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524 Duel 5

 The door to the Huaxia Airlines commercial cabin slowly opened, and a tall man with an impressive aura walked out. He looked up once. His impeccably handsome face was like a ray of light piercing gloomy skies. The people under the plane couldn't help averting their eyes, not daring to look at the strapping man standing at the cabin door. The man coming out of the plane was Huo Shaoheng, and Gu Nianzhi also followed out behind him. She stood next to Huo Shaoheng and glanced down.

Gu Yanran's eyes were pitch black, but instead of looking at Huo Shaoheng, her gaze fell on Gu Nianzhi behind him. Their eyes met through the space as they silently regarded each other. Huo Shaoheng led Gu Nianzhi down the temporary ramp on the airplane to stand not too far in front of Gu Yanran.

"Miss Gu, may I ask what you wanted to see us for?" Gu Nianzhi was the first to speak, her sweet smile, large, blinking eyes, and long eyelashes seemed to cast a spell of allure like fluttering butterfly wings.

But Gu Yanran was unimpressed and shifted her gaze from Gu Nianzhi back to Huo Shaoheng. She said in a low voice, "Mr. Huo, may I ask, what's the meaning of you illegally removing my father from the hospital?"

Huo Shaoheng folded his hands behind his back without replying. He only raised his chin slightly, his gaze cast toward the empty space in the distance without looking at Gu Yanran.

"Illegal?" Gu Nianzhi was the one to speak again. "Miss Gu, what evidence do you have to prove that our actions were illegal?"

"Then you're admitting to taking my father away?" Gu Yanran naturally latched onto the loophole in Gu Nianzhi's words and instantly launched a counterattack. "How can this not be illegal?"

"Miss Gu, first of all, we took Mr. Gu at your request, and secondly, we also completed the legal discharge procedure in accordance with the hospital rules. How can you simply accuse us of breaking the law?" Gu Nianzhi spread her palms, her face arranged into a half smile.

Pupils constricting suddenly, Gu Yanran's long and narrow eyes squinted as she rebutted, "Right. I had asked Mr. Huo to escort my father to your nation, but not right now. We never decided on a time. Isn't that right, Mr. Huo? Secondly, how did you complete the legal procedure to discharge my father from the hospital without my presence? The hospital is up in flames right now and a living hell. Isn't that the most ironclad evidence that you forcibly took my father away?"

Huo Shaoheng smiled, then coughed noncommittally. His gaze rested on Gu Nianzhi in permission for her to continue. Gu Nianzhi spoke even more fluently with his encouragement.

"Firstly," she said, "you claim that the time was not set, but to me, it was already set. Since we have differing opinions on this point, we can set it aside for now. Secondly, we certainly completed the legal procedures in accordance with the hospital's regulations. You can inquire with the hospital if you have any doubts."

"According to hospital regulations, the presence of immediate family is required to discharge my father," Gu Yanran crossed her arms with a smile, her gentle gaze resting on Gu Nianzhi. Confident in her victory, she no longer acted as aggressively as earlier. "I'm my father's only immediate relative in this world, and I certainly wasn't present to discharge him. So how can you claim that you completed the legal procedures? Gu Nianzhi, I suggest you stop being recalcitrant and twisting words with skewed logic."

"I'm being recalcitrant and twisting words with skewed logic?" Gu Nianzhi laughed softly, the sound as crisp as silver bells.

Huo Shaoheng looked up and prepared to speak just as Gu Yanran's ringtone suddenly sounded. She picked it up to see it was the subordinate she had sent to the hospital. He had also texted her to ask her to pick up the phone no matter what because he had important news to report. Gu Yanran hesitated for a second before saying to Huo Shaoheng, "Excuse me, I need to take a call." She clutched the phone and walked aside but still faced Gu Nianzhi and Huo Shaoheng. Setting the phone to her ear, she replied, "Speaking."

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The person instantly said over the phone, "The director of the hospital said that they found your younger sister, so it was her who personally came to discharge the senior Mr. Gu from the hospital!"

"What nonsense are you spouting?!" Gu Yanran was instantly furious, the veins on her neck popping as she lowered her voice. She spat her words out. "What do you mean my sister?! How can they believe such a ridiculous lie?! Our company has pumped so much money into their hospital every year, yet we've only been funding a bunch of idiots!" Gu Yanran was so angry she nearly passed out while holding the phone.

But the person on the phone was still determined to explain the day's events. "...They brought government-issued identification to prove that Miss Gu is actually your sister and also senior Mr. Gu's immediate relative. She requested for senior Mr. Gu to be discharged, and, according to regulations, the hospital must comply."

Gu Yanran's hands quivered. "What?! Miss Gu? You mean... Gu Nianzhi?"

She cast a suspicious look at Gu Nianzhi standing beside Huo Shaoheng. Garbed in a camo hunting outfit, she appeared much more mature than before, yet her large eyes were still lucid and pure as a young girl's should be.

Turning around, Gu Yanran had her back to her the pair and gradually calmed down while still holding the phone. She replied, "What proof did they have? Do you know?"

The person immediately replied, "I scanned the document on file. Does Miss Gu wish to see it?"

"Send it to me." Gu Yanran ended the call and turned around to stare at Gu Nianzhi, her pitch-black irises like a bottomless abyss.

Gu Nianzhi only heard snippets of Gu Yanran's conversation and understood that the call was from the hospital. If Gu Yanran had already established contact with the hospital, then they could no longer conceal what had happened there. Gu Nianzhi also didn't want to conceal it anymore. She looked at Gu Yanran and cocked her head slightly with her palms spread.

"Although I don't have much memory of you, it's a coincidence that I happen to be the Gu Nianzhi from the Gu family," said Gu Nianzhi. "Gu Xiangwen is my father, so I can legally discharge him from the hospital-are you shocked?"

"That's impossible!" Gu Yanran blurted out, then looked Gu Nianzhi up and down. Her gaze was cautious yet uncertain. "You don't look anything like my sister when she was younger..."

"If you could rely solely on your eyes, then what would DNA tests be needed for?" Gu Nianzhi snorted, then took out the prepared photocopies of two pieces of her identification. "Here, you see? This evidence proves that I'm the Gu Nianzhi from the Gu family and that I'm Gu Xiangwen's daughter. What other doubts do you have?"

Gu Yanran stared pointedly at the younger girl in disbelief as she accepted the photocopies of the identification. Included were also signatures of the dentist and physician, proving that the Gu Nianzhi standing before her was the same sister who had disappeared seven years ago on the Caribbean Sea. Gu Yanran quickly glanced over the evidence and the proof, her legs shakily retreating several steps. Looking up, she stared blankly at Gu Nianzhi with a conflicted expression, unable to convey what she felt.

Gu Nianzhi quietly looked at her for a while before replying calmly, "So, Mis Gu, we didn't take my father illegally. It's perfectly normal for a daughter to discharge her father from the hospital."

"A daughter discharge her father from the hospital?" Gu Yanran repeatedly whispered Gu Nianzhi's words, her expression becoming stiff. She still continued to look at her pointedly, and if one looks could materialize into the physical, Gu Nianzhi would have had two large holes burned into her face from the intense stare.

"Right. A daughter is an immediate relative, and, according to hospital regulations, I can discharge him." Gu Nianzhi was still unaccustomed to calling Gu Xiangwen "Dad" or "Father," so she merely addressed him with an obscure "him."

Gu Yanran's body continued to shake as she stared in Gu Nianzhi's direction. A hint of fear flashed in her eyes but quietly disappeared in the increasingly gloomy sky. Thunder boomed from above. A rapidly moving thunderstorm was imminent.

"Miss Gu, it's about to rain," said Gu Nianzhi. "If you still can't accept the reality that I'm the Gu Nianzhi from the Gu family, then you can go back to properly digest it. Don't stand here in the rain. Ok. We have to board the plane and prepare to depart."

Gu Nianzhi nodded at Gu Yanran and turned back to follow Huo Shaoheng into the plane.

Huo Shaoheng remained silent the whole time, standing to the side like a spectator, yet he had watched the entire event unfold.

Gu Yanran looked down to read the evidence and proof again, her entire body trembling slightly. She couldn't believe her eyes, and her expression was sorrowful yet joyous. Could she really be Nianzhi?! Could her sister have really returned?!