33rd -【Ended up empty-handed】
Wei Guanglei thought carefully about what kind of expression he should make at this moment.
But then he had another thought. A big man shouldn’t be so frightened, I’m someone who’s already seen big scenes like him picking fish bones out, calm down!
Placing the stainless steel thermos in his hand on the only table in the house, Wei Guanglei urged, “Hurry hurry, my mother has ordered that I must watch you drink it all!”
Then he watched as Lu Shi entered the kitchen, took out a porcelain bowl and a small ladle from the cupboard, scooped out half of the soup, and put it aside.
“There’s still more at home. I’ll go back and eat some in a bit, so you don’t have to share it—” Wei Guanglei stopped.
He turned to look at the closed bedroom door and then at the soup bowl in front of him.
Ack! It’d be strange if it was poured for him.
After the surprise, he calmed down again.
Wei Guanglei sat down. “By the way, why did the Young Master sleep here last night?”
Lu Shi explained, “He got drunk and called me to pick him up. It was really late so I just brought him back.”
“No…” Wei Guanglei thought this explanation was weird.
His Lu-Ge had never brought anyone back to his house, let alone let them stay overnight and in his bed at that.
Moreover, “If the Young Master was drunk, shouldn’t he have asked his family driver to come and pick him up? Why did he call you?”
Lu Shi lowered his eyes to drink the soup, causing his expression to not be seen clearly.
He replied, “Before he left, I told him he should call me if he drank.”
Wei Guanglei’s heart suddenly jumped.
I want him to need me, rely on me, and be inseparable from me.
He still clearly remembered what Lu Shi had said before.
Not knowing what to say for a while, Wei Guanglei simply shut up.
After Lu Shi finished drinking the soup, he washed the thermos and put it away. Wei Guanglei wasn’t in a hurry to go back.
He sat on the sofa, playing a game on his phone. He then lifted his arm and waved.
“Lu-Ge, I’m going to practice with a new hero, can you coach me?”
Lu Shi simply picked up an exercise book and a pencil between his fingers, then sat on the other side of the sofa to solve questions while giving Wei Guanglei suggestions from time to time.
When Chu Yu woke up and opened the door to leave the bedroom, this scene greeted him.
He just got up and felt hungover. He was dizzy, fully in a daze. “Lu Shi?”
Lu Shi stopped his computations and pointed towards a direction with his pencil. “Toothpaste and toothbrush are in the bathroom. The light blue towel is yours.”
Chu Yu dragged his steps to the bathroom to wash, and not long after, he poked his head out. “Lu Shi, do you have a hair dryer in your house?”
After a while, the bathroom door opened again. Chu Yu was very embarrassed as he asked, “Um… Can I borrow a change of clothes? The ones I’m wearing smell!”
Lu Shi got up, took a white T-shirt out of his closet, and threw it to Chu Yu.
It took half an hour for Chu Yu to get out of the bathroom.
Only Wei Guanglei remained on the sofa.
With damp hair, Chu Yu looked around. “Where’s Lu Shi?”
“On the phone in the bedroom. Dammit, these three fuckers came to gang up on me, they think too highly of me, their father!” Wei Guanglei remembered. “Oh right right, there’s soup on the table that Lu-Ge specially left for you. My mother cooked it all night, it should taste pretty good!”
Chu Yu sat over and took a sip. The taste wasn’t that great, but the cozy warm soup was very comfortable to drink.
Before he finished drinking his bowl, the bedroom door opened. Lu Shi stood at the doorway and said towards Chu Yu, “Come here.”
Chu Yu put the soup bowl down and walked over.
The bedroom door was then closed. The white T-shirt Chu Yu wore was a size too large and hung loosely on him.
He was curious. “What’s the matter?”
“I’m going out for a trip. I’ll be leaving immediately and might come back tomorrow or the day after.”
Chu Yu blinked. “Then school—”
“I’ve already asked for leave.”
“Okay. Then, then stay safe.”
Chu Yu observed him. He always thought Lu Shi was usually calm on the surface, but compared to the norm, he seemed faintly anxious and in a state of urgency.
Seeing that Lu Shi’s fingers held the phone so hard they turned white, he guessed it was probably related to the call.
Despite this guess flitting in his heart, Chu Yu didn’t ask anything about it.
Lu Shi dropped his thin eyelids. “What if you get hungry?”
“Don’t worry about me. Although it’s uncomfortable, I can endure just fine. You’ll be back tomorrow or the day after anyway, it’s not long.”
If it were other times, Chu Yu would be firm in accompanying Lu Shi to where he was going and ask, like before, if he could tag along.
But this time, it was very obvious that Lu Shi didn’t want him to join.
He could only guess that it wasn’t suitable for him to follow.
Lu Shi put his phone in his pocket. “I’ll be back as quickly as possible.”
Wei Guanglei wasn’t surprised when he heard that Lu Shi was leaving.
In his memory, there’d been three or four instances where Lu Shi had suddenly left and not returned for two or three days.
Lu Shi never mentioned what he was going to do or what he’d done, but every time he came back, he was never in a good mood. He’d always be on edge for the next several days and would explode with just one poke.
“My mother said she’d stew pig trotter soup tonight to replenish your brain. I’ll go back and tell her to wait for next week to cook it.”
Lu Shi carried a black backpack on one shoulder. “Mh, thank Auntie Rou for me.”
After getting on the bus at the stop, Lu Shi tapped on his call log and returned a call.
A rough male voice answered the phone, “Hello?”
Holding a bus hanger in his hand, Lu Shi stared at the slow-moving streetscape outside the window and asked, “Are you sure?”
“There’s an 80% chance.”
The male voice on the phone spoke conservatively, “The time interval is too long to be certain, but the address I found this time is much more reliable than previously. However, I can’t guarantee it completely.”
“The other thing is, this grandma I found doesn’t possess that clear of a mind. I’m not sure whether she can tell you anything. Lu Shi, don’t have high hopes.”
The bus drove slowly and as it rocked, the hangers would make a creaking sound from the friction.
Through the glass window, he could hear the sound of a loudspeaker outside. “Sugarcane, sugarcane, ten yuan a bag, ten yuan a bag…”
Lu Shi squinted beneath the prickling light of the sun. His voice lowered. “Thank you.”
“I don’t need your thanks. I’ll take your money and help you with things, as it should be.”
After taking the bus to the terminal, Lu Shi got on another bus for Xiali County, made two more transfers, then finally reached a place called Xiali Town.
Following the address on his phone, Lu Shi stopped in front of a small supermarket.
At the entrance of the store, there was a big blue signboard that read ‘Manli Supermarket’.
The supermarket wasn’t big, with compact shelves and not a single customer inside. There was a rocking toy car at the door that was switched on and flashing red and green lights.
Behind the cash register sat a woman in her 30s or 40s in a black dress, playing with her cellphone.
Lu Shi walked in and said, “Hello, I’m looking for Wang Zhenshu.”
“That’s my mother, who are you?”
There were only two streets in Xiali Town with not many people coming or going. Occasionally, one could see the elderly sitting on the side of the road chatting. When they caught sight of Lu Shi’s unfamiliar face, they’d watch him pass by.
The woman in the black dress introduced herself as Li Manli. She pulled down the shutter door of the small supermarket, locked it, and brought Lu Shi into an alley with her.
“A few years ago, my mother always reminisced, saying that when she was younger she worked as a rich family’s nanny. I still don’t quite believe her. With her level of cooking, which rich family would hire her to be a nanny?”
After bypassing a pile of construction waste, Li Manli smiled and said, “I didn’t expect it to be true.”
Lu Shi spoke little. When listening to Li Manli, he’d respond from time to time.
Passing by a brick wall with the words ‘Persevere with Sustainable Development’, the two stopped in front of a lone gate of a small courtyard. Li Manli fished out the key and opened the courtyard gate while shouting, “Mom, where are you? Someone’s looking for you!”
“Manli is back?”
An elder stepped out of the door, held the door frame, and stood there. “Who’s looking for me?”
Li Manli pointed at Lu Shi. “It’s him. He said his surname is Lu. Didn’t you always say you worked as a nanny for a wealthy family in the past? Their child has come to visit.”
Wang Zhenshu sat down on the rattan chair at the door. “Surnamed Lu… Lu.” After more than ten seconds, she spoke again, “Are you the child that was in Mrs. Lu’s belly?”
Li Manli offered Lu Shi a chair and then asked if he wanted tea.
Lu Shi politely declined.
He answered Wang Zhenshu’s question, “Yes, I am.”
He looked at the old lady in front of him and spoke slowly as he questioned, “You took care of a pregnant woman in S city 18 years ago, is that right?”
Lu Shi was even a little nervous as he asked this question.
The taut string in his heart trembled slightly.
Wang Zhenshu nodded. “Yes, I did take care of her. That Mrs. Lu ah, she liked eating the hot and sour potato dish I made. She had a big appetite during pregnancy and always ate a large plate per meal.”
Lu Shi’s throat was a bit dry.
“That’s my mother. You,” he calmly said, “can you tell me what happened during that year?”
i got lazy_(:3」∠)
School has started for me. Sammy (our wonderful editor) is in exam season. Only Bubbles has enough energy left for this. Also, sorry everyone for the cliffhanger!!! (pls don’t throw stones, throw love
or snacks I won’t mind kekeke)