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“Oh, Ms. Chi, you flatter me. I’m nowhere near as capable as you when it comes to harming others. You’re obviously a scheming and malicious one, yet you still hide behind the facade of an innocent and pure dainty little lady.”

“An Xiaoning, you should know very well who the scheming one is between us two. I may appear sly and cunning on the surface, but in reality, you’re far worse than I am.”

“You’re free to say whatever you want, it’s all up to you to do anything you wish. It’s a shame my beloved Maomao has already taken a dump this morning, otherwise, I would’ve definitely left some for you. I know you’d love it for sure,” An Xiaoning said sneeringly, with a grin.

Seeing how infuriated Chi Rui’er had gotten, An Xiaoning continued to rub it in, “Since you’re having lunch here today, I’ll order the kitchen to prepare a sumptuous feast especially for you.”

Chi Rui’er was filled with fury as she watched An Xiaoning leave. Darn it! she thought to herself.

She began to regret not killing An Xiaoning earlier. She would not have had to suffer such humiliation if the latter had died.

As noon approached, Fan Shixin gave Jin Qingyan a call to inform him that they had already nabbed the culprit and locked him up.

Jin Qingyan then ordered him to proceed with interrogations, which will carry on after lunch should the culprit choose not to speak up.

Lunch that day consisted of a splendid spread of delicacies and staple dishes such as fermented beancurd with chili sauce.

Jin Qingyan observed An Xiaoning’s expressions, only to realize that she had been surprisingly calm throughout, with no signs of anger or animosity towards Chi Rui’er at all.

He began to wonder just what she was thinking.

“Ms. Chi, please do enjoy your lunch here at our home. You’re absolutely welcome, since you’re my husband’s friend. Don’t stand on ceremony with us,” said An Xiaoning.

As much as she detested how pretentious An Xiaoning was, and even while cursing her in her head, Chi Rui’er continued putting up a front and answered, “I don’t ever stand on ceremony whenever I’m at Qingyan’s place. In fact, I often make myself at home.”

With a squint, An Xiaoning picked up her chopsticks and began eating.

“This meat smells delicious,” said Chi Rui’er as she picked up a piece of meat from a plate of dish in the middle of the table with her chopsticks. She savored the meat delightedly, as if it was her first time tasting it.

Ignoring her reply, An Xiaoning remained calm and composed while watching her enjoy the food.

Jin Qingyan took a look at the dish and was just as puzzled as to what it was. Thus, he asked Auntie Chen, “What meat is that?”

Seeming to be a little ill at ease, Auntie Chen glanced towards An Xiaoning before answering, “It’s some meat Young Madam had received from an unknown person. Young Madam had instructed me to prepare a dish with it before it turns stale, since Ms. Chi has come for lunch too.”

At that instant, Jin Qingyan retracted his chopsticks as soon as he realized that it was a dish made out of the dead rats…

His appetite was ruined at the thought of it.

He stared at An Xiaoning in disbelief. She then picked up some food and placed it onto his plate while grinning, “Have this, Hubby.”

Jin Qingyan continued to stare in astonishment at Chi Rui’er, who had been helping herself nonstop to the rat meat. He was driven into a dilemma, unable to decide if he should stop her.

Finally, he could not tolerate it any further and decided to speak up, “Um… the meat was meant for Xiaoning, stop eating it…”

Not sensing anything amiss, Chi Rui’er answered, “But she’s not even eating any. Let me have it instead. It’s delicious. What’s the matter, Qingyan? You’re not going to allow me to eat ’til my heart’s full even though I’m a guest?”

“Of course not, help yourself to it, then,” he said awkwardly, not explaining any further.

The meal lasted for half an hour.

An Xiaoning was exceptionally enthralled by the sweet taste of revenge.

“Auntie, what kind of meat is this? I’d like to buy some home,” asked Chi Rui’er.

Auntie Chen hesitated for a long while as she was unsure of what to say. Before she could even say anything, An Xiaoning interjected, “Rat meat.”

“What?” Chi Rui’er turned as pale as a sheet, the shock robbing her of her senses.

“Didn’t you ask what kind of meat it was? I answered you, it’s rat meat.”

“Oh god…” Chi Rui’er covered her mouth as she grimaced with nausea. Feeling utterly disgusted and queasy, she hurriedly sped towards the washroom.

She kneeled down before the toilet bowl and began throwing up everything she had eaten. It was a while before she managed to stand up again and exit the washroom. With an unsteady gait, she supported her weight against the wall and returned to the living room, only to be greeted with the sight of a carefree An Xiaoning enjoying some fruit. “An Xiaoning! How inhuman of you to have the audacity to feed me rat meat!” Chi Rui’er hollered.

“I didn’t force you to eat it, you wolfed it down out of your own accord. Didn’t you mention that it was delicious? Why are you reacting differently now that you know it’s rat meat? How sad must those rats feel, to know how disgusted you are with them, so much so that you threw them up again after masticating them.”

“You… your logic is twisted.”

“You… you ate it out of your own accord.”

“Um… Rui’er, we have something to attend to in a while. If there isn’t anything else, I suggest you make a move first,” Jin Qingyan interrupted, not knowing what else to say.

“Qingyan!” Chi Rui’er cried in injustice, tears welling up in her eyes. She felt extremely hurt that he did not go out of his way to stop her from eating the rat meat, despite being fully aware of what it was. Instead of bringing the entire dish away like he usually would have, he chose to sit back and watch as she ingested every bit of it, which was very much to her disappointment.

Chi Rui’er began to feel extremely aggrieved the more she thought about it.

“Your wife may look innocent and harmless on the surface, but in reality, she’s extremely evil and scheming. Can’t you tell!?!” she cried.

“I’m perfectly clear about what kind of person she is. She did this today because of what you had done to her in the past. It’s just tit for tat, an eye for an eye. I don’t think it’s appropriate of you to describe her as ‘evil,’” Jin Qingyan defended An Xiaoning.

“What… have you been brainwashed by her? Qingyan, I’m the person you love the most!” shrieked Chi Rui’er. She stared wide-eyed at him in disbelief.

“Shixin, please get her bodyguard to send her back,” Jin Qingyan instructed.

“Yes.”

“I’m not leaving!” Stomping her feet furiously, she walked towards him and glowered in anger. “Qingyan, did you forget what you once told me? Did you forget everything you said on the operating table? You said you would marry me right away, as long as I was willing! You’ve only married her for days, yet you’re already so biased towards her. I admit, I was wrong to have done that, but I did it all because of you!”

Beginning to dislike Chi Rui’er, Auntie Chen was in utmost approval of what An Xiaoning had done, serving Chi Rui’er with rat meat. In fact, she even felt that merely a plate was not enough.

Jin Qingyan summarized everything he had wanted to say at that point in time into a few simple sentences. Turning to face Chi Rui’er, he said coldly, “I said those words before you got together with Gu Beicheng and way before I married Xiaoning. We can neither turn back the clock nor return to that moment.”

Chi Rui’er clenched her fists tightly and stood rooted to ground, having nowhere to hide.

She glanced towards An Xiaoning, who remained calm, as if she did not hear any part of their conversation at all. “Great, you’re really something. I take my hat off to you!” Chi Rui’er scoffed angrily.

“That has nothing to do with you at all. I am the lawful wife of Jin Qingyan and the Daughter-in-law of the Jin Family, whom every member of the family approves of. As the Mistress of this house, I demand that you get lost from my home immediately,” An Xiaoning retorted.

Chi Rui’er was terribly embarrassed. An Xiaoning’s words seemed to be a huge blow to her ego. Keeping her eyes fixed on An Xiaoning, she thought to herself,I will destroy you one day!

“Shixin, what are you waiting for?” Jin Qingyan shot him a look. The bodyguard, who had been on standby at the door, entered to pull Chi Rui’er away forcefully.