Yang Chen wasn’t planning on returning to work after having gone through all that has happened. Wang Ma went out to shop, so only his mother was left in the house. Yang Chen accompanied Guo Xuehua on the couch watching television and chatting about topics that they have never had the time to talk about. Soon, dinner rolled around.
When Wang Ma returned from buying groceries the same time Zhenxiu came home from school. These days, Liu Minghao had been harassing the girl so often that she started to harbour thoughts of leaving school. Yang Chen also stopped joking about it with Zhenxiu. He didn’t think he would be able to live comfortably if he really pissed the former ‘bad teenager’ off.
Yang Chen and Guo Xuehua naturally wouldn’t mention about Yang Pojun’s arrival in the morning. They didn’t feel the need to let others find out about something that didn’t concern them too much.
Lin Ruoxi came home slightly earlier than before. Although she didn’t voice out, she knew that something must’ve happened at home. However, being thoughtful about it, she chose to remain silent. Since it looked like nothing much had happened, she acted accordingly.
The dinner table was filled with hearty dishes which held mouth watering fragrances. It was rare for the family to gather together for dinner, so the meal was rather joyful.
While eating, Guo Xuehua suddenly thought of something. “Eh, I almost forgot. How did Hui Lin’s competition go today? Based on her voice, she must’ve entered the finals, hasn’t she?”
LIn Ruoxi smiled vaguely. Nodding, she said, “Yeah. I watched the entire show on the television. She’ll compete in the finals in a few days time to fight for top three.”
“Does she need to fight? Sister Hui Lin will be the champion for sure,” Zhenxiu said with a smile.
“If I have to say, getting a position is not that big of a deal. It must be exhausting for Hui Lin to stay busy outside alone. She hasn’t returned for dinner for quite a while already,” Wang Ma said with sympathy.
The few ladies then revealed similar expressions. Evidently, though they were glad for Hui Lin’s success, they had much rather she did not have to suffer in the process.
Yang Chen minded his own business as he ate. He felt a little sympathetic as well. He recalled the past when he first came, there were only Lin Ruoxi and Wang Ma. Today, Zhenxiu, Hui Lin, and Guo Xuehua had joined, causing the family to now hold six members. He felt that he could now truly call his life an average one with all its ups and downs.
After dinner, Zhenxiu helped to wash the bowls and chopsticks before quickly going upstairs. The college entrance exams were coming after all. She could be considered the busiest in the house. Although her diet and living conditions were much better than before after moving into this house, she still slimmed down a little.
Lin Ruoxi on the other hand spoke with Guo Xuehua for a while before returning to the study room. Although it was brief, she still showed a willingness to build on her current relationship with Guo Xuehua. If not, she wouldn’t have wasted her time on this.
Yang Chen was wondering why his wife had never taken the initiative to exercise. All she did was work while sitting, but she didn’t seem to be gaining weight.
As the midnight approached, Yang Chen returned to his room and wanted to take a shower, but his handphone started ringing.
Yang Chen frowned upon seeing the number. It was dialed from abroad. When he picked up the call, what happened next was indeed what he had expected. “Yang Chen, I arrived at Japan already. I’ll reach Zhonghai tomorrow,” Jane said in Japanese from the other end of the phone.
Yang Chen raised his brows. “I’m quite sure I told you not to rush over. But why are you transferring flights in Japan? Do you have to accomodate the airline’s schedule?”
“Of course not. I just have something to take care of over here which will be of help to the patient you want to get treated in Zhonghai,” Jane said cheerfully.
Yang Chen didn’t plan on asking too many questions. Although he wasn’t dumb, understanding Jane’s ways were far beyond his simple comprehension. She wouldn’t answer a lot of his questions anyway, so he had to wait for the outcome to reveal itself before realizing her formidable foresight.
“What time will you be arriving at the airport? I’ll be coming to pick you up myself,” Yang Chen said.
“Really? I thought you’d let me arrange my transportation myself. It’s nine in the morning tomorrow at Zhonghai International Airport. See you there,” Jane said happily.
Yang Chen smiled bitterly. This woman would only reveal such a tone which matched her age at situations like this one. He wondered if he should feel honored or not.
After the call from Jane, Yang Chen didn’t intend to sleep immediately. He walked out of his room as he wanted to walk around in the courtyard downstairs after ending the call.
Suddenly, Yang Chen noticed that the lights in Zhenxiu’s room were still on. Sighing, he felt that being a student wasn’t easy, as Zhenxiu had to revise at this hour.
As he pondered, being the elder brother, he felt that some encouragement from him was necessary. Yang Chen then walked to Zhenxiu’s room and knocked on her door.
A short while had passed but there was no response.
Yang Chen hesitated for a bit before twisting the door knob and entering the room.
Dressed in a blue pajamas with cartoon characters, Zhenxiu was indeed in the room. She was seated on the chair by the study table, while only the table lamp was on.
“What is it? Are you so immersed in your studies that you can’t hear a knock at your door anymore?” Yang Chen smiled and walked forward.
Zhenxiu shot up in her chair in surprise. Anxiously standing up and turning around, her watery eyes were wide open, staring at Yang Chen cowardly.
“Br—Brother Yang… you… why did you suddenly…”
“I knocked actually, but there wasn’t any response after a long while. I thought something happened to you,” Yang Chen said as he looked at Zhenxiu who seemed nervous. Curious, he asked, “Did something happen? Why do you look so strange?”
Before Zhenxiu answered, Yang Chen noticed the things on the study table which made him instantly burst into laughter.
Zhenxiu immediately blushed out of shyness when her personal matter was seen by Yang Chen, causing her to pout her lips and stomped on the ground angrily.
A bunch of papers were scattered on Zhenxiu’s table. More surprisingly, there were seven to eight paper-folded frogs placed on top. Evidently, Zhenxiu didn’t notice Yang Chen’s knock earlier because she was too immersed in stacking frogs!
“I didn’t expect my sister to have this habit. So you’re stacking frogs instead of studying this late at night.” Yang Chen walked over smilingly and took up a frog. He acted impressed as he praised, “Oh, not bad at all! I think this frog looks rather like you.”
“It looks more like you! I hate you!” Zhenxiu furiously snatched her frog back. Pouting, she said, “Brother Yang, you’re the worst. Who allowed you to enter a girl’s room at will?!”
“Hey, don’t get mad for real. Isn’t it just stacking frogs? I know that you’re stressed out for your studies. Relaxing yourself a little is great. But why are there just frogs on your table? Can’t you fold something else?” Yang Chen giggled.
Zhenxiu turned her head away in a shy manner. She murmured, “I—I only know how to make frogs…”
Yang Chen laughed yet again after listening to her. He had always found the kid more mature than others. Apparantly, she actually had an extremely childish side.
Enraged, Zhenxiu forcefully pushed Yang Chen out before slamming the door!
Yang Chen was in a great mood, so he wasn’t annoyed at being pushed out. He wanted to tease Zhenxiu again, but he heard certain movements coming from the courtyard.
“Yet another weirdo…”
Yang Chen sighed before his figure flashed and directly appear downstairs.
He opened the door and just as expected, Hui Lin utilized her lightness skill to leap into the house and head toward the balcony of the second floor.
Dressed in a black windbreaker, Hui Lin who looked like a spy saw that Yang Chen opened the door downstairs and gave her a weird gaze. Just like a wronged child, she fumbled her hands together as she slowly made her way to Yang Chen.
“Brother Yang, I… I just didn’t want to disturb you guys,” Hui Lin said softly.
“How many times have I asked you to walk in from the front gate? You’re becoming a superstar, not a thief. Are we still your family if we’re afraid of getting disturbed?” Yang Chen advised as he signalled Hui Lin to quickly enter the house.
Hui Lin stuck her tongue out and felt relieved when she knew that Yang Chen wasn’t going to blame her for that. After entering the house, she complained slightly, “Actually, I didn’t intend to do so. The paparazzi are so annoying. They were following me anywhere regardless of what I did, so I couldn’t help but use lightness skill to shake them off.”
“Why do you have to hide from them? You’re not doing anything illegal at the end of the day,” Yang Chen said.
“B—but… I feel very pressured. After my competition today, I wondering if I should listen to Grandma and help her take care of the Lin clan in Beijing. It might suit me more…” Hui Lin muttered with her head lowered.
Yang Chen was a little shocked. “Are you backing off?”
Hui Lin was afraid to look at Yang Chen. Biting her lip, she said, “I… I know that I’m useless. I didn’t know what being famous entailed… But I… I’m really tired, and I’m not used to it at all… Brother Yang, am I really cowardly and useless that I’m considering to back off when it just started…”
In the dimly lit living hall, Hui Lin raised her head and revealed a helpless and pathetic expression.
Yang Chen stopped smiling. He extended his right arm to lightly pat Hui Lin’s forehead and moved her hair gently with his thumb. “No one can be strong forever. Everyone will have their weak moments. As long as you dare to face the issue and weakness, it means that you’re strong. You didn’t fail. To gain strength, one must first experience weakness.”
Vitality recovered in Hui Lin’s watery eyes. After a long time, she asked, “If everyone is weak occasionally, how about Brother Yang? Isn’t someone like Brother Yang supposed to always be fearless?”
Yang Chen pouted his mouth as he looked troubled. Sighing, he said, “Me? Haven’t you noticed that I’m always afraid of your elder sister? I still sleep alone in my own room after all this time…”
“Pff!” Hui Lin burst into laughter after listening to him. At last, she even started tearing a little.
On the second floor, the door of Lin Ruoxi’s study room was pushed open. Dressed in silk pajamas, Lin Ruoxi held the rail of the staircase with her arm, looking at the two from above with her ice-cold face.
“It’s midnight already. Are you guys still making jokes instead of going to sleep?” Lin Ruoxi asked with her brows furrowed.
Yang Chen and Hui Lin felt a chill up their spines while their smiles froze.
“Ahem, ahem. Erm… I came down to have a glass of water. I’ll go back to sleep now.” Yang Chen signalled Hui Lin with his gaze before quickly rushing upstairs.
Hui Lin was a little embarrassed as well. Blushing, she had her head lowered before following behind him.
After the two closed their doors, the coldness on Lin Ruoxi’s face slowly faded. In the dark, Lin Ruoxi sighed slightly, but a warm smile could be seen at the corners of her lips.