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Xu Zhao stretched out his hand and took the menu. At Xu Fan’s request, he read the menu out loud for him and Cui Dingchen. After reading out two or three dishes, Xu Zhao would stop to discuss with Cui Dingchen and Xu Fan. In the end, they ordered four main dishes, one soup, and one stone pot. They had chicken, fish, meat, and eggs, in addition to staple foods.
Cui Dingchen looked at Xu Fan, and asked with worry, “Is it enough food?”
Xu Zhao quickly nodded. “It’s enough.”
“That’s good. We can order more if it’s not enough.”
“Sure.” After speaking, Xu Zhao caught a glimpse of Xu Fan’s dirty little hands to the side. He turned to Cui Dingchen and said, “Youngest uncle, stay here. I’m gonna take Xu Fan to wash his hands. His hands are too dirty.”
“Should I help you?” Cui Dingchen asked.
“No need. We’ll be back after washing our hands,” Xu Zhao said with a smile. “It’s not a big matter.”
Cui Dingchen also smiled. “Alright, then I’ll wait here for you guys.”
Xu Zhao took Xu Fan from the stool and took Xu Fan’s small, meaty hand. They walked out of the private room and headed toward the bathroom. Along the way, they passed room 206 and heard laughter from the inside. This attracted Xu Fan’s attention, and he couldn’t help but saying, “Daddy, there’s a lot of p-people inside!”
“Mn,” Xu Zhao replied.
Xu Fan continued to ask, “Why are there so many people?”
Xu Zhao replied, “Because they’re having a class reunion.”
“What’s a class reunion?”
“It’s when classmates gather together to have a meal.”
“To have a meal.”
“Yes. Walk properly instead of talking.”
Walking past room 206, he met the waiter. Xu Zhao asked for the location of the bathroom, then took Xu Fan downstairs to Liberation’s backyard.
Liberation’s backyard was very clean. There were flowers planted next to the wall, and beside the plants was the tile-covered toilet. Beside the toilet was a rectangular pool with three faucets side by side and three mirrors fixed above the faucets.
Seeing the mirror, Xu Fan’s watery eyes lit up, “Daddy, mirror! It’s a mirror! So many mirrors!”
Xu Zhao said, “Three mirrors.”
“Three! Daddy, I want to look.”
“Wash your hands first then you can look.”
“Wash hands then look.”
Walking up to the faucet, Xu Zhao picked up the soap by the pool. He smeared some on Xu Fan’s hands, then picked Xu Fan up and had him wash his own little hands under the faucet. Watching Xu Fan’s little hands rubbing against each other was very cute. Xu Zhao couldn’t help but raise the corners of his mouth.
At this moment, there was a burst of laughter behind him. Before Xu Zhao could look back, he heard someone calling out his name.
Xu Zhao turned back in response. The first thing he saw was the familiar Zhou Xiangqian, followed by Qi Shuai beside him, then Shen Jiayang.
Xu Fan finally met these two people in person. The two didn’t look bad, but Xu Zhao wasn’t interested in them. Qi Shuai was a man who made the original Xu Zhao long over him all day long. He was an existence who was even more important than Xu Fan. Meanwhile, Shen Jiayang was the person who the original Xu Zhao felt annoyance, hatred, and helplessness toward.
They truly were enemies destined to clash!
Xu Zhao put Xu Fan down, took out a checkered handkerchief from his pocket, and carefully wiped Xu Fan’s small, meaty hands clean. Only after that was complete did he stand up and raise his gaze to Zhou Xiangqian, Qi Shuai, and Shen Jiayang.
His gaze was clear and open.
The person standing in front of Zhou Xiangqian and the two others was Xu Zhao, but his features were different. It was like Xu Zhao was a completely different person. This was especially true for Shen Jiayang.
Shen Jiayang was stunned at first, then his gaze involuntarily moved down. The moment his gaze landed on Xu Fan, his pupils contracted. He stared straight at Xu Fan, as if seeing through Xu Fan. It wasn’t until he realized that Xu Fan looked completely like Xu Zhao before he finally relaxed his entire body and turned to Xu Zhao.
Xu Zhao’s expression was calm. He didn’t speak either.
It was Zhou Xiangqian who spoke up first, “Xu Zhao, what are you doing here?”
Xu Zhao’s gaze quickly swept over Qi Shuai and Shen Jiayang before looking at Zhou Xiangqian and saying, “I’m here to eat.”
“To eat? Didn’t you say you didn’t have time?”
“I made an appointment with someone before you.”
“With who?” Zhou Xiangqian blurted out. “Is it Cui Dingchen?”
Cui Dingchen? !
When Shen Jiayang heard “Cui Dingchen,” his expression changed. He looked at Xu Zhao with disbelief and asked, “Cui Dingchen? Which Cui Dingchen?”
Xu Zhao didn’t reply to Shen Jiayang.
Zhou Xiangqian took the initiative to answer, “It’s your Cui Dingchen.”
Shen Jiayang’s expression instantly turned ugly. He righteously looked at Xu Zhao and asked, “When did you and Cui Dingchen get together?”
Xu Zhao looked at Shen Jiayang with a fixed stare. The original Xu Zhou was cowardly, and because his family was poor, he always had an inferior complex. He didn’t dare to do anything against the wishes of others. However, Xu Zhao was different. Xu Zhao wasn’t afraid of Zhou Xiangqian or the others, especially not Shen Jiayang, who didn’t act as he seemed.
Facing the scumbag, Qi Shuai, and the white lotus, Shen Jiayang, Xu Zhao, who had always been gentle, wasn’t gentle at all. Considering Xu Fan was still young, he subconsciously stretched out his hand to cover Xu Fan’s ears, then opened his mouth to spit out, “What does it have to do with you?”
What does it have to do with you?
Shen Jiayang had not seen Xu Zhao for five years. His impression of Xu Zhao was also from five years ago. Back then, Xu Zhao wore patched clothes and was a yes-man. He let people walk all over him. He was nothing like how he was now, dressed in style, looking very handsome, and even acting so boldly.
What had happened in these past five years?
Shen Jiayang was stunned
Qi Shuai was also surprised by Xu Zhao’s actions.
Zhou Xiangqian looked straight at Xu Zhao.
Xu Zhou released Xu Fan’s ears, picked Xu Fan up, and walked in front of these three, passing them.
Zhou Xiangqian didn’t speak.
Qi Shuai was still in shock.
However, Shen Jiayang was shocked awake by the statement “Xu Zhao and Cui Dingchen are together”. He didn’t give up and called out to Xu Zhao with a kind expression, “Xu Zhao, do you know that Cui Dingchen and I spent the night together before?”
Xu Zhao turned around while carrying Xu Fan. He gazed at Shen Jiayang and said, “I know. However, he already told me that he’d never liked you before.”
Never liked you—
All the blood drained from Shen Jiayang’s face, but he didn’t seem to give up. He rolled his eyes before continuing, “Then does he know that you only like Qi Shuai?”
Hearing this, Qi Shuai was shocked. He looked at Shen Jiayang in surprise.
Shen Jiayang looked straight at Xu Zhao. His voice was as gentle as ever. “Xu Zhao, you might not know, but Cui Dingchen has always liked clean men. Someone like you who has slept with others and even gave birth—”
Xu Zhao suddenly cut him off with a shout, then reached out to cover one of Xu Fan’s ears while pressing Xu Fan into his chest to block out any sound. However, Xu Fan sensed the emotions of the adults and dazedly looked at Xu Fan with his small face.
Xu Zhao looked at Shen Jiayang with anger as he said, “Since you are so clean, has he ever liked you?”
Shen Jiayang was instantly choked.
Qi Shuai was stunned by Xu Zhao’s actions.
Zhou Xiangqian racked his brains for a way to ease the atmosphere.
At this moment, a voice came from the main hall, “No.”
Xu Zhao and the others turned their heads to the sound all at the same time. They saw Cui Dingchen wearing a black sweater. Besides Xu Zhao. Zhou Xiangqian and the others were shocked.
Zhou Xiangqian and Qi Shuai were shocked by Cui Dingchen’s handsomeness and the oppressive aura he carried. Meanwhile, Shen Jiayang was shocked because “it really was Cui Dingchen”.
However, Cui Dingchen didn’t pay the others any mind and walked up to Xu Zhao. Seeing Xu Fan, who was in Xu Zhao’s embrace, he reached out and touched Xu Fan’s head then asked in a very gentle voice, “Is everything okay?”
Xu Zhao said in a lowered voice, “Yes.”
Cui Dingchen said, “Then let’s head inside and eat.”
“Okay.” Xu Zhao nodded.
Cui Dingchen smiled at Xu Zhao and also reached out to gently rub Xu Fan’s hair.
This scene stung Shen Jiayang’s eyes. Cui Dingchen had never treated him this gently. How could Cui Dingchen be so gentle to Xu Zhao? The usually gentle and refined Shen Jiayang could no longer put on the act and called out, “Cui Dingchen.”
Cui Dingchen’s expression sank. He slowly turned his head sideways to look at Shen Jiayang and asked, “What’s the matter?”
Shen Jiayang looked hurt and asked, “Do you really like Xu Zhao?”
Cui Dingchen replied, “Yes.”
Shen Jiayang continued to ask, “Then what about me?”
Cui Dingchen expressionlessly replied, “It’s all in the past.”
Cui Dingchen interupted, “I have already cleared up our relationship, haven’t I?”
Shen Jiayang was unconvinced as he asked, “But why do you like Xu Zhao?”
“I just like him.”
“But Xu Zhao isn’t worthy of you. He has bad style and he got pregnant with another man’s child while in school! The school even—”
Shen Jiayang knew that Cui Dingchen had a bit of OCD, whether it was in life or mentally, so he hurriedly tried to smear Xu Zhao’s reputation. He was completely unaware of how ugly his current appearance was. Even Zhou Xiangqian and Qi Shuai started to suspect that they didn’t know Shen Jiayang at all. However, Shen Jiayang didn’t care about these things. After receiving Cui Dingchen’s warning glare, he immediately shut his mouth.
Cui Dingchen glared at Shen Jiayang and calmly asked, “Have you finished speaking?”
Shen Jiayang didn’t dare make a peep.
Cui Dingchen softly said, “Don’t talk like that again.”
Cui Dingchen’s voice was soft, but the threat was clear, making even the temperature of Liberation’s backyard lower to almost freezing. However, Cui Dingchen was unaware of this, turned around, wrapped an arm around Xu Zhao’s shoulders, and walked upstairs back to room 210. They found a table full of food.
Xu Fan, who had sensed the adults’ emotions, turned his small head to Xu Zhao.
Xu Zhao gently asked, “Are you hungry?”
Xu Fan nodded.
Xu Zhao smiled and said, “Then let’s go eat.”
Xu Fan smiled as well.
Xu Zhao placed Xu Fan onto the chair, then gave some chicken, eggs, and vegetables to Xu Fan, telling him to eat slowly. Meanwhile, he turned to look at Cui Dingchen.
Cui Dingchen opened his mouth and said, “I’m sorry.”
Xu Zhao asked, “Why are you sorry?”
Cui Dingchen apologetically said, “I didn’t handle Shen Jiayang’s matter well enough.”
Xu Zhao smiled and said, “You didn’t handle it well.”
Cui Dingchen puzzledily looked at Xu Zhao.
Xu Zhao signed, calmed down, and said, “The matter of you and Shen Jiayang, it was Zhou Xiangqian who actually told me about it. Because I was too busy, I didn’t have time to tell you. Shen Jiayang and I are old classmates.”
“Classmates?” Cui Dingchen was a bit surprised.
Xu Zhao nodded, then glanced at Xu Fan, who was focusing on eating. He lowered his face and told Cui Dingchen his matters as well, “Shen Jiayang and I were both students from Provincial Agricultural School. It was just that I didn’t graduate. When I was attending school, I liked Qi Shuai, but Qi Shuai liked Shen Jiayang. So the two of us have an irreconcilable relationship. Even without you in the picture, Shen Jiayang will throw his most malicious words at me because it’s become a habit of his.”
Cui Dingchen was silent after hearing this.
Xu Zhao continued, “And he’s right.”
Cui Dingchen asked, “Right about what?”
Xiao Xu praised. His voice was a bit lower as he said, “The fact that I really had a child with some strange man?”
Since Xu Zhao was willing to speak, Cui Dingchen no longer suppressed his doubts like he had before, but took the initiative to ask, “Why do you say a strange man?”
Xu Zhao softly said, “Because I don’t know who the other person is.”