Xu Qingyan didn’t know how she ended up in the car, but in the presence of this powerful man, she could only maintain her composure.
He beckoned her to get in the car, and she understood that refusing might not be the wisest choice.
And so, now she sat beside him, quiet as if she were transparent.

“It’s quite far from the city center.
What brings Dr.
Xu here?”

Two months had passed, and he had fully recovered.
His complexion had improved significantly, and he had even trimmed his hair, appearing remarkably neat and refined. 

He looked completely different from the distressed state he was in before, a countless times better.
He wore a light gray dress shirt, with delicate silver cufflinks fastened at the sleeves. 

Leaning against the seat, he casually extended his long legs, one in front of the other, exuding an air of laziness from the side.
He kept his head down, engrossed in his phone, while casually throwing questions at her.

She wasn’t skilled at lying, so after some thought, she answered truthfully, “I got on the wrong bus.”

Lord Liang didn’t respond, and it was unclear whether he was satisfied with her answer or not.

Ah Bao sat in the passenger seat, occasionally getting distracted as he observed the situation behind, feeling a bit uneasy.
The driver, a multiracial Asian American named Mark, who also served as Lord Liang’s bodyguard, couldn’t help but eavesdrop.

Initially, they were just accompanying their boss for an errand today.
Suddenly, Ah Bao spotted Xu Qingyan across the street.
He wasn’t sure if she was waiting for someone, but she exuded a cold and distant aura.
It was unlike her usual style to sit there in a daze.

At the same time, Lord Liang also noticed her, but he only glanced at her briefly before retracting his gaze, getting into the car.
However, he didn’t instruct the driver to start the car and instead engrossed himself in his phone.

Ah Bao was uncertain whether Lord Liang had actually recognized Xu Qingyan.
If he did recognize her, would he take any action against her?

After waiting for a while with no response from the back, Ah Bao had to remind him, “Lord Liang, Mr.
Wu is already waiting for us.
Should we go over?”

However, he responded nonchalantly, “No rush.
I have something to take care of.”

And so, they remained in the car for half an hour.
Only then did Lord Liang give the order to leave, coincidentally finding their vehicle stuck in traffic and stopped right in front of Xu Qingyan.

Xu Qingyan was trying to hail a cab, but there were no vacant cars available at this hour. 

Ah Bao actually thought that this female doctor was quite a nice person.
If it weren’t for her, he might have already accompanied Lord Liang on their journey of reincarnation.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t make the decision to give her a ride.

Just then, a voice from behind spoke, “Pull over.”

Ah Bao was momentarily stunned, immediately realizing the his intention.
However, he was unsure of what his boss had in mind.
Since he had spared her last time, it was unlikely he would want to take her life again after the calm had returned.
But one couldn’t be certain.
Lord Liang’s thoughts were inscrutable.

Xu Qingyan had been sitting by the car door, trying to keep her distance from the man as much as possible.
However, her subtle movements couldn’t escape the keen eyes of a certain lord. 

He put away his phone and glanced at her, saying, “Dr.
Xu, no need to hurry.
Relax a bit.
The place you mentioned is still at least half an hour’s drive away.”

His voice carried a distinctive huskiness, not unpleasant, but rather unique, as if it were a file slowly grinding against Xu Qingyan’s heart.

Since they had idle time, Second Master initiated a casual conversation.
Xu, are you usually busy? Being a doctor must keep you quite occupied.”

“A bit,” she replied.

“What time do you finish work?” he inquired.

“Normally, around five-thirty.”

“And if it’s not normal?”

“It’s hard to say.”

“Do you live alone?”

Xu Qingyan hesitated for a moment before answering, “Yes.”

She had no reason to lie.
After all, he could find out whatever he wanted to know.

Feigning surprise, Lord Liang said, “I thought you were married.”

His relaxed and casual tone didn’t make their conversation any more lively.
Xu Qingyan was already a woman of few words, and now she made it a point to speak even fewer, making the atmosphere rather  tense.

“You’re going to Binhe Road now.
Is that where you live?”

“No,” she replied.

“Then where are you headed?”

After suppressing her frustration, Xu Qingyan answered, “For a meal.”

In reality, she wasn’t going to Binhe Road for dinner.
Her destination was two stops away from there.
She had an instinctual feeling that she couldn’t let this man get close to Ling Qiao, even if the probability was very low, she couldn’t ignore such a risk.

“There aren’t many good restaurants there,” he muttered to himself, but Xu Qingyan remained silent.

Ah Bao and Mark exchanged a glance and continued to remain silent.

She wasn’t sure if he still remembered his indifferent and cold words from their last encounter.
He had invited her into the car, not just for a simple ride, but with other intentions.
Could it be… But on second thought, how could she have anticipated meeting him in such a vast city? And his current appearance as a righteous gentleman made it impossible for her to associate him with any underworld connections.

Xu Qingyan continued to analyse the situation before her, even failing to register what he was saying.


Lord Liang’s tone was subdued, his left hand holding a cellphone while lightly tapping his right palm, both hands bearing several scars.

She couldn’t discern his meaning, but Ah Bao knew that Lord Liang never repeated his words.

Xu Qingyan pursed her lips, turned her head slightly, and whispered, “I’m sorry… I didn’t catch that.”

Her gaze fell upon his palm, and although she had seen those scars before, seeing them again sent a shiver down her spine.
She quickly averted her eyes, her eyelashes drooping as she focused on the surface of the seat.

Ah Bao’s heart trembled, but then he heard his boss repeating himself, “I said, why did Dr.
Xu choose gastroenterology?”

Xu Qingyan hesitated before answering, “Initially, I specialized in cardiothoracic surgery, but later switched to gastroenterology.”

He inquired curiously, “Why?”

Because his stomach was always in poor condition.

After contemplating for a moment, Xu Qingyan could only say, “I was following the arrangements made by the hospital.”

Lord Liang’s seemed to probe the truth behind her words.
Finally, he just smiled and said, “Dr.
Xu has beautiful hands.
Do you play the piano?”

This person was determined to uncover every detail about her, inside and out.

Indeed, Xu Qingyan’s hands were exceptionally beautiful, even more so than her face.
Fair skin, slender fingers, rounded fingertips and glossy nails.
When they danced upon the piano keys, it seemed as if they emitted a radiant glow. 

Xu Qingyan had been practicing the piano since childhood.
From the very first time, she was captivated by it.
Unlike other children who needed their parents’ constant supervision to practice, she felt that the piano was like another life for her. 

Unable to express herself eloquently through words, she relied on the sound of the piano to convey her emotions. 

She had a natural talent in this field, winning numerous awards.
Everyone believed that Xu Qingyan would surely be admitted to a music conservatory and become a pianist.

However, life’s path is never certain, and Xu Qingyan ultimately failed to become a pianist.

“I don’t play,” she said quietly, her face pale and devoid of expression.
The vibrant lights and colours of the street reflected on her face, revealing a profound silence that words couldn’t describe.

In the following moments, the gentleman’s phone kept ringing, and they didn’t continue their interrogative conversation. 

Xu Qingyan actually didn’t want to listen to his phone calls.
Who knew if they involved any sensitive information? Her nerves remained tense, and she clenched her palms, perspiring with anxiety.

Yet, he seemed unconcerned.
When he spoke on the phone, his tone remained unhurried, accompanied by a deep, low voice. 

Each sentence felt leisurely and relaxed, unlike Xu Qingyan, who seemed to speak as if pounding stones, each word a pit. 

She had always been straightforward, and Ling Qiao always remarked that she had a distant deameanor, often mistaken for being cold and arrogant. 

This mysterious gentleman was completely different from her.
Xu Qingyan had witnessed it firsthand—no one dared to object to anything he said.

The sedan slowly pulled over at the intersection of Binhe Road, and Ah Bao turned around to report, “Boss, we’ve arrived.”

Lord Liang was in the midst of discussing something about the day after tomorrow. 

He briefly turned his head to look at Xu Qingyan, who immediately held onto her bag and nodded slightly towards him, though her gaze didn’t linger on him.

“Thank you,” she said.
He didn’t say anything in response and continued with his phone call. 

Ah Bao opened the car door for her, and she took the opportunity to step out of the vehicle.

Ah Bao seemed like he wanted to say something to her but refrained due to the circumstances.

The sedan’s illuminated its left turn signal and slowly merged into the traffic.
Xu Qingyan stood by the roadside, watching it disappear into the night, while her heartbeat gradually returned to a normal rhythm.

It seemed that he truly had just offered her a ride along the way.
Throughout the journey, she had been on edge, afraid that he might suddenly say, “I told you not to appear before me again,” and then take her to some desolate place to end it all.

Now that everything was safe and sound, Xu Qingyan couldn’t quite figure out what was going on in this person’s mind.

When she arrived at the restaurant, Ling Qiao had already finished one round of meals.
Upon seeing Xu Qingyan, she immediately opened a can of beer, demanding an apology from her. 

Xu Qingyan smiled, without saying a word, and took a sip directly.

Xu Qingyan’s temperament was actually quite easy to understand.
People who didn’t know her well found her difficult to approach, but those who knew her understood that she was straightforward and didn’t tolerate any carelessness.
It was simply a matter of her lacking social skills and having a more introverted personality.

After finishing a can of beer, Xu Qingyan felt much more relieved.

“Haha, Yan’er, if your supervisor finds out about your alcohol tolerance, they’ll be laughing their heads off.”

In reality, the hospital wasn’t exactly a serene place; there were numerous social obligations to fulfill.
The director favored subordinates who could hold their liquor, and Cheng Yuan, a member of their department, was the talented individual he had discovered during the year-end gathering. 

However, Xu Qingyan’s alcohol tolerance was likely many times better than his.
To put it simply, drinking for her was like drinking water, but she never enjoyed socializing and never revealed her “talent” when hanging out with others.
Over time, everyone assumed she had a low alcohol tolerance.

“Busy day today?” Ling Qiao opened another can of beer for her.

Xu Qingyan added ingredients to the soup pot as she chatted with Ling Qiao, “It’s been a bit busy.
Sorry, I’m late.”

Ling Qiao blinked her big eyes and smiled, “Why be so polite with me? Even if you came at twelve, it wouldn’t matter.
As long as there’s something to eat, it won’t be lonely.”

To be honest, throughout the day, Xu Qingyan’s emotions were fluctuating, especially after seeing Cheng Ran. 

She felt like someone had struck her on the head, plunging her into a state of confusion and unable to extricate herself.
She even absentmindedly went to his hometown. 

However, her train of thought was interrupted by Lord Liang along the way, which temporarily alleviated her low spirits.
Now, as she chatted and laughed with Ling Qiao, there was no sign of anything unusual.

Ling Qiao and Xu Qingyan were the closest friends, and Ling Qiao instinctively felt that something was off with Xu Qingyan today. 

Xu Qingyan was a stickler for punctuality and never arrived late or broke a promise.
There must have been something that happened today, but upon closer observation, aside from looking a bit tired, there were no other signs.
Ling Qiao chose not to pry into the matters that Xu Qingyan didn’t want to discuss.

Over the years, everyone tacitly avoided mentioning the past. 

Some believed that time would eventually fade away the memories, making them seem trivial.
However, only Xu Qingyan and those closest to her knew that his death was a deep-rooted agony for her, like a chronic ailment that remained dormant until it flared up. 

The feeling of being gradually consumed, the unbearable pain—it was a wound that would never heal in this lifetime.

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