When it came to the Tianshui neighbourhood in Qixia Town, most locals would associate it with wealthy people. After all, Qixia Town was a suburb and its geographical location was definitely not as good as the city centre. However, Tianshui was marked with a high-end atmosphere, villas, townhouses, lake views, small gardens, expensive private schools and so on, and the house prices were in line with those in the city centre, so expensive that they made people shake their heads.
Yang Sigu’s bakery was located in the business district of Tianshui, right next to the entrance. The shop was spacious and stylish, with an industrial style in black and coffee tones. It had two floors in total; except for the office, the rest of the shop was arranged with glass and plant partitions to form an experience area and a drinking area. The back kitchen was almost transparent, allowing customers to see the baking process with their own eyes while they chose what to eat. Apart from the owner, Yang Sigu, the shop’s staff consisted of young people in their twenties and thirties, wearing double-breasted, pinched-waist pure black uniforms with semi standing collars. In Yang Sigu’s words, as long as one wore the clothes he had designed, one’s figure would be neither six points nor eight points but absolutely beautiful.
At this moment, Lu Ying was dressed in black, with a small apron tied neatly around his waist and shiny leather shoes on his feet, slightly red-faced and glaring at Ji Xiaofeng who had come uninvited.
Ji Xiaofeng blocked him in the storage room, stared him up and down a few times, and even patted Lu Ying’s ass, tilting his head and laughing: “Hahahaha, a serious improvement to the dress, but you’re looking like an improper young master.”
“Bullshit! This outfit is tightly buttoned. There is nothing improper about it. It’s your eyes that are improper.” Lu Ying raised his hand vigilantly to prevent Ji Xiaofeng from attacking him again. Even if they grew up together as bare-assed kids, he didn’t want his bottom to be pinched!
Ji Xiaofeng smiled maliciously, “I always knew you had a round and perky butt, but I never thought it would be this perky. I’d say Brother Yang must be a bit of a slut, designing the clothes like this himself, tsk tsk~~~”
“Nonsense, I used to work in a cafe and the uniform I wore was similar to this one.” Lu Ying didn’t think there was anything wrong with the clothes. Brother Yang was very perfect and generous. The fabric of this outfit was of much better quality than that of the cafe’s, and it was very comfortable to wear. Just… was it really a bit embarrassing to look in the mirror? ?(? ???ω????)? It was all because the meat always grew on his buttocks. It would be nice if it grew on his belly. A soft belly would be more comfortable to touch. And it would give him a more prosperous, majestic, official look.
Ji Xiaofeng spread his hands: “But you only worked at the cafe for half a month before you were fired, right? Do you want me to tell you the reason? Being groped by a customer, hahaha…”
Lu Ying was so angry that smoke rose from his ears, “Are you here today to see me or laugh at me?”
“Seeing you doesn’t prevent me from laughing at you.”
“If you have nothing to do, go sit in the front and have tea and snacks, I’m still busy. Why don’t you wait for me for a few hours, it just so happens that I have to go to the clinic at noon to get the medicine.” Lu Ying hurriedly pushed Ji Xiaofeng away and squeezed out of the storage room with a stack of trays.
Ji Xiaofeng nodded and idly sat down to play with his phone and eat snacks. At the moment Yang Sigu was not in the shop, and Lu Ying looked very busy, going in and out non-stop, looking quite comfortable. Ji Xiaofeng couldn’t help but sigh, thinking about the times when Lu Ying was as simple as a blank sheet of paper. Back then Lu Ying didn’t know anything in the mountains except for eating, drinking and playing. He spent his days chasing after his elder brothers’ asses and having fun, and every time someone went down the mountain he was very upset. When his only remaining friend was leaving the mountain, Lu Ying cried a lot. At that time, Ji Xiaofeng couldn’t bear letting go of his little buddy either. When he left, Lu Ying couldn’t even find a partner to play hide-and-seek with, so Ji Xiaofeng said at that time, ‘When you’re ready, I’ll take you down the mountain to play.’
Later he kept his promise and, concealing it from Grandpa Lu, secretly took his little buddy to the colourful world outside.
Little did he know that this going out would completely change Lu Ying’s life.
He didn’t regret his actions back then. He felt that both Brother Yang and Dr. Hu were right in saying that Grandpa Lu was stubborn and old-fashioned, and being held captive in the mountains didn’t do Lu Ying a bit of good. Lu Ying had to learn to face the unfamiliar world on his own. Of course, human society was dark and complicated, but it was also full of laughter and happiness, so why should Lu Ying have to stay in the mountains to graze and recite scriptures?
The only thing Ji Xiaofeng didn’t expect was that the youngest Lu Ying would actually fall in love! Oh no, it was a serious case of puppy love! What’s more, in the blink of an eye, he became a father!
Since then, Ji Xiaofeng never dared to face Grandpa Lu again for fear of being beaten o(╥﹏╥)o.
Over the years, he had witnessed Lu Ying growing up day by day with his little boy by his side. The little boy was growing up, and so was Lu Ying. The old carefree Lu Ying who was happy when he had food and drink was now a thing of the past. Now Lu Ying was a mature father who carried a burden and put his responsibilities first. He had baggage and had the best goal in life.
At half past eleven Yang Sigu took off the apron, picked up a cup of tea and lazily leaned back in his high chair, flipping through his phone, “What would you like to eat for lunch, Lu Ying? How about beef tenderloin with black pepper? Or take Xiao Ji to my place for a few stir-fry dishes?”
Lu Ying was busy tidying the countertop and immediately shook his head when he heard it, “I have to go to Dr. Hu’s clinic to get the pills today at noon, so I’ll eat on the way back.” They had an hour lunch break every day at noon, and special circumstances indicated that longer absence could be tolerated.
“Go on then, and take some snacks for Dr. Hu and Elder Xu. Don’t rush back, you can finish it anytime.”
Lu Ying smiled, “Boss is too polite. I’ll definitely rush back as soon as possible and definitely not delay my work.”
Yang Sigu chuckled quietly, left his chair and raised his hand to rub Lu Ying’s hair, then suddenly said, “Have you grown taller?”
“No, it’s the shoes that have a bit of a heel.” Lu Ying nodded at his feet. How could he grow taller when his form was already finalised?
Yang Sigu stroked his head and pointed at Lu Ying’s apron: “Take this off before you go. I’ll go and pack up some snacks.”
Not long after, Lu Ying drove Ji Xiaofeng to Qiushan Street.
Qiushan Street was old and dilapidated, with the buildings that had no historical value. It was more like a snag street missed during the city’s construction and demolition. Nowadays, most of the people who liked to come to Qiushan Street to hang out were young high school students and university students. Snacks were cheap, and all kinds of miscellaneous shops were also quite interesting. The broken walls and ruins left behind were also very sought after. Young girls could often be seen sketching and taking pictures and videos in the old street.
When Lu Ying arrived at the end of the street on his moped, he saw seven or eight men and women in hanfu walking gracefully into Qiushan Street, followed by their companions who were carrying filming equipment on their shoulders. Lu Ying stopped and waited for them to pass, while Ji Xiaofeng in the back seat gnawed on roasted corn and mumbled, “What’s there to shoot on a shitty street?”
“I just heard them talking, it seems to be a photography assignment from the teacher. They’re probably from the media university.” Lu Ying watched the group as they moved away, then rode his moped slowly onwards.
“It’s fun to be an artist.”
There were many universities in Caifeng City, and over the years with the construction of the city, many old universities established branches or new sites in Qixia Town. From key prestigious schools down to unknown colleges, there were really many schools, and this was one of the reasons why Qixia Town was soaring to prosperity. When you walked outside and saw young people, nine out of ten would be university students. Lu Ying and these people had almost nothing in common, but it didn’t prevent him from silently envying university students in his heart. Even if it was an unauthorised college, it was still something to value.
Qiushan Street was uneven, and there were many people walking slowly, so Lu Ying’s moped moved at a snail’s pace. Ji Xiaofeng was sitting behind him, nibbling on corn. The two of them were so intent on moving forward that they didn’t even notice that they were followed closely by a strange group of people in black.
It was not until they received more and more surprised looks that the two realised something. Lu Ying looked at the rearview mirror of the moped, saw a reflection of something black and was so frightened that he braked at once, looking back abruptly.
One man in black, two men in black… four, five… eight men in black! Everyone was carrying a mahogany-colored exquisite food box in their hands.
“Making a movie?” Ji Xiaofeng had gotten off the moped and stood aside looking at the black-clad men in shock, forgetting to even chew the corn in his hand. Lu Ying held the moped out of the way and watched the men in black walk past in front of him. He couldn’t help the slight twitch of his nose. It smelled so good…
Lu Ying was slightly lost in the seductive aroma of food, feeling somewhat hungry, when suddenly a dark shadow passed before his eyes, sending a wave of a long-lost yet all-too-familiar scent. Lu Ying trembled all over, his eyes locking on the tall figure that passed him by.
Qin, Qin Zhuopu!
Lu Ying’s eyes widened and he subconsciously opened his mouth to call, but it felt like something had grabbed him by the throat. He could only stare at the figure as it walked further and further away, unable to speak, his heart pounding.
Suddenly, the distant figure looked back.
The man’s deep gaze fell directly on the dazed and frightened Lu Ying.
This face had not really changed at all after all these years.
One glance, and your heart is surging, your blood boiling.
The two of them were separated by a distance of just over ten metres, their eyes meeting as they looked at each other silently.
Ji Xiaofeng had already thrown away his corn cob, his eyes even bigger than Lu Ying’s. He looked at Qin Zhuopu one moment and at Lu Ying the next moment, his heart feeling as painful as if a cat was scratching it. Damn! What a pantomime! He secretly pinched Lu Ying, who quickly lowered his head to rub his arm in pain.
Qin Zhuopu bowed his head slightly and when he raised it again, his eyes were covered with sunglasses. He kept walking steadily on his long legs. The assistant who followed behind him, barely daring to take a breath, quickly turned his head and glanced at Lu Ying. He had a hunch that there must be something fishy about the way his boss was looking at this young man for a long time, because the man pushing the moped was too damn stunning! Look at that handsome face! That thin waist! Those long legs!…
Not a single word was said.
As if a bucket of cold water had been poured on him, Lu Ying regained his senses, his face extremely distorted.
He had fantasised many times about what it would be like to see each other again, but not including this scenario!
Did he still remember him?
Of course he remembered, otherwise he wouldn’t have given him more than a glance.
Or, I think this person really looks familiar, ah, but after looking for a long time, I can’t think of a name.
The box of nameless cherries not long ago, was he… thinking too much?
“Lu Ying.” Ji Xiaofeng tugged his sleeve. Lu Ying looked like a wilted grass in drought. It was really unbearable to see. Of course, his good friend had to comfort him: “Are you okay? Don’t forget what you need to do.”
Lu Ying nodded in a trance, regaining his spirit, “Oh, go find Dr. Hu.”
He got on the electric moped again. Ji Xiaofeng sat behind him, as if inadvertently reaching out and wrapping his arms tightly around Lu Ying’s waist. “Let’s go, just in time for lunch. I told Elder Xu you’re coming, it’s guaranteed to be enough food.”
“Thank you.” Lu Ying squeezed out a smile as the electric moped moved forward gently. Brother Ji was right, nothing was more important than Zaizai’s medicine. He couldn’t forget his purpose.
No matter how slow the electric moped was, it was faster than walking. Lu Ying held his breath, passing one pedestrian after another without looking, finally reaching the black-clad group. He didn’t look back, nor did he look in the rearview mirror. In fact, such a reunion was not bad. Nothing was said, so you could pretend it didn’t happen, was not seen. Once you opened your mouth, it might be more embarrassing than silence, a quarrel, a scolding, or even a fight, your demeanour and face all gone, ah.
Through the thick lenses, the electric moped was grey-black, small and pathetic, carrying two people clumsily like a turtle struggling to run. The man on the moped was focused, his back perfectly straight, and the man behind him seemed like a limpet on the driver’s back, his arms wrapped around the driver’s waist.
Qin Zhuopu took off his sunglasses.
Ji Xiaofeng suddenly turned his head and grimaced at him, as if mocking him silently.
The assistant who witnessed everything spoke out carefully. As long as Mr. Qin gave an order, he would immediately have the bodyguards rush up and take down that scoundrel!
Qin Zhuopu acted as if nothing had happened: “Let’s go to the clinic.”
Mr. Qin: You should stay away from Ji Xiaofeng in the future
Lu Ying: We are innocent, why are you jealous?
Mr. Qin: Your relationship is too good.
Lu Ying: Of course, Brother Ji takes good care of me and has taught me a lot.
Mr. Qin: What can he teach you?
Lu Ying: A lot. The dance I did for you yesterday was good, wasn’t it?
Mr. Qin: ……
Lu Ying: Brother Ji taught me!
Mr. Qin: ……
Lu Ying: Brother Ji even said he would teach me a new dance, do you think I should learn?
Mr. Qin: Learn.
Lu Ying: (*^▽^*)
Ji Xiaofeng: I’m teaching proper dances, it’s the students who are improper!