FULL STORY | THE HIDDEN WIFE OF THE CEO

FULL STORY  THE HIDDEN WIFE OF THE CEO

 My wife is a CEO, she always hates me for being lazy and wants to divorce me. But she doesn't know that her success is bestowed by me.


“Dustin, here is the divorce agreement prepared by Ms. Nicholson. All you need to do is sign them.”
In the president’s office of the Quine Group, the secretary, Lyra Blaine, placed a piece of A4 paper on the table. A man sat opposite her, dressed in plain clothing.
“Divorce? What do you mean?”
Dustin Rhys was taken aback.
“Do you not understand what I’m saying? Your marriage with Ms. Nicholson is over. You’re not even on the same level anymore. Your existence is nothing but a smear on the president’s reputation!”
Lyra pulled no punches as she spoke.

“A smear on her reputation?” Dustin frowned. “Is that how she thinks of me?”
Back when they first got married, the Nicholson family was in ruinous debt. He was the one who helped them when they were at their lowest point. Now that they were rich, Dahlia Nicholson was ready to just kick him out.
“Something like that.” Lyra poked her chin toward the magazine on the table. A photo of a beautiful woman was printed on the front page. “Look at the headline on this magazine, Dustin. Ms. Nicholson’s net worth has hit one billion in the course of just three years, a feat no short of a miracle. She’s now the most desired woman in Swinton! With all this, she’s destined for greatness. But you, you’re just a regular joe. You don’t deserve her at all. I hope that you’ll see some sense and do the right thing.”
When Dustin remained silent, Lyra frowned.

“I know you’re not happy with this, but this is reality,” she continued. “You might have helped Ms. Nicholson when she was in trouble, but she has repaid you for everything you’ve done for her over the last three years. In fact, you’re the one who owes her now!”
“Is our marriage just a business deal to her, then?” Dustin took a deep breath to suppress the emotions within. “If she wants to divorce me, let her speak to me herself.”
“Ms. Nicholson is very busy. She doesn’t need to trouble herself with such trifling matters.”
“Trifling matters?” Dustin was stunned. Then he laughed bitterly. “Is that so? Is divorce a trifling matter to her? She can’t even find the time to speak to me. Truly, she’s that unattainable now!”
“Dustin, don’t delay this any longer.” Lyra pushed the divorce agreement toward him again. “Just sign here and you’ll get a car and a house as compensation. On top of that, you’ll also get eight million dollars. This is more than what you’ll be able to earn in your lifetime!”

“Eight million dollars is a lot, but…I don’t need it. I will sign the divorce papers if she comes personally. Otherwise, I won’t sign anything,” Duston said coldly.
“Don’t go too far, Dustin!” Lyra slammed her hand on the table. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you. With all her power and resources, Ms. Nicholson can divorce you easily. It’s only because she appreciates her past relationship with you that she’s allowing you to keep your dignity intact. Don’t provoke her!”
“My dignity?” Dustin was a little amused by that. She didn’t even want to speak to him directly to divorce him. What kind of dignity was that? Moreover, if she really did appreciate their relationship, then why was she threatening him now?
“I don’t think we have anything else to talk about, then.”
Unwilling to argue, Dustin stood up and made to leave.

“Dustin Rhys! You—” 
Just as Lyra was about to lose her cool, a curvy woman in a long black dress walked in. Her skin was as white as snow, and her features were delicate. Her lofty aura and curvaceous figure made her look like a goddess right out of a painting.
“You’re finally here.”
Dustin felt complicated emotions when he saw the beautiful woman. They had been married for three years, during which they treated each other with care and respect. But this was how it ended. He still didn’t know what he had done wrong.
“I’m sorry for being late, I was caught up with something else.”
Dahlia Nicholson sat down. Her expression was as impassive as ever.
“You certainly are busy, if you need your secretary to help you deal with your divorce,” Dustin said.
Hearing this, Dahlia frowned slightly. However, she did not explain herself. Instead, she said, “Since you’re here, let’s get straight to the point. Let’s end this on a pleasant note.  I’m sorry I have to do this to you, so you can have the car and the house, plus eight million dollars as alimony. How does that sound?”
At that, she placed a card on the table.

“Do you really think our relationship can be measured by money?” Dustin asked.
“Too little? That’s alright. Let me know what you want. I’ll give you anything within my power,” Dahlia said placidly.
“I don’t think you understood me. Let me rephrase my question. Are money and power that important to you?” Dustin was truly bewildered.
Dahlia went over to the windows and looked out over the city. There was determination in her eyes when she said, “To me, yes, they’re very important.”
“You’ve earned enough to feed yourself for the rest of your life. Why do this?”
“Dustin, that’s where you and I diverge in philosophy. You’ll never understand what I really want.” Dahlia shook her head in disappointment. 

They weren’t just incompatible in status and power; they were also incompatible in their principles. Most importantly, she did not see any hope for the future in him.
“You’re right. How would I know what you’re thinking?” Dustin laughed bitterly. “All I know is to cook for you when you’re hungry, prepare your coat when it’s cold out, and carry you to the hospital when you’re sick.”
“There’s no point in going into this now.” Dahlia’s expression held complicated emotions, but it was soon covered up by determination.
“You’re right.” Dustin nodded without any emotion. “I heard that you’ve been close with the heir of the Nolan family. Is it because of him?”
Dahlia was about to deny it when she gave it a second thought. In the end, she nodded.
“You can say that.”

“Okay. I hope you’re happy with him.” Dustin smiled and signed the divorce agreement without any more hesitation. All he felt now was disappointment. Ironically, today was also their wedding anniversary. There was cruel humor in divorcing him on the day they had gotten married.
“I don’t want the money, I just want that crystal necklace back. My mother left it to me before she died so that I can give it to my wife.”
“Okay.”
Dahlia nodded and gave him the crystal necklace.
“From today onward, we will have nothing to do with each other!”
Dustin put on the necklace and left. He had no more gentleness in his expression; all that was left was distant aloofness.
“Did I do the right thing, Lyra?” Dahlia asked hesitantly.
Even though she was the one who asked for the divorce, she didn’t feel happy at all when it was finalized.

“Of course you did!” Lyra nodded. “You have the right to pursue happiness. Dustin does not deserve you at all. He’ll only bring you down with him. You’re destined to be the most powerful woman in Swinton!”
Dahlia did not answer her. As she watched Dustin leave, she felt as if she was losing something precious.
Chapter 2
In the elevator, Dustin stared at the crystal necklace dejectedly. Even though he had expected it, he was still sad that his marriage had ended just like that. He had once thought that happiness was simple: meals on the table, cheerful days, and simple pleasures. Now, he found out that normalcy was a sin. It was time to awaken from this prolonged daydream.
Suddenly, his phone rang, breaking him out of his trance. When he picked up the phone, a familiar voice came from the other end.
“Mr. Rhys, I’m Hunter Anderson from the Swinton Group. I heard that today your wedding anniversary with Ms. Nicholson, so I’ve prepared a gift for you. I’m just wondering if you have any time today?”
“Thank you for your kindness, but I’m afraid we won’t be needing the gift,” Dustin said. 
“Why?”

Hunter was taken aback. He could sense something wrong.
“Is there anything else you’d like to talk about, Mr. Anderson?”
“Actually, yes, there is.” Hunter cleared his throat awkwardly. “I’ve got a friend who contracted a strange illness. He’s seen a lot of doctors, but none of them could do anything about it. I was hoping that you could help.”
“Mr. Anderson, you know my rules.”
“Of course I do! I’m sincere in my request. My friend owns some canscora, which I remember you were looking for. I’m sure he’ll be willing to part with it if you help him,” Hunter said.
“Is this true?” Dustin asked seriously.
“Yes, it is!”
“Alright, if that’s so, then I’ll be willing to take a look.” Dustin immediately agreed to the request.
He wasn’t interested in money or jewels, but rather some rare herbs and plants, as he needed them to save lives.

“Thank you, Mr. Rhys! I’ll send someone to pick you up immediately!” Hunter smiled in relief. 
As the president of the Swinton Group and one of the Mighty Three of Swinton, Hunter acted exceptionally timid in front of Dustin.
“Great, one more down, five to go. I should have enough time,” Dustin muttered to himself. His mood was lifted a little by this news.
With a ding, the elevator doors opened. As soon as he stepped out of the building, he saw two familiar figures walking toward him. It was Dahlia’s mother, Florence Franklin, and her brother, James Nicholson.
“Mom, James, why are you here?” Dustin greeted.
“Did you and Dahlia get divorced?” Florence did not waste any breath.
“Yes, we did.” Dustin gave her a forced smile. “It’s not Dahlia’s fault, it’s mine. Don’t blame her.”
He intended to end his marriage on a pleasant note. However, hearing this, Florence snorted coldly.

“Of course it’s your problem. I know my daughter well. If you hadn’t done anything wrong, why would she divorce you?”
Dustin was stunned. What was this? Victim blaming?
“Mom, you know how I’ve treated her over the past three years. I’m pretty sure I’m never done anything to betray Dahlia’s trust in me,” Dustin said.
“Who knows what you’ve done behind our backs?” Florence snorted again. “My daughter was right to divorce you! Look at yourself. She’s clearly out of your league!”
“Mom, don’t you think you’re going too far?” Dustin frowned.
If he hadn’t helped the Nicholson family three years ago, they wouldn’t be where they were today.
“Too far? So what if I am? Am I not speaking the truth?” Florence crossed her arms.

“That’s enough, Mom, stop wasting time with him.” Suddenly, James stepped forward. “Listen here, Rhys. I don’t care whether you divorce my sister or not, but you’re giving me all the money you got from her.”
“Money? What money?” Dustin was flabbergasted.
“Stop feigning ignorance! I know that my sister gave you eight million dollars as alimony!” James said coldly.
“That’s right! That’s my daughter’s money. You have no right to take it! Give it back!” Florence stretched out her hand in demand.
“I didn’t take any money from her,” Dustin denied. 
“Don’t waste time! Who would pass on eight million dollars? Do you take us as idiots?” James did not believe him.
“Rhys, you’d better be tactful and give us the money. Don’t make me angry!” Florence warned.

“You can call Dahlia and ask her if you don’t believe me.” Dustin did not wish to explain himself any further.
“What now? Are you threatening us? Listen here. No matter how much you beg, I’m not letting you leave with a single cent of ours!” Florence snarled.
“Mom, he’s too dense for this. Let’s just search his pockets!” James said impatiently. He dove straight into Dustin’s pockets.
Florence followed suit.
“Mom, do you have to do this?” Dustin frowned.
He hadn’t expected to be accosted by the Nicholson family so soon after the divorce. They were really merciless.
Florence spat on the ground in disgust.

“Who are you calling Mom? Watch your mouth. Who do you think you are?” As she spoke, she continued searching through Dustin’s pockets.
After some time, they didn’t find what they wanted from his pockets.
“Did he really not take any of the money?” James said, displeased.
Suddenly, he spied the crystal necklace around Dustin’s necklace and pulled it off roughly.
“Isn’t this my sister’s necklace? Why is it with you? Did you steal it?” James demanded.
“This is the Rhys family heirloom. Give it back!” Dustin said, his expression darkening.
He wouldn’t take any money, but he would not leave his mother’s keepsake.
“A family heirloom? Does this mean that this is valuable?” James’ eyes lit up. 

“In that case, Rhys, this can be your repayment for these three years that you’ve been living with us. Let’s go!” Florence gave her son a look and prepared to leave.
“Stop there!” Dustin grabbed James’ wrist. “Give me back the necklace!”
“Ouch! That hurts! Let me go!” James felt great pain in his wrist.
“Give it back,” Dustin repeated dangerously.
“I’d rather throw it away than give it back to you!”
Seeing that he had no chance of freeing himself from Dustin, James threw the necklace onto the ground. With a crisp clink, the crystal necklace broke into several pieces. Dustin blanched. This was the only thing he had to remember his mother by.
“How dare you lay your hands on me! I’d rather break it than give it back to you!” James said as he rubbed his sore wrist.
Dustin clenched his fists so tightly that his knuckles popped. His eyes were red with anger.

“You die!” Unable to hold in his anger anymore, Dustin slapped James in the face.
James was slapped so hard that the spun back uncontrollably before falling to the ground. He was so dizzy that he couldn’t stand up.
“Since your mother can’t be bothered to teach you manners, then let me do the honors!” Dustin grabbed him by the hair and lifted him. Then, he slapped him several times.
James’ face soon turned bloody from the slaps.
“How dare you hit my son!” Florence screamed as she tried to help her son.
“Get off!” Dustin turned and glared at her. The glare was so intense that Florence froze in her tracks.
Chapter 3
“Get off!”
Those two words were enough to scare Florence motionless. She had never thought that Dustin could be so scary when he was angry. He had always been so mild-tempered around them. He now looked like he could eat her alive.
When she finally got her wits back, Florence began screaming, “Help! Help! He’s murdering my son!” 
Soon, the Quine Group’s security guards gathered around them.
“What happened, Mrs. Nicholson?” The head of the security guards recognized 

Florence and stood at her side immediately.
“Tom! Lock this guy up at once! I want him punished for beating up my son!” Florence yelled.
“Holy cow! How dare you cause trouble in front of the Quine Group? Have you lost your mind?” Tom waved his hand. All the security guards surrounded Dustin.
This was their chance to kiss up to the president’s mother. If they did well now, then they might get a promotion and a raise.
“What are you waiting for? Beat him up!” 
Just as they were about to act, a voice sounded.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
A curvaceous woman in a silver dress barged into the crowd with her bodyguards. With her lips painted a fiery red, she was stunningly beautiful. Every move she made was alluring.
“She’s gorgeous!”

The security guards stared at her lustily. She was one of the most attractive women they had ever seen.
“Mr. Rhys, are you okay?”
The woman ignored the looks she was getting and headed straight toward Dustin.
“Who are you?”
Dustin narrowed his eyes at her, his anger dissipating.
“Nice to meet you, my name is Natasha Harmon. Mr. Anderson sent me here,” the woman said with a smile. At this, the security guards began whispering amongst themselves.
“Natasha Harmon? Is she the heiress of the Harmon family?”
“Oh, my God! Why is she here?”

They were all shocked. Natasha Harmon was a household name around the city. She was pretty, influential, and smart. At 22 years old, she had already gained control of the Harmon Group and built her own business empire within five years. 
“Ah, it’s you.”
Dustin nodded.
He had heard of Natasha before, but he hadn’t expected her to be involved with Hunter.
“Mr. Rhys, please wait in the car. I’ll deal with this.” 
Natasha snapped her fingers. Behind her, her four bodyguards whipped out their batons and advanced toward the crowd. Even though there were just four of them, their threatening auras was enough to make the security guards back off. After all, they knew that the Harmon family only hired trained bodyguards.
“After you, Mr. Rhys.”

Seeing that no one else dared to move, Natasha smiled and held out a hand to lead Dustin to the car. Without a word, Dustin picked up the pieces of his necklace and left with Natasha. No one dared to stop him.
“What the heck? What do we pay you for? Why did you just let them go?” Florence yelled when she realized what was happening.
“Mrs. Nicholson, she’s Natasha Harmon. We don’t dare to offend her!” The head of security lamented. None of them dared to lay a finger on Natasha.
“Useless trash! You don’t dare to offend her, but you’re fine offending my daughter?” Florence demanded.
The security guards looked at each other, not daring to speak. 
“What happened?”

Dahlia and Lyra came out to see what the commotion was.
“Dahlia! You’re here! Look at how badly your brother’s been beaten up!”
As soon as Florence saw her, she began to cry, as if she was the one who had been beaten up.
“What happened? Who did this?”
Seeing her brother’s wounds, Dahlia’s expression became chilly.
“Who else? It’s that Dustin!” Florence cried. “We met him just now. James picked up a crystal necklace that he dropped and tried to give it back to him, but he tried to turn it around and said that your brother stole it from him. After some argument, he beat up James! My poor James, he just did what he thought was right. What has he done to deserve this?”
She began crying harder.
“Dustin?” Dahlia frowned. “He’s always been mild-tempered. Why would he beat up James for no reason? What did you do?”
“What do you mean by this?” Florence looked angered. “Do you not believe your mother?”

“I just want to know the truth,” Dahlia said.
After three years of marriage, she knew Dustin’s personality well. He was normally calm and collected and rarely lost his temper. He wouldn’t just beat someone up for no reason.
“Look at your brother! Is the truth not clear enough? If you don’t believe me, ask the security guards. They saw everything!” Saying this, Florence gave the security guards a look.
“Ms. Nicholson, your mother is right. That guy there was the one who assaulted your brother. If it weren’t for us, she would’ve fallen victim to him too.”
The head of security understood his assignment perfectly.
“You hear that? I’m not wronging that person!” Florence continued. “I’ve told you before, that Rhys guy is not a good person. He’s a hypocrite. Look at what he’s done right after you divorced him. He even has a new woman now!”
Hearing this, Dahlia frowned. She was unsure of what to think. Could Dustin really do such a thing? Maybe he was furious about the divorce and wanted to exact revenge on her through her brother. If so, then she had to admit that she had misjudged him!

Chapter 4
“Mom, take James to the hospital. I’ll deal with this.”
After a moment’s silence, Dahlia finally made her decision.
“Dahlia, you must defend your brother! Don’t let him off so easily!” Florence said hatefully.
“Don’t worry, I know what I should do.”
Dahlia nodded, gesturing for two guards to send Florence and James to the hospital.
“What do you think, Lyra?”
Dahlia rubbed her temples. She felt a headache coming on.
“It’s obvious, isn’t it? It was Dustin who assaulted them first. The security guards were witnesses, so that can’t be a lie,” Lyra said.
“But my mother’s not exactly an honest person…” Dahlia began. She knew her mother and brother well. They were a hot-tempered and ruthless duo.
“Either way, it’s still wrong for him to throw the first punch!” Lyra said righteously. “Even if there was a misunderstanding, why couldn’t he talk it out? Moreover, it was James that he beat up. Your brother! He didn’t think of how you would feel when he attacked your family. This alone is proof that he’s not a good person!”

Dahlia’s frown deepened along with her doubts. Lyra was right. Even if her mother and brother were rude and unreasonable, there was no reason for Dustin to assault them physically, nor was there any reason for him to hurt James so badly. It would seem like her decision to divorce him was right.
“You can’t just let this go, Ms. Nicholson. You have to teach him a lesson!” Lyra said.
Hearing this, Dahlia became angry. She took out her phone and called Dustin. At the same time, Dustin was sitting in a silver Bentley and frowned when he saw the call coming in. Despite his reluctance, he still picked up the call.
“Dustin, I need an explanation!” Dahlia demanded.
“What explanation?”
“Did you hit my brother just now?”
“I did. But…”

Before he could finish, Dahlia interrupted him.
“So it was you! I hadn’t expected you to be such a person! Are you taking revenge on my family just because I divorced you?”
Hearing this, Dustin was taken aback. He hadn’t expected Dahlia to be so aggressive. She hadn’t even stopped to listen to what he had to say. After three years of marriage, she was treating him as if he was a mere stranger, or worse.
“Dahlia Nicholson, is that what you think of me? You knew that I hit your brother, but have you stopped to think why I hit him?” Dustin asked.
“No matter what he did, you still shouldn’t have hit him!” Dahlia insisted.
Hearing this, Dustin laughed bitterly. He was disappointed in her. At this point, it didn’t matter who was in the wrong. She clearly favored her brother over him.
“Dustin, I’ll give you another chance. Go to the hospital right now and apologize to James, and I’ll pretend that nothing happened. Otherwise…”
“Otherwise what?” Dustin retorted. “Are you going to call the police on me, or hire hitmen to take me out?”
“Dustin! Are you really going to throw away my goodwill like this?” Dahlia snapped.

“Goodwill? Are you sure it’s goodwill that you’re extending me? Anyway, I did beat up your brother, so do with that what you will.”
“You…” Dahlia’s retort was cut off as Dustin hung up.
She almost threw out her phone in anger. Dahlia had always been good at hiding her true emotions. It was one of the reasons why she had managed to get to where she was today. But right now, she was having a little trouble in that regard.
“How rude of him. Ms. Nicholson, do you need me to arrange for someone to teach him a lesson?” Lyra asked.
“No need. We’re done now.” Dahlia took a deep breath to quell her anger.
“But…” 
Lyra was about to say more when Dahlia stopped her.
“That’s enough of this. I need to work on more important matters, like the charity ball with the Harmon family.”
“The charity ball? Has that got anything to do with our partners?”
“That’s right. I just received news that the Harmon family has shortlisted the Quine Group. If we do well at this ball, we could be the Harmon family’s next partners!”
“That’s great! I’ll go make the arrangements right now!”
...

After hanging up the call, Dustin arrived at Swinton Primary Hospital. Natasha brought him into a VIP ward, where an old man was laying on the bed. He looked pale, and his lips were dry and cracked. His breathing was weak as if he was close to death. Several doctors surrounded him, but none of them looked optimistic.
“Natasha! You’re finally here. These doctors are useless!”
Suddenly, a young woman with a ponytail ran up to them. She was the second daughter of the Harmon family, Ruth Harmon, and the old man on the bed was Andrew Harmon, her grandfather.
“Ms. Harmon, we’ve already done everything we could. There’s nothing else we can do for him,” a doctor said helplessly.
“If there’s nothing you can do, then let someone else take over the reins,” Natasha said coldly.
“Mr. Rhys will take over.”
“Mr. Rhys?”

The surrounding doctors had strange expressions on their faces. Dustin looked too young to be a good doctor.
“Are you kidding me, Natasha? This is Mr. Rhys?” Ruth looked shocked. “He looks about the same age as I am. Is he really a doctor?”
“Don’t judge a book by its cover. Mr. Anderson was the one who introduced him to me. I trust him,” Natasha said.
To be frank, she wasn’t quite sure about Dustin either, but if Hunter recommended him, then he had to have his merits.
“Could Mr. Anderson have been conned too?” Ruth still looked doubtful. “Hey, you, are you really a doctor?”
“I know a little about medicine,” Dustin replied.
“Just a little?” Ruth pouted. “You should know that we only let in the best doctors into this room. Everyone here is a known expert in their field, and none of them could do anything about this illness. How are you so confident that you can?”
“Ruth! Watch your manners!” Natasha scolded.
“He doesn’t look reliable, Natasha! I’m just worried that he might make Grandfather worse!” Ruth said.

“Watch your words.” Natasha frowned.
“I don’t care, I won’t believe in him unless he can prove himself to me,” Ruth said with her head held high.
“How should I prove myself?” Dustin asked nonchalantly.
“Tell me what ails me. If you’re correct, then I’ll believe in you!”
“Really?”
“What’s wrong? You’re scared? If you can’t do it, then please leave. Stop wasting our time!” Ruth snorted.
“Show me your tongue,” Dustin said.
Ruth did as he said.
After a quick look, Dustin said without any hesitation, “Your hormones are imbalanced, so you should be experiencing irregular periods and migraines. You’re also showing some signs of food poisoning, which has affected your digestive system. You’ve been having diarrhea, haven’t you? Oh, another thing, you have hemorrhoids…”
The more he spoke, the tenser Ruth became.
Chapter 5

“How did you know that?”
Ruth’s eyes almost bulged out of her head. She was more shocked than embarrassed that Dustin could tell so much about her health just by looking at her tongue. Everything from the migraines to diarrhea was spot on. Was he really that good, or did he just make a lucky guess?
“There’s a lot you can tell about a person just by looking at them,” Dustin said nonchalantly.
“Do you believe him now, Ruth?” Natasha smiled. At the same time, she also heaved a silent sigh of relief. Thank goodness Dustin knew what he was doing.
“He just got lucky!” Ruth refused to admit defeat. 
“I’m sorry, Mr. Rhys, she’s just too stubborn for her own good. Please ignore her,” Natasha told Dustin apologetically.
“It’s fine. Shall we begin?”
Dustin didn’t take Ruth’s attitude to heart. He walked over to Andrew and gave him a thorough check-up. It didn’t take long for him to find out what was going on. It was obvious to him that the old man had been poisoned. The poison was pretty potent too. Thankfully, it was discovered early on, so he could still be saved. Another day or two, and he would have been lying in the morgue!
“Ms. Harmon, can you get me some silver acupuncture needles?” Dustin asked.
“No problem.”
Natasha waved a hand. Immediately, one of her bodyguards went out. Five minutes later, he returned with a set of acupuncture needles.
“Thank you.”

Dustin nodded his thanks, then began to take off the old man’s shirt. First, he tapped his knuckles against the old man’s stomach to make sure he was hitting the correct positions, then began to place the needles in the correct pressure points. His actions were light but firm as his hands flew deftly. With his skill, his patient would not feel any pain from the needles. Seeing this, Natasha was surprised.
“He’s good!”
She didn’t know much about acupuncture as a medical practice, but she knew some experts in the field. From what she could see, those old experts had nothing on Dustin. His actions were one of an experienced and talented healer who had spent years in practice. She was curious about this man. Once all 16 needles were in place, Dustin breathed a sigh of relief. It had been some time since he last performed acupuncture, but thankfully he was still familiar.
“Is that all? Nothing changed!” Ruth looked confused.
“Your grandfather has been poisoned. It’ll take about two hours to drain the toxin from his body; you shouldn’t remove the needles before the two hours are up, or there might be serious side effects!”
Ruth pouted.
“Why should I believe you?”
“Ruth!”

Natasha glared at her sister. 
“I need to go to the bathroom. Please watch over him while I’m gone,” Dustin told the occupants of the room before leaving.
Not long after he left, a group of doctors barged in. These were some of the most skilled doctors in the hospital. A balding man led the troupe.
“Hey! Who are you guys?” Ruth crossed her arms.
“My name is Jansen. I’m the executive director of the hospital, and also the dean of the medical school. I’m here on orders to treat Old Mr. Harmon,” the balding man introduced.
“Ah, you’re that famous Dr. Jansen! The best doctor in Swinton!” Ruth was ecstatic.
“More like one of the best,” Dr. Jansen said proudly, “but yes, I am.”
“It’s great to meet you, Dr. Jansen. Please help my grandfather.”
Ruth immediately moved out of his way. Clearly, she trusted Dr. Jansen more than she trusted a youngster like Dustin.
“I will.” Dr. Jansen nodded. When he got nearer to the bed, he frowned. “What’s with the needles? What nonsense is this?”
As he spoke, he made to remove the needles.
“Wait!” Seeing this, Natasha stopped him.
“What’s wrong?” Dr. Jansen asked, annoyed.
“Dr. Jansen, I’ve already hired another healer. He said that my grandfather has been poisoned. We cannot remove these needles as there might be serious side effects.”

“A pack of lies!” Dr. Jansen snorted derisively. “If these needles can cure ailments, then what are doctors for?”
“That’s right!” Ruth agreed. “Natasha, that Dustin barely looks a day over 20. How could he be a skilled healer? Please don’t tell me you believe what he said.”
“Then how would you explain the way he could tell that you’re having diarrhea just by looking at you?” Natasha asked.
“He… he made a lucky guess!” Ruth said.
“Ms. Harmon, all of the best doctors in Swinton are here. I don’t know who you hired just now, but I believe he’s just conning you. Do you really think our professionally trained doctors are not as good as a random guy on the street?” Dr. Jansen asked. “I know you’re worried about Old Mr. Harmon, but please, don’t believe in these superstitions. It would just make things worse!”
“That’s right! Dr. Jansen has saved a lot of people. Don’t worry, Old Mr. Harmon will be safe in his hands!” the other doctors behind him chimed in.
Their confidence weakened Natasha’s resolve. However, she insisted, “We should wait for Mr. Rhys to come back.”

“Why should we?” Ruth said. “Maybe he’s already gone, Natasha!”
“Ms. Harmon, I’m a busy man. I’m not going to waste any more time here. If I pull out these needles and anything happens to Old Mr. Harmon, it’ll be on me.” With that, Dr. Jansen pulled out all of the needles.
As soon as the needles were removed, something strange happened.
Andrew’s body began convulsing. His face began to turn black, and blood gushed out from his nose and mouth. The machines on either side of the bed began beeping.
“What’s going on?” Dr. Jansen was surprised by the turn of events.
“What’s this, Dr. Jansen?” Natasha frowned.
“That’s strange, he was fine earlier…” Dr. Jansen felt uneasy.
“Sir, the patient is coding!”
“Quick, get the machines!”

Without delay, Dr. Jansen began emergency resuscitation. Even after a lot of effort, Andrew did not seem to get better at all. In fact, his stats were declining uncontrollably. Dr. Jansen was panicking.
“Ms. Harmon, I think… I think Old Mr. Harmon is… dying…”
“What?” Both Natasha and Ruth were shocked.
Chapter 6
“You useless thing!” Natasha was livid. She grabbed Dr. Jansen by the collar and yelled, “I told you not to remove the needles! Now that the worst has happened, this is all you have to say?”
“No, this has got nothing to do with me!” Dr. Jansen shook his head fervently. “It must be that other healer. His needles must have caused this to happen!”
Natasha slapped him.
“Stop pushing the blame on others! I’m warning you now if anything happens to my grandfather, I’ll end your life!”
At those words, Dr. Jansen paled. The Harmon family was powerful enough to get rid of him without anyone knowing. 
“What’s going on?”
At that moment, Dustin entered. When he saw Andrew’s state, he frowned.
“Didn’t I tell you not to remove the needles?” he asked with displeasure. “Why didn’t you listen to me?”
“Mr. Rhys, just now…”
Before Natasha could explain, Dr. Jansen shot forward and grabbed Dustin by the collar.

“So it’s you who placed the needles?” he shouted. “It’s your silly needling that caused Old Mr. Harmon to go into critical condition! You’re responsible for this!”
Dustin was a convenient scapegoat that he could use to avoid the blame.
“Am I right to presume that you were the one who removed the needles, then?” Dustin raised an eyebrow.
“So what if it’s me?”
“Nothing much. I’m just a little curious. How did you become a doctor when you’re so unskilled and irresponsible?”
“You—”
“Shut up!”
Natasha pushed Dr. Jansen away, then pulled Dustin over to the bed.
“Mr. Rhys, we have no time to lose. Please save my grandfather!”
“Ms. Harmon, he’s just a conman! He won’t be able to do anything for your grandfather. Don’t be scammed!” Dr. Jansen said angrily.
“If you think he can’t do anything, then why don’t you do something?” Natasha glared at him.
“I…”
Dr. Jansen was rendered speechless. If he could save Andrew, he would’ve done so earlier instead of standing around. 
Just as Dustin was about to begin his treatment, Dr. Jansen said suddenly, “A word of warning, young man. Old Mr. Harmon is a man of influence. If you fail, you’ll have a lot to answer for.”
“If that’s so, then I’m not treating him. You guys can deal with it yourself.”
Dustin had no wish to continue arguing with them. He turned and made to leave.
“You bugger! Shut your craphole!”
Natasha was livid. She slapped Dr. Jansen again. The slap was so forceful that Dr. Jansen stumbled and almost fell to the ground. Seeing his swollen face, Dustin felt vindicated, even though he remained expressionless. Natasha’s expression changed into pleading when she spoke to him.
“Please, Mr. Rhys. The Harmon family will owe you a big favor if you can save my grandfather.”

“It won’t be easy. The toxin has been aggravated, so it’s more aggressive now. Acupuncture alone won’t be enough to cure him. I need something else,” Dustin said.
“I will give you whatever you need,” Natasha said.
“I’ll need a quarter pound of caterpillars, a quarter pound of spiders, and a quarter pound of cockroaches. Fry them and seal them in an airtight container.”
“Ew. Why do you need those things? How gross.” Ruth said in disgust.
“Stop your yakking. Go find those items!”
Natasha glared at her. Reluctantly, Ruth went out with her bodyguards to look for the insects. Soon, they came back with a container filled with fried insects.
“Ms. Harmon, after I finish the acupuncture treatment on your grandfather, please open this container and place it in front of his nose and mouth,” Dustin said.
“Will do!”
Natasha nodded.
“I shall begin.”
Dustin took out his silver needles and took a deep breath. Then, he gathered his concentration and inserted the first needle into Andrew’s lower abdomen. With a flick of his finger, Dustin made the needle rotate quickly. A sliver of energy entered Andrew’s body through the needle.
His second needle went slightly above the first. Dustin inserted it without any hesitation. The next three needles were placed quickly and determinedly in a straight line from the first two.  Interestingly, Dustin did not just stick the needle into Andrew. Instead, he was slowly forcing the needles upward from the abdomen. With every needle he placed, Andrew’s skin bulged slightly, as if something was crawling underneath his skin.
“What nonsense.” Dr. Jansen pursed his lips disdainfully. “Acupuncture is a bunch of crap. It’s not even based in science!”

“That’s true! He’s just embarrassing himself!” The other doctors in the room were also whispering amongst themselves.
They clearly had no confidence in alternative medicine. When Dustin finally placed the last needle, he was drenched in sweat. What he did was not regular acupuncture. It was the long-lost art of Miracle Needling. Miracle Needling could raise the dead, but only if the performer had the internal power to do so. It was a draining task, so he only used it for emergencies.
“Ms. Harmon, the container,” Dustin reminded.
Natasha opened the container hurriedly, and a pungent smell filled the room. Andrew got the brunt of it.
“More absurdities!” Dr. Jansen snorted again. “Do you really think some needles and fried insects can save a man from dying?”
“Just because you can’t, it doesn’t mean others cannot,” Dustin replied lightly.
“If you succeed, I’ll eat this container of insects!” Dr. Jansen said.
Just as he finished speaking, Andrew opened his mouth for the first time after days of being unresponsive. A black centipede crawled out of his mouth. Attracted by the smell of the fried insect, it climbed into the container and began eating them.
“A centipede? Is that a centipede?”
“Oh my god, there was a centipede in old Mr. Harmon’s body!”
“Ew!”
When the people in the room realized what was happening, they were shocked. Ruth even started vomiting. It was terrifying to see a centipede climb out of a human’s mouth. This was the stuff of nightmares. Suddenly, there was a sound of loud coughing from the bed. Andrew opened his eyes.

Chapter 7
“Is he awake?”

Everyone was stunned when they saw Andrew return to consciousness. The doctors were dumbstruck when they noticed the monitors showing Andrew’s vital signs were all normal. 
“That’s amazing! Grandfather is awake!”
Ruth burst into tears of happiness when she saw her grandfather’s recovery. Natasha also breathed a sigh of relief.
“Mr. Rhys, I don’t know how to thank you for this. From now on, you are the Harmon family’s honored guest!”
She bowed deeply to Dustin. 
“You’re welcome, Ms. Harmon. It was no trouble at all.”
Dustin gave her a small smile. However, Dustin’s humble words irked Dr. Jansen. He and his team had done all they could to cure Andrew, but this punk called it “no trouble at all?” Clearly, Dustin was insulting them indirectly! 
“Hey, you! What’s up with the centipede? Why would there be a centipede in my grandfather’s body?” Ruth spoke up. 
“This is not a normal centipede. It’s actually a venomous curse.” Dustin turned to Andrew. “Mr. Harmon, where were you recently? Have you eaten anything out of the ordinary?” 
“You’re spot on. A few days ago, I was at Millsburg for a party and drank some wine.” Andrew nodded.
“If I’m not mistaken, you must have been cursed,” Dustin concluded. 
“Cursed?”

Andrew was taken aback. The rest of them stared at each other in surprise. After all, it wasn’t every day that someone got cursed. 
“Don’t spout nonsense! It’s illogical that this could be a curse! If you ask me, Mr. Harmon must have ingested centipede eggs by mistake!” Dr. Jansen interrupted. 
“Dr. Jansen, any normal centipede eggs would have been digested by the stomach’s acid! It’s fine if you are not familiar with this, but do not spread false information!” Dustin retorted calmly. 
“You…” Dr. Jansen shut up when he caught sight of Natasha’s deadly glare. 
“Mr. Rhys, thank you for your diagnosis. I will investigate this further,” Natasha said seriously. 
She had heard of venomous curses before, however, she had no personal experience. Who would have thought that her grandfather was suffering from this? Natasha was determined to make the perpetrators pay for this! 
“Now that the curse is lifted, you should feed him this prescription for five days to remove the toxins from his body.” Dustin scribbled on some paper.
“Thank you so much, Mr. Rhys.” Natasha took the prescription gratefully.
“Alright, I will excuse myself since there’s nothing more to be done.” Dustin got up to leave.

“Let me see you off.” Natasha got up as well. 
“Sis, what should I do with these insects?” Ruth interjected.
“Dr. Jansen mentioned that he was going to eat those insects. Since he was the one who requested it, we shall fulfill his wish! All of you, make sure he finishes those insects before leaving!” Natasha said coldly. 
“What?” Dr. Jansen went pale.  
At this moment, in another hospital room, a similar scene of chaos was unfolding. 
“Mom! How could Rhys hit me? Please, you have to teach him a lesson!” 
James was whining on the hospital bed with his head bound up tightly. Only his nose and mouth could be seen. 
“Don’t worry, I will get even with him for you!” Florence comforted James gently. 
“Mrs. Nicholson, it is unthinkable that Dustin had the nerve to physically assault both of you!” A handsome young man dressed in a suit spoke up. He was the second son of the Nolan family, Chris Nolan. He was also deeply infatuated with Dahlia. 
“Chris, you wouldn’t believe it. That punk went mad and hit my son like a maniac. No one could stop him!” Florence gritted her teeth. 
“Really? Was he such a crazy person?” Chris frowned. “I know some thugs who can teach him a lesson. Shall I help you out, Mrs. Nicholson?” 
“Oh, that would be great!” Florence broke into a smile. 
“Chris, make sure they knock some sense into him. Fracture a bone or two!” James snarled in anger. 

“Sure thing. I assure you, he is as good as dead!” Chris laughed maliciously. 
To be honest, Dustin’s marriage to Dahlia had bothered him long ago. How was it possible that a useless bum like him could have such an attractive and successful lady as his wife? Chris couldn’t pass up this opportunity to beat Dustin up! 
“James, how are your injuries?” Dahlia asked as she entered the hospital room suddenly. She was dressed in a slinky black dress that showed off her voluptuous curves. Chris’s eyes brightened considerably. 
“Dahlia, you’re finally here! Look at me, I’m terribly hurt!” James sat up immediately and pointed at his bandaged head. 
“Alright, Dustin told me what happened and apologized over the phone. Let’s forget about it and move on,” Dahlia comforted her brother. 
“Forget about it?” James raised his voice. “Dahlia, are you kidding me? I was beaten black and blue! An apology isn’t going to cut it! What do you take me for?” 
“Well, what do you want?” 
“I want him to kneel before me and beg for forgiveness!” 
“He is still your brother-in-law. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.” 
“Don’t lie to me! I know that both of you have divorced!” 
“Regardless of what happened, we were once family. Besides, you are partly to blame.” 

“Dahlia, why are you taking his side? What did I even do wrong? I only broke his necklace! What’s the big deal?” James snapped angrily. 
“What? What did you say about a necklace?” Dahlia frowned. 
“The necklace you wore previously. He claimed that it was an heirloom, but I’m sure it’s just rubbish!” James mumbled under his breath. 
“Did you destroy that necklace?” Dahlia probed further. 
“Yeah, he was being extremely rude! That insolent punk refused to give me the crystal necklace, that’s why I smashed it on the ground!” James said stubbornly. 
“You’re really asking for a beating!”
When Dahlia learned of this, she was furious. After everything that had happened, she finally understood why Dustin would beat James up. James was the one who demanded and shattered the precious crystal necklace.
Other people might not have understood its significance, but Dahlia knew otherwise. The necklace wasn’t just a family heirloom, it was also the only thing that reminded Dustin of his mother. It was a symbol of his mother’s love for him. When they got divorced, Dustin didn’t want anything but the necklace. From this, it was evident that the crystal necklace meant the world to him. 
“Dahlia, it’s just a necklace! Why are you lecturing me over this?” James whined. 
“That’s right! Is that trinket more important than your brother’s life?” Florence demanded.

“I’ll deal with the both of you later!”
Dahlia didn’t bother to argue and left immediately. She didn’t have the energy to quarrel with her spoiled brother and unreasonable mother. Moreover, in her haste, she hurt Dustin with her words. Now that Dahlia thought about it, she regretted saying them. With his temperament, Dustin would never have lost his temper so easily. She had made a mistake…
Chapter 8
Natasha and Dustin sat in the backseat of a silver Benz.
“Mr. Rhys, this is the Harmon family’s platinum card. Please accept it as a token of our gratitude.” Natasha handed Dustin a black card edged with gold as she explained. “With this, you will be treated as an honored guest in all establishments under the Harmon family.”
“Ms. Harmon, I don’t need this.” Dustin shook his head.
“Don’t worry, Mr. Rhys. This is just a personal gesture. Regarding Mr. Anderson’s request for the canscora, I will send the herb to your place tomorrow,” Natasha said with a smile. 
“That’s very kind of you, Ms. Harmon. Thank you very much.” Dustin chuckled and accepted the card.
Since it was a gift from her, it would come in handy. As they were talking, the car suddenly pulled over. 

“I’m sorry, Ms. Harmon! I was forced to do this!” The car driver confessed before getting out and running for his life.
At that moment, two black SUVs swept by. They blocked the silver Benz in the front and rear. More than ten men got out of the SUVs. They approached the car, armed with weapons, and with covered faces. A bald, burly man who seemed to be the leader set his foot on the Benz’s bonnet.
Brandishing his knife, he threatened, “Ms. Harmon, my boss wants to meet you. We will escort you.” 
“How bold of you to hijack my car!” Natasha replied, unfazed. She emitted a stately aura befitting a queen. 
“We wouldn’t have dared with all your bodyguards around. However, they are now at the hospital guarding your grandfather. You are alone with your little boy toy! How could we pass this precious opportunity up?” the bald guy smirked. 
“Well, you do have some brains in that numbskull of yours to bribe my driver. However, please satisfy my curiosity. Who’s your boss?” Natasha asked calmly. 
“You will know once we get there! Now, will you get off?” the bald guy urged. 
“You have no right to order me around!” Natasha didn’t budge. 
“Since you are going to be difficult, I have no choice but to resort to force!” The bald man gestured to the others for a large hammer. As he was going to smash the windscreen, Dustin opened the door and got out. 
“Ms. Harmon, your boy toy has no guts. I’ve not even started and he is already peeing his pants in fear. What did you see in him?” the bald guy said mockingly. 
Natasha frowned and reached into her bag silently. 

“You have five seconds to cram,” Dustin warned. 
“Punk, do you know what you’re saying? Are you trying to be a hero? Go die!” 
Before the bald man could finish his sentence, a slap landed on his face. The overwhelming pressure almost dislocated his jaw. He staggered back, stars spinning around his head.
“How dare this punk fight back? Slay him!” 
The other men immediately rushed toward Dustin with their weapons in hand. Dustin faced them fearlessly. He weaved through the crowd, his movements as light as a feather. Each time someone came within arm’s length, he dealt out a firm slap.
After a few loud cracks and cries of pain, the men fell over one by one. None remained standing after receiving a slap from Dustin. Beating up more than ten muscular men seemed as easy as pie for him. The bald man was scared. Never in his dreams would he have thought that the young man before him was such a terrifying monster. Even though all of them came at Dustin at once, not a hair on his head was harmed. 

“Interesting.”
Natasha’s eyes shone with interest, a slight smile playing on her lips. She replaced the handgun she had lying in her bag. Initially, she thought that Dustin was going to have some trouble taking down a group of bloodthirsty men by himself. Who knew that he was such a capable fighter? He was much more skilled than her bodyguards. Not only was he skilled in medicine and combat, but he was also handsome as well! A man like him was one in a million!
“Stop! Stand back!” The bald man pleaded for his life as Dustin approached him. “Don’t come near me! I will make you pay—” 
Before he could finish, Dustin landed a punch on his abdomen. The man threw up and kneeled on the ground in pain. 
“He’s all yours, Ms. Harmon.”
Dustin stepped aside. 
“Thank you.” Natasha nodded and stared down at the bald guy. “Tell me, who’s your boss?” 
Sweat running down his forehead, the man hesitated.

“Are you not going to tell me?” Natasha smirked and picked up a knife from the ground. She held the blade against his neck and threatened, “I shall have to torture you slowly until you confess then.”
With that, she raised her arm and swung. 
At the last moment, the bald man screamed, “Please spare me! I’ll tell you everything! It’s Trevor Spanner of the Drey Group!”
His life was more important than his loyalty right now.
“As expected.” Natasha smiled. “Return and inform Trevor that I’ll remember this! When I have some free time, I’ll visit him. Get lost right now!” 
The bald man and his men ran away with their tails between their legs. 
“Ms. Harmon, things are not as simple as it seems. First, your grandfather was cursed. Next, your car was hijacked. Trevor will not be easy to deal with,” Dustin warned.

“Trevor Spanner is just a crazy man. However, he has strong allies backing him up. I’m not going to do anything about this yet. It’s better to lay in wait for an opportunity to round all of them up at one go!”  
Natasha narrowed her eyes. It would be rash to attack right now. She would take all of them down in one blow! 
“As long as you have a plan, that’s alright.” Dustin nodded.

He had no interest in the conflicts between rival families. 
“Mr. Rhys, it seems that you are really my family’s benefactor. You saved my grandfather, and now you have saved me from getting kidnapped. I have no way to pay you back.” Natasha fluttered her eyelashes. 
“It’s no trouble at all,” Dustin replied carelessly. 
“No, we owe you too much! I must return the favor!” With that, Natasha shot him a sultry smile. “To show my sincerity, shall I repay you with my body?”

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