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“I didn’t let her go, she ran away herself.” Ye Xiaotian held onto her hand as they walked inside. “Haven’t I already gotten a few people to take turns donating their blood to you? It all turned out fine. Just take good care of your health, don’t worry about the rest.”

Looking at the expression on his face, Bai Ranran said, “Xiaotian, you seem to be in a bad mood.”

“I’m just vexed about some matters at work, it’s not too serious,” Ye Xiaotian said with a sigh.

“You ought to be mindful of your health too. I wish I could take the best care of you and keep you company every single day. Sadly, things don’t always turn out the way we’d like them to. I can’t wait to marry you, so I can see you every day.”

“The medical technology we have currently is not developed well enough to treat your illness completely just yet. But I believe it will be, someday. When that happens, you’ll no longer have to survive on the blood of others. Ranran, whatever’s impossible now will become possible,” he said reassuringly. He sounded rather exhausted and weary, however, as if he had not had a good rest in ages.

Bai Ranran rested her head on his shoulder and said with a smile, “Xiaotian, I can die without regrets, now that I’ve had the opportunity to be your fiancée, and one day, your wife.”

“Knock on wood! Don’t mention anything about dying, you’ll live a long life.”

Bliss and euphoria were written all over her face as she nodded.

After just a short while, Ye Xiaotian proceeded to send her home, after which he leaned against the backrest of the car seat, his eyes unable to focus on anything. He felt a constant mix of emotions and was more uneasy than ever.

All along, he had thought there would never be a day in Mo Li’s life that she’d be able to escape his shackles. How far could she have been able to run from him?

However, it was all just his assumptions.

Little did he expect that she would actually manage to escape successfully this time and that she had left him for good, to marry another man very soon.

The memory of their first encounter popped up in his head.

She’d boldly confessed in a shaky voice that she liked him, a shy and coy expression on her face. He had tilted his head to look at the petite girl before him and asked not long after, “Will you like me for the rest of your life?”

To which she replied without hesitation, “Yes!”

“You’re willing to do anything for me?”

However, at that juncture, she did give it a second thought before answering, “I won’t do anything illegal, though.”

He laughed at the sight of her getting all frightened.

“Of course I won’t let you do anything like that,” he’d said, because to him, well, he set the rules.

“Then I’m willing to.”

Those words of hers had stuck with him dearly ever since. Even until now, they seemed to sound just as dreamy and surreal as they did back then.

She had become his right after he asked for her blood type.

However, she had been rather reluctant about donating her blood.

He had continued to ask with a smile on his face, “Didn’t you say you were willing to do anything for me?”

She’d hung her head low and remained silent.

His initial gentleness had turned into overwhelming exasperation as he kept pushing her boundaries, forcing her into a corner.

He only began to realize now that there are some people who were just like viruses, infiltrating your system and taking control before you even notice it. It begins to launch its deadly attack when you’re most vulnerable and unsuspecting. You think you’re in control of them, but in reality, they’re in control of you.

At the thought of her getting married and collecting her certificate of marriage very soon, Ye Xiaotian began to fear that he would not make it in time.

However, he reminded himself that he was the fearless Ye Xiaotian, who would resort to any means to obtain what he wanted, as long as he had the guts to.

It doesn’t matter even if she were to become someone else’s wife.

——

As soon as An Xiaoning returned home from the store, she was greeted with the sight of Wang Fangfang’s parents squatting at her doorstep.

She parked the car at the door and alighted. “What are you two doing here?” she asked.

“Xiaoning, we’re aware that you were adopted and we may be considered to be unrelated now, but Xiaoning, Fangfang is missing. We don’t even know if she’s dead or alive. We couldn’t contact her ever since the day she had gone to look for Shi Shaochuan,” cried Wang Fangfang’s mother at the instant that she saw An Xiaoning.

“Shouldn’t you go and make a police report instead?”

“We’ve already done that, but there hasn’t been any news even though it has already been a few days since we’ve filed the report. Xiaoning, you’re already the Young Madam of the Jin family while we’re just country bumpkins who don’t know any big shots. Could you please help us? At most, I’ll kowtow to you,” begged Mrs. Wang with tear-filled eyes, kneeling down before An Xiaoning immediately after finishing her sentence.

“You’re just forcing me to go against my morals… It’s disrespectful of me to have you kowtow before me. Quick, get up,” said An Xiaoning as she bent forward to help Mrs. Wang up.

“Xiaoning, I won’t get up unless you agree to help me.”

“Wow, you’re really forcing me. Can’t you just get up first to talk things out properly? Why weren’t you this concerned when Wang Fangfang hooked up with Shi Shaochuan back then? Look at you getting all flustered and worried now,” said An Xiaoning.

“We thought she could really subdue Shi Shaochuan. Little did we expect for that imbecile to chase Fangfang out so soon.”

An Xiaoning was reluctant to communicate with them. It was no doubt that they were a family, for they all shared the same personality.

Wang Fangfang was nowhere to be found. Could it be that Shi Shaochuan had locked her up? Or could it be…

“How do you want me to help?”

“Xiaoning, I heard you’re good at fortune-telling. Could you tell if she’s still alive from her birth characters?”

“Forget it, we’ll talk about that in the backyard,” said An Xiaoning as she drove in and allowed them to take a seat on the chairs in the courtyard.

“What are her birth characters?” asked An Xiaoning.

Mrs. Wang blurted Wang Fangfang’s birth characters right away.

As she sat on the chair, An Xiaoning closed her eyes and began to read her fortune. Shortly after, there was a sudden change in An Xiaoning’s expression as she began to look more tense.

Noticing the look of dismay on An Xiaoning’s face, Mr. and Mrs. Wang quickly asked, “Xiaoning, has Fangfang… already passed away?”

An Xiaoning opened her eyes and said firmly, “Yes.”

Beating her chest in agony, Mrs. Wang again cried, “My poor daughter!”

“Xiaoning, could you tell how and where she died? Where is she buried now?”

“Leave that to the police. I’m not the police, this is all I can do. Please leave, I won’t see you out,” An Xiaoning said coldly as she turned around and walked towards the living room.

Mr. and Mrs. Wang left in much disappointment and grief. Not long after their departure, An Xiaoning received a call from the Bureau Chief of the City Police Station on the landline at home.

He had asked if she was free at the moment to meet him personally.

Thinking that his intentions must have been to talk about Wang Fangfang’s incident, she agreed for him to make a trip down to her house.

The Bureau Chief arrived after 20 minutes.

“Hi, Mrs. Jin, my name is Pan Zhenghui.”

An Xiaoning shook his hand and welcomed him, “Hi, Chief Pan. Please, take a seat.”

They sat opposite each other while Auntie Chen served some tea and quickly left the living room after.

“Mrs. Jin, I’ve heard from Wang Fangfang’s parents that you’ve read her fortune and discovered that she had already passed on. I may not believe it if it was someone else who had read her fortune. However, it’s different when it comes to you.

An Xiaoning asked curiously while maintaining her composure, “Oh? Why do you say so, Chief Pan?”

“Truth be told, I don’t know who started the rumor, but I’ve heard that you accurately predicted the exact timing at which the old Mr. Gu would pass away. I think the news was pretty reliable, though I’ve yet to verify that myself. But Mrs. Jin, was what you said really true?”

“Chief Pan, do you reckon I would joke about someone’s life?”