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“You… you’ll understand that your parents have your interests at heart when you’re older. You’re young and insensible, and you always act on impulse, you don’t think twice before you act. Even if you resent me and your father now, we’ll still insist on going ahead with our decision. It’s all for your own good,” said Shi Xiaoyu, pointing at her.

Tuoba Danxue sneered, “Don’t lecture me under the facade of having my best interests at heart. I know clearly whether or not you’re doing this for my own good. If Jin Minxing wasn’t the only son of Commander-in-chief Jin and the godbrother of An Xiaoning who’s affiliated to Jin Qingyan’s family, would you have wanted me to marry him!?! If you truly have my best interests at heart, you’d respect my rights and allow me the freedom to choose my own marriage partner. You wouldn’t have killed the innocent man I carried a torch for to serve as a warning to others. Congrats, Mother, you’ve succeeded. Jiang Feng’s death will continue to haunt me for the rest of my life!”

Shi Xiaoyu was at a loss for words. After suppressing her anger for a while, she hollered, “You’re not the only one who has to adhere to such rules. Both your brothers share the same fate as you. Everyone in the family has been subjected to this custom ever since our ancestors’ era. You’re not the only ones!”

“So that’s why you and Father have also accepted that rule. You even want to force it upon the succeeding generations. I’m sorry, but I don’t know what’s so glorious about a family like ours. It’s worse than that of lower class citizens, in fact,” Tuoba Danxue retorted.

“Don’t speak about those. Your wedding with Minxing is set to be held half a year from now. Use these six months before your wedding to get to know each other better.”

“Half a year is too much time to wait. Let’s just hold the wedding three days from now,” Tuoba Danxue suggested with a mirthless smile.

Shi Xiaoyu snapped angrily, “Atrocious! Danxue, stop testing my patience. The wedding is to be held in half a year’s time. You may leave if there’s nothing else you’d like to say.”

Tuoba Rui shot her a glance, motioning for her to go. Tuoba Danxue then left with An Xiaoning and Zhi Yin.

The living room quietened down just as they left.

Staring at his sons, Tuoba Rui asked, “What do you two think of this marriage to the Jin family?”

“The Jin family is indeed not too bad. I think it’s a great idea,” said Tuoba Hancheng.

“Just like what Danxue said, he’s the Commander-in-chief’s only son and they’re associated with the Young Madam of the Jin family. I think it’s a good option for Danxue to marry him,” Tuoba Gucheng answered nonchalantly while picking at his fingernails.

“Gucheng, I’ve already spoken to your father. The Chief of Staff’s daughter should be a good match for you.”

Tuoba Gucheng looked up at her and asked, “You mean Lin Shishi?”

“Why? Are you reluctant?”

“Mother, she’s barely 20, isn’t she? She’s probably still in university.”

“Exactly, that’s why you’re benefiting from this. You’re already 26 years old. Isn’t it great to marry someone who’s barely 20? I’ve met Shishi before. She’s pretty and adorable.”

“Mother, why don’t you find a partner for Brother first? He’s a year older than I am. I’m not in a hurry.”

“Your brother can’t escape either. I’m in the midst of finding him a prospective partner too. All of you have to prepare yourselves mentally,” Shi Xiaoyu said with a chuckle.

The two brothers left with a sullen expression on their faces.

Although they knew the day would come sooner or later, no one would be happy to have their parents arrange their marriage without their consent.

Tuoba Gucheng returned to his mansion and grew into an uncontrollable rage. In a moment of pique, he kicked a large vase, causing it to crash to the ground with a loud, cracking sound.

All the bodyguards and servants were shocked out of their senses.

Soon after, he left again.

He headed straight to his sister’s place.

Upon sight of the look of dejection on Tuoba Danxue’s face, he sat down beside her and said, “Mother told me that she’s going to set me up with the daughter of the Lin family. She’s still in university, and yet Mother already wants to reserve her for me.”

An Xiaoning pursed her lips in bewilderment. At this rate, she would become relatives with the President’s family very soon.

“Brother, people like us who were born in such families should just forget about marrying the people we fancy. Besides, there’s no harm in accepting that arrangement since there isn’t anyone you fancy at the moment.”

“I haven’t drunk in a long time. Will you have a few drinks with your brother?” Tuoba Gucheng suggested, overwhelmed with frustration.

“Sure. Brother, shall we drink to our hearts’ content today?”


“Zhi Yin, bring me the best liquor in the cellar. Brother and I would like to have some. Hurry,” she instructed Zhi Yin.

“Yes, Your Highness.” Zhi Yin shot An Xiaoning a glance in a bid to ask her to tag along.

An Xiaoning had no choice but to proceed accordingly.

They carried two bottles of liquor each and placed them onto the table.

“It’s boring for the two of us to drink alone. You two, sit down and drink with us,” said Tuoba Danxue, pointing at the chair.

“Your Highness, I can’t hold my liquor,” An Xiaoning hurriedly refused.

“You still have to drink a little. Come, sit down!”

An Xiaoning was bewildered by their absurdity but had no choice but to sit down beside Tuoba Gucheng.

The four of them gathered around the table and began drinking.

There were no dishes to be paired with the liquor at all.

An Xiaoning felt a strong discomfort in her throat after downing her first glass of liquor, which was way too strong for her liking, causing her to grimace.

The liquor was worlds apart from Jin Qingyan’s personal concoction, Dreamyanghe.

The taste was nowhere comparable to Dreamyanghe.

Thus, An Xiaoning decided to feign drunkenness and rested her head onto the table.

Since she did not sleep much the night before, she could take the chance to catch some shuteye openly.

Tuoba Danxue guffawed and said, “Mu Ning is drunk. Hahaha, such an amateur. Come, let’s continue drinking!”

Thinking that An Xiaoning had really gotten drunk, Zhi Yin said, “Mu Ning’s boyfriend died from leukemia. She must be devastated. She must’ve courted him for a long time. Yet, he’s gone just like that. How unfortunate for her.”

“She has a boyfriend?” Tuoba Gucheng asked.

“Yeah, she used to. He’s dead now.”

“See, even Mu Ning has a boyfriend and is allowed to date whoever she wants. What about us, Brother? We don’t even enjoy such freedom. But to be honest, that Jin Minxing is indeed very handsome and I’m willing to marry him too. Because then, I won’t have to stay here anymore. Great, I’ll finally be free in half a year’s time,” Tuoba Danxue remarked, her face flushed red.

“Come, cheers…”

“Bottoms up…”

The next thing An Xiaoning knew, it was already dark outside and she was jolted awake by someone who threw her onto the bed.

Before she could even react and come to her senses, she was pinned onto the bed by a figure in black.

She let out a grunt of discomfort, feeling as if her bones were about to break.

A masculine scent lingered around her nose.

He reeked of alcohol and his temperature was burning.

An Xiaoning pushed him away onto the bed and crawled down, panting heavily. She switched on the lights, only to be startled and dumbfounded at the sight of Tuoba Gucheng.

Just as she stepped foot out of the door, she bumped into Zhi Yin.

“Sister Zhi Yin, His Highness…”