Chapter 32: Chapter 32

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

----- THIS TRANSLATION BELONGS TO konila.com -----

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

It was almost 10 p.m. when Shen Yang arrived home. The family was used to him working overtime, so they did not leave him any food. Father and Mother Shen liked to go out at night, so they would not be back until early morning. Today’s situation was special. Shen Rong, who usually was outside, was sitting on the sofa in the living room, waiting for him. Shen Yang was pouring a glass of water while asking, “Why are you not resting?”

His tone was no longer as serious as two days ago, and had returned to his gentleness. Compared to his younger brother, he liked his younger sister more. This was most likely the case for many men. They would not be as good towards other women, but would adore their younger sister. Shen Yang was the same way.

The pair of brother and sister seemed to have forgotten the previous matters. Even though Shen Rong had some doubts in her heart, she still smiled sweetly. She even took the initiative to run to the kitchen and brought a bowl of lotus seed cooked by the auntie for Shen Yang. “Brother, the weather is a little bit hot now. Drink this so you feel better. I especially ask the auntie to cook,” Shen Rong said, with a charming smile.

It was not without reason that Shen Yang loved Shen Rong. His younger brother was meek and dull, so he would be afraid of Shen Yang. They could not have such an intimate conversation. Although Shen Rong often gave him a headache, she would act like a spoiled child and show some concern for her older brother.

“How obedient.” Shen Yang completely forgot how bad she made him feel two days ago. He finished the lotus soup in a few sips, and his depressed heart finally relaxed a little.

Seeing that Shen Yang’s expression brightened, Shen Rong immediately sat beside him and asked, “Brother, I heard from mom that you had a girlfriend when you were in the UK.”

At this question, Shen Yang lowered his head slightly. He looked at the almost empty porcelain bowl with some sticky soup remaining. In fact, Qiao Yu used to cook these kinds of dessert in the flat. As he did not like to eat sweet food, he always endured eating them so that she would not be disappointed. It was not until she left that he realised what he had lost.

However, he made the same mistake that all men in the world would make. He still loved her, and it was not an unforgivable sin, right? Why did she not give him any chance to explain? Shen Yang sometimes would have a trace of grievance and resentment in his heart. Even a vicious prisoner had a right and opportunity to defend himself. Why was he directly sentenced without any explanation? Could she not hear his defence for the sake of a past relationship?

Thinking that his sister was still beside him, Shen Yang quickly put away his desolate expression and smiled. “Children don’t need to know.”

“I am not a child! I have been an adult for a long time!” Shen Rong was irritated, but thinking that she still had business with him, she tugged Shen Yang’s sleeves and said coquettishly, “Brother, tell me. You told mom, but not me. It’s not fair!”

“Alright. What do you want to know?” Shen Yang had already been gentle and kind to his sister, and at that moment, he could only smile and ask.

“Was she beautiful? Was she a foreigner?” Shen Rong could vaguely remember the couple of years following her brother’s return to China, he indulged in alcohol and parties for a period of time. However, at that time she was ignorant about these things and did not ask much.

Shen Yang’s face softened as he reminisced. His voice was gentle and low. “Very beautiful. She was Chinese.”

In fact, Qiao Yu’s appearance was above average. Even if she was not as beautiful as Tong Jia, Qiao Yu was as gentle as flowing water. Her demeanour could hold its own against Tong Jia’s beauty.

Shen Rong was a little jealous but could not say anything. She could only keep asking, “Why did you break up?”

This was the question she was most curious about.

“Because I made a mistake. Rong Rong, is there no chance of redemption after doing something wrong?” In fact, Shen Yang did not know why he was regretful. Was it because he did not cherish her, or because he was involved with another woman? It had been so long that he had forgotten.

Shen Rong was a spoiled girl, but she was also a woman with insight. She felt that the mistake her brother said was not that simple. Her first guess was infidelity.

She did not answer quickly, but was thinking. What would she do if it were her boyfriend who cheated on her?

Shen Rong looked at Shen Yang hesitantly, and said, “Some things can be corrected and others… maybe cannot be forgiven.”

As a person who had fantasised many times that her love story would be more romantic than Korean dramas, Shen Rong had very high requirements for her lover, such as appearance, height, financial background, integrity, and taste. They had to be loyal and only like her the most. Therefore, she answered truthfully. Even if it was her own brother, she did not want to go against her ideals.

“Really?” Shen Yang’s voice slowly calmed down. As if he did not want to give up, he dazedly asked, “If you just made one mistake, but you still love that person, can it be forgiven?”

Shen Rong felt tangled. She thought, if she said the answer her brother wanted, he might be willing to tell her more. However, she was extremely sure now, according to a woman’s sixth sense, that the mistake her brother made was probably really the one she suspected.

Suddenly, Shen Rong felt Tong Jia was not annoying anymore.

“But…” Shen Rong remembered a classic line from a TV show. “If you really love one person, why would you hurt that person, why would you make a mistake?” She had a complex expression on her face.

Shen Yang was suddenly silent.

After a while, Shen Yang went upstairs, leaving the puzzled Shen Rong sitting alone in the living room. She still could not understand some things, so she decided to meet up with her friends at their usual hangout place. Liu Kang had ordered a drink for her, but as soon as she arrived, she ignored the drink and immediately started talking, “You know that Song Yancheng has a girlfriend, right? I found out that she was my brother’s ex-girlfriend.”

“Eh?! What happened!”

“This is getting confusing.”

Liu Kang could not stop his outburst. “Damn it! Give a warning first. Don’t hit me where it hurts.”

Shen Rong slammed the table. “Just listen! I asked my brother today. He said the reason for their break up was the mistake he made. My first reaction is that he cheated. Anyway, he said some strange things pointing to this. What should I do next?”

One of the girls pondered. “How about… If your assumptions are true, your brother’s ex-girlfriend still holds a grudge against him and wants to take revenge. So, she directly hooks up with his boss to hurt him most.””

Another girl’s eyes lit up. “Once I thought of this scenario, I felt inexplicably good for some reason!”

Liu Kang raised his hand weakly. “It’s not possible, right?”

He thought… The goddess did not look like she had been hurt before. She was obviously very bright. He did not have the chance to state his reason as Shen Rong spoke first. “Right! Why didn’t I think of this? She’s my brother’s ex-girlfriend. Why would she suddenly be Song Yancheng’s girlfriend? My plan is to wait until my brother meets up with her, take a picture, and send it to Song Yancheng. That way, it will be impossible for Song Yancheng to be with her, right? If he knows that his own girlfriend was my brother's girlfriend and even approached him for revenge, Song Yancheng shouldn’t want to be together with her, right?”

“Of course, he won’t! I think God is helping you. Look, you like Song Yancheng. Even though he has a girlfriend, we’ve found the reason behind it. Isn’t this your chance?”

Liu Kang was there the day Shen Yang scolded Shen Rong. This time, he could not help but speak up. “But, Rong Rong, have you thought what will happen to your brother when Song Yancheng finds out? Song Yancheng may get enraged and blame him. Your brother is still working in the Song Company.”

Shen Rong was stunned for a moment. This was something she had not expected. She thought even if she did not tell Song Yancheng, he would eventually find out. Besides, with her brother’s ability, Song Yancheng would not do anything to her brother, right?

Shen Rong could not think of anything else other than falling in love and living the life that other people envied.

When Shen Yang appeared in front of Tong Jia again, Tong Jia could not even be angry. She looked at him helplessly. “Do you think I will tell you where Qiao Yu is?”

“No…” Shen Yang also did not know if he had other reasons, he just wanted to know where Qiao Yu was. Even if this was a meaningless thing to do, it would give him a glimmer of hope.

Tong Jia stared at Shen Yang. After knowing he cheated, she was probably the person who was shocked the most because Shen Yang cherished Qiao Yu. He would pick Qiao Yu up from campus, pay attention to her likes and dislikes, and was considerate and friendly towards her friends. At that time, Tong Jia thought they would definitely get married.

Qiao Yu met a person in the city she was in, and that person kept pestering her. Qiao Yu was annoyed when she mentioned him at first, but now it was sweet all over. This made Tong Jia believe that Qiao Yu had let go of the past.

Was this not good? Tong Jia thought for a while and asked Shen Yang, “I will tell you her current situation, but don’t look for me anymore. If you promise, I’ll tell you.”

Tong Jia had told Qiao Yu of the day Shen Yang found her. Qiao Yu was calm and said it did not matter telling Shen Yang where she was.

“Her current situation, including her whereabouts?” Shen Yang asked eagerly.

Tong Jia shook her head. “No.”

Whether Shen Yang could find out or whether she was willing to tell him were two different matters.

A man who had lived in disappointment for a long time, now could hear the news he wanted to know most. Even if he could not get the address, he was still ecstatic. Shen Yang nodded. “I promise you.”

“Qiao Yu is living well now because she has someone who cherishes her by her side. Shen Yang, whether you regret it or not is your own matter.” Looking at Shen Yang’s ashen expression, Tong Jia was a little disappointed but happy at the same time, as if she sighed a breath of relief for her friend.

Probably the most painful and humiliating thing in the world was that he thought he invested all his feelings into the acting and worked hard to act in a performance. Until the lights were turned on, and he realised that there was no audience.

Song Yancheng was dumbfounded when he received a message from an unknown number.

A few pictures were sent his way. There was a man and a woman chatting, and he happened to know both of them. One was the person he liked very much, and the other was his subordinate. How could these two people be together? While he was thinking, a message came again.

‘The two of them were together when they were abroad. Because the man made a mistake, they broke up. They are currently in contact again. The woman is your girlfriend. As far as I know, the woman wants to get revenge on the man, so she got together with you.’

In his confusion, Song Yancheng dialled the number, but it was turned off.

He had a couple of questions.

First, who was this person?

Second, when did Tong Jia become his girlfriend?

Third, did Shen Yang and Tong Jia know each other?

Fourth, what kind of convoluted thinking was this?

When Song Yancheng was facing someone other than Tong Jia, his mind was clear and rational. First, Tong Jia and Shen Yang’s relationship had to be sorted out. The person sending the message must have a malicious reason. There were two possibilities. The first one, it could be a man. That man also liked Tong Jia and misunderstood that he [Song Yancheng] was together with Tong Jia. That man did such a thing, so he [Song Yancheng] voluntarily gave Tong Jia up, and that man would replace him [Song Yancheng]. The second one, it could be a woman, and it was not a coincidence that she liked him. She also misunderstood he was together with Tong Jia. She did this, so he would give up on Tong Jia, and she would replace Tong Jia.

Currently, the second possibility was much more likely than the first one.

Shen Rong hurriedly threw away the number she had just bought. It could not be traced back to her since the number did not have an identity registration. Her heart was beating very fast as if she had run a marathon.

She asked her friends with lingering fear, “Song Yancheng would not notice, right?”

“How could he? He’s not a detective. Don’t worry, only a few of us knew about it, even your brother could have not guessed!”

Shen Rong felt relieved by her friends’ reassurance.

Right, how could Song Yancheng have guessed it was her doing? Shen Rong imagined Song Yancheng must be furious by now, and it would not be long before he abandoned Tong Jia. Would she not have a big chance to be with him?

What was Song Yancheng doing now?

He was holding his chin while drawing something with a pen. The first possibility was currently unknown because he did not know Tong Jia friends and hence could not speculate. Regardless, he had to remind Tong Jia because if the person could photograph Tong Jia, it meant that the person was stalking her. This was absolutely not a good thing and was very dangerous.

To be able to draw a conclusion ‘the two of them were together before, but because the man made a mistake, they broke up’ meant that the person not only knew Tong Jia but also knew Shen Yang. On the other hand, if it was the person who liked him, how could she know these things? Someone who had feelings towards him, could do this kind of thing, and knew Shen Yang and Tong Jia… It all pointed to one person.

Shen Yang’s younger sister.

This was just a guess. The reason why he had not reached that conclusion was Song Yancheng thought Shen Yang’s younger sister would not be that stupid, right? If he was really together with Tong Jia and saw this kind of message and photos, in the eyes of outsiders, he would be furious, and would maybe attack his love rival, right?

His younger sister should probably… not… be that stupid, right?

However, no matter what happened, Song Yancheng felt the need to remind Tong Jia, so he put down his work, took his car keys and went out.

Did he not feel lost at all? Was he not curious about Tong Jia and Shen Yang’s relationship? Of course, he was. While Song Yancheng was driving, he was actually a little upset. He was not angry. He already knew that Tong Jia had a boyfriend before, but with his current position, he had no rights to care about her past.

Even if Tong Jia was together with Shen Yang in the past, it did not matter. He would not dislike Tong Jia because of this.

On the contrary, he liked the current Tong Jia, and even the Tong Jia who he had never met.

Today was Saturday, and he had invited Tong Jia out. However, she had a public class on Monday, and had a lot of things to prepare. She had no time to go out, so they did not meet this week.

Tong Jia was preparing materials until 4 o’clock in the afternoon, when her stomach grumbled. She took her keys and wallet and went out. She was going to another street to buy some food, and came back with a full stomach to continue her fight.

When Tong Jia returned to her building after buying some Sichuan sliced beef*, braised duck feet and duck wings, she saw Song Yancheng’s car parked at her flat gate. He was leaning on the car with a dazed expression.

*夫妻肺片 (fūqī fèi piàn) = Sichuan cold dish made of thinly sliced beef and beef offal.

“What are you doing here?” Tong Jia asked. Song Yancheng was still in a daze when she came up to him.

“Ah.” Seeing her coming, Song Yancheng quickly straightened his body and looked at her expression. He did not know whether he should tell her about this.

If the message was true, she was together with Shen Yang before, but because of Shen Yang’s mistake, she was hurt. Would he not be opening up an old wound if he told her about this? The most important thing was to put the feelings of the person you sincerely like first, even if you were jealous.

Song Yancheng was unsure, so he remained silent.

Tong Jia saw his dazed and complicated expression, wondering if he had encountered something bad.

Was it his company or his family?

She was hesitant to ask. Tong Jia was the type of person that would assume if a person did not speak, they did not want to bring it up. So, she would not ask, no matter how curious she was.

But then again, were they not friends now? He treated her well, and he was also nice.

Thinking of this, Tong Jia suggested, “It’s a little hot, do you want to go upstairs and drink something?”

Song Yancheng’s eyes lit up. He was actually able to go to her house!!

He hurriedly nodded his head, like a chicken pecking for rice, for fear that she would take her words back.

At the apartment entrance, Tong Jia took out a pair of men’s slippers from the shoe cabinet. She casually explained, “My younger brother often comes here. These are his slippers. You should wear them first.”

Song Yancheng entered the living room after putting on the slippers. He looked around. The living room was very clean. There were some flowers on the balcony. The green curtains matched the colour of the light green fabric sofa, which looked very comfortable. There were some opened snacks and a few magazines on the coffee table. Additionally, there was a small wooden rattan chair and a table on the corner of the living room with a computer on it. A green carpet in the shape of a cat’s paw was laid out on the floor.

This house exuded a homely atmosphere.

“Are you hungry?” Tong Jia was opening the fridge while asking.

Song Yancheng quickly went to the kitchen and unknowingly touched his stomach. “A little.”

“That’s good. I bought some Sichuan sliced beef, braised duck feet and duck wings. Let’s eat together.”

“Okay.”

Tong Jia knew she did not buy enough. She just bought a one-person portion of food, so she put some noodles and mixed them with the broth from the Sichuan sliced beef. Song Yancheng, who was sitting on the sofa, smelled a tempting fragrance and could not help but swallow his saliva.

When Tong Jia brought the food on the coffee table, she returned to the kitchen and took a transparent jar from the cabinet. She opened the lid and the smell of pickled pepper wafted. She looked at Song Yancheng and smiled, “I like to eat chicken feet with pickled peppers. I made it myself. It’s quite good. Try it.”

To say that Song Yancheng’s life was forever changed the moment he took a bite of noodles was an understatement. He gave a thumbs up without hesitation.“It’s so delicious!” he praised.

“Right? When I'm too lazy to cook, I’ll buy Sichuan sliced beef and eat with the pickled juice. The taste is super good.”

After eating a few bites, Song Yancheng rolled his sleeves, exposing his foodie side.

“This duck feet is delicious.”

“The duck wing is delicious too.”

“The pickled pepper chicken feet are really delicious!”

Tong Jia liked spicy food, so the chicken feet she made were also spicy. After eating a few in a row, Song Yancheng could not talk and continued eating.

“Eat a little less. If you eat too much, it's not good for your stomach.” Tong Jia reminded Song Yancheng, whose face was already flushed, warmly.

When she was abroad, she missed eating pickled pepper chicken feet very much. Later, she brought some. She originally wanted to slowly eat them, but she ate them all at once while watching dramas. Then, she had a stomach ache for several days.

Song Yancheng quickly wanted to heed Tong Jia’s advice, but he felt that he could not stop.

Tong Jia was amused and giggled at the contrast. He looked nothing like a serious and upright company president.

The sight of Song Yancheng, a 1.8 metres tall man, sitting on a small chair was already funny enough. He even rolled his sleeves, holding chicken feet in one hand, and his face was red. Maybe because of the spiciness, there were some tears in his eyes, not to mention the funny action of him breathing to try to relieve the spiciness.

His current expression and actions could be summed up into one sentence — If you told me not to eat, I would not eat, but I actually still wanted to continue eating QAQ.

Tong Jia could not resist showing such expression, and quickly said, “I also cannot finish them, you can take them home later.”

Song Yancheng suppressed the “Okay, okay, that’s great” that he almost blurted, and asked hesitantly, “Is it okay?”

He thought what Feng Hao said was true. The few times he and Tong Jia ate together, she seemed to be paying more. Now that he came to her house for food, he even took them home. Was there anyone pursuing a girl like this?

For a while, Song Yancheng fell into a deep thought.

“Even if you don’t take it, I will give it to my colleague tomorrow.” Tong Jia could see Song Yancheng was being polite. After all, she cooked it herself, so she was the happiest to see someone enjoying her cooking.

Song Yancheng quickly answered, “Then, I’ll take it home.” He felt there was something wrong, and hurriedly added, “Next time, I’ll invite you to eat something nice.”

Looking at how Song Yancheng acted, Tong Jia could not help remembering Shen Yang’s words. She was actually conflicted. As she told her brother that day, Song Yancheng seemed to have two sides. One side was the president of the Song Company, who was very decisive in the field. Another side was he was a clumsy rookie in front of her. However, how could these expressions be fake? Tong Jia was interested in Song Yancheng’s past for the first time.

How many girlfriends did he have?

Was he really as clumsy and sincere as he appeared?

Maybe because she was too curious, Tong Jia said in a daze without thinking, “How many times have you been in love?”

Song Yancheng was surprised when he heard the question, and fell into a deep silence. He was not avoiding this question, but he did not know how to answer. After waking up, even towards his closest relative, like Song Chi, he had never thought of telling his memory loss. This was to protect himself.

He could not imagine, if other people knew, the ones with bad intentions would take advantage of his shortcomings.

Originally, he planned not to tell anyone. Even when his attending doctor asked him about discomfort, he did not tell the doctor.

A person’s instinct was probably to protect himself. His body and consciousness told him to do this.

However, when Tong Jia asked about his past, he was at a loss. Of course, he could make up something, but his heart told him not to do this. Could he tell Tong Jia?

Tong Jia misunderstood him and thought he did not want to talk about this topic. Even though she said she understood, her heart was stuffy.

“It’s okay if you don’t want to say. Really.” Tong Jia smiled.

Song Yancheng had an intuition that something was wrong with Tong Jia, but his mind was in a mess now, so he could only look at her and say, “I will tell you all later. Now is not the time yet.”

Because he had not fully grasped the current situation, he was also still grasping at things. When he was more confident, he would tell her his biggest secret.

At the same time… he would put his biggest weakness in her hands.

Following the conversation, Song Yancheng also asked about the topic, “How many times have you ever been in love?”

He actually knew at this time and in this atmosphere, it was not the right time to ask this question.

But he also had doubts in his heart. He wanted to figure out this matter. More importantly, he had decided to tell Tong Jia that someone was following her.

Even though scars might inevitably open, her safety was the most important.

Tong Jia actually thought about it a little. He did not want to tell her, but he even asked about her love life! Humph! Did he think she would easily reveal it? Did he think she was fooled?

“Only once.”

There was only one time. She did meet a lot of excellent people, but she could not find the feeling she wanted, so she stayed single.

This was because she firmly believed that if she could not find the right feeling, it would be very hard to fall in love.

Song Yancheng was even more puzzled. At that time, when she was playing a game, she said she had a relationship in high school. Shen Yang was several years older than her, why did it become weirder? Logically, when she was in the third year of high school, Shen Yang was about to graduate university, right?

Now, there were more and more doubts. Song Yancheng put away his unnecessary thought and asked earnestly, “Was that your first love you said before? Was he your classmate?”

Hehe, it seemed that he came to inquire about her love life.

She knew it!

Tong Jia replied, “He’s not counted as a classmate. He was someone from the same school, and we were childhood friends.

“Really? Then, he is the same age as you, right?” Song Yancheng hurriedly asked. His expression was very urgent.

Tong Jia almost could not resist rolling her eyes. “Yes, yes, yes. What are you actually trying to ask?”

No, no! Song Yancheng was completely stunned now. He was ready for Tong Jia and Shen Yang being a former couple. Now, Tong Jia's answers did not add up. What actually happened?

“Let me ask you one more question. What is your first love family’s name?”

Song Yancheng did not know that he was behaving strangely, but now things had fallen into a situation that was difficult to explain. He must have understood the situation clearly before he decided whether to tell Tong Jia or not.

Tong Jia finally rolled her eyes. “Hey buddy, what sort of question is that?”

He even asked for her first love’s family name… Was he drunk?!

“No. This is really important. I really want to know.” Song Yancheng was really helpless when he looked at Tong Jia’s expression.

Now, he had no idea what kind of relationship Shen Yang and Tong Jia had, so how could he tell her the next thing?

Or did Tong Jia have something she could not say?

He could accept anything!

Tong Jia looked speechlessly at Song Yancheng, and she had an idea. The corner of her mouth raised. “You tell me first how many times you have been in love, then I’ll tell you.”

She had many things to ask.

How many times have you been in love? When was your first kiss? First night… Hold it! Hold it! Don’t be dirty! Be elegant!

Song Yancheng had nothing to hide, so he honestly replied, “I don’t remember, really.”

Little known to others that this kind of answer infuriated other people the most. At least, Tong Jia held it in for a while. Once she processed it, her mind was like a video-watching website with a screen full of comments in real time.

Didn’t remember?

Did he not remember how many times he had been in love?!

Was it too many times that you could not remember!

Song Yancheng, please don’t pretend to be innocent in front of me, thank you!

She was ashamed that she thought he had never been in love before!

What was wrong with her? She actually thought a CEO with looks, money, body, and integrity had no experience in love!

After summing up his advantages, she suddenly became less angry.

Tong Jia showed an appearance of grief. She sighed, “Alright, my first love’s family name is Qin. What’s wrong?”

Correct.

A president with looks, money, body, and integrity. A president who only appeared in Jinjiang* novels!

*TL Note: 晋江 (jìnjiāng) = county-level city of Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, China.

Moreover, he is a normal 30-year-old man. It’s understandable if he had some experience in love.

Just hoped that in the next life he would not only care about appearance.

Otherwise, there was nothing to say.

Song Yancheng had no clue what went on in Tong Jia’s mind. He was silent, deep in his own thoughts. She said she had only been in love once, and the first love was the same age. The most important thing was that the family name was Qin.

It had nothing to do with Shen Yang?

Or did Shen Yang change his family name?

“Are you sure his family name is Qin?” Song Yancheng knew he asked a stupid question. He was confused by this incident as it was developing in a strange direction. He clearly remembered that among those photos, there was one where Shen Yang was pulling her arm. The two looked so close!

Tong Jia could not bear it anymore. She pointed towards the half-jar chicken feet with pickled peppers. “I’m sure his family name is Qin. If you don’t explain clearly today, you are not allowed to bring these home.”

Song Yancheng knew Tong Jia had endured to the limit. Anyone who was asked some strange questions in such a nonsensical way would be very curious and puzzled. He took out his mobile phone, opened the message and gave it to Tong Jia. “I received this message today, and I was very puzzled. You can rest assured that I don’t want to interfere with your past, and I’m not jealous. I think if someone wants to take these kinds of photos, they have to be following you. I just want to remind you of your safety, who knows…”

Tong Jia was shocked, seeing the photos.

Song Yancheng probed, “So, you and Shen Yang…?”

Tong Jia came back to her senses. “Can I curse?”

“Ah… Yes.”

“What the f***!!”

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----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

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