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690 Never Retreat 1

 Huo Shaoheng appeared as cold as ice as in the T3 terminal building, and he completely ignored the guests Cai Songyin brought to welcome Tan Guiren. Walking out of the Imperial Capital International Airport, he saw that Yin Shixiong was already waiting outside with Special Operations Forces vehicles. Several cars flanked Huo Shaoheng's vehicle from front and back, so other cars could only park and observe from a distance.

...

Cai Songyin's personal assistant asked with distress, "Mrs. Cai, will Major General Huo still be going to the Senate?" They had planned to take Tan Guiren and Huo Shaoheng to the Senate to attend Tan Dongbang's first televised speech since his election as Prime Minister, so Cai Songyin had especially contacted her friends in the media to carefully arrange a small welcome ceremony. But then something like this happened...

Although Cai Songyin was unhappy, she still put up a smile. "Of course he'll be going. It's no problem. We'll head over first, and we can let General Ji know when we get there." Would Huo Shaoheng dare disobey if General Ji asked him to attend?

Tan Guiren was the only one feeling uneasy. She was silent for a moment and asked, "Mommy, Mr. Huo still has something else to take care of. Let's go by ourselves. Don't make things hard for him."

"Haha, you're being so thoughtful already? Girls do focus on their husbands' families..." Cai Songyin was very happy that her precious daughter finally had a clue now. How could she not be happy?

Tan Guiren forced a smile. "Mommy, he already has a girlfriend. Stop talking like that."

"Haha, who said he has one? A girlfriend not accepted by his family could only be considered a female friend, don't you understand? Ok, I'll stop talking about this stuff. We have to go see your dad. He misses you so much." Cai Songyin took Tan Guiren's hand, and they also headed to the terminal exit.

...

Huo Shaoheng climbed into the car and sat in the middle of the back seat. Yin Shixiong sat beside him. Ma Qiqi wasn't in the same car but was in the one behind them. She was riding with a female Special Ops agent. Zhao Liangze sat in the front passenger seat, where the car's navigation and communication system could be connected to the Central Control Room. Fan Jian immediately started the car and quickly sped towards the Special Ops base. Huo Shaheng had only given him 30 minutes, so he had to drive like a mad man in order to complete his task...

As soon as Yin Shixiong got into the car, he explained Gu Nianzhi's situation. "...By the time I was notified and called back to the Hua Xia Empire, Nianzhi had already been missing for more than two weeks." He continued, "But Professor He is frantically searching for her right now, so we can cooperate with him."

Huo Shaoheng remained expressionless, but his long and slightly angled eyes twitched continuously. This meant he was completely livid, but his many years of concealing emotions meant not many people could sense his rage. "You're telling me that we only received news Nianzhi was missing two weeks after it happened? Give me the on duty schedule. Who was watching her when she went missing?" Huo Shaoheng purposely ignored everything said about He Zhichu. His voice was low and even, so it sounded very pleasant yet carried incredible pressure.

Sweat began to bead on the side of Yin Shixiong's forehead. "No... No one was watching her," he stammered.

Huo Shaoheng swept his eyes over, his chin tightening and lips pressed thin into a straight line. "No one? Looks like someone wants to be executed." Squinting, Huo Shaoheng's voice seemed to emerge deep from within the earth and carried a lethal edge. "Nianzhi's security privilege is A1. That's the same as General Ji and Speaker Long's. It's even one level higher than the Prime Minister's. You tell me who had enough power to cause the news of her disappearance to be delayed for over two weeks!"

Not only was Yin Shixiong's entire body shaking, but his voice also wavered. "Not too long after you went abroad for the mission, Nianzhi's security privileges were completely revoked, so she was only considered a normal citizen when she went abroad, and no one was watching her 24/7 or continuously checking her satellite tracking all the time..."

Huo Shaoheng looked up slowly, his eyes flashing like lightning at Yin Shixiong. Ha, he laughed quietly and balled his hands into tight fists. In that moment, Huo Shaoheng recalled how he had nearly lost everything because of the betrayal by the mole within the Special Ops and had been forced to stay abroad for a few months. If he hadn't reacted quickly and had several aces hidden up his sleeve, then he would've been a goner this time...

Only by knocking him down could Nianzhi lose all her protection, making her meat on a butcher's block. "Looks like it was a chain reaction..." Slowly leaning back into the seat, Huo Shaoheng's body failed to relax. His voice was icy. "Removed? Who agreed to this? Who executed it? Big Xiong, don't you tell me you don't know anything!"

Yin Shixiong shook so hard he nearly jumped up from his seat, "Reporting to Chief! I've compiled a list of names! We await your sentencing!" In the last few days he had been unable to track Gu Nianzhi's location due to several reasons, but he had still done a great deal of work, such as suggesting various suspicious areas to Huo Shaoheng. Yin Shixiong had investigated everything and prepared a list of names of the people responsible for this.

Huo Shaoheng expressionlessly looked at the blurring scenery outside their speeding car and replied coolly, "Then what are you waiting for? Arrest them all immediately."

"Oh?!" Yin Shixiong stiffened. "Arrest... them?! But... But the people proposing the revocation and executing the order were all... members of the Supreme Military Council." A normal person certainly didn't have a high enough rank to make such a decision.

Huo Shaoheng crossed his arms and closed his eyes. The corners of his lips turned down. "Then this won't happen in time." When dealing with people of that kind of rank, he certainly couldn't arrest them on a whim. But would he just let things slide? Of course not! "Give me the list." Huo Shaoheng held out his upturned hands to Yin Shixiong.

Yin Shixiong took out his electronic notepad and placed it in Huo Shaoheng's hands with both hands. Huo Shaoheng read over the list line by line. There were only seven members on the standing committee of the Supreme Military Council, but the entire Council consisted of 50 some members. A total of three members had suggested and executed the revocation of Gu Nianzhi's security privileges, and they belonged to the Supreme Military Council. Of course, they weren't in the standing committee, but these three people's suggestion was accepted through majority vote of all the members.

The specific reason was because they believed Gu Nianzhi's father, Gu Xiangwen, had already been found and was under military protection, so the A1 security privilege should be given to Gu Xiangwen instead of Gu Nianzhi. In the beginning, Huo Shaoheng had been entrusted by the military to act as Gu Nianzhi's guardian, so they certainly had complete jurisdiction over everything related to Gu Nianzhi. However, they purposely circumvented Huo Shaoheng's execution of his duty as guardian, making the situation very interesting.

Huo Shaoheng read the list expressionlessly and wrote a few words on it before passing it to Zhao Liangze in the front. "Report to General Ji and tell him that I received foregin intelligence indicating these people are moles. Ask the military police to conduct an investigation to clear their names."

Zhao Liangze was speechless. Major General, this is brazen revenge!

Yin Shixiong was also speechless. Major General, it'd be even more perfect if you could stress the words, "clear their names!"

Suddenly, the car phone by Zhao Liangze rang, and he saw it was from the car behind them. Zhao Liangze picked up, "What is it?"

Ma Qiqi's anxious voice could be heard from the phone. "Is Brother Xiong there? I want to ask you guys where we're going?! Nianzhi is getting beaten! She's being electrocuted! Why aren't you rescuing her instead of going in circles here!?"

"Electrocuted?!" Huo Shaoheng looked straight in the direction of the car phone. "How do you know?!"

"I have a video on my phone! Those bad guys sent it to me!" Ma Qiqi was terrified by Huo Shaoheng's tone. She shrank back and raised her phone fearfully. "Well, Brother Xiong has it, too. I forwarded it to him."

Huo Shaoheng glanced at Yin Shixiong and before he could even ask, Yin Shixiong raised his hands and quickly said, "My phone was confiscated by General Huo."

Lips twitching, Huo Shaoheng replied simply, "Stop the car." His vehicle screeched to a halt on the highway shoulder, and Ma Qiqi's phone was quickly delivered into his hands. The car soon started again, and Huo Shaoheng pressed play. Gu Nianzhi's painful cries could be heard inside the car, and the veins popped on the back of Huo Shaoheng's hand that was holding the phone. On the five-inch phone screen, Gu Nianzhi's pretty face was a blur, but he could clearly see the dark bruises and serious swelling. However, she looked at the camera fiercely instead of with fear... She was worried, but about what? Huo Shaoheng's hand slowly moved up the phone screen. He wanted to stroke her contorted face, but as soon as he touched the screen, he quickly shrank back as if shocked. It was like he was deathly afraid that he would be too forceful and hurt her...

Yes, she felt pain, and a lot of it, too... When she had been by his side and simply pricked her hand with a sewing needle, she had grumbled for half a day afterwards. He was always busy with work and typically ignored her grumbling, but he would still occasionally take the time to pat her head, and she would smile brightly just from that.

Like a blooming flower, she was brilliant, and he was unable to look away... But he remembered how Nianzhi had nearly been shocked into paralysis in the blue hole's waters yet pretended she wasn't in pain at all. He had no idea when it started, but she seemed to be hiding even her pain from him. She only wanted to show him her best side...

Gu Nianzhi acting like that evoked more pity than the version of her who liked to grumble and be coy all the time. Huo Shaoheng knew better than anyone just how timid she was. When he first began taking care of her, Gu Nianzhi would often wake up from nightmares but didn't dare disturb him, so she would carry her little blanket and sleep in front of his study. One night when he was working until midnight, he opened the door to see her tiny figure curled up in deep sleep in front of his door. He finally realized she was insecure to that degree, and from then on, he would accompany her at night no matter how busy he was. He would be with her when she woke up from her nightmares. He believed that as long as he was the first thing she saw when she woke from a nightmare, she wouldn't be scared again.

Now, another nightmare had befallen her, so who would she see when she opened her eyes? His heart felt like multiple cuts were being made on it, then were doused with salt water. The pain was so intense, it numbed him, but it was only when he saw that one name written on every cut on his heart that he understood that Gu Nianzhi's existence had already become an inextricable part of his life. For her, he would never retreat or ever let go.