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477 Where to Spend the Nigh

 Huo Shaoheng pointed the night vision glasses at the picture frames and snapped a couple of HD pictures. Now the Special Forces would have faces to match with the names they'd been discussing.

Huo Shaoheng looked at the picture for a long time trying to see the resemblance between Gu Nianzhi and her parents. Sadly, she did not look very much like them. Gu Nianzhi looked a little like her mother when she was young. She had the same round face, curved brows, and narrow and long eyes. But Gu Nianzhi's features had changed. Her eyes were now round and sparkly, just like the girls in manga. The shape of her face changed from round to heart-shaped.

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Gu Nianzhi's father looked elegant. After studying the picture closely, Huo Shaoheng noticed that both Gu Xiangwen and Gu Nianzhi had the same gaze. Their eyes look like they were smiling even when they weren't talking, making people feel a sense of closeness to them.

Huo Shaoheng took the picture frame and removed the photograph inside. He looked at it closely for a long time. The photograph looked old, and it didn't appear to be edited. And even if it was fake, how would the person have known what Gu Nianzhi looked like when she was 12?

They wouldn't even know what she looked like now...

After ensuring the authenticity of the photograph, Huo Shaoheng put it back into the picture frame and placed it in its original position. He turned and looked around the room but could not find anything else that was out of the ordinary.

Using the camera from his night vision glasses, he snapped many pictures before leaving this huge bedroom and moving to the smaller ones. It was clear that the room opposite of Mr. and Mrs. Gu Xiangwen's room was Gu Yanran's. The things inside were classy and expensive, but not in poor taste. They were clearly bought by a lady who grew up with a silver spoon.

Huo Shaoheng only glanced across the room before closing the door and moving towards the smaller room next to it. The next room clearly belonged to a young Gu Nianzhi. The things inside were all meant for a child, including a small single sized bed, wardrobe, bookshelf, and a kid-sized two-seater sofa with a light purple blanket laid across it.

Huo Shaoheng entered the room and examined it thoroughly. He did not leave a single stone unturned. It was definitely cleaned on a regular basis. The things in the room were not covered in dust, and even the fluffy carpet showed no signs of mold even though the house was built on an island. The house had a dehumidifier, but since Huo Shaoheng had cut off all the electricity in the house, the dehumidifier could not be turned on. He walked to the window and opened them. He had an unobstructed view of the skyline outside the window.

The rain had stopped. The wind parted the clouds. It was a clear night with countless stars in the night sky. The waves hit the shore lightly and the insects on the island buzzed in the night. It felt so calm and tranquil.

The view was amazing.

After looking at the ocean for a while, Huo Shaoheng made a mental note to bring Gu Nianzhi here after everything was finally settled. He wanted to stand at the window with her and admire the magnificent view. He hoped it would be able to waken her lost memories. Huo Shaoheng left the room feeling much happier.

He walked around the entire villa, combing through every inch of it. Huo Shaoheng looked through the house the entire night but could not find anything else to prove this used to be Gu Nianzhi's home. He also could not find any traces of Gu Xiangwen.

If Gu Xiangwen isn't here and isn't at the Gu family mansion, then where could he be? Huo Shaoheng wondered. Why is Gu Yanran hiding him?

A series of questions appeared in Huo Shaoheng's mind and began bothering him. Wanting to sort his thoughts out, he left the villa and walked to the beach. He sat on a huge rock, hugged his knees, and began thinking things through. It was finally daybreak. The sun was rising on the horizon. Its rays reflected on the ocean and made it look like crystal. Squinting his eyes, Huo Shaoheng admired the beautiful scenery. Little Ze should be here anytime now, shouldn't he?

Right at that moment, the sound of a helicopter came from afar. Huo Shaoheng stood up and looked far ahead. Putting on his Bluetooth earpiece, he managed to get into contact with Zhao Liangze.

"Little Ze. Is that you?"

"How are you Mr. Huo? We'll be there soon! We're taking Barbados' AH-IZ Cobra Helicopter, and we'll be landing on the beach. Please be careful!" Zhao Liangze's voice came from the other end of the earpiece. Yin Shixiong and Zhao Liangze felt utterly relieved to finally hear Huo Shaoheng's voice again. Even though they were soldiers and it was the nature of their jobs to occasionally risk their lives, they were still nervous every time these occasions occurred.

Huo Shaoheng smiled. In the horizon, a helicopter was indeed making its way over. He had already sent the coordinates of this island over to them the previous day. With the coordinates set, all they needed was to figure its exact location and a safe route to get there.

"There's a landing station here. It was probably used to land private jets. Check if you guys are able to land there instead." Huo Shaoheng informed Zhao Liangze of the landing station's approximate location.

Zhao Liangze was elated. He informed Yin Shixiong, who was flying the helicopter. "There's a landing station on this island. You lucky chap!"

The Barbados Army had been reluctant to send their men to save someone from an unknown island initially, saying their pilots were not trained to handle such situations and would not be able to ensure a safe takeoff and landing. Yin Shixiong and Zhao Liangze had negotiated with them for a long time before getting a letter of authorization and guarantee from General Ji to certify their capability. Only then were they able to loan the latest helicopter they'd just bought from America.

Yin Shixiong, who was licensed to fly a helicopter, could not hide his excitement. He insisted on flying the helicopter on his own and claimed total responsibility if anything went wrong. After getting the guarantee and some benefits from the Huaxia Empire's Supreme Army Committee, the Barbados Army finally agreed to loan their helicopter to Yin Shixiong and Zhao Liangze. Yin Shixiong had initially wanted to show off his expert flying skills but was disappointed things turned out to be so easy.

"There's even a landing station. How secluded can this island get?" Yin Shixiong grumbled. "Why doesn't the map of Barbados include this island?"

"It wasn't just the Map of Barbados." Zhao Liangze snorted. "This island isn't included on the world map. The Gu's are quite a family. They can wipe an entire island off the world map..."

If Huo Shaoheng had not landed there personally, Zhao Liangze would never have believed an island undetectable by satellite could even exist.

Huo Shaoheng hung up with Zhao Liangze, left the rock, and found a hiding spot approximately 500 meters from the beach. After a while, the AH-IZ cobra helicopter landed safely on the landing station a stone's throw away from the beach.

"Mr. Huo! Mr. Huo!" Zhao Liangze jumped from the helicopter, and Yin Shixiong waved at Huo Shaoheng from the cockpit. Huo Shaoheng came out from his hiding spot and saw Zhao Liangze almost tumbling towards him.

"Mr. Huo! I've finally found you!" Zhao Liangze grabbed on to Huo Shaoheng's arms and almost broke into tears. "Mr. Huo, don't put yourself in danger anymore! We know this time was our fault, and we've already requested corporal punishment from the army. General Ji was furious. You'll have to think of what to tell him."

Huo Shaoheng was taken aback. "How did General Ji know about this?"

"We needed to borrow their helicopter but the Barbados Army did not want to lend it to us. We had no choice but to get General Ji to provide them with a letter of guarantee before they agreed." Zhao Liangze scratched his head and felt ashamed of himself.

Without Huo Shaoheng, Yin Shixiong and Zhao Liangze could not handle the Barbados Army. They'd had to make an emergency call to the Huaxia Empire in the middle of the night in order to get General Ji to help them speak to the Barbados Army via video conference.

"Useless." Huo Shaoheng mocked him. "Making an emergency call just for this. You're really good at embarrassing me, huh?"

"Yes Mr. Huo, scold me all you want. It was indeed my fault." Zhao Liangze accepted all punishments instead of trying to get out of things like he used to do.

Huo Shaoheng laughed. He patted Zhao Liangze on the shoulders. "Alright, I was kidding. Don't feel ashamed. Everything has its pros and cons. Even though it was rather embarrassing to call our country for help in the middle of the night, it gave us a perfect excuse to request overseas military stations from the committee. Now we might not have to borrow helicopters from other countries in the future."

Zhao Liangze was surprised. He felt warmth in his heart. "You mean it, Mr. Huo?"

Only Huo Shaoheng was able to see the good in all the bad that they did and use them for their future benefit.

"Of course. No matter where the representatives of the Huaxia Empire go, they should be protected by the army." Huo Shaoheng was thinking far into the future. He was a soldier from Huaxia Empire and only thought of the nation's interests. As for the interests of other countries, they'd have to forgive him for having limited power over that.

After a short while, Yin Shixiong grew impatient and shouted into his microphone. "Get on the helicopter. You can catch up on the way back. Our rental is calculated by the seconds for heaven's sake!"

His loud voice bombarded into Huo Shaoheng and Zhao Liangze's earpieces. It was so loud that their ears hurt.

"You're asking for it, Big Xiong. Just wait till when we get back!" Zhao Liangze scolded.

Huo Shaoheng turned his Bluetooth earpiece off and spoke to Zhao Liangze. "I'll get Gu Yanran so we can all leave together."

"Oh yeah. Where's Miss Gu?" Zhao Liangze looked around. "She isn't here?"

Huo Shaoheng did not want to talk about what had happened. He pointed to the helicopter. "Go get ready. I'll bring Gu Yanran here in three minutes."

Turning around, he went towards the villa. Just when he entered the villa, Gu Yanran came down the stairs, rubbing her neck.

She looked at Huo Shaoheng and felt confused. "Mr. Huo, last night..."

Huo Shaoheng folded his arms and replied calmly. "I waited for the rescue team on the beach the entire night. Did you have a good sleep, Miss Gu?"

"Huh?" Gu Yanran was bewildered. "Really? I only remember that you went to my dad's study. Then I realized I slept on the floor of my dad's study. Last night, what...?"

Huo Shaoheng pretending to be shocked. "Miss Gu, why did you sleep on the floor? You brought me to your dad's study to have a talk for a while before I left. You said that you wanted to stay back to clean up so I left on my own. I wasn't sure what happened to you after that."

Huo Shaoheng dared tell her these lies because he knew the powerful effects of combining Coral snake meat with Erigeron. It had the power to distort people's memories.

Gu Yanran tried her best to recall what had happened. It really did seem like Huo Shaoheng was telling the truth. She apologized immediately. "I'm so sorry, Mr. Huo. I was so tired I didn't even show you to your room. You had to wait outside the entire night. I'm so sorry."

"No problem. I'm used to it." Huo Shaoheng nodded. "The rescue team is already here. We have to leave now."

Looking at his watch, he said: "We only have three minutes. One and a half minutes have already passed."

Gu Yanran quickly said, "let's go then. Is it a helicopter? I heard noises from the room just now."

"Yes, my subordinates loaned the helicopter from Barbados Army," Huo Shaoheng replied. "Do any servants come to this house?"

Gu Yanran wouldn't be the one cleaning this place on her own. She did not look like someone who liked doing domestic chores.

"They stay in the main house over on the mainland but come to the island regularly to clean and maintain the house." Gu Yanran walked towards Huo Shaoheng while rubbing her neck. "I think I sprained my neck after sleeping on the floor. Are you good at giving massages, Mr. Huo? Could you help me please?"