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Gu Dongcheng mellowed his tone upon seeing that she had teared up. “Let’s take you for another checkup tomorrow. We shall keep the baby if the doctor says that you’re really going to have a hard time getting pregnant again. Otherwise, we’ll abort it if he says that another abortion won’t make a difference. Will that do?”

Chi Rui’er agreed instantly with a nod, “Alright, we’ll go with your plan.”

An Xiaoning woke up to find Jin Qingyan sitting beside her.

She made eye contact with him as soon as she opened her eyes.

“You’re up?”

An Xiaoning nodded and asked, “Where’s Gu Beicheng?”

“He had already gone home,” answered Jin Qingyan, though he was a little disgruntled to hear that Gu Beicheng was the first person she asked about, right after waking up.

As soon as he finished speaking, a sound could be heard coming from the door. It was Mei Yangyang, who had entered with a lunchbox in her hand. “Sis Xiaoning, you’re awake. Here’s some fish soup my father made for you. Would you like to have some now?” Mei Yangyang asked while placing the lunchbox onto the table.

“Alright, thank your father for me,” An Xiaoning said with a feeble voice.

“Don’t mention it, Sis. Just focus on recuperating. We still have a lot to do together, once you recover,” said Mei Yangyang as she scooped some soup into a bowl.

“It smells delicious.”

“Let Brother-in-law feed you,” said Mei Yangyang, handing the bowl of soup and a spoon to Jin Qingyan.

She then proceeded to help An Xiaoning adjust the bed so the latter could sit up.

Jin Qingyan fed her the soup, mouthful after mouthful, until she had finished every last drop of it. He discovered that An Xiaoning seemed to have become cold and distant towards him ever since the incident happened, though he was unsure if he was just imagining things.

“Qingyan, you may head back first. Let Yangyang accompany me instead.”

“Alright.”

He did as she instructed and exited the hospital ward, only to realize that there were a lot of people waiting outside.

“Sis, there’s still more soup left in the lunchbox. Let me know when you’d like to have some again. This thermal flask works wonders, the soup will still stay warm even after hours have passed,” Mei Yangyang said gently as she sat down on the spot Jin Qingyan was sitting on earlier.

An Xiaoning was connected to a drip via a tube inserted into her left hand. She placed her right hand on top of Mei Yangyang’s and broke down into tears, finally releasing the emotions she had been suppressing. “Yangyang.”

“Sis… don’t cry, you’re making me want to cry too,” said Mei Yangyang as she hurriedly whipped out a piece of tissue paper to wipe An Xiaoning’s overflowing tears.

“Qingyue and I were abducted and taken to a basement somewhere. The hitmen made Qingyan choose between saving me or Qingyue. My mother-in-law was the one who made the decision,” An Xiaoning explained.

“I heard about it from Tianze, Brother-in-law was tied up forcefully by his parents,” Mei Yangyang quickly tried to defend Jin Qingyan.

“Well, he was faced with a difficult choice. If I were to put myself in his shoes, I would’ve been stuck in a dilemma and fail to make the right decision too. Fan Shixin was watching and guarding him closely throughout. I know he was put in a spot, so I don’t blame him for not choosing to save me. But Yangyang, I’ve realized that when one faces the brink of death, survival would be the only thing that matters to them. Everything else would only pale in comparison and come in second,” said An Xiaoning, forcing an awkward smile.

Mei Yangyang had also begun to tear up. She took a deep breath and said, “Sis, why do I feel like…”

However, she stopped speaking before finishing what she had on her mind, for she was unsure if she had made a correct guess.

“I don’t blame him or his family at all. I just feel like I can no longer genuinely treat them like my own family with all my heart, like I used to in the past. So, I have something to ask of you right now,” An Xiaoning continued.

What came out of An Xiaoning’s mouth next was exactly what Mei Yangyang had guessed. “I’ll speak while you write. Please help me print two copies of a divorce agreement.”

“Sis, you might want to think through it carefully, or just wait until you’re done recuperating…”

“Nah, my decision is final, I won’t change my mind even after I’ve recovered,” An Xiaoning insisted.

“Sis, are you upset because the child is gone…”

An Xiaoning looked up in astonishment and asked, “Child? What child?”

Mei Yangyang was dumbfounded at her reaction. “I thought… I thought Brother-in-law had already told you about it.”

Clutching the bedsheets tightly, An Xiaoning asked eagerly, “What do you mean the child is gone. Was it my child?”

“Sis, don’t get so worked up. Calm down, I’ll tell you everything,” said Mei Yangyang as she grasped An Xiaoning’s hands tightly.

“After the doctor cleaned up your wound, they realized that there were bloodstains around your thighs, which didn’t seem to have come from the wound on your stomach, and began to speculate that you must have been on your menstrual period or had a miscarriage. Thus, they conducted another check on you using the ultrasound scan and verified that you’ve had a miscarriage. You then had to undergo another surgery to remove the remaining fetal tissue. Sis, were you unaware that you were pregnant?” explained Mei Yangyang.

An Xiaoning shook her head profusely. “I didn’t know I was pregnant. We’ve always used protection and contraceptives. I don’t even know when I conceived the child. Yet, it’s already dead before I even came to know about its existence. All of this could’ve been prevented if only I knew about it earlier. But there’s no point in saying these now, it’s already too late,” she said, filled with agony.

“Sis, by when do you need the agreement?”

After a brief moment of hesitation, she answered, “Let me tell you what, go online and download the latest template of a divorce agreement. Then, add the words I say to the agreement and print it out. Get it done as soon as possible.”

“Sis, you really… don’t have to consider it carefully again?”

“No, marriage indeed involves more than just two people. I’ve given up completely.”

“Alright, I’ll go right away,” said Mei Yangyang as she stood up and pulled the blanket over An Xiaoning.

An Xiaoning watched as Mei Yangyang left, after which she let out a cry of agony and began bawling in tears while lying on the bed, unable to suppress her emotions any longer. Since the anesthesia had already worn off, her wound began to ache intensely.

Having heard her cries, Gu Beicheng continued to stand by the door and did not enter.

Shi Shaochuan felt rather guilty about the incident, for he was the one who had organized the luncheon. Thus, he hurriedly proceeded to accompany Jin Qingyue in a bid to console her, upon hearing that she had been released.

“Don’t cry anymore, look how haggard you’ve become. You’re going to be my bride very soon, you won’t look pretty if you keep crying,” Shi Shaochuan cajoled her while reaching a hand out to wipe her tears.

Jin Qingyue quickly sat up straight and picked up a handheld mirror to look at herself. She then put it down again and laid in his arms. “Shaochuan, the thought of it still terrifies me.”

“I know, I know. Let’s talk about something else more positive. Look at me, I’ve lost all of my closest kin, but here I am, still staying strong and getting on with life. Your case is nothing compared to mine. Life still has to go on no matter what,” said Shi Shaochuan, holding her hand in his.

“I’m different from you. If I were to lose my family, I would probably never manage to get a hold on myself, not until a long period of time later. Oh dear, what have I just said? Touch wood!” Jin Qingyue answered.

“An Xiaoning is still being hospitalized, would you like to come along with me to visit her?” asked Shi Shaochuan, thinking it would only be right to visit her.

However, Jin Qingyue refuted instantly, “I’m not going. She probably detests the sight of me now. Why should I cause unnecessary trouble for myself?”

“I still think we ought to pay her a visit. Putting this incident aside, she’s still your sister-in-law, isn’t she?”

“Why are you so insistent on having me go visit her? Do you think the 50 million dollars you’ve paid her is too low of a price?”

Shi Shaochuan had no choice but to give in. “Alright, we won’t go then, if you’re so unwilling.”