Fang Hao hadn’t expected that the first time he showed his force value to everyone would be to carry drinks.
Under the reverent gazes of the strangers around him, Fang Hao easily lifted two bags full of drinks while Pei Qingyuan carried several snack boxes that He Shiwen had given him, his hands full.
Ji Tong walked in the center of the two and was the most relaxed. He held a drink in his hand and walked happily home.
He picked a drink with the lightest color. Fang Hao couldn’t help asking him curiously while pretending to be cool with a straight expression. “Is it delicious?”
Ji Tong thought for a while before deliberately frowning. “It is just snow pear juice and has no special features. I heard people in line say that the darker the color, the better tasting it is.”
“Really, this store is super special, unlike ordinary tong sui stores.”
Special things attracted Fang Hao’s attention the most. Once he heard this, his eyes immediately lit up. “Then I’ll try it later.”
“Okay, the darkest one is for you to drink.”
Pei Qingyuan recalled the label on the cup and wisely kept silent.
After returning home, he watched with a trace of sympathy as Ji Tong picked out the cup with the darkest liquid and handed it to Fang Hao.
Fang Hao looked at the label with the ancient style of font. “Cool plum juice, the name is quite nice.”
Ji Tong looked at him with wide eyes and didn’t blink while Pei Qingyuan looked away with pity.
Fang Hao took a sip and his originally expectant expression suddenly froze.
However, under Ji Tong’s curious gaze, he stubbornly smiled and smiled coldly. “This is far worse than the medicine juice boiled by the Medicine King’s Valley.”
“Really?” Ji Tong smiled and looked at his back that disappeared like the wind just after speaking. “Then why are you running to the toilet?”
He answered with a distant roar, “How can there be such bitter and sour tong sui?”
“It is because this is bitter melon plum juice.” Ji Tong looked at him from the doorway. “Bitter melon is also called cold melon and sour plum is plum. So it is called cool plum.”
“…How can there be such a combination?” Fang Hao was incredulous. “Modern society is really terrible!”
“What does the Medicine King’s Valley look like?”
“I won’t tell you!”
“This is delicious, I promise. It is a must-drink custard milk tong sui for macho men.”
“…Hmph, it is a big valley with lots of trees and grass as well as fog.”
“Xiao Hao, can you improve your rhetoric level?”
“Do you want to listen to it or not?”
Pei Qingyuan listened to the surreal conversations that echoed through his home.
However, he was a bit curious now. What world would Ji Tong and Fang Hao’s other system friend come from?
It shouldn’t be the interstellar era where battleships flew through the sky and monsters rampaged, right?
In the increasingly strong flavor of the new year, the semester officially ended.
Some people were happy while others were sad in the face of the newly released examination results, but there was still an atmosphere of excitement among the senior students.
It was because the first place in the joint examination of the ten schools turned out to be the 2nd High School.
This result not only exceeded the expectations of the teachers and students of the 2nd High School, but also shocked the teachers and students of other key high schools in the city.
In this joint examination, several of the best high schools in the city participated. Therefore, the top few hundred rankings could be regarded as some type of estimation of the subsequent college entrance examination results. The top rankings should basically be divided between the top students of key high schools.
Due to this, no one expected that the 2nd High School would be so fierce this year.
Not only did they win first place but they also occupied ten other places in the top 100. Meanwhile, in previous years, it was good for them to have three or four spots.
The new changes in the 2nd High School were gradually spreading among the parent group. The parents of middle school students were also paying attention to the results of these high schools in the city while thinking about choosing a school for their children in the coming year.
The school leaders of the 2nd High School were naturally very happy. They were praised by their superiors and after returning, they also vigorously praised the teacher in the school and gave more performance rewards. This increased the enthusiasm of the teachers.
Everyone wanted to be part of the miracle.
For the students who had repeatedly won honors for the school, the leaders decided to adopt the most practical reward method.
It was to give out scholarships.
Facing the unexpected scholarship, the two gradually cash-strapped systems finally agreed to accept Pei Qingyuan’s ‘funding.’
At the end of the semester, Pei Qingyuan returned with a bag full of winter vacation test papers in the afternoon and he could immediately see what Ji Tong and Fang Hao bought with his scholarship before he opened the door.
A pair of big red Spring Festival couplets printed with auspicious words were stuck on the door of the house.
Then he pushed open the door and the balcony glass door and the glass windows were already stuck with various styles of beautiful window grilles and blessing characters.
“I think this looks good.”
“But this one also looks good.”
“I can’t choose. Stick them all!”
Pei Qingyuan looked around at the festively decorated home and felt a strong sense of the new year in a physical sense.
On the table were brushes, ink and handwritten Spring Festival couplets with wet ink sill spread out on the table.
Ji Tong was standing on a stool and finished sticking a window grill. Then he looked back at Ji Tong. “The host is back. Hurry and write a couplet!”
Pei Qingyuan was a bit dazed. “There are already couplets at the door.”
“We can also stick it on the kitchen door,” Ji Tong said seriously. “A handwritten one is more meaningful. We have already thought of the words.”
A quarter of an hour later, the glass door of the kitchen took on a new look. The two long and one short red papers were quite eye-catching.
The upright and elegant upper couplet: braised prawns in oil, sweet and sour pork ribs, braised fish and meat.
The flamboyant and unrestrained lower couplet: Handsome and powerful Gundam and jelly beans.
The thin and powerful horizontal banner: 1st in the entrance examination.
Pei Qingyuan who was forced to write the horizontal banner with his own hands and didn’t understand the logical relationship of this Spring Festival couplet at all.
However, both Ji Tong and Fang Hao looked very happy.
…In fact, he had also been inexplicably happy when he saw it being stuck to the kitchen door.
Humans were such strange creatures.
They were as weird as artificial intelligence.
“My writing is really handsome.” Fang Hao was very satisfied with this collective work. “I don’t know what type of handwriting Sister Yinyin has.”
Ji Tong directed the host to put away the red paper on the table. “You will know in a few days. I think it must look good.”
There was a square piece of red paper left for Fu Yinyin to write her blessings.
A few days before the 29th, the frequency with which Pei Qingyuan heard the words ‘Sister Yinyin’ at home skyrocketed. Ji Tong and Fang Hao were like two left-behind children looking forward to their parents returning home for the new year.
Not only did they repeat the name from time to time but they also tried to cook, stating that they wanted Fu Yinyin to taste it.
Pei Qingyuan observed the kitchen for a while. After confirming that the two systems could safely complete the frying of the shrimp crackers, he returned to his room to do homework.
He wanted to finish his winter vacation homework as early as possible and set aside time to celebrate the new year with everyone.
He was concentrating on writing the test papers when his phone vibrated suddenly.
The caller was Teacher Zhou.
Once the call was connected, Zhou Fang first asked him with a smile what he was doing for the new year. “Teacher has some new year goods here. It is all food. When are you free? I’ll bring them to you.”
Zhou Fang didn’t say it explicitly but Pei Qingyuan understood the origin of the new year goods.
He was silent for a moment before saying, “Teacher Zhou, it is too much trouble for you. I’ll contact her.”
It was before the Spring Festival, which meant a family reunion. There was always one person who couldn’t be avoided.
His current life should also be seen by her.
The doorbell rang. When Pei Qingyuan walked to open the door, Ji Tong followed him step by step.
He opened the door and they saw a middle-aged woman they hadn’t seen in many days.
Luo Xiuyun was wearing what she thought were the most energetic clothes and carried a few bags in her hand. She stared at the brand new Spring Festival blessing characters on the door and hesitated outside for a long time, thinking about how to say hello for a while. Then she knocked gently on the door of this unfamiliar house.
Then once she really saw her son after so many days, she suddenly forgot what to say.
Behind the strange door was a home that looked warm and bright. She smelled the faint aroma of fried oil coming from the kitchen and also saw the distant and indifferent emotions in Pei Qingyuan’s eyes.
Beside him was a child Luo Xiuyun had never seen before. However, she heard that Pei Qingyuan had met the child when he was a tutor.
In this cramped silence, Pei Qingyuan spoke first. There were no unnecessary emotions in his voice. “Do you often have contact with Teacher Zhou?”
Luo Xiuyun instinctively squeezed her fingers together. “Yes… she taught me a lot.”
There were many truths that she had forgotten in her confusion.
After speaking of this, she didn’t wait for her son to speak again and hurriedly handed over the things in her hands. “Take these foods and other things. You can definitely use them.”
The few seconds when Luo Xiuyun held the objects in mid-air seemed particularly long. It was only when Pei Qingyuan finally reached out and took it that she sighed with relief in her heart.
The unknown child’s eyes roamed back and forth between the two of them before he suddenly said, “Brother, we have freshly fried shrimp crackers. Do you want to give some to Auntie?”
Pei Qingyuan paused before turning and heading to the kitchen. “I’ll go and grab it.”
Thus, she was left at the door with the child.
Luo Xiuyun originally wanted to ask Pei Qingyuan to go back for the new year but the appearance of this house in front of her already told her the answer.
Therefore, she didn’t ask. Her eyes showed loss and a dazed state, which were all reflected in the child’s clear eyes.
She bent down slightly and tried to talk to this lively child. “You… have a good relationship.”
Meanwhile, the distance between her and her son was too far away.
“Yes.” The child nodded. “Brother is very powerful.”
Without waiting for her to ask, the child spoke proudly.
“My brother can cook, write Spring Festival couplets and go to school alone.” He calculated it. “He can get first place in the exam, get first place in the basketball league and I also think he is first when it comes to cooking.”
Listening to his slightly childish words, Luo Xiuyun first laughed. Then she was overwhelmed by a deep remorse.
It was because the child stared at her with curious eyes and asked in a clear voice, “Does Auntie know this?”
Luo Xiuyun shook her head very slowly.
She only knew a bit and she knew it from bystanders.
The short child laughed. “Sure enough, I am the only one who knows these secrets.”
The innocent smile quickly pierced her heart like a thorn.
Pei Qingyuan quickly returned with the shrimp crackers packed in two plastic lunch bunches in a plastic bag. He handed it to Luo Xiuyun and said in a concise manner, “Shrimp crackers.”
Luo Xiuyun took the gift in a bit of a hurry. Then she heard the child ask in a low voice, “How much is left?”
“There are a lot left,” Pei Qingyuan’s voice was soft this time. “We can fry more.”
Luo Xiuyun felt as if she saw her son smiling.
It was the first time she saw him smiling from so close.
She stood in this house that was exceptionally warm in winter, surrounded by happy new year decorations and people whispering to each other. There were brightly colored tablecloths and the aroma of shrimp crackers drifted from the kitchen.
This was the type of real home that Luo Xiuyun had longed for many years ago.
She went astray, gradually forgot her original wish and never gave her biological son a real home.
Now he found it on his own.
She lowered her head and said, “Happy Spring Festival… then I’ll go back first.”
Luo Xiuyun was about to turn around to leave when she unexpectedly heard her son’s calm voice, “Did Luo Zhichang move away?”
“He moved away,” she replied quickly. “I forced him to move away.”
It was one of the few things she had done right after all these years.
Teacher Zhou said so.
There was no change in Pei Qingyuan’s expression when he heard this and he said casually, “It is pretty good.”
At this rare affirmation, she finally plucked up the courage to say, “I’m sorry.”
This was the second thing she had done that was right.
Pei Qingyuan looked at her and said his final words to his mother whom he had reunited with after a long absence. “Happy Spring Festival.”
The door with the Spring Festival couplets slowly closed. Luo Xiuyun walked alone through the light-filled corridor and entered the cold elevator.
Standing in this small space, the shrimp crackers she held in her hands were both light and heavy. She saw herself reflected in the mirror of the elevator and belatedly shed tears. Finally, she made up her mind.
She should do the third right thing.
After closing the door, Fang Hao poked his head out from where he obediently stayed in the kitchen to steal shrimp crackers. “Can I come out?”
Ji Tong waved his hand. “Come out.”
He looked at the silent Pei Qingyuan. “Host, do you need to listen to cold jokes?”
He thought that it shouldn’t be necessary.
Sure enough, the host shook his head.
Fang Hao sensibly packed a box of shrimp crackers and handed it to Ji Tong. He took a piece and sensibly passed it to the host.
He chewed on the shrimp crackers and said in a comforting manner, “Host, don’t be sad. Our family will soon usher in a beautiful female color.”
In the midst of the two brainwashing crackling sounds, the excess emotions dissipated. Pei Qingyuan’s mind returned and he hesitantly reached out to pick up a piece under the encouraging eyes of the two of them and joined in.
“Is it delicious?”
“It is delicious.”
“Do you think I fried this piece of Xiao Hao fried it?”
Fang Hao was surprised. “How did you guess?”
Pei Qingyuan politely avoided answering. “Through luck.”
In fact, he didn’t quite understand why the shrimp crackers fried by Fang Hao were the same as his handwriting, oddly shaped and fragmented.
The point was that Fang Hao himself still felt it was very handsome.
On the day of the 29th, the family of three woke up early.
Ji Tong originally wanted to meet Fu Yinyin like Fang Hao last time. Then Fu Yinyin told him that she had something to do. She would come over by herself when the time came and asked him for the address of the community. She said she would meet him at the entrance of the community at 11 in the morning.
Due to this, he and Fang Hao hung around the house in the morning. They stopped fishing and couldn’t wait to manually adjust the hour hand to 11 o’clock.
Even Pei Qingyuan became nervous.
He inexplicably developed the feeling of meeting the parents.
Finally, it was half past ten. Ji Tong and Fang Hao went downstairs early while Pei Qingyuan stayed home to prepare lunch.
He stayed alone until almost 11 o’clock. Then he was completely unable to suppress the curiosity in his heart so he took off his apron and went downstairs.
The big and small people waited excitedly at the gate of the community for a long time. A neighbor’s child playing nearby saw it and curiously came up to Ji Tong to ask him, “Are you waiting for someone?”
Ji Tong’s frequency of going in and out of the community was quite high. Due to his cute appearance, many neighbors were familiar with him.
The little boy who was a bit taller than him talked a lot. “I usually don’t see your parents, only you and your brother. Are you waiting for them to come back for the Spring Festival?”
He looked at Fang Hao, who was standing to the side. “Is this your brother’s friend? Why aren’t there any adults in your family?”
There wasn’t any malice in his words but the adult behind him felt embarrassed and hurriedly patted him.
The little boy pouted. He was about to continue saying something when he suddenly looked forward and his eyes widened.
“What a handsome car—”
At 11 o’clock sharp, a black stretched-out luxury car slowly stopped at the gate of the community. The driver’s door opened and a driver wearing white gloves in uniform got out of the car first. He walked to the rear and bent down to open the door.
Under everyone’s eyes, a woman in a burgundy coat got out of the car. She had wavy hair, a fair face and dazzling red lips. In the warm noon sun, she reached out and took off her dark sunglasses as she looked with a smile at the people waiting to greet her at the entrance.
She seemed to have just returned from shopping. The driver took a number of beautifully packaged bags from the car and waited very quietly to the side.
The beautiful and elegant woman smiled and opened her eyes to the cute-looking child.
Ji Tong instinctively rushed over.
The atmosphere was so warm that he always felt he should call out ‘Mother’ with tears in his eyes.
However, something didn’t seem to be right.
Just as Ji Tong was worrying about what to shout, Fang Hao behind him suddenly changed his expression. He clumsily interpreted a change from shock to joy.
Then he dutifully exclaimed in a respectful voice. “Madam, you are finally back!”
Fu Yinyin who almost forgot that she ran away with the baby: “……”
Ji Tong, who suddenly remembered that he still had a bodyguard: “!!!”
Pei Qingyuan, who just walked to the gate of the community and heard this: “???”