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107 Who Made The Food?

 "Wh... who made dinner tonight?!" Mua Kong asked.

Seeing his Lord's standing there with such a serious expression. Yee Len wondered, instead was it that the food might have just tasted bad?

"Um... They told me that Elder Mae got a new kitchen staff. A young boy passing through the area with his little brother. He told her that he needed money to support himself and his brother, so that they could move to the next town. He had begged to be employed for a month until he had saved enough money..."

"Bring him here!" Mua Kong ordered.

Yee Len was confused with the sudden command, but he responded immediately with a  "Yes!" As he turned around, the two men heard a loud BANG  from the study room.

Mua Kong and Yee Len exchanged confused glances, rushing back inside the study. The two looked around, but didn't see anything.

Mua Kong's eyes widened with a sudden realization. He rushed behind the folding screen to where his bed was. What he saw on the ground was a toddler. He looked to be about 3 years old. He had tears welling in his eyes. He looked like he had just fallen out of the chair that was propped against the wall. The little boy held back his tears with a sad expression looking at the picture hanging on the wall. Mua Kong's fixated on the boy. He could guess what the boy was doing just by looking.

Behind Mua Kong, Yee Len walked forward bewildered at what he saw. He blurted out: "My Lord, that's exactly what you looked like when you were a baby, big round eyes, chubby cheeks, stubby fingers with little dimples on your fingers. You were quite round!"

The little boy noticed the two strange men staring at him. They had found him! Even though he had been quiet the whole time... He must've made more noise than he had thought when he had lost his balance and fell off the chair.

The little boy wanted to cry, but he also wanted to scream for help. He was still a bit dazed from hitting his forehead on the wall when he fell, back when he was trying to reach for the picture on the wall. His knees were also hurting because when he had hit the ground, he'd scraped his knees.

The boy, in his guilt, looked down. He avoided eye contact with the two strange men and mumbled, "Houa Houa is not bad. Houa Houa wants mommy." When he said 'mommy', he  pointed to the picture hanging on the wall.

Yee Len gasped at the scene unfolding before him.

Mua Kong rushed forward and swept the little boy into his arms. He gave the little boy a big hug. How in the world did his little man make it all the way here? Mua Kong thought for a second before getting up and asking, "You said that there was a new cook in the kitchen?"

"Mhm." Yee Len nodded.

Mua Kong carried the little boy, rushing to the kitchen. His sudden appearance startled the maids and manservants. They all stopped, bowing to their Lord. "What brings Milord here this evening? How may we be of assistance?" Elder Mae asked.

"Where is that new cook you just hired?" Mua Kong asked.

"Ah, he said had to go look for his little brother," she saw the little boy in Mua Kong's arms. "...Which is the kid you're carrying?" Elder Mae replied, curious. "Milord," she smiled, "he looks just like you when you were little!"

Elder Mae had been serving Mua Kong's family before he was even born. She had originally served the Queen, but when the young master was born, she decided to stick around to take care of Mua Kong. Now she handles the estate, managing the grounds and making sure Mua Kong's home is in order. She also had a hunch that the little boy might be the master's son.

"Mm.." Mua Kong nodded and turned around to head out. Before he reached the door, he turned around and said, "Elder Mae, can you make something simple to eat, and bring it over as soon as possible?"

"Of course! I was going to do it even if you hadn't asked." Elder Mae replied happily.

"Mm.." Mua Kong left, carrying his son. The maids whispered among themselves, noting that their Lord seemed pretty friendly and also seemed to like children a lot. Many of them weren't around when Mua Kong was a baby, so they didn't suspect anything, but Elder Mae was certain.

Mua Kong carried the toddler back into his study. He ordered Yee Len to find the boy's older brother, and to get back to him as soon as possible. Mua Kong knew in his heart of hearts that this little man was, without a doubt, Hli Ja and his baby.

In the study, Mua Kong walked to the shelf, grabbing a small bottle of ointment before returning to his chair.  He let his son sit in his lap while he unscrewed the bottle. He hadn't grabbed a rag, so he dolloped a little bit onto his fingers. then, as gently as he could, rubbed the ointment on his son's forehead.

Once he finished, Mua Kong checked underneath the kid's clothes for additional bruises. When he lifted up the shirt, he saw the pendant he had given to Hli Ja back when they first met in the mountain.

His heart fluttered at the memento, pulling his son in for another hug. The appearance of his son is evidence that Hli Ja was still alive. For whatever reason she still refused to come back, he still wasn't sure why. Once the hug was over, Mua Kong rolled up the boy's pants to see if there were any more bruises.

His left knee was bruised, but the right knee had an even bigger bruise. Mua Kong applied the ointment as gently as he could. He watched his son's face, noting that the kid tried to put on a tough face, even though Mua Kong knew that the bruises probably hurt a lot. The little boy didn't whine or cry, but Mua Kong noticed that his son's eyes were teary and that he kept trying to keep his mouth shut. Mua Kong chuckled at how cute his tough little man was acting.