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Returning after she took a hot spring bath and swam, An Xiaoning found Jin Qingyan standing at the balcony as he talked on the phone. She stood near the door, hearing him speak fluently in a foreign language she could not understand. When he saw her, he quickly ended the call.

“You’re done swimming?”

“Umm, let’s have a drink.” She turned and headed into the room.

He slowly poured the blue liquid of Dreamy Yanghe into two cocktail glasses.

Staring at the drink, she commented, “The cocktail wine that you concoct is still the best. Even the best vintage wine outside can’t compare to this.”

“Other people are not fortunate enough to drink the cocktail wine I personally concoct.” He looked down at the drink and took a small sip.

She hugged her legs as she laughed, asking leisurely, “What do you think about love?”

Hearing her question, Jin Qingyan seemed rather taken aback for a moment. “Love?”

“Umm. Do you believe that in this world, there’s a kind of love which can make one give up everything for, even their own life?”

He swirled the cocktail glass and replied casually, “A stupid act of giving up on your life for your loved one. I know, it exists everywhere in this world.”

She asked with a faint smile, “What you claim to be a stupid act, do you think you’ll have the chance to do it in your life?”

He put down the cocktail glass in his hand and looked at her in deep thought. “I know you want me to say that there’s a chance. But, I honestly feel that there probably won’t be one for me. I’m not a person who can be so easily defeated by someone. Someone who can make me sacrifice my life must be… incomparable to anyone else in this world. That’s what I think.”

“I really hope that you’ll fall in love with me sooner.”

“Why?”

“Because this way, my heart will be more at ease. Even though I don’t need to get a sense of security from you, I want a marriage with some quality.” She got up and went to lie down on the bed, shutting her eyes as she lay on one side. “Aren’t you coming up? I’m waiting for you already.”

Jin Qingyan did not appear in front of her like he always did, but said instead, “I’ll go and take a hot spring bath too.”

He turned and left the bedroom.

An Xiaoning opened her eyes and hurriedly got up. She followed behind Jin Qingyan, who was ahead of her.

An unusual sign like this made her especially sensitive.

As yet, there was no one outside other than personnel patrolling.

He had just reached a secluded area when his phone rang.

An Xiaoning stood not far away and could hear him speaking in a foreign language to the other party he had been speaking to. It seemed like in the bedroom, his phone conversation had not really ended but was interrupted by her.

She stood behind a tree, making no movement at all.

He got increasingly agitated and seemed very angry. Even though his voice sounded like he was holding it in, she could still tell that he was extremely furious.

It seemed as if he was arguing with the other party about something.

An Xiaoning could not understand a thing from their conversation and did not know why he was angry at all. She suddenly felt that she had a lot to learn. Foreign languages, for instance.

When she had just turned to leave, she heard the sound of him throwing his phone from a distance away. An Xiaoning turned back to take a look but did not stop, returning to the bedroom instead.

Sitting on the bed, she thought it over and over again but did not know, other than business matters, what else he could be keeping from her.

However, since he was conversing with a foreigner, it was highly possible that it was about business matters.

Since he did not want to tell her, she did not want to ask. Even if she was of no help, she did not want to hold him back or add on to his troubles.

After half an hour, he returned with his hair slightly wet.

“Why did you only take such a short bath?”

“It’s been more than half an hour already, and it’s already so late. I can’t let you wait for me on the bed for so long.” His lips curled into a smile. There was no sign of his explosion of anger earlier.

An Xiaoning looked at him, cursing him inside her heart, What incredible acting skills!

She did not expose him either and went forward to hug him, resting in his arms. “I’m tired, I just want some peace tonight, I don’t want to move.”

He held onto her, staring out the window with a cold and distant look. “Alright, then sleep earlier. You still have work tomorrow. Oh right, I’m making a trip to M Nation tomorrow. I reckon I’ll only be back after a few days.”

An Xiaoning very much wanted to ask him what his trip was for, but at the thought that he would definitely patronize her and say it was for work, she gave up the idea. “Alright, stay safe outside.”

He planted a kiss on her forehead lightly. It was a very gentle kiss.

On this night, Jin Qingyan did not sleep at all. There was an extremely important issue bugging him.

Before daylight, he was gone.

When An Xiaoning woke up, she only sensed a heavy stench of smoke in the room. Darting a glance at the rubbish bin, she saw that there were many cigarette buds inside.

Without even guessing, she knew who smoked them.

She reached out to touch the covers beside her, but all she felt was a cold and empty bed.

After putting on her clothes and rinsing herself, she went downstairs for breakfast.

Auntie Chen had prepared century egg porridge and waffles, and the spread looked extremely delicious.

Yet she was in no mood for breakfast despite her stomach being especially empty.

“Auntie Chen, can you get Chief Fan to come over?”

“Okay.” Auntie Chen headed outside, and not long after, Fan Shixin appeared.

“Young Mistress, you called for me?”

An Xiaoning nodded. “This morning, Young Master went abroad, to M Nation. Does the company have a branch office there?”

Fan Shixin nodded. “Yes.”

She did not ask further. “If Young Master comes back from his trip and I’m not at home, remember to give me a call.”

“Okay.”

“Umm, you can take your leave.”

He turned to leave.

An Xiaoning could only guess that something had happened at the branch office. If it was something else, she had no clue of it at all.

After eating breakfast, she arrived at the station at 8 am sharp.

Unexpectedly, she was the last one to arrive. The other three were already there.

There was a case file on the table. She asked as she sat down, “What is this?”

“The Crime Investigation Department passed it over. It’s a case from eight years ago that is yet to be solved.” Ma Jianguo added, “A murder case of a family of three who were decapitated.”

An Xiaoning opened the case file. There were information and pictures of the victims inside. It was a severely brutal murder case, but it had been eight years and the perpetrator was yet to be nabbed. It was clear that there was little evidence at the crime scene or barely any strong evidence. The more time had gone by, the more difficult it was to solve it.

Pan Zhenghui pushed the door open and said as he entered, “You have Xiaoning as the leader of this special team. If this case is solved, then it would really be a joyous occasion worth celebrating!”

An Xiaoning said without raising her head, “It’s a murder case which had had no conclusion for eight years, what’s there to be happy about if we solve it?”

Pan Zhenghui remained silent, not knowing what to reply.

Ma Jianguo laughed heartily. “Chief, can you tell from our team leader’s tone that we’ve a good chance of solving this?”

“Because it’s a case that’s been unsolved for eight years, if you can lead the team to solve it, then, Xiaoning — you will be able to use this chance to give those who looked down on your qualifications a tight slap on the face.”

An Xiaoning looked up and nodded. “Makes sense. But just depending on the limited information provided in this case, which so many people were unable to solve… honestly, a newbie like me isn’t that confident of doing it.”