Chapter 371 – A Family of Three
Tonight, the moon was exceptionally round, hanging in the sky like a large jade plate, while a sea of stars shimmered with dazzling brilliance.
The moon spilled its silver moonlight, enveloping the entire villa in a layer of silver radiance, complementing the colorful lights inside the villa, creating a breathtaking sight.
On this night of the full moon, within the villa, there was a scene of reunion.
After Chen Li called out “Dad,” the smile on Xie Chunsheng’s face never faded. His facial muscles seemed to lose control, his mouth appeared almost fixed, only able to display a smiling expression.
Moreover, Xie Chunsheng’s gaze occasionally landed on Chen Li’s face, and the expression of affection in his eyes couldn’t be concealed.
Chen Li somewhat understood Xie Chunsheng’s feelings, but for Chen Li himself, the change from addressing Xie Chunsheng as “uncle” to “dad” was merely a change in address. He didn’t feel much upheaval inside.
Firstly, Chen Li had never expressed a desire for another father. Besides, his feelings towards Xie Chunsheng had already developed in their recent interactions.
So, whether it was “uncle” or “dad,” it didn’t matter much to Chen Li. Xie Chunsheng’s position in Chen Li’s heart remained the same, unaffected by a change in address.
The quick adoption of the term “dad” was Chen Li’s way of being open-minded about it, not wanting to disappoint the elders.
Xie Chunsheng could sense Chen Li’s mindset to some extent. There might be some inevitable disappointment, but he was content with the current situation. At least, Chen Li had accepted this identity.
Feelings could be nurtured. He refused to believe that with his efforts, he couldn’t foster a harmonious father-son relationship with Chen Li in the days to come.
Chen Yunlan could also perceive this, as he had experienced it before.
However, Chen Yunlan admitted that he was luckier than Xie Chunsheng. After all, at that time, Chen Li was still blank in terms of paternal love, so he somewhat yearned for it, making it simpler for him to accept the love.
It’s different now. Chen Li lacked nothing and lived a very happy life.
In other words, for Chen Li to fully embrace Xie Chunsheng’s paternal love, Xie Chunsheng indeed needed some time and effort.
As the saying goes, the beginning of all things is difficult. They had made a good start now, and there was plenty of time ahead; there was no need to rush.
Thinking of this, Chen Yunlan’s brow furrowed slightly.
Although both he and Xie Chunsheng had lived more than half their lives, there was still another half ahead; time stretched out in front of them.
However, Grandfather Qu was already older, pushing ninety. Even though he seemed robust, time was limited for him.
It was a fact that no one wanted to bring up.
Sensing Chen Yunlan’s sudden sense of loss, Xie Chunsheng turned worriedly and asked, “What’s wrong?”
But Chen Yunlan countered, “When do you plan on telling Old Master Qu?”
The decision to disclose the fact that Xie Chunsheng was Qu Ran lay entirely in Xie Chunsheng’s hands. Although he had absolute control over informing Chen Li about being Qu Ran, whether to reveal this to Old Master Qu depended entirely on Xie Chunsheng’s attitude.
This question stumped Xie Chunsheng. He didn’t answer but fell into silence.
When he was Qu Ran, he had been autistic. Yet, that didn’t mean he lacked memories. Even though his father had been busy working, he still found time to be with him. He could recall the warmth of his father’s palm embracing him. He seemed to remember vividly the first time he called him “dad” when he was ten, and his father’s excitement.
He owed his father too much in this lifetime.
If possible, he wanted his father to know immediately that he was Qu Ran, that he hadn’t died but had come back in a different way, and that he was here now.
However, Old Master Qu was already over ninety. He wasn’t young anymore and couldn’t handle further shocks.
Even if Xie Chunsheng dared not speak, whether Old Master Qu believed this matter or not would be a significant shock for him.
If Old Master Qu didn’t believe, he would likely feel angry. Qu Ran was Old Master Qu’s son, a precious memory in his heart. For someone to claim to be Qu Ran, who had passed away many years ago, would undoubtedly stir deep emotions.
This was a sensitive matter for Old Master Qu, one that should be left untouched if possible.
If Old Master Qu believed, the consequences of excessive excitement might be unpredictable. These were Xie Chunsheng’s concerns, ones he didn’t dare to gamble with.
As long as Old Master Qu remained healthy, Xie Chunsheng would rather not acknowledge the relationship.
Chen Yunlan understood Xie Chunsheng’s worries. He didn’t dwell on the matter further and simply patted Xie Chunsheng’s shoulder lightly, offering comfort.
Certainly, given Old Master Qu’s advanced age, it’s better not to upset him.
With that, the matter was set aside, and Chen Yunlan and Xie Chunsheng didn’t dwell on the topic any longer.
At this moment, the best course of action was to let things unfold naturally.
Perhaps one day, Old Master Qu might figure out on his own that Xie Chunsheng was Qu Ran? Although this possibility was exceedingly slim.
As the moon reached its zenith and the night grew deeper, everything slipped into slumber, carrying along unspoken thoughts into the realm of dreams.
In the blink of an eye, the sun rose from the horizon, bringing forth a new day.
During summer, daylight arrives earlier. It was only six o’clock, yet the sky was already bright.
The chef in the villa had prepared breakfast. The aroma of fragrant millet porridge wafted through the dining room.
Chen Li descended from upstairs, let out a big yawn, and stretched lazily.
“Good morning, Young Master Chen,” greeted the servant respectfully, inwardly wondering if the sun had risen in the west today. Normally, Young Master Chen wouldn’t wake up before eight or nine in the morning, so it was surprising to see him up so early today.
“Morning,” Chen Li’s voice still carried a hint of drowsiness, and his eyes hadn’t fully opened yet.
Little Qiuqiu had a fever yesterday due to teething, so the night was a bit restless.
Although Chen Li had initially said he’d take care of Qiuqiu at night, when Qiuqiu started fussing, Chen Li couldn’t handle it.
Throughout the night, Wei Chen had been with Qiuqiu, probably not getting any sleep.
Around five in the morning, Qiuqiu’s fever finally subsided, but he still wouldn’t sleep. Chen Li felt for Wei Chen, so he got up from bed, took over looking after Qiuqiu, and let Wei Chen rest.
Thankfully, today was a weekend, and Wei Chen didn’t have to go to work, so he could catch up on sleep.
Chen Li came downstairs to prepare formula milk for Qiuqiu. After a night of restlessness, Qiuqiu was probably hungry. Chen Li went into the kitchen, skillfully prepared the milk, and then returned to the room.
“Achen, give me Qiuqiu. You go get some sleep,” Chen Li said as he was becoming more awake now.
Wei Chen was indeed feeling tired. As Chen Li reached out, Wei Chen placed Qiuqiu in Chen Li’s hands.
Qiuqiu’s current weight was a bit heavy. Even Wei Chen, after holding Qiuqiu for a long time, felt some numbness in his muscles.
“Da da.” Qiuqiu, suffering from the fever, had a rough night. His voice was hoarse from crying several times, and tears welled up in his big eyes, looking incredibly pitiful.
This tugged at Chen Li’s heart.
Qiuqiu had always been sturdy; he hardly fell ill despite growing up. This was the most severe instance.
Although Wei Chen was taking care of Qiuqiu yesterday, Chen Li didn’t sleep peacefully either. He woke up intermittently and would go back to sleep once Qiuqiu stopped crying.
Chen Li pressed his forehead against Qiuqiu’s, feeling the temperature had normalized, which eased his worry a bit.
After testing the milk’s temperature and finding it just right, he brought it to Qiuqiu’s lips.
Qiuqiu was genuinely hungry. He eagerly sucked on the bottle, drinking hungrily. After a night of fussiness, Qiuqiu also felt tired. He fell asleep halfway through the feed, but his mouth continued to work, still sucking intermittently.
Seeing Qiuqiu finally asleep, Chen Li relaxed. He sat by the bed, cradling Qiuqiu, gently patting his back.
Wei Chen had a short nap, barely half an hour.
When he woke up, he saw Chen Li holding the sleeping Qiuqiu, leaning against the bed sound asleep.
Moving closer to Chen Li, Wei Chen intended to reach for Qiuqiu, but Chen Li suddenly woke up. Even in deep sleep, his subconscious still protected Qiuqiu.
Realizing it was Wei Chen in front of him, Chen Li relaxed and drowsily asked, “Achen, what time is it now? Why don’t you sleep a little longer?”
“Li Li, Qiuqiu is asleep. Put him down, and let’s sleep a little more together,” Wei Chen gently rubbed Chen Li’s hair.
Chen Li nodded sleepily and lay down, following Wei Chen’s instruction.
Wei Chen hugged Chen Li from behind, and instinctively, Chen Li nestled closer to Wei Chen. The sunlight poured in through the window, enveloping this happy family in its warmth.
With Wei Chen embracing Chen Li, and Chen Li cradling Qiuqiu, they sank into sweet dreams in the morning sunlight of summer.
By the time this family of three woke up, it was close to noon. Breakfast had long been cleared from the table, making way for a hearty lunch.
Chen Yunlan and Xie Chunsheng were also at home. They heard Qiuqiu’s movements at night and went to check, but Wei Chen ushered them back to their rooms.
In the morning, they specifically went to take a look and saw the family of three sleeping soundly in bed, so they didn’t disturb them.
“Is Qiuqiu feeling better?” Chen Yunlan, seeing them come downstairs, stood up and walked over, concerned.
Chen Li handed Qiuqiu to Chen Yunlan and replied, “The fever has gone down. Teething fever, nothing major.”
As soon as Qiuqiu heard the word “teeth,” he opened his mouth and said, “Pa pa, teeth.”
Chen Yunlan peered into Qiuqiu’s mouth and indeed saw a small white tip emerging in the pink gum. He immediately praised, “Our Qiuqiu is amazing, growing teeth again.”
When not ill, Qiuqiu was an absolute angel. Upon hearing the praise, he smiled widely, completely unaware of modesty.
Chen Yunlan brought Qiuqiu to Xie Chunsheng’s side, and Qiuqiu proudly showed him his teeth.
Of course, Xie Chunsheng praised Qiuqiu too. Qiuqiu’s smile widened even more, paying no attention to the discomfort brought on by the new tooth.
The family enjoyed a harmonious lunch together. Qiuqiu probably hadn’t slept enough; shortly after lunch, he dozed off again.
“You and Wei Chen go out for a stroll. I’ll take care of Qiuqiu,” Chen Yunlan suggested.
During the days when Chen Yunlan and Xie Chunsheng were in Shanghai, they probably hadn’t had much alone time. Since it was the weekend, allowing them some time alone seemed fitting.
Chen Li’s face immediately lit up. He didn’t bother with formalities and said, “Thanks, Dad.”
Chen Yunlan tousled Chen Li’s hair and said, “Go have fun. It’s okay if you come back later in the evening.”
Qiuqiu was easy to handle. If Chen Li and Wei Chen weren’t around for a moment, comforting him would usually suffice. Therefore, Chen Yunlan wasn’t too worried.
“Mhmm,” Chen Li nodded repeatedly and headed to the study to find Wei Chen.
As Chen Li reached the study door, Wei Chen came out. In an instant, Chen Li sensed something off about Wei Chen’s mood but before he could express concern, Wei Chen spoke first.
“Li Li, I need to make a trip to Shanghai.”