During the morning meal, Lu Lingxi stared at Wang Shuxiu several times. Wang Shuxiu’s face was rosy and her speech was full of energy. She didn’t look like she was tired from the New Year.
Including Yan Yue, there were only four people gathered around the table. Lu Lingxi’s little abnormality was soon noticed by the others. Wang Shuxiu looked at him strangely, “Did I grow flowers on my face? What are you looking at, Xiao Xi?”
“Are you not feeling well, Mom?” Lu Lingxi expressed his doubts simply, “These days Mom has been getting up late, is it because she is tired from the New Year?”
When he said this, Wang Shuxiu and Xiao Feng were taken aback at the same time; they hadn’t really realised the problem. Wang Shuxiu thought about it, but it seemed that she was indeed a bit sleepy these days and didn’t want to get up in the morning. But she didn’t take it seriously; it was normal for her to sleep a lot in winter when it was cold. “It’s okay.” Wang Shuxiu didn’t care much, “It’s just that it’s cold and I sleep more.”
Xiao Feng interjected, “Do you want to go to the hospital?”
Wang Shuxiu laughed, “What hospital, I can eat and drink, don’t worry about it.”
She said it was okay, and it was hard for others to say anything, so the topic at the dinner table turned to Yan Yue. Wang Shuxiu couldn’t help but feel strange about Yan Yue’s sudden return. She had never heard Xiao Xi say that Yan Yue would come back so soon before. Hearing Xiao Feng mention it in the morning, Wang Shuxiu was a bit taken aback. Speaking of which, she and Yan Yue had been neighbours for half a year, and she had a very good impression of Yan Yue. The only thing that felt problematic was that Yan Yue hadn’t talked about any girlfriend for all this time. She wondered if there was something wrong with Yan Yue’s health. But whether to talk about girlfriends or not was Yan Yue’s own business. Wang Shuxiu was not particularly gossipy, so she muttered a few words in her heart and forgot about it.
Hearing Wang Shuxiu ask about his reason for coming back so early, Yan Yue used work as an excuse. In addition to the cooperation with Gao Yongliang, Su Lang’s research was also mentioned. As soon as he finished speaking, Wang Shuxiu’s heart moved and she thought of Pan Liang. The last time she went to see Pan Liang with Lin Mei, Wang Shuxiu really felt that Pan Liang’s son Pan Xiaobao was pitiful. He suffered so much at such a young age, but he kept comforting Pan Liang that he was fine. This kind of disease was a black hole for spending money. It had only been a short time since Pan Liang’s son was hospitalised, but they had already spent all their savings and were now spending the money from the sale of their house.
Wang Shuxiu was soft-hearted and asked one more question, “Are there any conditions for recruiting volunteers for that research?”
Yan Yue shook his head, “There are no conditions, but there are different types of leukaemia and not all patients are suitable for this experiment.”
Leukaemia is just a generic term, and is divided into different types according to the severity of the onset of the disease. The research in Su Lang’s lab had shown that the methylin from the mutated donglingcao had a positive effect on the treatment of M2 acute myeloid leukaemia, and was able to induce apoptosis of the pathogenic protein of this type of leukaemia, with remarkable therapeutic effects. In particular, the strain of mutant evolved donglingcao provided to them by Lu Lingxi, which contained 60% more methylin than ordinary donglingcao, became the most ideal raw material for Su Lang’s research.
Yan Yue didn’t know much about these things but he was used to reading between the lines and quickly realised what was going on, so he asked, knowing the answer, “Auntie, is there a patient you know?”
Xiao Feng listened to Yan Yue’s extremely calm voice calling Wang Shuxiu “Auntie” and the corners of his mouth twitched invisibly. However, the way everyone addressed each other in their family had always been confusing, and no one was particular about it. For example, Yi Hang called Lu Lingxi “Lao San” and called Wang Shuxiu “Sister”, and Tiger called him “Brother Feng” and called Lu Lingxi “Brother Xiao Xi”. It was Yan Yue who was the most consistent, consciously putting him and Xiao Xi in the same generation. Wang Shuxiu was uncomfortable at first, but later got used to it after hearing it for a while.
She nodded, “Yes, there is a colleague, it is his son, the child is not yet ten years old. He looks really pitiful.”
Yan Yue understood Wang Shuxiu’s meaning and pondered slightly, “I don’t know much about this either, I’ll get a friend to go and see what’s going on. He is an expert in this area. If it is suitable, he can discuss recruiting a volunteer. And even if it is not suitable he can help look at other options.”
“Okay.” Wang Shuxiu nodded. After eating she gave Pan Liang a call and explained the situation. Pan Liang, who received her call, almost cried on the phone. A big man in his thirties choked back a sob and was somewhat incoherent in his gratitude to Wang Shuxiu. Although being recruited as a volunteer didn’t necessarily mean curing the disease, and whether this new drug had any other consequences was anyone’s guess. But for Pan Liang, who was in deep despair, this was undoubtedly a light in the darkness.
Hanging up the phone, Wang Shuxiu let out a sigh and gave Yan Yue Pan Liang’s address. The father and son had been in the hospital for the New Year and it happened to be the same hospital where Lu Lingxi had been staying when he had an accident. Yan Yue didn’t delay and made a phone call to Su Lang right away. Su Lang readily agreed to come and the two sides decided on the time of the meeting. Pan Liang was anxious and Su Lang had a few days of rest for the New Year. The time was also tight, and the two sides simply agreed to meet in a few hours.
Wang Shuxiu had nothing to do in the morning, so she thought she would go and see what was going on. Since she wanted to go, Xiao Feng naturally went with her. Xiao Feng thought about going to the hospital and having the doctor take a look at Wang Shuxiu. Wang Shuxiu was indeed a bit sleepy these days but if Xiao Xi hadn’t mentioned it, Xiao Feng wouldn’t have noticed. The two of them discussed what to bring over, while Yan Yue turned and saw Lu Lingxi standing with a frozen look on his face. From the moment they mentioned this topic, Lu Lingxi went quiet. Yan Yue understood what was going on and said softly, “Does Xiao Xi want to come along? Meet Su Lang by the way.”
Lu Lingxi looked at Yan Yue and nodded hesitantly.
Although Wang Shuxiu wondered why Lu Lingxi would want to go together, it wasn’t a bad thing, so she simply said that the whole family would go and buy some food and take it with them, just as if they were going to pay a New Year visit. Everyone said that they were ready. They couldn’t take Dahei along; it was not appropriate to take pets to the hospital. Yan Yue looked at Dahei and thought of Xiaohei. It seemed he hadn’t seen Xiaohei since he came back last night. Before, Yan Yue was used to Xiaohei being obedient and didn’t restrict Xiaohei’s activities much. In addition, his mind was on Lu Lingxi since he came back, and he didn’t care about looking for Xiaohei. But It was a bit strange that Xiaohei hadn’t appeared after he’d been back for so long.
“Where did Xiaohei go?” Yan Yue asked.
Lu Lingxi: “……”
He finally remembered what he had forgotten last night; he had left Xiaohei and the little red snake at home. Not bothering to say anything to Yan Yue, Lu Lingxi turned around and ran back to his room, not knowing if Xiaohei was still there.
Lu Lingxi looked around the room and saw neither Xiaohei nor the little red snake. He muttered in his heart, the little red snake couldn’t have been eaten by Xiaohei, could it?
“Xiao Xi? What’s wrong?” Yan Yue looked at Lu Lingxi’s strange behaviour and followed him into the room.
Lu Lingxi was a bit embarrassed and quickly told him about how yesterday Xiaohei had caught a little red snake from somewhere and intended to exchange it for a cake.
Yan Yue chuckled as he listened and couldn’t resist reaching out to rub Lu Lingxi’s hair. “Don’t look for it, Xiaohei has probably eaten it and hides somewhere to digest it.”
Lu Lingxi’s face scrunched up; the thought of Xiaohei eating that little red snake made him feel a little bad.
Yan Yue’s lips curled up; he smiled as he whispered, “Wait to come back from the hospital. We’ll catch Xiaohei and brush his teeth well.”
He said it so lightly that Lu Lingxi couldn’t help but hold back a smile and nod. One of the things Xiaohei hated doing was brushing his teeth, and every time he saw the first hint of brushing, he would hide under the sofa and refuse to come out. It was only Yan Yue who could scare him enough to make him come out, or else Dahei would catch him, but Lu Lingxi himself couldn’t cope with him.
As the two of them were talking, Wang Shuxiu came over to tell them that they were ready to go out. As soon as she raised her eyes, she saw the way Yan Yue was looking at Lu Lingxi, and her heart thudded. When her eyes moved to Lu Lingxi’s face, she even had a vague feeling that something was wrong. The two seemed to be a little too close to each other?
It was no wonder Wang Shuxiu hadn’t noticed it before. Although Yan Yue was usually on good terms with Lu Lingxi, Wang Shuxiu didn’t usually come to his place, it was always Lu Lingxi who ran next door to find Yan Yue. Wang Shuxiu was concerned about Yan Yue living alone, so she never came to visit Yan Yue. When they sometimes had dinner together, Yan Yue and Lu Lingxi acted very normal, the kind of friends no different from Lu Lingxi and Yi Hang.
Wang Shuxiu’s heart felt indescribably odd; she didn’t suspect the two of anything, but she felt that they were a little too close. She used to work in a karaoke bar and she knew that there were men who liked men, but as a normal parent she would not think of her son in this way. Wang Shuxiu paused, and before she could call out the words “Xiao Xi”, Lu Lingxi had already turned his head and seen her. Not knowing how long Wang Shuxiu had been standing in the doorway, Lu Lingxi couldn’t help but look away a little and call out sheepishly, “Mom.”
Wang Shuxiu pressed down the uneasiness in her heart and smiled, “What are you talking about?”
Yan Yue changed the subject smoothly, “Talking about Xiaohei, I haven’t seen Xiaohei all morning, I wonder where he’s gone?”
Wang Shuxiu unconsciously followed what Yan Yue said and thought of Xiaohei; she hadn’t seen Xiaohei all along either.
Yan Yue then said, “Xiaohei is probably hiding somewhere. Su Lang should be at the hospital soon. We should also go.”
He said that and Wang Shuxiu thought of their main task, quickly putting her subconscious doubts behind.
Lu Lingxi secretly sighed in relief as Yan Yue gave him a comforting look. In fact, Yan Yue was already considering confessing to Wang Shuxiu, but he just needed to find a suitable opportunity. Unlike with Lu Yishui, Yan Yue didn’t intend to use any tactics when dealing with Wang Shuxiu. For one thing, their personalities were different, and for another… Yan Yue glanced at Lu Lingxi who could notice that Wang Shuxiu was getting up late recently. Xiao Xi really valued Wang Shuxiu as a mother.
When they walked out, Lu Lingxi glanced at a notice posted at the entrance of the building. A neighbour on the fourth floor wrote that his family’s small brown snake got lost last night and asked the surrounding neighbours to pay attention to it. The snake was poisonous and he had only bought it a few days ago, so he hadn’t bothered to pull its teeth out. A picture of the little snake was printed in a large format at the bottom of the notice. Lu Lingxi stared at the photo for a long time, confirming that it wasn’t the little red snake from last night.
Yan Yue frowned, “Another snake?”
Lu Lingxi nodded, feeling that this was also the work of Xiaohei.