Translator: SJade, Editor: Dj22031
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At dawn in the morning, the sunlight slowly penetrated through the embroidered gaps in the curtains, illuminating the bedroom floor and the messy big bed.
Huo Yunshen suddenly woke up from his long dream, with cold sweat on his forehead.
He dreamed of himself and Qingqing when they were young. Those days were thick and colourful, engraved in his bones and in the heart. The last three years of separation seemed to have condensed into a painful pool. When he sank to the bottom, he was pulled up by Qingqing’s hand.
Huo Yunshen couldn’t tell the time or where he was. The heart-piercing pain seemed to still be there, making it difficult for him to breathe.
He half-opened his eyes, his chest heaved violently, and he reached out to grab the person next to him in panic, fearing that his happiness would also be a dream.
But there was a pair of arms faster than him, tightly wrapping around his waist, and then, his shoulders were rubbed by two fluffy pieces of moisture, which were dripping with water.
It was Yan Qing’s tearful eyelashes.
She hugged Huo Yunshen hard, and she was still not quite conscious. She choked and said: “Shenshen, I dreamed about the past. I went to No. 4 Middle School to chase you every day, slept with you in the small attic, and we made dumplings on New Year’s Eve. I also dreamed of…”
Huo Yunshen’s heart trembled.
Yan Qing cried even louder: “During the three years when I was away, you, you lived so hard, your body was covered in blood, you huddled up at home alone, no one cared about you, and you also went to school to attend classes and made wind chimes. When the wind chimes rang, you just hugged my clothes and cried.”
Yan Qing couldn’t speak anymore.
In an extremely real dream, she once again saw the moment when Huo Yunshen was about to fall into the river. When she opened her eyes, she found that many years had passed, but the heartache and love that broke out at that moment could only emerge as tears and flow out freely.
Yan Qing couldn’t be satisfied with such a hug. She pushed Huo Yunshen and asked him to lie down, then hurriedly climbed up and pressed her whole body against him, finally feeling at ease.
Huo Yunshen raised his face, wiped the moisture from the corners of her eyes with his fingertips, and said hoarsely: “We had the same dream.”
Yan Qing was stunned, then her eyes softened, and she turned her head and kissed his wrist: “My husband and I can even dream together. Doesn’t this prove that us husband and wife are connected?”
Huo Yunshen clasped the back of her neck deeply, turned her over and pressed her into his arms, and whispered in her ear: “Of course, the body and mind are connected.”
There was still a haze in his eyes that couldn’t go away. Yan Qing looked sad, kissed her husband’s chin, and asked in a low voice, “I’ve proved that our hearts are connected, and our bodies are connected… Do you want to practice it, and treat it like a small birthday present for Baby Shen?”
Today was Huo Yunshen’s birthday.
She deliberately waited until midnight last night and said happy birthday to him before going to bed.
The entire day today belonged to him.
Huo Yunshen didn’t need to wait for her request. He had already pressed his lips against her neck and kissed her hard. Her breath was fresh and gentle, wrapping him tightly and dispelling the fear and bitterness in his eyes.
His Qingqing had come back a long time ago.
No one could ever take her away.
She had a home with him where they stayed together day and night.
Huo Yunshen bit her earlobe deeply and said in a hoarse voice: “The bad things are over.”
Yan Qing kissed him and said, “It’s over. From now on, our family will only be filled with sweetness.”
She allowed him to open the shoulder straps of her nightgown, wanting to feel him with passionate intimacy. However, as soon as his kiss fell on her collarbone, a dull loud noise suddenly came from outside the closed bedroom door.
It sounded like it was still some distance away, it should be downstairs.
But the sound insulation effect of the door and walls was very good, and considering the height of one floor, if they could still hear it so clearly, obviously something big had happened.
Yan Qing’s heart full of lingering charm was frightened away. Thinking of some possibility, she quickly dragged her husband up, put on her slippers and ran out: “There must be something wrong with Youyou!”
Huo Yunshen pulled her back, wrapped her in her nightgown and tied her belt: “Don’t worry, he hasn’t cried yet, so there won’t be any big problems.”
According to Mr. Huo’s understanding of the certain little sweet pomelo, it was probably because he had itchy hands that he went to fiddle with something.
Since he turned three years old, the little guy’s mobility had become stronger and stronger, and he couldn’t help but play around. Although he was very measured, he would inevitably break a few things accidentally.
However, it was just dawn and the kindergarten was on break. Youyou could sleep more. It was indeed a bit abnormal for him to get up so early.
Huo Yunshen led Yan Qing out of the bedroom and looked downstairs. Everything was normal in the living room, but there was a continuous noise from the kitchen area.
The closer they got, the clearer they could hear.
Youyou’s little voice was trying hard to hold back the tears, as he was sobbing and mumbling: “Don’t let mom and dad know, I don’t feel pain, I will try again, and I will definitely be able to do it-“
He said it very seriously, but there was no one else around him.
Yan Qing became even more anxious after hearing this, and she quickened her pace and pulled her husband to run over. As soon as she turned the corner and could see Youyou, she couldn’t help but pause in her steps and stare at the incredible scene in the kitchen in surprise.
Youyou was only a little older, but he actually moved a small cartoon bench by himself and stood in front of the cooking table. There was a cat doll not far away, sitting there as if to accompany him.
His sleeves were rolled up high, revealing his short and tender little arms. His two white and soft little paws were connected together. He tried hard to control the spoon that was too big for him and worked hard in the smoking pot.
What was even more bizarre was that the range hood was opened correctly, and he specifically chose the electromagnetic panel to operate it, avoiding the more dangerous open gas flame.
If he hadn’t had a pot at his feet that had fallen off the countertop, and it was so heavy that it made a shocking noise, they didn’t know when he would have been discovered.
Yan Qing looked at her husband in surprise. Not wanting to scare Youyou, she quietly approached him and looked into the pot he was busying with.
There was boiling water inside, and there was a small red patch on the back of his fleshy hand, obviously from being burned.
Yan Qing finally couldn’t bear it any longer, and quickly turned off the switch with one hand, picked him up with the other hand, picked up his little paws and blew on him gently, and asked anxiously: “Youyou, what are you doing, your hands are burned!”
Youyou’s eyes widened, his dark and moist big grape eyes looked at his parents who had unexpectedly appeared, and he was still struggling to clean up the scene, but unfortunately he couldn’t move after being restrained.
He failed to remedy the situation and was sure that his little secret was completely exposed and could no longer be hidden. Then his nose became sour, his mouth pursed in frustration, and he lowered his head dejectedly.
In the living room, Huo Yunshen and Yan Qing sat opposite each other, with their knees almost touching each other. Youyou stretched his little body on his father’s lap, his face puffed out sadly.
“Huo Youyou,” Yan Qing was rarely serious, “There is hot water at home that you can drink at any time. Boiling water will cause burns and is very dangerous. Mom has taught you many times, have you forgotten?”
“I haven’t forgotten,” Youyou said in a weak voice, “Mom, I’m sorry.”
He had such a good attitude in admitting his mistake that Yan Qing was not willing to say harsh words. She leaned down and looked into his eyes: “What’s going on?”
Youyou had a strong desire to explore and was curious about everything. He was smart, learnt quickly, and had strong hands-on skills. However, he had never been in the danger zone and knew very well what to do and what not to do. This was the first time for him to do this.
Seeing that Youyou was about to cry, Huo Yunshen picked up his injured little hand, unscrewed the ointment, and handed it to Yan Qing’s hand.
Youyou’s red little paws were placed in his father’s warm palm, and his mother was carefully applying medicine for him. He blinked a few times, couldn’t help but blush, and whispered softly: “In kindergarten, I asked the teacher to explain the steps to me. She didn’t know what I was going to do and thought I was just curious. When I came back, I worked in the kitchen at home for several days before I learned how to turn them on and off.”
His nasal voice was soft: “Fire is dangerous, so I dare not use it, thus I just used the one without fire. I was a little nervous, so I let the cat look after me. I originally wanted to boil water, but it got too hot and my hand hit the pot. Then it fell…if mom and dad didn’t come, I would have, already…”
Huo Yunshen stroked his head deeply and asked in a deep voice, “What’s going on?”
Youyou raised his head, looked into his father’s dark eyes, then looked at his mother’s worried face, and said “woo” in self-reproach, “I’ve already cooked the noodles!”
He turned around, bumped his fluffy little head into Huo Yunshen’s arms, grabbed his clothes, and said stumblingly: “Dad has his birthday today, so he should have noodles in the morning. Mom worked late yesterday and was tired. I didn’t want her to work so hard, so I just wanted to cook noodles for you.”
There was silence in the living room.
Huo Yunshen lowered his eyes and stared at the disappointed little guy, then looked at Yan Qing in disbelief.
Yan Qing also held her breath, her eyes burning slightly.
Her little Youyou was still just a little bit old, but he secretly prepared for so many days to learn things that were beyond his age. Even though he knew there was danger, he would rather talk to the cat doll to gain courage than go to his mother. He tried to boil water, but his hands were burned and he still shouted that it didn’t hurt.
In the end, it was just to cook a bowl of noodles for his Dad’s birthday.
He was no longer their little Youyou, he was clearly a well-behaved and brave little fairy.
Yan Qing wiped the mist from the corners of her eyes, carefully applied medicine to Youyou’s hand, and applied it evenly. She then held his finger and said, “Youyou, you have to remember, you don’t have to boil the water, you don’t have to cook the noodles. You’re still young. You don’t need to risk touching anything that is harmful to you. In the hearts of Mom and Dad, Youyou’s safety is the most important thing.”
She tilted her head and looked at him softly: “Youyou’s little hand was burned. For mom and dad, no amount of other things can make it right. Do you understand?”
After Youyou had enough hugs from his father, he immediately threw himself into his mother’s arms, rubbed his head in her neck, and nodded vigorously.
He got it.
Pomelo was the most precious. If he was injured, parents would feel distressed.
Yan Qing rubbed Youyou’s little face, kissed his forehead, and stood up: “Okay, let me cook the noodles. Does anyone want to watch?”
Mr. Huo and Baby Huo both agreed.
In the end, Yan Qing stood in front of the cooking table with a smile, Huo Yunshen hugged her from behind, and Youyou took the place of the cat doll, sitting next to her and observing carefully. The bandages on his paws did not affect his seal-like applause. For a few minutes, he praised his mother with clear little milk sounds, and the content was never the same.
“Mom is great! The boiled water smells delicious!”
“The water scalds me, but I don’t want it to scald my mother, because my mother is cuter than Youyou!”
“Dad’s birthday noodles should be one long piece without breaking – mom is awesome – cook them well -“
His eyes were full of light. Even when he looked at a pot of water that his mother boiled, or an ordinary bowl at home, his father’s glance at him sometimes could overflow with clear happiness.
Huo Yunshen quietly looked at Youyou, who was concentrating on learning to cook noodles, with a faint tremor in his heart.
The day that originally symbolized family affection had been filled with too much dark hatred since his childhood. He lived only for Qingqing, and only Qingqing would care.
It was Qingqing who turned what was once a taboo into a joy worthy of celebration.
Now…the little guy Qingqing gave him also thought…that his birthday was important.
After the family of three had breakfast, Yan Qing was still thinking about the long dream she had last night. It was a rare day off and it was the weekend. Even if the university was crowded and it was inconvenient to go, at least she could go back to her old middle school with Huo Yunshen and heal all the scars buried deep in her heart.
Huo Yunshen smiled deeply and touched her hair: “My wife said it a minute earlier than me.”
He wanted to too.
Yan Qing’s eyes curled up: “If that rice noodle shop is still there, we can go there to eat. Although it is very close to the university, it is in a quiet location. If we be careful, we won’t be photographed——”
Huo Yunshen said decisively: “Still there.”
“How do you…” Before Yan Qing could say the word “know”, he suddenly realized something and looked at Huo Yunshen blankly.
His eyes were soft and heavy: “It’s the same old couple. They planned to close the store two years ago. I bought it and let them keep it open. I thought that one day you would come back and we would have a try.”
Yan Qing closed her eyes, leaned in and hugged him, and said softly, “Okay, we’ll go today.”
As soon as she finished speaking, there was the sound of little feet flapping on the stairs. When Youyou heard that his parents were going out to play, he immediately rushed back to his room, put on the red sweater he had prepared earlier, and put on the little lion hat chosen by his mother, then he happily came down and rushed to the legs of the two of them, hugging them tightly.
There were two small fiery red fur balls dangling on the front of his hat. They were shaking back and forth lively as he raised his head.
Youyou said sweetly: “I want to go too!”
Huo Yunshen lowered his eyes and smiled slightly when he saw the little guy’s outfit.
The child in front of him looked like a festive and bright little lion dancer, even the round-toed shoes were covered with red plush.
Huo Yunshen pinched Youyou’s cheek: “Why are you dressed like this?”
Youyou proudly said: “Because dad’s birthday is a special day, so I have to dress very red to celebrate!”
Yan Qing gave Youyou a thumbs up, lifted him up, and put him into Huo Yunshen’s arms.
Huo Yunshen took over the happy little lion dancer and finally asked: “Youyou, is dad’s birthday so important?”
Youyou opened her eyes wide in surprise, and replied happily: “Of course it’s important! Because my father came to this world and became the strongest and most powerful person, he met such a – a good mother, and had such a – Cute pomelo!”
Huo Yunshen looked at him in confusion.
There was actually a little baby boy who didn’t know anything about his past or his rumours. Together with Qingqing, he trusted and affirmed him unconditionally.
Huo Yunshen didn’t ask the driver and drove by himself. Yan Qing was sitting in the passenger seat, her hand held by him. Youyou obediently climbed into the back seat, pulled out the camera on his phone, and took photos of his parents from behind with great interest.
Before going to the middle school and the rice noodle shop, Huo Yunshen took Yan Qing to another place.
He had informed in advance so the place had been cleared, and the store was closed and would only be open for them today.
Yan Qing saw the doorman through the car window and felt a little dazed. Huo Yunshen hugged her and got out of the car, held Youyou’s hand, and said to her in a low voice: “I can not only make wind chimes, but also learn many new things.”
That handicraft shop back then.
The plaque was still in its original position, it was weathered, but it didn’t look worn at all.
Huo Yunshen held Yan Qing’s hands and taught her how to make a simple couple. The girl had long hair, a slender waist, painted white skirt and red lips, and then he made the boy who always liked to wear black. He was tall, had a tough temper, and was feared by others, but would only please her.
The little lion dancer Youyou ran countless laps in the store and learned it carefully from the boss. After a while, he actually made three round pottery bells, strung them together with red thread, and they made a jingling sound when they shook. There was a thud.
The familiar voice made Huo Yunshen raise his head.
Youyou rushed over waving the bell, raised it high and said as if to offer a treasure: “The two particularly good-looking ones are mom and dad, and the uglier one is Youyou! We are a family together!”
Huo Yunshen took Youyou into his arms, put down his Tao Bell, and wrapped one of his little hands with Yan Qing, teaching her to make a cute little man, leaning closely against the two before him.
“Is this me?” Youyou asked happily.
Huo Yunshen laughed deeply: “Yes, we are a family together.”
They went to the rice noodle shop near noon. The old couple’s skills were still the same. Huo Yunshen held Yan Qing’s hand tightly, his eyes reddened, and his voice became hoarse unconsciously: “I only ate it once, it was sour.”
Yan Qing interlocked her hands with him and asked with a smile: “It will be delicious this time, do you believe it?”
Huo Yunshen nodded and kissed her forehead gently: “You know, the delicious thing was never rice noodles, it’s Qingqing.”
Youyou was fed until his belly was round. He held his parents’ hands energetically and asked actively: “Are we going to school?”
Yan Qing was curious: “Youyou, do you love school so much?”
Youyou’s face turned red and he told the truth: “Because there is a slide in the school——”
Huo Yunshen leaned forward and pecked the end of Yan Qing’s eye: “Youyou is just like his mother.”
Just like someone who liked to play.
Even loving him.
Ninghua Middle School and Haicheng No. 4 Middle School were still the same as they were in the past. The long street in the middle had changed its pavement and the types of trees and flowers, but the distance measured with footsteps countless times would never change.
Huo Yunshen stopped when he passed by the alley where he had rescued Qingqing.
Youyou asked innocently: “Dad, what are you looking at?”
“Looking where the fight took place.”
Youyou said “Wow” in surprise: “My father must be very good at fighting!”
Huo Yunshen raised his eyebrows in surprise and asked him, “Aren’t you afraid?”
Youyou puffed up her chest: “Of course I’m not afraid. Dad is so good that he can beat all the bad guys!”
Huo Yunshen’s eyes softened and he said to him: “But you can’t learn. I’ll give you time to think about why.”
Youyou immediately raised his hand: “Think about it now – it’s not that I can’t learn, it’s that Youyou doesn’t need to learn, because with dad here, no bad guy dares to bully mom anymore!”
Huo Yunshen bent down, touched Youyou’s forehead, and said with a smile, “My Youyou is so smart.”
He straightened his back and held Youyou’s small body with one hand to prevent him from looking up. He put his other hand around Yan Qing’s waist and pressed his lips against her ear. His voice was gritty as he rubbed her skin.
“Qingqing, I owe you something here.”
Yan Qing stared at him: “What?”
“If I had remembered the night you came to me, I should have kissed you.”
After saying that, he lowered his head and covered her lips.
What he owed Qingqing was his late first kiss.
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