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Gu Beicheng shifted his gaze onto An Xiaoning and scanned her from head to toe before saying, “Did you go experience life as a nun on the mountains? I haven’t seen you in a while. Why have you become so thin?”

An Xiaoning remained silent, at a loss for words.

The Gu family gathered around the dining table for lunch.

Before An Xiaoning even spoke, Mrs. Gu announced, “Xiaoning just told me that she’s going to become the Goddaughter of the Chief-of-Staff’s and Commander-in-Chief’s families.”

“Really?” Mr. Gu asked in astonishment.

“Of course. Ask Xiaoning yourself if you don’t believe me,” Mrs. Gu said gleefully.

“It’s true. We’ll be putting the ceremony on hold for the time being, though. I’m too busy lately,” said An Xiaoning while putting on a pair of disposable gloves to peel some prawns.

“I was really happy for Xiaoning after hearing about it. Let’s see which scumbag dares to lay a finger on our Xiaoning in the future,” said Mrs. Gu.

Gu Beicheng burst into laughter and looked at An Xiaoning, who was seated opposite him. “You really surprised me.”

“I’ve surprised you in so many ways before and there are more to come. This is considered nothing,” An Xiaoning bantered.

“Indeed.” Gu Beicheng helped his godson to the dishes and said, “Youqing, eat more.”

“Daddy, I’ve changed my name. I’m no longer called Youqing. My name is now Jin Yiheng.”

“But Daddy likes calling you ‘Youqing.’ What am I supposed to do now?”

“Alright, you call the shots since you’re old,” said Jin Yiheng.

Gu Beicheng guffawed and chided teasingly, “You little rascal.”

“If I’m a little rascal, are you a big rascal, Daddy?”

“…”

Everyone at the dining table burst into laughter, except Lin Mingxi, who was a little displeased.

She was irritated about the fact that An Xiaoning’s son addressed Gu Beicheng as his “Daddy.” It felt as if the three of them were a family while she, the lawful wife of Gu Beicheng, seemed to be the redundant outsider instead.

Moreover, what she found intolerable was the fact that Gu Beicheng merely mentioned that he had a godson but did not tell her that An Xiaoning was the mother.

Why did he have to be the child’s godfather when he’s clearly supposed to be the uncle?

Lin Mingxi suppressed her anger and did not reveal her emotions, up until it was time to leave. She grew visibly upset when Jin Yiheng addressed her as “Auntie.”

“Why does he call you Daddy but addresses me as ‘Auntie’?” Lin Mingxi asked Gu Beicheng in disgruntlement.

“Can’t you see that he hasn’t warmed up to you yet? He’ll naturally address you as his Godma when he becomes familiar with you. But, what’s wrong with calling you ‘Auntie’? You are his Auntie, all right. It shouldn’t matter,” said Gu Beicheng.

“It doesn’t matter to you, but it matters to me. You seemed really happy to be his father. Others might just mistake you to be his biological father,” Lin Mingxi said sarcastically, filled with unhappiness.

“Yeah, I wish I really was. It’s a shame I’m not.”

“…”

Noticing that he was about to walk away, Lin Mingxi hurriedly chased after him and exclaimed angrily, “Gu Beicheng, don’t you think you’ve gone overboard?”

“How have I gone overboard?”

“In every possible way.”

Realizing that she was upset, Gu Beicheng said, “Both Yiheng and his mother are my kin. Before you and I got married, I was already his godfather for a few years. That was before you showed up. Many things have happened before your appearance in my life, so there’s no need to get so angry and uptight about this. I’ll just get Yiheng to call you ‘Godma’ the next time he sees you. Okay?”

Lin Mingxi pursed her lips and decided not to harp on the matter any further. She stepped forward to hug him and said, “Alright, let’s drop the subject.”

Gu Beicheng put an arm around her shoulder and said, “I won’t be going to the office this afternoon. I shall spend some time with you instead. Where would you like to go? I’ll accompany you.”

Lin Mingxi lit up in surprise and joy as a smile formed on her face immediately. “Now that’s better. I shall take you to meet my friends.”

“Sure, but I think there’s something more important for us to do than that.”

“What is it?”

“Getting our bridal photos taken. We may have registered our marriage, but we haven’t held a wedding yet. Did you forget about that?”

Lin Mingxi was delighted to hear his answer. “How could I possibly forget about something so important? I just thought you didn’t want to hold a wedding.”

Raising his brows in puzzlement, Gu Beicheng asked, “Why would you think so? I’ve always been one to finish what I started. Since I’ve married you, it’s only right that I give you a wedding.”

Lin Mingxi’s heart began to flutter as she gazed at him.

“You’re that happy?”

“Of course.”

“Let’s go in,” Gu Beicheng said smilingly.

After dropping Jin Yiheng off at school, An Xiaoning drove back home.

Without even taking a break, she immediately carried her luggage and boarded a plane towards N Nation.

It was her second time going to N Nation.

Yet, she was in a completely different mood as compared to the previous time.

An Xiaoning knew that it would not be easy to find him without the help of anyone else.

But so what if she had to tread through the mountains awaiting her?

She was determined to find him herself and bring him home.

He protected her and put her life before his during the tsunami.

He buckled her and their child into the safety harness before minding about himself.

From today onwards, she wanted to protect him too.

She knew it would not be easy.

However, she had already made all the necessary preparations.

Fortunately, N Nation and S Nation were neighboring countries wherein the native language of Y Nation was widely used.

It was not an issue for her since she had previously picked up the foreign language.

The flight lasted for three hours.

The plane managed to touch down successfully.

An Xiaoning exited the airport with her luggage and hailed a taxi to where the holiday resort by the beach used to be. The condition of the place had improved dramatically over a month.

However, there were still very few people in sight.

Once again, she stepped foot onto this very land.

Trepidation and fear still remained in An Xiaoning’s heart after the trauma.

However, she was also filled with hope, which overpowered her anxiety.

No one could understand how she felt the moment she heard the elderly man say that Jin Qingyan was still alive.

At that very moment, she felt as if she was alive all over again and had found meaning in life.

After putting on a surgical mask atop the human skin mask on her face, An Xiaoning began strolling on the streets along the resort.

Upon passing by a pedestrian, she asked, “Hello, may I know if there’s a hotel or inn nearby?”

“You must be here for a vacation. This place has already been reduced to such a state. How do you even dare to come here? Anyway, there’s an inn ahead, just keep walking straight from here.”

“Thank you.”

An Xiaoning followed the pedestrian’s instructions and began walking towards the roads ahead. As mentioned by the pedestrian, there was indeed a dilapidated inn in front, which appeared rather empty. It was the only building consisting of a few stories that had remained intact after the tsunami.

All the other houses and buildings around it had already been ruined beyond recognition. Yet, this particular building had managed to remain intact. Clearly, it was very well built with a strong foundation.

“Hello, is this an inn?”

“Yes, please come in,” the lady boss of the inn welcomed her enthusiastically, excited to see a potential guest after experiencing a lack of business for a long period of time.

“How much does it cost to stay here per night?”

“100 dollars.”

An Xiaoning handed her the money and said, “I’ll be staying here for a few days, or maybe longer. Can I ask you about something?”

“Sure, go ahead.”

“A close kin of mine has gone missing here. Lady Boss, have you ever heard of an extremely handsome man living with anyone you know?”

“A handsome man?” The lady boss shook her head and answered, “No, I haven’t heard of any. Human flow is scarce here now. It’s actually become much more difficult for people to search for their relatives here because many of the corpses have already been taken away.”

“Alright, thank you.”

The lady boss then brought her to a clean and tidy room upstairs. “Are there still any more rooms upstairs? I’d like to live on a higher floor,” An Xiaoning asked.

Seemingly having sensed that An Xiaoning was still rather traumatized by the tsunami, the lady boss answered smilingly, “There are some more rooms upstairs. I can move you there as long as you don’t find it a hassle to have to climb up and down so many flights of stairs.”