Qin Sheng felt that the biggest mistake he made was to call Auntie Wang and Xin Xin after he woke up from his injury, hence causing them to worry for so long. When he left Xiamen, he should have gone back to Xi’an first to visit them. However, he was too anxious back then and had lost his direction in life and wanted to quickly settle down in Hangzhou first. Many incidents followed after, which caused him to only have time to return now.
Luckily, Han Bing and Hao Lei were smart to hide the matter after a discussion when he got hurt. Han Bing told Xin Xin that Qin Sheng had been sent by the company to a closed-up training and he did not contact her beforehand because it was too rushed. Hao Lei also told Auntie Wang the same thing. This was why they did not think too much about it and allowed the matter to be hidden for more than half a year.
Before returning to Xi’an, Lin Su made Qin Sheng go shopping together with her to buy gifts for Auntie Wang and Xin Xin. As for Uncle Lin who was still in prison, he did not need anything. Qin Sheng planned to bring Lin Su to visit him.
For this trip back to Xi’an, Qin Sheng did not call Auntie Wang or Xin Xin beforehand. He even told Xin Xin he was busy recently and would go back when he was free when she called him the night before to ask when would he be back. During then, Xin Xin was so angry that she hung up on him.
When the plane landed at Xianyang International Airport, it was already in the evening. Qin Sheng seemed to smell the aroma of barbecue in the air. He was really craving for Xi’an’s barbecue meat. That was the true delicacy. To be honest, he really disliked Hangzhou’s barbecue. And as for that run-down roadside stalls that sold barbecue on sticks, for two people to be full, it would cost less than a hundred dollars.
Xi’an was the capital of 13 Ancient Dynasties and was a little under-developed as compared to other cities by the sea. Many people still remained in the glory of the past. However, rumor had it that the city’s economy was catching at full-speed after a change of the city party secretary. Qin Sheng liked the energy of the city. As to whether or not it could relive the past glory, he did not know. But times are advancing, many things are unpredictable, especially things that would happen in decades or even centuries later.
This was not Lin Su’s first time in Xi’an. She came here to travel before. After all, its reputation as one of the Four Ancient Capitals attracted many tourists. Many people wanted to look for the prosperity left behind by the Zhou, Qin, Han, and Tang dynasties. But if a history-lover were to travel to Xi’an, the city would definitely not disappoint.
Lin Su had already visited most of the attractions in Xi’an. She had stayed here for a full week. From the Huashan Terracotta Warriors in the east side to the Qianling Famen Temple in the west, from the most famous tomb, the Huangling Mausoleum in the north, to the most blessed land, Zhongnan Mountains, in the south. She practically never stopped in the week and admired the serenity of the city very peacefully.
They booked a ride beforehand. The one thing that Qin Sheng was most disappointed in Xi’an was that its ride-service market was very messy, especially at train stations and at the airport. Tourists get cheated very easily, which was rarely seen in other cities. If a leader wanted to help a city gain recognition, people’s livelihood was the most direct problem to solve, other than the necessity to develop the economy. It was a pity that there were too many who had the job but did nothing.
On the ride to the city area, Qin Sheng and Lin Su looked out the window and admired the night view and started a casual conversation. “There’s always another city that becomes one’s hometown. I came here when I was six, and went to Shanghai for college when I was 19. If you count properly, I’ve been here for 13 years. Even though I wasn’t born here, I’ve already considered Xi’an to be my hometown. In the future, this will also remain as my only hometown.”
Lin Su wrapped her arm in his tightly and leaned on his shoulder. In this foreign city, she relied on him even more. She was feeling a little up and down. Although Auntie Wang was only Qin Sheng’s foster mother, Qin Sheng was treated as their biological son. Hence, Lin Su was not confident about meeting the parents. Although she was very outstanding in many people’s eyes, any woman was just the same at this point in time.
Lin Su joked and said, “You’re just feeling complicated because you’re going home.”
“Perhaps. After graduation, I returned to Xi’an less often. Now that I think about it, this is only my third time back in the past four years!” Qin Sheng gasped.
Most people ended up spending the rest of their lives where they were born. Then there were some that found a new resting place after leaving their hometown and eventually grew old there or returned back when they were old. There was also another group that went to many different places and only settled down when they grew old. Qin Sheng probably belonged to the last category.
“I guess you’ll come back even less often in the future,” Lin Su said half-jokingly.
Qin Sheng squinted his eyes and said, “Maybe. But I’ve not spent Chinese New Year in Xi’an in a long time. I’ve also not experienced that kind of feeling for many years. So I want to spend Chinese New Year in Xi’an this year.”
“Okay, I’ll come back with you during Chinese New Year,” Lin Su said very gently.
Qin Sheng smiled and did not say anything. As of today, they truly depended on each other only. Qin Sheng did not have a real home whereas Lin Su had a home that she could not return to. Both of them were similar.
On the way there, Qin Sheng introduced Xi’an to Lin Su. As compared to the last time she was here, Qin Sheng was more professional as a local.
When they reached Qujiang New District, the night view here was vastly different from the other areas. As compared to other places in Xi’an, the night scene in QuJiang New District this 5A-level scenic area was uncomparably lively.
After the car pulled up at the South Gate of Jindi Furong Shijia, Qin Sheng and Lin Su pulled their luggage and walked in. The security at the entrance still remembered Qin Sheng and let him in after a polite greeting.
While walking in the community, Lin Su asked nervously, “What if Auntie Wang and Xin Xin don’t like me?”
“How can that be? You’re so outstanding, Auntie Wang will definitely smile to herself,” Qin Sheng said assuredly.
Lin Su quickly added, “This is my first time meeting your parent, isn’t it inappropriate for me to stay at your house? Should I stay at a hotel?”
Last time when Han Bing came, she stayed at their house directly. If Qin Sheng were to let his real girlfriend stay at the hotel, he would feel very uncomfortable.
Qin Sheng did not expect Lin Su, who was usually very smart, to be so nervous at this point in time. He said helplessly, “What nonsense. Listen to me. Otherwise, I’ll sell you to Qinling to become a wife for an old man.”
“Are you willing?” Lin Su said with a smile and covered her mouth.
When they reached the bottom of the apartment, Qin Sheng took a few deep breaths before he rang the doorbell. However, no one came to open the door even after he pressed it for a few times. Qin Sheng guessed that Auntie Wang and Xin Xin were probably not at home and was more or less disappointed. He wanted to give them a surprise, but did not expect to face hiccups in going home. Lin Su was already laughing her ass off. Left with no choice, Qin Sheng could only call Auntie Wang.
“Qin Sheng, you haven’t picked up my call in a long time.” Wang Li complained right after she picked up the call. Although Qin Sheng was raised up by the Lin family, Wang Li saw him as her own child. However, he was not her biological child after all, so Qin Sheng was not as dependent on the Lin family like her own son. Or perhaps, Qin Sheng was already used to being independent.
Qin Sheng replied a little remorsefully, “Aunt, I was too busy recently. By the way, where are you?”
“I’m strolling at the Southern Lake with Xin Xin, why?” Wang Li answered honestly. These few days, the weather was not as humid as the previous few days. Hence, she would take a stroll by Qujiang New District’s Southern Lake with Xin Xin when she was free at night.
Qin Sheng did not know whether to cry or laugh. “Aunt, I’m below the apartment; come back quickly; I don’t have the key so I can’t go in.”
Qin Sheng felt an obvious pause from the other end of the line. Auntie Wang then said excitedly, “Really? Are you really below the apartment? Don’t lie to me!”
“Aunt, since when have I ever lied to you? I brought my girlfriend to visit you. I wanted to give you guys a surprise, but who knew that you guys weren’t at home,” Qin Sheng said directly.
Wang Li said very excitedly, “Okay, okay, okay. Wait a while, Xin Xin and I are coming back right now.”
After hanging up, Wang Li pulled Xin Xin directly and headed in the opposite direction. “Xin Xin, quick, follow me home right now!”
“Mom, what’s wrong? We’ve just come here for a while!” Xin Xin complained.
Wang Li replied, “Your older brother is back with his girlfriend, and they’re below the apartment right now. Quick, don’t keep them waiting.”
“Really?” Xin Xin exclaimed in shock.
Hence, the mother-daughter pair quickly stopped a taxi and headed back right away. Although it was only a 10-minute walk away, Wang Li did not want to waste a single minute, since Qin Sheng had brought his girlfriend with him.
However, she knew that it was not Han Bing. After all, Xin Xin had already told her beforehand that Han Bing was not Qin Sheng’s girlfriend. His girlfriend was someone else. Although Wang Li really liked Han Bing and she would also call them from time to time, Wang Li could not dictate over Qin Sheng’s love life. Most importantly, Qin Sheng was already of age. She hoped to carry his child as soon as possible as Xin Xin was still young and would have to wait for several more years.
When Wang Li and Xin Xin rushed back to the community, they felt very sorry when they saw Qin Sheng and Lin Su sitting at the bench with their luggage. Wang Li quickly said, “Oh my, I’m so sorry for keeping you guys waiting.”
“Aunt, it’s not your fault. I was the one who didn’t inform you beforehand,” Qin Sheng said.
Wang Li ignored him and paid all her attention to Lin Su who was so beautiful that even she herself was a little envious. Lin Su had dolled up today because she was going to meet her future mother-in-law. However, instead of thick and heavy makeup, she chose a barefaced look which suited her the most. The eyes of those who saw her would light up.
“This must be Lin Su,” Auntie Wang said with smiling eyes. When Qin Sheng’s girlfriend stood beside her Xin Xin, it felt like Xin Xin was a village girl who had never seen the outside world. She really did not know where Qin Sheng this rascal’s luck came from in order to find such a girlfriend. Last time, Han Bing was already enough to shock her. Today, she received a greater shock when she saw the legitimate girlfriend Lin Su.
“Hello Auntie,” Lin Su greeted politely.
Wang Li quickly pulled Lin Su’s hand. Like a mother-in-law who was growing fond of her daughter-in-law, she said, “Hello, hello, hello. This child is so pretty. Our Qin Sheng is not worthy of you! Let’s go, it’s hot outside. Let’s talk when we go in.”
Wang Li directed Lin Su and walked in front of her. She completely ignored Qin Sheng, whom she had not seen for more than half a year. Qin Sheng was so heart-broken. Was the son more important or the daughter-in-law? He bet that Wang Li would definitely saw daughter-in-law, you would have a grandchild when you had a daughter-in-law after all.
As for Xin Xin, she was completely forgotten.