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734 Willing but Unable

 In that instant, Gu Nianzhi nearly recalled how Huo Shaoheng said she lacked the maturity of an adult. Her eyes dimmed, but she reminded herself that the most important thing for her right now was her studies. She couldn't get distracted. After making up her mind, Gu Nianzhi began to talk about her graduation thesis with He Zhichu. They spoke as they walked and soon arrived at a large warehouse supermarket outside of campus. Gu Nianzhi bought a set of health supplements for middle-aged and elderly people, and a set of Lancome skincare products and asked for them to be wrapped up. She planned to gift them to Ma Qiqi's parents. He Zhichu carried the box of supplements while Gu Nianzhi carried the Lancome gift box as they happily walked back to school.

When they returned to Gu Nianzhi's dorm, Ma Qiqi greeted them with a smile. "I already called my parents, and they are very excited to welcome Professor He as well. Also, they asked if we want to go over early and hang out at my house. We live in the suburbs, and the house is very big. We even have a yard, too."

Gu Nianzhi glanced at He Zhichu and smiled. "Does Professor He have the time? If you're busy right now, Qiqi and I can go over there first."

He Zhichu nodded subtly. "I'm free. Let's go together."

"That's great! Professor He, you have a car, right? Give us a lift!" Ma Qiqi quickly went back to her room to get her bag and sent her address to He Zhichu's phone.

Gu Nianzhi looked at He Zhichu. "Thanks, Professor He."

"No problem." He Zhichu's shimmery sultry eyes flashed. "I'll go get the car, you guys wait here. I'll call when when I'm back."

...

He Zhichu quickly drove his Bentley over to Gu Nianzhi and Ma Qiqi's dorm. The girls were already waiting by the door. The happily got into He Zhichu's car. He sat in the driver's seat while the girls sat together in the back. Ma Qiqi looked around excitedly and asked He Zhichu, "Professor He, don't you also have a very flashy Maserati?"

Gu Nianzhi was speechless.

He Zhichu didn't mind and replied casually, "Yeah, but that's a sportscar that only seats two." There were three of them right now, so the spacious Bentely was obviously more suitable. Gu Nianzhi noticed this Bentley was also silver, but it wasn't an SUV, of course. He Zhichu entered Ma Qiqi's address into the GPS and started the navigation system before driving off campus.

...

At the same moment, inside Terminal T3 of the Hua Xia Imperial Capital International Airport, a plane from France had just landed. In the first class cabin, Huo Jialan wore the latest Chanel autumn travel suit and walked over to Huo Xuenong to whisper, "Grandfather, we're here."

Huo Xuenong opened his eyes. "We're here? That quickly? I only slept for a bit."

"Yes, we just landed. This airplane is pretty good and steady," Huo Jianlan said as she carried her Chanel classic flap bag and brought Huo Xuenong's cane over. "Use this."

Huo Xuenong nodded and saw the familiar autumn scene of the Imperial Capital through the cabin windows. His expression was dark. A few months ago, he had been stripped of his rank of general and was also forced to retire because of the incident with his head nurse. He couldn't deal with the shame and hurriedly left the country to avoid attention on what happened.

He hadn't enjoyed the past few months abroad. The Xie's often complained to him because of his wife, Xie Ziyan. Although they were civil people who didn't abuse him because of the embarrassing history between him and his deceased wife, they weren't very nice to him, either. Huo Xuenong had been a chief for more than half his life, so it was obvious how depressing it was for him to suddenly fall from his high position. In the past few months, his salt and pepper hair had completely turned white, so he looked like he had aged more than ten years.

"Let's get off the plane, Grandfather." Huo Jianlan thoughtfully supported Huo Xuenong's arm as they headed out of the cabin together.

However, when Huo Xuenong thought about it, he had gained some face when he thought about the Prime Minister's inauguration tonight. It was the Prime Minister's wife who had personally invited them, after all, so he felt that his lost respect was being slowly regained piece by piece. The new Prime Minister's wife, Cai Songyin, was really a flexible person capable of reading people and situations, so she flattered Huo Guanchen and Huo Xuenong very well. When Huo Xuenong received Cai Songyin's call from the Hua Xia Empire, as well as the couriered invitation and flight tickets, he instantly straightened his hunched back in the Xie's estate in France.

Huo Jialan was secretly happy from the bottom of her heart. She had truly learned what an aristocratic family was by living in the Xie's French estate for a few months. The Xie's cultivation was incomparable to any clan's in the Hua Xia Empire right now. It was a shame that such a family had moved abroad a long time ago.

However, as good a place as the Xie's estate was, it wasn't somewhere she could stay forever. Huo Jianlan wanted to return to the Hua Xia Empire a long time ago, but just like Huo Xuenong, she had nearly ruined her reputation because of her mother's lawsuit. She couldn't stay in the Huo manor anymore, so she followed Huo Xuenong abroad to avoid the gossip. She could only come back with him this time because Cai Songyin promised to get her a position as Creative Director with a media outlet she knew well. As a result, Huo Jialan often sang the Tan's praises to Huo Xuenong to help Cai Songyin.

Both grandfather and granddaughter got off the plane, passed through security, and then went to pick up their luggage. They hadn't brought much of anything when they went abroad, but they came back with four full suitcases. Most of it was luxury goods Huo Jialan bought in France, and the rest was Huo Xuenong's daily toiletries. They stood in the airport hall to wait for their luggage and looked around for a long time without seeing any sign of Huo Shaoheng.

"Grandfather, didn't cousin say he was going to pick us up?" Huo Jialan was very nervous and constantly asked if Huo Shaoheng was picking them up.

Huo Xuenong was getting impatient and waved his hand. "Your uncle said he would ask Shaoheng to pick us up. Would he dare disobey?"

Huo Jialan smiled nervously as she supported Huo Xuenong and looked around. After waiting for a long time, Huo Shaoheng was still nowhere to be found. Seeing that there were fewer and fewer people picking up luggage, Huo Jianlan knew that their luggage would be taken away if they didn't get it now. She had no choice but to tell Huo Xuenong, "Grandfather, wait here please. I'll go get the luggage."

Huo Xuenong nodded. "Go on, then. I'll call your Uncle." Huo Xuenong called Huo Guanchen and said sternly, "Guanchen, did you tell Shaoheng or not?"

"Dad, you're back?!" Huo Guanchen was overjoyed. "You're at the airport now?"

"Yeah, we already landed a while ago." Huo Xuenong glanced at his watch. "It's already 2pm. Why hasn't Shaoheng shown up yet?"

Huo Guanchen's heart dropped as he recalled what he told Huo Shaoheng and quickly replied, "Just wait a bit longer, I'll ask Shaoheng." He then called Huo Shaoheng, but his call was directly sent to voicemail just like last time. Huo Guanchen had no choice but to leave a voicemail. "Shaoheng, your grandfather is already at the airport. Why didn't you go pick him up yet?"

Huo Shaoheng had already asked his head orderly, Fan Jian, to pick up Grandfather Huo. Fan Jian had always waited outside Terminal T3 whenever he picked someone up from the airport, but Huo Xuenong had always been accustomed to someone picking him up from inside the airport. As a result of the misunderstanding, much time had elapsed. When Huo Xuenong and Huo Jialan took four suitcases outside the terminal doors, Fan Jian, who had been waiting for a long time, finally saw them and waved them over. "Over here!"

Huo Jialan had keen eyes and turned around to see Huo Shaoheng's driver, Fan Jian. She instantly smiled like a blooming flower as she said to Huo Xuenong, "Grandfather, isn't that cousin's car? Let's go over there."

"Yeah, don't go wandering off. Follow me." Huo Xuenong suddenly became a caring fatherly figure and spoke sternly to Huo Jialan. Huo Jialan moved aside obediently and waited for Huo Xuenong to get inside the car before following.

Fan Jian was a great driver and also had a quick tongue. He explained to Grandfather Huo, "Chief suddenly had a fever last night and was anxious about picking you up, even though it didn't break this morning. The doctor strongly suggested he rest at home, so he didn't come but made sure to remind me to pick you up."

"Sick? What kind of illness? Is it serious?" Huo Jialan instantly got nervous and wanted nothing more but to call Huo Shaoheng herself.

"I'm not sure about that. I heard it was a fever," Fan Jian answered smoothly in order to allay their suspicions.

Huo Xuenong still scoffed. "Of all the time to get sick, it had to be when we came back. Hmph!"

"Grandfather please don't say that. Illnesses can come suddenly and without choice," Huo Jialan said as she looked at Fan Jian in front of them. "The doctor said he needed to rest at home? Then that means he can't walk around, right? Do you know if my cousin will attend the Prime Minister's inauguration tonight?"

Fan Jian chuckled. "Chief is sick, so he can't go even if he wanted. He's willing but unable."