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The meal went on smoothly and they shared the entire bottle of whiskey between themselves. Lin Mingxi could not hold her liquor well and thus got extremely tipsy while Gu Beicheng was still rather sober.

She could not even walk steadily when it was time for them to part.

Gu Beicheng had no choice but to help her into his car and send her home.

Once they got into his car, he reached out to help Lin Mingxi fasten her safety belt, only to have his hand grabbed by her all of a sudden. Staring at him with her eyes glassed over, she said, “Gu Beicheng, can I tell you an honest opinion?”

“What is it?”

“I feel really good about you.”

She hugged his arm and placed her head on his shoulders while murmuring, “Gu Beicheng, let’s get married.”

Gu Beicheng remained silent, greatly taken aback by her sudden confession.

He pushed her hand away from his arm and fastened her safety belt, as well as his. He then began driving slowly towards her house.

Twenty minutes later, they arrived at the entrance of the Lin family mansion.

“Lin Mingxi, you’re home.”

She humphed and eased herself into a comfortable position in the passenger seat.

Gu Beicheng tapped her a few times. “Lin Mingxi?”

She was asleep like a log.

Gu Beicheng had no choice but to carry her out of the car and bring her inside her house.

Lin Mingxi’s parents were shocked to see Gu Beicheng carrying her home.

“Hello, Uncle and Auntie. We had some drinks during dinner earlier, but it turns out she can’t hold her liquor well and got drunk. So, I decided to send her home.”

“I’ll have to trouble you to carry her to her bedroom then,” said Mrs. Lin, who was as happy as a lark.

Mrs. Lin then showed him the way to Lin Mingxi’s bedroom.

Gu Beicheng put on a courteous smile and carried Lin Mingxi to her bedroom.

Mrs. Lin did not enter and instead headed back to the living room. “Did you see how dashing and suave he was? He’d be a suitable partner for Mingxi.”

“Yes?”

Gu Beicheng carried Lin Mingxi onto the bed. Just as he was about to let go of her, Lin Mingxi grabbed onto his arms tightly and slowly opened her eyes.

They exchanged glances, after which Gu Beicheng said, “You’re home now. I don’t know if you drove to the restaurant or not, but if you did, your car is probably still there. You may go back tomorrow to drive your car home. I’ll be taking my leave now.”

“Gu Beicheng.”

“Yes?”

“Will I get the opportunity to have a meal with you again?”

Gu Beicheng continued to stare at her without uttering a word. “Will I?” Lin Mingxi repeated herself, feeling a little dejected.

“I’m not free tomorrow. How about the day after?” Gu Beicheng asked.

“Sure,” Lin Mingxi agreed right away, keeping her eyes fixed on him and beaming with joy.

“I’m going home.”

Lin Mingxi let go of him and watched as he left her bedroom.

She placed her hands on her face, which was burning red.

She opened her eyes before closing them again.

We’ll be meeting again the day after tomorrow … she thought.

Lin Mingxi was filled with happiness and excitement at the thought of meeting him again.

Does this mean there’s a high chance we would get together? she wondered.

“Mingxi,” said Mrs. Lin as she entered her daughter’s bedroom.

Lin Mingxi greeted her mother.

“How was dinner this evening?”

“Great.”

“Your father and I are very pleased with Gu Beicheng. You have to grasp the opportunity to date him. I can tell at one glance that he’s different from Ye Xiaotian,” said Mrs. Lin.

“Yes, we agreed to meet again the day after tomorrow.”

Placing her hands together, Mrs. Lin exclaimed delightfully, “Great! There’s hope in marrying you off now.”

“…”

After a long silence, Lin Mingxi asked, “Do you resent the sight of me in this house that much, Mother? Why are you in such a hurry for me to get married?”

“I’m just sparing a thought for you, Mingxi. It’s all for your own good. Expectant mothers who are in their thirties are at a higher risk than those who are in their twenties. Besides, the younger you give birth, the quicker your body would recover. For example, if you two were to begin dating now, you would probably only get married after at least a year. How old would you be by the time you get pregnant and give birth? Not to mention, this is in the event that everything goes smoothly as soon as possible.”

Lin Mingxi closed her eyes and said, “You’re thinking way too far ahead. We still barely know each other.”

“Then hurry and make some progress. Don’t just keep waiting for others to court you. Men all fancy women who play cute and cozy up to them. You have to imagine that you’re still as lively as an 18-year-old and make yourself more adorable.”

“That’s just pretending to be young.”

“Exactly what I want you to do. Go get a new haircut tomorrow, followed by a facial at the beauty salon. You have to capture his heart before everything else can come to fruition.”

“Got it, Mother. I’m tired, I’m going to sleep.”

“Alright, go to bed then.” Mrs. Lin then quickly exited her bedroom.

Gu Beicheng returned home to find that An Xiaoning, his parents, and Gu Dongcheng were playing mahjong.

Upon seeing that he was home, An Xiaoning greeted, “Hey, you’re home?”

“Yes, why are you guys playing mahjong?”

“I didn’t know how to at first but Mother taught me the rules and I picked it up rather quickly. So, I decided to play a few rounds with Father and Mother. I heard from Mother that you went for a blind date. How did it go?” asked An Xiaoning.

“It was alright. It was with Lin Mingxi,” said Gu Beicheng as he took a seat.

“Lin Mingxi is a determined one. She managed to survive ’til the end of the exercise boot camp too. Anyway, we used to bicker and fight really often during training. I haven’t seen her in years. The coach called all of us for a gathering next week,” An Xiaoning said smilingly.

“Had I known earlier, I would’ve joined back then too. Unfortunately, I was busy with work at the time, unlike Jin Qingyan. He actually joined as a Commander and even bought over the boot camp with a hefty amount of money, all for your sake,” said Gu Beicheng.

“That’s enough, stop mocking me,” An Xiaoning teased with a grin.

An Xiaoning did not bring up the matter about Xu Youran in front of Gu Dongcheng, as if nothing had happened at all.

Gu Dongcheng did not mention anything either.

Everyone seemed to have a tacit understanding.

It was already past eight o’clock in the evening when An Xiaoning left the Gu family mansion.

She drove home to Wei Ni Estate.

Jin Qingyan was standing straight and waiting for her by the entrance.

She alighted and made eye contact with Jin Qingyan. “Why are you standing so still by the entrance at this hour?”

“To wait for you, of course. I can’t rest my mind unless you’re back.”

An Xiaoning’s lips curled into a smile as she stepped forward to hold his arm. “It must’ve been hard on you. I should’ve come back earlier.”

“What did you go back for?”

“To have a look.”

Upon returning to their bedroom, An Xiaoning removed her clothes and headed to the bathroom right away for a warm, comfortable shower.

Jin Qingyan took the initiative to bring her undergarments from the dressing room to the bathroom and hung them onto the hook. “Are you really willing to let her off so easily?”

“What else can I do? Her entire family works for the government. Military Commander Xu is wealthy and is a person of high authority. Justice means nothing and the law can’t have a hold on you as long as you have a powerful status. I’ve realized that fact a long time ago,” An Xiaoning said with her eyes half-closed, leaning her head against the bathtub.

Jin Qingyan picked up the showerhead and tested the temperature of the water before helping her wash her hair. “It’s been hard on you.”

“This world is too dangerous. We have to be on guard at all times.”

Jin Qingyan squeezed some shampoo onto his palm and allowed it to lather before applying the foam onto her hair. “I will do my best to protect you from now on. Although I’m not sure if I can keep you 100% safe, I’ll ensure at least 90% of your safety. I’ve hired someone to make the three of us a bulletproof vest each. They’ll be ready very soon,” he said while massaging her scalp.

“How thoughtful of you,” An Xiaoning praised.