Luo Xiuyun almost thought she was hallucinating.
Facing this empty room, she involuntarily called out, “…Qingyuan?”
Of course, no one responded.
The uneasy voice fell alone into the cold air.
An inexplicable panic surged up.
Luo Xiuyun walked around the room like a headless fly. Then she quickly took out her phone from her pocket, wanting to call Pei Qingyuan and ask him where he had gone for no reason.
She was just about to call the number when her eyes swept over a spot that was slightly white in the moonlight.
Under the old-fashioned lamp that had been used for over a decade, there was a note with some writing on it. It was the only thing in the room that was different from the past and was thin and inconspicuous.
Luo Xiuyun’s body stiffened as she realized something.
This wasn’t an inexplicable disappearance.
She froze for a few seconds. Then she gritted her teeth, stepped forward, picked up the paper and turned on the lamp.
The handwriting on the paper was beautiful. It was a type of beautiful and upright font that every parent would love.
This seemed to be the first time that she had looked at her son’s handwriting so seriously.
There wasn’t much content. Only a few clear lines.
[Today, I am an adult and can live independently. So I moved out.]
[I will support myself. You don’t have to put any extra energy on me.]
The last two lines were spaced further apart and the handwriting appeared hesitant, as if it was added after a long thought.
[I don’t miss the life there and I don’t dislike the days here. I just want a room that really belongs to me.]
[Now it is no longer needed.]
Luo Xiuyun read it many times. She was momentarily speechless and her eyes were dazed.
The desk lamp in front of her cast a warm yellow light. The style was old but it had always been well preserved, except for the many patterns drawn with watercolor brushes on the base.
There was a big smiley face among the bright and clumsy lines, which were the childish drawings of another child. They smiled innocently at her after such a long time.
But this child had grown up now and no longer smiled like this. At the grand party on the day of adulthood, his smile was always soft and gentle. There was a stable and unchanging elegant arc.
It was at this moment that Luo Xiuyun realized extremely clearly that Pei Yan was getting further and further away from her.
She was no longer the mother Pei Yan spoke of but ‘ Auntie.’
After all, he wasn’t her biological child.
Therefore, once Luo Xiuyun went upstairs with the not very rich dishes and cake that wasn’t serious enough, she thought that she should care more about her son in the future. After all, they would be a mother and son who depended on each other in the future.
She might’ve come back later than she expected but she didn’t think to call her son halfway. Perhaps it was because she thought he would be waiting at home.
After all, he needed his mother to celebrate his birthday.
However, Pei Qingyuan didn’t wait in vain from day to night in the deserted room as she expected.
The child who seemed to have never smiled since he was young quietly took all his things and left before she returned.
Luo Xiuyun stood in front of the desk for a long time without moving. Some time later, her face turned slightly red. It wasn’t known if it was out of embarrassment or anger.
As if to refute the calm and tactful accusation on the note, she raised her head in order to find some evidence in the surroundings to refute it. She wanted to prove that she hadn’t completely forgotten Pei Qingyuan, who just returned to the Luo family, and that she had been looking forward to this biological son she had been separated from for many years.
Yet the next second, a bookcase full of outdated storybooks entered her eyes.
These were all books that Pei Yan had left behind.
Just a few days ago, Pei Yan had told her to sell these useless books or the bookcase might not be enough.
How did she answer at that time?
“There is enough. He didn’t say anything to me. If it isn’t enough, he can clean it up himself. It isn’t a big deal. I gave him a cardboard box for backup.”
Did she say something wrong?
Pei Qingyuan had never complained to her, so she naturally felt that the space was probably enough. There was no need to bother with this little thing.
Yet was it really insignificant?
A sharp thought painfully crossed Luo Xiuyun’s mind.
A child who was once sent away by his mother’s own hands. He went around and returned to his mother. Then he found that his mother’s heart was full of another child and even his room was full of memories of another person. No one took the initiative to clean it up for him, but subconsciously hoped to let him adapt himself…
Luo Xiuyun suddenly remembered the question that Pei Qingyuan asked coldly after returning from the hotel that evening when she asked him to stop disturbing Yan Yan’s life.
“Mom, what will you call me?”
At that time, she called him Qingyuan in an unfamiliar manner.
She did always call her son that.
However, that day was the last time Luo Xiuyun remembered her son calling her mother.
Thinking of this, she finally lowered her head in frustration. This allowed the light to spread over her body and carved a slender shadow on the wall.
The moonlight alternated with the sunlight. Ten hours ago, in the same position, the sun was clearly visible outside the window.
A child in suspenders stepped barefoot on a stool, humming a joyful melody. He flipped through the storybooks on the bookcase in a serious way.
“Ruan Ruan, he really likes fairy tales.” Ji Tong concluded and reported. “There isn’t even a book on jokes. It is all fairy tales.”
At this time, Luo Xiuyun and Luo Zhichang had already gone out and there was only the host left in the apartment. This meant Ji Tong could appear in an upright manner.
He started to talk in a low voice. “Fairy tales don’t have good jokes. Yesterday, I sorted through the data partition again and loaded it with the latest collection of popular cold jokes…”
The host was about to leave the Luo family completely today. For the safety of the host, Ji Tong felt that he should guard against Pei Yan, who was likely to be an enemy of the host.
There was no better way to know the enemy than to look through the bookcase from his childhood. This allowed them to get a direct glimpse of the enemy’s defenseless childhood.
It was a pity that Pei Yan took most of the useful things with him when he moved to the Luo family. He left only a bunch of fairy tale books that were completely unused now.
Pei Qingyuan was packing his things into the cardboard boxes. Hearing the system’s muttering, he thought it was funny but he still responded seriously.
“When I was young, I thought fairy tales should be good because I hadn’t read any of them.”
Hearing this, Ji Tong immediately promoted himself. “Host, there were tens of millions of words of fairy tale resources in my data. I can read them to you before going to bed to make up for your childhood shortcomings. I can also change my voice. I have a loli, a big uncle or even a sister. Everything you want is possible.”
“……” Pei Qingyuan gradually got used to him jumping topics. Then he thought of a question. “Are you a boy?”
The system was composed of data and data obviously had no concept of gender. However, Ji Tong first appeared in front of him with the image of a little boy. When communicating in his consciousness, the voice was that of a young boy. This usual way of thinking was also relatively close to that of male humans.
Ji Tong was about to nod. Then he inexplicably stiffened and immediately racked his brains to make up a story. “The system has no gender, but data proves that a simulated human voice can allow the system to get along better with the host. Thus, the default gender will be randomly specified when leaving the factory. I just randomly received a male voice. If the host needs it, I can also convert to other voices, such as…”
How could the host do the Turing test at every moment?!
In order to prove that what he said was true, Ji Tong suppressed his voice and performed a vivid grandmother’s voice on the spot.
Pei Qingyuan, who had personally witnessed the kind voice of a three year old child: “……”
“No need.” He tried to reorganize his worldview. “This is fine now.”
“Okay, Ruan Ruan.”
Ji Tong immediately showed him a big smile. “Host, thank you for recognizing my current form.”
He quietly sighed with relief and Pei Qingyuan was also inexplicably relieved. Then he continued to lower his head to pack up until his system cried out in surprise.
“Ruan Ruan, I found Pei Yan’s diary from when he was a child.”
This diary looked old. The cover was filled with popular animated characters from over ten years ago, mixed in with a large number of gaudy fairy tale books. It was difficult to distinguish and Ji Tong almost didn’t find it.
Pei Yan probably confused it with these books and didn’t take it away.
On the cover, the words ‘Lin Yan’s diary’ were crookedly written. Ji Tong took the initiative to hand it to Pei Qingyuan, but found that the other person didn’t reach out to take it.
Pei Qingyuan looked at this old diary with a complicated expression.
It recorded the days when Pei Yan grew up next to Luo Xiuyun. It could be seen from the many fairy tale books that it must’ve been a naive and happy time.
If nothing had gone wrong, Pei Qingyuan should’ve been the protagonist of this diary.
Pei Qingyuan suddenly had the urge to open this diary. He wanted to see what the time and life he had completely missed looked like.
Growing up in such an environment, would he become completely different from now? Would he be like Pei Yan, who was much simpler and happier than him?
After reading this lost time… what would be his mood?
Pei Qingyuan’s fingers trembled in the air, but he finally retracted them.
Ji Tong noticed his hesitation. He thought that the host was feeling moral torture over whether to peek at someone’s diary or not, so Ji Tong thought about it before suggesting, “Ruan Ruan, we can take this diary away first. If Pei Yan goes against you later, we can find his weaknesses in the diary, such as being afraid of insects and snakes or having a childhood crush on the white moonlight girl next door.”
“If he lives his life in peace, we don’t need to open this diary and can respect his privacy,” Ji Tong said clearly. “In any case, he didn’t feel like it was missing after moving houses for so long. He must’ve forgotten this diary a long time ago. If it is left here, it will just be sold as scrap.”
The innocent and childish cover shone with the luster of memories in the sunlight.
Pei Qingyuan nodded, acquiescing. Thus, Ji Tong happily put the diary into the cardboard box.
It was almost completely packed.