Mei Yangyang headed upstairs while holding onto his hand. Soon after, Mei Yangyang called An Xiaoning’s family doctor. The doctor arrived to put An Xiaoning on the drip.
Mei Yangyang and An Youqing sat there quietly, waiting for An Xiaoning to come to.
More than half an hour later, An Xiaoning finally opened her eyes.
She stared at the ceiling above and tried to sit up straight slowly. However, Mei Yangyang quickly stopped her. “Sis, you’re still on the drip. Lie down first.”
Mei Yangyang placed a pillow behind An Xiaoning’s back to let her rest on it.
“Qingyan… Yangyang, has Qingyan been found?”
“They’ve gone to look for him.”
Completely dejected and distressed, An Xiaoning began murmuring to herself, “If I’d known earlier, I wouldn’t have agreed to go to the beach. If I’d known earlier, I wouldn’t have agreed…”
“Sis, I believe Mr. Jin will be alright. He will definitely be fine,” Mei Yangyang said, trying to comfort her.
An Xiaoning continued to stare blankly into space, as if she did not hear Mei Yangyang at all.
Jin Qingyue entered the room and closed the door behind her. “Sis-in-law, what happened to Brother?” asked Jin Qingyue, who was as pale as a sheet.
An Xiaoning looked at her with tears flowing from her eyes like a tap. “Qingyue, your brother…”
“Hurry, tell me.”
Mei Yangyang briefly explained the situation, after which Jin Qingyue fell to the ground and broke down in despair. “How did such a disaster happen? Why? I refuse to believe it, I refuse!”
An Xiaoning laid back in bed, both physically and mentally exhausted and overwhelmed with a strong agony she had never felt before.
A burning fury was raging within her.
She felt as if she was dying.
She felt as if every living cell within her was eroding her rationality, telling her that it was all real and not just a dream.
Auntie Chen stood by the door with a bowl of porridge in her hands. She wiped her tears and entered the bedroom slowly. “Ms. An, do eat more.”
“I don’t have the appetite right now.”
“You ought to eat at least a little even if you don’t have an appetite,” Auntie Chen said worriedly as she placed the bowl of porridge onto the table.
She turned around and bumped into Mrs. Jin just as she exited the bedroom.
Mrs. Jin pushed the door open and barged in straight away. “Did Qingyan go to N Nation!?!” she barked, shivering from head to toe in agitation.
“Mother, how did you know?” asked Jin Qingyue, who was weeping uncontrollably.
“Of course I know! He called me on the day he left! Where is he? Why are all of you here except him? Where’s Qingyan!?!” Mrs. Jin yelled in trepidation, clearly unable to get a grip on her emotions.
At this point, all she wished to hear was that he was safe; for instance, “Qingyan has gone out” or something of the sort.
Yet, no one gave her the reassurance she needed.
The room was filled with the sounds of faint weeping and cries of misery.
Mrs. Jin walked towards the side of the bed and hollered at An Xiaoning, “I’m asking you, where’s Qingyan!?! Speak up!”
Just as she finished answering, Mrs. Jin slapped her hand across An Xiaoning’s face with all her might.
Mrs. Jin expended all her energy in giving An Xiaoning the hard slap, which made a loud, crisp sound.
The impact was so hard that An Xiaoning began to bleed from the edges of her mouth.
“Mother, what are you doing!?!” Jin Qingyue exclaimed as she hurriedly stopped her mother.
“Did Sis cause this natural disaster? What rights have you got to lay a hand on her!?!” Mei Yangyang snapped angrily.
“Yes, I hit her, what’s wrong with that!?! Yes, I hit her! An Xiaoning, return my son to me!” Mrs. Jin yelled at the top of her lungs, swaying uncontrollably from side to side in despair.
Noticing that Mrs. Jin was about to pounce on her again menacingly, An Xiaoning grabbed her arm and removed the needle on her own hand. “That was a tsunami, I didn’t cause it. I’m in more pain and agony than you are! If hitting me and blaming me will guarantee his safety, then go ahead and do so. But stop being unreasonable and kicking up a big fuss. I’m not in a good mood right now, stop bothering me!” she snapped.
As soon as she ended her sentence, An Youqing pushed Mrs. Jin and glared at her coldly. “My Daddy is not around now. I won’t allow you to bully my Mommy just because Daddy is not around. My Daddy will come back for sure.”
Everyone froze in shock.
Mrs. Jin sat on the ground and broke down in tears.
Her son was the only person she could depend on. If something had happened to him, she would no longer have someone to rely on.
She simply could not bear to watch her son die before her.
“Qingyan… Mother just wants you to be back safe, Qingyan…”
Jin Qingyue squatted down and hugged Mrs. Jin while they bawled together.
News of Jin Qingyan going missing spread like wildfire.
It became a major news headline across S Nation.
The media had also covered photos of Ling Ciye and Long Tianze searching for Jin Qingyan in N Nation together with a bunch of people.
Ling Ciye activated half of Jin Qingyan’s bodyguards and half of his own and deployed numerous planes and submarines to search for Jin Qingyan.
After news of Jin Qingyan going missing broke out, not only were the people around him saddened, the Jin Corporation was also greatly affected: it took a drastic plunge in stocks on the stock market.
It caused a continuous linear decline.
A board meeting with the directors of the corporation was held every single day.
Yet, they could not put an end to the situation or prevent things from blowing out of proportion.
Days later, there were still no news of him.
In fact, everyone knew in their hearts that the possibility of him surviving were grim.
Moreover, the waves were massive.
Even the best swimmer would not escape such a tough ordeal.
Despite the slim chances, the search unit did not cease to continue searching high and low for a single trace of Jin Qingyan.
The disaster had come off as a major blow to An Xiaoning.
She could not stomach any food or water and solely depended on a liquid drip to survive.
Within just days, she lost a huge amount of weight rapidly.
Mei Yangyang was filled with worry and anxiety at the sight of her devastated sister.
She had no choice but to get An Youqing to persuade her.
An Youqing’s eyes were red and swollen from crying multiple times in secret.
However, he never once teared up in front of his mother and would always strive to put on a brave front.
Auntie Chen waited for the food to cool before handing it to him. “Be careful with it.”
An Youqing nodded and slowly made his way upstairs to An Xiaoning’s bed.
“Mommy, time to eat.”
An Xiaoning remained silent and continued to stare out of the window, as if she did not hear him at all.
“Mommy… please don’t be like this. How are you going to look for Daddy if you fall ill?” An Youqing pleaded.
His words seemed to have struck An Xiaoning, who then grabbed the bowl from his hands and began eating with a spoon.
An Youqing looked at her and said, “Mommy, you’ve gotten so thin.”
An Xiaoning expressed assent.
After she finished eating, she placed the bowl onto the table. An Youqing then picked it up and brought it downstairs.
“Has she eaten?” asked Auntie Chen, who was waiting by the stairs.
Auntie Chen patted his head and said, “Good job, Youqing. You’re such an obedient and sensible child. Do persuade Mommy and comfort her often.”
“Yes, got it.”
Auntie Chen then turned around to leave with the empty bowl and began tearing up.
A dead silence filled the air, as if there was no one in the room at all.
An Xiaoning reached out to open the drawer, only to find that there were two red booklets inside.
Was this their marriage certificate from the past?
Her heart wrenched in pain immediately. She held the red booklets in her hand and opened them while leaning against the bed head.
She stared in awe at the photo they took when they registered their marriage years ago.
Back then, they got married swiftly right after they just met.
She shifted her gaze to the date of the marriage.
It was the 27th of March, year XXXX.
Her eyes widened in shock. Wasn’t that the second day of the fourth month on the lunar calendar? she thought to herself.
It was the same day as the gathering.
They boarded the plane to N Nation on the third day of the fourth month of the lunar calendar. Why was the date of their marriage on the second day of the fourth month on the lunar calendar?
An Xiaoning lifted the duvet and hurriedly scurried towards the balcony with the marriage certificate booklets. She took a closer look to find that the date was indeed a few days ago.