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812 Not a Minute Wasted

 They snuggled quietly on the living room couch.

The sky outside the French windows was growing darker, and the wind was howling louder. The dried yellow leaves on the trees fell on the ground and were blown away by a gust of wind. The leaves dancing mid-air were like his own uneasy heart.

Huo Shaoheng was worried.

He originally assumed that they were guaranteed to win the estate feud, yet it had become one trouble after another. It appeared that Gu Yanran still had many cards up her sleeves. He was also unsure if Gu Nainzhi could handle it or not.

Lowering his head, he wanted to say something but saw that Gu Nianzhi had already laid in his arms and fallen asleep.

Her breathing was even and light. Her long eyelashes did not move as they covered the hint of bruising under her eyes.

Huo Shaoheng carefully studied her peacefully sleeping face. She must have felt exhausted lately. Her face was so pale it nearly became transparent. The color on her cheeks was faint like the lightest blush of pink on April cherry blossoms.

On the other hand, her lips were healthy in color. Upon careful inspection, she must have put on lipstick.

Huo Shaoheng frowned and took a tissue from the coffee table to gently wipe her lips and remove the lipstick. A few streaks of coral red were left on the tissue.

He supported her neck with one hand and encircled her knees with the other to pick her up.

Opening the bedroom door, Huo Shaoheng saw that the bed had been replaced.

He recalled how they had playfully fought on the bed the other day and somehow collapsed it. He couldn't help but smile.

Setting Gu Niaznhi on the bed, he covered her with a thin blanket and moved it aside so he could get under it.

He didn't sleep. He sat on the bed and took out his phone to start checking work emails, as well as progress on all phases of action.

Time passed by slowly. The room was extremely quiet.

The windows had excellent sound-proofing capabilities, and the thick, gold velvet curtains blocked out light and heat. It completely concealed the large window that was half the height of the wall.

...

Gu Nianzhi hadn't been able to sleep so leisurely for a long time.

It seemed like her sleep quality had been terrible since she returned from Germany.

As a result, she adjusted her schedule and became accustomed to working all night to write papers and do homework. She tried her best to take time to sleep during the day.

Sometimes she had classes or other events in the day, so she couldn't be guaranteed sleep.

After a long time, her exhaustion gradually became obvious.

However, she wasn't worried because she knew it was due to the recurrence of her PTSD left unhealed from years ago. It was triggered by what she suffered in Germany. She slowly adjusted her mentality and increased her resistance to stress.

She didn't have Huo Shaoheng's soothing, sensitive and fragile nerves. She had no choice but to reduce her anxiety and restlessness by limiting her amount of sleep.

Although her method was silly, it managed to work. She could feel herself gradually coming out of the daily panic and unease she felt whenever she closed her eyes. She began to feel increasingly tired, but it was different from when she had returned and could only lay with her eyes open the entire night. Her nerves were in a state of unusual excitement.

Her sleep now was the most secure and deepest since she had come back.

Opening her eyes, she was shocked to see a tall figure sitting next to her. She didn't feel panicked. She stuck out her tongue to lick her somewhat chapped lips before quietly humming once.

Huo Shaoheng looked up at her. \"You're awake.\" Adjusting the blankets for her, he patted her back before continuing to look at his phone and gently tapping on the screen.

Gu Nianzhi wasn't that awake. She was looking at Huo Shaoheng according to her instincts because she subconsciously knew he was someone who would allow her to sleep peacefully.

Although Huo Shaoheng looked at his phone, he always kept the corner of his eye on Gu Nianzhi.

When he was being stared at so intently like that, he couldn't concentrate at all.

Huo Shaoheng finally sighed and put his phone done. Picking her up from the blankets, he laid her on his lap. He bent down to begin kissing her lips. At the same time, he reached under her shirt with one hand.

Gu Nianzhi gradually woke up. She could feel Huo Shaoheng's kisses growing hotter. She didn't resist him. She was only thinking about how men always touched breasts when they kissed.

Did he also touch her when they kissed before?

She tried hard to recall but couldn't remember. She only remembered how she had been completely confused and couldn't even remember her name when he kissed her in the past. Her brain turned to mush. She couldn't think of anything. She had no recollection of what he did.

When he kissed her now, she was intoxicated but still distracted enough to think about his actions.

Was this improvement?

Huo Shaoheng noticed Gu Nianzhi being distracted, so he squeezed her hard before finally letting go.

When he moved his lips away, Gu Nianzhi already panting hard.

\"If you keep getting distracted, I'll have to punish you.\" Huo Shaoheng looked down to bump foreheads with her. \"How long has it been since you slept?\"

\"I do sleep...\" Gu Nianzhi laughed. Her tiny lips seemed to be coated in honey as she teased Huo Shaoheng. \"I sleep especially well next to you. You are like a sleeping pill. Just a small amount is enough. Having too much will cause an accident, so I have to take a bit every now and then.\"

Huo Shaoheng tapped her lips with his finger. \"Just look at you, you're even know how to tease me with sweet words now.\"

\"When did I do that?\" Gu Nianzhi wrinkled her nose. The tip of her nose felt soft and smooth as soon as it touched Huo Shaoheng's finger.

\"You didn't?\" Huo Shaoheng symbolically patted her butt a few times. \"Are you complimenting me or insulting me by saying I'm your sleeping pill?\"

\"How dare I insult you?\" Gu Nianzhi pushed Huo Shaoheng away and climbed off the bed. \"You're the great master, so I should be serving you.\"

\"Really? Will you be serving me today?\" Huo Shaoheng missed the warmth between them a bit, so he reached out to grab Gu Nianzhi and pull her back again to lay on the blankets.

His fingers had already begun drawing circles on her waist.

Gu Nianzhi watched his increasingly dark eyes and looked away with some discomfort. She wanted to resist him, but her body was extremely rigid. She didn't know how to react.

Huo Shaoheng watched for a while before he removed his hand and didn't continue the actions. He kissed her on the side of her cheek. \"I was just teasing you. Look at how scared you are.\"

Gu Nianzhi huffed. She didn't want to admit she had sighed in relief but still objected stubbornly. \"Scared? Hah, come on then, who's scared of who?\"

\"Really?\" Huo Shaoheng immediately pressed her onto the bed.

Gu Nianzhi instantly admitted her defeat. She frantically shook her head, refusing to let him continue kissing her as she kept begging him, \"Fine, fine, fine! I'm scared of you! Is that what you want to hear?\"

\"Don't say that kind of thing to a man ever again.\" Huo Shaoheng pulled her up from the bed. \"You only have this tiny bit of courage and still want to pick fights all the time. Good thing you met me and not another man. Otherwise, they would've chewed you down to the bone by now.\"

Gu Nianzhi was still being contrary and wanted to reply out of habit, \"You can eat me then...\"

As soon as she said the first word, she knew it was wrong. She was able to slam on the brakes before she said the second word.

As expected, Huo Shaoheng looked down at her with a grin. He leaned over and quietly asked, \"You what? Why aren't you finishing the sentence?\"

\"You're nice. You're such a nice person, so how could you bear to eat me? Isn't that right, Huo Shao? Major General Huo?\" She reached out to embrace Huo Shaoheng's neck. Her voice naturally carried a bit of playfulness.

Her bright eyes shone. They shimmered like autumn pools. She was like a fairy that could suck human souls.

As Huo Shaoheng was controlling himself, he also thought about how the little fairy was growing up into a big fairy now. It was certainly getting harder and harder to fool her.

When he decided what to do, Gu Nianzhi had already quickly pushed him away, climbed up and went to wash up in the bathroom.

By the time she came back, Huo Shaoheng had already calmed down. Standing in front of the dressing mirror, he straightened the collar hooks on his military uniform. He didn't turn toward as he said, \"I'll take you back to school.\"

\"I rode my bike here. I'll be OK for me to go back alone.\" Gu Nianzhi didn't hesitate to reject him. \"You should wait for me to leave before going.\"

Since they wanted to avoid a conflict of interest, they needed to do it thoroughly.

Huo Shaoheng nodded and didn't say anything. As long as she didn't continue to reject him, this was a good start.

Like a skilled hunter, he had enough patience to await his prey to fall into his arms once again.

...

Gu Nianzhi rode her bike alone from the apartment in Hepingli District.

When she got back to her dorm building, she lifted her wrist to glance at her watch and saw it was already past 4 p.m.

In another hour, she would be able to have dinner.

She locked her bike to the rack in front of the building and went back to her dorm.

That night, she began to organize her court defense strategy after completing her homework.

As Huo Shaoheng said, Gu Yanran suddenly made extraordinary moves. It was like she had been enlightened. There had to be an expert advising her.

However, Gu Nianzhi was unlike Huo Shaoheng. She didn't want to know who the expert was.

Who cares who they were? She would destroy them regardless.

Gu Nianzhi hated the kind of people who hid in the background and made shady moves.

They should fight with her nobly out in the open if they truly had the ability. If they were that skilled, they should represent Gu Yanran as her legal counsel. Gu Nianzhi wanted to slap their faces so hard that all their teeth fell out.

They only dared to hide in the background and shoot secret arrows. Would a truly skilled person do that kind of thing?

How cheap!

After Gu Nianzhi strategically despised and looked down on the enemy, she began to treat them with great importance.

She carefully recalled every single word Huo Shaoheng had told her about Gu Yanran and Ye Xuan. Next, she carefully studied the Gu assets inventory Ye Xuan had given her. She also contemplated why Gu Yanran had to make such a big deal out of it.

Why did Gu Yanran reveal the address of Gu Xiangwen's lawyer? What was the goal of doing that?

Was the lawyer's address real or not?

Was this to fool Ye Xuan to go there or to trick the tiger into leaving the mountain?

Regardless of from what perspective she considered it, Gu Nianzhi still thought Gu Yanran and the expert behind her were overthinking.

Ye Xuan had never thought about going to court to act as Gu Nianzhi's witness, nor did Gu Nianzhi ever want Ye Xuan to go to court to act as her witness.

The two of them had only come together because of Gu Xiangwen. They didn't know each other well at all.

Ye Xuan giving her the inventory was a betrayal toward Gu Yanran, so how could he publicly act as a witness in court?

As for Gu Nianzhi, she wouldn't consider it even if Ye Xuan offered to be a witness.

Simply stated, it was better to not have a witness in court if someone trusted could not be found.

Since the lethal blow of a witness suddenly turning against her was too powerful, Gu Nianzhi didn't want to bear that kind of consequence.

She wrote down every single one of her thoughts and saved them in an encrypted file on her computer before sending an email to the court handling her case. She inquired when the next trial would be held.

Gu Nianzhi instinctively knew that this incident couldn't be delayed too long. Otherwise, Gu Yarnan would continue to make shady moves on her end and gradually destroy evidence.