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“Did your teacher really make you ask that question?”

“Yes, we even have to step onto the rostrum to tell everyone our parents’ answers.”

“Where do you think you came from then?” An Xiaoning asked.

“From Mommy’s stomach, of course. But, how did I get inside your stomach, Mommy?” Jin Yiheng asked, smiling shyly.

After some thought, An Xiaoning said, “You’re the testament of Daddy and Mommy’s love for each other. You’ll understand after I tell you a story about it.”

“What story?”

An Xiaoning recalled coming across an online forum regarding how to answer a child’s questions about their birth. After thinking about the answers she had seen in the forum, she replied, “There’s a type of cell in Mommy’s body called an ovum while Daddy has a different type of cell called a sperm. One day, the ovum and the sperm met and the ovum eagerly invited the sperm to her house for a visit. Thus, they both then headed to Mommy’s stomach together. Mommy had built a beautiful palace for them, called the womb. The sperm and ovum then fused to become a fertilized embryo embedded within Mommy’s womb. After receiving the nutrients from Mommy’s body, the fertilized embryo developed into a fetus, which continued to grow for another 10 months. After the 10 months were up, Mommy went to the gynecologist at the hospital where the midwife helped to deliver the baby. That’s how you came about.”

“I understand now,” Jin Yiheng said with a nod. “My table partner Yue Chan told me that her Mommy often says she was picked up from the trash can. Can babies be found inside trash cans?” he asked.

“Of course not. Her Mommy was lying to her.”

“My Mommy is the best. You never lie to me, ever.”

An Xiaoning picked up her chopsticks to pick some food up and placed it into his bowl. “Eat up, quick. Then take a nap after lunch.”

“Alright.”

“By the way, after I acknowledge my new Godparents, you’ll have another set of grandparents. I’ll take you to visit them in another few days,” An Xiaoning said during lunch.

“Does that mean I’ll have three Grandpas and three Grandmas? Mommy, how did you achieve that?” Jin Yiheng asked with his mouth wide open.

“What do you mean?”

“How did you get so many Godfathers and Godmothers?”

An Xiaoning bent forward to lift him up in her arms. “I managed to do that because I put my heart and soul into it. Son, it’s getting harder for me to lift you up nowadays. Will you carry me when I’m old and frail?”

He looked at her earnestly and said, “Why would you ask such a question, Mommy? I’m your son, of course I’ll carry you when you’re old and can no longer walk. I’ll carry you wherever you’d like to go.”

An Xiaoning kissed him on his forehead and said, “Son, thank you.”

Ling Ciye returned home to find that Song Yan had yet to wake up. He then entered the bedroom and said, “It’s already noontime. Are you still not going to wake up?”

“I rarely get to enjoy a break for a few days. Can’t you just let me sleep in?” Song Yan groused. She stretched her arms out slowly and looked at him, sleepy-eyed. “Where did you go early in the morning?”

“I went out to handle some matters. What would you like to eat? I’ll get Auntie to prepare it for you.”

“I’m fine with anything.”

Ling Ciye turned around and instructed the servants to prepare a nutritionally-balanced lunch for her.

Song Yan got out of bed to take a shower before switching on her mobile phone. As soon as her mobile phone switched on, it began to ring continuously. A frown creased her forehead the moment she realized that it was her manager who called. “I wonder what’s the urgent matter. I can’t even rest in peace during my break,” she grumbled with frustration.

After mumbling to herself, she swiped on her phone screen to answer the call, “Hello, Huahua.”

“Xiaoyan, our CEO called me personally this afternoon to inform me that there’s a social gathering tonight which he wants you to attend. He was very insistent, I couldn’t turn him down with an excuse. He even mentioned that he’s going to terminate your participation in filming for the new drama series if you don’t show up tonight. Well, I’m sure you know there are many fresh faces in the industry who are vying for the chance to steal the spotlight. We can’t be willful and risk losing out to them. I’ll send you your outfit later in the afternoon. I’ve already agreed on your behalf.”

Song Yan threw her head back and let out a long sigh. “Things are different for me now. It’s not like you don’t know.”

“Rest assured, I’ll help you drink the alcohol. You’ll at most have to take just a few sips.”

“I can’t afford to even drink a few sips. Why didn’t you discuss it with me beforehand? You’re always agreeing on my behalf without asking for my opinion.”

“I didn’t have a choice either. Besides, you’ll be fine with me by your side,” said the manager, who seemed to be put in a spot.

Song Yan hung up immediately.

Having guessed that it was work-related matters though he did not hear their conversation, Ling Ciye asked, “Do you have to work in the afternoon?”

“No, I just have a social gathering to attend this evening.”

“You’ll be compelled to drink at those gatherings. Just turn it down then.”

“I’d like to give it a miss too, but my boss insists that I go.”

Ling Ciye stared at her solemnly and said, “Song Yan, we’ve had so many arguments over how you should live your life after we get married. There’s nothing to argue about anymore. Now that you’re pregnant, I’ll prepare the wedding and marry you as soon as possible. But now, we ought to re-evaluate this crucial matter. After we get married, I’ll still allow you to continue being a celebrity, but you’ll have to know your limits and boundaries.”

“The company arranges everything. I don’t have a say at all. I’ve always been doing as I was instructed.”

“There you go again. Are you still going to stay out every day and only see me once in a while, even after we’re married?”

After a moment of silence, Song Yan answered, “Being an actress and singer has always been my job. I now have an established career and am one of the most famous actresses in the country. I don’t wish to give that all up because of marriage and having a child.”

“I didn’t force you to give it all up. I’m just saying that I’m fine with you releasing an album and filming a movie every year, but not with you being busy all year round,” Ling Ciye retorted. He would feel extremely frustrated when they got to the touchy topic of her career.

“But Ciye, filming just one movie a year is going to take a toll on my fame and popularity. If the movie turns out to be a low-quality one or doesn’t receive good ratings, I’ll very soon be surpassed by newbies. Do you know how competitive the entertainment industry is?”

“Song Yan, you can’t enjoy fame forever. A career is indeed important to a woman, but shouldn’t your family be your priority? I want a wife who can spend a lot of quality time with me, not one who has a busier career than I do. We’re not cash-strapped or struggling to make ends meet anyway. Why are you so obstinate?”

“Yes, we may not be short of money, but working hard to maintain an established career matters to my pride.”

Ling Ciye stared at her and remained silent. Nothing constructive ever came out of their discussion and arguments whenever they got to that topic.

Noticing the awful expression on his face, Song Yan knew that he was suppressing his anger again.

“Ciye, like you said, I won’t enjoy fame forever. Perhaps when my popularity has died down, I’ll really end up having only one movie to film a year. By then, I might even be willing to retire from my career and leave the entertainment industry without complaints.”

Ling Ciye turned around to leave the bedroom and did not answer her.

“Ciye…”