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512 Matters of the Heart 3

 "Professor He, you teach law. You must know more about personal freedom than I do."

Huo Shaoheng folded his hands behind his back, his tone steady and without inflection or emotion. His gaze fell on Gu Nianzhi, who was sleeping in the infirmary, a hint of regret and pain flashing in the depths of his eyes.

He Zhichu put his hands in his trouser pockets, the corners of his mouth twitching to reveal a wry smile. "Personal freedom? Mr. Huo, I still haven't pursued the fact that you've confined Nianzhi for the past seven years. Are you really going to talk to me about personal freedom right now?"

"We confined Nianzhi?" Professor He, don't you think there are issues with your verbiage?" Huo Shaoheng looked back to regard He Zhichu coolly. " Professor He, you aren't related to Nianzhi at all. From what position are you saying these things? At least I'm her guardian."

"Haha! You're her guardian? Who gave you the right? You elected yourself? Did you ask her parents? Did you receive their permission?" He Zhichu continued to sneer. "You can't even steal someone's pet in public, let alone a live person like Nianzhi!"

"So you also know Nianzhi is a living person? Then why don't you ask her first before preventing her from leaving with me?"

Huo Shaoheng wasn't interested in arguing with He Zhichu. To him, arguing was a waste of both time and energy. Plus, it couldn't solve any problems. He never argued with others, and even if he beat the opponent bloody, he still wouldn't argue with them.

"You want to ask her? Fine. She is currently injured, so you can come back to ask her once she gets better." He Zhichu motioned to close the infirmary door. "Don't let the door hit you on the way out, Mr. Huo."

"Hold on." Huo Shaoheng reached out to block He Zhichu from closing the door as he calmly stated the flaw in He Zhichu's logic. "The doctor just told me Nianzhi is fine. Professor He should know that fabrication of evidence is a serious offense."

He Zhichu simply crossed his arms, his tone becoming more frigid. "What's this? Mr. Huo is implying that his terrible habit of using Nianzhi today, then throwing her away, can all be wiped out as long as she's fine? Nianzhi must be blind! How can she have feelings for a person like you!" Huo Shaoheng's pupils constricted quickly. It happened so fast that even He Zhichu didn't detect the change in his emotions. He Zhichu squinted coolly at Huo Shaoheng. "What is it? You don't have anything to say for yourself? You're feeling guilty!"

"That's between me and Nianzhi. Professor He has no need to worry."

Huo Shaoheng paused but held himself back from saying anything else to infuriate He Zhichu. But that simple statement was enough to rip He Zhichu's heart to shreds. His face immediately blanched, eyes glaring at Huo Shaoheng so hard that it was like they were about to burst into flames.

Huo Shaoheng walked up. "Nianzhi must leave with me. But..." He turned around to look at He Zhichu. "Once she recovers, she'll continue to study under Professor He."

This was his greatest compromise. If it weren't for the history of the relationship between He Zhichu and Gu Nianzhi, he would've cut their ties a long time ago. As much as he coddled Gu Nianzhi, he would never allow a man with ulterior motives to continue as her instructor.

The corners of He Zhichu's mouth twitched again as he helplessly watched He Zhichu stride past him to walk over to Gu Nianzhi's bed. He constrained himself again and again but found that he couldn't take it anymore. Removing his hands from his trouser pockets, he clenched them into fists and threw a loud punch at the side of Huo Shaoheng's face!

His body was fast, and his fists were like the wind. Because Huo Shaoheng was solely concentrating on Gu Nianzhi, he wasn't able to dodge the punch. By the time he had reacted, He Zhuchu's fist had already landed viciously on the side of his face.

Huo Shaoheng stepped aside instinctively to evade He Zhichu and also reached out his arms to block the incoming fists once again. He replied icily, "Professor He, are you sure you want to fight with me?" Fighting was his job, regardless of whether it was with guns or fists. "I can't argue like you, but if you want to fight me, you should go home first and consider carefully before challenging me," Huo Shaoheng said as he shoved He Zhichu back hard.

Unexpectedly, He Zhichu was also very strong, and his arm encircled to hold Huo Shaoheng back. The two men were at a standstill, neither of them willing to give up.

At that moment, He Zhichu's subordinate walked over. "Mr. He, Miss Gu wishes to visit us. She said she's very sorry for injuring everyone."

He Zhichu and Huo Shaoheng let go at the same time. Huo Shaoheng walked inside the infirmary without looking back. He Zhichu glared at him hatefully before turning to his subordinate and saying, "Let her come over."

...

Huo Shaoheng stood before Gu Nianzhi's bed and bent over to feel the temperature of her forehead. While her temperature was normal, her face was void of color and made her bruised lips appear even more shocking. Huo Shaoheng couldn't help but stroke her lips with his finger. Once soft as petals, her lips had now gone through great abuse. Huo Shaoheng could almost imagine how Gu Nianzhi had endured immense pain to travel between the electric fence over and over again. She had also pretended to be ok in front of them and forced smiles. His heartbeat, strangely, was a tremor that almost seemed to penetrate his soul to make his hands tremble. However, his lips were pressed tightly together, and his expression was calm in order to not betray any emotion.

Gu Nianzi wasn't sleeping well because she seemed to hear people constantly arguing. She woke up as soon as Huo Shaoheng stroked her forehead. Subtly opening her eyes, she was shocked to see the person in front of her was Huo Shao!

Gu Nianzhi quickly closed her eyes again, not daring to look. Huo Shaoheng had asked her to come over earlier, and although she had no strength to walk over herself, it was the first time she'd experienced feelings of resistance toward him and his orders. When Gu Nianzhi shut her eyes, her eyelids trembled.

Huo Shaoheng instantly noticed that she was awake. Taking back his hand, he looked at her quiet before saying, "Big Xiong brought a helicopter over. Do you want to come back with me?"

Gu Nianzhi couldn't pretend to sleep anymore, but she didn't know how to face Huo Shaoheng and was still feeling wronged... Pouting her lips, she slowly turned on her side to place her back to Huo Shaoheng.

Huo Shaoheng smiled faintly at her childish behavior but wouldn't admit that he was also sighing in relief. At least she was still willing to play coy rather than completely ignore him.

Huo Shaoheng bent over to whisper into Gu Nianzhi's ear. "...Come back with me, ok?" His tone was very gentle, and he was also acting very humble. This was the first time he had bent over to assuage someone.

Gu Nianzhi was not so easily assuaged this time. However, she still understood the gravity of the situation-she'd come to Barbados for business, not leisure. So she had to leave with Huo Shaoheng, but he'd chosen not to force her to cooperate with this fact.

"Yeah," Gu Nianzhi replied simply, opening her eyes to look at Huo Shaoheng. Her eyes were completely calm, her heart no longer bursting with happiness and excitement like it had been when she'd seen him before.

Huo Shaoheng quietly bent over to pick her up and pressed her against his chest before turning to walk out of the infirmary door. As soon as they reached the door, He Zhichu led Gu Yanran and her people inside.