Mo Suqing spotted Xia Zi and Guan Zixuan as soon as she arrived.
Xia Zi rushed up to her happily.
Mo Suqing smiled and patted her on the head. “Silly girl. Look how excited you are!”
Xia Zi had changed over time. The previously cold and aloof Xia Zi was now a lot livelier.
Guan Zixuan walked up to them and smiled as he said, “Hey Suqing. The car’s over there!”
Ye Zhongjue’s brows raised as he heard how Guan Zixuan addressed Mo Suqing. He then said, “Guan Zixuan, aren’t you supposed to address me as Brother-in-law now?”
This surprised Guan Zixuan, but he understood what Ye Zhongjue was getting at immediately after a quick glance at Xia Zi.
Mo Suqing looked up at her husband, marveling at his childishness. He was probably annoyed at the fact that Guan Zixuan called me by my name.
She shook her head at the two men.
A’jiu and Xiaoliu were hiding behind Mo Suqing and Ye Zhongjue, and they only poked their heads out when their father spoke.
Guan Zixuan found it awkward initially and did not know how to answer Ye Zhongjue, since he was already used to calling Mo Suqing by her given name.
But now that he had already decided to marry Xia Zi, it meant that he should be addressing Mo Suqing as ‘Older Sister’ and Ye Zhongjue as ‘Brother-in-law’.
However, he found it rather awkward to do so right now. The kids poking their heads out saved him in the nick of time.
Surprised, he bent down and carried Xiaoliu. “Xiaoliu, call me uncle! Do you still remember me?”
Xiaoliu called out sweetly, “Hi Uncle Guan!”
“Good girl!” Guan Zixuan acknowledged.
He met the kids when he went to A City previously since they were staying with Xia Zi and Luo Qiqi at the time. He found them extremely adorable even though all they did was try to prank him back then.
They were Mo Suqing’s children, and he knew that children were naturally playful like that.
Xia Zi bloomed with joy as she saw the children. She took A’jiu’s hand and said, “A’jiu, call me Auntie!”
A’jiu answered, “Hi Auntie!”
The boy acted like a tiny little knight, but everyone who knew him well would know that he was actually a devil on the inside.
There would be never-ending antics as long as he was with Xiaoliu.
Xia Zi smiled as she held onto A’jiu’s hand.
“Sis, you actually brought the kids with you? I haven’t seen them in a year!”
Mo Suqing said, “I want them to meet Mum. Also, if Mum’s condition is improving, don’t you think it’s about time to get married to Zixuan too? I’m not going to let you drag any further now that I’m in Emperor City.”
Xia Zi playfully stuck her tongue out at her sister and nodded.
Mo Suqing sighed inwardly. In this period of time, Xia Zi and Luo Qiqi seemed to have exchanged personalities.
After what happened to Su Jincheng, Luo Qiqi had turned into someone who seemed cold and unapproachable, just like the Xia Zi of the past. Xia Zi, on the other hand, acted just like how Luo Qiqi was in the past.
Mo Suqing felt that everything seemed to have been decided by fate.
She walked to the car, hand in hand with Xia Zi.
Mo Suqing would be staying at Guan Zixuan’s place for this trip.
The two couples set off to visit Xia Xinsheng at the Guan family home the next morning.
According to Xia Zi, Xia Xinsheng was able to recognize individuals now, and she no longer fell into daydreams as often.
Mo Suqing felt a little uneasy when they were right outside the house, but Xia Xinsheng called out to her the moment she saw Mo Suqing.
Hearing this made Mo Suqing fill with joy. Mum has really gotten much better. She can recognize her daughters now!
Mo Suqing was about to cry as she led her children into the house and had Xia Xinsheng hold their hands.
“Mum, look. These are my children, they’re twins. The boy is Ye Yancheng, A’jiu, and the girl is Mo Yanxi, Xiaoliu. Mum, I’ve brought them with me so they can meet you.”
She looked at her children and said, “A’jiu, Xiaoliu, call Grandma!”
The kids were very obedient today and called out loudly, “Hi Grandma!”
Xia Xinsheng happily pulled them into a hug. Guan Zixuan had been sitting in a corner when he suddenly got reminded of something else. “Mum, didn’t Brother return home last night? Where did he go?”
Xia Xinsheng frowned when Guan Zijue was mentioned. She told him that Guan Zijue went out earlier in the day to run some errands.
Guan Zixuan nodded and did not pursue further.
Ye Zhongjue watched as the ladies chatted with one another. The kids were also very obedient today.
Guan Zixuan couldn’t understand why his brother had left so early in the morning when he just returned last night, and he couldn’t help but wonder if his brother was facing any issues.
What Guan Zixuan did not know was that his suspicion was spot on.
What happened was that Guan Zijue saw a painting in a newspaper article, which then seemed to have affected him greatly.
He found out that the painting would be presented at an art exhibition held in Beijing today, which was why he rushed back home and headed out early in the morning.
Guan Zijue headed for Emperor’s City’s Art Hall, where the exhibition was being held today.
He arrived and made his way up to the second floor unhurriedly.
There was nobody in the hall at such an early time.
He scanned through the pieces of art as he continued walking through the exhibition, finally stopping right in front of the painting that had caught his attention in the newspaper.
The name of the piece was ‘Bloody’. There was only the side profile of a man in the painting, and the entire piece seemed to have been dipped in a blood red. A dark red was used as the background and one could see something that looked like a lightning bolt in the sky which seemed to have been imbued with a menacing aura.
This painting looked extremely familiar to Guan Zijue and it reminded him of a little boy he met when he was younger.
Guan Zijue was only seventeen at the time and he was still a cadet at the West Point Military Academy in the United States.
Nobody knew of his past at the academy, and no one knew what happened to the seventeen-year-old Guan Zijue who left the academy. He only returned to Emperor City when he turned eighteen.
Guan Zijue never talked about what happened during his time at the academy, but this particular painting reminded him of what happened when he was eighteen.
After leaving the military academy, he stumbled into underground fighting rings in the United States, where everyone seemed to bet their life on every fight.
At that time, Guan Zijue met a twelve-year-old boy called Pingan.
The boy told him that his name was ‘Pingan’ and it might have been because they were both Chinese that Guan Zijue wanted to protect this frail-looking little boy he just met. He would take Pingan’s place every time it was the boy’s turn to fight.
Over time, others started realizing that he was actually protecting Pingan by doing that. Even so, no one confronted him on it.
Pingan disappeared one day and Guan Zijue could not find the boy no matter how far he looked.
There were some who told him that Pingan had been taken away by others, but no one knew who they were.
Guan Zijue wanted to wait for Pingan to reappear, but he realized that it was pointless for him to continue waiting any longer after three months.
He thus returned to Emperor City and accepted whatever his father had arranged for him. His aim was to get stronger and find Pingan one day.
As time passed, finding Pingan had become something of an obsession of his.
It was brotherly love between him and Guan Zixuan, but his relationship with Pingan was somewhat different.
The painting, ‘Bloody’, brought him back to that very year where it seemed as if the entire sky was painted red, suffocating everyone beneath it.
Guan Zijue wondered if it was guilt that made him so obsessed with finding Pingan over the years.
He simply stood there unmoving as he ruminated in silence.Previous Chapter Next Chapter