Lu Ying came out with two cups of tea; the one with tea leaves was handed to Qin Zhuopu and the one with plain water was handed to his son.
He sat down and straight away picked up the huge, conspicuous red envelope to examine it, and couldn’t help muttering like a child, “It’s so big.” You generally can’t buy red envelopes of this size, so you have to find them on purpose.
Qin Zhuopu had obviously come prepared.
“Did you thank Uncle?” Lu Ying asked his son, putting away the red envelope.
Lu Zaizai nodded, “I definitely thanked him.”
“Then how about we take Uncle to the subway together now? Your godfather is still waiting for us to eat.”
“……” Qin Zhuopu couldn’t say anything.
“Won’t Uncle eat with us?”
“Uncle is still full from eating too many dumplings, so he won’t eat.
Uncle wants to go home.”
Qin Zhuopu stood up helplessly and took the clothes he had changed yesterday, hesitating what to do with them.
They were really too dirty and he didn’t want to wear them.
Lu Ying stepped forward and gave him a gentle push, taking the trousers from his hand, “You can change the top first, and I’ll wipe the mud off your trousers.”
“Can you wipe it off? Do you have any longer pants I can borrow?”
“I can wipe it off, don’t worry.” Lu Ying replied from the bathroom.
Qin Zhuopu sighed softly, “How virtuous…”
“What are you muttering about?”
Lu Ying moved quickly and in the blink of an eye, he carried the pants back and threw them to Qin Zhuopu: “They look pretty clean if you don’t pay attention.
Anyway, it’s less than two hours to go back to Guanlan City from here, so bear with it.
Your shoes need to be wiped, too, I don’t know if they are wet inside.” Lu Ying squatted down to check the shoes, wiped the leather clean in a few moments and checked the inside to find it quite dry.
He was immediately relieved.
If the shoes were wet, he would have to go out and find shoes for Qin Zhuopu.
The clothes could be left like that, but the shoes couldn’t.
“There, the shoes are ready to wear.”
Qin Zhuopu had already put on his pants and was holding his dirty socks, obviously reluctant to wear them, “Do you have any clean socks for me?”
“I have new socks.” Lu Ying fished out the socks and handed them over.
Qin Zhuopu lifted his feet to put on the socks and suddenly whispered while putting them on, “Lu Ying, let’s live together.” Like millions of ordinary families in the world, taking care of each other, keeping each other company, raising children together, eating together, celebrating holidays together, and spending the rest of their lives together.
Lu Ying muttered, lifted his son’s toy bag and walked to the door ready to go out.
Qin Zhuopu smiled and shook his head.
Dressed neatly, he took his briefcase and followed Lu Ying; standing in the corridor, he felt even more clearly how dazzling the sun was today.
Lu Ying walked to the lift holding the child’s hand, and Qin Zhuopu stood next to him naturally.
Lu Ying ignored him; but there was still Zaizai, this little chatterbox.
“Look, look, this is Ultraman Taiga, and this is Ultraseven,” said Lu Zaizai, excitedly introducing Qin Zhuopu to his beloved toy treasures.
Qin Zhuopu lowered his head and listened to him.
The three of them were walking through the community, looking very eye-catching.
There was a particularly large number of idle people coming downstairs to sunbathe today and Lu Ying had always been a kind of a celebrity in the community, with few people not knowing him.
Among the generation of grandparents, Lu Ying was very well liked.
Both he and his son got compliments every time they were seen, accompanied by questions, ‘Teach me how to feed my kid so well? Your child is growing so well and never gets sick…’
Younger moms and dads wouldn’t be like that.
They didn’t necessarily mean it in a malicious way, but they would politely advise him to control his child’s food intake and lose weight.
All in all, most people were friendly.
“Xiao Lu, where did you find your friend? So tall and handsome.
I’ve never seen your friend before.
Where is he from? How old is he? What’s his job? Is he married? Does he have a girlfriend?”
To the aunties surrounding him, Lu Ying squeezed out a smile, “He’s from out of town, he has no local housing, and his child is already big.”
“Oh, like that…”
Very well, make them lose interest in three steps.
Qin Zhuopu almost laughed out loud as Lu Ying quickened his pace.
Looking at Lu Ying’s upright, energetic back, he felt in a daze that this image overlapped with the young Lu Ying from a few years ago.
Lu Ying still looked unchanged on the outside, and became a mature and reliable good man inside.
There was a subway station at the entrance of the community.
Lu Ying walked straight into the station and even thoughtfully bought a subway ticket to the airport.
A small blue piece was handed to Qin Zhuopu: “Go in, it will take you there.
Have a nice trip.”
Taking the small ticket, Qin Zhuopu nodded, “I’m off then, bye.”
Qin Zhuopu bent over, “Can you hug your uncle?”
Without hesitation, Lu Zaizai hugged Qin Zhuopu’s neck and squeezed it affectionately: “Uncle, you have to be careful when you go home alone.”
“Good boy, I will.
Thank you.” Qin Zhuopu touched Zaizai’s hair, “Take care of your dad.”
Qin Zhuopu gave Lu Ying a deep look and turned to enter the station.
“Bye, Uncle!” Lu Zaizai shouted, waving his hand.
Qin Zhuopu, who had already passed the security check, turned around and waved at Lu Ying through the crowd.
Lu Ying turned his head and left the subway station, holding his reluctant son’s hand.
Lu Ying didn’t rush to the place where everyone was having dinner.
He went to the nearest bank instead.
It was not good to swagger around with a big red bag of cash.
If he accidentally lost it, who would he cry to? The bank was closed for holiday, but it didn’t affect deposits and cash withdrawals.
Lu Ying opened the red envelope curiously and prepared to deposit…
“Wow, how come there’s a foreigner on this money, ah?” Lu Zaizai stretched his neck to survey the hundred dollar note he had never seen before.
“This is US dollars.”
Lu Ying held his forehead, counting a total of 20,000 USD.
He could only wait for the bank staff to start working and then come back again.
After leaving the bank, Lu Zaizai noticed that his father’s walking posture had suddenly become swift and majestic.
Lu Ying held the big red envelope full of foreigners’ money wrapped tightly in his coat and looked around vigilantly for fear of being seen by a thief.
The expression was fierce, very fierce.
Whoever wants to fight me, just come!
Lu Zaizai felt that today his dad was simply magnificent and followed his example in walking.
When the two of them stepped into the restaurant, the guys sitting around the table looked at them in surprise for a long time.
“What are you doing? Is someone going to beat you up, huh?” Ji Xiaofeng looked at Lu Ying and his godson in confusion.
Why did they look so belligerent?
Lu Ying’s fierce gaze finally softened a little; he blinked and curled his eyes into a smile, “It’s nothing, I’m here to eat.
Ahem, today is my treat.”
“Oh, you’re so generous, did you pick up money on the road?” Dr.
Hu mocked him at once.
Lu Ying blushed and shook his head, “You just eat anyway.”
“Let me see what you’re holding?” Ji Xiaofeng asked curiously.
Liu Dichuan also said, “You didn’t really pick up money, did you? I think it’s a big envelope, look how tightly you’re holding it.”
Brother Lao Wang laughed, “As expected of Little Brother Lu’s luck.
It’s harder to pick up cash than gold these days.”
“It’s not the money we picked up!” Lu Zaizai grunted a few times and said smugly, “It’s a big red envelope from my uncle! Dad was so happy to see so much money.
Dad said these are all dollars.”
Hu erupted in laughter.
Lu Ying was so embarrassed and indignant that he covered his son’s little mouth, “Shut up.
Hurry up and eat some fruit first.”
Ji Xiaofeng rolled his eyes: “You’ve been gone all this time to see some uncle?”
“Yes, Uncle is very nice.” Lu Zaizai nodded.
“Well, what’s your uncle’s surname? What’s his name?” Ji Xiaofeng asked deliberately.
Lu Zaizai was bewildered and couldn’t answer, “I don’t know.
I forgot to ask Uncle!”
“Okay, you guys don’t tease Lu Ying and the child, hurry up and eat when we are all together.” Yang Sigu finally came to Lu Ying’s rescue and the topic changed smoothly.
Alone on the subway, Qin Zhuopu quickly used his mobile phone to buy a ticket home, then called Grandpa to tell him what time he could be home.
After seeing his mother, Master Yuan prescribed a lot of Chinese medicine and regular acupuncture and moxibustion treatments.
His mother planned to live in her mother’s house for a long time, and this year she stayed there to accompany Grandma for the New Year.
Nowadays, only Grandpa Qin stayed behind at home in Guanlan City.
It was already dark when Qin Zhuopu returned to the old house, but there was a round table set up in the hall, full of sumptuous food, most of which was his favourite.
Grandpa was sitting alone at the round table, and when he saw Qin Zhuopu enter, his pale face lit up with a kind smile.
“Grandpa, why are you alone?” In the past years, on this day the old mansion was always crowded with relatives; Grandpa was the head of the family and all the younger generations had to come to pay their respects.
The uncles and cousins were also happy to bring their children to please Grandpa, hoping that he would relent and pick one or two of them up to be raised personally.
Grandpa Qin smiled: “You said you would come back this afternoon, so I made them all go back to their homes so that they wouldn’t make trouble and upset you.
Now is the time when you are under the most pressure.
You are very tired, you have to take a good rest when you come home, and have a quiet New Year.
I see your face is haggard.
You like the tonic soup stewed by Sister Yun the most.
Drink some to nourish your stomach first.
Sister Yun is still making dumplings, you will be able to eat them later.”
“Grandpa, leave it here, I’ll do it myself.” Qin Zhuopu took the lead and served a bowl of soup to his grandfather.
The old man’s smile deepened.
Not that he was boasting, but of all the children in the big family surnamed Qin, who could compare to his grandson, who had been well-behaved and smart since he was a child, and had never been a worry to anyone, except for his sexual orientation that was a bit nerve-wracking.
Grandpa Qin had seen all the changes in his daughter-in-law over the years, and while he disagreed with some of her practices and actions, he could not oppose her.
After his son’s untimely death, he saw his daughter-in-law getting more and more twisted but he didn’t dare to say a word, fearing that she might not be able to think straight one day.
“Secretary Huang said you were in America for the New Year, why are you suddenly back?” He never forced his grandson to celebrate the New Year.
After all, foreigners didn’t celebrate Chinese New Year, and sometimes when a project came up, they didn’t pick a date and you had to fly there.
Qin Zhuopu thought for a while and concealed the fact of going to the United States to see a doctor, not concealing the rest: “Grandpa, do you remember Lu Ying? I brought him to see you.”
Grandpa Qin was startled, “I remember him.
You’ve only brought one boy home in all these years.
Lu Ying, at the time I asked him what his name meant and the boy said that the grandfather who raised him was surnamed Lu and that there were many elderberries on the mountain where he lived(1).
He was a very optimistic boy.” His life was not good, but his temper was good.
He looked lively and cheerful, not afraid of the old man at all, saying that he was very much like Grandpa Lu, very kind.
“Well, I went to Caifeng City on New Year’s Eve to look for him, stayed there overnight and returned today.”
“Oh, so that’s what happened.
You’re not too young, you should have found someone long ago.
Regardless if you can get married or not, as long as you live together, it’s good.
Your mother has been pushing you to have children these past few years, heh… I’m responsible for that too.” Grandpa Qin sighed.
“I’ll talk to her about it.
Forget about the child.
There is time in life when you have to have it, and if you don’t have it, don’t force it.
In this life, fate is mysterious… You are young, why waste a good time.
You’re always alone and working, or with me and your mother, holding yourself back.
You can’t be like this.”
Qin Zhuopu nodded quietly.
“I was afraid that it would be difficult for you to be attracted to others with your temperament, so pedantic as a piece of wood.
You don’t know how to please women… men.
Since you have someone in your heart for so many years, take advantage of the New Year to pick him up and have a good time at my place.
But later, you have to live seriously and treat him well.
I’ll welcome him, he’s your wife from now on and you can’t let people underestimate him.”
“Lu Ying has a biological son, called Lu Zaizai, who is six years old this year.”
Master Qin’s eyes widened slightly, then he smiled, “Then you even have a son.
What else do I have to worry about?”
Grandpa, thank you.
Lu Ying (陆英) is Sambucus javanica, the Chinese elder, a species of elderberry
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