The day after he returned to Zhongjing, Yan Yue met with his grandfather, Yin Yongde.
Yin Yongde had great expectations for Yan Yue’s return this time. He had always felt that Yan Yue had left Hopewell half a year ago because he was forced to, and that after half a year of hiding his light, it was time for him to come back. When he heard that Yan Yue was planning to continue his “rest and recuperation abroad” after the New Year, Yin Yongde was puzzled and somewhat dissatisfied.
“You’re going to watch yourself lose the inheritance rights for Hopewell?” Yin Yongde said in dismay, hating iron for not being made of steel.
Yan Yue looked indifferent, “Grandpa also says it’s just the inheritance rights.”
The so-called inheritance rights were just like being the crown prince of a country; it was just a nice name. As long as the old emperor was alive, he could change as many crown princes as he wanted. Likewise, his father had controlled Hopewell for many years and had accumulated a great deal of authority. Even if his grandfather and a group of directors wanted to fight against him, in his father’s eyes it would be nothing more than a nuisance and would not be able to shake his position at all. In the past, his father was still concerned about his grandfather’s presence and the outside world, but now, with his mother making trouble, his father had less and less scruples. Even if Yan Yue came back, he would still be a puppet under his father’s control in every way.
Not to mention that when his mother married, his grandfather had diluted half of his shares to her. Yan Yue didn’t want to comment on his mother’s behaviour, but there was no denying that she was the so-called ‘pig teammate’ (teammate or ally that is more of a hindrance than a help). He appreciated his grandfather’s good intentions, but not everyone was as willing to let him come back as Grandpa was.
When Yan Yue focused on the words “inheritance rights”, Yin Yongde choked and knew that Yan Yue was right. The old man didn’t give up but changed the topic for the time being and said tactfully, “Ah Yue, it is fine if you want to recuperate for a while longer, but you’re not young anymore, so it’s time for you to think about starting a family. Grandpa knows a few girls who are very nice, like the granddaughter of the Lu family, do you want to meet her?”
“The Lu family?” Yan Yue said meaningfully, “Didn’t Mother intend for Lu Wei’an and Yin Ya to be together?”
Yin Yongde was a little surprised that Yan Yue would know, but then he thought about the fact that the Ye brat had been in Zhongjing all this time, so it was normal for Yan Yue to hear some rumours. He shook his head, “Your mother is too nonsensical, Lu Wei’an is not well, how can Xiao Ya marry Lu Wei’an?”
In terms of her status, Yin Ya, an illegitimate daughter whose father wasn’t even a part of the circle, was definitely not good enough for Lu Wei’an. But there was the issue of Lu Wei’an’s health, and the Lu family had no choice. Even though Lu Wei’an seemed to be fine now and would go out with his family every day to socialise, there was no telling if his illness would return one day. No one who loved their daughters would want to marry them to him. However, Yin Ya wanted to raise her status by marrying Lu Wei’an, ignoring his health condition. When Yin Yongde found out about this, he was furious. He couldn’t scold Yin Ya, so he found an opportunity to scold Yin Qinglan. Yin Ya was still young and didn’t know any better, did Yin Qinglan not understand either? Lu Wei’an’s body was “stitched and mended”; if something went wrong one day, he might not be saved. What would happen to Yin Ya then?
One of the things Yin Yongde regretted most in his life was that he had pampered Yin Qinglan too much and had not bothered to control her when he should have had. In the past, he had only wanted for his daughter to be happy and thought that he would be there to support her when the sky fell. But who knew that this way of thinking would lead to her current temperament. Yin Yongde sighed, “Don’t worry, your mother knows now that Lu Wei’an is not good. Besides, there is nothing between Lu Wei’an and Xiao Ya, just young people going out for a few meals. It will fade away after a while.”
Yan Yue hooked the corner of his mouth and said with a slight hint of mockery, “I’m just afraid that Yin Ya doesn’t think so.” Seeing that Grandpa still wanted to continue to persuade, Yan Yue simply said, “Let’s wait until after the New Year to talk about the Lu family, I don’t have much time before the New Year.”
When he said this, Yin Yongde couldn’t say anything else.
Yan Yue didn’t stay longer with his grandfather and quickly chose to say goodbye. Yin Yongde wanted to have dinner with Yan Yue, but Yan Yue politely refused. Yin Ya and his mother would soon be back from shopping, and Yan Yue didn’t want them to spoil his mood. Yin Yongde could see what Yan Yue meant and sighed silently in his heart. The relationship between Yan Yue and his mother were getting worse and worse over the years, and apart from Yin Qinglan’s problems, Yan Yue’s own personality was also partly to blame. If Yan Yue had not been so radical, if he had been willing to treat Yin Ya at least perfunctorily, they would not have come to this stage.
It wasn’t until he returned to the Yan family’s mansion that Yan Yue’s gloomy mood improved a bit. When he was in Fengcheng before, he only felt that life passed too fast, but now that he returned to Zhongjing, he felt that time was too slow, and a day was like a year. Seeing An Jie from a distance, Yan Yue walked over and wondered what Xiao Xi was doing now.
Fengcheng, Tiny Garden
Lu Lingxi was receiving Xue Yongtong and Gao Yongliang. It was almost New Year’s Eve and the two of them had brought a bunch of New Year’s goods to Lu Lingxi. Xue Yongtong had quite a few employees under him and had made a lot of bulk purchases during this period. Apart from the New Year gifts for his staff, he used the rest to give away. The gardeners he cooperated with, friends he usually got along with, seven aunts and eight uncles all got a lot of things.
Lu Lingxi’s plant nursery also purchased a lot of New Year goods, but Xiao Feng took care of them all. The vegetable greenhouse and Qiu Tian plant nursery were all in one place, so Xiao Feng sent them out together easily. Seeing all these things brought by Xue Yongtong, Lu Lingxi was a bit worried. It was too much, and with just a few people at home, it was estimated that they would have to eat them until next year.
Xue Yongtong was amused by Lu Lingxi’s childish words and laughed out loud, teasing, “Isn’t there still Dahei? If you can’t eat it all, give it to Dahei.”
He was in a rather good mood recently, but of course, compared to him, Gao Yongliang was even happier. Gao Yongliang’s cosmetics that had been prepared for many years were finally launched on the market. Relying on intensive advertising and strong public relations hype, the skin care products named “Botanical Family” by Gao Yongliang gained a good reputation and reached a rising sales record as soon as they hit the market. The hard work of the past few years had paid off and Gao Yongliang was elated. As Gao Yongliang’s partner, Xue Yongtong was naturally happy too.
Gao Yongliang smiled, “Uncle Gao will give Xiao Xi a big red envelope when the New Year comes.”
Xue Yongtong chuckled, “Uncle Xue will give one too.”
The last chlorophytum cooperation gave Xue Yongtong a taste of sweetness, and Luxuan Gardening took advantage of the momentum of the new chlorophytum to expand its scale a lot. When Xue Yongtong thought about the development over the past six months, whether it was the collapse of his rival Qiu Tian, the successful listing of Gao Yongliang’s cosmetics, or the promotion of chlorophytum, it was all related to Lu Lingxi. In Xue Yongtong’s heart, Lu Lingxi was simply his lucky star. He only hoped that the new year would go smoothly for Lu Lingxi, that the cooperation between Tiny Garden and Luxuan Gardening would deepen, and that Lu Lingxi would cultivate more new varieties of plants.
The two men’s banter made Lu Lingxi smile in embarrassment, and he curved his eyes without speaking. Gao Yongliang thought of Yan Yue and asked, “When will Yan Yue come back?”
Lu Lingxi: “Big Brother Yan said the fourth day of the first month. But he should have a lot of things going on over there, so he may not be able to come back on the fourth.”
Gao Yongliang and Xue Yongtong were both confused about Yan Yue’s origins. Hearing Lu Lingxi’s vague reference, neither of them asked any detailed questions. If Yan Yue wanted to say something, he would have done so already; but since he didn’t say anything, it was probably not convenient.
The three of them chatted for a while before Xue Yongtong shouted at Gao Yongliang to say goodbye. They wanted to take the opportunity to deliver the New Year’s goods and invite Lu Lingxi and Yan Yue to have a meal, but now that Yan Yue wasn’t here, the meal could only be moved to the new year. Before leaving, Xue Yongtong told Lu Lingxi to close the shop early since he was alone now and to be safe going home at night.
Lu Lingxi nodded obediently.
After Xue Yongtong and Gao Yongliang left, Wang Chaoliang came over with a pile of New Year’s goods. Unlike Xue Yongtong and Gao Yongliang’s gifts, the New Year’s goods brought by Wang Chaoliang were all made by Grandma Wang, including braised chicken legs, yellow rice cakes and some miscellaneous fried snacks.
Wang Chaoliang looked at Lu Lingxi and smiled, “Uncle Wang borrowed a blessing from you, Xiao Xi.”
Seeing that Lu Lingxi didn’t understand, Wang Chaoliang laughed and gestured to the pile of things on the table, “Don’t look at your Grandma Wang’s age, these snacks are the best in the community. When Uncle Wang was a child, he looked forward to having these for the New Year. In the past few years, your Grandma Wang thought it was too troublesome and didn’t bother to make them. But this year, she made them especially for Xiao Xi and Dahei to eat, so Uncle Wang could take advantage of it and eat a little.”
He said it in a funny way, and Lu Lingxi laughed along with him. After laughing, he asked if Grandma Wang’s leg hadn’t hurt in the past few days.
“No. The last time it hurt, it was because she chilled it. It was a cold day and she went to play gateball (a game similar to croquet) and stayed outside for half a day. Even young people can’t stand it, let alone your Grandma.”
Ever since the car accident, Grandma Wang’s legs were not as strong as they used to be, and she had to pay attention to the wind and rain. Wang Chaoliang had told her several times, but she couldn’t stay idle, either wandering around every day or inviting a group of old men and women in the neighbourhood to play gateball. Wang Chaoliang had no choice but to buy several pairs of knee warmers for Grandma Wang, fearing she would catch a cold. However, due to the leg pain the last time, she no longer dared to take the doctor’s words lightly.
When he heard that Grandma Wang was fine, Lu Lingxi relaxed. Dahei squatted quietly by Lu Lingxi’s side since Wang Chaoliang came in, his ears perked up with an expression of listening carefully.
Wang Chaoliang looked at Dahei very fondly, smiled and said to Lu Lingxi, “Your Grandma Wang also said Dahei understands everything. Let me tell Dahei those braised chicken legs were specially made for Dahei. She put less salt in them. Dahei, if you don’t like them, next time Grandma Wang will change the flavour.”
Dahei’s ears twitched and he gave a low bark.
Lu Lingxi listened with amusement, stroked Dahei’s head and said seriously, “Dahei is not a picky eater, he eats everything, much better behaved than Xiaohei.”
Wang Chaoliang knew that Lu Lingxi also had a snake called Xiaohei, and laughed loudly at his words.
At the end of the day, before Wang Chaoliang left, Fang Lei walked in with a big bag in one hand and the leash of the “flower of the police force” in the other. When he saw Wang Chaoliang, Fang Lei was a bit surprised, “Yo, Xiao Xi has a guest?”
Wang Chaoliang smiled and nodded to Fang Lei. Seeing that Fang Lei was also here to deliver New Year’s goods to Xiao Xi, he simply chose to say goodbye. He didn’t remember much about Fang Lei, but Fang Lei still remembered him. As soon as Wang Chaoliang left, Fang Lei came up to Lu Lingxi. “This is the family of the victim of Lu Hongxin’s car accident last time, right?”
Lu Lingxi was extremely surprised, “You still remember, Officer Fang?”
Fang Lei rubbed Lu Lingxi’s hair, “What Officer Fang, call me Brother Fang. Your Brother Fang is in this line of work. If I don’t remember anything else, I remember faces very well.”
After teasing Lu Lingxi, he also teased Dahei, sending the “flower of the police force” in his hand to Dahei and jokingly said, “Dahei still remembers our Lisa, right? This year, our Lisa has grown another year, a girl can’t stay in her prime forever. You can’t be irresponsible, Dahei, right?”
Lu Lingxi was practically dying of laughter. He thought that after the last incident with Xiao Shi, Fang Lei had forgotten about tying a red thread for Dahei. But Fang Lei remembered and was even going to make such a show before the New Year.
Fang Lei laughed himself as he said that, stroked Lisa’s head and said seriously, “Xiao Xi, I’m looking for you this time because there’s something I need to trouble you with.”
“Lend me Dahei for a few days after New Year to help out.”
Lu Lingxi immediately perked up, “Is there another case?”
Fang Lei shook his head, “It’s not about a case. You still remember the last time when Xiao Shi was lost, a few stray dogs came to help find Xiao Shi, right?”
Lu Lingxi nodded.
Fang Lei smiled and said, “Those stray dogs have now been adopted by the police force. In the past few days, they have all been in good physical fitness and they are smart. They are just disobedient, so we have to use Dahei to educate them.”
Speaking of which, Fang Lei had good intentions. He heard that Dahei and Ah Huang were both stray dogs before, and wondered in his heart if stray dogs could easily communicate with people. After meeting those dogs last time, he found that those stray dogs were really smart. Whether they could communicate with people or not wasn’t mentioned first but they were particularly good at carrying out Dahei’s orders. When Fang Lei finished the case, he took the dogs back to the police station. After a few days of good food and drink, the dogs were satisfied with everything, but they wouldn’t listen to him. Fang Lei had no choice but to have the idea to use Dahei and let him help train them.
Lu Lingxi vaguely guessed what Fang Lei had in mind and was somewhat tempted to say that it was not the matter of the dogs being stray. But it was good that those dogs were adopted by the police force; having food and water was much better than wandering outside. It was better to leave it at that and wait for Fang Lei to discover the truth by himself.
He agreed readily, and Dahei obviously had no objections. When Fang Lei had finished his business, he took a look behind Lu Lingxi’s back and saw all kinds of packages, so he knew they were all gifts from others. Xiao Xi was a nice kid, and even without Dahei, Fang Lei liked Lu Lingxi quite a lot. He piled the New Year goods he had brought together with the previous ones and asked Lu Lingxi, “Xiao Xi, you can’t take these things back alone, can you?”
Lu Lingxi nodded; he was also worried and was thinking of calling Yi Hang later and asking him to come and pick him up.
Fang Lei took a big package, “I’ll take you back, it just so happens that I have nothing to do later.”
Lu Lingxi’s eyes lit up; Fang Lei smiled and said, “Who made me Dahei’s father-in-law.”
Lu Lingxi: “……”