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660 The Highest Specifications

 "Her? I remember now, isn't she studying law and went to Germany to help with that case?" Bai Jiancheng knew that much.

"Right, that's her. But she disappeared from Germany." Bai Yueran was uneasy. Although she was only the Director of the Legal Department of the Special Operations Forces, their discipline and conduct had greatly influenced her. She also knew Gu Nianzhi's importance, and although her father, Gu Xiangwen, was now more important than she was, who knew what the personnel at the Special Ops really thought? This was Huo Shaoheng's beloved...

"Ok, hurry and tell General Ji properly. Tell him not to worry, I'll have the Ministry of Foreign Affairs urge the local police to look for her right away." Bai Jiancheng picked up the phone and called the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Bai Yueran nodded. "Thank you, father." She left her home and immediately got in her car to drive to military housing area where General Ji lived. As the Director of the Legal Department of the Special Operations Forces, she had a higher security clearance and was liked by General Ji, so she possessed an unrestricted access permit to the military housing area that allowed her to visit, even late at night.

General Ji was not yet asleep. Although he was already at an old age, he was still accustomed to working all night and felt the most energetic and clear headed at midnight. He was currently burying his head in a document when an internal phone line on his desk began to ring. There were three phones on his desk--black, red, and gray. The one ringing was the gray internal line. General Ji picked it up without looking and answered.

Bai Yueran's calm, crisp voice could be heard through the phone. "General Ji, this is Bai Yueran. I have an important situation to report to you and am waiting at your door." Although Bai Yueran could enter the military housing area, she couldn't simply walk into General Ji's home. First, she had to obtain his guards' permission, who in turn had to obtain General Ji or his family's permission before she could be let inside.

General Ji immediately appeared solemn. "Yueran? Come in now." The door guards could overhear their conversation. He nodded and recorded the call for the archives before letting her inside. General Ji was just coming down the stairs when Bai Yueran entered. He immediately said, "You're here. Come, sit down."

Bai Yueran stood in the middle of the living room and waited for General Ji to come over before presenting with both hands the briefing from the Deputy Consul of the Hua Xia Consulate General in Munich. She spoke quietly, "We just received the briefing. Gu Nianzhi has gone missing in Germany."

General Ji didn't expect to hear that kind of news in the middle of the night. His face twitched uncontrollably, but he remained calm and silently sat down on the couch while supporting himself on the armrest. Taking out the reading glasses in his jacket pocket, he began to carefully read the diplomatic brief. Although it was less than 500 words, he spent a full half hour reading it. Bai Yueran didn't even dare to breathe too heavily and only stared blankly at the couch next to General Ji. After a long time, he finally spoke slowly, "It's already been over 20 days between the time Gu Nianzhi went missing and when we received this news. Why is that? Does the consulate have any updates?"

Bai Yueran stiffened and was secretly impressed with General Ji. As expected, the older the wine, the finer it was. General Ji was able to get to the point right from the start, while she had missed looking at the date on the briefing. She replied, "Yes, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has such poor productivity, they took more than a week to deliver this report to my father. We must increase their productivity." She didn't know which part of the process had caused the delay, but this was a crucial point for her father, Bai Jiancheng, running for election. He couldn't make any mistakes right now, so she didn't want to assign the fault for now.

General Ji let it slide. Regardless if it was the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Ministry of Domestic Affairs, these were both government departments that Bai Jiancheng could manage. But as the highest command within the military, General Ji had no way of even saying a word. To overstep boundaries and get involved in the business of others was the biggest taboo in politics. Seeing that General Ji was staying quiet, she then continued, "What should we do? Should we send personnel to Germany?"

General Ji considered that since Gu Nianzhi was Gu Xiangwen's daughter and also Shaoheng's fiancee, there was no reason why they couldn't help if something happened to her. But Huo Shaoheng was currently on a mission abroad, so he couldn't be notified of this yet, nor could General Ji allow him learn of it. Although General Ji knew Huo Shaoheng understood what was more important and wouldn't abandon work for personal reasons, who could guarantee that? Huo Shaoheng had fallen in love with only this one girl in all these years, so General Ji didn't dare to wager...

After some thought, he said, "Go back and have your father ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs again to see if they have any new updates on the situation. I'll keep this for now and decide how to proceed."

Bai Yueran rose. "I'll go back and ask my father right now."

General Ji also stood up with a smile. "Thank you, Yueran."

"General Ji is too polite. I'm also part of the Special Operations Forces, and I see Nianzhi as one of us." Bai Yueran spoke succinctly and turned to leave without hesitation.

After Bai Yueran left, General Ji took the briefing to his office and read it over again before picking up the black phone to call the Special Ops. "Operator, connect me to Yin Shixiong or Zhao Liangze." General Ji was thinking that since Huo Shaoheng was abroad, it would be appropriate to have his two personal secretaries take care of it. Huo Shaoheng, Yin Shixiong, and Zhao Liangze could all be said to have raised Gu Nianzhi, so they were responsible and cared for her. They would be more concerned regarding helping her than others.

General Ji still felt a bit of unease, but he knew Gu Nianzhi was also an adult, and the Special Ops gave her special protective measures, so she should be easy to find. However, the operator replied, "Reporting to the Chief, Lieutenant Colonel Yin and Lieutenant Colonel Zhao are both on missions. They are unable to speak on the phone right now."

General Ji tightened his hands and secretly thought something was amiss. Gu Nianzhi had disappeared, and all three of them were on missions at the same time! He asked in a grave tone, "What missions are Yin Shixiong or Zhao Liangze on? Who sent them out?"

The operator knew they were speaking to General Ji, the highest commanding officer in the military. However, the Special Ops was rather unique, and even General Ji was not allowed to question certain things. If he must know, then Speaker Long also had to be present. The operator replied politely, "General Ji, this is the Special Operations Forces' process. They will report to General Ji upon their return."

At those words, General Ji also understood. He had been anxious earlier and had forgotten that rule. He immediately composed himself with the reminder. He nodded. "I understand." Yin Shixiong and Zhao Liangze were both away, and General Ji felt it was necessary for him to be responsible for this.

The next day, General Ji held a special meeting with the Supreme Military Council and informed the seven attendees of Gu Nianzhi's disappearance. "This young girl has made a great contribution to our nation. I think there is something strange with her disappearance. What do you think?"

Everyone remembered how Gu Nianzhi had first appeared wearing a backpack that carried a priceless blueprint for fighter jet technology. "It is strange." A general sitting next to General Ji frowned. "But she's no longer an orphan. Shouldn't we tell her family first? Has her father awakened?" To these people, the most important person right now wasn't Gu Nianzhi, but her father, Gu Xiangwen. Gu Nianzhi had only brought them a blueprint, but if Gu Xiangwen woke up, he would be a priceless asset that could provided countless blueprints. These could be used to invent and help the Hua Xia Empire break out of the technological bottleneck in various top technologies.

However, they still all unanimously agreed to use the highest specifications to rescue Gu Nianzhi, merely because she was Gu Xiangwen's daughter. They all assumed that Gu Xiangwen would refuse to work with them if he awoke and found his beloved youngest daughter missing... Of course, General Ji also knew that Gu Nianzhi had another important identity as the girl Huo Shaoheng loved. He needed to help Huo Shaoheng find his fiancee. However, General Ji didn't mention this, since Huo Shaoheng's marriage request was only known by himself and his own personal secretary, Secretary Cao.

General Ji looked at everyone in the meeting. "Guanchen, I'll leave you in charge of this. Go to the hospital today to see if Gu Xiangwen is awake first, then find a way to tell her sister the news."

Huo Guanchen quickly nodded. "I'll go once this meeting concludes. This can't wait, as it looks like it was already delayed quite a bit."

"Yes, we need this to be quick. I'll provide anything you need, and you will take the lead. Just let me know what you require, I'll be your support," General Ji stated solemnly to indicate the severity of the situation. Once everyone left, General Ji came clean to Huo Guanchen. "Guanchen, there's something else you have to know."

"What is it?" Huo Guanchen looked at General Ji, perplexed. "Is it about Gu Nianzhi?"

"Well, pretty much." General Ji looked around before whispering, "Shaoheng already submitted his marriage request before he went abroad. The military has approved it, along with Gu Nianzhi's background check, so she's already your future daughter-in-law. You must try your best to help her with this situation."

Huo Guanchen froze. "What? Shaoheng is marrying her?! No way? How... can this be?! General Ji, are you joking with me?"

"Why would I joke about something like that?!" General Ji was miffed. "No one else knows about this, so you have to keep it a secret, too. Otherwise, I don't know what Shaoheng would think..."

Huo Guanchen pursed his lips, his mind at a loss. His own son had submitted a marriage request, but he was the last to know. Even General Ji was aware before he was. As with Gu Nianzhi, with her identity of growing up under Shaoheng's care, what would others think if they got married? But he knew that because she was Gu Xiangwen's biological daughter, no one would dare or be allowed to gossip. If Gu Nianzhi wasn't Gu Xiangwen's daughter, Huo Guanchen would be rejecting this with all his being. He swallowed his anger and promised General Ji, "Please don't worry, General Ji. I'll be sure to find the best personnel to investigate the incident using the highest specifications."

General Ji patted his shoulder. "I'll leave this to you. I'm confident that you'll take care of it." From General Ji's point of view, it was most appropriate in terms of personal and business reasons to have Huo Gunachen take charge of investigating Gu Nainzhi's disappearance while Huo Shaoheng was abroad.

...

After the meeting, Huo Guanchen returned to his office and immediately called his private secretary to assign the mission. He didn't disclose what it was but only told them it was an important mission, so he needed to convene a meeting with all the relevant personnel from the military and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The highest specifications were required, and there would be continuous communication with the Special Operations Forces in order to arrange for the best rescue operation. Because this was abroad, the Special Ops had a natural advantage.

With Huo Guanchen's orders, his personal secretary went to make the arrangements. After planning the topic of the meeting, he took his vehicle to the hospital on the Special Ops base. Gu Xiangwen was being closely guarded there and was treated exclusively by Chen Lie and Ye Zitan. Ye Zitan had even been demoted to the position of nurse to highlight Gu Xiangwen's importance. Not even General Ji would receive nursing care from Ye Zitan, who was second only to the best doctor in the nation, Chen Lie.

When Huo Guanchen came to visit Gu Xiangwen, Gu Yanran also happened to be there, because it was the day of the week that she came by to visit. Huo Guanchen brought two personal secretaries with him and nodded to Gu Yanran when he saw her. "Miss Gu."

Gu Yanran recognized Huo Guanchen as Huo Shaoheng's father, who held the rank of general, which was even senior to Huo Shaoheng. She gracefully extended her hand and smiled. "Oh? To what do we owe the honor of having General Huo visit today? We are truly blessed and honored!"

Huo Guanchen didn't intend to shake her hand but couldn't refuse, since she was already offering. He shook it briefly. "Miss Gu is too polite. I'm here to see how your father is doing and ask when he will wake up."

Gu Yanran smiled. "That's a question for Dr. Chen and Dr. Ye." As they chatted, Chen Lie and Ye Zitan walked in.

"Hello Chief." They quickly saluted Huo Guanchen.

He raised his hand. "Hello Dr. Chen and Dr. Ye." He walked over to Gu Xiangwen's sickbed to observe for a while and turned to ask Chen Lie standing behind him, "Dr. Chen, when will Mr. Gu wake up?"

Chen Lie spread his palms. "Chief, this is not an easy question to answer. He's been in a vegetative state for too long, and so many of his bodily functions have atrophied. I have just slightly restored some of his bodily functions, but I wouldn't know as to when he'll wake up."

Huo Guanchen sighed internally but remained outwardly calm. "Ok, I understand. You must try your best to save him, regardless of price."

Gu Yanran was both touched and uneasy when she heard this. She whispered, "Chief... Chief Huo, Dr. Chen and Dr. Ye are trying their best. It's not their fault that my father is in such bad condition."

Huo Guanchen had a good impression of Gu Yanran. She was graceful, and the wealthiest person in her country. The key reason she controlled a large amount of assets at such a young age was because she was understanding. She was too kind to even medical personnel..."We should be ashamed that Miss Gu thinks that way." Huo Guanchen looked up slightly and recalled Gu Nianzhi's incident. "Is Miss Gu free? I need to speak to you about something."

"I happen to be free today and especially made time to come see my father." Gu Yanran nodded with a smile. "Please, go ahead."

"Please come with me." Huo Guanchen didn't want to tell her in front of Chen Lie and Ye Zitan. He knew Chen Lie and Huo Shaoheng were close friends, so he was worried that Chen Lie would forgo military conduct and secretly inform Huo Shaoheng. Huo Guanchen absolutely didn't want Huo Shaoheng's mission to impacted by Gu Nianzhi.

Gu Yanran looked around when she noticed Huo Guanchen didn't want to disclose it there. "Of course."

Huo Guanchen took her to the main floor of the hospital, and they walked to the empty field in front of the building. Huo Guanchen and Gu Yanran were the only two people standing in the vast space, and in the distant four corners stood Huo Guanchen's personal secretaries and guards, who were vigilantly checking the surroundings to prevent irrelevant people from coming close. In the empty space, Huo Guanchen whispered to Gu Yanran, "Miss Gu, we just received news that your younger sister, Gu Nianzhi, went missing in Germany."

Gu Yanran's mouth gaped, and her eyes glazed over. "What did you say? Who went missing?" She looked at him in confusion like she hadn't heard correctly.

"Your sister, Gu Nianzhi." Huo Guanchen slowed his speech and enunciated each word carefully. He looked at her helplessness expression with pity.

Gu Yanan closed her eyes and covered her mouth with her hand. When she opened her eyes again, they swirled with tears as she choked, "Oh? How did she go missing?! She's just a young girl and is so pretty, too. She's not familiar with Germany. I don't dare to imagine her fate if she ends up in the hands of those perverts..."

Huo Guanchen quickly said, "No need to be so pessimistic, maybe she's just stuck somewhere. Let's say she got her wallet and phone stolen while she was traveling and couldn't contact anyone for the time being." He continued, "Also, General Ji has personally given orders to have us use the highest specifications with this investigation. He'll approve all resources and personnel necessary, so everyone in Europe will be sent to Germany to look for her. She'll be ok."

Gu Yanran wiped her tears and replied quietly, "Thank you, General Huo. You're right. My sister has always been a handful, and when we find her, I'll make sure to scold her so she stops giving people trouble."

"How is this trouble?" Huo Guanchen chuckled heartily. "She's Gu Xiangwen's biological daughter. Just this fact alone means we will rescue her at any cost. Besides that, your father won't accept it when he wakes up and sees that we didn't try our best!"

Gu Yanran sighed. "Thank you and General Ji for your concern. The highest specifications... Oh, Nianzhi is such a lucky girl. Although she's not my father's biological daughter, my father has loved her as much as me. He'll be sure to be grateful when he wakes up."