Chapter 31

       In order to facilitate the check through, Li Zhenran specially asked someone to buy a new pet cage for Li Zhenruo. After getting off the plane, he did not release Li Zhenruo from the pet cage and had been carrying the cage to the car.

       Hua Yibang asked Li Zhenran where to return. Li Zhenran told the driver to drive him directly back to Li’s house. As for the things in the apartment, he asked Hua Yibang to help him pack those back.

       Li Zhenruo lay quietly inside the cage, he has not yet gathered his mood.

       However, when the car had just left the airport and was about to hit the highway, Li Zhenran answered the phone. He calmly said “Um” twice, then hung up the phone and said to Hua Yibang, “Dad is back today.”

       Hua Yibang was taken aback. He turned his head and asked, “Mr. Li Senior is back today? Why is it so sudden?”

       Li Zhenruo suddenly raised his head and his mind became active. He wondered why Li Jianglin came back suddenly? Could it be because of the phone call he made to Zhu Kai? Since Zhu Kai told Li Jianglin about it, so he came back to personally catch Li Zhenzi and Wen Chun’s adultery? Or did Li Jianglin abruptly decide to come back from the coast because there was something wrong with his physical condition?

       As Hua Yibang asked Li Zhenran, Li Zhenruo couldn’t help but pricked up his ears and listened carefully.

       But unexpectedly Li Zhenran only said one sentence, “I don’t know.”

       Hua Yibang was silent for a moment and then asked again, “I wonder when Mr. Li Senior decided to come back. How come he only informed you now?”

       Li Zhenruo thought Hua Yibang was a real sweetie, as he helped him to ask all the questions he wanted to ask.

       However Li Zhenran was not cute at all, and still replied, “I don’t know.” And in order to satisfy Hua Yibang’s curiosity, he still said one more sentence, “The call is from eldest brother, and dad’s plane is in the afternoon. Eldest brother will pick him up.”

       Hua Yibang asked softly, “Are you going?”

       Li Zhenran said, “I won’t go. I just came back from Qijiang. Dad knows about it.”

       It could be said that Li Jianglin knew about every single thing they did in Yunlin.

       Hua Yibang heard the words and said, “That’s good. Just go back and rest for a while, you’ve worked hard too.”

       Back at Li’s house, Wang Ma was standing at the gate waiting for them early. She took the cage that Li Zhenran handed over, put it on the coffee table, and released Li Zhenruo.

       Li Zhenruo walked out slowly and shook his fur.

       Wang Ma hugged him and kissed him, and said, “Dumpling, I haven’t seen you for a long time.”

       After Li Zhenran came in, Wang Ma said to him, “Your father is coming back today.”

       “I know,” Li Zhenran nodded.

       Wang Ma lowered her voice and said, “I’m afraid your father doesn’t like cats. I thought you were going to foster it outside for the time being.”

       As he heard Wang Ma’s words, Li Zhenruo also remembered that Li Jianglin didn’t like small animals very much. When he was a child, he wanted to keep a dog, but Li Jianglin didn’t allow him to keep it.

       However two years ago, Zhu Kai brought back a small golden retriever from outside, but Li Jianglin didn’t object to him raising it. This time, Zhu Kai accompanied Li Jianglin to the coast to recuperate. He took his dog there, and Li Jianglin didn’t seem to display any displeasure at all.

       Li Zhenruo always thought that if only Li Jianglin didn’t let Zhu Kai touch Yunlin’s business, he would definitely suspect that Zhu Kai was his biological son.

       When Li Zhenran heard what Wang Ma said, he didn’t seem to care much, “It doesn’t matter,” he just said that and walked towards the upstairs room.

       Li Zhenruo subconsciously wanted to catch up to Li Zhenran. Just as he jumped off the tea table, he thought to himself what he was chasing after. It’s not like he was rushing to make a fool of himself. After chasing for two steps, he turned and walked towards the dining room.

       In the afternoon, Li Zhenruo stayed on the first floor. As Wang Ma knitted a sweater while watching TV, he lay on the sofa’s arm to accompany Wang Ma.

       It was only four o’clock when Li Zhenzhi came back from outside.

       This was really rare. Li Zhenzi seldom ate dinner at home, and even if they wanted to come back, most of them usually came back in time for dinner at six o’clock.

       As soon as he entered the door, he saw Li Zhenruo lying on the sofa, and said with a smile, “I thought the second brother had eloped with the cat.”

       Wang Ma scolded him, “What a nonsense.”

       Li Zhenzi still smiled and said, “The other day he took the cat on vacation and didn’t bring it back, I thought he had secretly taken the cat and thrown it away.”

       Li Zhenruo glanced at him and didn’t bother to pay attention to him at all.

       At this time, Li Zhenran slowly came downstairs wearing slippers and cotton trousers. He saw Li Zhenzi and asked, “Why did Dad suddenly come back?”

       Li Zhenzi shrugged and said that he didn’t know. He was a little thirsty when he came back. He went to the refrigerator to get some water and asked Li Zhenran, “How is the construction site?”

       Li Zhenran said, “It’s good.”

       Li Zhenzi took a gulp of water, wiped the sweat from his neck, and said, “I told you you are worried about nothing, it’s not going to be a big problem.”

       Li Zhenran put his hand in his trouser pocket, leaned against the wall and said, “What I want is that there can’t be any problems.”

       Li Zhenzi shook his head and patted him on the shoulder as he passed by, “I’m going to change my clothes and come down.”

       Li Zhenzi came back so early to wait for Li Jianglin.

       Li Zhenzi has shown little ambition since usual, but it didn’t mean that he didn’t pay attention to Li Jianglin at all. He definitely did not do less than what he should do.

       Li Zhenruo looked at his back as he went upstairs, and thought that since Li Zhenzi had ruthlessly killed himself, perhaps the indifference shown was just an illusion.

       At this moment, Li Zhenran walked to the sofa and sat down, patted his thigh and said to Li Zhenruo, “Come here.”

       Li Zhenruo glanced at him and didn’t want to go there at all.

       Li Zhenran actually stretched out his hand, grabbed one of his paws, and pulled him over.

       Li Zhenruo was turned over and placed on Li Zhenran’s lap. His first reaction was to roll up his tail to cover his lower body, and then stared at Li Zhenran with wide eyes.

       Li Zhenran glanced at him with the same expression on his face, gently rubbing the fur on his chest with one hand while talking to Wang Ma.

       Wang Ma and Li Zhenran sat down to chat and she couldn’t help but want to ask about Hua Yibang’s situation.

       Li Zhenran answered patiently one by one.

       Wang Ma also added that Hua Yibang was not young and had no girlfriend, and her brows were tangled.

       Li Zhenran said, “What’s the rush? He has been with me throughout the year, and I don’t have a girlfriend either.”

       As soon as he reminded her, Wang Ma passed the buck to him, “Zhenran, you too. You should really think about it. You see that your eldest brother is about to get married, and then it would be your turn. When your father comes back this time, he will definitely talk about yours.”

       When Li Zhenran heard the words, he could only smile without saying anything.

       Li Zhenruo was on guard at first, but Li Zhenran gave him a comfortable rub, and his whole body softened. He looked up at Li Zhenran, and Li Zhenran just happened to look down at him, stretched out his hand and pinched his nose. At that moment, Li Zhenruo felt his heart pounding suddenly, and he couldn’t help but turn his eyes away.

       After ten minutes or so, Li Zhenzi finished changing his clothes and came down from the second floor, and sat down on the sofa in the living room.

       Li Zhenzi saw the cat lying on Li Zhenran’s sofa beside him, and reached out to touch him, but Li Zhenruo raised his tail and stop his hand.

       Slightly stunned, Li Zhen thought it was an accident, so he stretched out his hand again.

       Li Zhenruo resolutely didn’t want to be touched by him. This time, he simply turned over and got up, went around to Li Zhenran and sat down, hiding behind him.

       Li Zhenran naturally noticed this scene, turned his head to look at Li Zhenruo, and saw that he was sitting close to him while licking his paws, so he reached out and scratched his neck lightly.

       Li Zhenzi withdrew his hand, rubbed his wrist, and laughed.  He said, “Ugh, why you don’t want to see me even more.”

       Li Zhenran also smiled and said nothing.

       Li Zhenzi didn’t provoke Li Zhenruo anymore, and he just asked Li Zhenran, “Dad didn’t notify you when he was coming back?”

       Li Zhenran picked up the glass in front of him and took a slow sip of water, and replied, “It’s eldest brother who called me.”

       Li Zhenzi asked, “What do you think it is, why did he come back so suddenly?”

       Li Zhenran shook his head, “I don’t know.”

       Whether he really didn’t know or didn’t want to talk about it, Li Zhenzi didn’t bother to ask any further, he leaned back and put his feet up on the coffee table.

       Wang Ma glanced at him and said, “Behave yourself, your dad won’t be happy to see when he come back.”

       Li Zhenzi stretched himself and said, “Just a final indulgence while he’s not back.”

       After a while, Wang Ma got up and went to make dinner.

       Li Zhenran and Li Zhenzi were left sitting on the sofa and chatting about the construction site of the Qijiang project. Li Zhenruo lay on his stomach and put his chin on Li Zhenran’s leg, feeling a little sleepy.

       Suddenly, he heard a little movement outside, so he raised his head and listened carefully.

       Later, he determined that he heard the sound of a car coming in from outside. He knew that Li Jianglin had come back, so he couldn’t help jumping off the sofa and running towards the door.

       Li Jianglin was not a gentle and loving father, but in Li Zhenruo’s heart, Li Jianglin could be considered as a qualified father. Because he didn’t have a mother, Li Zhenruo was very fond of Li Jianglin when he was a child. So far, his fondest memory was when he fell once as he and Li Jianglin was outside, and Li Jianglin carried him on his back and walked home slowly.

       Unfortunately, this kind of memory was very rare. Most of the time, Li Jianglin was just a strict father, treating several children equally, not particularly favouring one, and rarely showing his warm side.

       Now, he was no longer Li Jianglin’s son. But after so many years of affection, it was not like the feeling was gone. In regards to Zhao Yuqiong, he still had some mother and son affection, but he didn’t want to know who his biological father is.

       Li Zhenruo thought to himself that maybe he still harboured reluctance to part with the glory and power of the Li family. That was why he was so hung up on Li Jianglin, a father who was not related by blood.

       He stopped by the door, and soon Li Zhenran and Li Zhenzi passed by him and went out to wait for Li Jianglin.

       Li Zhenruo saw two cars approaching from the front door and stopped beside the fountain. Li Zhentai got out of the car first, walked to the back and opened the door. He stretched out his hand to fill the gap on the top of the door and helped Li Jianglin get out of the car.

       Li Jianglin was in his early 60s this year, but he didn’t look like an old man. He was still standing tall and straight, his hair was only slightly grey, and his features looked healthy. He didn’t look particularly similar to any of his three sons.

       With a crutch in his hand, he walked slowly and steadily.

       Li Jianglin had an injury to his right ankle. It was not obvious when he walked slowly, but if he walked a little faster, he would look slightly limp. Therefore, after he was forty-five years old, he has been relying on a crutch, and Li Zhenruo was once beaten with it by him.

       After Li Jianglin got out of the car, Zhu Kai got out of the car in front and led out his golden retriever, Erhuang.

       Zhu Kai was tall and thin. He wore long jeans and a black short-sleeved shirt. His hair was a little long, dyed golden yellow and tied in a small pigtail behind his head. He was not very good-looking, but his features and demeanours were very similar to Zhu Yun, especially when he smiled. He looked like Zhu Yun in the wedding photo hanging on the stairs.

       Li Jianglin walked here with the help of Li Zhentai, and both Li Zhenran and Li Zhenzi greeted him.

       Li Zhenran said, “Dad.”

       Li Zhenzhi smiled and said, “You’re back? Did you have a good trip?”

       Li Jianglin nodded, glanced at Li Zhenzi, and walked towards the room.

       And Zhu Kai first untied the dog’s leash and waved to them with a smile as he watched Erhuang running wild in the yard.

       When Li Jianglin entered the room, he noticed Li Zhenruo standing by the door.

       Li Zhenruo was also tilting his head to look at him.

       Li Zhentai said quickly, “This is Zhenran’s cat, it’s called Dumpling.”

       Li Jianglin said “um” and walked inside without saying anything.

       Having just arrived home, after a tiring journey, Li Jianglin did not rush back to his room but sat down on the sofa in the living room on the first floor.

       Wang Ma took the housekeeper to bring up tea for Li Jianglin and a warm towel for wiping his face.

       After working hard in the Li family for so many years, when Li Jianglin met Wang Ma, he said politely, “Thank you for your hard work.”

       Wang Ma said, “What hard work? You guys sit down for a while, and dinner will be served soon. It’s all the dishes that you and xiao Kai like to eat.”

       Li Zhenruo had been standing by the door and did not follow him. He saw that Li Jianglin and his three brothers were all sitting down on the sofa.

       Li Jianglin slowly wiped his face with a towel and then his hands then took a sip of tea from the teacup. He raised his head and asked Li Zhentai, “Where’s xiao Chun?”

       Li Zhentai replied, “Wen Chun has an important meeting today. She said she will come over after the meeting and have dinner together in the evening.”

       Li Jianglin nodded.

       Li Zhenzi said, “Dad, your body looks much better.”

       Li Jianglin replied, “The air is better over there, and I feel more comfortable after staying there for a long time.”

       Li Zhenruo was listening intently to what they were talking about, when he suddenly felt a heavy pressure on his tail, he jumped up and howled suddenly.

       All the people in the room shifted their attention to him.

       Li Zhenruo turned around only to realized that it was actually Zhu Kai who unknowingly walked behind him and stepped on his tail.

       Seeing that everyone was looking at him, Zhu Kai quickly raised his hand and said, “I didn’t do it on purpose. I don’t know why there is an extra cat in the house?”

       Li Zhenruo was trampled and hurt, a little angry and a little aggrieved. He felt that Zhu Kai was probably doing it on purpose because he was such a character who desired to see the world be plunged into chaos. However, as Li Jianglin was present at this time, he couldn’t jump up and scratch Zhu Kai’s face. So he could only stare at him, his tail wrapped around his body, hugging and licking it.

       At this time, Li Zhenran said, “Dumpling, come here.”

       Li Zhenruo was stunned for a moment, seeing Li Zhenran extending his hand towards him, although hesitant, he ran towards him, jumped on his lap and sat down.

       Li Zhenran gently rubbed his tail for him.

       Li Jianglin glanced at them and said nothing.

       On the other hand, Zhu Kai walked slowly behind the sofa, resting his arms on the back of the sofa chair, and said to Li Zhenran, “Zhenran, that’s your cat?”

       Li Zhenran said “Um”.

       Zhu Kai put one hand on his face, looking very interested, “This cat is quite interesting, it listened to you.”

       Li Jianglin interrupted their conversation and asked Li Zhenran, “Did you just come back from Qijiang?”

       Li Zhenran rubbed Li Zhenruo’s tail and replied, “Yes.”

       Li Jianglin said, “How is the situation, tell me about it.”

       As he heard that their conversation had turned to something boring, Zhu Kai was no longer interested and headed outside to play with his dog.

       At five o’clock in the afternoon, Wen Chun finally arrived late. She apologized to Li Jianglin and said, “I’m sorry, Uncle Li, I really can’t leave this meeting in the afternoon, otherwise I would have picked you up with Zhentai. “

       Li Jianglin’s attitude towards her was much gentler than that of his sons. He smiled and held her hand and said, “It doesn’t matter, work is important.”

       Now that Wen Chun has arrived, Wang Ma started serving dinner.

       Li Jianglin was naturally seated in the main seat, while the others’ seating position was as they wished. But today Li Zhenran didn’t bring Li Zhenruo to the table, after all, it was too unruly.

       However, Li Zhenruo’s treatment was still much better than that of Erhuang. At least he could stay in the dining room to eat, while Erhuang could only settle his dinner in the yard.

       After sitting down, Zhu Kai complained, “How come cats can enter the house, but dogs can’t?”

       It was Li Jianglin’s request that Erhuang not enter the house. He told Zhu Kai that if he couldn’t do it, he would not be allowed to keep the dog.

       Li Zhenruo got nervous when he heard this, afraid that they would drive him away, but Li Jianglin just said coldly to Zhu Kai, “If you don’t like it, just take your bowl and accompany it outside!”

       Zhu Kai bit his chopsticks and stopped talking.

       The whole family sat down to dinner in harmony. The father was kind and the son was filial, and the brothers were respectful to one another, but no one seemed to remember that there was once a Li Zhenruo in this family. No one mentioned him from beginning to end.

       Li Zhenruo chewed two pieces of cat food and felt it was a little hard to swallow. He was thinking that after a long time, he was afraid that his existence would be gradually forgotten.

       After he ate some things, he felt that he lost his appetite, and quietly dragged his tail to Li Zhenran and sat down under the chair.

       Li Zhenran had been eating dinner gracefully and slowly, but at this time, he secretly took off his slippers and touched Li Zhenruo’s head with his bare feet.

       Li Zhenruo hugged his feet, leaned in and nibbled at his toes lightly, and then quickly spit out, Blergh, what was he thinking?

       Li Jianglin drank a little wine and his face turned slightly red. He put down the glass and suddenly said to Wen Chun, “I called your father before I came back.”

       “Oh?” Wen Chun quickly put down her chopsticks and asked with a smile, “What did you guys talk about?”

       Li Jianglin said, “We were talking of your marriage with the eldest, we decided to choose a good date next month to hold the wedding.”

       Li Zhenruo suddenly raised his head, but unfortunately, he shrunk under the chair, unable to see Wen Chun’s expression.

       He could only listen to Wen Chun’s voice in a calm tone. She said, “Why are you in such a hurry?”

       Li Jianglin said, “It’s no rush, the last time Zhentai came over, I mentioned this to him, but it seems that he didn’t care about it. I came back this time to help you with this matter.”

       Wen Chun didn’t speak. She glanced at Li Zhentai, lowered her head and took a small sip of soup.

I thought I could update more (*/益\*)
RL works suddenly hit me harder than last week and I still have to figure out how to change something in the site, ehe
I’ll try to update more chaps today since it’s Sunday~

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1 Comment

  1. Sadie Woods

    I do feel bad for Zhenruo. Even if he was a cuckoo in the family nest, he was still raised by them. It isn’t his fault however he got put in this situation. I suppose this is what happens when the sons are viewed as a means to an end instead of family members though…

    Thanks for your hard work translating!


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