The Male Protagonist's Daughter - Chapter 2.1
The sun had yet to set in the evening. Life in the 90s in Ning City was peaceful and quiet. Most families had dinner at 5.
Shen Qingruo had two jobs. Thanks to Luo Tianyuan’s referral, she got a job as a piano teacher at a music academy.
She didn’t fit in very well with this small city. Although she was a single mother with a son, she never looked like a mess. She was always tidily dressed and she knew a thing or two about sewing, so she would purchase cloth and sew dresses for herself. The designs were simple, but the dresses fit her perfectly. She was like a lily — tranquil and elegant.
Her second job was as Luo Shuyan’s caretaker. Luo Tianyuan wasn’t a very attentive man, he was always busy with work. Sometimes, he would have to travel outstation on business trips. At first, he’d hired nannies to help take care of her. Unfortunately, their daily habits were not very compatible with that of the nannies. One time, a nanny stole Luo Shuyan’s milk powder, biscuits and sweets back home for herself. She even cooked plain noodles for Shuyan when Luo Tianyuan wasn’t around. That was the final straw and he’d lost trust in outsiders ever since.
Later on, Luo Tianyuan asked for his daughter’s opinion. At that point, Luo Shuyan already had quite a few meals at their neighbor’s and she liked Aunty Shen’s cooking very much. Luo Tianyuan loved his daughter more than his own life, so after hearing that, he asked for his neighbor’s help. Since then, Luo Tianyuan would give Shen Qingruo a fixed sum of money each month. Consequently, to avoid misunderstandings, he wouldn’t stay over for food at Shen Qingruo’s place. A bowl of jelly was his limit.
Thus, Shen Qingruo was easily able to fend for herself and her child in Ning City.
However, Luo Shuyan had caught Shen Qingruo spacing out more than once when she was watering the plants.
There were countless rumors going around in the city about Shen Qingruo’s upbringing. She was a beautiful, charismatic, and gentle woman. Since she came to the city with a child, some said that she was a widow, while others said that she’s a homewrecker. The rumors were endless.
Rumor has it that two years ago, she’d been staying with a family in the province below and had been living a peaceful life. However, after the passing of the grandmother of the family, she moved to the city in hopes for a better life for her son.
When Shen Qingruo first moved to Ning city, she’d stayed in a single-story house somewhere near their area. However, she was harassed and something bad nearly happened to her. Fortunately, Luo Tianyuan happened to pass by her area that day and came to her rescue. After hearing her story, he decided to rent the extra apartment to her. He was sure that she wouldn’t be harassed again because the tenants of their block took care of each other; the people here were relatively simple -minded.
The food consumed by the three of them — two children and one adult — wasn’t a lot. Shen Qingruo was a kind lady, she didn’t keep any money Luo Tianyuan had given to her for herself. Instead, she spent all of it on Luo Shuyan, ensuring that she was fed as well as a daughter from a rich family.
Ning City was well-known for its paddy planting and fishing. They farmed a lot of fish and sold them at prices that were cheap and affordable.
Due to the past few years of hard work, Shen Qingruo has become a great cook. It would be surprising to know that she’d never cooked for herself in the past.
This day, she’d portioned the fish into two parts. The fish meat was made into chewy fish balls, whereas the fish head was used to make milky tofu fish head soup. The aroma was mouth-wateringly tempting.
She also made Luo Shuyan’s favorite braised pork. It was fat but not greasy, extremely pleasant to swallow. Though, Shen Yan wasn’t a fan of it.
Shen Yan and Luo Shuyan didn’t like eating vegetables, so Shen Qingruo had to think of a hundred and twenty ways to be creative with her cooking. Alas, the plate of plain vegetables was ignored by all but her.
The two children ate very well. Shen Qingruo didn’t really eat much from the dishes that the children preferred. Luo Shuyan, being a thoughtful child, placed a slice of braised pork in Shen Qingruo’s bowl. “Aunty Shen, are you trying to lose weight?” she asked laughingly.
Shen Qingruo was taken aback.
Shen Yan, who had his entire focus on his food, awkwardly placed a fish ball in his mother’s bowl. He remained quiet while doing so.
Just as usual, the three of them happily finished their dinner. After they were done, Luo Shuyan and Shen Yan sat at aside and did their homework together. The materials for Grade 1 were way too easy for Luo Shuyan, not to mention Shen Yan. When Luo Shuyan saw Shen Yan opening a fifth grade mathematics workbook, she couldn’t help but whisper, “Grade 5 practice questions? Do you know how to solve all of them?”
Shen Yan flipped a page of his book before looking up at her. “Mn.”
He was still ignoring her.
Luo Shuyan pouted when she realized that he still didn’t want to talk to her. She unhappily said, “Aren’t you supposed to be a man? Just take a look at yourself! I wasn’t angry when others said that we are a couple, so what are you annoyed about? I’m the one who’s on the shorter end of the stick here. Argh, why do you care so much about how others think about you?!”
Shen Yan glanced at her with no intention of giving her a reply.
He wasn’t a petty person like she’d described himself to be; he didn’t care about how others thought of him.
He was angry… Wait, no, he wasn’t angry —
The reason was very simple. One day when he walked past her class, he overheard someone asking her about their relationship and whether she liked him.
Young children being young children, they didn’t know much about romance or love. Their exposure towards love was usually through dramas and television shows.
“Hmph, I don’t like him at all!” He overheard her reply while she was wiping the windows.
Well, he doesn’t like her either!
Anyhow, he didn’t want to talk to her.
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