When Lu Lingxi and Yan Yue arrived at Tiny Garden, it was already almost half past nine. When they left home, they thought they had plenty of time, but after a heavy rain a lot of water accumulated on the road, and they had to take a detour and dodge pedestrians, which delayed them.
The drainage facilities in Fengcheng were built decades ago and had been patched and repaired over the years without much effect. Usually, when it was raining heavily, the water accumulated easily. But this time the rainstorm was the heaviest in a few years, and it was a mess. Many buses were forced to change their routes.
Wang Shuxiu was trapped at work in the morning and called Lu Lingxi early to say that she couldn’t go home for the time being and had to wait for the water outside to recede. When she heard from Lu Lingxi that Yan Yue had also been trapped by the rain last night, Wang Shuxiu specifically told him that there was nothing to eat at home and that he shouldn’t neglect the guest. Yan Yue asked if he needed to go pick up Wang Shuxiu, but Wang Shuxiu politely declined.
The car stopped when the red light came on at the corner. The noise of pedestrians on the pavement reached the car, and although there was water everywhere, the heavy rain brought a long-awaited coolness to the sweltering Fengcheng, and the crowd was more than a little happy about it. The air outside was not bad either. Although not as nice as in the backyard of Lu Lingxi’s house, it was still refreshing and soothing, not so wet and greasy that it felt difficult to breathe as it had been the previous days. Yan Yue kept the window open all the way and felt that the dust that usually floated in the air had been washed away by the heavy rain, and even the sky seemed a little bluer.
He mentioned it to Lu Lingxi, who didn’t say anything, but only looked at the stagnant water outside with some unease. The air today was indeed much better than usual, but Lu Lingxi knew that this was all temporary. The heavy rain had only beaten down the floating dust in the air onto the ground, polluting the whole of Fengcheng along with this stagnant water that could not be drained out.
“What’s wrong?” Yan Yue sensed that he was in a bad mood.
Lu Lingxi shook his head, “I just think that the environment is so polluted that even the rainwater is black.”
Yan Yue didn’t expect him to be worried about this and comforted him, “The environment is a bit bad now, but the country is also aware of the importance of environmental protection and has been spending money to improve it, so it will definitely get better and better in the future.”
Lu Lingxi let out a sigh, reluctantly accepting Yan Yue’s comfort.
A faint smile reflected in Yan Yue’s eyes, and he looked at Lu Lingxi with an extraordinarily soft expression. He found that Lu Lingxi was serious, not just casually mentioning that the environment outside was bad, but really worried. To be honest, he could never understand how on earth Wang Shuxiu with her pungent personality had managed to raise such a naive and kind, crystal-clear being as this young man.
“Okay.” He didn’t resist reaching out to rub the boy’s hair and said, “When Tiny Garden makes money, we can expand the scale of our plant nursery and plant more flowers and plants. That way more people will buy them, and it will be an improvement to the environment, don’t you think?” This consolation was much more useful than the vague one before it, and Lu Lingxi nodded seriously, thinking about what Yan Yue said about expanding the scale of the plant nursery.
The green light came on and the two turned into the street where Tiny Garden was located. From a distance, they could see quite a few people gathered across the street from Tiny Garden. When they got closer, Lu Lingxi recognised that several of the people there were shop owners from the neighbourhood, and Brother Dong was also there, talking about something.
Lu Lingxi looked over there with some curiosity. Yan Yue stopped the car and motioned, “I’ll open the shop, Xiao Xi, go and see what’s going on.”
“Okay!” Lu Lingxi obediently agreed, leading Dahei all the way across the road at a trot. Yan Yue hooked up the corners of his mouth. It was a rare moment when he could see that Lu Lingxi was only eighteen years old, still a teenager who hadn’t grown up yet.
The moment Dong Zhi turned around, he saw Lu Lingxi trotting over and hurriedly waved at him.
Lu Lingxi stopped in front of Dong Zhi. The people gathered in front of him were a bit crowded, so he couldn’t see what was going on. “What’s wrong?” he asked, unable to hide his curiosity.
Dong Zhi shook his head and sighed, “Grandma Wang was hit by a car yesterday, and her family is looking for witnesses. Xiao Xi, you remember Grandma Wang, right?”
Of course Lu Lingxi remembered; yesterday Grandma Wang even said she wanted to introduce a girlfriend to Yan Yue. His heart tightened, “Grandma Wang, she…”
As soon as Dong Zhi saw Lu Lingxi’s expression, he knew what the young man was afraid of and quickly added, “Grandma Wang’s life is not in danger, but her leg is broken, and she soaked in the rain for a long time, so she has a bit of a cold. I don’t know which unscrupulous person hit her, but he stopped to take a look and then turned his head and ran away.” He said this and looked at Dahei, who was squatting by Lu Lingxi’s leg. It was the same thing with Dahei that time but fortunately, Yan Yue saved him. Lu Lingxi thought of it too, and petted Dahei soothingly, saying in concern, “Did Grandma Wang see the car that hit her?”
Dong Zhi shook his head, “I heard it was a black Audi, but I’m not sure about anything else. It was raining too much yesterday and the roadside camera was broken, so nothing was captured.”
Lu Lingxi was very sensitive to the mention of a black Audi. Wasn’t the car that Dahei reacted so violently to yesterday a black Audi? Just as this thought flashed, Dahei, who had been quiet, seemed to smell something and his expression became somewhat anxious and restless.
“What’s wrong with Dahei?” Brother Dong was a little surprised.
Lu Lingxi made a connection to yesterday’s incident and looked at Dahei with some hesitation, “Dahei, do you smell something?”
Dahei lowered his head and sniffed around, looking a bit strange, but not as violent as yesterday. Lu Lingxi told Dong Zhi about what happened last night when a black Audi passed by.
Dong Zhi felt a bit incredulous. How long has it been since Dahei was hit? Could Dahei still remember it? “Look at Dahei’s reaction, could it be the same car?”
Lu Lingxi also suspected this, but Dahei’s reaction didn’t look as intense as yesterday. He squatted in front of Dahei and said seriously, “Dahei, do you recognise this smell? Is it the same person as the one who hit you?”
Dahei was a little hesitant, seemingly unsure.
Brother Dong patted Lu Lingxi, “It rained too much yesterday, any smell would have been washed away long ago.”
Lu Lingxi nodded and didn’t say anything else. When he led Dahei back to Tiny Garden, the people on the side of the road had dispersed. Yan Yue was a little curious, “What happened? What took so long?”
Lu Lingxi told Yan Yue about Grandma Wang being hit, emphasising how unusually Dahei behaved at the time. But as Brother Dong said, the rain was so heavy that too little of the smell remained, and Dahei himself was not sure.
Yan Yue saw that Lu Lingxi’s mood was affected and said soothingly, “Don’t worry. This kind of case is not difficult, it should be solved soon. When the police catch the perpetrator, we’ll take Dahei to identify him and see if it’s the same person.”
“That’ll be okay?”
“Of course!” Yan Yue affirmed.
But whether it was Grandma Wang’s family or Yan Yue, no one expected that after half a month, there would be no clues at all about this ordinary traffic accident case. The police had been searching the area for several days and had even gone inside Tiny Garden to ask for information. Lu Lingxi had already left work the day Grandma Wang was hit, so naturally he didn’t see anything. But he made a point of mentioning Dahei’s reaction to the police and the fact that Dahei had been hit before, wondering if it was the same person.
The police laughed at this and didn’t take Lu Lingxi’s words seriously. No matter how smart the dog was, they didn’t believe it could remember the smell of the person who had hit it for such a long time. Looking at Lu Lingxi’s serious expression as he talked about Dahei, the two policemen thought that Lu Lingxi was still a child and that the dog just had a trained conditioned response.
At first, when Grandma Wang was hit, the nearby shopkeepers often mentioned the incident. But now half a month had passed and there had been no clues, so people didn’t mention it as much. Only Dahei would run to the place where Grandma Wang was hit and sniff around. Lu Lingxi didn’t worry about it and let Dahei go on his own.
At the end of the month, Lu Lingxi asked Yan Yue to take stock of the accounts. It had been a month since he took over Tiny Garden, and with word of mouth from regular customers, the shop was doing better and better and there were more and more repeat customers. Everyone said that Lu Lingxi had green fingers and that the flowers and plants they bought from Tiny Garden were all flourishing and very easy to raise. In particular, maybe it was just an illusion, but people always seemed to feel good when seeing these flowers and plants and were very comfortable staying around them.
The reputation of Tiny Garden was slowly spreading out. Lu Lingxi was gentle and easy to talk to, and the environment inside was so good that many customers came in just to tease him when they were passing by and had nothing to do. As long as they entered Tiny Garden, they would more or less buy something before they left. This month, Lu Lingxi calculated that, excluding labour, he and Yan Yue had made a net profit of 20,000 yuan.
Lu Lingxi was a little excited. If things went on like this, they would soon be able to expand their plant nursery. As long as the sales kept up, the profits would definitely be higher and he would be able to pay off the money he owed Yan Yue sooner. After completing the accounts, Lu Lingxi began to prepare for opening of the online shop that Yan Yue had casually mentioned earlier.
Because of the special living environment in his previous life, although Lu Lingxi usually had access to a computer and would learn about the outside world through it, he didn’t really have a deep understanding of the internet. The tutor the Lu family had hired for him would not talk about this either. Lu Lingxi knew that he could buy things online, but couldn’t imagine that you could actually buy anything online, as long as you had money.
Since Yan Yue had equipped the shop with a computer, Lu Lingxi researched a lot about opening an online shop. He was most worried about any damage to the flowers during the shipping process and other problems didn’t seem so serious.
“Do you really want to open an online shop?” Yan Yue asked.
Lu Lingxi nodded and said with conviction, “I’ve researched it, it’s very simple, not complicated at all, just register on Taobao and you can open a shop.” He also found a lot of colleagues on Taobao and saw all kinds of flowers and plants, much more than what he saw when he went to the flower market.
When Lu Lingxi talked about this, his eyes shone brightly and Yan Yue saw the excitement in his gaze. Although in his heart he didn’t want Lu Lingxi to be too tired, but even more so, he didn’t want to dampen his enthusiasm, so he could only nod.
Lu Lingxi curved his eyes, “Big Brother Yan, you agree? Don’t worry, I will definitely do it properly and make our Tiny Garden famous as soon as possible.”
Yan Yue hooked up the corner of his mouth and said in support, “Good.”
With Yan Yue’s support, Lu Lingxi was full of energy, but before he could finish his online shop, Brother Han, whom he hadn’t seen for some days, brought him another big order. The order was from someone Lu Lingxi knew. It was Li Weisheng, whom he had just met half a month ago.