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Jin Qingyue’s brows furrowed into a frown, her ears hurting from her daughter’s constant yelling and tantrums.

Noticing how helpless and frustrated she was, Ling Ciye said, “Look how similar your daughter is to you.”

“I’ve spoiled her rotten, just like how my parents used to spoil me. I was really too insensible in the past. Every time I recall how willful I used to be, I seriously wish I could dig a hole and jump into it. I really can’t believe I did something so foolish. I was such a dimwit.”

Ling Ciye leaned against the seat and said, “I also think you were really foolish in the past. Tianze was such a great catch, yet you never saw the good in him or reciprocated his feelings for you. He’s been especially nice to you since we were young, but you didn’t know how to cherish him.”

“It’s too late to regret now. Sometimes I really wish I could turn back the clock and start all over again, or perhaps go back to a certain time.”

“Do you think you won’t behave impulsively again if that happens?”

“That’s hard to say,” said Jin Qingyue, smiling wryly.

“You’ve changed quite a bit, eh? I haven’t seen you in years, but I feel like you’re a different person now,” Ling Ciye remarked.

“I’m no longer my 21-year-old self. I’m already 28 years old. If I’m still the same as I was back then, wouldn’t I have lived for nothing the past few years? There are no news of my brother now at all. I feel as if the sky is falling down on me,” Jin Qingyue lamented, feeling terribly upset.

“I believe he won’t die so easily, regardless of a natural disaster or an intentional mishap. He’s not going to die. He’s definitely going to come back safe,” said Ling Ciye, staring out of the window.

Jin Qingyue wondered if he said that to comfort her or himself.

An Xiaoning made her way to the Jin Corporation office and was surrounded by a swarm of media reporters and tabloids as soon as she stopped her car.

Fan Shixin alighted from the car before opening the door for her. The moment she stepped foot out of the car, she was greeted with the sight of reporters, who were shoving their microphones in her face.

They bombarded her with all sorts of questions.

“Ms. An, are there any news of Mr. Jin?”

“Ms. An, rumor has it that you and Mr. Jin have gotten married again. Is that true?”

“Ms. An, will you be taking over Mr. Jin’s duties in the company and handle the office matters?”

“Ms. An…”

An Xiaoning put her hand up and gestured for them to stop, after which the initial commotion faded into silence.

Staring at the reporters around her, she began to speak in a hoarse voice, “I shall now address your questions briefly. Jin Qingyan and I have already registered our marriage, though we’ve yet to hold a wedding. Jin Qingyan still hasn’t been found, but I’m positive that he’s still alive. We just haven’t found him yet. It’s only a matter of time before we do though. I refuse to believe that he’s dead, unless I see his corpse with my own eyes. As for the company matters, I’ll be holding a discussion with the board of directors before coming to a decision for our next step. Please don’t ask me about other matters. I’m not in the mood to answer your questions right now. Thank you.”

As she proceeded to walk forward, the reporters began to part like the Red Sea to make way for her while Fan Shixin and a few bodyguards followed closely behind to escort her to the Jin Corporation Office Tower.

All the directors were present in the meeting room and were discussing amongst themselves while waiting for An Xiaoning to arrive.

An Xiaoning stopped in her tracks when she reached the entrance and stared at the door of the meeting room. She was determined to keep Jin Qingyan’s position in the company.

“Our Young Madam is here,” said Fan Shixin as he pushed the door open slowly.

As soon as An Xiaoning entered, the board of directors rose from their seats one after another. An Xiaoning stood in front of the empty seat reserved for her and said, “No one took charge of the company the past few days and the stocks have plunged dramatically. I know all of you are thinking of ways to keep it within control. It’s been hard on everyone.”

She bent forward and bowed down to the directors.

“May I ask, have you remarried CEO Jin?”

“Yes, I have. Thus, I’ll be taking over Qingyan’s duties in the company for the time being, until he returns. Leave the issues the company is currently facing to me. I’ll handle them accordingly,” said An Xiaoning.

The directors did not seem too convinced; a look of apprehension formed on their faces.

“I know everyone is doubtful of my capabilities and finds it hard to believe in me. Let’s start off with keeping the stocks in control then. I’ll prove myself worthy of this position,” An Xiaoning said confidently without shifting her gaze.

“…”

Fan Shixin watched as she spoke with fervor and assurance during the discussion. After the meeting ended, he proceeded to follow her to Jin Qingyan’s office.

An Xiaoning was filled with thoughts about Jin Qingyan as she sat in his office chair.

“Young Madam, after some investigation, I’ve discovered that the tremendous plunge in our company’s stocks was all Ye Xiaotian’s doing. Seems like he’s taking the chance to beat down the Jin Corporation. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be such a rapid fall in our stock prices.”

“Oh, Ye Xiaotian…” said An Xiaoning, knocking her hand gently against the table.

After pondering for a while, she explained her intended strategy to Fan Shixin before instructing, “Prepare me a mobile handset.”

“Yes.”

After Fan Shixin left, she stared at a framed photograph of her and Jin Qingyan on the office desk.

She switched on the computer to see that the wallpaper was a photo of herself.

She continued to work until the afternoon and was plagued with a major headache. At this moment, Fan Shixin entered with a paper carrier and a mobile handset box.

“Young Madam, I’ve done what you instructed me to. The stock prices have stopped decreasing within just hours. This is the new handset you requested, and here’s a copy of your original SIM card. I’ve also bought you some food and drinks. Continue working after you eat something.”

An Xiaoning reached out to take the items from him and said, “Thank you, Shixin.”

“It’s only my duty.”

She switched on her new mobile phone and left it to charge. Realizing that her stomach was rumbling, she began digging into the food, taking one small bite at a time.

“Boss, that fellow is calling you again!” An Xiaoning looked up at Fan Shixin, surprised that the ringtone was the same as her previous phone.

“I was afraid that you wouldn’t get used to other ringtones so I re-downloaded the ringtone you used to have.”

“Oh, that’s great,” said An Xiaoning as she grabbed the phone. She knew that it was a call from Ma Jianguo as soon as she saw the numbers displayed on the caller display.

“Officer Ma.”

“Team Leader, are you alright?”

“Yes.”

“Team Leader, Xu Youran and the man who tried to shoot you previously have both been released. I overheard Team Leader Zhang talking about it while I was in the washroom. Seems like it’s true,” Ma Jianguo said softly.

“Got it, thanks, Officer Ma,” said An Xiaoning, who had a throbbing headache.

“It’s nothing. Team Leader, you have to take good care of your health and beware of your own safety. I reckon that Xu Youran is going to find trouble with you once she’s released.”

“Alright, I’ll be careful at all times, don’t worry. I’ll call you if there’s anything.”

“Alright.”

After ending the call, An Xiaoning said to Fan Shixin, “Xu Youran and that sniper have been released.”

“Didn’t they agree to keep them locked up for half a year?” Fan Shixin groused, feeling slightly infuriated.

“I reckon the Xu family decided to take the matter lightly now that Qingyan is not around.” An Xiaoning then instructed, “Send more bodyguards to guard Father-in-law closely. Don’t allow Xu Youran or Chi Rui’er to get near him.”

“Alright, I’ll transfer more people there to watch him round the clock.”

“Oh and send some people to keep close tabs on Mother-in-law too. Report to me immediately if she’s seen meeting up with Chi Rui’er, Xu Youran, or any suspicious-looking person.”

“Got it,” Fan Shixin agreed.

“Shixin, you haven’t been resting well lately because of the search for Qingyan. You have to take good care of your health. There aren’t many people around me whom I can trust. You’re the only one I can trust and depend on.”