Having heard those words, everyone sighed in relief.
Two ways. The implication was clear: the problem could be solved!
"Sir, please enlighten us!" Chen Huan spoke on behalf of everyone.
The grandmaster took off his glasses and pointed his finger at Rong Siman. "I could just let her sleep forever and maintain her heart rate at 50 beats per minute. Based on the tests I had conducted just now, the bomb will never go off as long as this woman's heart rate is above 50 beats per minute."
Ying Qingcang only took a second to decide against the first option. He shook his head. "And the alternative?"
Even if they let Rong Siman sleep forever, the device was still a ticking time bomb. They had to remove the bomb; otherwise they would live the rest of their lives in fear.
"The other way is riskier." The grandmaster cleared his throat. "It will involve removing your heart from your body. The human heart will continue beating for five minutes once it is outside the body. Within those five minutes, we have to remove the cardiac tissue attached to the bomb and then place your heart back into your body."
Taking out the heart? Xin Qing panicked. "Why... why do we have to take out his heart? Can't the tissue removal be done with his heart still inside his body?"
Ying Qingcang tightened his arms around Xin Qing. "Don't panic. Let's hear what the grandmaster has to say first."
"It's impossible to complete the procedure with his heart still inside his body. The bomb is buried deep inside his cardiac tissue. The only way to remove the bomb without taking his heart out is by removing the entire section of the cardiac tissue containing the bomb. But if we take out the heart, only less than 1% of the cardiac tissue needs to be removed."
Apparently, the grandmaster was still in a joking mood, "In essence, the difference between taking out and not taking out his heart is this. If we take out his heart, he might die during the procedure. And if we don't take out his heart, he might die a few days after the procedure. So, which one do you prefer?"
Xin Qing's face paled and her tears flowed down inadvertently. She clutched Ying Qingcang's collar in a tight grip. "Ah Cang..."
"Don't cry," Ying Qingcang said, dropping a kiss to her forehead. Then, he turned to face the grandmaster. "Can we take some time to talk it over?"
The grandmaster waved his hand. "You guys can go, actually. I still need a few days to prepare if you guys decide to proceed with the surgery. Besides, that woman is about to wake."
Jiang Qianren ordered his soldiers to send Rong Siman away. Everyone else returned to S City. The entire journey was spent in silence with nobody saying a word. Before they parted ways, Jiang Qianren made a promise to Xin Qing in front of Ying Qingcang.
"If the procedure fails, I'll take care of you and your children. I will spend the rest of my life waiting for you to accept me."
Xin Qing's tears fell down like the rain, though Jiang Qianren knew that her tears were not for him. When Ying Qingcang picked up Xin Qing to leave, he gave Jiang Qianren a deep, penetrating stare as well as a nod.
Some words need not be said. A silent understanding had always existed between men.
When Rong Siman came to, she found herself surrounded by cops. She looked pathetic from head to toe and her hands and legs were still bounded.
A bland voice sounded beside her ear. "Everything's alright now." Ying Qingcang crouched down and draped his jacket over her. "The perps have been arrested. I'm taking you to the hospital right now."
A few medical personnel brought a stretcher over. Rong Siman thought Ying Qingcang would carry her onto the stretcher, but the man ended up stepping aside to let the doctors carry her onto the stretcher.
Watching the man slowly diminish from her sight, Rong Siman quickly pressed something on her ear several times. An audio feed played from her earring: Ying Qingcang was speaking to the police officers, and sirens could be heard all over the place. Other than total chaos, she could hear nothing else.
She could find nothing suspicious from the feed. Still, she kept having this feeling that something was not right. She had asked someone to hypnotize him back when Ying Qingcang first got hurt. The whole point of the hypnosis was to make Ying Qingcang think that she was the only woman he ever loved. She had done countless tests after the hypnosis, and all her tests showed that Ying Qingcang was indeed hypnotized.
Rong Siman pressed a hand to her chest. Slowly, her heart began to calm down. "No matter what happens, you can only be with me."
"Why don't... we die together!"
During the weekend, Xin Qing summoned all four children back home.
"Ah Sha, Wangwang!" She embraced the two kids. Xunxun and Xiao Rui just stood there, watching them.
Ah Sha had already noticed that something was bothering Xin Qing. The telepathic connection between a mother and her daughter had alerted Ah Sha to the fact that something terrible had happened.
"Your daddy had never abandoned us. He is the best father and husband there is," Xin Qing said. After that, Xin Qing went on and told the children everything about what had happened to Ying Qingcang. Ah Sha started to cry the moment Xin Qing finished. Wangwang, on the other hand, barely showed a reaction.
To Wangwang, Ying Qingcang was practically a stranger. He had no memories of the man at all.
"Mommy, you will bring daddy home, right?" Among all the children, Ah Sha shared the deepest bond with Ying Qingcang; the two of them only had each other when Xin Qing had left to spend time in France. Ah Sha had always been sad for the past year, thinking that Ying Qingcang had abandoned them.
Now that she had learned the truth, she felt even worse.
Xin Qing smiled and patted her head. Xunxun walked over and pulled Ah Sha to her feet. "Alright, that's enough. It's late. I'll take you upstairs."
After Xunxun had brought Ah Sha away, Wangwang asked, "Mother, is father a great man?"
"Oh, yes. He's very great!"
"More than Uncle Shen and Uncle Wan?"
Xin Qing nodded. "Your father is the greatest man in the world!"
"Fine, then. I'll accept him as my father." All of a sudden, Wangwang threw his arms around Xin Qing. "Mother, father will definitely return!"
Holding back her tears, Xin Qing let out a hum of acknowledgement. Then, she said, "Go on to bed!"
Once Ah Sha and Wangwang had retired for the day, Xunxun and Xiao Rui had come to Xin Qing's room as planned.
"Are you planning to commit suicide for love?" Clearly, a certain teenager had yet to lose that sharp tongue of his.
Xin Qing glared at Xunxun in annoyance. "Hey! My husband is still alive!"
"Mother, bring me with you to the surgery." Xiao Rui climbed onto Xin Qing's bed and sat beside her.
Xunxun nodded in agreement. "You should bring him. Who knows he'd turn into some kind of super soldier with all that stimulation and thrill going on."
Xin Qing chuckled. "You don't have to try to make me laugh, you know. I'm fine." This kid was a real piece of work for sure. He would act all sassy and cheeky even when trying to express his concern for someone else.
Seeing that they had gotten what they came for, Xiao Rui leaped off the bed onto the floor. "Then we'll be heading to bed now."
At the door, Xunxun suddenly halted his steps. "If..." Xunxun said with his back facing Xin Qing. "If anything happens, I will look after the little ones. You don't have to worry."
After that, Xin Qing watched Xunxun leave her room. A smile tugged at Xin Qing's lips and she slowly lay down.
After a discussion, everyone concurred with the idea of removing Ying Qingcang's heart from his body. Xin Qing did a lot of research online and found a lot of successful heart transplant surgeries; Ying Qingcang's procedure was pretty similar to a heart transplant surgery.
The true danger lay in that miniature bomb...
A cold wave hit S City, came the end of November and there was a rapid plunge in the temperature. It would even snow a little during the middle of the night.
Having acted as Ying Qingcang's secret messenger, Secretary Ding had made quite a sum of money for himself these days. Today, he brought his girlfriend out for dinner. In the middle of the meal, he suddenly took out a diamond necklace and gave it to her.
"Wow! How nice of you to give me such an extravagant gift!"
"Hey, you have no idea, babe. That boss of mine, I think he might be seeing another woman outside. No idea why he didn't try to contact the woman himself but asked me to pass along slips of written messages instead. He even told me to keep my mouth shut and just give any replies straight to him." Secretary Ding had had quite a few drinks, so his tongue was rather loose at the moment. In the end, he convinced his girlfriend to stay the night with him at a hotel.
Another woman who was seated behind their table stood up the moment Secretary Ding left. Rong Siman was trembling from head to toe as she stared after Secretary Ding's leaving form. She closed her eyes and took a deep, calming breath. She had never expected to discover such a shocking secret just by having a simple dinner.
So Ying Qingcang had been lying to her all along...
"Who is he contacting behind my back?" She thought. Rong Siman shuddered. Secretary Ding mentioned about slips of written messages. Could it be that he knew that she was spying on him? Then... then that hypnosis... Wait a minute. Rong Siman balled her fists. A chill coursed through her veins and shot straight into her heart.
If Ying Qingcang knew about everything, then he never was hypnotized in the first place! Then everything he said about ruining Xin Enterprises and going head to head with Xin Qing, and even his attempts at humiliating Xin Qing in public, were they all fake?
Terror-stricken, Rong Siman returned home and saw Ying Qingcang sitting alone on the living room couch. He barely reacted when he noticed her return, merely gave her a glance.
"It's snowing outside," Rong Siman remarked, finding a random topic to talk about while she scrutinized Ying Qingcang.
Ying Qingcang glanced outside the window. It was unclear whether his next words were meant for himself or for Rong Siman, "This year's winter must be very cold." He stood up and brought out a glass of milk from the kitchen. "I just heated it up. Drink. It'll keep you warm."
"Ah Cang, do you love me?" Rong Siman stared at him with glassy eyes.
The corners of Ying Qingcang's lips twitched slightly. "This again? Haven't I told you a long time ago? Who else can I love if not you?"
"Then look me in the eye and say it. Tell me you love me."
"You already know that I never say that kind of stuff," Ying Qingcang said with a frown. "What's gotten into you today?"
Rong Siman smiled. "I just feel like hearing you say it, that's all!"
"Quit messing around. Hurry up, finish the milk and then head to bed. I'll take you somewhere tomorrow."
Rong Siman took the glass, gulping down the milk as she walked into the kitchen. "I'm hungry. I'm going to get something to eat."
A few men slipped into the house quickly around midnight. Ying Qingcang pointed in the direction of the bedroom and then put on his coat. Rong Siman was carried out by those men. Her eyes were closed and she was in deep sleep.
At dawn, Ying Qingcang and the rest arrived at the base in South China Sea once again.
"Why did you bring her here?" Xiao Rui said, pointing at Rong Siman who was lying in the corner of the room.
Jiang Qianren joked, "Aren't you also here?"
Xiao Rui merely stared at Jiang Qianren wordlessly. After a while of being stared, Jiang Qianren waved his hand and said, "Just pretend I never said anything."
"The bomb will explode once it's been removed. Imagine she is in a public place when that happens. She'll be blown into pieces which will then cause public terror. I'd feel better if we bring her here." Ying Qingcang patted Xiao Rui's head. "Thank you for taking care of Ah Qing."
"Just doing what I should do," Xiao Rui said. His poker face was intact, though if one were to look closely, one could see that his ears had turned red!
"Have you thought things through carefully?" The grandmaster asked Ying Qingcang.
Ying Qingcang nodded. "I'm putting my trust in your capable hands, sir."
"Ah Cang..." Xin Qing threw herself into his arms and clung to his waist for dear life.
The old man glanced at his watch. "We'll begin the procedure in five minutes."
Boss Wan and Chen Huan patted Ying Qingcang's shoulder. "Now, you remember," Chen Huan said. "Never ever give up. Think about Xin Qing. Think about your children." Chen Huan clenched her hands into tight fists. "If you fail to wake up, I'll immediately find a new husband for Xin Qing."
"And I'm more than happy to take up the offer any time!" Jiang Qianren cut in. After that, Jiang Qianren's tone became serious. "Don't worry, man. You have my word that I will take good care of her."
Xin Qing pushed everyone away and burst into tears. "I don't want them, and I don't want to be taken care of! Ying Qingcang, I just want you! You promise me that you'll stay with me for the rest of our lives. I'll go wherever you go. Don't you dare think for a second that you can just abandon me."
"I promise you!" Ying Qingcang tipped her chin upwards and kissed away the tears from Xin Qing's face. "I still want to watch the birth of our child. And I plan to travel around the world with you!" He dropped a final kiss on her forehead, a kiss filled with promise and sincere conviction.
"Wait for me..."