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566 Embarrassing

 "It wasn't that Mr. Huo did anything non-clandestine, but I suspect that we have a mole among us! This person betrayed Mr. Huo! If Mr. Huo were to show himself and contact us, you think the foreigners wouldn't immediately access his location?!" Yin Shixiong threw all caution to the wind in defense of Huo Shaoheng's reputation. He didn't mind his manners at all and nearly stabbed his fingers at the noses of the military elites. "Which one of you betrayed Mr. Huo?!"

The accusation was too serious, so all the military elite glared fiercely at Yin Shixiong, and even General Ji interjected coldly, "Big Xiong, you can't spout such nonsense with no evidence. I can guarantee that no one in this room is a mole. But..."

But he couldn't guarantee the same of any others.

Before General Ji finished speaking, they all understood, and the anger slowly ebbed from their faces. Instead, they appeared deeply weary and worried.

"What should we do? Do you have any leads?" Huo Guanchen felt as if his heart was being torn to pieces-if the son he was so proud of suddenly disappeared without reason, he would never let this mole live!

"We wouldn't be holding this meeting if we had any leads." General Ji closed his eyes as he pointed in command. "One, no one knows what Shaoheng's situation is right now, and everyone here must keep his disappearance confidential. If news gets out, then the mole must be within our group, so don't blame me for being merciless."

General Ji was normally amicable and kind as a saint, so many forgot that as the head of the Supreme Military Council, he held the most power within the military, and his cold-blooded techniques were to be feared in times of war or peace.

"Secondly, there must not be an inkling of news reports domestically. Especially with the foreign TV programs. We must ensure that it'll not air again! Thirdly, the Tan Guiren incident ends here, and we will not allow the Tans to use this for publicity anymore. The Tans have to answer for what happened to Shaoheng. I will remain reserved about Tan Donbang and also make a special report to the Senate to request a special inquiry against him so he may explain the entire incident of his daughter's kidnapping. I express a high level of concern in his ability to be Prime Minister if he cannot even properly arrange for the safety of his own family as a mere candidate." When General Ji finished speaking, he glanced at everyone in the conference room. "Any other comments?"

"No. General Ji covered all the details." Everyone nodded in agreement and watched General Ji with both respect and fear.

"Very well. Dismissed," General Ji replied coldly and looked at Yin Shixiong. "You, stay. I still have orders for you."

"Roger, Chief!" Yin Shixiong stood up in salute, his strapping figure ramrod straight and his gaze looking straight ahead.

The military elite felt a chill when they walked by him. Everyone kept their heads down and quickly left without mentioning anything about Huo Shaoheng or Tan Guiren. They believed that General Ji must have had ways to monitor their words and actions since he forbade them from discussing it. The Special Operations Forces had cruel methods, and although Huo Shaoheng was young, he was responsible in his work and was able to turn the tide at the most critical moment. If Huo Shaoheng went with the flow and went into hiding, then the people who crossed him at his weakest were sure to suffer when he returned.

Yin Shixiong and General Ji were the only two people left in the conference room. After sitting there for a long moment, General Ji finally asked him, "How many of you knew about Shaoheng and Little Ze's mission?"

"Many knew, but no one was aware of what kind of mission it was, apart from me and the two other personal secretaries," Yin Shixiong replied calmly.

"Ok. How many people abroad know about this?" General Ji asked.

"They don't know." Yin Shixiong was completely solemn. "Little Ze contacted me to ask if I'd heard back from Mr. Huo. I said I had, and he didn't ask anything more."

General Ji nodded. "That's fine. I already restricted the knowledge of the incident to the people in this conference room today. I will alert Shaoheng's other two personal secretaries so that they can be careful."

In other words, that meant that even the overseas Special Ops personnel who had rescued Tan Guiren with Huo Shaoheng in the same operation didn't know that he had gone missing. They thought he had escaped successfully and contacted the Empire. Zhao Liangze was no exception-since he didn't dare to directly contact Huo Shaoheng abroad, he could only contact Yin Shixiong via a single line domestically to receive confirmation. He could finally be relieved, and he no longer needed to remain abroad, since Huo Shaoheng was already safe.

"Big Xiong, what did Mr. Huo say about Miss Tan? Do we have to bring her back to the Empire?" Zhao Liangze remembered that their objective was to bring Tan Guiren back.

Yin Shixiong laughed heartily over the phone so as not to betray his true anxiousness. "Our mission was to find her. As for what happens after, that's not our business. The Secret Service will dispatch support to take over, and you can come home."

"Great." Zhai Liangze thumped his forehead with his fist and laughed wryly at Yin Shixiong. "I was really worried we had to bring her back home. This lady is... I don't even know what to say. We've been on so many missions and saved so many hostages, but she is real trouble. She was willing to give up her own survival to save two kids who had nothing to do with her."

Yin Shixiong saw the video and could only laugh before changing the subject. "It's not our business, anyway. Hurry back. There are a lot of things you need to deal with here, and I can't do them all alone."

Zhao Liangze was very happy to know he was coming home. After setting a date for his return, he immediately had someone book flight tickets for him.

...

The next evening, Gu Nianzhi returned to her dorm from the library and took a quick shower. She had made dinner plans with Yin Shixiong that day. She hadn't seen him for over a month and missed them dearly. She missed not only Huo Shaoheng but also Yin Shixiong and Zhao Liangze. These three men had practically raised her and were like family. She didn't even have such a strong emotional connection to her so-called sister, Gu Yanran.

Although she called her "Sister" now, it was only for the sake of being polite and was not genuine. Since it was proven that she was the Gu Nianzhi-the youngest daughter of the Gus-she had no way of continuing to call Gu Yanran "Miss Gu." Others would think she was rude and raised badly...

She hadn't returned to her highrise apartment in the Third Ring Road for over a month now. Gu Yanran lived directly above her and had even made the effort of calling several times to invite her for dinner, but it was a coincidence that He Zhichu had always had a task for her, so she couldn't go. After getting changed, Gu Nianzhi came out of the room and saw that her watch only read 7:00 p.m. She was already starving, but Yin Shixiong still hadn't contacted her.

Banging sounds were heard from Ma Qiqi's room, so Gu Nianzhi knocked out of curiosity and asked, "Qiqi? What's wrong?"

Ma Qiqi yanked open the door and exclaimed angrily, "Nianzhi! Did you know that video-the one of the reality TV show about foreign police and criminals-can't be found anywhere?!"

Gu Nianzhi said nothing.

"It's true! I was just saying how I'd watched it online a few more times, but somehow it's nowhere to be found!" Ma Qiqi waved her fists. "I don't understand what the problem is. It's clearly about something overseas! It has nothing to do with us!"

Gu Nianzhi could only console her. "...Maybe not many people were watching, so the sites took it down."

"Humph! How could that be? I remember the view count yesterday. It completely obliterated those stupid dramas!" Ma Qiqi nearly wailed. "Oh my god! Why didn't I download it?! Why didn't I save it?!"

"It was that interesting?" Gu Nianzhi truly didn't understand why Ma Qiqi was so foolishly obsessed-and with a foreign reality TV show, at that! She shot a sidelong glance at her. "Don't tell people you know me. It's embarrassing!"

"It was really interesting! Nianzhi, it's your loss for not watching it. Now, you can't watch it even if you wanted." Ma Qiqi spread her palms. "How annoying! I heard this reality TV show also disappeared abroad. It's probably because those foreign soldiers and police officers are too weak, so they are embarrassed to have their stupidity broadcasted online for the whole world to see."

"They are pretty weak, according to you. So there are that many people outside of the Empire? They even used helicopters and armored vehicles but couldn't even catch one criminal? I'm reassured to see that they're such weaklings." Gu Nianzhi nearly crossed herself.

"To hell with you!"

Ma Qiqi shoved her playfully when the Resident Advisor's voice suddenly sounded over the dorm's PA. "Ma Qiqi, Gu Nianzhi! Someone's looking for you!"