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When the doctor began operating on her, Chi Rui’er clenched her fists and jaw tightly in nervousness and pain. The pain was more unbearable than she had imagined.

Chi Rui’er was trembling uncontrollably on the operating table throughout the minor surgery, which lasted only a few minutes. She became feeble and weak due to excessive blood loss.

“If you don’t think you can walk now, you may rest for half an hour before getting up.”

“It’s alright, I can walk.”

“The results will be out in four to five days. Do leave your contact number behind. We’ll call you once they’re out.”

“Alright.”

Chi Rui’er left the hospital looking as pale as a sheet and returned home. Noticing how sickly she looked, Mrs. Chi asked, “What’s the matter with you?”

“My period is here. It’s a little too heavy this month.”

“You have to nourish yourself properly then. I’ll go to the market later to buy some ingredients that are good for replenishing your blood,” said Mrs. Chi.

“Alright, I’ll go rest on my bed,” Chi Rui’er returned to her room and laid down on the bed immediately.

She did not want her mother to be worried; thus, she did not tell her about the dilation and curettage surgery she had just undergone.

Her mother used to be and still was her only kin in the world.

She was almost thirty years old, yet she had accomplished nothing except a pathetic life.

Chi Rui’er prayed that the results of the checkup would show that she’s all clear.

All of a sudden, her phone began to ring. She picked it up from the table to take a look and realized that it was Xu Youran who called.

She did not quite feel like picking up.

However, she still swiped to answer nonetheless.

“Hello.”

“Why didn’t you answer when I called you at two o’clock?”

“I was having a checkup at the hospital. Do you have any orders for me?” Chi Rui’er asked.

“It’s been too long. I decided I’m going to start exposing your relationship with the old fogey.”

“Are you really going to do it?” Chi Rui’er asked nervously.

“Yes, so you’d better prepare yourself. There are going to be a ton of photos being leaked to the public.”

“Actually, I’d like to ask you a question.”

“What is it?”

“Why do you want to do this? Do you and the Jin family…”

“That’s not something you should be asking about or poking your nose into. Just do as I instructed. Don’t forget, I’m your savior,” Xu Youran said coldly.

“Could you not expose it?”

“No. My decision is final,” Xu Youran said firmly.

“But it’ll be a huge blow to my mother when she finds out. She’s always been in the dark about my relationship with him.”

“What has your mother’s reaction got to do with me? You’d better send your mother abroad or a secluded place where technology is scarce. Otherwise, I don’t care what consequences there may be.”

Grabbing her phone tightly, Chi Rui’er answered, “It’s up to you. I’m hanging up.”

Chi Rui’er was filled with panic and fear the moment she put down her phone.

She could not fathom why such fear arose within her.

“Godma, when are my parents coming back?” Long Xiaoxi asked while laying on An Xiaoning’s lap.

“I don’t know either. Shall I give them a call?”

“Yes, yes, yes,” Long Xiaoxi agreed profusely as she sat up straight.

An Xiaoning then called Mei Yangyang, who answered the phone very quickly.

“Yangyang, how are things on your side?”

“Great, we’re enjoying ourselves. By the way, are they causing a nuisance at your home?”

“Not at all, they’re very obedient. Xiaoxi is next to me right now. Would you like to speak to her?”

“Yes.”

“Here, it’s your mother on the line,” said An Xiaoning as she placed her mobile phone into Long Xiaoxi’s hand.

Long Xiaoxi placed the phone beside her ear and answered, “Mommy.”

“Have you been obedient at home?”

“Yes I have. Mommy, when are you coming back? Brother and I miss you already.”

Mei Yangyang could not stop grinning upon hearing her daughter’s sweet words. “Mommy misses you guys too. We’ll be home very soon. I’ll be bringing you guys lots of presents.”

“Yay, that’s awesome. Come home quick, Mommy.”

“Okay, I will definitely be back soon. Be patient and wait a little while more, alright?”

“Alright.”

Long Xiaoxi handed the phone back to An Xiaoning. “Godma, your turn to speak.”

Long Xiaoxi then got off the couch and ran upstairs.

She pushed the door of An Youqing’s bedroom open gently, only to find that he was sitting by his desk and doing his homework. She decided not to enter and instead returned to her bedroom and sat on her bed without uttering a single word.

“Xiaoxi, do you want to do some homework?”

“No, what is homework? Can I eat it?” she refuted, sounding extremely frustrated.

“What’s wrong?” Long Wenlun turned around and continued to do his homework.

“Brother, do you think I’m pretty?”

“Yes.”

“In your eyes, am I the prettiest girl in the world other than Mommy?”

“Yes, you are,” Long Wenlun said without hesitation, as if he had already memorized his answer.

“Why doesn’t Brother Youqing think I’m pretty then?”

After some thought, Long Wenlun answered, “You actually still remember? He’s just kidding.”

Long Xiaoxi kicked her slippers off her feet and crawled under her duvet in bed, not uttering a single word.

After finishing his homework, An Youqing entered their room in a bid to ask them to play.

“Has Xiaoxi fallen asleep?” asked An Youqing.

“She’s still angry with you.”

“Why is she angry?” An Youqing asked in puzzlement, clearly having forgotten the incident.

Long Xiaoxi grew angrier upon hearing his answer and purposely turned her body to the side under the duvet.

“You said that your table mate was prettier than Xiaoxi,” Long Wenlun said to remind him of what happened.

“I was just joking,” An Youqing explained.

“But she took it for real.”

An Youqing inched closer to Long Xiaoxi and lifted the duvet to speak to her. “Xiaoxi, shall we play together?”

“No.”

“Alright. Wenlun, let’s go outside to play.”

“Okay, give me a minute, I’m almost done,” said Long Wenlun as he quickly completed his homework.

Long Xiaoxi clutched her duvet tightly in anger while remaining silent.

Once Long Wenlun was done with his homework, he switched off the lights and left the room together with An Youqing.

Long Xiaoxi sat up and attempted to get down from the bed. However, she missed her step and fell straight to the ground and landed on her buttocks. The sudden impact and pain caused her to burst into tears.

She stood back up on her feet and quickly made her way downstairs.

“Godma, where did Brother go?” she asked.

“He went outside. He should be in the courtyard,” said An Xiaoning.

Long Xiaoxi quickly ran outside, only to find that there was no one around.

She continued to search for them to no avail. Thus, she had no choice but to return inside.

While sitting on the bed, she burst into tears all of a sudden at the thought of how aggrieved she felt.

Soon, she heard footsteps approaching, after which the door opened.

“I know you girls love flowers. Here’s some for you. Don’t be angry anymore,” An Youqing said in apology, handing her a bunch of fresh flowers he had just picked.

Long Xiaoxi stopped crying and burst into smiles at the sight of the flowers. She reached out to grab them and took a sniff of the petals. “They smell so pleasant.”

“Do you like them?”

“Yes.” Long Xiaoxi placed the flowers aside and inched forward to put her arms around his shoulder. “Brother Youqing, you’re the most handsome person in my eyes. I should be the prettiest to you too.”

“…”

“Xiaoxi, didn’t you say that I was the most handsome in your eyes and that our Daddy is second to me? Why is it not the case now?” questioned a disgruntled Long Wenlun.

“You’re now in second place while Daddy is in third place. Brother Youqing is the most handsome.”