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Just as the little fella wanted to get up from bed, Mu Yuchen shushed him by placing his finger on his pouting lips and glanced towards the woman sleeping beside him.
Who would have guessed that as soon as he saw Mu Yuchen’s expression, that little baby was confused for a moment and immediately turn his head to the side and chuckle out loud? The crisp laugh echoed through the calm dawn, leaving a clear and melodious tone behind, and the smile on his little cheeks was extremely adorable.
Mu Yuchen’s heart melted as he stared at the scene. Without him realizing it, the little kid was already coming at him with open arms and cooing, “Dada…Dada…hug…”
At that moment, Mu Yuchen could only think of doting upon the kid, especially with his radiant eyes, which closely resembled those of his mother’s. He quickly hugged him and kissed him on his chubby cheeks, then covered Xi Xiaye with the blanket before both father and son strolled to the bathroom…
When Xi Xiaye woke up in the morning, the father and son, who were supposed to be beside her, were gone. She then snuck out of bed, freshened herself up, and got changed. When she went downstairs, she realized that all three of them, father and sons, were in the living room, watching the morning news. Mu Yuchen was sitting in the middle with each son on either side, and their postures were so similar that the scene made her grin from ear to ear.
“Gotten out of bed already, Missus? Good morning. Help yourself to some breakfast!” Sis Wang greeted Xi Xiaye, who was standing at the stairwell, while she brought the breakfast out from the kitchen.
“Good morning!” Xi Xiaye responded to Sis Wang’s greeting with a smile as she averted her gaze from the pleasant scenery in the living room.
“Good morning, Mommy!” The little Mu Zirui’s crisp voice rang out in the air.
“Now, come and eat your breakfast. Chop-chop. Later, Daddy will fetch you to your Great-grandpa’s. Mommy has an early meeting in the office, so I won’t be sending you there. Is that okay with you?
“Remember to bring your homework. The scented tea stashed in your backpack is for Great-grandpa. Do remind him to make himself some whenever he’s free since it’s good for his health, and if you have doubts when tackling your homework, go to him and Grandma for answers. Also, there are plenty of storybooks in their study, so you can ask them for a few to read. No playing games and no watching the television all day long, do you hear me?” Xi Xiaye walked towards her son while checking his backpack for him.
“Yes, I know. You’ve already reminded me several times yesterday! By the way, can I ask Great-grandpa to bring me out for a sundae? It’s been a long time since we last went there…”
“Sweets are also a no-no. You do plan to keep your teet, don’t you?”
“Mommy, I brush them three times every day. Plus, they don’t hurt at all.”
“Them not aching doesn’t mean that they’re perfectly fine. No lady would like a man with a mouthful of vicious corals,” Xi Xiaye teased with a smile. At the same time, she caught a glimpse of Mu Zirui’s earnest face.
“You’re always so discouraging, Mommy! I’m the school heartthrob! People in school officially acknowledge me as the best-looking boy.”
When Master Mu overheard the conversation between the mother and son, he stood up with Xiao Cheng in his arms, and murmured in his muffled voice, “Okay, okay, hurry up and eat your breakfast. It’s still a big no to too many sweets. Eat more fruits and rice. Only then will you be more handsome, and maybe as breathtaking as Daddy…”
Having heard that, Xi Xiaye could not stop herself from giving that man a sidelong glance. She was wondering why Mu Zirui had become so narcissistic recently, and she soon found her answer to the mystery. An apple never fell far from the tree!
With that, she could already foresee that Xiao Cheng might even surpass the father and his elder brother in the future.
As expected, Mu Zirui’s perception towards his dad was an exact duplicate of his Mommy’s: ‘Daddy is super handsome. He is the best-looking man in the world, and of course, my Mommy, Xi Xiaye, is also the fairest of them all.’
With that belief in mind, Mu Zirui firmly replied, “Okay, got it, Daddy!”
Assured by his son’s response, Mu Yuchen shot Xi Xiaye with an eloquent glance while she just rolled her eyes.
After breakfast, Xi Xiaye departed to her office while Mu Yuchen and Mu Zirui left just behind her.
It had been a long time since the couple went back to visit their grandparents, so Mu Yuchen stayed for a short while when he fetched Mu Zirui there. Xi Mushan and Shen Wenna had just finished their breakfast and were having tea.
When Shen Yue saw Shen Wenna bringing Mu Zirui upstairs, he turned to Mu Yuchen and asked, “Xiao Cheng will be a year old the next Lunar New Year. Why don’t we organize a birthday party to celebrate that?”
“I understand that Xiaye doesn’t like a boisterous party, so I think a smaller one will do. I’ve gone through the weather forecast. The weather will be in our favor during the Lunar New Year as it will be warm and sunny. I have discussed the plan to bring the whole family to the Maldives with Xiaye. Grandpa will also tag along, so I’d like to know whether you guys will join us,” Mu Yuchen spoke as he sipped on the tea.
“Will we depart after the Lunar New Year?”
“We’ll depart on the second day of the Lunar New Year on a private plane. It’s said that the weather over there is fantastic, and the views will leave you in awe, so we plan to stroll around,” Mu Yuchen advised.
Shen Yue thought about the suggestion, and agreed, “Okay, since nothing much has been happening recently, and Xiao Rui’s school will only resume after the Lantern Festival, I’ll let them know about the trip later. If not, I guess my joints will start to grow moldy.”
“But you look great,” Mu Yuchen claimed with a smile.
Shen Yue sighed and said, “Nah, I’m not as hale and hearty as I used to be. Although I still feel great mentally, being able to let go of certain obsessions makes me feel less drained. I stay at home to work in the garden, read some books, and drink tea. Otherwise, I go out and play chess with friends, practice tai chi, or go fishing. Life’s great. It’d be even better if your grandma were still here. Then, I could spend some time with her.”
“Grandma is now living her afterlife in a better place. You don’t have to miss her that excessively. Every bullet has its billet, so we will leave that to fate. Xiaye has always been telling me tales about you and Grandma. Your love for each other is out of this world and you have been a great inspiration to me,” Mu Yuchen asserted humbly.
Shen Yue took a sip of tea, then smiled with slight resignation. “That’s how it is when one starts to age. I have been rather contented all my life, and nothing seems to have gone against my way. The only thing that I regret is that I feel like I have failed your wife as a grandpa. If I were to have another chance, I would’ve never let myself neglect her due to my busy schedule.”
With that being said, Mu Yuchen thought of the last time Shen Yue shared the same sentiment as him. It seemed that he was able to understand his feelings better this time. After giving it some thought, he reassured him, “We understand, Grandpa , and please don’t worry. I have learned a lot from you.”
“It’s great to know that you were able to pick up a few things here and there. Life is more or less so. When you’re my age, you tend to take plenty of trips down memory lane and look back at things that you ‘ve done, and those are the most precious assets that you will own at such an age.”
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