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598 Consent to Death Disclaimer

 It was an afternoon in Munich, the scorching sun shining down from the brilliant blue sky to soften even the pavement on the streets. They walked side by side on the sidewalk, the entire street lined with lush greenery and the sound of cicada calls. It didn't feel hot at all to walk under the trees. Not far ahead, the Alps were visible on the edge of the city, and they could even see the white snow on the mountain ridges.

Although it was summertime under the mountain, the mountaintop was always covered in snow. When the summer sun shone on it, it sparkled brilliantly like diamonds on a crown and was incredibly beautiful. Gu Nianzhi pointed to the shimmery, snow-capped mountaintop and laughed. "Professor He, isn't that so pretty? Do you think we have time to go skiing here?"

"This is the Bavarian stretch of the Alps. The glacial erosion is rather severe, so it's not a good place to go skiing." He Zhichu turned to her. "You really want to go skiing? How about we go skiing in Switzerland after concluding the case? The best ski resorts in the world are there."

"Go skiing in Switzerland?" Gu Nianzhi's gaze drifted.

She had gone skiing in Switzerland with Huo Shaoheng before, but she had been very young at the time and hadn't liked exercise much. Now, she couldn't go with Huo Shaoheng even if she wanted to...

Sighing quietly, she shook her head to not allow these thoughts to affect her mood. It was already 2:00 p.m. by the time she finally returned to the hotel with He Zhichu. Gu Nianzhi was in much better spirits and didn't want to go back to her room yet. Looking around with her large doe eyes, she surveyed the hotel lobby.

He Zhichu seemed to recall something, and an idea struck him as he suggested, "There's a cafe over there. Let's go sit for a bit."

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A black soul singer was on the stage at the edge of the cafe, her voice so soulful and melodic that it was as if she had been gifted by the angels. She wasn't singing very loudly, so her music was in the background like a gurgling stream. Gu Nianzhi wasn't yet 21, so she couldn't enter German bars, but cafes were not a problem. Nodding her head, she followed He Zhichu into the cafe and sat behind several potted palm trees to enjoy the momentary peace.

He Zhichu ordered a juice for Gu Nianzhi and a cappuccino for himself, along with two small slices of almond cheesecake.

Gu Nianzhi frowned. "Professor He I can't eat that. I'm still really full from earlier."

"Eat a piece with me," He Zhichu replied calmly and pushed a plate of almond cheesecake to Gu Nianzhi.

Gu Nianzhi watched He Zhichu's slightly nervous expression and quietly picked up the spoon to nibble on the cake. He Zhichu sighed with relief and slowly finished his own slice.

The waitress quickly cleared the dishes. After they finished eating, He Zhichu and Gu Nianzhi didn't speak again and only sat in silence. Gu Nianzhi picked up her glass of fruit juice, feeling bored, but she perked up her ears to eavesdrop on other people's conversations. Although everyone spoke very quietly in such an environment, she was still close to some people, with only a few potted palm trees dividing them, so she could easily hear them. This was especially the case with several people who were even speaking American English behind the palm trees, making it even easier for her to discern.

"John, the hunting season on the Alps is about to start. Are you ready?"

"Am I ready?! You should be asking how long I've been ready-I'm telling you, I pulled out all the stops for this hunting season! I'm going to stay up in the mountains for a full two months! No one can stop me!"

"Two months?! Are you serious?! From mid-August to mid-October?! The entire hunting season is only two months!"

They chatted excitedly and even mentioned the exact models of hunting rifles and ammunition they were bringing.

Gu Nianzhi had learned to shoot with Huo Shaoheng and was very familiar with all the different models of guns. As soon as they mentioned the Remington M700 VTR, she knew that it was something that was akin to a formal sniping rifle because it was equipped with a very professional scope. Anyone interested in guns knew that the scopes on hunting rifles could be swapped for the ones from sniper rifles to convert them into true sniper rifles. Only true cold-blooded hunters used such rifles to hunt, because aside from small animals like foxes and badgers, they could also be used to hunt fierce creatures like lions, tigers, and black bears.

Gu Nianzhi kept silent and listened until they finished chatting and left. She asked He Zhichu quietly, "Professor He, what's the hunting season on the Alps all about?"

"It's just a hunting season." He Zhichu glanced at her. "There are also places in England with hunting seasons that attract hunters from all over the world. Didn't you know?" He had assumed Gu Nianzhi would be familiar with these things since she had grown up with Huo Shaoheng.

Huo Shaoheng had never taken Gu Nianzhi hunting. To him, picking up a gun meant killing or saving someone, so what was the point of hunting innocent animals? He had never been interested.

Gu Nianzhi shook her head. "I didn't know. I haven't done it before."

"Ok. I'll take you hunting when we have the chance." He Zhichu nodded. "I don't know much about the hunting season here, but it ought to be similar to England's. England's hunting season is about the same time of year, and the hunters ride horses and take hounds as well as weapons with them into the forest to hunt."

Gu Nianzhi looked down and began looking up information about hunting seasons on her phone. She cocked her head for a long time and then snickered. "Hmm. Why does this seem so flaky? It feels like it's a free for all! Do people actually go?"

"Why wouldn't people take part in such an exciting pastime?" He Zhichu chuckled with a shake of his head. "Hunters have to sign a consent to death disclosure when they enter a forest during hunting season. Why do you think that's the case?"

It was a remarkable thing that legally recognized consent to death disclosures still existed in Western society.

Gu Nianzhi had only been momentarily curious and lost all interest when she asked more. She sat there with He Zhichu for a bit longer, and then they paid to leave after finishing the juice and coffee.

When they got into the elevator to go back up to their rooms, He Zhichu's phone rang. He took it out and couldn't help but be shocked to see his father calling. His father rarely called him, so it was typically an emergency if he actually called.

He Zhichu instantly picked up. "Father, what is it?"

He Zhichu's father replied slowly over the phone, "Chu, Happy Birthday."

He Zhichu's throat tightened, and he was at a loss for words for a long time. "Thank you, Father." He finally mustered the words after great effort, his voice nearly choking.

Gu Nianzhi stared at him curiously and was also very surprised. "Professor He, it's your birthday?!"

Her crisp voice echoed in the tiny elevator, so even Senior Mr. He heard it over the phone. He frowned. "Chu, who are you with right now?"