Mo Li was startled by the sudden knocking on the door.
She was just about to go to bed. Since she was almost at the end of her pregnancy, her huge and heavy baby bump made it difficult for her to move about.
Dragging her feet along the way, she opened her bedroom door and walked towards the entrance of her house.
She slowed down upon reaching the entrance and called out loud, “Who’s there?”
The familiar voice made Ye Xiaotian’s heart race as he quickly shot his assistant a look, signalling for him to speak up.
“I was sent by Mo Xun to bring you something.”
Mo Li opened the door and almost fainted at the sight of Ye Xiaotian, who was standing before her.
“Sorry, Ms. Mo, I didn’t mean to lie,” the assistant apologized as he retreated backwards.
Mo Li did not utter a single word and tried to close the door immediately, only to be taken aback by Ye Xiaotian, who stopped her and forced his way inside.
Mo Li had no choice but to turn around and walk away. However, Ye Xiaotian quickly rushed forward and hugged her tightly in his arms.
“I thought I was dreaming. Mo Li, you’re the most evil woman on this earth. How could you lie to me like that?”
Mo Li tried to free herself from his embrace, but to no avail. Thus, she retorted bluntly, “I lied to you? Did I? I was just trying to save myself from the brink of death.”
“What do you mean the brink of death? My mother stopped forcing me,” said Ye Xiaotian.
“That’s because you married Ms. Lin according to her wishes. Of course she’d stop forcing you.”
“I’ve already divorced Lin Mingxi. My mother also agreed to stop forcing me and allow me to marry whomever I want from now on.”
“How is that any of my business?”
Gazing at her belly, which was as round as a ball, Ye Xiaotian answered, “Of course it’s your business. We’re the parents of this child. We should give him or her a complete family. Mo Li, come home with me. Let’s get married.”
Mo Li faced away from him and exclaimed in displeasure, “You’re always the one deciding and calling the shots. What right have you got to do that? Ye Xiaotian, I don’t want to be manipulated by you anymore!”
Ye Xiaotian burst into laughter at the sight of an enraged Mo Li. Despite her struggling, he picked her up forcefully and lowered her onto the bed.
“Ye Xiaotian, just what do you want?”
“I just want to be together with you, nothing else.”
“If I insist on living here on the mountains for the rest of my life, are you going to remain here too?”
“Yes, that’s what I’m planning to do.”
Ye Xiaotian closed the bedroom door while the assistant yelled, “Young Sir, where am I going to sleep?”
“Just find a random place,” Ye Xiaotian replied to brush him off and crawled onto the bed shamelessly before pulling Mo Li into an embrace.
“Ye Xiaotian, get lost! Have you got no shame at all? You’re so thick-skinned!” Mo Li snapped in exasperation.
“No, why do I need shame? I can’t live on it anyway. Neither is it going to bring you into my arms.”
“Will you truly be happy only after you’ve driven me to my grave? Or would you like to die with me?” Mo Li questioned, instantly regretting her words.
Ye Xiaotian remained silent for a moment before saying, “I will protect you from now on. I won’t let you die. Go to sleep. Don’t dwell on it, I won’t force you.”
“But you’re forcing me right now.”
“That’s what you think. I don’t think I’m forcing you. Mo Li, I’ve fallen in love with you. I want to be with you and our child forever from now on. I will treat you well. Okay?” said Ye Xiaotian, sounding a little like he was begging her.
Mo Li’s body stiffened with uneasiness. She dared not move an inch or utter a word.
His minty yet pleasant scent wafted up to her nose. She tried to stop herself from thinking about the things that happened, yet, images of the past repeatedly flashed across her mind. Mo Li concluded that those were traumatic memories that she could never forget.
She turned over slowly. Now that she was pregnant, she could not engage in any rough intercourse with Ye Xiaotian. In fact, a pragmatic question popped up in her mind. How was she going to answer her child when he or she asks about his or her father?
Or should she just tell the child that his or her father had passed away a long time ago?
All she could offer her child was her never-ending maternal love. No matter how much she tried, she will never be able to make up for the lack of paternal love. Besides, the child would need a proper status as well. She could not allow him or her to develop an inferiority complex for being fatherless since birth.
Mo Li let out a soft sigh as she blamed herself for thinking only about herself. She had never once spared a thought for the child.
Noticing that she was remaining silent, Ye Xiaotian did not speak further and continued to hold her in his arms quietly. They then spent the rest of the night lying together on the same bed.
Before they knew it, it was daybreak, and sounds of roosters crowing could be heard coming from outside. Mo Li turned to her side and touched the spot beside her on her bed, only to realize that it was cold and empty. She opened her eyes immediately and scanned her surroundings.
Indeed, Ye Xiaotian was nowhere to be found. Could he have left early in the morning? the confused Mo Li wondered to herself.
She put on her clothes and bedroom slippers before getting out of bed. It began raining outside. The cold raindrops fell from the sky onto the muddy ground.
All of a sudden, Mo Li noticed that there were heavy fumes coming from the kitchen. Mo Li was shocked with horror and quickly rushed to the kitchen without bothering to bring an umbrella. She initially thought that a fire had broken out. To her surprise, she was greeted with an amusing sight that made her burst into laughter.
Ye Xiaotian was standing amongst the thick fumes and lowering his back to blow at the stove with all his might, in hopes of re-igniting the fire. However, he was huffing and puffing with too much force, thus causing the amount of smoke to increase instead of rekindling the flame.
“What are you doing?”
With his head and face covered in soot, Ye Xiaotian turned around to look at her before answering, “I’m trying to cook, but the flame is rather difficult to ignite. It would extinguish moments after I light it up, every single time.”
Mo Li walked towards him and said, “Let me do it.”
Ye Xiaotian had no choice but to move aside. He could not help but feel a little awkward and embarrassed upon seeing how Mo Li managed to rekindle the flame so effortlessly with just a gentle huff.
Mo Li added some more firewood to the stove before standing up. She lifted the lid off the pot and burst into laughter at the sight of the food inside the pot.
“What are you trying to make?” she asked, pointing at the raw eggs and water inside the pot.
“I was trying to make you some egg soup.”
“That’s not how you do it. You have to bring the water to a boil before cracking in the egg.” Well, his mistake was understandable since he had never prepared egg soup before.
Mo Li was a little pleased deep down. Regardless of how malicious he may have been in the past, it was rather precious of him to attempt to do something he had never done before for her sake.
Finally, after some painstaking effort, the water in the pot began to boil. The egg that Ye Xiaotian had cracked into the pot earlier began to cook and floated to the surface of the water. Mo Li stirred some flour into the soup in the pot and allowed it to keep boiling.
She then cut some vegetables and scooped some porridge out before stir-frying the dishes.
Finally, she made a few pancakes. Ye Xiaotian had been standing by the stove, watching her silently throughout.
Mo Li did not find it arduous at all and instead enjoyed every bit of it. Ye Xiaotian could not help but be filled with immense guilt at the thought of how hard her life must have been to have to go through so much trouble every day just to fix herself a meal, especially since she was heavily pregnant.
Mo Li brought the dishes into the house. She then pointed at the basin and said to Ye Xiaotian, “Wash your face. It’s covered in soot. Go home after having breakfast.”