The past two weeks back home had been rife with celebration more or less. What wasn’t there to celebrate? Primarily, his sister-in-law was expecting a child and Zhou Yu was over the moon about it. That news alone was enough to forgo the fact Xiao Qiao had left for Shu back then when she more or less wasn’t supposed to. Ce didn’t see too much of a problem with that either, it reminded him of when he used to try and follow after his father on missions when he was far younger. For Zhou Yu’s sake however, Ce expressed much more concern than he normally would. Xiao Qiao was a smart girl, and independent to a degree, she could take care of herself. It wasn’t like she was a capable warrior.
Anyhow, within the coming months his nephews Zhou Yin and Zhou Xun would have another brother or sister to join them. Only for a moment did Ce consider a family of his own and a peaceful land united under the banner of Wu where his children could be raised. He shook his head; nah, Zhou Yu seemed better suited for that kind of stuff. Ce loved his family, of course, but he supposed now wasn’t the time.
His eyes drifted down to his pet tiger, who paced around him before sitting obediently by his side for a couple of moments…at least until she heard the loud calls of “DA GE!” and turned around, ears flattened for a moment until she recognized who they were. It was only Yin and Xun and their mother in tow. Ce turned around just in time to see the two boys tackle him, their combined efforts enough to make him drop down into the grass below arms outstretched enough catch them both in a sloppy hug.
There was no harm done at all, Ce even laughed. He was very much used to their tackle hugs by now, as he played with them often. His tiger let out a purr of approval, proceeding to pace slowly, watching them before her eyes rested on Xiao Qiao before falling on her master again.
“Yo! Xiao Qiao!” Ce finally greeted, all smiles.
Xiao Qiao laughed at the sight. Her sons managed to knock down their uncle. Such strong boys they were! Xiao Qiao sat down next to her brother-in-law and smiled sweetly. “Zhou Xun, Zhou Yin… why don’t you two play over there? I wanna talk to your Uncle Ce.” she requested of her boys. Her sons merely groaned and whined and clung onto their uncle. Oh dear, they were certainly stubborn. Xiao Qiao looked over at Sun Ce’s tiger; she seemed like a harmless tiger, very well-trained by Sun Ce. For the most part, Xiao Qiao had never seen her randomly attack anyone.
"How about if Uncle Ce’s tiger plays with you two?"
Xun and Yin beamed up. They were almost like twins, with their hive-minds.
"Really, Mama?" Zhou Xun asked. "Can we really play with her?"
Zhou Yin smacked his older brother over the head. “Dummy! She just said we could! Don’t make her say no!”
Xiao Qiao laughed as her sons got up. Xiao Qiao took a quick look at Zhou Xun’s head, to see if her younger son hurt him. Luckily, there was nothing wrong and Zhou Xun was fine. She saw her boys run off with Sun Ce’s tiger, then saw Zhou Yin trip while he ran. ‘Uh-oh,’ Xiao Qiao thought to herself. ‘Oh, Yin, please don’t cry…’
Thankfully, Zhou Xun ran back to Zhou Yin and picked him off the ground. Poor Zhou Yin; he only cried a little bit. Perhaps him tripping was karma for hitting Zhou Xun over the head. Regardless, Zhou Xun made sure his younger brother was okay. Sun Ce’s tiger also returned to the boy’s side and licked his cheek, receiving a little laugh from Zhou Yin.
"Okay, then." Xiao Qiao let out a sigh of relief. "She’s really good with kids, isn’t she, Lord Sun Ce?" Xiao Qiao turned her gaze to the little conqueror. "How’ve you been? I haven’t seen you in a while!"