An Xiaoning looked out of the window and said, “I think he is around the vicinity of the spot where he plunged into at the start. But, we can’t be sure now since it’s already been more than a month. Even if he was injured, he should’ve almost recovered by now. This just makes it harder for us to find him. Shixin, don’t you find something unusual about this?”
“What’s so unusual?”
“By rights, Qingyan’s injuries should be more or less recovered by now if he’s still alive. Since he’s still alive, why hasn’t he come back to us?” said An Xiaoning, making eye contact with him.
“Maybe he doesn’t have money for transport?”
“But we’ve already put up many notices in that area and announced that we’re searching for him and offering a monetary reward to whoever finds him. If anyone had seen him, they would’ve definitely contacted us for the reward. Five million dollars is not a small sum to many, let alone victims of a disaster who are undoubtedly in desperate need for money. Even if Qingyan is penniless, he could’ve also looked for the members of our rescue team or borrowed some money to call us. Given his intelligence, he would’ve surely found a way to reach us. Yet, why hasn’t he returned?” An Xiaoning questioned in puzzlement.
“Young Madam, could he have been trapped?” Fan Shixin asked with a frown.
After analyzing the situation, An Xiaoning said, “I think there are two possibilities. One could be that he has been kidnapped, and the other, that he has lost his memory.”
“Lost his memory?” asked Fan Shixin, gaping with shock.
“Based on the scenario and conditions, those are the only two possibilities I can come up with. During the tsunami, he plunged straight down into the ocean from the helicopter. The waves were way too huge to have allowed him to swim away. Besides, there was another massive wave soon after he landed in the ocean, which must’ve washed him much further away. Think about it, there are so many boulders along the coast. If he got washed up ashore, it’s very likely that he had hit his head on one of those boulders. Moreover…”
After some thought, she continued, “Amnesia is a very common disorder in our lives. You may go to the hospital to observe the patients or browse through news online. There had been so many incidents that all resulted in amnesia, such as methane poisoning or a car accident. Memory loss may be temporary or long-term, and some victims may even suffer from short-term memory. These could’ve happened to him. So, the only two possibilities now are that he’s either trapped or suffering from amnesia.”
“Young Madam, you make so much sense. After hearing what you said, I also think that these are the only two possibilities. As long as Young Sir is still alive, we’ll definitely find him,” Fan Shixin said confidently.
“Yes, I think so too. But we have to rack our brains for a solution to find him quickly with no blunders.”
The helicopter soon arrived in the hangar of Wei Ni Estate.
The first thing An Xiaoning did once she returned home after alighting from the helicopter was to take a shower and change into a fresh set of clothes.
After getting dressed, she packed some clothes into a small luggage and made her way downstairs.
“Young Madam, didn’t you mention that you’re going to proceed with the acknowledgment ceremony as soon as you come back?”
“Nothing’s more important to me now than finding your Young Sir. The ceremony can wait. I’m afraid he’s going to drift farther and farther away from me the longer I delay the search. Perhaps he had already gone somewhere else, we can’t be too sure about it. I think it might be better for me to search for him alone rather than deploying rescue teams, which will catch too much attention. Shixin, report to me about the matters at the office every day. I’ll leave you to take care of the things at home,” An Xiaoning said softly.
“Young Madam, I’ll be worried about your safety if you go alone.”
“Are you worried about my reflexes and my combat skills? I’ve taken safety precautions and armed myself with two daggers, a whip, and two guns, each containing thirty bullets.”
Fan Shixin did not utter another word of disapproval, for he could tell from the look of determination in An Xiaoning’s eyes that she was unstoppable.
“Alright, go ahead then. Leave everything here to me. But, I still think searching for him by yourself is akin to finding a needle in a haystack…”
“It won’t be. I have my own ways. You don’t have to worry.”
“You haven’t seen Little Sir in a month. Would you like to take a look at him before leaving?”
“Yes, I’ll set off after lunch.”
She had initially wanted to have lunch at home. However, she received a call from Mrs. Gu even before noontime.
Mrs. Gu called to say that she had missed An Xiaoning after not seeing her for so long and wanted her to return to the Gu family home for lunch.
An Xiaoning agreed.
She proceeded to pick Jin Yiheng up from school in the afternoon and brought him back to the Gu family home.
“Hey, my little grandchild. Come with Grandma,” said Mrs. Gu as she held Jin Yiheng by his hand and entered the house.
“Mother, I haven’t seen you in so long. You’re looking more energized and radiant than before.”
“Of course, that’s because I’m in a good mood.”
They sat down on the couch, after which Mrs. Gu asked, “I heard you went to live in the mountains for a month. What were you there for?”
“To visit a master. He insisted that I live there for a month, so I did,” An Xiaoning said smilingly.
“Oh, I see. I was wondering why I couldn’t reach you on your mobile phone. I only knew you went to the mountains after Beicheng went to look for you.”
An Xiaoning placed both hands on her lap and said smilingly, “By the way, Mother, I have something to tell you guys later.”
“What is it?”
“I’ll announce it later when everyone is present.”
“Can’t you tell me first?” Mrs. Gu urged.
Thus, An Xiaoning decided to tell her, “I’ll be setting off later in the afternoon to somewhere far away for a period of time. When I return, I’ll be holding an acknowledgment ceremony with the Chief-of-Staff’s and Commander-in-Chief’s families.”
“Yes, I’ve agreed to become their Goddaughter.”
“Both families? That’s splendid, Xiaoning. Others don’t even get the chance to acknowledge one, yet you managed to acknowledge both families at once to be your Godparents,” said Mrs. Gu, pleased to hear the piece of good news.
“Heaven must have taken pity on me for being an orphan and decided to bless me with three sets of parents.”
Mrs. Gu chuckled and said, “Yes, yes. But, I’m getting a little jealous. Are you going to stop wanting to see me after you’ve acknowledged two other Godmothers?”
“Of course not, Mother. In the future, the three of you will matter the same to me. The Xu family is being too tyrannical, bullying me to the extreme. Xu Youran has been trying to kill me time and time again. Yet, she’s going to become my sister-in-law and my family soon. Mother, it’s going to be tough for me if I don’t have a stronger backing behind me. So, once they’re married, you, Father, and Beicheng have to be extra cautious whenever I’m not around,” An Xiaoning said softly.
Mrs. Gu understood An Xiaoning’s concerns and hugged her gently. “Mother understands. Xiaoning, I’m very happy that you’ll be able to acknowledge them as your Godparents.”
Gu Beicheng and Lin Mingxi returned home to the heartwarming sight of Mrs. Gu and An Xiaoning in each other’s embrace. Gu Beicheng lit up with joy and joked, “I get a little jealous every time I see Mother and Xiaoning being so chummy with each other.”
“What are you getting jealous for? We’re mother and daughter. Isn’t it only normal for us to get along well?” Mrs. Gu retorted.
“Xiaoning, Mother has been urging me to look for you in Wei Ni Estate repeatedly when she couldn’t reach you during the time that you were away. She was worried sick about you and kept asking about what was going on.” Gu Beicheng sat down and crossed a leg over another. “I was filled with envy and jealousy when I saw how much more concerned and caring Mother was towards you than she is to me,” he continued.
Mrs. Gu giggled in amusement and said, “I see you almost every day, do you really need special concern?”