After a few nights of torment, Lu Lingxi miraculously adapted to the sound of snoring in the ward. After a good night’s sleep, he got up early, thinking of going for a walk around the small garden at the back of the hospital.
As the largest hospital in Fengcheng, Fengcheng No. 1 Hospital was huge, consisting of several buildings such as the medical building, the outpatient building and the inpatient department, not to mention that the hospital had deliberately set aside a small garden at the back of the inpatient department as a place for patients to relax. This was Lu Lingxi’s goal.
Yesterday he had already tested it out with the golden pothos in the hospital lobby and established that the mysterious white panel could display not only the chlorophytum he kept in the ward, but also other plants. He wanted to go to the garden to continue the experiment, but it was late afternoon and there were too many people in the garden, so he had to resist the idea for fear that someone would see his anomaly. Early this morning, before dawn, Lu Lingxi could not sleep and kept thinking about this matter. He vaguely felt that the white panel was like a plant detector, and he was the “plant doctor” holding the detector in his hand. This new identity gave him an unspeakable closeness to plants.
After a brief wash, Lu Lingxi dressed and made his way downstairs. It was July and the pansies in the small garden were in full bloom. The flowers of all colours were competing with each other, swaying slightly in the warm orange light of the sunrise, the vibrant colours making people feel suddenly cheerful.
When Lu Lingxi was a young son of the Lu family, he had once seen the family’s gardener planting pansies in the corner of the garden. It was said that this flower was mostly a wildflower in Europe and was very popular among garden owners because it was easy to grow, had a high survival rate and a long flowering period. However, in the eyes of some professionals, pansies were too common to bother with. Lu Lingxi didn’t think so. In his eyes, there was no difference between a wild petunia on the roadside and a famous orchid that the Lu family had bought for a large sum of money and carefully cultivated. They were both gifts from nature, how could there be superiors and inferiors among them?
As it was still early, there were not many people in the garden. When Lu Lingxi went there, there were only two elderly men in ordinary clothes squatting close to each other in front of the flower bed at the entrance to the garden, pointing at the pansies in bloom and saying something. Lu Lingxi listened casually to the two old men, who seemed to be the gardeners in charge of the small garden. Without paying too much attention, he found a flower bed close by, crouched down there like the old men and gently touched a pansy in front of him with his fingertips. The white panel appeared in the air and floated in front of him.
Plant name: Pansy
Plant needs: Fertiliser
Plant viability: High
The smile on Lu Lingxi’s lips froze at the word “fertiliser” on the plant’s requirements. Whether it was the chlorophytum or the golden pothos, all they needed was water. Lu Lingxi almost forgot that there were other things besides water that a plant needed to grow well. For example, light and fertiliser. But if watering was fine, what should he do with fertilisation? Lu Lingxi touched a few more pansies next to him, and all the plants needed to be fertilised. He was in a bit of a quandary; not to mention how to fertilise, but where would the fertiliser come from?
Lu Lingxi subconsciously looked at two old men who looked like gardeners not far away, and one of them, a slightly chubby, kind-looking old man, happened to stand up and affirm, “It lacks fertiliser a bit, we need to fertilise it again.”
Lu Lingxi: “……”
After this old man finished, the other old man who looked very thin and tall also stood up and nodded. The two seemed to be men of action and soon brought a white plastic bucket and some tools from a small locked house in the corner of the garden. The slightly chubby old man opened the plastic bucket and poured out some brown pellets, diluting them with water and blending them very skilfully. The tall and thin old man picked up the water and adjusted the tools in his hands.
As Lu Lingxi watched intently from the side, the slightly chubby old man noticed his gaze, turned his head and smiled at him amiably. “What are you looking at, young man?”
A little embarrassed, Lu Lingxi smiled shyly and said curiously, “Are you fertilising?”
The old man thought that Lu Lingxi had heard their previous conversation and nodded.
Lu Lingxi hesitated for a few seconds and took the initiative to ask, “Do you need my help?”
His words caused the slightly chubby old man to freeze for a moment, and even the tall, thin one looked over. Lu Lingxi’s face reddened a little as he was looked at by them like this. He wanted to help not because he could get the plant hearts, but because he saw that these two men were old and it was inappropriate for him to watch from the sidelines while they were working. But once the words were out of his mouth and he was being looked at by the men, he couldn’t help but feel embarrassed. It was as if the men could see through the fact that he had a mysterious panel on him and that all this was being done to get the plant hearts.
The slightly chubby old man chuckled heartily after his initial surprise. “It’s good that the young man wants to help, come on, let me show you how to use it.”
The tall, thin old man gave Lu Lingxi an appreciative glance, but scolded with a laugh, “Elder Zhang, you old slicker, can’t you see the young man is wearing a hospital robe, how can he do it?”
The old man called Elder Zhang also seemed to think that his behaviour was a bit inappropriate. Lu Lingxi insisted before the other man could politely refuse, “I’m fine.”
The tools the two old men had brought, he had seen them before at the Lu family; they were not too tiring to operate, one just needed to bend down and control the direction of the water spray. Lu Lingxi kept insisting, and the tall, thin old man thought about it for a while and agreed.
The hospital’s garden looked large, but apart from the lawn, there were not many flower beds. There was an automatic irrigation system on the lawn that didn’t need to be managed by them, and the only thing they really needed to tend to was the dozen or so flower beds that were scattered all over the place. The three of them worked together and were very efficient. Apart from Lu Lingxi, who was not very skilled, the two old men were very familiar with the work and looked like veterans. By the time the small garden slowly filled up with people, all three had already finished their work.
During the fertilising process, Lu Lingxi also learnt that the slightly chubby, kind-looking old man was surnamed Zhang, and the tall, thin, serious-looking old man was surnamed Zhao. The two old men had a very good impression of Lu Lingxi, and after hearing that he had amnesia, they even asked him many questions seriously for a long time. Lu Lingxi originally thought that the men were the gardeners who took care of the small garden, but after hearing their professional questions that were similar to what the doctor said he was a bit confused about their identities.
Although he was puzzled, Lu Lingxi didn’t ask anything. After finishing his work, he quickly left the garden. It was time for Wang Shuxiu to come to the hospital, and Lu Lingxi didn’t want her to worry if she couldn’t find him.
Walking all the way back to the inpatient department, Lu Lingxi was just about to enter the ward when someone behind him suddenly grabbed him.
“Where have you been? I’ve been looking for you for half a day. Hurry up, come with me to get discharged from the hospital.”
Lu Lingxi turned around bewildered; pulling him was a strange man. The man looked to be in his forties, his hair was greasy, and his face was stubbled, so Lu Lingxi couldn’t make out his features. The man wore a dirty grey T-shirt on top and a pair of wide floral pants on the bottom, with a pair of slippers on his bare feet. He held Lu Lingxi tightly and pulled him, occasionally glancing towards the elevator.
“Who are you?” Lu Lingxi asked hesitantly. He had a vague suspicion in his heart but couldn’t believe it.
Lu Lingxi’s words made the other party’s eyes widen violently and he opened his mouth to curse, “Little bastard, I am your dad, have you fallen on your head? You don’t even know me anymore.”
Lu Lingxi broke free from the other party’s grasp a bit forcefully and frankly admitted, “I have amnesia, I don’t remember anything.”
The man who claimed to be the father of this body did not give Lu Lingxi a good first impression, not because the man was dressed in a poor manner and was cursing, but because of a feeling that was hard to describe.
Hearing that Lu Lingxi had amnesia, the man froze, “Really lost your memory?”
Lu Lingxi nodded.
The man frowned and cursed in a low voice, “Damn.” However, he grabbed Lu Lingxi once again and said quickly, “If you lost your memory, then you lost your memory. This is not important, you go with me first to get discharged. By the way, do you know how much of the hospitalisation deposit the hospital is still holding?”
Lu Lingxi was about to say that he didn’t know when the elevator door opened not far away and Wang Shuxiu ran out menacingly. Seeing the man who grabbed Lu Lingxi, she opened her mouth and cursed, “Lu Yishui, do you call yourself a man?! You lost money, you can’t pay it back and you actually come to your son to get his life-saving money! Was your conscience eaten by dogs?”
Wang Shuxiu chasing after him was exactly what Lu Yishui feared. That was why he hurriedly tried to drag Lu Lingxi to get discharged from the hospital. He just didn’t expect Lu Lingxi not to be in the ward, causing him to search for Lu Lingxi for a long time, only to be caught red-handed by Wang Shuxiu.
To put it bluntly, he was too greedy. He had lost a large sum of money in the past few days, so he decided to go home and ask Wang Shuxiu for money. But Wang Shuxiu’s money was all prepared for Lu Lingxi’s hospitalisation, so how could she possibly give it to him? He secretly took the money when Wang Shuxiu wasn’t looking and now he was also thinking about the hospital deposit that Wang Shuxiu had mentioned. He wanted to coax Lu Lingxi to get discharged from the hospital behind Wang Shuxiu’s back.
When he saw that Wang Shuxiu was about to come after him, Lu Yishui pulled Lu Lingxi and tried to leave. Lu Lingxi stood still and refused to move. Lu Yishui became anxious, “Little bastard, my survival depends on you.”
In the meantime, Wang Shuxiu had already run up to the two of them, pulled Lu Lingxi over and blocked him behind her, then took off her shoes, grabbed Lu Yishui’s hair with one hand and smashed the shoes held in the other hand on his head.
“You steal the money, steal my son’s life-saving money? Where is my money? Where did you hide my money?”
“You crazy woman, you let go of me! What’s your money? You’re married to Lao Tzu, it’s Lao Tzu’s money.”
Lu Yishui was in a mess as he was grabbed by Wang Shuxiu, yelling loudly and trying to break free.
The scene in front of him happened so fast that Lu Lingxi was a little bit unable to react for a while. It was only when the people in the ward heard the noise outside and came out to see what was going on that Lu Lingxi realised what was happening. Instinctively, Lu Lingxi rushed up and wrapped his arms around the man’s waist from behind, restricting his movements. He had never been in a fight before and didn’t know how he could help Wang Shuxiu. But according to his thinking, Lu Yishui couldn’t move, so Wang Shuxiu could get the upper hand anyhow. In his mind, how could a man beat a woman? Especially when that woman was Wang Shuxiu.
Lu Yishui was about to break away from Wang Shuxiu by hitting and kicking her, but when Lu Lingxi held him, he was at a disadvantage. Wang Shuxiu grabbed her high heel shoe and hit Lu Yishui’s forehead with the heel several times, then pulled a stack of money out of his pocket, signalled Lu Lingxi to let go, pulled Lu Lingxi’s arm and retreated to the side.
“Xiao Xi, come to Mom’s side.”
Lu Lingxi hadn’t thought much about it when he rushed up, but now that the fight was over, he realised that the corridor was full of people. He, Wang Shuxiu and Lu Yishui had become the centre of attention in the whole corridor.
Compared to Lu Lingxi and Wang Shuxiu, Lu Yishui was now in a terrible mess. He covered his eyes and glared at Wang Shuxiu with hatred, saying with a stern look, “Crazy woman, you’re fucking crazy, I’m your man. And you little bastard, I’m your father.”
Wang Shuxiu sneered at Lu Yishui, spat at him and said loudly to everyone around, “People say that family shame should not be disclosed, but I, Wang Shuxiu, am not afraid to be laughed at by people. This man is my son’s father. My son has been injured and in the hospital for so many days but not only did he not come to see him, but also stole my son’s life-saving money and went out to gamble. Not only did he steal the money, but he was also thinking about the hospital deposit, trying to trick my son into being discharged from the hospital. Lu Yishui, shame on you!”
When Wang Shuxiu finished speaking, people around began to talk.
“This is too shameless.”
“Is there such a father?”
“No wonder he doesn’t look like a good person, he looks wretched.”
The people from Lu Lingxi’s ward were the first to come out and heard almost the whole thing. Although they usually didn’t look up to Wang Shuxiu, their opinion of her greatly improved now. Sister Tian took the lead to point at Lu Yishui and scold him. The other family members in the ward helped out and made sarcastic remarks about Lu Yishui.
Lu Yishui was scolded and disgraced. Seeing that the people around him were all speaking in Wang Shuxiu’s favour, he understood that he would not be able to take advantage of the situation today, so he hatefully said some harsh words, cursed and pushed the crowd away.
After scolding Lu Yishui, Sister Tian turned her head and took Wang Shuxiu’s hand, “Sister, are you okay?”
Wang Shuxiu nodded. Sister Tian turned around and shouted at everyone, “All right, let’s disperse, it’s all right, don’t look.”
One by one, the crowd dispersed and Wang Shuxiu went to the bathroom to tidy up her clothes. When she came out today in a hurry, she put on a shirt and skirt casually. Now she just had a fight with Lu Yishui, and her shirt was in a mess.
Sister Tian turned to Lu Lingxi and asked him if he was alright, and Lu Lingxi nodded gratefully. He didn’t go back to the ward either, but followed behind Wang Shuxiu and waited at the bathroom door.
Ten minutes later Wang Shuxiu came out of the bathroom, and Lu Lingxi saw her slightly red eyes at once. Unable to say what he felt in his heart, Lu Lingxi called out in a small voice, “Mom.”
Wang Shuxiu looked at Lu Lingxi waiting there and couldn’t help but smile. The grievances in her heart were swept away, and she scolded, complaining and affectionate at the same time, “Little bastard, aren’t you a good fighter? Right now you just knew how to hug that deadbeat guy, it’s not like you at all.”
Lu Lingxi didn’t say anything; a strange emotion rose from his heart, warm and overflowing. He looked at Wang Shuxiu and smiled faintly.