533 The Secret About the Past 151
"Have we met somewhere before?" Lin Shishi asked, staring at An Xiaoning.
An Xiaoning shook her head in denial.
"That's strange, I have a feeling I've seen you somewhere before. But I can't remember where. I feel like your silhouette looks rather familiar," said Lin Shishi, racking her brains in a bid to recall where she had seen An Xiaoning before.
"She has a very common face. It's no surprise that you find her familiar," Tuoba Gucheng remarked.
An Xiaoning stood rooted to the ground and remained standing for the next two hours, during which they had a whale of a time.
After sending Jin Minxing and Lin Shishi out, Tuoba Danxue said, "Brother, Lin Shishi seems like a nice and candid person. She's really pretty too. I think she'd be a good choice for your wife."
"Indeed. I think she's a great girl too."
However, he did not love her and all he could say was that he neither fancied nor disliked her.
"There'll be a presidential election this year and our country's politics follow a hereditary system. It'll either be you or Big Brother who succeeds Father's position. Brother, if you become the next president, I hope you won't compel your children to suffer the same fate as us and have their freedom restricted. Okay?" Tuoba Danxue asked, her eyes brimming with tears.
Tuoba Gucheng placed his hands on her shoulders and said, "I won't allow that to happen, if I become the next president."
While Tuoba Gucheng was facing his sister, he managed to look past her and laid his eyes upon An Xiaoning, who was standing behind Tuoba Danxue.
They made eye contact, and An Xiaoning continued to hold his gaze, looking straight into his eyes calmly without fear.
At last, he looked away and turned around to leave with Tuoba Danxue.
After dinner, An Xiaoning lay down in bed and did not feel like moving an inch at all. She was vexed at the fact that there was no progress in her investigation at all since she had been wasting each day following Tuoba Danxue around and accomplishing nothing.
She pondered the matter thoroughly and realized that she could not continue maintaining this status quo. She decided to try and sound Tuoba Danxue out. Perhaps then, she could really find out some clues.
In the dead of the night, An Xiaoning knocked on Tuoba Danxue's room and asked, "Your Highness, are you asleep yet?"
"No, you may come in."
An Xiaoning entered and closed the door after her. "Do you feel like you're in a better mood today, Your Highness?" she asked, smiling.
"I feel so much better and relaxed. Mu Ning, you danced really well today. Did you especially learn how to dance before?"
"No, I used to learn casually from dance videos online, which I would watch during my free time when I was training in martial arts." An Xiaoning sat down beside her and continued, "Your Highness, I overheard you telling His Highness that there'd be a newly-elected president this year. How long has our current Mr. President been in power?"
"More than 30 years now. There'll be a presidential election every 30 years or so. If the citizens feel that Father can still continue being the President this year, then he will remain in his position. However, if they vote for Father to step down, then one of my two brothers will become the next president," Tuoba Danxue explained.
An Xiaoning nodded and said, "I dare not make any comments about Mr. and Mrs. President, but I'm really curious about why they're so strict with you and His Highness's marriages. Didn't they have anyone they fancied when they were younger?"
Shaking her head, Tuoba Danxue answered, "I don't know, but I feel like they definitely did. I heard that my uncle was severely punished for insisting on marrying the woman he loved back in the day. Being a devoted and loyal person, he decided to remain single and became a monk after the woman he wanted to marry passed away."
"Your Highness, does the President only have one brother?"
"I've never seen any information about your uncle online before."
"There should be some information about him on Wikipedia as well as some news from the past. But I don't think there is any recent news about him. Actually, commoners like you enjoy so much more freedom than we do," said Tuoba Danxue.
"Your Highness, you have no idea how many girls out there envy you and the life you lead. Well, because, their dream is to marry into powerful families like the Commander-in-chief's or other wealthy ones. Those girls would rather live without freedom than to remain in poverty. Everyone has a different perspective of things since we're all in a different predicament."
"Mu Ning, I think you're really knowledgeable. Have you attended many years of education?" Tuoba Danxue asked with a smile.
"Not really. I just stepped into society at a younger age, so I have more insights. Your Highness, where is your uncle's monastery?" An Xiaoning asked.
"Right by the front gate. One of the houses there belongs to him. He's been living there for years and never once stepped foot out before. He really got on the nerves of my grandparents. I think you can still find those news about him in the past online."
"I see. Get some rest, Your Highness. I won't impose on you any further," An Xiaoning said as she rose from her seat.
"Alright." Tuoba Danxue did not think much of it and merely treated it as a casual conversation, which she did not take to heart.
It was a different case for An Xiaoning, however.
Once she returned to her room next door, she took a shower and removed her mask before lying in bed to search for news about Tuoba Rui's brother.
Tuoba Rui's brother was named Tuoba Shuo and was three years younger than the former.
There was indeed news of him from the past on the internet, though not much. After reading the news, An Xiaoning realized that it was exactly like what Tuoba Danxue had told her.
However, there were no photos of him attached to the news articles.
An Xiaoning immediately contacted Jin Qingyan to inform him of the new clue she had found.
She requested him to search for photos of Tuoba Shuo as well as the woman whom the latter loved back then.
Regardless of the situation, she must get a hold of the photos.
Jin Qingyan immediately did as requested and ordered for his subordinates to begin looking.
He told her to wait for his news patiently.
"Auntie, why did you look me up?" Song Yan asked gently.
Mrs. Ling nodded and said, "You said Ciye has gotten himself a new girlfriend. Could you tell me who she is?"
"Didn't Ciye… tell you himself?"
A strange sense of joy filled Song Yan. He actually didn't tell his mother about his new relationship. What does that say?
"Ciye didn't tell me. I didn't want to be nosy and probe further either, lest he resents me." Song Yan put on a look of dismay on her face, as if she was being put in a spot. "Auntie, I think you'd better ask him about it yourself."
"Song Yan, I just won't tell him that you were the one who told me about it, alright? You must know who she is. Tell me her name, I want to know what she looks like," Mrs. Ling probed.
"Since you really want to know, I shall tell you then. Ciye got into a relationship with a divorced, single mother right after we just broke up. Actually, I don't know if they began dating while we were still together, but Ciye was very serious and firm about our breakup this time."
"She's divorced and has a child?" Mrs. Ling asked. The first person who came to her mind was Jin Qingyue.
"Don't tell me it's Qingyue?" Mrs. Ling questioned.
"Yeah, it's her."
"It can't be the case. I specifically looked her up to ask about it before. She said she wasn't dating Ciye. Could it be that she lied to me?" Mrs. Ling said with a frown.
"I dare guarantee that she's definitely lying to you. Auntie, everything I said was the truth." Song Yan sucked on some fruit juice with a straw and continued, "I still don't know how a divorced and single mother is any better than I am. I really wonder what Ciye is thinking. He actually picked a secondhand good over our relationship, which had spanned across years."