Weeping willow, a tall deciduous (shedding its leaves annually) tree, is one of the types of willows and one of the most common tree species in China. Because of its beauty, ease of breeding and low cost as well as its ability to absorb carbon dioxide, the weeping willow is a common street tree in many cities.
The sapling in front of Lu Lingxi was a seedling of the weeping willow, its trunk the size of a dollar coin in diameter and shorter than a man’s height, obviously recently planted. The panel showed that the sapling was dying due to lack of water, but in the eyes of the gardeners, the sapling had already withered to death. When Lu Lingxi got out of the car, the gardeners had just uprooted the sapling and transplanted a new one that was alive. The uprooted sapling had been thrown carelessly on the ground and one of the workers was about to break it. Lu Lingxi hurriedly stopped him.
The workers were all migrants, speaking a not-so-fluent dialect of Mandarin. Lu Lingxi could not quite understand what the other party was saying, so the two sides tried to talk for a long time but finally were able to communicate clearly. Lu Lingxi said that the tree was still alive and could be saved by watering. The other side said that the tree cost only a few yuan and that it would be no big deal to replace it with another one. After another round of chicken-and-duck talk, the other party readily threw the seedling at Lu Lingxi to do whatever he wanted with it.
Lu Lingxi carried the tree back to the car. Although it was a small sapling, it was still a tree. Yi Hang looked at the sapling in the trunk in a daze for a long time, then gave Lu Lingxi a speechless thumbs up. Because of the tree, the two of them didn’t go back to the Tiny Garden but turned and directly went home.
Wang Shuxiu was very surprised to see them, asked about Yan Yue in the shop and didn’t comment. It was a rare occasion for Lu Lingxi to come back at noon, so Wang Shuxiu hurriedly took care of cooking for the little bastard not to go hungry.
Lu Lingxi was so anxious to plant the tree that he didn’t notice what time it was. He was digging a pit in the backyard with his hands covered in mud when his mobile phone rang on the chair. Yi Hang, who was halfway through chewing a tomato, wiped his hands haphazardly and picked up the phone without looking at who was calling. “Hello.” With half a tomato in his mouth, his voice was a little slurred, but it was clearly a man’s voice.
At the sound of an unfamiliar voice, on the other end of the phone the smile on Yan Yue’s face froze, the upturned curve of his mouth flattening at once. “Who are you? Where’s Xiao Xi?” His tone was dark and cold and there was some subtle jealousy in it. The person who had access to Lu Lingxi’s phone must be someone he was familiar with.
“Lao San is planting trees, he can’t answer the phone right now. What do you want?” Yi Hang was so used to being careless that he completely missed the displeasure of the man on the other side of the phone.
The name “Lao San” once again poked Yan Yue’s sense of crisis, and he quickly added, “This is Yan Yue, can you ask when Xiao Xi will be back?”
“Yan Yue?” Yi Hang inexplicably felt that this name was somewhat familiar. Where did he hear it before? He shouted at Lu Lingxi, “Lao San, who is Yan Yue? He’s asking when you’re going back.”
There was some noise on the other side of the phone. Lu Lingxi’s voice came, his tone full of apologies. “Big Brother Yan, I’m sorry, I forgot to tell you. You’re in a hurry, aren’t you? I’ll be right back.”
“Not in a hurry,” Yan Yue said in a gentle tone, “I heard you were planting trees, was there any accident?”
“No.” Lu Lingxi briefly told what had happened before, and at the end assured, “I’ll go back as soon as I’m done.”
Yan Yue smiled, “Aren’t you going to eat at home? Come back after you’ve eaten.”
He was so reasonable that Lu Lingxi was even more embarrassed. “Big Brother Yan, then wait for me, I’ll bring you lunch.”
When Lu Lingxi hung up the phone, Yi Hang finally remembered who Yan Yue was. He grabbed Lu Lingxi and asked, “Yan Yue is the one you said paid half of the money?”
Lu Lingxi nodded.
Yi Hang curled his lips and said regretfully, “If only I had money, we would have done it together, and saved ourselves the trouble of finding an unfamiliar outsider.”
Lu Lingxi curved his eyes and didn’t say anything, but in his heart he felt that Yan Yue was actually quite good and wasn’t really an outsider. This thought was only fleeting, and his attention returned to the sapling in front of him. Before answering the phone, he had already dug a pit and poured a bucket of water into it. In such a short while, the water at the bottom of the pit had all penetrated into the ground, wetting the soil around it. Lu Lingxi reached out and touched it, feeling that it was almost wet enough, so he carefully planted the sapling, filled and compacted the soil around it and poured the water again. After the water was absorbed, he watered again. By the time he was ready to water a third time, the panel that had remained unchanged finally changed.
Satisfy plant needs, reward +1 plant heart
Successfully saved the weeping willow seedling, reward the power of nature +1
Lu Lingxi looked at the panel with some surprise, not expecting to get another power of nature for saving the sapling. If the first time when he saved the clivia, it could be said to be a coincidence, the second time was some kind of a rule. Compared to the ease of obtaining plant hearts, the power of nature was obviously much more demanding, but also much more precious.
When he finished dealing with the sapling, Wang Shuxiu’s lunch was ready. Lu Lingxi had said that he would bring Yan Yue’s food, and there was also Dahei, so Wang Shuxiu deliberately made some extra. Before eating, Lu Lingxi found two large insulation boxes to pack the lunch for Yan Yue and Dahei and then he, Wang Shuxiu and Yi Hang began to eat.
Speaking of which, Lu Lingxi was raising Dahei in a kind of free-range manner. At first when Lu Lingxi brought Dahei home, he was going to give Dahei dog food. But as a stray dog, Dahei had been going through the trash cans, caught rats and eaten everything but dog food. He considered the dog food that Lu Lingxi prepared for him very repulsive; instead he liked to eat whatever Lu Lingxi ate. After a few times, Lu Lingxi also got used to it. Every time he cooked a meal, he would leave some for Dahei.
After eating Lu Lingxi didn’t let Yi Hang drive him and took the bus to Tiny Garden by himself. After eating quite a bit, he didn’t dare to take Yi Hang’s car, afraid of getting sick on the bumpy road. When Lu Lingxi got off the bus, he didn’t even get to the entrance of Tiny Garden before Dahei rushed out excitedly. Lu Lingxi looked at him and laughed, and when he looked up, Yan Yue was standing at the door waiting for him.
The morning was too urgent and there were too many things to do, so Lu Lingxi didn’t pay much attention to Yan Yue. Only now did he realise that Yan Yue had taken off his usual shirt and trousers today and was completely dressed in a casual outfit. Accustomed to Yan Yue’s usual seriousness and suddenly seeing his relaxed appearance, Lu Lingxi felt a bit dazzled and thought that Yan Yue looked several years younger.
Yan Yue listened to Lingxi’s description, smiled slightly and said as if casually, “Do I usually look old?” Although he was twenty-seven and Lu Lingxi was eighteen and there was a difference of nine years between them, this gap was not very big, right?
Lu Lingxi thought for a while seriously and explained, “Not old, it’s just that Big Brother Yan usually feels very serious and distant, just like Brother Dong, like an elder.”
Yan Yue: “……”
Might as well not explain.
Oddly enough, when Yan Yue was alone, there was not a single customer in the shop. As soon as Lu Lingxi returned, the shop was immediately filled with customers. The afternoon was busy and the time passed quickly. When some of the old customers saw Yan Yue and asked questions, without waiting for Lu Lingxi to answer, Yan Yue introduced himself as a new shop assistant recruited by Tiny Garden. He was good-looking and hard-working, so some old lady soon praised him as a young man with good spirits. He seemed to be a nice person, was he a local? Did he have a girlfriend? The old lady’s neighbour had a daughter and she wanted to help introduce her.
Yan Yue: “……”
This helpless expression of his was seen by Lu Lingxi, and Lu Lingxi was about to die of laughing. He rubbed his stomach and dared not laugh out loud, but could only lower his head and hold in his laughter as his shoulders jerked. Yan Yue politely refused the old lady, saying that his family was too poor to afford a house and that he didn’t intend to get married for the time being. Lu Lingxi wanted to laugh even more when he heard it.
After sending the old lady away, Yan Yue flicked his finger on Lu Lingxi’s forehead, “Is that so funny?”
Lu Lingxi held back his laughter and nodded. The old lady was a long time customer of Tiny Garden, Lu Lingxi called her Grandma Wang. She was a nice person, but she was too keen on tying red strings (arranging marriage) everywhere. When Lu Lingxi first came, she saw that Lu Lingxi was a good boy, well-behaved and sensible, and regretted that he was too young, otherwise she would have introduced her granddaughter to Lu Lingxi. Later on, when Lu Lingxi talked to Brother Dong about it, he learned that Grandma Wang also planned to introduce her colleague’s niece to Brother Dong, but unfortunately Brother Dong had a girlfriend, so Grandma Wang regretfully gave up.
When Lu Lingxi said this, the corners of his mouth turned up and his eyes shone brightly. As Yan Yue watched, he felt his heart itching to bow down and kiss him. His recent efforts had paid off, and the teenager and the relationship between the young man and him had become much closer. But it was also limited to changing from a partner to an acquaintance and was still too far from the position he wanted. Human desires are always like this. If you have 0, getting 1 is already a satisfying thing. But once you get 1, you will start thinking about getting 2. Yan Yue was no longer satisfied with the position of an acquaintance, and wanted to go further.
Lu Lingxi was completely unaware of Yan Yue’s thoughts. He asked curiously after he finished telling about Grandma Wang, “Big Brother Yan, do you have a girlfriend?”
Yan Yue’s eyes darkened as he looked at Lu Lingxi intently and said, “No.”
“Oh.” Lu Lingxi remembered something and asked, “Big Brother Yan, don’t you have to go to work these days?”
He had never asked Yan Yue about his personal affairs and he was not sure if Yan Yue was a member of the Yan family in Zhongjing or not. But some time ago Yan Yue always took the opportunity to visit Dahei at noon, so Lu Lingxi wondered if Yan Yue was working nearby. In the past few days, Yan Yue had been following him around the shop, so Lu Lingxi had forgotten about Yan Yue’s work for a while. It was only when Wang Shuxiu inadvertently mentioned at noon that asking Yan Yue to help look after the shop might affect Yan Yue’s work that Lu Lingxi remembered the matter of work.
Yan Yue had already thought of an answer to this question and said calmly, “I’m on vacation these days, and I’ll probably be on vacation until the end of the month.” By the end of the month, An Jie would finish his business abroad and return to China, so Yan Yue was afraid he wouldn’t have the time to follow the boy around every day like he did now. At this point Yan Yue quite understood what Brother Han was feeling when he faced that calla lily in the morning; he was trying to spend more time with Lu Lingxi to satiate his craving.
It was time to get off work soon; Lu Lingxi locked the door and led Dahei to wait for Yan Yue to drive.
“Do you still dare to ride in the car?” He deliberately teased Dahei.
Dahei squatted beside him and whimpered.
Lu Lingxi smiled and was about to speak when a black Audi drove past on the road. Dahei, who had been quiet all along, suddenly stood up, rushed after the black Audi and pounced on it frantically. Lu Lingxi was pulled by him and staggered, barely able to hold the leash in his hand.
“Dahei!” Lu Lingxi called out, anxiously calming Dahei down.
The black Audi soon disappeared, but Dahei kept looking in the direction of the Audi, his body arched up and his teeth bared in an angry growl.