12. Soft and Fluffy Youngest Son
YiHan counted the time he had left. News of the move started from around April next year. All of the land to be used by the university were all bought out then. Paperwork was done, and work had started. In that case, the officials might even be finalising everything now.
Bai YiHan laid back down with a hand on his head. He didn’t expect to be able to profit much from this business. Even if he knew about it before others, his brain wasn’t good enough to start snatching food from those realty agencies. Perhaps if he headed to the suburbs around the new university and bought up property like shop lots or houses, he might earn a small sum too once everything was done?
And once construction starts, he could buy some shops there. If he can’t manage them, he could at least rent them out. Before his death, he remembered the market was at the point where even begging for one shop lot to rent was hard. Then, he can just sit at home and collect rent, right?
If an emergency happened, selling them out would net him a nice pile of cash too. And with how capable his father and brother were, the Bai family would have no issues rising from the ashes again. If that won’t do, then at least the family won’t have to worry about food and shelter.
As YiHan’s thoughts spiralled down this trail, his heart began to settle down. The house was too quiet. He’d lain down for far too long and had thought too hard. Slowly, he drifted off to sleep.
He only woke up when Ma’s soft knocks reached his ears. Blurrily, he opened his eyes. Was it day? Was it night? What time was it? What day was it? He couldn’t tell.
With a messy bed head and in blue bear pyjamas his mother had bought for him, YiHan open the door with a yawn.
Ma looked at her own soft and fluffy youngest son and hated the fact she couldn’t just press him tight into her embrace or give him a vigorous petting. Reality was too cruel. As her children grew up, they refused to allow her to pet them. If she did so, this son of hers will fly into a rage out of embarrassment.
Even so, she couldn’t resist pinching YiHan’s cheeks and helped him tidy up his messed-up fur. YiHan was still fuzzy from his nap so he blearily let her did as she pleased.
With one hand running through her son’s soft locks, Ma’s heart melted again. With a voice so gentle that words seemed to trickle through her mouth, she asked, “Are you done sleeping? Go freshen yourself up. It’s time for dinner. Your father, brother and sister are all home.”
He blankly nodded. Once Ma had had enough of petting her son’s head, she happily walked back downstairs. When she reached the stairway, she paused then looked back at him. “Hurry. Also, Mother loves you too,” she tenderly spoke.
Like a fool, YiHan just smiled back at her. He closed the door and continued staring blankly at it. Only then did his scrambled mind began focusing and deciphering what Ma had said.
His father and brother were home?
YiHan stood there, shocked. He wasn’t ready yet. The last memories he had of his father and brother were their angry, disappointed and hurt eyes glaring right into him, hating him for being how he was.
The last time he saw his father was at Grandfather’s funeral ceremony. His father’s forever-straight back was hunched over. His hair was pale white. His looked so old and powerless. And his big brother, whose face was always calm and mature, was filled with sorrow. He had looked so torn up. His eyes were red, yet he continued to stand straight, for he still had to support his parents and siblings.
And he? He didn’t even dare stand close to where the ceremony was held. He could only watch from afar in silence as his beloved and kind grandfather was turned into a black box of ashes before being buried in cold dirt.
With everything that’d happened that day, how could he bear to go downstairs and see his father and brother again? Even if none of that had happened yet?
Ah, right. Nothing had happened yet. Grandfather’s not dead. The Bai family wasn’t bankrupt. His spine was not broken and cracked yet by torture. His family was not yet beaten down to the point of being shamed wherever they went because of that.
He was just the Little Master of the Bai family who had a bit of a temper issue. As long as he was a good child. Over and over, he repeated to himself. As long as he was good, everything that was bad wouldn’t happen.
Voice so gentle that words seemed to trickle…mouth: It’s a very common Chinese imagery. It doesn’t make much sense and it might not be the best imagery in the world but it fits. To be concise, it’d just be described as “soft” or “smooth as silk” in English.