The restaurant had been open for some time, and Xiao Feng would come over from time to time to remind of himself. As time went on, Lin Mei could see what he meant.
There was no one in the restaurant this afternoon, so Wang Shuxiu sent Yi Hang upstairs to rest while she and Lin Mei chatted, keeping an eye on the shop. The conversation turned to Xiao Feng.
Lin Mei had a good impression of Xiao Feng, and had also heard good things about him. He was not the kind of man who wouldn’t take responsibility. According to Lin Mei, Wang Shuxiu was still young, so she needed to find another man before it was too late. She couldn’t just live alone all the time. Now there was Lu Lingxi to accompany her but in a few years Lu Lingxi would marry a wife and have a child. Even if the filial piety came first, it would be his own small family. Could Wang Shuxiu bear to live with her daughter-in-law? It was too sad to think that she would be all alone and have no one to talk to when she returned home.
Lin Mei was not idly worried, but was really concerned about Wang Shuxiu and couldn’t help but take the initiative to mention Xiao Feng.
“Xiaohua, what do you think of Brother Feng?”
When she said that, Wang Shuxiu understood what she meant. The two of them usually have no qualms about talking, so Wang Shuxiu was frank: “Brother Feng is nice, but it’s not possible for us.”
Xiao Feng helped out several times, sent flower baskets and got people to support the business every day, and Wang Shuxiu was not a young girl who didn’t know anything. She had long seen what Brother Feng meant. But because she was not a young girl who didn’t know anything, she was unwilling. She had just divorced Lu Yishui and was living a promising life. Lu Lingxi was well-behaved and she didn’t need a man to support her, so why should she find a man to take home and serve? Besides, Lu Yishui had harmed her for half of her life by gambling, so it was not like she was out of her mind to find a man who ran a casino.
Wang Shuxiu said it simply and Lin Mei understood Wang Shuxiu’s scruples as soon as she thought about it. Brother Feng was a good man, but his way of earning money was not a serious job and what Wang Shuxiu found the most annoying was that it was from gambling. It seemed that it really was not good. But Lin Mei didn’t give up and immediately changed her choice, “There is a Brother Tan in our neighbourhood street office, his wife passed away several years ago. He has a little daughter. He is a good man, honest and caring. I know the girl well, she is very obedient, not the kind of little girl who makes trouble. What do you think? I’ll introduce you if you’re interested.”
Before she could finish, Wang Shuxiu slapped the table and raised her eyebrows, “Lin Mei, you see that I am too happy with my life and have to force me to jump into the fire again, right?”
Lin Mei was used to messing with her and slapped the table even louder than Wang Shuxiu did, “Ain’t I doing this for your own good? Wait until Xiao Xi gets married and you’ll be disliked by your daughter-in-law!”
“Bah, she dares.”
Lin Mei laughed, “By the way, Xiao Xi is already eighteen, and you haven’t heard him say if he has a young girl he likes, huh?”
Speaking of this, Wang Shuxiu was a bit worried, “Little bastard looks like he’s never gotten the hang of it. Is it not time yet?”
“What’s not yet!” Lin Mei snorted, “Our little brat is only in his second year, and the day before yesterday he found a letter from a female classmate in his bag. His father gave him a good beating. I’d say you’re just not paying attention. Maybe Xiao Xi already has one, but you don’t know about it.”
Wang Shuxiu thought about it for a while. The little bastard’s previous affairs were not mentioned, he had lost his memory and couldn’t remember anything, and she hadn’t seen any young girls come to him, so it seemed that there was none. After he lost his memory, the little bastard was at the flower shop every day, and there was no one around him except Yan Yue, so it was not like he was hiding something. The little bastard was too thin-skinned now, so why doesn’t she ask Yan Yue sometime? She made up her mind to find time to question Yan Yue. Lin Mei talked about other things, and the two of them digressed from the topic for a while.
The sound insulation upstairs was not good, and Yi Hang couldn’t sleep for a long time. Wang Shuxiu and Lin Mei were too loud. Yi Hang heard funny things and texted Lu Lingxi.
“Lao San, your mother is looking forward to your marriage, when will you find a girlfriend? Do you want your brother to introduce you?”
Lu Lingxi was watering the plants in the shop when he heard the text message ring, and picked up his phone to see the content of the text message. He was used to joking around with Yi Hang now and immediately replied, “Find one for yourself first.”
Yi Hang: “……”
There was no one in Tiny Garden now and Lu Lingxi happened to have a little time. He didn’t think much about these things before but now he felt a bit guilty and asked, “What else did my mom say?”
Yi Hang: “Find you a stepfather.”
Lu Lingxi: “……”
This topic was much more explosive than the previous one.
Yi Hang laughed at his phone, imagining Lao San’s current expression, rubbed his face and continued, “Seriously, I think Brother Feng that Sister Lin mentioned is good, he’s a real man.”
“Brother Feng? Xiao Feng?” Lu Lingxi was simply shocked.
Yi Hang: “You didn’t know?”
Lu Lingxi really didn’t know; he knew that Brother Feng and Wang Shuxiu were somewhat acquainted, but when did they get so familiar that Brother Feng was going to become his stepfather? He read the text message sent by Yi Hang back and forth a few times, and felt a little uncomfortable in his heart. Lu Yishui was not a good person but Lu Lingxi himself could take good care of Wang Shuxiu. Did Wang Shuxiu really want to find another father for him?
Far away in a small coal mine in the northwest, Lu Yishui sneezed three times in a row. “Who? Who’s scolding me?”
Someone behind him kicked him, “Hurry up and work, yesterday our group’s progress was slowed down by you. When I went back to the canteen, all the meat and vegetables were gone, and there was only cabbage left. Lu Yishui, I’m telling you, if you dare to pretend to be sick again today, I’ll beat you up.”
Lu Yishui strained his neck, “Wang Laosan, have you fucking forgotten the time you gambled with Lao Tzu? You don’t have any love in your heart at all! Was I just pretending to be sick? That was a real illness.”
“Love? No shit. If you have any fucking love, can you lend me 200,000 to pay off Brother Feng’s gambling debt?”
When he said this, Lu Yishui remembered Yan Yue. At that time, Yan Yue gave him too much money too quickly and he was so focused on ripping off the sucker that he didn’t notice how he was sent here by Xiao Feng afterwards. Lu Yishui thought carefully and felt that Yan Yue and Xiao Feng had set him up. How else could he have lost more than two million yuan to Xiao Feng in the heat of the moment? More than two million, he couldn’t go back even if he dug the coal until he died here. Lu Yishui was quite unwilling; he still had a son, still waiting for his son to provide for him after he retired. He had to find a way to escape.
As Lu Yishui was thinking, the worker behind him got impatient and kicked him. “If you want to work, do it, if not, get lost.”
Lu Yishui shrank his neck; he dared to say a few words to Wang Laosan who was sent to dig coal with him, but he was too weak to say anything to the serious workers in the mine.
Someone from the outsiders looked at him and gestured, “It’s him, Brother Feng said to take care of him.”
The man who listened laughed, “How can he be taken care of? He’s just a wimp, lazy and greedy, either pretending to be sick or dead. The people who work with him don’t like him and he’s often beaten up privately.”
“How do you think he could offend Brother Feng?”
“Who knows? It couldn’t be that he stole Brother Feng’s woman, could it?”
Lu Lingxi didn’t know about Lu Yishui’s current situation; he was still thinking about what Yi Hang said about a “stepfather”.
Gao Yongliang didn’t bring Xue Yongtong with him this time, he came alone. After being rejected by Yan Yue yesterday, Gao Yongliang was still undeterred. He was a stubborn person, to put it nicely; to put it badly, he was pig-headed. He had been searching for the fragrance of the perfume for half a year, and now that he had found the right scent, it was not his style to give up after just one rejection. He had actually come over a long time ago and had been waiting for Yan Yue to leave before he appeared. Although he had not dealt with Lu Lingxi much, he still had a basic eye for people after years of work. Compared to Yan Yue, Lu Lingxi was soft-hearted and nice to talk to, so Gao Yongliang hoped to use it as a breakthrough for this cooperation.
Lu Lingxi didn’t expect Gao Yongliang to come over so quickly and froze for a moment, looking at the door, “Where’s Mr. Xue?”
Gao Yongliang smiled, “Lao Xue can’t come over today, so I’ve come here to take a look for myself.”
Yesterday, Gao Yongliang and Xue Yongtong analysed that it was probably because Xue Yongtong’s identity was too sensitive that made Lu Lingxi so repelled. Gao Yongliang had just heard that Xue Yongtong had disguised himself as a customer to buy flowers from Tiny Garden a few times, and was speechless for a long time. No wonder Yan Yue treated them badly, what do you think Xue Yongtong did? Couldn’t you just show up with a dignified and clear identity? After despising Xue Yongtong for a long time, Gao Yongliang learned his lesson and came by himself.
He didn’t mention the cooperation with Lu Lingxi directly, but first looked around the few pots of begonias in the shop. The remaining pots of begonias were all unevolved, and although they had a fragrance, it was faint and far from the scent Gao Yongliang wanted. Xue Yongtong also said that the two pots of begonias at home were probably mutated, and that there would not be many of them, so Gao Yongliang was afraid that it would not be possible to grow them on a large scale.
After he looked at the begonias, Gao Yongliang’s eyes were drawn to the violets. The normal flowering period for violets was spring and summer, but the violets in front of him didn’t feel like they were past their prime and were still in full bloom. Gao Yongliang recognised the variety of violet at once. It was a double-petalled pink Cinderella with overlapping petals, a bright colour and a strong fragrance.
Gao Yongliang couldn’t take his eyes off the plant and looked at it with near fascination. He had seen many violets, all kinds of single and double petals, but he had to say that the violets in front of him were one of the best he had ever seen.
Lu Lingxi saw that he was alone and not saying anything, just looking around the shop, and was somewhat curious and went over to Gao Yongliang’s side. Although Yan Yue said that he wanted to work with Xue Yongtong, he told Lu Lingxi not to worry about the details of the cooperation. Of course Yan Yue couldn’t stay by Lu Lingxi’s side all day recently, so he specially instructed Lu Lingxi that if Xue Yongtong and Gao Yongliang came over, no matter what they said, Lu Lingxi should just listen and not give any reply.
When he heard Lu Lingxi’s footsteps, Gao Yongliang didn’t turn around, his attention still on the violet in front of him.
“Little boss, do you have many violets like this in your plant nursery?”
Lu Lingxi was a bit startled before realising that Gao Yongliang was talking to him. This violet was just an ordinary variety that had not yet evolved. He hesitated for a few seconds and responded, “Not many, only about a tenth of an acre.”
Gao Yongliang did some quick calculations. A tenth of an acre was just over sixty square metres, which really couldn’t grow many violets, and even if you bought them all to extract the essential oil, you wouldn’t extract much. He said to Lu Lingxi, “The extract of violets is very precious and its practical effects are extremely extensive. Whether it is used for skin repair and wrinkle removal or for respiratory treatment, it is very effective. Little boss should really be planting more.”
Without waiting for Lu Lingxi to say anything, Gao Yongliang continued, “I have been to many plant nurseries over the years and the best violet essential oil in the world is currently produced in Egypt and France. It’s a pity that the little boss doesn’t grow a lot of them. If they could be grown on a large scale and all of them maintained this quality, the extracted oil would be definitely good.”
Lu Lingxi was a little surprised. Gao Yongliang was not quite what he had thought. He could see that Gao Yongliang didn’t seem to mean anything else by saying this, but simply regretted the fact. Lu Lingxi subconsciously asked, “Is the violet essential oil you mentioned really that useful?”
“Of course.” When it came to Gao Yongliang’s profession, he turned into a chatterbox in a second and pulled Lu Lingxi along to explain patiently, “You don’t know, little boss, that the effects of violet oil are not just what I’ve told you. In addition to removing wrinkles and whitening the skin it can also detoxify and nourish the skin, and in addition to having a toning effect on some diseases of the respiratory tract, it can also fight tumours and clear toxins from the body.” Here he changed the subject, “I think you shouldn’t limit yourself to just the plant nursery, you need to look at the long term. You can choose to work with me and we can jointly develop pure and natural plant cosmetics. You can also choose to cooperate with some pharmaceutical companies to develop similar antitumor drugs.”
Lu Lingxi: “……”
Gao Yongliang smiled, not feeling embarrassed at all, looking at Lu Lingxi expectantly.
Lu Lingxi couldn’t help but smile as well and said frankly, “The cooperation with the shop has to be discussed with Big Brother Yan, I have no opinion.”
Gao Yongliang was a little disappointed, but Lu Lingxi’s willingness to talk to him was a good start. He simply dropped the idea of cooperation for the time being and pulled Lu Lingxi to chat about the plants in Tiny Garden. Although Gao Yongliang was used to looking at these flowers and plants from a practical point of view, he really liked them and really knew no less than Xue Yongtong about them.
Lu Lingxi had studied a lot of books in the past few months, but after all, he had only studied for a short period of time, and his theoretical knowledge and practical understanding of plants were still far from adequate. The two talked, and more often than not he listened to Gao Yongliang talking, and also listened with great interest. Until a customer came in, Gao Yongliang was still speaking vigorously. Lu Lingxi was a good listener, quick to respond and knew how to learn by example. Gao Yongliang was only speaking casually, but when he came to the end, he unconsciously became serious.
After Lu Lingxi sent the customer away, Gao Yongliang was ready to say goodbye and leave. Although the cooperation didn’t work out, Gao Yongliang’s impression of Lu Lingxi was very good. He smiled and invited Lu Lingxi to visit Xue Yongtong’s plant nursery.
“The plants in the shop are very good, but the variety is a bit lacking. If you call me sometime, I’ll take you to look inside Lao Xue’s plant nursery. I’m afraid his plants are not as good as yours, but there are so many different kinds. I see that you have some common flowers here, and he has a large greenhouse there dedicated to growing flowers that are not very common on the market. It is very interesting.”
Lu Lingxi was somewhat impressed and embarrassed. “Is it convenient?”
“Of course, Lao Xue will definitely welcome you. He even asked you to point out what was going on with that begonia.”
Lu Lingxi: “……”