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“It’s indeed different,” he said as his smile began to fade.

“What’s so different? We’re both women,” An Xiaoning continued to ask.

“You can’t be compared to her, understand?”

His words seemed like a million daggers stabbing her heart.

“Well, more like she can’t be compared to me, for I am uniquely myself,” said An Xiaoning proudly. Though still smiling, she was startled and confused by his response.

Feeling a little uneasy, she closed her eyes after finishing her sentence. “I’m tired,” she said, pulling the sheets up to her neck.

The bright rays of the fresh morning sun shone in, waking An Xiaoning from her sleep. She got up for breakfast in the living room and called the estate agency, expressing her interest in the house along Dongpo Road.

The opening hours of the estate agency had supposedly been 8 AM. However, seeing that it was An Xiaoning who had called, the estate agent quickly answered the call and helped her process the transfer of ownership of the house.

Not wasting any time at all, she hurriedly headed to the furniture store once the transfer procedure was done and picked out all the furniture she liked. While waiting for the furniture to arrive, she decided to give the house a thorough cleaning, making it spick and span.

The walls looked rather new and the entire house was exquisitely furnished. There was no need for a second renovation at all.

An hour passed. An Xiaoning looked up and down at her new two-storey home with much fondness. She was more than satisfied. She was not in a hurry to fix the minor details like bedsheets and whatsoever because she could simply buy and bring them along the next time she comes.

She felt a need to familiarize herself with the new place. Just as she was about to retrieve the pot of plant from the bottom of the staircase, she heard a door open from below.

The shock had robbed An Xiaoning of her senses. Looking down, she noticed a well-lit stairway.

It seemed to be a basement. Perhaps the estate agency were unaware of it either, since they did not inform her about it.

Trudging down the stairs, she realized that it was indeed a small basement, which was rather empty. Since there was nothing much to look at, An Xiaoning made her way back upstairs.

Shifting the pot of plant back in place, An Xiaoning closed the door to the basement.

She then reset the passcode of the PIN-locked doors of the living room and main gate.

“Boss, someone is calling you again!” cranked her ringtone.

Scooping up her phone, she noticed that it was a call from an unknown number and answered it immediately, “Hello? Who’s speaking?”

“It’s me,” answered Gu Beicheng.

“What’s up?” An Xiaoning asked.

“I have something to ask you. Come over, now,” he said frankly.

“Why should I, just because you asked?”

“Because we are family. Come to brother, Xiaoning. I have something to ask you. You will be rewarded for it.”

With a twitch of her lips, An Xiaoning thought to herself, Why does such a normal word sound so strange coming from him?

“Tell me about it over the phone.”

‘Forget it, I’ll go look for you at your house.”

“Where do I look for you?” asked An Xiaoning immediately, not wishing for him to come visit her.

“Jiangnan Residential Estate, Block A, #08-801.”

“Got it,” said An Xiaoning as she hung up and rushed down to the address he had given her.

After a journey of 20 minutes, she finally arrived at his doorstep.

“You were so slow. I was getting anxious just waiting for you. Here, let Brother give you a big, warm hug,” said Gu Beicheng, leaning against the door. He reached out for a hug.

With godlike speed, she quickly dodged and inched forward, causing him to miss. “Just what is it that you can’t tell me about over the phone? You even insisted that I make the trip down here.”

Closing the door behind him, Gu Beicheng picked up the slip of paper on the table and said while handing it to her, “Take a look at these birth characters for me.”

After picking it up, she took a look at it and she said bluntly,”This set of birth characters belongs to Chi Rui’er.”

“Oh, seems like my brother-in-law had already asked for you to read them.”

She rolled her eyes in annoyance. She could not help but imagine how disgusted and furious Jin Qingyan would be if he were to hear the way Gu Beicheng had addressed him as his “brother-in-law.” After all, Jin Qingyan was a year older than him, and the two did not get along well because of their feud over Chi Rui’er. Yet, they had unwillingly become relatives, all because of An Xiaoning.

“Which aspect of her fortune would you like me to read? First things first, I can’t read the fate between her and someone whose birth characters you are unaware of. If you’d like to know about the fate between you and her, then you have to tell me your birth characters,” said An Xiaoning.

“Who said I wanted to know about her fate with someone else? I don’t want to know about the one between her and I, either. I just want you to read about a certain expect. That is, will she bear a child in the next six months?” asked Gu Beicheng, frowning sternly.

Reaching her hand out, An Xiaoning asked, “Didn’t you mention that there would be a reward?”

“You’re so untrusting of Brother. Where is the basic trust between siblings? Here, is this enough?” he asked, sliding her a cheque.

She took a look at the cheque of 500 thousand yuan and nodded, “Yeah, that’s enough.”

“I can be sure that she is bound to bear a child, in the next half of the year.”

“Can you tell in which month it would be?”

“Yes, but I can’t reveal that to you. It is in her fate to have a child,” said An Xiaoning. Reminded of the fact that it was the last child Chi Rui’er would bear, she could not help but warn him, “She is destined to bear two children, one of which she had already aborted. If she aborts this last one, she is bound to be childless for the rest of her life. Gu Beicheng, if you made her pregnant, be sure to take good care of her.”

“Will she get pregnant, even if I don’t have intercourse with her?” Gu Beicheng continued to ask eagerly.

After taking another look at Chi Rui’er’s birth characters, An Xiaoning had an answer in her head. “Not sure why you’d ask, but I’d like to tell you that some things are just meant to be. You can’t rewrite its fate. I hope you understand what I mean. Don’t all women just want a man who loves and cares about her? Even a career-minded woman would wish to have a shoulder to rely on for comfort and warmth. Please take your woman in hand. Did you know that she often calls my husband to get him to accompany her at the hospital? Aren’t you her official boyfriend?” chided An Xiaoning.

Gu Beicheng seemed rather perplexed as he leaned against the couch with an arm raised. “You said she had already aborted a child. I’m not the father of that child. You mentioned that she would be expecting another child within the next six months. I’m very certain that the child does not belong to me either.”

Startled, An Xiaoning said, “If not yours, then whose would it be…”

With a shrug, he said, laughing rather innocently, “How would I know…”

“Then why did you ask about it?” asked An Xiaoning as she stared at him.

However, Gu Beicheng refused to answer her question and said instead, “I have my own reasons. I’m going out to run an errand, need a ride?”

Seeing that he refused to answer, she did not pry any further. “No, it’s fine,” she answered.

A whirlpool of questions flooded An Xiaoning’s mind as she made her way downstairs. Could the child Chi Rui’er had aborted have belonged to Jin Qingyan? Would the second child belong to him too?

Besides, Gu Beicheng was certain that the child does not belong to him, despite being her official boyfriend. Not to mention, Jin Qingyan had been visiting her at the hospital rather frequently…

An Xiaoning was overwhelmed by a state of confusion. She could not help but wonder if her imaginations were real.

Chi Rui’er must be smarter than she looked to abandon two rich and handsome men for a third one , she thought.

What used to be a clear and outright relationship had turned into a mysterious situation filled with doubt and suspicion ― all because of Gu Beicheng’s words.