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“Get lost? Alright, we shall get lost — in each other,” he said teasingly while pinning her beneath himself, subduing her completely.

“You didn’t catch a wink of sleep at all last night, do you still have the energy to do it?”

“More than enough to last an hour.”

“…”

By the time she was about to go to sleep, An Xiaoning was beyond exhausted from his exploits.

“You’re far more cunning than a capitalist.”

Wiping off the drops of sweat on her forehead with his handkerchief, he said while beaming radiantly from ear to ear, “Thank you for the compliment.”

Jin Qingyan felt exceptionally at ease, pulling his wife into his embrace. “I know I’ve caused you to be upset because of what I said at the old mansion, but I really haven’t thought much about that issue. To me, you’re my wife and always will be. Xiaoning, I will be good to you,” he apologized.

Half-awake, she registered his words in her head, though she did not respond.

——

The burial ceremony for the old Mr. Gu was held three days after his death.

The sky was gloomy that day. Since Nun Jingxin cannot be allowed to be buried on the burial grounds of the Gu family, the only other way was to bury the old Mr. Gu with her, on top of the mountains.

Having considered the fact that there needed to be someone to tend to their grave, Mr. Gu thus arranged for a middle-aged couple who had been working for the Gu family for years to live on the mountains, offering them a hefty paycheck.

Upon hearing Mr. Gu mention that An Xiaoning had accurately predicted the exact time of their patriarch’s death, the family members of the Gu family, who were initially unconvinced and had doubted her fortune-telling skills, began to revere the young fortune-teller that was An Xiaoning — though there was still a minority who did not believe her. However, their opinions had not mattered, for her current status in the Gu family had far surpassed that of the two heirs.

Shortly after returning from the burial ground, An Xiaoning immediately made her way to Dongpo Street again.

As the car came to a halt, she noticed a familiar figure.

It was her younger cousin, Wang Fangfang.

Upon the sight of An Xiaoning, Wang Fangfang went forth and greeted, “Cousin.”

“Don’t try to associate yourself with me. We’re not cousins anymore,” chided An Xiaoning as she walked towards the storefront.

Wang Fangfang chased along and pleaded, “Cousin, please help me. I heard he’s gotten together with your Sister-in-law, please tell her what type of a person he really is behind that facade. Tell her it’s not too late to turn back now.”

“And what will be next? Next, Shi Shaochuan is going to get back together with you, right? Wang Fangfang, just give up on him. Have you forgotten that I’m Shi Shaochuan’s ex-wife? Don’t you think you’re being extremely ridiculous?” An Xiaoning said with a sarcastic smile.

“I’m pregnant,” revealed a dejected Wang Fangfang, seemingly on the verge of tears. “Shaochuan refuses to see me at all. He told me to get an abortion, he even warned that I would have to raise the child by myself, should I refuse to abort it. He also said that there was no way he was going to be responsible for the child, neither is he willing to pay for the expenses,” she continued, sobbing.

“You’ve brought it all upon yourself, so you shall bear the consequences. You’ve created a child out of sin, yet you still had the audacity to call me a wild hen transforming into a phoenix. You’re more well-suited for that saying. Wang Fangfang, you’re still so young, just get an abortion and stop wasting what remains of your youth on Shi Shaochuan. Since you’ve already seen his true colors, you ought to know better. There’s no use going around begging for help, the decision lies with yourself,” An Xiaoning chastised as the smile on her face faded.

She pushed the door open and entered. “Yangyang, are the goods here?”

“They’re here, Sis, I’ve sorted them out.”

“Great job, I’ll treat you to some good food tonight,” An Xiaoning praised.

“Alright, you’ll have all my time tonight,” chuckled Mei Yangyang.

Wang Fangfang had followed her into the shop. “Stop wasting your time here, make a decision and start afresh,” An Xiaoning said bluntly, as Wang Fangfang seemed to have something to say.

“Cousin, I was chased out of his house, and I’m almost penniless. Could you lend me some money?”

“No. The money is just going to vanish after I lend it to you, I’ll never get it back. Besides, I think you need a reality check. Do you really think it’s such a big deal that you’re pregnant? I don’t care who Shi Shaochuan has an affair with, but of all people, it had to be you. You betrayed me and yet you still have the cheek to be so shameless as to seek help from me. I wouldn’t have agreed to let you move in with the Shi family if it hadn’t been for the fact that the rental for the house you rented was too expensive and that I had sympathized with you. Yangyang, please send her out.”

An Xiaoning walked towards the washroom, and by the time she came out, Wang Fangfang was nowhere to be found.

“It really puzzles me. How dare she have the audacity to appear before me?” An Xiaoning groused while sitting on the chair and going through the accounts book.

“Exactly. I really thought you were going to lend her some money earlier on, Sis. Well, because I’ve always thought you were really amiable.”

“I am amiable, but it depends on who I’m facing. I’m no pushover, I won’t let just anyone try their luck with me.” Suddenly reminded of the recruiting matter, An Xiaoning asked, “Has there been anyone who came forth to apply for the position?”

“There was a girl who came this morning, and I told her to start work tomorrow.” Mei Yangyang showed her a photo on her phone, and continued, “Her name is Xu Jingwen and she’s 19 this year. She seems rather bubbly and eloquent. Amongst all the applicants, she’s the one I’m most certain about. I just think she’s really great at promoting. She said she was planning to stay at the store in the future and be in charge of opening it in the morning. She also mentioned that she would be bringing her luggage along to work tomorrow.”

“That’s great, you may arrive at work at a later time from now on. We’ll still have to hire someone to fill another position, though.”

“It’s going to be peak season soon. Don’t worry, Sis, I’ve been on the lookout. I’ll hire another applicant if I think she makes the cut.”

“Alright.”

The night arrived and it was time for closing. An Xiaoning brought Mei Yangyang along for a meal of hotpot.

After they arrived at the first floor of the restaurant, many of the other patrons requested for a photo with An Xiaoning upon recognizing her as Jin Qingyan’s wife. An Xiaoning was rather friendly and politely conceded to their requests.

“Sis, you’re just like a celebrity,” said an awestruck Mei Yangyang.

Picking up a meatball with her chopsticks, An Xiaoning answered, “Celebrity? Nah, I don’t think so. Yangyang, have you thought of bringing your mother to the renowned hospitals? Perhaps they could successfully treat her condition.”

“I’ve brought her to one before, but the doctor said she would remain as such for the rest of her life. If there was still a glimmer of hope, we would’ve tried our best to send my mother for treatment, no matter what it took,” explained Mei Yangyang with a shake of her head.

“Feel free to ask me for help wherever it’s due, I’ll be sure to try my best.”

“Alright. It’s a blessing to have met you.”

An Xiaoning replied with a smile, “Likewise. Hurry, eat up.”

After they finished eating, An Xiaoning looked out of the window and saw Mo Li being pushed to the ground. Staring wide-eyed at the scene before her, she realied it was Sun Weiwei who had pushed her. Not only did she bring her ever-present assistant, but she had also brought along four big and burly bodyguards.

An Xiaoning whipped her phone out to take a photo of what she had just witnessed and exited the restaurant with Mei Yangyang after getting the tab. They then walked towards them.

Mo Li tried with all her might to stand up, but she had her hand stuck beneath Sun Weiwei’s foot, which the latter vigorously twisted. It must have been a serious matter, severe enough for Sun Weiwei to become irrational and behave in that boorish manner in public, with no qualms about her image.

“Miss Sun, you’re a huge celebrity. Word is going to spread fast to the tabloids about you bringing your bodyguards along to subject a poor lady to such treatment in public.”

Upon the sight of An Xiaoning, the tension on Sun Weiwei’s face began to ease, and she appeared a little more relaxed as she moved her foot away. Glaring at Mo Li with a deathly cold stare, she threatened, “You better be sensible and get lost from my sight. Otherwise, don’t blame me for being ruthless.”