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The air abruptly fell silent. You could only hear the sizzling sounds from the barbeque.

Xi Xiaye watched Mu Lingshi silently and she noticed a rare sorrow and gloom on her face. Then, she gently patted the back of her hand that was on the table. “I’m sorry. Perhaps I shouldn’t have mentioned it.”

Upon hearing this, Mu Lingshi instantly smiled and shook her head as she lifted her drink. She tilted her head back and downed the contents of her glass.

“It’s fine. It’s just part of the past. When it’s mentioned, I can even reminisce once in a while,” she said calmly and her face started to redden. With her scar, she seemed a little sinister. For some reason, the light in her eyes had turned lonely and bleak, and Xi Xiaye felt her heart ache at this sight.

“I heard that not too long after Mother gave birth to me, she fell into a deeper depression. Unable to handle it, she ended her life and didn’t leave anything behind for Lingtian and I. I don’t even know how she looks like. Only when I grew up did I find out how she looked like from the photos or newspaper clippings.” When Mu Lingshi said this, she paused and stared at the pen, lost in thought.

Xi Xiaye sighed to herself. She silently poured more whiskey and did not know how to console her. “Your brother says that Aunty was a very great person and I’ve seen her photos too. I’m sure she was a very wise woman. For a beautiful woman to face death at such a young age wasn’t her intention either. Perhaps she was burdened with something. Maybe it was pressure. We wouldn’t know, so it’s understandable.”

When Xi Xiaye said this, Mu Lingshi shook her head sadly, her beautiful eyes immediately could not help but glitter with tears. “No, Sis-in-law, she wasn’t a good woman. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have given birth to Lingtian and I. We are just illegitimate children who don’t even know who our father is! The Mu family’s reputation was ruined by her. Grandmother almost wanted to kick her out, but she still protected that man and didn’t spare severing ties with Grandfather and Grandmother. To me, she doesn’t even deserve to be a mother. How could someone like her be a wise woman?”

Mu Lingshi took a deep breath and sniffled as she picked her drink up and downed it in a few gulps again. She was so swift that Xi Xiaye could not stop her in time.

“When we grew up, Lingtian and I never gave up on trying to find that man, but because of her intentional protectiveness from before, we had no leads at all. Father told me that she fell in love with a man who could never marry her, so…

“I don’t understand. If he could not marry her, why did he want to be with her? He couldn’t give her anything, yet he had her and us. Don’t you think such a man is incredibly shameless? Even I feel like the blood flowing in me is filthy, yet I have no way of changing this reality.”

Mu Lingshi’s words were filled with helplessness, sadness, and anger. One could tell that she definitely resented her mother, Mu Zixi, and her biological father whom she did not know. Such resentment had even festered for many years. In fact, it might even have deepened day by day.

Xi Xiaye sighed softly and fell silent for a while before picking up her drink and taking a sip. Then, she said softly, “I once heard a song that went like this—

“Perhaps love makes one blind, undaunted by dangers. Love keeps us captive; whoever love surrenders to rushes into loneliness besieged by a blaze… A memorable love can easily trap us; we would perhaps be willing to do even the silliest thing. This is the power of love; we can’t help but be moved…”

Xi Xiaye seemed to sympathize. Even the smile that flashed on her face looked a little bitter too.

“But these things aren’t worth it. Even if she was willing to give up everything, how did that man treat her in the end? She gave birth to Lingtian, and then me, and when she fell deep into depression, where was he? He never appeared to see her even once, not even a single time when she needed it most. How could there be such a dumb woman? Alas, I am the evidence of their stupidity!”

Mu Lingshi frowned and poured herself another glass. Her cold voice contained disdain and mockery.

“Maybe it wasn’t about whether something was worth it, and only about whether one was willing. This struggle isn’t something anyone would understand, so we can’t be too harsh with our criticisms, Ah Shi. Perhaps Aunty has let you down in many ways, but I believe that she must have loved you. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have insisted on giving birth to you and Lingtian.”

Xi Xiaye’s eyes were teary while she fixed her eyes on her. “I heard your brother say that you’ve been trying to look for your biological father, especially quite recently.”

Mu Lingshi closed her eyes, inhaling deeply and only opening them after a while. She nodded and downed another glass. Lifting a hand to wipe the moisture at the corner of her mouth away, she said indifferently, “That’s right. I want to find out who this irresponsible and shameless man is! Why did he do this to us? He must’ve known about Lingtian and my existence, yet he just abandoned us without a care. Mother lost control and ended her life, leaving us behind all lonely. Grandfather, Grandmother, Father, and Mother were extremely worried because of this. So that we wouldn’t be any different from other children, they even let us adopt the surname Mu, and become Father and Mother’s children.”

As Mu Lingshi said this, her hands could not help but clench into balls of fists.

Xi Xiaye could only nod gently, indicating that she understood her anguish.

She calmly lifted her drink and said to Mu Lingshi, “Okay, don’t be sad now. We’ll do our best to find him for you, but I still hope that you can appreciate what you have now before you think about anything else. This peace doesn’t come easy, thus we should cherish it.”

Mu Lingshi’s gaze met her twinkling eyes that contained warmth, and she sniffled before nodding. She put the gift box away and lifted her drink as she smiled. “Sis-in-law, thank you, I feel like every time I talk to you, I feel much more relieved. You’re a very good listener. Love makes one blind, undaunted by dangers… Who can explain these complicated feelings?”

“Maybe because those who are trapped aren’t just them.” Xi Xiaye smiled ambiguously and offered a toast to her before elegantly taking a sip.

“Mmm, I’m afraid that I’m trapped myself. Otherwise…”

“Have you gotten to know Aunty’s past? See if you can find any clues?” Xi Xiaye picked up a slice of beef that was grilled perfectly before putting it onto Mu Lingshi’s plate

Mu Lingshi nodded in consideration, shooting her a grateful look and accepting the meat.




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