416 Didn“t Cherish You For Nothing
He Zhichu watched the video without speaking a word. Rather than focusing on the loud and abrasive women, his eyes were on a trembling, blurry figure in the back. The entire video was less than five minutes and ended when the shopping cart tipped over and hit Gu Nianzhi. She covered her head with one hand, but then the video failed to capture Huo Shaoheng coming from behind to pull the cart off with one hand and hoist Gu Nianzhi up with the other. Staring blankly at the final shot, he slowly reached out to caress Gu Nianzhi's head on the screen. In that moment, he could feel Gu Nianzhi's horror. She had been traumatized years ago and now she was suffering again six years later? What did Huo Shaoheng do for a living anyway? How could he have let her get injured in broad daylight? Pacing around the room irritably, he knew he needed to confirm for himself that Gu Nianzhi was ok before he did anything else. After struggling with his thoughts for a while, he finally picked up the phone to call her. The phone rang for a long time but was never answered. He Zhichu's heart went up and down along with the ringing tone; he grew more anxious but refused to give up dialing. Finally, Zhao Liangze picked up.
Zhao Liangze saw that He Zhichu had called many times but didn't leave any voicemails, so he decided to take the call in case there was an emergency. He answered politely, "Professor He? This is Little Ze. Nianzhi is in surgery. Please call back tomorrow."
He Zhichu gripped the phone and closed his eyes. So she was really injured and it was serious enough to warrant surgery?
"At which hospital?" He Zhichu's usually aloof voice somehow sounded raspy. He would not feel assured until he personally visited Gu Nianzhi.
Zhao Liangze paused and then said, "Professor He, Nianzhi is alright. She just twisted her ankle, but Mr. Huo was worried and called the best orthopedic surgeon to examine her. Maybe saying surgery was an overstatement—they are actually realigning her bones."
"Really?" He Zhichu's nervous heart finally found some reassurance, but he was still very worried about Gu Nianzhi's condition. He hesitated for a moment before he insisted and said, "Tell me the name of the hospital and I'll go see her right away."
Zhao Liangze raised his eyebrows in amazement. "Professor He, you don't have to go through all that trouble. Nianzhi is doing well. I'll have her call you when she comes out of surgery."
"No! I want to see her right now!" He Zhichu was irate and couldn't face the same situation happening again. He had no choice but to threaten Zhao Liangze. "Mr. Zhao, if you don't tell me which hospital Nianzhi is at, I'll call the police! I'll tell them you're illegally imprisoning her!" It was a ridiculous statement, but he was willing to say anything just to get access to Gu Nianzhi.
So he is threatening me now? Zhao Liangze frowned and switched the phone to his other hand. He paused the call and turned on a video chat with Huo Shaoheng, who was standing guard at the door to the operating room. "Mr. Huo, Professor He saw the video and he's calling to see Gu Nianzhi."
"Tell him she's in surgery; she'll call him after." Huo Shaoheng sat on the bench outside the operating theater with his hands folded together. He leaned forward and rested his elbows on his knees. Though his expression appeared calm and his tone was fairly normal, he resolutely guarded the door and refused to go anywhere else.
Zhao Liangze smiled wryly. "I've already told him, but he won't listen. He even threatened me and said he would call the police if we don't allow him to see Nianzhi right away. He will sue us for illegal imprisonment, or some nonsense."
Huo Shaoheng barely looked up and said into his headset calmly, "Then let him sue." He hung up and refused to listen to the rest of Little Ze's chatter. He had only been waiting for half an hour and Zhao Liangze had called ten times with various reasons to convince him to leave the door. Huo Shaoheng understood Zhao Liangze's good intentions, but he had his own ideas and would not be led by his subordinates. Huo Shaoheng didn't blame Zhao Liangze for merely fulfilling his duty as a personal secretary. Neither of them were wrong to maintaining their own work styles.
Zhao Liangze was out of options and could only resume the call with He Zhichu. He still hadn't hung up and was waiting on the line. "What is it? Did you notify your 'master?'" He Zhichu jeered. "Tell me the address of your hospital and I'll come right away." He had already put on his coat. He held his car keys and was awaiting the name and address of the hospital so that he could rush over immediately.
Zhao Liangze began to delay intentionally. He replied leisurely, "Professor He, are you still waiting on the line?"
"Stop the nonsense and tell me it now." He Zhichu was growing impatient. Although he had tried to calm down, the veins on his forehead were now beginning to show.
"Professor He, are you this kind to all your students?" Zhao Liangze asked slowly; he had originally wanted to delay by making something up. But as soon as Zhao Liangze said it, he felt his heart thump and the thoughts swirled in his head. It was strange—when he thought carefully about it, He Zhichu was uncharacteristically sweet to Gu Nianzhi. In the past, he had given Gu Nianzhi the chance to intern at the US Congress and recently, he had arranged her dorm room and even held one on one lectures for her. And finally, He Zhichu was unusually anxious today. Zhao Liangze finally realized that He Zhichu's concern for Gu Nianzhi far surpassed that of a normal professor towards their
Rubbing his chin, Zhao Liangze waited for He Zhichu's reply. Wisely avoiding the question, He Zhichu jingled his car keys in his hand, already regaining composure. He shot back icily, "If you keep wasting my time, I'll sue you individually too."
"Professor He, you can't always be threatening to sue people for everything. It's pointless if you say it so much."
"Good that you know it's pointless." He Zhichu strode to the door. "So you'd better stop delaying me. I must see Gu Nianzhi right now."
Zhao Liangze also smartened up and said, "Professor He, I understand your anxiety, but I can only tell you one answer—no can do."
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In the operating room, Gu Nianzhi lay on an operating table. Sweat beaded on her forehead and her nose was wet with perspiration. The two top orthopedic surgeons in the Empire were present—one pressed onto her kneecap and the other gripped her ankle to find the humeral head. He tested it, then suddenly applied pressure to pull outward and pressed down exactly on the ankle joint. Gu Nianzhi screamed and then slumped back on the table. The pain was awful. Overhearing this from the side, Chen Lie's heart pounded as he wiped sweat from his forehead. Thankfully, the room had first class soundproofing; otherwise, Huo Shaoheng would have burst in, consumed by blind rage.
"Ok, the ankle is slightly dislocated but it's been repositioned now." A surgeon lifted Gu Nianzhi's left foot to show Chen Lie.
Chen Lie went over to feel the position of Gu Nianzhi's ankle joint. "You are truly superb! The repositioning was perfect. If it had been anyone else doing it, Nianzhi would probably have serious complications."
Dislocating the ankle joint was a serious injury; if it wasn't corrected properly, the patient would have a slight limp. It wasn't apparent when walking slowly, but a quick stride or run would make the limp very obvious. Gu Nianzhi was only 18 and Chen Lie didn't want her to have any problems this early on in her youth. The two orthopedic surgeons laughed at his praise. "This is a standard surgery for us. Don't worry, none of our patients have ever had side effects."
"Thank you both. When Nianzhi is completely healed in a few days, I'll make sure to bring her out to treat you to dinner." Chen Lie played the older brother and clasped his hands in thanks to his two colleagues.
"Dr. Chen is too kind; you've helped us many times before. We just were able to help you once today, so we still have to thank you for the opportunity!" They all laughed heartily before removing their surgical masks and opening the doors to leave.
Huo Shaoheng stood up from the long bench outside and looked at them worriedly.
"Mr. Huo is still here?" The two orthopedic surgeons smiled. "It was only a minor surgery. There was nothing for Mr. Huo to worry about."
"Ok, thank you both. I'll treat you to lunch one day." Huo Shaoheng nodded before briskly heading towards the operating room.
Chen Lie was wiping sweat off Gu Nianzhi when he turned around to see Huo Shaoheng had come in. He had meant to lie and waved impatiently to shoo him out."We're not done here yet; her back still needs an X-ray. Get out first."
Huo Shaoheng walked past Chen Lie to the sleeping Gu Nianzhi who was lying on the table. Her face was white as snow and her lips were completely devoid of color—it was obvious that she had gone through terrible pain. Huo Shaoheng's expression darkened. "Didn't you give her anesthesia for the surgery?"
Chen Lie hemmed and hawed. "It was only realigning and reconnecting the bone. It's not ideal to use anesthesia."
"If she had no sensation, we wouldn't know if the realignment was wrong. Do you want her to have side effects and limp for the rest of her life?" Chen Lie forced himself to debate with Huo Shaoheng, but his true reason for not numbing Gu Nianzhi was to test her unique body constitution for pain tolerance. Although, the two orthopedic surgeons had also said that it was best not to use anesthesia for reconnective surgery in order to achieve perfect results.
Huo Shaoheng was cold with anger and was about to shout at Chen Lie some more when Gu Nianzhi whispered weakly, "Huo Shao… I'm fine. Don't blame Brother Chen, it's thanks to him that my foot is ok…"
Her voice is so fragile, Huo Shaoheng thought.
Glaring at Chen Lie, Huo Shaoheng walked up to Gu Nianzhi's table and bent down to examine her closely. He grabbed a tissue from the table side to wipe her sweat and looked at her intently as he asked quietly, "Does it still hurt?"
"It doesn't hurt anymore," Gu Nianzhi said honestly. "It just hurt a lot for a few minutes when the bone was reconnected."
"Ok, it's fine now. I'll make you sparerib soup when we get back," Huo Shaoheng said as he looked at Chen Lie unkindly. Face full of terror, Chen Lie wanted to curl his round body into a ball.
Gu Nianzhi licked her chapped lips. "I'm hungry right now."
Huo Shaoheng finally let Chen Lie off the hook. "I'll go make you something to eat."
"Yeah, I want Huo Shao's homemade fried rice," Gu Nianzhi said sleepily.
Huo Shaoheng left in a hurry and Chen Lie ambled over to Gu Nianzhi's bedside with a giggle. "Nianzhi, Nianzhi, I've saved you so many times and you finally repaid the debt! I didn't cherish you for nothing!"
Gu Nianzhi smirked and was about to speak when Huo Shaoheng returned with a grim face. Their smiles froze as they shared a look and thought in unison—oh no, we've been caught in the lie.
Huo Shaoheng didn't even look at Chen Lie but passed Gu Nianzhi's phone to her grimly. "Here, hurry up and video chat with your Professor He."