Watching Tang Mian’s peaceful sleeping face, the adults finally let out a sigh of relief, all looking at Fu Shizhao in surprise, who had stopped singing.
They didn’t expect Fu Shizhao to be able to sing Tang Mian to sleep for real.
Shen Siwan gently wiped the remaining tears from Tang Mian’s eyes and face while giving Fu Shizhao a warm smile and complimented, “Zhao Zhao, you’re amazing.” Fu Shizhao smiled slightly, lowering his head to look at Tang Mian, who was still holding onto his hand tightly.
Because of his illness, Tang Mian’s hand was hot, soft, and warm, holding onto him with a firm grip, as if he was afraid that Fu Shizhao would sneak away.
Fu Shizhao held his hand gently.
This time, he wouldn’t sneak away again.
When they returned home, Fu Shizhao and Tang Mian were forced to sleep separately, as the flu was highly contagious. Fu Shizhao reluctantly followed the adults’ advice, even though he didn’t want to leave Tang Mian.
If he also got infected, he wouldn’t be able to sing to him when Tang Mian was sick.
When a child is sick, it’s always a tough time. Their immune systems are naturally weaker, and they suffer a lot during illnesses.
Although Fu Shizhao didn’t want to leave Tang Mian, he obediently accepted the adults’ suggestions.
If he got infected and was sick too, he wouldn’t be able to sing to Tang Mian when he needed it the most.
Tang Mian, in his sickness, was too weak to resist when Fu Shizhao gently let go of his hand while he was half-asleep, and he was reluctantly led away by his adoptive father.
On the other side, Shen Siwan had prepared the flu prevention medicine prescribed at the hospital. She gave it to Fu Shizhao when he came downstairs. After watching him drink it all and feeling relieved, she said, “I’m thinking of enrolling Mian Mian in an art class soon. Zhao Zhao seems to have a talent for singing. Maybe we can enroll him in a singing class as well.”
Fu Yu immediately nodded, his face filled with undisguised pride, and replied, “I just heard Zhao Zhao sing for the first time. It’s really beautiful.”
Fu Shizhao, who had finished drinking his medicine, continued to bury his face in the cup, feeling a bit embarrassed. He didn’t remember when he had developed a fondness for singing in his past life. It probably started with him humming along to cartoons.
But when he sang to Tang Mian without hesitation in the hospital, it was because he had a convenient excuse in this life—kindergarten. He had learned a few nursery rhymes from teachers and other kids, which was quite normal.
Furthermore, Tang Mian had sung to him to put him to sleep tonight, so it was only fair for him to sing to Tang Mian in return. In the latter half of the night, Fu Shizhao slept with Fu Yu.
Fu Yu’s sleep habits weren’t very good, and he was afraid of disturbing Fu Shizhao, so he slept on the sofa. Fu Shizhao had no choice but to accommodate him. Both of them had a bit of insomnia.
Noticing Fu Shizhao shifting in bed, Fu Yu murmured softly, “Zhao Zhao, you sing so beautifully, hehe.”
He felt a kind of pride, like saying, “My son sings so well,” but Fu Yu rarely used the term “my son” to address Fu Shizhao.
In his previous life, Fu Yu had been diagnosed with cancer in his early teenage years, but he chose not to tell anyone. He knew that the treatment would require a lot of money, and his job was physically demanding. He wasn’t sure if he could continue working during the treatment.
At that time, Fu Shizhao was already in his first year of high school, and he would become an adult in two years. Over the years, he had saved up a considerable amount of money, enough to ensure that Fu Shizhao could complete his college education without financial difficulties.
Furthermore, Fu Shizhao had grown up with Tang Mian since childhood, and the Tang family already considered him their own. After Fu Yu’s passing, they would undoubtedly take care of him out of gratitude for their past friendship, ensuring he didn’t become a homeless child.
Fu Shizhao had always been a sensitive child, and he would surely repay the Tang family’s kindness in the future. If Fu Yu chose to continue treatment, he would need to spend all his savings, and the Tang family would likely support and help him, resulting in a significant debt of gratitude.
So, he gave up on treatment and silently allowed his life to slip away bit by bit. Fu Shizhao resented him for a long time and began to call him “adoptive father” as a form of protest.
But Fu Shizhao knew that his adoptive father loved him. Fortunately, everything was still possible in this life.
“Dad has saved a lot of money. We’ll enroll you in the best vocal class. You and your brother can attend together—one for painting, one for singing. The perfect combination,” Fu Yu continued to mutter softly, his hands behind his head, lost in his own thoughts.
He knew that children nowadays needed to develop their interests and hobbies from a young age. Even if it meant spending a little less money, he had to enroll Fu Shizhao in the best classes.
Fu Shizhao smiled helplessly, turned over, and glanced at him through the thin moonlight filtering through the curtains. He spoke, “Dad, can’t you sleep? I can sing for you to sleep too.”
Fu Yu was taken aback for a moment but then responded cheerfully, “Sure.”
Tomorrow, he had to drive Mr. Fu and Young Master Tang to work and school, so he needed a good night’s rest. The last thing a driver wanted was sleep deprivation, leading to reduced concentration while driving.
Soon, Fu Shizhao’s voice filled the room again. He sang the same song he had sung to Tang Mian at the hospital earlier that night, probably one he had learned in kindergarten. It sounded exactly the same.
Fu Yu, on the other hand, felt a warm sensation in his heart.
Originally, he wasn’t very fond of children, given his somewhat rough personality. Children were fragile and required delicate care, and he often struggled to interact well with them. He naturally clashed with their innocent and vulnerable nature.
However, ever since he took custody of Fu Shizhao, he had developed a deep affection for the child. He found immense joy in every bit of progress Fu Shizhao made. His first time calling him “Dad” had been particularly memorable, and it had sealed his determination to do everything he could to raise him well.
The lullaby wasn’t long, and Fu Shizhao finished singing it quickly. The room returned to silence. Fu Shizhao blinked and asked softly, “Is Dad asleep?” Although he didn’t receive a response from Fu Yu, he knew that his father was still awake.
Fu Shizhao didn’t expose him but instead smiled, snuggled under the covers, let out a yawn, and obediently closed his eyes. He knew that his father would only fall asleep after he did.
The next morning, when Tang Mian woke up, he still felt weak all over. His breathing was labored, and his head was spinning. The fever had made him kick the blankets into disarray.
However, there was an emptiness in his embrace, lacking the presence of the his cuddling plushie.
Without anything to hold onto, he resorted to hugging the bunched-up blanket. The blanket was thin, and it didn’t provide much comfort. Tang Mian instinctively glanced around, but there was no sign of Fu Shizhao. This made him feel even more upset. He had no plushie to keep him company, and Fu Shizhao wasn’t there either. It was already nine in the morning.
The curtains remained tightly closed, filtering the sunlight to create a soft, gentle glow in the room.
Fu Shizhao should have gone to kindergarten by now, to play with other kids and maybe even call someone else “big brother” while playing make-believe.
Tang Mian’s feverish body lacked strength, and he felt breathless. He groggily noticed that he had kicked the blankets into disarray during the night.
However, there was no plushie, and he couldn’t sense Fu Shizhao’s presence either.
Time had passed. The emptiness around him weighed heavily.
He knew that he was being unreasonable. Last night, he had made a fuss, crying without reason. His actions were driven by both the physical discomfort from the injection and the emotional turmoil he felt. Now, he couldn’t help but feel a little more distressed.
Tang Mian understood that he was being unfair to Fu Shizhao.
Fu Shizhao was better off away from him, preventing the flu virus from spreading. He didn’t want Fu Shizhao to get sick too, and it was already hard enough for him to be sick alone.
However, when one was ill, they became more sensitive and prone to strange thoughts. Sometimes, it helped to think about things and let the emotions out, even if no one else knew.
Despite this, he managed to hold back his tears. Crying might have provided temporary relief, but he was trying to regain some semblance of dignity. After all, he was an older brother. An older brother should maintain a certain image and not cry over trivial matters.
As Tang Mian lay there, feeling hungry but without an appetite, his discomfort was only increasing. He didn’t know how to alleviate it.
At that moment, the door to the children’s room suddenly burst open.
Tang Mian turned instinctively and was pleasantly surprised to see Fu Shizhao, wearing a mask, and his mother standing in the doorway.
When their eyes met, Fu Shizhao couldn’t help but quicken his pace, coming to Tang Mian’s bedside. Only his sparkling eyes were visible. “Big Brother, you’re awake. Are you feeling better?”
Tang Mian softly acknowledged with a small sound, his eyes glistening with moisture as he looked at Fu Shizhao.
Why hadn’t Fu Shizhao gone to kindergarten?
Seeing this, Shen Siwan placed the bowls of porridge and medicine on the table. She also put a pacifying candy pacifier on top.
Although children of this age no longer needed pacifiers, they could still provide some comfort. Plus, it had a small piece of sweet candy inside, which could help mask the bitterness of the medicine.
Shen Siwan carefully picked up her son and held him close.
He was still running a fever, and his body felt weak and warm, but Shen Siwan held him gently.
Shen Siwan tried to feed Tang Mian some porridge, but he refused to eat. There was no other choice but to have him take the medicine first and then continue resting.
“Big Brother, please take the medicine. It will make you feel better faster,” Fu Shizhao said soothingly as he gently held the hand that Tang Mian had held the night before.
Fu Shizhao had expected that coaxing his young master to take medicine would be a challenge. After all, Tang Mian had always been averse to anything with an unpleasant taste, making it difficult to get him to take medicine.
However, when Tang Mian took the medicine without hesitation, Shen Siwan couldn’t help but be pleasantly surprised. Was it because he was feeling so unwell, or was it because of what Fu Shizhao had said?
Either way, Shen Siwan felt relieved.
After taking the medicine, Tang Mian scrunched up his face in response to the bitterness, his small hand clutching Fu Shizhao’s hand tightly. If it weren’t for his discomfort and the desire to recover quickly, he wouldn’t have willingly taken something like this. In his previous life, he had often refused to take medicine for minor illnesses, choosing to tough it out instead.
With the pacifying candy pacifier placed in his mouth, Tang Mian instinctively took a few bites. He felt a bit embarrassed about it, but the sweet taste was a welcome relief from the bitterness of the medicine.
Tang Mian reassured himself inwardly—he was only three years old, not yet four. Fu Shizhao had still been using a bottle to drink milk at this age, so what he was doing wasn’t anything unusual.
His self-reassurance worked, and Tang Mian felt much better.
Seeing that Tang Mian’s mood had stabilized, Shen Siwan gently placed him back under the covers and stroked his little head. “Be a good boy, Tang Mian. Rest and take a nap. Sleeping more will help you recover faster.”
Fu Shizhao didn’t leave but continued to hold Tang Mian’s hand. Gathering his courage, he asked, “Brother, would you like to hear me sing?”
It was also a test to see if Tang Mian had any suspicions about the singing from last night. He didn’t want to reveal his identity as a reborn soul so soon.
Tang Mian responded with a soft “yeah,” without thinking too much about it. With his cute voice, he requested, “I want to hear ‘Meow Woof Departure.'”
It was the theme song of the recent cartoon series they had been watching together. Despite being an children’s show theme song, it was far from childish. In fact, the lyrics were wonderful, and the melody was quite catchy. Tang Mian remembered that even more than a decade later, this song was still being covered by many internet users. He couldn’t recall the name or content of the show anymore, but he still remembered the song.
Fu Shizhao began to hum the song, starting with the upbeat part. However, he pretended to forget some of the lyrics and used humming to fill in the gaps. This approach suited his current persona. Even though Tang Mian had probably memorized the melody from listening to it every day, Fu Shizhao, with his limited vocabulary, couldn’t replicate the lyrics perfectly.
Tang Mian closed his eyes obediently. His mind was dull, and he couldn’t think much, but he knew that Fu Shizhao was singing to him, and that was enough to make him content.
Whether it was due to the calming effects of the medicine or the exhaustion from being afflicted by the virus, Tang Mian soon drifted back to sleep while holding the pacifier in his mouth.
The candy inside the pacifier was his favorite strawberry flavor, and it infused Fu Shizhao’s singing with a faint, sweet strawberry scent.
If only he could have Fu Shizhao to sing and comfort him whenever he was sick in the future, Tang Mian thought before falling into a peaceful slumber.
This chapter is so loooooooooong . Well, I was feeling weird about the previous few extra short chapters so this is nice I guess~