It was no exception this time. Shi Xiaoyu was exceptionally thrilled to see the woman quiver without uttering a single word.
She then turned to the guards watching the woman and instructed, “Guard her closely and make sure she eats and drinks. Don’t let her die.”
“Madam, she tried to kill herself on several occasions by biting her tongue. I had no choice but to dislocate her jaw…”
“Fix her jaw, I want to speak to her. I can guarantee that she won’t try to kill herself again after hearing what I have to say.”
The first thing Shi Xiaoyu said the moment they fixed her jaw was, “You’d better not think of attempting suicide. You are to remain in this living hell for the rest of your life. Your daughter…”
The woman raised her head abruptly to look at her as soon as she heard her words.
“She’s still alive. You don’t feel like dying anymore now, do you?” Shi Xiaoyu taunted with raised brows.
“I don’t believe it. How could such a vicious woman like you possibly let her live?” the woman answered.
“Sister…” Shi Xiaoyu had never addressed her that way in a long time. “Although we’re half-sisters who have different mothers, I’m not that ruthless as to kill your child straight away. I instructed someone to abandon her instead. Your daughter is still alive and she’s living well.”
“Shi Xiaoyu, do you really think I’d believe you?”
Shi Xiaoyu picked up her mobile phone and found some photos of An Xiaoning online, which she then showed the woman. “See, she resembles you greatly. It’d be so hard to keep her identity as your daughter under wraps.”
The woman believed her words the moment she saw the photo of An Xiaoning, who seemed just like the spitting image of her younger self.
“Thank you for letting her off…”
“Why? Am I not a vicious woman now? You can’t bear to try and take your own life anymore now that you know your daughter is alive, huh?” Shi Xiaoyu scoffed.
“Does Rui know about this?”
“He does.” In fact, if it weren’t because of Tuoba Rui’s instructions to keep An Xiaoning safe, Shi Xiaoyu would long have plotted a scheme to kill An Xiaoning.
“Where is she now?”
“Your daughter is really something. I don’t know how she managed to do it, but she actually married the heir of the Jin family. You must know how wealthy and powerful they are. She’s a glorious Young Madam now. Both you and your daughter yearn so much to cling to the wealthy and powerful, yet why aren’t you as lucky as your daughter? Or is it because you’re no match for me at all?” Shi Xiaoyu sneered.
“What’s the point of saying this now? If it weren’t because of how shrewd and scheming you are, how could I have possibly been defeated by you?” the woman retorted.
“Quit putting the blame on me. If Rui loved you deeply enough, I wouldn’t have been able to come in between you two.”
Shi Xiaoyu was overwhelmed with a sudden sadness at this very moment, for she knew that she could never replace the supposedly-dead woman’s position in her husband’s heart despite having given him a daughter and two sons.
Staring at her, the woman requested, “Xiaoyu, could you show me a photo of my daughter?”
“I’ll show you if you beg me,” she taunted, glaring at the woman condescendingly.
“Please, I’m begging you, Xiaoyu, I’m begging you.”
“Hahaha, I really didn’t expect someone so strong-headed like you to one day be begging me for the sake of looking at a photo. Shi Qingzhou, it had never occurred to me that you would ever beg me. I shall show it to you then.” She took a look at the other door of the basement before instructing the two guards, “Watch her closely and come see me in the living room this evening.”
After she left, Shi Qingzhou began bawling loudly with tears. She had long lost her mobility after being locked in the basement throughout all these years. In the initial years, she had a strong thirst for revenge, and it was that very thirst for vengeance that had kept her alive until today. However, she began to lose her desire and hope for escaping as she realized that she was getting on in her years.
She felt that she was better off dead.
Yet, her hope was again awakened.
Now that she knew that her daughter was still alive and had become the Young Madam of the Jin family, she was more than determined to escape this hell hole. As long as she could do so, she would be allowed a new leash in life and finally see the light of day again!
Thinking about her daughter who resembled her greatly, Shi Qingzhou clenched her jaw as a burning desire began to ignite in her heart.
While accompanying Tuoba Danxue back, a thought kept running through An Xiaoning’s mind: The president and his wife would definitely try and find out who their daughter fancied.
It was highly likely that Jiang Feng and his family would be implicated and thus receive a punishment they did not deserve.
They were truly innocent and undeserving of such trouble.
Yet, she was in no place to interfere.
Such cases were rampant amongst wealthy families, what more the royals.
Besides, she had her own troubles to worry about that she, unfortunately, had no clue where to start resolving.
The three of them arrived back from the President’s mansion. As soon as they stepped foot inside, they were greeted with the sight of Tuoba Gucheng, who seemed to be waiting for his sister.
“I heard you went to look for Father and Mother so I decided to drop by. Were you really so silly as to ask them for their opinion?”
“I’ve foolishly done that, indeed. It turned out to be just like I had expected,” she answered, utterly dejected.
Tuoba Gucheng pointed out, “You’ll only be landing Jiang Feng in trouble by doing that. Father and Mother will definitely send people to find out who your crush is. It’s not within my means to help you and Jiang Feng cover up either. Jiang Feng has already submitted his resignation letter to me, which I’ve already approved, though I’m not sure if there’ll now be any changes.”
Teary-eyed, Tuoba Danxue asked, “Brother, if you were put into my shoes and fell in love with a woman whose status and background do not match yours, will you fight for the chance to marry her?”
“I will never fall in love with a woman who’s incompatible with me, because I know clearly what I should and should not do. I’m well aware that there are some thoughts I cannot harbor. So, I’m certain that I won’t make such blunders. You’re too young and insensible now. You’ll understand it in a few years when you’re older,” he answered calmly.
“If I could choose, I would rather be born in a poor family, where I’m allowed to decide my own life, than in such a family where my freedom is restricted!” Tuoba Danxue exclaimed in disgruntlement.
Tuoba Gucheng did not utter a single word, for he was just like his sister, forever forbidden from having the freedom of choice.
“Mu Ning, I’m really envious of you,” Tuoba Danxue blurted abruptly.
“What do you envy about me, Your Highness?”
“Why are you asking when you already know the answer?”
An Xiaoning was slightly peeved by her blunt reply. All of a sudden, she felt a vibration in her pocket and her phone began to ring before she could even take it out. “Boss, someone is calling you again!”
The three pairs of eyes were on An Xiaoning, who frantically whipped her buzzing mobile phone out from her pocket. After taking a look at the caller display, she immediately said, “It’s a call from my family. Let me answer it.”
She exited the room and placed the mobile phone beside her ear. “Hello.”
“Where are you?”
“Where else could I be? I’m at home.”
Gu Beicheng called to invite her for dinner. “There’s a newly opened restaurant which serves delectable French delicacies. Would you like to bring your family along for dinner together?”
“Why are you always so informed about new restaurants? You glutton.”
“Well, life is boring and mundane. It’d be so tasteless if you don’t indulge in sumptuous treats every now and then. Are you in for dinner this evening?”