was worried something might have happened to Huo Shaoheng.

Zhao Liangze was also curious as to why Huo Shaoheng called Gu Nianzhi seven to eight times in a row. He didn't dare to continue guessing, so he told Gu Nianzhi, "hold on, I'll see what Mr. Huo is doing right now."

Zhao Liangze left his office and took a look at Huo Shaoheng's office.

Huo Shaoheng was at work. He had a dictionary on one side, and a stack of documents in front of him. It looked like he was writing something. Turning around, Zhao Liangze sent Gu Nianzhi a text.

"There isn't anything urgent. He's doing a report. Would you like to try calling again? Perhaps he didn't notice his phone ringing."Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click for visiting.

Gu Nianzhi patted herself on the chest to calm down. "That's good. I won't disturb him. Since Huo Shao is busy..."

"No worries. Perhaps he's waiting for your call as well?" Zhao Liangze urged Gu Nianzhi to call again. It was very unusual for Huo Shaoheng to call a person seven to eight times in a row.

Gu Nianzhi also thought he made sense, and since Zhao Liangze was there as well, he could mediate if something went wrong. She nodded and said, "alright, I'll call again."

Gu Nianzhi called Huo Shaoheng again. Zhao Liangze heard Huo Shaoheng's phone ring before he turned around. However, Huo Shaoheng did not pick up the call. He just allowed it to ring while he continued with his work. It was like he was doing it on purpose.

Zhao Liangze was speechless. Eventually, he knocked on the door and reminded Huo Shaoheng. "Mr. Huo, you have a call. From Nianzhi."

Huo Shaoheng didn't even raise his head. He merely replied calmly, "I know. Busy. No time for calls." Then he took his phone and turned it off.

Zhao Liangze smiled bitterly and nodded. He returned to his office and realized that he had not turned his Bluetooth headset off when he was talking to Huo Shaoheng. Gu Nianzhi heard everything between Huo Shaoheng and himself. Gu Nianzhi had heard each and every word clearly. She was nearing the dormitory building. The road towards the dormitory was already full of weeping willows. It was green and serene. However, Gu Nianzhi stood at the entrance, feeling extremely lost. She really had not expected Huo Shaoheng to ignore her calls intentionally. Was he having revenge on her for not picking up his calls this afternoon? Shaking her head, she told herself no. Huo Shao wouldn't do something as childish as that.

Then there was only one possibility left. Huo Shao really did not have time to answer her call. Everyone had their own list of priorities. Her place on his list was definitely not as high as his place on her list. The feeling of neglect was extremely strong and hard to accept. She remained in the lobby for a good while before walking heavy heartedly to the lift.

Upon returning to her dormitory, Ma Qiqi approached her cheerfully. "Nianzhi, would you like to go out to dinner? I heard there are some new restaurants outside the South gate. The reviews have been quite positive."

The corners of Gu Nianzhi's mouth twitched. She did not feel like going initially, but she didn't want to be alone in the dormitory lest her mind went wild. She was worried she might not be able to control herself and just barge back to the Special Forces and confront Huo Shaoheng. Then she'd really be asking for it.

Suppressing her rashness, she smiled to Ma Qiqi. "Sure, let's eat out tonight."

She went to her room to change. Taking off her formal dress, she put on a rugged pair of jeans with holes at the knees and a floral patterned knitted top. With a white Hermes bucket bag to complete her outfit, she left the dormitory with Ma Qiqi.

There were indeed new restaurants outside the South gate of B University. The renovations were exquisite. Some restaurants looked grand, with a full eight-course meal as their signature, and some went for European country designs, selling burgers, fried chicken, and pizzas with various toppings. There were also restaurants selling Huaxia Empire's local dishes like Hunan, Szechuan, and Hubei restaurants. Hunan and Szechuan restaurants were common in Di Capital, but not Hubei restaurants.

Thinking of braised lotus root with pork ribs all of a sudden, she pulled Ma Qiqi by the hand. "Let's take a look if they have braised lotus root with pork ribs."

"You like Hubei dishes?" Ma Qiqi asked in surprise. "I thought you've always preferred soups and Cantonese dishes."

Gu Nianzhi had preferred light dishes all along. She liked them for their refreshing aftertaste.

"I like spicy food as well, and braised lotus root with pork ribs for Hubei dishes." Gu Nianzhi linked arms with Ma Qiqi happily and entered the newly opened Hubei restaurant.

Gu Nianzhi's phone rang the moment they sat down. Even though it wasn't Huo Shaoheng's customized ringtone, she picked it up to take a look. It was He Zhichu.