onally 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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