Xu Qingyan met his gaze, and after a moment, the second young master’s expression remained indifferent.
“Unfortunately, those who dare to lay a knife on me never live to tell the tale.”

In other words, those who harmed him and those who saved him all met the same fate.
What kind of logic was this?

This man was incredibly arrogant.

“I know who wanted to harm you,” Xu Qingyan refused to give up.
This was her last attempt.
“Don’t you want to know?”

“And you’ll tell me?” He cast a sidelong glance at her.

Xu Qingyan spoke earnestly, “Let everyone else leave, and I will tell you alone.”

As soon as the words left her mouth, a man to her left spoke up sharply, “Do you know who you’re talking to?” Xu Qingyan recognized him as the man who had come to rescue them that night, the one they called “Brother Jiu”.

Unfazed, Xu Qingyan kept her composure, her eyes fixed unwaveringly on the second young master, afraid to miss even the slightest change in his expression. 

Despite his words, she knew deep down that in this room, he was the only one who could spare her life.
She could sense it.

The second young master remained silent, those few seconds making Xu Qingyan feel as if she had wandered through the gates of hell.

After a while, he suddenly raised his hand and waved it dismissively, “Everyone, leave.”

Everyone’s face was filled with surprise, even Ah Bao who had been standing like a statue by the bed showed an expression of astonishment.

However, the words of the second young master were like an unbreakable decree.

The first person to stand up and leave was Big Brother, followed closely by his entourage.
The young man hesitated, looking at his second brother and then at Xu Qingyan, before silently walking out of the room, his expression filled with concern.
Though reluctant, the Third Miss pouted and left as well.
Their attendants followed suit.

“Ah Bao, you too,” 

Ah Bao was taken aback.
Was he also expected to leave? But he didn’t dare to argue and quickly complied, briskly leaving the room.

The room was now empty except for Xu Qingyan and Lord Liang.
As she looked at him, he was also looking at her.

Her features were refined, with beautiful slightly slanted eyes that had a subtle elongation at the corners, exuding a calm and vigilant light.
Her nose was straight and delicate, her lips pale in color.
With her short hair neatly framing her ears, she gave off a somewhat cold aura.

There was a flower called the snow lotus that seemed to suit her well.

Lord Liang didn’t linger on his gaze and casually said, “Okay, you can speak now.”

“If I speak, can you let me go?” Xu Qingyan asked.

“How are they related?” Er Ye replied.

“…I need a promise,” Xu Qingyan insisted.

“I never make promises,” Er Ye said with a faint smile.
Xu Qingyan’s mind raced, and she struggled to suppress her increasingly heavy breathing. 

The person before her seemed nonchalant, but she knew he couldn’t be as harmless as he appeared.

To threaten or to plead for mercy? In just a few seconds, Xu Qingyan made a crucial decision that would either lead to life or death.

“You mentioned…that anyone who has touched your body couldn’t survive.
I guess it has something to do with the skin graft surgery you underwent,” she said, knowing there was no turning back once the words were spoken. 

Her heart was pounding so hard it felt like it might burst from her chest.

The person on the bed remained unfazed, not even furrowing his brows.
He stroked his chin and surprisingly chuckled, saying, “Dr.
Xu, you know how to please me better than the others.”

In an instant, cold sweat trickled down Xu Qingyan’s forehead, sliding gently to her chin and leaving a faint mark on the dark brown floor, vanishing in the blink of an eye.

“Pleasing you?” She couldn’t grasp the meaning behind those words.

Lord Liang continued to speak nonchalantly, “They either begged for mercy on their knees or wept bitterly…too boring.
You, on the other hand, are quite interesting.
Well then, today I will spare you.
But…” He shifted his posture and calmly stated, “don’t appear in front of me again.”

Xu Qingyan’s mind went blank for a moment, unable to believe the sudden turn of events.

“What? don’t want to?” The man lifted an eyelid, assessing her.

Xu Qingyan snapped back to reality and responded, “I want to.”

Her voice trembled, not because she was timid, but because after experiencing life and death, the overwhelming joy of being given a second chance brought uncontrollable excitement.

Xu Qingyan hesitated for a long time but couldn’t help asking, “Don’t you want to know the whereabouts of the camera?”

Lord Liang shrugged indifferently, “I’ve already sent someone to find it.”

Xu Qingyan was shocked.
To what extent did this person possess such meticulous thinking? Her self-proclaimed bargaining chip turned out to be worthless.
The realization filled her with a sense of fear and gratitude.
She was truly fortunate.

Leopard entered the room, and with a few quiet words from his boss, his expression changed. 

His gaze involuntarily shifted towards Xu Qingyan. 

Then, he nodded and before walking up to Xu Qingyan, saying, “Dr.
Xu, please come with me.”

Xu Qingyan’s legs had gone numb.
After the initial shock, her whole body felt weak, almost causing her to stumble and fall.
Gritting her teeth, she walked to the door.

Suddenly, Lord Liang called out to her, “Dr.

“You promised to let me go,” Xu Qingyan replied without looking back, leaning against the door, afraid that the man might have a change of heart.

Lord Liang watched her tense figure and smiled, “Don’t be nervous.
I just wanted to say thank you.”

“No need,” Xu Qingyan swiftly responded.

Upon seeing Xu Qingyan being escorted out of the mansion by Ah Bao, Third Miss, Li Zhi wore a look of surprise.
She hurriedly returned to the room and asked, “Brother, did you let that woman go?”

“Mm,” came the confirmation.
Li Zhi was even more shocked, “Why? We found the camera, didn’t we? She has no more value to exploit.”

Liang Jiankong slowly lay down, closing his eyes.
It was clear that he refused to answer. 

“Sister, let’s go.
Second Brother is still recovering from his serious injuries and needs rest,” Youngest Brother Li Huai gestured, pulling a reluctant Li Zhi away.

Li Zhi still couldn’t understand.
She went to ask Big Brother Li Tong, “Big brother, why did second brother let that woman go?”

Li Tong was feeding the fish, his stoic face reflected in the glass of the aquarium.
He calmly said, “Your second brother has his own judgment, and his decisions are unwavering.”

Li Zhi narrowed her eyes.
“I smell something fishy.”

Li Huai nudged her.
“Are you suspecting that second brother has taken a liking to Dr.

Li Zhi exclaimed in annoyance, “What nonsense! I just find her pretense of composure irritating.”

“What’s with your attitude? I personally find it quite rare and admirable.
This woman carries herself with grace,” Li Huai retorted.

The siblings playfully bickered while the eldest brother continued to feed the fish, seemingly oblivious to their conversation.


Ah Bao personally drove Xu Qingyan away.
Just like when she arrived, her eyes were covered with a blindfold.
The atmosphere in the car was suffocating, and neither of them spoke throughout the journey.

Even now, Xu Qingyan was still sweating profusely. 

She didn’t even have time to be scared during the gunfire, but in front of that man, she was terrified.
He seemed to deliberately intimidate her, to make her unable to breathe.
Even though she was now far away from his gaze, she still felt chills in her heart.

She didn’t know how long it had been before the car came to a slow stop.

“We’ve arrived,” he said.

Ah Bao removed the blindfold, and Xu Qingyan looked out of the window to see her house just across the street.
It seemed they had investigated her.

“Can I go now?” she asked.

“Yes, you can.”

“You won’t come looking for me again, will you?” She needed a definitive answer without any lingering doubts.

“No, we won’t,” Ah Bao paused for a moment, his dark eyes locked onto Xu Qingyan. 

Although she appeared pale, she maintained a calm demeanor.
Xu Qingyan wasn’t fearless, but she had better control over it than others.
He had seen it when she held the scalpel during surgery, her hands steady and unwavering.
Even when confronted by the powerful figures of the Li family, she didn’t show any sign of fear.
This was something that Ah Bao admired.

He continued, “Dr.
Xu, Lord Liang has spared you this time, but there won’t be a next time.
From now on, forget everything.
This is the best choice for you.”

Xu Qingyan nodded silently and got out of the car.
The air felt damp, as if it had just rained.
Xu Qingyan instinctively wrapped her arms around herself and hurriedly walked back home. 

She was aware that someone was still watching her from behind, and she could not turn around.

As soon as Xu Qingyan stepped inside her house, she stood still, staring into the darkness for a moment.

After a few minutes, she dashed into the bedroom, collapsing onto the bed, wrapping herself tightly in a thin blanket.

She curled up, burying her head in the covers, trying to shut out the jumbled mess of recent events from her mind.
It felt like a nightmare, and she hoped that by simply sleeping it off, she could make it all go away.

The thunderous knocking at the door jolted Xu Qingyan awake. 

Slowly, she lifted her head from the covers, taking a moment to recognize that she was in her own home instead of the cramped, suffocating basement. 

Xu Qingyan couldn’t help but smile wryly; returning to her normal life seemed to make her feel a bit out of place.

The person outside the door continued to knock and shout, “Xu Qingyan, are you there?”

Startled, Xu Qingyan hesitated for a moment before rushing to answer the door. 

However, as she glanced down, she noticed that her clothes were still stained with blood, a reminder of the chaotic ordeal she had endured – the crawling, fighting, and gun battle.
She was dirty and unkempt, not to mention her exhausted appearance. 

Without wasting any time, she quickly changed into some casual home attire, tidied her hair, and put on her glasses to partially conceal her pale face.

Cao Jin’s hand, which was about to pound on the door, froze in mid-air, and he let out a sigh of relief.
“Your mother told me you were out of contact, turns out you were just sleeping at home.
Did your phone run out of battery?”

“Yeah, it automatically shut down,” she replied, realizing her voice was hoarse.

Cao Jin frowned, studying her for a moment.
“You look so pale.
Did you have such a tiring trip? Were you robbed or something?” He joked.

Sometimes words have unintended effects.
Although he spoke without much thought, Xu Qingyan, considering that Cao Jin was a detective, briefly contemplated sharing her recent ordeal with this old friend.
She considered seeking help from the police.

However, the cold expression on that man’s face flashed through her mind.

The words that came out of Xu Qingyan’s mouth changed: “I’m fine, just had a bumpy journey.
I need to take a shower and then go to the hospital.
You can go back and continue with your work.
Sorry for making you come all the way here.”

“Wait a minute,” Cao Jin, as expected, had sharp eyes.
He grasped Xu Qingyan’s wrist, his playful demeanor disappearing.
“What is this bloodstain?”

It wasn’t Xu Qingyan’s blood; it was from that man, Lord Liang.
Xu Qingyan remained calm and said, “It’s nothing.
I scraped my skin a bit on the way back earlier.”

After considering for a moment and seeing that she didn’t appear to be lying, Cao Jin nodded.
“Alright, remember to come home for dinner tomorrow night.”

“No, thanks.”

“Why do you have to be like this?”


With a cold expression, Xu Qingyan closed the door.
Cao Jin called out a few more times from outside before giving up.

Since that incident, she had fallen out with her family.
She didn’t follow their demand to continue studying at the music academy.
Instead, to everyone’s surprise, she had applied to study medicine.

Xu Qingyan spent a full two hours cleaning herself up in the bathroom. 

She looked at the pile of dirty clothes that reeked, and without hesitation, she bundled them up in a paper bag and threw them into the trash bin on her way out. 

Back on track in her normal life, Xu Qingyan’s colleagues asked about her travel experiences, and she casually shared her photos with them.

She continued her routine of examining patients, making rounds, and attending meetings, keeping herself busy to the point of exhaustion every day.
It was as if by doing so, she could forget those dark days.

However, for some reason, Xu Qingyan still remembered every detail, including the scars on that man’s body and the intricate patterns they formed.

If that was the world of darkness, if he were still alive, would he also be struggling in this enigmatic world? 

She had once asked him the reason he chose that path, living each day not knowing if there would be a tomorrow.
He had responded with laughter, saying that life had many paths, and he wanted to take a different one.
He admitted his lack of talent but wanted to make a name for himself, even if it meant taking a risk.

Little did they know, he had chosen a path of no return.


Xu Qingyan snapped back to reality, realizing that she had been lost in her thoughts during working hours.

“I’m sorry, what is it?” Xu Qingyan looked up and asked the nurse at the front desk.

“There’s a patient who wants to make an appointment,” the nurse said.

Xu Qingyan glanced at the time; it was already twelve o’clock.
“Let’s schedule it for the afternoon.”

“But the patient insists on being seen now, claiming severe stomach pain,” the nurse explained.

Xu Qingyan paused for a moment and then said, “Give him an appointment.”

As the last patient of the morning walked in, Xu Qingyan was reviewing the morning’s medical records.
Upon hearing the voice, she calmly said, “Please have a seat.

It’s been hurting all morning,” the patient replied.

“Only today? Have you experienced this pain before?” Xu Qingyan inquired.

“Yes, it lasted for three to four days.”

“Do you have a history of stomach issues?”

Xu Qingyan reviewed his medical records, and as she looked up, her blood rushed from her feet to her head in an instant.
Her usually calm face turned flushed with astonishment, and a sense of disbelief washed over her.

This couldn’t be possible.

Shen Yuechu?

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