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790 Your Targe

 Gu Nianzhi frowned as she stared blankly at the two IPs in front of her. One was the original IP from the deleted Weibo account that had uploaded Gu Yanran's video. She named it "IP A." IP A was the IP address for No. 32 Willow Hutong, the Prime Minister's official residence. If Gu Nianzhi was correct, the deleted Weibo account probably belonged to the First Lady, Cai Songyin, as a secondary account. Or it could be a secondary account belonging to one of her team members. This was the real IP address that Gu Nianzhi planned to dump on Gu Yanran as evidence. It would prove that her explicit video had been uploaded by someone in the Prime Minister's official residence. Gu Yanran would have to leave her alone after that.

Gu Nianzhi called the other IP address "IP B." IP B was the IP that a certain hacker had used when they'd logged into Weibo. In other words, it was the IP used by the hacker to modify the IP that had uploaded the video. It belonged to the hacker who was trying to frame Gu Nianzhi. But IP B was invalid!

What was an IP? IP stands for Internet Protocol. In other words, it meant an internet agreement. Every device that could go online, whether it be a phone, tablet, notebook, or PC, each would have their own unique IP. Just like how a phone had a phone number, and residences had addresses, each one was unique. Without an IP address, it would be impossible to go online. Every IP on the internet was issued and managed by a special management organization in the United States. No one could set their own IP address, not even national institutions.

Because of this, Gu Nianzhi was able to investigate and lock onto the IP. She went into Huo Shaoheng's Special Operations Forces exclusive IP database to conduct a search. She thought she'd be able to find the computer that was behind all this. By doing so, she would also be able to find the person controlling the computer. But IP B didn't meet the standards of international IP naming conventions at all. IPs that didn't meet the standards of international IP naming conventions couldn't establish normal data exchanges with other computer systems. In simple terms, no one can speak to someone using a language that no one else understands. This type of IP shouldn't be able to establish an internet agreement or have the capability to go online. That's why it was considered an invalid IP. So how could an invalid IP access a Weibo account and hack in through its backdoor to modify its data?

Gu Nianzhi frowned, perplexed by the situation. Could the enemy have been intelligent enough to use an invalid IP to mask their true IP? Gu Nianzhi considered it thoroughly before trying one more time. Her deft fingers hammered on the keyboard as she typed in the strings of coding, peeling back layer after layer to find the hidden data behind this invalid IP. Time passed by slowly and she focussed intently on the computer, trying to crack this "invalid IP."

To Gu Nianzhi, if something didn't make sense on the surface, it usually meant that there was more information hidden underneath. She didn't believe in supernatural forces, deities, or mysticism. She only believed in science. She worked hard for a full three hours, coding 6 PM until sometime after 9, but she didn't even get one step closer to finding the information hidden behind the invalid IP.

He Zhichu came over several times and saw that she was focussed on coding. He didn't disturb her. When he came over again, he saw her leaning against the back of the computer chair. Her eyes were closed, one arm draped over them. She pursed her lips in exhaustion. He Zhichu knocked on the door. "Nianzhi, do you want an evening snack?"

Gu Nianzhi was starving. She had only eaten a bit of home-cooked food with Ma Qiqi earlier in the evening. Before she'd finished dinner, Gu Yanran had called to interrupt them. "Thank you, Professor He. I want to have some congee and then a bowl of fresh wonton soup." Gu Niazhi suddenly felt even more hungry at the thought of the flavor of fresh wonton soup.

He Zhichu agreed. "I'll go order the food." He turned around to get his phone and order food. He was different from Huo Shaoheng because he had always been a well-pampered prince. It was obvious that he had been carefully raised during childhood, which meant that he was even more helpless than Gu Nianzhi when it came to cooking and doing laundry. On the other hand, Huo Shaoheng had been in the military for many years. Caring for himself presented no challenges to him. He could make delicious food and do housework well. Of course, with his current rank, he had orderlies to take care of those tasks so he didn't need to do them anymore.

Gu Nianzhi sighed to herself. Shaking her head, she stood up and stared at the invalid IP in front of her once again. She planned to have an evening snack and then think about it again. For now, she was in a rut.

Gu Nianzhi came out of the study and went to the bathroom to wash her face. She went to the kitchen and poured herself a glass of warm milk. Before long, the fresh wonton soup and sea cucumber, abalone, and dried scallop congee were delivered. Gu Nianzhi smelled the fragrance of the delicious food and immediately got an appetite. She immediately sat at the dining table.

He Zhichu brought over a medium-sized white jade soup bowl to serve Gu Nianzhi a bowl of fresh wonton soup. True to its namesake, the essence of fresh wonton soup was in the soup itself. Gu Nianzhi picked up the bowl to take a sip of soup. It was so delicious that all her tastebuds came to life again. The soup was clear and rich. It had simmered for a day and a night using bones, chicken, and dried scallops. Then the bone waste, meat waste, and scum had been removed, leaving only the clearest broth. Added to the broth was a bit of dark purple seaweed, bright green coriander shreds, crisp white onion, and a touch of salt. It was irresistible.

Gu Nianzhi then had a little wonton. It was a normal wonton made using pork, shrimp, and egg. However, with just one bite, she could tell that the pork and egg must be organic and that the shrimp must be wild-caught, not farmed. The flavor was much better than other pork, egg, and shrimp on the market.

"Professor He, which restaurant did you order this snack from? The ingredients are too impressive, it tastes about the same as the specially provided food Huo Shao and his men eat." Gu Nianzhi smiled as she asked He Zhichu for the restaurant's name. She planned to go there often from now on.

A hint of a smile appeared on He Zhichu's aloof face. "You like this food?"

"Yeah." Gu Nianzhi nodded intently. "It's very delicious. Can I have another bowl?" She wanted nothing more than to eat the entire fresh wonton soup...

He Zhichu served her a bowl of sea cucumber, abalone, and dried scallop congee. He said, "Eat this."

Gu Nianzhi looked at the bowl congee and was speechless. She'd only wanted some congee. Millet would've been fine. Why did it need to be this luxurious? She was a bit embarrassed to eat abalone in the middle of the night...

He Zhichu put the spoon in her bowl. "Eat it. You've been using your brain too much lately and you need some supplementing."

Gu Nianzhi chuckled. She thought about how she'd had the innate ability to recover the second day after being shot, nevermind merely overworking her brain... "Professor He, you don't know anything about my power..." As Gu Nianzhi grumbled internally, her expression grew strange.

He Zhichu saw it and raised a brow. His shimmery, sultry eyes were like pools, sparkling with amusement. "...Are you grumbling at me again?"

"What do you mean by 'again?'" Gu Nianzhi smiled slightly. "You make it sound like I've grumbled at you before."

"Have you not? Since the day I interviewed you, you've grumbled at me." He Zhichu rapped on the dining table. "Hurry up and eat it. This type of seafood congee doesn't taste good once it cools down."

Gu Nianzhi's brows instantly moved as she began to play coy. "How do you know?!"

He Zhcihu didn't answer that, but said, "As long as you like to eat it, I'll have this person cook here for me. You can come over whenever you want to eat it."

"Oh? Is this a helper you hired?" Then Gu Niaznhi understood. "You prepared these ingredients on your own?"

He Zhichu nodded and said nonchalantly, "I bought an organic farm. All the food was delivered from there, including the pork and the seafood. It doesn't matter if you're not together with Huo Shaoheng anymore. If he can give you specially provided food, so can I."

Gu Nianzhi could only look at He Zhichu. She refused politely, "Professor He, I'll come here from time to time to satisfy my cravings. But you really need to eat properly yourself. I remember seeing you drink red wine, but I've never seen you eat."

He Zhichu laughed. "How could that be? Of course I eat. It's just that... I used to drink a bit more. I was in a bad mood back then." He paused before looking at Gu Nianzhi, his voice softening. "I won't anymore. My appetite came back." As to why his mood was better, he didn't say anything, and Gu Nianzhi didn't ask. After finishing the evening snack, Gu Nianzhi went back to the study to continue her battle.

After He Zhichu finished washing up, he saw that Gu Nianzhi was still coding with a frustrated expression on her face. He was very curious and stepped inside to ask, "What problem are you running into? Do you need help?"

Gu Nianzhi nodded, then shook her head and said with exasperation, "I did run into a problem, but..." She glanced at He Zhichu with a smile. He Zhichu probably couldn't provide that kind of help and Gu Nianzhi didn't know how good He Zhichu's computer skills were. After all, He Zhichu had often made her turn on the computer for him when she was there.

He Zhichu knew from her eyes what she was thinking, but didn't say anything about it. He leaned forward slightly and reached out from behind Gu Nianzhi's back. As he draped his hand over her mouse, his gaze fell on the two IPs unearthed by Gu Nianzhi's hacker software. He Zhichu didn't pay too much attention to the one on top belonging to the Prime Minister's official residence. When his gaze fell on the invalid IP, his brows suddenly started twitching and he squeezed the mouse even harder. After some time, he gradually let go.

Gu Nianzhi moved aside a bit and laughed. "Professor He, can you help me?"

He Zhichu removed his hand and straightened his back as his expression quickly composed itself. His hands were in his trouser pockets as he said to Gu Nianzhi casually, "You think I don't know anything about computers, is that right?"

"No, no." Gu Nianzhi quickly shook her head with a smile. "But I've never seen you display your ability in this field. Why is it? Don't you want to show your students your chops?"

"Tell me this first... Why are you checking these two IPs?"

This was not confidential, so Gu Nianzhi told him about how Gu Yanran's video had uploaded and gone viral on Weibo. Then she explained how Gu Yanran had asked Weibo to provide the information for the account that had uploaded the video. Weibo's office had given her Gu Nianzhi's dorm IP, and Gu Yanran had threatened to sue Gu Nianzhi based on that.

"...Professor He, you know that everyone already knows who actually did it that day. But now they're taking it too far. They even used a hacker to change the IP to frame me. How can I not bite back?" Gu Nianzhi balled her hands into fists and said angrily, "Who has the spare time to fight a scandalous lawsuit like this? I need to fight her in court to get my family assets back!"

Although He Zhichu understood what was happening, his expression was still a bit awkward. He mused for a moment before telling Gu Nianzhi, "...This IP appears to be invalid, but it could connect to the Internet. Why do you think that is?"

"I think that it was modified. The enemy is more skilled than me. I spent half a day's effort on this and still haven't been able to find the true IP behind it." Gu Nianzhi said glumly, "Look, it's already been three hours. I've still no progress."

He Zhichu glanced at the program and shook his head. "It's obvious that this IP won't be trackable by you, so what's the point of finding it?"

"But they fabricated information to frame me!"

"But you can't find them right now. Just like you said, he is more capable than you for now. You can't choose to attack him directly. Instead, return to your original goal." He Zhichu calmly summed it up to her. "The path is taken step by step. Right now, your target is Gu Yanran, so the person behind her either has to give up or reveal themselves. You can't be led by the nose, so you should take the initiative in your own hands."