“I forgot to bring some clothes over to this house. Next time, I’ll prepare clothes for all seasons here. Yangyang, quick, come and lie down. Let’s have a good sleep, we can talk about anything tomorrow morning.”
“But, Sis — aren’t you going to call them to let them know you’re safe?”
“No need, we’ll just go over at daybreak.”
“Sure.” It was the first time Mei Yangyang slept beside her. Her whole body was restrained, but An Xiaoning hugged her and said, “Yangyang, Sis can tell what kind of person you are. Although we haven’t known each other for a long time, I treat you like my family. Don’t hold back here, make yourself at home. Come, let’s sleep.”
“Okay. Sis, you sleep too.”
Though An Xiaoning acknowledged her with a reply, she could not fall asleep no matter how hard she tried. The frightening experience she’d had tonight was still making her shudder at the recollection.
It was a terrifying thought to her. If she’d still been unable to swim, she would definitely have drowned in that river tonight.
There was a saying which she felt was applicable to this: every new skill learned reduces the chances of one being killed by others.
Some people would be feeling disappointed because she was still alive.
What a great feeling.
At past seven o’clock in the morning, the skies were clear and the sun was up.
When An Xiaoning woke up, she used Mei Yangyang’s phone to call Gu Beicheng.
“Xiaoning?” Gu Beicheng rose up immediately. “Where are you?”
“Come and pick me up at Dongpo Road, we can speak when we meet.” She ended the line, changed into her clothes and slippers, and went out with Mei Yangyang.
The world after it had rained looked like a brand new one. The air was pure and fresh. The two held on to each other and walked slowly on the streets. An Xiaoning’s face was pale, her lips remained bloodless, and she looked lifeless.
In a few minutes, a spectacular-looking Lamborghini appeared beside them. An Xiaoning and Mei Yangyang got on together.
Gu Beicheng looked at her and did not say anything, he just continued to stare at her like that.
“Why are you looking at me like that? Drive.”
He started the engine and stepped on the gas pedal. The car turned around from a challenging position and drove off.
“What were you doing here?”
“The house I bought is here.”
“You knew how to go back to your house, why didn’t you know enough to make a call to inform us you’re safe? Did you know we didn’t sleep for the entire night worrying about you?”
An Xiaoning reached out and held his arm gently. “Sorry. I thought of it, but I wanted to rest peacefully for a few hours to regain my energy, then talk about it later. If your number weren’t easy to remember, I wouldn’t have been able to call you this morning too.”
“Anyway, what matters is that you’re back in one piece.” The huge load Gu Beicheng had inside was finally released. He glared at her furiously. “You brat, we were worried to death.”
She laughed. “Alright, to make it up to you, I’ll call you Brother, okay?”
“Quick, call me then, I’m waiting!”
“One more time, I haven’t heard enough of it.”
“Gu Beicheng, don’t push your luck.”
“Your true colors are revealed, you’re not sincere in calling me that!”
They finally arrived at the residence.
When they reached the living room entrance, everyone inside stood up upon seeing her. Mrs. Gu cried tears of joy. “Oh, Xiaoning! You really gave us a huge scare!”
An Xiaoning ran forward to hug her and Mrs. Jin, saying, “All of you have a seat first, please. Auntie Chen, make some porridge for me and a sumptuous breakfast for everyone.”
“Yes, Young Mistress.” Auntie Chen hurried to the kitchen while Jin Qingyan, who’d just received the news that she was back, ran downstairs instantly.
Seeing her, the happiness in his eyes was genuine. His lips quivered, but nothing came out. He went straight forward and pulled her into a tight embrace.
An Xiaoning was almost suffocated in his arms. Both her hands hung at the side of her body. She did not return the hug.
Gu Beicheng could not look on anymore. He complained, “Excuse me, we’re all here too. Are the both of you done hugging? Please spare a thought for our feelings.”
Jin Qingyan then released his arms. An Xiaoning did not look at him and turned to sit beside Mei Yangyang. She commented, “I heard from Yangyang, those five people have been arrested.”
Mrs. Gu replied, “Yes, they’ve been arrested, but there’s another person who was behind it.”
It was then that An Xiaoning darted a glance at Jin Qingyan and said, “You were the one who sent me the text. I know it had nothing to do with you, but you can’t shirk your responsibility. If you hadn’t sent me a text with your phone, I wouldn’t have gone out in that downpour. At past six yesterday, where were you? Someone who could access your phone couldn’t have been an outsider. Tell us, who were you with at that time yesterday?”
Jin Qingyan completely did not expect that An Xiaoning would question him in front of so many people.
Upon hearing this, everyone was astounded and looked to Jin Qingyan for an answer. He stood there, finding it hard to answer for a while.
Someone as smart as Gu Beicheng naturally understood what An Xiaoning meant. He thought aloud, “Chi Rui’er?”
Mrs. Jin exclaimed alarmingly, “Qingyan, don’t tell me it was really that bitch who did it?”
Jin Qingyan knew, of course, what kind of consequences Chi Rui’er would face if he admitted it. He was furious too, but making Chi Rui’er spend the rest of her life in jail was not something he wanted.
Not to mention that Chi Rui’er was the woman he loved most. Just the fact that she risked her life to save him before was enough for him to protect her — he just hoped that she would change for the better in the future and not do anything that would harm others and herself.
“No.” His answer was something An Xiaoning had expected. She looked down and did not say a word anymore. Knowing perfectly well that would be his answer, she should not have asked him that question just now.
Even though she did not want to, she still probed, “Then tell me, at past six yesterday, who were you with?”
“It could have been through a high-technology method that my number was stolen. Until we are sure about it, we shouldn’t come to a conclusion for this incident so hastily. Let’s leave it to the police to settle, shall we?”
He stood there suddenly feeling ill at ease. When his eyes met with An Xiaoning’s, his heart almost stopped. She was staring at him with a wide grin, as if she’d already seen through this and was merely observing his pretentious act.
It was the most terrible feeling ever.
“Qingyan’s right. No matter what, I need a conclusion to this incident. It seems like we can only leave it to the police to investigate. After all, if this case reaches no conclusion, it won’t only be me who won’t agree to it, thousands of netizens wouldn’t too. Regarding this matter, I’ve worried all of you too much already. Please go back and rest well after breakfast. I’ll head upstairs to change.” She stood up and walked towards the staircase.
Mei Yangyang also got up and headed to where Fan Shixin was. She took some tea leaves, which were good for soothing one’s throat, and went to brew a pot of tea for An Xiaoning. She was about to serve it when Fan Shixin came running inside. “Young Master, Miss Chi has slit her wrist.”
“How is she?”
“They’ve sent her to the hospital for emergency treatment, I’m not sure about other things.”
Jin Qingyan rushed to the hospital at once. Mrs. Jin got a clear idea about everything then. Both she and Mr. Jin were no longer in the mood for breakfast and drove home.
In the living room, only the Gu family were now left. Mrs. Gu commented then, “How silly. Isn’t this basically an act of a guilty conscience? Why attempt suicide when everything is perfectly fine? Luckily, Beicheng didn’t marry her. Otherwise, with such a demon in our house, our whole house would be turned upside down.”