When Lu Lingxi washed his face in the morning, he noticed that his lips seemed a little swollen. Remembering what happened last night, he blushed and averted his eyes, trying to avoid looking at himself in the mirror.
He was used to Yan Yue’s usual gentleness, but last night’s Yan Yue gave him the same hot and crazy feeling as that time when he confessed his love in the plant nursery. Lu Lingxi felt like he was suffocating several times, but Yan Yue still refused to let go of him and kept hugging and kissing him. In the darkness, Lu Lingxi looked into Yan Yue’s eyes, shining like the stars in the night sky, and the heat in them seemed scorching. After looking for a long time, he almost had the illusion that he would be swallowed by Yan Yue in one gulp. Fortunately, it was late when the two met, and Yan Yue didn’t stay long and sent Lu Lingxi home before twelve o’clock. An Jie had already booked a hotel, and Yan Yue had to rush back to Zhongjing the next morning.
Lu Lingxi thought of this, quickly washed up and sent a text message to Yan Yue.
“Big Brother Yan, are you up yet?”
When Yan Yue received the text message, he was already about to arrive in Zhongjing. He smiled at the content of the text message and sent one back, “Just got up and getting ready to go back to Zhongjing. Xiao Xi, don’t worry.”
Lu Lingxi looked at the time. It was just a little after seven, so Yan Yue had rested well last night. He thought of calling Yan Yue when Wang Shuxiu’s loud voice sounded outside, calling him to come out for breakfast. In a hurry, Lu Lingxi only had time to send a text message, “Big Brother Yan, have a safe trip.”
Yan Yue looked at his phone with a gentle expression, while An Jie, who was driving, shook his head speechlessly. He finally understood what Ye Kang meant when he said that Yan Yue was a bit abnormal towards Lu Lingxi. Driving for five hours back and forth to Zhongjing just to see each other for less than an hour last night; it was true that falling in love made people crazy.
After receiving Yan Yue’s reply, Lu Lingxi put away his phone in a good mood and prepared to eat.
Wang Shuxiu gave him a bowl of porridge and cast a strange look, “Xiao Xi, what happened to your mouth?”
Lu Lingxi froze, reacted to what Wang Shuxiu was talking about, immediately lowered his head sheepishly and whispered, “…got bitten by a mosquito.”
“There are mosquitoes?” Wang Shuxiu was surprised. This year, apart from early July when there seemed to be mosquitoes, there hadn’t been any mosquitoes in the house since. At first she was worried that there might be more bugs as there was grass outside, but in hindsight she realised that she had worried for nothing. It was almost October now, why were there still mosquitoes? Wang Shuxiu was puzzled for a while but didn’t think too much about it and just told Lu Lingxi: “Go buy a mosquito incense later and light it in the house at night. Remember not to scratch the itch, and you can’t rub anointing oil on your mouth, just bear it.”
Lu Lingxi nodded, his face almost buried in the bowl.
After a busy day, Lu Lingxi received a call from Yan Yue. The other party was on his way back to Fengcheng and was going to find him later. Lu Lingxi was a little surprised, and there was some secret sweetness in his heart. Lu Lingxi was not stupid; he knew what was the reason why Yan Yue was rushing so hard. He wanted to say that Yan Yue didn’t need to work so hard and could take care of things in Zhongjing without worrying, but in the end he gave a soft “en” and whispered, “Big Brother Yan, I’ll wait for you at home.” This feeling of being valued and taken to heart was so wonderful that Lu Lingxi was a little selfish and began to look forward to Yan Yue’s arrival.
For several days in a row, Yan Yue was rushing between the two places whenever he had time. An Jie simply was about to kneel in front of Yan Yue. Although when they were abroad, they were also busy working and running around several cities and the intensity was actually similar compared to now, when An Jie thought that Yan Yue had turned all his passion for work towards Lu Lingxi, his whole body was not feeling good. He was afraid that one day Yan Yue would suddenly throw up his hands and go off to raise flowers with Lu Lingxi, shifting all the company’s business onto him.
Not only An Jie, but also Lu Lingxi felt that Yan Yue was working too hard and felt a little uneasy. After Yan Yue rushed back to see him again, Lu Lingxi tried to persuade him that he didn’t have to run around like this. He was in Fengcheng, just waiting for Yan Yue to return from his business, which wouldn’t take more than a few days.
Yan Yue raised his eyebrows slightly at his words, wiping his hair with a towel in one hand and cupping Lu Lingxi’s chin with the other, and leaned down to give him a kiss, saying affectionately, “Xiao Xi doesn’t want to see me?”
Wang Shuxiu had stayed at the restaurant today, so Yan Yue didn’t have to sneak around next door but could appear in Lu Lingxi’s room openly and honestly. He had just taken a shower, wearing only a pair of shorts, and was half-naked, revealing a tight, strong abdomen without a hint of fat. Leaning down just like that, he completely enveloped Lu Lingxi in his arms.
Their skin touched, and the air became ambiguous. Lu Lingxi’s heart pounded; he raised his head to look at Yan Yue and whispered, “I want to.”
The smile poured out of Yan Yue’s eyes, and his ink-black pupils were full of Lu Lingxi. He couldn’t help but move over and kiss the young man, grinding delicately. Lu Lingxi’s confessions had always been honest, and this was what Yan Yue liked the most. With the simple words “I want to”, Yan Yue felt that the hard work of the past few days was nothing at all. On the contrary, he was even more reluctant to leave the young man and wanted to find all the possible time to come back to accompany him.
Lu Lingxi closed his eyes and awkwardly responded to Yan Yue’s kiss. After all this practice, he had finally learnt how to breathe during a kiss. His response easily aroused Yan Yue and his breath became unsteady. After the lingering kiss, Yan Yue looked at Lu Lingxi with a fiery gaze, desperately suppressing the impulses in his body and using all his self-control to pull away. Although Lu Lingxi had already passed his eighteenth birthday, he was still too young. There had never been a moment when Yan Yue had wished more devoutly that Lu Lingxi could grow up quickly and reach twenty in one night.
“Xiao Xi, just grow up quickly.” Yan Yue whispered, looking at Lu Lingxi.
It was not that Lu Lingxi didn’t understand anything, like at the beginning; he knew what Yan Yue meant and blushed. Yan Yue smiled faintly, forcing his attention away from Lu Lingxi, and somewhat stiffly changed the subject. “What were you looking at just now?”
When he came out of the shower Lu Lingxi was reading a book. Yan Yue had asked it casually but Lu Lingxi seemed to be thinking of something, looking somewhat uncomfortable.
“What’s wrong?” Yan Yue’s heart stirred and he asked.
“Grandpa Su came to the shop this afternoon and brought daffodils that his students bought for him, with a logo of Tiny Garden.”
Yan Yue immediately caught the point, “We don’t sell daffodils in the shop, someone is impersonating us.”
Lu Lingxi nodded, but that wasn’t what he was most concerned about, “That pot of daffodils was given hormones. It looked like it was blooming lushly, but in fact it was overdrawn and would die in a few days. I’m trying to find in the book if there’s anything I can do.”
Having been exposed to this business for some time, Lu Lingxi also knew about some of the crooked ways of the gardening industry. In this industry, not everyone genuinely liked plants, some people completely used them as a tool to make money. This was the reason why Lu Lingxi had a good impression of Xue Yongtong; at least he really liked greenery.
He had heard people talk about how some people would inject a growth hormone into the plants they sold in order to make money. The main ingredient of this hormone was phytasein, which could make full use of the growth potential in the plant for a short period of time and make the plant grow rapidly. Generally speaking, a small amount of the hormone could properly enhance the growth efficiency of the plant, and the damage to the plant would not be too great. However, many people didn’t care what the plant could tolerate and would overdose on this hormone to encourage rapid growth. The result was premature overdrawing of the plant’s vitality and death by ageing.
In addition to hormones, there was also a kind of brightener commonly used. This brightener was actually a toxic chemical, the main ingredients of which were silicone and paraffin. It was usually applied to the leaves of flowers to make them look more moist, bright and green. However, this brightening agent was very harmful for people, and long-term exposure could easily produce headaches and depression.
These were all things Lu Lingxi had heard of before and had never yet encountered. It was only when Grandpa Su brought those daffodils that Lu Lingxi realised that there really were people who discarded conscience in order to make money, and they were disgustingly close to him, even working under the logo of Tiny Garden.
Yan Yue didn’t want to worry Lu Lingxi and kissed him soothingly. He didn’t care about the growth of daffodils, his focus was on these people who were using the logo of Tiny Garden. “I’ll find someone to look into this matter, Xiao Xi, don’t worry.”
Lu Lingxi nodded; Yan Yue said he was sure to solve this matter and Lu Lingxi had instinctive trust in Yan Yue. But as soon as Yan Yue started looking for someone to investigate what was going on, someone approached Tiny Garden trying to cause trouble.
The troublemakers were two strange men, one tall and strong, looking at Lu Lingxi with a fierce look in his eyes. The other one was slightly thinner, with a sallow face. He was holding a pot of dead calla lilies in his arms, following the taller man.
Neither of them entered the door, but blocked the doorway of Tiny Garden, half-turned to the street and yelled loudly, “Boss, you are too black-hearted! Look what kind of flowers you are selling! My wife got poisoned after taking care of this pot every day. When we went to the hospital, we found out that the plant was coated with dichlorvos, just to make the leaves look bright and pretty! Boss, you’ve really lost your conscience for the sake of making money! Let’s ask people around here to comment on it, what do you think we should do?”
It was morning when they arrived and there were a lot of people coming and going in the street. The men shouted deliberately loudly, and soon the entrance of Tiny Garden was filled with people. The other party came up with a barrage of accusations, not giving Lu Lingxi a chance to speak at all. This was Lu Lingxi’s first time encountering such a situation, and he was a little nervous but not too worried. He was sure of Tiny Garden’s plants and his mental scan showed that the calla lily was indeed dead, but through the panel he could also make certain that the calla lily was not sold by Tiny Garden.
Dong Zhi pushed his way through the crowd and ran in, “What’s happened? Xiao Xi, is there something wrong?”
Lu Lingxi shook his head, looked at the tall man and said clearly, “This calla lily was not sold by our shop.”
When he said this, the tall man’s eyes narrowed, and the smaller man behind him rushed out, waving his fist and shouting at Lu Lingxi, “How dare you deny it? Is this a flower pot from your shop? Aren’t these the flowers from your shop?”
The small man’s movements were so wild that he looked like he was about to hit someone. Before Lu Lingxi could do anything, Dahei gave a low growl and leapt out of the shop lightly, jumping directly onto the smaller man. Dahei’s body was long and thin, but in fact he was quite heavy. As he lunged, the smaller man took a few steps back and fell to the ground. Dahei roared in anger and pressed his front paws onto the man’s face. The man instantly cried out pitifully.
Dahei moved so fast that Lu Lingxi didn’t have time to pay attention. He hurriedly shouted, “Dahei, come back.” With so many people gathered outside, it would be hard to say what happened in case Dahei really hurt someone. Hearing Lu Lingxi’s call, Dahei looked down threateningly at the man on the ground, slowly withdrew his front paws and trotted a few steps to crouch beside Lu Lingxi.
Dong Zhi secretly gave a thumbs up to Dahei, “Well done.”
Lu Lingxi stroked Dahei; he knew what the other party meant. The word “blackmail” flashed through his mind and he whispered to Dong Zhi, “Brother Dong, help me call the police.”
Dong Zhi nodded. These two people seemed to be deliberately looking for trouble. Plants were different from other things, there was no conspicuous marking on them, it was impossible to say if they were sold in this shop. It was best to call the police at this time.
The attention of the surrounding crowd quickly shifted to Dahei because he was such a sight.
“This dog is really quick to react and loyal to protect its master, not bad.”
“It looks like a mutt, not like any purebred dog.”
“It’s just a local dog but it’s quite well raised, shiny and smooth.”
Listening to these whispers, the tall man took a step back, avoiding Dahei, and shouted at Lu Lingxi sternly, “I’m telling you, I’m calling the police! You’re selling poisonous flowers here and setting up dogs to hurt people, you’ll be going to jail soon!”
“How dare you talk!” Brother Dong said angrily, “What proof do you have that the flowers were bought here from Xiao Xi?”
“That’s it.” Someone in the crowd spoke up for Lu Lingxi, “I always buy flowers from the little boss, there’s nothing wrong with them and they are very energetic. You didn’t buy them elsewhere to blackmail the little boss, did you?”
As soon as the man finished speaking, Tiger squeezed in from outside together with Erfei. “What’s wrong? What’s the matter? Who dares to blackmail the little boss?” The two men were blocking Lu Lingxi’s way, and Tiger glanced obliquely at the taller man, “Where are you from? Don’t you know that the little boss is Brother Feng’s…” Tiger swallowed the word “son” and replaced it with “the person covered by Brother Feng.”
There was a kind of ruthlessness about Tiger and Erfei that told people not to mess around with them. The tall man took a step back in fear, gritting his teeth and ready to leave. But he was still somewhat reluctant.
“You…” He rushed at Lu Lingxi trying to say something. Tiger took a step forward; the tall man snapped his mouth shut, and someone else squeezed in. “What’s going on here? Who called the police?”
The tall man said he was going to call the police purely to scare Lu Lingxi. Who would have thought that someone had really called the police. Seeing that the police were coming, the man was in a bit of a bind. Lu Lingxi stepped forward, “I called the police.”
Hearing him say that, the tall man bit the bullet and yelled, “I also called the police, this shop has set up a dog to commit murder.”
Lu Lingxi frowned and was just about to open his mouth to explain when the police officer who had come turned his head, saw Dahei and was suddenly happy. “Isn’t this Dahei?” Seeing that Lu Lingxi looked puzzled, the man was very friendly and said, “Didn’t you say that Dahei smelled the scent in the last car accident, little boss? At that time we didn’t pay attention and almost missed the clue, but later we solved the case with Dahei’s help. He’s a good dog!” He finished and then looked at the tall man, “Is there some misunderstanding? This dog is well trained, obedient and won’t just bite people. What is going on?” When he said “what is going on” at the end his eyes fell on Lu Lingxi again.
Lu Lingxi explained everything from the beginning in a low voice. The policeman got serious, “You guys said that the flowers are poisoned? Which pot of flowers, show me!”
The tall man turned his eyes and gestured for his companion to hand the flowers to the policeman. The policeman took the flower and subconsciously wanted to smell it. Lu Lingxi hurriedly warned, “Don’t touch it, there might be dichlorvos on it.”
“What’s going on?”
Lu Lingxi seriously told them about the hormones and brightening agents, and said at the end, “Some people try to be cheap and don’t buy hormones and brightening agents, but use other agents that are cheaper instead, dichlorvos among them, which is too toxic and more likely to lead to poisoning.”
As soon as he finished speaking, the crowd around him erupted, cursing such unscrupulous black-hearted businessmen.
The man who spoke for Lu Lingxi earlier said loudly, “Little boss, I believe you, you are not a person who would do black-hearted things.”
Lu Lingxi was somewhat moved and stated, “All the plants in the shop are here, I can cooperate with the police’s inspection.” He looked straightforward, not showing a trace of guilt. Coupled with his good looks, he looked like a very well-behaved boy standing there. The crowd subconsciously sided with him, thinking he wasn’t the kind of person who would do such a thing.
The tall man wanted to say something, but the policeman interrupted him, “All right, didn’t you say that someone in your family had been poisoned? This is a serious matter, come with me to the station and we’ll officially open a case.”
“A case? This…” The tall man was quite reluctant, dawdling and not wanting to go. He looked askance at his companion. The short man looked at the police sheepishly and stammered, “This… we are just joking to tease the little boss, actually no one was poisoned, just joking…”
As he said this, the crowd of onlookers immediately understood. The two men were clearly deliberately trying to blackmail Lu Lingxi.
The policeman shook his head, “Joking? You jokers also come with me to talk about the dichlorvos on this flower.”
The crowd of onlookers gradually dispersed. The policeman comforted Lu Lingxi with a sentence, “It’s okay, we’re just going to talk about the situation.”
Lu Lingxi nodded, not feeling scared. These two had been dead set on Tiny Garden as soon as they arrived, and in connection with the daffodil that Grandpa Su had brought yesterday, he felt that there was someone behind it.