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Backstory

        It was a rainy day in a graveyard, which the lack of sunlight added melancholy on the day; A man was rushing his way, covering himself with his sleeves only.

        Suddenly, the man found himself under an umbrella coming out of nowhere. When he looked up, he saw a pair of beautiful eyes.

        “We can share the umbrella, if you don’t mind,” said Li Ji, the owner of the umbrella. The man was captivated by her gentle voice, and responded, “thanks for the kind gesture. Your wish is my command.”

        Holding the umbrella, the man slowed down his pace for Li Ji while scanning her secretly. Li Ji had a skin smooth like a teen girl; The secret of her age could only be told by the barely noticeable wrinkles at the corner of her eyes; Her slim body was dressed in a white mourning dress. Yet the most eye-catching thing about Li Ji was the shiny metal thingy in her hand.

        “What’s this?” The man asked. Li Ji got what he was referring to, and she showed her palm to reveal the metal thingy——A brass wind chimes.

        “This is my son’s favourite toy. I carry it every time I visit him, and I ring it in front of his grave,” Li Ji said in sorrow.

        “I’m sorry,” the man apologised for his inappropriate manner, but Li Ji didn’t get bothered but gave a casual smile. “Don’t be. It was years ago. Speaking of which, why are you here?” Li Ji asked.

        “I’m here for my mother. She passed away few years ago,” said the man. Not sure if it was the atmosphere or Li Ji’s charisma, the man spilled his closest secret to Li Ji. “I’m here to tell her that I scored the top in the imperial examination, and no one can look down on our family anymore. I’ll carry on without her…”

        The man started sobbing after confessing to Li Ji. Comforting this poor man, Li Ji held him close and pressed his head on her shoulder. “It must be hard for you to live on your own all this time. Don’t be sad. Your mother is gonna be very proud of you,” Li Ji whispered to the man.

        As a grown up man, he didn’t feel repulsive for being treated like a child; Instead, he felt so calm like being wrapped up in the ocean of love. Closing his eyes, the man decided to enjoy this moment of peace. Soon, the rain stopped and Li Ji let go of him.

        “The rain has stopped. I guess it’s time to say goodbye,” said Li Ji, bowing to the man. Right when she turned away, the man grabbed her hand and asked her the one last question, “Will I...see you again?”

        He threw out this question not because of love, for the man had already married; Li Ji was something else to him——a mother figure.

        This feeling was mutual; The fragileness of the man aroused the mother nature within Li Ji. She nodded with a smile, and ever since then both of them had been meeting regularly.

        They did not talk much every time they met. Sometimes Li Ji would make snacks for the man; Sometimes they would walk along the river. He never felt awkward about the silence between them. Because of Li Ji, this silence was actually a blessing to him.

        One day, they met each other on the bridge as usual, and chatted as usual. Yet Li Ji sensed something wrong with the man, and she asked, “do you have something on your mind?”

        “No. What makes you ask?”

        “Don’t lie to me. I’ve spent long enough to see it in you,” said Li Ji, holding his hand. “Lay it on me. I’m gonna be worried about you.”

        “...I refused when someone was trying to bribe me. Then my wife kicked me out for being too stupid and stubborn,” the man confessed.

        “I see.” Li Ji patted at his hand and continued, “don’t blame your wife. All she wants is the best for your career. Just talk to her after she calm down.”

        “But how about tonight…”

“You can stay the night at my place, if you don’t mind. I’ll protect you.”

        Li Ji’s words calmed his chaotic mind like a mild breeze. The man felt like he had found a haven.

        Holding Li Ji’s hand, the man headed deep into the forest to her mansion like a lost child...

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