After the unscientific rainstorm on the first day of the new year, the sunny days finally returned on the second and third days of the year.
Fang Hao’s world was busy with tasks and he couldn’t leave his host for too long. He had to go back after the first few days of the new year. The three brothers should be neat so Ji Tong and Pei Qingyuan would also return at the same time.
This meant these two days were particularly precious.
According to the unanimous resolution passed by the family, they went to the beach to play in the water on the second day of the new year. On the third day, they went to the forest park to camp and have a picnic.
The ocean beaches and forest were two of the city’s most distinctive landscapes.
For this suggestion that was mainly put forward by Ji Tong and Fang Hao, Fu Yinyin was a bit surprised. “The two of you don’t want to go to the amusement park this year?”
As a result, the two systems that became children actually replied in unison, “Childish!”
Last year, Fang Hao rode the roller coaster for the first time and it wasn’t as fun as he imagined. He almost collapsed and after surviving the tortuous journey, he immediately deleted the word from this dictionary of life.
Meanwhile, Ji Tong remembered the amusement park in the consciousness space that had been transformed into a romantic date style by the host and the gorgeous fireworks he saw at the high point of the roller coaster with the host. He was a bit embarrassed.
Hearing this, Fu Yinyin sighed meaningfully.
Fang Hao’s mind was very easy to guess. It was because just hearing the words ‘amusement park’ made his face turn pale. Ji Tong’s reaction was very interesting and he actually blushed slightly.
Sure enough, they grew up.
Fu Yinyin thought for a while and casually conjured up two little yellow duck swimming rings. She teased, “Wouldn’t it be too childish to go to the beach and use this?”
Looking at the extremely cute swimming rings, the eyes of the two children widened and they couldn’t look away for a long time.
Fang Hao was insincere. “It’s okay. I can make do with this.”
Ji Tong used the tone of an elder. “It is a bit naive but I can accompany my younger brother.”
“……” Pei Qingyuan was speechless. “I can swim.”
Ji Tong immediately started to chatter at him. “The seaside is so dangerous. Host, you are a child. Even if you can swim, you must wear a swimming ring to prevent danger…”
“Use it, use it.”
They were grown up but not quite grown.
Fu Yinyin smiled and placed the two little yellow duck swimming rings between the three children. She took a very childlike photo with Ji Tong’s camera.
In the midst of the non-stop noise all the way, Chi Xia drove the group to the beach.
The sun, sand, waves, coconut trees and vibrant tropical atmosphere.
Fang Hao, whose mouth said one thing but his body language said another, couldn’t wait to put on the yellow duck swimming ring and rush into the sea. Ji Tong failed to coax his host younger brother and temporarily put down the swimming ring. He walked around with interest where there were more people.
He liked lively places, just like in the past.
Pei Qingyuan walked quietly beside his host as usual.
He was collecting different pieces little by little.
Even if he wasn’t entirely sure what the pieces meant.
Ji Tong sat on the sand and hugged his knees. He watched the unfamiliar young people play beach volleyball and the longing in his eyes was exactly the same as when he sat in the audience in high school and watched the host play basketball with his teammates. Ji Tong always cheered for them outside the court as if he had endless patience.
Today’s children weren’t suitable for participating in this type of activity. It was too dangerous and he wasn’t strong enough. Last time, they went to the beach to play as adults and were pulled by a small group of tourists playing volleyball.
Pei Qingyuan still clearly remembered that day. There was Ji Tong’s earnestness when learning to play and his stubbornness when he fell down and got up again.
Even though his shoulders were red from being hit by a deflected volleyball, he still smiled happily.
Why did he face such a common pastime with such a mood?
“What is your favorite sport?” Pei Qingyuan asked him.
Ji Tong watched intently and replied casually, “I like everything.”
Ji Tong paused. He avoided the surrounding tourists and whispered, “It is because human beings can fully show their healthy physique when exercising.”
For this reason, the watch Xiao Mei would even show praise by flashing yellow lights.
Thinking of the watch that had now lost its soul, both people sitting side by side on the beach smiled.
“So why is the watch called Xiao Mei?”
This was the second time he asked this question.
Ji Tong still didn’t answer him.
It was because Fu Yinyin called out to them. “Come and get your drinks.”
The two girls changed into swimsuits. Like many other tourists, they lay down on the deck chairs under the parasols, enjoying the sea breeze leisurely.
On the small plastic table between the two parasols, there were three large, fresh coconuts. They were apparently bought for the three children and there were three small, round stools next to it.
Ji Tong immediately dropped the volleyball and ran toward the coconut, not forgetting to pull the host. “The coconut water is so delicious. I can smell it.”
Fang Hao was soaking comfortably in the seawater. He also grabbed the yellow duck swimming ring and returned. He sucked half of the sweet and delicious coconut in one sip. “Drink well.”
Chi Xia saw that he was drinking impatiently and couldn’t help laughing. She reached out to help pat the child’s back. “Be careful not to choke.”
In addition to Ji Tong, Pei Qingyuan was also observing the other two systems, especially Fang Hao, who had the most obvious emotions.
He seemed to like Fu Yinyin’s host very much.
Due to his immature personality and way of thinking, Pei Qingyuan had always treated Fang Hao as a child. The handsome and cold man in black before wasn’t suitable for him, while the current appearance of a child was particularly appropriate.
This system usually only thought of being handsome and having fun. He was most like a tall man when helping Chi Xia clean up the scumbags and when helping the bullied elementary school students with the gangsters.
Under the parasol, the gentle woman stretched out her hand and the long scar on her white wrist was particularly eye-catching.
On the hot sunny beach, everyone was dressed coolly. The extra clothes and jewelry were stored in the locker, revealing the traces that were deliberately covered up usually.
The three children who noticed this scene were stunned at the same time. Fang Hao, who often couldn’t understand the adult world in the past, was the one who reacted the fastest this time.
His expression seemed a bit sad as he whispered to her, “Sister Xiao Xia.”
Chi Xia realized from their expressions. She glanced at her wrist and smiled a bit apologetically. “Did I scare you? This scar is ugly.”
“Not ugly.” Fang Hao shook his head. “But it looks painful.”
“Don’t hurt yourself any longer,” he said seriously. “If someone bullies you, ask Sister Yinyin to call me. I will definitely help you beat them up.”
He hesitated for a while before uttering the next sentence. “I-If there is still a particularly sad time, you can go on a roller coaster. Sitting on it is like falling from a tall building. It is very scary and you will regret it… But thankfully, it is fake and you won’t really die.”
The sentences spoken by Fang Hao were always simple and childish.
At this moment, Chi Xia just felt a familiar regret and sadness.
Fortunately, she didn’t really die.
Therefore, she touched the child’s head that had just been dried by the sea breeze and replied softly, “I promise, I won’t do that again.”
Fang Hao hesitated, still not relieved. “Hook the finger?”
Chi Xia seriously stretched out her healed hand and completed the child’s favorite way of making an agreement. “Okay, hook the finger.”
The slender finger that belonged to an adult and the little finger that remained forever in childhood clasped together in the salty sea breeze, shaking gently.
Fang Hao finished hooking his finger with her. At this time, Ji Tong came to his senses and rarely took the opportunity to laugh at his childishness.
He neatly put on the yellow duck swimming ring that he had been embarrassed to use just now and dragged Fang Hao to run into the sea. “Go, let’s race!”
The depressed Fang Hao was gradually distracted. “Can you swim?”
“Then what should we do?”
“See who can pick up more shells?”
“…You let go. I don’t want to play with you!”
Pei Qingyuan stayed in place, watching the two noisy figures merge into the laughing crowd on the beach.
He sat Chi Xia sitting on the recliner and staring at the little finger that had just been hooked. Then he quietly turned to look at the other side, putting on sunglasses to prevent her friends from noticing her reddened eyes.
Fu Yinyin’s gaze swept over him. Her eyes flickered and she seemed to be keenly aware of Pei Qingyuan’s churning thoughts. Still, she didn’t mention anything.
She just stared at the blue water and brilliant sunlight in the distance with a smile. “It is beautiful here.”
This scenery was too ordinary and precious.
The sea breeze circled his ears. Pei Qingyuan looked at the figure in the distance who was seriously picking up shells with a lowered head and responded gently.
“Yes, it is beautiful.”
This was a day by the sea.
The next day, they went camping and had a picnic in the forest. The lush trees were full of birdsong.
In the dedicated camping area, the tent that everyone put up together was like a round mushroom house. There were many tens of different styles around them.
The essence of a picnic was to eat in a different environment. In a sense, this might be Ji Tong’s favorite entertainment.
Chi Xia and Fu Yinyin had been preparing food since last night. All types of food covered the entire tablecloth.
Every family here was eating but under Ji Tong’s command, the richness of the food on this tablecloth was outstanding. All the tourists passing by around them couldn’t help taking a few more looks.
The mountain wind and tree shadows and the sunshine and grass. They can lazily stay in the tent chatting or sleeping when they were full and continue to eat when they had enough rest.
After the first round of eating, the three children lay on the grass with their hands behind their heads, looking at the clouds floating in the sky.
“The forest is so beautiful,” the darkest-skinned child said.
“How about we go back from here later?” The child with the whitest skin said.
“How do we go back from here?” The child with the most normal posture said.
Ji Tong said enthusiastically, “At dusk, we will walk into the forest together. Then open the time and space passage and slowly disappear into the depths of the forest, just like in a fantasy story.”
The parting after the reunion was always very sad. He wanted to leave the world with a back full of magical temperament.
Fang Hao rarely complained about his strange idea. “It isn’t bad. It is decided.”
“Then I’ll find the most handsome back angle.”
Ji Tong raised the camera and squinted his eyes with a wrinkled face. The framing shook everywhere and stopped abruptly in one place.
He looked away from the camera and was surprised. “The tree is so big and there are many people gathered there. What are they doing?”
Fang Hao followed his gaze and looked over. “I don’t know. I can’t see clearly. I didn’t bring binoculars.”
Chi Xia, a native, explained it. “It is a thousand year old tree surrounded by a wishing wall. You can write your wishes for the future on a note and hang it.”
“Making a wish?” Fang Hao said disdainfully. “How childish.”
Ji Tong specially went to the place where there were many people. “I’ll go and see what everyone is wishing for.”
Ten minutes later, he returned with a stunned expression. “It is too high. I can’t see.”
Fang Hao was happy. “Yet you still went for so long.”
Ji Tong said frankly, “I wrote a wish note and had someone help me hang it.”
He looked at Fang Hao’s action of instantly planning to get up and reminded clearly, “It is very high. You can’t see it.’
“Oh.” Fang Hao looked away and snorted. “I’m not curious about what you wrote. I’m going to the toilet.”
Looking at Fang Hao’s back leaving, everyone tacitly didn’t expose him. The toilet was obviously in the opposite direction.
After another ten minutes, Fang Hao walked back with a nonchalant expression. Ji Tong took advantage of his unpreparedness to ask a surprise question. “What wish did you make?”
“I wished—” Fang Hao realized and was annoyed and angry. “What wish? I went to the toilet!”
Chi Xia held back her smile. “I came here a long time ago to hang a wish card. Yinyin hasn’t been to this scenic spot before. Do you want to make a wish?”
Fu Yinyin got up. “I’ll go.”
In the end, Pei Qingyuan was left.
Under the expectant eyes of those around him, he consciously stood up and walked toward the crowded ancient tree.
Writing a sentence should be fast and it took less than ten minutes.
But when he picked up the pen and the tip hesitated on the paper, he knew that the weight of a wish was enough to make people not dare to lower the pen easily.
There were many vague thoughts lingering in his mind but the wish card in front of him could only accommodate a short line.
A moment later, Pei Qingyuan handed the written wish card to the staff member next to him. He watched the staff member skillfully hang the sign into the cool wind with a pole, swaying with the leaves along with the wishes left by countless strangers.
Pei Qingyuan knew that there were four types of handwriting that he was familiar with on these cards scattered in the sea of wishes.
It was just like the spring couplets written by four people hanging on the kitchen door.
He turned and walked toward the tent. The wish cards hanging high behind him were already swirling in the breeze.
The handwriting on a certain brand was beautiful and full of pride.
[Hopefully, there are miracles in every world.]
Near it was flamboyant handwriting and long sentences crammed in all directions.
[I hope that the host, Sister Xiao Xia and Brother Xiao Pei will be strong.]
The wish card that was hung up first was illuminated by sunlight and the handwriting was beautiful.
[I hope Xiao Yuan will be healthy, safe and happy.]
The last wish was written down close to it.
[I hope for a future.]
It took ten minutes for the host to go back and forth.
Considering that the wish was usually a secret, Ji Tong tried to resist the urge to ask the host what he had written. He hadn’t expected that the host would ask him in turn.
“What wish did you make?”
Ji Tong looked at him hesitantly. “It won’t work if I express my wish.”
Pei Qingyuan continued to ask, “Then who did you make the wish for?”
“…Myself, of course!” Ji Tong gave a dry laugh. “How can a wish be given to others? I still know this common sense.”
Pei Qingyuan stared at him quietly and said after a while, “Don’t lie to me.”
Only those with a future would make wishes for themselves.
Ji Tong inexplicably felt a hint of danger and whispered, “It’s true.”
The host was so short now that it was impossible to see what he had written.
He also clearly wrote good things.
At this point, he tried to straighten his back and say boldly, “I am an honest system. How can I deceive the host… I’m hungry. Should I eat jelly?”
Forget it, he still felt a bit guilty.
Fortunately, the host stopped asking.
Pei Qingyuan lowered his head to get the candy box. “Hmm.”
Dusk fell on the lush forest. Many tents were put away and the tourists who had breathed in the fresh oxygen for the day were packing their bags and preparing to go home.
The colorful sky carried a rich density and dusty light shone through the trees.
Ji Tong held the camera he brought with him and looked at the increasingly quiet jungle. “The magic hour has arrived.”
Chi Xia’s face showed reluctance but she carefully hid it. “See you next time. I will learn more recipes.”
From the tent, she and Fu Yinyin waved their hands and watched three small figures walk into the forest.
Fang Hao said goodbye to them loudly. Then he walked faster and faster, perhaps unable to stand the feeling of separation. Finally, he ran until he was obliterated by the mist and disappeared into the light and shadow.
Ji Tong had to walk slower because the host held his hand tightly. In the warm winter that was like summer, he walked into the sunset forest with the sound of insects. The evergreen leaves brushed against his arms and there was wet moss and stones under his feet.
They walked side by side into the depths of the bright sunset. Before arriving in the other world, Ji Tong finally turned his head and whispered to his friends who were still staring at this place, “Goodbye.”
At an extremely close distance, Pei Qingyuan saw his side profile smiling goodbye, childish and pale.
It was like the end of that series of dreams.
The teenager who walked out of the ward ran under the tree alone, carefully loosened the dirt with a shovel, loaded a mushroom into the empty flower pot and said goodbye to the stray white cat.
All the answers had already been written.
They were scattered in tiny details that he once ignored, consciously or unconsciously.
Pei Qingyuan thought that he had finally changed from a spectator in his dream to a person in his dream.
This scene was so familiar. It wasn’t just Ji Tong turning his head to say goodbye but also this tree that often accompanied him.
At the moment before entering the space and time passage, Pei Qingyuan whispered, “See you in the future.”
Ji Tong was stunned and laughed. “See you in the future.”
They were going to become adults in an instant.
But after he returned to the familiar room, he didn’t see the host. There was only a faint warmth remaining in the palm of his hand.
During the dizzying time and space travel, Pei Qingyuan entered his consciousness space in an unusually sober manner.
There was a garden, a playground and a paulownia tree in the middle, always covered with purple clouds.
He didn’t know why he suddenly wanted to see this tree that grew in his heart.
Maybe it was because of those pale dreams. When looking out the window of the ward, apart from the huge mushroom floating in the sky, all that could be seen was the big tree growing in the green space.
In the long gaze, Pei Qingyuan saw the slight change on the edge of the paulownia tree.
It wasn’t known when but flowers and plants had grown around it and the originally solid soil seemed to have become soft.