Yet another busy yet peaceful day passed.
In the evening, Lin Su admired the last of the sunset with Qin Sheng in the cafe. The sunlight poured onto the waters, coloring it the same color as itself. They could see the islands and boats from afar. The seagulls chased after their freedom in the sky. The sea breeze brushed against their faces. Qin Sheng and Lin Sub sat opposite each other and chatted in gentle and soft voices. Everything was so peaceful.
When An An came up to ask Lin Su about some trivial stuff, Lin Su made her call up the only boy who followed them out the night before. His name was Song Dai. Spring Breeze was basically run by women, but there were four men. Two of them were students cum part-timers. However, last night, the only one in Spring Breeze who stood up was Song Dai, who usually did not talk much but was a very down-to-earth person.
As a woman, since they could not offer any help at all, they should just refrain from being affected. Hence, it was given that they would not stand up. As for the other men who did not stand up, Qin Sheng understood them and did not blame them. After all, no one in this society liked trouble. Besides, it was a bunch of gangsters who had no bottom line. These men were either locals or students. They could be get revenged on in the future. However, Qin Sheng still felt uncomfortable more or less.
However, Qin Sheng was pleased when Song Dai stood up at the end. This boy whom rarely talked made Qin Sheng’s eyes shine. Qin Sheng felt that if a man, a young man, did not have courage or willingness to take up responsibility, he would eventually become ordinary, just like most mediocre and incompetent men you would see for the rest of your life.
Being careful and cautious, respectful from the start and mindful to the end, weighing the pros and cons… these are not bad things. But an occasional mad rush and impulsiveness was the shining quality a man should have.
An An told Song Dai, “The lady boss and boss are asking you to go up.” Song Dai was a little surprised. But nonetheless, he was a student at Xiamen University and was not a nerd. He knew that it had to do with what happened last night.
Tang Xin was not pleased. Last night, Song Dai was the only one brave enough to stand up. He did not have the guts. The boss and lady boss were definitely grateful. They would then place a lot of attention on Song Dai in the future. He would not receive the same treatment. Tang Xin shook his head and murmured to himself, “Isn’t this just a run-down cafe? How capable can boss and lady boss be?” He was just here to do part-time and earn some money. Song Dai got really lucky. If they were to end up in a fight yesterday, Song Dai might not have this treatment today.
On the second floor of the cafe, Song Dai was still putting on his stern look. He asked lightly, “Brother Qin, Sister Lin, were you looking for me?”
Qin Sheng waved his hand and smiled faintly, saying, “Song Dai, come here. Let’s sit down and talk.”
Song Dai walked over slowly and sat down feeling uneasy. Lin Su poured him a cup of tea naturally. He was the second person in the whole cafe that enjoyed this kind of treatment. Song Dai felt flattered. Kids who came from the countryside were more or less self-conscious. They did not have the confidence to face anyone or anything. In the past, Song Dai did not even dare to talk to girls. He only gradually got used to it after he entered university. However, on usual days, even in the cafe, he rarely talked to pretty girls like An An and Le Le, let alone Lin Su, whom he deemed as a goddess. He did not dare to look Lin Su in the eye when talking to her.
There was a small paper bag on the table and it contained 10,000 yuan. Qin Sheng smiled and said, “Song Dai, I and your sis heard from them that your family is having a rough time. You’ve been here for about half a month now. Your sis and I are well aware of how you are as a person and how you handle things. This is our sincerity, take it first. Don’t be in a rush to reject us. Take it as if I’m lending it to you. When you earn money in the future, you can then return it to us.”
For Qin Sheng, if someone treated him well, he would definitely return double the favor and vice versa.
Song Dai was not dumb or stupid. He knew what was going on, but he was not someone with no logic or principle. He answered unwaveringly, “Brother Qin, Sister Lin, I know what you mean. I’m already very grateful for being able to work here. Besides, the pay here is higher than other part-time jobs outside. Not only can I earn my living expenses here, but I can also even save a few hundred dollars for my family. Hence, I work hard because it is my job. If I don’t work hard here, I will feel guilty.”
After hearing his words, Qin Sheng and Lin Su had a whole new level of respect for him. Not everyone could say these words at this point in time. He might have acted rash last night and was politely rejecting or declining them today, but to say something so sensible at this point in time… this kid was not simple.
“I didn’t do much last night. I only came out because I was worried you would be in trouble. You treat me really well so I can’t sit there and watch during that moment. If you were hurt or got into an accident, I’ll feel uneasy. Also, I might not continue with this job. So for any reason at all, I had to come out,” Song Dai replied honestly.
Lin Su glanced at Qin Sheng and nodded silently. Her intentions were clear. Qin Sheng really admired Song Dai too. How many kids could be like him at this age? He really wished that most of the kids could still keep this ‘initial heart’ after entering society and not be contaminated by it.
At first, Qin Sheng thought that it was a simple task. But after listening to Song Dai, he became serious. He treated him as his peers and said, “Since you’ve said it this way, then I shall be truthful to you as well. I don’t like to hide or beat the bush. Your sis and I are both very surprised that you would stand up last night. We’re also very comforted. No matter what happens in the end, we now have a higher level of respect for you. Also, we have always wanted to give you this sum of money. We’ve heard about what’s going on in your family. At first, we wanted to give you 5,000, since everyone’s family has its own difficulties. I mean, look at my crippled leg. We are giving you 10,000 because of last night. We are grateful to you. Finally, you have to take this. Don’t bother about dignity and pride at this point in time. Your family is more important. If you really want to thank me, do well in school and find a good job.”
After listening to the boss’ words, Song Dai did not argue anymore. He just nodded and said, “Okay.”
His decisiveness surprised Qin Sheng and Lin Su again.
Song Dai stood up and he picked up the paper bag. He said between gritted teeth, “Brother Qin, Sister Lin, thank you so much. I will definitely repay the money. I’ll go to do my work now.”
Then he left. His eyes were slightly watery. This made him recall what his mother used to say, “God will not mistreat those who are kind. As long as you’re willing to give, you will receive one day.”
After Song Dai left, Qin Sheng and Lin Su fell silent. Qin Sheng was very emotional. He really admired Lu Jiangbai whom he met a few days ago. Today, he saw the most authentic side of Song Dai and also had a new level of respect for him.
“Who said that poor families can’t raise good men?” Lin Su said thoughtfully. For a child like him, if he were to not rush for success or take shortcuts, he would only fail in life if god was blind.
Qin Sheng smiled faintly and said, “This made me recall what someone once said to me. Only those who worked hard can talk about the importance of family background, talent and luck. Those who did not work hard are not qualified.”
“The most straightforward words that the ancestors have said are that gold will always shine,” Lin Su said gently as she held his hand. It seemed like she was also saying it for him.
When Qin Changan arrived punctually at Spring Breeze, Le Le quickly ran upstairs and said excitedly, “Brother Qin, that uncle is here again.”
Qin Sheng and Lin Su looked at each other in the eye and did not say anything. After a while, Lin Su smiled and said, “Go, that uncle helped us a lot anyway. Don’t think too much.”
Qin Sheng nodded and headed downstairs. Lin Su did not follow him.
“I thought you weren’t in,” Qin Changan smiled faintly and said after he saw Qin Sheng. Those who accomplish great things have to always maintain the same way of attitude in the way they handle things, no matter whether they were with a powerful leader or an ordinary person at the bottom of the social ladder. This was true capabilities. However, most people flattered the big shots and were arrogant to ordinary people.
Qin Sheng sat down slowly and said, “I was upstairs looking at the sunset with my wife. I heard that you came and quickly came down.”
“You weren’t like this yesterday,” Qin Changan teased.
Qin Sheng replied seriously, “It’s because you helped me a great deal yesterday. Otherwise, I might not even have the chance to sit here and talk with you now. You’re now the most important VIP in our cafe.”
“I still wish that you’ll treat me like an ordinary person,” Qin Changan replied causally. He really did not wish to lose his original identity in their interaction. That would not be good, it would not be beneficial in the development of their relationship.
Since Qin Sheng already knew some things, there was no need to hide anymore. It would only seem fake. Hence, he said directly, “I can do that, but the kids in our cafe were guessing yesterday what is your identity. They’ve never met someone that could call the Deputy Mayor directly.”
“Are you guessing too?” Qin Changan joked. “But judging from the way you talk, you must have seen more things than them. Otherwise, you would not be chit-chatting with me like this.”
“Honestly, I’m guessing too,” Qin Sheng replied truthfully.
Qin Changan laughed and explained, “I used to work in Xiamen and made some friends. Afterward, I went to Beijing and stayed there all the way until retirement. This is also why I want to come to stay at Xiamen for a period of time every year.”
“I see,” Qin Sheng nodded meaningfully and said.
Qin Changan did not dare to continue the topic. He said casually, “I only popped in here to say hi. I’m going back to Beijing tomorrow and there’s some stuff waiting for me to handle. But I’ll come back here after I’m done. It’s rare to meet a kid like you. It’s like making a friend without caring for the age gap.”
“Have a safe journey then. Spring Breeze welcomes you again,” Qin Sheng said softly.
Qin Changan waved. He stood up and left. The staff in the cafe waved goodbye to him politely. Qin Changan was really full of regrets for stepping in to help last night. He did not expect his plan to be ruined by a bunch of gangsters. No plans could ever beat fate. But if he did not step in to help, something might really happen to Qin Sheng last night.
On the second day, Qin Changan and Zhuang Zhou left. Before leaving, Zhuang Zhou told Qin Sheng that Du Jiang had already been taken care of. He had several criminal records that he was now being accounted for. He would probably be locked up for several years. Actually, this was all taken care of by Qin Changan.
Chief Chen from the police station and several other policemen also came to Spring Breeze. They claimed to be looking for Qin Sheng to take some oral reports, but their main purpose was to build a good relationship with Qin Sheng. After chatting for a while, they thought that they were close enough and patted on their chests as they asked Qin Sheng to call them if he had trouble again. Qin Sheng could only smile and brush them off, for this was commonly seen in society. He really did not know when this would change.