963 Little Nurse
Someone came over to greet them, so Gu Nianzhi certainly wouldn't be bickering with Huo Shaoheng. Her manners had never failed whenever they were out in public.
Huo Shaoheng stopped in his tracks and shook hands with Speaker Long with a smile. "Happy New Year, Speaker Long. I haven't seen you in a while, and you seem to look a few years younger. The busier you are, the more energetic you look!"
"Hahaha… Shaoheng has such a glib tongue! I actually do become more energetic the busier I get!" Speaker Long chuckled heartily, his eyes quickly darting towards Gu Nianzhi, who was standing next to Huo Shaoheng.
"Miss Gu! It's so wonderful to see you. You're also here to give General Ji New Year's greetings?" Speaker Long turned to look at Gu Nianzhi and reached his hand out to her. "I was just planning to come speak with you after the New Year. It's perfect that I ran into you here. Today is truly better than any other day, hahahaha!"
Gu Nianzhi was a bit surprised by his flattery and quickly shook his hand. She smiled. "This isn't a place I'm worthy of coming to in the first place, but Huo Shao's right arm was injured, and Colonel Yin and Colonel Zhao are both away, so I decided to boldly volunteer and act as Huo Shao's little nurse!"
Huo Shaoheng didn't expect Gu Nianzhi to give such an explanation. He couldn't help looking at her, but he kept silent and didn't expose her lie.
Speaker Long was very shocked and looked at Huo Shaoheng. "How did your right arm become injured? Is it serious?"
Because Huo Shaoheng had come to give New Year's greetings, his right arm wasn't in a cast, so it merely bowed slightly as he left it hanging at his side. If Gu Nianzhi hadn't mentioned it, then a typical person wouldn't have noticed that Huo Shaoheng's arm was injured.
"It's not serious. I was just accidentally shocked during the annual inspection." Huo Shaoheng spoke truthfully since it wasn't something he needed to hide.
"Oh, that's good to hear." Speaker Long patted his shoulder. "Shaoheng, you still have to take care of yourself, even if you're young."
"I'll be careful. Thank you, Speaker Long." Huo Shaoheng answered politely and turned around to walk with Speaker Long towards the steps to the entrance of the courtyard in General Ji's home.
Gu Nianzhi naturally fell a step behind, so she walked together with Special Assistant Yang who was behind Speaker Long. Special Assistant Yang kept his eyes forward, so Gu Nianzhi didn't take the initiative to greet him, either.
Speaker Long made some small talk with Huo Shaoheng, and when they walked up the steps, he recalled what he wanted to talk to Gu Nianzhi about. He turned around to ask her, "Miss Gu, I heard that you graduated from your master's program early?"
Gu Nianzhi nodded quickly. "Please call me Nianzhi. Yes, I just graduated, and it can be considered early."
"That's good, that's good." Speaker Long beamed happily and even ignored Huo Shaoheng as he spoke from the heart. "Oh Nianzhi, our senate's secretariat happens to be hiring. Come apply. I'll write a reference letter for you. I must be the first to stake the claim on a good seed like you!"
Gu Nianzhi had no idea Speaker Long would think so highly of her. "Oh? This is for real?!"
"Of course, why would I joke with a young girl like you?" Speaker Long shook her hand without letting go. "Right, Qingying. Do you know Xie Qingying? I heard she's your relative?"
"Cousin Xie? I know her." Gu Nianzhi nodded with a smile. "We've even had a meal together."
Ever since Gu Nianzhi helped Xie Qingying refute the suspicion of having "Japanese ancestry" in court, the father and daughter pair, Xie Dezhao and Xie Qingying, were extremely kind to Gu Nianzhi. What's more, they were relatives to begin with. Gu Nianzhi's father, Gu Xiangwen, was the brother of Xie Qingying's mother and Xie Qingying's mother, Gu Tian.
Speaker Long quickly replied, "Qingying's mother is my cousin. From the looks of it, we're also considered relatives, too."
Gu Nianzhi knew about this as well, but she hadn't wanted to take advantage of Speaker Long's connections in the first place. But now that Speaker Long was the one to offer it, she followed his idea and laughed. "Oh yeah, then I'll really be seeking higher connections. Since I have Speaker Long's support from now on, does that mean I need to walk sideways?"
"Are you born in the year of the crab?" Speaker Long smiled politely, thinking that Gu Nianzhi's words were especially interesting.
"No, of course there isn't anyone born the year of the crab." Gu Nianzhi smoothly supported Speaker Long's arm and walked up the steps with him.
"Since you're not born in the year of the crab, then why would you walk sideways?" Speaker Long chuckled out loud and walked with Gu Nianzhi to the foyer of General Ji's home.
Huo Shaoheng ended up trailing behind them. However, he didn't reveal an unhappy expression. On the contrary, Huo Shaoheng had a shared sense of pride and honor from Speaker Long's appreciation of Gu Nianzhi.
Special Assistant Yang also fell behind them, so he was now walking with Huo Shaoheng. "Miss Gu truly has good fortune. She used to enjoy Huo Shao's protection, and now she has Speaker Long's support. Someone like that started on the finish line of others." Special Assistant Yang sighed emotionally, his eyes quickly flitting towards Huo Shaoheng. However, Huo Shaoheng didn't reply and merely smiled faintly as he walked into the foyer.
As soon as he entered General Ji's home, he saw General Ji sitting in the living room and chatting with the people who had arrived earlier. Everyone was in a very good mood and bursts of laughter could be heard intermittently from that direction.
After Speaker Long arrived, he was immediately brought before General Ji. Everyone stood up to shake hands with Speaker Long. General Ji greeted Speaker Long, then quickly saw Gu Nianzhi standing beside him. He asked with surprise, "Nianzhi? You came with Speaker Long? Where's Shaoheng?"
Gu Nianzhi's face flushed faintly, but she still managed to answer gracefully, "Huo Shao came, too." She turned around to look at the foyer. "You see, isn't he coming over right now?"
Speaker Long smiled at General Ji and said, "I already knew that Shaoheng is your favorite general, but must you be so partial with your treatment? Old Long is standing right here in front of you, and you didn't even look at me at all!"
"Hahahaha, as if! Can't you see that I was too shocked from seeing you walk in with Nianzhi!" As General Ji spoke, he waved at Gu Nianzhi. "Oh Nianzhi, why did you come here with Speaker Long?"
Gu Nianzhi smiled. "I came with Huo Shao and ran into Speaker Long at the door, so we ended up walking in together." She knew that all the top Hua Xia Imperial military elites were sitting there, but she wasn't familiar with them. These people were being polite to her for the sake of respecting Huo Shaoheng.
When Huo Shaoheng came over as well, she keenly backed away. As expected, General Ji and Speaker Long began speaking with Huo Shaoheng. Everyone sat down on the living room couches and began chatting about their "important national affairs."
Alone, Gu Nianzhi walked to a small sitting area attached to the living room. The space wasn't too big and appeared to be around ten square meters. The bay window was covered with soft cushions, and pillows with panda patterns on them were propped up. Gu Nianzhi had a small panda cushion herself, so they seemed very familiar.
Small groups of people were already seated on the long sofa or the single-seater couches. Everyone appeared to be subordinates of the military elites in the living room. Gu Nianzhi greeted them and naturally sat at the bay window to stare blankly at the winter scenery outside.
Outside the window was the flower garden in General Ji's house. In the winter flower garden, there were two wintersweet plants weathering the cold and blooming magnificently.
A middle-aged woman, who appeared to be a servant, walked over carrying a tea tray. She smiled at Gu Nianzhi. "Miss Gu, this is crystal wintersweet cake and pork floss egg rolls. Please have a taste. Do you want to have tea or coffee?"
Gu Nianzhi considered it. "What kind of coffee do you have?"
"We have lattes, cappuccinos, and black coffees as well as milk teas."
"Oh, I'll have a milk tea, then." Gu Nianzhi thought it should taste very delicious paired with crystal wintersweet cake.
The milk tea was soon brought over, and Gu Nianzhi crossed her legs as she sat at the bay window. Two plates of cakes were placed on the tea tray before her along with a steaming hot cup of milk tea. Gu Nianzhi cradled the milk tea in her palms, taking a deep breath to smell the special aroma of milk tea. She appeared very intoxicated.
Although Huo Shaoheng sat far away in the living room, at least half his attention was focused on Gu Nianzhi. Seeing her happily sitting cross-legged at the bay window in the small sitting room with cakes in front of her and a milk tea in her hand, he finally felt reassured. His gaze returned to General Ji and Speaker Long as he intently listened to them speak.
The military elites were taking advantage of giving New Year's greetings to hold a meeting. General Ji's entire living room was under the strict surveillance of martial law. Special Assistant Yang wasn't qualified to participate in such ad hoc meetings either, so he was also led by the servant into the sitting room where the military elite's subordinates were seated. The servant smiled. "Special Assistant Yang, please have a seat. I'll bring some cakes over for you."
Special Assistant Yang waved her off. "No thanks. Please just give me a cup of coffee. A latte, no sugar."
After the servant left, Special Assistant Yang walked to Gu Nianzhi and bowed slightly. "Miss Gu, we meet again."
Gu Nianzhi nodded with a smile. "Special Assistant Yang, we certainly met again outside just now." At the time, Special Assistant Yang had pretended she didn't exist, and it was only when Speaker Long purposely started talking to her that she noticed this Special Assistant Yang's stare.
"Haha, Miss Gu is very humorous." Special Assistant Yang sat across from her and nodded with a smile. "Miss Gu is truly very lucky to have been guided by a professor in school to graduate early. As soon as you graduated, a job appeared at your door. Looks like being with Major General has given you many resources. What a good way of taking advantage of the shade under a large tree, hahaha…"