Chapter 87: Orange Swiss Roll Cake
Translated by Yan of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Lin ShuYi frowned before he looked back at that boy again. Unlike the children who were playing and laughing nearby, he seemed to be very quiet and didn’t like joining the others. He only stood there calmly, feeding fruit to the even younger child; however, he was always smiling, smiling so much that his eyes curved, revealing two little sharp canines. It was extremely infectious, and people would most likely easily become fond of this kind of child.
The lady sighed. “Let’s go downstairs and take a look. After that I’ll tell you.”
Shen Fu and Lin ShuYi shared a look before they followed the lady away.
Downstairs, they turned a corner, and the lady brought Shen Fu and Lin ShuYi to a corridor not too far away from the boy. She stopped and said, “Here’s fine. If Xiao Yu overheard, that wouldn’t be good.”
Lin ShuYi nodded and looked at the lady. He wanted to know very badly why this boy wouldn’t work.
“That child is called Xiao Yu. His surname is unknown, and he’s been here for a very long time now. When he was about eight or nine months old, he was abandoned by his parents, thrown away at some family’s doorstep. Afterwards, he was sent from person to person until he arrived here.”
Lin ShuYi felt his heart tug, and he could faintly see himself in this child.
“Xiao Yi is actually very charming. You can also tell: he loves to laugh, and he’s a very intelligent child. Reasonably speaking, he should’ve been adopted long ago by someone since he came to us when he was so young.” The lady flipped through the list in her hand and adjusted the glasses on her nose. She sighed. “Indeed, he has been adopted by people before. It was just that he had been sent back within a year by them, along with that little kid behind him.”
Shen Fu’s brows crinkled. “Shouldn’t the welfare agency conduct a strict investigation into the household that’s adopting the children? And even if a child has been adopted already, the agency should still continue to keep an eye on them for a while, right? How could this kind of thing be allowed to happen? And what’s up with that little kid?”
They were too far, so they couldn’t see what the little kid looked like clearly. However, judging from the boy’s skillfully gentle manner, he should be treating that little kid very well.
The lady opened her mouth, about to speak, when someone who looked like a nurse suddenly walked past the three of them. When she passed the lady, she gave a respectful greeting. “Deputy director.”
The lady nodded. “Are you going over to bring Tao Tao back?”
The little nurse took in Shen Fu and Lin ShuYi before she nodded, her face a bit red. “It’s time. Then I’ll be going first.”
After the lady agreed, the little nurse walked straight over to the boy and said something quietly to him. The boy nodded cutely and smiled until his eyes curved before he put the handle of the trolley obediently into the little nurse’s hands. The little nurse pushed the cart away, and the child inside, who was about a year old, kept looking backwards even as the cart was being pushed away, calling ‘older brother’ in a childish voice.
The boy instantly followed them, clutching a small toy in his hands. As he walked, he murmured something to the little kid, which made the child so delighted that he gurgled with laughter.
Clever and thoughtful. Lin ShuYi couldn’t see any reason why this boy wasn’t appropriate to adopt. The child who was a little younger was also just like a porcelain doll; both of his eyes were big and round, like two bright grapes, and he was also extremely adorable.
Shen Fu patted Lin ShuYi’s shoulders in consolation before gesturing for the woman to continue.
The lady adjusted her glasses again out of habit. “The household that adopted him was a remarried one. The woman was no longer that young, and she couldn’t bear children anymore. When she came, she liked Xiao Yu at once, saying that she wanted to adopt him. At that time, Xiao Yu was already three years old, cute, obedient, and intelligent. Everyone in the orphanage quite liked him, and when they heard someone wanted to adopt him, everyone was happy for him. He himself was also extremely happy. We did indeed investigate that lady’s household in detail: her economic situation wasn’t super great, but her character still seemed to be pretty decent. She was very good to Xiao Yu, and Xiao Yu liked them a lot.”
What came next should’ve only been even better, but Lin ShuYi felt worried. If it had been better, they wouldn’t have seen the children here at all.
“Xiao Yu stayed with that family for more than half a year. At the beginning, the couple did indeed treat him very well, all the way up until that woman got pregnant herself.” As the lady spoke, she became a little agitated, and there was a bit of a furious expression on her face, which had been calm the entire time. “In my entire life, I’ve never met someone who would send back the child they adopted because they now had their own child. Ironically enough, that woman was even someone who had received higher education.”
Since they now had their own child, the couple who had adopted Xiao Yu decided to send him back. However, since he had called them “Mom” and “Dad” for so long, in the end they were still a little unwilling to part with him, and they dragged it on all the way until the child was born before contacting the orphanage and told them about it. The day Xiao Yu knew he was going to be sent back, he shut himself inside his room for the entire day without coming out, before he was sent back to the welfare agency.
“The day the couple left, Xiao Yu even went out to send them off. He hugged that woman’s waist, saying that it was fine that they sent him back, that he would be very happy as long as they treated his younger brother well in the future.” As the lady spoke, her eyes grew a bit red.
Shen Fu’s forehead creased even more. “Didn’t you say Xiao Yu also came back with another child?”
The lady nodded. “The little kid you two saw just then is Tao Tao, Xiao Yu’s younger brother. He’s the biological child of the couple that had adopted Xiao Yu. Not long after they sent Xiao Yu back, they discovered that Tao Tao had congenital heart disease. Even though it was a little severe, it wasn’t something incurable. But the two of them were both remarried in the first place; the man originally had two children already and wasn’t willing to spend all his money on treating Tao Tao, so he wanted to divorce the woman.
“The woman’s income wasn’t that high, so there was no way she could raise Tao Tao after divorce. So she thought of a way to tell the orphanage that she missed Xiao Yu and wanted to take Xiao Yu to live with her for a few days. The orphanage was originally firmly against this, but the woman took Xiao Yu when the orphanage wasn’t paying attention. After that, she gave Tao Tao to Xiao Yu, who was just six years old, before she ran away on her own. On the way, she got into a car crash, and by the time we found Xiao Yu, they were already passed out from hunger in the house.”
Lin ShuYi clenched his fists tightly. He glanced at Shen Fu before he saw the acknowledgement in Shen Fu’s eyes. Shen Fu most likely already knew what he was going to say.
“So the two of them were brought back here. Tao Tao’s father isn’t native to here, and there was no more news from him after that. Even if Tao Tao was sent to him, he wouldn’t be able to give him treatment or a good life. As a result, the two of them ended up staying here. There were a few people who wanted to adopt Xiao Yu after that as well, but Xiao Yu said that if they couldn’t also adopt Tao Tao, he didn’t want them. But after Tao Tao is a bit older, he’ll have to have surgery, and he’ll also have to be looked after carefully after the operation too. None of the people who wanted to adopt him before were very willing, so the two of them ended up staying here like that.” The lady finally finished speaking before she finally looked at Shen Fu and Lin ShuYi. “That’s why I said that this boy probably won’t do.”
It made sense. Most of the people who came to adopt children from the welfare agency before this probably weren’t in excellent living conditions. Adopting a child was one thing, but if they also had to adopt a child who was sick and needed surgery, it was likely that nobody would agree.
Lin ShuYi finally spoke. He truly felt very uncomfortable in his heart; he had some things he wanted to pour out, but he didn’t know who to tell it to. “We know everything now. Can you take us to go see Xiao Yu and Tao Tao?”
The lady looked at Lin ShuYi with some surprise before she glanced at Shen Fu. She knew their history and background. The Shen family was large and powerful; never mind adopting Tao Tao, even ten children like him would just be a drop in the bucket for them. But to tell the truth, no matter what kind of household it was, who wouldn’t pick the obedient, adorable, healthy child to adopt? If it was donating money, most likely anyone could do it. But if it was adoption, it wasn’t just money that had to be invested.
“Okay. However, before you two have decided, please don’t mention anything about adoption to Xiao Yu. His mind is sensitive and delicate, and I’m afraid that when the time comes, you two will—” The woman didn’t finish speaking, but Shen Fu and Lin ShuYi both understood. How broken-hearted and disappointed would a child be to believe at first that they were going to be adopted, only to end up with it not happening?
“You can relax, deputy director.”
The lady brought them to Tao Tao’s sickroom before she left. If they wanted to adopt them, it was essential that they first establish a bond. That wasn’t something that she needed to be there for. What’s more, even if they agreed to adopt, Xiao Yu himself still needed time to become accustomed to these two new “fathers.”
It was precisely because of what happened with Xiao Yu that made her believe that the type of relationship wasn’t important. What was important was whether they were being sincere and heartfelt towards the child.
Lin ShuYi stood in the doorway, peering inside. Tao Tao had already been placed into his own little bedroom, ready for his afternoon nap. The little nurse had taken off his outer clothes, leaving him in just a thin onesie in his little wooden bed. Because of his condition, he had started walking quite late. Now, he could only walk a few tottering steps while holding onto something. He was lying on his little wooden bed, beaming and waving at Xiao Yu, who was standing outside the glass window. As he waved, he spoke. Judging from the shape of his mouth, he seemed to be calling for his older brother.
Xiao Yu stood outside the glass wall, and he was also replying to him, smiling, “Be good, Tao Tao, sleep quickly. When you wake up, older brother will feed you cupcakes.”
They were clearly separated by a thick glass wall, but it was like Tao Tao had understood Xiao Yu’s words. He narrowed his black grape-like eyes before he laid back down on his bed obediently. He rolled over just a few times before he fell asleep.
Xiao Yu finally let out a breath of air before he turned, walked outside, and was given a fright by the two people who had been standing outside the door for some time.
“Big brothers, hello.” Even though he didn’t know them, Xiao Yu still greeted them politely.
Seeing how the two of them seemed to be looking inside, Xiao Yu’s mouth split open, revealing those two canine teeth. “Are big brothers looking at Tao Tao?”
Lin ShuYi nodded, and Xiao Yu’s eyes lit up at once. “Tao Tao is very cute. His eyes are both black and bright just like glazed glass pearls. When he grows up, he’ll definitely be very good-looking. He’s also very obedient, he never cries, not even when he gets shots.”
Shen Fu’s eyes curved and crouched down so that he was looking Xiao Yu in the eye. He revealed a seldom seen gentle, kind smile. “Then, what about you?”
Xiao Yu gave a start, and the light in his eyes dimmed. “I’m also very obedient, but Tao Tao is cuter than I am. He’ll definitely be very good when he grows up.”
He was probably the only one in the whole orphanage who would do the most he could to praise someone else’s child. The orphanage was very nice, but it was much, much more enticing to have their own family. Having kindhearted and gentle parents was probably the long-cherished wish of all the children. Everyone wanted to appear clever and thoughtful in order to be liked by someone and then adopted.
Lin ShuYi also kneeled down. “Do you like to eat cupcakes?”
Xiao Yu was startled again, and then he nodded energetically. “Does big brother also like them? I like sweet cupcakes the most. Tao Tao likes them a lot too, but we only have a little piece a day.”
Lin ShuYi felt his heart warm bit by bit. He reached out and rubbed Xiao Yu’s head. “I don’t have any cupcakes at home right now, but I have the Swiss roll cake I made yesterday. It’s even more delicious than cupcakes. Does Xiao Yu want to go back and eat it with us?”
“Swiss roll cake? Does it taste better than cupcakes?” Xiao Yu’s eyes were shining, and he clearly liked this dessert – which even had a sweet-sounding name – very much. Then he looked back at Tao Tao, who was sound asleep behind the glass wall, and he unexpectedly shook his head. “Big brother, if I leave, Tao Tao will cry.”
“Do you not like new families?”
Xiao Yu lowered his head. “I do.” After a long pause, he added, “But I like Tao Tao more.”
Even Shen Fu felt like his heart had melted into a puddle. If this was their child, how could he bear letting them reveal such an expression?
Xiao Yu finally lifted his head and looked at Lin ShuYi. “Does big brother want to adopt me?”
Lin ShuYi nodded.
“Actually, I like big brother a lot too. You’re good-looking, and you like cupcakes just like me. But can big brother also adopt Tao Tao too? Even though he’s sick and will need a lot of money, after I grow up I’ll make money and repay big brother. He’s very obedient, he doesn’t cry or make a fuss, and he’s very pretty.” As if he had used up a lot of strength, Xiao Yu finished his last few sentences stumbling and slow. “If big brother can’t adopt Tao Tao, then I thank big brother for his appreciation. I cannot leave Tao Tao. If Tao Tao can’t see me, he’ll cry.”
Lin ShuYi finally reached out, embracing the child who did his best to make himself seem like a big brother but in actuality yearned incomparably for a new home. He curled his lips up and said, “Then, how about Xiao Yu and Tao Tao come back together with us?”
Xiao Yu widened his eyes, not daring to believe it. He saw Shen Fu also start to smile slowly in front of him.
Xiao Yu suddenly jumped up. “Is big brother telling the truth?!! Big brother is going to adopt me and Tao Tao?!!”
Lin ShuYi nodded slowly, acting extremely serious.
Xiao Yu abruptly hugged Lin ShuYi. “Big brother, I like you.”
Shen Fu reached out and patted his head. “If you come home with us, you have to call me father from now on, not big brother anymore.”
Xiao Yu’s face went slightly red. He looked at Shen Fu before looking at Lin ShuYi. “Two fathers? You two look like brothers.”
That complicated and profound question wasn’t something Shen Fu was prepared to explain to him now. However, the important part still had to be cleared up instantly. “That’s right, no mothers, only two fathers. Does Xiao Yu mind?”
He didn’t answer with any hesitation this time. “I don’t mind, I have two fathers!” Then, he added, “Tao Tao won’t mind either.”
Shen Fu and Lin ShuYi shared a look and laughed.
“Why are you all so happy? How come you’ve been gone for so long?” Aunt Shen’s voice suddenly came from behind them. Lin ShuYi and Shen Fu stood up together. Lin ShuYi reached out and took Xiao Yu’s hand, and they turned together to face Aunt Shen.
Aunt Shen looked at the cute child in between them, her eyes bright. “Oh, a little cutie-pie. Have you two almost decided?”
Shen Fu and Lin ShuYi nodded before Shen Fu pointed at the glass wall behind him. “There’s another one in there.”
Aunt Shen’s eyes widened. She had just been gone for a bit, and they had already settled things? That was a bit too fast, wasn’t it?
She walked over to the glass wall and looked inside, and the tiger mom-like Aunt Shen was instantly struck dumb by the adorableness of the little bean sprout sleeping cutely inside. She kept beckoning, indicating that her husband should come look. “Alan, hurry and look, he’s wearing Winnie the Pooh clothes, so cute.” Then Aunt Shen turned and kneeled down. “Little friend, hello? What’s your name?”
“I’m called Xiao Yu.”
Aunt Shen was completely in love with the pretty little cutie-pie. She started to cheerfully introduce herself. “I’m called Shen ShiMan, Madam Shen. I’m the aunt of your future fathers. You should call me—”
Aunt Shen’s features suddenly went stiff.
If they were going with family hierarchy, shouldn’t this little cutie-pie call her great aunt?!!
She didn’t even have a child yet!!