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240 Awkward

 Bai Jinyi finished her sentence, and the noisy room suddenly became quiet, Everyone was stunned and froze in mid-action. Some were raising their glasses in the middle of a toast, whispering in each others ears- but all turned around to gape at Bai Jinyin. She stood under the stage and was an emotional wreck, almost everyone thought they were hearing things.

Bai Jinji instictively muffled her mouth and stepped back towards the rose wall. She stood behind Huo Guanchen and a lone voice chanted in her head, It's over, it's over... How could she have said that outloud?! This was the deepest secret in her heart and the darkest one too. She had kept it for the longest time. In this world, only she, Huo Guanyuan and Song Jinning knew of this secret. But he was already gone, and Song Jinning was mentally ill, forgetting all her memories of what happened after she turned 18. So Bai Jinyi was the only one to know this. She kept it deep inside her heart where it settled in and never disappeared for a whole 16 years. Perhaps she actually wanted this deep and intense feeling hidden inside her heart to be found out after all? That's why under Gu Nianzhi's ceaseless duress and twisting of words, Bai Jinyi finally blurted out the secret. It was not only to clear up Gu Nianzhi's accusation, but also revenge against her brothers Bai Jiancheng and Bai Changhui for forcing her to get engaged with Huo Guanchen... Gu Nianzhi didn't realize that the Bai family forced the engagement on Bai Jinyin, but she knew from a psychological aspect, humans were social animals that had an innate psychological need to interact with the same kind. If someone kept a secret for many years, their subconscious would develop a desire to confide in others. Just like how even a serial killer can't help but calling in anonymously to the police to give tips on the murders. Only someone who had undergone specialized training was capable of resisting inductive interrogation, for example the Special Ops training. For a normal person in face of well prepared inductive interrogation, almost no one was capable to holding back from blurting out the secret. Bai Jinyi's rebelliousness towards her brothers compounded to her desire to confide, so Gu Nianzhi's plan went along better than expected. Gu Nianzhi had just unleashed a huge secret and toned down her aggressiveness. Her eyes were glazed as she appeared as incredulous as everyone else. Truthfully speaking, no one would have even imagined Bai Jinyin's secret if Song Jinning hadn't miraculously awakened. No one would be smart enough to force this secret out from nothing. It's only when one knows the answer that they can lay the perfect trap.

Outside the Huo manor, Huo Shaoheng sat in in his bulletproof vehicle and watching the live footage through the laptop screen. His lips curved as he whispered, "Good girl."

...

"Yes, the one I loved was Huo Guanyuan. I'd loved him since the first day I'd met him, for 20 years. I never stopped." Bai Jinyi raised her chin and looked at her brother, Bai Jiancheng, with contempt and completely disregarded Huo Guanchen beside her.

Bai Yueran's heart sunk. She had been paying close attention to the events unfold and swore internally. She asked, "Aunt, if the one you love is Huo Guanyuan, why are you getting engaged with Huo Guanchen. This isn't right." It was a warning to Bai Jinyi to take responsibility for her own actions. There was no way the Bai's were letting her shift the blame to them.

Gu Nianzhi loathed to see the Bai family emerge scathless once again, so she immediately asked in her honeyed voice, "Really now? And why's that? If Physicist Bai has loved General Huo's older brother all this time, then why did you stay together with General Huo for ten years? Hehehehe, you just said that you've always loved Huo Guanyuan, but you turned your sights to his younger brother as soon as he died. If Huo Guanyuan was to know if this in heaven, how awkward would that be! So, I don't believe a word that you're saying, I suggest you stop lying and stop trying to change the subject."

"Oh, as if I care whether or not I believe you!" Bai Jinyi sneered as she glanced at the red faced Huo Guanchen besides her. "I wasn't with him willingly."

"Oh? Not willingly? Could you have been forced?" Gu Nianzhi quietly turned the attention to the entire Bai family.

As expected, Bai Jinyi looked at Bai Jiancheng and Bai Changhui under the stage. "Brothers, you forced me to marry into the Huo family. I'm sorry but I can't do that." Her heart went cold when caught a clear glimpse of Bai Jiancheng's face. No, she could allow her brother to discard her now-so she decided to take a gamble and drag the entire Bai family down with her. She knew what her brother was like: he wouldn't hesitate to abandon her for the greater good of the family.

Bai Jiancheng's face remained impassive as he looked at Bai Jinyi under the rose wall. He folded his hands behind his back and exhaled sharply and deeply before turning around to bow at Grandfather Huo, "Grandfather Huo, this is the misfortune of the Bai family. I apologize for causing you all this trouble. Our family will answer to this for you." Bai Changhui's appeared solemn as he stood besides Bai Jiancheng and gave Bai Jinyi a disappointed look. "Jinyi, we've humiliated ourselves enough for today. Stop now and let's go home. As for your Elder Brother and I forcing your marriage... Well, I didn't really want to say anything unkind. You have to understand that you're no longer young and can't have children anymore. What good for the Bai family would come out of us forcing a marriage? We don't even interfere in the personal affairs of our children and grandchildren, let alone your's. Ask Yueran and Shuang, ask if we've ever asked them to get married for family interests?!"

Bai Jinyi glared at Bai Changhui, so furious she was couldn't say a word. She was only trying to protect herself, but now the brother she was closest with was already quickly abandoning her! She could argue with Gu Nianzhi, but betrayal from her own family made the deepest cut.

"General Huo, we apologize for today. I didn't know that my younger sister gave your family so much trouble, and we are very sorry. This is our family's fault and we owe you for it. Once we take her home, we'll teach her a lesson and have her come apologize to you." Bai Changhui apologized sincerely to Huo Guanchen, who was still standing next to Bai Jinyi.

Huo Guanchen's face was stony as he kept staring intently at Song Jinning, who was next to Gu Nianzhi. He completely ignored Bai Changhui, but Bai Changhui didn't mind. Their family had embarrassed Huo Guanchen, so it was natural that he was angry with them. Bai Changhui didn't blame him at all.

Gu Nianzhi wanted to make things easier for Huo Shaoheng by taking the opportunity to drag the entire Bai family into the mud. She never thought the Bai's would be so powerful and could escape once again. Just like how the Bai family wasn't seriously affected when the second son, Bai Yusheng, had betrayed the nation, Bai Jinyi's romantic affairs would be even less of a threat to the family. Gu Nianzhi mused for a moment before looking at Song Jinning.

Song Jinning nodded at her. Gu Nianzhi understood and called out, "Wait a second." She looked at Bai Changhui. "Mr. Bai, are you going to take Physicist Bai away now?

"Yes. We are very sorry for what happened today..." Bai Changhui gave a pained look. "It's because we didn't raise her properly."

"Mr. Bai, so you are going to sentence yourselves and sweep this under the rug?" Gu Nianzhi blinked as she instantly revealed Bai Changhui's intentions.

"Well, we can double the punishment if it's not satisfactory. Besides, this matter is entirely the private affairs between Jinyi and Guanchen. It's not necessary for nosy outsiders to call for justice." Bai Changhui covertly jabbed at Gu Nianzhi, implying that she was meddling.

Gu Nianzhi raised a delicate finger and tapped her right cheek, "Oh yes, I'm certainly an outsider. Well then, I'll have an insider in this situation talk to you then. Huo Jialan, get over here. Ask your dear Aunt Bai why she had loved your father all this time, but had told you that your mother was forced to commit suicide by Mrs. Song. I don't understand the logic. Mr. Bai said I shouldn't be nosy, but you are the daughter of one of the parties, so you have the right to call for justice, right?"

Everyone looked to Huo Jialan, who stood not far from Gu Nianzhi. She was completely speechless, her eyes unfocused as she clenched her hands at her chest, trembling so hard she was about to fall over. Huo Jialan was barely able to stand up, let alone speak. Two of the Huo family servants rushed over to support her.

Gu Nianzhi waved at her face, "Hello? Can you hear me?" Could it be the shock was too much and she went crazy? Just from this? Gu Nianzhi looked at her again and sent a regretful look at Song Jinning.

Huo Jianlan was normally so haughty and arrogant at home, but was completely useless and now pretended she couldn't speak at such a critical moment. This was all too strange. A thought crossed Gu Nianzhi's mind. Song Jinning coughed and walked up a few steps to stop right in front of Bai Jinyi, who was about to get off the stage, Raising her listless eyes, Bai Jinyi scanned over Song Jinning's indescribably beautiful face and froze.

"You, you, you..." She pointed at Song Jinning and stuttered, "You, you, you... a-a-are..."

"Yes, I'm Song Jinning. The ex-wife of your fiance." Song Jinning replied dryly. Although she was grieving in her heart, she would never display an ounce of pain in front of these people, "Bai Jinyi, don't be so quick to leave. You have to answer for all the things you've done for the past 16 years."

"Who is she?"

"Who is she?"

"Song Jinning? This name sounds familiar."

"Song Jinning?! That's General Ji's ex-wife! Didn't they say she was mentally ill and had lost all her memories?!"

"It's actually her!"

"She woke up?!"

General Ji and Speaker Long had been sitting in a quiet corner and observing the situation. They both stood up and walked toward the living room solemnly.