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However, An Xiaoning was still a little nervous deep down, mainly because the distance between her and Jin Qingyan had gotten closer.

“If Mr. Jin came here especially because he found out that you’re still alive, that’d be exceptionally touching, just like those romantic scenes in movies. It’s a pity that’s not the case. But it’s alright, you’re setting him up for a surprise, aren’t you, Sis?” Mei Yangyang remarked, appearing a little dejected.

“How does the saying go? Ah, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Once the baby is stable, I’ll tell him about it immediately.”

“I can’t wait for that day to arrive.”

An Xiaoning would have never expected that her well-thought-out plan to give Jin Qingyan a surprise only after everything was stable was going to be destroyed completely by an uninvited guest.

The cloning process using her DNA extract had been successfully completed. The clone shared the exact same genetic traits as her, such as appearance, voice, and blood type. However, it was a complete blank slate with no memory at all, unlike An Xiaoning who had experienced a great deal of trials and tribulations throughout her life.

The entire process only required a mere two months.

However, only Ling Ciye and Long Tianze were aware of the matter at the moment.

The three of them were shocked beyond their senses at the sight of the woman standing before them.

She was identical to An Xiaoning.

“This is really terrifying and creepy. I can’t imagine what’ll happen if I see my clone appear before me in the future. I wonder if I’d kill him right away?” Long Tianze exclaimed.

“Who would make a clone out of you for no rhyme or reason?” Ling Ciye mocked. Staring at the woman in front of him, he asked, “What’s your name?”

“I don’t have a name yet. Please name me,” the woman said smilingly.

“You don’t need a new name. Your name is An Xiaoning,” said Long Tianze.

“No,” Ling Ciye objected.

“Why?”

“I don’t think it’d be appropriate.” Ling Ciye turned to ask Jin Qingyan for his opinion, “What do you think?”

“Yeah, I find it inappropriate too. Why don’t we give her a new surname?”

“Jin Xiaoning,” Long Tianze suggested.

“No. I think we should name her ‘Gu Xiaoning.’ Xiaoning belongs to the Gu family after all. That way, no one will find anything suspicious should they hear about it. Qingyan, what do you think?” Ling Ciye proposed.

“Let’s name her Gu Xiaoning then,” Jin Qingyan agreed. He gazed at the woman before him, feeling as if the love of his life had returned.

It felt just like An Xiaoning had lost her memory and was merely suffering from amnesia.

“From now on, you shall be called ‘Gu Xiaoning.’ My name is Jin Qingyan, you may call me Qingyan.”

A smile formed on Gu Xiaoning’s face as she called his name in a voice that was identical to An Xiaoning’s.

Jin Qingyan acknowledged it, his eyes lighting up in amazement.

“Qingyan, she’s a blank piece of paper. You have to teach her properly.” Long Tianze then introduced himself, “My name is Long Tianze.”

“Hello, Long Tianze.”

Pouting his lips in approval, Long Tianze answered, “Wow, not bad. May I ask you a question?”

“Sure.”

“Who’s the man you love most?”

“Jin Qingyan.”

“What the hell, are you kidding me?” Long Tianze exclaimed as he stared at his friends in amazement and shock.

Jin Qingyan gestured for Fan Shixin to bring Gu Xiaoning upstairs before saying, “When I went to M Nation to check on her progress previously, I instructed the expert to tell her that over and over again during her development process. We must keep this a secret. Tianze, you can’t tell Mei Yangyang, you hear me?”

“How do I answer if she asks me about it?” Long Tianze asked, thinking that there was no way he could keep it from Mei Yangyang.

“Just say that Xiaoning came back to life. I’ll tell the Gu family the same thing too. They won’t go verify it at the graveyard. Besides, she’s indeed Xiaoning. Even their DNA is identical,” said Jin Qingyan.

“Qingyan, I don’t think Xiaoning would approve of your actions if she finds out about it in the underworld,” said Ling Ciye. “Everyone is selfish when it comes to love. She wouldn’t want to be replaced by an identical substitute of herself who’s going to receive all your love, even if the clone was made from Xiaoning’s DNA. Do you understand what I mean? She is indeed identical to Xiaoning in terms of appearance and genetic makeup, but I still feel a little iffy about it, though I can’t quite tell the difference for now.”

“I’m selfish too. I miss her dearly now that she’s not around. Being able to see her and hear her voice every day would make me feel like she’s still around,” Jin Qingyan retorted, causing Long Tianze to gasp in shock.

“Don’t tell me you’re planning to marry her?”

“What’s wrong with that?” Jin Qingyan asked rhetorically.

“…”

“You really plan to do so?”

“I haven’t thought about that yet. We’ll see how it goes in the future. I just want to keep her by my side for now and teach her everything from scratch. You guys may go home first,” Jin Qingyan said solemnly.

He turned around and headed upstairs.

Long Tianze and Ling Ciye looked at each other in dismay, feeling a sudden sense of sadness.

Jin Qingyan opened the door and motioned for Fan Shixin to leave, after which the latter hurriedly zoomed out of the bedroom.

Jin Qingyan closed the door shut.

He had renovated and redecorated the main villa in Wei Ni Estate solely for An Xiaoning.

Yet, she had passed away even before she got to move in.

Jin Qingyan was overwhelmed with sorrow as he stared at the exquisitely-renovated bedroom into which he had put a lot of effort.

The woman sat beside him on the bed with her long locks cascading down her back. With widened eyes, she gazed at him intently.

He leaned in closer and raised Gu Xiaoning’s head by pushing her chin upwards gently with his hand.

Gu Xiaoning and An Xiaoning had identical eyes, brows, nose, and lips. Even the positions of the moles on her face were the same.

To him, they were two separate individuals, though they looked identical.

The woman he loved the most was already dead.

Teary-eyed, Jin Qingyan took a deep breath before saying, “Go get some rest.”

He laid down beside her without taking off his clothes. Gu Xiaoning leaned her head against his chest, blushing red like a tomato.

He stayed wide awake for the rest of the night.

Memories of their past flashed through his head over and over again, images from their very first encounter to the trials and tribulations they experienced together continued to flood his mind.

All of these precious memories were deeply etched in his mind, and he would never forget them.

Jin Qingyue’s newborn was two weeks old. It was a girl.

Shi Shaochuan was utterly disappointed.

All because it was not a boy.

Jin Qingyue had initially opted to deliver her daughter via natural birth. However, due to the unbearable pain and the fact that her amniotic sac was lacking in fluids, as well as how the umbilical cord was coiled twice around the fetus’ neck, she had had no choice but to switch to a C-section instead.

A C-section was a one-time surgery which would not cause any pain during labor. However, Jin Qingyue struggled and winced in pain uncontrollably during the administration of a local anesthetic at the operating table.

The anesthesia had yet to wear off when Jin Qingyue was pushed out of the operating theater. Upon sight of his newly-born daughter, Shi Shaochuan let out a snide remark, “She looks just like a little monkey. How hideous.”