One ought to react appropriately to the situation and say the right thing at the right time. Although it may seem a little hypocritical, isn't it simply a wise thing to do?
Otherwise, was she supposed to act like a fool in front of a powerful and formidable enemy?
If it weren't for her glib tongue, Pei Yi would have long executed her when he'd abducted her previously.
"Why aren't you answering me? Are you tongue-tied?" Pei Yi asked with a scoff.
"Not at all. We're all adults, there's nothing to be shy or awkward about. I don't find anything wrong with being in a relationship with him if we love each other and are both willing parties," An Xiaoning said with a mirthless smile.
"Didn't you say that you don't love him anymore?"
"He's the man that I love most in the whole wide world. How could I not love him? Although we're divorced, he still holds a place in my heart, even if we're not in a relationship right now. I only said what I said before because I was afraid that I would upset you and you'll kill me in turn."
"Aren't you afraid that I'll do the same now?"
An Xiaoning looked at him dauntlessly while remaining composed and said, "If you do that, I can only assume that you've fallen for a withered flower like me, Master Pei. Otherwise, there's no reason for you to be upset about me and Jin Qingyan. Besides, you're a man who has zero tolerance for filth. You obviously wouldn't be interested in me. I was just reading too much into things before. Now that I think about it, this is the real you. There's no point in me hiding the truth either."
He was at a momentary loss for words, for he found that she had indeed made sense.
It was none of his business who she loved, since he would only ever be interested in virgins.
"I've never quite interacted with Jin Qingyan before, but I do admit, he's a lot manlier than your president," said Pei Yi.
Who wouldn't be happy to hear someone else praise their beloved man?
She smiled and said, "I think so, too."
"Did you go to V Nation out of your own accord or were you just following orders?"
"Given your wit and intelligence, you should know why I went there, Master Pei. The treasure map doesn't entice me at all. I'm not in need of money, nor am I interested in getting my hands on those mentioned treasures. I only went because I was forced to. However, it wasn't a fruitful trip and my efforts were futile."
"I was afraid of dying, that's why I came back," she answered, staring at him calmly.
"I reckon you're the only one who can be so openly afraid of death," said Pei Yi, rolling down the window a little to let the breeze in.
An Xiaoning eased herself into a comfortable position, completely ignoring the fact that she was practically being trapped. She acted as if she was just a friend of his and said, "I'm going to take a nap, wake me up when we're there."
"Can you really fall asleep?"
"I didn't sleep well last night, I had a long night of dreams."
She closed her eyes and dozed off.
Pei Yi took a glance at her. I can't believe she's still so brazen as to fall asleep beside me even after I took her away by force.
Just what is this woman made of?
Are her brains different from others?
Once they arrived on Mount Qingping, the car began moving slowly into his den.
An Xiaoning woke up the moment the car stopped.
She cocked her head to the side and met his eyes. "We're here?" An Xiaoning asked.
The moment he pushed the door open, someone handed him an umbrella.
He took the umbrella, got out of the car, and closed the car door.
An Xiaoning alighted from the car and scurried toward him. She stood below his umbrella and said, "I'm hungry, Master Pei, let's have a meal together."
"You personally invited me over to be your guest, and I'm already here. Aren't you going to treat me to a meal?"
"What do you want to eat?"
"There are lots of things I want to eat. Look how much thinner I've gotten. It's time I nourished myself. Let's go, we'll talk while we walk," said An Xiaoning, holding onto his arm and pulling him forward.
Pei Yi did not shrug her hand away like he usually would and instead brought her to the eighth floor.
He then arranged for the servants to prepare some food.
The decor in his room still looked the same as before. However, the cranes on his table were missing.
"You threw away the cranes I folded?"
"Is there a need for me to keep something so worthless?"
She was at a momentarily loss for words and said with a grin, "You should throw things that aren't supposed to be kept."
He brought her a chain and said, "I won't tie your hands together, but your legs have to be chained. Put it on yourself."
"Master Pei, didn't you invite me here to be a guest? Why do guests have to have their legs chained? Are you afraid that I would escape on my own?" she asked, hiding her true emotions.
"I can't say the same about others, but I completely believe that you have the ability to do that."
"Can I not wear it?"
"Do you want to put it on yourself or do you want me to do it for you? Take your pick."
She took the chain from him, which did not look as heavy as it really was. "What is this made of?" she asked.
"A special material. The chain can't be unlocked without a key."
She did not ask any further questions and put them on herself.
"Will this do?"
He nodded and said, "Now that you're back in my hands, will Jin Qingyan still come and rescue you?"
"Can I ask you a question? If you answer my question, I'll answer yours," An Xiaoning asked, looking at him earnestly.
"Since you haven't fallen for me and don't wish to be in a relationship with me, why are you still imprisoning me here even though you know that it won't bring you any political benefits?"
He had once thought about that question before and, hence, he could answer her right away.
"Being with you makes me feel very comfortable. You make the ambiance pleasant, and it doesn't feel awkward even if we don't talk for the entire morning. It's rare for someone to make me feel that way."
"But I can't chat and eat with you all the time. There are a lot of things for me to do. Please don't be surprised if you find me missing one day, Master Pei."
Pei Yi did not expect her to be bold enough to say something like that even with her legs chained.
He had never met such a woman before.
She was arrogant and prideful, yet she would succumb whenever necessary.
"You're right. Jin Qingyan must be on his way to rescue you now."
"He won't come this time. I won't allow him to either." She whipped out her mobile phone and said, "May I send him a text and tell him not to come and save me?"
"Sure…" Pei Yi said in bewilderment.
An Xiaoning opened the messaging app and typed a string of words that she then quickly sent to Jin Qingyan.
The content of the message was brief and concise.
She mainly told him not to come to Mount Qingping and that she would return soon. She also instructed him to help Gu Beicheng and the rest.
Pei Yi glanced at the message and asked in puzzlement, "Do you really think he won't come just because you told him not to?"
"No, I just really hope he won't come because I can escape on my own if I wanted to."
"I shall see how you're going to leave this place."
She smiled without uttering a word.
That's the fun in such games, isn't it?
What a thrill.
Qin Guo flew into an immense rage the moment she heard that Pei Yi had brought An Xiaoning back again.
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