Despite the fact that Yan Yue’s preparations for the production of Zhugang had been very low-profile, the Ye family’s investment still attracted the attention of interested parties. Among them was the Lu family in Zhongjing.
Elder Lu received the news early in the morning; the Ye family had invested a sum of money in Fengcheng, and seemed to be preparing to build a bamboo products production factory. He was a bit puzzled. The origin of bamboo was mostly the Shuchuan area; even if the Ye family wanted to invest in bamboo products, they should go to Shuchuan, why would they think of Fengcheng?
Was it because of Ye Cheng? No, it couldn’t be. The old man himself rejected this thought. Then why? And why bamboo products, what’s the point? As the helmsman of the Lu family, Lu Hengchuan had spent a lifetime in the business world and paid close attention to several old rivals around him. He didn’t think that old man Ye was suddenly interested in bamboo on a whim; he must have found some business opportunity.
Lu Hengchuan ordered his people to go investigate what the Ye family had invested in, being so mysterious that they refused to let anyone know.
The results of the investigation soon reached Lu Hengchuan’s hands. He first saw that the Ye family had invested in fifteen production lines in Fengcheng. It was said that it was a new technology that could synthesise bamboo into a substitute for steel that met construction standards. This conclusion made Lu Hengchuan a little suspicious. Bamboo to replace steel? Elder Ye was not fanciful, was he? But when he saw the partner of the Ye family, he couldn’t help but be taken aback.
Tiny Garden Technology Co., Ltd., Lu Lingxi. The name stirred the old man’s memory. Lu Hengchuan seemed to think of something as he pressed the button on his desk. His assistant quickly knocked on the door and walked in.
“Did you compile this information?”
The assistant nodded respectfully.
“What do you know about Tiny Garden Technology Company?”
Although the assistant was wondering in his heart, he didn’t pause and said fluently, “The predecessor of Tiny Garden Technology Company is a plant nursery called Tiny Garden. The boss is very young and his name is Lu Lingxi. Tiny Garden is mainly engaged in raising flowers and green plants. They have the rights to new varieties of four plants, including the raw materials of the bamboo products invested by the Ye family this time, a kind of bamboo named Zhugang.”
Lu Hengchuan’s attention was captured by the word “young”, and he asked after a moment of silence: “How old is Lu Lingxi?”
The assistant quickly said, “Nineteen years old.”
Lu Hengchuan didn’t say anything else and waved his hand, signalling the assistant to leave first. The assistant closed the door silently, but in his heart he was somewhat puzzled by the chairman’s focus. As a man who had been beside Lu Hengchuan for a long time, he wasn’t unaware of some of the Lu family’s affairs. The member of the Lu family who had died last year was called Lu Lingxi, and if he had lived until now he would have been exactly nineteen years old. This was a coincidence but he didn’t think much of it. There were many people with the same name, and Lu Lingxi had little presence in the Lu family when he was alive, so it wasn’t likely that the chairman would suddenly think of him after his death, right?
When the assistant left, the office was once again quiet. Lu Hengchuan’s eyes fell back on the information in his hands. Fengcheng, nineteen years old, Lu Lingxi. One coincidence was nothing, but three coincidences together, could this be the child from back then?
Lu Hengchuan thought about it and made a phone call, instructing his subordinates to help him check this Lu Lingxi. Whether or not Lu Lingxi was the child from back then, there was something fishy about the Ye family working with him. Zhugang? Bamboo that can replace steel? Old man Ye is very ambitious!
Lu Lingxi wasn’t aware of these undercurrents in Zhongjing. Early Saturday morning, he received a call from Zheng Xinhe, who had already arrived in Fengcheng.
The plants from the laboratory would be transplanted into the ground in two days, but Zheng Xinhe was still a bit uneasy and wanted to come to Fengcheng to take a look in person. When he heard that both Lu Lingxi and Yan Yue were at the plant nursery, Zheng Xinhe didn’t ask them to pick him up, took a taxi and rushed to Lingshui Village.
The driver was quite enthusiastic on the way, and hearing that Zheng Xinhe’s accent didn’t sound local, he said to him with some pride, “How about it, our Fengcheng environment isn’t bad, right?”
Zheng Xinhe took a look at the greenery outside and nodded.
The driver became more energetic, “Have you been to Fengcheng before? If you had, you would know that the changes in Fengcheng this year have been dramatic. Last year at this time the sky was still hazy, but this year you can see that it has been blue for almost two weeks straight. Even if there was a little smog a while ago, it was quickly dispersed by the wind. The air is really good. I remember seeing the blue sky like this only when I was a kid. I never thought I would catch it again after so many years. Speaking of this blue sky we have to thank our mayor, it’s him.”
The driver gave Zheng Xinhe a thumbs up as he drove, “Who knows how many small factories the new mayor has shut down despite the pressure. When he first shut them down, those people were still making trouble, wanting to petition and so on. What about now? If anyone dares to make a fuss, the neighbours around will drown them in spittle. What do you think the people want? To be fed and clothed, right, but also to have a good environment and to live a few more years in a good mood, don’t you think so?”
The driver didn’t need Zheng Xinhe to agree, he just kept talking all the way. Zheng Xinhe didn’t know whether to cry or to laugh as he listened to the driver talking without expecting him to say a word.
The two were halfway out of town when they saw that the road ahead was slightly blocked, half of the road separated. “What’s going on up ahead?” Zheng Xinhe asked.
The driver took a look and smiled, “Hey, nothing, the sanitation workers are weeding. It’s not strange, the plants grow faster when the environment is better. You didn’t see the section just now, the grass was just weeded a few days ago. The greenery on both sides of the road has grown to a height of a man, and the flowers are so big and fragrant that my son says they look even better than the ones in the park. There’s a community in the north of the city, you know it, right? It used to be the most run-down kind of old community, and only people with little money lived there, so it was downright poor. Now it’s like an ecological botanical garden, full of birds and flowers, so if you live in that community, you can live for ten years longer. The other day I heard them say that the property price in that community has soared to 20,000 per square metre, while the most expensive one in our area, Shida Plaza, is only 15,000. Do you think everyone who lives there is getting rich?”
He changed the topic freely, and Zheng Xinhe smiled as he listened, knowing that the driver was talking about the community where Lu Lingxi’s family lived. Zheng Xinhe had been there once, and at that time, he was also surprised by the environment inside the district. Although the overall environment of Fengcheng was good now, the environment of that community was still very conspicuous. The time he went there, he did see a lot of agents moving around, but it was said that not many people were willing to sell their homes, and most residents were still in the mindset of waiting for prices to rise again.
The driver drove slowly as he chatted with Zheng Xinhe. As they passed the section of road that was separated, Zheng Xinhe saw weeds growing on the side of the road and the sanitation workers busily spreading weed killer. Thinking about something, he asked, “Do you guys think this grass is affecting your lives?”
“How does it?” The driver thought Zheng Xinhe had a strange idea, “Isn’t it just a bit more work to cut the grass? The grass that we cut is not wasted, it is all sent to the farms in the western part. In the past, we were worried about the cattle being fed indiscriminately in the farms. But now we know that the cattle and sheep in the farm are eating this pure natural grass, so we can feel better about eating meat and other things. Don’t you think we can kill two birds with one stone?”
Zheng Xinhe was amused to hear that; he didn’t think it could be like this and couldn’t help but laugh along with the driver.
The two of them soon left the city, and the driver, probably because he had rarely met an outsider like Zheng Xinhe, excitedly talked to him all the way. When they were almost at Lingshui Village, the driver gestured for Zheng Xinhe to look ahead, “See, that big willow tree is Lingshui Village, and there is a plant nursery next to the big willow tree. The flowers raised in it are particularly good.”
Zheng Xinhe smiled, not expecting Tiny Garden to be so famous. But it was true that he hadn’t seen any signs of drought in Fengcheng along the way. Previously in the city, he could say that the sanitation workers watered the plants on time, but after driving so far out of the city, he could see that the seedlings on both sides of the road were growing well. Even if the land was deserted, the weeds were still lush without anyone watering them. Zheng Xinhe felt strange in his heart, “Has it rained in Fengcheng recently?”
“Rain? No, it’s been almost a month, and I haven’t even seen any rain.” The driver denied it.
“It hasn’t rained?” Zheng Xinhe looked outside in confusion.
When they arrived at the entrance of Lingshui Village, Yan Yue was already waiting there. Zheng Xinhe couldn’t take his eyes away from his surroundings when he got out of the car. When he had come here before in early March, the village was full of greenery, much more vibrant than the grey surroundings, but it was still a bit monotonous after all. Now it was different. Many wild flowers that Zheng Xinhe couldn’t name were in full bloom at the entrance of the village, competing with each other in colours like a mini sea of flowers.
“Director Zheng.” Yan Yue greeted Zheng Xinhe politely.
When Zheng Xinhe saw Yan Yue, he immediately tensed a little, “Where is Xiao Xi?”
“Xiao Xi is in the plant nursery. Should we go up the hill now or later?”
Zheng Xinhe was a little hesitant. He was originally worried that the drought in Fengcheng would affect the bamboo propagation, but according to what he had seen along the way it did seem that there was no shortage of water at all as Lu Lingxi had said, so there was no need to go up the hills anymore.
When he hesitated, Yan Yue already saw what he was thinking about, “Why don’t we go to the plant nursery first? It just so happens that Ye Kang is also there, and Director Zheng can ask how the production line is progressing.”
Yan Yue took Zheng Xinhe to the plant nursery, and in the small courtyard Erha was actively dragging Ye Kang out for a walk. Erha was pretty strong, and Ye Kang was on the verge of being dragged to the ground by Erha’s leash. Ye Kang was a bit frustrated. He had just had a run with Erha in the morning and had only rested for a few minutes, but Erha was listening to the barking outside and wanted to go out again. He thought about how embarrassed he was in the morning when Erha ran in front of him and dragged him when he couldn’t sustain the temp, so he didn’t want to go out again.
“Erha, be obedient.”
When Erha couldn’t drag Ye Kang out, he changed his strategy and jumped onto Ye Kang’s body, licking him and barking, very enthusiastic.
Yan Yue saw this scene as soon as he came in. He was a little amused, “Where are Xiao Xi and Dahei?”
With Xiao Xi around, Erha mostly revolved around Xiao Xi. With Dahei around, Erha didn’t dare to make such a fuss either.
Ye Kang had a hard time pushing Erha’s furry head away, nodding politely at Zheng Xinhe and looking at Yan Yue, “Xiao Xi is answering the phone in the back, it seems to be Fang Lei looking for him.”
Yan Yue hadn’t seen Fang Lei for some time. Why was he looking for Xiao Xi?