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“I don’t,” he said, standing under the showerhead.

An Xiaoning sat atop the toilet bowl with her eyes closed, clenching her fists tightly.

She could not help but feel overwhelmed with sadness whenever she recalled the times they had when they were married. She was only human, after all.

Shouldn’t they be refraining from crossing paths after a divorce, as much as possible?

What was this?

What does he take me for? Does divorce mean anything to him at all? she thought to herself.

She stood up all of a sudden while Jin Qingyan exited from the shower. He dried himself with a towel and began putting his clothes back on slowly.

He was exceptionally delighted to have taken a shower in front of her.

An Xiaoning tried her best to keep her volume down, amidst the noises of water flowing from the showerhead.

“I don’t wish to play such silly games with you, and neither do I want to keep repeating myself. I’ve given up on you and your family even before we got divorced. That’s why I was so insistent on it.”

“It doesn’t matter, I have plenty of time to wait for you to change your mind,” said Jin Qingyan after mustering up the courage to let those words out.

She knew that it must have been tough for someone so high and mighty like him to put down his pride and bare his feelings to her.

“Why did you take the poison?”

An Xiaoning could vaguely guess that he might not answer her question and change the subject instead.

To her surprise, he answered, “Because I lost the person who means the most to me. At that point of time, I felt like I was better off dead.”

An Xiaoning burst into tears upon hearing his answer. Jin Qingyan then pulled her into his arms and said, “It’s alright even if you don’t wish to give in now. I love you, so I’m willing to wait for you.”

If she remembered correctly, this was the very first time he had told her that he loved her.

Although his actions spoke louder than words, it was nonetheless the first time he said it out loud.

“I’m afraid I’ll have to disappoint you. I told you before, I don’t have the habit of going back on my decision,” she said softly.

“I’ve also told you before that you are to start developing habits you never had in the past. An Xiaoning, I’m more determined than ever to woo you all over again and make you marry me once more.”

“Dream on! Why are you still here? I have to shower.” An Xiaoning let go and glowered at him.

“Got it,” he said with a smile before walking towards the door leisurely.

An Xiaoning heard the door open once more right after he just left, causing pangs of panic to fill her again. She heaved a huge sigh of relief upon seeing that it was Mei Yangyang.

“Brother-in-law… I mean, Mr. Jin, when did you enter?” asked a puzzled Mei Yangyang.

“Before you were back. This shameless rascal decided to enter just as I was about to take a shower. Fortunately, I haven’t began showering. We then ended up talking for a while,” said An Xiaoning.

Mei Yangyang giggled while covering her mouth and said teasingly, “Sis… I noticed that his hair was still wet. Were you two really just talking?”

“Of course. We’re already divorced. Nothing will happen between us. He was the one who decided to take off his clothes for a shower, after seeing that I was about to do so myself.”

“I was wondering what you were murmuring about in the bathroom. I thought you were making a phone call. Thank god that Lin Mingxi wasn’t around. Sis, to be honest, I can tell that he still loves you. It’s true, I can sense it. Men don’t usually have the guts to poison themselves for a woman. Besides, he’s filthy rich and powerful, he can get any woman he wants,” Mei Yangyang said with a sheepish grin.

“Who said so? He’s shameless.”

Mei Yangyang burst into laughter and nodded in agreement, before continuing to speak, “Hurry and shower, I’ll get the hairdryer ready.”

“Okay.”

An Xiaoning hurriedly proceeded to take a shower, during which she constantly pondered over what Jin Qingyan said to her. She could not help but feel a little happy and touched by his words, which kept running through her mind.

However, she could not cave in, no matter what.

She did not wish to return to that home ever again.

Neither did she want to face his family again. Never again!

——

Jin Qingyan drove away from the boot camp with a smile hanging from his lips.

Although there was still no progress in the end, he had at least managed to let his innermost thoughts out to her. He did not feel like he had lost his pride or embarrassed himself; instead, he was rather elated somehow.

He did not know where he had derived such joy from. All he knew was that he was in high spirits.

He arrived at the gate of his house, only to be greeted with the sight of his mother’s car, in which sat the chauffeur.

By the time he entered after parking his car in the garage, Mrs. Jin was already sitting in the living room.

“Qingyan, the matter involving your sister and Shi Shaochuan is getting way out of hand. Can’t you just do something about it? I hear about this matter everywhere I go, be it the nail salon, a mahjong session, or even just a casual tea session with my friends. It’s really getting on my nerves,” said a frustrated Mrs. Jin.

“How am I supposed to stop it? The video was already saved by many netizens. The person who created this mess should be the one bearing the responsibility of addressing the issues. Now that we’re on this topic, I actually feel pretty embarrassed to be implicated in this matter. So, Mother, please tell them not to show up in front of me for the next few months.” Seeming to have remembered something, he added, “By the way, Mother, I don’t have any intentions of finding myself another woman. Please stop trying to set me up with another woman.”

“Qingyan…”

“I’m beat, I’m going upstairs to get some rest.”

Mrs. Jin had no choice but to leave reluctantly after making a wasted trip.

All of a sudden, she was filled with an inexplicable rage and instructed the chauffeur to head towards the Shi family home.

Upon noticing her arrival, Jin Qingyue quickly prepared herself mentally to face the music.

“Mother…”

“You actually still remember that I’m your mother. You’ve disgraced us completely!” Mrs. Jin hollered as she stepped forward to give Jin Qingyue a tight slap across her face with all her might.

“It was all Shaochuan’s fault, he was the one who forced me to go. I didn’t want to at all. Mother, we’ll have another baby once the matter begins to blow over. Why are you here at this hour?” said Jin Qingyue.

“I just came from your brother’s place. He told me to inform you and Shaochuan not to appear in front of him for the next few months. He’s infuriated as well.”

“Why is he acting like that? Forget it, I just won’t see him then.” Jin Qingyue then gestured for the servant and instructed, “Bring me the cake.”

“Why are you eating dessert at night? You’re going to put on weight,” Mrs. Jin chided.

“I’m almost bored to death. How am I supposed to vent my frustration if I’m not even allowed to eat whatever I want? I’m so thin, it won’t make a difference to put on a few pounds,” Jin Qingyue said nonchalantly.

“You’ve really grown up, not listening to your mother’s words anymore, eh? Whatever, I don’t care anymore. I’m going home.”

“Okay, take care,” said Jin Qingyan, stuffing herself silly with the cake using a fork while sipping on some beverage. She, too, was furious at the way things had turned out, for she did not want it to happen either.

Her blood began to boil the more she thought about it. She felt indignant to have been attacked with such criticism and hate from netizens online.

It seemed that eating and stuffing herself with food was the only outlet for her frustration.