Xue Yongtong was just an ordinary customer to Lu Lingxi, so he didn’t pay much attention to his visit. On the contrary, Xue Yongtong couldn’t stop thinking about Tiny Garden after he returned, holding the Rieger begonia he had bought and studying it, determined to find out what kind of flowers were hybridised to develop it.
Elder Qian laughed at him for being obsessed.
Xue Yongtong was unconvinced, “Aren’t you curious, Elder Qian?”
Elder Qian’s full name was Qian Yuanzheng. Before retirement, he was the vice chairman of Fengcheng Flower and Wood Association. He was also a famous horticultural engineer, a hardcore plant lover, and has been engaged in research and introduction of landscape plant species resources for many years. It would be a lie to say that he was not curious, but having worked on flowers and plants all his life, he understood that the wonders of nature were sometimes beyond human imagination. He couldn’t see the slightest trace of hybridisation in this Rieger begonia. It was completely like the evolution of begonia; yes, not a mutation but the evolution.
Elder Qian suddenly thought of something and quickly walked up to the begonia, looking at it carefully again and again.
Xue Yongtong was delighted, “Have you found something?”
Elder Qian shook his head, hesitating for a long time and said deliberately, “This begonia is still a Rieger begonia, not a new species, but more like an evolved version of the Rieger begonia.”
Xue Yongtong: “……”
Mutated and improved? If not for Elder Qian being his teacher, Xue Yongtong would have scolded the other party for talking nonsense.
Elder Qian smiled at his expression. Xue Yongtong was not strictly speaking a true businessman, but rather more of a plant lover. This was what Elder Qian admired about him. Those who engaged in plants without loving them and only used them as a means to make money in the long run were putting the cart before the horse.
“After all, Yongtong, the world of nature is full of thousands and thousands of strange plants, full of magic, and that’s exactly what makes our research fun.”
Xue Yongtong also understood what Elder Qian meant, but he just couldn’t resist, full of desire to know what was going on with this begonia.
After holding back for two days, Xue Yongtong showed up at Tiny Garden with a pot of star rock cactus in his arms. Putting aside his identity as the owner of Luxuan Gardening, Xue Yongtong was truly a plant lover and took great care of all the flowers and plants around him. It wasn’t easy to find a plant that was a bit faulty to bring to Tiny Garden.
Lu Lingxi was a little surprised to see him; he was quite impressed with this customer who had bought the begonias.
Xue Yongtong smiled and greeted Lu Lingxi before he realised there was another person in the shop. Unlike Lu Lingxi who made people feel comfortable when they looked at him, the presence of this extra person was too strong. He looked neither like a customer of Tiny Garden nor someone from Tiny Garden and Xue Yongtong was somewhat unable to guess the identity of that man.
Yan Yue glanced at Xue Yongtong lightly, and his gaze froze a little; he recognised him as the owner of Luxuan Gardening. Ever since the last incident with Qiu Tian Gardening, Yan Yue had specifically checked the horticultural market in Fengcheng, learning in detail about the various types of rivals that Tiny Garden might encounter. The momentum of Tiny Garden was a little too strong and its plants were so prominent that it was hard not to attract the attention of competitors. Yan Yue also hoped to prevent problems before they occur.
Judging by Lu Lingxi’s reaction, Xue Yongtong didn’t seem to come for the first time. The young man obviously didn’t know who the other party was. Yan Yue blamed himself a little; he had been a bit busy the past few days and only today was he able to find the time to accompany Lu Lingxi. While he hadn’t been paying attention, the young man really wasn’t at all wary of people.
Yan Yue looked away as Lu Lingxi greeted the man. “Are you satisfied with that pot of begonias? Is there anything I can help you with today?”
Xue Yongtong’s attention was quickly drawn to the word “begonia” and he nodded, “Yes, I don’t know how you grew it, little boss, but the fragrance of the begonia is very special, light and elegant, with a timeless scent that doesn’t dissipate for a long time, very rare.”
He used several adjectives in a row, obviously very fond of it. Lu Lingxi relaxed and turned his eyes to the star rock cactus in his hands.
Star rock is a type of cactus, a perennial succulent plant. It has lotus-shaped protrusions covered in areoles and is also known as a seven star cactus. The colour of the star rock is very special, pale grey and somewhat rock-like, and it looks lifeless, but it is very suitable for a potted plant, looking like a finely carved handicraft. It is a very interesting and novel way to decorate windowsills and coffee tables.
The star rock in Xue Yongtong’s hands had a very good shape, spreading out in layers like lotus. From the outside, there seemed to be nothing wrong with it, but the mental scan showed that the plant was lacking in nutrients.
Xue Yongtong followed Lu Lingxi’s gaze and immediately placed the star rock on the cashier’s counter.
“Look, little boss, the roots of this pot of star rock seem to be a bit bad, I wonder what’s wrong?”
Lu Lingxi pinched a bit of soil inside the pot and looked at it, “Are you using the nutrient soil you bought from the gardening shop?”
Xue Yongtong nodded.
Lu Lingxi suggested, “You’d better change the soil. The star rock needs soluble calcium and some other minerals to grow, and the normal nutrient soil contains calcium hydroxide, which is not easily absorbed. On the contrary, it will damage the roots of the star rock. I suggest you use dolomite, which is very suitable for star rock.”
After hearing Lu Lingxi’s words, Xue Yongtong looked at him with eyes full of appreciation. He naturally knew what Lu Lingxi had said, but when the child spoke so seriously, coupled with his clear voice, if he were a customer, he would have been convinced.
“Then let’s change to Baiyun limestone, do you sell it in the shop?”
Lu Lingxi nodded, “Twenty yuan for a pack.”
“I’ll take a pack, no, two packs.”
Meeting the young man’s bright eyes, Xue Yongtong subconsciously changed his words. He somewhat understood why the Tiny Garden business was good. In the face of the young man’s smile, it was hard for people who entered the shop to walk out empty handed; they had to buy something. Even those like him, who had everything at home and had come a long way to buy two packs of Baiyun limestone. Luxuan Gardening imported a lot of it, and the wholesale price was less than eight yuan a pack. When you looked at it this way, he was simply a loser.
Xue Yongtong still couldn’t bear to leave after buying Baiyun limestone. The plants in the shop were too much to his liking. He strolled around as if nothing had happened, eager to lure Lu Lingxi into his plant nursery with a lot of money. After turning around, Xue Yongtong stopped in front of the table with begonias. Four pots of begonias were placed together, with different colours of flowers, very eye-catching. But among these four pots of begonias, only one had the same fragrance as the one he had bought. The others were beautiful plants and full of flowers, but they didn’t have that fragrance. Remembering that Elder Qian also liked that pot of begonias, he held back and said, “I’ll buy this begonia too, little boss, please change it to a better pot.”
“Okay, you wait a moment.”
Xue Yongtong came to the shop and spent money again; sighing, he walked out holding the begonia. He had chosen the most expensive alabaster pot in the shop, instead of using all kinds of flower pots at home.
As soon as he left, Yan Yue put down his notebook and looked at Lu Lingxi who was keeping the accounts. “The customer just now is a regular customer? Why don’t I remember him?”
Lu Lingxi shook his head, “Not really a regular customer, he’s been here twice.”
Yan Yue remembered that Xue Yongtong had been circling around the pots of begonias and said, seemingly unintentionally, “He seemed to like them a lot.”
Lu Lingxi smiled, “The ones he bought last time were also begonias.”
Speaking of this, Lu Lingxi reacted a little. The begonias this customer had picked out on both occasions were evolved begonias. When these begonias were placed together, it was actually difficult to tell the difference at first glance. If the other party could pick them out at a glance, it seemed that his knowledge was not superficial, as Lu Lingxi had thought. In that case, the guzmania from last time and the star rock from this time seemed a bit strange.
Lu Lingxi frowned slightly and Yan Yue looked a little regretful. The young man was naive. Yan Yue was worried that Lu Lingxi would be cheated while he couldn’t see, but he was a bit reluctant to really let the young man understand the dangers of the human heart.
“Something feels strange about this customer. He seems to know quite a lot about plants, but some of the questions he asked here seem like he doesn’t know much, and it’s a bit inconsistent.” Lu Lingxi said seriously.
“Could it be that our begonias are grown too well, and our competitors deliberately bought them back for research?” Yan Yue suggested, joking on purpose.
Lu Lingxi laughed when he heard it. In his heart, he stopped being worried. He wasn’t afraid of competitors. The begonias had evolved and there was nothing to see. This confident expression was noticed by Yan Yue who itched to reach out and touch Lu Lingxi’s face, “So confident, are you not afraid?”
“Not at all.” Lu Lingxi affirmed, “My method is unique.”
Laughter filled Yan Yue’s eyes as he quickly gave Lu Lingxi’s face a squeeze and whispered, “My Xiao Xi is also unique.”
Lu Lingxi averted his eyes somewhat unnaturally, the tips of his ears flushing slightly.
Yan Yue looked at him with gentle eyes, but in his heart he was thinking about Xue Yongtong, who had a pretty good reputation in Fengcheng’s gardening circles. But people’s hearts are unpredictable, so it was better to keep a close eye on the young man.
When it was almost noon, there were no customers at Tiny Garden for the time being, and Lu Lingxi was thinking of asking Yan Yue to settle the accounts, when he received a call from Wang Shuxiu.
Wang Shuxiu had been looking at several places for her future restaurant during this time, but nothing was particularly suitable, either because the price was too high or the location was not good. Today, Xiao Feng called her and mentioned that there was a small storefront near the Hongfu Community that was for rent. The owner’s family was going back to their hometown and the house was waiting to be rented out urgently, so he asked Wang Shuxiu if she was interested.
The place mentioned by Xiao Feng was offered for the right price and the location was convenient, so Wang Shuxiu was a bit tempted and thought she would call Lu Lingxi to accompany her to take a look.
“Mom, wait for me, I’ll be right there.”
Lu Lingxi asked Wang Shuxiu for the address, hung up the phone and was about to go out. It was just as well that Yan Yue was there and could stay and watch the shop.
Yan Yue was a bit helpless. He deliberately took the time to accompany Lu Lingxi, but as a result, he couldn’t follow the young man when he was going out and he had to stay in the shop alone.
“I’ll be back soon. Dahei, also stay in the shop, be good and obedient.”
The first sentence Lu Lingxi said to Yan Yue, while the second sentence was to Dahei. Dahei gave a low bark, rubbing against Lu Lingxi, unwilling to stay. Lu Lingxi patiently stroked his head, “Dahei is obedient.” Now that Dahei was growing stronger and stronger, it was inevitable that some people would be afraid if Lu Lingxi took him out during the day, and it was not comfortable to wear a muzzle or something all the time.
Yan Yue looked at Dahei’s coquettish behaviour with burning eyes and couldn’t describe how jealous he was. Stupid dog!