Not long after Lu Zaizai’s eighth birthday, his full brother Lu Xiuzhu (‘cultivate’ + ‘bamboo’) was born. On the day the old man went to register Lu Xiuzhu in the household registration, Lu Zaizai also changed his name. From then on his formal name was ‘Lu Feibai’. (‘fly’+ ‘white’)
The origin of these two names was rumoured to be as follows: the old man himself had picked a large book and then specially asked a great master to choose.
“Why is your great-grandfather and father’s surname Qin, but yours and your brother’s surname is Lu?” The classmate asked Lu Zaizai curiously.
Lu Zaizai grunted: “Then your mother’s surname is Mo, why are you and your sister both surnamed Yu? One of my fathers is surnamed Qin and the other is Lu. There’s nothing strange about our surnames being Lu. No matter what our surnames are, we’re a family.”
“That seems to make sense.”
Not long after, the Qin family held a lively hundred-day banquet for their newborn, Lu Xiuzhu. Among the guests who gathered, more than one or two had their doubts. But the Qin family had their own considerations.
Lu Ying had to say that the birth of his youngest son had instantly brought him closer to the Qin family. He had originally thought that his youngest son would definitely be given the surname Qin, and he himself felt that this would be fair. However, the old man and Qin Zhuopu insisted that the child’s surname be Lu for the sake of the eldest Zaizai not to feel ‘specialised’. Zaizai only returned to the Qin family when he was seven years old, and his origin had always been debated. Now that a younger brother was born, if he were to be surnamed Qin, more people would think that Zaizai was Lu Ying’s son and that the younger brother was Qin Zhuopu’s biological son. The two children were so young, and it would be many years before they grew up and became adults. For now their minds were unstable. Compared to the issue of the surname, the elders wanted their children to have a happy and healthy childhood.
Lu Xiuzhu’s infant name was Dudu. He and his elder brother, Lu Zaizai, looked very much alike, white, fat and tender. If you looked at their 100-day photos, you would see that they looked like twins.
When Qin Zhuopu looked at the comparison photos, he couldn’t have been more impressed. He sent them to his friends to see and they all burst out in a flurry of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’.
After looking at the photos, it was perfectly clear: these two were definitely brothers.
In fact, if you looked closely, you would see that while Lu Zaizai had long, narrow eyes like Lu Ying, Lu Xiuzhu’s upper face was more like Qin Zhuopu’s, with thick eyebrows and deep eyes, and beautiful double eyelids. It was just that now he was still small and fleshy, and his little face was like a bun, squeezing his good double eyelids into single eyelids.
“Come here and look, guys, do they look like triplets?” In the spacious living room, just after dinner, the old man greeted everyone with a smile.
Lu Ying was the first to run over, tilted his head and almost choked on his fruit when he looked, “Is this Zhuopu’s hundred-day photo?”
“That’s right, I deliberately found it in the old mansion. Do they look alike?”
“Very much so!” Lu Ying’s eyes curled in a smile.
Qin Zhuopu also rushed over and was suddenly unconvinced, “I had clear eyebrows when I was a child, so I didn’t look like those two fat balls!” He expressed his displeasure at the fact that his youngest son was so fat that his big eyes were squeezed into small ones. Feeding the little one with a big appetite milk powder every day from a super-sized bottle specially made for the baby was killing his arms! On the other hand, the boy was clingy and sensitive, and didn’t want anyone but him and Lu Ying.
“Hahahaha, you weren’t thin when you were little.” Lu Ying teased him.
Qin Zhuopu was about to retaliate when the baby cried out loudly.
Not daring to delay for half a second, Qin Zhuopu rushed to the pram and skillfully picked up the baby, coaxing and patting him.
Lu Ying had a headache when he saw it: “This kid is too clingy. Zhuopu, you’re going back to work tomorrow, what about the baby?” One month before and one month after the child was born, a total of two months, was Lu Ying’s rest time. Qin Zhuopu, however, had taken a four-month break, including a hundred days after the child was born. In the past four months, the old man was holding the fort at the company.
Now Qin Zhuopu had to go back to work.
The old man couldn’t help. He was happy to take care of the elder child, but he was too scared to take care of the younger one. No matter how much he loved Dudu, he was afraid to even hug him, and his head exploded when he heard the little one crying. Mrs. Qin was even more afraid to take care of the child because she hadn’t even looked after her own son when Zhuopu was little, relying on the nanny, her husband and mother-in-law.
“How about I take him to work?” Qin Zhuopu suggested.
Lu Ying shook his head, “You’re crazy! We’ll have to separate him sooner or later anyway, so let’s try it tomorrow. He’ll cry a few times at home, and when he’s tired of crying, he’ll naturally drink milk powder and sleep, and he’ll get used to it in a few days.”
That was the only thing that could be done.
The following day, Qin Zhuopu and Lu Ying went out to work and the nanny stayed at home to look after the baby. When Qin Zhuopu came home in the evening, he found that the child’s voice was hoarse from crying and his eyes were red. Qin Zhuopu was distraught.
“The baby hasn’t slept all day, what can we do?” The old man was worried.
Lu Zaizai, who was already back from school, exclaimed, “How can you adults be fathers! My brother’s eyes are swollen with tears! My brother is so pitiful, I will take him to school tomorrow!”
“You think you own the school?” Qin Zhuopu glared at his eldest, then sighed helplessly and poked the baby with a smile, “You’re a debt-collecting clinger.”
By now the baby was in his arms, huffing and puffing and sucking vigorously on the milk powder. After drinking it, he fell asleep in the blink of an eye, obviously very sleepy.
When Lu Ying came home and heard about this, he looked awe-struck: “You’re having a tantrum and not sleeping even though you’re getting food and water?” Zaizai was so good when he was little!
“What about tomorrow?”
The next day, Qin Zhuopu went to the office. The assistant carried his briefcase and the nanny pushed a large pile of necessities in a stroller. Qin Zhuopu took the sleeping child straight to the office in a basket. He had come early, and not many people saw him.
The assistant and the nanny quickly made the office lounge look like a nursery.
The nanny then stayed in the nursery to prepare supplementary food for the baby. Qin Zhuopu had already turned on the computer and the baby was sleeping in the cradle to his right. The little one slept soundly to the sound of the regular tapping. It was the same at home; leave him alone in his bedroom and he’ll wake up crying within minutes. Let him sleep in the noisy living room, as long as he is not hungry or wet, he can sleep for a long time.
Ever since the baby was born, he was sleeping in the same room as Lu Ying and Qin Zhuopu every night. When he was hungry at night, Qin Zhuopu was the one who got up to feed him milk powder, change his diapers and wash his butt. He also was the one who bathed Dudu every day. No wonder the little one was so clingy to him.
Unlike other children who only drink milk at three months, their child was different. He could eat supplementary food at three months, and he ate a lot of it. He was a good eater, a good sleeper, grew big and was so well behaved that Qin Zhuopu didn’t feel tired at all with him.
It was soon nine o’clock, and Qin Zhuopu got up to go to the conference room. The assistant said hesitantly, “Mr. Qin, should I take the baby to the conference room too?”
“Oh, if you put him in the office, he will cry in less than five minutes.”
“But… the meeting is loud, will it scare him?”
“It’s fine. I’m prepared.” Qin Zhuopu smiled and gestured to the freshly brewed milk powder and two toys for biting. Turning around, he carried the child to the conference room calmly.
He sat down at the head of the table, with the baby on his right hand side as usual, and the people came in one after another, none of them noticing for a moment whom Mr. Qin had brought in. Only the two vice-presidents who sat next to Qin Zhuopu discovered the truth and their jaws dropped in shock.
The meeting started normally and Qin Zhuopu spoke first. When the microphone sounded, he deliberately stared at the child in the cradle, only to see the child frown a little, smack his lips and go back to sleep.
Sure enough, he was a lazy little pig!
Qin Zhuopu smiled and the meeting went smoothly.
Halfway through the meeting, the child woke up. He opened his bright eyes and stared curiously at the ceiling, then turned to Qin Zhuopu and his little mouth yelled out immediately, “Ah! Yah!” Little fat hands moved around on the quilt.
There was a sudden silence in the conference room.
Qin Zhuopu took it in stride and said, “Sorry.”
He bent down and touched the child’s cheeks. Qin Zhuopu took the child and let him lie in his arms, then he put the bottle into Dudu’s mouth, and the little one immediately began to suck vigorously, his expression incomparably focused.
Qin Zhuopu smiled gently, “You guys continue.”
“…ah, ahem, let’s continue! What did Director Li say just now? Go on, we’re listening.” The vice-president hurriedly agreed, and then Director Li continued the meeting.
The little Dudu who was nestled in his father’s arms drinking milk powder was not affected at all, staring at his father while drinking. The oversized milk bottle in Qin Zhuopu’s hands was very eye-catching, but no one dared to ask. Only when the meeting was over and Qin Zhuopu picked up the awakened child and walked out of the room did some of his older colleagues laugh and say, “Mr. Qin, I didn’t expect you to bring the child directly to the meeting. But your son is so well-behaved, he didn’t make a fuss at all.”
“Oh, he’s so cute.” A middle-aged female colleague looked at the little baby lovingly, “If only my little girl was this well behaved.”
“Mr. Qin, is that a special custom-made baby bottle? He actually eats so much milk powder when he is so young?” Another father asked in amazement, “I remember my son ate 180 ml at a time when he was little… this is too scary, isn’t it?” This bottle must have been 1000 ml!
In the face of everyone’s kind concern, Qin Zhuopu explained, “He has a special physique and was born to eat a lot. The hospital tests all show he’s very healthy.”
The little one rolled his eyes and looked at the unfamiliar faces around him, steady as a mountain in his father’s embrace, not at all wary. Every now and then, he even grinned toothlessly, indescribably cute.
In just a few days, the news that Mr. Qin had brought his baby to work spread throughout the company, and even the office workers in the next building knew about it. Many people deliberately came an hour early just to ‘meet’ Mr. Qin and see if the legendary Mr. Qin really brought his child to work every day.
Unfortunately a week later Qin Zhuopu went on a business trip
And the clingy little baby moved on to his other dad’s workplace.
In the bakery, the nanny took the baby for a walk in the back garden, teasing him with toys, and when he was hungry and needed milk powder, Lu Ying took over and fed him. The baby soon would fall asleep after drinking milk powder, and the nanny would stay in the shop with the cradle while Lu Ying went in and out and the customers came and went. No matter how loud and noisy it was, the baby slept peacefully.
After work, Lu Ying took the baby home.
On the days when Qin Zhuopu was away on business, Lu Ying just took the baby with him. The baby was very well behaved as long as he smelt familiar scents, and didn’t cry or fuss. Taking him to the bakery didn’t affect Lu Ying’s work at all.
On the weekend, Lu Ying was about to continue to take the child to the store, but Lu Zaizai stood up bravely: “I’m off today, I’ll stay home with my brother, don’t worry, Dad, if my brother cries I’ll call you.”
“Are you sure?”
“I’m his big brother! Of course I’m sure.”
“Alright~, go for it.” Lu Ying thought there was nothing wrong with that; in fact, apart from him and Qin Zhuopu, the little baby did stick to his big brother the most.
In the evening when Lu Ying came home, the house was quiet, and when he entered, a gentle smile suddenly appeared on his face.
He saw his elder son lying on his back asleep on the plush carpet in the living room, and his younger son lying on top of his brother, also asleep. Even when Zaizai was asleep, he didn’t forget to hold his little brother’s waist to make sure he didn’t slip off.
Who knows how long the two of them slept like that.
The nanny came up quietly and whispered to Lu Ying, “Dudu was clinging to his brother and slept for almost an hour…”
Lu Ying nodded, put away his mobile phone and took a few steps forward, gently picking up his younger son. Lu Zaizai opened his eyes wide in shock and was relieved to see that it was Lu Ying: “Dad, you’re back. I was great today, my brother had fun with me and didn’t cry at all.”
“Yeah, great. You’re the best big brother ever!”
The baby woke up in Lu Ying’s arms, his little mouth saying ‘oh oh oh’, as if he wanted to talk to Lu Ying. He rubbed himself affectionately in Lu Ying’s arms, arching his bottom a little, his eyes darting around, and when he saw his elder brother he immediately cocked his mouth and smiled happily, raising his little paw and waving it mindlessly in front of his brother’s eyes.
“Hehehe, my brother is so cute! Would you like to see the ball in my hand, brother?” Lu Zaizai smooched his brother’s cheek and the little baby’s mouth grinned even wider.
“Dudu, look what’s in your brother’s hand? Do you want it or not? Come on, let’s chase after your brother~”
Lu Ying carried the baby and chased after Lu Zaizai, the three of them frolicking in the living room, their cheerful laughter echoing non-stop.
Qin Zhuopu came home to see his happy family, and his tiredness from the trip was swept away. He had been fortunate in his life, but never in his wildest dreams had he thought he could be so happy. Lu Ying, the children, the arrival of each and every one of them, the company of each and every one of them, multiplied his happiness.
In a blink of an eye, Dudu went to kindergarten and Lu Zaizai became a junior middle school student, still a fat teenager. As his own brother, Xiao Dudu was also a fat boy, good at eating and drinking. In kindergarten he was the fastest runner, the highest jumper, the biggest eater and the self-proclaimed smartest.
However, Dudu was really smarter than his brother. Zaizai was good at everything but maths. Dudu was different. He had completely inherited his grandfather’s and Qin Zhuopu’s talent for mathematics and was very good at it. Coupled with his excellent memory, he was almost an exemplary primary school tyrant.
But this primary school tyrant also had his moments of distress, like the parent-child sports day held at school!
His president dad specially took time off work to come over, preparing to race against the other parents with his son on his back.
But the younger son was very ungrateful: “Can you run with me on your back? Can you run fast? Why doesn’t my dessert dad come over? Last year, he came and we won first place in one go. But you’re so slow, you can’t match my dessert dad, you can’t match my brother, you can’t even match me… You’re only a little faster than Grandma and two points faster than Great-grandpa!”
Facing the disgust and complaints of his younger son, Qin Zhuopu was struck by a sword in his chest and gritted his teeth, “Don’t sell me short when you’ve got the advantage, do you know how much money I have to lose by taking a day off? Your dessert dad has to attend a baking competition today, so he can’t take care of you, heh. I’m telling you, Lu Dudu, you have no choice but to rely on me today!”
“Humph, then if you lose, what about my face? I’m the ‘Little Prince Lightning of the School’!” Lu Dudu had a smug look on his face.
Qin Zhuopu was so angry that he reached out and pinched his son’s chubby face: “Even if I’m slow, I’m still your father. Hold your tongue whether you like it or not.” In the family’s sports field, he was at the bottom of the pile, unable to compete even if he lifted iron for the rest of his life.
Lu Dudu sighed, “I’m going to ask the teacher if we can change the rules of the competition.”
“How do you want to change them?” Qin Zhuopu was curious. His little son was very smart and had a lot of whimsical ideas, but often spoke out of turn, making him and Lu Ying quite angry. And he had a lot of personality at a young age. Because of him, Qin Zhuopu had already carried fruit to other people’s homes several times to make apologies. He suspected that the reason the elder son was so well behaved and sweet was that he had piled up all his rebellion and bad temper on the younger one! This brat was here to torment him.
Lu Dudu said rightfully, “Since it’s a parent-child sports day, it’s fine as long as it’s parent-child. So if I run with you on my back instead, I’m sure it’s fine!”
“???” I am your father! I want to vomit blood.
Just when Qin Zhuopu was scared that his son would actually carry him on his back, Lu Zaizai came to the rescue!
Qin Zhuopu let out a fierce sigh of relief; his face was saved today.
“Big Brother!” Dudu happily threw himself into Lu Zaizai’s arms, a far cry from his ‘dad can’t run’.
Lu Zaizai laughed: “I knew you would definitely need me to come, Dad can’t run fast at all! Don’t worry, Dudu, I will take you to the championship today! ”
“Big Brother is the best! ”
Qin Zhuopu: “……”
Why did he take time off work to come over to be disliked by his two sons? When Lu Ying returned, he would definitely complain. Let Lu Ying deduct the younger son’s dessert for three days! Forget it, just deduct it for one day.
Carried on his back by his big brother Zaizai, little brother Lu Dudu was expectedly the winner of the parent-child sports day. The fat big brother was carrying his fat little brother on his back, and they were the most eye-catching on the track as they ran like the wind.
Qin Zhuopu was responsible for taking photos of the whole event, capturing the wonderful moments of his sons, who were his greatest pride not only at this moment but in this life.
Time flies. The university entrance exams were over and Lu Zaizai was admitted to Guanlan University, along with his father Lu Ying.
Lu Zaizai, who had been studying step by step, was very calm, but Lu Ying, who had worked hard for years, was not. The moment Lu Zaizai got the notification letter, he let out an ‘oh’. But his father, Lu Ying, cried tears of joy as he held the notification letter. Unlike his son, who just had to study, he needed to balance work and family, so it was not easy for him to get admitted. It had always been one of his dreams to go to university.
The two of them spent four years of their university life in a low-key manner, and no one knew they were father and son until years after they graduated!
At that time, Lu Zaizai had already gotten his PhD and founded a technology company specialising in intelligent machinery. The company’s ‘intelligent assistant robot’ became an instant success and was renowned worldwide, and Lu Zaizai personally and his team had won various awards at home and abroad. Lu Zaizai was young and impeccably handsome, and when he was exposed in the media, he caused an immediate sensation, with countless avid fans on the internet.
Interviewed by the media upon his return to China, Lu Zaizai was extremely handsome and had a bright smile. “The name ‘Gemini Technology’, as everyone guessed, comes from my family. I have a brother eight years younger than me, who is a little genius. He beats me in maths and is already a PhD student. I was short of money when I was researching and founding my company, and he took out his savings of many years to support me through the difficulties. That’s how we came to have the current ‘Gemini Technology’.”
“You heard me right, it was indeed just New Year’s money. I’m not the self-made Jack Lu (CEO and founder of Wanchain) who started from nothing, as rumoured on the internet. I don’t have any tasty inspirational chicken soup. I accumulated a lot of experience of failure before setting up my technology company. Once my dad gave me a toy company, which then went bankrupt in my hands. Then he gave me a snack company, which went bankrupt. Great-grandpa gave me a car company, which was acquired by someone else. Grandma gave me a cultural media company, which I sold cheaply. Even the dessert shop that my other dad gave me was shut down.”
“Hey, fortunately, I still had my brother to support me and trust me. He helped me unconditionally when I was obsessed with machinery and didn’t hesitate to take out his savings when I set up ‘Gemini Technology’.”
“My family situation? That’s right, I have two fathers, one called Qin Zhuopu and one called Lu Ying. My great-grandfather is already a centenarian and his name is Qin Guanhai. If my technology company closes down, I’ll have to go home and inherit Guanhai Group.”
Overnight, countless fan girls crowded Lu Zaizai’s Weibo, calling him ‘husband’ while on Qin Zhuopu’s Weibo they called him ‘father-in-law’.
On the sofa at home, Lu Ying covered his face in fear: “Fortunately, I am not registered on Weibo. I don’t like people calling me father-in-law!”
I don’t like it either! Qin Zhuopu’s heart felt stuffy.
Lu Xiuzhu sighed: “It doesn’t matter if you’re a father-in-law or whatever, the point is, I don’t have money to eat now, what should I do?”
Qin Zhuopu smiled: “You’ll inherit Guanhai Group, and you’ll be in charge of all the money from now on. Good boy, it’s time for Dad to retire.”
At that time, his elder son Lu Zaizai was already thirty years old, and as his dads, they were certainly not young.
But luckily for them, this was the year they finally waited for their belated marriage.
The domestic same-sex marriage law was successfully passed, ushering in a new and bright life.
The two, who had finally received their marriage certificate, had a grand, serious wedding. With the permission of the hosts, the wedding was broadcast live by the media. It was undoubtedly a special wedding, and the two masters, whose elder son was thirty years old, looked almost as young as their sons. The four members of the family stood together like a family of brothers. The unbelievably handsome appearance of the four made countless people scream and lick their screens.
As the wedding proceeded, a pair of flower girl robots carried the rings and handed them over to the masters, who exchanged the rings. Amidst the blessings, they looked at each other and smiled, their palms clasped tightly with the rings on.
To hold my husband’s hand for all eternity.
Lu Ying: It’s all over.
Mr. Qin: We won’t be appearing in the future.
Zaizai: Our good life will continue.
Dudu: So will your good life.
Lu Ying: Good luck in the Year of the Pig (*^▽^*)
Translator’s note: The story is over. I felt very happy when I translated it, spending every day with Lu Ying, Qin Zhuopu and Zaizai. Thank you, Blood and Reading Danmei, for your comments and support! 🙂
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