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“If it’s nothing, why are you laughing?”

“Am I getting in your way by laughing?” Wen Yuechan then turned to look at Jin Yiheng before saying, “Let’s continue watching the cartoon. It’s so funny.”

Long Xiaoxi turned around to run away at the sight of him lowering his head.

Realizing that Jin Yiheng didn’t chase after her at all, she began tearing up while running back home.

Mei Yangyang came out of the kitchen only to see that her daughter had sped upstairs. “Xiaoxi.”

Long Xiaoxi did not answer her mother and instead ran back inside her bedroom. She turned on the tap and began rinsing her face under the water continuously until her face was completely rid of any makeup.

She then sprawled across the bed and began bawling loudly.

Sensing that something was amiss, Mei Yangyang approached her and found that she was crying.

She quickly sat by her bed and asked, “Xiaoxi, what’s the matter? Tell Mommy, who made you upset?”

Long Xiaoxi sat up straight and answered, “Mommy, Brother Yiheng’s table partner said I’m as fat as Doraemon. I need to lose weight.”

“You’re still so young, you don’t need to lose weight. You’re not fat at all, you only have some baby fats on you. You’re not that chubby. You’ll slim down when you’re older,” said Mei Yangyang.

“Mother, I think Brother Yiheng won’t marry me when we grow up,” Long Xiaoxi lamented, sounding devastated.

“You’re all still children right now. Xiaoxi, when you get older, you’ll realize that you’re just making silly comments. But, why do you think so? I feel like your Brother Yiheng adores you.”

Long Xiaoxi burst into tears again and said, “I don’t want to see Brother Yiheng again anytime soon.”

“Alright, don’t see him if you don’t wish to then. Don’t coop yourself up at home. Go out and play with the other children in our estate if you don’t want to play with your Brother Yiheng.”

Long Xiaoxi got down from her bed slowly and gave a nod in agreement. “Mommy, I’m going out now.”

“Alright.”

Long Xiaoxi did not go out and instead began walking towards the backyard of her house alone.

There was a floral bed ahead, comprising of all sorts of beautiful flowers.

She plucked a stalk of flower and sat by the floral bed. All of sudden, she heard sounds of crying.

Long Xiaoxi stood up and looked around. She caught sight of a group of children bullying another child.

Thus, she sped towards them and asked at the top of her voice, “What are you guys doing!?!”

“Missy.” They were the children of the vegetable farmers working for An Xiaoning and Mei Yangyang on the large patch of land in their backyard, which was used for growing various types of vegetables and fruits. They decided to grow their own produce because it was environmental-friendly and void of pollution.

Long Xiaoxi stared at the boy on the ground whom she had never seen before. She took a closer look to realize that his arms were missing.

She immediately bent forward to help him up before berating the other children, “You’re not to bully him again!”

The bunch of children nodded and zoomed away quickly.

Long Xiaoxi was left alone with the boy who had missing arms.

“Why don’t you have any arms?”

The boy looked frail and weak, though his overall appearance was neat and tidy. He was extremely thin and had rosy lips along with straight rows of pearly white teeth. “I lost my arms in a car accident,” he answered in a feeble voice.

“How old are you?” Long Xiaoxi asked, staring at him with a look of pity in her eyes.

“I’m six years old.”

“I’m three and a half. What’s your name?”

“My name is Minhe, Zhong Minhe.”

Long Xiaoxi smiled widely and said, “Shall I call you Brother Minhe then?”

“Missy, I don’t think it’ll be appropriate if Sir and Madam find out.”

“It’s alright, my parents won’t mind. Do you have any friends?”

“No,” he answered, shaking his head.

“I don’t either. I only have a brother. But he went out with Daddy and I don’t have anyone to play with now,” Long Xiaoxi said with much disappointment.

“I often see you playing with the Young Sir living opposite. How is it possible that you don’t have any friends?”

“Don’t talk about Brother Yiheng. I don’t feel like talking about him. You said you’ve seen me, but why haven’t I seen you around before?” Long Xiaoxi asked with a look of disappointment on her face.

He looked down and said, “My parents don’t allow me to come out. I usually stay in my own room. I saw you through the window.”

“Why don’t they let you out?”

“They’re worried about my safety because I don’t have arms.”

Long Xiaoxi tugged on his clothes and said, “They don’t have to worry anymore in the future. You’ll be playing with me. I’ll tell your parents that I’ll take you out to play every day, okay?”

Even after many years had passed, Zhong Minhe could still remember the look of purity and innocence on Long Xiaoxi’s face when she asked him that question.

“Okay,” he agreed with a nod.

Song Yan admitted herself to the hospital a few days before the end of the month.

She underwent a full body checkup, and the doctor concluded that she was generally healthy with no signs of a miscarriage at all.

Song Yan felt a huge sense of relief. Although she thought that An Xiaoning’s predictions were definitely inaccurate, she still admitted herself to the hospital to be safe, especially since the latter enjoyed a prestigious reputation for being accurate.

Song Yan thought it would be better to be safe than sorry.

On the other hand, she also wanted to prove An Xiaoning wrong.

Due to the extremely warm weather, the air conditioner was turned on in the VIP ward and adjusted to a comfortable temperature, neither too hot nor too cold.

She lay in bed and began playing with her mobile phone.

While scrolling through Weibo, she came across a discussion page where there were claims of her being photographed as she was admitted to the hospital. She hurriedly called for the doctor to bring a drip and syringe, which she then pasted onto the back of her hand with some adhesive tape. She ensured that the needle head was obscured before snapping a photo of her hand, which she then uploaded to Weibo, claiming that she had caught a cold.

A bunch of netizens hurriedly left comments on her post, telling her to take care of herself and get some good rest. Song Yan could not help but burst into laughter upon reading the netizens’ well wishes.

“Why are you laughing?” her manager, Huahua, asked.

“The moment I uploaded a photo of myself on the drip, all these fans immediately left comments to tell me to take care of myself and stuff like that. But…” A sudden tinge of disappointment formed in her tone as she continued, “But, once I make a teeny weeny mistake, they’re always so quick to lash out at me and criticize me online. When I’m doing well, they’ll shower me with all sorts of compliments, praising me for my beauty, my melodious voice, and my superb acting skills. Yet, when there are minor slip-ups, they’ll start accusing me of having a plastic face and make snide remarks about my singing, saying that I sound like nails on a chalkboard.”

“Many of your fans are young and childish. Don’t bother stooping to their level. In order to survive in the entertainment industry, you have to adopt the mindset of ‘I will not get my head in the clouds when you criticize me, neither will I get angry when you criticize me.’ You’ll lose out if you take everything too personally and seriously in this industry,” Huahua said as she tried to comfort her.

“I understand what you mean. But sometimes, I just can’t bear to give up my fame and wealth. Occasionally, I’d think that it’d be a good idea to marry Ciye and become his dutiful wife. Being a full-time housewife is a lifestyle coveted by many women, so why should I be so hard on myself? Am I being too stubborn and overachieving?”

“Song Yan, don’t think that way. I’ve only heard of men despising their wives who don’t go out to work and stay at home all day waiting for their husbands to bring home the bacon. I’ve never heard of men resenting their wives for being hardworking in their careers.”