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Apparently, she was wrong. Jin Qingyan walked towards her with his hands behind his back and said with a smile, “Not bad, you’ve learned to hire bodyguards to protect yourself.”

“Thank you for the concern, Mr. Jin. I’m nowhere near as armed as you are though,” she said modestly.

“Don’t call me Mr. Jin, that’s too formal. We’re way closer than that. By the way, I came by today to inform you that we’re going to be neighbors from now on,” said Jin Qingyan.

“What do you mean?” asked a puzzled An Xiaoning.

“We’ll be neighbors. I bought the mansion down the road, just a short distance beside yours. The air here is fresh, and it’s convenient to get around too. It’d be a great choice for a home I’ll be staying in every now and then. Besides, I’m more than happy to have you as my neighbor.”

“…”

“Up to you,” An Xiaoning said coldly.

Jin Qingyan had a smug smile on his face as he turned around to instruct his men, “Hurry and decorate the new place. I’ll drop by for a visit in a while.”

They hurriedly proceeded to do as instructed.

He was quick to make himself at home and began walking leisurely towards the living room.

An Xiaoning dismissed her servants and hurriedly chased after Jin Qingyan.

“Jin Qingyan, get out now.”

“An Xiaoning, is this how you treat your new neighbor?” he asked, raising a brow.

She stepped forward to grab his arm and pulled him into the backyard before instructing her six bodyguards, “Do not allow him to enter the house.”

She then headed back inside.

Jin Qingyan did not force his way in and instead looked up at the windows on the second storey to see that she had installed anti-theft windows. He could not help but feel a little disappointed upon realizing that she had blocked every possible area from which one could climb over.

The only way to enter was from the main gate. However, he was determined to find a way to get close to her since he had already gone the extra mile to move in beside her.

An Xiaoning would have been enraged to know what he had up his sleeve.

“Sis, Mr. Jin seems to be really serious about you, why don’t you just give in to him?” said Mei Yangyang, giggling while covering her mouth with her hand.

“Over my dead body. I have my own reasons not to give in,” An Xiaoning refuted, thinking that Jin Qingyan was merely too stubborn to give up and would throw in the towel soon enough.

An Xiaoning headed upstairs while Mei Yangyang was preparing dinner.

She logged into her email account on her computer to see that she had received a new message in her mailbox.

Her face turned pale as a sheet upon opening and reading its content.

It was a message from Xi Bolai, which read: “Take good care of yourself, we’ll meet again very soon.”

He had attached his photo at the bottom of the email, further proving that he was indeed the sender.

An Xiaoning sat before the computer, seemingly reminded of something after reading Xi Bolai’s message.

Upon seeing An Xiaoning, Mei Yangyang asked, “Sis, where are you going?”

“Nowhere. Let’s head out to somewhere after dinner.”

Noticing the austere expression on An Xiaoning’s face, Mei Yangyang nodded in agreement without probing further.

After dinner, they gave 001, 002, and 003 a simple briefing for their night duty before heading out in An Xiaoning’s car.

Having arrived at the entrance of an accessories store, Mei Yangyang asked softly, “Sis, are you planning to buy some accessories?”

“Yes, I need to get something.”

An Xiaoning alighted and entered the store. “May I know where the brooches are?” she asked the store owner.

“Here,” answered the store owner, showing her the way.

After taking a look at the rows of brooches on display, An Xiaoning asked, “Do you have those with a long needle at the back?”

“Hmm… these few have a long needle attached to the back,” said the store owner, pointing at a few brooches.

An Xiaoning took a closer look and found that they were very much to her liking. Thus, she bought a few in one go.

She then hopped into the car again and drove towards a household weapon store.

She picked out a few whips of varying widths and lengths as well as a few other compact daggers.

Thinking that she ought to tighten security even further, she proceeded to look for Jin Qingyan as soon as she arrived home.

“I heard you’d like to see me?”

Noticing how smug he looked, An Xiaoning pursed her lips and said, “We just met two hours ago.”

“There must be a reason you came to see me. What’s the matter?”

“Do you have guns? Sell me two of them.”

“Why do you have to use the word ‘sell’? That sounds so awful. I do have guns, but I don’t want money, I want you…” he said bluntly.

“Forget it, I’ll go look for Gu Beicheng. I knew I couldn’t count on you.”

“Wait, wait, hold on… why are you so impatient? You’re getting anxious even before we’ve had a proper conversation,” said Jin Qingyan, rushing forward to grab her by her arm.

He pinned An Xiaoning down onto the couch and looked at her from above. “If you manage to get your hands on some guns, you have to promise me you won’t point it at me, ever.”

“I wouldn’t do that if you don’t try anything funny with me.”

“Well, you have to promise me that before I give them to you.”

She looked up into his eyes and said, “Jin Qingyan… you’re not the only one who has guns.”

“Indeed, I’m not the only one who does. But I’m very certain that Gu Beicheng will not give them to you. Do you think these are toy guns, sold everywhere on the streets? Just promise that you won’t ever point the gun at me no matter where you are and how infuriated you may be,” he reiterated.

An Xiaoning nodded and gave in, “I’ll promise you that.”

He then nodded in satisfaction and said, “I’ll send them over to your place tomorrow morning.”

“I’m going home,” said An Xiaoning as she rose from her seat.

“You may stay too if you don’t wish to leave.”

“Dream on,” she retorted, turning around to leave right away.

——

Jin Qingyue waited for three days before dialing the number.

She placed the call using a newly bought mobile phone.

It was a woman who picked up the call, sounding rather young.

Jin Qingyue then claimed to have dialed the wrong number and hurriedly ended the call.

She began to suspect something.

Though she was unsure.

Since then, she would fervently search for clues or traces of a scent belonging to another woman on Shi Shaochuan’s clothes, right after he returned home every day. However, she did not manage to find anything.

Shi Shaochuan had returned to his normal routine of coming home on time every day and refraining from going out again after returning home.

Jin Qingyue’s suspicion towards him began to fade gradually. However, she still took the opportunity to ask him about the unknown number, “Whose phone does this number belong to?”

“This? Let me try and recall… oh, right, it belongs to a girl who was knocked down by a car while I was on my way to meet my former classmates. I decided to be kind and sent her to the hospital before driving her home.”

Jin Qingyue recalled the text message he received that night and immediately pieced the puzzle together. She felt a huge sense of relief and praised him, “Oh, I see. You’re such a kind person, Hubby.”

“Actually, I did that because I’ve been feeling rather guilty about knocking someone down and killing her.” He let out a sigh and continued, “Yueyue, we’re the only ones left in the Shi family now. What do you say we have a few more kids of our own?”

“Alright, as long as you’re happy, I’ll bear you a few children. It’s not like we can’t afford to raise them anyway.”

Hugging her in his arms, Shi Shaochuan said, “Yes. It’s half past seven, time for me to head to the office. Take care of yourself at home and have your meals on time. Be a happy expecting mother and stop letting your imagination run wild. You’re the only one in my heart.”

Jin Qingyue let out a gleeful smile and answered, “Yes, I will.”