Hello, Mr. Major General is a web novel made by 寒武记, Han Wuji.
This lightnovel is currently Ongoing.
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Read WebNovel Hello, Mr. Major General Chapter 155 – I Won’t Let Anything Happen to You
Chapter 155: I Won’t Let Anything Happen to You
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“You want me to go? What for? I’d be useless.” Chen Lie hurriedly swallowed his mouthful of food. He looked sideways at Huo Shaoheng as he took a sip of water. “Why don’t you go?”
Huo Shaoheng shook his head. “No, I can’t go. They can’t know I’m her guardian, not yet. You understand, don’t you? If the US military finds out about me, Nianzhi won’t be able to come back here—they won’t let her.”
Chen Lie set his chopsticks down and wiped his mouth with a paper napkin. He looked up at the ceiling and murmured, “Six whole years, and no one tried to look for her. We haven’t been able to dig up anything about her, either; maybe we’ve been overthinking it? What if she’s just an ordinary orphan, with both parents tragically dead from an unfortunate accident and no living relatives?”
Huo Shaoheng’s eyes narrowed. He held his head in one hand as he toyed with a gold coin, rolling it over his knuckles.
He did not reply. He would not jump to conclusions, not until he had definitive evidence to prove where Gu Nianzhi had come from.
Before then, anything was possible.
He had to keep a clear head.
“h.e.l.lo? Did you hear what I said? Little Ze is in the US, isn’t he? What more do you want?” Chen Lie shook Huo Shaoheng’s arm to snap him out of his reverie. “Or is there a problem with Nianzhi’s case?”
Huo Shaoheng lowered his eyes as he closed his fingers over the gold coin he had been toying with. “I don’t think so. He Zhichu is an excellent lawyer. Still, I want Nianzhi to keep her distance from him.”
“Oh? And why is that?” Chen Lie’s eyebrows shot upwards; the effect was comical on his round, pudgy face. “He Zhichu is Nianzhi’s professor, and he’s been very good to her. Come to think of it, I remember hearing from Big Xiong that Professor He is exceptionally talented and highly respected, especially for someone as young as he is. He’s apparently quite the looker, too.”
Huo Shaoheng looked at him coldly. “What are you trying to say?”
“Young girls can never resist men like him, you know. Heck, he’s not a man, he’s a G.o.d.” Chen Lie looked at Huo Shaoheng, his eyes twinkling with amus.e.m.e.nt. “An Adonis, a real knockout, you know? Oh, my mistake though; you never go on the internet forums, so you probably don’t keep up with the latest slang.”
Huo Shaoheng looked at Chen Lie as though he were an idiot. He said nothing.
Chen Lie chuckled as he wagged a finger. “What are you looking at me for? I’m no Adonis! I’m just describing the latest social trend. Boss, c’mon, just tell me the truth—aren’t you worried about Nianzhi being in America for half a year, with someone as attractive as He Zhichu hanging around her?”
“Why would I worry?” Huo Shaoheng’s expression was calm and composed. Not even Chen Lie, who knew him well, could tell whether he was bluffing.
“Huh, so you’re not worried? At all? Fine, if you say so.” Chen Lie turned away, somewhat annoyed, and reached for a can of beer. He cracked it open with a loud pssshhh, and took a long chug. “Okay, tell me what you want me to do.”
Huo Shaoheng had been waiting for Chen Lie to be serious. He rose from his seat and walked into his study.
Chen Lie followed him inside and sat across from him on the other side of his desk.
“Take a look at this.” Huo Shaoheng tossed him a folder. “You won’t be going alone. I’ll get the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to send a few other men with you. You’ll go to the US as a medical expert hired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Once you’re there, ask Little Ze for further instructions.”
Chen Lie sobered up. He picked up the folder, scanned the doc.u.ments inside, and then burst into laughter. He cupped his hands at Huo Shaoheng in the traditional Huaxia gesture of respect. “How do you do it? You never cease to amaze me, Boss!”
Huo Shaoheng smiled lightly. He waved his hand and shooed Chen Lie out of his house, as though he were a fly or a mosquito.
Gu Nianzhi’s mood had improved after the phone call from Huo Shaoheng.
As for Mei Xiawen, he called her every day, right before her bedtime, which would be around lunch time for him.
He made sure to ask how she was feeling, what she had been up to, and whether she was eating properly.
It had only been a week since his return flight to the Empire, but he had already sent her two packages.
One was a bouquet of 99 roses, airlifted directly from the Netherlands; Gu Nianzhi arranged them in a vase in her bedroom. The other was a Van Cleef & Arpels five-flower necklace. Five tiny flowers, made of mother of pearl and encrusted with diamonds, were arranged asymmetrically on a delicate chain. The workmans.h.i.+p was exquisite; the necklace exuded extravagance in its simplicity.
Gu Nianzhi loved the gifts. She put on the necklace and brought the roses over to her desk to show Mei Xiawen during her video call with him.
“How does it look?” She smiled, her eyes bright. Her fair skin was smooth and her cheeks dimpled as she smiled at him; Mei Xiawen could not resist caressing her face on his laptop screen.
“It looks amazing on you. As soon as I saw this necklace, I knew it was meant for you.” Mei Xiawen blew a kiss to her by putting two fingers to his lips and pressing them onto Gu Nianzhi’s face on his laptop screen.
Gu Nianzhi saw his gesture over her video feed and flushed in embarra.s.sment. She hastily turned off her camera, leaving only the microphone on. She laughed and said, “Xiawen, you have to wait for six months before you can do something as embarra.s.sing as that.” She giggled shyly.
Jiang Hongcha had been sitting on the sofa in the study, hidden from the camera’s view. She saw that the camera had been turned off, and tiptoed over. She put her arms around Mei Xiawen’s neck from behind and whispered softly in his ear: “I told you, I have excellent taste. No woman can resist roses and a VCA necklace.”
Her voice was husky. Her lips hovered right beside his ear. He could feel her breath worm its way in, warm and sultry.
Heat curled upwards from his lower abdomen. He abruptly ended the call and scooped Jiang Hongcha into his arms, pressing her into the sofa in his study.
In a few short moments, the study was filled with the sound of breathless moaning. Spring was in the air.
The next court hearing for Xin Xinggao’s lawsuit against Gu Nianzhi had been scheduled for the Monday of the following week.
He Zhichu and his team worked through the entire week, barely taking the time to rest or sleep. They carefully watched the videotapes, from beginning to end, in an effort to find the holes in Xin Xinggao’s story. Unfortunately, they could not find anything suspicious in the recordings.
Everything checked out, and nothing remotely illegal had come up in any of Xin Xinggao’s conversations with her visitors.
The only thing that had seemed suspicious was Lieutenant Colonel Peter’s repeated visits with Xin Xinggao.
The two of them had conversed in low voices; even with the volume turned up, it was hard to make out what they had said to one another.
Language experts were called in to verify the m.u.f.fled conversations, but all of them arrived at the same conclusion: there was nothing suspicious. Xin Xinggao had merely asked Lieutenant Colonel Peter for something to read, and he had obliged her by bringing her a few books.
It was absurd to claim that Lieutenant Colonel Peter had inflicted severe brain trauma on Xin Xinggao just by bringing her books.
He Zhichu and his team were not completely convinced the visits had been entirely innocent, but they had to concede that there was nothing there to refute the plaintiff’s claims.
“Mr. He, do you have to take on this case?” He Zhichu’s subordinate asked, concerned. He followed this with a cautious reminder. “The military appears to be getting help from the CIA recently—they’re going all out because they think they have this in the bag.”
The US military had a complicated relations.h.i.+p with the CIA. They were often hostile towards each other, but willingly cooperated when it came to issues involving national interest.
This time, even the CIA had their fingers in the pie; it was becoming increasingly evident now that Gu Nianzhi had been right. Xin Xinggao was most likely hiding something else. He Zhichu and his team did not know what that was just yet.
As soon as he reframed the situation in this context, He Zhichu suddenly hit upon an idea.
“Get me a team medical experts—I need a world-famous neurologist, especially.” He Zhichu rapped his knuckles on the table as he a.s.signed his subordinates with new tasks. “The John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore has the best neurologist and neurosurgeon in the world. Get them to be our expert witnesses, and don’t be stingy with the compensation.”
“Mr. He, do you mean…?” His subordinates looked at each other, before lifting their puzzled faces to look at He Zhichu over the stack of videotapes. “You’re going to challenge the prosecution’s claims regarding the extent of Xin Xinggao’s injuries?”
“Of course.” He Zhichu turned and packed his things into his briefcase. “We’re lawyers. We must be bold in our a.s.sumptions, but meticulous with the evidence. We aren’t scientists, so our arguments don’t have to be perfect—all we need to look for is the evidence to back up our claims. Everything else is superfluous, and can be removed from the equation.”
By the time the trial was resumed on the following Monday, He Zhichu had had many in-depth discussions with the neurologist and a neurosurgeon from John Hopkins. The CT scans and X-rays of Xin Xinggao’s brain had been sent to He Zhichu as well. He had studied them with the experts over the course of several days.
Although the two experts felt something was off with the scans and X-rays, they were unable to dismiss the possibility of actual brain damage off-hand—the human brain was extremely complex, after all. It was impossible to say for certain whether Xin Xinggao’s mental capacity had been irreversibly reduced.
“Mr. He, this is all we can do for you.” The two brain experts politely extended their hands to He Zhichu, their meeting with him over after having worked tirelessly with him the entire week.
He Zhichu smiled and shook hands with them. “That’s fine. We’ll just have to do our best.”
It was her second appearance in court, and Gu Nianzhi had chosen to dress even more conservatively. She wore a white silk top with long puff sleeves, tucked neatly into straight black trousers. Her hair was tied up in a ponytail that swayed with her every move—she looked the very picture of youthful innocence.
Judge Judy struck the sound block with her gavel. She asked He Zhichu, “Mr. He, do you have anyone else that you would like to bring forth today?”
He Zhichu stood up. “I have invited two brain experts. Please allow them to testify in court.”
“Permission granted.” Judge Judy nodded and motioned for the two expert witnesses to be brought into the courtroom.
The two doctors put their hands over the bible and solemnly swore to tell the truth. After that, they took turns testifying from the witness stand.
The neurologist presented the CT scans of Xin Xinggao’s brain as he explained to the judge, “Your Honor, in my 20 years as a medical pract.i.tioner, I have never seen anyone suffer irreversible brain damage from the sort of injury sustained by Miss Xin. These are the afflicted areas in her brain. In the first scan, and in all the subsequent scans leading up to the third week, her injuries are healing steadily. In the fourth week, however, her injuries suddenly deteriorated. As you can see, the CT scans from the fourth week are vastly different from the scans taken during the preceding weeks—we must find out what happened in-between.”
He Zhichu stood up and began his direct examination. “Dr. Carson, are you saying that Xin Xinggao may have sustained further injuries between the third and fourth week of her hospital stay?”
“I would say that it is highly probable, judging from the CT scans.” Dr. Carson was careful with his answer.
He Zhichu nodded and sat back down, while the prosecutor cross-examined Dr.Carson.
“In other words, Dr. Carson, you cannot be wholly sure she sustained additional injuries between the third and the fourth week. Isn’t that also right?” Xin Xinggao’s legal team had appointed a new lawyer to represent them in court, one that was evidently smarter and far more capable than his b.u.mbling predecessor.
The two experts He Zhichu had brought with him could only say for certain that the CT scans presented an incomplete record of Xin Xinggao’s injuries, and were therefore inconclusive: they could not pinpoint, however, exactly when her brain damage had been inflicted.
Under normal circ.u.mstances, the defendant would be acquitted if the evidence submitted by the plaintiff had not been sufficient to prove—beyond all reasonable doubt—the defendant’s guilt.
There were too many uncertainties in the case; if there had been a jury, they would have declared the defendant to be innocent by now.
The juvenile court was presided over by a judge, instead of a jury, but that did not mean Gu Nianzhi was at a disadvantage. In the juvenile court, there was an even greater emphasis on the availability of direct evidence, in addition to the logical integrity of the arguments presented.
In other words, Gu Nianzhi would have been acquitted of her charges by now—had she not been up against Xin Xinggao and the forces lurking behind her.
It was just her luck to be caught in a face-off with the US military and the CIA; they were evidently using her to send a message to the Huaxia Empire: “This is what happens when you mess with us.”
Gu Nianzhi’s heart sank. Her shoulders slumped dejectedly, her fingernails digging into her palms.
He Zhichu was unperturbed. If his opponent was set on sending Gu Nianzhi to jail, well, he would just have to use his final piece of evidence.
“Don’t be afraid.” He Zhichu took Gu Nianzhi’s hand and pried her tightly clenched fingers open, one by one. “I won’t let anything happen to you.”
Gu Nianzhi smiled wryly at him as she shook her head. “Professor He, I really shouldn’t be taking up any more of your time. When you get back to your office, please send me the bill. I’ll find a way to pay your attorney’s fee, and I’ll do it as soon as possible.”
He Zhichu’s face immediately clouded. He shoved Gu Nianzhi’s hand away and said frostily, “Is this the time to discuss my fees? Really? Do you think that you could even afford it?”
Gu Nianzhi bit her lip. “I’ll try my best. I can pay in installments, if I don’t have enough to pay you all at once.”
He Zhichu was furious inside; he turned away without uttering another word. His expression had darkened, and his lips were drawn tight.
Let her go to jail, for all I care.
It seemed that the stubborn child had not learned her lesson.
He Zhichu’s beautiful face had turned stony. He watched Gu Nianzhi as though in a trance; he was so intensely focused on her that he no longer registered what was going on with the trial.
Judge Judy did not have to pay attention to the trial, either; she had received secret orders from the military and the CIA that she would be convicting Gu Nianzhi no matter what.
Once the attorneys for the plaintiff and the defendant had presented their closing arguments, Judge Judy laughed wrily, raised the gavel, and said: “The evidence presented by the plaintiff is conclusive and beyond any reasonable doubt. Therefore, the defendant is—”
She had just been about to say “guilty” when the courtroom doors abruptly burst open, and a troop of smartly-dressed Huaxia diplomats filed in.
“Who are you? Are you aware that it is a felony to enter the courtroom without permission?” Judge Judy looked towards the bailiffs, the gavel in her hand still hovering in mid-air. “Well?! Get them out of here!”
Gu Nianzhi looked up—and saw Chen Lie’s round, chubby face among the men in suits!
He looked solemn and grave in his black suit, but when his gaze alighted on Gu Nianzhi standing in the docks, she could see the joyful smile in his eyes .
Gu Nianzhi immediately relaxed.
Uncle Huo must have sent the diplomats.
He had not abandoned her. He was here to save her.
The diplomat at the forefront of the group presented his doc.u.ments. “Judge Judy, we are diplomats from the Huaxia Empire. We have diplomatic immunity.”
This meant that she could not throw them out for contempt of court.
“What do you want? Even diplomats have to abide by our laws.” Judge Judy’s was visibly irritated, but her gavel has been set aside. She did not dare strike it, not until she knew what was going on.
“Our country is deeply concerned about Xin Xinggao’s lawsuit against Gu Nianzhi. Given that they are both citizens of the Huaxia Empire, we believe that they must be brought back to their homeland for a proper trial. This is the extradition order, jointly signed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice of the Huaxia Empire. Please have a look, Your Honor.”
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