Chapter 349 – Running Away

Indeed, Chen Li hit the nail on the head. Today, Qiuqiu stuck to Chen Li, insisting that Chen Li feed him. After the meal, Qiuqiu clung to Chen Li, holding onto his neck tightly with both hands. The moment Chen Li left his sight, Qiuqiu started to wail. Only when Chen Li reappeared did he pitifully reach out towards him.

It was well past nine in the evening. Normally, by this time, Qiuqiu would have fallen asleep, but today, no amount of coaxing would make him sleep; he insisted on lingering in Chen Li’s arms to watch cartoons.

Chen Li also felt that due to his illness recently, he had distanced himself from Qiuqiu, so he just let Qiuqiu be.

Qiuqiu probably missed spending time with his dad these past couple of months, hence the clinginess to Chen Li, as if trying to make up for the lost time.

As the clock’s hands approached midnight, Qiuqiu couldn’t resist the drowsiness and slowly drifted off in Chen Li’s embrace.

Wei Chen walked over, taking Qiuqiu from Chen Li’s arms. He had been carrying him for a while, and Qiuqiu’s current weight was a bit much to bear for too long, let alone for Chen Li.

Qiuqiu was deeply asleep; even when his big dad carried him away, there was no movement or sound from him.

Chen Li’s hand felt numb; he shook it and softly said to Wei Chen, “Achen, come watch something with me.”

At this moment, Chen Li wasn’t sleepy at all; his eyes were wide open, full of energy.

“Okay,” Wei Chen wasn’t sleepy either. “I’ll take Qiuqiu upstairs to sleep first.”

A few minutes later, Wei Chen went downstairs. By then, Chen Li had already opened his computer and inserted the USB drive given to him earlier by someone.

However, Chen Li didn’t start watching yet; he sat upright, waiting for Wei Chen to join him.

These were prepared by his supporters, something Chen Li regarded as important and sacred. He wanted to share these things with the most important person in his life.

Wei Chen sat beside Chen Li. Only then did Chen Li open the folder on the USB drive and said, “This was given to me in the evening by someone. They said they are my supporters, believing in me, and they came from all over the world to support me. Many others like them couldn’t come for various reasons, but they recorded their messages for me on this USB drive.”

Wei Chen was somewhat surprised at first, then he ruffled Chen Li’s hair, emotions evident in his eyes, and said, “If possible, I’d like to thank them.”

Wei Chen knew it was these unfamiliar acts of kindness that broke through the final barrier in Chen Li’s heart, allowing Chen Li to truly start feeling better.

“Yeah,” Chen Li nodded along. Although he had already expressed thanks, those words fell short of conveying the depth of gratitude in Chen Li’s heart.

It wasn’t just towards these strangers silently supporting him; it extended to everyone around him. A faint thought arose in Chen Li’s mind, but he didn’t dwell on it. Instead, he opened the first video file on the USB drive.

The video was a montage crafted from numerous clips, devoid of melodramatic music, only containing the most sincere words from the heart.

People from various corners of the world had contributed to this video. Though their languages were diverse, subtitles were thoughtfully added. Chen Li couldn’t understand the spoken words, but he could comprehend the messages.

[Mr. Chen Li, hello. I’m from the USA, and I’m not sure what to say to you, but I believe in you. Please persist and create greater works for us.]

[Mr. Chen, it’s regrettable that I can’t personally support you in the capital. Regarding the online rumors, I know they are false, someone maliciously attacking you. So please, be like your ‘Light,’ even in the depths of darkness, strive to find the light. Believe me, one day, all these rumors will debunk themselves.]

[This is from Australia. It’s three in the morning here. When I found out about the untrue news online regarding you, I couldn’t sleep all night. Mr. Chen, please believe, everything will get better.]

Numerous such short videos followed. Chen Li and Wei Chen, filled with gratitude, watched them one by one. Forty-plus minutes flew by in the blink of an eye.

As the videos neared their end, there was a lengthy letter. The writer remained anonymous but expressed sincere gratitude to Chen Li. They mentioned that after watching Chen Li’s “Light,” they emerged from despair. What was once a life steeped in darkness slowly brightened after they illuminated a part of it.

Now, their life was full of happiness—a loving spouse, adorable children, healthy parents, frequent travels, no longer living cautiously, but confidently. They appeared much younger.

At the end of the letter, the person wrote, “There’s nothing in this world that can trap you, except yourself. When you unlock the door you’ve closed with your own hands, you’ll discover that this world is still beautiful.”

This sentiment deeply resonated with Chen Li.

He was very content now, yet due to past events, he had locked himself inside. When that door finally opened, he realized just how fortunate and happy he truly was.

The video spanned over fifty minutes, but for Chen Li, it felt like an eternity had passed once it ended. His mind and soul underwent a cleansing from these words, brightening the world that had already seemed clear and injecting it with even more vibrant colors through the video.

Chen Li couldn’t help but take a deep breath, then exhale. Tears had unknowingly welled up in his eyes, but his lips curved into a wide smile, his heart brimming with overwhelming emotions.

He glanced at Wei Chen and then dove into Wei Chen’s embrace, nuzzling against his chest.

“A-Chen, I’m really happy, so happy,” Chen Li felt like the happiness in his heart was about to overflow and submerge him.

Wei Chen hugged Chen Li tightly, encompassing his happiness within his embrace.

“In this vast world, with you, I have everything,” they stayed tenderly embraced on the couch for a while before refocusing their attention on the computer screen.

Apart from the recent video in the folder, there was another one labeled “Evidence.”

Wei Chen opened the folder to find over a dozen video files. Each video wasn’t lengthy, but watching all of them took over an hour for Wei Chen and Chen Li.

After finishing the files, they exchanged a surprised glance. The content of these videos was the most concrete evidence proving Chen Li’s innocence. Once these videos were uploaded online, all the current rumors would collapse on their own. Who were these supporters of Chen Li? Where did they gather so many video proofs?

“This?” Chen Li looked bewildered, realizing there were things he didn’t even know about.

“They really want to help you,” Wei Chen remarked. “And this evidence will have a significant impact for us.”

While they did have some evidence to prove Chen Li’s innocence, combining it with these videos would make a remarkable difference in completely shifting public opinion. It was like wanting to nap and suddenly someone brought a pillow.

Chen Li nodded. “I’m very grateful to them.”

“Yeah,” Wei Chen agreed.

He didn’t know how long it took Chen Li’s supporters to gather this evidence, but he could feel their genuine friendship towards Chen Li.

“These are a group of lovely and admirable people,” Wei Chen thought.

Inside the folder of evidence, there was also a contact information. Chen Li believed that this contact should belong to the person who gave him the USB drive in the evening. Chen Li shared the contact details of that person with Wei Chen, who saved the number in his phone.

Glancing at the time again, it was already past three in the morning.

“Li Li, let’s go to sleep.”

Wei Chen backed up all the files from the USB drive, shut down the computer, and when he looked at Chen Li, Chen Li let out a big yawn.

“Alright,” Chen Li replied, yawning again. “Achen, I want to sleep with you.”

Wei Chen’s response was to lift Chen Li horizontally and carry him back to the bedroom.

Qiuqiu was sprawled in the middle of the bed, sleeping peacefully and even smacking his lips, dreaming about something.

After placing Chen Li on the bed, Qiuqiu turned over and rolled into Chen Li’s embrace.

“Sleep tight,” Wei Chen leaned down to plant a kiss on Chen Li’s forehead, then turned off the light and went to bed.

Before long, the dark room echoed with the gentle rhythm of breathing as both husbands and son drifted into sweet dreams.

In the blink of an eye, the night passed.

Wei Chen had to go to work today, so he got up early. Chen Li and Qiuqiu had slept late the previous night, and Wei Chen getting up didn’t disturb them.

When Wei Chen finished preparing breakfast, the father and son on the bed were still asleep. Wei Chen went into the bedroom, and it was then that Chen Li struggled to open his eyes and asked, “Achen, what time is it?”

Wei Chen walked over, tucked the blanket in, and said gently, “It’s still early, you continue sleeping. I’ll keep your breakfast warm for you to have when you wake up.”

Chen Li drowsily nodded, rolled over, and went back to sleep.

Qiuqiu woke up about an hour after Wei Chen left, staring at the ceiling with wide eyes. Feeling bored, he started playing with his feet but didn’t disturb Chen Li.

The morning light streamed in through the window, bathing the bed in golden sunlight. Chen Li shifted his body, slowly waking up as the sunlight enveloped him.

Seeing Chen Li awake, Qiuqiu leaped onto him.

“Da da,” he called out in a clear voice.

Chen Li lifted Qiuqiu up, smiling. “Hey, big Qiuqiu, good morning.”

Qiuqiu opened his mouth wide, chubby fingers pointing to his mouth, loudly exclaiming, “Ah!”

Chen Li understood it was a sign that Qiuqiu was hungry. He swiftly got up from the bed, taking care of himself and Qiuqiu, and headed downstairs.

Chen Yunlan had no classes today and was in the living room. When he saw Chen Li coming down with Qiuqiu, he took out the breakfast from the warming pot.

Sensing the aroma, Qiuqiu leaned toward the table.

Chen Li yawned and greeted Chen Yunlan, “Dad, why didn’t you come back last night?”

Chen Yunlan paused for a moment, then casually replied, “Had a few things to deal with last night, it got late. Didn’t want to disturb Qiuqiu’s sleep, so I stayed at the Mandarin Garden.”

The Mandarin Garden was the name of the residential area where Chen Yunlan’s villa was located.

“Oh,” Chen Li didn’t notice anything off about Chen Yunlan’s response and just acknowledged it.

Of course, Chen Yunlan wasn’t lying; he did spend the night at the Mandarin Garden villa. However, he wasn’t alone there; Xie Chunsheng was with him.

Chen Yunlan couldn’t understand why after having a few drinks with Xie Chunsheng last night, they ended up sleeping in the same bed. It embarrassed him even more considering their ages; they behaved like teenagers. Faced with such an impactful situation early in the morning, Chen Yunlan felt embarrassed and fled, leaving Xie Chunsheng at the Mandarin Garden villa.

Now, Chen Yunlan didn’t know how to face Xie Chunsheng moving forward.

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