Yan Yue met Yan Shihui the day after he returned to Zhongjing.
Without the smoke of speculations from the outside world, the expressions of the two people who met were very calm. Yan Shihui looked at Yan Yue deeply for a few moments, as if he didn’t know him. Yan Yue gazed at him openly, letting his father look at him. Now, no matter what Yan Shihui thought, Yan Yue no longer cared.
After a long silence, Yan Shihui was the first to speak. “What are you doing back here?”
Yan Yue slightly hooked the corner of his mouth, “I heard Yan Hai say that he wanted to expel me from the Yan family. I came back to move my household registration out so that my father wouldn’t be embarrassed.”
His tone was mocking and Yan Shihui endured it, “Are you blaming me for being biassed?”
Yan Yue shook his head unexpectedly, “I thought so when I was a child, but later I felt it didn’t matter.”
Yan Shihui stared at Yan Yue’s expression, trying to determine what he was really thinking. In the past, Yan Shihui didn’t care what Yan Yue thought, but now that he wanted to know, he could no longer read Yan Yue’s mind. He had the feeling that his authority had been upset, and this was not the first time. From the time Yan Yue stayed in the country without his knowledge to the time he suddenly sold his shares from the Yin family, Yan Shihui was angry. He was angry that he had lost control of Hopewell, but he was even more angry that he had lost control of Yan Yue.
From childhood to adulthood, Yan Shihui’s life has been smooth sailing. The only time he failed was his marriage to Yin Qinglan. After that, whether it was life or business, he never tasted failure again. Regarding Yan Yue, it was not that no one had warned him. But Yan Shihui was used to controlling everything, and he surely could control his son. What he didn’t expect was that it was the son he felt he could control who gave him a fatal blow.
Yan Shihui said in a cold voice: “You sold the shares of the Yin family to Chen Xiuyuan and you don’t have any guilt in your heart? You just watched the foundation your grandfather had worked so hard to build for years destroyed in your own hands?”
“What is there to feel guilty about?” Yan Yue met Yan Shihui’s gaze, his eyes icy, “Father knew full well what Yan Hai’s qualifications were and still thought of putting Hopewell in his hands. Wasn’t this destroying Hopewell? Since Father doesn’t care about my grandfather’s efforts, what do I care about?”
“After all is said and done, you are still blaming me for being biassed.” Yan Shihui said angrily.
Yan Yue paused and the corners of his mouth rose, “Really not. It’s just that it’s my own business whether I want something or not, and I don’t like it when others snatch it from my hands. Since that’s the case, then why not just leave it to no one?”
Yan Shihui finally understood what Yan Yue had in mind. “How long have you been planning this?”
“What about Father? How long has Father been planning?”
The two men went toe-to-toe, and for the first time Yan Shihui felt as if he had never understood his son clearly.
After Yan Yue left Yan Shihui, he met Yan Hai outside. He didn’t even bother to give Yan Hai a glance, treating the other man as if he were air. Yan Hai was furious but he didn’t have the guts to catch up with Yan Yue and say something. Apart from daring to shout a few words behind his back, he was used to being as meek as a quail in front of Yan Yue.
Looking at Yan Yue’s back from a distance, Yan Hai wondered why he suddenly thought of Yin Ya. Once Yin Ya had laughed at his lack of courage in front of Yan Yue, but what happened? Yin Ya was so arrogant, and now she was put in jail by Yan Yue and couldn’t get out. When Yan Hai thought of this, a chill suddenly ran up his back. He shook his head and rushed into the office. When he saw his father, he couldn’t help but ask, “Dad, what’s Yan Yue doing here?”
Yan Shihui’s attitude towards Yan Hai had cooled down considerably, “Where have you been again?”
Yan Hai boasted, “Dad, didn’t you want to go to Fengcheng to get land? I’ve asked around and found out that there’s a lot of vacant land in Fengcheng, but it’s all on the outskirts. The only land in the city that can be developed is in the south. The infrastructure there is backward and many residents are just waiting for demolition.”
As word spread about the wonders of Fengcheng, along with the tourism boom, there was also an investment boom. Of all the various investments, real estate was clearly the most lucrative. Many companies in Zhongjing were already planning to go to Fengcheng to acquire land, and Hopewell was no exception. Yan Shihui valued this opportunity very highly and saw it as a chance to make a comeback. Having lost his position as a major shareholder, if he wanted to sit firmly as the chairman, he had to take the shareholders to make money so that he could gain support.
Yan Shihui didn’t feel comfortable handing over such a big task to Yan Hai. However, Yan Hai was stubborn and very active during this period, using a group of fox friends to snoop around, just to make Yan Shihui look up to him.
He said it with aplomb, and Yan Shihui became interested, “The south of the city? The part where the underground is rumoured to be emptied?”
Yan Hai nodded quickly and immediately explained, “It used to be a matter of the underground being emptied, but who cares about that now. I heard that people and animals can evolve after living in Fengcheng for a long time, and now everyone is rushing to buy houses in Fengcheng. What does it matter if the ground is emptied, just put more cement in the foundation, the cost will definitely be recovered.”
It was obvious that Yan Hai had put in a lot of effort, and he was right on the money. Yan Shihui had consulted a professional before and the advice he received was to pad the foundation with more cement in the emptied area. Yan Shihui had made up his mind and was ready to go all out for the first development project in the south of the city, so he couldn’t miss this opportunity.
There were many people who thought the same way as Yan Shihui. Fengcheng was now a big golden pie, and everyone wanted to take a bite out of it. It had only been two days since Yan Yue had returned and he had heard a number of familiar names ready to enter the real estate sector in Fengcheng.
He gave Ye Kang a call, “How’s it going? Did you convince the old man?”
The Ye family was one of those who were optimistic about the real estate market in Fengcheng. With their strong capital and the natural backing of Ye Cheng, it was foreseeable that if the Ye family made a move, no company would be able to compete with them. Elder Ye returned the favour by inviting Yan Yue to invest with him, but Yan Yue refused. Not only did he refuse, he also advised Ye Kang to convince Elder Ye to abandon the plan. Ye Kang was puzzled, but Yan Yue didn’t explain much. Out of his trust in Yan Yue, Ye Kang followed him back to Zhongjing. He had some authority in front of the old man now, so he had to try to convince him to give up the plan.
When he received the call from Yan Yue, Ye Kang first complained about his grandfather’s stubbornness for a long time before finally saying, “Grandpa has probably loosened up. He values your attitude, and a word from you is much better than a long speech from me. But Ah Yue, why on earth aren’t you optimistic about the development of the Fengcheng property?”
Yan Yue evaded the question as he always did, “You’ll know when the time comes.”
“Fuck off!” Ye Kang was clearly not satisfied with his answer.
Yan Yue laughed. When it came to his plan, Yan Yue had no way to explain it clearly to Ye Kang. There was only one reason why he was not optimistic about Fengcheng’s property development; the underground of Fengcheng was so full of intertwined willow tree roots that there was no way to dig up the soil to build the foundation. Through the white panel, you could see that the roots of the willow trees underground in Fengcheng were all connected together. It was like a net woven from the roots, firmly enveloping the ground of Fengcheng.
Of course, unless one had a white panel like Lu Lingxi, no one would know that the underground of Fengcheng was such a peculiar sight. The reason why Yan Yue reminded Ye Kang was that he didn’t want the Ye family to fail in their investment, and he also hoped that the Ye family would give the “opportunity” of the land in Nancheng to Hopewell.
Yan Yue had received information that Hopewell was very interested in the real estate market in Fengcheng and had collected a lot of information about the land in the south of the city. The land was indeed the most suitable piece of land for development in Fengcheng at the moment. Without the competition from the Ye family, Hopewell would have a good chance of securing that piece of land with all its efforts. This outcome was exactly what Yan Yue wanted to see.
He didn’t calculate all this simply for Hopewell to lose money, but to draw out the existence of the big willow tree. The longer the expert team stayed in Fengcheng, the more they investigated, the more likely it was that Lu Lingxi’s identity would be revealed. After all, whether it was the anomalies in their residential community, or the anomalies in Lingshui Village, or the particularity of Tiny Garden’s plants, these traces could always be linked together by the interested parties if they investigated them carefully. If only one of those things was related to Xiao Xi, it would be fine, but all of them could be linked to Xiao Xi. Although the expert team might not be able to find any evidence as long as Xiao Xi refused to admit it, Yan Yue was still worried that Lu Lingxi would be targeted by the government in the future.
If he wanted to rule out Lu Lingxi’s suspicion, he had to find someone or something more suspicious to come out, and the existence of the big willow tree fulfilled the conditions perfectly.
The changes in Lingshui Village, the special plants in Tiny Garden, the beautification of the community, the changes in the whole of Fengcheng could all be counted on the “tree god”, the Big Willow Tree. The root system under Fengcheng City was perfect proof of this, not to mention the fact that these roots were extending in the direction of the north where the big willow tree was located and would soon be connected to the big willow tree’s extended root system.
When Yan Yue first took Lu Lingxi around to purify the soil in Fengcheng, he specifically looked for the places that had willow trees planted, just so that one day they could be linked to the big willow tree, and things were clearly progressing better than he had expected.
There were too many twists and turns behind all this, and Yan Yue had no way of explaining them clearly, nor did he intend to talk to Ye Kang about them at all. Anyway, when Hopewell started the land development, everyone would know about it.
Since Elder Ye’s attitude had already relaxed, Yan Yue also put his mind at ease and focused on having fun with Lu Lingxi. The two of them went around almost the whole of Zhongjing, even climbing Hongye Mountain twice. That day Lu Lingxi had a sudden whim and asked Yan Yue if he wanted to go with him to see the place where he used to go to school.
Lu Lingxi nodded shyly; technically he hadn’t graduated from primary school yet.
Yan Yue also thought of this and hugged Lu Lingxi, “If Xiao Xi likes to go to school, we can see if there is a suitable school.”
“It’s not that I like going to school either.” Lu Lingxi shook his head, “In the past, I didn’t have the opportunity to go out, so I hoped I could see the outside world through school. Now I feel that life is quite good and I don’t need to change anything by going to school anymore.” He had no memories of this body, but when he talked to Yi Hang, he heard Yi Hang complain about having too much homework at school and being scolded by the teacher for not finishing it. Lu Lingxi imagined coming home every night to do his homework and thought it was better not to go to school.
Yan Yue guessed what Lu Lingxi was thinking and couldn’t help but be amused in his heart. However, he had always indulged Lu Lingxi, and everything was fine as long as Lu Lingxi was happy, so it really didn’t matter if he went to school or not.