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“I’ll be despised by men for being a divorcee and a single mother.”

“It’s already the 21st century, it’s way too common for people to find another partner after they’re divorced. Don’t let the social stigma of being a divorcee hinder you from pursuing your happiness. Uncle and I don’t mind those at all,” Mrs. Ling said smilingly.

Upon hearing her words, Jin Qingyue said, “Auntie, will you and Uncle really be willing to accept it if Ciye gets into a relationship with a divorced single mother?”

The smile on Mrs. Ling’s face faded. “Ciye? I doubt he’d do that.”

“Why not?”

“Don’t you understand your Brother Ciye well enough? He’s always been arrogant and prideful. I was puzzled when I first heard the rumors about you two and I found it really hard to believe. That’s why I decided to come and ask you about it. After hearing your answer, I’m assured that I can trust his taste.”

“Auntie, so you think it’s okay for anyone else to be in a relationship with a divorced single mother so long as it doesn’t concern you, but you and Uncle wouldn’t hear of it if it were to happen to your son, is that so?”

“Um…” Mrs. Ling smiled wryly and said, “Qingyue, it’s not that I discriminate against divorced women like you, I just think that such an outstanding man like your Brother Ciye ought to find a better woman who’s compatible with him. Besides, I wouldn’t allow my son to become someone else’s stepfather even if he’s willing to do so. But not all mothers share the same mentality as I do. Qingyue, you’ll definitely find a man who dotes on you, don’t worry.”

Jin Qingyue’s spirits were greatly dampened.

At this moment, she felt as if Mrs. Ling has already eliminated her as a potential daughter-in-law simply because she was once married and had a child.

After Mrs. Ling left, Jin Qingyue continued to sit there alone and finished her coffee before leaving the café.

An Xiaoning brought the blanket to the most prestigious textile store in the city and asked about which fabric the blanket was made of.

After taking a look at the blanket, the textile designer stared at An Xiaoning in astonishment and said, “Mrs. Jin, we don’t sell such fabric on the market.”

“Why not? Has it been discontinued?”

“No, such fabric is specially imported and only people from the Autumn Palace are allowed to use them. I’m afraid even a person of high status like you may not be allowed to enjoy such fabric, Mrs. Jin. May I ask how you got hold of this blanket?”

A look of bewilderment formed on An Xiaoning’s face. “I picked it up somewhere by accident. I realized that it was of superior quality and thus decided to show it to you.”

An Xiaoning remained silent when she returned inside the car.

Everyone knew what the Autumn Palace was.

It was the present-day presidential palace.

An Xiaoning looked down at the white-colored blanket, which was rather small and barely enough to wrap around a newborn.

This very piece of fabric gave her many ideas that she dared not imagine.

Since time immemorial, places like the Autumn Palace were full of tricks and hidden schemes.

It had never occurred to her that she would one day be related to such a place.

Neither had she ever thought of reuniting with her biological parents in the past.

However, she was now rather eager to find them.

That’s how peculiar humanity is.

As soon as she returned home, she sat on her bed and began searching for information online regarding the Autumn Palace.

However, she could not seem to find any personal information other than the official news released about the palace. Evidently, no one ever dared to discuss about the place, and even if anyone did, any relevant data and forums would definitely have been removed from the internet.

There were far too many personnel within the palace, thus making it a tall order to find out who her parents were.

An Xiaoning felt as if her path was being obstructed by a massive mountain.

She was perplexed and did not have a single clue about how she should start searching for them.

“Sis,” Mei Yangyang greeted, popping her head into the bedroom through the crack of the door.

“Yes? You’re here, Yangyang.”

Mei Yangyang strode in and asked, “What are you thinking about? You seem so engrossed in your thoughts.”

“I’ve been rather troubled lately. Yangyang, I’d like to start searching for my biological parents.”

“Sis, didn’t you say earlier that you don’t want to look for them anymore? Why have you suddenly…”

“Because it just so happens that I share the exact same birth date as the Xu family’s long-lost daughter, and Madam Xu asked me to carry out a DNA test previously. In the end, the results proved that I wasn’t their daughter. The moment I saw Madam Xu bawling in agony and her endless determination to find her daughter, I realized that perhaps my parents had an underlying reason for abandoning me. Maybe they’re also constantly searching for me like how Madam Xu is searching for her daughter. Yangyang, do you think that’s possible?” An Xiaoning explained.

“Yes, anything’s possible before the truth is finalized. Sis, I support your decision. Go ahead and search for them. Sis, where do you plan to start, though?” Mei Yangyang asked.

An Xiaoning looked at her solemnly and said, “Yangyang, I went back to my adoptive parents’ place today and they told me that there was only a white blanket wrapped around me when they first picked me up. I went to the textile store with the blanket, and guess what the textile designer told me.”

“What did he say? Sis, tell me, quick.”

“He said that such fabric is priceless and not sold on the market at all, because only those who belong to the Autumn Palace are allowed to wear them.”

“You mean the royals?” Mei Yangyang asked in astonishment.

“Yes. Since it’s not sold on the market, I doubt ordinary people are allowed to use such fabric. It must’ve belonged to the Majesties.”

Mei Yangyang was shocked beyond words. “Sis, could you be…”

An Xiaoning hushed her and said, “We can’t deduce anything without any evidence. Remember, don’t tell anyone else about this other than Tianze.”

“That goes without saying. You can trust me, Sis,” said Mei Yangyang, patting her own chest.

“I really don’t know where to begin searching for my family. The palace is not somewhere we can enter freely.”

“Sis, we may not be allowed to enter the palace freely, but it’s not impossible if you try to come up with another solution. Don’t forget, you still have the human skin mask. You can just try sneaking in as a servant. But Sis, I doubt you’d have the time to do that since you’re so busy lately,” said Mei Yangyang.

An Xiaoning nodded and said, “Let me think about it carefully.”

“Sure.”

Not wanting Mr. and Mrs. Gu to be worried, Gu Beicheng and Lin Mingxi decided not to tell them about the mishaps they’d met with in M Nation.

They appeared rather relaxed and at ease while gathering around the dining table during dinner, as if nothing had happened at all.

“Mingxi, do you have any plans for the future now that you sold your shares in the company?” asked Mrs. Gu.

“Yes, Mother, I’m planning to open a large-scale fitness center and also invest in a television drama with Xiaoning. But none of these are set in stone yet. Xiaoning has already agreed though. We’ll become partners if she’s interested.”

“I think that’s a good idea. Xiaoning made a huge sum from investing in the movie previously. You’ll be in safe hands by following her,” Mrs. Gu said in utmost approval.

Lin Mingxi took a casual glance at Xu Youran before saying to Mrs. Gu smilingly, “Mother, I admire Xiaoning more and more nowadays. It’s really a blessing for the Xu family to have her as your Goddaughter, Father and Mother.”