There were quite a few flowers and plants in Tiny Garden and in the backyard. All the plants were in the primary peak state before they evolved, and only after they evolved would they become a first-level peak. But this big willow tree was already at the first level without evolution, so who knows what it would become after it evolved.
As the evolution condition was triggered, the direction of the willow tree’s evolution was shown.
1) Absorb carbon dioxide +20% 2) Soil purification +20%
Lu Lingxi’s eyes fell on the soil purification. He knew that the roots of plants could absorb, transform and degrade toxic and harmful substances in the soil, and it was obvious that the role of soil purification was more urgent than absorbing carbon dioxide.
Through the white panel Lu Lingxi could see that the willow tree had a very well-developed root system that extended in all directions. The deepest roots in the ground seemed to be more than ten metres long, and the longest roots exceeded the range of soil purification and went past Uncle Li’s house.
Taking advantage of the fact that Yan Yue’s attention was elsewhere, Lu Lingxi decisively chose soil purification. After solving this matter, he was thinking about going back to the plant nursery to see other plants when a new prompt appeared on the panel.
Choose to evolve willows of common origin together?
Willow of common origin? Lu Lingxi thought of the small willow saplings in the plant nursery and simply chose “yes”.
He was so focused on the panel that he didn’t notice that when he chose “yes”, Yan Yue quickly turned his head to look at him and then returned his attention to the children playing under the willow.
It was not the first time that Yan Yue smelled the fresh scent of vegetation from Lu Lingxi’s body. This fragrance was usually extremely faint; Dong Zhi had inadvertently mentioned it last time but he only thought that it was because Lu Lingxi had been gardening every day and had been tainted with the scent of the greenery. But there were a few times when this fragrant smell suddenly became fiery; not the aggressive kind of strong, but as if it was surrounding the whole person, all-encompassing. It was like the freshness of the green hills after the rain.
Yan Yue’s heart stirred a little, but his face didn’t show the slightest hint. He vaguely guessed that the young man had a secret, but no matter what the secret was, the young man was becoming less and less guarded in front of him. In a way, it also meant that the boy was getting closer to him.
The fragrance gradually faded, and Yan Yue looked at Lu Lingxi as if he had turned just now, “Finished?”
Lu Lingxi nodded, “Big Brother Yan, let’s go back.”
Yan Yue hooked his lips and reached out to take Lu Lingxi’s hand. The sky was dark tonight, with clouds covering half of it. There was no moonlight, and there were no street lights at the entrance of the village, only the faint light of the flashlight. An occasional villager who passed by couldn’t notice the small movements of the two.
“Walk slowly.” Yan Yue whispered, afraid that Lu Lingxi might not notice the stones under his feet.
Lu Lingxi let out an “en”, holding Yan Yue’s hand tightly. Dahei trotted ahead of the two of them, glancing back at them from time to time. When they returned to the courtyard, Lu Lingxi pretended to tidy up the plant nursery and chose to evolve all the plants that could evolve in one go. This was a lot more work than in Tiny Garden, but the good thing was that the plant nursery was divided into different areas according to the different plants planted, so the plants in the same area could be chosen to evolve simultaneously, saving a lot of time.
By the time Lu Lingxi had finished, it was almost eleven o’clock, and Yan Yue urged him to hurry to bed.
“If you go to bed late, you won’t grow taller.”
When Lu Lingxi finished washing up, he ran up to Yan Yue on a whim and stood on tiptoe to compare the height difference between him and Yan Yue, saying with some longing, “I want to grow as tall as Big Brother Yan.”
Yan Yue smiled as he reached out to hug him and raised him upwards, “Is this tall enough?”
“It’s a bit too tall.” Lu Lingxi said seriously. His centre of gravity was unstable and all of his weight leaned on Yan Yue’s body. From where he was looking, he could already see the top of Yan Yue’s head.
Yan Yue cooperated and lowered him down a little, “How about this?”
Lu Lingxi was now at exactly the same height as Yan Yue, and as their eyes met, Lu Lingxi’s eyes shone brightly as he looked at Yan Yue and nodded vigorously. “This tall would be good.”
Yan Yue’s smile deepened as he moved forward to gently touch Lu Lingxi’s lips. Lu Lingxi blushed a little and tried to step back, but was stopped by Yan Yue. He had wanted to kiss Lu Lingxi for a long time. Having tasted the sweetness of the young man, it was hard to forget this taste. He simply wanted to kiss Lu Lingxi all the time.
Although it was not the first time they kissed, Lu Lingxi still had not learned to breathe through his nose and Yan Yue had to stop midway and wait for the boy to catch his breath. He fondly rubbed the young man’s lips, soft like the new leaves on the branches in March, making him reluctant to leave.
“Xiao Xi, just grow up quickly.” Yan Yue whispered, gently touching Lu Lingxi’s face.
Lu Lingxi was panting from his kiss, his eyelashes fluttering lightly, his mind wondering about the connection between him growing up and now.
Yan Yue looked at his expression and knew that Lu Lingxi didn’t understand. He didn’t explain either, but only smiled faintly, lowered his head and kissed Lu Lingxi’s forehead in a precious and reverent manner.
When they went to bed at night, Yan Yue and Dahei slept on either side of Lu Lingxi, left and right. Although Yan Yue wanted to make Dahei sleep on the floor on the pretext that he hadn’t bathed, before he could say anything, Lu Lingxi had already carefully wiped Dahei’s belly and four paws with a towel. Yan Yue held back and had to acquiesce to Dahei sleeping next to Lu Lingxi.
The night in September was already a little cold, and Lu Lingxi found a thin quilt from the cupboard. Yan Yue took Lu Lingxi into his arms and the two of them fell into a deep sleep together under a quilt.
The whole village fell into silence, and no one knew about the changes happening underground. The large willow tree at the entrance of the village began to evolve. Its original well-developed root system gradually continued to expand outside in all directions, entrenched underneath almost the entire village. A few small willow saplings in the plant nursery also began to evolve, their previously thin roots becoming thicker and longer, partly rooting deeper underground and partly spreading out in all directions.
At the other end of the village, several small willow saplings looking like mops on the sticks were planted crookedly in the courtyard. They were picked up one morning at the entrance of the village by Uncle Xu. The old man looked at these willow saplings and didn’t want to burn them, so he came back and planted them in the yard to see if they would survive.
The roots of the large willow extended and became entwined with the roots of the small willows.
Found saplings of common origin, share vitality?
The panel surfaced without warning. Lu Lingxi opened his eyes in a daze, choosing “yes” and burying his head in Yan Yue’s chest again.
There was a slight vibration from the ground, and Dahei, who was sleeping on the bed, opened his eyes and twitched his ears, letting out a bark. Yan Yue was the first to wake up. Dahei was already in front of Lu Lingxi, stretching out his front paw and tugging at him. Yan Yue calmed down and immediately reacted; he also felt a vibration in the ground.
Lu Lingxi was still not fully awake and vaguely said, “What’s wrong?”
Yan Yue didn’t bother to say anything; he simply wrapped the blanket around Lu Lingxi and ran out into the courtyard, carrying the young man. Dahei followed closely behind the two of them, looking around vigilantly.
The vibration underground was not obvious, only a slight tremor. They were not the only ones who were awakened. The dogs in the village began to bark, and one after another lights came on and the whole village became noisy.
Yan Yue didn’t run outside, didn’t go anywhere, just stayed in the courtyard with Lu Lingxi in his arms. Their small courtyard was just off the road, surrounded by flat land. It was also large enough that even if the house collapsed it would never be able to crush anyone. Staying in the courtyard at this time was the safest thing to do, and running outside was a fool’s errand.
The night breeze blew, and Lu Lingxi was finally completely awake.
“What’s wrong, Big Brother Yan?” Lu Lingxi asked, bewildered as he realised the situation he was in.
Yan Yue lowered his head and kissed his eyes, coaxing in a low voice, “It’s nothing, it’s probably an earthquake.”
“An earthquake?” Lu Lingxi struggled to get down to the ground.
Yan Yue stopped him, “Don’t move, I’ll just hold you.”
The tremors underground were getting weaker and weaker. It looked like the source of the earthquake was far away enough from them and they were only affected by the ripples and should be fine.
Lu Lingxi was still reacting to the news of the earthquake when the white panel floated in front of him.
Willow ecological community extended to one standard unit, bonus power of nature +5
Lu Lingxi blinked, not understanding what had happened. He seemed to remember dreaming about the white panel, as if he was sharing some vitality. Was it not a dream? He looked at the panel with some confusion. The ecological community of the willows shown on it had changed. From the original village entrance and the plant nursery it expanded to the whole village. Six green dots of light, including the big willow tree, kept flashing, and far away at the other end of the village, four more green dots of light appeared, opposite the big willow tree at the entrance of the village.
Ten green dots of light surrounded the entire village in a circle, and the land inside had all been purified to a white translucent colour.
The tremors underground had completely disappeared, and Lu Lingxi understood something. It was probably not an earthquake, but the big willow evolving.
“It’s alright.” Yan Yue lowered his head and kissed Lu Lingxi, “Let’s stay outside for a bit longer and go back later.”
Lu Lingxi was a little hesitant, not sure if he should take this opportunity to tell Yan Yue about the white panel. He was still undecided when the sound of footsteps suddenly came from outside the small courtyard.
“Are you all right, child?”
It was the voice of Uncle Li, who had seen the lights come on over here and hurried over to ask.
“It’s fine.” Yan Yue replied in a loud voice, carrying Lu Lingxi back inside. “I’ll go and open the door for Uncle Li.” He said, dressing quickly, “Xiao Xi isn’t scared, is he?”
Lu Lingxi shook his head, spread the blanket to find his shorts and put them on.
Yan Yue stroked Dahei, gesturing for him to accompany Lu Lingxi, and walked out quickly.
Soon the sound of Yan Yue and Uncle Li talking came in.
“Scared, right? It’s nothing really, just a bit of shaking. There are always earthquakes here in Fengcheng, just get used to it.” Uncle Li had the tone of someone who had been through the storms many times.
Yan Yue smiled, “It’s alright. “
“It’s good that the child didn’t get scared.” Uncle Li said as he entered the house, seeing Lu Lingxi and reassuring him for a long time. Lu Lingxi wanted to say he wasn’t scared, but under Uncle Li’s loving eyes, he could only swallow the words that were on his lips.