LY Bakery opened smoothly. Lu Ying didn’t spend too much money on promotion. Just like other shops, he printed some flyers and sent them out, focusing on the private school where his son was studying and Guanlan University where Brother Yang worked. With his bakery sandwiched between these two schools, the food business couldn’t be bad as long as it tasted good. University students were largely independent, and public school kids were not short of money. In addition to the schools, there were also a lot of working people nearby.
The first day of the bakery’s opening was filled with special offers and family members coming to celebrate. Moreover, the day chosen for opening was the Lantern Festival, because it was a good day according to the calendar, and because it was Lu Zaizai’s birthday!
He was seven years old.
Whether it was to celebrate the opening of Lu Ying’s bakery or his son’s seventh birthday, Qin Zhuopu had to make a big deal out of it. Even if he didn’t want to do it, the old man would still insist!
At the New Year reunion dinner, the old man spoke up.
“Take this opportunity to give Zaizai and Lu Ying a big party, so that friends and relatives can get to know the new members of our family. Then in the future, when Zaizai goes to play outside, everyone knows that anyone who dares to bully Zaizai is bullying me!” The old man’s expression was serious, his attitude resolute. He seldom went out in his old age, but he knew everything he needed to know. There was a lot of talk outside, and even some of the family members were sour about the boy’s origins, treating him as if he had been lucky to be accepted as the ‘bastard child’ brought in by Lu Ying.
Everyone was curious. There was indeed a lot of gossip in the wealthy circle, and it was okay to be curious and talk about it behind your back. But if someone who didn’t know any better said something nasty in front of the child, it would be unforgivable! Not to mention the fact that Zaizai was his true grandson, even if he was really brought in by Lu Ying, Elder Qin had to let the circle know in a high profile manner that Lu Zaizai was the grandson of the Qin family. No matter what his surname was or where his mother was from, no one would be able to belittle him!
“Many people are away on holiday for the New Year. The holidays are over during the Lantern Festival and our family is hosting a banquet, just in time for everyone to catch up.” The old man had thought of everything.
Qin Zhuopu’s idea coincided with the old man’s, so there was nothing to disagree with.
After that, Lu Ying didn’t interfere at all with Qin Zhuopu’s birthday banquet for Zaizai, giving him a free hand.
After a busy morning upon the opening of the bakery on the Lantern Festival, Lu Ying handed over the shop to the employees and hurriedly followed the driver to the banquet venue at noon. The Qin family’s old mansion in Anshan was said to be one of the ancestral mansions. Because it was a bit far from the city, everyone didn’t usually go there much. In the past, when Qin Zhuopu’s father was alive, the family lived there for many years, but then it was completely empty. Usually only servants lived there to look after the house.
Today the old house in Anshan was brightly lit and festive.
Only when Lu Ying arrived at the place did he know that the old house was built in a very simple and elegant Jiangnan style. The car passed by the white courtyard wall and drove for a long time before coming to the main entrance. Lu Ying really didn’t know how big the house was. After entering, he saw pavilions, garden ponds, rockery and flowing water, and woods at the edges, full of charm and ancient aura.
“Do you like it here? “Qin Zhuopu walked out of the crowd and took Lu Ying’s hand affectionately.
Lu Ying smiled brightly: “I like it, it’s so beautiful here. What made you want to spend Zaizai’s birthday here?” He had thought Qin Zhuopu would go to a themed playground to celebrate the child’s seventh birthday.
Qin Zhuopu squeezed his palm tightly and said with a smile, “This is a mansion passed down from my ancestors. Although people don’t live here often, if there are any important happy events, they will be held here. The last time a happy event was held was when my grandparents had their golden wedding.”
Lu Ying opened his eyes wide: “So that’s how it is.” It seemed to be of great significance.
Qin Zhuopu smiled again, “The first time I was there was for my one-month birthday banquet.”
“Ah…” Lu Ying stammered.
“The banquet before it, guess what it was?”
The corner of Lu Ying’s mouth twitched as he hesitantly said, “Your father’s one-month birthday?”
“Hahaha, Little Piggy Lu!” Qin Zhuopu couldn’t help himself, “Stupid, it was my parents’ wedding.”
Lu Ying was speechless, “You couldn’t have just told me, you had to keep me in suspense? So what do I need to be aware of for Zaizai’s birthday today?”
Qin Zhuopu shook his head, “You should eat and drink as you please. I’ve made all the arrangements for the banquet, there’s nothing you need to worry about. You just have to remember one thing.”
“What?” Lu Ying asked hastily.
Qin Zhuopu smiled, “Remember that you will be a part of my family from now on, and that you and I are husband and wife. I want you to think of yourself as the other master.”
Lu Ying thought for a moment. He thought it was fine to be husband and wife with Qin Zhuopu, it was a must! Even if they couldn’t get married in the country, he wouldn’t care about anyone who said they weren’t a couple since there was one less certificate.
But on the other hand, it was a bit difficult for him to think of himself as the master of the Qin family. He loved Qin Zhuopu and had decided to walk hand in hand with him in this life. He also liked the kindness of Elder Qin and he had no complaints about Mrs. Qin. It was just that the Qin family had always been a behemoth in his eyes, not so much a family, but more like a symbol. He had met other relatives of the Qin family at the old man’s mansion before the New Year, and facing their polite detachment, Lu Ying regarded himself as a guest.
Ultimately, it was only the house where he and Qin Zhuopu lived that he considered a family home, warm and simple. But Qin Zhuopu carried more than just him and Lu Zaizai, and since he was with Qin Zhuopu, sooner or later he had to learn to adapt and accept it.
Seeing that Lu Ying was in a daze and contemplating, Qin Zhuopu could basically guess what he was thinking. He said half-seriously, “One day you will accept all this openly. Because in the future when I retire, all this will be Zaizai’s. You are his father, what are you if not the master?”
Lu Ying suddenly realised, “You, what you say makes sense…”
“It’s a fact.” Qin Zhuopu looked around. There were guests everywhere, invited to celebrate Zaizai’s birthday today. One day in the future Zaizai would take over Guanhai Group.
Starting today, except for some daydreamers who refused to wake up, everyone would understand the message of the Qin family. The Qin family already had the next generation heir. That person was Lu Zaizai, a seven-year-old birthday boy. No matter what his surname was, no matter where he came from, where he would go to and what he would become in the future was the most important thing.
Qin Zhuopu added, “I was with you on Qixia Mountain during New Year’s Eve, and you took me to celebrate the New Year with your brothers and sister. I understand what that means. I, an outsider, was accepted and recognised by you all. At that moment, my heart felt truly indescribable…” After all, their existence completely overturned his perception, and in the future, he and those mountain folk were one and the same, and their secret was his secret. Their guardianship was his guardianship. One slip, and the mountain folk would have to bear the risk to their lives and their survival.
The New Year was the Year of the Rat, and on that day he was presented with the Year of the Rat blessing bag by Brother Shu.
Qin Zhuopu vowed silently in his heart at that moment that he would henceforth treat himself as a part of the mountain folk.
Compared to Lu Ying’s family, their Qin family was simple and ordinary, but it was also the burden he had to bear. He would always carry it seriously, and now he would have someone who would be by his side, someone he could lean on for a rest when he was tired. It was enough.
Lu Ying looked calm: “I chose you and brought you to the mountain, so they approved of you.”
Qin Zhuopu nodded: “After today, everyone will know that my love is you, Lu Ying, and you are not just a bakery owner. If your family is wealthy, many people will want to bow to you, win you over, and be jealous of you, understand?”
“Hahaha, I understand!” Lu Ying was amused by him. Qin Zhuopu was usually very modest, and it was rare for him to say such bragging words.
Admiring his smiling face, Qin Zhuopu couldn’t help but smile, “In the future, if there’s someone who bullies you, you can break his leg. Our family can afford to pay for it.”
“Heh, there won’t be anyone like that.” Lu Ying grinned, “I’m not easy to bully.”
Qin Zhuopu added, “If someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing tries to hit on you, I hope you won’t be too polite and break his two legs, I’ll pay for it.” On the surface, he looked handsome and wealthy, facing many temptations. But in reality, he was much more worried that it was his lover Lu Ying’s charm that was too strong!
“Hahaha…” Lu Ying laughed out loud.
The guests wandering around the garden saw the smiling and cheerful host family in the distance. Some smiled, some were curious, some frowned and some wondered.
“That’s Mr. Qin’s lover, Lu Ying? No wonder he’s infatuated, just look at this flawless appearance.”
“Boing boing, the two look so good together! So eye-catching! I want to draw them so badly.”
“This is the most beautiful couple I’ve ever seen in 3D. I hope they will be together forever and grow old together.”
“I went to Mr. Lu’s bakery this morning and was pleasantly surprised. Mr. Lu has a very nice smile and he looks like a second generation young master!”
“Are the two of them married? I heard that the kid is the son Mr. Lu had with his ex-wife. I didn’t expect Mr. Qin to be so carried away.”
“Mr. Qin is really infatuated! Mr. Lu is so lucky.”
“It’s not that simple, is it? If it’s really a child brought in by Mr. Lu, would Elder Qin and Mrs. Qin be so anxious? You guys didn’t see that in the morning, they were all around the child, afraid that someone would bully him. Especially Elder Qin, tsk tsk, I heard that the old man has made his will, basically leaving it all to the child.”
“The will is too outrageous, right? I heard that Mrs. Qin transferred many shares under her name to Mr. Qin and Mr. Lu. Moreover, Mrs. Qin has gained a lot of momentum recently, and the acquisition of “Yucui Jewellery” has been nailed down.”
“She used to be very good. She hasn’t focused much on her career over the years, it seemed that her health was not very good. She aged a lot but I see her in much better shape today…”
“Mrs. Qin used to always ask my mother to go dancing. After Uncle Qin’s death, she rarely went out…”
“You young people are so naive. This is not a simple birthday for the Qin family today. Although that boy’s surname is Lu, you can tell his status by looking at the Qin family’s attitude. And are you all blind? The birthday boy and Mr. Qin look exactly alike, okay? I will never believe they’re not father and son. Look closely, Elder Qin, Qin Zhuopu, the child, the ears of the three of them are identical, the shape and size are the same. The nose is also similar, but the eyes are very different. Believe it or not, if this child is thin in the future, he will be another Mr. Qin.”
“Hehehe, I actually think so too!”
“Really? Oops, I haven’t seen Mr. Qin’s son yet! No, I’ll go and have a look now~~”
“I’m going too!”
A group of young people cheered and dispersed.
In the pavilion next to them a group of elders sat at the table, and a woman of about forty asked the old lady in a whisper, “Mom, could Zaizai really be Zhuopu’s son? The more I look at it, the more mysterious it seems. This time for the birthday party, Elder Qin specially called to invite you. Really…”
Old Mrs. Song smiled kindly and said, “Whether it’s true or not, you’ll be right to treat that boy as your own family.” She hadn’t had time to ask her daughter and grandson yet, but in her heart she already had a definite answer. The seed of doubt had been planted in her heart the first time she saw the boy. Now, genuinely, she was happy for her grandson’s family.
“Mom is right.”
As the noon banquet was about to begin, the last of the Qin family’s long-awaited distinguished guests finally arrived.
Lu Ying stood at the door with Qin Zhuopu and almost choked on his own saliva when he saw the crowd coming down from the car.
“Sister Tu! Brother Wang! Brother Liu! Wow wow wow, Brother Gou, Brother Hou… you all actually came, ah?” Lu Ying greeted them, smiling like a happy child, surrounded by twelve people. This kind of thing only happened during the New Year and he didn’t expect all of them to come to Zaizai’s birthday. He was kept completely in the dark and there was no need to ask, this must have been a secret arrangement by Qin Zhuopu. In the short time he had spent on the mountain during the New Year, Qin Zhuopu had already become acquainted with all his elder siblings.
Lu Zaizai pushed his way out of the hall and pounced on Ji Xiaofeng with a smile: “Godfather, why are you here too? Dad said you were too far away to spend my birthday with me! Hello, Aunt and Uncles!”
Ji Xiaofeng smiled playfully, “Of course I’m here. Don’t forget that I’ll be here with you every year on your birthday. No matter how far away you are, I won’t miss it! Happy birthday, Zaizai!”
“Thank you, Godfather!”
“Happy birthday, Zaizai, you’re another year older!”
“You’ve grown taller again, young man. Why don’t you become a fireman with Uncle Hou when you’re older?”
“Oh, oh, I also want to be a policeman like Uncle Gou!”
“Haha, you’re not simply ambitious, you’ve got a lot of ambition.”
Qin Zhuopu smiled as he watched the family, while Elder Qin and Mrs. Qin felt incredibly excited and complicated inside. They had been frightened enough by Grandpa Lu’s youth when they had invited the in-laws to dinner before the New Year and it had taken them some days to get over it. When they saw Lu Ying’s siblings today all at once, their hearts were again ruthlessly crushed.
Are they really not Lu Ying’s blood siblings?
What a family, all of them unbelievably good-looking!
The only sister, Sister Tu, was definitely the most dazzling beauty in the room today, with that figure and temperament. Mrs. Qin, who was also a woman, was in awe.
Elder Qin, who had a keen eye, was shocked at a glance. Lu Ying’s brothers were tall and imposing, mysterious and restrained, dazzling. Apart from Lu Ying and the very young Ji Xiaofeng, both of whom still looked tender-faced and childish, the rest were obviously not simple.
“Sister Tu, Brothers, please come inside. Grandpa Lu’s family arrived long ago, please follow me.” Qin Zhuopu smiled and stepped forward to invite them, and the group entered the mansion enthusiastically.
“Thank you~” Lu Ying secretly thanked Qin Zhuopu.
Qin Zhuopu smiled without saying a word. He had everyone’s contact information and sincerely invited them over, but he couldn’t guarantee that everyone would give face. After all, everyone’s occupation was different, especially for Brother Gou and Brother Hou asking for leave was difficult. Unexpectedly, everyone was very awesome and came.
He knew that it was not because he was sincere and they gave him face.
But everyone really cared for Lu Ying and Zaizai.
Qin Zhuopu arranged for Grandpa Qin, Grandma Song, Mrs. Qin, Grandpa Lu, Brother Yang and Lu Ying’s other siblings to sit at the table with him. When the guests entered the room, they looked around and chatted quietly as they took their seats. The number of Lu Ying’s family members was not big, but the table was a sight to behold, and one had to sigh about the good genes.
On Grandma Song’s left was Grandpa Qin, but on her right was Grandpa Lu. Grandma Song had been fidgeting since she sat down and finally asked in a whisper, “Lu Ying, is this your grandfather?”
“Yes, my Grandpa Lu.” Lu Ying replied.
After a while, Grandma asked again, “Lu Ying, is this really your grandfather?”
Lu Ying was helpless: “It’s really Grandpa, although he looks young, he’s actually much older than you.”
Grandma suddenly exaggeratedly clutched her heart, feeling devastated.
Young Lu Ying was a little boy fairy, who would have known that the grandfather of the little boy fairy was actually a young fairy man? Her peers had white hair and wrinkles on their faces but this one was as upright as a pine and as tender as a spring shoot. Scaring people, puff puff… a sin.
Qin Zhuopu coughed lightly: “Lu Ying is joking, Grandpa is actually only forty years old, but he has high seniority.” On the ID card Grandpa Lu was indeed just over forty, and even that age was still quite unbelievable.
“Forty or over forty?” Grandma was stunned.
“Hahahaha, don’t be shocked, in-laws. When our families first met back then, I was just as frightened as you were. Such a young grandfather compared to us.” Elder Qin laughed loudly and easily changed the subject. The old man was shrewd; although his grandson explained the age, he had a hunch that things were not that simple. It probably had something to do with Lu Ying’s special physique. The old man had some thoughts but would never ask too much. He was only secretly determined to strengthen his efforts to protect Lu Ying and Zaizai.
At Lu Zaizai’s birthday party, Elder Qin had to go up to the stage to talk. When he went up, he called up Qin Zhuopu and Lu Ying, as well as Lu Zaizai. Then, in front of the guests, he said, “Today is my great-grandson’s seventh birthday, and as his great-grandfather, I wish him a lifetime of peace, health and happiness. From today on, I officially take off the burden of chairman of the board. From then on, the burden of the family will be borne by my grandchildren Zhuopu and Lu Ying. While this old man can still move, I will concentrate on taking our Zaizai to and from school to help my grandchildren and reduce the burden.”
“Grandpa, why are you suddenly…?” Behind him, Qin Zhuopu was surprised. Grandpa had not told him about this.
Next to him, Mrs. Qin quietly stopped him. Apparently she knew about it and probably discussed it with the old man long ago.
Qin Zhuopu secretly sighed and smiled bitterly at Lu Ying. Lu Ying was calm; he was a bakery owner anyway (*^▽^*).
What the old man said was not just for the show. After the banquet was over, he did stop Qin Zhuopu and Lu Ying with his lawyer, first to take off the burden, and then to transfer 8% of his personal shares to Lu Ying.
“Guanhai Group will depend on the two of you to guard it together from now on. Lu Ying, this is Grandpa’s intention. Thank you for being there for Zhuopu.”
Even though he didn’t know how much money it was, Lu Ying was strangely touched by the old man’s actions: “Thank you, Grandpa. I don’t know anything about the company, so it’s the same if you give it to Zhuopu.”
“Silly boy, how can that be the same? If I give it to you, it’s yours, and if he bullies you in the future, you can use the shares to blackmail him, hit him and make him do whatever you say.”
“Really?” Lu Ying was instantly intrigued.
Qin Zhuopu didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry, “Grandpa! Don’t teach Lu Ying bad things.”
“Haha, don’t worry, Grandpa, Zhuopu will never bully me.” Lu Ying was full of confidence.
“Only you bully me.” Qin Zhuopu said meaningfully.
The old man laughed loudly, “It’s good that you guys are happy.”
On the side, Mrs. Qin also couldn’t help but raise the corners of her mouth in a smile. Now the family was happy and bustling, as if they had returned to the glory of when her husband was still alive. This family was warm and happy. She was not old yet and in good spirits. Now that she was back in business, she just wanted to develop her career and expand her business to create better financial conditions for her son. It would also be a good example to the young Zaizai. She didn’t want the child to remember his grandmother as a bitter, boring old lady.
The next day, Qin Zhuopu and Lu Ying personally sent the Qixia Mountain folks off to the airport.
They got together for the birthday this time, and both sides had great fun.
After all the racket, Lu Ying resumed his quiet life as a bakery owner. He was busy with the shop and his home every day, basically shuttling between two points. He didn’t have to worry about Lu Zaizai’s schooling at all, as Zaizai was personally transported by his great-grandfather with a chauffeur and bodyguard during the day. In the evenings, Qin Zhuopu tutored him in his homework, and if Qin Zhuopu was not available, a teacher would come. In short, there was no way for Lu Zaizai to be lazy and not do his homework. In addition to homework, there were also many interest classes, both the outside classes and private classes at home. In the whole family, it seemed that the busiest person was not the company’s president Qin Zhuopu, but the primary school student Lu Zaizai.
In the blink of an eye, half a year had passed and it was the hot summer of the Year of the Rat.
“Huh~ It’s so nice~~” Soaking in the swimming pool, Lu Ying lay comfortably on his back on the water. His son Lu Zaizai was floating beside him, following his example.
Qin Zhuopu pushed the door open, dressed in a white casual outfit.
Lu Ying’s eyes lit up and he quickly swam to the shore: “You’re finally home!” Qin Zhuopu had been away on a business trip for half a month, and Lu Ying had been looking forward to this meeting every day.
“En, straight back from the airport.”
“Dad!” Lu Zaizai shouted happily, “Dad, I’m on summer vacation~”
“I know. Get out, you two. Lao Gao is back with me, Lu Ying, he needs you.”
Lu Ying laughed, “Is his hair growing out?”
Qin Zhuopu snickered and nodded, “Yes. His hair has really grown out. It’s short, but the follicles are healthy and thick. It’s a miracle. He cries every day when he looks in the mirror, saying he’s so handsome. Your medicine is really worth it, it was a loss to sell it to him for 1.8 million.”
“Uh…” Lu Ying sweatdropped, “I bought it from Dr. Hu for 500,000.”
Qin Zhuopu smiled, “Forget it, after Lao Gao I reckon there’ll be more people coming to you, and you can ignore people with less than three million next time.”
“Wow, that’s expensive.” Lu Ying was speechless, “I’ll have to call and ask Brother Ji if he has any stock. I really didn’t expect the hair pills to be so popular.”
“There’s a huge market demand, but it’s a pity that Dr. Hu can’t mass produce them, otherwise I’d really like to get him to collaborate.”
“Forget it then, Dr. Hu can’t leave Qixia Town. He said as long as he makes enough money to spend, if he has it, he can sell it, if not, that’s fine, too. Hehehe, I’ll go and see what Brother Gao looks like now!”
Lu Ying got dressed quickly and excitedly headed to the hall. When he saw Fat Gao on the sofa drinking a cold drink, he burst out laughing, “Brother Gao, you look so young with hair! The short hair is so handsome, it suits you.” Mr. Gao used to be like a big brother with a shiny bald head.
“Haha, right? I used to be this handsome! Thank you for finally bringing back my hair follicles!” Lao Gao cried with joy, holding Lu Ying’s hand for a long time, reluctant to let go. This was his great benefactor!
“Ahem.” Qin Zhuopu stepped forward and Fat Gao immediately let go of Lu Ying’s hand.
Qin Zhuopu sat next to Lu Ying and intimately hugged his shoulders in a possessive manner.
Fat Gao ignored it and said in excitement, “Lu Ying, do you have any more of these pills? I want to buy more! The more the better! It doesn’t matter how much it costs, just name your price.”
“What do you need so much for?”
Fat Gao cried out bitterly, “My grandfather, my father, my uncle, my second uncle, my father-in-law, my brother-in-law, my nephew… are all bald.”
“Pfft… sorry.” Lu Ying shook with laughter.
Qin Zhuopu held back, picked up a cup of kiwi juice and handed it to Lu Ying to drink.
Lu Ying drank most of the cup in one gulp and went to get the diced beef on the table to throw it into his mouth. As a result, he just chewed it a few times. When he was about to swallow, Lu Ying suddenly retched, his face turned pale and his expression distorted.
“Lu Ying!” Qin Zhuopu jumped in shock.
Fat Gao froze and said, “Did you eat too much cold food and chill your stomach? Hurry up and drink some hot water to warm it up.”
The housekeeper hurriedly brought hot water, and Qin Zhuopu personally handed it to Lu Ying.
Lu Ying drank a few mouthfuls, weak and looking sickly.
“So uncomfortable…” Lu Ying pounded his chest and closed his eyes uneasily, as if he was enduring something.
“Let’s go, I’ll take you to rest, you’re as white as paper. Lao Gao, you go back first, I’ll contact you next time.”
“Okay, you guys have a good rest.”
After Lu Ying fell asleep, his complexion returned to the same as before.
Qin Zhuopu, however, couldn’t rest assured. Lu Ying had a special physique and would not get sick easily. He didn’t know what but something was wrong. Qin Zhuopu hurriedly walked to the balcony to call Dr. Hu. He would not even consider ordinary doctors and would definitely not send Lu Ying to the hospital for a check-up.
After listening, Dr. Hu was silent for a short while; then he said gently, “He’s not sick.”
“Then what is it?” Qin Zhuopu asked hurriedly.
Dr. Hu laughed.
“Congratulations, you’re going to be a father again. Little Piggy Lu is true to form. As long as he can eat and drink, the fool is blessed.”
Passerby: Is this your brother? You two brothers look so much alike.
Lu Ying: Not brothers!
Passerby: Ah, sorry. You father and son look so much alike!
Lu Ying: We are not father and son!
Passerby: -_-|| So you guys are?…
Lu Ying: He is my grandfather and I am his grandson, we are grandfather and grandson.
Passerby: You are grandfather and grandson? It’s not like it at all!
Lu Ying: ……