The downpour lasted for a whole day and night before it stopped. Due to the old drainage system, half of Fengcheng City was soaked in water, and many offices were closed for the day. Lu Lingxi called Dong Zhi to ask about the situation, and when he heard that the street in front of Tiny Garden was also flooded, he simply gave himself a holiday too.
The situation in the Hongfu Community was fine. Although the drainage in the area was also ageing badly, the lush grass growing on the ground retained a large amount of rainwater. In places where people couldn’t see, both the trees and the grass were working hard, their roots stretching to absorb and store the rainwater.
A resident of the community came back from a grocery shopping trip and lamented about the situation outside. Several of the communities nearby were almost completely flooded. These communities were both new and old; the old ones were about the same age as the Hongfu Community and the new ones were built in recent years, but the drainage was not very good in either the old or new ones. In the deepest places the water was said to reach the waist, and in the most shallow it reached the calf. It seemed in the Hongsu Community it barely reached the ankle at most.
When it rained heavily several times before, the difference in drainage wasn’t obvious. But as the vegetation in the community became more and more lush, the dense wall climbers spread from Building 1 in the deepest part of the community to Building 39 at the entrance of the community, and the difference in drainage between the community and several surrounding communities became bigger and bigger. Everyone knew it was because of the abundance of greenery in the community, and the fact that the plants could store water was something that even primary school children knew.
Some neighbours were gloating. Not far from the Hongfu Community, there was the Liuhe Community. Just some time ago all the green land in the community was turned into a parking lot, and the parking space was sold for 100,000 yuan. As a result of this heavy rainfall, the entire car parking was a sea of water, all the cars in it were flooded. Back then, it was not that no one in the Hongfu Community was jealous of the 100,000 yuan, but now no one was talking about the money anymore; instead they were talking about the importance of the environment.
“There’s no use having money. Can you buy the environment of our community? You smell the air, it’s definitely of the park standard.”
“Hey, didn’t you dislike the grass on the ground and the annoying birds chirping outside a while ago? It’s only been a few days and you’ve changed your tune.”
“Lao Tzu is not a fool, I just said that casually. And even if Lao Tzu is a fool, even fools can tell the difference between a good and bad environment.”
The man who said that was a bit exasperated, and the people around him laughed.
After one summer, most of the residents in the community had fallen in love with the lush, green and vibrant environment. Even though the prices of the houses in the community were getting higher and higher and there were agents every day trying to get people to sell their houses, few people moved.
Of course, this wasn’t the case at the beginning. When they heard that there were people who wanted to buy houses in such a rundown neighbourhood, and the price they paid wasn’t low, many people were excited to sell their houses and went to buy new houses in the new communities nearby. Who knows whether the people who sold their houses regretted it, but none of those who bought the houses regretted; they all felt it was worth it. Many people also wanted to buy a few more places to bring their families over to live with them, but unfortunately the housing supply in the community was very tight now and no one was willing to be a loser and sell their home anymore.
These conversations outside drifted intermittently into Lu Lingxi’s ears with the wind, and he laughed along with the others as he listened. The line that even a fool likes to live in a good environment struck a chord with Lu Lingxi, but there were many people who were worse than fools as soon as money was concerned. This thought flashed through his mind, and Lu Lingxi thought of the people in Songjia Village. Although the plastic factory had closed its doors, the pollution of the Lingshui River had already been caused. Today, when he called the plant nursery, he heard that the water level of the Lingshui River had soared and flooded the land in Songjia Village. Not to mention other consequences, that land in Songjia couldn’t be planted for a while. Thinking of this, Lu Lingxi let out a rare sigh, wondering if Songjia would regret it.
Shaking his head, Lu Lingxi stopped thinking about this matter and returned his attention to the eelgrass in the water tank. After the rainstorm, this eelgrass had actually evolved unexpectedly. Lu Lingxi didn’t know if it was because he was chanting about the pollution of the Lingshui River every day, but the direction of evolution of this mutated eelgrass bush was really absorbing cyanide +20%. Lu Lingxi focused and with gloves on carefully pulled the eelgrass out of the tank, washed the roots again and cut a portion of the branches from the underground stem with the intention of propagating it. This was a simple and quick method of propagation, so he planned to propagate some of the eelgrass first to see how it worked.
Lu Lingxi was so busy that he didn’t even notice when Yan Yue returned. Yan Yue went out in the afternoon when the rain was light, because An Jie was looking for him. As soon as he returned, he saw Lu Lingxi squatting in the backyard, with a row of unused plastic pots on the ground. The pots were filled with silt the two of them had dug up from the Lingshui River the last time, black and smelling foul. Lu Lingxi acted as if he couldn’t smell it, carefully transplanting the branches of the eelgrass into the plastic pots, then pouring water over them to make sure they were all planted, with a serious look.
Yan Yue leaned against the balcony railing and quietly watched Lu Lingxi. Although the young man’s hands were now covered in black mud and even his face seemed to have been accidentally smeared a little, and his clothes were a simple t-shirt and pants with a somewhat old jacket over them, Yan Yue just liked the young man now. The feelings in his heart surged fiercely. Yan Yue’s eyes were gentle as he walked over and squatted beside Lu Lingxi.
“Big Brother Yan, you’re back?”
Lu Lingxi felt the dark shadow beside him and turned his head to ask with some surprise. He was digging a hole in the mud, and his hands were all black. Yan Yue smiled faintly at his appearance, reaching out his thumb to wipe away the spots of mud on the boy’s face, and leaned over to kiss him gently.
“Xiao Xi, don’t move, let me kiss you.”
Lu Lingxi subconsciously remained still and then became a little embarrassed. It was difficult for him to move around with both hands up, and he was worried that he might rub the mud on his hands onto Yan Yue’s suit jacket. What Lu Lingxi couldn’t understand was: couldn’t Yan Yue feel the stench? How could he still be in the mood to kiss him now?
Yan Yue sensed Lu Lingxi’s distraction and slightly leaned away from the young man, raising his eyebrow, “What are you thinking about?”
Lu Lingxi looked a little puzzled, “Big Brother Yan, can’t you smell the stench?”
Yan Yue was slightly taken aback and then laughed aloud.
After laughing, he took off his jacket and worked with Lu Lingxi. After the two of them had finished planting the eelgrass, Yan Yue washed his hands and rolled up his sleeves to prepare for cooking. In Wang Shuxiu’s absence, he was always in charge of the cooking, which was basically either takeaway or noodles with tomato sauce. Lu Lingxi washed his hands and followed Yan Yue. When he saw the tomato sauce, he remembered the tomatoes and grapes that Brother Feng had planted, and wondered how they were growing. The tomatoes in the courtyard were no longer bearing fruit, so Lu Lingxi simply disposed of the tomato seedlings and turned the ground over again. He was now looking forward to the tomatoes that Brother Feng had planted being available soon.
Yongchun vegetable greenhouse
Tiger took a look around the greenhouse. After a day and night of continuous heavy rain, he was worried about something going wrong with the greenhouse. Brother Feng wasn’t here and Tiger’s nerves were taut. After a look around and making sure there was nothing wrong and no water was leaking anywhere, Tiger finally relaxed.
After making sure the greenhouse was okay, Tiger went around to the front. Erfei was standing in the truck directing the workers below to move the collected vegetables onto the truck. “Hurry up, hurry up. We’ll have to deliver them in a minute. The wholesale market is going to be open at midnight over there.”
This was the first crop of vegetables in the greenhouse, basically consisting of green leafy vegetables, all of them looking bright and juicy. Even if Tiger didn’t know anything about farming, he could tell that their vegetables were good and would definitely taste good. The workers in the greenhouse also said that the vegetables were growing well, and that they smelled like vegetables and were not bland at all. Speaking of which, the seeds of these vegetables were all ordinary seeds bought, and they did not use medicine or fertiliser. The only reason why the vegetables were growing like this was because the soil was good.
The soil used for planting inside the greenhouse was brought by Brother Feng from Yan Yue’s side, and no one knew where Yan Yue found it. After this layer of soil was laid down, the seeds basically grew wildly, and the seedlings emerged in a few days. When the harvest came, it was even more surprising, and could be described as a huge crop.
Brother Feng was very happy to look at the vegetables in the greenhouse. He had just collected the first crop of vegetables yesterday and took them to Xiaohua’s lady boss and happened to be trapped by the rain in the small restaurant. But Tiger thought that Brother Feng was grateful for the heavy rain and that he would like it to keep on pouring.
As soon as he was distracted, he heard Erfei shout, “Wash a tomato for me.”
Erfei looked at him and smiled slyly, “My throat hurts after shouting for a long time, so I’ll eat one to moisten my throat.”
Tiger ignored Erfei and his thoughts turned back to the tomatoes. If you could say that the vegetables in the greenhouse grew well, they were still no match for these tomatoes. As they had all eaten the tomatoes from Xiaohua’s restaurant before, they knew that the seeds had been sent to them by the little boss, so they paid special attention to the tomatoes and had found skilled hands to look after them. As the tomato seedlings grew, Tiger was fine but Erfei basically visited them once a day, hoping that they would bear fruit sooner.
The tomatoes didn’t disappoint them. The fruits were big and round, red in colour and smelling sweet and sour. The other day Tiger couldn’t resist eating one that was still slightly green, and the taste of just one bite was simply amazing. Thinking about it, Tiger swallowed and shouted, “Wash one for me too.”
Erfei bit into the tomato and looked at him with a happy smile, “Tiger, you think our vegetables can be sold, right?”
“That’s for sure.” Tiger was very confident about this. Their storefront at the wholesale market had been ready to open yesterday, and they specially invited people to see it. But then there was a heavy rainstorm and they had to postpone it for a day. But good things come in small packages, and as long as their food is good, any day they open is not a problem.
Although it was the first day of business for the Yongchun Vegetable Wholesale Shop, as soon as the vegetables that Erfei had delivered were put out, there was a crowd of vegetable farmers outside who came to wholesale. His vegetables were really conspicuous, big and juicy, and they looked good.
But these days, everything can be faked, and there are even more fakes among vegetables. Although to the people gathered around the vegetables looked good, the shop was new and they had never dealt with it before, so they didn’t dare to try it first. Some people looked suspiciously at the bright green lettuce leaves and were a bit worried, “You’re not spraying it with something, are you?”
“How could it be?” Erfei said angrily. As he said that, he pinched half a leaf from the nearest lettuce and threw it straight into his mouth without washing it. “See, it looks like it’s been sprayed?” After saying that Erfei continued, “Bring a tomato over here.”
Someone handed over a tomato, and Erfei took out a fruit knife and cut it three times. The whole tomato was neatly divided into six pieces, looking as if it had been measured in advance. Erfei picked up a piece and ate it, squinting his eyes with an expression of enjoyment.
Someone next to him smelled the aroma and followed, pinching up a piece, “I’ll try it too.” With one bite, this person’s expression changed. It was only a matter of two seconds before he swallowed the tomato in his mouth and said loudly, “Give me a hundred pounds of tomatoes.”
As soon as he said this, the people around him immediately understood. Although the people around didn’t know each other personally, they were all familiar faces, and they didn’t worry about someone setting up a trap. So they rushed to share the tomatoes, a hundred pounds to one and a hundred pounds to another, and the tomatoes were gone in seconds. With the tomatoes taking the lead, the other vegetables also started to sell. It took just over an hour to sell all the vegetables in the truck that Erfei had delivered. He secretly saved two tomatoes for himself and ate them while thinking that it was more fun than watching the loan sharks. It was a bit tiring, but the money was comfortably earned and solidly spent.
The vegetables from Yongchun vegetable greenhouse sold well, and everyone was happy. Xiao Feng thought of gathering people together for a meal, and also to inform them that he and Xiaohua were together, and to recognise Lu Lingxi as his son. But when he chose the time, he found out that Lu Lingxi and Yan Yue had gone to the plant nursery to pick up Dahei and would not be back until tomorrow.
“Then let’s change it to tomorrow.” Xiao Feng was quite agreeable, “The main thing is to meet my son, we can’t eat without him.”
Wang Shuxiu’s face turned red and she glared at him with her eyebrows raised, snapping, “Where did you get the son?” Xiao Feng didn’t worry and said slowly, “The one you gave birth to is my son, whether Xiao Xi recognises me or not, at least I do recognise this son.”
His words were ordinary and there was nothing sweet about them, but they struck Wang Shuxiu’s heart precisely. Wang Shuxiu’s eyes turned red and she turned away without speaking.
Unlike young girls, Wang Shuxiu was at the age when, choosing to find another man, she was thinking not only of her feelings, but also of her child. For her, finding another man after divorcing Lu Yishui was not difficult. The difficulty was in finding one who could really treat Lu Lingxi as his own son. If the other party disliked Lu Lingxi for being an oil bottle (a child from the previous marriage), then she wouldn’t choose to be together even if she thought the other party was good. On the contrary, if a man was ordinary and just really good to Lu Lingxi, Wang Shuxiu might have gritted her teeth and agreed to be with him. It was rare that Xiao Feng was a good man and really treated Lu Lingxi like a son, so Wang Shuxiu felt that when she met such a man, all the suffering she had endured in the previous half of her life was worth it.
When she didn’t say anything, Xiao Feng didn’t say anything either. He just walked over and took over the work Wang Shuxiu was doing. Wang Shuxiu looked at Xiao Feng and said, “Then tomorrow don’t look for Tiger and the others, just let the little bastard come and we have a family dinner.”
“Okay, let’s have a family dinner.” Xiao Feng agreed, but Yan Yue’s shadow flashed in his mind. He didn’t know if the family Wang Shuxiu was talking about included Yan Yue, but that was something Yan Yue had to worry about himself.