"Elder Lan," Hana greeted.
"Ah! Hana, you've returned!" Elder Zhao exclaimed. He gave a hearty laugh as he held up a platter of mishapped buns. "I used your suggestions from last time and it worked. I seem to be getting better!"
Hana sweatdropped. "If you say so."
The dignified elderly man she met weeks ago have completely dropped pretenses with her. After this time, he was like a boisterous grandfather, especially after he met Rina.
Hmm, maybe he liked children. Hana nodded thoughfully. Yeah, old people tend to be fond of kids right?
Anyway, she left him to his own work while she went to check the counter. There were little customers during this time, except a middle-aged man that had been staring at the bread counter next to her for the last 15 minutes.
Maybe it was her misconception, but he seemed a little agitated at the sight of her. As if sensing her uneasiness, he walked over with a dark expression on his face.
"Excuse me," The man asked her, "have you seen this person?" He showed her a holographic picture of Elder Lan.
"Why do you ask?"
Now that she took a closer look at him, he did look vaguely familiar to Elder Lan. And his eyes were purple like hers.
Hmm . . . .
"As I thought," The man's eyebrow twitched. Suddenly, he rushed past her.
"Hey!" Hana tried to block him, but he easily sidestepped past her. Hana narrowed her eyes. This person is trained, she realized.
"FATHER!" The man man burst into the kitchen.
"Oh, you found me," Elder Lan muttered. He turned back to kneading the bread. "Well, now you know I'm alive, you can go back!"
"Is that the only thing you can say after disappearing for a month?" The man growled. "Do you know how worried everyone was! Feng Jun and Wei Feng have been searching for you everywhere!"
Elder Lan snorted. "Worried? I think they were elated instead! Those little punks are probably glad I'm not around to discipline them."
"Even so, you should have left a message instead. Running off to . . . bake! Even if you want to fulfill mother's final wish, you can't just leave. You're already 75, please keep that in mind!"
"You nag to much, that's precisely why I didn't tell you," Elder Lan muttered. He finally noticed Hana standing by the door awkwardly.
"Ehem, Hana, this is my son, Ming Feng," Elder Lan introduced. Lan Ming Feng nodded stiffly at her.
Hana coughed. "Pleasure to meet you Mr. Lan."
"Just call me Uncle Lan," he told her gruffly, "do you mind giving us a minute."
"Sure, I was just about to leave." Hana quickly fled back to the dorms. This seemed like family drama that she didn't need to get involved in.
"Who is she?" Lan Ming Feng finally asked.
"A student," Elder Lan sighed, "that I hired."
Lan Ming Feng narrowed his eyes. "Did you get a DNA test?"
"What are you saying?" Elder Lan frowned.
"Do you think I'm blind?! Her eyes and face! They look just like Xia Ling! Didn't you approach her for that reason?" Lan Ming Feng exclaimed. His hands trembled with emotion. "She's her daughter isn't she?"
"Actually, we met by chance," Elder Lan replied, "And she is too old to be Xia Ling's child. Unless Xia Ling gave birth as a minor."
He closed his eyes. "Even so, I raised Xia Ling up myself. With her personality and skills, do you think she can raise up a child that big? Moreover, that girl has a younger sister."
"Her purple eyes are irrefutable evidence. They are a symbol of our lineage!" Lan Ming Feng argued.
"They're not even the right shade! Just let it go. I told you, Xia Ling is dead!" The old man erupted.
Lan Ming Feng gave him a stony look. "You may have given up on her, but I haven't! Xia Ling is my sister. Even if I have to search until I'm one step into the grave, I will find her!! Even if its her dead body!"
He turned around. "Remember to come back soon or I'll drag you back."
"You brat! Are you trying to anger me to death!" Elder Lan closed his eyes. Xia Ling's disappearance was a scar for their entire family. Over the years, he had given up on this daughter that disappeared.
This eldest son of his always clashed against his will when it came to his little sister. But over the years, he had already steeled his heart. Elder Lan shut his eyes.
Xia Ling, will you resent me for giving up on you?
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