It was raining cats and dogs in N Nation.
Amidst the pouring rain, a bunch of people arrived at Bu Xianxian’s tent after guiding themselves with handheld lamps. They were panting heavily, clearly exhausted.
“Is anyone in?”
“Yes, yes.” Mr. Bu lit up a candle while Mrs. Bu slowly came out of the tent.
“Have you ever seen this man?” asked the man who led the way while showing them a photograph.
Upon sight of the photograph, the couple looked at each other in dismay. Just as they were about to speak, Bu Xianxian grabbed the photograph and said, “No, I haven’t.”
“You have to inform them if you saw him. If you bring him to us, you’ll be handsomely rewarded with five million dollars.”
“Five million dollars? Who is he? Why is there such a hefty reward offered for finding him?” Mrs. Bu asked in astonishment.
“He’s our Young Sir. He was washed away by the tsunami while he was here on a vacation.” The man then turned around and said to his subordinates, “Let’s go.”
“Boss, aren’t you going to search the tents?”
“You’re right. Let’s search.”
Bu Xianxian frantically tried to stop them. “I have a huge python in my tent. It’s my pet snake. Wait a moment while I let it know, in case it bites you guys.”
Upon hearing her words, the search team immediately turned around to leave and did not insist on searching her tent.
After waiting for the team to leave, Mrs. Bu slapped Bu Xianxian across her face and admonished, “Didn’t you hear that we’ll be rewarded with five million dollars if we hand the person over to them? Since his family has already come forth to look for him, why didn’t you allow them to take him away?”
“Mother, if he leaves with that bunch of people now, I definitely wouldn’t get to see him anymore in the future,” said Bu Xianxian, biting her lip.
“How did I even give birth to a fool like you? Didn’t you hear them mention that he’s a Young Sir? What makes you think your status is compatible with his? I’m going to call them to come back,” said Mrs. Bu.
Just as Mrs. Bu took a step, Bu Xianxian got down on her knees and stopped her mother. “Mother, if you go, I’ll die right in front of you now.”
“You silly child… just what are you after?” Mrs. Bu said softly.
“Mother, if he falls in love with me, five million dollars is considered nothing. Why can’t you plan further ahead?”
“Could you not be so greedy? What happens if he doesn’t fancy you?”
“I will make him fall for me,” Bu Xianxian said confidently before walking towards her tent.
Mrs. Bu was so infuriated she felt as if she was going to burst a vein. “It’s five million dollars we’re talking about. I would’ve never even dreamed of having so much money. Hubby, why don’t we go chase after them and tell them that the person is right here? That way, we’ll be able to live a good life and we no longer have to live in this tiny tent,” Mrs. Bu said to her husband.
“Yes, his parents must be worried sick about him. Our daughter is getting more and more insensible. Come, let’s go,” Mr. Bu agreed.
“Father! Where are you guys going?” Bu Xianxian exclaimed when she came out of her tent and saw that they were about to leave.
“We’re… Xianxian, his family must be searching for him eagerly. You can’t be so selfish. Let’s hand him over to those people and get our money,” Mrs. Bu said softly.
“Mother, wouldn’t it be the same if we wait a while more before handing him over? He and I have only just met and are yet to nurture any feelings. Let’s wait a little longer. Once he’s fully recovered, I’ll accompany him to look for his family. We’d also still be able to get the money.”
“You have a point. But, what if he gets recognized by the people who visit us occasionally?” Mrs. Bu asked.
Bu Xianxian pondered for a moment before whispering something into her mother’s ear. At last, she said, “Just say that. I’m going back to my tent now.”
She returned to her tent before even allowing her mother to respond.
“I heard a lot of voices coming from outside the tent just now. What were they here for?” Jin Qingyan asked.
“They were a bunch of people claiming to be your family. They showed my parents and me a photo of you and asked if we’ve seen you around. They even offered a reward of five million dollars for finding you. But, we didn’t tell them that you were here becuase we had a feeling they were crooks,” Bu Xianxian explained.
“How did you know that they were crooks?” Jin Qingyan asked.
“They just seemed like they were. I still think it’d be better to start searching for your family once you’re fully recovered. Do you hold it against me?”
“We’ll leave the rest for when I recover.” Little did Bu Xianxian know, Jin Qingyan wanted desperately to see them when he heard her mention that they were from his family. However, he decided to let the matter rest after realizing that she did make some sense. Thus, he decided to just wait until he recovered to start looking for his family.
Sensing that he was rather disappointed, Bu Xianxian asked, “Nick, are you angry?”
“I feel like you’re upset.”
“I really am not. I just have this inexplicable feeling. I’m desperate to know where my family is and what they look like… It’s getting late, hurry and go to bed.”
The thunder was rumbling loudly amidst the pouring rain. By the time Bu Xianxian had fallen asleep, Jin Qingyan was still wide awake.
He was constantly rubbing the jade ring on his thumb with his finger beneath the blanket.
Again and again…
He finally managed to fall asleep but was haunted by a string of nightmares.
Yet, he could not remember any of it when he woke up.
He could not help but find living inside the tent extremely unbearable.
An Xiaoning headed to her son’s school in the afternoon to pick him up.
The moment Jin Yiheng saw her, he beamed with joy and skipped towards her merrily. “Mommy, you really came to pick me up!”
“Of course, didn’t Godma already inform you last night?”
“I thought you wouldn’t turn up because of how busy you are. Mommy, will Godma still be coming to pick Wenlun and Xiaoxi up?”
“I’ll be sending them home too. Get into the car first,” said An Xiaoning as she opened the car door.
Just as he got inside the car, the Long siblings approached while carrying their bags on their shoulders. “Godma, I haven’t seen you in days. I missed you!” exclaimed the glib-tongued Long Xiaoxi.
“I missed you too, Xiaoxi. Hop in, quick,” said An Xiaoning, who held Long Xiaoxi’s hand and helped her into the car.
On the way home, the three children in the backseat engaged in continuous chatter throughout the entire journey. An Xiaoning was pleased to see how well they got along with each other. That way, she would not have to worry about her son being neglected when she’s too busy to look after him since he could have them for company.
An Xiaoning pulled over at the entrance upon arriving at the estate. The three children alighted from the car together and returned to their respective homes.
“Mommy, do you have good news since you came to pick me up personally today?” asked Jin Yiheng while holding onto An Xiaoning’s hand.
Upon hearing her answer, he understood that there were no news of his father.
Thus, he decided not to probe further and instead pretended to be in high spirits. With a smile on his face, he said, “Mommy, stop trying to lose any more weight. Women look better when they’re chubbier.”
“Alright, I’ll stop being on a diet and eat more from now onwards,” An Xiaoning answered, feeling on the verge of tears. She could tell that her son was worried about her and was indirectly hinting at her to take care of herself.
Her son had grown up.
An Xiaoning was filled with an inexplicable feeling as she gazed at her son, who resembled his father greatly.
She held his hand all the way to the living room where Auntie Chen was laying the lunch spread across the dining table.
Jin Yiheng sat down opposite her and said, “Mommy, Teacher gave us a question today which we were supposed to ask our parents.”
“What question is it?”
“How did we children come about?”