Wang Changlin, Shen Xi silently repeated this name in his heart. He did not expect him to be the one to send flowers to his mother.
Shen Xi still remembered the scene five years ago when he received his grandfather’s relics from Wang Changlin’s hands. After five years, Wang Changlin didn’t seem to have changed much and was still quite personable. In the past five years, Shen Xi had not had any contact with Wang Changlin; because of the initial disharmony that Wang Changlin brought to him, he had always been vaguely wary of him in his heart.
However, the picture in front of him obviously exceeded his expectations. As Shen Xi’s eyes fell on the white lilies of the valley Wang Changlin was holding, an absurd thought emerged in his mind.
After the initial shock, Wang Changlin quickly reacted. Noticing Shen Xi’s gaze, Wang Changlin smiled at him amiably and bent down to place the bouquet in his hand in front of the tomb. His movements were very careful, carrying many emotions that Shen Xi could not understand. As he carefully placed the bouquet, a hint of nostalgia flashed through Wang Changlin’s eyes.
Shen Xi had been watching his movements in silence and finally could not help but speak, “How does Lawyer Wang know…?”
“Know that Sanshao’s mother loved lilies of the valley the most?” Wang Changlin interrupted Shen Xi’s words.
Shen Xi did not speak again, obviously acquiescing to the meaning.
Wang Changlin smiled, “It’s all some past events, there’s no need for Sanshao to know.”
Shen Xi frowned invisibly; Wang Changlin had already changed the subject, “Why does Sanshao suddenly come to the cemetery at this time?”
Shen Xi didn’t hide it, “I paid the cemetery caretaker to keep an eye on who was sending flowers to my mother. He just called me and I rushed here.”
Wang Changlin obviously didn’t expect Shen Xi to be so direct. He froze for a moment, then laughed bitterly, “Sanshao’s temper really hasn’t changed at all.”
Shen Xi didn’t say anything; he just stared straight at Wang Changlin, his intention very obvious.
Wang Changlin could not help but smile bitterly once more under such a direct gaze from Shen Xi. In the end, Wang Changlin did not resist Shen Xi’s insistence and recounted a story from many years ago.
The story was actually very simple: a poor student fell in love with a rich lady, but because of his inferiority complex, he did not dare to confess his feelings and just kept his secret. When he finally found the courage, she was already getting married. He was devastated and tried hard to make a name for himself, but after decades of struggle, he realised in his old age that what he really wanted was to be by her side. Unfortunately, his beloved had passed away many years ago, and the only thing he could do was to bring her favourite lilies of the valley to keep her company occasionally.
Wang Changlin’s words were full of melancholy and indescribable regret, and Shen Xi fell silent. Although he faintly guessed it before, he still had a strange feeling in his heart when he heard this confirmation from the person concerned.
Noticing Shen Xi’s silence, Wang Changlin smiled awkwardly, patted Shen Xi’s shoulder and turned to leave.
Shen Xi didn’t really have any idea about Wang Changlin’s secret love for his mother; he just felt it was a bit sudden. He had always thought that he was the only one left in the world who still remembered his mother, and now suddenly there was another person telling him that he had in fact always remembered her too. Shen Xi felt that he could not describe the mood he was in right now. After thinking about it, Shen Xi called Fang Luowei; he was desperate for someone to talk to. Fang Luowei was still at work at the moment, and they arranged to meet at 7pm at the entrance of the alley where they had first met. The apartment Fang Luowei rented was located around that alley.
When Shen Xi arrived at the meeting place, it was just 6pm. After waiting for a while in boredom, Shen Xi parked the car at the intersection and casually strolled around the area by himself.
The alleyway was the same place where Li Mingxuan had planned to bring him to eat Sichuan cuisine last time, and even though the two of them had not had a good time back then, Shen Xi still remembered the Sichuan restaurant that Li Mingxuan had mentioned. Thinking that Fang Luowei was as addicted to spicy food as he was, Shen Xi decided to take Fang Luowei there tonight.
Shen Xi was absorbed in his thoughts when someone suddenly bumped into him from behind. Shen Xi reacted immediately and turned around to grab the person.
The guy was a young punk in his twenties; one of his hands was in Shen Xi’s pocket at the moment, the other hand was firmly in Shen Xi’s grasp.
Shen Xi looked at his hand and said in a cold voice, “Take it out.”
The punk glanced at Shen Xi and slowly took his hand out of Shen Xi’s pocket. Shen Xi was about to let go of the hand he was holding, but another man suddenly came from behind the corner on his left and rammed into him.
Shen Xi stumbled and the punk who was being held by him took the opportunity to break free and retreat a few steps.
The two men confronted Shen Xi face to face and the later one suddenly exclaimed, “It’s him, he was the one who took away Fang Luowei last time, tell the boss quickly!”
“Boss!” A sharp shout came from behind Shen Xi, who then realised that there was someone hiding behind the corner.
The cry for “Boss” seemed to flick a switch, and the quiet alley suddenly became chaotic. Numerous footsteps sounded around. Shen Xi frowned; seeing that it was already too late to run, he quickly took out his mobile phone and dialled Fang Luowei’s number.
It was still the punk from before, “He’s going to inform Fang Luowei, stop him quickly.”
Someone lunged; the phone hadn’t been connected yet but Shen Xi had to give up and dodge the incoming fist.
More and more people pounced on him, and Shen Xi hastily stuffed his phone in his pocket and fought with them. Shen Xi was not a bad fighter, but there were too many of them. Someone took out an iron bar; Shen Xi couldn’t dodge and was hit hard a few times.
Avoiding another blow, Shen Xi ruthlessly lunged at the man in front of him, but the iron bar behind him swung up high and was about to land on Shen Xi’s head.
“Watch out!” Someone rushed forward and firmly shielded Shen Xi.
Shen Xi hesitated for a moment as he heard a familiar voice and subconsciously looked up. What he saw was Li Mingxuan’s slightly distorted face.
Shen Xi did not have time to ask Li Mingxuan why he had suddenly appeared here; he turned around and pushed Li Mingxuan away and kicked the person behind him hard.
Perhaps they were startled by the sudden appearance of Li Mingxuan, but the actions of the punks stalled for a moment, and by the time they reacted, Shen Xi had already kicked the man behind him to the ground.
Li Mingxuan didn’t expect Shen Xi to move so quickly, and seeing that Shen Xi still wanted to continue, he immediately pulled him behind him and said to the punks with a cold face, “I want to see your Brother Wang.”
The word “Brother Wang” caught the attention of the surrounding punks, and they all looked at each other, speculating about Li Mingxuan’s identity.
One of the punks gave Li Mingxuan a suspicious glance, “Who are you?”
Li Mingxuan said nothing with a cold face, and turned his head to look at Shen Xi behind him. Shen Xi looked miserable, his face was covered with bruises and there was a trace of blood at the corner of his mouth, his clothes torn to pieces. It was seven or eight point bad; Li Mingxuan’s eyes darkened involuntarily. Shen Xi lowered his voice, “How come you are here?”
Li Mingxuan said simply, “To eat.”
Shen Xi thought of the Sichuan restaurant and nodded in understanding.
Li Mingxuan hadn’t actually expected to meet Shen Xi here; the alley was narrow and he always parked his car outside and walked in. When he saw people gathered here from afar, Li Mingxuan didn’t think anything of it. Zhongjing had the saying “the south is poor and the north is cheap, the east is rich and the west is expensive” since ancient times. This alleyway was located in the southern part of the city, which had always been a chaotic place where fights and brawls were common.
Li Mingxuan was about to take a detour when he saw Shen Xi’s figure in the crowd and immediately ran towards him without thinking. When the iron bar was about to hit Shen Xi’s head, Li Mingxuan instinctively rushed over and shielded him from the blow. Seeing Shen Xi’s surprised look when he turned to him, the words “consigned to eternal damnation” flashed through Li Mingxuan’s mind.
As soon as he thought that, the group of punks suddenly moved to make way.
A man of about thirty years old with a fleshy face walked in. Obviously someone already told him what had happened. The man was originally gloomy, but when he saw Li Mingxuan, he was clearly taken aback, “Xuan Shao.”
A smile appeared on the man’s face. “Ah ah, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen Xuan Shao. What’s going on here?” This last sentence was a question to the people around him.
The punks around him cowered as they looked at the man, who glared at them fiercely and then turned his head to look at Li Mingxuan with a smile on his face, “Misunderstanding, it’s definitely a misunderstanding.”
Li Mingxuan raised his eyebrows, “Then this misunderstanding is a bit big.”
The smile on the man’s face froze as he turned around, pulled out the iron bar from the nearest punk’s hand and smashed it down on him. Within moments, the punk was covered in blood, but even so, he gritted his teeth and didn’t dare to grunt. The man stopped in satisfaction and turned to Li Mingxuan, “Xuan Shao, how is it?”
Li Mingxuan frowned; behind him Shen Xi glanced at the man and pulled Li Mingxuan, “Let’s go.”
The man narrowed his eyes and took a look at Shen Xi, smiled at Li Mingxuan and waved his hand as the punks around him immediately made way.
It was not until he left the alley that Li Mingxuan noticed the burning pain in his back. Not caring about his own injury, Li Mingxuan grabbed Shen Xi, “Are you alright?”
The concern in these words was really obvious and Shen Xi nodded hesitantly.
Li Mingxuan wanted to say something else, but Shen Xi suddenly thought of Fang Luowei, and at the same moment, not caring to talk to Li Mingxuan, hurriedly took out the phone.
In a few words, Shen Xi explained that Fang Luowei must not go home now.
As Li Mingxuan listened to Shen Xi’s repeated explanation, he only felt that his back seemed to hurt more.