Wen Yu said, “I’m taking a temporary leave of absence from school.”
Ji Anning nodded, confirming that Wen Yu had indeed left school due to family matters.
Wen Yu fell silent for a moment, holding her hand, and said, “My dad’s case may not be resolved anytime soon, and there are many things to handle at the company. In these days…”
“I understand,” Ji Anning squeezed his hand and said, “You don’t need to worry about me.”
“Alright,” Wen Yu said, “the day after tomorrow, I’ll go with you.”
The cremation of Ji Anning’s grandmother was scheduled for the day after tomorrow. After Wen Yu spoke, the two of them sat silently, facing the reality they had returned to after breaking free from the absurdity of the past few days.
Grandmother had passed away.
Wen Yu felt a bitterness in his heart. He couldn’t escape the responsibility for his grandmother’s departure, and the unintended consequences of his actions had caused Ji Anning such great pain.
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Ebyv pbswze bl pyu? Ebyv pbswze bl es?
“R’x psaau” bye yzalyeu clld pyke, yde kv oyp dlkvbla xlydkdtqwz dsa nyryczl sq yzzlhkyvkdt Kk Gddkdt’p pwqqlakdt.
“R…” Tl oydvle vs pyu psxlvbkdt, cwv bkp xswvb oyp qkzzle okvb ckvvladlpp.
Kk Gddkdt’p byde pweeldzu vktbvldle, bszekdt bkp byde vktbvzu.
Fbl pbssj bla blye tldvzu.
Eld Zw nzsple bkp xswvb.
Kk Gddkdt zsolale bla blye, qsalblye ytykdpv qsalblye, bydep vktbvzu nzyprle vstlvbla.
Gqvla y zsdt obkzl, pbl ypjle, “Eld Zw, okzz ol cl vstlvbla qsalhla?”
Ji Anning couldn’t believe she was asking such a question.
In the past, she never dared to hope for a long-lasting future with Wen Yu. She had even made early preparations for their eventual separation.
Similarly, in the past, Wen Yu would have been delighted upon hearing this question and would have confidently promised, “Absolutely!”
But now, having experienced the ups and downs of life and the separation of life and death, Wen Yu sincerely said, “I don’t know.”
“I don’t know if you and I will change in the future, or if we will be together forever,” he said, “but for now, right now, I just want to be with you.”
No promises of eternity and everlasting love were made, but for Ji Anning, it was already enough.
She smiled slightly.
She sat up straight, wanting to tell him something important.
“Today, the person in that very long car, you must be careful of him,” Ji Anning said.
Wen Yu looked at her with a puzzled expression and asked, “Why? Do you know him?”
“I don’t know him,” Ji Anning shook her head. “I… I just had a strong heart palpitation when I saw him. My sixth sense is particularly strong. I felt the same way when I saw Zhao Chen and even Yang Bo.”
Reincarnation was indeed something difficult to believe and explain, so Ji Anning attributed her feelings to her “sixth sense.”
Zhao Chen was one thing, but the fact that Ji Anning mentioned Yang Bo as well…
Wen Yu’s gaze was complicated as he asked, “Do you know who that person is?”
Ji Anning shook her head. She had always wanted to know who the middle-aged man from her dreams was, but she never had any clues, and she didn’t expect to see him today.
Wen Yu took a moment to compose himself before telling Ji Anning, “He is my biological father.”
Ji Anning was shocked.
Wen Yu stood up and sat on the coffee table, remaining silent for a while before sharing everything about his situation with Ji Anning.
Ji Anning finally understood the origin of Yang Yuan’s phrase, “We must not have any fate in this lifetime.”
She asked, “Are you sure? Is that person really your biological father?”
If he was Wen Yu’s biological father, then why did Wen Yu sneer at him through the glass in his past life and treat him with contempt?
Wen Yu remained silent for a long time and then said, “I’m sure.”
Wen Yu had always known that he took after Cheng Lian in terms of his appearance and not after Wen Guo’an. Now that he knew Yang Yuan was his biological father, he could see a subtle resemblance in their facial features, even though his overall appearance was more similar to Cheng Lian.
Genetics and DNA were solid evidence, and there was no need for a paternity test.
Ji Anning was feeling a bit bewildered. All she had were fragments of information and couldn’t piece together the whole picture.
“In any case,” she hesitated for a moment but then continued, “even though he is your biological father, he has never raised you. You should still be cautious.”
She was worried that Wen Yu might not take her words seriously, so she added, “Really, when I saw him, I felt a tightening in my heart, just like when I first saw that Yang Bo.”
Wen Yu’s expression became even more complex.
Ji Anning wasn’t sure what she had said wrong, but there was definitely something amiss.
Unable to hold back, Wen Yu said, “Do you know who Yang Bo is?”
Ji Anning shook her head.
Wen Yu sighed and said, “My biological father is Yang Yuan, and Yang Bo is his son.”
So Yang Bo was Wen Yu’s half-brother from the same father but a different mother!
Ji Anning was shocked and horrified.
With this revelation, Ji Anning’s earlier confusion disappeared. She was now almost certain that Yang Yuan was an adversary, an enemy!
In her previous life, Wen Yu had faced off against these two father and son due to her!
She held onto Wen Yu’s hand and earnestly warned him, “Being a biological father doesn’t automatically make him trustworthy. My father was my biological father, and he abandoned me. When it comes to money, blood ties aren’t that reliable.”
“Wen Yu, let me tell you! Blood relations and emotions are two different things!”
In terms of blood relations, a father is undoubtedly closer than a grandmother. However, her father had left her, while her grandmother never abandoned her. This was because of the emotional connection that comes from long-term companionship, even if the blood relation was closer in one case and more distant in the other.
So, he abandoned her, and from a psychological perspective, it was effortless.
Seeing Ji Anning’s nervousness and listening to her words, Wen Yu smiled with relief.
“Don’t worry,” he held her hand and said, “I understand. I know in my heart who my real father is.”
Wen Yu and Ji Anning had experienced several days of surreal detachment, and they finally had a good night’s rest, embracing each other.
The next day, Wen Yu left early, and he arranged for an assistant, a young man named Gao.
“Little Wen has had me by your side these past few days. If you need anything, don’t hesitate to find me,” he said. He seemed like an efficient and capable person.
Assistant Gao drove Ji Anning back to Huada University Hospital.
Ji Anning went upstairs. The apartment’s door had already been damaged by the firefighters, and the interior was filled with soot and damage. The walls were charred, and the furniture and appliances in the living room were all destroyed.
Ji Anning looked at the grim scene, held back tears, and walked into the bedroom. The fire had spread from the living room to the bedroom, and the glass windows had shattered due to the high temperatures. The thick smoke and flames were discovered by people outside.
The bedroom’s bed was also burned. One of the wardrobe’s doors had fallen off, and the other was charred. The clothes hanging inside were ruined, but the thick duvets stuffed underneath remained mostly intact.
Ji Anning bent down and reached under the duvet.
The bracelet that Wen Guo’an had given her was too precious, so she stashed it in the farthest corner at the bottom of the wardrobe.
The box was undamaged, and Ji Anning opened it to find the bracelet still in good condition. She put it in her bag and then surveyed the room, realizing there was nothing worth taking from the house.
When she and her grandmother had moved from Yushu, they had brought some clothes and basic household items. In their shared life, there was surprisingly nothing left to serve as a memento.
It was as if fate was intentionally erasing any traces of her grandmother’s existence from her life.
Ji Anning stood amidst the remnants of the fire for a long time.
Assistant Gao watched over her at the door and, upon turning his head, found the silhouette of the young girl against the backlight, fragile and desolate, a poignant sight.
Ji Anning went to the university to discuss compensation with Director Xu.
Director Xu, upon seeing her, sighed deeply. Middle-aged and older individuals tend to have a deeper understanding of life, aging, sickness, and death than the young.
After Ji Anning explained her intention, he waved his hand and said, “The leadership has already instructed us not to require you to compensate.”
Ji Anning deeply bowed to Director Xu and said, “Thank you for the trouble this has caused you and the school.”
During that time, she had passed out, and Wen Yu was also quite unstable. The fact that he had been able to take care of her alone was already no small feat. Director Xu had assisted with embalming her grandmother and contacting the funeral home, among other things. Ji Anning was very grateful.
Director Xu sighed again and then asked her, “If you encounter any problems in your future life, you can always approach the school for help.”
Ji Anning shook her head and said, “No, I’ve already decided not to apply for a scholarship for this semester.”
In reality, that was how it was. Ji Anning and her grandmother could not be separated from each other, but without her grandmother, she was free from financial burdens. The money she earned from working could easily support herself.
Right now, it wasn’t yet time for the noon school dismissal, and there were small groups of students scattered around the campus, but most were inside the classroom buildings.
Ji Anning passed by the sports field and saw the students having physical education class.
They all looked full of vitality and embraced the bright sunlight.
Ji Anning gazed at those carefree classmates for a long time.
On the way back, Assistant Gao received a phone call and provided the caller with an address, which happened to be Wen Yu’s residence.
Upon their return, a female assistant brought two people with her and delivered numerous clothing and several pairs of shoes.
As for Ji Anning, she only had what she was wearing, one bag, and nothing else. Yesterday, when they left, she was wearing Wen Yu’s clothes, cinching the pants with a belt and rolling up the oversized cuffs.
Her own clothes had gotten dirty, and she hadn’t been concerned with them all these days. They were only cleaned by the janitor yesterday, so today she changed back into her own clothes, but she had only this one set.
She hadn’t expected Wen Yu to be so busy and still manage to think about these little things.
Ji Anning waited until very late before Wen Yu returned.
She had fallen asleep on the couch and only woke up when he carried her horizontally.
“You’re back?” She rubbed her eyes. “It’s so late.”
“I’ll probably be coming home this late these days,” Wen Yu said. “Don’t wait up for me. Just go to sleep.”
He took a shower, and when he returned to bed with moisture still on him, he held Ji Anning closely without doing anything else, just quietly embracing her.
Ji Anning drifted in and out of sleep and didn’t know how long she had been asleep. She suddenly woke up and found Wen Yu still staring at the ceiling.
“Can’t sleep?” she asked as she sat up.
“Yeah,” Wen Yu replied. “I’m thinking.”
Ji Anning didn’t ask what was on his mind. She lay on his shoulder, forehead against his cheek, and reached her arm around to hold him.
After a while, Wen Yu gently said, “Anning…”
Ji Anning responded, “Yes?”
Wen Yu continued, “Yesterday, my dad gave me a multiple-choice question.”
“What?” Ji Anning asked.
“He asked me to choose, to choose who would be my father,” Wen Yu said.
Ji Anning immediately became alert. “Did you make a choice?” she asked.
“Of course,” Wen Yu replied, “There was really no choice at all.”
“In my heart, there’s only one father.”
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