Tiger arrived at Tiny Garden quite quickly, not long after Lu Lingxi hung up the phone.
When a large basket of grapes was brought out of the car, Elder Su’s eyes immediately lit up, “Nice grapes.”
Tiger didn’t know who the old man was, but seeing Lu Lingxi’s familiar attitude with him, he grinned brightly, showing his white teeth. “That’s right, the products produced by our Yongchun vegetable greenhouse are definitely guaranteed high-quality products.”
Lu Lingxi was so amused by his words that his eyes curved with laughter. He invited Tiger and Erfei to sit down and rest. Then he went to the pet shop across the street to deliver some grapes and by the way washed a few clusters for everyone to eat. Soon Lu Lingxi came back with Dong Zhi in tow. Dong Zhi was still holding a few washed grapes in his hand, and as soon as he entered the shop he praised, “How did you grow these grapes, they’re so sweet?!”
Tiger immediately repeated the sentence he had just said, and Dong Zhi laughed. The two of them had met last time at the entrance of Tiny Garden and were not strangers, so they soon started chatting.
Lu Lingxi had washed two big bowls full of grapes, and the men ate them while chatting until finishing them clean in a while.
The grapes were really “delicious and extra sweet” as Tiger had commented. Some time ago, grapes were on sale, and Lu Lingxi also bought them several times. Who knows if it was because he had a dubious taste, but he always felt that most of the grapes tasted like water, or else they were very sour, and few of them could be described as delicious. But the grapes brought by Tiger were different. The soft flesh of the grapes with the sweet juice was so fragrant and tasty that it made you want to take another bite.
He heard from Tiger that the grapes grown were yielding quite a lot and that they would not be able to eat them all just by themselves. Brother Feng was planning to bring a few baskets to the wholesale market tonight to see how they would sell. Dong Zhi was very supportive, “What wholesale market, put them in the front street and they’ll be snapped up in less than half an hour.” Everyone laughed. Lu Lingxi reminded Tiger to collect the grape seeds for seeding. Tiger laughed and said, “I know. At first the workers in the greenhouse saw that we were using seeds and privately said that we were amateurs, but now no one is saying that anymore and they are starting to ask where we bought the seeds.”
As soon as he said this, Elder Su became interested and found a small plastic bag to put some of the seeds they had spat out and said he would go back and plant them. Tiger sat for a while and then left, not staying in the shop much longer. Elder Su was about to leave as well. Lu Lingxi gave him a big bag of grapes, and the old man wasn’t hypocritical and happily accepted it.
In a short while, Lu Lingxi had given away half of the basket of grapes that Tiger had brought to him, and several small shops around the area had received his grapes. Lu Lingxi washed a few clusters for Yan Yue to eat when he returned, and packed the rest in a bag to take home tonight.
While he was busy tidying up, he picked a large cluster of washed grapes and placed it in front of Dahei. Lu Lingxi couldn’t feed Dahei while everyone was there just now. Now he was the only one left in the shop, so it didn’t matter. Lu Lingxi stroked Dahei’s head and instructed, “Remember to spit out the seeds.”
Dahei gave a low bark and obeyed.
When Fang Lei found his way to Tiny Garden, what he saw was Dahei eating the grapes while spitting out the seeds. He stood in the doorway, looking at Dahei with a smile in his eyes and felt an unabashed fondness for him.
Dahei recognised Fang Lei and barked in a low voice. Lu Lingxi, who was busy behind the cashier, heard it and looked over with some embarrassment. “Welcome, what can I do for you?” The visitor was a man in his thirties, tall and looking very fit. Lu Lingxi searched his mind to make sure he had no memories of this man; but what was up with Dahei saying he knew him?
Fang Lei smiled kindly at Lu Lingxi and his gaze fell on Dahei, “Do you remember me, Dahei?”
Dahei barked and turned his head to rub against Lu Lingxi’s leg. Fang Lei smiled and stretched out his hand to greet Lu Lingxi, introducing himself: “Fang Lei, from the city police department. I am here to find Dahei this time, I want to borrow him to do me a favour. ”
City police department… Lu Lingxi probably could guess when Dahei met Fang Lei. But as for doing a favour, he was a little hesitant, “I wonder what kind of favour Dahei can do Officer Fang?” What he actually wanted to ask more was whether there would be any danger.
Fang Lei could see Lu Lingxi’s hesitation and was about to speak up to explain when Yan Yue returned from An Jie’s place and was a little surprised to see Fang Lei.
“Why is Officer Fang coming over?”
“Mr. Yan.” Fang Lei was worried that he didn’t know Lu Lingxi well, and was instantly happy to see Yan Yue. “It’s a long story, I’m here to ask for Dahei’s help.”
Fang Lei had come this time for a smuggling case. A few days ago a group of smugglers over the coast had sneaked into Fengcheng, and according to one of the people they caught, they were smuggling live snakes, including about two sacks of extremely poisonous cobras. The gang was very cunning, and the one caught was only a minor player among them who didn’t know much. The danger posed by the cobras was so great that the police were strictly ordered to solve the case within a week. Fang Lei knew the approximate location of the gang, but the place was a large marketplace with a lot of traffic. In order to reduce the social impact and also to prevent these people losing their minds and releasing cobras, Fang Lei thought of borrowing Dahei’s nose to try and see if he could find the exact location of the gang.
“Don’t worry, I won’t let Dahei rush in, just let Dahei help us identify the smell.”
Before coming to find Dahei, they had already tried it with the team’s police dog, but the marketplace had everything, live poultry, seafood, vegetables and spices. The smells were too mixed and the police dog completely lost direction. Fang Lei then thought of Dahei. Last time during Lu Hongxin’s incident, Dahei left too much of an impression on him. With the attitude of giving it a try, Fang Lei inquired about the address of Tiny Garden and came straight over.
He said it very sincerely, and Lu Lingxi also felt that he should help, and at that moment hesitantly looked at Yan Yue. Yan Yue nodded. Fang Lei was from Ye Cheng, and he was willing to help if it wasn’t too dangerous. As soon as Yan Yue nodded, Fang Lei knew that the matter was a done deal. He smiled brightly and assured, “It won’t take too long, I’ll send Dahei back by the time you guys get off work.”
Lu Lingxi relaxed, stroked Dahei’s head and admonished him for a long time.
Fang Lei watched with amusement. He had always been curious as to how Dahei was actually trained. He had previously thought that Dahei was Yan Yue’s dog, and it wasn’t uncommon for rich people to have someone train their dogs, so he didn’t think much of it. Later, when he found out that Dahei wasn’t raised by Yan Yue, but by the owner of a well-known gardening shop, Fang Lei was excited.
When he came over to take a look, the rumoured owner of the gardening shop was so young that Fang Lei even wondered if Lu Lingxi was still underage. When he saw how Lu Lingxi and Dahei got along, Fang Lei felt that it was quite exceptional. The boy didn’t treat Dahei as a dog, but as a human being.
A man and a dog squatted there for a long time; Fang Lei couldn’t help but laugh. Yan Yue walked over and dotingly rubbed Lu Lingxi’s hair. The young man stood up with a bit of a blush and looked at Fang Lei, “Then I’ll leave Dahei to you.”
Fang Lei nodded and said solemnly, “Don’t worry.”
Dahei obediently followed Fang Lei away, and Lu Lingxi urged Yan Yue to wash his hands and gave him the grapes that Tiger had brought. Yan Yue was also a little surprised when he saw the grapes; they were really growing too fast. There were no customers in the shop and Lu Lingxi had nothing to do, so he simply chatted with Yan Yue.
He casually asked what An Jie was looking for Yan Yue for, and Yan Yue didn’t hide it from Lu Lingxi. “It’s about that research of Su Lang’s. Their institution is short of money for the research to progress, and Su Lang wants to pull in a venture capital investment.”
The two had been together for a long time, and Yan Yue had confessed to Lu Lingxi about his life long ago, so Lu Lingxi also knew that Yan Yue had his own investment company outside.
“Then, Big Brother Yan, will you invest?”
Yan Yue nodded, looking at Lu Lingxi with a soft gaze, “Doesn’t Xiao Xi want to know the effect of the evolved donglingcao? If the research doesn’t progress, wouldn’t our donglingcao be raised for nothing?”
Lu Lingxi was keen to let Su Lang’s research progress, but once Yan Yue said this he was worried that Yan Yue had made the decision to invest too hastily, and immediately said, “Big Brother Yan, you don’t need to care about the donglingcao. If this research…”
He didn’t finish, but the meaning was very obvious. Yan Yue smiled, “Don’t worry, this research is very valuable for investment. Even Hopewell Group and Lu Ke Group have their hearts set on it. We have to work harder if we want to take it.”
Lu Ke Group was the property of the Lu family in Zhongjing. Lu Lingxi’s hand, which was about to take the grapes, paused. He hesitated, “Did the people from Lu Ke Group also come to Fengcheng?”
Yan Yue was always watching Lu Lingxi with utmost attention and he noticed the young man’s abnormality almost immediately. “Xiao Xi has also heard of Lu Ke?”
Lu Lingxi nodded, finding an excuse, “I took their company’s medicine when I was hospitalised before, and I heard the nurse talk about it.”
His eyes wandered a little as he spoke. Yan Yue’s judgement of the young man’s expression was like the knowledge of an old movie he had watched countless times. He only needed a bit of a background to know what scene was to follow. Likewise, he only needed a look from Lu Lingxi to know the young man was lying.
Yan Yue couldn’t guess what the young man was thinking and continued as if nothing had happened: “People from Lu Ke Group came some time ago and stayed in Fengcheng for two days. The people who came weren’t technically from the group, but from the Lu family.”
Lu Lingxi let out an “oh” and didn’t continue to ask. He reminded himself that he was now Wang Shuxiu’s son in Fengcheng, not Lu Lingxi of the Lu family in Zhongjing. Nothing about the Lu family had anything to do with him, nor did he need to worry about it. As he looked uninterested, Yan Yue naturally would not continue to talk about the Lu family’s affairs. However, Yan Yue had doubts in his mind, wondering why the young man seemed to be concerned about the Lu family. A customer entered Tiny Garden, and Lu Lingxi quickly shifted his attention to welcome him. Yan Yue’s eyes followed Lu Lingxi closely, his mind kept recalling the young man’s reaction just now.
Northern Suburbs Market
When Fang Lei brought Dahei over, the plainclothes men from the police station were already scattered all over the market. Inside a nondescript Jinbei car at the entrance of the market, Fang Lei’s men were looking at the smuggler they had caught.
Without Fang Lei’s command, Dahei went over and sniffed carefully, remembering the smuggler’s smell. Fang Lei gave Dahei an appreciative look and thought that Dahei was really smart. He pretended to be walking his dog and took Dahei into the market.
It was just after noon, and the market was crowded. The noise was so loud that it made people’s heads ache. Dahei walked calmly by Fang Lei’s side, occasionally going to the side of the road to sniff around. Places like that were a mixed bag, and it was not a big deal when someone brought a dog here. Occasionally, people took a look at Dahei, but when they saw that it was just a local dog, they lost interest.
The market in the northern suburbs was quite large, and the outermost part of the market was lined with rows of small houses, used for business, housing and storage, and was very chaotic. It was here that Dahei’s search focused. Halfway around the market, Dahei suddenly paused with a human-like expression on his furry face. He lowered his head and sniffed at the roadside, not barking but gently biting Fang Lei’s trouser leg. Fang Lei understood at once and gave the command quietly.
In a small house by the side of the road, four men were playing cards. Under the creaking wooden bed, four large woven bags were piled. The men were so absorbed in their game that none of them noticed that one of the bags had bitten open from the inside and a small black snake, as thick as a finger and as long as a chopstick, had crawled out of it and was gently slithering by the wall in the direction of the door.
Dahei at the door suddenly became a little agitated. He wanted to bark but realised that he couldn’t in the present situation. From the squatting position he bowed in a defensive posture. The little black snake inside the house seemed to have sensed something and hesitantly paused before turning around and crawling in another direction. It turned a little too quickly and its tail was unable to turn around for a while, so it almost tied itself in a knot. As the snake was about to crawl to the corner, the door of the small house was suddenly kicked open and several plainclothes men rushed in, directly pouncing on the four men and holding them down.
The little black snake froze motionless.
A policeman pulled the woven bags from under the bed and was shocked to see the gaping hole in one of the bags, “Team Fang, one of the bags is open.”
Fang Lei looked grave, “What? Which bag is it? Is it a common snake or a cobra? Ask them about the number of snakes and see if the numbers match up.”
If any cobras got out, the northern suburbs market would have to be cleared.
The policeman who asked the questions obviously knew the seriousness of the problem, grabbed the smugglers he had caught and questioned them in a low voice. At the end he breathed a sigh of relief and reported to Fang Lei, “Team Fang, it’s fine, the opened bag contained ordinary snakes, which are basically not poisonous. And the quantity is also correct, so none should be lost.”
Fang Lei relaxed. “Alright, hurry up and contact the zoo to see what to do with these snakes. Especially those two bags of cobras, they make people panic.”
The men checked again, and no one noticed the little black snake that secretly attached itself to the bottom of the bed. Dahei crouched in the doorway, staring warily at the bed until everyone had exited the room. Then he slowly walked over to Fang Lei’s side.
Fang Lei tried to touch Dahei’s head but Dahei dodged. Some policemen snickered and Fang Lei laughed too.
“Dahei, how about that? Will you follow us from now on?”
Fang Lei really liked Dahei, and what happened this time was even more proof of Dahei’s power. His nose was practically a radar.
Dahei gave a low bark and tugged at Fang Lei’s trouser legs as he walked outside. Fang Lei chuckled, “Want to go back? Okay, I’ll find someone to take you back first, and I’ll go tomorrow to thank your master.” As he said that, he ordered a policeman who had met Dahei last time to send Dahei back to Tiny Garden. The policeman happily agreed. Dahei watched Fang Lei order someone to lock the house, took a final look at the small house, and followed the policeman away.
Fang Lei also led his people to retreat.
Inside the room, there was a soft “pop” as the little black snake couldn’t hold on and fell off the bottom of the bed. After being dizzy for a long time, the little black snake moved slowly towards the door and slithered northwards through the grass.