After Kaner pulled Hei and Mei into the gate, he found himself back where he was, looking into Mei’s eyes.
Tianlan and Bai were there as well, holding his shoulders.
Shao Chen had been calmly observing as his grandchildren and their friend stood stock-still. He remembered having gone through something like this a long time ago, so he wasn’t too concerned when it happened.
After looking around, Hei realised that they had returned.
“It looks like we’re back.”
He turned around to make sure that things were as they should be before he turned back to Mei.
The feeling had returned after coming back into this body, but it wasn’t as extreme as before.
‘At least I know where it’s coming from now. And Mei also knows.’
Thinking this, Hei was able to accept that he was going to have strange feelings for this little girl for the foreseeable future.
It wasn’t ideal, but it wasn’t the end of the world either.
Nevertheless, there was a distinct awkwardness between them. They both had feelings for the other that weren’t appropriate.
Hei had feelings for a little girl due to the other soul within his body, who also had feelings for the little girl.
And the little girl had feelings for the other soul within his body but could only express them through Hei.
Quite the odd love triangle.
Shao Chen was curious as to what the kids had experienced, so he asked.
After hearing the explanation from Hei, he couldn’t help laughing.
“Hahaha. So, I have a new granddaughter-in-law? I was sure it would be Tianlan who got married first.”
Hearing about the connection between Hei and Mei, Shao Chen was happy. He wasn’t too surprised about the whole two Heis situation, as he had seen stuff like this before.
But to have his best friend’s daughter suddenly show up had caught him off guard. He had been thinking of how he should handle the situation.
He had the thought that there was a reason Mei was brought to this continent, the same continent he had told his best friend about.
Now that it was like this, it was easy for him to take her in and look after her as one last favour.
Hearing Shao Chen’s words, Hei and Mei were embarrassed. Hei tried to clear things up.
“We’re not married yet, Grandpa. And it’s the other Hei who likes her and who she likes. I’ll have you know, I have nothing to do with this.”
“Hahaha. Whatever you say Little Hei. Welcome to the family, Shao Mei.”
“J-just like that?”
Hei was surprised to hear this. Sure, he had been planning to have Xiulan adopt Mei, but Shao Chen had beat him to it.
“Why not? The two of you are meant to be together, right? The only thing is, it won’t be so easy to get your mother to agree.”
As he said these words, Xiulan came in with a basket full of ingredients. She had been collecting them from the back of the bakery, where they grew their own supplies.
She noticed the new face, but she just went about her business as usual.
“Little Xiulan, come meet your daughter-in-law.”
Shao Chen said this while chuckling.
Xiulan put down the basket and turned over to Mei, who was nervous.
Mei hadn’t expected to become someone’s daughter-in-law today, and least of all, a human’s. She turned over to Hei, who spoke for her.
“Uh… Mumu. Things happened, and here we are. I would like for you to accept Mei as your daughter-in-law if you don’t mind. Even though we aren’t married! Yes, we aren’t married yet, but still.”
Xiulan bent down to look closely at Mei before nodding her head.
“What’s your baking experience?”
Mei was surprised by the random question.
“I have never baked before.”
Xiulan then looked at Hei with a confused face.
“If your wife doesn’t know how to bake, what will you eat? Will you make your own food?”
Hei was about to respond when he realised that he had really only eaten bread for his entire life thus far.
He wasn’t inclined to eat anything else, so if his wife wasn’t able to bake, then he really would have to make his own food.
This wasn’t a problem per se. He could make his own food, no problem. However, it would be quite strange to have a ‘useless’ wife.
Thinking this far, he looked to Mei with a conflicted face. Somehow, he had been caught up in Xiulan’s atmosphere and was viewing her as his wife who was unable to bake.
When he realised this, he quickly responded.
“She isn’t my wife yet! So, she has time to learn. She can join us in our training. Isn’t that right, Mei?”
Mei was thoroughly confused at this point. In order to become Hei’s wife, she needed to learn how to bake? What kind of strange family was she joining?
She turned to Tianlan and Bai in hopes of finding some normal people, but they looked at her with apathetic faces. As if to say, ‘Naturally, you will need to learn to bake if you wish to join the family’.
She tried once more to find normalcy in Shao Chen, but it was the same result.
Resigning to her fate, she bowed and spoke seriously.
“Please instruct me, Mother-in-law.”
Seeing this, Hei was dumbfounded. Mei had already taken to calling Xiulan ‘Mother-in-law’. What kind of scenario was this?
Xiulan, on the other hand, was pleased with what she saw.
“That remains to be seen. You will start your training tomorrow. Today, your husband can teach you the fundamentals.”
Hearing this, Hei objected.
“We’re not married yet!”
Everyone started laughing, but Bai had a new feeling growing within her. She didn’t know why, but there was something about Mei that she didn’t like.
For the rest of the day, Hei did as Xiulan had said, and was teaching Mei the fundamentals of baking.
Every now and then Bai would enter his radius, so he was able to detect her. Then she would just leave.
Hei found this behaviour odd. He had never seen Bai act this way, but he assumed she was just curious to see how her new sister was doing.
After a few hours, Mei had produced her first batch of bread and was anxious as she approached Hei with the bread.
She was looking down as she spoke while holding the bread in front of him.
“Um. Will you try my bread? I made it for you.”
Hearing these words triggered the other soul, and as a result, influenced Hei.
Hei used his Qi to echo a message within his own body.
[Calm down Hei! You’re being a nuisance.]
A short moment later, the other soul calmed and Hei was back to himself.
He turned to Mei and said:
“You know it’s not your little husband, right? I’m Kaner.”
“I-I know. But if you eat it, he will also taste it.”
Hei couldn’t refute this point, and seeing the expectation in Mei’s eyes, he couldn’t bring himself to refuse. It was just some bread after all.
He took a piece and ate it.
‘Ugh. Did you bake this using mud? How can bread be so bad?’
“Not bad for a first attempt. But it needs some work.”
Hei wanted to give Mei some encouragement. After all, this was a heartfelt gift. To straight up tell her that it was terrible… He didn’t think it would do anyone any good.
After he said this, Bai came out of nowhere with her own bread.
“Brother, I wanted you to try some of my bread as well.”
She sort of pushed Mei out of the way a little as she presented her bread.
Hei felt that this was odd. Bai had never wanted him to try her bread before. Why was she doing this all of a sudden?
But, since it was from Bai, he couldn’t refuse.
He took a piece and ate it. It was quite delicious. Evidence of her growth over the past year.
“Mm. Your bread is good, Little Bai. Very tasty.”
After saying this, he noticed a triumphant smile on Bai’s face as she turned to Mei.
Mei seemed to be a little disheartened.
Seeing this, Hei’s feelings fluctuated.
[I know. Just calm down.]
“Both breads were good, but Bai has been baking for a long time, so her bread is the better one today. I’m sure you’ll catch up in no time, Mei.”
Hei was trying to please both women, but he failed miserably.
“Are you saying that her bread is even close to mine, Brother? I worked really hard this time, and this was her first try.”
Hearing this, Mei responded.
“Um, Little Bai-”
She was cut off.
“It’s Sister Bai to you.”
Hei could see there was a problem here.
Bai’s words only served to worsen the situation.
“Right, Sister Bai. I don’t think you should be so arrogant. Hei is only trying to be honest, but you are complaining. Sometimes the truth isn’t something we want to hear.”
Ignoring her words, Bai took a piece of Mei’s bread and ate it.
Shortly afterwards, she turned to Hei.
“Brother, are you being truthful? Both breads are good, but mine is only better due to experience?”
Hei didn’t know how to respond. He could see that the situation was spiralling out of control.
Due to Hei’s hesitation, Bai left the room in a hurry, and as she did, Hei could see a tear fall to the floor.
Seeing this, Hei felt horrible. Why was it that within a matter of hours, he had already made Bai cry twice?
He hurriedly ran after her.
Hearing Mei’s voice, Hei ground to a halt. That pesky soul had affected him again.
[Dude, seriously. Cool it.]
He turned to Mei and explained.
“Something is wrong with Little Bai. I can’t leave her alone.”
After saying so, he turned back around and followed after her.
After Hei had left, Mei turned over to her bread and broke a piece off. She hadn’t even tried it before she presented it to Hei, so she was curious as to how she did.
As she tasted her ‘bread’, she almost spat it out.
She now realised that Hei had been lying to spare her feelings.
Realising this, she was both happy that he cared for her but also disappointed at her own incompetence.
She then took a piece of the bread that Bai had baked, and the difference was shocking. In all her life, she had never had such a delicacy.
That Hei would lower this bread to only being slightly better than her own…
Bai had already left the bakery by the time Hei had finished speaking to Mei.
He had to activate his spiritual perception if he wanted to find her quickly.
After scanning through the whole city, he had found her.
She was under a tree in a quiet corner of the city and had her arms wrapped around her knees and her face buried.
Seeing this, Hei went and sat next to her.
“Little Bai, what’s the matter?”
Bai had noticed Hei’s presence but hadn’t reacted until now.
She raised her tear-stained face and spoke:
“Why did you say that her bread was good, Brother?”
Hearing this, Hei didn’t know how to respond. Why was Bai making such a big deal out of this?
He used his hand to wipe her tears as he spoke.
“Mei made that bread especially for the one she loves. It wouldn’t feel right for me to harshly criticise it since I am in his body right now. So, I decided to give her some encouragement.”
“But what about the bread I made for you? I also made it for the one I…”
Bai stopped her words here.
Hearing this, Hei burst into laughter.
“Hahaha. Little Bai, is that what this is about? I thought there was a real problem.”
Hearing this, Bai puffed out her cheeks.
“It’s not funny, Brother.”
Seeing that Bai’s mood had improved a little, Hei continued.
“Haha. Your right. It’s your brother’s fault for being too spectacular. You had no choice but to love me.”
“But let me tell you. One day, you will meet someone 100 times better than your brother. You are only 6 years old, there is plenty of time for things like that. And in a few years, you will even come to find me super annoying.”
Hearing this, the corners of Bai’s mouth rose a little.
“How could I find you annoying, Brother?”
“Hehe. That’s because I’m going to make sure those little punks know that they can’t play around with you. I’ll be darned if a single one passes my defences.”
“You don’t know? I’m talking about the boys. With your adorable face, how can they not come flooding in? In a few years, I’ll have to keep a constant lookout for you. You don’t know the trouble your brother will have to go through. Sigh.”
“Don’t exaggerate, Brother. And I don’t think a person exists who is 100 times better than you.”
“You think so? Just wait and see. One day, a little punk will come along who catches your eye. And that little punk will get a good beating when he shows up too.”
Hei pounded his fist against his hand as he finished his sentence.
The two laughed.
After a while, Hei asked:
“So, what do you have against our new sister?”
Bai looked down at the ground before she answered.
“It’s just that all this time, it has been the three of us, and now, all of a sudden there is a new person. And she is taking all of your time. I just wanted-”
Before she could finish speaking, Bai felt Hei’s hand on her head.
She turned to him.
“You know that your brother Hei and I are two different people. He is the one who has special feelings for Mei. To me, she is more like Tianlan. I consider her my sister and nothing more.”
After saying this, Hei paused. He could hear Bai muttering:
“Nothing more than your sister… So, I am also…”
Hearing this, Hei gave her a smile and a thumbs up.
“You, on the other hand, are special. No matter who else comes along, you will always be my number one adorable little sister.”