“What are you doing?” Having been hugged out of nowhere, he didn’t immediately realise what was happening.

“Let me hug you for a bit,” said Ming Luchuan.

Ming Luchuan hugged him very tightly and, through the thin layers of their pyjamas, with their chests squeezed together, they could virtually feel each other’s heartbeat.
Xia Wennan had no clue what had triggered Ming Luchuan’s sudden emotional outburst, and he wondered whether it was because Ming Luchuan was upset because the man he thought was his real father, wasn’t.

At that moment, Xia Wennan put himself in Ming Luchuan’s shoes and was struck by grief as he empathised with his circumstances.
He raised a hand and held Ming Luchuan, palm gently patting his back in an attempt to soothe him.
After some thought, he said, “You once said that you despise Lu Wenxing.
That man doesn’t deserve your sadness.”

“I wasn’t sad,” Ming Luchuan said slowly.
“But I have bad news for you.”

Xia Wennan immediately drew back from his embrace and studied Ming Luchuan’s expression.
“What is it?”

“Lu Wenxing is my biological alpha father,” said Ming Luchuan.

Xia Wennan froze and, thinking that he hadn’t conveyed his meaning to Ming Luchuan clearly, he said, “He isn’t.
He personally told me that he and Ming Qin weren’t in a relationship.
He said that there’s no way that they could possibly have a child.”

Ming Luchuan only smiled, but his smile contained a hint of ridicule.

“What do you mean?” Xia Wennan inquired.
“Was he lying?”

“He wasn’t lying.” Ming Luchuan kept his gaze on Xia Wennan.
“I’m not his and Ming Qin’s child.”

When he heard what Ming Luchuan said, he suddenly recalled his absurd guess and grabbed onto Ming Luchuan’s arm.
“You’re his and someone else’s child?”

Ming Luchuan didn’t speak.
Xia Wennan took that as a silent admission.

“Didn’t you say that he and Ming Qin were together, but he never marked Ming Qin…”

“Did I mention Ming Qin’s name?”

Xia Wennan stilled at his words; he tried to remember what Ming Luchuan had said that night, but could no longer recall his exact words.

Ming Luchuan continued, “I said ‘my dad’.”

“Then, who’s your dad?” Xia Wennan felt as if the answer was right in front of him.

Ming Luchuan said, “Ming Qin has a twin brother.”

Xia Wennan’s eyes widened as he looked at Ming Luchuan.
He figured that he looked a little silly, but right then, he had no clue as to what expression he should be making.

“Twins run in the Ming family.”

At this point, Xia Wennan had finally figured out what had felt so off.
He sat on the bed in stunned silence for a moment, then asked Ming Luchuan, “What is your biological dad’s name?”

Ming Luchuan smiled.
This time, his smile seemed much gentler.
“Ming Qian.”

“The ‘Qian’ for money?”

Ming Luchuan cupped Xia Wennan’s hand, opened it up, and slowly traced the character for Qian on his palm.

“His name sounds so pretty,” said Xia Wennan—though truthfully, he didn’t really understand the meaning of the character.
After saying that, he gently and cautiously asked, “Where is he now?”

Ming Luchuan said, “He’s no longer with us.”

Xia Wennan had already made mental preparations, but the second he heard Ming Luchuan’s answer, he still didn’t know how to comfort him.
After a bout of hesitation, he said, “Do you need me to hug you?”

Ming Luchuan stared at him and held his arms out.

Xia Wennan immediately flung himself at Ming Luchuan and wrapped his arms around Ming Luchuan’s waist, burying his head on his shoulder.
Then, he quickly came to his senses, “Isn’t this you hugging me?”

“It’s all the same,” said Ming Luchuan.

Xia Wennan thought: Okay then.

Ming Luchuan remained unspeaking.
As Xia Wennan leaned into Ming Luchuan’s embrace, he caught the subtle scent of pheromones on Ming Luchuan’s body, and thought about what the man had just told him.

It turned out that Ming Luchuan wasn’t Ming Qin’s biological son.
If so, did that mean that, when Ming Luchuan was little, Ming Qin not treating him well had nothing to do with the fact that he was busy working, but because Ming Luchuan wasn’t his child?

“Those wooden figurines of yours?” Xia Wennan suddenly remembered.

Ming Luchuan was speaking calmly.
He’d undoubtedly learnt everything a long time ago, and the waves of turmoil he’d been through ought to have subsided by now—yet he hugged Xia Wennan as tightly as before, and said, “Ming Qian probably left them for me.”

“He carved them himself?”

Ming Luchuan slowly said, “There’s a movie featuring Lu Wenxing where he plays a woodcarver.” Having said that, Ming Luchuan lowered his head and suddenly asked, “Do you want to see?”

“Ah?” Xia Wennan didn’t understand what he was getting at.

Ming Luchuan turned on the projector in his room and searched the online player for an old movie titled Woodcarver, in which Lu Wenxing had starred in.

Sitting on the bed, Xia Wennan gazed at Ming Luchuan’s face, lit up by the screen.
His face was serene, as if the Lu Wenxing on the screen was a total stranger to him.

Once the movie began, Ming Luchuan returned and laid on the bed, gathering Xia Wennan into his arms, their bodies intertwined as they watched the movie together.

It gave Xia Wennan a wonderful feeling, and he inexplicably enjoyed this kind of ambience.

With the remote in his hands, Ming Luchuan slid the progress bar to the end of the movie.

Xia Wennan was baffled.
“We’re not going to watch?”

Eyes fixed at the screen, Ming Luchuan’s fingers didn’t pause for a second.
“What’s there to see?” he said.

His genuine disdain of Lu Wenxing was palpable.

Ming Luchuan skipped right to the end of the movie, where the credits began to appear, and at the bottom of the cast list, there were seven or eight names who played the role of a student, one of which was Ming Qian.

Ming Luchuan then adeptly returned to the thirty-seventh minute of the movie.
The shot showed Lu Wenxing sitted on a stool, engrossed in carving, while around him, seven to eight students stood around and watched.
Because the scene was wholly centred on Lu Wenxing’s face, there was only a single sweeping shot of the students’ faces.

Had Xia Wennan been unprepared, he never would’ve noticed a student standing to the back of the group who looked extremely similar to Ming Qin.
That student should be none other than Ming Qian.

Afterwards, Ming Luchuan pressed pause on that shot and asked Xia Wennan, “Got it?”

“Yeah.” Xia Wennan felt as if too many things had transpired in one night, as if it were a never-ending, bizarre dream.
“He looks a lot like Ming Qin.”

Ming Luchuan laughed.
He didn’t linger on the brief shot and turned off the projector soon after.

As the lights had been switched off earlier for the movie’s sake, the room was plunged into darkness.
Xia Wennan, with half of his face pressed to Ming Luchuan’s chest, said, “Lu Wenxing seems totally clueless.
He thinks that you’re Ming Qin’s kid.”

Ming Luchuan’s face was obscured by the darkness, but his tone was indifferent as he said, “Isn’t that a good thing?”

Xia Wennan couldn’t fathom it.
“He’s never suspected a thing?”

“People tend to choose what they want to see and hear.
Besides, I’m not the least bit interested in whether Lu Wenxing knows or not.”

“You really don’t need your dad?” Xia Wennan suddenly thought of himself and the fact that all those in his family had long since passed.
If there ever were a day where someone told him that his dad was actually still alive, he didn’t know how ecstatic he would be.

Yet, Ming Luchuan said, “I don’t need him.”

Xia Wennan said, “Will my seeking him out today cause you any trouble?”

“It won’t.” He leaned into Xia Wennan and pressed his lips to Xia Wennan’s forehead, whispering, “I’m really happy.”

“Ah? What’s gotten into you?”

Ming Luchuan didn’t speak, his lips merely leaving Xia Wennan’s forehead and gently grazing the corner of his mouth.

In a flash, Xia Wennan felt embarrassed.
He changed the subject and asked, “So—why didn’t you tell me? It’s something so big! If you’d told me sooner, I wouldn’t have lost face!”

“You don’t even remember me, what would I tell you?” After he said that, Ming Luchuan gathered close and chuckled.
“Besides, when have you ever been afraid to lose face?”

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