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737 This Won’t Be Taken Lying Down 3

 "Huo Shao?!" Ma Qiqi was very surprised. She couldn't keep her mouth closed. "You, you, you... why are you here?"

The corner of Yin Shixiong's mouth raised. He stretched out his hand and shook it in front of her. "Qiqi! Come back! Come back to your senses! Your Big Xiong is here!"

Ma Qiqi grabbed Yin Shixiong's hand that was swaying randomly. She couldn't help herself and got near his ear and asked quietly, "Why is Huo Shao here, too?"

When Yin Shixiong texted, he didn't mention a word about Huo Shao... Of course, Yin Shixiong wouldn't do anything to make his own senior officer look bad. He made a coughing sound and said, "It just so happened that when I came out, Huo Shao also came out to attend to something, so I got into his car and came here."

"Oh." Ma Qiqi sighed and patted her chest. "So Huo Shao needed to attend to some business. That's good. That's good."

She originally thought Huo Shaoheng was going to leave when he dropped Yin Shixiong off. She never thought Huo Shaoheng would come into her home with Yin Shixiong and blurt out the sentence, "...business has been attended to."

Ma Qiqi didn't know what to say as Huo Shaoheng walked in through her front door. His eyes unconsciously scanned the dining room for a bit. He didn't see a sign of Gu Nianzhi.

Ma Qiqi quickly said, "Nianzhi and Professor He are here, too. Do you guys want to see them?"

Huo Shaoheng looked away and looked at Yin Shixiong in silence. Yin Shixiong quickly said, "Nianzhi is here, too? Such a coincidence! Of course, we have to see her."

It was so fake. Huo Shaoheng gave Yin Shixiong a dissatisfied look and spoke in a polite manner to Ma Qiqi, "We should greet Mr. and Mrs. Ma first." They were going to greet Ma Qiqi's parents. After all, they were guests in their home.

Huo Shaoheng being that courteous scared Ma Qiqi. She was stunned. She nodded, and with a thud, thud, thud, thud she ran to the kitchen to get her mother and father and did an introduction. "Mom, Dad, this is Big Xiong, and this is Huo Shao. They are all Nianzhi's... relatives and friends. I also know them pretty well, too."

"Oh, you guys are Nianzhi's friends and relatives? Are you here to pick her up? Have you eaten dinner yet? If not, stay and eat a simple home cooked meal." Ma Qiqi's father and mother greeted Huo Shaoheng and Yin Shixiong with great zeal.

Before Yin Shixiong could think of what to say, Huo Shaoheng had already smiled weakly and said, "Thank you, you two. Then I won't be shy about it." He then turned toward Yin Shixiong and said, "Big Xiong, there is a basket of crabs in the back of my trunk. Bring it over and give it to Qiqi."

"A basket of crabs?!" Ma Qiqi's eyes were about to pop.

Ma Qiqi's family ate crabs one by one. They never imagined that Huo Shao ate crabs by the pound. When Yin Shixiong saw Ma Qiqi's surprised face, he made a funny face and laughed mischievously. He grabbed the car key and went out to get the crabs.

It was obvious that Huo Shaoheng had bought those crabs not too long ago. They were still lively. They were crawling around the bamboo basket. They made it look like it was crowded. Ma Qiqi's father was overjoyed when he saw that basket of crabs. "That's wonderful. Steamed crab dipped in vinegar sauce would be delicious."

Huo Shaoheng nodded and smiled. "Mr. Ma knows what's what."

"Mr. Huo, you are too courteous." Ma Qiqi's father was a businessman. He was not considered a rich man, but he did have a comfortable upper middle class life. Otherwise, he wouldn't be able to afford the suburban villa with a back yard and be able to think about giving Ma Qiqi a condominium on the East Road near the downtown as a dowry.

He took the crabs and went to the kitchen with Ma Qiqi's mother to get things ready. They usually paid someone to cook for them and clean their house, but Ma Qiqi insisted on a special meal that day. To show how much they cared, the husband and wife were determined to cook themselves. They made a table full of dishes that looked, smelled, and tasted great.

...

Ma Qiqi took Huo Shaoheng and Yin Shixiong to the recreation room on the second floor. He Zhichu and Gu Nianzhi were sitting at either side of a chess table talking. On the recreation room's ceiling was a light made from semi-transparent material in the shape of a lotus leaf. The bright, filtered light was soft and delicate. Everything in the room looked like it had gone through a light filter.

He Zhichu was wearing a white striped shirt with a light blue V-neck cashmere sweater. His eyes were locked on Gu Nianzhi and looked as if they were glued to her face while her slender fingers were picking cards.

Gu Nianzhi's back was facing the door. It was unclear what she was saying. He Zhichu suddenly looked at Gu Nianzhi's lips that were puckering. His peach blossom eyes were overflowing with tender affection. Huo Shaoheng clasped his hands behind his back, and he silently tightened his fist. However, he restrained himself and didn't say a thing.

Ma Qiqi smiled as she walked up and said, "Nianzhi, Professor He, Huo Shao and Big Xiong also came to my home for dinner."

Gu Nianzhi turned her head and was surprised to see Huo Shaoheng and Yin Shixiong standing by the door in the chess room. "Big Xiong, Huo Shao, what are you guys doing here?"

Huo Shaoheng glanced at Yin Shixiong and immediately said, "Big Xiong wanted to see Ma Qiqi."

Yin Shixiong pressed his lips together and was about to refute it when he saw Ma Qiqi's bright and cheerful face suddenly turn red from the corner of his eye. Under the soft light, one could see Ma Qiqi's white, shining fine hair on the top of her earlobe. It looked like it had been brushed into place by a tiny brush. He was embarrassed as he swallowed what he was going to say. He scratched his head and laughed mischievously and didn't refute it. However, he didn't say anything about it, either. He went over to the chess table where Gu Nianzhi and He Zhichu were sitting and asked, "What are you guys playing?"

"Texas Hold'em. Do you want to play with us?" He Zhichu gathered the cards. He looked at Huo Shaoheng with a smile on his face.

"Ok, haven't played it in a long time." Huo Shaoheng sat next to Gu Nianzhi and pointed at the seat across from him. "Big Xiong, Qiqi, you guys sit, too." The good thing about Texas Hold'em was that two to 12 people could play the game together. At that time, they had five people, which was not a problem at all.

Yin Shixiong quickly sat next to He Zhichu. Ma Qiqi sat in the seat of honor and acted as the card dealer. The real players were Yin Shixiong, He Zhichu, Gu Nianzhi, and Huo Shaoheng.

"What are the stakes?" Yin Shixiong asked in high spirits.

Gu Nianzhi looked at him and said, "In our country, it's against the law to use money as a stake while playing Texas Hold'em. Whoever does so will be charged with gambling."

"Ah?" Yin Shixiong was not a person of law and did not understand that law. "It's no fun without stakes, right?"

"There are stakes. How could there not be? It's just not money." Smiling, Ma Qiqi brought a bamboo basket over from the end of another table. Inside, it was full of small walnuts. "Here, use these as the stakes. The person who loses will open a walnut for the person who wins."

"Isn't that too easy?" Yin Shixiong raised his eyebrows. He looked down on those stakes.

"Easy?" Ma Qiqi's long eyebrows jumped. "I'm not finished speaking. Stop talking while I'm still talking."

"Fine, fine, fine! Continue!"

"The loser will open the walnut for the winner without using tools like a hammer or scissors." Ma Qiqi exchanged glances with Gu Nianzhi. She was proud of herself.

"Can't use any tools?" Yin Shixiong smiled. "Now that's more interesting."

He picked up a walnut, weighed it in his hand, and put it in front of Gu Nianzhi. "Nianzhi, if you lose to Big Xiong, Big Xiong doesn't need you to open a walnut. Just write a small program for Big Xiong."

"Big Xiong, are you looking down on me?" Gu Nianzhi stretched her finger and poked Yin Shixiong. "Why don't you and I increase the stakes?"

Yin Shixiong was about to agree when he suddenly remembered Texas Hold'em's special point, which was it had various sets. If a player had a really good memory and was really good at math, then they could easily count their opponents' cards. Gu Nianzhi had a photographic memory. Not only that, but she had already taught herself undergraduate math material and was a top student when she was 13!

"Haha, I wouldn't dare look down on Miss Gu!" Yin Shixiong closed his palms. "Let's begin!"

Ma Qiqi winked at him and started to deal the cards. After the cards were dealt, Gu Nianzhi unexpectedly folded. Yin Shixiong looked at the cards in his hand and thought about it for a long time and also folded. Only He Zhichu and Huo Shaoheng were left, facing each other.

"I'm in." Huo Shaoheng put the cards in his hand down without batting an eyelid.

He Zhichu looked at him for a while, and then he also said, "I'm in."

Both of them laid down all of their cards. Ma Qiqi commanded the order of the cards. The corner of Huo Shaoheng's mouth lifted slightly, and he looked at his cards first. The first card was the ace of hearts. Gu Nianzhi didn't even look at the cards she was dealt. She only wanted it to end...

He Zhichu's face had no expression. His peach blossom eyes were full of stillness. He sat absolutely still and just stared at the cards in Huo Shaoheng's hand. Huo Shaoheng smiled as he showed his second card, the king of hearts. Yin Shixiong was very excited. No way! Huo Shaoheng's luck was so good that it was unnatural.

He Zhichu continued to remain still and calmly looked at Huo Shaoheng. Huo Shaoheng extended his slender and beautiful fingers and showed his third card on the table, the queen of hearts. Immediately following that, he flipped over the fourth card, the jack of hearts. Just those four cards were enough to be the highest ranking hand in a royal flush out of all the straight flushes! He just needed a ten of hearts to have an unbeatable hand of cards from heaven on that card table.

"Are you still in?" Huo Shaoheng looked at He Zhichu as if he were soliciting an opinion. At that time, even Ma Qiqi was not sure.

"I'm in." He Zhichu clenched his teeth and flipped over his card. The first card was the king of spades, followed by the queen, jack, and ten of spades. Unexpectedly, it was also the highest ranking hand of all the straight flushes. He just needed a nine of spades to have a straight flush. Of course, it was a lower grade flush than Huo Shaoheng's, but it was also a very good hand of cards.

They both only had one card left in front of them. Huo Shaoheng was calm and collected. He asked He Zhichu in a manner that was as light as a cloud in the breeze, "Are you in?"

He Zhichu looked at Huo Shaoheng deeply, and after a long time, he shook his head. "I fold." As he said that, He Zhichu flipped the last card he had over. To everyone's surprise, it was a nine of spades!

Gu Nianzhi couldn't refrain from sighing in her heart. Her eyes were glued to Huo Shaoheng's hands to prevent him from cheating.

Professor He is too cautious... Actually, Huo Shaoheng tricked him. Gu Nianzhi had a good memory, and she could count cards. Her hand was horrible. It didn't have a flush or a straight. It didn't even have one pair. That was why she folded. However, she had counted the cards ahead of time. The cards He Zhichu had were the only straight flush on that card table.

Huo Shaoheng's first four cards were really good, but the last card was only a two of diamonds. That card combined with his other four cards made it a nothing. It was as bad as the cards Gu Nianzhi had. Even Yin Shixiong had one pair in his hand.

Gu Nianzhi smiled at He Zhichu as she shook her head. "Professor He, you're too cautious. Huo Shao only had a two of diamonds left. Can't compete with your straight flush."

"No way. Huo Shao, you really only have a two of diamonds?" Yin Shixiong and Ma Qiqi both asked at the same time.

Huo Shaoheng smiled as he looked at Gu Nianzhi and flipped over the last card he had. It really was a two of diamonds. He looked at He Zhichu and said, "Professor He, I had an unfair advantage. Thanks for letting me win."