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An Xiaoning raised her glass and clinked it against hers. “It’s all in the past. We ought to look forward to the future. What’s important is that you’ve learned from your mistakes.”

“Since you’re so accurate in your predictions, would you help read my fortune?” Ling Ciye asked An Xiaoning.

“Of course. Tell me your birth characters. To make things clear beforehand, I only ever tell the truth without sugar-coating my words. Don’t get angry if you hear something you don’t like. But of course, it’s entirely up to you to decide if you want to believe me. I think you have good judgment, though,” An Xiaoning reminded.

Ling Ciye chuckled and said, “Are you afraid I’ll get angry? I believe you, and I believe in my future too. Perhaps your words might give me a clearer idea of what to expect. I was born on the 22nd of February, at ten o’clock in the morning. You know my address.”

A grave expression formed on An Xiaoning’s face as soon as she heard his answer. Noticing how stern she looked, Ling Ciye asked calmly, “Is my fortune bad?”

“Which aspect would you like to know about?”

“My marriage. I’d like to know if I’ll have a blissful marriage.”

An Xiaoning burst into laughter and asked, “Were you frightened by how austere I looked?”

“A little… did you do it on purpose?”

An Xiaoning smiled and said, “Congrats, you got the right answer. You’re destined to be married once and have two children, but… I think I’d better tell you this privately.”

“It’s fine, there are no outsiders here. Go ahead.”

“Your first child will pass away at the end of this month.”

Everyone was instantly dumbfounded. End of this month?

It’s the child Song Yan was carrying, wasn’t it?

Ling Ciye stared at An Xiaoning and asked, “Are you sure?”

“Yes. Do you know what Song Yan’s birth characters are? I can help predict the marriage prospects of you two,” An Xiaoning asked.

Ling Ciye nodded and said, “Yes, she’s told me before. She was born in the same year as me, on the 9th of August at four o’clock in the afternoon. I remember it very clearly.”

An Xiaoning smiled and said firmly, “Your birth characters clash with each other. You two won’t end up getting married.”

Everyone gasped in shock.

Ling Ciye was rather confused upon hearing her words. “But you said that I’d be getting married…” he said in bewilderment.

“You will, but not to her. That’s all I can reveal. It’s mainly up to you to decide.”

Ling Ciye did not have much of a reaction and instead said, “Indeed. I’ve gotten a better idea about my life now after hearing from you. Actually, I’ve been constantly asking myself this question lately. If she wasn’t pregnant, would I have continued staying in a relationship with her and end up marrying her? But in fact, my heart has been telling me ‘No’ time and time again. After all these years of being in a relationship with her, I’ve had enough of her fickleness and her unreasonable personality. I also can’t stand how much of a workaholic she is. Since it’s all destined, I won’t force it and just let nature take its course then.”

An Xiaoning admired him for his open-mindedness. “If you don’t know what you want, just ask yourself what you don’t want. If there’s something or someone who’s causing you endless misery, you might as well let it and let him or her go. Only then can you live in peace and joy.”

“I finally understand why Qingyan loves you so much. Xiaoning, not only are you beautiful and great at fortune-telling, you have an excellent mindset too,” Ling Ciye said in a moment of enlightenment.

“Did you only realize it now? Ling Ciye, you’ve crossed the line. Have you always been skeptical toward our relationship before this?” An Xiaoning humphed.

“Of course not…”

The moment Jin Qingyan entered, he was greeted with the sight of everyone engaged in joyous conversation while gathered around the dining table. Turns out, everyone had already begun eating and drinking without him.

He sat in his seat and poured himself half a glass of wine.

“Where did you go? You didn’t answer my calls.”

“I went out to take a walk.” Jin Qingyan raised his glass and said, “Cheers.”

Everyone conceded and clinked their glasses against his.

An Xiaoning continued to eat and drink while maintaining her composure, as if she had not witnessed what happened earlier at all.

By the time they were almost done with the meal, Ling Ciye grabbed his phone and left the room. Even the blind could tell that he had gone out to make a call. To the astonishment of all, he returned with a sullen expression on his face.

He grabbed a bottle of liquor and chugged it down in one go.

Everyone could tell that he was upset.

“That’s how she always is…” Sitting on the couch with his head hung low, he said feebly, “She always puts her career before everything else, nothing is more important than work to her…”

“Being a celebrity has always been a stressful job. Once she signs the contract, she’ll have to adhere to every instruction and arrangements made by the production unit,” An Xiaoning said, trying to comfort him.

“I told her I would pay the compensation sum for breaching the contract… Although, in the past… we’d been together for a few years, and the time we spent together was never as much as the time she spent with the staff of her artiste management agency or her colleagues. Xiaoning, I actually already guessed the outcome when you were reading my fortune, because I can’t see a future with her at all. Thankfully, you said that I would get married and have two children. I saw hope in my life after hearing your words,” Ling Ciye murmured with his eyes glassed over.

An Xiaoning remained silent while Jin Qingyan dragged her upstairs.

“You read his fortune?”

“Yeah, what’s wrong?”

“Why did you do that?”

“He was the one who asked me to. I’m not the type to lie, and I always tell the truth anyway. So, I told him straight that there’d be no future for him and Song Yan’s relationship. What’s wrong?”

“Couldn’t you be more tactful with your words?”

“No.” An Xiaoning was actually already angry at him for hanging up on her. Yet, he still had the cheek to blame her for telling Ling Ciye’s fortune instead of giving her an appropriate explanation.

“An Xiaoning…”

“Jin Qingyan… what do you want?” she retorted, staring at him fearlessly.

“Nothing.”

An Xiaoning pulled the door open and made her way downstairs.

Ling Ciye had had one too many to drink. An Xiaoning instructed Fan Shixin and Long Tianze to help him into the guest room, followed by getting Auntie Chen to brew him some broth in a bid to help ease his hangover.

“Sis, we shall take our leave then,” said Mei Yangyang, waving goodbye at her.

“Alright.”

An Xiaoning returned upstairs and entered the bathroom straight away, completely ignoring Jin Qingyan, who was sitting on the bed.

As she was showering, he pushed the door open and barged in.

An Xiaoning ignored him and continued to bathe herself.

Jin Qingyan stood beside her to shower himself. He then tried to hug her, only to have her push him away.

“Are you angry? I was just asking you a casual question. Do you have to get so upset?” He said, trying to coax her.

“I’m not angry,” she said calmly.

“Your expression gave it all away, yet you’re still trying to deny that you’re angry.”

An Xiaoning did not respond and exited the shower immediately after she was done. She draped a towel across herself and proceeded to dry her hair, leaving him alone in the bathroom. He then quickened his pace and exited soon after.

An Xiaoning put on a sleeveless silk nightdress and sat in front of the dressing table while spreading a sheet of facial mask across her face.

He did not bother drying his hair and instead just walked towards her in a bid to hug her again from behind. To his surprise, An Xiaoning’s elbow hit him right in his crotch forcefully, preventing him from advancing forward.