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From the Gu family, only Mr. and Mrs. Gu, Gu Beicheng, and Lin Mingxi came. As for Gu Dongcheng and Xu Youran, An Xiaoning did not invite them. She did not use to harbor any grudge against Gu Dongcheng, but after what happened in M Nation, she felt that this couple really got on one’s nerves and it was better to not invite them.

This lunch brought everyone closer to each other.

It was the first time the Commander-in-chief’s only son Jin Minxing had come along with his parents to see his godsister. Towards this goddaughter his parents had acknowledged, he had no objections, but he was utterly unfamiliar with her. While he was usually quite outgoing, he was unusually quiet at the dining table and did not speak a lot.

An Xiaoning noticed him as well. “Minxing, why aren’t you talking?”

Madam Jin explained, “He’s rather shy with strangers. This child is usually not like that, he’s extremely lively. But it’s the first time he’s seeing you, so he’s shy.”

An Xiaoning laughed lightly. “What’s there to be shy about? We’re all family.”

Madam Jin turned to her son. “You heard that? Your sister said we’re all family. Family for life. Come, have a glass with your sister.”

Jin Minxing got up. “Sister, this toast is to you.”

“Umm, alright.” She clinked her glass with his, and both emptied the glass in one gulp.

The gathering this time made An Xiaoning extremely happy.

They were all family not related by blood.

But to be able to become one family, wasn’t it all the work of fate?

In addition, they could satisfy each other’s needs. An Xiaoning was also clear about how important it was to sincerely put oneself in another’s shoe.

When the gathering had ended, Lin Shishi in particular could not bear to leave. “Sister, I like you so much.”

An Xiaoning hugged her tightly. “I like you very much as well. Shishi, you’re in university now, are you staying in the dormitory?”

“Yes, my mother says it’s not safe to go back and forth every day.”

“There can be a lot of disputes in school as well. You ought to be careful in everything you do,” An Xiaoning reminded her. “Always be wary of the people around you.”

“Umm, I understand.”

After sending all the guests out, An Xiaoning turned and hugged onto Jin Qingyan’s waist tightly. There was still a few hours before nightfall, but she was already unwilling to part with him.

“Honey, when I’m not around, you better not be smitten by other young girls.”

He had his hand around her as they walked back into the house. “I’m already smitten so badly by you, other people don’t stand a chance.”

An Xiaoning reached out and used her leg to touch his leg lightly from behind while he did the same. The two were like children, hugging each other tightly as they merrily skipped back into the main house.

Fan Shixin stood afar, touching his chin as he chuckled non-stop.

“Chief, what’s wrong?” Xiao Bai popped his head out and asked.

“Nothing much. Have you prepared everything I told you to?”

“Yes.”

“Umm, very good. You’ve worked hard.” He patted Xiao Bai on his shoulders and briskly walked away.

“Ms. Jin, there’s a parcel for you.” As Jin Qingyue came back from the market, she ran into a worker from the district who casually told this to her.

“Parcel? For me? But I haven’t bought anything online.”

“It’s indeed yours.”

“Alright, I’ll sign on it.” Jin Qingyue followed him to the office and quickly signed on the paper, receiving her parcel.

When she reached home, she glanced at the address from the sender. It was from the same city.

Jin Qingyue took a pair of scissors and cut the parcel open. The moment the parcel was opened, she let out a high-pitched scream.

A fake rubber snake popped out from the box, giving her a huge scare.

After observing it carefully and realizing it was fake, Jin Qingyue was no longer in a good state.

She suddenly remembered that time when she had sent a dead rat to her sister-in-law. She was probably feeling the same as her sister-in-law did at that time.

She silently threw the parcel into the rubbish bin. At this point, Jin Qingyue did not wish to know who had sent it. She only knew that this person did not want her to be happy.

Because back then, she had sent those dead rats to An Xiaoning with that thought as well.

It dawned upon her that she had really gone overboard back then.

If the sender wanted her to be upset, why would she go according to that person’s wish? She would not let the sender of the parcel get their way.

She was bent on being happy.

She boiling some soup at home, then changed into an exquisite outfit to meet Ling Ciye.

After she arrived at his place, the doorbell rang.

The first thought that came to her mind was — Could it be Song Yan again?

As she looked out the peephole, she realized it wasn’t. It was actually Mrs. Ling.

They had only met each other briefly. If she were to see her here like this, wouldn’t that be akin to admitting to her relationship with Ling Ciye?

She hurriedly went into the house and called Ling Ciye.

She then placed the soup on the kitchen cabinet, then closed the door of the kitchen, returning back to her room discreetly and locking the door from inside.

The doorbell continued to ring, but Jin Qingyue was so stupefied that she did not dare to come out.

She continued to wait until Ling Ciye returned.

Seeing his mother at the door, Ling Ciye asked, “Mother, why are you here?”

“Nothing much, just came over to look. I heard you have a new girlfriend, is that true?”

Ling Ciye laughed. “Who did you hear this from?”

“You don’t have to care about that. I’ve pressed the doorbell for so long and the person inside still hasn’t opened the door. Don’t tell me I’m being kept out on purpose?”

“But there’s nobody inside.” Ling Ciye opened the door, entering the house with his mother.

After entering, Mrs. Ling instantly smelled the fragrant smell of soup. She immediately went to the kitchen to check and opened the lunch box on the kitchen cabinet to discover that it was filled with piping-hot soup.

“Isn’t this cooked by a woman? You’re still lying to me?”

“Couldn’t I have been the one who made it?” Ling Ciye did not want to let his parents know about his relationship yet. He wasn’t sure if he and Jin Qingyue were really suitable, so it was best to keep it from his parents first.

“Ciye, I went to look for Song Yan in the afternoon. She said you have a new girlfriend. I asked her who it was, but she didn’t tell me. What on earth are you thinking?”

Ling Ciye did not understand what she meant. “What do you mean?”

“You’ve been with Song Yan for so many years. I see she’s quite a nice person. Why did you break up with her?”

“We’re unsuitable for marriage, so I broke up with her.”

“Then who’s suitable for marriage with you?”

“Your son is still in the process of finding the person.” Ling Ciye knew Jin Qingyue was still in the house, so he remarked, “Alright, Mother. If you have nothing else, I have things to do.”

However, Mrs. Ling glanced at him and could see through his motive. She turned and headed out of the kitchen, checking his bedroom. Seeing that there were no women’s things there, she went to the room next door, but the door was locked. “Is she inside?”

“Mother, this room is a storage room. I keep all the things I don’t use inside.”

“I don’t believe you, open it to show me.”

“Mother…” Ling Ciye saw that his mother was extremely keen on finding out, so he said, “Then, you can stay here. I have other things to do, I’m going out.”

She watched as he took the lunch box from the kitchen and was about to leave, but Mrs. Ling stood there not moving an inch.

He walked to the door, then turned back. “Mother, I won’t be back tonight. If there’s food in the refrigerator, you can stay here tonight.”

Mrs. Ling waved him away. “I’m confident that there’s a woman inside. You, don’t lie to me, just go. Go where you have to, don’t bother about me.”

Ling Ciye nodded and really shut the door as he left.

On the other hand, Jin Qingyue was in for a hard time. She had thought that Mrs. Ling would leave after some time. Who knew that even after a very long time, she would not leave.

The bedroom only had one window, but it had an anti-theft function and it was pretty far from the ground floor. It was evident that she could not sneak out from the window and could only wait on like that.