Ning Guangyao frowned. “What secret?”
“All those years ago, Xue Zijing didn’t die from leukemia…”
“What?!” Ning Guangyao exclaimed as he turned to face Luo Cuishan. “Yo—you mean…”
“I mean exactly that.” Luo Cuishan proudly laughed. “You’ve never given it that much thought, have you? I bribed the doctor to fake her medical diagnosis. The real cause of her death is me!”
Ning Guangyao trembled at the revelation. Rage clouded his mind and shouted for him to slap the wrench right in her face. But instead, he steeled himself and coldly replied, “You demonic woman. Zijing made sure that she would never cross your path or hinder you in any way. She had never even dreamt of competing with you! Even when she was in Zhonghai, it was by my will that we met. How cold-blooded can you be?!”
“Cold-blooded? Perhaps. No one deserves to get what I can’t!” Luo Cuishan brutally replied.
Ning Guangyao nodded. “Al—alright, what’s done is done. I’ll give you a few minutes for you to mentally prepare yourself before I send someone in to deliver the drug. I believe you can do the rest yourself.”
As he spoke, he glanced over to a solemn Cripple by the corner before he sneered. “Since this cripple has been taking care of you all this while, I’ll make sure he follows you down. If he refuses to consume the poison, I’ll deal with him another way.”
Ning Guangyao finished his sentence and with a stoic face and left the room along with his two personal bodyguards.
Once the door was closed, Luo Cuishan completely broke down where she sat. Staring right at that door, her tears fell uncontrollably.
“Who would have thought that you were the first lady of our great nation? I wasn’t actually dreaming,” Cripple remarked.
Luo Cuishan pessimistically jeered at him. “What does it matter? In the end, I’m just a pathetic human being who lacks a blissful married life.”
Cripple frowned as he let out a sigh. “The last revelation you made was just to piss him off, wasn’t it?”
Luo Cuishan stared at Cripple. “What do you mean?”
“Even though I wasn’t quite sure whom you guys were talking about, I’m fairly certain that you were lying about the whole bribing thing.”
Luo Cuishan was confused. “How did you know?”
“Blind guess.” Cripple smiled brightly. “I noticed, that although you might be feisty and hot-tempered on the outside, you still genuinely care about what your husband thinks of you. You created that story to make him truly believe that you were an undeserving monster. This way, when he finally sends you off, he won’t be left with much longing or regret.”
Luo Cuishan was amazed at his observation. Cracking a smile, she said, “Who would have thought that the only time I’d meet a person who understands me was on my deathbed.”
“Well it doesn’t matter now, does it? We’re both going to die today! Hehe, I guess my life got somewhat meaningful in the end. I get to die with the first lady!” Cripple seemed satisfied with the situation.
Luo Cuishan stared affectionately at him for a moment. “There is actually a way that you might get to live on...”
“Huh?” Cripple rhetorically asked in slight frustration, “Are you saying the premier would change his decision?”
Luo Cuishan shook her head. “Not for me. I’m no longer the co-head of the Ning clan anymore. My very existence endangers his entire clan and position in the nation. Only when I die, will he have the confidence to face the other clans.
“But you, your situation is different. You’re just a nobody in his eyes. He might spare your life if you show even the slightest bit of value to him. Your death is nothing more than him venting his anger.”
Cripple curiously followed up with another question. “Then how can I even put up any value to his cause? I’m just an orphaned beggar, an uncultured, untalented cripple.”
Luo Cuishan thought for a bit. After a while, she brought Cripple closer and whispered into his ears.
Cripple was astonished by the words that went into his head, his eyes flinging wide. He proclaimed, “What? Are you sure this is true? This is… madness! If this goes out…”
“All you have to do is repeat it the way I told you. He’ll believe you. As long as you keep this secret with you, he will have no choice but keep you alive. He might even protect you,” Luo Cuishan reassured.
Cripple was overwhelmed as he stared at Luo Cuishan. “Why tell me this? If you tell Premier Ning what you know, I’m sure he’d spare your life too.”
Luo Cuishan shook her head with a comforting smile. “No, he wouldn’t. From the moment he escorted me back to Beijing, I was already on death row.
“I’m telling you this because ever since I was young, I never had to think out my next meal or my money. But that left me with cold materialistic things that don’t provide any form of comfort. However, the few weeks I have spent with you on the streets made me feel warmth that no one has ever given me. No one has ever truly cared for me the way you did. So today before I die, I want to return the favor. You’re a smart kid. Given the opportunity, you wouldn’t stay a beggar for long.”
Disappointment flashed through his eyes. “You… Do you see me as a child …”
Luo Cuishan was stumped but instantly seemed to have realized something as her face went red. “You’re younger than my son. Of course you're still a child.” She turned her head away as she spoke.
Cripple smiled bitterly. “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”
Luo Cuishan appeared sympathetic for him as she bit on her lip. “If… you could live past today, promise me that you will challenge life head-on. Fight your way back to school and learn a thing or two. If you could make it, maybe get a doctor to treat your leg. With modern technology, I’m sure it’s quite possible.”
Cripple nodded in silence but nonetheless felt gloomy.
Luo Cuishan sneaked a peek at him before forcing her eyes shut.
Moments after, two huge men in lab coats came into the room and left two bottles of liquid for consumption on the table.
Luo Cuishan went straight towards one of the bottles, pulled out the cork, and then shouted, “You two, tell Premier Ning that this young man here has a secret that only I know. Tell him that this secret is something that will make him want to keep this boy alive, and that the only person dying today will be me.”
Upon finishing the speech, she grabbed the bottle and gulped the liquid inside down her throat.
She had lived half a century in glory despite her short-lived life.
Fifteen minutes later, the door was opened.
Cripple dragged himself out of the room. He was passed to the bodyguard outside the door by the two men in lab coats.
Cripple turned back to take one last glimpse at the lifeless woman before the edges of his lips cracked open with a chilling smile.
“Damn beggar what are you looking at? Move!” The bodyguard had zero tolerance towards him.
Cripple immediately submitted as he pathetically tailed the bodyguard towards Ning Guangyao.
The scorching sun was bright and overbearing, and the warmth greatly contrasted the chilling turn of events that have just transpired.
Across the Pacific in Los Angeles, it was already nighttime.
The sky was decorated with thick, dark clouds while the wind was strong and unforgiving, leaving the streets desolate as a result.
The silhouette of a man emerged in front of a Beverly Hills mansion. It was none other than Yang Chen who had just returned from his business over at Washington DC.
Lifting his head, he stared at the dark clouds on the overcast sky. He sighed and mumbled, “God damn! All I did was a to-and-fro teleportation trip. Would I be bestowed upon lightning tribulations just because of that?”
While Yang Chen had survived the Tai Qing Heavenly Lightning, he was extremely afraid of this Nine Heavenly Lightning. If even the first round was that terrifying, who knew what the subsequent Shang Qing and Yu Qing would do to him?
Yang Chen scratched his head. He was slightly ashamed that he had developed a phobia for thunderstorms. But to him, it was better than being struck by lightning again.
Yang Chen believed that luck would not always be on his side—Endless Resolve Restoration Scripture wouldn’t be able to save him every time.
It’s not like my cultivation is lacking. Why should I go through tribulation again? Well I guess I’ll just drive or take flights from now on. For the happiness of all my women, I have to stay alive! he thought.
Right at that moment, from the balcony of the mansion’s second floor came a familiar mesmerizing voice. “I was told that the deaths of the members from Blue Storm and the entirety of Takamagahara are your doing. I wasn’t quite sure but I guess I can confirm it now.
“To be honest, you did a pretty decent job in faking it. Even Poseidon and I were certain that you genuinely lost your cultivation. Turns out, you’re just at a level imperceptible by us.”