It was daybreak.
The Gu family did not manage to catch much sleep the entire night. Waiting blindly was not a solution either. Gu Beicheng seemed to have already guessed Jin Qingyan’s final decision.
He headed straight out without having breakfast.
Gu Beicheng stopped in his tracks and turned to look at his mother. “Mother, I’ve always remembered Grandpa’s words.”
As soon as he finished speaking, he turned around and stormed off quickly. An Xiaoning had to stay alive no matter what.
He would do whatever it would take to save her, for she was far too important to the Gu family.
The sky began to brighten bit by bit. The hitmen made their way down to the basement to bring them some food. However, they had only brought enough for one person.
“I’ve already mentioned this before, one of you has to die here today. We’re not unsympathetic beings, we’ll let you eat your fill before you die. Soon, you’ll find out who gets to survive.”
An Xiaoning’s eyes were bloodshot as beads of sweat trickled down her forehead. “Can I hear the answer straight from the horse’s mouth and say a few words to them later?”
“Of course, that’d be interesting,” the hitman agreed right away.
An Xiaoning nodded, feeling like a piece of frozen meat in the unusually chilly basement.
“If they don’t give us an answer on time, both of you shall die,” said the other hitman, causing goosebumps to form on the skin of Jin Qingyue, who had initially felt a little relieved.
“No way, they’ll definitely make a choice, they will for sure!”
A sudden silence filled the air. About one or two hours later, the hitmen received a text message from Jin Qingyan.
“Ah, looks like he chose kinship over love. Well, women come and go anyway,” the hitman announced with a sigh.
An Xiaoning felt her heart drop upon hearing the news, whereas Jin Qingyue felt a ton more relieved.
“Please let me speak to them over the phone,” An Xiaoning requested.
“Have a look before I call them for you,” said the hitman, handing her the mobile phone.
An Xiaoning stared at the screen, on which there was nothing except a message which read: “We’ve chosen Jin Qingyue, let her go.”
Just like she had expected, the number of the sender had indeed belonged to Jin Qingyan.
The hitman took the mobile phone back and gave Jin Qingyan a call, then put him on speaker mode.
He then placed the mobile phone in front of An Xiaoning’s mouth.
The call managed to get through. “We’ve already made the decision, let my daughter go!” Mrs. Jin exclaimed worriedly.
“Mother, it’s me,” said An Xiaoning.
Mrs. Jin was momentarily stunned to hear that it was her. Soon, she continued, “Xiaoning, has Qingyue been released? Tell me quick, have they released her?”
“I may not be your biological daughter, but I still treat you like my mother. Has it never crossed your mind to save me first?” An Xiaoning asked in utmost disappointment as tears began to form up in her eyes.
“I’m sorry, Xiaoning. Of course I’d want you to make it out alive, but I can’t live without Qingyue either.”
In other words, An Xiaoning was dispensable, unlike Jin Qingyue.
“Who made this decision? I want to speak to Qingyan,” she said, refusing to believe her fate.
“Qingyan…” After taking a glance at her son who was muffled and blindfolded while being tied up, Mrs. Jin continued, “Qingyan didn’t come to any decision. It was your father-in-law, Grandma, and I who decided together. Xiaoning, please don’t hold it against us, should anything happen to you. We didn’t have a choice either, how we wish all of this weren’t true.”
“I don’t blame you guys for it, but I’d like to stay alive too, I don’t wish to die. Besides, I call you guys my parents as well, why can’t you treat me like your own? I’m still your daughter-in-law, after all!” An Xiaoning cried, choking with sobs.
As soon as she finished, the hitman raised the mobile phone in front of his face and said, “Your daughter will be released soon.”
The call ended abruptly, startling Mrs. Jin who then burst into tears, grasping the mobile phone tightly in her hands.
“Don’t release them until Qingyue comes home,” instructed Mrs. Jin as she stared at Jin Qingyan and the members of the Gu family, who were all tied up.
“You heard their answer. Okay, stop struggling or hoping you’ll get lucky. I’ll send you on your way to death once you’re done with this meal,” said the hitman with a malicious smile.
The other hitman proceeded to release Jin Qingyue from the chains and pulled her upstairs. He then instructed, “I’ll send her away ten minutes from now. Quickly get rid of the remaining one.”
The remaining hitman then freed An Xiaoning’s arms from the chains. “Eat up,” he said, pushing the tray of food towards her.
“Is the food poisoned?”
“Rest assured, you won’t be dying such an easy death. I’ll stab you over and over again until you’re drenched in blood. That’d be such a thrilling way to die, wouldn’t it?” the hitman said sneeringly.
An Xiaoning felt her body stiffen in fear. As much as she was famished and starving, she was not in the mood to feast on the sumptuous spread in front of her, at all. She had no other way out, at this point.
She reached out to pick up the pair of chopsticks, her hands trembling uncontrollably in fear.
Strangely, she had a gut feeling that there was something amiss with the food.
Thus, she picked up the food at an intentionally slow speed, to the annoyance of the hitman who then hissed, “Hurry up, or I’ll stab you to death right now.”
“Look… aren’t there bugs in here?” she said, pointing at the food packaging.
“How could that be?” said the hitman, craning his neck to have a better look. An Xiaoning then slowly separated the chopsticks, holding one in each hand. All of a sudden, she stabbed the hitman in his eyeballs with the pair of chopsticks, after making sure she had aimed accurately. Noticing that he was about to retreat backwards, An Xiaoning hurriedly thought of her next move to stop him, for she knew that there would be no way to escape if he managed to leave.
Thus, she grabbed him forcefully with one hand and began stabbing his eyeballs rapidly with the other, as if she had lost her mind. Blood began gushing out from his eyes, splattering all over her face.
At this juncture, she could no longer think straight or be bothered with the fact that she was stabbing him.
All she wanted was to get out alive!
In order to stay alive, she would do whatever it took!
Shrieking in pain at the top of his lungs, the hitman struggled to retreat backwards as he tried to free himself with his hands. He subconsciously whipped out a knife and thrust it deep into An Xiaoning’s gut. Noticing that he was about to remove the knife and stab her with it again, An Xiaoning plucked up the courage to defend her own life, which laid in the hands of the hitmen. She was in so much pain that her face turned as pale as a sheet while she broke out in a cold sweat. She had no choice but to bite down onto his face and distract him from stabbing her, completely disregarding the fact that his blood was flowing into her mouth.
She removed the knife from her stomach and began stabbing him repeatedly with all her might, with no intentions to stop at all. Finally, he fell to the ground and laid there motionlessly.
To ensure that he would no longer get up, An Xiaoning continued to stab him a few more times, before heaving a huge sigh of relief upon confirming that he was dead. She then began to search his body for the keys to release herself.