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702 The Protective Huo Shao 2

 Chen Lie was looking in the mirror and looked away in shock towards Gu Nianzhi at the words. "'Mr. Huo?' When did you so grow distant from Boss?"

Gu Nianzhi shrugged. "It's only right. I was too immature before and gloated from the tiniest bit of kindness. But was that necessary? I was so desperately clingy, and in the end I was only disliked..."

"Nianzhi, why are you speaking so strangely?" Chen Lie stopped looking in the mirror and walked around Gu Nianzhi. "Did you fall in love with someone else after going to Germany?"

"Hmph! You're the one falling for someone else!" Gu Nianzhi shot him a sidelong glance. "I merely gave up, just like you. I gave up, got it?"

Chen Lie shook his head with a look of pity. "I don't understand. Why aren't you enjoying what's good instead of causing trouble for yourself? Do you want to end up like me..."

"Stop right there." Gu Nianzhi quickly put a stop to Chen Lie's divergence. "There is a fundamental difference between us. Stop being such a busybody with everyone. It's annoying. This isn't even a big deal or anything, so stop talking about it, Brother Chen. I should've kept my big mouth shut and not said anything to you. You are terrible at keeping secrets, and before tomorrow morning, the entire base will know from your chattering. I'm warning you now, if someone else knows about this, I'll tell everyone your thing, too!"

Chen Lie finally glanced at her and inched over to whisper, "Are you serious?"

"Do I look like I'm joking?" Gu Nianzhi walked out. "I almost lost my life going to Germany this time. Do you know? When people face life and death, they will expand their perspectives and see many things clearly."

Chen Lie sighed and muttered behind Gu Nianzhi, "Someone is not grateful for her own blessings. It's not my problem if she wants to screw herself over. I already said what I could and did as much as I could as a friend."

Gu Nianzhi was speechless. She could only pretend she didn't hear anything. Sitting back down on the sofa, she watched Chen Lie leave the office and went back to playing with her iPad.

Chen Lie walked out of the office with slumped shoulders and gazed at the inky sky outside the windows of the long hallway before heading to the elevators. By the elevator doors, Huo Shaoheng's back was to the hallway as he smoked facing the windows. He had a strapping figure, straight back, broad shoulders, and a thick weaponry belt around his powerful waist and incredibly long legs. But even the handsome one, the cool and impressive Huo Shao, would get dumped one day... Chen Lie suddenly felt great relief and a bit more confident. He straightened his back and coughed. "Huo Shao is back? Why don't you go sit inside? I'm going to go see... Dr. Ye."

Huo Shaoheng ignored him as he continued to gaze out at the night sky and smoke his cigarette. Chen Lie frowned. "Go outside if you're going to smoke. Strictly speaking, this is also a non-smoking zone. Although there are windows..."

Huo Shaoheng stopped smoking but held the cigarette in his hand as he continued to look out the window. Yin Shixiong stood behind him and was frowning so hard that his handsome face with strong brows and large eyes was about to wrinkle. Chen Lie waved to Yin Shixiong before getting into the elevator and heading to where Ye Zitan was being locked up.

...

After Chen Lie left, Yin Shixiong couldn't take it anymore and asked quietly, "Sir, what's wrong with Nianzhi?" The way Gu Nianzhi said, "Mr. Huo" earlier shocked Yin Shixiong to the core. It was like seeing a precious daughter adored by her father suddenly deciding to cut off all ties with him.

Huo Shaoheng glanced at him before looking down and replying coolly, "She's probably still sick."

"She should take medication if she's sick. Otherwise, she's going to terrify other people." Yin Shixiong scratched the back of his head. "Then... Are you still going inside?"

Huo Shaoheng threw the half finished cigarette into the garbage under the window sill and took out a new one to light. "Yeah, after I finish this cigarette." Yin Shixiong glanced at the last cigarette Huo Shaoheng had just thrown into the garbage, then at the second one in his hand. He decided to shut up.

...

Ye Zitan couldn't fall asleep. Her dinner in the evening was extraordinarily richer than usual, so she knew she was done for. She actually never thought that her end would come so soon. After having dinner, she went to shower properly and changed into her favorite clothes before sitting at the end of her bed and waiting for the morning with wide eyes. When it was nearly 4am, the guard came to tell her Chen Lie was visiting.

Ye Zitan smiled bitterly and walked out of her cell to arrive at the interrogation room with the glass wall divider from earlier. Chen Lie was dressed cheerfully and appeared very elegant. Standing before the glass wall, he looked at her solemnly and nodded when she arrived. "Dr. Ye, this is the last time I'm coming to see you. I want to know if you can tell me what they used to convince you to lose your basic humanity."

Ye Zitan didn't expect Chen Lie to say that, and her face blanched. Her mouth gaped, and she was stunned silent for a long moment before she stammered, "You don't understand, you don't understand. Their technology is much too advanced compared to us. We can't catch up, and you can't, either..."

"Dr. Ye, that's the difference between us. I never believed anyone could be better than us. If they exist, then we will surely overtake them in the future. No one is first place forever. Everyone is advancing and developing through competition with each other." Chen Lie pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose. "It's my regret that you ended up being such an unscrupulous person."

Ye Zitan finally couldn't take it anymore and burst into tears. She regretted it now, but it was too late. There was no such thing as second chances in life. Covering her face, she wailed pitifully.

Chen Lie still had something to say and quietly waited for her to finish crying before continuing, "The fact that you're crying proves you understand what you did wrong. When you arrive at the underworld and see those two field comrades, I hope you remember to apologize to them. And apologize to them on my behalf as well."

Ye Zitan's entire body shook. "I'm... I'm about to die?"

Chen Lie didn't speak but looked away unwillingly. Ye Zitan pressed her head against the glass wall and shook like a leaf in the wind. After some time, she looked up at Chen Lie. "I wronged them. If I see them, I'll be sure to ask for their forgiveness." She paused, then continued, "What about Nianzhi? Is she still doing ok?"

"She's fine, she just woke up." Chen Lie nodded. "Luckily, she's ok. Otherwise, I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to stop myself from ending you myself."

Ye Zitan smiled at him bitterly. "Dr. Chen, I also want to see Nianzhi and apologize to her directly."

She would only have the opportunity to apologize to the two field personnel after her death, but with Nianzhi, Ye Zitan wanted to apologize to her before she died. This could possibly be Ye Zitan's last wish, so Chen Lie considered it. "Just wait." He walked outside and called Huo Shaoheng on his phone. "Boss, Dr. Ye says she wants to see Nianzhi. What do you think?"

Huo Shaoheng was still smoking in front of the window by the elevator when Chen Lie's voice was heard in his Bluetooth headset. He thought about it for a while and said, "Let her see Nianzhi." He then glanced at Yin Shixiong standing behind him. "Take Nianzhi to see Ye Zitan." There was audio and visual recording in the interrogation room anyway, so Huo Shaoheng wanted to see what Ye Zitan would say to Gu Nianzhi. Nianzhi was so smart, so she might "lead" Ye Zitan into revealing who the mastermind was.

"Roger, Chief." Yin Shixiong shared the same thought and quickly went to Chen Lie's office to see Gu Nianzhi still playing games on her iPad. He waved frantically at her. "Nianzhi, Dr. Ye wants to see you. Hurry up and come with me."

Gu Nianzhi was a little shocked and set down the iPad. Straightening her clothes, she called out crisply, "Brother Xiong, long time no see." She then got up and quickly walked to the door. "Why does Dr. Ye want to see me?"

"I don't know, but Dr. Chen called just now to ask Chief and got his permission." Yin Shixiong spoke as he discreetly observed Gu Nianzhi's expression. In the past, Gu Nianzhi always smiled like a blooming flower whenever he spoke about Huo Shao, but she appeared very calm today and didn't have a mood swing at all. Scratching his head, Yin Shixiong decided not to mention this.

Gu Nianzhi followed Yin Shixiong to the elevator and got inside. She noticed Yin Shixiong was still looking around and asked, "Brother Xiong, what are you looking at?"

Yin Shixiong opened his mouth but recalled how Gu Nianzhi had called Huo Shaoheng, "Mr. Huo" just now. He decided not to mention anything and smiled. "I was just seeing if anyone else was coming. If not, we can close the elevator."

Gu Nianzhi pouted when she thought about how it was 4am. Who would be getting on an elevator right now? He couldn't even come up with a proper excuse... She didn't speak again but soon arrived at the interrogation room with Yin Shixiong. Chen Lie was waiting for them at the door and grabbed her arm as soon as she arrived. They went inside together while Yin Shixiong guarded the door. Inside the interrogation room, Ye Zitan was already curled up by the glass wall and appeared very haggard.

Gu Nianzhi quietly went over and didn't feel good seeing Ye Zitan in that state. Coughing softly, she asked, "Dr. Ye?"

Ye Zitan looked up slowly, and her eyes glittered when she saw Gu Nianzhi had arrived. She quickly supported herself on the glass wall to stand up and kept her eyes on Gu Nianzhi, her gaze burning with greediness. "Nianzhi? You're really ok? That's so great! Nianzhi, I'm sorry... Sorry, I shouldn't have traded you for the experimental data..." Her voice was shrill and carried excitement uncharacteristic from before.

What could Gu Nianzhi say? Thank you for not killing me? She stayed quiet.

Ye Zitan's mood was rather unstable. She watched Gu Nianzhi through the glass wall as she laughed and cried, "Nianzhi... You're the one I wronged the most. You're actually more pitiful than me. I shouldn't have collaborated with others to hurt you. I still remember the time you were raped to that extent, all covered in injuries, and I was so heartbroken to see it. How could I cast salt on your wounds? Greed must have blinded me..."

Gu Nianzhi's expression fell, and she interjected awkwardly, "Dr. Ye, do you know what you're saying?! Being raped? That never happened..."

Zhao Liangze was recording the interrogation from the Central Control Room and quickly turned off all recording equipment before notifying Huo Shaoheng. "Chief, listen to what Ye Zitan is saying to Nianzhi!"

The sounds of Ye Zitan's crying and laughter were heard in Huo Shaoheng's Bluetooth headset before the words, "...the time you were raped to that extent..."

"Motherf*cker! Damn it!" The normally unperturbed Huo Shaoheng suddenly threw his cigarette to the ground and swore.