10 Years Later:
Long Xiatian ran up to her father in a burst of tears.
Long Jie scooped her up in his arms. He swept her dark hair over her shoulders and wiped the waterworks from her tear-stained cheeks. "What's wrong?" he questioned softly.
His daughter rubbed her blue eyes. "Ken and Kun coloured my doll orange...and..they laughed at me."
Long Jie consoled her gently, whispering soft words before visiting his sons. Long Xiatian was the fourth, right after a pair of auburn-haired twin boys and the eldest son, Long Yat-sen.
He then walked over the studio room, also a playroom used by his children.
Holding his daughter, he loomed over his mischevious boys. With blazing eyes, he looked at them, almost saying, 'what have you done to my princess!'
His three sons, who were sitting and laughing, froze and looked up at him; they shivered.
Long Xiatian stuck out her tongue at them while drooping an eye with her finger; her brothers glared at her.
"You need to get along with your sister or your mother, and I will be enforcing strict rules," Long Jie said.
"That's unfair!" Kun replied. "You let her get away with anything, and we get in trouble all the time."
Long Jie placed his daughter down, kneeling to get on their level and sighed. They had a point. He was very biased with his daughter, but she was so adorable that it's difficult to be stern with her.
"I see your point..." he said until his daughter kissed him on the cheek. "...Nevermind."
His twin sons rolled their eyes, but his eldest son chuckled. Long Yat-sen then invited his sister to play along with them. Long Jie smiled and walked away to leave his children to get along.
"What are you doing?" she questioned her older brother.
He looked behind him, ensuring that their father disappeared.
"The twins found this key," he lifted a brass key with the end shaped like a dragon.
Long Xiatian's eyes glinted. "What is it for?"
"We're going to find out," replied Kun.
"We've never seen father open this chest," added Ken. "Now, we'll know what's inside."
Long Yat-sen fitted the key in the lock of a large brown chest. The lid popped open slightly. He then slowly and carefully lifted the lid, and their eyes widened simultaneously.
Long Xiatian was struck in awe; she'd never seen anything so beautiful. She extended her arm, reaching out slowly towards the pommel of a sword, engraved with dragons. She nearly touched the hilt when she heard, "What's going on here?"
The four turned around to their mother, holding her hips, arching a brow.
Long Yat-sen quickly closed the chest and locked it.
Song Luli held out her palm, and her obedient son gave the key to her. She then sighed. "I'm glad you four are curious, but there's a reason why we keep things locked away for your safety."
"Are we going to learn how to sword fight?" questioned Kun with giddiness.
"No!" replied their mother, sternly.
Long Xiatian didn't know why, but she felt disappointed.
"Now, come for lunch," Song Luli said. Long Yat-sen and the twins followed, and Long Xiatian trailed shortly behind. Before they left the studio, Long Xiatian slowed down. She quickly glanced over her shoulder at the dark-brown chest, staring at with longing before she turned around to catch up to her family.
After serving lunch to her children, Song Luli approached Long Jie, who was stocking up the dishwasher.
"I found our kids looking inside the chest," Song Luli said to him.
"Oh? Really?" he replied, not too surprised.
Song Luli narrowed her eyes at him. "Did you purposely leave the key somewhere for them to find?" she questioned.
Long Jie shrugged, but his grin betrayed him.
Song Luli wanted to be angry, but she couldn't help but chuckle.
"They were curious," Long Jie said. "And it killed me knowing that it killed them not to know what's inside. Don't you ever get those moments when there is something you want, and you will absolutely do anything to get it?"
"I'm not sure you're talking about the swords anymore," Song Luli replied with a sheepish smile.
"Mhm. You're right," Long Jie replied, taking her waist, drawing her close to him. Song Luli glanced up at him with a wide smile. He then kissed her lightly as they heard a "Yuck!" coming from Long Kun. He then disappeared along with his siblings.
Song Luli parted with Long Jie, still wearing a grin.
The doorbell rang, and Song Luli glanced at Long Jie. "Did you expect any visitors?"
Long Jie shook his head.
She then walked over to answer the door and found Song Meiling standing at the door with her husband and their silver-haired daughter. Song Luli screamed with excitement and tackled her older sister with a tight embrace. It had been two years since she'd last seen her and she didn't expect her visit.
She then hugged Zhang Enyu and their daughter. "My you've grown!" she told her nine-year-old niece.
"Come in!" Song Luli urged them.
The three entered the house, and Song Luli was going to shut the door when more visitors started to drop by holding bags of food.
Surprised and astonished, she greeted Su Xiang and Xun Zichen with their three children, who were all very cute. Lan Shufen and Song Zhen stepped in as well, who yet to have children due to putting their work first. Her parents and in-laws stepped in, too.
"What are you all doing here?" Song Luli questioned.
Long Jie stepped to her side. "We wanted to throw you a surprise baby shower."
Song Luli gaped. "But we said that we wouldn't do that this time."
"Yes, but we've done it with each pregnancy, why stop that tradition?" he said.
Song Luli smiled. She held onto her swollen belly. She remembered receiving the news with Long Jie, surprised that she was pregnant with a fifth child.
She visited Su Xiang for stomach pains, not expecting it.
'You're pregnant...again,' said Su Xiang.
Long Jie stepped to her side during the visit, and Song Luli whispered to him. 'How did this happen?' she questioned him.
He leaned over. 'Remember the time we broke the condom while going at it?'
'Oh. Right,' replied Song Luli.
Song Luli then urged her family to head to the dining room so that they could settle down and celebrate. With her fifth child, she thought no one would care. She then glanced at her family, absorbing this in her memory and smiled.
Long Jie grasped her waist and rested his chin over her shoulder, leaning over to caress her swollen belly.