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She could only allow herself to cry and let her long-suppressed emotions out when no one else was around.

Heaven had given her a gift, only to take it away again before she could even enjoy it.

Just how did something so unfortunate happen?

What wrong did she do to deserve this?

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

An Xiaoning whipped her phone out to see that it was a call from Mei Yangyang. She got a grip on her emotions before answering the phone.

“Hello, Yangyang.”

“Sis, have you gone for a checkup at the hospital?” asked Mei Yangyang.

“Yes, I have.”

“Sis, why do you sound like you just cried? You don’t have to worry too much if it’s just a hormonal imbalance. I’ll bring you to the traditional Chinese medicine clinic I went to previously. You’ll be fine after taking some medicine for a period of time,” Mei Yangyang reassured her worriedly.

“It’s not that. Don’t tell anyone, but I underwent an ultrasound scan and the doctor said I’m pregnant,” An Xiaoning said with a sigh.

After a moment of silence, Mei Yangyang said, “Is that the reason why you’re upset…”

“The doctor said it’s very likely I’ll suffer a miscarriage, and I was advised to go for an abortion.”

Mei Yangyang felt like she was on an emotional rollercoaster.

“Why?”

“I’ll tell you the rest when we’re home. Come home in the afternoon,” An Xiaoning said in a feeble voice.

“Alright.”

An Xiaoning proceeded to drive back home after ending the call.

As soon as she arrived home, she removed her makeup with some cleansing oil and rinsed her face with water afterwards.

She then laid onto the bed to rest, feeling exhausted and worn out.

Perhaps it was because she was now aware of the existence of a precious baby she was about to lose anytime soon.

She felt like there was a boulder on her chest as she placed her hands atop her abdomen.

Although there were no physical changes to her stomach appearance-wise, she still felt like something was different.

It was her mentality that had changed.

Needless to say, Jin Qingyan was the father of the child.

However, she could no longer tell him about it.

Being told that there was a 90% chance of a miscarriage was akin to being sentenced to death immediately.

Yet, she wanted dearly to keep the child.

She had a burning desire to keep it.

Thus, she decided from now on that she would try her very best to keep the child. Even if she still had to lose it some day, she would at least have no regrets in the end since she had already done everything she could.

——

After exiting the store at Dongpo District, Xu Jingwen hailed a taxi and made her way to Shi Shaochuan’s office. Using the spare key he had given her, she unlocked his car door and got into his car.

Since there was no internet connection in the carpark of his office building, she decided to lay down in the back seat and play some games on her mobile phone while waiting for Shi Shaochuan to get off work.

Shi Shaochuan was the one who had given her the 30 thousand dollars that she returned to An Xiaoning. He had given it to her right away upon hearing that she was owing a debt.

Xu Jingwen accepted the money without hesitation because she was aware of how wealthy he was. In fact, she felt like she had deserved every bit of that sum of money.

After waiting for him for the entire morning, Shi Shaochuan finally appeared, holding a bag of fast food in his hands.

“I’ve paid the debt of 30 thousand dollars,” Xu Jingwen said while enjoying her food.

“Oh, that’s good. But do you plan to go home every night now?”

“No, I don’t plan to move back home. My parents are too strict with me, I won’t be allowed to leave again once I go home. I enjoy a lot of freedom now because they’re still under the impression that I’m staying at my workplace.”

“How about I rent you a place to stay and give you a fixed allowance every month? You won’t have to go to work anymore then.”

Xu Jingwen was delighted to hear his suggestion, which matched her thoughts exactly. She found it a better idea than going to work, which would not bring her much money despite having to slog her guts out.

All smiles, she gave him a kiss and said, “Does that mean you’ll be providing for me from now on?”

“Don’t you wish for me to?”

“I do. I’ve seen the news, your wife is pregnant, isn’t she?” Xu Jingwen asked, wolfing down her food quickly.

“Do you think you’d have the chance to cozy up to me if my wife wasn’t pregnant?” said Shi Shaochuan, sounding a little haughty and conceited. He stuck his hand into her shirt and onto her bosom before continuing to speak, “As long as you don’t mind the fact that I have a wife and family, you’ll enjoy a life of luxury from now on just by staying by my side as a kept woman.”

Xu Jingwen wiped her mouth after finishing her cup of milk tea and answered, “I just have to wait on you and pleasure you, right?”

“You’ll make the cut if you promise to keep it from my wife too.”

“Got it. Don’t worry, I won’t seek unnecessary trouble.”

“Clever girl,” he said, nodding his head in satisfaction.

Xu Jingwen pleasured him in the car before heading to Chi Rui’er’s place in the evening.

Chi Rui’er’s initial warm and welcoming smile faded as soon as she heard that Xu Jingwen had quit her job at An Xiaoning’s clothing store.

“Weren’t you supposed to continue working for her for a year?”

“I’ve returned her money. Sis Rui’er, looks like you’re going to deliver soon. I actually came by today to tell you that I won’t be accompanying you anymore from now on,” Xu Jingwen said smilingly.

“You’re quitting this sideline too? You’ll be paid 3000 dollars a month just to chat with me.”

“Yes, I’d like to quit. My boyfriend said he’s going to provide for me from now on. He was the one who helped me clear my debt too.”

Chi Rui’er was both infuriated and flustered, for her initial plan to control and make use of Xu Jingwen to her advantage had now gone awry. How was she supposed to plant a mole beside An Xiaoning now that Xu Jingwen had decided to quit?

It seemed her painstaking efforts and the scheme she had plotted for months were about to go down the drain very soon.

“Jingwen, I’ll be paying you monthly to simply chat with me. It’s such an easy job. Are you really going to let Sis down?”

Noticing how upset she had gotten, Xu Jingwen said, “I know you treat me really well, Sis, but I just don’t feel like working anymore. You can’t possibly force me to, right?”

“But I just love forcing others to do things they don’t like to. Did you know that you’ve done drugs once?”

Xu Jingwen froze in shock and fear. “Did you say… drugs?” she asked, staring at Chi Rui’er, who had a malicious and sinister smile on her face.

“That’s right, it happened just a few days ago. Don’t you remember feeling a little strange and unlike your usual self after leaving my place that evening?”

Of course she remembered. Xu Jingwen grew into an uncontrollable rage as she snapped, “You vicious and cunning woman! How could you feed me drugs!?!”

Chi Rui’er let out an evil laugh. “How can I control you otherwise? I reckon you’ll be experiencing withdrawal symptoms soon enough.”

“Why did you have to do that to me!?!” Xu Jingwen hollered.

“Didn’t I already mention earlier? I did it just so I could control you. I’ve given you so many presents and paid you such a high salary just to chat and relax with me. Of course there wouldn’t be such a simple and easy job. There’s no free lunch in this world. You are to be good and abide by my instructions from now on. Only then will you have an easy life. But if you choose not to, it’s fine by me. I’m not the one who’ll lose anyway,” Chi Rui’er said bluntly.

All she had to lose was her painstaking efforts.

“What do you stand to gain from controlling me?”

“That’s none of your concern.”

Suddenly reminded of An Xiaoning’s words, Xu Jingwen continued, “I guess it’s true that you once tried to kill An Xiaoning. Your purpose for controlling me is just so you could harm An Xiaoning, isn’t it? I’ve really thought wrong about you. I actually thought… turns out, you’re far worse than An Xiaoning!”

“It’s up to you to say whatever you want. It doesn’t matter to me at all. You’ll be begging me in the future,” scoffed Chi Rui’er, staring at Xu Jingwen coldly.