“Good morning, mommy!”
“Xin’er, why is there a boy next to you? Why is he in our house?”
The woman who spoke was Xin’er’s mother, Li Shi. Li Shi was a woman roughly twenty years of age. She was a beauty. Fortunately, Xin’er had inherited her mother’s good looks.
Sadly, looks don’t pay. Since they were struggling financially, Li Shi often had to do hard labour work for other people in order to earn some extra money. Usually, she doesn’t return until near midnight.
Last night, when Li Shi came home, she noticed her daughter was sleeping soundly under the blanket. She was so exhausted that she went to bed right away.
But the next day, she realized there was also a boy laying next to her daughter. Li Shi couldn’t believe it.
Based on how the little boy was dressed, it was obvious that he came from a wealthy background. When poor families lose their children, they would freak out. Not to mention that this little boy was from an affluent background!? The family must be worried sick for their child!
So, Li Shi shook her daughter and woke her up immediately.
Xin’er blinked her drowsy eyes and turned to the sleeping boy next to her. It took her a few seconds before she remembered why he was there. Then, Xin’er told her mother the story of how she encountered Xuan’er.
Li Shi’s scrunched brows slowly relaxed and she sighed. At this moment, Leng Yi Xuan also woke up. He slept well, but since he had never slept on such a hard bed in his life, his body was aching everywhere.
When Xuan’er saw the woman looking at them, he figured it was Xin’er’s mother. So, Leng Yi Xuan sat upright and politely addressed her. “Good morning, Auntie!”
Li Shi was pleased to see such a respectful child. Li Shi wanted to find out where Leng Yi Xuan lived so she could send him back.
But Xuan’er was only able to tell her that he had lots of servants and lived in a golden environment. He didn’t know anything else.
Now, Li Shi was stuck. After all, there were many wealthy families. How would she know which one was his? Most likely, his family members would be searching all over the Capital for him. So, Li Shi decided to head downtown to get some news.
So, Li Shi told Xin’er to stay with Xuan’er while she goes to find out more information. The two children nodded obediently.
Before Li Shi left, she cooked a meal for them. After Xin’er and Xuan’er finished brushing their teeth and washing their faces, they sat down and ate breakfast together.
Children were very simple. As long as food was available when they were hungry, they were satisfied.
Currently, there were only two bowls of porridges, a plate of salted vegetables, and two steamed buns. But for their empty bellies, this was amazing.
Xin’er was used to eating this type of meal. She only ate meat during Chinese New Year.
As for Xuan’er, he didn’t mind because he was starving. In the past, he would be very picky with what goes inside his mouth. But now, he couldn’t afford to be picky unless he wanted to starve!
After breakfast, the children were way too active to stay home. The weather outside was very clear and breezy because of the rain from yesterday. On the ground were many puddles that reflected the blue sky.
It was rare to have such a cool day during the summer! So, Xin’er suggested to go play behind the mountains. Leng Yi Xuan instantly concurred. He figured Li Shi will find his family. Adults could deal with problems very easily, so he didn’t have to worry.
So, Leng Yi Xuan happily followed Xin’er to the back mountains.
An afternoon went by just like that. During these two days, Leng Yi Xuan experienced a lot of firsts.
It was the first time he had ever ate a stone-like steamed bun.
It was the first time he used a ladle to shower.
It was the first time he slept on such a hard bed.
It was the first time he didn’t have an adult by his side.
It was the first time he had such a simple breakfast.
But despite all this, Xuan’er was very happy. He felt like a bird free from a cage.
Since it was Summer, there were many frogs leaping around in the field. The whole area was filled with the *gua gua* sounds the frogs were making.
Xin’er said roasted frogs were delicious. So, they were going to catch some to eat.
However, Leng Yi Xuan had never done anything like this before. Frogs were very flexible and cautious. Xuan’er would tiptoe to the frog, and just as he was certain he would catch his prey, the frog would be a step faster than him and leap away.
In no time, Xuan’er was all muddy without a single frog. He looked like he had showered in mud.
Seeing this, Xin’er started to giggle. Then, she skillfully caught a frog with a stick and a string tied to its end. On the end of the string was a piece of frog leg.
“Elder brother, the frogs are too fast. We won’t be able to catch them like this. My mommy taught me an easier method The frogs will be lured and will leap up to seize the leg. Then, we can drop them into the bag.”
Leng Yi Xuan couldn’t believe it. However, Xin’er was able to successfully seize frog after frog. All the frogs fell for the bait.
The bag was so big and high that even if the frogs wanted to leap out, they couldn’t.
Leng Yi Xuan was baffled. So that’s how you catch a frog!
So, Leng Yi Xuan copied Xin’er’s method and picked up a stick and tied a frog leg around the end of the string. In no time, he also caught many frogs.
For the first time ever, Xuan’er was proud of himself.
He actually caught his own prey on his own! How could he not be proud?
Later on, Xin’er told him it was enough and they headed back to shore.
Although Xin’er was young, she was a poor child. So, she was used to eating wild berries and hunting for her own food. Ever since she was little, she had learnt how to start a fire and roast items. Now, Xin’er was roasting the frogs that they had caught.
When Xin’er left the house, she had brought some salt with her. When the frogs were turning crispy yellow, she threw some salt on them for seasoning.
Soon, the aroma of roasted frogs filled the air and the two children were practically drooling.
“Big brother, this frog is for you! It is finished.”
Xin’er chose a bigger frog skewer and handed it to Leng Yi Xuan. Then, she chose a smaller skewer for herself and started to eat.
Leng Yi Xuan almost burnt his tongue from eating too quickly.
The two children sat on the vast meadow and admired the waterfall. It was such a breezy sunny day. Although they were both dirty, their faces only reflected joy. Anyone who saw them would smile.
When the children were full, they laid down on the grass to rest. Later on, the two of them climbed trees to take some eggs from birds’ nests and ate some wild berries from the bushes.
The black juices from the blackberries turned their teeth black, and the two of them chuckled loudly at each other.
Fun times always go by quickly. In a blink of an eye, the Sun was starting to set.