The heat of the summer had not quite dissipated, leaving the capital city washed over by a wave of humidity.
Tang Qianmiao was bored stiff as she watched the two birds squabbling outside her window.
When she saw one being pushed against the window and pecked by the other, her crimson lips drew up into a slight curve. Her pale face exuded a languid and mesmerizing sort of attractiveness.
The girl spun her head around. A male doctor, in his 40s to 50s, walked in through the door. His smile was apologetic.
"Sorry to have kept you waiting."
"It's okay," she said casually as she walked over to take a seat.
The male doctor flipped through the test reports in his hands a few times with a complex expression on his face. From his actions, it was apparent that he wanted to say something.
"Uncle Qian, just be direct with me. I can take it."
After a further moment of contemplation, Qian Ru started by asking, "How have you been feeling recently?"
"I feel anxious and get pains in my chest occasionally."
Qian Ru nodded solemnly before he continued. "From the report, it seems that the various indicators in your body are not too optimistic. If we leave it, we have five years at the most. And… I'm afraid… you'll go down the same path as your mother…"
Qian Ru did not finish what he was saying.
But Tang Qianmiao understood. The same path as her mother… meant death.
Two weeks ago, her mother had passed on from terminal illness.
Unfortunately, having inherited this disease, although she seemed normal now, her condition would very quickly deteriorate after the age of 25. Initially, she would be dependent on medication, however, later on in the illness, she would be bedridden and require the help of a respiratory machine.
It was a fate worse than death.
At first, her mother thought that she was struck by some sort of incurable disease, until three years ago, when she found out the truth from her close friend, Feng Wei.
Many years ago, the two of them had worked together to develop a new drug. Eventually, because they weren't able to determine the side effects of this drug, the product had not been approved for release into the market.
Over a personal grievance, this so-called close friend had secretly given some of this drug to her. At the time, she was pregnant with Tang Qianmiao.
It was only at Feng Wei's own death-bed that she was stricken by guilt and confessed this to Tang Qianmiao's mother.
As soon as her mother found out, she brought together a medical research team to develop an antidote. The irony was that the process needed the help of Feng Wei.
Although Feng Wei's character was dubious, she was a capable and outstanding doctor, and in addition, a core developer of the drug. Hence if she were to be a part of the team, it would hasten the development of the antidote.
However, she had died.
Since she was dead, Tang Qianmiao's mother had no choice. She could only work from the experiment records left behind by Feng Wei.
But after a long search, they did not manage to locate the records.
Even then her mother took everything in her own stride and did not tell her all these things until she was in her final days. She said that the experiment records were possibly in the Feng residence, and told Tang Qianmiao that she had to locate them.
She also said that this matter had huge implications, and had to be carried out in secret. Apart from herself, no one else must know about it, lest it brought trouble and created new issues.
Tang Qianmiao had more questions but her mother passed on before she could ask them.
After that, she did as her mother told her, and went to the Feng residence to look for the Old Master. The Old Master owed her mother a favor, and had given his word to her mother that he would look after Tang Qianmiao after she was gone.
"You've been in the Feng residence for five days. Have you made any headway?" Dr. Qian asked with great concern.
He was a friend and former colleague of her mother, and one of the few who knew what had happened.
Tang Qianmiao looked at him casually and replied, "Not yet."
"I heard that you were chased out by the Fengs, are you okay?"
The girl smiled faintly and said with an air of underlying unruliness, "Do I look like I'm not okay?"
"I mean emotionally… are you… hurt?"
The girl's expression remained nonchalant. She reached for the glass and took a sip of water, then said crisply, "You're worried that I might be discriminated against and bullied?"
Dr. Qian continued, "Based on what I've heard, this is a fact."
She shrugged and responded with a faint smile, "It doesn't matter if they like me or not. As long as I get to stay. One shouldn't be too greedy, don't you think?"
Dr. Qian relaxed his brow and sighed in relief, saying, "As long as you keep it in perspective. After all, they don't know the inside story. It's not so unreasonable that they reject you, given how you're an outsider and have suddenly turned up to stay for good."
"Oh, right. I saw a young man waiting outside as I was coming in. He said he's waiting for you. Who is he?"
Tang Qianmiao said as she fidgeted with a pen, "Feng Xian's assistant."
"Feng Xian's man? What's he doing here? He treats you more coldly than any other Feng family members. He doesn't even glance your way. Why would he send someone for you?"
Tang Qianmiao's tone was icy as she said, "Old Man Feng forced Feng Xian to send me home. So he passed on that task to his assistant."
The response gave Dr. Qian some relief. "Feng Xian is young and promising. That the Old Master has sent him for you shows that he is sincere about taking you home."
Ignoring the remake, Tang Qianmiao said instead, "Speaking of Feng Xian, there is something strange though."
She looked slightly more serious and said, "I found that whenever I'm near him, the uncomfortable symptoms that I experience would immediately disappear."
Dr. Qian raised an eyebrow when he heard this. "This is strange. Is there anything special about the cologne he uses?"
She shook her head. "He doesn't use any cologne."
There was a pause as Dr. Qian thought for a moment. "Then it might be his natural scent. Every human being has his or her own unique scent. Perhaps, the scent on his body has some sort of miraculous effect. Something like an air freshener. Perhaps to you, he's some sort of human air freshener."
Tang Qianmiao stopped fiddling with the pen and smiled faintly. "Uncle Qian, I'm not exactly joking with you."
"I'm not joking with you either. However, are you sure it's not a coincidence?"
Tang Qianmiao contemplated for a moment. "Hm, I should verify this."
"Uh huh. If this has happened more than three times, it means he's really effective."
She thought again for a moment before she got onto her feet. "I should probably go now."
The moment she opened the door, the man standing guard outside stepped up, looking very serious and tensed up. Obviously he was overly nervous.
"Miss Tang, Young Master Xian has asked me to take you to him. He's busy with some matters now and will take you home himself later on. Please don't be angry. Indeed Miss Chu Chu wrongfully accused you last night. It appears that the Old Master had chided her for it. So please don't be angry and come with me."
Tang Qianmiao halted suddenly. It wasn't because of what the assistant had said. Rather… she was feeling some discomfort again. She waited for the tightness in her chest to pass before she continued to walk, then asked expressionlessly, "Where is he?"
The assistant quickly answered, "At Victoria Hotel. He's on a blind date at the western restaurant on the first floor."
"Take me there then."
"Sure, sure!" The assistant was visibly relieved that he had successfully accomplished his task.
Not long after, Tang Qianmiao arrived at the western restaurant.
Sweeping her gaze over the endless tables, she quickly found the outstanding looking young man with a classy presence.
She walked towards him at a steady pace, however, there was a glint in her eyes, as though she was a predator that had spotted its prey.