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There was a sumptuous feast, along with some red wine, spread across the dining table. Chi Rui’er sat by the side of the table, her face flushed red like a tomato, her eyes glassed over. It seemed she had been drinking quite a bit.

“You’re here so late. Making the rounds?”

“It’s my home, I can come anytime I want. How can you call that making the rounds?” said An Xiaoning with a smile.

“Please take a seat, Ms. An,” scoffed Chi Rui’er.

“Please call me Mrs. Jin. I remember telling you this the last time we met. I’ll decide myself if I want to take a seat. It’s my house anyway. Please don’t act like you’re the Mistress of this house,” An Xiaoning retorted as she took a glance at the couch.

“Oh, are you trying to show your authority now? Why? Trying to chase me away?” sneered Chi Rui’er.

“Since my husband has allowed you to put up here, I won’t chase you away,” said An Xiaoning in response.

“You may try doing so. However, I’m afraid you’ll be the one having to pack your bags instead, Mrs. Jin.”

Unfazed, An Xiaoning stared at Chi Rui’er, thinking to herself that the latter was by no means easy to handle, judging from her attitude.

“You’re so certain about that?”

Chi Rui’er responded with nothing but a smile. Of course, she was not certain; she would have a hard time gaining the approval of Jin Qingyan’s Mother and Grandmother.

“Boss, someone is calling you again!” cranked An Xiaoning’s ringtone. After taking a look at the caller display, she answered the call and spoke in her most gentle and delicate voice, “Hubby, I’m outside now. Are you waiting for me? Alright, I’ll be back in a jiffy. Mwah.”

An Xiaoning walked towards the door as soon as she ended the call. With clenched fists, Chi Rui’er stared coldly at An Xiaoning’s retreating figure.

Once she arrived at her house, An Xiaoning pulled up at the doorstep and placed the lunchbox on the passenger seat onto her lap. She opened the lunchbox and began wolfing down its contents with a pair of chopsticks. Although she was not hungry since she had already eaten, she struggled with the temptation to throw the lunchbox out of the window. Not wanting to waste any food, she thought it would be a better idea to finish it instead.

She was stuffed beyond her limits by the time she finished the food. She then drove into the backyard after wiping her mouth.

After entering through the gate, she handed the lunchbox to Auntie Chen. Just as she was about to make her way upstairs, Jin Qingyan stopped her in her tracks. “I heard from Aunt Chen that you brought me lunch at my office. Is that true?”

“No, you heard wrong. I didn’t intend to bring you lunch,” answered An Xiaoning as she stomped upstairs.

The moment Jin Qingyan followed her up, An Xiaoning handed him the agreement they had drafted together. “I’ve kept my job at the production unit for an entire month. Sign here,” she said.

Without objection, he signed the document accordingly and agreed to grant any one wish of hers.

“What is your wish?”

“I haven’t thought of one. I’ll tell you about it when I do,” she said while putting the agreement away. She then continued to rub her full belly.

“Did you finish the dumplings all by yourself?”

Ignoring him, An Xiaoning sat on the bed, whipped out her laptop, and proceeded to surf the net.

“I’m speaking to you.”

“Didn’t hear you,” she said passively.

Thinking that she must be angry, Jin Qingyan tried to placate her, “I just didn’t want you to overthink.”

“So you decided to lie to me instead. Pretending to be a good man, working overtime and everything. Ugh, save it!” she hissed as she turned to look at him with a stiff smile.

“It was a white lie,” he defended himself, grimacing.

“Stop speaking. I don’t feel like hearing your voice right now, it’s absolutely revolting. Why did I even agree to marry you without much consideration?” she asked, although it seemed she was reflecting on herself instead. “Indeed, you can’t be careless when it comes to marriage,” she added.

“Do you regret it now?”

“Absolutely. I regret it very much,” she answered harshly while glaring at him.

“You want a divorce?”

“I didn’t say that. I still want to enjoy life as Mrs. Jin, I haven’t thought about divorce yet.” Glaring daggers at him, she continued, “But please, don’t touch me from now on. Since you enjoy being unfaithful and having an affair so much, I’ll make a cuckold out of you as well. We shall see who gets the last laugh.”

“…”

Jin Qingyan was strongly appalled by the words that came out of his wife’s mouth.

“It was just a meal, wasn’t it? How is that being unfaithful?”

“Who knows what could have happened? A candlelit dinner with wine for two, accompanied by melodious music. What a wonderful ambiance,” she mocked sarcastically.

“You were there?”

“So what if I was? It’s my house and I have the freedom to enter as I please. Why, you don’t want me to be there?” she asked bluntly. The idea was getting on her nerves the more she thought about it.

“Of course not. Don’t be angry, I promise to have all my dinners with you in the future. She and I are just friends, nothing more,” consoled Jin Qingyan as he leaned in closer towards her.

“You don’t have to explain yourself further. I’m so upset right now.”

“Don’t be upset anymore, honey…”

An Xiaoning closed her eyes and opened them again to look at him. “I ate a lot more than usual, of course my stomach would be upset,” she said.

“…”

——

Mei Yangyang proceeded to quit her job like she said she would. She gave An Xiaoning a call as soon as she returned home from the production unit.

When the two met, An Xiaoning was no longer concealing her looks with makeup. It shocked Mei Yangyang, who then blurted, “Sis, did you get plastic surgery last night?”

“Plastic surgery? Of course not. I was just disguising myself with makeup.”

“Sis, do you know who Jin Qingyan is?”

“Yes, he’s my husband.”

Mei Yangyang received yet another shock as she processed what she had just heard. With a smile on her face, she went through the motions of making obeisance and greeted, “Paying you my respects, Young Madam.”

Blushing, An Xiaoning poked her arm and said, “That’s enough, don’t pull that trick on me.”

“I really would’ve never expected that. Sis, why did you want to work with the production unit?”

“I made a bet with my husband. He would grant me a wish if I managed to keep my job for a month.”

Finding it hard to believe what she had just heard, Mei Yangyang asked, “That’s it?”

With a nod, An Xiaoming continued to suggest, “I’m planning to open a women’s apparel store. What do you think of that?”

“That’s a great idea. I used to be a store assistant, though I haven’t tried selling clothes,” said Mei Yangyang in approval.

“Hop in the car, let’s go look at some shops.”

Mei Yangyang opened the car door and got into the passenger seat. “Sis, I’ve never ridden in such a luxurious car my entire life,” said Mei Yangyang, her eyes wandering about the interior of the car.

“You’ll get to do it very frequently in the future.”

“Does Brother-in-law know about your intention to venture into the fashion business?” asked Mei Yangyang.

“No. I make decisions on my own. There’s no need to discuss with him,” answered An Xiaoning as she revved up the engine and began driving slowly.

“That’s nice. I read on the news that a certain rich man’s wife had become a baby-making machine as soon as she married him. She doesn’t enjoy the freedom of doing whatever she wants at all.”

“I’m not like those women,” An Xiaoning said with a smile. “I would rather die than to live with the sole purpose of pleasing my husband. I only live for myself, not for my husband or even my child.”

Giving her a thumbs-up, Mei Yangyang showed her approval, “Sis, I really like how confident you are. It is indeed a blessing to have met and become friends with you.”

“At which location do you think we should open the shop?”