As soon as Wang Shuxiu returned, she immediately focused on the small restaurant. During her absence, Yi Hang had taken good care of the restaurant, and the accounts handed over to her were clear and the customer flow wasn’t much different from when she was there.
She heard Yi Hang say that some nearby residents wanted to book New Year’s Eve dinner here, not to come to the restaurant to eat, but hoping that the restaurant would make the dinner and send it to their homes. Yi Hang didn’t reply at the time, saying that the boss wasn’t in and that he would have to wait for the boss to come back to make a decision. He took the contact details of all the customers who were interested and gave them to Wang Shuxiu.
Wang Shuxiu counted the number of people; there must be more than a dozen. She looked at Yi Hang, “Xiao Hang, what do you think?”
Yi Hang smiled and cried out ingratiatingly, “Sister, you see the New Year… family reunion, right? Other companies have annual leave, let’s also take a few days off?”
When he said this, Wang Shuxiu smiled and said readily, “Okay, then we will take eight days off from the New Year’ s Eve to the seventh day of the Lunar New Year, so that everyone can rest after working hard for half a year.”
“Really?” Wang Shuxiu’s promise was given so easily that Yi Hang couldn’t believe it and had a “don’t lie to me” look on his face.
When Wang Shuxiu raised her eyebrows, Yi Hang immediately shouted, “I see, eight days off, right?” As he said that, he turned around and ran away, thinking that he would let everyone know first, just in case Wang Shuxiu backtracked because the business was too good.
“Little bastard.” Wang Shuxiu scolded with a smile, easily seeing through Yi Hang’s little mind. She had no intention to stay open for the New Year. From the bottom of her heart, she was willing to rest at home for a few days in the New Year to keep Xiao Feng and Lu Lingxi company, so it was nothing to earn less money for a few days. But Yi Hang ran away so fast that she didn’t have time to say anything. Wang Shuxiu planned to open a branch after the New Year, and when she went to the branch, Yi Hang would stay here to take care of the business of the small restaurant. She had the money ready to open a branch, and Tiger and the others were helping her to find a suitable place these days. Wang Shuxiu used to worry that there would be no one to take care of the restaurant after she left, but in the past few days, Yi Hang showed that he had grown up. When she thought back to seven or eight months ago, when Yi Hang and the little bastard were still painting their faces in various colours and their clothes were in tatters with a hole on the left and a patch on the right, Wang Shuxiu felt like it was in a different lifetime.
“What’s on your mind, Xiaohua?” Lin Mei was looking for Wang Shuxiu for something and when she came over, she saw Wang Shuxiu staring at the ledger in a daze.
Wang Shuxiu returned to her senses, “Nothing, I just feel that the days are going too fast.”
Speaking of this, Lin Mei couldn’t help but feel emotional, “Yes, you see we’ve both known each other for almost ten years.” She said as she sat down next to Wang Shuxiu and talked about the matter she’d come to discuss, “Xiaohua, you know Pan Liang’s son, right?”
Pan Liang was the manager of the KTV where Wang Shuxiu used to work. Wang Shuxiu nodded.
Lin Mei sighed, “The child has been diagnosed with leukaemia, and he is less than ten years old. I heard them say that Pan Liang is not going to work now, he is staying at the hospital every day, and the house is ready to be sold to raise money. A few former colleagues talked to me about finding time to go to see Pan Liang. Those who have money can donate some money, and those who don’t have money can contribute some effort. Will you go, Xiaohua?”
Wang Shuxiu and Pan Liang didn’t part on good terms when she left her job, so her former colleagues didn’t speak directly to her, but mentioned it to Lin Mei, asking her to ask Wang Shuxiu’s opinion.
After hearing Lin Mei’s words, Wang Shuxiu was taken aback. “Leukaemia?” She quickly said, “I’ll go with you.” Although she and Pan Liang had fallen out in the end, they had gotten along quite well in the previous years. Besides, what goes on between adults has nothing to do with children. Wang Shuxiu sighed as she thought about Pan Liang’s child whom she had met.
Lin Mei continued, “They say leukaemia is a terminal disease, and if you can’t find a suitable match, you’re just waiting to die. Doesn’t Pan Liang have several brothers? The old man in their family wanted his grandsons to go to the hospital for a test. If there was a suitable match, it would save a life. As a result, none of Pan Liang’s brothers agreed, and now they have all fallen out with Pan Liang.”
Wang Shuxiu understood, “Whose child is not their lifeblood? If this kind of thing has some sequelae, it will be too late to regret it.”
When the little bastard was born, he was almost taken away by Lu Yishui’s mother who said he was going to save someone’s life. It was also leukaemia. When Wang Shuxiu disagreed, Lu Yishui’s mother stole the little bastard from the hospital, but Wang Shuxiu found out early and recovered him. It had been many years ago, but Wang Shuxiu still felt a pang of fear when she remembered what had happened back then. The last time she spoke to Lu Lingxi, she vaguely talked about this incident, and she could never forgive Lu Yishui’s mother until she died.
Lin Mei didn’t know about Wang Shuxiu’s family and nodded as she listened, “Yeah, it’s the lifeblood of anyone’s family.”
As the two talked about leukaemia, An Jie was also talking to Yan Yue about a similar topic.
“Lu Wei’an was diagnosed with leukaemia when he was seven years old. Lu Wei’an’s father, Lu Guangjing, took Lu Wei’an to see doctors from all over the world. When conservative treatment didn’t work, Lu Guangjing listened to the doctor’s advice and had another child, Lu Lingxi.” An Jie paused here and said in a low voice, “Lu Lingxi is the child of Lu Guangjing and Li Caiying, but he was not born to Li Caiying. At that time, Li Caiying was busy taking care of Lu Wei’an and hired a surrogate mother at great expense. However, this matter was hidden by the Lu and Li families, and only a few people knew about it.”
An Jie finished his speech and glanced at Yan Yue, who was reading the information in his hands with his head bowed, his expression calm and completely emotionless. But An Jie knew that Yan Yue was in a bad mood. To say the least, An Jie was a little puzzled by Yan Yue’s behaviour, not understanding how Yan Yue would want to investigate the Lu family in Zhongjing that had nothing to do with him at all. Especially when he found out that Yan Yue’s focus was on another Lu Lingxi. Even if An Jie had thought about it, he would never have guessed the suspicion in Yan Yue’s mind.
Yan Yue didn’t care about An Jie’s reaction and was quickly browsing through the information in his hand. An Jie had found someone to investigate in great detail, covering all aspects. His attention was focused on Lu Guangjing and Li Caiying.
According to the investigation, Lu Guangjing was a famous playboy in Zhongjing before he got married, and even after he married Li Caiying, he always had a reputation for being a womaniser. Their initial relationship wasn’t good, and Lu Wei’an’s premature birth was the result of an argument with Lu Guangjing when Li Caiying was pregnant, which led to the accident. After the birth of Lu Wei’an, Lu Guangjing and Li Caiying’s relationship improved for a few years, but soon Lu Guangjing returned to his old ways. Only when Lu Wei’an was diagnosed with leukaemia did Lu Guangjing completely cut off outside women and put all his thoughts on his family.
During the years when Lu Wei’an was ill, the focus of the Lu family was always on Lu Wei’an. Lu Lingxi was a completely invisible person in the family. He didn’t go to school, he didn’t go out, he didn’t have any social life, and many people in their circle had never even heard of him. He was like a blank sheet of paper, having been indoctrinated by Lu Guangjing and Li Caiying that his existence was for the sake of Lu Wei’an. After eighteen consecutive years of brainwashing, even Lu Lingxi himself likely felt the same way, that his existence was entirely for the sake of another person.
Yan Yue closed the information halfway through, no longer needing to continue reading. Whether it was Lu Guangjing, Li Caiying or Lu Wei’an, they had countless opportunities to release Lu Lingxi out of his confinement in the past eighteen years, but none of them did, until Lu Lingxi finally died on the operating table.
On June 20, the two Lu Lingxi’s had surgery on the same day and at the same time. One died and the other came to life. So as the young man said to him, had he come back from the dead?
Yan Yue thought of this and stood up suddenly.
“I’ll go back first, you put this information away.”
An Jie was taken aback and quickly used the moment to ask, “Boss, there’s another thing. When are you planning to return to Zhongjing?”
The New Year was coming soon, and according to Yan Yue’s situation, he had no chance to stay in Fengcheng for the New Year. Even though Yan Yue’s relationship with his family was no longer good, he needed to go back and pretend at this time. What’s more, in a family like Yan Yue’s, the New Year not only meant family reunion, but also had many other additional meanings.
Yan Yue frowned, “Let’s wait a few days.”
Now he only wanted to see Lu Lingxi immediately. As for returning to Zhongjing, it was best to put it off as long as possible. If he could, he really wanted to pack Lu Lingxi up and tie him to his body, not to be separated for a minute.
Yan Yue left as soon as he finished speaking, and An Jie had to put away the information on the table without complaint. Before showing it to Yan Yue, he had already read all these materials. In fact, in An Jie’s opinion, the people in the Lu family were not in the right mind. Whether it was Lu Guangjing or Li Caiying, even Lu Wei’an might not be normal. The only normal person in the whole family was probably the dead Lu Lingxi.
Yan Yue didn’t know these thoughts of An Jie and sped all the way back to Tiny Garden. After parking the car he didn’t get out immediately, but looked at Lu Lingxi in the shop through the car window. The young man was introducing flowers to the customers, with a smile on his face that Yan Yue was familiar with. He recognised that the pot of flowers in front of the young man was called poinsettia, and in the flower language it meant blessing and joy. He imagined what the young man would say to the customer; he would very carefully talk about everything from the essentials of flower purchase to the pest control of flowers. For as long as Yan Yue had known the young man, Lu Lingxi had treated every customer with such seriousness.
Yan Yue’s heart ached a little. It was one thing to know what kind of life Lu Lingxi used to lead and it was another thing to see it with his own eyes from the information. From the Lu family in Zhongjing to the present, the young man’s nature had remained unchanged. He couldn’t imagine how the Lu family could live with the fact that they had ignored the young man’s existence for the past eighteen years and completely sacrificed him for the sake of Lu Wei’an.
Lu Lingxi felt something vaguely strange halfway through his speech, and when he looked up, he saw Yan Yue outside.
He curved his eyes at Yan Yue habitually and called without a sound, “Big Brother Yan.”
Yan Yue couldn’t sit still in the car and walked into Tiny Garden with big steps. He waited patiently until the customer had bought the pot of poinsettia and left. Ignoring the people coming and going outside, he hugged Lu Lingxi tightly.
“Big Brother Yan, what’s wrong with you?” Lu Lingxi nudged him, asking in a whisper.
Yan Yue didn’t say that he had investigated the young man’s past; he just freed a hand to rub the young man’s hair and whispered, “I have to go back to Zhongjing in a few days. I really want to pack you up and tie you to my body and take you with me.”
Lu Lingxi was taken aback for a moment and smiled, a little embarrassed.