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In the evening, the rain was pouring down heavily and continued to wash the ground.

An Xiaoning was actually very fond of the sound of rain.

Seeing the sky grow darker, she stood at the door, rather worried.

She was wondering why Jin Qingyan had not returned and was about to call him to ask.

Once she whipped out her phone, a familiar car came driving through the front gate.

She placed her phone into her pocket and swiftly hid around the doorway.

After Jin Qingyan kept the umbrella aside and came in, she abruptly jumped out, giving him a huge scare.

“Honey.”

He reached out to pinch her cheeks. “Do you have nothing better to do than scare me?”

“How do you know? Why are you so late today?”

“I worked overtime for an hour.” He naturally held onto her hand. “I must say, you really deserve some praise.”

“Your Highness, what compliments do you have for your servant? Please speak.”

He couldn’t help but break into a grin. “The young and talented team that assisted you is really capable.”

“Yangyang helped me find them. Without them, I would not have been able to tide through the hurdle. I promised them quite generous terms. You know, if you give people what they need most, they will do their utmost to help you. It’s a logic that’s never changed.” An Xiaoning held onto his arm. “Do you have something else to tell me?”

“Your eyes are really sharp.” Jin Qingyan sat down. “I want to hear your honest opinion. Do you really want to enter the Autumn Palace to search for your parents?”

Seeing the look of seriousness on his face, An Xiaoning nodded her head earnestly. “Qingyan, if you don’t find out the truth for some matters, it might really be a lifetime regret. Only after I’ve tried will I not regret it.”

He held onto both her hands, his fingers lightly rubbing against her skin.

“I’d wanted to wait for a few days or even some time more to go in. But now, there’s a very good chance for you to get near to the members of the royal family.”

An Xiaoning’s eyes brightened up upon hearing his words. “Really?”

“Umm. But I don’t dare think about the consequences.” He visibly hesitated for a while. “If you go in, you must wear a mask or you’d be easily recognized. If you wear a mask and successfully get near to the royal family, the consequences if you were to be exposed would be severe. It’s heavily guarded inside, and there’s lesser freedom as compared to outside the palace. Moreover, we won’t be able to see each other for a long time.”

Hearing him say this, An Xiaoning suddenly had thoughts against entering the Autumn Palace.

Noticing that she was silent, Jin Qingyan added, “Do what you want to. I know you’ll be very careful and the chances of you being exposed will be very small. You’ll be able to protect yourself well too, so I’m still quite assured about it.”

“Qingyan, I somehow feel that the presidential palace is like the Royal Palace of the ancient days. Going in to find out about my past will indeed be tough. But as you’ve said, for you, for Yiheng, and for myself, I will do my utmost best to protect myself. No matter what, we ought to do something really meaningful in our lives. That way, we wouldn’t have lived in vain.”

Jin Qingyan pulled her into his arms tightly. “Alright, you’ll go tomorrow night then. From tonight until tomorrow, I’ll explain the rules there to you to prevent you from getting into trouble there.”

“You know the rules inside?”

“What does your husband not know? Apart from carrying a child.”

An Xiaoning was utterly amused by his remark. After dinner, Fan Shixin brought over a book that contained all the rules of the Autumn Palace.

Reading the content of the book, An Xiaoning was really in for a shock.

“Why are there so many rules? There’s just too many.”

“Just remember them in your heart after reading through them. Watch what the people around you do, and don’t be too impetuous.” Jin Qingyan read the rules with her. “Our President is about to step down soon, it’s still uncertain who becomes the new President. You must be extremely cautious inside.”

“I got it.” An Xiaoning was like a student, obeying every word of the teacher beside her.

“Also, look at this. It clearly states that servants and bodyguards are not allowed to wear revealing clothes. I’m completely assured with you about this. I know you won’t wear them.”

“Of course, I only wear them in front of you. Right, what position am I going in as?”

“A bodyguard.” Once Jin Qingyan answered, the corner of An Xiaoning’s lips twitched. “You’re sending me in as a female bodyguard?”

“Don’t tell me you want to be a servant who has to be tirelessly cleaning all the time?”

She brightened her smile. “Of course not. Honey, you’re the best. I love being a bodyguard. Right, whose bodyguard will I be?”

“The Royal Princess’ bodyguard.” Jin Qingyan had it all clearly set. “I won’t arrange for you to work for the Prince. What if he falls in love with you, what will happen to me?”

“What a worrywart.”

The following day, when An Xiaoning saw the mask Fan Shixin had brought, she sniggered at Jin Qingyan for a while.

“With this looks, you think the Prince would fall for me? I think even the Uncle who cleans won’t take a fancy to me.” An Xiaoning was slightly disgusted with the mask. “Isn’t it a little too ugly?”

“The uglier you look, the safer you will be.”

“What kind of logic is that?” An Xiaoning tried putting on the mask. “When I look like this, will you still be able to kiss me?”

Without any hesitation, he kissed her lips. “Of course!”

An Xiaoning pushed him away. “That’s only because you know how I really look like. However, it’s different for others. This mask is so exquisite, it looks too real.”

“Of course, I made the best for you, lest you get exposed. I don’t want a single problem to crop up for you.”

“Why aren’t you going to work today?”

“I’m not going, I’ll accompany you at home.” He stretched out his body, pressing her body right down onto the sofa.

Witnessing this scene at the door, Jin Yiheng had his eyes covered as he turned around, running away sensibly.

In the afternoon, An Xiaoning hosted a banquet at home, inviting the Jin, Lin, and Gu families over.

As she would not be able to see them for some time, An Xiaoning decided to hold this banquet to have a good catch-up with them.

The families had all arrived and brought gifts.

“Father, Mother, it’s enough that both of you are here. What’s with the gifts?”

Madam Jin laughed. “It’s fine, Mother didn’t buy anything expensive. It’s just a token of sincerity.”

“Then, I’ll accept them,” An Xiaoning replied with a bright grin.

“Sister.” Lin Shishi went forward and remarked heartily, “I haven’t seen you for so long. I told Mother I wanted to find you to play, but Mother said you were busy and not to disturb you.”

“I was indeed rather busy recently. Today, I called everyone here because I won’t be at home for a few months. I thought since I wouldn’t be able to see all of you for a few months, I would miss all of you. So, everyone please take a seat. Let’s talk as we eat.”

The group of people moved to the dining area and got seated one after another.

Thereafter, Auntie Chen and the maids served the sumptuous dishes onto the dining table. It was a generous feast, with a wide variety of delicacies that filled up the long table.

Jin Qingyan stood up and spoke. “Since all of you are Xiaoning’s family, you’re my family too. Here’s a toast to all of you, as a part of this family.”

Seeing him stand up, everyone started standing up in succession and raised their glasses to the toast. Everyone was in an especially ecstatic mood given the lively atmosphere.