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After taking a look at the time, Mo Li proceeded to get dressed. Realizing that the pillow beneath the duvet was stained, she quickly removed the pillowcase and tidied up the bed before instructing the servants to bring the bedsheets and pillowcase to the laundry.

During breakfast, she looked up to glance at him every now and then. “I won’t head to the office today and spend the day with you instead. What do you say we go on a day trip?”

“Sure,” Mo Li agreed in delight.

Byron was glad to see how elated she was.

——

“Young Sir, this is from Ms. Chi. I reckon she’s afraid you wouldn’t show up. She even mentioned in the news that she had sent you an invitation and that you two are friends,” said Fan Shixin as he handed Jin Qingyan the red-colored invitation.

“I’m not going,” Jin Qingyan said coldly, ripping the bright red invitation into shreds as soon as he got hold of it.

“Madam was here earlier, claiming that she had called you multiple times but you didn’t answer. She said… she said that she had arranged a luncheon for you to meet Miss Lin Mingxi this afternoon. Ms. Lin has previously gone on a matchmaking session with Mr. Long, but there had been no further contact between them since,” Fan Shixin explained.

“Tell her I’m not going,” Jin Qingyan refuted.

Just as he was about to leave, Fan Shixin hurriedly tried to stop him, “Young Sir, Madam said that she was going to publicly announce your engagement with Ms. Lin, should you refuse to attend the luncheon. She mentioned that it would just be a casual meal and you won’t have to meet Ms. Lin again if you’re not interested. Besides, she also said that she wanted to show Ms. An how highly coveted you are…”

Jin Qingyan closed his eyes before opening them again and said, “Who is this Lin Mingxi?”

“Here’s a photo of her. Take a look, she slightly resembles… Ms. An,” said Fan Shixin as he handed Jin Qingyan the photo.

Taking a look at the photo, he realized that the girl in it seemed to be of a rather young age. Though none of her features particularly resembled those of An Xiaoning’s, the overall vibe she gave off was indeed a little similar to the latter.

“Babylifewasgoodtomebutyoujustmadeitbetternull,Ilovethewayitstandbymethroughanykindofweathenull…” He turned around and whipped his phone out to answer the incoming call. “Tianze.”

“I heard from my mother that you’re going on a matchmaking session with Lin Mingxi? Is that for real?” asked Long Tianze.

“Yes, why?”

“What in the world? You’re going for a matchmaking session right after your divorce? The netizens are going to slam you for being a total jerk.”

“I don’t care what they think about me. If there’s nothing else, I’ll be hanging up now.”

“Hold up! I’ve met Lin Mingxi once before, my mother was rather pleased with her. But she got really anxious upon hearing that you’re going to meet Lin Mingxi soon.”

“I’ll let you have her instead then.”

“No! That’s not what I meant. What I mean is, although my mother’s getting all flustered and anxious, I’m actually rather happy about it from all perspectives. Hope your matchmaking session goes well, you have all my blessings!” said Long Tianze.

“Cut the crap and get lost.” Jin Qingyan ended the call right away and headed to the living room with the photo in his hand.

He sat on the couch with one leg over the other and continued to stare at the photo.

Lin Mingxi?

Was it?

His temples began to throb all of a sudden as the photo fell out of his hand and onto his lap.

Hearing footsteps coming from the door, Jin Qingyan cocked his head sideways to see that it was Ling Ciye who was walking towards him slowly.

“When did you come back?”

“Just now. I initially decided to make my way back on the day that you were hospitalized, but I delayed my return upon hearing that you were fine. Besides, there were some matters there that I had to attend to urgently. Are you two really going to go separate ways and never see each other again from now on?” said Ling Ciye.

“Yes.”

“You loved her so much to the point that you would kill yourself for her? Qingyan, that doesn’t seem like something you would do,” Ling Ciye said in surprise.

“That’s what I thought too,” Jin Qingyan answered solemnly.

“Tianze told me that you would be going on a matchmaking session soon, is that true?”

“What a big mouth he’s got. My mother insisted that I go. She’s the girl,” Jin Qingyan sneered, handing Ling Ciye the photo.

“She looks pretty decent, it’s just…” Ling Ciye remarked.

“She has an uncanny resemblance to Xiaoning, right?”

“Yeah, does it not bother you?”

Jin Qingyan remained silent, feeling upset and uneasy all over at the mere mention of An Xiaoning’s name.

Maomao came out of its kennel looking weary and dazed, clearly having just woken up from its sleep. It waddled along and made its way to Jin Qingyan before hovering around his feet.

Jin Qinyan reached a hand out and began patting it affectionately.

The living room was filled with a sudden silence. Just as Ling Ciye was about to speak, Jin Qingyan blurted, “It feels like it was all just a dream, yet it also feels like I had lost the thing that’s most important to me.”

“Find it again if you’ve lost it. If you can’t find it, then get a new one. I heard that in order to forget someone, you’d have to shift your attention to someone else. Over time, you’ll begin to forget that person you couldn’t get over. There’s no harm giving it a shot.” Pointing at Maomao, Ling Ciye continued, “Why is your dog getting fatter with each day? But I like it though, it’s really cute that way. Qingyan, why don’t you let me take care of it instead?”

Without hesitation, Jin Qingyan refuted immediately, “Drop that idea.”

“Hey, it’s just a dog. Is it really that precious?”

“Of course, it’s priceless.”

“I reckon it was raised by you and Xiaoning. I suggest you get rid of everything that reminds you of her. Don’t live here anymore and just move back to your house in Wei Ni Estate, lest you get upset at the thought of her,” Ling Ciye said bluntly.

Jin Qingyan stood up to leave all of a sudden without even answering Ling Ciye, who then exclaimed, “Where are you going?”

“What do you think?”

——

An Xiaoning did not open the heart-shaped letter, and neither did she tear it up. Instead, she just left it under her pillow.

Both she and Gu Beicheng did not bring up the matter, as if it had never happened. After lunch, she dressed herself in a pink coat and boots before heading outside. She then proceeded to a public toilet stealthily and put on her human face mask. Staring at her reflection in the mirror by the basin, she nodded in satisfaction.

An Xiaoning took a stroll on the streets while wearing her face mask, as if she had really become another person.

She then stumbled upon a florist and decided to buy herself a bouquet of fresh flowers. Bit by bit, she began to let go of her negative emotions and cruised along merrily, feeling much more relaxed than before.

All of a sudden, An Xiaoning felt a hand grab her arm forcefully, greatly startling her. She turned around to see who it was.

It was Jin Qingyan.

Disappointment was written on Jin Qingyan’s face as soon as he realized that it was not An Xiaoning. He then turned around to leave without uttering another word.

His white Bentley was parked nearby.