Ni Ni was a spoiled-rotten little princess who couldn’t help wanting to bully other kids. But right now, she didn’t want to bully An An at all.
The reason for that was because this little friend was a bit cute when she smiled.
“Let’s be friends!” Li Li said passionately.
An An immediately nodded. She loved making friends the most.
Ni Ni put her cheek against her small hand. She didn’t have friends. At home, only Auntie Nanny and Uncle Gardener played with her. “How do you make friends?” she asked.
“We can chat!” Li Li smiled widely, like a little sun.
And so, after “feasting,” the children began to chat about anything and everything.
“What’s an orphan?” Ni Ni asked suddenly.
【 Frick––Why ask this? A wild child is still a wild child, they can’t stop making others worry for long. 】
【 But I feel like she’s not doing it on purpose, just casually asking. 】
【 What do little kids even know? Maybe she really doesn’t know what orphans are. 】
“I heard you’re an orphan, what’s an orphan?” Ni Ni asked again.
The viewers wished they could reach out and cover Ni Ni’s mouth. How could she rub salt into An An’s wound? What a difficult situation for the little dumpling...
The number of bullet comments decreased by a lot, not because the viewers left, but rather because they couldn’t bear watching An An be hurt.
Still, while everyone expected An An’s expression to grow shamed or for tears to begin rolling down, the little dumpling behaved completely outside of their expectations.
“An orphan is a kid who doesn’t have a mom or a dad,” An An explained sincerely as she watched Ni Ni, her voice soft and smooth.
“So you don’t have a mom or dad to take care of you?” Ni Ni asked curiously.
An An shook her head.
The livestream viewers felt their hearts rise into their throats again. Game over, was Ni Ni going to laugh at her?
But who knew, the next instant, Ni Ni’s expression became admiration.
“That’s so nice! You can watch cartoons all the time and don’t have to worry that Mom and Dad will turn the TV off!
“And you can eat snacks all the time without being nagged about cavities...
“You don’t have to sleep if you don’t want to, you don’t have to eat if you don’t want to.”
Ni Ni’s greatest wish was not having to eat properly or sleep. Right now, her new friend could do just that. She wished wholeheartedly she could be an orphan too.
The livestream viewers watched, torn between laughing and crying, finally able to swallow back the hearts in their throats.
【 No topic is taboo to kids! 】
【 Are her parents in here? They need to ready a rattan cane to discipline the kid as soon as she gets home!!】
The atmosphere in the live broadcast room grew cheerful.
Li Li, for his part, upon hearing Ni Ni’s words, looked at An An as if he was looking at a boss.
This time, it was An An’s turn to stare with wide eyes. When she finally recovered from Ni Ni’s words, the little dumpling put on an awkward little half-smile, as if she were looking a pair of silly little kids.
“An orphan is when your mom and dad had an accident and can’t stay with you, or––” An An lowered her head and continued with difficulty, “or, when they throw you away.”
“When you don’t have a mom or dad, it’s not nice at all. Then no one protects you.”
An An was very good at expressing herself. Her eyelids lowered, and with her long eyelashes shining wetly, it was difficult to tell whether she was crying or not.
“Every orphan wants to have a home,” An An said, her child’s voice sweet and soft, head fully lowered.
Four is the age where children loved to cry and throw tantrums, but An An disliked crying. She was the strongest little kid. Don’t be sad, she told herself. She now had a home. For the next fifteen days, she had a home!
With this thought, she raised her head again, but the next moment, her little shoulder was roundly smacked.
Ni Ni put one arm on her shoulder, her other hand on her own hip, and nobly said, “From now on I’ll protect you!”
In the end, the atmosphere of the dinner remained pretty harmonious till the last bite. Jiang Lin found that while Mo Sui paid no mind to Jiang Jinming and Zhuang Ruyin’s overtures, she was not arrogant towards her at all. Of course, Jiang Lin herself also was measured with her words: she steered clear of anything that might be sensitive and stuck to the topics listed in the mission card she’d been given.
Zhuang Ruyin, who'd exposed herself completely, couldn’t join along and grew more and more indignant.
It just so happened that Qin Feng brought up some wine and poured everyone a glass. Zhuang Ruyin had a low alcohol tolerance; half a glass of wine down, she was no longer agreeable.
To eat this meal, she had to suppress all of her anger. The more aggrieved she felt, the more she wanted to retaliate.
Suddenly, she remembered a rumour her mother had heard. Supposedly, the reason Mo Sui never revealed her personal life was because it was unsightly.
“It’s been two days since the show began, I still haven’t seen your husband yet. Mo Sui, I heard people say he’s Wu Bingwang of Dingwang Construction Materials. Is he really Director Wu?”
The livestream viewers grew excited in the bullet comments area. Mo Sui was married for more than a year now, yet neither her husband’s family name nor given name was known.
Zhuang Ruyin was still a member of the closed entertainment circle. Maybe she really knew something!
Netizens immediately dug out Director Wu’s picture. In an instant, everyone grew disillusioned.
This round-headed, pot-bellied uncle was with Mo Sui? Granted, he wasn’t bad looking for a middle-aged man, but still! They didn’t match each other at all!
Some people dug even deeper, and found a photo of Director Wu with his wife along with children. The four of them seemed enviously happy in that family portrait.
Could it be that Mo Sui was a home-wrecker?
The bullet comments exploded. The content farms squatting the livestream were already working on crafting clickbait titles, preparing to send out this hot piece of gossip.
Mo Sui, however, didn’t acknowledge this. She merely cast Zhuang Ruyin a scathing glance, as if looking at an idiot.
Zhuang Ruyin, with an air of innocence, said, “Should I not have said that? Sorry, I just thought this was simply a casual gathering amongst friends, so I was a bit careless. Mo Sui, you won’t blame me, right?”
“Who’s friends with you?”
Zhuang Ruyin paled. But since she’d already said it all out loud, there’s no reason to keep hiding. If there was nothing shady about Mo Sui’s husband, why was she so unwilling to introduce him to everyone? Perhaps even if he joined the program this time, she wouldn’t let him appear onscreen.
So long as she kept dragging it out, a mere fifteen days of filming would easily pass by.
Zhang Jinming reached for Zhuang Ruyin. “It’s about time, why don’t we––”
Zhuang Ruyin shook off his hand, and said, displeased, “I’m saying the truth. What are you all afraid of?”
She stood up and turned, ready to go. At that moment, the cellphone Mo Sui had put on the dining table began to rang.
It was a video call request.
Mo Sui unlocked her phone. Zhuang Ruyin, sharp-eyed, immediately spotted the name on the screen: Ding Wang Construction Materials.
The middle-aged man on that profile picture was probably Wu Bingwang then, looking like some uncultured geezer.
The alcohol in her system rumbled her brain. A pleased gleam shone in her eyes, but she kept up the indignant act. “Look, Director Wu of Dingwang Construction Materials is even video-calling her.”
This froze everyone on scene. The atmosphere became incredibly awkward.
The ringing went on and on. The comments section filled with criticism and cursing. Some people said Mo Sui was clearly scum from first glance, some people complained on behalf on Wu Bingwang’s wife and children, and some even began calling for a boycott and posting “Mo Sui get out of the entertainment circle” in the bullet comments.
In this tense moment, Mo Sui glanced at Zhuang Ruyin once more with the air of looking at a joke. She immediately tapped the receive button on the screen.
“Sui Sui, I forgot your auntie told me yesterday to ask you, the lipstick you wore to that charity event interview a while back, what shade was it? I really can’t stand her, she’s nagged me so many times already. We’re out on a walk right now, she nagged to call you.”
On the screen was Wu Bingwang’s big, friendly face. It was quickly pushed aside and replaced by his calm, elegant wife.
“Sui Sui, help me reason with him. Isn’t your uncle too indifferent towards me?”
Zhuang Ruyin’s face turned ashen.
The comments area grew even livelier. Oh-ho, look at this little has-been, soon to go offline. Now that this show was getting more and more popular, it looked like the next guests come as replacement would have to have some renown first.
1. Rattan canes are very thin and lightweight “canes” that look more like a stick than anything else. The Chinese ones are quite different from the traditional British ones. ↩︎
2. The sort of “content creators” that will spam-post their “content” in hopes of garnering views. Think 5-Minute Crafts and (less nefariously) Daily Dose of Internet, or in this case, the sort of influencer-wannabes trying to piggyback off of actual celebrities/influencers. ↩︎