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565 Making One Feel Worlds Apart Due to the Difference in Profession

 "Of course it's interesting!" Ma Qiqi didn't even blink. The apple in her hand was forgotten after a bite. She supported her face with one hand, her mouth half open, and gasped occasionally. "Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness! This kidnapper is actually something!"

The television showed the tall figure, who just stood up from the rubble, swerve and roll backwards, disappearing into the darkness. Bullets and grenades rained in the direction the man had disappeared in. In the eyes of the audience, this "kidnapper's" appearance and disappearance happened in a matter of seconds. However, to Tan Guiren, it seemed like forever.

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How he stood up amid the rubble was etched deeply into her mind, even though she was already safe and had returned to her family's villa on Long Island, New York. That man had not removed his helmet and headgear. She did not know what he looked like, but she had an extremely deep impression of his silhouette.

The people from the FBI and CIA were beating around the bush and attempting to ask her who that person was. She only laughed coldly and threw a question back at them, "You didn't know? Isn't he the kidnapper? I thought you guys said that I've got Stockholm syndrome."

The broadcast that caused an uproar around the whole world was merely like watching a Hollywood movie to the citizens of the Hua Xia Empire. It didn't matter to them if it was real. In B University's post graduate dormitory, Gu Nianzhi felt that Ma Qiqi's expressions were way more interesting than what was on the television. She looked at Ma Qiqi's expressions and found them amusing. She was about to comment, when Ma Qiqi jumped up suddenly and waved her fists, shouting, "What nonsense?! Why is it getting darker?!"

Gu Nianzhi turned and looked at the television screen. She saw someone who was wrapped in a thick blanket running towards the rubble. From the dimming lights, one was able to roughly make out that the person running towards the rubble had long hair. That should be a lady...? Then, it ended.

"No more! No more?! They've already taken off their pants, and now they're telling me there's no continuation?!" Ma Qiqi was so upset; her fists were all over the place. She took her phone and called the television station. "What bullsh*t are you guys showing? Huh? Where's the ending?! What?! There's no ending?! They've stopped the broadcast?! What the hell! Are the Americans pussies or what?!"

Gu Nianzhi smiled as she shook her head. Then, she turned to look at the television screen that began showing some commercials. "Okay, it's just some news. If you want a repeat, just go online."

Ma Qiqi walked to the table and placed both her hands on it. "How can you not be interested at all? Do you know how hard it is to come across live broadcasts like these? Those bullets and grenades were real!"

Gu Nianzhi remembered her graduation trip experience when she was earning her bachelor's degree at C University. It was way scarier than this broadcast from America, wasn't it?

Gu Nianzhi caressed Ma Qiqi's face, smiling. "No biggie! What's there to see? Our country's Special Forces and Army are way stronger than those in America. Let me tell you, I know it best 'cause I've actually experienced an even more life threatening situation. It was way better than watching it from across the globe."

"Really?" Ma Qiqi tilted her head, and all of a sudden, the guy whom Gu Nianzhi addressed as "Brother Xiong" came to mind. She knew that they were from the Army. Judging by their physiques, they should be comparable to the American Army, shouldn't they?

Ma Qiqi was in a daze as she returned to the couch and began munching on her apple again. After a while, she turned to Gu Nianzhi. "Nianzhi, it feels like you haven't been meeting your guy for some time. Is Brother Xiong also not around?"

Gu Nianzhi's brow furrowed. She had just begun to think of him as well. Yeah, it really seemed slightly longer this time around. It already had been more than a month. She didn't have news of Huo Shaoheng and had not contacted Yin Shixiong at all. The strange thing was, Yin Shixiong had not contacted her, either.

Previously, Huo Shaoheng would leave either Zhao Liangze or Yin Shixiong behind to accompany her whenever he went on a mission. But now... Perhaps it was because she was already a legal adult. It wasn't necessary to have a guardian with her at all times anymore.

Heaving a sigh, Gu Nianzhi picked up her phone and stared at it for a while. Eventually, she slid it open and dialed Yin Shixiong's number. The call rang thrice. Yin Shixiong, who was sitting in a meeting of the Army Supreme Committee, saw that it was a call from Gu Nianzhi. He contemplated for a while before deciding to answer it. "I'll be taking a call," he said to the people in the meeting and walked out of the meeting room.

"Hi Nianzhi! How is it that my Nianzhi is free to call her brother today?" Yin Shixiong's cheerful voice came from the other end of the call.

Gu Nianzhi heaved a sigh of relief without realizing it and replied happily, "Brother Xiong, have you been really busy recently? I haven't seen you in a while. Kinda miss you. Shall I go back to headquarters to visit you this weekend?"

"You? Miss me? Are you sure it's me that you miss and not someone else?" Yin Shixiong sounded as cheerful as usual, so Gu Nianzhi didn't sense anything out of the ordinary.

He cheered Gu Nianzhi up, and she began to stutter, "...Brother Xiong, I know I shouldn't ask, but... do you have... news of him?"

"Don't ask if you know you shouldn't." Yin Shixiong nagged. "Nianzhi, you know it, too. Things that you're not allowed to know, Brother Xiong wouldn't even tell you a single word."

Gu Nianzhi did know about this. No matter what, she had spent six years living at headquarters with Huo Shaoheng. Therefore, she knew the rules like the back of her hand. "Yes, Brother Xiong. Forgive me for being nosey." Gu Nianzhi nodded in apology. "So, I'll visit you over the weekend?"

"I'll be travelling for work this weekend and won't be around for a period of time," Yin Shixiong said matter-of-factly. "Why don't I visit you at school instead tomorrow? You're right. We haven't met for too long. Have a meal with Brother Xiong. You can update me on what you've been up to recently so I can report when I get the chance to... Haha... Sound good?"

From Gu Nianzhi's understanding, "report" meant that it'd be reported to Huo Shaoheng. She felt sweetness coming over her, and she smiled widely. "I'll wait for you, then."

After ending the call, Gu Nianzhi found that she was actually blushing. Touching her face, she told Ma Qiqi, "Brother Xiong will be here tomorrow for a visit. I'll be turning in early tonight."

"Go, go." Ma Qiqi waved at her, smiling widely as well. Then, she retreated to her room for the day, too.

...

In the building of Di Capital's Army Supreme Committee, Yin Shixiong stuffed his phone back into his pocket, his face devoid of any expression. It was the total opposite of how he had been on the phone with Gu Nianzhi just a minute ago. He was a member of the Special Forces. Making up stories to keep things from people was a basic skill, and he was already a master at it. Even Gu Nianzhi didn't manage to sense anything out of the ordinary from his tone.

It was considered top secret that Huo Shaoheng had met with a mishap while on a mission overseas. Other than Yin Shixiong and two of Huo Shaoheng's secretaries, only the highest management in the Army Supreme Committee knew about it.

He returned to the meeting room and sat on a chair near the wall. It was silent in the meeting room. The people with the highest authority in the Army Supreme Committee looked grave. General Ji's face was so stern, it looked as black as the bottom of a burned pot. After a while, he punched the table. "This must be kept secret! Whoever leaked this information will be sentenced with betrayal of the nation! It will be dealt with by the military court - no exemptions!"

The founder of Special Forces, the next in line for the position of Chairman of the Army Supreme Committee, Huo Shaoheng, had disappeared in America. The senior officers in the Army Supreme Committee all felt like they'd just been slapped hard in the face. The Special Forces was affiliated with the Army and had conflicting interests compared to the government's Secret Service. However, because the Special Forces was under the Army, they had more freedom to do things and always attacked with a bang. No enemies had ever gained anything when they crossed fire with them.

However, it was such a strong team that had never made any mistakes before that had now met with such failure. This was not any normal failure. It was akin to having the general commander of one side of the war captured by the opponent. It was a major disgrace in terms of being in a war.

Yin Shixiong was initially only sitting in. However, hearing the words from the senior officers from the Army Supreme Committee, he couldn't hold it in any longer. Standing up, he said, "Sirs! Our Major General did not get captured! He wasn't sacrificed, either! He is merely missing!"

"'Merely missing?!' Hmph! That's easy to say! Who wouldn't know what it meant to be missing for someone of his rank?" The head of the HR department usually preferred to plan for the worst. To him, this "going missing" was almost equivalent to being captured.

"Don't forget, Yin Youqin was in our hands, but the CIA had only announced that he 'went missing.' They never admitted that he was captured!" Huo Shaoheng's father, Huo Guanchen, was even more heartbroken than anyone else in the meeting room, and he had every right to be. "Shaoheng is my son! However, he is also a soldier! He will not do anything that will harm the nation!"

"Guanchen, calm down. No one said that Shaoheng will do anything that will bring harm to the nation." General Ji knocked on the table calmly to get Huo Guanchen's attention. However, he felt worried and sad as well. If Huo Shaoheng had really gotten captured, even if he managed to make it back after negotiations from both nations, he would never be allowed a good position again. This was an unspoken rule in the organization.

Even if you never betrayed the organization, nation, or her citizens, if you were captured, this meant that it was a stain that could never be erased. This was because no one could affirm what happened after you were captured, whether you had compromised to help the enemy in exchange for your release... And the fact remained that many internal spies changed sides after they were captured...

Yin Shixiong took a deep breath and said slowly and clearly, "Sirs, there is currently no evidence that shows that Mr. Huo has been captured. I request that all of you do not overthink this and lead yourselves to pessimism. Judging by Mr. Huo's capability, I strongly believe that he has merely hidden himself for now."

"Why should he hide?" One of the senior officers, who was wearing a thick pair of reading glasses, rolled his eyes at Yin Shixiong. "Does he have anything to hide?"

Yin Shixiong felt that it would take too much work to explain things to this bunch of old fashioned senior officers. It would make things more complicated. These senior officers were magicians when it came to war. However, when it came to intelligence work, they were nothing but amateurs. All of them were the same, including General Ji, who was the one who had groomed Huo Shaoheng, because it wasn't what he was trained in at all.