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Huo Yunshen’s vehicle drove out of the garage, heading towards a nearby luxury villa residential area. After a few turns within the gated community, the car came to a stop at the most secluded home in the area.
A professional medical team was waiting at the front door. Their heads were lowered, wisely choosing not to look around or at the people exiting the car. They waited for President Huo to place Yan Qing down on the wheeled stretcher.
Huo Yunshen ignored them and carried Yan Qing through the front door. They rode the elevator up to the top floor. He addressed a man wearing a white robe with a low voice. “She’s asleep. Don’t wake her up.”
Doctor He nodded. He prepared to take the girl from Huo Yunshen but was met with a warning glare.
Doctor He stepped back immediately. When he learned that President Huo found his lost lover and was here for her examination, he had been shocked. But now that he saw President Huo’s attitude in person, Doctor He truly understood how important this woman was.
“Then let’s do a physical examination first. We’ll see her overall health status, see if she has any signs of experiencing a plane crash. Afterwards, we’ll do a deeper examination of the brain.”
Huo Yunshen held Yan Qing steadily in his arms. “We’ll follow your process. I’ll stay by her side.”
Doctor He had wanted to call nurses to come forward. After he heard Huo Yunshen speak, he quickly shut his mouth. He sighed and pulled out stomach medicine. “Your complexion doesn’t look that good. Is your stomach pain back again? Eat some medicine first.”
A year ago, Doctor He had become President Huo’s private doctor for the main purpose of relieving stress related pains. But in reality, he was in charge of an assortment of things.
He was a renowned specialist in neurology, but he had also made strides in the field of hypnosis. Like in the movies, he worked with hypnosis in regards to transplanting memories. In the past, he had worked with the authorities to use his skill to solve large cases.
But after joining President Huo, he had become a very traditional private doctor. Not only was he in charge of President Huo’s daily mental state but he was also in charge of his reoccurring migraine and stomach pain.
“Hurry up.” Huo Yunshen didn’t have patience. “Find out what happened to her before she wakes up. Don’t scare her.”
Qingqing’s memories were tampered with. She might not have even known of any past injuries. He needed to make sure she was physically healthy, and… make her remember him.
Doctor He’s residence was like a small hospital. He quickly prepared for the medical treatment. Half an hour later, Huo Yunshen placed Yan Qing at the last machine. Doctor He concluded, “The patient has no signs of experiencing extreme physical trauma. There are no physical scarring or injuries. No broken bones or damaged organs. It doesn’t seem like she was in the private plane with Yun Chengze.”
Huo Yunshen held Yan Qing’s hand silently.
Doctor He flipped through his summary report. “More importantly, we detected extremely light signs of repeated medicine use in her blood sample. If we did the check up a few months later, the trace would have been gone. The medicine seems to be an uncommon neural drug. It’s not usually used for treatment, but rather has specific applications, such as –”. He took a deep breath, glancing at the variety of machinery he had prepared for the next examination. “Such as to target and intervene with the memory storing process in the human brain.”
Doctor He sat back down. “President Huo, shall we start? I will walk through the process step by step, with the hypnosis equipment. I am trying to help rouse Miss Yun’s hidden memories, but the probability of success is uncertain.”
Huo Yunshen smoothed out Yan Qing’s hair, and kneeled at her side. “If she shows any signs of discomfort, stop immediately.”
Doctor He first injected a tranquilizer so that she won’t be startled awake in the process. Under Huo Yunshen’s deadly gaze, the doctor attached magnetic disks to Yan Qing’s forehead and began the process.
Yan Qing’s eyelashes fluttered for a moment. Sweat formed at the top of her forehead as her body tensed.
Huo Yunshen gripped her hand. He didn’t dare blink.
Doctor He frowned, his expression was serious. Huo Yunshen knew he couldn’t interrupt right now. Anger and helplessness boiled inside of him. Yan Qing suddenly opened her eyes. Her eyes peered up, unable to focus. She stammered soundlessly before fondly muttering, “Yunshen…”
Just like in his countless dreams, where she stood at an unreachable distance, softly calling for him.
Huo Yunshen’s tears escaped from his eyes.
But soon after, Yan Qing’s eyes closed once again. Her complexion rapidly turned red as her body temperature heated up.
Huo Yunshen couldn’t watch any longer. He ordered Doctor He to stop immediately.
Doctor He himself had also reached his limits to his own abilities. He removed the equipment. Without waiting for President Huo to further instruct, he took the initiative. “My apologies.”
The veins on Huo Yunshen’s forehead bulged out. “Explain!”
“In the scope of what is safe, that was the only bit of memory I was able to extract. But I can ascertain that Miss Yun’s own willpower is strong. It is difficult for her to be subjected to interference. But, it is also because of this that she most likely underwent an enormous amount of suffering when those false memories were implanted. That is the most likely purpose of the medicine found in her system…”
Huo Yunshen caressed Yan Qing’s face. “Continue!”
“If the other party had the ability to successfully lead such a task, then their capabilities are undoubtedly strong. After Miss Yun’s memories underwent such a cruel reconstruction, her consciousness is already at a borderline dangerous state. Her mental state appears fine but is susceptible to collapse under slight provocation. There are still holes in her memories. Since you appeared, she should have begun doubting her memories. But, it seems that this is the case of the brain attempting to protect itself. When the brain detects a danger to its weak consciousness, it will attempt to smooth over any doubtful logic. At the same time, it will instinctively repel anything that contrasts from existing memory. Because she has previous trauma, she is less likely to be able to withstand another round of collapsing and reconstructing memories. Therefore, perhaps it’s not that she doesn’t hold scepticism of her memories. Rather, it is a sign of her body’s self-protection mechanism. Please don’t blame her.”
For a long time, Huo Yunshen didn’t say a word. He repeatedly patted her back, hoping to ease any discomfort.
She had slimmed down. In his arms, she felt frail. Huo Yunshen had promised to protect her for a lifetime. He had promised her that no one would be able to hurt her. But, he had lost her for so long. While she was suffering, she was alone. A shadow fell over Huo Yunshen’s face. His hands trembled. “Anything else?”
Doctor He gulped. “President Huo, if you’d allow it, I can try again. If we don’t stop in the middle, we might be able to compel more memories.”
“Yes, this would be considered stepping out of the realms of safety precautions. This could lead to her consciousness become more disordered. But, if you want her to remember everything, those are the risks.”
Without hesitation, Huo Yunshen decided. “I won’t allow it.”
Doctor He nodded. “I’m sorry. At the present time, medical technology hasn’t reached the point that Miss Yun would need it to be. The other option is to slowly infiltrate her memories, encouraging her to recall those pieces of memories by herself. When she accumulates enough of those hidden memories, she perhaps might be able to recover. But, this would require patience. You can’t provoke her by force. That means, you won’t be able to let her know that her memories were tampered with. That could lead to more mental confusion. President Huo, please be prepared. This process might be difficult for you. The chances of success will also be low.”
Huo Yunshen carefully lifted Yan Qing up from the medical bed. His pupils were pitch-black. “I can wait.”
He had waited for three years; he could wait for an entire lifetime.
As long as Qingqing was alive, as long as he could see her and hold her, that was more than enough for him.
Huo Yunshen carried Yan Qing back to his car. He held her in his arms as they sat in the darkest corner of the car.
Although the winter winds whirled loudly outside, his heart was calm.
“Qingqing, there won’t be any pain in the future.” His left cheek leaned on her forehead. “I will use my life to protect you. I’m here, so no one can hurt you. Anything you want, I can give to you now.”
Min Jing returned to the driver’s seat. He spoke cautiously, “Shen Ge, you mentioned that you want to take all of Yun Qing’s songs offline. Did you…still…?”
“There’s no need.”
If he took all her songs off the shelves, Qingqing would be upset.
Min Jing sighed in relief. He continued, “Then…Rise Up! Girls?”
Huo Yunshen smoothed out Yan Qing’s hair. “Resume filming.”
Qingqing liked the show.
Just as Min Jing relaxed, he heard Shen Ge continue, “Return to the company this afternoon. Begin preparing to acquire Chengfeng Videos.”
The usually composed Secretary Min felt like he didn’t have enough brain cells to use. “Ge, if Huo Corporation buys out Chengfeng Videos, there’s no way that it won’t be making headlines. Such a big display, Yun Qing…would she be able to endure it?”
Huo Yunshen held his little lady close in his embrace, but still felt like there was too much space between them.
Doctor He said that his medicine would lose its effectiveness after an hour. There was only twenty minutes left. He had Qingqing for another twenty minutes.
Huo Yunshen lowered his head and kissed her forehead.
To Min Jing, he scoffed. “It’s just Chengfeng.”
Min Jing didn’t let off. “Ge, Chengfeng’s influence is still pretty impactful. To Yun Qing, it might be a huge matter.”
Huo Yunshen always unconditionally conceded on all matters Yun Qing. “….Then postpone the acquisition. We’ll find another way.”
Min Jing didn’t know what the other way was, nor did he dare ask. The car drove back to the garage under Rise Up! Girls filming site. He pulled back into the car’s previous parking lot, as if the car had never moved. Then, he scurried out of the car, not wanting to be a third wheel.
The garage was completely empty. The sounds from pedestrians or cars felt like miles away. Huo Yunshen’s entire world consisted of only this small corner of the car. He held Yan Qing without moving a muscle, simply listening to their heartbeats beat as one.
In the last few minutes, President Huo could no longer remain like an abstinent monk. From the boxes of makeup that Min Jing had procured, he pulled out makeup remover. He lightly removed the foundation and lipstick from Qing Qing’s face.
What was that, how dare someone haphazardly put just anything on his wife’s face?
In the past, Qingqing was too lazy. After putting on makeup, she didn’t enjoy removing it at night. He had always hugged her in his arms and removed the makeup himself before allowing her to sleep.
After removing her makeup, Yan Qing returned back to her soft delicate natural face. She continued to sleep soundly in Huo Yunshen’s arms. Unconsciously, she grumbled. “Huo Yunshen, you madman.”
Huo Yunshen lifted her chin, leaned down to meet her lips.
Qingqing…was this considered madness?
Yan Qing experienced a bunch of random dreams. In the dreams, she was in different settings. But, there was always a man in the distance calling her “Qingqing” again and again. Sometimes, he would whisper her name, sometimes he would angrily roar.
She wanted to run over, to see his face. But, as she ran closer and closer, they would become further and further apart. Just as she was getting frustrated, her consciousness suddenly returned.
Yan Qing woke up. Moreover, she woke up on President Huo’s lap.
At first, she was still muddle-headed. While President Huo watched, her long eyelashes blinked up and down, before suddenly realizing where she was. She immediately stumbled backwards.
Huo Yunshen’s hand gripped her waist, steadying her. He knew that his time with Qingqing had ended.
Huo Yunshen smiled bitterly. He adjusted himself, and spoke without emotion. “You’re done sleeping?”
Yan Qing pushed him away, landing on the seat next to him. She was still a bit confused at their current state. Suddenly she remembered the numbness she had felt at the nape of her neck. Angrily, she blurted. “…. Huo Yunshen, you set up a trap?”
Huo Yunshen sidestepped the question. “You said you’ve been living in Canada since you were six. That you had just returned back. Yet your Chinese vocabulary and slang is larger than Min Jing’s.”
Yan Qing logically explained. “My parents are native speakers. I also have friends that are Chinese international students too. Besides, there’s the internet. The more you read, the more you know. Wait, how is that relevant?”
She was like an angry kitten. “Why did you make me lose consciousness?” Yan Qing looked around. She was still in the same car, but three hours had passed. She looked down at her clothes. They were intact, neat. Everything had stayed the same except…her lips felt a bit numb as if they were swollen.
She lifted her bag, ready to smack Huo Yunshen: “….You kissed me!”
Huo Yunshen didn’t stop her. He also didn’t deny her accusations. “En…I’ve been kissing you for two hours in this car, nothing else.”
Yan Qing wished she had a knife.
She covered her lips, but didn’t forget the reason she was here. “The program!”
“It will resume its original film schedule. Seems like a few people messaged looking for you. I responded for you.”
Yan Qing heard that the program was restored and relaxed. She quickly found her phone. It was An Lan’s WeChat. Three messages in a row asking her ‘Where she went, when she’ll be back.’ Huo Yunshen had copied her way of speech and responded without any suspicion.
But she was still angry.
Yan Qing didn’t know how to let out her anger. She roughly pushed open the car door. “You’re done here too right!”
Huo Yunshen swiftly grabbed her hand. He thought that he would be prepared but his heart still ached seeing her turn to leave without hesitation.
He threatened. “I can resume the program. But I can also stop it at any time. If you want the program to successfully finish filming, then you should listen to me.”
Yan Qing pursed her lips in grievance, her eyes watering.
Huo Yunshen couldn’t bear to see her like this. He wanted to comfort her. Just as he was about to yield to her, she turned her head away. With simmering anger, she whimpered “….Fine then I’ll just listen. But first, kissing and hugging is not part of negotiations.”
Huo Yunshen’s heart swelled. How could she be so cute?
He resisted the urge to pull her closer. He gave her the two boxes in the car. “Take these. One is lunch for you. The other is makeup products. I removed your makeup earlier, you can use these to reapply.”
Yan Qing looked at him, not able to understand. “President Huo, don’t tell me you removed my make up to kiss me.”
Seeing the answer in his eyes, Yan Qing didn’t know what to say to this man. “Why? Do you think someone else’s makeup is dirty?”
President Huo emphasized. “Especially lipstick.”
Yan Qing was angered to the point of laughter.
Big Boss President Huo truly was unique. To kiss a woman, he had to make sure to get someone else’s make up was off.
Yan Qing gave him a big thumbs up. “President Huo truly is an honest and clean man. Respect.”
She realized there was no point speaking reason with this unpredictable man. She took the two boxes as compensation. If he dared give them to her, then she dared to receive them. Why not get free makeup?
Yan Qing looked up. “So you’ve got your kiss. I’ve accepted your things. You should also understand to stop before going too far. Please stop asking me to come out and find you.”
Huo Yunshen clasped his hands together over his lap, preventing himself from asking her to stay. “Okay. However, you can’t cut off communications with me. Answer the phone and respond to messages, or else–”
He didn’t want to threaten her with harsh words, so he simply stopped.
Yan Qing remembered the program’s rules and secretly contained her excitement. She peacefully let out an obediently fake smile and with exceptional consideration said, “Alright, that’s fine. No problem. President Huo don’t worry.”
Afterwards, bam! The car door closed.
Huo Yunshen fixated his eyes on her disappearing silhouette. Only after she completely disappeared from his sight did he hunch his back, adding pressure to manually ease the pain in his contorted stomach.
Huo Yunshen fixated his eyes on her disappearing silhouette. Only after she completely disappeared from his sight did he hunch his back, adding pressure to manually ease the pain in his contorted stomach.
Yan Qing returned back to the dorms. There were only a few girls left. The previous sorrowful atmosphere had completely dissipated.
One of the girls had sat in front of Yan Qing on the bus. She ran over to greet her. “Yanyan, have you eaten? The dining hall is open now, go eat! Our program is resuming! We’re going to be doing the uniform photoshoot afterwards!”
Yan Qing smiled, lifting up the box in her hand. “I’m about to eat.”
The girl gasped, peering into the bags to look at her food containers and makeup bag. “These look so expensive! Where did you buy them?”
Yan Qing paused. Huo Yunshen’s handsome face flashed before her eyes. She guiltily explained, “….my family delivered these just now.”
The girls crowding around her were even more jealous. They immediately thought of Yan Qing as someone with a powerful background, or perhaps a socialite from a rich family, or someone who would be forced to go back to inherit a million dollar family company, if she didn’t make it in the entertainment world. Moreover, she was so beautiful, she was definitely a candidate for debuting as center in the group.
Yan Qing regretted her actions. She shouldn’t have brought out these expensive things. Looking around, she saw that at least there weren’t any cameras. She quickly scarfed down the food, thinking that as expected expensive food was mouth wateringly delicious. Afterwards, she hurried to the main dressing room to prepare.
But just as she entered, she unexpectedly became the focus point of attention. Girls in groups turned to size her up with their eyes.
“Oh, it’s her? The one in the yellow dress? Yeah, she’s pretty too.”
“I think her features stand out more than Song Xueran’s…”
“They said the one that got into President Huo’s car had long hair and was wearing a yellow dress. So, it’s either her or Song Xueran.”
“Are you guys sure it was President Huo? The one from Huo Corporation? I still don’t really believe it.”
They had all heard a lot of gossip, but no articles revealed the true extent of Huo Corporation’s assets. They only knew that, it was a company, that was too far for them to reach.
Yan Qing’s whole body froze. She had been so careful, but yet she had still been spotted.
If they found out it was her, there was no way she would be able to explain it!
Yan Qing silently lined up to use the changing rooms. Her heart was beating out of her chest, debating what to do if someone asked her. Suddenly, she felt an examining gaze land on her.
Looking over, Yan Qing saw a girl wearing a yellow dress similar to hers. Her face and style looked exquisite. This was probably the model look of the face of a girl’s group. Thinking back to what she heard the others say, she thought that this was mostly like Song Xueran.
Song Xueran met her eyes. Calmly, she secretly nudged the girl with pigtails sitting next to her.
Girl in pigtails coordinated well. She walked over and asked Yan Qing, “Did you hear the rumours? Are they about you?”
Yan Qing denied it three times. “What a joke, of course not, how could that even be possible?”
Roughly everyone in the room had heard.
“See, it wasn’t Yan Qing. Then it must have been Song Xueran. Song Xueran didn’t deny it.”
“I guess it’s true then. Song Xueran has already debuted before, so she probably knows more people than we do–”
“Is Huo Corporation supporting her? Then isn’t she going to debut as center for sure?”
Yan Qing gave a confused look at Song Xueran. She looked confident and pleased.
Yan Qing couldn’t help rolling her eyes. As if with her denial, Song Xueran was undoubtedly now the rumoured girl for sure.
She wanted so much to avoid the hassle and yet others were racing to be part of the rumours.
When girls were together, it became like a human made rumour mill. By the time Yan Qing entered the dressing room, everyone was whispering about the recent updates to the gossip. “Song Xueran seems to be President Huo’s new girlfriend.” “I heard that President Huo hasn’t had a girlfriend in three years. And that he was jealous because of Song Xueran so he cut off the program.”
Truly, just sitting there and the tea poured itself.
As, Yan Qing eagerly listened in to cure her boredom, her phone beeped. The male lead of today’s tea himself messaged him.
[ Yunshen: What are you doing?]
Yan Qing’s mood was pretty complicated. If President Huo knew about the rumours, his dedication to his clean image might incite him to throw a bombshell revelation their way.
She responded: [ You don’t need to worry about what I’m up to. On another note, the program doesn’t allow trainees to hold onto phones during filming. I’m about to hand over my phone to the staff, I won’t be able to stay in touch with you afterwards. ~ ]
If it weren’t for this rule, she wouldn’t have agreed to his requests so easily.
She happily waited for President Huo’s defeat. But instead…
[ Yunshen: You can hand it over.]
Yan Qing was surprised. He was being cooperative this time? Without complaints? The devil himself was changing his nature?
And then the next message arrived.
[ Yunshen: Underneath your makeup box, I prepared five other smartphones for you. When they are all taken away, I’ll bring some more over.]
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