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“Mei Yangyang.”

“Yes?”

“There’s no way you can escape. I’m making you mine, for sure,” he said confidently, making her face blush and her heart skip a beat.

“You may try, I’m giving you the opportunity to do so.” After taking a look at the time, she said, “It’s getting late, you better go home soon. I’m heading back in.”

“I’ll walk you to your door,” said Long Tianze, still holding onto her hand.

“You don’t have to… it’s only a few steps…”

“But I want to.”

Having arrived at her doorstep, Long Tianze watched Mei Yangyang closed the door shut, overwhelmed with happiness.

A minute had passed, yet he still had not left. Mei Yangyang opened the door again and said, “Get home safe, goodnight.”

“Goodnight.”

She closed the door once again after bidding each other goodbye. Long Tianze turned around and embarked on his walk home, picking up speed in his tracks with each passing minute. All of a sudden, he jumped in joy and let out a cry of euphoria, just like a teeneger head-over-heels in love.

Perhaps it was because they were actually going to begin a serious relationship or, perhaps, it was because he was finally going to let go of his feelings for Jin Qingyue, after all these years.

He was filled with a complicated mix of emotions, feeling excited and happy, yet a little bitter and perplexed, all at the same time.

Having stood behind the door the entire time, Mei Yangyang had heard his loud shriek clearly.

She felt her heart palpitate unusually quickly, almost ricocheting out of her chest, as she laid in bed.

“Sis, what did that man look you up for in the middle night?”

“It’s none of your business,” said Mei Yangyang as she turned to her side.

“You’re really something, aren’t you, Sis? You’ve gotten yourself a boyfriend sneakily. Does Father know about this?”

“He’s not my boyfriend, yet. Take a look at yourself before criticizing me. The pot calling the kettle black. I don’t feel like talking to you anymore, I’m going to sleep.”

However, she was wide awake, preoccupied with what Long Tianze had said earlier.

His words replayed in her head over and over again, like a broken record.

——

Maomao was born male; however, it had gradually grown to appear more and more feminine. In addition, it had even began putting on a great ton of weight, which was something An Xiaoning was guilty about.

“What should I do about this, Maomao? You’ve gotten so fat and pudgy, it’ll be hard to find you a mate in the future,” she said worriedly, holding Maomao’s paw, which had gotten significantly stubbier.

Basking in the sun on the backyard, Maomao squinted as the rays of sunlight shone onto its face, completely ignoring its owner.

“Maomao, I’m talking to you, stop stuffing yourself with food, you hear?”

Seemingly upset, Maomao got on all fours and walked away, wagging its tail.

It walked away, just like that…

“Hey furball, are you angry? I was just kidding!” An Xiaoning explained profusely, chasing after Maomao.

Upon hearing her words, Maomao stopped in its tracks and began licking her legs affectionately. What a spiritual dog, indeed.

An Xiaoning squatted down and began petting its snowy, white fur. Having raised Maomao since it was young, she had treated it just like her own child.

Having believed the saying “Get a dog if you’re deprived of love, a cat if you enjoy being tortured,” An Xiaoning had always detested cats.

Thus, she had only preferred dogs.

An Xiaoning whipped out her phone to take some photos of Maomao and saved them in her photo album, grinning from ear to ear.

“Young Madam, have a look at this,” said Fan Shixin, stepping forward to hand her a set of newspapers.

“What is it?” she asked as she grabbed the newspaper from his hands. Upon scrutinizing it, she straightened her back and stared wide-eyed in disbelief.

“How… how did that happen…” An Xiaoning gasped in shock as she did a double take at the headline on the newspaper.

It read: ” Mr. Shi dies, one day after son confirms date of marriage. 

Shi Shaochuan’s father had passed away.

It was truly unbelievable.

Mr. Shi’s death had come across as a shocking piece of news to An Xiaoning, for she had always known him to be in the pink of health, attending regular health check-ups.

She continued to peruse the content, only to discover that Mr. Shi had suddenly died from a brain hemorrhage.

An Xiaoning sensed something was amiss, though she was not too sure either since such conditions were rather unpredictable.

“He actually passed away the day after his son had just settled on a day to get married. God knows what might happen next. I’ll be heading to the store now,” An Xiaoning said, handing the newspapers back to Fan Shixin.

“Alright, Young Madam.”

An Xiaoning left and drove towards the store in her car. Upon arriving at the store, she was greeted with an alluring aroma of fragrant flowers.

Noticing a huge bouquet of roses on the table, An Xiaoning asked in surprise, “Who sent these?”

“Yangyang is the recipient,” said Zhang Li, pointing towards Mei Yangyang.

“Yangyang, who sent you these roses?” An Xiaoning asked with a smirk.

Mei Yangyang stepped forward and whispered something into her ear, to which An Xiaoning answered gleefully, “Great, great, that’s fantastic.”

“Sis Yangyang, you’re so biased. You’ve remained so tight-lipped despite our constant probing. Yet you were so ready to tell Sis Xiaoning as soon as she asked,” Xu Jingwen said, pursing her lips.

“Okay, that’s enough, we have customers, go attend to them,” An Xiaoning instructed.

Xu Jingwen and Zhang Li hurriedly proceeded to serve the customers, while An Xiaoning pulled Mei Yangyang into a corner and continued to ask, “Are you guys officially an item now?”

“No, he was acting out of the ordinary and showed up at my door last night, asking me to be his girlfriend. I didn’t accept him straightaway, but neither did I turn him down. I wanted to know him better before deciding. I did give him the green light to woo me, though,” Mei Yangyang answered, shaking her head.

Nodding in approval, An Xiaoning said, “That’s right, smart move. You two barely know each other, after all. If only I did that before deciding to marry Shi Shaochuan, at least I wouldn’t have had to waste two years of my youth. But, I also married Jin Qingyan even before getting to know him better. I’ll definitely think it through carefully before agreeing to get married, should there be a third time.”

“Touch wood!” Mei Yangyang quickly interjected. “What do you mean by a third time? Sis, there won’t be a third time, you’re going to have an everlasting marriage with Brother-in-law,” she continued.

“I’m just saying.”

“It’s not good to spout such inauspicious things. Actually, I did feel an urge to say yes to being his girlfriend, last night. But after considering it carefully, I realized I shouldn’t be so quick to agree. For someone who takes relationships seriously, I would definitely want to marry the person I’m dating. Thus, I ought to spend more time with him to know him better, before deciding if we’re really compatible,” Mei Yangyang said earnestly.

“Long Tianze has a pretty decent social life. Don’t be fooled by the many models you often see hanging around him, it’s all just a facade for him to have his ego stroked. I heard from your Brother-in-law that he’s just an innocent child at heart,” said An Xiaoning.

Mei Yangyang felt a huge sense of relief upon hearing her words. “Yeah, to be honest… I feel rather good about him,” she admitted.

She began to feel a little shy and embarrassed, hearing the words that came out of her mouth.

“You’re doing it right, Yangyang. As women, we ought to make men completely devoted to us and love us wholeheartedly, with no room for anyone else at all. Not even a little bit. Just try and get to know Long Tianze better, I really think he’s a great catch,” An Xiaoning encouraged.

“Alright.”

——

Shi Shaochuan’s spirits were dampened as he held a funeral for his father.

He was dressed in black from head to toe while donning a white mourning veil on his head, still unable to accept his father’s death.

He could not believe that his father, who was all energized and lively just the night before, was no longer around.

Having lost her husband, and now her son, the old Mrs. Shi was the most grief-stricken out of them all. Shi Shaochuan was the only male left in the family.

After helping her late husband put on his shroud, Mrs. Shi proceeded to lay in bed all day, weeping continuously in agony.

Jin Qingyue had also turned up at the funeral. However, Shi Shaochuan was too busy handling the necessary matters to even bother attending to her.

News of Mr. Shi’s death had sent the media into a state of puzzlement and bewilderment.

Everyone within the upper class society were aware of the misdeed Shi Shaochuan had done, which was killing someone in a car accident. Tongues started to wag as they began to speculate if it was Shi Shaochuan’s retribution to be struck with such unfortunate news just as he got engaged.