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Cui Dingchen was about to jump in the water with him, but out of the corner of his eye, he saw Xu Fan move his short legs as he ran toward the ditch without any hesitation.
That little guy!
Cui Dingchen immediately regained his composure and stretched out his long arms and scooped the running Xu Fan into his embrace. He ignored Xu Fan’s yells as he watched Xu Zhao, who was holding the child in the water. He held Xu Fan as he turned around and quickly arrived at the car. He placed Xu Fan down and quickly opened the trunk and took out towels, blankets, and coats.
He then carried Xu Fan again and quickly ran toward the ditch just in time for Xu Zhao to carry the child to shore, both soaking wet.
Cui Dingchen immediately put Xu Fan down and went to get Xu Zhao. After draping the coat around Xu Zhao, he quickly wrapped the child in the blanket and held the child in his arms.
The boy looked to be six or seven years old, and he was completely soaked. Fortunately, Xu Zhao had saved him in time. The boy had choked a couple mouthfuls of ditch water, but he didn’t appear to be unconscious or have any other symptoms. The weather was just too cold, and he was frightened, so his face was pale, his lips were purple, and his entire body was constantly shaking.
The spring weather was still cold, and even Xu Zhao felt this. The ditch had made them feel frozen, and they were very cold. Xu Zhao’s body and lips were also trembling.
“Let’s get inside the car,” Cui Dingchen said with a solemn expression. “Go change clothes.”
“Okay,” Xu Zhao said with a trembling voice.
Xu Zhao and Xu Fan followed Cui Dingchen. They hadn’t walked a few steps before they saw four or five adults along with two boys in front of them. They were shocked when they saw Xu Zhao, Cui Dingchen, Xu Fan, and the child Cui Dingchen was carrying.
After speaking a few words, they quickly invited Xu Zhao and the others to a small courtyard beside the vegetable greenhouse. They turned on the heater in the room as high as it could go and quickly urged Xu Zhao to shower and change before hurriedly taking the boy away.
“Daddy, are you cold?” Xu Fan’s small face was very serious as he asked.
“I’m cold.” He felt the warmth of the heater, and the chill on Xu Zhao’s body decreased, but he still felt cold.
“Don’t talk anymore. Let your daddy wash up and change.”
Cui Dingchen interupted Xu Fan and directly pulled Xu Fan outside the door. He handed the black cloth bag to Xu Zhao. He waited until Xu Zhao had showered and changed before letting Xu Fan inside the room again. As soon as Xu Fan entered the room, he asked again, “Daddy, are you still cold?”
Xu Zhao dried his hair with a towel as he said, “I’m not.”
“You’re not cold anymore?”
“Mn, I’m not.”
Xu Zhao squatted down and looked at Xu. He rubbed Xu Fan’s little meaty face and asked, “Were you scared earlier?”
Xu Fan nodded honestly.
“Did you cry?”
“No, I-I also wanted to go in and save Daddy.”
“Do you still want to go in to save me?”
“Mn,” Xu Fan furiously nodded, looking particularly brave.
“So amazing!” Xu Zhao praised Xu Fan, then said, “But, you’re too small. If you see Daddy trying to save someone in the future, watch from the side. Don’t run around. Wait until you grow up and have more strength before you can come up and help Daddy.”
“Next year, I’ll be grown! N-Next year, I can help Daddy.”
Xu Zhao smiled.
Cui Dingchen also smiled.
Only then did Xu Zhao raise his gaze to look at Cui Dingchen.
Cui Dingchen reached out to hand Xu Zhao the thermos.
Xu Zhao accepted it then poured some water into his own cup. Not only did he drink some, he also had Xu Fan drink some. He didn’t use the cup on Cui Dingchen’s thermos. Cui Dingchen naturally took the thermos cup and asked, “Do you feel okay?”
Xu Zhao asked, “I’m okay.”
Cui Dingchen then asked,” Why did you jump in so quickly?”
Xu Zhao asked, “What?”
“I’m talking about jumping in to save him. You jumped so quickly.”
Xu Zhao smiled and said, “I was afraid something would happen to the child.”
Cui Dingchen looked at Xu Zhao with confusion.
Xu Zhao glanced at Xu Fan, then turned to Cui Dingchen and said, “I was emphasizing. Everyone is reluctant to have their child suffer even the tiniest bit. If the boy had an unexpected death, his parents definitely wouldn’t know what to do anymore. The feeling of being at a loss is definitely very hard to bear and terrible.
“At that time, when I confirmed that Xu Fan was safe, my thoughts were full of quickly going to save that child. In fact, it was also due to my selfishness. I thought, if I wasn’t beside Xu Fan one day and Xu Fan encountered some difficulties, I would be thankful if someone helped him.”
After he finished speaking, Xu Zhao gave Cui Dingchen a smile.
Cui Dingchen couldn’t let out a smile. These were clearly some simple words of truth, but like droplets of rain, it soaked his heart and suddenly gave him infinite power, letting him develop even more admiration for Xu Zhao. He couldn’t control his hand as he reached out to touch Xu Zhao’s half-dried hair. He looked at Xu Zhao with some pity and said, “You’re outstanding.”
Xu Zhao was stunned.
Cui Dingchen smiled. His smile was very gentle. “You’re really very outstanding.”
Xu Zhao smiled and said, “Thank you, Youngest uncle.”
Cui Dingchen nodded and withdrew his hand from Xu Zhao’s fine hair. At this moment, a middle-aged man walked in from outside. He was slightly plump and of average height. He was wearing a suit as he enthusiastically came up to shake Xu Zhao’s hands. He also shook Cui Dingchen’s hand before introducing himself.
This man was Zhu Qingqiu, and he was one of the bosses of the vegetable greenhouses. He was also one of the agricultural specialists. And he was also the second uncle of the boy from earlier.
He was very grateful to Xu Zhao for saving that naughty boy or else he wouldn’t be able to give his eldest brother an explanation. As a token of gratitude, he invited Xu Zhao, Cui Dingchen, and Xu Fan to stay here for a couple of days to learn about the vegetable greenhouse techniques.
Xu Zhao and Cui Dingchen quickly understood. These past few days, it wasn’t that the bosses of the vegetable greenhouses and the agricultural specialists weren’t there, it was that they were purposefully ignoring the two of them. The two of them understood the rules of this industry, so they didn’t have any other feelings about it.
Instead, Xu Zhao insisted on paying tuition.
Zhu Qingqiu said with a smile, “What tuition? If anyone has to pay, it’s me. You saved my eldest brother’s life!” If the child was gone, his eldest brother probably wouldn’t live on either.
Xu Zhao said, “You can’t count them together. They’re separate matters.”
“Why not? It’s decided. You can either stay here or go back home!” Zhu Qingqiu said.
Hearing this, Xu Zhao looked at Cui Dingchen.
Cui Dingchen nodded to Xu Zhao.
And so, Xu Zhao and Cui Dingchen took Xu Fan to stay at the small courtyard beside the vegetable greenhouse for a couple days. Zhu Qingqiu provided all the food and water. Not only that, Zhu Qingqiu actually did as he said. Every day, he took Xu Zhao and Cui Dingchen to the greenhouses one by one. He taught Xu Zhao everything from the structures of the greenhouses to soil texture, temperature, vegetable and fruit varieties, seasonal changes, etc. It could be said that he didn’t leave out anything.
Of course, Xu Zhao didn’t listen to it all for naught. He used the knowledge he gained from the 21st century to give Zhu Qingqiu constructive suggestions. This impressed Zhu Qingqiu and made him like Xu Zhao even more.
Xu Zhao also studied earnestly as he followed Zhu Qingqiu everywhere during the day. He also worked hard with Cui Dingchen. At night, he sat under the light and wrote everything he learned in his small notebook. Not only was this to help him remember the information, it was also to let him analyze and summarize it. Words were densely written inside the small notebook.
When he was almost finished writing in the small notebook, Xu Zhao and Cui Dingchen had already stayed there for a week. He had just about learned, seen, and experienced everything he needed to. He would be embarrassed to stay any longer.
And so that night, Xu Zhao said goodbye to Zhu Qingqiu. Zhu Qingqiu said a few words to try and get him to stay, but it didn’t work. The next morning, he gave Xu Zhao a sack full of fruit. Xu Zhao also couldn’t refuse, so he put it in Cui Dingchen’s car.
Cui Dingchen then drove the car into the imperial capital. He first returned the car to the company, then headed to the hotel they stayed the first night they were there to rest for one night.
“Ah, Daddy. We’re staying here again,” Xu Fan said when he entered the hotel room.
“That’s right,” Xu Zhao answered with a smile.
Xu Fan walked to the bedside, looked around, then turned his head and asked, “Daddy, can I eat an apple?”
Xu Fan had wanted to eat apples the whole way there. Xu Zhao smiled and said, “Okay. I’ll wash it in a bit and give it to you.”
Xu Fan put down his luggage and washed two apples. He gave one to Xu Fan and the other to Cui Dingchen. He then took out the notebook he purchased earlier and rewrote all the contents of the small notebook to the new notebook.
Cui Dingchen asked, “What are you doing?”
Xu Zhao said with a smile. “Making a backup.”
Cui Dingchen smiled back and didn’t say anything anymore. He then watched TV with Xu Fan. Xu Fan was watching TV while Cui Dingchen was watching Xu Zhao. The more he interacted with Xu Zhao, the more attracted he was to Xu Zhao.
Xu Zhao was not a person with a fierce personality, but he always gave others a warm and comfortable feeling. Sometimes, he felt distressed for him. For example, Xu Zhao, who was tirelessly writing in his notebook, had forgotten all about dinner.
Cui Dingchen didn’t urge Xu Zhao. He notified him, then took Xu Fan out of the hotel to buy some food. He bought some imperial capital roast duck, steamed buns, stir-fried vegetables, pork rib soup, and other things. He carried the plates into the room and had Xu Zhao eat.
After Xu Zhao finished eating, he continued writing all the way until the evening when he finally finished. He then gave Xu Fan a bath and changed his clothes. When it was almost 10:30, Xu Zhao finally lay down on the bed. At this time, Xu Fan had already fallen asleep.
The dimp bedside lamp illuminated the corner of the two beds, making the two handsome faces even more beautiful.
Cui Dingchen looked at Xu Zhao.
Xu Zhao didn’t look at Cui Dingchen. After noticing Cui Dingchen’s gaze for a while, he turned his head to Cui Dingchen and asked, “Youngest uncle, it’s already 11. Why aren’t you sleeping?”
“I can’t sleep,” Cui Dingchen answered.
“Why not?” Xu Zhao asked.
“I’m reluctant.” Cui Dingchen couldn’t help but tell the truth.
“You’re reluctant to leave the imperial capital?” Xu Zhao asked again?
“No,” Cui Dingchen answered.
“Then what are you reluctant about?”
“I’m reluctant to leave you.” Cui Dingchen gazed at Xu Zhao with clear eyes.
Xu Zhao was slightly shocked and asked incomprehensively, “Me?”
“Mn. Once we return to Jiang Ping County, I won’t be able to stay with you everyday anymore.” Cui Dingchen’s voice was gentle and with a tinge of sadness.
This sadness made Xu Zhao’s heart tremble a bit and he said, “Youngest uncle— “
Cui Dingchen interupted. “I’m not your youngest uncle, no?”
“…” Xu Zhao was speechless.
Cui Dingchen continued to speak in a gentle tone. “You and I aren’t related. Don’t you know that?”
“…” Xu Zhao knew. He knew very well.
However, Xu Zhao still looked stunned.
“If you don’t know, then forget it.” With a “click,” Cui Dingchen extinguished the bedside lamp, and the room instantly fell into darkness.