“I treated both of you well.” Pei Xuan crossed his hands and looked at Mu Gua. “You had quit school and entered society, working as a construction worker. I had seen that you were still young and brought you back. I gave you a job that pays you in a month what you would have earned in a year, what are you not satisfied about?”
Then he looked at Mu Er and smiled, “You said that you wanted to support your family, that as long as you could cure your mother and provide for your brother’s university tuition fees, you were willing to do anything. I never made you do things that you didn’t like to do. I let you act. Didn’t you want to be an actress? You could do the things you liked while making money, what are you not satisfied about?”
The smile on his face slowly disappeared, his expression slowly turning cold, lowering the temperature in the room all of a sudden.
“Give me one reason,” Pei Xuan said blandly, “why did you betray me?”
Mu Gua, “I want to go back to being a construction worker.”
“I…” Mu Er was unable to blatantly lie like him, or it might be because she had spent a longer time with him and didn’t want to be perfunctory with Pei Xuan, she pursed her lips and said, “Sorry, becoming an actress is my dream, but a dream is still a dream in the end. After trying it out, I discovered that I like the life of an ordinary person more. I’m really sorry, the money…I will think of a way to earn them and return them back to you.”
“I do not lack money.” Pei Xuan stood up from the chair and slowly walked towards her, pinching her chin while saying, “What I lack is you.”
Mu Er was taken aback, she looked up at him.
Being at breathing distance with those captivating eyes, Mu Gua suddenly shouted from the side, “Sis!”
Mu Er was then woken up from her dream-like state. She let out an exclamation and pushed him away.
Pei Xuan took a few steps back from the push. His two lackeys walked forward as though they wanted to teach this girl a lesson on behalf of him, but he raised his hand to stop them. He looked at Mu Er who was trembling slightly and suddenly smiled at her.
It was a smile that had a slight sense of evil and a slight sense of affection, which made Mu Er stare at him in a daze again.
“Just come along with me.” He slowly reached out a hand towards Mu Er as he looked at her with certainty. “You are willing to do anything for me.”
Because you love me.
Mu Er stared at the hand in front of her, struggles were written all over her face.
“I cannot.” She said in a low voice, “What you are doing is bad. I don’t want to get caught together with you, I’m scared…”
“We won’t get caught as long as I win.” Pei Xuan said with tender affection, “Darling, do you think that I will lose?”
He was very smart. He always won—using cunning, evil and ruthless means.
Mu Er’s hand that was by her side was raised a little, Mu Gua looked at her with shock and pain. “Sis…”
That hand was struggling. It was raised and lowered as the smile on Pei Xuan’s face grew darker and darker. He was like a demon king, the girl in front of him a witch he had been seducing. The moment she placed her hand into his, the future would turn into the one Ning Ning knew.
A criminal mastermind who hid behind the scenes, a witch who enticed all living beings on stage.
The two of them were surprised at the same time, turning their heads around.
Two policemen were standing at the doorway. One of them walked up to Pei Xuan, scanning him from head to toe for a moment then said, “Are you Pei Xuan? Someone wants to report you for breaking and entering, bigamy, and fraud. Please come with us.”
Bigamy? Mu Er was shocked. Her cheeks had turned red from anger, she hurriedly took two steps back and hid behind her brother, unwilling to take another look at Pei Xuan anymore.
Pei Xuan’s eyes held a trace of surprise, but they quickly reverted back to their usual calm. He adjusted his glasses in a gentle and refined manner. “Alright. Please give me a moment, let me inform my lawyer.”
He gave his lawyer a call then went out with the two policemen. A few neighbours were standing by the door as they pointed at and talked about him. He did not pay them any mind, he only stopped when he had gotten downstairs, looking across the street.
He looked at the little girl hiding behind Wen Yu.
“Please come back with us to give us your testimony.” The police stopped in front of Wen Yu.
“Alright.” Wen Yu nodded. Just as he was about to leave with Ning Ning, he suddenly saw Pei Xuan walking towards them. His body immediately stiffened and he looked at Pei Xuan cautiously.
“Relax, I’m not here for you.” Pei Xuan smiled at him, then looked down at Ning Ning. “Little lady who loves custard cream buns, your mother has been frantically looking for you. Don’t loiter around outside, go home quickly.”
Ning Ning was taken aback. She watched as he got into the police car, not understanding why he came over to specially tell her that. There was a possibility that flashed in her mind, but she didn’t believe it—she refused to believe it—thus, she quickly tossed the possibility aside and held the hand beside her. “Big Brother Wen Yu, let’s go.”
Mu Gua and Mu Er came down together as well. Initially, they had wanted to help Wen Yu take care of the child, but Ning Ning rejected them. Because those siblings had things to attend to, she wanted to follow Wen Yu to the police station to take a look at what would happen to Pei Xuan.
As if he knew what she was thinking of, Wen Yu said on the way there, “I have already contacted Teacher Yan along with his other victims, they are making their way there. This time, he will not escape no matter what.”
As expected, the ones who came were women. It shouldn’t only be the two that were there, there should be still a few who were on their way. What was worse was that the moment they saw Pei Xuan, they flew into rage. One of them had rushed up to kick him, the other had rushed up to beat him, but the moment Pei Xuan had lowered his head and whispered a few words in their ears, they hugged him and started crying.
“Pardon me.” Pei Xuan turned and smiled at the policeman who was detaining him. “Can you give them a glass of warm water?”
The corner of Ning Ning’s eye twitched as she watched from the side. Would this fellow really be brought to justice? She was not the only one who was a little worried, she looked up at Wen Yu beside her and saw that he was also frowning.
“It’s fine.” Ning Ning held onto his finger tightly as she said in a serious tone. “Not everyone will be like that.”
At least Yan Qing, Yu Sheng, and Lian family whom he had terrorised would not let him off.
Wen Yu smiled. Just as Ning Ning was about to say something, his mobile phone rang, he answered it and passed it to her in a little while.
“Ning Ning.” Ning Yu Ren’s voice rang out from the other side. “Where are you? I’ll come get you.”
“I’m at the police station.” Ning Ning answered.
“Police station?” Ning Yu Ren asked doubtfully, “What are you doing over there?”
“I’m accompanying Big Brother Wen Yu while he records his testimony.” Ning Ning probed by saying, “A big baddie named Pei Xuan was caught.”
“Pei Xuan?” Ning Yu Ren’s tone was very meek. “He was arrested?”
In that instant Ning Ning’s heart could not help but thump. She beat Ning Yu Ren in speaking first, “You don’t have to fetch me, I will get Big Brother Wen Yu to send me back.”
She quickly hung up.
“What’s wrong?” Wen Yu looked at her from the side.
“…Nothing.” Ning Ning felt too ashamed to tell him the truth.
She didn’t want Mama to come over, she didn’t want Mama to meet Pei Xuan. Pei Xuan’s attitude towards her was too strange. She was afraid that they had a relationship that surpassed that of business partners.
Wen Yu looked at her deeply for a moment without speaking.
Once he got his testimony recorded, he drove her home.
The sky was almost dark, the cars on the road came and went, Wen Yu slowly brought the car to a stop at a traffic light. Ning Ning idled her time away in the backseat as she played around with the mobile phone.
“You can call her back.” Wen Yu, who was driving, suddenly said.
Ning Ning looked up at him.
“There shouldn’t be any reservations between family members. You can ask her any questions you have.” Wen Yu said.
“What if…” Ning Ning said with difficulty, “what if the answer is very scary?”
It was too scary! It didn’t matter if her biological father was Pei Xuan or Director Chen, they were both too scary! She would rather be adopted!
“Would you not love your mother anymore if the answer is scary?” Wen Yu asked with a smile.
Ning Ning was taken aback. She looked down and said quietly, “That’s not possible.”
Ning Yu Ren was the one who had given birth to her, educated her and given her everything. Ning Ning loved her the most. How could she come to hate her because of a man who had never appeared in her life?
No matter if she was born into this world from love, no matter if that love was touching to Ning Yu Ren, or if it was a black mark in her history—that was Mama’s love, Mama’s past. She was willing to bring them, bring Mama into her embrace.
“I want to call Mama…” Ning Ning said. Before she could finish speaking, a hand had already pulled open the front car door, then a teenage girl got into the car.
“Oh.” Slightly curly hair fell from her shoulders, her hair was dotted with snow, she grinned at Wen Yu. “Looking at the license plate, I thought it was Little Li who was driving, I didn’t think it was you.”
This was an especially sociable girl with a sweet smile. She was already completely seated in the front seat when she spoke. She turned around and looked at Ning Ning. “Who is this? Your little niece?”
“The child of a friend,” Wen Yu answered, “I’m about to send her home.”
“You are such a people pleaser.” The girl gently bumped him with her shoulder. Wen Yu retracted to his side as she was being over familiar. That reaction seemed to have amused her, she started to chuckle, “Send me back home later, I’ve been walking for the whole day, I cannot walk anymore.”
Ning Ning looked at Wen Yu then the girl.
The words of her grandmother before she had transmigrated flashed in her head.
“In 1997, at the time when you went missing, If not for a teenage couple who had picked you up, you probably would have frozen to death in the harsh winter. Speaking of which, what were their names, the name of the boy seems to be Wen…Sigh, I’m getting old, I cannot remember clearly.”
Ning Ning looked at Wen Yu, then at the girl beside him with a weird expression and thought: Don’t tell me she was talking about this incident?
“Oh? So you are Ning Yu Ren’s daughter?” The girl suddenly turned back and reached out after talking to Wen Yu for a while. She took her tiny hand and shook it. “Nice to meet you. I am also an actress. I entered the business after watching your mother act in <<The Person within the Painting>>. Her acting is truly amazing, I really idolise her! Can you get your mother’s autograph for me?”
She was very sociable and very good at mooching off people—no matter if it was mooching off a car ride or mooching off an opportunity to get to know the movie empress. Although there were a lot of people in show business who wanted to mooch off like that, to be able to mooch off and not have people hate you was a kind of talent.
Ning Ning did not have that kind of talent, the girl in front of her did. Honestly speaking, Ning Ning admired this type of person quite a bit, thus she nodded. “Al…right!”
The traffic light turned green, the cars that had stopped then started to move again, but one of them suddenly came to a screeching halt a few seconds later.
Ning Ning saw it very clearly.
A man who was standing on the sidewalk was ferociously pushed from behind into the stream of cars.
The car that was at the front did not manage to stop in time and hit him.
There were sounds of cars braking, people screaming, people calling the police. The person who had pushed him remained rooted on the spot, the body stayed in the pushing stance, the face was injured, the expression was kind of dull, it even looked like they were a little at a loss—it was Xu Rong.
The shot freeze-framed on her face, the world suddenly turning grey.
The sounds of cars braking, people screaming, people calling the police disappeared one by one, the world had turned silent.
This was already not her first time seeing something like this, Ning Ning slowly closed her eyes.
When she opened her eyes again, a giant screen was suspended in front of her. She was sitting on the audience seat, an arm was around her shoulders, the person said with a laugh, “This is everyone’s revenge. Everyone gets a stab at him, no one gets left behind…who are you taking revenge for?”
With a slight shock, Ning Ning turned and looked at him.
The screen lit up, it was reflected in a blurred and colourful manner on his jade mask. He looked down at her with a smile, his index finger gently prodded her lips. “Here, tell me secretly…for whom?”