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Jin Qingyan stared at his wife with overflowing warmth and tenderness. Their eyes met, and clearly, they were smitten with each other.

“Don’t you find it a little too quiet with just the two of us at home?” asked An Xiaoning. “I’d like to get a dog. Will you let me?” she suggested.

“Of course. Anything for you, as long as you’re happy.”

Her heart blossomed upon hearing his sweet reply.

“I’ll let you off tonight. C’mon, let’s take a bath,” he said teasingly, carrying her into the bathtub. “Can you tell my fortune?” he asked.

“I would need your birth characters (birth date). It’s not listed on your Wikipedia page.”

“I was born on 6th October XXXX, at 12 noon, according to the lunar calendar.”

An Xiaoning closed her eyes and recited his birthdate and home address in her head. To her bewilderment, she could not read his fortune at all.

It was an extremely rare case, for she was the only other person whose fortune she could not read.

“I can’t tell yours,” An Xiaoning admitted truthfully. “I can’t read my own fortune either. Well, it seems we were made for each other, a match made in heaven,” she joked.

Slightly displeased, he asked, “What does that signify?”

“There are countless sets of identical birth characters, for there were definitely many others who were born at the same time as you. Many people do not share the same fate, despite having the same birth characters. However, one can still be distinguished from others sharing the same birth characters by looking at their given name and home address. I’m not yet advanced in skill, and thus, I can’t quite put a finger on what it signifies. The same goes for mine. Perhaps I could if I were my master. It’s a pity that she’s already passed on,” she continued to explain.

After taking a bath, An Xiaoning sat on the bed with her hair wrapped inside a towel. “Then, could you help me tell the fortune of someone else?” asked Jin Qingyan as he brought the hairdryer with him, preparing to help An Xiaoning dry her hair.

“Whose?”

“Chi Rui’er.”

“What are her birth characters?” she asked after tugging at the towel on her head.

“She was born on the first day of the year XXXX, according to the lunar calendar. She lives with her parents in the Northern District,” replied Jin Qingyan.

Memorizing Chi Rui’er’s birth characters, An Xiaoning proceeded to read her fortune. Then she asked, “Out of the three — health, marriage, or career — which aspects of her fortune do you wish to know about?”

In fact, she could already guess which aspect he wished to find out about.

“Will she marry Gu Beicheng?” he asked as he began to dry her hair.

Amidst the loud noises from the hairdryer, An Xiaoming said, “Then, I would need Gu Beicheng’s birth characters as well. I can’t read her marriage with just hers alone.”

“I don’t know his birth characters. Hmm, why don’t you tell me about her career and love life instead?”

“She’s at the peak of her health at the moment. It’s going to deteriorate as she ages. As for her love life, she’s destined to be married once and bear two children. However, she had already aborted one of them. If she aborts another child, she’s bound to be childless for the rest of her life.”

Having heard An Xiaoning’s predictions, Jin Qingyan began to feel uneasy, and his face turned bleak.

Noticing the change in his expression, she asked worriedly, “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing. Can you tell how long her marriage will last? Will they be together until death does them apart?” he asked again, eagerly.

“I can’t read that because we don’t have the birth characters of her husband.” Laying on her back, An Xiaoning finally asked, “What’s your relationship with her? Is she your ex-girlfriend? Or do you have a crush on her?”

She had remembered everything Gu Beicheng said about Chi Rui’er at the ball.

“You don’t have to know much about those, they’re not important,” Jin Qingyan said coldly. He turned off the desk lamp.

Wide awake, An Xiaoning suddenly felt like she was worlds apart from her husband emotionally, though they were physically right beside each other.

It was only understandable for him to not be in love with her. After all, they had only known each other for a few days.

An Xiaoning was positive that he would genuinely fall for her one day, as time passes.

——

After a peaceful night’s sleep, An Xiaoning awoke, only to find that it was pouring outside.

She headed downstairs, but Jin Qingyan was nowhere to be found.

He had left nothing but a note on the table, which read: There’s food in the wok. Check the kennel for a dog.

“A dog?” An Xiaoning thought, intrigued.

She searched the house for a kennel and finally spotted a structure which resembled a miniature house. Inching forward, she caught a glimpse of a pomeranian laying on its stomach.

It was extremely adorable, with a fluffy coat of white fur and a rounded chubby shape.

She instantly fell in love with her new pet and canoodled it in her arms. “Ahh, you’re so cute! Let Mommy see if you’re a girl or a boy,” said a thrilled An Xiaoning as she petted its face gently.

“Oh, you’re a boy. Let’s call you ‘Maomao,’ shall we?” she remarked, confirming the gender of her pet after taking a few looks.

Staring at its big, sparkly eyes, An Xiaoning beamed with euphoria. “Alright, get some rest in the kennel. Mommy will play with you once she’s done eating!” she exclaimed excitedly.

After washing her hands, she opened the lid of the wok. At that instant, as the heavenly aroma of the food wafted up to her nose, she seemed to have forgotten about the slight unhappiness she felt the night before.

How wonderful it is to have a husband who cooks for me, especially since I have poor culinary skills, she thought to herself.

An Xiaoning held Maomao in her arms and played with it after finishing her breakfast. After some time had passed, she heard the sound of the car pulling up in the backyard.

With Maomao in her arms, she walked towards the door where she was greeted by the sight of Jin Qingyan clad in a black coat. He had an umbrella in one hand and a small carrier in another.

“Do you like the dog?” he asked with a raised eyebrow as he put away the umbrella.

“Of course I do. I named it Maomao. What do you think about the name I came up with?”

“Maomao? What a strange name, I don’t like it,” he said in a tone of displeasure.

“Should we name it ‘Rui’er’ then?”

“Nah, let’s just stick to Maomao. Here, I got a wedding ring. Try it on,” he continued, handing her the small carrier he was holding.

After placing Maomao back inside the kennel, An Xiaoning took a seat on the couch and took the box out of the carrier. “Wow, the diamond is huge! It must’ve cost a bomb, didn’t it?” she exclaimed after opening the box, revealing the ring.

“Put it on and see if it fits.”

She put the ring on and scrutinized it carefully from every angle. “It fits perfectly. Weren’t you afraid of getting the wrong size?” she asked.

“I’ve already measured your ring size before I bought it. Do you like it?” he said, turning to face her.

She nodded in approval and joked, “I do. It’s beautiful. I can even exchange it for money when I’m broke in the future.”

The words left him speechless.

“Look how bad you are at taking jokes. I’m just kidding,” reassured An Xiaoning, giggling at his reaction.

“Come here,” he said with an extended arm, gesturing for her to sit closer to him.

An Xiaoning moved closer towards him and rested her head on his shoulder. As she laid in his arms, she felt more secure than ever. She placed the ring back into the box and sat up slightly. “You woke up early today just to cook for me and buy me a wedding ring. It’s been hard on you, hubby. Mmwah (kissing sound)!” said An Xiaoning. She was pouting her lips as she uttered these sweet nothings to Jin Qingyan.

“You did that on purpose, didn’t you?” he blurted while staring at her chest.

Shifting her gaze to where he was staring, she blushed red as a tomato and retorted, “Who said so? I didn’t…”

“You did,” he insisted.

“No.”

“Say that again?” he said teasingly with a smile.

“No, no, I didn’t!”

“Little vixen needs a spanking.”

“…”