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“Xiaoning, your Godmother and I have agreed to your Grandpa’s death wish before he passed on. It’s because he mentioned that your Grandma would’ve agreed to his request as well, even if she were still alive today,” said Mr. Gu.

“I’ll first have to ask for my Master’s opinion. I’ll agree to it if she does. I will be making a trip to the mountains tomorrow morning,” said An Xiaoning, sounding rather dignified.

“Alright,” agreed Mr. Gu.

“I’ll watch over Grandpa’s coffin tonight. You guys can take over tomorrow.”

“I’ll accompany you,” Gu Beicheng interjected.

“Sure, if you’d like.” Just as she finished, her ringtone began to crank loudly, “Boss, someone’s calling you again!”

Gu Beicheng’s face stiffened at the strange thought of that ringtone going off every single time he had called her.

It was a call from Jin Qingyan.

She headed outside to answer the call. Upon hearing that she was going to spend the night watching over the coffin, Jin Qingyan offered to accompany her, but he was turned down by An Xiaoning. She instead instructed him to make a trip there the day after.

Having changed into a fancy and proper attire accessorized with sparkling silver jewelry, she sat herself down onto a cushion next to Gu Beicheng in the brightly lit room while the door was left wide open.

“Have you had your dinner?” he asked.

“No.”

“Here, have this,” said Gu Beicheng as he retrieved two mixed-fruit cakes from the pocket of his suit and offered them to her.

An Xiaoning took the cakes and stuffed them into her mouth as soon as she unwrapped the packaging.

With keen, sparkling eyes, he watched as An Xiaoning hurriedly wolfed down the cakes on an empty stomach, seeming to be famished. In those moments, under the warm lighting, she looked more delicate than ever.

All of a sudden, Gu Beicheng reached his hand out to gently wipe the remaining food off her mouth with his thumb. “Would you like me to order them to fix you something to eat?”

Gesturing in disapproval, An Xiaoning rejected, “It’s fine, I’ll be full after finishing these cakes.”

Hearing the incoming footsteps, An Xiaoning quickly turned around only to see that Jin Qingyan had entered, clad in a big, black, and fur-collared coat. He stood tall before An Xiaoning and looked at her with a stern look on his face.

“Didn’t I tell you not to come?”

“Well, after all, I’m still your husband, and I ought to pay a visit since someone from your maiden family had passed away.” He glared at Gu Beicheng and said coldly, “Go home and get some rest. I’ll accompany her.”

“He’s my grandfather… It’s only right for me to watch over his coffin,” Gu Beicheng refused.

Jin Qingyan then sat next to An Xiaoning and took her hand in his in a tyrannical manner, as if proclaiming his sovereignty.

Noticing that he had acted out of the ordinary, An Xiaoning said with a mellow voice, “You’ll have to sit here for the entire night if you stay. Go home.”

“You’re my wife, how can I sleep alone in peace without you?”

His words had sounded ordinary, but An Xiaoning seemed to have deciphered it differently. Before she could speak, Gu Beicheng interrupted, “Since Brother-in-law is so filial, just let him stay.”

Jin Qingyan turned pale upon hearing Gu Beicheng address him as his ‘Brother-in-law.’ However, he could not retaliate since it was the truth, and thus, he had no choice but to suppress his anger, only managing to let out a grunt.

An Xiaoning’s purpose was not only to watch over the old Mr. Gu’s coffin but also to perform a ritual for him herself, which had to be completed that night.

As the clock struck 12 at midnight, she began performing the ritual while Gu Beicheng and Jin Qingyan kowtowed.

The ritual ended and the trio stayed up until three o’clock in the morning. By then, An Xiaoning was already exhausted and struggled to stay awake, but to no avail. She soon fell asleep on her lap after a few consecutive yawns.

Jin Qingyan embraced her in his arms while Gu Beicheng stood up to bring forth a small cushion to drape over her. It was a chilly night and Gu Beicheng was wide awake. Jin Qingyan was a little fatigued, but seeing that Gu Beicheng was still awake, he then decided not to fall asleep.

With An Xiaoning between them, they glared at each other with much animosity.

“If I see you touching my wife again with those filthy hands, you shall bear the consequences,” warned Jin Qingyan.

Gu Beicheng was unbothered by his words and went ahead to touch An Xiaoning. “So what if I did?” he taunted.

“Gu Beicheng!” yelled Jin Qingyan with immense anger.

“You don’t have to be so loud, Brother can hear you.”

“…”

Jin Qingyan could not be bothered to retaliate and cocked his head sideways instead.

“I haven’t seen you in a long while, and I’ve been dying to ask you something.” Gu Beicheng lit up a cigarette with his lighter, tilting his head to the side as a cloud of smoke wafted through his fingers. “Between Rui’er and Xiaoning, who do you want?” he continued.

“What do you mean?”

“Don’t play dumb with me, Jin Qingyan, I know how you feel about them. You’ve arranged for Chi Rui’er to put up at your mansion in Wei Ni Estate while your lawful wife lives elsewhere. Should the media find out about this juicy piece of news, I really wonder what they would write about it. Let’s hope you don’t suffer a double loss,” scoffed Gu Beicheng.

“Stay out of my business. You don’t have the right to tell me what to do anyway,” Jin Qingyan said coldly.

“Indeed, I can’t be bothered with your business. But for hers… there’s no way I’m staying out of it,” he said while pointing at An Xiaoning.

“Do as you please.”

The initially exhausted An Xiaoning was disturbed and woken up by their loud bickering. Thus, she had overheard every single word of their conversation. Though she had always been unfeeling towards Gu Beicheng, she suddenly began to think at that very moment that it was not that bad of an idea after all to have a Godbrother.

The two loggerheads remained seated while staring at each other fervently, all the way until daybreak. Once morning arrived, Jin Qingyan accompanied An Xiaoning to the mountains, despite his overwhelming fatigue.

He watched as An Xiaoning stood before a grave and related the old Mr. Gu’s death wish, then patiently waited for her Master’s response.

“Master, please give me a sign, if you agree. If you don’t, then refrain from doing so. I’ll understand it.”

As soon as she ended her sentence, a sudden gust of wind began to blow towards them, raking up the yellow leaves and twigs on the ground. Jin Qingyan remained in a state of reverence while An Xiaoning introduced him as her husband, after which he took three respectful bows.

On the way back, An Xiaoning gave Mr. Gu a call to inform him that they could bury the old Mr. Gu together with Nun Jingxin. She then headed home to get some rest and catch up on sleep, together with Jin Qingyan.

Facing each other, they could feel one another’s breaths intensely.

“Jin Qingyan, I have a feeling that our marriage is going to be over soon,” said An Xiaoning with her eyes closed.

“I’ll never initiate a divorce with you.”

“Don’t test my patience or force me to the end of my wits,” said An Xiaoning, smiling.

He bit her lips all of a sudden, causing her to wince in pain. He then kissed her with a burning passion before she could even speak. Panting, An Xiaoning hissed as she pushed him aside, “Why did you bite me? Are you a dog!?!”

With a cold look in his eyes, he said, “Finish what you were saying earlier.”

He seemed to be giving her a warning. They both knew her previous words were unfinished.

“Jin Qingyan, I repeat, do not force me to the end of my wits. Otherwise, I’ll end things between us immediately and free myself from this marriage.”

“Say it,” he insisted.

Blinking her eyes, An Xiaoning feigned ignorance, “Say what? What did I say earlier? I don’t remember at all.”

“…”

“I’m exhausted, I’m going to sleep.”

“How dare you.”

“You don’t wish to sleep, and you’re not letting me go to sleep either. What do you want to do?” cooed An Xiaoning, who began to behave coquettishly.

The initial stiffness of his face faded into a smile as he answered, “You.”

“You want to?”

“Yes.”

“Get lost…”