The place where Yan Yue parked his car was not far from Tiny Garden. Turn to the left, and there would be the street where Tiny Garden was located. He hadn’t been here long but without Dahei, he needed to find another suitable excuse to appear in front of Lu Lingxi.
The sun was so hot in the middle of summer that the asphalt on the road seemed to be melting. Pedestrians running around in the scorching sun often looked parched, and when they passed Yan Yue’s car, they would more or less glance at him curiously.
The air conditioner inside the car was on, but Yan Yue felt even hotter than the pedestrians outside. This heat did not come from his body, but from the insatiable desire in the deepest part of his heart. He wanted to appear in front of the young man immediately, but was wary of the reaction Lu Lingxi would have. He was used to appearing by the boy’s side every day at noon on the pretext of visiting Dahei. He would feel the boy’s comforting aura and occasionally the boy would give him a pure, clear smile. Then the restlessness that was churning inside Yan Yue would calm down like under a breeze blowing over the sea. Now that his habit had been interrupted, Yan Yue was completely unable to restrain his impulses, like a thirsty traveller in the desert, craving frantically for a spring that could save his life.
Gently tapping on the steering wheel, Yan Yue stepped on the accelerator. He was going to the pet shop to buy some dog food for that stupid dog and use it to meet the young man.
Yan Yue’s car had just started when a man passing by suddenly staggered, hit the front of Yan Yue’s car and fell to the ground.
“A man has been killed!” Someone shouted out loud, and it was like a drop of water splashed in a frying pan. The pedestrians who were originally wilting in the heat instantly boiled up.
Yan Yue’s face was ugly and he slammed on the brakes very quickly. If he was right, the man had crashed into his car on purpose, inevitably making Yan Yue think of hitting porcelain (the practice to jump under a car to extort the money from the driver; in general can be used for any kind of similar scam). With a cold face, Yan Yue pushed open the door and stepped out of the car. Within a single minute, the surrounding pedestrians had crowded around the two men and the car.
Yan Yue frowned imperceptibly and looked at the man lying on the ground coldly, “Shall I take you to the hospital?”
The man was none other than Lu Yishui. Out of the corner of his eye, he watched Yan Yue getting out of the car. He immediately made a painful face, holding his head and muttering, “Why am I not dead…”
Someone on the roadside interjected, “What do you mean? Why would you die when you’re fine?”
Lu Yishui banged his head on Yan Yue’s car and said loudly, “I am not a human being! I wronged my wife and children! I lost all the money of my family, I have no face to live!”
As soon as he said this, the people around him who were watching the fun immediately started talking.
“If you die, what will happen to your wife and children?”
“That’s right, how can a man not take responsibility? You are done with your life but how can they live?”
Amidst the outbreak of discouragement, Lu Yishui stole a glance at Yan Yue and covered his face with a guilty expression, “I’m useless, I have no money, I lost all the money for my son’s schooling. He’s only 18 and he has to work in a gardening shop! I’ve wronged him!” At this point Lu Yishui seemed unable to go on, and choked up, “Xiao Xi, Daddy is sorry.”
A gardening shop? Xiao Xi?
These two names were enough to catch Yan Yue’s attention, and he looked at the man on the ground icily. The man’s chanting and beating his head was just a hilarious sight in the eyes of others, but in Yan Yue’s eyes, the man had an ulterior motive. He didn’t doubt Lu Yishui’s words; this man had the kind of shameless and rascal air common to gamblers. He hadn’t expected the beautiful teenager to have a father like that. If at first the man bumping into his car had struck him as a bit fishy and made him think that the guy was deliberately hitting porcelain, now he probably guessed what the man was thinking. Yan Yue didn’t know how the man knew that he and Lu Lingxi were acquainted, or even how much the man really knew. But he should have never used Lu Lingxi’s name for a scam. If the man could use his son once today, he would use him countless times later.
Yan Yue suppressed the disgust in his eyes, “You’re Lu Lingxi’s father?”
Lu Yishui was overjoyed; indeed this man knew Lu Lingxi. He looked at Yan Yue as if he was surprised, “You know my son? He…”
Yan Yue interrupted him, “Xiao Xi and I are friends. I’ll take you to the hospital first.” Being surrounded by people for so long was already Yan Yue’s limit, especially since this place was not far from Tiny Garden; he did not want to get Lu Lingxi involved.
Lu Yishui stood up with seeming difficulty, nodded gratefully at Yan Yue and refused, “No need actually, it’s not a big deal.”
“Let’s go.” Yan Yue interrupted Lu Yishui’s words and took the lead to get into the car.
Lu Yishui suppressed the joy on his face and followed cautiously into the car. He had never been in such a fancy car before and was a little timid for a moment. But on second thought, he was about to be driven to death by Brother Feng. He was just taking his chances anyway, what if he could get some money out of this sucker? In any case, he had Lu Lingxi on his side, and it was only natural for the father and the son to share debts. And even if he couldn’t, it was just a matter of losing face. How much was a face worth?
With this idea in mind, during the drive to the hospital Lu Yishui shaped himself into a man who regretted making a mistake and wanted to make up for it but didn’t know how. His wife wanted to divorce him, his son refused to forgive him, and he was so desperate that he thought of suicide. And he was a little selfish, too, wanting to do his last bit of duty by dying to make a fortune for his family.
When Lu Yishui said this, he glanced at Yan Yue anxiously, “I’m sorry, I didn’t know you were Xiao Xi’s friend, I…”
A hint of playfulness flashed in Yan Yue’s eyes as he said coldly, “Did you just say that Xiao Xi wants you to divorce his mother?”
Lu Yishui did not know Yan Yue’s intention and nodded cautiously.
Yan Yue slammed on the brakes, and Lu Yishui, unprepared, crashed directly into the backrest in front of him.
“You…” Lu Yishui bumped hard and asked vaguely.
Yan Yue’s face was expressionless as he turned around, his eyes lightly sweeping over Lu Yishui. For some reason, Lu Yishui suddenly felt cold from the bottom of his heart, as if all his thoughts were seen through by the young man opposite him.
“I will pay the money you owe, and you and Xiao Xi’s mother will divorce.” Yan Yue said coldly.
Lu Yishui looked at Yan Yue in surprise, utterly confused about Yan Yue’s intentions.
Yan Yue also had no intention to explain and said straightforwardly, “Tomorrow at this time, at that street corner just now, you bring the divorce certificate over, and I will give you the money.”
“Really?…” Lu Yishui said with some disbelief.
Yan Yue opened the car door, as if he didn’t plan to say anything more, “You can go.”
Lu Yishui got out of the car in shock. Things had gone completely beyond his expectations. The whole process was incredibly smooth, and he hadn’t even played his last bitter card. What made Lu Yishui feel even more strange was the condition this young man had set. Was there any necessary connection between his divorce from Wang Xiaohua and paying back the money? Could it be… Lu Yishui first thought of Wang Xiaohua giving him a green hat (cheating on him), but in his heart he didn’t feel it was that. This man really didn’t look like someone who would be interested in Wang Xiaohua, so why?
Although Lu Yishui’s heart was thudding, this opportunity was rare and he really didn’t want to miss it. It was just a divorce, wasn’t it? Even if they divorced, Wang Xiaohua was still his wife and Lu Lingxi was still his son, so how could they not take care of him when he was old? He was thinking about what the man had said and hurriedly took a taxi to rush home. The two of them would do the formalities today, and it would be a matter of minutes before they remarried tomorrow if the situation was not right.
As soon as Lu Yishui left, Yan Yue made a phone call to Ye Kang.
“Is Ye Sange (Third Brother) in Fengcheng? Help me check someone for me.”
Without waiting for Ye Kang to ask more questions, Yan Yue hung up the phone and then sent Lu Yishui’s name and address over. He believed that with Ye Sange’s strength, he would be able to see the results tonight. Yan Yue had seen a lot of gamblers like Lu Yishui, who were capable of doing anything when they were losing. The result of entanglement with them was that they would lose all their money and their families would be ruined. Yan Yue thought of Lu Lingxi, a naive and soft-hearted young man who should not have had such a father.
The excitement that happened across the street had not yet reached Lu Lingxi’s ears, and he was still going about his business as usual. Fiddling with flowers and plants, receiving customers, reading books when no one was around, soon it was time to leave work.
In the middle of the day, Lu Lingxi received a phone call from Wang Shuxiu, saying that Lu Yishui suddenly agreed to a divorce and they were now at the Civil Affairs Bureau. Without waiting for Lu Lingxi to express his surprise, Wang Shuxiu admitted she herself was in a bit of disbelief.
“Has the old bastard found his conscience this time? He actually didn’t ask for anything and didn’t mention the matter of the house.”
Lu Yishui’s character was so bad that Wang Shuxiu was worried that Lu Yishui had some kind of scheme behind it, but the divorce was not a fake in any case, so Wang Shuxiu decided to follow him to the Civil Affairs Bureau and divorce him first.
Lu Lingxi also felt that this matter was a bit strange, but after all, Wang Shuxiu would finally get rid of Lu Yishui. He could hear the relief in Wang Shuxiu’s tone and was happy for her. Without Lu Yishui dragging them down, he was now working and earning money, so Wang Shuxiu’s burden would be reduced a lot and she could stop working at the KTV and get an easier job instead. Wang Shuxiu was not young anymore, and her body couldn’t stand working night shifts all the time.
Before Lu Lingxi could finish his words, Wang Shuxiu rudely interrupted him, “This old lady is only forty! Where am I old? Besides, I’m saving money for you to marry a wife, little bastard.”
Lu Lingxi: “……”
“All right, all right, come back early tonight. The divorce from the old bastard is a big deal, so I’ll make you a stewed chicken to celebrate.”
Lu Lingxi didn’t know whether to cry or to laugh and could only “en” obediently. Wang Shuxiu was satisfied and hung up the phone in a happy mood.
At seven o’clock, Lu Lingxi packed up his things in the shop and walked home with Dahei. After a long day, he felt that something was missing, and after thinking about it he realized that he didn’t seem to see Yan Yue today. In the past few days when Dahei was recovering from his injuries, every day at noon Yan Yue would come to see Dahei. It seemed to have become a habit.
Lu Lingxi felt a little guilty. Yan Yue really liked Dahei, he must have thought that Dahei had been left at home by him today. Touching Dahei’s head, Lu Lingxi said casually, “Dahei, you remember Yan Yue, right?
Lu Lingxi said that causally, but Dahei suddenly stopped and refused to leave, turned around and barked in a low voice towards the back.
Lu Lingxi followed him and turned around to look but didn’t see anything for a long time. Dahei’s reaction was a bit similar to yesterday, but not as intense as yesterday. It was a pity he couldn’t understand Dahei’s bark and didn’t know what Dahei actually meant.
“Don’t look there, or you won’t have a chicken leg to eat at home.”
The appeal of a chicken leg was very strong; Dahei immediately turned around and pulled Lu Lingxi into a trot.
“Wait, wait, run slower.” Lu Lingxi couldn’t help but laugh out loud after being dragged for a few steps.