“Are you satisfied now?” Gu Jing pointed at their child and looked at Zhang Qin.
When Zhang Qin remained silent, Gu Jing delivered another slap. “I’m asking you, are you satisfied?”
“She harmed my son like this. You only gave her a beating, and even then, you held back. But what about my son? What did he go through at that time?” Gu Jing stared at Zhang Qin with bloodshot eyes.
“Jing, I…” Zhang Qin tried to speak, but Gu Jing interrupted him.
“Tell me, how did you agree to my request back then? Why did we move from the capital to this place?” Gu Jing glared at Zhang Qin, her voice filled with anger.
Zhang Qin realized his mistake and looked at the furious Gu Jing.
“Zhang Qin, if you truly care for your cousin so much, fine. Let’s separate. You can marry whoever you want and take as many concubines as you like. I won’t stop you.” Gu Jing grew calmer as her anger intensified.
“I’ve been trying to forgive you all these years, and now that our son is finally doing better, you can’t wait, can you? Alright, since you’re so fond of your cousin, I’ll make room for you. You can go back to her, or I can leave with our son. From now on, there will be no connection between us.” Gu Jing had finally given up for good.
She knew that his family had always wanted him to marry his cousin as a regular wife, and everyone knew the true purpose behind her cousin’s visit.
Zhang Qin loved Gu Jing, and hearing her words left him in shock. He thought it was a simple matter to have his cousin stay for a few days and didn’t think much of it. However, he never expected their son to be in trouble, and now his wife was saying such things.
Zhang Qin knew that if he didn’t make a decision, Gu Jing would indeed go through with the separation.
“No, I only want you and our son. I don’t want anyone else. Jing, I won’t let them come, I won’t let anyone come. Please don’t be angry,” Zhang Qin hurriedly tried to appease Gu Jing.
Gu Jing responded with a bitter laugh, “Only want us? If you want us, then why did you say you wanted your cousin to come and stay? Do you not understand their intentions? They were sending you a regular wife.”
She found Zhang Qin’s words laughable.
Looking at Zhang Zhilin, who had fallen asleep due to acupuncture by Huang Qi, Gu Jing sighed and said, “I’ve had enough. Does everyone think that time will make me forget what happened in the past?”
“Do they think that I will forget this incident because time has passed?”
“Jing, I’ll do whatever you want. Please don’t be like this,” Zhang Qin was genuinely scared of Gu Jing’s current state. She was thinking straight at the moment.
Gu Jing looked at Zhang Qin and asked, “Are you sure?”
“I’m sure. I promise to do whatever you say.”
“Once Xiao Zhi is feeling better, put him at Xiao Jinhe’s house for a while. We will go back to Beijing,” Gu Jing said directly.
Zhang Qin had a bad feeling. “What are you planning to do?”
“Since your cousin can’t keep her word about staying dead in front of us, I’ll personally take action. The reason my parents spared her before was that she should never appear in front of us. It seems your family has forgotten.”
Zhang Qin understood. Xiao Zhilin was the youngest master of the Gu family and greatly favored by the family’s elder. The condition for sparing that woman’s life was that she should never appear before them. If she had any intention of doing so, Gu Jing had the right to deal with her, and this matter was witnessed by the emperor himself.
“Okay, I’ll accompany you back,” Zhang Qin said seriously.
This time, he was genuinely frightened. He knew that if he continued to mediate between both sides, he would eventually lose his wife and son.
He didn’t want things to deteriorate any further.
“Very well. This time, I’ll not only deal with your cousin but also anyone who shares her thoughts. Zhang Qin, you won’t be able to stop me. As the County Princess of Mu’an, I have more than enough power to deal with an old hag.”
Zhang Qin nodded in agreement. “Alright.”
Huang Qi glanced at Zhang Qin with disdain and said, “What’s the point of talking about it now? Xiao Zhi has already recovered to his best condition, and now you’ve brought him to this state. Are you happy with that?”
“Doctor Huang, my son…”
“Don’t worry; he’s fine.”
“That’s good, that’s good.”
However, after Xiao Zhi woke up, there was no change. He had reverted to being silent and reserved, just as he was before he met Xiao Bao.
Seeing his son like this, Zhang Qin regretted even more. “This is all my fault.”
“No need to doubt it; it was indeed your fault from the beginning.”
Zhang Qin tried to reach out to hold his son, but Xiao Zhi avoided him. He looked at his son’s guarded and vigilant eyes, feeling a bitter sense of punishment. Was this his retribution? Why had things turned out this way?
Gu Jing snorted but didn’t say anything. He deserved it.
“Mom, find Xiao Bao.”
“Okay, Mom will take you to find Xiao Bao.” Gu Jing could only place her hope in Xiao Bao now. After all, Xiao Bao had helped the child recover before, so maybe he could do it again.
The couple went to Xie Family village. When Wang Jinhe saw Gu Jing and her husband bringing Zhang Zhi over, he was a bit puzzled. “What brings you here?”
“Didn’t Xiao Zhi just go back? Why did you bring him back again?” Wang Jinhe asked in confusion.
Gu Jing sighed and shook her head, saying, “Something happened.”
“Xiao Bao, your brother is here.”
Seeing the couple’s demeanor and then looking at Xiao Bao, Wang Jinhe furrowed his brows and called Xiao Bao out.
When Xiao Bao appeared, Zhang Zhilin struggled to get down and play with him. Gu Jing let him go and join Xiao Bao.
“Let’s talk in the yard.”
“What happened to Xiao Zhi?” Wang Jinhe asked with a furrowed brow. It had only been a short time since they left. How had the child changed so drastically? What had they done to him?
“Today, when Xiao Zhi went back, he overheard his dad saying he wanted to bring his cousin over to live with them, and then he became like this.” Gu Jing couldn’t help but feel heartache when she thought of her son. He had been only three years old at the time. How could that woman have been so heartless to a three-year-old child?
“How is that possible?” Wang Jinhe couldn’t believe it.
“We used to live in the capital city before, but we came here a little over two years ago. Xiao Zhi didn’t always have these issues. When he was three years old, he was locked in a room by that wicked woman. She killed the small animals and pets that Xiao Zhi loved in front of him and forcibly fed him raw meat, threatening to beat him if he didn’t eat it. When we found him, he was nearly dead,” Gu Jing explained, her voice filled with pain.
“At that time, due to certain circumstances, that woman was still alive. Today, when Zhang Qing said he wanted her to come and stay, Xiao Zhi heard it, and that’s why he’s like this now,” Gu Jing continued, covering her face with her hand. “I should have killed her back then.”
Wang Jinhe looked at Zhang Qing as if she were dealing with someone who had lost their mind. “That woman harmed your son, and you still wanted her to come and live in your house?”
“I realize my mistake now,” Zhang Qing admitted, hanging his head in shame.