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Yuan Gun Gun followed Hao Yan Che to the garden. It looked like paradise to her. There were luscious tall trees, a pond, sculptures and a small playground that included a slide.

‘Young master, I want to go on the slide,’ Yuan Gun Gun said.

‘Can your bottom fit on the slide?’ Hao Yan Che asked.

Yuan Gun Gun rubbed her bottom.

‘You’re right,’ Yuan Gun Gun said.



Yuan Gun Gun lifted Xiao Yuan onto the slide, and she watched Xiao Yuan slide down.

‘Xiao Yuan, you’re so cute,’ Yuan Gun Gun said. ‘Everyone come here and slide too.’

‘Let’s go inside,’ Hao Yan Che said.

‘Young master, I want to play… I mean young master is hungry and we should go inside,’ Yuan Gun Gun said.

Yuan Gun Gun held Hao Yan Che’s hand, and they walked inside together.

‘Young master, when did you build the playground?’ Yuan Gun Gun asked. ‘My small friends are happy to have somewhere to play, sleep and eat.’

Hao Yan Che didn’t answer.

‘Young master, don’t you think I’m getting smarter by the day?’ Yuan Gun Gun asked.

Hao Yan Che didn’t answer because he only wanted to hold Yuan Gun Gun’s soft hand forever.

After breakfast, Hao Yan Che stood in front of the study room window and watched Yuan Gun Gun play with her small friends. He didn’t know why he let her keep them in his home and built a playground for her small friends. Was it because he didn’t want to disappoint her? He only knew he was becoming stranger by the day.

Hao Yan Che felt relaxed whenever he saw Yuan Gun Gun smile. What scared him was he dreamt of her at night. Before he met her, he didn’t dream. Why was his first dream, a dream about a rice ball like her? His rice ball was still playing happily with her small friends in the garden. She fell on the ground, her dress rode up her thighs and he could see her cartoon underwear.

Hao Yan Che frowned when Chen Jia Ting and Chen Jia Wen helped Yuan Gun Gun stand up and pinched Yuan Gun Gun’s face. He sat back at his desk, and stared at the reports. He thought about how everyone in his home loved Yuan Gun Gun including Mrs Chen and Jia Tu. He reminded himself that in three years, Yuan Gun Gun would leave and he would gain freedom. Did he want to take care of Yuan Gun Gun for three years? He shook his head, Yuan Gun Gun was only his maid.

The next morning, Yuan Gun Gun woke up Hao Yan Che.

‘Young master, wake up!’ Yuan Gun Gun said.

Hao Yan Che opened his eyes, he didn’t look at her and silently walked to the bathroom.

‘Young master, do you want to eat fried dumplings and drink soy bean milk this morning?’ Yuan Gun Gun asked.

‘Um,’ Hao Yan Che said and washed his face.

Yuan Gun Gun smiled at Hao Yan Che and she went to tidy his bedroom.

When Hao Yan Che walked into his bedroom, Yuan Gun Gun was making his bed.

‘Yuan Gun Gun, did you bring them to your room last night?’ Hao Yan Che asked.

‘No,’ Yuan Gun Gun said. ‘Because you told me not to.’

‘Are you sure?’ Hao Yan Che asked.

‘Yes,’ Yuan Gun Gun said. ‘If I’m lying then I’m a little worm.’

Hao Yan Che smiled, but Yuan Gun Gun felt that he was angry.

At a quarter past one in the morning, Hao Yan Che snuck into the pink bedroom. His night vision allowed him to see in the dark. There was no one sleeping on the pink bed. His rice ball dared to sleep in the garden with her small friends.

Hao Yan Che walked to the garden. In a corner of the garden was a small tent and a lit torch.

Inside the small tent, Yuan Gun Gun hugged Xiao Yuan. She couldn’t sleep because Yi Tu told her a ghost story.

End of Chapter Forty-One


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