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Tang Xiu said with a serene expression, “Mom, I respect your choice and I’ll recognize that man as my father. But you know clearly well that I don’t have an ounce of familial affection toward the Tangs whatsoever. My family and roots are in this place.”
For a long time, Su Lingyun was silent before she nodded silently.
Tang Xiu spoke again, “Then, when will you see him?”
As if realizing something, Su Lingyun then suddenly grabbed Tang Xiu’s arms with a nervous and agitated expression on her face, “Xiu’er, Mom knows that you’re a doctor, and I also heard that you’re extremely skillful at that. You… you, are you able to cure your dad?”
Tang Xiu shook his head, “I don’t know anything specific about the condition he is in, so I’m gonna jump into wild conclusions now.”
A trace of disappointment was revealed in Su Lingyun’s eyes. But still, she nodded and said, “Xiu’er, let Xiangfei take care of your grandma at home. We’ll go to Beijing now.”
Twenty years had passed, and never once had she ever seen her husband! Hearing the news that her husband was still alive, Su Lingyun wished she could have wings to immediately fly to Beijing to see him. The more she delayed, the more her suffering.
Tang Xiu shook his head and slowly said, “Mom, I think we still have to wait for awhile, because I feel that some people will come to invite us to Beijing!”
Su Lingyun blankly stared at him and asked with a confused expression, “Who would want to invite us there?”
“The Tang Family,” replied Tang Xiu.
Su Lingyun’s expression changed. She harbored a wariness toward the Tangs for two decades along with the fear of them taking her son away. She was afraid that her son wouldn’t be close to her any longer. Yet, she wasn’t afraid now. Her son had grown up, and the affection between them would never be snatched away neither by fame nor fortune.
“Xiu’er, why are you so sure that the Tangs will come to invite us?”
Tang Xiu replied faintly, “Mom, they want us to recognize the ancestors, and they also want me to save him.”
Su Lingyun thought for a while before slowly saying, “Xiu’er, you’re their descendant after all, and of the Tang Family’s bloodline. So you’re supposed to recognize your ancestors!”
“Hmph,” Tang Xiu sneered, “Why should I? Because the Tang Family’s blood flows through my veins? If I ever had a choice, I would rather have the Su blood flowing within me. Mom, they are nothing but strangers in my eyes, whereas I have always been reluctant to relate to any strangers. And Mom, I respect your choice, so I wish that you can also respect mine.”
Su Lingyun opened her mouth, yet she couldn’t find any words to refute her son. Eventually, she could only helplessly nod and let Tang Xiu follow his decision.
“Xiu’er, please go out! I want to calm myself first. If… if the Tang Family don’t come today, we’ll go to the capital tomorrow,” said Su Lingyun.
Tang Xiu nodded and went out of the room. As he saw Su Xiangfei doing the laundry at the courtyard, he was silent for a moment before approaching him. He then took out half a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and pulled out one to give to him. He lit their cigarettes and puffed deeply. After that, he leaned on the tree beside Su Xiangfei and said serenely, “Can you tell me how you figured things out?”

Su Xiangfei pinched the cigarette with his wet hand as he then forced a smile, “It was not me that figured things out. It was my father that made me realize it. Virtues will be rewarded and retribution shall also befall onto the wicked, whereas some people are bound to be held responsible for everything they did. I see that as akin to what I did to you once. Had it been not for the awesome police work, perhaps it would’ve been you in jail now.”
“Just these?” asked Tang Xiu with a tranquil expression.
Su Xiangfei shook his head, “No. In fact, I did resent you before I came back. After all, you were quite ruthless; you ruined my family and also destroyed my father’s remaining life. But when I secretly eavesdropped the conversation between you and Auntie, only then did I realize how ridiculously absurd I was.”
Tang Xiu nodded. After a moment of silence, he then said slowly, “Go repeat your high school’s third year again! After that, take the CET next year. You don’t need to worry about your welfare, my mother will look after you.”
Su Xiangfei suddenly smiled, and it was particularly bright. He then shook his head and said, “With my academic grades, I’m afraid that I can only be admitted to an ordinary university; it’s impossible for me to enter the top universities even if I have to repeat my third year of high school again. I’ve been thinking quite thoroughly, and I’ll be staying here until grandma’s injuries fully recovered. Then, I’ll leave Qinghe County and go outside to live on my own, relying on my ability. Regardless of how well I fare with life later, I will eventually return to the Su Family, to my roots.”
“Then write my cell number. I hope you contact me only if you’re forced by circumstances,” said Tang Xiu.
Su Xiangfei nodded silently.
Tang Xiu spoke no longer. He took a deep puff and then walked toward the outside of the courtyard.
"Tang Xiu!"
Su Ben and Su Quan, who saw Tang Xiu coming out, quickly called out to him.
“Anyways, you two will have to stay at home for a few more days! For the time being, I can’t return back to Star City, I will have to go to Beijing to deal with some matters. When I come back to Star city from the capital, I’ll contact you again.”
Su Quan replied with a smile, “That would be great! Originally, Big Brother Ben and I also planned to leave for Star City a few days later! Because you need that Silver Dragon Grass, we also want to get some of them!”
Tang Xiu said quickly, “I advise you not to do that. Even if you take more people, you can only look around the outer periphery of the mountain. You said yourselves that that fierce beast is very dangerous, and ordinary people are basically unable to injure it. So, you would most likely have casualties occurring on a trip deep in the mountain.”
Su Ben knew Tang Xiu’s nature and disposition. Upon seeing him speak with all seriousness, Su Ben immediately replied, “Then we’ll listen to you. We’ll tell the other fellow villagers to only go uphill, and no matter how many Silver Dragon Grasses we find, we won’t traverse deep into the mountains.”
Tang Xiu nodded, “Please remember. Before summer vacation ends, I’ll make a trip back here to solve that fierce beast. Anyways, you two can go take care of your work! And wait for my call!”
Su Ben and Su Quan replied as they walked toward Su Ben’s house next door.
Two hours later, two black Audis slowly parked outside the courtyard. Four bodyguards in casual attire then dispersed as Tang Min opened the door and helped Tang Guosheng out.
“Are they here?”
Tang Guosheng looked at the shabby wooden doors as well as the dilapidated courtyard.
Tang Min nodded, “Father, according to the information sent to me, they live here. I also used GPS. This place is where their family lives.”
Tang Guosheng looked at the four bodyguards and spoke with a deep tone, “You’re all to stay outside, and no matter what happens, you must never step into the courtyard.”
The four bodyguards immediately saluted as they received the command.
Tang Guosheng walked through the front gate. As he entered the courtyard and saw Su Xiangfei, an astonished expression flashed from his eyes as he asked him, “Young man, might I ask whether Su Lingyun and Tang Xiu live here?”
Su Xiangfei stood up from the chair and asked back, “Yes, they do. And you are?”
Tang Guosheng nodded, “I’m Tang Guosheng. Are they here now?”
Su Xiangfei turned his head and shouted, “Auntie, someone is looking for you!”
Su Lingyun and Tang Xiu came out of the house. As Tang Xiu saw Tang Guosheng and Tang Min, he sighed to himself. He could guess as to why they came, but he didn’t expect that it would be this fast. Perhaps, after he left Star City Chinese Medical Hospital, Tang Guosheng had sent people to investigate him.
With a cold and detached expression, Tang Xiu said, “Why did you come here? I told you that we have no relationship with the Tangs whatsoever.”
Tang Guosheng replied bitterly, “Xiu’er…”
“My name is Tang Xiu!” growled Tang Xiu.
Tang Guosheng was silent for a moment. He then replied helplessly, “Tang Xiu, this is your mother, my daughter-in-law, right?”
Su Lingyun was dumbfounded. Even though she heard from Tang Xiu that some people from the Tang Family would be coming, but she had never thought that Tang Guosheng would personally come. She knew him. Not only was he the Senior Official of the State, he was also her husband’s father, her nominal father-in-law.
“You… I’m Su Lingyun.”
Tang Guosheng walked toward Su Lingyun and Tang Xiu as he said bitterly, “I sent people and almost swept over the entire Star City twenty years ago. But it was very unfortunate that I couldn’t find the both of you, mother and son. Yunde only told me that you’re called Little Yun. Thus, I didn’t know your full name without further information. Twenty years ago, after I personally went to Star City to fetch Yunde, I couldn't find you, so all these years I’ve let you—mother and son suffer hardships.”
Tears burst out from Su Lingyun’s eyes as she heard it.
Tang Min came to her side and spoke to her all smiling, “Sister-in-law, why don’t you call him father?”
Su Lingyun opened her mouth, yet, her voice couldn’t get out as it was stuck in her throat. She knew why her husband came alone to Star City that year. He was driven out by his family, and that year, she had just left from her countryside village, working as a nurse in a hospital in Star City. At that time, nobody was taking care of Tang Yunde. Slowly after, they then fell in love and lived together.
Afterward, she got pregnant, but she had yet to have a marriage certificate. But her husband told her his true identity and also learned that a huge crisis befell the Tang Family at that time. Tang Guosheng was forced by circumstances and had to expel her husband from the family and announced that he cut off the relationship between father and son.
At first, due to the anger her husband harbored, he cut off any contacts with his family. But when she got pregnant, driven by excitement and joy, he called Tang Guosheng.
She had seen this father-in-law on TV, but this was her first time seeing him in person.
Hence, she couldn’t call him father as of now.
Tang Guosheng forced a smile, “Little Yun, I know that it’s quite awkward for you to call me father-in-law. However, you’re, after all, my son’s wife, and you’ve given birth to the bloodline of the Tangs. I don’t want to force you to recognize me as your father-in-law if it’s against your will. I only hope that I would be able to compensate you—the mother and child in the future.”
Su Lingyun raised her head and looked at Tang Guosheng as she said, “I must see Yunde.”
Tang Guosheng replied without hesitation, “The reason I came here, is that I want to invite you—the mother and child to Beijing. Before I arrived here, I also learned that your mother is injured. If you want to, you can also take her along.”
Su Lingyun turned to Tang Xiu.
With a tranquil expression, Tang Xiu said, “The purpose of my mother going to Beijing is to see him, but our family doesn't belong in Beijing. If you may, I hope you let us see him, for we’re a family in the truest sense. But the Tangs, to us, are nothing but strangers.”

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