In the IZ office building’s parking lot, a glamorous woman stepped out of her car. She closed the car door, put on sunglasses, and dialled a phone number.
“It’s me. Yes, I’ve arrived… No worries, I understand you’re busy and couldn’t come to pick me up. I can manage on my own.” The woman’s face lit up with a bright smile. “Your assistant is waiting downstairs, right? Okay, you can tell her that I’m the one who is pretty… Hahaha, yes, exactly.”
As she chatted on the phone, the woman continued walking towards the entrance of IZ. She passed by a black SUV and happened to see a man getting out of the back seat, holding a delicate little girl in his arms.
“Tsk, are our men in the country this handsome now?” The woman murmured to herself while talking on the phone. “But why do I feel like I’ve seen him before? Oh? It’s nothing, I’m almost there… Yes, okay.”
Lately, Cen Ning had been quite busy. She had just come out of a meeting when she received a call from her friend Melissa. She waited in her office for a while, and her assistant brought Melissa in.
“Cen Ning! I’ve missed you so much!” Melissa rushed over to her and gave her a big hug as soon as she saw her.
“I’ve missed you too. It’s been a long time.”
Melissa let go of her. “Isn’t it? I thought I could come back from the US right after graduation, but who could have predicted that I would end up working there for so many years? I’ve always wanted to come back. So, this year, I finally seized the opportunity.”
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“R byhl vs vlzz usw, fwpv dso kd vbl ryajkdt zsv esodpvykap, R pyo yd kdnalekczu bydepsxl xyd. R oyp osdelakdt obu bl zssjle ps qyxkzkya, yde dso vbyv R pll usw, kv yzz xyjlp pldpl. R alxlxcla vbyv usw pbsole xl uswa oleekdt rbsvsp okvb uswa bwpcyde obld usw tsv xyaakle vbyv ulya. Mbyv rlapsd zssjp y zsv zkjl uswa bwpcyde?!” Ylzkppy lmnzykxle.
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Gzvbswtb Uld Lkdt qswde kv bktbzu wdzkjlzu, pbl pvkzz plyanble qsa bla rbsvs yzcwx yde pbsole Ylzkppy y rknvwal.
Ohla pkdnl vblu bye y nbkze, bla yzcwx oyp xspvzu qkzzle okvb rbsvsp sq vbl zkvvzl vaswczlxyjla. Fbl pnaszzle qsa iwkvl y obkzl clqsal qkdekdt sdl sq Zyd Dkdtgbk.
“Okay, I probably don’t need to look anymore. It must be him,” Melissa confirmed. “The little child he’s holding matches the one in your photo album.”
“Is it really him?..”
“You could just call him to confirm.”
“Alright, but first I need to take you to see Teacher Duan and sort out your matters,” Cen Ning replied.
Since Melissa was new to the place, Cen Ning needed to make sure everything was settled for her first.
After dealing with Melissa’s affairs, Cen Ning called Yan Xingzhi. She walked downstairs as she waited for him to answer, but before the call connected, she froze.
In the lounge area of the lobby, she saw two familiar figures, one adult and one child, surrounded by a group of staff members, their cheerful voices filling the air.
“Aww, so cute!”
“Can we form a group to kidnap the child?”
“Little Chaoyu, come with Auntie. Auntie will buy you lots of delicious treats, okay?”
The adults were playfully engaging with the child, and the man in the middle sat on the sofa, his gaze following the little girl as she played with everyone. He seemed content to watch her interact with the others.
Cen Ning ended her call and approached the group. Even before she reached them, a colleague spotted her and said, “Hey, Cen Ning, you finally made it down. Your little sweetheart has been waiting for you.”
Cen Ning replied, “I got held up with something.”
“Teacher Cen, little Chaoyu is getting more adorable by the day.”
“Yeah, I want to take her home!”
Yan Xingzhi turned his head upon hearing the conversation, and when he saw Cen Ning, he offered a faint smile. “Are you done with your business?”
Cen Ning walked closer, looking puzzled at Yan Xingzhi. “Weren’t you on a business trip? How come…”
“I got back two hours ago,” Yan Xingzhi explained.
Cen Ning responded, “Then why didn’t you rest at home? Is it because this little troublemaker insisted on seeing me?”
Yan Xingzhi shook his head. “No, I wanted to see you.”
She cleared her throat and whispered, “Why didn’t you call me? If my friend hadn’t mentioned it just now, I wouldn’t have known you were here.”
“Ningning, do you remember what day it is today?”
Cen Ning looked puzzled. “Huh? What day is it?”
Yan Xingzhi stood up, looking at her helplessly, “Are you so busy that you’ve forgotten your own birthday?”
At that moment, the little one wiggled her way out of the crowd and rushed over. She clung to Cen Ning’s legs and sweetly said, “Mommy, let’s eat cake.”
Cen Ning lifted the little one from the ground, holding her in her arms. “It seems like today is indeed my birthday. Sweetie, did you and Daddy come to celebrate my birthday?”
“Yep! Daddy said he wanted to come find Mommy as soon as he got back, and he said Mommy’s birthday needs a present.”
Cen Ning kissed her daughter’s cheek. “So, what present did you get me?”
“Daddy said, buy.”
Cen Ning pretended to be a little upset. “So, that means you haven’t bought it yet.”
The little one hesitated for a moment, then turned to look at Yan Xingzhi for help. Yan Xingzhi reached out and tapped the tip of her nose, walking forward. “Apologize to Mommy and say that we’re going to buy it now.”
“Oh!” The little girl turned back, planted a firm kiss on Cen Ning’s face, and said, “Mommy, I’m sorry!”
Cen Ning chuckled at her solemn expression. “You’re quick to admit your mistake.”
The little one immediately said, “Daddy didn’t buy a gift either. Mommy, make Daddy apologize too.”
Cen Ning replied, “Daddy has been busy outside. He just got back today, that’s why he didn’t have a gift. Don’t blame him.”
The little girl pouted. “Mommy is biased.”
Cen Ning carried her as they walked outside. “What bias? I’m just telling the truth.”
The family went out to eat first, and after the meal, they strolled around in the mall connected to the restaurant.
As they reached the fourth floor, they spotted a toy store. While the Yan family was well-off, they were also strict when it came to educating their child. Even though Yan Chaoyu was a little princess who was pampered by everyone, Yan Xingzhi wouldn’t allow her to waste money.
Therefore, there were limits to what she could buy when it came to toys.
“Daddy, I haven’t bought any toys this month.” Standing at the entrance of the toy store, Yan Chaoyu’s eyes gleamed, unable to move away from the display.
Yan Xingzhi and Cen Ning exchanged glances. “Hmm, want to do some shopping?”
Yan Chaoyu: “Yes!”
Yan Xingzhi continued, “Alright since it’s Mommy’s birthday today, you can get one extra.”
“Really?” Yan Chaoyu cheered and dashed inside the store. “I want this, this, and this too!”
Yan Xingzhi and Cen Ning followed behind her, watching the little girl enthusiastically gather a pile of toys. She had her sense of order, though. When she said she would buy two, she stuck to buying only two. She carefully selected her items without causing a scene.
“Daddy, I want these two dolls.”
After purchasing toys for their daughter, the three of them continued walking. The mall was well-stocked with luxury brands, offering a variety of items such as handbags, shoes, clothing, and jewellery;the latest and trendiest designs.
Cen Ning nodded has to attend an overseas art exhibition auction after this, so she was planning to pick a few nice outfits to wear.
When she walked into this store, she immediately noticed the high heels on the shelf.”
Cen Ning: “They look pretty nice.”
Yan Xingzhi followed her gaze. “High heels?”
“You don’t usually like wearing them.”
“I don’t,” Cen Ning grimaced, “But for the next few days, I’ll be attending some major events, and not wearing high heels might not be appropriate.”
Yan Xingzhi nodded. “In that case, choose something comfortable to wear.”
The salesperson helped Cen Ning try on the shoes, while Yan Xingzhi held Yan Chaoyu and wandered around the side.
“Daddy, this bag is pretty.”
“This bag is nice too!”
“Which one is better, the white one or the blue one?”
“They’re both nice.”
“Um… then you better let Mommy decide quickly!”
Cen Ning tried on three pairs of high heels and found them all quite comfortable. However, she couldn’t decide which pair to choose. Seeing that Yan Xingzhi came over, she asked, “Which one looks better?”
Yan Xingzhi lowered his gaze and glanced at the shoes. “Which one do you like?”
Cen Ning pondered for a moment. “I like them all.”
“In that case, let’s get all of them.”
“Ah?” Cen Ning exclaimed. “I only need one pair to match my outfits. I don’t usually wear high heels.”
“But there will be many such occasions in the future, right?” Yan Xingzhi turned to the salesperson and said, “Please wrap up all three pairs.”
The salesperson looked delighted. “Sure, no problem!”
After trying on the shoes, Yan Chaoyu happily pulled Cen Ning to look at the handbags. “Mom, look at these bags. They’re so pretty. Do you like them?”
Cen Ning smiled, “Yes, they’re beautiful. Mom likes them.”
“Then quickly pick one. Dad will get it for you.”
Although Cen Ning had no shortage of bags, seeing her daughter so enthusiastic, she cooperated and picked, “Hmm… Mom will pick the one that baby thinks is beautiful.”
Yan Chaoyu furrowed her brows. “It’s so hard. I think this one, this one, and that one… they’re all so nice.”
Despite being petite, her eyes were sharp when looking at things.
“Then let’s get all of them.”
Both mother and daughter were taken aback, then they turned to look at the man behind them.
Yan Chaoyu: “???”
Cen Ning: “…”
Yan Xingzhi didn’t show any sense of discomfort on his face and calmly said to the nearby store assistant, “Please take the bags she mentioned earlier as well.”
The store assistant had a look of being envious and said, “Of course, sir.”
Cen Ning pulled on Yan Xingzhi. “Why did you buy so much…”
Yan Xingzhi: “You said they were nice.”
“They are nice, but—”
“Nice means we buy them.” Yan Xingzhi pinched her cheek, his eyes full of doting. “As long as you like them.”
After the shopping was done, the trunk was filled with Cen Ning’s “birthday gifts”.
Today, Aunt Chen prepared a table full of food at home to celebrate Cen Ning’s birthday. The adults were sitting around the dining table, eating and chatting, while a few children were playing on the side.
“Dad is so biased,” Yan Chaoyu said to Yi Chi beside her, “Second Big Brother, my dad always says we shouldn’t waste or be reckless in everything, but whenever he buys things for my mom, it’s always in large quantities.”
Yi Chi yawned. “Well, adults are like that. My dad is the same.”
Yan Chaoyu: “Really?”
“Yeah, Mom gets whatever she wants. I’m used to it.”
Yan Chaoyu suddenly realized. “Oh… so everyone is like this.”
“Yeah,” Yi Chi patted her head and pretended to speak wisely, “So, it’s fine to annoy anyone, but never annoy Mom, you know?”
Yan Chaoyu blinked her big eyes. “Oh!”