The Hope You Gave Me - 8. Villa hotel (Part 2)
Pulling up from the water, he asked with concern, “does your stomach hard? Do you need to see a doctor?”
“It’s okay, I will just take a hot bath.” Min Hui assured.
The two looked at each other in embarrassment, their upper bodies were both wearing only a thin white T-shirt, and when they were soaked in water, they became almost transparent. They glanced at each other, Xin Qi’s eyes fell on Min Hui’s chest, who hastily turned around and asked, “Where’s the bathroom?”
“The third door on the right.” Xin Qi said, “I’ll go wash up too.”
“Huh?” She looked at him fearfully, and he hastily explained, “There are two bathrooms.”
Min Hui took a quick shower, dried her hair, and changed into a lavender dress before coming into the living room. Xin Qi was already sitting on the sofa with wet hair, wearing a white casual shirt, light gray slacks and black flip-flops. Seeing her, he stood up: “I’ll go pour you some drinks. What do you want to drink? This has wine, beer, juice, cola, mineral water.”
“Just juice, please.”
“Okay, make yourself at home.”
Min Hui sat down in a corner of the couch in a confused manner. Two candles were lit on the coffee table, and his belongings were piled up on one side: cell phones, batteries, laptops, a leather notebook, a Go board with some pieces scattered on it.
She picked up a chess piece, put it in her hand, and gently shook it. She sat stupidly not knowing what she should do, seeing the chess pieces scattered around, she began to organize the pieces on the board, red and black, each on its own side.
After scuttling around in the kitchen for a while, Xin Qi brought over two steaming drinks: “Try this Hot Apple Cider. It’s hot apple juice, and very good for the stomach.”
Min Hui took it and saw that the mug was brimming with a pale yellow colour drink, steaming hot, with a bayonet in the middle wearing a slice of apple. She took a sip and said, “Delicious.”
“My mom used to make it for me in the winter.” He sat down next to her with the mug.
“Your mom?” She froze.
“Oh, I forgot our agreement, not to mention the past.” He smiled, “I mean – my adoptive mother.”
“Was she good to you?”
“Does she understand Chinese?”
“Not at all.”
“What about when you first went to America?”
“The first three months were a little sad …… completely uninteresting. But after three months, I was able to communicate normally.”
Min Hui wanted to ask more questions, but she did not dare to ask more, afraid that Xin Qi would start interrogating her and her cover would be blown up.
“So, your brother is currently considered to have been found, we just have to go to Suihua to confirm, right?” Xinqi asked.
Min Hui was well prepared to talk about this topic in detail. Because before meeting Xin Qi, she had already talked with the volunteers who search for family members for missing children. The other party had passed her all the information. Su Tian had been registered there for several years, but it’s the first time she’s encountered a suspicious situation. The brother was only one and a half years old when he was lost, the official name has not yet been given, but his nickname is “Ah Ji”.
“It’s almost like this; the other family who contacted them has a son who is adopted. The time of adoption and my brother’s abduction was only half a month apart. Suihua is also close to Yongquan, so it could be him.”
“On the basis of these two points, how can you confirm that he is your brother?” Xin Qi frowned, “This is too unreliable, right?”
“They took our blood for DNA comparison. The results should come out in a few days.” Min Hui took a sip of juice and continued, “I was just going to ask the general situation first by going there.”
“Is there any recognizable mark on your brother? A birthmark or something?”
“No. He was only a year old, we didn’t even have a picture.”
“Then we’ll have to rely on DNA.”
“Tian Tian,” Xin Qi suddenly said, “if he is really your brother and you don’t want to leave him to live abroad, I can come here to live with you. It was so hard to find him, I won’t let you be separated from your brother.”
Min Hui didn’t know how to answer, so she nodded.
“Are you hungry? Shall we go to a restaurant together? Or call Room Service?”
Min Hui looked at her watch, it was 5:00 p.m.
“It’s still early, right? I’m not hungry.”
Xin Qi nodded. When his eyes landed on the Go board, he said with surprise, “Hey, I see you’ve got all this chess sorted. Why don’t we play a game of chess together? Just like before?”
Min Hui looked at him and nodded, “Sure.”
The game lasted half an hour, starting with Xin Qi’s strong gameplay and Min Hui’s step-by-step. At the end of the day, it was hard to declare who won.
“Two rooks are across the river, I’m afraid we’ll have to draw this game. I’ll enter the cannon.” Min Hui looked at the two sides of the formation, each full of traps.
“Then eat the rook.”
“It’s too late to eat your rook, I’ll eat your knight.”
“Wonderful ah. Don’t be so smart. If you be, I’ll march in and kill your knight.”
“Then I’ll take the pawn to retreat from the knight.”
“Let’s enter the cannon.”
“Defending the troops.”
“Your knight is gone.”
“Entering the general.”
“Your general is also gone. Your army is dead*.”
[T/N: The chess they are playing isn’t western chess but Chinese chess, known as Go. I had no idea about Go, so translating these lines was very hard.]
Xin Qi looked at Min Hui with wide eyes and a look of disbelief, “Oh my god, I actually lost.”
“Do you know what the mistake was?”
“Can you teach me?”
“Just now when the two rooks were in a line, you shouldn’t have used the front rook to call the general, that was a losing move. You should have used the back rook to call the general, and if you didn’t fall for my trap, then you might still have a chance to win.”
“One more game?”
The two rearranged their chess pieces, and Xin Qi suddenly covered the pieces with one hand and gazed up at her face, “Tian Tian, are you really Su Tian?”
Min Hui’s eyes turned slightly, and a thought flashed through her mind: Is this person really Xin Qi? Could it be that the real Xin Qi is already dead and he is also an impostor?
“What about you, are you really Xinqi?”
He lifted his shirt, and in the middle of his chest, there was a thick and long scar: “You always recognize this, right?”
Min Hui drew a breath of cold air, laughed and said, “Just kidding, you don’t have to take it seriously.”
“I did take it seriously,” Xin Qi put down the shirt, swinging the chess piece in his hand, he said faintly, “I’ve already shown the proof. Now it’s your turn.”
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