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“So, you’re a fortune-teller as well?” Mei Yangyang called out to stop An Xiaoning.

Adjusting her mask to cover her face, An Xiaoning admitted, “Yes, I am.”

“Sister, will you leave me with a means to contact you?” asked Mei Yangyang.

Thinking that Mei Yangyang was rather capable for her age, she agreed, “I don’t ever leave strangers with my contact details. But you’re an exception, because I feel a strange affinity between us.”

An Xiaoning then proceeded to give Mei Yangyang her mobile number. “It’s a great fortune to have met you. I won’t take your money,” chirped Mei Yangyang as she tucked the 10 yuan into An Xiaoning’s pocket, grinning from ear to ear.

An Xiaoning found Mei Yangyang to be rather genuine and sincere, though she did not insist on paying the latter again. “Don’t set up your stall here anymore. There are more cars than passers-by here, it’ll be hard for you to have any business. If you’d like to earn more, I can teach you how to,” the former continued.

“How?”

“Go set up your stall at a more crowded place, then place a sign at the side, saying ‘Fortune-telling: You’ll get your money back if it’s not accurate!’ I’m sure that would work.”

Having made sense of what An Xiaoning had said, Mei Yangyang began to thank her profusely, “Alright, I shall try that tomorrow. Thank you, Sister.”

After waving goodbye with smile, An Xiaoning then turned around to leave.

——

To her surprise, the moment she entered the villa An Xiaoning was greeted by the sight of Jin Qingyan’s Bentley parked in the backyard.

She kept her eyes fixed on the car, feeling a strong urge to bore a hole through it, as if it were Jin Qingyan.

He was, however, sitting in the living room and resting against the couched, his eyes closed and his legs atop the teapoy.

Hearing the noise made by An Xiaoning while changing into her home slippers, he slowly opened his eyes and scorned, “You went out so early in the morning only to return at such a late hour. Could it be that you went to meet your lover?”

“Yeah, I did,” An Xiaoning was quick to confess. “Let me count how many there are. Hmm, one… two… three… four… five… that’s too few. I shall go look for two more tomorrow,” she sneered.

Jin Qingyan’s face stiffened instantly. He had never known that his dainty wife was so bold and daring, though he was well aware that she was only acting that way on purpose.

“Hubby, what’s wrong?” mocked An Xiaoning when she saw how upset he was.

Fuming with rage, he replied with much sarcasm between gritted teeth, “Great, that’s a marvellous idea!”

“If you didn’t ask such a question, I wouldn’t have answered that way either,” she retorted, implying that he had asked for it.

Her inner devil seemed to be humming merrily while she was making her way upstairs, having proudly gained the upper hand in their argument.

After a night shower, An Xiaoning sat in front of the dressing table and applied a sheet of facial mask on her face. “I have no idea why, but I find myself looking exponentially better after each shower. Hubby, would you tell me why? Is it because one’s vision is only clearer after a shower?” she asked, looking at Jin Qingyan’s reflection in the mirror.

“Because your brain is damaged and thus your vision is affected too.”

“…”

“Will it hurt for you to compliment me? Come, let me put on a facial mask for you,” bickered An Xiaoning as she stood up and climbed into bed with a fresh pack of facial mask.

“My skin is in such great shape that I don’t need such things.”

“Are you trying to brag about your good skin?” scoffed An Xiaoning, pursing her lips.

She sat on his lap after finishing her sentence. “Even if your skin is that good, you still have to put it on. Now, that’s what they call ‘the husband sings and the wife follows,’” insisted An Xiaoning as she tore the pack open and laid the unfolded sheet of facial mask on his face.

Jin Qingyan did not resist. Instead, he allowed her to continue adjusting the position of the mask on his face. Under the dim, yellow light, An Xiaoning looked more beautiful than ever, with her eyes sparkly and clear as glass.

They laid on the bed, side by side. Not wanting to be a killjoy, An Xiaoning decided to keep mum about the questions she had in her head and pretended not to know anything about the matter.

“Today, I instructed Shixin to install surveillance cameras in the backyard and at the doorstep.”

“The living room too?”

“Yes.”

“Are you sick in the head? This is our home, not your enemy’s battleground,” asked a dissatisfied An Xiaoning as she turned to stare at him.

“I’ve only installed it in the living room. Besides, I’m the only one who has access to the surveillance camera footage. Even if you run around the house naked, I, your husband, would be the only one who sees you doing that. Unless, of course, you choose to do that outside of the living room…”

Who does he think he is? An Xiaoning thought to herself while remaining silent.

“After looking at the footage of the surveillance cameras at the front and back of the villa, I finally found out the identity of the man who showed up here on our wedding night,” said Jin Qingyan. “Do you still refuse to speak up?” he asked, trying to sound her out.

Seeing that he had brought up the matter again, An Xiaoning began to find him extremely petty and narrow-minded. The pot calling the kettle black!

“Just look how shameless you are. I haven’t mentioned a word about your actions, yet here you are, continuously chiding and pressing me for an answer,” retorted An Xiaoning. “Didn’t you say that you had already found out his identity? Why don’t you reveal who he is?” she continued to taunt.

“You’re still acting in front of me? It must be hard on you. I never expected you to know Ye Xiaotian, too.”

“Who?” asked An Xiaoning as she thought to herself, Ye Xiaotian? It was clearly Gu Beicheng, the other night.

“Don’t tell me you don’t know who Ye Xiaotian is.”

“I know who he is, but he doesn’t know who I am.” Everyone in S Nation knows that Ye Xiaotian was a freeloading heir of a wealthy family, with an infamous nickname “Good-for-nothing Freeloader.”

Seeing that Jin Qingyan had remained silent, An Xiaoning reiterated, “I really don’t know him.”

“I don’t want to hear it,” clipped Jin Qingyan, a sudden coldness in his tone. He sat up and tossed the facial mask on his face into the dustbin.

That day, An Xiaoning saw how truly fickle and temperamental he was.

Within the next few moments, An Xiaoning finally understood what it meant by “It’s hard to figure out a man’s mind.”

Thinking that he was stronger, he did as he pleased.

Without a tinge of sympathy for the helpless woman she was.

Why would such a scumbag exist in this world? Coddling and pampering you when he decides to be gentle… becoming as cold as ice when he decides not to.

That damned jerk.

Having cursed him a thousand times in her head, An Xiaoning could not help but feel the temptation to kick him off the bed with all her might, just so she can let off some steam.

——

It was a gloomy and cold morning, with no signs of sunshine at all.

Jin Qingyue had sneakily brought her luggage downstairs. However, to her dismay, Mrs. Jin caught her the very moment she came down, asking, “You’re trying to sneak away with your luggage again, aren’t you?”

“Mother… I don’t wanna stay home. Brother has already gotten married, so why don’t you let me leave? I’ll be back quickly, in a few months,” pleaded Jin Qingyue as she walked towards her mother.

“No,” refused Mrs. Jin as she set the mug down onto the table heavily. “I’ve already agreed with your Father not to allow you to fool around overseas. You are to stay at home and do whatever you want within these four walls. Drop the idea of going out or going overseas all the time,” she continued sternly.

“I have the right to my freedom. What right do you have to restrict me from leaving the house? Mother, I should have fun while I can, before I get too old. When I’m older, do you think I will be happy when I recall the memories of you locking me up at home, depriving me of my freedom during my younger years?” argued Jin Qingyue.

“We shall worry about that when you’re older. You’re already grown up, yet you’re still making your parents worried all the time. After you get married in the future, you’re free to go wherever you want, I wouldn’t restrict you even if you wanted me to,” said Mrs. Jin, her decision final.