Chen Ying doesn’t go up to comfort her, but he doesn’t leave either. He thinks he can probably understand Mi Xi’s mood.

No family, no friends, no familiar things; stuck in a strange world where she has nothing. And she is so young—she can already be considered very strong by not crying, shouting or making trouble. 

Chen Ying feels that he really should exercise more patience and treat her better.

The sun comes out, and the golden light pours in through the large floor-to-ceiling windows. It shines on Mi Xi’s little face. She stares blankly, before suddenly reaching out and wiping her face vigorously, erasing all the tears and tear stains. 

She stands up; Chen Ying hides without thinking and quickly retreats back to his room. After hiding for a while without hearing any movement, he opens the door with a hard push, deliberately making noise, and steps out.

Walking into the living room, he sees Mi Xi stretching her limbs. She turns her head upon hearing him come in.

“Good morning ah,” he greets casually. Sure enough, he can’t see the earlier fragility on her face anymore; her small face is stern and cold.

Mi Xi stops, turns around, bows slightly and gives a formal greeting: “I have seen Uncle.” 

There are black lines on Chen Ying’s face. 

He clearly greeted her cheerfully and gracefully, why couldn’t she just copy it, instead of calling him ‘old’ so early in the morning. Take a breath, don’t worry, let’s start literacy education. 

“Mi Xi, here, the greeting in the morning is to say ‘good morning’, not to say who you have met. You can also say ‘hello’ to so and so. For example, you can say ‘hello’ to uncle and aunt. No need to say that you have met uncle.” 

Mi Xi suddenly becomes a little awkward.

“Do it again. Good morning,” Chen Ying teaches her.

“Good morning.” Mi Xi salutes again.

“Don’t clasp your fists, don’t bend down. Just look at me and say, ‘good morning’.”

“Good morning.” Mi Xi straightens her back obediently and says it again. Then she looks at him. He’s a little dumbfounded. Is she greeting an officer? Just salute then.

Now, what? By the way, don’t ask her if she slept well, just pretend you don’t know, then wash up and have breakfast. Today is Wednesday, he still has a lot to do. She is so rigid that he has no sense of accomplishment in literacy education. But don’t be afraid, take your time, and you will eventually succeed.

“Go brush your teeth and wash your face. Let’s go out to have breakfast,” Chen Ying instructs. He then sees Mi Xi’s face is blank, and he adds, “Brushing your teeth is that kind of dental medicine…” She should have brushed her teeth last night.

“I know.”

“I know.”1 Seize every opportunity to eradicate illiteracy.

“I know.” Mi Xi repeats seriously, and Chen Ying is quite satisfied.

“Okay, hurry and clean yourself up. Let’s go out.”

Mi Xi moves quickly under his stare. She runs to the bathroom, takes a toothbrush and toothpaste, opens the lid smoothly, and carefully squeezes a little bit onto the bristles.

“Squeeze more,” Chen Ying instructs.

Mi Xi looks at him, a little awkward.

“This is called toothpaste; squeeze some more.” Chen Ying points, and Mi Xi follows suit.

“A little more. Alright, remember to use this amount in the future when you brush.” Chen Ying’s words embarrass Mi Xi; she purses her lips and nods.

“Use a cup to catch the water, rinse your mouth first, and then brush like this.” Chen Ying grins and shows his teeth, and teaches her with hand gestures. Mi Xi watches, her face a little red.

“Do you understand?”

Mi Xi nods.

“Swipe one and let me see.”

Mi Xi doesn’t move, staring at him with caution.

“Okay, I won’t watch, you brush it yourself.” Chen Ying walks away, and after a while, he hears the sound of teeth brushing coming from the bathroom. He pretends to be passing by and takes a quick look. Well, the action is quite clumsy, but it’s brushed on smoothly. Satisfied, he goes back to his room whistling.

It’s really not easy to be a father.

After Chen Ying washed and changed his clothes, he comes out whistling and sees Mi Xi standing in the living room waiting for him. He walks over and pats the sofa. “This is called a sofa, a kind of chair, used for sitting. You remember, we sat down at Uncle Cheng’s house yesterday. You don’t have to stand when you are waiting for someone. Don’t stand when you can sit, understand?”

Mi Xi nods.

“You sit down and let me see.”

Mi Xi looks at the sofa, looks at Chen Ying, and finally sits down. She’s still upright, with both hands still flat on her knees. Then she looks up at Chen Ying with an expression of ‘this is okay’.

Chen Ying rubs his chin. She only just arrived, and it’s not appropriate to accuse her of being too reserved or dignified right now. He’d better wait until they get along better. He hooks his fingers to get her to get up. But Mi Xi doesn’t move, staring at his gesture very seriously, her eyes full of condemnation.

Chen Ying is taken aback and retracts his fingers. “It’s not vulgar, it’s just a sign for you to get up.”

Mi Xi gets up, her face still serious. Chen Ying curses in his heart, reminding himself to be cautious in his words and deeds.

The two of them head out. Chen Ying takes a closer look at Mi Xi. She seems to be walking unnaturally. Is it the shoes? 

After getting out of the elevator, he observes for a while before stopping Mi Xi. “Are the shoes too big?”

“Not bad.”

This answer makes Chen Ying’s face twitch. Big is big, not big is not big’ What the hell is ‘not bad’? He squats down and presses the tip of Mi Xi’s shoe, and there is a small empty space that is too big for her foot. 

“Let’s make do with it for now, and I’ll buy you another pair later,” he says. He stands up and finds something wrong again. She is still wearing the same clothes that Su Xiaopei prepared for her yesterday, but she zipped the clothes to the top, and the collar is turned up high. She’s wrapped up tight.

Chen Ying doesn’t think much about it and reaches out to help her pull down the zipper a little and tidy up her clothes, but she pinches his palm as soon as it touches her neckline.

Chen Ying almost cries out in pain.

Mi Xi quickly shakes off his hand and takes a step back. Chen Ying holds his palm, feeling angry and anxious, but not knowing if he should really be angry or anxious. This little girl is so fucking fast, she attacked without seeing what was going on first. 

He looks at her. Well, maybe she felt she was attacked.

“Your clothes,” Chen Ying says with gritted teeth. His hand really hurts. He points to her neckline, “Don’t pull it so high, it’s ugly.”

Mi Xi covers her neckline and ignores him. 

This attitude! Chen Ying is upset. He turns his back and strides forward, walks a few steps and looks back: Mi Xi was still following him. He continues to walk, stops suddenly after walking for a while, turns around again and says to her seriously, “First, I am a gentleman. Second, if I want to play a hooligan, I will not attack a minor like you. Most girls look forward to playing with me, but I am not that kind of person. Third, if you eat what I have, live where I live, and use what is mine, you must have a minimum of respect for me, and I will get angry if you get rough on me.”

Mi Xi blinks but says nothing.

“Do you understand?”

Mi Xi nods. But that expression makes Chen Ying feel that she must have done it only because she thinks she should do it.

Chen Ying turns around and strides forward. 

Damn it! He is not a good man like in the legends, he really is not. Just as he’s sulking, he suddenly sees an office worker walking in front of them in a short skirt suit with a very low neckline. Chen Ying stops, and when Mi Xi draws near, he points to the short-skirted girl with his chin, “Look at her. “

He means to say that everyone here wears it like this, and it’s okay if the neck is exposed, he really didn’t want to take advantage of her, he was wronged!

Mi Xi purses her lips, blinks, but keeps silent.

At this time, an old man walks up to them, with a yellowed vest, worn beach shorts, and a pair of slippers that could come off quickly. Mi Xi looks at the old man, then at Chen Ying’s well-dressed shirt, trousers, and shiny leather shoes. After looking, she doesn’t say anything, just moves on.

Chen Ying is stunned for a moment; okay, she dares to talk back with her eyes.

Just because the old man dresses like this doesn’t mean he wants to dress like this, okay? It doesn’t mean that it’s okay for her to make herself into a wrapped steamed bun so that she looks ugly, okay? 

Also, why doesn’t she pay attention to indecent behavior but instead overlooks it now, isn’t she an ancient person? The old man is showing half of his body, how could she have the nerve to look at him so brazenly?

Mi Xi in front walks slowly, with her hands behind her back, looking around and around. Chen Ying doesn’t know if it’s due to her own psychology, he just feels that her walking posture and her demeanor doesn’t fit the world at all.

Mi Xi walks ahead for a while, stops, and looks back at him. 

Chen Ying’s heart softens again, and he takes a few steps to catch up. If he teaches her slowly, then she would understand. She is looking for a marriage here, and she only has three years, he remembers.

Chen Ying takes Mi Xi to the ‘Dim Sum Place’ not far from his community. It is open 24 hours and is very famous. Xiaolongbao, porridge, and siu mai are the main products. There are all kinds of dim sum, noodles, and side dishes. The price is not cheap, but customer flow is still quite good.

Mi Xi enters with a curious look on her face, and keeps on looking at the posters of the restaurant’s dishes. “It’s very beautiful,” she says to him.

Chen Ying almost trips. She praised ‘very beautiful’ to the large posters of the  xiaolongbao. What kind of rhetorical method is this?

Looking around, fortunately, there is no one there. It’s still too embarrassing, so he quickly drags her to sit at a table.

After taking the menu, Miss Mi Xi’s attention is grabbed again. Before she can repeat the praise ‘very beautiful’, Chen Ying quickly orders a meal for her, a bowl of porridge and a basket of ‘very beautiful’ steamed buns. He himself had the same.

The waiter who took the order left, and Chen Ying hurriedly whispers, “Praise the buns as ‘delicious’, or they ‘look delicious’, not ‘beautiful’.” 

Mi Xi also lowers her voice and whispers, “The painting is really, seriously good.”

Chen Ying’s face darkens immediately. Ahh, so she was praising the restaurant’s poster for its beauty, not the steamed buns. But praising the poster of xiaolongbao as ‘beautiful’ is still embarrassing!



1 Mi Xi’s ‘我晓得’ and Chen Ying’s ‘我知道’—he corrects her old school phrasing here.