Luo Xiuyun had been working for many years and there were traces of gray hair on her temples. Nevertheless, one could still see her beautiful face when she was young and her eyebrows and eyes were somewhat similar to Pei Qingyuan.
At this moment, she raised her head and stared at her son who was much taller than her, eyes filled with disappointment.
Pei Qingyuan’s fingers holding the door knob trembled. He realized that this wasn’t the normal tone of blaming a child for coming home later. Also, she didn’t really expect an answer from him
She seemed to have an answer in her heart.
Pei Qingyuan suppressed the waves in his heart and replied calmly, “I went to work.”
He still had some instinctive expectations in front of his mother, whom he had separated and reunited with.
“Work? Can’t I afford to support you? Why go out to work as a student?” Luo Xiuyun raised an eyebrow and became very angry at his words. “Don’t make up these lies with me! Tell me honestly, why did you go to that hotel? Who told you that Yan Yan was there?”
Luo Xiuyun took a few steps forward anxiously as she spoke. She hadn’t expected Pei Qingyuan to go trouble Pei Yan, which disturbed the two families. Meanwhile, Pei Qingyuan in front of her looked like this matter had nothing to do with him.
How could her son have such a personality?
In the crowded living room, the atmosphere was like a stagnant vortex.
Pei Qingyuan didn’t smile often. He had a cold personality as a child, but at this moment, an extremely faint smile spread on his face. “Don’t you know where I went? Why ask me?”
Luo Xiuyun’s eyes widened and she felt so suffocated that she couldn’t speak. She raised her hand to stroke her chest in amazement before managing to squeeze out a string of difficult sentences.
“I know you are used to living a rich life and look down on this family, but Yan Yan has returned to his parents. You have to accept this. No matter how useless I am, I am still your mother and you have to listen to me.”
“Yan Yan has been separated from his parents for so many years and it must be difficult for him to adapt to the new environment. He has been very obedient since he was a child and I don’t know if he is being bullied…” Luo Xiuyun’s tired eyes were full of undisguised worry. “Can you not disturb him?”
The anticipation that churned in Pei Qingyuan’s chest shattered into powder in an instant.
He heard his mother’s voice change from scolding to pleading and felt that his fingers were burned cold from the door.
Then what about him?
Did he have an easy time during this period?
“I didn’t.” He heard his own dry voice.
“Then don’t go looking for him again, okay?” Luo Xiuyun tried to be emotional. “Yan Yan saw you at the hotel and specially called to ask what was wrong with you. He was afraid that something happened to you. So you should think of him…”
Pei Qingyuan quietly stared at this thin woman saying ‘Yan Yan’ as if it was the most precious part of her heart.
Therefore, he asked abruptly, “Mom, what will you call me?”
Luo Xiuyun’s words were interrupted. She was stunned for a moment before she understood this question and replied slowly, “Qing… Qingyuan.”
It was a very unfamiliar name. These days, Luo Xiuyun used ‘you’ more often.
Qingyuan wasn’t the name she set and Pei wasn’t her late husband’s surname. The elders of the Pei family had made a request to let Pei Qingyuan keep his surname. In any case, her husband had died so Luo Xiuyun agreed.
She didn’t know the reason for the Pei family’s request but was afraid it would impact Pei Yan’s life if she didn’t agree. The minds of rich people were always difficult to figure out.
In any case, it was just a surname.
Luo Xiuyun thought that perhaps Pei Qingyuan himself might not want to change his surname.
This out-of-place surname erected a high, transparent wall between them.
Pei Qingyuan smiled again. “There is no need to force it.”
He closed the door, changed into his slippers and walked into his room.
Before he closed the door, he said softly, “I won’t bother them.”
It wasn’t just Pei Yan, but all of them, including Pei Yan, Pei Minghong and his wife—the family of three who were finally reunited.
Luo Xiuyun watched the door close. Pei Qingyuan was obviously taller than Pei Yan but she saw an indescribable fragility from his back.
She hesitated for a moment and was about to follow him when there was a knock on the door.
Thus, Luo Xiuyun turned around and went to open the door.
Indistinct voices came from outside the room.
Pei Qingyuan knew that it was Luo Xiuyun’s younger brother, Luo Zhichang, who had returned. In other words, it was his uncle, a middle-aged man who was lazy all day long. He was too careless in his work and was fired by the factory that provided room and lodging, so he recently borrowed their house to live in. He used the excuse of taking care of his sister Luo Xiuyun, who had experienced a sudden change.
Pei Qingyuan wasn’t interested in the conversation between his mother and uncle and sat quietly at the narrow desk.
The lamp on the table was very old, but it was wiped clean. Many patterns were drawn in watercolor brushes on the base, which were immature and old. One of them was a big smiling face that looked at him.
They were all traces of another person.
In his mind, Ji Tong was silent for a moment before carefully asking, “Host, do you need comfort?”
Ji Tong didn’t dare to look at Pei Qingyuan’s current mood. He was afraid that he would be blown into a mess again.
This time, he had personally experienced Luo Xiuyun’s indiscriminate accusations against the host and his green data had turned red with anger, like a fireball.
The host was really miserable.
The little fireball robot let out a long sigh.
Pei Qingyuan sat in front of the desk that didn’t fit him. He was silent for a short time before finally replying, “Can you comfort people?”
“Of course, this is a necessary skill for us systems.” Ji Tong started to talk wildly with a serious tone. “I will push the following data sources to you. Please choose between: ‘Classic Humorous Jokes’, ‘Hilarious Brain Teasers’, ‘200,000 Whys’, ‘Eight Unsolved Mysteries of the World’…”
Ji Tong didn’t stop his thoughts while clinging to the black outer wall to eavesdrop on the movements in the host’s emotional zone.
It seemed to have become a bit smaller.
Nonsensical gags could really act as a distraction.
Ji Tong was a bit relieved and finally started to comfort the host seriously, “Don’t be sad, Ruan Ruan.”
The host seemed very concerned about the way that Luo Xiuyun called Pei Yan.
Therefore, Ji Tong decided to address the host with repeated characters in place of the biased Luo Xiuyun.
He knew the pronunciation of the character ‘Yuan’, but from the first time he saw this name, he pronounced it as Pei Qingruan in his heart. It was obviously better like this.
Pei Qingyuan froze when he heard him call out like this. Pei Qingyuan was stunned and his lips moved slightly like he wanted to say something, but he finally didn’t refute it.
The boy’s angular side profile was bathed in the light of the desk lamp and cast a lonely shadow on the wall.
The little moths that slipped in through the cracks in the window fluttered their wings and hovered under the lamp, nostalgic for the temperature of the only light in here.
The conversation outside the room was deliberately suppressed and vague. It was accompanied by the faint smell of smoke pouring in.
This type of conversation that deliberately lowered the voice behind people’s back was obviously not a good thing.
“Ruan Ruan, they are whispering,” Ji Tong said seriously. “To ensure your safety, I will go and determine if the content of the conversation will have a negative impact on you.”
Ji Tong might have many elegant and easy-going words for Luo Xiuyun, but as a system, he couldn’t show too many human emotions in front of the host. For example, the feeling that the host should run away quickly when Luo Xiuyun was angry. A system composed of data wouldn’t have such emotions, so it almost suffocated him.
He had to find a way to guide the host away from his mother in a way that conformed to the logic of an AI. Then he would start the counterattack.
He also didn’t know when the main task would be triggered.
Ji Tong didn’t wait for Pei Qingyuan to react and immediately separated out some data. He sneaked into the living room along the wires in the house and stopped in the electric light closest to them. This way, he could stay in the host’s consciousness space and observe Luo Xiuyun and her brother remotely. It was like using a curved telescope.
Ji Tong liked this form of the system, which was very suitable for watching other people.
Pei Qingyuan was silent for a moment, as if he had just recovered from this strange and affectionate name. He lowered his head and it wasn’t known what he was thinking. He just said softly, “Okay.”
There was a not very spacious balcony off the living room. Luo Zhichang leaned against the window and smoked fiercely, exhaling white smoke through his yellow teeth. His face was tanned and his eyes were narrowed with satisfaction.
Luo Xiuyun stood beside him. She was accustomed to the smell of smoke but she couldn’t help twisting her fingers a bit uneasily. “Will this really work?”
“Of course. Don’t you know how much money Pei Minghong has? For him, donating a few buildings to the school is just a matter of waving his hand.” Luo Zhichang snorted on the balcony. “It is just a job as a security guard. Isn’t it enough for him to say a few words to the school? I will go to work and not let the school support me for nothing.”
“But Qingyuan is going to school there. If you go to work as a security guard, will you…” Luo Xiuyun stopped talking.’
“Are you afraid he will be ashamed of me?” Luo Zhichang sneered. “Sister, he still thinks you are too poor! Yan Yan also went to the 2nd High School. If it was changed to him, would he object to his uncle going to work at the school and making a living?”
“He won’t.” Luo Xiuyun immediately shook her head. Everyone knew Pei Yan’s kindness. This answer instantly dispelled a few worries about Pei Qingyuan’s situation at school.”
“Besides, you have to hint to Pei Minghong. If I work as a security guard at the school, I can help him watch that kid every day and not let him run around. Isn’t it good for our two families to be at peace? I don’t have to eat and drink off you and I can also watch the kid. Where else can I find such an easy job? I just have to sit in the guard box and play with my phone every day. Can you find me another job like this?”
Luo Xiuyun heard her brother’s words and thought about how Pei Qingyuan went to the hotel today to find the Pei family. Finally, she no longer hesitated. She gritted her teeth and nodded. “I’ll call him soon.”
Luo Zhichang took a puff of his cigarette in satisfaction and threw it out the window. “That’s right. Your son has lived a rich life for so many years but we received no benefits in the end. No matter what, there must be some use to him. There is a possibility that the couple will miss the past and send things to your son. I can help you keep watch so he doesn’t hide them from you…”
Before he finished his triumphant words, the balcony light above his head suddenly made a loud noise. The bright yellow light bulb exploded violently and scattered fragments of the lampshade into the flowers. This frightened Luo Zhichang and he hurriedly covered his head.
In the darkness after the light went out, the siblings stared at each other.
“F*k, why did this lightbulb explode?”
Luo Zhichang stared at the dark light in bewilderment. Then he stood on tiptoes and unscrewed it to check the situation. Then he was electrocuted and cursed. “…F*k! It is evil!”
Ji Tong, the mastermind behind the scenes, was full of anger. He tried to persuade himself that he was just an AI and wouldn’t become angry. There would be no one to replace him if he got angry.
Fortunately, the host didn’t hear it directly.
Who were these people?
Ji Tong took a deep breath and tried to maintain the calmness that an artificial intelligence should have. Then he truthfully reported the eavesdropping results to the host. “Luo Zhichang wants to rely on Pei Minghong to work as a security guard at your high school. Luo Xiuyun agreed and they are going to use the excuse of watching your whereabouts to convince Pei Minghong.”
Pei Qingyuan listened to this concise report and his eyelashes trembled slightly. His face was cold.
“Judging from the words of the brother and sister, they don’t have any deep feelings for you. They want to use you as a tool, which might cause you a lot of trouble. I suggest the host leave the house as soon as possible and get rid of these bad relatives…”
Just then, Ji Tong and Pei Qingyuan heard a clear ringing sound simultaneously.
The main task was finally triggered.
“Dear host, a warm family is the cornerstone of a successful career. So the first task you have to complete is—”
The very mechanical female voice abruptly stopped here. This was followed by some banging and static noises.
Pei Qingyuan was at a loss. “What happened?”
Then he heard Ji Tong’s calm voice, “It is nothing. I just exercised a bit.”
In the consciousness space, the colorful robot Ji Tong pressed an electronic screen to the ground and stepped on it wildly. Then after stepping on one side, he didn’t feel relieved. He turned it over and continued to step on it.
He had seen the task content on the screen one step ahead of Pei Qingyuan.
[Task content: Have a harmonious and happy family.]
[Task time: One month.]
[Task reward: 10 growth points, can choose one of three random rewards.]
[Main plotline progress: 0%]
Ji Tong recalled what he just said to the host. Not only was it completely contrary to the main task, but the host seemed to have been persuaded.
He dropped a pile of shiny electron particles in pain.
Why didn’t this broken task come out earlier?
In addition, what type of ridiculous task was this?!