Little Yichen swiftly slipped into the study and then locked the door behind him. His heart ached at the sight of Youyou's swollen cheek. "Well… your face is swollen, so…"
The elder one took his hand and pushed him into his seat before meticulously wiping at his cheek using the cold, wet towel.
His gaze was fixated on his face. The strength of his hand was very light, as if afraid of accidentally hurting him.
Surprise was written all over Youyou's face.
When he saw his older brother's face up close, he noted how he was concentratedly making sure to control his wrist strength, seemingly afraid of bringing him any pain.
Little Yichen puckered his lips and blew on the swollen cheek and then lightly asked, "Your face has swelled; does it hurt?"
"Nope." The younger boy pursed his rosy lips stubbornly, yet he yelped in pain once his brother's hand pressed a little harder on his cheek.
"You said it doesn't hurt!"
The older lad was helpless. "How can your face not hurt when it has swelled so much?"
"You're forbidden from telling mommy," the younger one warned at once. "You can't let her know about this!"
The older boy was baffled. "Why can't mommy know that you're hurt?"
"She'll be distressed and break down in tears again."
Afterward, he would have to comfort his stupid mommy painstakingly.
Little Yichen raised a brow in surprise but made no further comments about it. His gaze fell back on the swollen, red cheek, and his hand resumed carefully wiping it.
The pain dissipated a little when the cool towel touched his scalding cheek.
The older twin continued his actions, saying, "I was also often injured when I was much younger."
"Yes! I practically grew up in the army, so it's usual for me to get bumps, abrasions, and such." He pouted wryly as he recalled his poignant past.
"You were trained in the army?" Youyou widened his eyes in disbelief. "Why?"
"It's because daddy wanted me trained. He said that men must undergo sufferings and gain some capabilities from a young age; only then can they protect their loved ones when they grow up."
He paused for a bit before continuing in distress. "Actually, I didn't understand it in the past; why did the other children get to live so happily while I was forced to be in the army and undergo super boring training! No one was there to comfort or encourage me each time that I got hurt. It was really tough training in the army. Once, while I was having field training, I got bitten by a snake and lost a lot of blood."
His hand froze at this point. "You know what? It's the type of snake that is slim and long; I didn't even know if it's poisonous; it bit me on the ankle in the blink of an eye, and it hurt so much that my tears leaked."
Based on his brother's account, a vivid image appeared in the younger boy's mind.
He could not help shuddering at the thought of a snake slithering in the underbrush, especially when it raised its head up high and incessantly showed its forked tongue!
"It must've hurt a lot."
Just imagining that scene alone filled him with fear.
"Of course, it hurt. After I got bitten, I used a knife to get the snake away from me and fainted not long after walking for a bit."
Little Yichen pursed his lips. "By the time I awoke, I was already at the hospital. I heard from the captain that the snake was poisonous; I was lucky to be found in time, or else I would probably lose my life."
He had been to hell and back several times already.