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After a few days of recuperation at the Li family’s old house, the gauze was finally removed from Li Qingzhou’s head and the wound was largely healed, leaving only a light mark on the side of the head where his hair hid it.
Li Chengkang’s family spent one more day at the old house before leaving.
Because Li Hongjie’s foot was so swollen, it was so ‘fat’ compared to the other foot, that he couldn’t even put on his shoes, he insisted on leaving no matter what others said.
When Old Master Li asked what had happened, Li Hongjie stammered and said that he had accidentally hurt his foot because he hadn’t noticed the stone on the road.
Old Master Li didn’t ask any more questions after that.
The Li family’s old house was built on the outskirts of Xicheng, some distance away from the center of the city, in a quiet and beautiful setting with beautiful water.
With the departure of Li Chengkang’s family, the old house became a lot quieter.
The butler and the nanny did their work in silence.
Li Hanyu was in her senior year of high school, and while she didn’t have to live at school, her studies were so intense that she could only be seen at meal times the majority of the time.
Li Xusheng was in first grade and didn’t have a heavy school load.
Most kids loved to play, horse around, and pamper themselves, so they never had a spare moment.
But Li Xusheng, on the other hand, liked to write and calculate on his desk or coffee table with his exercise book, and he was very quiet.
And Li Qingzhou, despite living with his two younger siblings in the old Li family home was like a stranger, not saying many words in a day.
They were slightly distant and awkward, as if there was a line between them that couldn’t be crossed easily ……
Old Master Li had assumed that even if Li Qingzhou stayed at the old house, he would continue to hold remote meetings and work every day……
That he wouldn’t even leave his room unless he needed to eat.
But to his surprise, Li Qingzhou woke up on time every day, washed up, turned his wheelchair alone, and walked around the forest paths in the early morning before returning.
Next was breakfast time.
At this point, Li Hanyu would have already left for school with her packed lunch and there would be only two people at the table, Grandpa Li and Li Xusheng.
–People who couldn’t walk did have many inconveniences in life.
For example, the appropriate height of tables, chairs, sinks, beds, etc. for normal people, might not be appropriate for people with disabilities.
And so some of the furniture in the old house were quietly replaced at some point, as were everything in Li Qingzhou’s room to a size suitable for his use.
Because of this, Li Hongjie had complained secretly and even used it to mock Li Qingzhou several times.
Later on, Li Qingzhou simply spent less and less time in the old house, but its layout remained unchanged.
–Just like this dining table.
There was no need for Li Qingzhou to purposefully change seats to eat dinner; he just needed to turn his wheelchair over.
After breakfast, the driver would take Li Xusheng to school and Old Master Li would go to the courtyard of the old house and sit in a rocking chair to listen to opera or crosstalk.
At first, Li Qingzhou would look out at the courtyard in the living room for a while before leaving.
Then slowly, he began to enter the courtyard.
From picking a flower from the courtyard, to feeding the fish, to staying by the old man’s side with his eyes closed, he did all this step by step.
The atmosphere in the courtyard was always made more restful and comfortable by the long opera or amusing crosstalk on the radio.
It was a rare occasion when the old and the young got along well.
Li Hanyu and Li Xusheng, both siblings, were at home and were in a small study room on the second floor dedicated to the children’s studies which was usually undisturbed.
When Li Qingzhou entered the living room from the courtyard, Li Xusheng was walking down the stairs with his workbook in his arms, his little face slightly depressed, looking a little listless.
When Li Xusheng reached the last staircase and looked up only to see Li Qingzhou close by, he called him ‘big brother’ in a milky voice.
“What’s wrong?” Li Qingzhou asked, glancing at the workbook in his arms.
Li Xusheng’s chubby little hand tightened on the staircase railing as he said, “The tutor is off today, I have a lot of problems I can’t do but sis is busy, I want to go ask and grandpa ……”
Old Master Li was asleep in the warm courtyard, covered with a plush blanket that Li Qingzhou had asked the butler for.
Li Qingzhou opened his mouth, “Come with me.”
When he finished speaking, he turned his wheelchair and headed for his room.
After noticing that there was no movement behind him, he looked back again and said with a light expression, “Hurry up.”
Shuddering, Li Xusheng immediately followed on his short legs.
“Which problem can’t you solve?” Li Qingzhou asked.
There were no chairs in Li Qingzhou’s room.
Li Xusheng sat on the bed and touched the soft, dry bedding, looking slightly overwhelmed.
Hearing his voice, he spread out the workbook on his lap hurriedly and pointed to a few blank spaces: “Here, this, and ……”
Li Qingzhou took the pen and explained it to him softly while writing down the steps in the workbook.
Li Xusheng’s mouth was slightly open, his eyes wide open, looking a little dazed.
It was only when Li Qingzhou asked him again that he came back to his senses, two red clouds suddenly appearing on his chubby little cheeks.
He whispered, “Big, big brother, can you tell me, tell me again, okay ……”
He had just gotten distracted and hadn’t listened to the steps clearly.
Li Qingzhou explained it again quite patiently.
He spoke clear and organized manner, also giving examples and breaking them down in depth ……
Li Xusheng gradually became so engrossed and immersed in it that before he knew it, he was sitting on Li Qingzhou’s bed instead of lying on his back, with his elementary school Olympiad Maths workbook spread out in front of him.
After three problems, a chocolate was put down on the exercise book.
Li Xusheng lifted his little head with a swish.
Li Qingzhou’s expression remained unchanged: “Reward.”
Li Xusheng was instantly shy, his little heart thumping, vaguely happy, his little toes curling up with his shoes off. He sat up immediately, “Thank you, big brother.”
“Hmm, you’re welcome.”
Li Xusheng ate it and then solved all the remaining problems under the tutelage of Li Qingzhou then he was rewarded with two more pieces which he put in his pocket.
“If you don’t know any more problems, you can come over and ask me.” Li Qingzhou told him.
Li Xusheng nodded with a small blush.
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