Shi Shaochuan and Jin Qingyue continued to wait until nighttime, even though An Xiaoning was yet to show up.
“Shaochuan, let’s head back, we can’t just keep waiting here. She’s not the only one who knows how to perform such rituals anyway, we can just look for someone else,” said an enraged Jin Qingyue, thinking that An Xiaoning was avoiding them on purpose.
“What if it doesn’t work again like the previous time?” Shi Shaochuan answered.
“What do we do, then?” asked Jin Qingyue, getting a little anxious and impatient.
“Go upstairs and tell her that I’m sincere in having a discussion with her and that I’ll do everything she says.”
Jin Qingyue proceeded to do as he instructed, though she was unsure if it would work or not.
“Got it, I’ll go down in a bit,” An Xiaoning answered.
Jin Qingyue then headed downstairs to wait for her.
An Xiaoning put on a pair of thick, black-colored leggings partnered with a long feathered coat, which ended at her calf, and headed downstairs after filling her pockets with some necessities.
Upon seeing her arrival, Shi Shaochuan said, “Just tell me everything you’d like for me to do. I’ll proceed according to your instructions, will that do?”
“Firstly, you’ll have to truly feel remorseful from within, for everything you’ve done to her. I can’t sense that you’re feeling guilty or remorseful though,” said An Xiaoning as she glared at him.
“I truly regret what I’ve done. If it weren’t for me, none of this would’ve happened. Things have already come to this, can’t you tell I’m really feeling guilty and regretful?”
An Xiaoning did not bother arguing with him and said instead, “I can help you with this matter, but on one condition. If you fail to promise me that, I won’t be able to proceed with it.”
“Speak your mind. I’ll do whatever you say as long as it’s within my means,” Shi Shaochuan agreed eagerly.
“Oh… it’s definitely within your means. Firstly, you’ll have to go with me to Wang Fangfang’s grave and get down on your knees to beg for her forgiveness. Secondly, haven’t I mentioned that I’m no saint? Shi Shaochuan, I won’t be helping you for free. Even Gu Beicheng would have to pay me, so would my husband, let alone you. I’m asking for this much. I’ll go tonight if you agree. Otherwise, please see yourself out,” An Xiaoning scoffed, sticking out all her fingers.
“Five million dollars? I’ll give it to you,” Shi Shaochuan agreed, for money did not matter to him anymore at this point.
Needless to say, An Xiaoning would never give up such a rare opportunity to exploit and get back at him. At the thought of the mistreatment and humiliation she had endured during the two years of their marriage, An Xiaoning let out a sly smile and corrected him, “50 million dollars.”
Jin Qingyue’s jaw dropped in shock.
Shi Shaochuan was dumbfounded while Jin Qingyan felt a sudden urge to interrupt as he stood by the stairs.
“Sister-in-law, that’s daylight robbery! 50 million dollars!?!” Jin Qingyue exclaimed in astonishment.
“Sister-in-law, I’ve already given you a discount by offering the price of 50 million dollars. I won’t force you if you’re not willing to go ahead with it. The ritual can only be performed if you’re genuinely keen on it. Consider it carefully,” An Xiaoning answered calmly as she turned around in a bid to head upstairs.
“Wait a minute! I’ll do as you instruct and I’ll transfer the money to your bank account later on, please perform the ritual tonight,” Shi Shaochuan yelled for her to stop in her tracks.
“Alright, go get the money transferred, I’ll wait for you here.”
After watching Shi Shaochuan and Jin Qingyue leave, An Xiaoning proceeded to call Ma Jianguo. “Where are you?”
“The police station.”
“Work overtime for me today, I’ll pay for the extra hours. Bring Zu Dong and Gong Le along too.”
“Team Leader, how much are you going to pay us?” Ma Jianguo asked excitedly.
“500 for each of you, are you up for it?”
Ma Jianguo was stunned at how much she was willing to offer and thus agreed immediately, “Of course, I’ll bring them to go look for you right away.”
“Hurry.” An Xiaoning ended the call and turned around to make eye contact with a pair of eyes that seemed to be hinting at something.
“If I hadn’t seen it for myself, I would’ve never believed how shrewd of a businesswoman my wife is. You’re almost as capable as I am.”
“Of course I won’t go easy on Shi Shaochuan. But in hindsight, I was the one who had agreed to let Wang Fangfang move in with the Shi family back then. None of these would’ve happened if I’d insisted on objecting to the idea. Now that I think of it, I’m partly to blame for this matter. Oh well, since she’s already dead, the least I could do now is to send her away peacefully,” said An Xiaoning.
Jin Qingyan stepped forward to pull her into an embrace. “Xiaoning, I’m starting to look at you with a new level of respect. You’re just like a gift that has been wrapped in layers of wrapping paper — I get a bit more excited and surprised with each layer I remove.”
“Let go of me, quick, I have to get ready. But seriously speaking, would you like to come along for an eyeopener, since you don’t have much to do anyway?”
Jin Qingyan found her suggestion to be not too bad of an idea — there was no harm in having a look, with her around.
Ten minutes later, Ma Jianguo arrived at An Xiaoning’s house, along with Zu Dong and Gong Le. Handing Ma Jianguo a small plastic box, An Xiaoning instructed, “Place this in the boot of the car.”
Taken aback by her answer, Ma Jianguo asked, “Team Leader, you’re headed to…”
“Wang Fangfang’s grave.”
Ma Jianguo was momentarily stunned beyond words as he turned around to place the box into the boot slowly. “Can I back out now?” he asked in fear, his legs turning into jelly.
“It’s not like you’re going alone. You’re a man, why are you so much more timid than a woman?” An Xiaoning mocked, after which she continued to prepare the necessary materials.
In order to save himself some pride, Ma Jianguo stopped speaking instantly.
An Xiaoning proceeded to get on the car upon receiving a notification from the bank, informing her that the 50 million dollars had been successfully transferred to her bank account.
Shi Shaochuan and Jin Qingyue also arrived 20 minutes later.
The group then made their way towards the graveyard, in the police car.
An Xiaoning remained silent in the car with her eyes closed, while leaning against Jin Qingyan’s shoulder.
Unfortunately, it began to pour in the midst of their journey.
The weather was not in their favor.
It was still raining cats and dogs even when they arrived at the village entrance. An Xiaoning waited in the car for the rain to stop before alighting.
The rain finally began to dissipate after pouring heavily for an hour.
According to An Xiaoning’s instructions, Jin Qingyan ordered for someone to bring over some raincoats, umbrellas, and rubber boots.
Everyone else then waited anxiously in the car.
They had no choice but to wait patiently for the rainy-day attires to arrive before they could alight from the car.
In a blink of an eye, it was already 10 o’clock in the evening.
Fortunately, the heavy rain had subsided into a tiny drizzle by the time they alighted.
The vast sky had turned pitch black. Everyone had put on a raincoat and a pair of rubber boots each, a torchlight in hand, while An Xiaoning held on to an umbrella.
Ma Jianguo and his colleagues were in charge of carrying the various items required, while Shi Shaochuan carried a small, foldable table.
Feeling spooked and worried, Jin Qingyue grabbed Shi Shaochuan’s arm tightly as they made their way across the muddy field.
The group began walking towards Wang Fangfang’s grave in a single file.
A few minutes later, An Xiaoning stopped in her tracks and stared at the tombstone before her. She then turned towards Gong Le and instructed, “Shine the lamp on this.”