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697 Ye Zitan’s Motive 1

 Huo Shaoheng knew that Chen Lie was most worried about Ye Zitan, but that was too bad, because Ye Zitan was the biggest suspect. He sighed. "Chen Lie, don't let your feelings get involved. If Dr. Ye is not a suspect, we will automatically let her go."

"What do you mean?" Chen Lie walked out from behind the desk and stood in front of Huo Shaoheng. Although he was not as tall as Huo Shaoheng, the aura of anger radiating from him made him seem much taller than usual.

Huo Shaoheng thought about it and gave Zhao Liangze a call. "Did you find everything that I told you to find?"

Zhao Liangze quickly asked, "Is it the three letters you asked me to find before you got back?"

"Yes, did you find them?" Huo Shaoheng glanced at the puzzled Chen Lie. "Since you found them, bring them to Doctor Chen's office."

Five minutes later, Zhao Liangze knocked on Chen Lie's office door. Huo Shaoheng opened the door himself and took the folder with the word "classified" stamped on it.

"Huo Shao, General Ji has already called you multiple times," Zhao Liangze said with deep concern. "Shouldn't you find an opportunity to return General Ji's phone calls?"

No matter how angry he was, he shouldn't be angry with his superior. Huo Shaoheng understood that, but he was really not in the mood nor did he have the energy to report to General Ji concerning his work. In addition, the work over there was even more menial and complicated. However, he had to solve the problem at hand first and then go to General Ji and solve the problem over there. He had to climb the stairs step by step. If he climbed to the top of the building when the foundation was not firm, someone could easily push him down.

Huo Shaoheng said to him, "If General Ji calls again, tell him I'm very busy right now. A lot of people are locked in the guardroom, and I need to look through them one by one. When things over here are finished, I'll personally go to the military's supreme council standing committee to give a thorough and detailed report."

"Yes, sir! I got it. Wait 'til Huo Shao finishes handling everything over here. Then he will report to the members of the standing committee concerning his work."

"Yes, say it like that." Huo Shaoheng nodded at him and closed the door. He went back and stood in front of Chen Lie. Huo Shaoheng shook the folder in his hand. He said to Chen Lie, "Chen Lie, I'm sorry about how things were done, but you have to know that I'm not doing it without reason."

The corner of Chen Lie's mouth raised. "Of course you have a reason. Our Special Operation Forces' magnificent Huo Shaoheng has a reason for everything he does."

Huo Shaoheng didn't take Chen Lie's biting sarcasm to heart and gave him the folder. "There are three original stubs for three registered letters along with two letters in here. Take a look at them."

Chen Lie was baffled but took the folder. He opened it and took a quick glance at it and said, "...Three registered mail stubs, but why are there only two letters? Where is the other one?" He looked at the registered stub without the letter, and his heart sank. "That letter was mailed here?"

Huo Shaoheng nodded. He slowly walked to the window. He clasped his hands behind his back as he looked at the bright night scene and said faintly, "You know that a few months ago I was at my new assignment in New York."

"Yes, for the prime minister's daughter..." Chen Lie pursed his lips cynically. "I knew it the first thing this morning. What of it? Is there a problem? One is the little girl who is absolutely infatuated with you, the other is a perfect woman born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Who are you going to pick?"

"What nonsense are you talking about?" Huo Shaoheng turned his head and shot a glance at him. "I'm telling you official matters."

"Ok, ok, ok. Continue." Chen Lie raised his hand as if surrendering. "I'm all ears."

"...When I went to New York for my mission, there was a setback. All of our activities were being monitored by someone. We almost failed the mission."

Chen Lie was speechless. He became serious. "Are you telling me the truth?"

"Why would I lie to you? People in our field are always prepared to die at any moment, but we are not always prepared to be betrayed by our own people." Huo Shaoheng turned around. His expression was as calm and collected and composed as before, but what came out of his mouth was full of murderous spirit and piercingly cold. "People in our field have a rule; never let the one who betrays their comrade get away with it."

"Could your mission have failed because of your own doing? You said someone betrayed your guy, but do you have any evidence of that?" Chen Lie didn't know why, but his heart started to beat faster.

"Yes, there are many possibilities." Huo Shaoheng turned again and continued to look out the window. "That's why these few months while I was in the country, I looked into every one of them. I sent three registered letters to three agencies that were most likely to leak confidential matters."

Chen Lie held his breath. He looked at Huo Shaoheng nervously. "And then?"

"Then, only that letter that was sent to you proved it has something to do with the one who betrayed my people," Huo Shaoheng said with calmness, not carrying a hit of emotion.

Chen Lie's legs became weak, and he was paralyzed as he sat on the floor. His round face was ghastly pale. Behind his glasses were a pair of terrified, round eyes. "...No, no way... Maybe there was some kind of misunderstanding?"

Huo Shaoheng didn't turn his head. He didn't want Chen Lie to lose face. "Chen Lie, even if it's as you say, I never suspected you because of our many years of friendship. Because we know too much of each other's secrets. If you wanted to betray me, you could use any of it to hurt me. There was no need to forgo what is close at hand and seek what is far afield."

Hearing Huo Shaoheng say that made Chen Lie's smiling face uglier than his crying face. He opened his mouth and wanted to say what was on his mind, many times. However, many years of military discipline wouldn't let him. It was not just any kind of crime. It was betraying your own comrades. It was the kind of crime that got people killed. Even if he personally took the blame, Huo Shaoheng wouldn't allow the real traitor to get away with it. Because if he did, it would result in even more comrades' deaths. No matter how selfish Chen Lie was, he couldn't do something so immoral.

He was in agony. He was in so much agony that he wanted to die. There was a big and heavy rock on his heart, so heavy that it immobilized him.

"Chen Lie, I think you already know this. All your mail, even calls, are all handled by Dr. Ye alone. I asked Little Zhao to retrieve these three letters, and only the one sent here was not recovered. I asked Zhou Qiyuan to ask Ye Zitan about it, and she said she had never seen this letter before."

Chen Lie sighed. He held onto the desk as he stood up. He still carried a bit of hope as he said, "Maybe she really didn't get it, and somebody else got it. You know that I really hadn't seen this letter before."

"You are right, but Zho Qiyuan already looked into it. That letter was registered by the dispatch department. That could only mean it was already sent to your hospital building. Then there was the record of distribution. The last recorded record of it was in the hands of Ye Zitan." Huo Shaoheng heaved a sigh as he shook his head. "I don't want it to be her, either, but all the evidence points to her. There's nothing we can do."

The first thing he had done when he got back was deal with the situation concerning the traitor. The net Ye Zitan was caught in had been cast by him for three months. He could finally put it away now.

Chen Lie kept silent as he sat on the sofa with his head down, unable to collect his thoughts. He picked at a little hole on the sofa without realizing what he was doing.

Huo Shaoheng then said, "Chen Lie, other than the letter, Ye Zitan also did something I cannot forgive."

Chen Lie sneered and said, "She betrayed you. It's already the most unforgivable thing. What's more serious than that?"

"She betrayed Nianzhi." Huo Shaoheng then said with indifference, "Didn't you want to know who bound the cat and threw it down the stairs? This time, she was one of them."

"Ah?!" Chen Lie jumped. This shocked him. "Wh, wh, why?! No way! Isn't she on good terms with Nianzhi?! Why would she do that to Nianzhi!" Chen Lie looked at Huo Shaoheng in surprise. All kinds of conspiracy theories went through his mind. He even thought that maybe Ye Zitan was also secretly in love with Huo Shaoheng. That was why she was envious of Gu Nianzhi and hated her...

Huo Shaoheng knew he was thinking too much just by looking at his eyes. He coughed silently and looked away and said, "Actually, I want to know Ye Zitan's motive, too. Chen Lie, do you want to personally ask her?"

Chen Lie held his head and bent over on the sofa. He had mixed feelings. If what Huo Shaoheng said is true, then it would be... really difficult to get Ye Zitan out of this situation alive. But what if it's all a misunderstanding? What if a really clever person planned all kinds of traps and framed Ye Zitan?!

"Huo Shao, are you really sure it's Ye... Dr. Ye? She... why would she do that?!" Chen Lie was puzzled. "It didn't matter if it was her treatment, or her status, or her position, she didn't need to do this kind of thing."

Huo Shaoheng nodded. "I also thought so, but all the evidence points to her. There's nothing I can do."

Chen Lie looked at Huo Shaoheng, vexed. "I think..."

"I don't need you to think." Huo Saoheng interrupted Chen Lie's hesitating speech. "Also, one more thing, because of Ye Zitan's betrayal, two of our special agents died in Berlin."

Chen Lie felt like his heart had finally fallen and shattered. Before, he had some hope left. He had hoped that he could ask for leniency for Ye Zitan as a favor. Even if she got a life sentence, it would be better than being shot dead by a firing squad. But now, two lives were involved. He knew that if he plead for leniency, he would be as guilty as Ye Zitan, someone who betrayed their comrades.

Although he had been secretly in love with Ye Zitan for many years, he still knew what was right and wrong. Also, the Ye Zitan he was secretly in love with wouldn't do such a demented thing.

"...Huo Shao, tell me again, how these things prove she's the one who did it?" Chen Lie asked for proof one last time. He wanted to put an end to the unrequited love he had for her. His facial expression was numb.

Huo Shaoheng hugged his arms and sat on the window ledge. The evening wind blew as it carried the slight chill of late autumn. He spoke with a rich, deep voice like a subwoofer. "One, when I was in America, I sent three letters. Each contained one of the three different locations. They were of where I was staying at in New York. In the end, only the letter that was sent to your office containing the location resulted in the American CIA agents raiding the neighborhood.

"Two, Zhou Qiyuan's investigation proved that Nianzhi once called and sent a text to your phone, but your phone had no record of the text or the call. Only after doing some technical things with the phone did we retrieve those deleted records. That was during the time when you were performing an operation and when Ye Zitan had your phone.

"Third, before the Department of Field Work sent two field agents to Germany, they received a call from the medical office to get vaccinated. After technical personnel retrieved the data from her phone, they found a very special phone number that sent her a text from her phone. It had not only the two field agents' pictures but also indicated that following these two field agents would help them find Nianzhi."