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805 The Only Photo

 \"So you mean that the man in the white coat was... my father, Gu Xiangwen?\" Gu Nianzhi composed herself and couldn't help entering her trial mode. She began cross examining Ye Xuan in hopes of gleaning more information from him.

Ye Xuan was still immersed in his memories and feelings of remorse, so he didn't dare to look at Gu Nianzhi. With his arms folded on the coffee table, he bowed his head and nodded slightly. \"Yeah, it was Uncle Gu. He was a very, very good person. Every year, he would donate to our orphanage and even sponsored me to attend the most expensive boarding school in the United States.\"

The tuition for that kind of school was astronomical for even middle-class families in the United States, but Gu Xiangwen didn't hesitate to sponsor Ye Xuan's studies for seven years.

\"You went to the United States when you were 11 years old and didn't come back until you were 18? You didn't come back during that time, not even once?\" Gu Nianzhi asked curiously, a bit perplexed.

Ye Xuan looked up and gave her a smile. He squinted his deep set eyes, and he looked a bit like a certain Hollywood actor of Hua Xia descent.

\"Right, I didn't come back even once. For an orphan, that wasn't a big deal. What would I do if I came back? Visit the orphanage?\" Ye Xuan didn't hesitate to say, \"Also, my studies were very busy. In seven years, I not only completed junior high and high school, but also my college studies.\" It was obvious to see how the time had been spent.

Gu Nianzhi had graduated from college at the age of 18 herself, so she wasn't very shocked by Ye Xuan's situation. She nodded, then asked, \"Then what did my father do, exactly?\" He wore a white coat; could he be a doctor?

\"Uncle Gu was a genius, and while other people called me a genius from the time I was young, I knew that I couldn't compare to even one of Uncle Gu's toes. Uncle Gu began studying for his MD and PhD joint degree when he was 16. He only took three years to complete the degree that took most people eight years. After earning the degree, he spent two years as a resident doctor and then became interested in physics, so when he was 20 he applied to MIT, the school with the top ranking doctoral program in physics. He also only took three years to graduate. After earning his PhD in physics, he then went to Harvard, the school with the number one ranking doctoral biology program. He was only 27 years old when he earned PhDs from the top three schools in the world.\"

Ye Xuan's face was full of worship, and stars almost streamed out of his eyes when he spoke of Gu Xiangwen.

Gu Nianzhi also became more excited as she listened. This type of academic genius was exactly like her!

She was becoming more and more certain that she was Gu Xiangwen's biological daughter. Could Gu Yanran be Gu Xiangwen's biological daughter with her kind of qualifications?

Ask her to not dream so big! Gu Nianzhi couldn't help laughing. \"If my father was so amazing, then why did Gu Yanran go study at a butler's school?\"

Ye Xuan stiffened. \"Gu Yanran studied at a butler's school?!\"

\"Yes, didn't you know? You can go ask her if you don't believe me.\" Gu Nianzhi spread her palms, not wanting to waste her time on irrelevant people. She then changed the topic back and asked excitedly, \"Then what did my father look like? I've always heard you guys say that he was very amazing, very good at studying, and had created many inventions and patents. But what kind of person was he? Do you have his photo?\"

Gu Nianzhi had a strong desire to see what her own father looked like. Needless to say, Gu Nianzhi was now completely certain that the dried up man in a vegetative state on the hospital bed couldn't be her father, Gu Xiangwen.

But she had already attempted to search online for \"Gu Xiangwen\" in different ways, as well as the name, \"Kevin Ku.\" She only learned that he had published many articles in academic journals, but there wasn't a single journal that had posted a photo of him.

Gu Nianzhi had never seen a person who had made so many accomplishments yet hid himself so carefully and completely.

Why was this? Gu Nianzhi couldn't figure it out, so she earnestly looked at Ye Xuan and wanted to glean more information about Gu Xiangwen as a person from him. She didn't just want the rigid labels that had been attached onto him, such as \"academic genius,\"\"great inventor,\" or \"secretly rich man.\"

Ye Xuan stared at Gu Nianzhi's large, bright eyes. Her eyes were dark and shiny like a brilliant night sky. He only needed to reach out his arm to grasp a fistful of starlight.

The worship and admiration on her face also infected Ye Xuan, so his voice involuntarily softened. \"Uncle Gu was a very good man. He was kind, generous, nice, and tolerant. I've never met anyone better than him. He loved his daughter the most. I've never seen a father love his daughter more, but it's a shame...\"

Ye Xuan's mood quickly plummeted when he recalled the unrecognizable man on the hospital bed.

Looking down, he took out his wallet from his pocket and removed a four-inch photo from the slot where a driver's license could be placed. \"Uncle Gu didn't like to take photos. This is my only photo with him.\"

Gu Nianzhi's heart was about to leap out of her throat. She accepted the photo from Ye Xuan with nearly shaking hands and first discovered that the photo had been taken with a disposable Polaroid camera.

The photo paper had seen its time, but the quality was pretty good, so it hadn't faded. However, the colors weren't too bright and were comparable to modern high-fidelity photo paper. As for the man smiling in the photo...

Gu Nianzhi covered her mouth as tears fell uncontrollably from her eyes, rolling along her milky, translucent cheek and finally falling onto the photo.

She quickly wiped it with a tissue and also rubbed the image of a tall man wearing a light camel-colored trench coat in the photo.

His eyes weren't very big but were very deep and dark. His hair was thick and combed neatly, and his tall, straight nose was exactly the same as Gu Nianzhi's. His chin was square with subtly upturned, smiling lips and a faint hint of amusement in his eyes that was as warm as sunshine.

It was obvious from first glance that he was a very generous and forgiving man. He draped one hand on the shoulder of a young boy beside him as he smiled quietly at the camera.

His smile was so contagious that even through the photo it allowed Gu Nianzhi to break into a smile from her tears.

Wiping her tears with the back of her hand, she reluctantly returned the photo to Ye Xuan. She looked up, and her her tearful eyes sent a sharp pain through Ye Xuan's heart.

He pushed the photo back to her. \"This is your father's photo. You can keep it.\"

Ye Xuan was also carefully regarding Gu Nianzhi and discovered that although her eyes weren't like Gu Xiangwen's, her nose was exactly the same-straight and elegant. But because Gu Nianzhi was a girl, hers was more delicate while Gu Xiangwen's was handsome and masculine, unlike those other men with feminine beauty.

Gu Nianzhi shook her head. \"My father left this as a memento for you. How can I accept it? But if you don't mind, may I take a photo?\"

The photo had been taken with a disposable camera, so there were no negatives. Gu Nianzhi pressed pause on her phone's audio recording button before taking it out to open her camera and aim it at the photo. Using the highest resolution mode, she consecutively took several photos.

Ye Xuan finally put the photo away and back into his wallet. Gu Nianzhi used her phone to re-edit the photo, cropping Ye Xuan's image from it to only leave Gu Xiangwen. Then she found a picture of herself holding a doll when she was 12 years old. She copied herself from it and pasted herself onto where Ye Xuan had been standing, right beside Gu Xiangwen.

At 12 years old, Gu Nianzhi had been around the same height as Ye Xuan had been at 11. That way, Gu Xiangwen's arm looked like it was draped on her shoulder, and she had recreated a strangely harmonious photo, just as though father and daughter had actually taken such a photo before.

The seven years that stood between the two of them quickly faded away, and Gu Nianzhi felt like she had returned to her father's side once again. From what Ye Xuan said, this was a father who loved his daughter the most...

As Gu Nianzhi was busy looking down and editing the photo, Ye Xuan was also observing her quietly. He was a bit shocked at how skillfully Gu Nianzhi was operating Photoshop software, and the product she created was absolutely perfect.

Even though he was someone who had been very familiar with the original photo, he couldn't find the slightest flaw in it. \"You're only interested in this photo?\" Ye Xuan's fingers gently tapped on the coffee table. \"There are even more important things. Don't you want to know?\"

Gu Nianzhi didn't even look up before she answered, \"This is the most important thing. What could be even more important?\"

Ye Xuan was very emotional, so it turned out Uncle Gu's daughter had the exact same personality as he did. Gu Yanran was completely different, and Ye Xuan had already noticed it before but hadn't thought too much about it. He had only felt sorry for Uncle Gu. That also strengthened his determination and belief in staying by her side, since she was so stupid.

Without him by her side, who knew how much of the Gu fortune would be scammed away by others...

Now that the truth was out, he was happy to see that Uncle Gu had a successor, yet he was also embarrassed and pained by his own foolishness. Gu Nianzhi carefully saved the photo and put it into her encrypted photo album.

Ye Xuan also took out his phone and opened an encrypted file to send to Gu Nianzhi's phone. Gu Nianzhi heard her phone chime with a new message and opened it to see it was an encrypted file sent by Ye Xuan. She couldn't help asking in shock, \"How did you know my phone number?\"

Ye Xuan looked down at his phone and replied coolly, \"Gu Yanran gave it to me.\"

Although Ye Xuan felt guilt towards Gu Nianzhi and hoped that she would be able to reclaim the things that belonged to her, it was also true that he had invested years of care and love on Gu Yanran. He was not yet able to completely betray Gu Yanran, so he still concealed the part Gu Yanran played in what happened to Gu Nianzhi in Germany.

He knew that if he revealed this, Gu Nianzhi wouldn't just be fighting an estate dispute lawsuit with Gu Yanran but an attempted murder trial instead...

Gu Nianzhi's fingers tapped the phone gently as she asked, \"What's the password to the file? What kind of file is this?\"

Ye Xuan told her the password, then said, \"This is the inventory of the Gu assets. You can start by using it as a reference.\"

Gu Nianzhi's heart dropped as she quickly glanced at Ye Xuan, her eyes glittering like stars. Her look made Ye Xuan avert his gaze with shame.

Gu Nianzhi first checked the file for viruses before opening it. It was a text file, and it contained a dense list of Gu Xiangwen's bank accounts, investment accounts, properties, antiques, list of patents, several hundred safety deposit boxes at several major banks that held unknown items, as well as several holding companies registered in the Cayman Islands!

The complex holding relationships guaranteed the highest level of privacy for the largest shareholders. No wonder they couldn't find any clues about Gu Xiangwen at all!

Four years ago, the total estimated value of all these assets was as high as ten billion US dollars!

What kind of a concept was ten billion US dollars? Apple, the company with the highest market value on the Blue Planet, had 70 billion US dollars in free cash flow, which was even more than the amount of cash that the US government could freely use.

And Gu Xiangwen had used his own strength to amass one-seventh of Apple's free cash flow in only two decades. This was truly awe inspiring. However, Gu Yanran was also shockingly generous with her spending. In a mere seven years, she had squandered or sold off nearly seven billion US dollars in assets! Just how quickly was she squandering the family fortune?!

Gu Nianzhi could feel her breathing quickening already. Tightly gripping her phone, her brain quickly recalled all her past interactions with Gu Yanran.

Thinking back to how Gu Yanran had even been reluctant to donate to charities, going back on her word shamelessly, as well as how she gave Prime Minister Tan and his wife money to cover their deficit, and the speed at which she constantly sold off all sorts of patents-Gu Nianzhi slowly began to understand. She angrily slammed the table. \"This b*tch! She's been transferring away the property all this time!\"