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“Well, you’re quite well informed. It has been a while. I haven’t agreed, but I also didn’t turn him down.” An Xiaoning darted a glance at him. “Tell me honestly, is there going to be huge manpower changes in our country?”

“I’m just a businessman, how would I know so much? Why don’t you ask your own husband, Jin Qingyan?”

“Hmmm… are you going to tell me or not?”

“I’m not very sure too, but I’ve heard rumors. There’s going to be a huge transformation coming up.” Gu Beicheng picked out the pieces of meat from the pot and placed them into her bowl. “That’s what they say, but until it is really confirmed, nobody can say for sure.”

“That’s true.” An Xiaoning suddenly thought of Ye Xiaotian and asked casually, “You’re close to Ye Xiaotian. Are you the same kind as him?”

“Says who?”

“Isn’t there a saying: ‘birds of the same feather flock together’?” An Xiaoning pouted her lips and responded, “Tell me honestly, you’re quite a ruthless person too, aren’t you?”

“Quite ruthless, I would say.” He was still beaming brightly. “Amongst people like us, very few are not ruthless. Don’t flatter your husband too much, he’s equally ruthless. On the surface, he may seem quite decent, but he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

For some unknown reason, hearing his words, An Xiaoning felt somewhat happy. She did not defend her husband at all. “As long as he’s not ruthless towards me, I don’t care.”

“No matter what, you have a family backing you now. Whoever dares to bully you, your brother will stand up for you,” Gu Beicheng remarked frankly. His face was gentle, and his handsome features looked a lot clearer.

“That Ye Xiaotian… does he love his fiancee?”

Gu Beicheng shook his head. An Xiaoning thought he was going to say he didn’t know, but he replied firmly, “No, he doesn’t.”

“Then, is it a business marriage? Doesn’t seem like it.”

“Although Bai Ranran’s family is rich, it was indeed not a business marriage. Becoming his fiance, and him treating her so well, there’s something else behind it.” Gu Beicheng went on slowly, “But, it’s not in your position to know such things. Quick, eat, the food is getting cold.”

“Tell me what is behind it, you’re making me curious,” An Xiaoning asked as she ate.

“Why are you such a gossipmonger today?”

“Well, I love gossiping everyday. It’s just that we seldom spend time together, so you didn’t know that.” An Xiaoning continued probing, “What is going on? Tell me. Quick.”

“Not telling.” Gu Beicheng still kept to protecting his friend’s privacy. “Although we’re family, Xiaotian is my good buddy.”

“Then forget it, I’m not asking anymore.” An Xiaoning had no choice but to give up. “This is so spicy, women can’t eat so much spicy food too often.”

He could not understand. “Why? Is it easier to get heaty?”

“Yes, women get heaty easily. Then we may easily get female diseases.”

“Then stick away from spicy food.”

“It’s okay, I’ll eat them every meal.”

Gu Beicheng watched her with contempt. “If you’re going to eat them every meal, then why tell me that women should refrain from them?”

“There are two reasons. One, you’re not a woman, you don’t have to avoid spicy food. Two, I’m just saying it to myself, even though I’m not going to abide by it.” She covered her mouth as she broke into a laugh. “I love chili so much. Without chili, there’s no way I will be able to eat on.”

“Jin Qingyan is such a failure. He allows you to eat on like that, is that good? You have to limit the amount of chili you eat.”

“Just criticize me if you want, why do you have to belittle my husband?”

He sighed out loud. “Look at yourself, defending and protecting your husband already. I’m expressing my utmost dissatisfaction.”

“We’re so close already. Come on, I see you’ve gotten thinner as you’ve been busy lately. Eat more.” She stood and picked up more food for him.

Gu Beicheng chuckled. “Xiaoning, you look really good without makeup.”

“I don’t need you to tell me, I’ve long realized that.”

“…”

The two enjoyed their hotpot merrily while someone was exceptionally upset eating alone at home.

“She didn’t say when she would be back?”

“No.”

Auntie Chen was perplexed. Was there a need to calculate the time when she was just out for a meal?

After Jin Qingyan had eaten, he stood at the entrance of the living room, gazing at the increasing fall of fluffy snow outside.

According to the time Auntie Chen had said, she had just left when he had reached home. It had almost been one hour since she left.

Why would a meal take so long?

Was it an eighteen-course banquet or a table full of delicacies?

Moreover, it was with Gu Beicheng. Although he was his family now, he could not help but feel anxious about this man who harbored other thoughts!

“Babylifewasgoodtomebutyoujustmadeitbetternull, Ilovethewayitstandbymethroughanykindofweathernull…”

He took out his phone and looked. It was a call from Chi Rui’er.

“Hello.”

“Qingyan, I have something important to tell you.” She seemed to be on the verge of tears. “Can you come over here?”

“What important thing? Rui’er, it’s already night time.”

“Qingyan, if you don’t come in ten minutes, I’ll jump down from the top of the floor. Just see!” She hung up immediately.

Jin Qingyan was left with no choice. He called to get his men to watch her properly, then drove over himself.

The car reached the estate Chi Rui’er was living in. He parked the car downstairs and went directly into the lift, which brought him to the unit Chi Rui’er was living in.

The lady who prepares food opened the door.

“Young Master, Ms. Chi is in an emotionally unstable state. I don’t know what has upset her.”

The first thing that came to Jin Qingyan’s mind was still about eating the rat meat. He asked, “Is she in her room?”

“Yes.”

He went forward to open the door. The room was completely dark; not a single light was switched on. Turning on the lights, he saw Chi Rui’er hugging her knees as she sat on the bed, her hair hanging down in a mess. Her face was bare with no makeup on, and she looked haggard.

Upon seeing him, Chi Rui’er ran down from the bed, into his arms.

Jin Qingyan looked at the state she was in and asked gently, “What’s wrong?”

“Qingyan, I…” She did not know how to approach the topic.

“Don’t tell me you’re upset over eating the rat meat?”

“Of course not.”

“Then what’s wrong?”

A sound came from outside suddenly, and the lady who prepares food appeared at the doorway. “Young Master, Ms. Chi’s parents are here.”

Chi Rui’er got worked up immediately. “Get them to leave, I don’t want to see them now.”

“They’re already here…”

“Get them to leave immediately! Didn’t you hear me?!” Chi Rui’er was extremely agitated and her face was bursting with anger.

Jin Qingyan told the lady, “Just do as she says then. Get her parents to go back.”

“Yes…”

Seeing that she was standing barefooted on the carpet, he went forward to open the covers. “Sit on the bed.”

She obediently went into the covers and Jin Qingyan pulled it up properly for her. “Rui’er, I still hope to see that person I knew. That confident and independent Chi Rui’er who does what she likes and does not allow life to slowly ruin her.”

“But I’m already ruined.” She looked at him with pitiful eyes. “Qingyan, I had long been ruined. My life was always pitch black, there was never a moment it was bright.”

He did not know what was wrong with her. “Other than a man, what else do you need now? Don’t tell me without men, you can’t live?”