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802 You Are Both My Own Flesh

 Gu Nianzhi followed He Zhichu to his professor's building. Before Ma Qiqi arrived, He Zhichu took the opportunity to say to Gu Nianzhi with a conflicted look, \"Nianzhi, do you really want to have parents?\"

Gu Nianzhi was speechless. How could he say that? Who wouldn't want to have parents?!

She sat down on the couch in the living room inside He Zhichu's suite. Hugging a panda pillow, she sniffled her exquisite little nose and drawled, \"Professor He, I wasn't born out of a crack in a rock. How could I not want to have my own parents?\"

\"I remember that you never wanted to find your own parents before. Huo Shaoheng had also said that you don't even have a concept of the word, 'parents.'\" He Zhichu sat on the couch across from her and leaned forward to study her intently. It was like he was contemplating what incident had changed her.

Gu Nianzhi's gaze began to unfocus when she heard this.

When did she suddenly want to find her own parents so badly? Was it after she returned from Germany?

Her relationship with Huo Shaoheng had entered a dead end-or she could say that she discovered she had put too much hope in Huo Shaoheng, and the foundation beneath her feet finally collapsed. She could no longer find the previous sense of security, so she turned to the sense of security that parents naturally give to their children.

Although she didn't have a specific impression of what her own parents were like, she could still experience that deep sense of parental love from the pink diamond crown that Gu Xiangwen had gifted to Nianzhi for her first birthday gift.

\"Well, people can change.\" Gu Nianzhi didn't want to analyze her emotional journey with He Zhichu, so she deftly changed the topic. \"Professor He, I was just thinking that if Gu Yanran insists on bringing up the evidence of Gu Xiangwen's DNA not matching with mine, then I'm afraid that I'd better find someone or something that is related to the real Gu Xiangwen. Also, I think that I still need to personally investigate the island in the Indian Ocean where the plane crashed occurred.\"

\"You can investigate that later.\" He Zhichu shook his head with disapproval. \"I think what you need to do now is to first investigate exactly how many assets Gu Xiangwen possesses. That's the key point to your estate dispute lawsuit. If you are only going to investigate Gu Xiangwen's whereabouts, then why are you fighting this estate dispute?\"

Gu Nianzhi composed herself and quickly said, \"Thank you for the reminder, Professor He. I understand now and nearly led myself astray.\"

The original intent behind her estate dispute was to make Gu Yanran lose everything. That way she could cut off Gu Yanran's hands that poked around everywhere madly, stopping her from investigating the truth.

There were priorities with everything and for now, making Gu Yanran lose everything and leave without any property was of the utmost importance.

Once she reduced Gu Yanran to her true state, she would then have more clues, resources, and the freedom to investigate Gu Xiangwen as well as the whereabouts of the mother that Gu Yanran rarely mentioned.

...

Yin Shixiong thoroughly washed himself several times before going to the Special Operations Forces conference building to meet Huo Shaoheng.

He kept thinking that he hadn't washed himself enough, and there was still a persisting smell from the pigsty in his nose. Although Zhao Liangze already swore that he couldn't smell anything at all, Yin Shixiong still didn't believe it.

Finally, he vigorously sprayed some men's cologne on his body before finally opening the conference room doors.

Inside the empty conference room, it was as chilly as departed guests and cold tea.

The military elite had left just now, but the big screen was still repeatedly playing footage from the trial. Huo Shaoheng sat in the conference room alone and held a remote in his hand, nearly repeating each scene frame by frame.

In the beginning, he focused more on Gu Nianzhi. Later on, not a single person's expression or actions could escape his continuous replays. Finally, all the movements Gu Yanran made when she walked past He Zhichu became the footage Huo Shaoheng replayed the most.

When Yin Shixiong walked in, he immediately saw Gu Yanran's footage continuously fast forwarded, paused, rewound, fast forwarded, paused, and rewound on the big screen. However, He Zhichu did not move at all or even blink.

He sat ramrod straight in the seat and looked ahead with an aloof and cool expression. His gaze was only focused on Gu Nianzhi.

Yin Shixiong nervously walked over and began by giving Huo Shaoheng a formal salute. \"Reporting to Chief, Lieutenant Colonel Yin is returning for duty!\"

Huo Shaoheng didn't even look at him but merely raised a hand to wave. \"Sit.\"

Yin Shixiong quickly sat down on the chair diagonally behind Huo Shaoheng. He said with enthusiasm, \"Chief, what you are watching? Little Ze said that the military elite were in a meeting, and that there were important instructions...\"

Huo Shaoheng still didn't look back but used a hand to hold the remote and continuously press fast forward, pause, rewind, and play. He stared intently at the big screen as he replied nonchalantly, \"This is footage from Nianzhi and Gu Yanran's estate dispute trial. The Military Standing Committee just left. You came too late.\"

Yin Shixiong lowered his head guiltily and sniffed himself. \"I was just showing, so I was delayed.\"

Huo Shaoheng could smell the faint fragrance coming from Yin Shixiong's direction. The corners of his lips twitched as he used the remote in his hand to point at the big screen. \"Do you notice anything?\"

Yin Shixiong quickly nodded. \"You've replayed it so many times, even a blind person could notice it.\"

\"Yeah, what did you notice?\"

\"Gu Yanran seemed to have something to tell He Zhichu, but He Zhichu ignored her, so she forced the words down her throat. Look at her throat. She was swallowing so obviously. Also, her hands were shaking the entire time, and afterwards she even balled them into fists.\" Yin Shixiong was an expert when it came to reading body language, so he was able to observe things that even Huo Shaoheng had missed-for example, the subtle swallowing movement in Gu Yanran's throat.

This action was very subtle and not as \"obvious\" as Yin Shixiong stated.

Huo Shaoheng's personal secretaries all had their own irreplaceable skills. He nodded with approval. \"That makes sense, so it was right for me to call you back from the pigsty.\"

As soon as Huo Shaoheng mentioned \"pigsty,\" Yin Shixiong immediately stood up with a red face and his entire body in a ramrod straight military posture. \"Reporting to Chief, Lieutenant Colonel Yin has returned from kitchen duties! The report shall be written right away! End of report!\"

The last time Huo Shaoheng asked him to \"represent the troops and work at the ground level\" and thrown him to kitchen duties to feed pigs, he had really tortured the life out of Yin Shixiong.

Huo Shaoheng grunted before replying calmly, \"Don't get emotional about it. It was for your own good.\"

\"Reporting to Chief, I am not emotional about it!\" Yin Shixiong quickly expressed his determination. This was not the time to have a fit about it, nor did he even have any anger right now. As soon as he recalled the several fat pigs and their pigsty, he didn't have any anger at all...

Huo Shaoheng's arms were propped up on the conference table. One hand was balled into a fist, and the back of the other hand supported his chin as he watched the trial footage. He said slowly, \"This case decides whether Gu Xiangwen stays or goes, so it is very important to us.\"

Yin Shixiong finally understood now. He dragged the chair to Huo Shaoheng's side and craned his neck to peer at several of the documents on the table. He said in a confused and quiet voice, \"Didn't we discover that there is a problem with this 'Gu Xiangwen?'\"

The personnel in the intelligence department of their Special Operations Forces weren't fools. From Gu Yanran's actions and behavior, they were able to analyze that there may be something fishy about her \"heiress\" status. It was also because of this that they began to suspect the identity of \"Gu Xiangwen,\" whose DNA matched hers.

\"For now, it's no longer important if there is a problem with this 'Gu Xiangwen.' The important thing is the exact amount of his assets, as well as how they are distributed.\" Huo Shaoheng's voice grew icy. He watched the continuously replaying trial footage on the big screen in silence, fingers gently rapping the desk. There wasn't much change in his expression. \"But we can't give up investigating Gu Xiangwen's whereabouts. The Military Standing Committee has instructed us to make every effort to investigate the whereabouts of the real Gu Xiangwen. We don't have to expose this counterfeit right now. It will also be a good thing to keep him here as a red herring to attract foreign attention.\"

Yin Shixiong thought about it and understood, so he said quietly, \"So do we have any clues?\"

Huo Shaoheng didn't speak again, but only set the remote down on the conference desk.

Yin Shixiong scratched his head and made small talk. \"When I was coming over earlier, I called Qiqi, and she was very happy. She said that she was having lunch with Nianzhi at Professor He's.\" As he spoke, he studied Huo Shaoheng's expression.

Huo Shaoheng finally turned around to glance at him. \"So you didn't forget to call Qiqi even while you were feeding the pigs? Do you want to feed them for a few more days?\"

\"Chief, please don't accuse me falsely! Wasn't I only thinking about you?!\" Yin Shixiong quickly stood up. \"Nianzhi the little princess is truly very angry this time. Has Chief not yet been able to coax her?\"

There was a trace of deep contemplation flashing in Huo Shaoheng's eyes when he recalled Gu Nianzhi's attitude. \"Yeah, leave her for now. She can do whatever she wants. I'm busy with work lately. I don't have time.\"

\"Oh?! But that's unlike you. Are you going to give up just like that?!\" Yin Shixiong grew emotional. \"You can't be like this! If Nianzhi were to find out, how sad would she be!?\"

Huo Shaoheng looked up to glance at him and spoke with a confident tone, \"You care about Nianzhi a lot.\"

\"Not as much as you!\" Yin Shixiong waved frantically.

\"How about you go coax her?\" Huo Shaoheng turned back to look at the big screen.

\"That's not as good as you coaxing her!\" Yin Shixiong nearly bowed down to Huo Shaoheng. \"Chief, please let me off the hook! I didn't mean anything else by that, I only want to see both you and Nianzhi happy! You are both my own flesh!\"

Huo Shaoheng finally couldn't take it anymore, and the corners of his lips began to lift from Yin Shixiong's teasing words. He raised a leg to kick him. \"Who is your own flesh? Have some propriety!\"

\"Roger, Chief!\" Yin Shixiong secretly wiped his sweat and thought to himself that he wanted to tell Gu Nianzhi, \"Nianzhi, Brother Xiong can only help you up to a point... If you keep throwing tantrums, the Chief will give up and throw you away! Be careful.\"

After all, what kind of person was Huo Shaoheng, anyway? In all these years, they had only seen him coax one person, and that was Gu Nianzhi...

Unfortunately, the young girl didn't know the fortune she enjoyed.

Just as Yin Shixiong was sighing to himself, he heard Huo Shaoheng say with an aloof face, \"I've done all that I should. Fool's haste is no speed. It's time for her to reflect properly.\"

Yin Shixiong shuddered from his words. How harsh! He hadn't yet thought of how to persuade Huo Shaoheng to not be as shortsighted as a young girl, but he already could see Huo Shaoheng take out another cigarette to light. Holding it between his fingers, he said calmly, \"The girl I raised can't only harm me alone. I have to let her out so she can also go harm others...\"

He exhaled, his expression hidden in the wisps of smoke. Even Yin Shixiong, who was the best at reading body language, was unable to see what he was thinking.