Please clear your browser cache if you experience redirection.
Save(0)

No account yet? Register

As she walked through the door, An Xiaoning realized that the villa was much bigger than she imagined. It looked more spacious under the warm yellow light that was cast across the room.

Feeling chilly, An Xiaoning headed straight to the bathroom for a hot shower. Clad in Jin Qingyan’s white shirt and black trousers, she plonked herself down on the sofa and sipped on the hot ginger tea he made. The entire situation seemed rather peculiar and inappropriate since he was considered a stranger.

“If it were anybody else, they probably wouldn’t take me in,” said An Xiaoning.

“I’m not just anybody else,” Jin Qingyan said gently, swirling the glass of wine he was holding. “An Xiaoning, while I was on my way home, I happened to chance upon the marvelous feat that was you chasing your Husband and his Mistress out of the car, stark naked at the junction. If it hadn’t been for that, perhaps I would’ve just behaved like ‘anybody else’ and refused to take you in. Congrats, you’re now famous.”

Startled by Jin Qingyan’s words, An Xiaoning quickly explained, “Mr. Jin, I’m actually here to discuss a deal with you.”

“Oh?” said Jin Qingyan with raised eyebrows as he placed his feet on the table and wiped his mouth with a handkerchief. “What would you like to discuss with me about?” he questioned calmly.

“Your mother has been feeling a constant pain in her calf that won’t go away — even after multiple treatments by different doctors. Am I right?” An Xiaoning asked.

“Yes.”

“I have a permanent solution for your mother’s condition. If you trust me, she will never experience the pain ever again,” An Xiaoning said, her eyes fixed on him.

Jin Qingyan was surprised, for not a single soul except his family was aware of his mother feeling pain in her calf. Due to her strong sense of pride, she demanded that her family members not spread the word about her condition. In fact, she was now secretly receiving treatment, but the results had constantly been unsatisfactory.

Just how did An Xiaoning find out? he thought to himself as his mind filled with other questions.

“If you don’t believe me, give me a set of women’s clothes and I’ll go with you to visit your mother,” An Xiaoning said convincingly.

“What do you want in exchange?”

“Money. I want money,” she bluntly replied, with no intention of hiding her thoughts at all.

“How much?”

“I’m not a greedy person. Just 100 thousand yuan will do.”

In a moment of recklessness, Jin Qingyan gave his assistant a call and ordered her to deliver a set of women’s clothes for An Xiaoning. This was all done without hesitation.

“Are you aware of the consequences of lying?” Jin Qingyan questioned rhetorically.

“If what I said is not true, you’re free to do whatever you want to me,” replied An Xiaoning confidently, smiling as she finished her ginger tea.

Noticing how confident she was, Jin Qingyan decided to give her a shot.

An Xiaoning quickly put on the set of women’s clothes and followed him to visit his mother at his family mansionette.

“Qingyan, who’s this lady you’ve brought?” asked Jin Qingyan’s grandmother, the old Mrs. Jin.

“Just a specialist for Mother’s condition,” he replied. Then he asked, “Father, where’s Mother?”

“She’s in her room, resting in bed,” answered his father.

Jin Qingyan cast a glance at An Xiaoning, signaling for her to follow him to his mother’s bedroom. His father and grandmother also tagged along.

“Mother, this lady here says she can treat your calf,” he said immediately after opening the bedroom door.

“There had been so many experienced professionals who tried, but they all failed. Will she really make the cut?” asked Jin Qingyan’s mother as she broke out in a cold sweat, trying to bear with the nagging pain.

“Auntie, no amount nor type of medicine can heal your calf. This is because the pain is not caused by an illness,” An Xiaoning said to his mother bluntly. Moving to the bedside, she continued, “Auntie, I can ensure that the pain in your calf will completely subside in two minutes, if you will believe me.”

Mrs. Jin nodded along and agreed to give it a try. This was because she had no other resort, even though she was doubtful of An Xiaoning’s words.

An Xiaoning closed her eyes and began chanting with great speed. Once the time was right, she then pasted a yellow amulet that had words written in red onto Mrs. Jin’s calf. A miracle happened almost immediately. Mrs. Jin sprung up joyously and exclaimed while looking at her calf in disbelief, “It doesn’t hurt anymore! It really doesn’t! How incredible!”

“Auntie, the pain in your calf was caused by spirits. Thus, no medicine can help curb the pain,” said An Xiaoning with a smile.

“Spirits? Please take a seat and tell me more,” asked Mrs. Jin as the smile on her face stiffened.

Making herself at home, An Xiaoning sat down as instructed.

“In your situation, it is a case of karmic retribution,” An Xiaoning explained. “During March this year, you accidentally knocked down a young child while driving, crushing his stomach and legs under the wheels twice. It was so severe that it resulted in instant death. Although you’ve paid a hefty amount of money in compensation, you’ve never once visited the child’s grave to express your apology and remorse. Hence, the child bears hatred towards you for causing his death, even though it was not intentional. I suggest you go to his grave tomorrow morning and burn some paper clothes, along with 30 paper gold ingots, as a form of offering. I’ll then perform a ritual to send his spirit away, after which your calf will no longer hurt.”

Upon hearing what An Xiaoning had to say, Mrs. Jin said eagerly, “Yes, indeed. I accidentally ran over a child while driving, sometime in March. The injuries were fatal. I didn’t think much of the matter after compensating his parents a huge sum of money. So that explains it. I’ll atone for my sin tomorrow.”

With a nod, An Xiaoning continued, “Leave this amulet on your calf overnight, and the pain will have subsided when you remove it in the morning. However, it will continue to hurt, should you not do as I instructed earlier.”

“Of course, I’ll do as you say. Will the amulet still be effective after I remove it tomorrow?” asked Mrs. Jin, who was entirely convinced that An Xiaoning could help her.

“I’m afraid not. The amulet is only effective for one night. Rest assured, the pain will be gone once I perform the ritual tomorrow,” reassured An Xiaoning. “I’m hungry. Is there anything to eat?” she asked, feeling famished since she skipped dinner.

“Hubby, go get the kitchen to prepare some food for Ms. An, quick,” instructed Mrs. Jin.

“Thank you,” said An Xiaoning as she stood up.

After everyone else left, Mrs. Jin asked her son, “Qingyan, where did you find that lady?”

“I didn’t. She came forth to look for me, out of her own accord,” Jin Qingyan answered.

“Out of her own accord?” questioned a puzzled Mrs. Jin. “No one except our family members knows about my condition. Yet, not only is she aware, she even treated my calf using only an amulet. Wow, how strange.”

“Although it may seem hard to believe, it is indeed so,” said Jin Qingyan.

On his way out, Jin Qingyan noticed his grandmother chatting merrily with An Xiaoning, who sat opposite her.

He had never seen his grandmother so elated before.

If only Grandma was as warm and friendly towards Rui’er , he thought.

Unfortunately, Rui’er was simply too embarrassing and lowly in her eyes.

In that instant, his eyes turned dull as he felt a tinge of sadness.

——

While driving home, Jin Qingyan casually asked An Xiaoning, “Did you date and marry Shi Shaochuan out of your own will?”

“No,” An Xiaoning replied, a tone of melancholy in her voice. “Ever since I was young, my parents had sent me to the mountains to learn from a master. When I reached the age of 20, I left the mountains and happened to save an old man, who then asked for my name. Little did I know, he was Shi Shaochuan’s Grandfather, and he personally asked for me to marry his grandson shortly after. Enthralled by the large sum of betrothal money that Shi Shaochuan’s Grandfather offered, my parents secretly agreed to let me marry him, without my knowledge. Growing up in the mountains, I had no experience in dating, and so I never thought much about marriage. Thus, I simply agreed to marry Shi Shaochuan, thinking that he wasn’t a bad choice anyway.”