782 A Million Times for You 144
"I think so too. Mother, why don't I master the techniques first before imparting the skills I've acquired to you?"
"Sounds good. After all, I won't have to burden you if I'm capable of protecting myself."
An Xiaoning smiled at her and said, "We'll do just that, then. I'll memorize the content tonight and burn the book tomorrow."
"Shishi, did you hear what I told you?" Shi Xiaoyu asked in a gentle voice.
The expectant mother, Lin Shishi, snapped back to reality and said, "Mother, what you just said is too absurd. Does witchcraft really exist in this world?"
"Of course it does. Gucheng has already told me that Shi Qingzhou and An Xiaoning will be coming to the palace tomorrow. I locked Shi Qingzhou up for decades, but I didn't even manage to find out about the book's whereabouts. Do you think Gucheng will be able to find out? They detest me to the core and wish that they could kill me. If Shi Qingzhou gives the book to An Xiaoning, for all we know, everything the Tuoba family owns might just end up in someone else's hands. Shishi, you're the First Lady now. You can't let something like that happen. Do you understand?"
Lin Shishi, who was initially intimidated and flabbergasted by her mother-in-law's misdeeds, began to find the latter's actions rather reasonable all of a sudden. "I don't think Sis Xiaoning would be that ambitious."
"You still don't get it. At the end of the day, she's still a member of the Tuoba family. No one likes being restrained and controlled, she wouldn't express her ambitions openly. We mustn't let our guard down against others," said Shi Xiaoyu.
After hearing her mother-in-law's reminder, Lin Shishi began to feel like nothing was impossible in this world and also thought that there was a likelihood that An Xiaoning was indeed harboring such thoughts.
"Mother, you said Gucheng wouldn't be able to find out about it easily. Do you have a better solution then?"
Shi Xiaoyu nodded earnestly and said, "It'd be rather impossible to find out anything by interrogating them. After all, I didn't manage to do so throughout so many decades. However, we can adopt another strategy."
"What is it?"
"As long as they're dead, this calamity will never happen in the future. By then, we wouldn't have to pursue the matter about the book anymore, regardless of where it is. It'll no longer be that important since no one knows where it's hidden."
Dumbfounded, Lin Shishi asked, "You mean… you want to kill Sis Xiaoning and her mother…"
"It'd be much easier to do that since the Autumn Palace is our territory. Shishi, I know you're soft-hearted and you still see An Xiaoning as your sister, so you don't wish for that to happen. If you can't stand on my side and spare a thought for Gucheng, then there's no point for me to have a daughter-in-law like you," said Shi Xiaoyu, seemingly trying to threaten Lin Shishi.
Stuck in a dilemma, Lin Shishi said, "Sis Xiaoning has once saved my life…"
"If you're just as soft-hearted as Gucheng, how are you supposed to achieve greater things? How about you discuss this with Gucheng and let him know how you feel from your perspective? We'll then see what his attitude is like."
Lin Shishi constantly pondered over the matter while on the way back.
While lying in bed, she asked, "Mother has told me about that book of witchcraft. She didn't manage to get anything out of Shi Qingzhou despite holding her captive for so many years. Do you think you'll be able to find out anything by locking them up for a period of time?"
"Stay out of this," Tuoba Gucheng clipped.
"How could I stay out of this? Gucheng, will you kill them?"
"Are you worried that I would kill them or hoping that I would do so?"
"What are you talking about? Of course I'm being worried."
"Did Mother say something to you?" he asked.
"What could she have possibly said to me? She merely analyzed the situation and weighed the pros and cons with me. If they become a threat to your position, it'll greatly affect you and bring about negative impacts. Sacrificing them would then be a better choice," said Lin Shishi, who was putting Tuoba Gucheng's interests first.
Tuoba Gucheng snorted with laughter, which caused a sullen expression to form on Lin Shishi's face immediately. "Why are you laughing like that?" she questioned.
"If An Xiaoning heard what you said, do you think she'd cut off all ties with your family?"
"How could she possibly hear me? I won't let her. Hubby, I'm really just sparing a thought for you and considering your interests first. I'm your wife and the First Lady of S Nation, I can't be indecisive and let my heart rule my head. Although we'll be letting her down, there really isn't another option. It can't be helped. If they're willing to surrender the book, everything will be fine then."
"An Xiaoning has no intentions to encroach on my position."
"How would you know? Maybe she's hiding her intentions really well. Do you really think she and her mother wouldn't exact revenge on Mother-in-law?"
Tuoba Gucheng could not be bothered to argue with her and said, "I can tell from someone's eyes whether or not they harbor such ambitions. All she has ever wanted is too keep herself and her family safe."
"Perhaps she doesn't have any ambitions now, but it's very likely that she'll change in the future."
"Seems like you don't see her as your sister anymore. Even if she really changes and becomes more ambitious in the future, I don't find anything unusual with that at all," said Tuoba Gucheng. Lin Shishi was rather peeved and disgruntled to hear his words.
"Hubby, why do I feel like you really admire her?"
Tuoba Gucheng did not deny it and said, "I do admire her, actually. She has ideas of her own and is headstrong and obstinate. Even if she knows that she doesn't have the ability to overcome a greater power, she would never falter."
Women often can't stand hearing their beloved spouses praising and complimenting other women, even if the subject was just a family member.
That was exactly what Lin Shishi felt.
"If she wasn't your half-sister and my godsister, will you fall in love with her?"
Tuoba Gucheng put on a mirthless smile and caressed her hair. "Are you getting jealous?"
"Answer me, will you?" Lin Shishi asked in disgruntlement.
"I can't answer you."
"You can't answer me? Other husbands would definitely say no. Why can't you answer me?" Lin Shishi questioned.
"I'm not other husbands. Have you really got that little confidence in yourself?"
Lin Shishi hugged him tightly and said, "That's not true. I don't know what's wrong with me, but I seem to care more and more about you. I must've fallen in love with you long ago. I remember catching feelings for you ever since the first time we met. I was still wondering to myself, just how did I land myself in an engagement with such a handsome man like you? You seemed cold and aloof back then. Although you did smile sometimes, I never felt that they were heartwarming. I felt so inferior in front of you. Hubby, we may be married and I may be carrying our child now, but could you tell me, do you adore me?"
"You're so pretty, who wouldn't adore you?" said Tuoba Gucheng, who knew that such questions were sensitive.
He did not wish to tell a woman whom he did not fancy at all that he loved her or adored her.