“Do you think I need you to teach me what to do?” Gu Dongcheng hissed before putting the book away and reaching a hand inside her pajamas. “I’m not getting any younger, and neither are you. We’re both married too. It’s time we bear a child. You’ll be at higher risk if you choose to wait another few years and give birth at an older age.”
“I don’t want to give birth to a child. Women tend to gain weight and develop poorer skin conditions when they’re pregnant. I don’t want to become hideous.”
“You can always just lose the extra weight. I don’t mind you being chubbier anyway. Besides, I can’t be childless. What do you think?” said Gu Dongcheng, giving her a pinch.
“But I don’t want to.”
“Fine, I’ll just have to find another woman to bear me a child then.”
“How dare you!” Xu Youran snapped.
“Why not? Since you don’t want to bear me a child, why can’t I look for another woman to do it? It’s not like you’re infertile, you just don’t want to. Am I supposed to remain childless for the rest of my life?”
Xu Youran rolled her eyes and said, “I was just making a casual remark. Did you take me for real? I don’t want to end up being childless either. Although I really don’t want to go through pregnancy, we have to give birth to a child no matter what, be it a girl or a boy.”
The tension on Gu Dongcheng’s face finally eased up as he answered, “That’s more like it. If you really plan on not bearing me a child for the rest of our lives, I would’ve married you for nothing.”
Xu Youran kissed him and said, “I want to bear you a child. Let’s do it right now. From today onwards, let’s stop taking any contraceptive measures until I fall pregnant, alright?”
“You said it yourself,” said Gu Dongcheng, grinning from ear to ear.
The next morning, An Xiaoning drove to the village near the mountains and river together with her bodyguards.
She alighted from the car to ask the villagers about her adoptive parents, only to find that the business they set up a few years ago had failed. Thus, they ended up having to pay a large sum of compensation. They initially planned to buy a house in the city but had no choice but to move back to the village and rebuild a house because they could not afford the expensive property in the city. Their son got married last year and are getting on pretty well, except An Xiaoning’s adoptive mother constantly got into arguments with her daughter-in-law.
Of course they would live well with the two million dollars they took from An Xiaoning.
An Xiaoning was not emotionally attached to her adoptive parents at all. She would never bother stepping foot into the village again if it weren’t because she wanted to know more about what happened when she was abandoned as an infant.
She brought her three bodyguards to the entrance of the newly-built home and entered.
The moment she stepped foot inside the yard, she could hear sounds of an ongoing commotion coming from inside.
“If you think it’s dirty, why don’t you cook it yourself? You’re too lazy to cook your own meals and yet you still want to complain. Seriously.”
“Since you built this house for me, shouldn’t you and Father move out of here? Why are you so insistent on living with us and getting in our way!?!” a voice, clearly belonging to the daughter-in-law, hollered.
“The money used to build this house came from us, not Xiaonan. Don’t think the house has become yours just because you married Xiaonan. You’ve been married to him for less than two years and you’re already thinking of chasing us out. Dream on!”
An Xiaoning stood rooted to the ground in bewilderment. She waited for the argument to be over before entering the living room.
Both Mrs. An and her daughter-in-law were dumbfounded to see An Xiaoning. “Xiaoning?” Mrs. An questioned in astonishment.
An Xiaoning stepped forward and said, “I’m here to ask you about something.”
“Come in first,” said Mrs. An as she turned around to enter the house.
It was the first time An Xiaonan’s wife was seeing An Xiaoning in the flesh. She was aware that her husband had a sister with whom he had lost touch. “Sis, please take a seat,” she offered politely, knowing fully that An Xiaoning was a person of status.
The greeting rolled off her tongue smoothly, as if she had already rehearsed it countless times before.
An Xiaoning did not respond and asked Mrs. An straight away, “Where’s… Uncle?”
Needless to say, she would never address him as “Father” again.
“He went to the field. He should be back soon.” Mrs. An quickly instructed her daughter-in-law, “Go call your father-in-law to come home.”
“Okay.” The daughter-in-law hurriedly rushed out.
“Have you guys been getting on well the past few years?” An Xiaoning asked calmly.
“We’re fine, except Xiaonan has gotten married and I’m always arguing with my daughter-in-law. We just don’t see eye to eye.”
“I heard everything when I was at the door outside. Since you don’t enjoy living here, why don’t you build another house? You’ll be more comfortable that way.”
“Xiaonan is my only son. Besides, this house is so big and there are so many rooms. It’s more than enough for the two of them. Xiaonan always reads about you on the news. You’re more famous than a celebrity. I heard you got divorced and married again,” said Mrs. An.
“Yes.” Refusing to discuss her personal life with Mrs. An, An Xiaoning cut to the chase and said, “I came back this time with the main purpose of asking you about the exact details of what happened when you adopted me. I’m planning to search for my biological parents. I won’t make you tell me for free. Rest assured, I’ll be paying you a sum of money in exchange for the information.”
Mrs. An lit up with joy upon hearing that she would be offered money. “We’ll tell you everything when your Uncle comes home,” Mrs. An said excitedly.
“Okay,” An Xiaoning agreed.
Less than twenty minutes later, Mr. An returned, appearing to have rushed back home.
So did An Xiaonan, who was working in another village.
They used to be a family of four. However, they were completely unrelated to each other.
“Sis, I missed you,” An Xiaonan exclaimed.
An Xiaoning acknowledged him with a nod, feeling slightly heartened even though she did not know if he truly meant it or not.
She then repeated everything she told Mrs. An, after which Mr. An said, “I saw you along the roadside back then and you were wrapped inside a blanket. I took pity on you and decided to bring you home with me.”
“Were there any special items inside the blanket?”
“No, there was nothing at all, not even a single piece of paper.”
Feeling a little disappointed, An Xiaoning continued to ask, “What color was the towel?”
“It was a white-colored blanket that was rather thin. You were dumped along the streets while wrapped inside the blanket without any clothes at all. Your hands were sticking out of the blanket, and your face and lips were almost purplish due to the freezing temperature. Hubby, it was the day after a heavy storm, right?” Mrs. An answered.
After trying to recall what happened back then, Mr. An said, “It’s already been so many years. How could I possibly remember so clearly? But I remember it was freezing that day.”
“Yeah. Anyway, it was really cold that day. If it weren’t for us, you would’ve frozen to death on the streets. When we brought you home, you were so hungry that you didn’t even have the energy to bawl. I then got your uncle to buy some milk formula to feed you. Xiaoning, you’ve now become a person of status and wealth. To be frank, those two million dollars you gave us are just peanuts to you. Although it’s true that your uncle and I didn’t exactly treat you very well when you were young, we didn’t starve you or subject you to poor living conditions either. We even raised you for a few years. We may have sent you to live in the mountains afterward, but…”
Mrs. An did not know what else to say next.
“I know. Other than that, are there any more special features about the blanket?”
Mr. and Mrs. An shook their heads in unison and said, “No.”
Seemed like she had made a wasted trip today.