Title: ChongFei Manual
Chapter: 171.2 out of 171
The two little children were face to face as they babbled with each other in high spirits. One child was sitting on Wei Luo’s lap and the other child was lying down by Wei Luo’s legs. Ran Ran had just turned one year old and only knew simple words. She had a very obedient temperament and was slightly shy. When outsiders tried to play with her, she wouldn’t say much. But, in front of her parents and older brother, she would frequently laugh happily. Right now, with Zhao Xi playing with her, her limpid, almond-shaped eyes were curved into crescent moons as she bit her bottom lip and giggled.
Zhao Xi held Ran Ran’s hand and asked Wei Luo, “Mommy, can I bring younger sister with me to pick grapes? I’ll peel the ripe grapes for her.”
Ran Ran hadn’t learned how to walk yet. She was only able to stumble along a few steps when there was an adult to hold her hand. Most of the time she would totter a few steps before falling against Wei Luo’s leg. And so, Wei Luo was slightly worried. She thought for a moment before saying, “Let Jin Lu accompany the two of you. Be careful, don’t let your younger sister fall.”
A year ago, Wei Luo had made the decision to find husbands for her servant girls. Bai Lan had been married off, but Jin Lu refused to leave and continued to serve at Wei Luo’s side. By now, Jin Lu was considered an old maid. Wei Luo didn’t want to continue delaying her marriage and had recently started looking for a good marriage partner for her. Wei Luo had taken note that whenever Zhu Geng came over with Zhao Jie, his gaze would always intentionally or otherwise fall on Jin Lu. However, Jin Lu would always lower her head and not look back. Wei Luo had paid attention to all of this and an idea had almost formed in her mind.
Wei Luo had taken note that whenever Zhu Geng came over with Zhao Jie, his gaze would always intentionally or otherwise fall on Jin Lu. However, Jin Lu would always lower her head and not look back. Wei Luo had paid attention to all of this and an idea had almost formed in her mind.
Right now, Jin Lu was carrying Ran Ran and walking with Zhao Xi towards the grape lattice that was across from the wisteria lattice.
After only taking a few steps, Zhao Xi raised his head and saw the person standing by the banana tree. He retracted the smile on his face and immediately showed a proper, serious expression. He quickly walked to Zhao Jie and greeted, “Imperial father.”
Although Zhao Xi was mischievous and lively, he revered Zhao Jie from the bottom of his heart. He could act cutely spoiled and show off in front of Wei Luo. But, he could also curb his natural tendencies in front of Zhao Jie and change his demeanor into a straightforward and composed one. Moreover, he didn’t dare to be so sticky with his mother when Zhao Jie was around. Because if he did that, Zhao Jie would look at him with a cold and threatening gaze. This gaze made him feel odd and it also made him want to timidly retreat.
Later on, Zhao Xi finally found out that it was because his imperial father had been very jealous over what happened when he was recently born. During that period, his mother had always been holding him and wholeheartedly only caring about him. And so, even now, his imperial father would still feel jealous and that was why he would look at him with that expression.
Zhao Jie nodded and asked, “Where are you going?”
Zhao Xi pointed at the grape trellis. “I’m bringing younger sister to pick grapes over there. Younger sister likes to eat grapes.”
Zhao Jie looked at the rosy-cheeked rice ball that Jin Lu was carrying. In comparison to his gaze when he had been looking at Zhao Xi, his expression was much gentler when he looked at Ran Ran. Perhaps, it was because Ran Ran looked similar to Wei Luo, so he would frequently hug and hold her. Today was the same. He took Ran Ran from Jin Lu and scratched her little nose while holding her in his arms. He curved his lips and said a few words to little Ran Ran.
Little Ran Ran didn’t understand what he was saying. She only knew how to softly and sweetly call him, “Daddy.” The milky scent from her body diluted Zhao Jie’s recently irritable and anxious feelings and let him gradually calm down.
Zhao Jie asked, “Does Ran Ran like eat grapes?”
Little Ran Ran blinked her large eyes. It took a while for her pink, pouty lips to stammer out, “L-like… eat… eat”
Zhao Jie chuckled. He kissed her cheeks, “You’re the same as your mother. You’re both gluttonous.”
Little Ran Ran quietly said, “Oh.” She only understood one of the words that he had said, “mother”. But, seeing daddy laughed, she also started laughing and revealed two baby milk teeth. She spread her hands and mimicked his words, “Mother… gluttonous.”
After the father and daughter talked for a bit, as Zhao Jie was about to hand Ran Ran over to Jin Lu, he happened to lower his head and see the other little white radish.
Zhao Xi had raised his little face to watch them. Although he didn’t say anything, his large eyes exuded his hopeful expectation. His little mouth was slightly pursed and revealed a trace of a smile. He was probably thinking that his younger sister was too cute and couldn’t help smiling along with her. When Zhao Xi’s eyes met Zhao Jie’s, he blankly stared for a moment before putting back the solemn expression on his little face. He obediently called out, “Imperial father.”
Zhao Jie slightly paused in his movement, then he said, “You can go play.”
“En.” Zhao Xi nodded and led Jin Lu and Ran Ran to the nearby grape trellis. Although the little fellow hid his feelings well, Zhao Jie still saw the longing in his eyes. He had probably been too harsh towards him during the past few years.
Zhao Xi had only walked two steps before Zhao Jie’s voice stopped him again. He turned his head and swiftly walked back, “Imperial father, is there something else?
Zhao Jie raised his hand, gently rubbed Zhao Xi’s head, and warned him, “Be careful, don’t eat too many grapes. Otherwise, you’ll get a stomachache.”
He remembered how Wei Luo had once eaten too many grapes and ended up throwing up after she returned home. In the end, she had to lay in bed for few days before she felt better.
A light flashed through Zhao Xi’s large eyes and his little mouth split into a smile. His two deep dimples were showing as he repeatedly nodded, “Will do!”
Zhao Jie lightly smiled, “You can go.”
The little fellow ran off while feeling very satisfied. He was so happy that it seemed as if there was wind beneath his steps.
Zhao Jie looked at Zhao Xi’s back figure, curved his lips into a smile, and finally turned around to walk towards Wei Luo. Wei Luo was sitting underneath the wisteria trellis and had seen everything. When Zhao Jie reached her side, her tone was slightly distressed as she said, “Don’t be so strict towards little watermelon. He’s still young. He’ll feel bad that you’re always hugging Ran Ran, but you never hug him.”
Zhao Jie sat down by her side, carried her onto his lap, and held her small hand in his big hand. He said, “He’s a boy. It’s only right that I act stricter towards him. This is the only way for him to grow up to be an outstanding man.”
But, Wei Luo didn’t agree. Both of these children were beloved to her and she didn’t want either of them to suffer. She really couldn’t stand watching how Zhao Jie was so biased. “That won’t do. He’s not even four years old yet. He doesn’t know anything. He just wants you to hug him sometimes, but you always show a stern face towards him. I feel bad for Xi-er just from looking at him. If you continue this, I’ll really get angry.”
Then, she deliberated before adding, “I know that you want to train him to be independent earlier. But, isn’t this too early? Can’t you wait until he’s ten years old? Moreover, he’s not that clingy anymore. He’s only fond of Ran Ran. When Liuli’s little Jin-er wanted to play with him, Zhao Xi would put on airs…”
Liuli had given birth to a daughter two years ago. Her nickname was Jin-er. Every time she came to the palace, she would look for Zhao Xi to play with.