After the war was over, he was going to sit in his position for another two or three years, and in the meantime slowly transition matters to his second-in-command, lifting the man up.
A firm, arbitrary, warlike president like him was needed during the war, but not so much after it was over.
He also took two hours out of his day to make a piece of roast beef with his own hands using a unique recipe. Back then, he had conquered his wife’s stomach with this very dish.
He had seen Arthur’s culinary skills on TV before and felt they weren’t as good as his own. He planned to teach Arthur this trick when he had the chance.
Just as the beef was nearly done, Arthur arrived at the Presidential Residence with his newlywed partner, Yan Xueshan.
This was a private dinner, with no media involvement and no political significance, but both of them were wearing suits.
Walking side by side, they made for an extremely handsome couple – truly a pair of outstanding men.
The President overheard his wife muttering to herself, “Such a pleasing sight.”
He didn’t nod, but he also agreed inwardly. He even imagined, if these two were to have a child together, how beautiful they would be?
Yan Xueshan didn’t immediately recognize the man with a head of uncommon platinum hair and a robust physique as the President.
At first, he thought it was the butler of the presidential palace or something, and only when he got closer did he realize that it was the president. After taking off his trademark marshal’s uniform, he really looked like a different person.
He no longer appeared stern, wearing a warm smile and an amiable expression. Upon seeing him, his mustache curled upwards, and after a simple greeting, he invited him to dine, saying, “You’ve come at just the right time. Lunch has just been prepared, and there’s roast beef that I made myself. Why don’t you taste it and see how it is?”
Yan Xueshan was a bit unsure about how to respond to this enthusiasm.
How should he handle this situation?
Originally, he had imagined that this scene should be more solemn, just like the day he was awarded.
He hadn’t expected it to be so casual.
Yan Xueshan politely responded with a few “Yes” and “Thank you” phrases, knowing that his usual behavior was considered quite impolite in social situations.
So, when he found an opportunity, he quietly asked Arthur, “What should I do?”
Arthur reassured him, “It’s okay, just be yourself. They know about your condition and won’t think you’re offending them. Don’t worry, everything will be fine.”
He comforted him. “From now on, we’re all family. Family members should be accepting of each other’s flaws.”
Yan Xueshan was lost in thought.
When the president personally cut a piece of roasted meat and handed it to him, he said, “Thank you, Mr. President.”
Gentlesworth von Felix’s demeanor suddenly changed. He opened his eyes that had been squinted in a smile, and the corners of his mouth turned down slightly, giving him a somewhat fierce appearance.
Yan Xueshan was taken aback. His neck stiffened instantly, waiting for the president to continue. He couldn’t fathom where he had offended him. Moreover, didn’t Arthur just say it was okay? It was puzzling.
Was this what they meant by walking on eggshells around royalty?
President Felix’s face remained stern as he said, “Still calling me ‘Mr. President’? We’re already family, no need for such formalities. Since the moment you married Arthur, you’ve become a child of our family, just like Arthur.”
Yan Xueshan: “…”
He still didn’t get it, so he turned to look at Arthur.
Arthur leaned in and whispered in his ear. “My dad wants you to change your address and call them ‘Dad’ and ‘Mom’.”
Now Yan Xueshan understood.
Yes, he had read about this in books. Typically, after marriage, one should refer to their partner’s parents as Mom and Dad.
However, when he tried to speak, he inexplicably stumbled. He looked at the President, opened his mouth, but his vocal cords seemed to be suddenly missing. He couldn’t utter a single word.
President Felix gave a light cough, as if urging him on.
Yet, the words couldn’t be coaxed out of his throat. Instead, his ability to speak seemed to further slip away.
It was Arthur’s mother, Theresa, who smiled slightly at him. She leaned toward him and gently patted his hand, which was feeling cold, saying, “It’s alright, don’t mind that old man. It seems his old quirks have resurfaced. If you can’t say it, you can’t say it. I know you’re just a bit shy. You have plenty of time ahead; you can change how you address us gradually.”
Her smile felt like a warm spring breeze flowing through Yan Xueshan’s heart. Just like the previous times they had met, it made him feel a comforting sense of ease.
Then, his momentary aphasia was instantly cured. He opened his mouth and said, “Mom.”
Theresa was momentarily surprised, then regained her composure and smiled with delight, nodding. “Hmm.”
She slid a dish of fruits in front of him, like she was feeding a cute little creature, and said, “Try these. I really like them. They’re quite rare and have low production. I grew them from seeds bought from Earth and planted in the backyard. I heard you enjoy gardening. Here, I’ll give you some seeds.”
Unconsciously, Yan Xueshan’s attitude started to lean towards her. Calling her “Mom” became smoother with each use, and it no longer felt difficult to say.
In the end, he also addressed President Felix as “Dad.”
At night, they stayed over.
Yan Xueshan slept in Arthur’s room. Even though Arthur hadn’t stayed at home much since he went to college, his room had always been preserved.
It was still decorated with the preferences of Arthur’s teenage years – vibrant and full of posters, novels, comics, and art books on the bookshelves.
Yan Xueshan confirmed that Arthur had indeed intended to become an artist at one point. His collection of hand-drawn art, from age 3 to 13, was piled up to a height that probably surpassed his own. Later on, he only drew occasionally, and rarely at that.
At night, Arthur woke up halfway through his sleep, feeling like something was missing. His arms were empty. He turned over, reached out, and found nothing. Then he sluggishly realized, huh, where’s Yan Xueshan?
Sitting up, he used the faint light of the night to survey the room and quickly spotted Yan Xueshan.
Yan Xueshan was sitting on the floor, leaning against the windowsill, with two picture frames in front of him. Arthur knew what Yan Xueshan had packed in his luggage; he had seen these two picture frames before. They held pictures of Yan Xueshan’s biological parents and adoptive father.
He was propped up, quietly gazing at the photographs.
Arthur woke up completely and put on a piece of clothing before walking over and sitting down beside him.
He held Yan Xueshan’s slightly cold hand, opened it, pressed their palms together, interlocking their fingers, and asked, “What’s wrong? Why did you get up in the middle of the night to look at pictures?”
Yan Xueshan turned his head towards Arthur’s direction and said, “I’m talking to my parents and my adoptive father. In my heart.”
Arthur asked, “What are you saying?”
Yan Xueshan said, “I said, I was very happy today. I have parents again. They’re both wonderful people.”
Arthur tightened his grip on his hand, kissed his cheek, and felt it wasn’t enough, so he gently kissed his fingers.
Yan Xueshan naturally tilted his head and leaned against Arthur’s shoulder.
Yan Xueshan savored the feeling.
He was loved.
He enjoyed this moment very much, liked having Arthur by his side, as if being embraced by sunlight.
He spoke to the photographs. “Mom, Dad, I’ll learn how to love others.”
Arthur chuckled softly and said, “No need to learn, you already know.”
Yan Xueshan looked at him in confusion.
Seeing him like that, Arthur’s heart trembled with affection, and he quickly kissed him on the lips.
Arthur thought, ‘Others say I have a sunny personality, but they don’t know that it’s you who gives me that light.’
Laniakea Supercluster, Virgo Cluster, Home Galaxy Group, Milky Way, Household Arm, Gould Belt, Local Bubble, Home Interstellar Cloud, Oort Cloud, Third Planet of the Solar System–
This was Earth’s coordinates in the universe.
A compulsory subject for every human during their schooling.
Earth, a natural made planet with 70% water and 30% land.
Equatorial circumference of 40,076 kilometers, axial tilt of 7.155 degrees, orbital speed of 29.78 km/s.
This was the first time Yan Xueshan gazed at this blue planet from the spacecraft’s porthole into the pitch-black cosmic expanse. No matter how exquisite the images or holograms were, they couldn’t compare to the awe of witnessing it in person.
“It’s beautiful. This is the first time I’ve seen Earth.”
Yan Xueshan placed his hand on the spacecraft’s glass, as if caressing the Earth.
Arthur stood by his side and softly acknowledged his words.
Even though they had never been here before, they inexplicably felt a soul-stirring resonance.
Near Earth, there was a fixed wormhole jump point.
Even during the most intense conflicts between the Federation and the Empire, both sides tacitly agreed never to destroy this wormhole.
Humanity needed to leave a forbidden path to their irrevocable homeland.
The artificial satellites abandoned ten thousand years ago still silently orbited Earth, following gravitational forces. The once-thriving cities had either sunk beneath the sea or been covered by forests. When viewed from high above, no traces were visible.
However, upon closer inspection, one could find the tallest mountain, with an emerald-like lake at its foot.
As a Federation Admiral with the highest authority and special permission, Yan Xueshan, along with Arthur, piloted their mechas out of the spacecraft’s launch bay. They arrived at the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains to carry out their mission.
Approaching the site, one could see a massive steel monument standing there. The monument was inscribed with names, reaching skyward like a sword that seemed to pierce the heavens.
A Federation-built memorial site was here.
Yan Xueshan and Arthur disembarked from their mechas. They wore specially designed mecha suits and helmets, allowing them to move freely.
They handed a list to the guardian robot by the monument.
This list contained the names of fallen soldiers who died for their country. The numbers were vast, but each individual’s name would be engraved, including Arthur’s sister, his adoptive father, and his deceased comrades.
It was updated every twenty years.
This mission was to wait until the monument was fully engraved.
They would have to wait for a long time.
Yan Xueshan sat down on the grass, sunlight bathing him as a gentle breeze caressed his skin.
Looking up, it was springtime, and lush grass and flowers covered the mountains, creating a scenery as enchanting as a fairy tale.
Arthur sat down beside him. Then after a while, he laid down and fell asleep.
In this peaceful and tranquil world, only the two of them existed.
Artemis, resembling a goddess, stood silently by the monument. On the earth, she slightly lowered her head, gazing upon all living creatures with both pity and mercilessness.
Edited by: Antiope1