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839 Ingratiate Oneself

 "They came back?" Ma Qiqi beamed happily as she tapped her chopsticks on the bowl. "They're back! They're back! Let's see how Gu Yanran will try to weasel her way out of this!"

It could be said that Ye Xuan knew all of Gu Yanran's secrets.

Gu Niaznhi smiled. Although she was feeling very happy, she still deliberately pretended to be haughty. "Well, it's good that they could come back safely. Everything else is up to destiny."

"Hmph! Why are you pretending in front of me? You're doing this on purpose, right?" Ma Qiqi laughed and stared at Gu Nianzhi's face. "Let me see if your nose is growing!"

"You're the one with a long nose!" Gu Nianzhi had wanted to joke around with Ma Qiqi in the first place, so she felt extremely happy to begin bantering with her.

However the two girls only bantered for a little bit before Gu Nianzhi stopped and said, "I have to go to Professor He's and wait for them to return."

She couldn't wait to see Ye Xuan safe and sound, as well as glean first-hand information.

He Zhichu lived in the B University professor's building. He had brought Ye Xuan back this time and had him stay with him since he was worried about his safety.

Ma Qiqi quickly let go of her hand. "You're going alone? It's already dark out."

"That's fine, it's on campus anyway. Why would you worry about safety?" Gu Nianzhi giggled as she went back to her room to wash up and get changed.

Ma Qiqi thought about it for a while, then discreetly sent Yin Shixiong a text: "Professor He brought Ye Xuan back. Nianzhi is going to see them."

...

At that moment in the small conference room inside the Special Operations Forces headquarters base, Huo Shaoheng, General Ji, Yin Shixiong, as well as Zhao Liangze and several other people were listening to the Special Ops field personnel from the United States recount Ye Xuan's recent incident.

These field personnel had witnessed the complete course of He Zhichu's actions. That included how He Zhichu and Ye Xuan were hunted down by Admiral Laris under the excuse of "terrorist attack." He had been secretly observing them the entire time.

Aside from not knowing what had happened when He Zhichu and Ye Xuan had stayed in the mountains overnight, he personally witnessed He Zhichu subsequently leverage the power of Whitewater Security Company to go against Admiral Laris. He was even able to record the entire incident with a pinhole camera.

After Huo Shaoheng listened to his summary, he called General Ji over to listen to the detailed report as well. They were using the Nandou Satellite's encrypted channel to undergo a video conference so there was no need to worry about eavesdropping.

General Ji listened very intently and also carefully studied the self-recorded video that the personnel played. General Ji's expression darkened as soon as he saw the Admiral Laris, the Japanese-American commander of the Pacific Fleet, appear.

He was all too familiar with this person-Laris had continuously created trouble for the Huaxia Empire in South China Sea conflicts. Laris was so arrogant that he even disregarded the American President's orders. He basically only viewed Japanese interests as the most important. The Pacific Fleet might as well have been considered a Japanese fleet instead of an American one.

"This Laris truly went too far." General Ji slammed the desk hard before narrowing his eyes at Huo Shaoheng, "Shaoheng, have your forces collected information about this person?"

"Yes." Huo Shaoheng nodded distractedly. His eyes were not on Laris, but completely focused on the strange-looking gun that He Zhichu wielded.

"Then do you have any procedures? How can you allow this bastard to abuse powers he doesn't even have?"

Although it was now a time of peace, and relations between the Huxia Empire and Japan had normalized-most Huaxia people hadn't forgotten that period of humiliating and bloody history. Some said that people who liked war were brainless, while people who forgot history lacked a conscience.

Japan was the country that the entire Huaxia Empire was most vigilant against. Also, Japan had never relinquished their ambitions towards the Huaxia Empire. Even though they had already lost the war, the hearts of the Japanese right-wingers would never admit that they lost to the Huaxia Empire. They only accepted that they lost to the United States and their atomic bombs.

Huo Shaoheng collected himself, his handsome eyes flashing briefly and his expression calm as his fingers gently tapped on the conference table. He shut down the video conference, then asked Zhao Liangze and Yin Shixiong to stand guard outside.

Huo Shaoheng and General Ji were the only two people left in the entire conference room, so he said quietly, "Please don't worry, General Ji. We've already cast our net out. The intelligence gathered by the Whitewater Security Company was actually leaked by our personnel."

The largest shareholder of Whitewater Security Company was former Vice-President Nice, but now that he had already stepped down from office, his influence in the government was waning day by day. Oftentimes, he couldn't be the first to receive the most confidential intelligence.

At a time like this, the field personnel Huo Shaoheng stationed in North America came in handy. They tried their best to avoid direct involvement and that way, they could still retain a convoluted line of defense even if something went wrong.

Thanks to the Huaxia Imperial Special Operations Forces field personnel leaking intelligence, Little A had been able to know at once that the Japanese-American four-star Admiral Laris was the one who would be visiting the Ovi Air Force Base in Little Rock.

General Ji nodded with satisfaction. "Good! Well done! That's the way to do it! It's good to make him go against his superior. The best result would be to achieve our own goals without any bloodshed from our soldiers."

"Roger, Chief." Huo Shaoheng inclined his chin slightly. "Our field personnel are very attentive and work very hard, so their work is excellent and effective. It can be said that the damage caused by the traitor last time has now been made up for."

General Ji knew that he was referring to Bai Yusheng of the Bai family. He had once been the Deputy Minister of the Secret Service and handled the work in North America. That person had betrayed his nation and fled to the United States, causing devastating damage to the first line of the Huaxia Imperial Forces in the United States.

Fortunately, Huo Shaoheng responded strongly and after a two-year period of restructuring, the new network had been established. For the sake of confidentiality, the domestic agencies also strengthened mutual supervision, as well as checks and balances in order to prevent a similar incident from occurring.

"Shaoheng, I have confidence in your work. Your focus should be placed on Laris. We can't sit idly by and watch someone like that command the US Pacific Fleet!" General Ji was very wary of him since the Huaxia Imperial Navy was the weakest amongst its three military forces. Although they had greatly improved, they were still far too lacking when compared to long-established, powerful naval countries like the United States.

However, Huo Shaoheng had a different opinion. He deliberately ended the video call so he could tell General Ji his thoughts. "I think that whether Laris stays or goes should be up to the US Military's decision. It's not good for us to intervene. If something goes wrong, the United States will take advantage of our weakness and accuse us of interfering with the internal affairs of other countries. The United States has a tendency to support whatever their enemies oppose, so when it comes to Laris, we should do the opposite of what we want."

"You mean that...?"

"I will have our personnel leak compliments for Admiral Laris' actions in the South China Sea. The more fiercely we compliment him, the less the United States will be able to stand it." Huo Shaoheng replied nonchalantly. He was very good at using reverse-psychology as a tactic.

General Ji considered this for a while, then suddenly laughed loudly and slammed the desk. "Good! Impressive! Okay! Compliment him for me, compliment him to death! Just say that we hope Admiral Laris will always command the Pacific Fleet, and claim that his continuous appointment will strengthen the cooperation and development of bi-lateral relations in the South China Sea!"

Huo Shoheng smiled and took notes of the key points. He also flattered General Ji in the process. "General Ji stands from the higher point and sees the farthest."

General Ji clearly knew that Huo Shaoheng was flattering him, but he was in very high spirits. He thought about how their fierce compliments would cause Admiral Laris to lose all external and internal support. That thought made him so happy, he wanted nothing more than to immediately grab some wine with Huo Shaoheng!

...

Yin Shixiong and Zhao Liangze stood guard outside the conference rooms.

Neither of them spoke, but both their focus had also been on the strange-looking gun that He Zhichu wielded.

"...Little Ze, do you think it's a coincidence or not?" Yin Shixiong couldn't help but quietly whisper to Zhao Liangze so they could discuss it. "How could Professor He have that kind of gun? Did you see when the camera showed the fighter jet fall down from the sky like it was made of papier-mâché?

"I saw it." Zhao Liangze's eyes were very gloomy. "No wonder Huo Shao can't stop worrying about Nianzhi. Think about it-a person like that, who clearly has such a powerful background and such superior means. Yet he gave up everything and went through all the hardships of looking for Nianzhi. Then he rushed here to guard her..."

People such as them with more internal information no longer treated He Zhichu as an ordinary lawyer.

Yin Shixiong mulled after it for a while, then suddenly shivered. "Nianzhi and Professor He really have some history."

"That's for sure. But He Zhichu has also never done anything to hurt our national interests. Quite the opposite, he is very protective of them." Zhao Liangze considered it even more carefully. "Did you see how he was treating Admiral Laris? That kind of distaste and disgust was not concealed at all-he had absolutely no regard for him."

Yin Shixiong thought about it over again, yet he couldn't understand it. Just as he was about to inquire further, he felt his phone vibrate. Taking it out, he saw a text from Ma Qiqi.

"...Professor He has arrived." He took one glance, then suddenly widened his eyes. "Nianzhi is going to Professor He's house?"

Zhao Liangze rubbed his chin and said with a smile, "Oh, that's good news. Hurry up and tell Huo Shao, maybe you can benefit from this."

Yin Shixiong glared at Zhao Liangze. "Do I look like that kind of person who'd profit off this news?"

"You wouldn't?"

"Of course I would." Yin Shixiong suddenly laughed. He looked down at his phone to reply to Ma Qiqi's text. "If I don't ingratiate myself now, then when? Hehe, it's so rare to see Huo Shao suffer a loss. I hope that this will last just a bit longer..."

Before he could even finish his sentence, Zhao Liangze's face instantly turned pale. He kept giving looks to Yin Shixiong, but Yin Shixiong was still giddily replying to Ma Qiqi's text so he couldn't see the warnings.

Behind them, the conference room door had quietly opened. Huo Shaoheng and General Ji silently stood at the doorway, and it was unknown just how much they had heard.

Huo Shaoheng didn't even look at them, but directly escorted General Ji out.

He walked very quickly, his body moving like lightning and nearly creating a gust. The air harshly slapped Yin Shixiong's face.