Lu Zaizai, who rushed into the apartment, saw the tall strange man in front of him. With his face full of curiosity, the child raised his head while the man lowered his head, and their eyes met.
Lu Zaizai smiled shyly and said, “Happy New Year, Uncle!” Dad had already told him that there was an uncle from out of town living at home. The uncle was so poor that he almost had to sleep on the street.
Qin Zhuopu’s eyes widened slightly, and he actually sounded a little cramped: “…Happy New Year.” He had imagined this meeting, and they finally met. The little sun raised by Lu Ying… was really dazzling.
Lu Ying walked over at this time and put his hand on Lu Zaizai’s shoulder: “Don’t bother Uncle, he is eating dumplings. Go find your toys. If you take too long, your godfather will be angry again.”
“En en en, Uncle, eat quickly, your dumplings will get cold, they won’t taste good if they get cold.” Looking at the dumplings, Lu Zaizai couldn’t help but admonish the uncle who was taller than his father, fearing that he would waste the delicious dumplings. After saying that, he jumped over to the bed to look for his toys. He wanted to take all his favourite toys with him so that he could share them with Brother Xiaotu on the mountain.
Qin Zhuopu sat down subconsciously, picked up his chopsticks and continued to eat the rest of the dumplings.
Lu Ying sat down opposite him, propped his chin and asked, “Are the dumplings good?”
“Yes, they taste very good. The shepherd’s purse is very tender and the meat is very fresh.”
It went without saying that shepherd’s purse was a wild vegetable and you couldn’t buy it at this time of year even if you had money. But there was some growing on Qixia Mountain; Lu Ying loved it, and Zaizai loved it too.
“You should be full, right?” Lu Ying asked uncertainly. Qin Zhuopu’s food intake was normal and thirty dumplings was the amount Lu Ying had considered appropriate. If he hadn’t deliberately saved them, there wouldn’t be any left.
Qin Zhuopu nodded, “I’m full. It might be a bit difficult to finish them all.”
Lu Ying gave an inaudible ‘tsk’, as if disgusted.
Qin Zhuopu was quite helpless. When they used to eat together, Lu Ying laughed at him for eating too little. Obviously, he was the one who ate too much and had no idea what he was doing. He laughed at Lu Ying in turn, saying that raising him was like raising a pig that was good at eating. Not only was Lu Ying not angry, but he laughed and was very proud.
Lu Ying squinted at Qin Zhuopu. The t-shirt, the thick cotton pyjama pants and the jacket were all his!
He instantly questioned, “Why are you wearing all my clothes?”
Qin Zhuopu smiled, “Your clothes are warm.” Especially warm were the thick home pyjamas.
“Shameless, I didn’t let you wear them.” Lu Ying muttered softly.
“Then I’ll take them off.” Qin Zhuopu made a move to take off the jacket.
Lu Ying huffed, “Forget it, don’t do it.”
Qin Zhuopu immediately stopped and continued eating.
Lu Ying grunted: “They cost a hundred or so and I have worn them for three or four years. Is it possible that my tattered old clothes smell better than your mink fur?”
Qin Zhuopu smiled, “My clothes are not mink fur. To be honest, your clothes don’t smell good, rather…”
“Rather what?” Lu Ying stared.
“They smell like oil fumes.”
“……” Lu Ying was about to explode, “You’d better hurry up and take them off!”
“Uncle, let me tell you, Dad wears these clothes to cook every day, hahaha…So it must be the smell of the kitchen, hehe,” Lu Zaizai interjected, laughing.
Lu Zaizai, what are you trying to do? Lu Ying glared at his son.
Qin Zhuopu lowered his head and laughed.
Lu Ying averted his eyes, his gaze fixed on his son who was looking for toys. He didn’t know what was wrong with him today, but he had actually agreed to go home to get the toys when Zaizai was making a fuss. It was as if a voice in his heart was telling him: “Go ahead, go ahead, take your son there, and if Qin Zhuopu hasn’t left yet, then the two of them can meet.” If he had already left, they wouldn’t be able to see each other, and it would probably be difficult to meet again. Qin Zhuopu was a very busy man, after all, he was in charge of feeding many people, and his grandfather and mother were old and both needed his company. How much time and opportunity would he have to run here all day long? Maybe if he ran too much, the old lady would jump on him again.
His Zaizai was so cute, Qin Zhuopu would love him if he met him.
How could he not like him? He must like him.
Then Lu Ying left his friends behind and brought the child with him. When he opened the door and came in, he seemed to see a bit of tension in Qin Zhuopu’s eyes.
Today was a happy day, and everything he did should be cheerful.
“I’m full, thank you.” Qin Zhuopu put down his chopsticks; there were none of the thirty large dumplings left.
Lu Zaizai couldn’t help but ask, “Uncle, have you eaten a cute piggy dumpling? Hehe, that’s the dumpling I wrapped, oh. Dad said whoever eats a piggy dumpling will have good luck this year.”
“Thank you, I’ve eaten it. The piggy dumpling was extra delicious.” He did have quite good luck this year, so happy on the first day.
Lu Ying lowered his head, fiddling with his phone, as if he wasn’t listening to their chat.
“Dad, I’m thirsty, I want some water.” Lu Zaizai, who was looking for a toy, stretched out his neck to look at his father.
“You wait.” Lu Ying got up and went to the kitchen to boil water.
Lu Zaizai had several toys on the table, and he found a plastic bag and put them in one by one. He was saying some words that seemed to be the names of the toys. The expression on his little face was very serious and focused. Qin Zhuopu couldn’t stop staring at him. Today, this child was wearing a red and black sports suit and up close it could be seen he had long legs and was quite tall. Compared to kindergarten children, he was more like a primary school student, in the second or third grade. The clothes were supposed to be loose but were just right for him. His face was really like two meat buns, and the backs of his hands were white and fleshy, the same rare and beautiful white as Lu Ying’s. He probably didn’t tan easily.
Qin Zhuopu once again marvelled at the power of genetic inheritance.
This child was almost a carbon copy, except that he had more meat than Lu Ying.
Qin Zhuopu got up and took out a red envelope from his briefcase. He had prepared it for the Chinese New Year and it had been waiting for more than a week to be finally used today. The capacity of the red envelope was not much, just 20,000 cash, double numbers auspicious.
“You… Zaizai.” Qin Zhuopu softly called the name, came up to the child and handed over the thick red envelope: “Happy New Year! Uncle wishes you good luck in your studies and grow healthy.”
Lu Zaizai looked at the red envelope in surprise, “Such a big red envelope, oh my goodness, this is the biggest red envelope I’ve ever seen! It’s bigger than my face! Bigger than my head too!”
“Take it.” Qin Zhuopu was amused by his exaggerated expression and comparison.
Lu Zaizai looked up at the uncle, his face lit with a happy smile, but did not rush to take the envelope, hesitantly and shyly rubbing his hand on his waist: “Thank you, Uncle.” After that, he shouted, “Dad! Uncle is giving me a red envelope, can I take it?” Although he wanted it very much, he had never met this uncle before and didn’t know him. Dad had told him that except for the uncles on the mountain he was not allowed to accept red envelopes from adults indiscriminately. Last year he had accepted a red envelope from the landlady auntie. When Dad found out, he gave Zaizai a lecture, blaming him for not telling him in time. And this red envelope was so big that there must have been a lot of money. Dad said that although he received a lot of red envelopes, Dad was responsible for returning the gifts and giving red envelopes to other people’s children.
Qin Zhuopu gently looked at the child in front of him and smiled from the bottom of his heart. Lu Ying’s child was really cute, big but well-behaved and obedient. He had come into contact with many children; there were children from his cousins in the family, and every year the large, spacious mansion was packed to the rafters, rowdy like a teahouse. Most of those children were not brought up badly but were not too nice either. Those under the age of three were still a bit cute, but at the age of six or seven, they really illustrated a saying “even dogs don’t like them”.
Lu Ying, who was looking for tea in the kitchen, pretended not to care, “Take it! Remember to thank Uncle!” Huh, why not take it. He was in a good mood today, so he was not going to be polite (*^▽^*). Sure enough, his brothers and sister were right, your Zodiac year didn’t necessarily bring big fortune, but there was still small fortune. Every now and then you could go buy lottery tickets and definitely would not lose money.
The most money he made this year was from the red envelopes his son earned (￣▽￣)/
Lu Ying paid attention and soon heard his son’s happy voice saying ‘thank you’, his white chubby face blossoming into a smile.
“The red envelope that Uncle gave is so cute.” Lu Zaizai couldn’t stop praising the big red envelope he was holding. The pattern of the red envelope was three-dimensional, with a pair of big golden pigs and a small pig, looking like a family of three. If there was another little piggy, it would be exactly like Peppa Pig’s family.
Qin Zhuopu coughed lightly, “I bought it in Chinatown.” It was worth spending half a day to choose it. The implication was quite obvious; the New Year money was for the child and the red envelope was for Lu Ying to see.
“Where’s Chinatown?” Lu Zaizai asked.
“It’s Chinatown in New York, in America.” Qin Zhuopu answered seriously.
Lu Zaizai was even more curious: “I know America! Superman is American, ta! And Iron Man! And Transformers! Dad and Godfather took me to see many American movies. So it turns out you’re not a native, Uncle, you’re a foreigner. Your home is so far away, no wonder you can’t go home at night.”
Qin Zhuopu listened attentively and replied promptly, “I’m Chinese like you, and I only go to foreign countries for work. Superman… I’ve seen it too.”
“Right? But I like Optimus Prime the most! He’s the coolest.”
“Hmm… I like him too.”
“Iron Man is awesome too!”
“Yeah, I like that too.”
“I also like Ultraman!”
“I like it too.”
Lu Zaizai looked at the uncle in amazement, “Uncle, you like everything. Actually, I also like Peppa Pig, no, no, I don’t like Peppa, she’s a chatterbox! I only like her brother George because I’m like George and we both love dinosaurs! Oooow-” Flashing his sharp claws at Qin Zhuopu, Lu Zaizai howled like a tiger and roared, “I’m the Tyrannosaurus Rex of the dinosaur world! Are you afraid? Ow!”
“……” Qin Zhuopu slowly, slowly… lowered his head: “…afraid.”
“Hahaha, I scared you! Don’t be afraid, Uncle, my dad is the best, my dad is never scared by dinosaurs.”
“……” It must be exhausting raising a son, Qin Zhuopu thought with certainty. It was not easy for Lu Ying.
In the kitchen Lu Ying listened to his son’s lively one-man show and rolled his eyes, especially wanting to laugh.
“Uncle, Uncle, let’s play a game, I’ll tell you a riddle and you can guess it?” Lu Zaizai switched to another game without braking.
Qin Zhuopu sounded full of fighting spirit: “You ask, I’ll listen.”
Lu Zaizai immediately said seriously, “There is a small room that can only be used by one person at a time. Guess what it is?”
“……” Are you teasing me?
“A hint for you, that little room is stinky, hehehe,” Lu Zaizai exaggeratedly covered his nose and waited expectantly for Qin Zhuopu to say the answer.
Suddenly a bit overwhelmed…
“A toilet.” Qin Zhuopu smiled.
Lu Zaizai clapped his hands: “Uncle, you’re great! You guessed the answer at once! I’m telling you, Li Sitian is so dumb, I told her the hint and she still didn’t guess it. I’ll come up with another puzzle, you keep guessing.”
“Go on.” Qin Zhuopu smiled warmly.
Lu Zaizai came up with the question, “Which animal is the cutest in the twelve Zodiac signs?”
“…rabbit?” Qin Zhuopu was very cooperative.
“No, it’s not! Rabbits are cute, but the cutest one is of course the pig!”
Qin Zhuopu smiled, “Why?”
“Because it has more meat! Do you think I look like a piglet? Dad says I’m the cutest.” Lu Zaizai smiled triumphantly.
Qin Zhuopu held his forehead: “Yes, you are particularly cute.”
“That’s it. Dad is a big pig and I’m a little pig, so the Pig of the Zodiac is the cutest.”
“But you’re not pigs.” Only the amount of food eaten matches.
Lu Zaizai argued, “Who said that? Dad is a Pig, and he said that this year is his year and he will have good luck this year.”
Qin Zhuopu thought the child was talking nonsense. How could Lu Ying be a Pig? Then he would be twenty-four or thirty-six years old? Neither was possible. Lu Ying being thirty-six, hehe, how could that be? Lu Ying being twenty-four, how old was he seven or eight years ago then? Lu Ying was exactly twenty-eight this year.
Qin Zuopu hurriedly took control of the conversation. Since he couldn’t answer, he continued: “Uncle will give you a Transformers toy next time, you will definitely like it.”
Lu Zaizai cried out in surprise, “Really? Uncle, you want to give me a toy?” He was so excited that he didn’t even bother with the red envelope anymore and just put it on the table.
Qin Zhuopu nodded solemnly. He bought a few interesting toys when he visited Chinatown, but he didn’t bring them when he rushed here.
“Uncle will bring it to you next time.”
“Hehehe…” Lu Zaizai chuckled in a unique manner, “Uncle, you are good.”
“…… ” Qin Zhuopu looked at the happy child and really had the urge to tell him to stop calling him “Uncle” and call him “Dad” instead… All the worries before seeing Zaizai seemed to disappear slowly during the conversation with the child. Unconsciously, this child who was very much like Lu Ying and was as cheerful and smiling as Lu Ying gave him a sense of complete security.
He was really like a little sun.