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“Why aren’t you eating?” Cui Dingchen looked at Xu Fan and asked.
Xu Fan flattened his small mouth as he breathlessly tilted his head side to side, ignoring Cui Dingchen.
What did that mean?
What was this kid doing?
Cui Dingchen looked at Xu Zhao with confusion.
Xu Zhao explained sheepishly, “He prefers to eat meat.”
“Children who eat meat at night won’t be able to digest it easily. Just let him eat the white porridge,” Cui Dingchen said very naturally.
“It’s okay to eat a bit of meat,” Xu Zhao spoke up for Xu Fan. “Moreover, it’s still a while before bedtime. Once we get home, he’ll also run to Da Zhuang’s house to play, so it’ll be fine if he eats a bit.”
Cui Dingchen thought for a moment, then asked, “Will it really be okay?”
“It’s really fine,” Xu Zhao said again.
Cui Dingchen relaxed and said, “Then let him eat.”
Xu Zhao pulled the seat Xu Fan was sitting on and slowly pulled Xu Fan to his side. “Don’t be mad and turn around. You can eat some meat,” he said.
Xu Fan turned around to look at Cui Dingchen and saw that Cui Dingchen wasn’t looking back at him or stopping him from eating meat. Therefore, he happily said to Xu Zhao, “Daddy, I want a big piece of meat.”
“You can’t eat big pieces,” Xu Zhao said.
“Why not?” Xu Fan stared at the fragrant lamb chop.
“If you eat the big piece, what will your Second Grandpa Cui and I eat?”
“Fine, then I want to eat a small piece of meat,” Xu Fan said as his small finger pointed at the delicious fragrant lamb chop.
“Sure, I’ll give you a small piece of meat to eat.”
And so, Xu Zhao served Xu Fan a small piece of lamb chop, having him sit by his side and gnaw on it.
Before the meal, Xu Zhao had thought that having a meal with Cui Dingchen would be awkward. And in fact, it really was very awkward since Cui Dingchen didn’t speak while he ate. He quietly ate his food and would occasionally serve some dishes to him. He was very good at taking care of others.
Fortunately, Xu Fan was there to ease the atmosphere, and the awkward atmosphere didn’t linger long before calming down. Occasionally, Cui Dingchen would also serve dishes to Xu Fan.
Xu Fan wasn’t actually a picky eater. He just really liked to eat meat. Once he had meat, he would quietly eat other things as well, and so he had finished the white porridge and egg as well. He ate until his small mouth was covered in oil. Xu Zhao brought him to the restaurant’s sink and used soap to wash his small hand and small mouth. When he came back out to pay, Cui Dingchen had already settled the bill.
“Didn’t I say I’d treat you?” Xu Zhao asked Cui Dingchen at the door.
“Mn,” Cui Dingchen replied.
“Then why did you pay?”
“I couldn’t wait for you. The server was standing there looking at him. I had no other choice but to pay,” Cui Dingchen said.
“…” So that was what happened. Xu Zhao was a bit embarrassed and asked, “How much was it? I’ll give you the money.”
“No need. You can treat me next time,” Cui Dingchen said.
“Fine. I owe you a meal then,” Xu Zhao could only say.
Cui Dingchen nodded and said, “Let’s go home.”
“Okay. Xu Fan, come here. Daddy’s taking you home.”
As soon as they left the restaurant, the shining lights of West Prefecture City came into view, twinkling like the stars in the sky. The difference was that the stars in the sky were silent, while the lights in West Prefecture City were surrounded with bustling noise. Shops and stalls lined both sides of the road, and pedestrians were coming and going. Xu Zhao quickly pulled out a fine piece of rope from his pocket. He tied one end to his hand and tied the other to Xu Fan’s small arm.
Xu Fan was used to Xu Zhao’s action.
“What’s the rope for?” Cui Dingchen asked curiously.
“There’s too many people. I’m scared he’ll get lost,” Xu Zhao said.
“Won’t you be holding his hand?”
Xu Zhao smiled and said, “What if my hand accidentally slips and he gets squeezed away? It’s safer if we’re tied together by the rope.”
“…” Cui Dingchen didn’t answer as he swept his gaze across Xu Zhao’s clean and delicate face and landed on Xu Fan’s small plump one. Did he love the child so much because of the child’s other father? Who was this child’s other father? He was so lucky.
Although the child was sometimes a little teensy bit loud and a little teensy bit annoying, this child’s Daddy was Xu Zhao, who was outstanding and absolutely amazing. It was just that… At this moment, Xu Fan’s milky voice pulled Cui Dingchen back from his thoughts.
Looking over, Dingchen saw Xu Zhao pull Xu Fan towards a stall to buy scallion pancakes. Moments later, Cui Dingchen walked over and said, “Let’s go.”
“Did you not eat enough?” Cui Dingchen asked.
“That’s not it. These are for my parents.”
“Oh, why don’t you buy a bit more then?”
Xu Zhao hurriedly said, “No need. This is enough. Let’s go. It’s going to be busy again tomorrow.”
After getting in the compact car, Cui Dingchen opened his mouth again to ask Xu Zhao, “What will you be busy with tomorrow?”
“Selling mooncakes,” Xu Zhao said.
“Coming to the city again?”
“Mn.” Xu Zhao didn’t hide it from Cui Dingchen since Cui Dingchen was also doing big business. If he (CDC) was willing to listen to him (XZ) talk about his small business, then it would be a blessing. If he could give some constructive advice, then he (XZ) would avoid a lot of pitfalls. Xu Zhao had always been very modest in studying and he could learn from anyone, so he directly said, “Mn. I placed an order with the West Prefecture Food Factory for 500 pieces of mooncakes for now. I’ll pick up the mooncakes from the city and do a trial test in the county town. We’ll test it out at Fan’s Little Shop and this way, we’ll let the pedestrians know that Fan’s Little Shop will be selling mooncakes as well.”
“You’re not thinking of developing into the village, are you?” Cui Dingchen asked as he drove.
Xu Zhao smiled and said, “Yes, the village will be the final destination.”
Cui Dingchen nodded slightly and said, “Not bad.”
“What isn’t bad?” Xu Zhao asked with doubt.
“It’s a very good idea. Your idea isn’t bad.”
Xu Zhao was very happy to hear Cui Dingchen’s praise and said, “It’s just a tentative idea. Implementing the plan definitely won’t go that smoothly.”
“What if it goes smoothly?” Cui Dingchen said.
Xu Zhao laughed and said, “Then I’ll buy some more clothes for our family’s Sanwa.”
Xu Fan, who was originally pressed against the window looking outside, quickly turned his head when he heard his name and said, “Daddy, what is it?”
“What is what?” Xu Zhao asked.
“You said ‘Sanwa.’”
Xu Zhao’s heart softened seeing Xu Fan’s cute appearance. He reached out to rub Xu Fan’s small meaty face and said, “Yes, I said ‘Sanwa.’ I said that when it’s fall and winter, we’ll buy some more clothes for our Sanwa to wear.”
“Okay, I’ll look even better then.”
“…” How narcissistic.
Xu Zhao reached out and patted Xu Fan’s head. When he looked outside the window, Cui Dingchen’s car had just arrived at the intersection to South Bay Village. “Youngest uncle, you can just drop us off here,” Xu Fan quickly said.
However, the small compact car had already turned onto the dirt road of South Bay Village.
“It’s fine. It’s not far anyway,” Cui Dingchen said.
Xu Zhao had received so much care from Cui Dingchen already, and he felt a bit apologetic inside his heart. Moreover, Cui Dingchen had even paid for the meal earlier, so no matter what, he had to treat him as well. And so, he asked, “Youngest uncle, when will you be free?”
“What is it?” Cui Dingchen asked.
“I owe you a meal. Let’s get a meal together when you’re free,” Xu Zhao said.
“Mn, you can owe me the meal for now. You just have to remember it.”
“Okay. You can just let me know when you’re free. In any case, I always have time.”
Cui Dingchen looked at Xu Fan through the rearview mirror before moving his gaze to the front again. The two beams of lights from the small compact car clearly lit up the uneven path before them. The car was affected by the bumpy road and shook back and forth. Xu Zhao and Xu Fan, who were in the backseat, also swayed back and forth.
To prevent Xu Fan from being bumped, Xu Zhao pulled Xu Fan to his side and looked toward the front with Xu Fan. He guided Cui Dingchen inside South Bay Village since it was Cui Dingchen’s first time in South Bay Village, after all. As they looked toward the front, two staggering figures suddenly appeared in their sight.
“Grandpa! Grandma!” Before Xu Zhao could recognize them, Xu Fan called out.
“Is it them?” Cui Dingchen slowed down the car.
Xu Zhao focused his eyes and actually saw the two elders walking near South Bay Village’s main road. The two elders were precisely Mother and Father Xu. What were they doing? Not having time to think more, Xu Zhao replied, “Yes. It’s my parents.”
Hearing this, Cui Dingchen slowly stopped the car but didn’t turn off the headlights and quickly stepped out of the car.
Xu Zhao and Xu Fan followed him out of the car.
“Grandma! Grandpa!” Xu Fan shouted as soon as he got out of the car.
Mother and Father Xu, who had stepped to the side to let the car pass, heard Xu Fan’s voice. They didn’t dare confirm that it was Xu Fan, and the two elders didn’t recognize Xu Fan until Xu Fan ran in front of them. Xu Fan’s mouth didn’t stop speaking as he said, “Grandma, Grandpa! I rode in the big car back! I ate meat today. So, so much meat. I-I even bought a meat bun. I bought two. One for Daddy and one for myshof. It was so good. Daddy even bought pancakes home. It looks so tasty, but I haven’t eaten it yet. I—”
Xu Zhao was worried something had happened at home and quickly came forward and cut off Xu Fan’s words. He carefully questioned Mother Xu and found that it wasn’t related to Xu Zuocheng and Xu Youcheng. It was just that the two elders were worried about Xu Fan and him walking home late at night, so they specially came out with evil dispelling wormwood and a peach blossom branch to welcome Xu Fan and Xu Zhao. Xu Zhao let out a breath of relief. He was truly worried that Xu Zuocheng and Xu Youcheng had bullied these two elders.
As he was asking the details, Cui Dingchen walked over. Cui Dingchen could accept Xu Zhao calling him “youngest uncle,” but facing Mother and Father Xu, he really couldn’t call out “older brother and sister.” Every time he saw them, he would give them a light smile and a nod as a greeting.
In fact, he had called out in greeting to them before, only once. He had called them “Mr. and Mrs. Xu.” Such a cultured greeting had shocked Mother and Father Xu, but they knew that Cui Dingchen was too embarrassed to call them older brother and sister and that was why he had used this greeting. For a greeting that only educated people used, the two elders enjoyed it very much.
At this moment, Cui Dingchen still called them Mr. and Mrs. Xu.
Knowing that the Cui family had taken good care of Xu Zhao, the two elders treated all members of the Cui family very well. Especially after finding out that Xu Zhao and Xu Fan weren’t able to catch the last bus, so Cui Dingchen had made a special trip to bring them home, Mother Xu was even more enthusiastic toward him, wanting to drag Cui Dingchen home to sit for a while and have something to drink or something.
Cui Dingchen kept declining.
Mother Xu just patted Xu Zhao twice and said, “Xu Zhao, he sent you home, so can’t you be more enthusiastic? Invite him home to drink a glass of water. It’s already so late, so it wouldn’t be safe for you to head home now. Why don’t you stay the night? There’s plenty of space in the courtyard.”
Hearing this, Xu Zhao turned to look at Cui Dingchen.
And it just so happened that Cui Dingchen was also looking at Xu Zhao.
Look at Youngest Uncle finessing another date out of Xu Zhou (￢‿￢ )