Li Xinwen was more than satisfied with dinner. It was even more remarkable than the dishes they ate during lunch. They were all gathered in the living room watching television. He sat on the sofa with Sun Xiao and Mother Li, while Jinghua and Xue Rui sat together on the adjacent sofa. They were watching people performing inside a wide invention of some sort. Li Xinwen was in awe.
‘How did those people fit inside? How are they able to move? What sort of divination was performed? This is what they call television…’ he stared intently, fascinated but at the same time cautious so as not to give away that he was not the mortal Li Xinwen.
Out of curiosity, he searched through the original’s memory and found that it was not due to some sort of divination or magic. There was a science to the projection. Nevertheless, Li Xinwen found it fascinating.
While Li Xinwen watched intently, Xue Rui was also curiously watching him from Li Jinghua’s side.. He stared at Li Xinwen with an expectant look and a growing impatience.
“Xinwen, are you not going to open the gift I brought you?” Xue Rui asked.
“Hn? The gift! Yes… I will open it later, Rui-ge…” directing his gaze from the television to the cabinet where the two gifts sat side by side. There Li Xinwen finally noticed the gathering spiritual energy around the gifts. His eyes widened but he caught himself so as not to arouse any suspicion.
Jinghua silently observed the interaction and thought to herself ‘What could be so important inside that box that Xue Rui keeps pushing Ah’Wen.” A sigh escaped her.
Xue Rui was about to push further when Li Jinghua cut him off. “What are you anxious for? If Ah‘Wen says he’ll open it later, he’ll open it later. There’s no need to rush him,” she said, facing Xue Rui with a sharp expression which silenced any further attempts from him.
Li Xinwen quickly glanced at the two from his vantage point. Although they appeared to be getting along, for some reason Li Xinwen sensed hostility between them.
“I thought they had already reconciled? What is actually going on between these two…” Li Xinwen wondered.
Wanting to keep his ego intact, Xue Rui decided to tease Li Jinghua. “What about you Hua-er, do you like the gift I brought you?”
‘If I was still the same Jinghua from the past, I would have been elated and overjoyed at the thought that he brought me such a precious gift. But that’s all in the past, now it’s just annoying,’ she thought. Li Jinghua shook her head slightly at Xue Rui’s question but bit her tongue to suppress her disgust and to play along.
She opened the box and took out an elaborately decorated pair of hairpins. They looked antique but were in great condition. “These are beautiful, Rui-gege,” she said, smiling while trying one on. “Does it suit me? Do I look pretty?” she asked, forgetting her annoyance for a moment.
“Thank you for the gift, Rui,” she said sincerely. All the while Jinghua was already calculating how much the pins would sell for. ‘Knowing Xue Rui, the gifts he’d usually buy costs at least 10,000 yuan. It may not be much considering the preparations required to survive the impending apocalypse. But as they say, meat is still meat whether it comes from a cow or mosquito.’
In spite of his suspicions as to the status of their relationship, Li Xinwen decided to let it go after seeing their exchange. Li Xinwen returned his gaze towards the boxes on top of the cabinet, keeping a close eye on the gathering spiritual energy.
Without anyone noticing, Sun Xiao had apparently gone to the kitchen and returned with a glass of water and Li Xinwen’s medicine packet.
“Xin-gege… it’s time for your medicine,” Sun Xiao reminded Li Xinwen, who eyed the medicine packet with disdain as he remembered its bitter aftertaste.
“Ah‘Xiao… Ge isn’t feeling any pain at the moment. Can we forgo the medicine for today?” Li Xinwen implored. “Ge has been taking medicine for the past two months while confined at the hospital,” he said, his eyes pleading.
“Nonsense! Take your medicine Ah‘Wen,” Li Jinghua reprimanded Li Xinwen.
Mother Li, who had a soft spot for her son, interjected “Hua-er… Ah‘Wen has already experienced enough and he said that he is feeling fine. Why don’t we let him forgo his medicine for today and trust him with his body? After all, he knows his body better than anyone else,” she said, softly appealing to Li Jinghua while patting Li Xinwen’s arm as if assuring him that she was on his side.
Li Jinghua stared at their mother with a look of surprise that she was actually tolerating such childish behaviour from Li Xinwen. She looked over at Sun Xiao as if asking the boy to side with her, but as expected, Sun Xiao was still only a child. She gave Li Xinwen a stern look like a mother scolding her child.
“Alright then. But if you show even the slightest discomfort or pain I will personally shove the medicine down your throat,” Li Jinghua declared.
Li Xinwen responded with a nod. It was the first time Li Xinwen saw Li Jinghua all worked up. An angry Li Jinghua was scary and the look she gave him made his hair stand on end.
As if to break the tension in the room, Xue Rui decided to join in the conversation. “Or you can just let me feed Xinwen his medicine. I have plenty of ways to ‘coax’ Xinwen,” he let out a playful laugh after suggestively wetting his lips. Li Jinghua rolled her eyes at this sight and Li Xinwen shook his head in disgust cursing under his breath.
‘Damn this pervert!’