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644 Come With Me

 Reinitz spoke calmly, as if he were merely describing a fact and had no intention of making fun of her. However, Gu Nianzhi was completely mortified and desperately kept her head down to stop him from lifting her chin up. In the beginning, Reinitz didn't use much pressure, because he already thought this girl was too delicate at first sight. Like the white snow atop the peaks of the Alps, it would immediately melt as soon as the sun rose. He was worried even the tiniest bit of strength would break this girl's neck. However, she was actually quite stubborn and stiffened her neck to keep him from looking at her. With a subtle flick of his palm, Gu Nianzhi had no choice but to look up at him. In the dark room, Reinitz's classical Germanic beauty was suddenly magnified before her. Gu Nianzhi felt dizzy and quickly averted her eyes while stammering, "...I'm fine."

Reinitz pressed his thin lips together and smoothed her hair with concern as he chided, "You're fine? You already have a fever." He carried her and set her in bed. "Lay down for a while. I'll get medication for you."

"It's ok, I'll be better after getting some sleep." Gu Nianzhi touched her forehead and noticed she was really starting to get a fever. Did that mean she was going to get better soon? Typically speaking, when humans had fevers, that signified a working immune system. Many viruses caused fevers because the human body's own immune system was working to kill invading viruses to heal the body. However, Gu Nianzhi wasn't certain if she had simply overeaten, so a fever would be of no use.

She drifted off into a drowsy sleep. In the haziness, someone seemed to drape a cool towel on her forehead and feed her bitter medicinal juice. She didn't want to drink it, but the person was very persistent. They pinched her nose, so she had no choice but to open her mouth and was forced to swallow several mouthfuls of the medicine. Gu Nianzhi was very averse to it and vomited in her struggle. It smelled so awful, even she was frowning. The person didn't seem to mind and brought a basin of water over to wipe her off and allow her to rinse her mouth. They then removed the dirty blanket and covered her with a clean one. The vomit on the bed was quickly cleaned up.

The person sat down by the bed again to continue feeding her medicine. When Gu Niaznhi realized she was being forced to drink the bitter medicine again, she began to moan and cry. She was a patient, how could they treat her this way? She muttered unhappily in Chinese. The person wiped her tears with a tissue, unable to make sense of what she was saying, but gently patted her shoulder in comfort. At the same time, they continued to replace the wet towels on her forehead and fed her medicine from time to time. This pattern somehow relaxed Gu Nianzhi. After some struggle, she no longer needed to use the bathroom and would only mutter a bit when force fed the medicine. She would then drift into sleep.

The next morning, she woke up to instantly see someone sitting at the bedside. His left hand propped up his head while his right hand continued to gently pat her shoulder. Looking up the person's arm, Gu Nianzhi saw Reinitz's beautiful sculpted face. He was the person who had taken care of her all night. Rubbing her belly, Gu Nianzhi discovered it no longer hurt, but she still seemed to have a fever and stomachache. She also wanted to vomit as soon as she moved.

Reinitz shook slightly and woke up. Looking down, he happened to meet Gu Nianzhi's large, sparkling dark eyes. "You're awake? Do you still feel sick?" he asked gently, much nicer than he had been yesterday.

Gu Nianzhi shook her head, then nodded with a whisper, "My stomach doesn't hurt anymore, but my gut still does."

Reinitz caressed her forehead. "You still have a fever, so you can't eat anything yet. I'll make more dandelion juice for you."

So the bitter juice yesterday was dandelion juice. Gu Nianzhi no longer detested it and agreed before asking curiously, "You make herbal remedies?"

"Yeah, Mother Hanna makes them. Everyone here makes their own dandelion juice when they get sick," Reinitz said as he stood up. Even with a strong physique, he was slightly haggard from taking care of Gu Nianzi all night.

Gu Nianzhi struggled up from the bed. "I'll do it myself. You look very tired. Go sleep a bit. I'm much better now."

"I'm not sleepy." Reinitz smiled faintly. "You sleep. I'll be back right away." He turned to leave, his strapping figure filling the room. After the door shut quietly, Gu Nianzhi could hear Reinitz and Mother Hanna speaking in hushed voices. Gu Nianzhi was immensely grateful and slowly fell asleep again. She didn't sleep too deeply knowing that Reinitz and Mother Hanna were taking turns caring for her.

This time, she slept until evening. Reinitz was reading a book on a small couch in front of her bed, his head lowered. From Gu Naizhi's angle, she could see his long eyelashes were actually a pale gold, a rare combination with his mesmerizing blue eyes. However, Gu Nianzhi still liked Huo Shao's thick, dark eyelashes and mysterious eyes the best. She stared blankly at Reinitz as she thought about Huo Shao, her gaze softening.

Reinitz could feel her stare as he read, so he looked up calmly to see she had already roused. Leaning over, he adjusted her blanket. "You're awake? Are you hungry?"

Gu Nianzhi laughed. "I'm too scared to gorge on food and drink again." As soon as she spoke, she noticed her voice was very tiny, and just a sentence was enough to make her gasp several times. She was unbelievably weak.

Reinitz sighed. "You're sick, save your breath. Rest well."

Gu Nianzhi shifted on the bed. She wanted to go to the bathroom. She had been in bed all day, and there was no way she wouldn't need to use the bathroom, even though she hadn't eaten at all and only had dandelion juice... So her peculiar body constitution didn't work on diarrhea?

"What is it?" Reinitz noticed she didn't want to sleep. "Where are you not feeling well?"

Gu Nianzhi wanted to cry, Hey mister, can you leave for a second? She looked at Reinitz but couldn't get the words out.

Reinitz also looked at her fixedly and seemed to understand after a while. He slowly got up. "I'm going to have a smoke." He then walked out and closed the door softly.

Gu Nianzhi sighed with relief. She had a new level of understanding towards this man's thoughtfulness. Removing the blankets, she got out of bed. There was a pair of fuzzy slippers set beside it on the floor. They actually had a little black bear in the front, and she couldn't help giggling as she recalled the smart and fairy-like bear cub she met on the mountain. She wondered if it still remembered her...

Gu Nianzhi thought about it as she put on the slippers, but before she even took two steps, her knees became weak, and she suddenly fell to the ground with a loud thump. Reinitz instantly opened the door from outside and quickly helped Gu Nianzhi up when he saw her splayed on the floorboards in front of the bed. He didn't say anything as he half-carried her to the bathroom door. He thought about it and opened the door, walking Gu Nianzhi to the toilet so she could lean against the sink beside it. He finally looked down and left when she steadied herself. Gu Nianzhi's cheeks were flushed red, but there was no way around it. Her legs were still weak from the full day of diarrhea yesterday, but she needed to use the bathroom now and couldn't wait. Luckily, Reinitz had only walked her there, and she was able to take care of the rest herself.

...

Flushing the toilet, Gu Nianzhi supported herself on the sink and slowly stood up so she could turn on the tap and wash her hands. Reinitz heard the water from outside and knocked on the door to ask, "Are you ok now? I'm coming in."

Gu Nianzhi leaned against the bathroom door to slowly make her way out. She had just opened the door and found herself looking right at Reinitz. "...Thank you," Gu Nianzhi said quietly.

Reinitz didn't speak again but used his powerful arms to carry her and set her back onto the bed. He covered her with the think blanket once again. "Sleep some more. You should have something for dinner or you'll be too weak."

Gu Nianzhi nodded. She already felt much better, but the diarrhea had been draining her energy, making her tired and unable to walk steadily. As she lay on the bed to rest her eyes, Reinitz went outside to discuss dinner with Hanna. Afterwards, they made her a pot of coix seed and oatmeal porridge. They didn't have rice, so there was no way to make congee, but they had plenty of coix seed and oatmeal.

Gu Nianzhi had no strength to eat it herself, so Hanna fed her. It was very true that humans were like iron, and rice was like steel, because she felt much more energetic after having one bowl. She had slept during the day, so she wasn't tired at all. However, Hanna was used to going to bed at 8:30 every night, so she soon bid her goodnight and went to her room to rest.

Reinitz had dinner and cleaned the kitchen before washing up in his room. Gu Nianzhi took the opportunity to check her phone. It was already charged, but she was disappointed to see she didn't even have a single bar of signal. It was back to what it was yesterday. Holding the phone, she lay on the bed and quietly thought about what could be going on.

After he showered, Reinitz came to see if Gu Nianzhi was asleep. He saw she was laying on the bed with open eyes, her gaze distant like she was thinking about something. His gaze was directed to the phone she was holding, and he seemed to understand something. "We're up in the mountains, so the cell signal drops from time to time. You don't need to worry."

"Oh?" Gu Nianzhi was a bit surprised. "Then how do you communicate beyond the mountain? There's no landline?"

"It's too remote here, so there is no phone line connected." Reinitz patiently explained to her, "Mother Hanna also doesn't like to make phone calls. If something happens, she'll go to the next mountain to find the rangers' base. They have a phone and internet connection there."

Rangers... Gu Nianzhi guiltily recalled how she set the mountain on fire, and the rangers' blurry positions. She had decided not to risk exposing herself to the rangers. Reinitz was going to take her from here anyway, so she didn't need to ask the rangers for help. Gu Nianzhi nodded. "So that's the case." She didn't want to worry about the internet and phone anymore, so she asked Reinitz, "How long are you staying this time? When do you plan to leave? Can you take me with you?"

Reinitz smiled. "I planned to leave today, but I can stay two more days, since you're sick."

"Oh? It won't affect your work?" Gu Nianzhi felt very bad. She knew most westerners had annual vacation with a set amount of days, so anything beyond that was unpaid.

Reinitz seemed to understand her concern and explained vaguely, "No, I have lots of annual leave built up. I haven't used it for many years now. You should sleep. I'll read a book here."

Gu Nianzhi knew he wanted to take care of her, and she also didn't know if she was going to get sick again. She didn't refuse him and slipped under the blanket. "Then I'll go to sleep. Goodnight..."

"Goodnight." Reinitz smiled. He put his hands in his pockets and watched her from across the bed.

Gu Nianzhi closed her eyes peacefully and pretended to be deep asleep, but she only wanted to reassure Reinitz. He watched for a while and bent over to adjust her blanket before taking the book he was reading from the side table to continue. The light in the room was off, only leaving a warm yellow table lamp. Gu Nianzhi thought the setting was very familiar and made her feel safe.

However, she couldn't sleep right now or dare to toss and turn in bed, so she laid straight and mentally planned what steps to take next. Yin Shixiong and Zhao Liangze somehow had also been sent off on missions over two weeks ago. When she calculated the time, it happened to be right before she got kidnapped. Was this coincidence or intentional? Also, weren't Smith and the other colleagues feeling suspicious since she hadn't been in touch for so many days? Gu Nianzhi's mind was confused, but because she was so frightened, she didn't dare to believe it to be true.

Time passed slowly, and when Gu Nianzhi escaped from her thoughts, she noticed Reinitz was already slumped over, asleep on the sofa. His breathing was even and relaxed like his personality, giving him an aura of calm and warmth. Gu Nianzhi shifted her gaze and quietly exhaled. She told herself that she would be rescued as soon as she left the Alps and returned to a place with internet and other people. She couldn't wait any longer and must tell Reinitz tomorrow, so he could take her as soon as possible.

Closing her eyes, Gu Nianzhi started to feel sleepy and was just about to fall asleep when she suddenly heard the low hum of a motorcycle outside the window. However, she couldn't hear it again when she tried hard to listen. Gu Nianzhi's heart dropped, then she heard the squeak of the fence door soon after, followed by a thump. Her eyes flew open, and she was so nervous, she was about to sit up. However, Reinitz, who had been deep asleep, suddenly jumped up and fluidly moved to the window and lifted a corner of the drapes to see what was happening.

Gu Nianzhi was much more energetic after lying in bed the whole day, and she no longer stumbled like she had that morning. She got out of bed and quietly put on her original clothes, then wore the nun's habit over them. It carried all her precious belongings: her phone, Reinitz's charger, a pack of sanitary napkins, a Zippo lighter, a Swiss Army knife, and her wallet. She then put on her tennis shoes before moving next to Reintz to look out the window.

The stars were very bright outside, and when she leaned over, she happened to see several suspicious-looking people carrying guns and jumping over the fence. At the side of the fence, one person stopped and laid on the ground with his hand digging down. He then pulled forcefully and pulled another person out of the ground. What a strange gesture... Could there be traps near the fence? Reinitz seemed to know what she was thinking and replied without looking at her, "To ward off wild animals, we set traps by the fence."

No wonder, the earlier noise was from someone falling down into the trap. Gu Nianzhi felt very guilty and whispered to him, "Thank you for taking care of me, but I must leave now. Those people are here for me. I'll drag you into the mess if I stay here."

Reinitz suddenly jerked his head back and looked at Gu Ninazhi fixedly. His blue eyes were as welcoming and intriguing as the sea. Gu Nianzhi nodded at him and turned to leave. Reinitz reached out and grabbed her wrist. "You're still sick. How can you leave? Where are you going in the middle of the night?"

Gu Nianzhi didn't look up but kept her eyes on Reinitz's hand on her wrist. "Obviously, I am going the same way I came. How else do you think I ended up here?"

"Someone's trying to kill you?" Reinitz squinted. "Bad girl, you never told me this." He didn't say it as a question, but stated it as a fact.

Gu Nianzhi nodded quietly, her voice barely audible. "I'm sorry, I didn't want this to happen..." She tried hard to struggle out of his grasp, but Reinitz's hand secured her tightly, and even with all her strength, she couldn't pry him off with her fingers.

"Come with me." Reinitz didn't let go but pulled her hand to quickly move them out of the room. He first took her to his room and pulled out a duffel bag he had on the couch by the bed. Then he took out a pistol from a drawer in his nightstand and put it in her hand. "You know how to shoot?"

Gu Nianzhi immediately gained more trust in Reinitz when he passed the gun to her. She nodded quickly. "Yes!"

"Keep it on you, and obey my commands." Reinitz looked at her fixedly once again before suddenly embracing her head and kissing her forehead. "Be brave." Gu Nianzhi shut her eyes tightly, neck stiff as she awkwardly darted away. Reinitz quickly let go of her. "Don't be scared." He took her hand and continued moving.

Reinitz opened the door to rouse Mother Hanna when they passed by her room. "There are bad people here, hide now. Cereus and I will lead them away." Mother Hanna was very frightened and quickly climbed out of the bed to drape on a coat and hide in the basement.

"Where are we going?" Gu Nianzhi was a bit confused. Although the small cabin didn't have many rooms inside, the hallways were full of twists, and she couldn't see which way they headed.

"To the backyard, of course." Reinitz replied without looking back. Gu Nianzhi's room directly faced the front yard, and that was where those people sneaking in with guns had come from. In the meantime, Reinitz took her in the direction of the backyard.