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“What’s wrong? Taking it out on me just because you failed to take your husband in hand? Your husband has already slept with me, and it’s been more than just once. Anything wrong with that? I have always been the only one Qingyan loved before he met you, little wretch. If it weren’t for you, I would’ve already become his wife long ago!” Chi Rui’er sneered, placing a hand on her face.

Unable to tolerate what he was hearing any further, Fan Shixin interjected, “That’s enough, Ms. Chi.”

“How dare you! She may be your Young Madam now, but she will be stripped of that title in no time. Try continuing to defend her and you shall face the consequences once I become his lawful wife,” Chi Rui’er glowered at him menacingly.

“We’ll talk about that when it happens,” replied Fan Shixin, completely dismissing her warning. He then asked An Xiaoning softly, “Young Madam, do we bring Young Sir home?”

“Help him get dressed and send him to the hospital for a check-up, to test if there are any traces of drugs or substances in his blood. I suspect she had drugged him.”

Noticing the look of panic which had formed on Chi Rui’er’s face as soon as she finished her sentence, An Xiaoning knew something was up.

“You two, bring Chi Rui’er back to my place,” An Xiaoning instructed the bodyguards.

“I’m not wearing any clothes, don’t you dare touch me!” Chi Rui’er yelled at the top of her lungs, upon seeing the bodyguards approaching her.

The bodyguard grimaced in awkwardness, put in a difficult position.

“Wrap her beneath the blanket and carry her away,” An Xiaoning ordered coldly.

“Yes, Young Madam.” Upon receiving the green light from An Xiaoning, the bodyguards did not bother wasting any more time talking to Chi Rui’er nicely. They had long wanted to stop escorting such a difficult and detestable woman like Chi Rui’er around. If it weren’t because they were ordered to follow her everywhere she went, they would have left the place long ago.

“I’m not going, get your hands off me! Go away!” Chi Rui’er continued to yell and protest while struggling to free herself from their clutches. Try as she might, the bodyguards managed to pick her up swiftly together with the blanket, which she’d been wrapped in, in one fluid motion.

Startled by the way An Xiaoning had handled the situation, the cook stood rooted to the ground in astonishment, at a loss for words.

“Auntie, what was your original position?” An Xiaoning asked.

“Young Madam, I was responsible for cooking from the start, except I used to work at Wei Ni Estate.”

“I see. Pack your things and head back there with me.”

“Yes, Young Madam, I’ll go get my luggage right away.”

“Alright, go ahead and pack.”

The cook hurriedly left the room while Fan Shixin finished up with putting on some clothes for Jin Qingyan. “Be sure to keep this incident under wraps, we can’t afford to let word about it spread to anyone. Tidy the matters up, and make the necessary arrangements for the auntie responsible for cooking,” An Xiaoning instructed.

“Rest assured, Young Madam, I’ll handle all of these accordingly. Was Young Sir really drugged?”

“I’m not too sure, but it does seem like it. It’s impossible for him to be unconscious and just lying there, completely motionless, no matter how drunk he may have been. Oh, don’t forget to test the percentage of alcohol in his bloodstream as well. We can then find out if he had reeked from alcohol because he had really drank or because someone had spilled liquor all over him.”

With a nod, Fan Shixin answered, “You’re indeed very ingenious, Young Madam. I’ll help Young Sir to the hospital now.”

“Sure, go ahead,” said An Xiaoning, a blank expression on her face as she pondered over some matters.

An Xiaoning then drove home together with the cook after the latter had finished packing.

Xiao Lu hurriedly approached to open the car door and said, “Young Madam, Chief Fan had called to inform us that there will be a new cook arriving today.”

“Yes, she’s here.” An Xiaoning then said to the cook, “Auntie, follow him.”

“Okay, thank you, Young Madam.”

Holding her car keys in hand, An Xiaoning began walking towards the living room but quickly changed her mind.

She embarked on a car ride towards the hospital.

Jin Qingyan was undergoing a check-up while still remaining unconscious.

The director of the hospital had conducted the checkup, along with the doctor-in-charge, while An Xiaoning and Fan Shixin waited patiently for the results.

The entire process went on for about another 30 minutes or so.

The results were finally out.

“There was only a very small percentage of red wine present in his blood, but we’ve also found traces of an incapacitating agent. It’s a type of drug that has been banned in the country, capable of knocking someone unconscious with just a few drops. One may remain unconscious for a few hours, but in more serious cases, up to a few days. Overuse of this substance may also lead to kidney failure and, eventually, death,” explained the doctor.

Fan Shixin began to curse and swear in his head upon hearing his words.

“May I ask what’s the condition of Young Sir now?”

“He should be coming to within a few hours. There’s not much to worry about,” said the director.

“Thank you, Director. Sorry to have disturbed you at this late hour,” Fan Shixin said in thanks.

“No problem.”

“Well… Director, may I ask if men can still become erect while under influence of the drug?” An Xiaoning asked awkwardly.

Feeling a little embarrassed, Fan Shixin turned away, his ears flushed red.

“Um…” The quick-witted Director cleared his throat, as he knew instantly the reason behind An Xiaoning’s question. Needless to say, it must have been a woman who had drugged Jin Qingyan.

“Mrs. Jin, I can tell you this confidently, there is certainly no way for an erection to occur while being knocked out of his senses from the drug. This is different from alcohol or drug abuse, for one would still be conscious, though not fully, in those cases. Whereas in this case, he was completely unconscious.”

An Xiaoning felt a huge relief, as if a boulder had been lifted off her shoulders, upon hearing his words. With a nod, she said in response, “Thank you so much, Director. I hope you will keep this incident of my husband to yourself.”

“That’s for sure. Mr. Jin has always been donating to the hospital out of charity, annually. Rest assured, Mrs. Jin, I’ll keep mum about it.”

She nodded approvingly, a smile forming on her face.

Upon arriving home, An Xiaoning took a look at the time on her watch, only to realize that it was already two o’clock in the morning before she had even noticed.

To her surprise, she was not weary at all, despite how late it was. She sat on the edge of the bed with a cup of hot tea on the table beside her.

He had almost… let her down completely.

Almost… he was so close…

Fortunately, she did not act on impulse. After all, there was no way she could let herself be eliminated, despite her marriage being tough to safeguard.

She reached a hand out to caress his face and his smooth, supple, yet tender skin. How does such a manly man like him have such great skin? His pores could not even be seen at all, she thought to herself.

She was green with envy, for she did not even have skin as good as his, despite being a woman.

It had been a long day, indeed.

She retracted her hand and stood by the window while holding onto her cup of tea.

The backyard was brightly lit; the security team carried out their patrolling duties in shifts and assembled uniformly in rows.

She had completely lost track of time while looking out of the window. The initially hot cup of tea had already turned cold.

It had been a while since she had come to touch with her own thoughts, alone.

She was strongly deprived of love.

Yet, she had always told herself to never be insecure and cave in to temptations of frivolous relationships, no matter how deprived she had felt. However, she finally realized how difficult it was to practice what she preached.

Nun Jingxin was the only person she had spent her life with, ever since her adoptive parents had abandoned her on the mountains.

Perhaps, if she had met more people and experienced more in life, she would have never made the grave mistake of marrying Shi Shaochuan. Perhaps then, she would have never married Jin Qingyan so casually.

However, she did not regret her decision to marry him; rather, she regretted not realizing some things sooner.

But then again, isn’t that just part and parcel of growing as a person?

One is bound to have regrets in life, but ultimately, what matters most is treasuring what you have and living in the moment.

“Xiaoning…”

A hoarse voice began to speak. An Xiaoning turned around and made eye contact with him.

Watching as he sat on the bed unscathed, An Xiaoning was suddenly overwhelmed with emotions. Tears began to well up in her eyes, strangely enough. “You almost died in Chi Rui’er’s arms. If I didn’t manage to rush there in time, you probably would have made the headlines tomorrow morning, Jin Qinyan!” she exclaimed.