Gu Nianzhi carefully read the summons a few times. She asked the postman who had delivered it: "…She's suing me for traumatic brain injury? She's now seriously mentally impaired, to the point of not being able to take care of herself?"
The postman nodded solemnly. "That's what it says. "
"Oh." Gu Nianzhi signed the postman's receipt. "But I see that she still has the mental capacity to sue me. Mentally impaired, indeed."
A soldier from the US military had come with the postman to make sure Gu Nianzhi signed for the summons.
As soon as he heard what Gu Nianzhi had said, he turned red and said, annoyed, "She filed the lawsuit before she became mentally impaired. Her injury wasn't as serious then, so the court rejected her case, but now her brain damage has worsened, so…"
"Ohhhhhh." Gu Nianzhi drawled in mock surprise. "So Miss Xin knew she would become mentally impaired, and filed her lawsuit in advance?"
The man realized he was making things worse. He was left with no choice but to shut up and ignore Gu Nianzhi.
Gu Nianzhi had also decided to keep her mouth shut.
It was clear that Xin Xinggao refused to let her off the hook, and Gu Nianzhi was not about to help her by pointing out the gaping holes in the lawsuit now. Xin Xinggao would immediately begin plugging the holes if she knew about them, and Gu Nianzhi would have shot herself in the foot.
Gu Nianzhi was a law student, after all, and a very good one at that.
Although the Huaxia Empire and the United States of America had different laws, the underlying legal principles were the same.
She had also spent more than a month helping He Zhichu with his case. She was a lot more familiar with the US judiciary system than the average American.
She could already spot a number of flaws in the lawsuit, just by looking at the contents of the summons.
Xin Xinggao and the US military could sue her, of course, but they had better make sure Xin Xinggao was truly mentally impaired if they wanted to win. Gu Nianzhi was not about to play nice—she was going to rip them apart like a ravenous carnivore…
Gu Nianzhi's eyes narrowed slightly. Her face was calm and composed—not unlike Huo Shaoheng's usual expression.
"Is something wrong?" Yin shixiong asked as he walked out from his room.
He had heard someone knock on the door and ask for Gu Nianzhi, claiming to be a postman. He had looked through the peephole, seen that it was indeed their usual postman, and called for Gu Nianzhi to get her letter.
Gu Nianzhi had been standing at the door for a long time. Something was wrong.
"Nothing." Gu Nianzhi slipped the summons back into the envelope and handed it to Yin shixiong. She said, her expression blank, "It's a court summons. Xin Xinggao is suing me." She went to her room and shut the door.
She leaned against the door and remained there, motionless, for a long moment.
She had appeared unruffled on the surface, but deep down, she was afraid.
It was now clear that Xin Xinggao and the forces behind her weren't about to let her walk away.
Gu Nianzhi hugged herself. She leaned against the door and slid to the floor.
The last rays of the setting sun shone through the window, ending in a puddle of sunlight on the floor before her.
She quietly watched the puddle of light ripple and undulate across the floor. The sun finally sank beneath the horizon, plunging her room into darkness.
Yin shixiong opened the envelope Gu Nianzhi had handed him, and discovered that Gu Nianzhi had not been kidding: it was a summons from the US court. He immediately went into his room to start a video call with Zhao Liangze.
"Big Xiong, what's the matter? It's five in the morning—this better be a real emergency, or else!"
Yin shixiong was dead serious. "Where's Mr. Huo? Is Mr. Huo there? I need to talk to him, this is very important."
Zhao Liangze rubbed his eyes, and eyed him curiously. "What is it? If it's really important I'll help you get ahold of Mr. Huo."
"…It's Nianzhi, Xin Xinggao is suing her for serious injuries, and wants her to be legally responsible."
In other words, Xin Xinggao wanted to see Gu Nianzhi behind bars.
Zhao Liangze was immediately wide awake. "Wait, I'll transfer the call to Mr. Huo."
After thirty seconds, the video call was transferred to Huo Shaoheng's study.
"Big Xiong, what happened?" Huo Shaoheng's devastatingly beautiful face appeared on-screen. His voice was steady, powerful, and mesmerizing.
Yin shixiong took a deep breath and explained the situation with the summons to Huo Shaoheng. He said, "I already scanned it and sent a copy to Little Ze."
Huo Shaoheng's brow furrowed. "That Xin woman again? I thought He Zhichu already put her in her place?"
Yin shixiong shook his head. "I don't know. This was entirely out of the blue, everything was going so well the last few days. I mean, Mei Xiawen even came to America to visit Nianzhi…"
"Mei Xiawen was there?" Huo Shaoheng asked dispassionately. "Anything else you forgot to tell me?"
Yin shixiong thought about it, and decided to give a complete account of all that had happened since the day Mei Xiawen had showed up in America. "…Professor He showed Mei Xiawen and Nianzhi around Harvard, then took Nianzhi to the hospital for a check-up. After that, Nianzhi spent a few days touring Boston with Mei Xiawen. His return flight was today, and Nianzhi went to the airport to see him off. She had just returned from the airport when the court summons was delivered, and I called Zhao Liangze right away."
Huo Shaoheng opened a few documents on his computer to verify the contents. One of them was the scan of the summons Zhao Liangze had sent him.
He looked it over in silence. He said, "Where's Nianzhi?"
"She went into her room a minute ago." Yin shixiong looked in the direction of Gu Nianzhi's room. "…The door's shut tight."
"Leave her alone for now. Call me again tomorrow." Huo Shaoheng ended the video call, and summoned Zhao Liangze. "Little Ze, we'll have a meeting to discuss this. Summon all the relevant personnel, tell them to report to the meeting room in ten minutes."
"Yes, sir!" Zhao Liangze was now completely serious and business-like. He activated the military's intercom, and paged the relevant personnel one by one, informing them of the meeting.
He packed his briefcase and hurried to the meeting room with his laptop.
He was going down the stairs when he came face to face with a tall, voluptuous woman. She was drop-dead gorgeous.
The woman stepped aside, and asked casually: "Where are you going, Little Ze?"
Zhao Liangze nodded to her in greeting. "h.e.l.lo, Colonel Bai."
"Little Ze, my sister said she would like to visit me this weekend. Are you free this weekend?" This woman, Bai Yueran, was the cousin of Bai Shuang, the new spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She had recently transferred from the Central Military Region to the 6th Military Region.
She was two years older than Bai Shuang. She was only 26 years old, but she was already higher ranked than both Zhao Liangze and Yin shixiong.
Zhao Liangze lifted his arms and showed his briefcase and laptop to Bai Yueran. "Do I look like I'm free, Colonel Bai?"
"Little Ze, you don't have to be so formal with me. You can call me Yueran." Bai Yueran smiled easily and patted Zhao Liangze on the shoulder. "Well, go on then. I won't keep you, not when you're so busy—look at you, you're all covered in sweat."
She giggled. The sound of her laughter burrowed into Zhao Liangze's ears and wrapped around his heart, like countless silk strands from a silkworm.
He felt half his body go numb and tingly. The sensation was new to him, and he found it uncomfortable—he hurried away without another word.
When he arrived at the small meeting room, Zhao Liangze saw that Chen Lie was already there, along with two lieutenant colonels from the Special Ops Legal Department.
"Why are you late?" Huo Shaoheng looked at his watch. "You were the messenger. How is it possible for you to arrive one minute later than everyone else?"
Zhao Liangze stood at attention, and gave the honest truth. "I met Colonel Bai on my way here. I exchanged a few words with her, and was delayed."
Huo Shaoheng glanced at him, but did not press the matter.
The two men from the Legal Department immediately spoke up. "Mr. Huo, Colonel Bai is now the head of the Special Ops Legal Department. Should we ask her to join the meeting?"