Under the shadow of the tree, Li Yiming and Liu Meng looked at the middle-aged woman in the distance, who carried a bag of groceries.
“Let’s go,” Li Yiming said as tears filled Liu Meng’s eyes. Liu Meng could tell right away that it was her mother.
As the two made their way to Liu Meng’s mother, she stood there, transfixed.
“Mom…” Liu Meng called, tears rolling down her cheeks.
She was answered by a slap to the face. Her mother was trembling from both joy and anger.
“Aunt…” Li Yiming said, but he was submitted to the same treatment.
Just like that, the strongest couple in the world received a slap to the face. The scene itself inevitably attracted the attention of many passersby.
“Let’s go home.” Liu Meng’s mother struggled to keep her tears from bursting out. Li Yiming came up to help her, only to be refused.
“So you remembered that you had a mother?” Liu Meng’s mother burst out as soon as the door was closed and raised her hand once again.
Liu Meng lowered her head and suppressed the energy of her body so as to not hurt her mother’s hand, but she was instead greeted by two shaking arms wrapped around her.
It had been two years since Liu Meng had gone away. The first year was due to burning away her phoenix marking and the second was when she was stuck in emptiness. Although her mother had seen footage of the battle of Shangbei, she did not connect the dots between the figure who possessed godlike powers and her own daughter. The one thing she was certain of was that it was Li Yiming who had taken her daughter away.
She was always opposed to Liu Meng’s relationship with Li Yiming, and after her daughter had disappeared, she searched frantically for any clues to find her back. After even asking an old friend to bribe a local vice-commissioner and being told that Liu Meng’s information had been on the police’s network for a while already, she finally sank into despair.
“Mom…” Liu Meng sobbed.
Li Yiming, upon seeing Liu Meng and her mother locked in a tight embrace, backed away to give the two some private time.
“You!” Liu Meng’s mother suddenly exclaimed. Although her resentment for her daughter’s actions went away the moment they reunited, she still held a grudge against Li Yiming.
“Uh… yes…” A chill ran down Li Yiming’s spine.
“Two years… It’s your fault…” Liu Meng’s mother said with a shaking voice.
“Mom… It’s not…” Liu Meng defended Li Yiming.
“Shut up!” Liu Meng’s mother interrupted.
“Li Yiming, is it? Well, I don’t care who you are. You’re not walking out of this door today without an explanation.” Liu Meng’s mother put on the figure of an authoritative step-mother.
“Explanation…” Li Yiming gulped down a mouthful of saliva. He found dealing with Liu Meng’s mother to be much more intimidating than dealing with Wu Yun himself.
“I… We’re about to be married. I would like to ask for your approval,” Li Yiming suddenly said.
Liu Meng looked up in surprise, completely taken aback, as Li Yiming had not discussed the matter with her.
Liu Meng’s mother sank into silence. In a way, she was happy knowing her daughter came back to seek her best wishes when it mattered the most.
Although many of her frustrations were still left unanswered, Liu Meng’s mother knew that she could do nothing but accept. And just like that, Li Yiming and Liu Meng’s union was approved of, without even anything such as a proposal.
That night, Liu Meng’s mother cooked a sumptuous meal, but she refused to give Li Yiming a single smile. As Liu Meng busied herself with washing the dishes after the meal, Liu Meng’s mother pulled Li Yiming over into the bedroom.
“I cannot refuse you at this point, but I do hope that you’ll make my daughter happy.” Liu Meng’s mother said in a low voice.
“I promise that I’ll protect her with my life,” Li Yiming said resolutely.
It was a textbook response to the situation, but his determined expression convinced Liu Meng’s mother was that Li Yiming was sincere.
“Alright, I’ll trust you on this. For the prenuptial presents, I’m not going to ask for anything, but the rules are the rules. You can decide on the amount. I’ll return everything as her dowry. I also have some money saved up over the years… I’ll give it to her as well.” Liu Meng stared at the photograph by the bed with a lonely smile, which depicted her with Liu Meng’s father, who had passed away a long time ago.
“I…” Li Yiming did not know what to say.
“It’s okay. I’ve heard that your parents bought an apartment back in Lishui? I think that you can start your new life there. Maybe you can get a better place once you get more work experience…”
“Please tell your parents to come visit if they have a chance, we’d have to meet before the wedding…”
Li Yiming returned home the next day to discuss the matters with his parents. Unlike Liu Meng, he had maintained contact with his family members before falling into a coma, and while he was unconscious, Lin Lu took care to craft an excuse for him.
To his family, Li Yiming had become an officer at a core division in National Security. As such, he needed to undergo isolated training for a year. Lin Lu even made the effort to have an official document sent to Li Yiming’s home. After the year went by, it became “oversea training”.
Upon hearing that Li Yiming had returned home and had proposed to Liu Meng, his entire family was brimming with joy. His mother, especially, who had met Liu Meng before, knew that she was a beauty whom Li Yiming was incredibly fortunate to be able to marry. And so, Li Yiming’s parents wasted no time in packing up and going to Wen City to meet the future in-laws.
After meeting with Li Yiming’s parents, Liu Meng’s mother’s attitude changed for the better, as it did no good to be overly harsh to her future son-in-law.
Despite how sudden all of it was, everything was lining up for the big day. Li Yiming spent his days following Liu Meng and her mother around, shopping in preparation for the ceremony.
Liu Meng’s mother suddenly came to a halt as she stared at a skyscraper nearby.
“What is it?” Li Yiming asked. He had a feeling that the place had a particular meaning to Liu Meng’s mother.
“It’s nothing. There used to be a little hill here. This is where… where her father proposed to me. A few years ago, the hill was flattened for the sake of building this… I would never have imagined that the day of my daughter’s wedding would come so fast…” Liu Meng’s mother shook her head, trying to suppress as much of her emotions as possible in front of Li Yiming.
Li Yiming looked at the skyscraper and remembered Liu Meng telling him about a little hill that used to exist there. After a while spent pondering, he picked up his phone.
“What is it, Mr. Li?” Fang Shui’er surprised voice came.
“Could I ask you for a favor?” Li Yiming said.
“Please, I’ll do everything I can.” Although Fang Shui’er was no longer forced to do Li Yiming’s bidding, she was glad to help out of respect.
“There’s some real estate I’d like to buy. It’s probably sold out, but I was wondering if you could help me out?” Li Yiming asked politely. Fang Shui’er had been the one to negotiate the purchasing of the area around Pure Water Herb Hall.
“Not a problem. Just give me the address.”
“It’s in Wen City, Ou’Hai Tower. It’s best if we can get the top floor.”
“I’ll work on it right away. Anything else?”
“No… that’s all.” Li Yiming was not used to being addressed at so politely, especially after spending so much time with Liu Meng’s mother.
“What are you doing? Are you calling home? I need to go home to cook! Hurry up!” A shout suddenly came from ahead.
“Coming!” Li Yiming quickly caught up with Liu Meng and her mother.
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