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“Then, when I asked you at the cinema just now, why did you simply refuse to say? Or do you have a guilty conscience? Shi Shaochuan, if you dare to hook up with other women when we’re together, I won’t let it rest!”

“Alright, alright.” Shi Shaochuan pulled her into his arms. “I really don’t harbor any thoughts about other women, you’re enough for me. What’s wrong with you today, why are you so emotional? Yueyue, I promise you, I’ll never let you worry about something so trivial anymore, okay?”

Jin Qingyue still ended up responding with a “mmm.” “Why did you follow me to my house?”

“Isn’t it all because I care about you? I’m afraid you’ll get angry.” Shi Shaochuan heaved a sigh. “Your temperament is still that of a child’s. I’m here at your house now, but I didn’t buy anything at all. Should I still go in to meet your parents?”

“Since you’re already here, might as well meet them. If you don’t go in to meet them, they’ll have something to say about you. Either way, they’ll have something to say no matter what.” Jin Qingyue pushed the car door open and got off.

Shi Shaochuan got off as well.

Mr. and Mrs. Jin did not expect Shi Shaochuan’s arrival. Jin Qingyue smiled it off. “We had a tiff, so Shaochuan followed me here and we didn’t get any gift.”

“We don’t lack anything in our house at all,” Mrs. Jin replied simply.

“That’s good, we’ll go upstairs then.”

Petrified, Mrs. Jin sat upright and responded in a serious manner, “What for?”

“To get something, we’ll be down soon.” Jin Qingyue grabbed onto Shi Shaochuan and headed upstairs briskly.

Mrs. Jin threw the woollen sweater she was knitting onto the sofa and followed them upstairs directly.

Taking soft and gentle footsteps, she cautiously walked up the stairs and stood before Jin Qingyue’s doorway. As she could not hear any sound coming from inside, she went back downstairs again.

Just as she had sat down, Jin Qingyue and Shi Shaochuan emerged again holding hands, except Jin Qingyue now had another bag in her hands. The bag looked like it was fully filled up. Mrs. Jin asked, “What’s in that bag of yours?”

“Oh, my cosmetics.” Jin Qingyue grinned cheekily. “Mother, I’m putting these on the car, it’s more convenient for me to use.”

Mrs. Jin could see what was going on immediately. “Why? Qingyue, you don’t even want to come back to this house anymore, right?”

“Mother, I’m just putting these in the car. I didn’t say I wouldn’t come home, you’re overthinking. We’re going out now, okay?” She reached out to wave goodbye to her mother and left the house in smiles with Shi Shaochuan. It was like they had not fought at all just a while ago.

On that chilly night, the air outside was cool and quiet. Chi Rui’er stood before the window, gazing at the bright neon lights downstairs.

It was a winter night, yet there were still plenty of cars on the streets.

She had her phone on her hand, and the dial page was on the display screen.

She wanted to call Jin Qingyan, but she didn’t do it.

This process of hesitation had already lasted for more than ten minutes for her.

She could feel it very evidently, that Jin Qingyan’s attitude towards her was gradually becoming colder.

Before An Xiaoning came into the picture, he basically called her once every day and met her once in two days. It was their average frequency of contact.

But now, it was different.

It felt like… if she does not call him, he would not remember to call her at all. It was too unusual, how long had it been when…

Chi Rui’er reached out to open the windows. A gush of cold wind blew onto her face. It was so cold that she shivered unconsciously and closed the windows at once.

In the end, she still pressed the “dial” button and called him.

After the ringtone, he picked up. “Hello.”

Chi Rui’er held onto the phone but did not make any noise.


Chi Rui’er abruptly ended the call, then walked to the side of the bed and sat down, feeling oddly upset inside.

She wondered to herself: why was her life always like that, why?

At a young age, she had lost her father. She had originally thought that her stepfather could fill in the empty spot of a father, but little did she expect that he’d become a source of pain and torture that she could not talk to anyone about. It was not easy for her to finally leave that home, but she still could not part with her mother.

If she were to be given the chance to make a choice between Gu Beicheng and Jin Qingyan again, she would choose Jin Qingyan.

Gu Beicheng was indeed someone she loved deeply, but she only understood later that the only reason he made her his girlfriend was to provoke Jin Qingyan.

They had always been on bad terms.

After becoming his girlfriend, nothing had changed. It was basically the same as before.

Thinking back to then, she felt that she was too stupid, that she was unable to see reality for what it was.

She had picked up a watermelon and threw the sesame seeds away. But when she turned back, not only were the sesame seeds gone, the watermelon had been eaten up by someone else too!

Amongst the influential and rich young men in existence, few could compare with Jin Qingyan.

“Ms. Chi, Young Master asked if you are having any physical discomfort or some important matter?” The lady who prepared food appeared at the doorway.

“I’m fine.” She managed a bitter smile on her face. He was not even willing to come for her now.

The lady who prepared food then closed the door shut. Chi Rui’er laid on the bed, feeling a sudden urge to cry. She completely did not regret what she did to An Xiaoning previously. If she had died when she fell into the river, everything would’ve been different now.

But she did not die; she was extremely fortunate.

At the thought of An Xiaoning’s face, Chi Rui’er’s hands grabbed the bedsheets tightly, wrenching them together.

One morning a few days later, Fan Shixin brought a courier parcel in. “Young Mistress, there’s an express package for you.”

“But I didn’t buy anything online.” She put down the soup label and received it. Her face changed immediately and she appeared startled. The package fell off from her hands and landed on the floor.

Jin Qingyan got up and enquired, “What’s wrong?”

An Xiaoning pointed to the package on the floor and stammered, “Inside…”

He bent down and picked it up, checking what was inside the package. It was a dead mouse.

Fan Shixin took it over and checked, immediately suggesting, “I’ll go and check who sent it right now.”

An Xiaoning composed herself and said indifferently, “No need, just get rid of this.”

Fan Shixin then took a look at Jin Qingyan. He signalled him with a wave. “You may go.”

“Yes.” Fan Shixin turned and left the house swiftly.

“Why don’t you want to check it?”

An Xiaoning’s good mood was instantly destroyed by this. She answered plainly, “I don’t think it was done by a stranger. So what if we were to know who sent it, could I expect you to stand up for me?”

She turned and went upstairs.

Jin Qingyan folded one hand into his pocket and loosened his tie with his other hand, his eyes turning dark and sombre gradually.

He turned and left the living room.

An Xiaoning, on the other hand, applied some makeup on her face and tied up her long hair. She wrapped a scarf around herself, picked up her bag, and went downstairs.

As she was changing into her shoes, Jin Qingyan came in from outside. With his hands habitually clasped behind his back, he bent over and looked at her, asking, “Where are you going?”

“To the shop.”

He straightened his body and a lump moved in his throat as he declared, “I’ll stand up for you.”

An Xiaoning was rather taken aback. She pulled the zipper in her shoe and responded in a serious tone, “What if this dead rat was sent by Chi Rui’er?”

“If it was her, I’ll make her hold the dead rat with her bare hands to apologize to you.”

“Alright. It would be better if it’s not her, hopefully, or else you will be disappointed again.”

She passed by his figure. Her face, which had looked indifferent, significantly brightened up like a blossomed flower. She was indeed surprised to hear the words he had said.