Huo Mian didn't remember how she got home. She sat alone in the darkness for a long time, and the event that had just taken place was so unreal that it felt like a dream to her. The lingering pain on her cheek was the mark that Ning Zhiyuan's hand had just left behind.
They had known each other since college, and Ning Zhiyuan courted her for a very long time. It was only after careful consideration that she began dating him. He wasn't extremely outstanding, but he really had been good to Huo Mian. She thought that she would live the rest of her life like this, ordinarily.
She never expected something like this to happen at such a critical time. Qin Chu's return seemed to have shaken everything into disarray.
After a while, she regained enough of her senses to check her cell phone. She had more than a dozen missed calls, all from Zhu Lingling.
There were also three unread messages on WeChat...
"Mian, why aren't you answering your phone? Did something happen?"
"Mian, Qin Chu left soon after you did. What's going on with you two? Is he trying to patch things up with you?"
"Mian, say something. Are you okay?"
Huo Mian may have had a thousand words that she wanted to say, but as crestfallen as she currently was, she didn't have any desire to speak.
After some thought, she replied to the message.
"I'm a little tired today. I'll fill you in when I see you again. I'm okay, don't worry about me."
Zhu Lingling replied a few seconds later.
"Okay, as long as I know you're alright. Mian, I hope you understand that there are some things you have to face eventually."
No one knew more about what happened between Huo Mian and Qin Chu than Zhu Lingling.
As Huo Mian's bestie throughout high school, Zhu Lingling had borne witness to the passionate love between her and Qin Chu.
Unfortunately, the two parted ways after that incident.
Huo Mian picked up her phone again and dialed Ning Zhiyuan's number, but his phone was off.
She knew that, to Ning Zhiyuan, this incident was too sudden and too cruel...
It was her past, but now he was stuck paying the price. Who was to blame?
In the dark, Huo Mian softly sighed. She knew that some things couldn't be kept away forever. These were things that couldn't be evaded.
City outskirts, in the upper-class district-
A silver Audi R8 steered slowly onto the grounds of a majestic manor, and the dozen or so guards bowed towards his car in respect.
With a quiet squeal, the car slid to a stop before the front door of the manor and Qin Chu stepped out from the vehicle without an expression on his face. He opened the door and walked in.
Mrs. Qin immediately rose to her feet, smiling and saying, "Chu, you're back. Your dad and I have been waiting for you to start dinner. Hurry, go wash your hands."
Qin Chu didn't respond. Instead, he walked straight into the dining room and sat down beside his father, Qin Yumin. He stared at his father with mixed emotions.
"Dad, I have something to ask you."
"What is it?" Catching his son's less-than-amicable gaze, Qin Yumin felt a strange sense of unease.
"Back then, in order to force Huo Mian and I apart, what did you two do to her family?"
After Qin Chu finished with his question, both Qin Yumin's and Mrs. Qin's expressions had undergone a drastic change.
"Chu, what are you talking about?" Mrs. Qin smiled stiffly.
Qin Chu didn't respond and continued to focus his unwavering gaze on his father, trying to find some answer on his face.
Qin Chu went abroad seven years ago and hadn't been back ever since. He didn't know what happened during that time.
However, earlier, he sensed a deep hatred in Huo Mian's tone.
He was smart enough to guess that his parents probably did something unscrupulous to Huo Mian's family.
Qin Yumin felt very uncomfortable under his own son's gaze.
A minute later, Qin Yumin lowered his eyes. His reply seemed like an attempt to dodge the subject.
"It was such a long time ago, why would you bring it up again?"