The weather in Xiamen was getting increasingly warmer. The male and female in the city were changing into more cooling outfits. The males loved summer the most. Casting their gaze across the crowds, all they saw were white legs. The females loved summer too; they could flaunt their figures fearlessly. This was why there was a saying that goes: If you don’t slim down in the spring, you will be miserable in the summer.
Zhuang Zhou’s flight was at 10 am. Qin Sheng and Lin Su took a stroll after breakfast and headed to Gaoqi Airport afterward. Qin Sheng had already started his machine-aided exercise, so Lin Su suggested that he sleep in every day instead of going for their morning stroll. They could just take a stroll in the evening. Qin Sheng agreed with her. No matter what, his wife was always right.
Lin Su dressed up nicely today. She wore a long floral dress and a pair of woven flip-flops. She looked extra pretty with her long hair dancing in the wind. Qin Sheng was dressed in his usual ‘loser’ outfit; a short-sleeved shirt, a pair of pants and a pair of flip-flops. On top of that, his hair grew longer recently and was messy. Whoever saw him would not dare to say that he was Lin Su’s boyfriend.
The couple did not wait at the arrival hall. Instead, after Zhuang Zhou arrived, they directly drove to the departure level and met up with him there. There was another car there to pick him up and he was accompanied by two subordinates. They were actually all actors arranged by Qin Changan to put up with the show.
“I’ve already told you guys not to come to pick me up but you still insisted on it. You could have just waited at home,” Zhuang Zhou started blabbering after Qin Sheng and Lin Su got off the car. He was not someone good with his words, but he had to force himself to become like this during this period of time. Otherwise, he would be exposed.
Lin Su smiled faintly and said, “Uncle Zhuang, we didn’t have anything to do this morning. It is only the right thing for us to come and pick you up.”
“Get in first, we can talk later.” Zhuang Zhou smiled as he nodded. He then got the two subordinates to get on the car that was sent to bring them to the hotel. He then followed Qin Sheng and Lin Su to Pearl Bay Garden.
On the way there, Zhuang Zhou asked in a concerned tone, “Qin Sheng, how’s your recovery?”
“Uncle Zhuang, it’s going well. I started doing the machine-aided training yesterday. I will be able to return to my former self in about two to three months,” replied Qin Sheng courteously. Zhuang Zhou saved his life during then; he would always remember to repay this favor.
Lin Su took the wheel while Qin Sheng sat at the passenger seat. Sitting at the back, Zhuang Zhou reminded him, “You must go according to the trainer’s schedule and must definitely not rush it. The most difficult three months have passed, you are only two to three months away from the end goal.”
“Uncle Zhuang, don’t worry, I will keep my eyes on him,” said Lin Su as she glanced at Qin Sheng and pouted. Qin Sheng caressed her hair lovingly, not sure whether to cry or laugh.
Qin Sheng asked casually, “Uncle Zhuang, what are you going to do in Xiamen this time around? How long are you planning to stay?”
“I’m here mainly to visit you guys. It’s been quite a while. And especially your wound, I don’t know how you’re recovering. I’ll also get some stuff done while I’m here, I’ll be heading to Hong Kong the day after tomorrow,” Zhuang Zhou said in a low voice. Other than visiting Qin Sheng and Lin Su, he really had nothing else to do in Xiamen. After all, he was not the same kind of businessman as Qin Changan.
Lin Su was surprised. “You’re in such a rush! I thought you would stay for a few more days.”
“After I’m done with all of my work on hand now, I’ll stay here for 10 days to half a month!” Zhuang Zhou replied casually. This was just to brush her off, of course he would not stay in Xiamen for too long. This was all Qin Changan’s arrangement.
“How’re you guys settling in Xiamen so far? Are you used to the environment here? And how’s your cafe going?” Zhuang Zhou asked in a concerned tone.
Lin Su smiled and said, “Not bad, I quite like Xiamen, it’s just that it’s getting hot recently. The cafe’s business is not bad, it’s just a way to pass time.”
“Right. Stay in Xiamen first, after Qin Sheng’s body recovers, you guys can then think about it carefully,” Zhuang Zhou said with a smile.
After returning to Pearl Bay Garden, Lin Su started cooking. The ingredients were all bought the day before. The best way to treat any friend or guest was a feast at home, let alone for Uncle Zhuang.
Zhuang Zhou was drinking tea in the study room with Qin Sheng. Seeing the paper and ink strewn all over the room, Zhuang Zhou asked in surprise, “Qin Sheng, did you write all of these?”
Qin Sheng smiled and said, “It’s a way of passing time when I’m bored. I haven’t written in a long while, it’s getting foreign.”
Zhuang Zhou had some understanding of Chinese calligraphy and had seen a number of famous works. He picked up a few pieces casually and after examining them, he could not help but feel amazed. Qin Sheng’s was much better than those famous fake calligraphers. They relied on their status and background that they already had while their work was just average. Qin Sheng’s artwork was really of a certain standard.
“Good artwork.” Zhuang Zhou held up a piece written in cursive. It read: Outside of Gusu City, on the lonely and deserted Mount Han, the clock struck at mid-night in the old temple and was heard from the guest boat. He nodded and said, “This cursive handwriting has a sense of nostalgia, very much similar to the handwriting of that great man.” Everyone knew that the great man here referred to the poet Huai Su.
Qin Sheng replied embarrassedly, “It’s just for fun.”
Majority of the artworks in the study room were written in cursive and semi-cursive. This showed Qin Sheng’s easy-going heart.
“I didn’t expect you to be talented in this,” Zhuang Zhou said with pure admiration. If the famous calligraphers were to see this, they would be very shocked.
Qin Sheng smiled and explained, “I learned from my grandfather since young and was also forced to train at the Beilin Museum. If I don’t have some standard, it would be really embarrassing.”
Zhuang Zhou reminisced, “I almost forgot, Old Master was also good at calligraphy. I remember, the well-known figures in Beijing who loved calligraphy treated him as the…” Towards the end, he suddenly realized that he almost slipped his tongue and he changed the subject immediately, “Qin Sheng, this is a great piece, can you give it to me?”
He might not have meant anything else when he said it, but Qin Sheng took it seriously. Qin Sheng planned to find out more about his grandfather and the Qin Family’s history from Zhuang Zhou on his trip to Xiamen. After all, when Jiang Xianbang knew Old Master, the latter had already gone to Zhongnan Mountains, so he definitely did not know about those things. Meanwhile, Zhuang Zhou and Old Master were old friends. Since Qin Sheng had never seen Zhuang Zhou before, he must know of the Old Master’s past.
“Uncle Zhuang, tell me about my grandfather’s story. I asked him when I was little but he would not tell me. I never asked again,” said Qin Sheng as he stared at Zhuang Zhou with a smile.
Zhuang Zhou was put on the spot. It was understandable if he were to tell Qin Sheng about Old Master’s story. But if he did, he might expose a flaw and subsequently Qin Changan’s identity. However, if he were to not tell him, Qin Sheng would apparently not suspect him.
After weighing the pros and cons, Zhuang Zhou replied, “Regarding the Old Master, I’ve only met him a few times. I heard most of it from my father. He said that the Old Master was like a god, he saw through everything. He went to all places and became acquaintances with numerous important people. He also did many favors for. However, Old Master never did anything for himself. He was a supernatural person like a wild crane. When I finally saw him, it was six years ago at Zhongnan Mountains. My father asked me to find the Old Master. At that time, he told me about you and let me take care of you.”
Qin Sheng was more or less disappointed after hearing that. This was as if he did not say anything. Hence, he could not let go of Zhuang Zhou so easily. He continued to ask, “Uncle Zhuang, then how long did my grandfather stay in Beijing?”
“I’m not sure about that. Besides, I didn’t have much interaction with the Old Master. I heard many of the things from my father,” Zhuang Zhou tried to brush him off.
Qin Sheng squinted his eyes and asked, “Uncle Zhuang, then do you know my father or have you seen him before?”
Zhuang Zhou did not know anything that he asked. He shook his head again and replied, “Honestly, I really didn’t see him before. I’ve never even heard of him before. I didn’t know that Old Master Qin has a son. If it was not for Old Master mentioning about you six years ago, I wouldn’t even know he has a grandson.”
Qin Sheng was completely devastated. He heaved a long sigh. It seemed like he had to make a trip to Beijing city when he had the time, to find the old man called Chen Zhangsheng and ask him. Forget about asking where he was, Qin Sheng did not even know if he was still alive. After all, those who could be brothers with his grandfather have had to be an 80 to 90-year-old grandfather.
Qin Sheng did not manage to get any answers from him. He did not know if Zhuang Zhou really did not know or was pretending not to know and was unwilling to tell him. Or, there could be another level of truth behind all these.
Filled with disappointment, Qin Sheng no longer had the mood. He chatted casually with Zhuang Zhou about calligraphy. He then remembered about what happened last night and told Zhuang Zhou about Du Jiang’s incident. He asked Zhuang Zhou if he could think of a way to help. Their neighbors were good people. They worked hard for half their lives and had suffered a good amount of torture from this man.
After listening to him, Zhuang Zhou promised immediately, “How dare he find trouble for you! Don’t worry about this. Leave it to me. I’ll contact you when I have news.”
Not long after, Lin Su finished preparing lunch. She knocked on the door before entering to ask the men to come to eat. The spread was simple but big. There were four dishes and one soup. They were all Lin Su’s specialty. The present her was a top-notch chef, excluding the complicated big dishes. Zhuang Zhou praised her, saying that he did not expect the rich Young Miss to now become a housewife.
After lunch, Zhuang Zhou left. He knew that Qin Changan was in Xiamen, so he left to see him. He had to tell him how Qin Sheng took the initiative to ask him about Qin Changan and Old Master.
Qin Sheng took a nap and Lin Su sent him to the rehabilitation in the afternoon.
Zhuang Zhou met Qin Changan in a tea house on Yuping Mountain. It had been some days since he last saw Qin Changan. They contacted each other via phone on usual days. After all, Qin Changan had many things to settle. Those who get to see him on usual days were high officials or big shots.
“You’re saying that he asked you about Old Master’s past and also about me?” Qin Changan asked thoughtfully after listening to what Zhuang Zhou said.
Zhuang Zhou nodded silently and said, “Yes, but I’m not sure what his intentions are, so I didn’t give him any information. I just brushed it off.”
“Normal people can’t get a grip on what this boy is thinking. I’m also not sure how Old Master told him. Seems like I have to find some time to figure it out.” Qin Changan was not sure too. After all, he did not know how the Old Master had told Qin Sheng, how much Qin Sheng knew, what his plans are.
Zhuang Zhou reminded him kindly, “Aren’t you afraid of being exposed by interacting with him like this?”
“I will be careful. Besides, if he knows, he knows. I’m his dad, not his enemy. Besides, I wasn’t the one who caused it,” Qin Changan snorted.
This was the Qin Family’s affair. It was not for Zhuang Zhou to meddle in. He could only smile and said, “About Du Jiang?”
“You don’t have to worry about it, I’ll let Gongsun keep an eye on him…” Qin Changan arranged casually. He quickly followed with, “I’m going back to Beijing tomorrow, come along with me. During this period of time, it’s better to not see him.”
Zhuang Zhou replied in a lowered voice, “Okay.”