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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