Meng Zhe’s temperament was different from Hao Lei’s. Back when Hao Lei had been at middle school, he was that kind of boy who was particularly loyal to friends. Whoever he disagreed with, he would start the fighting right away. He often fought with the ruffians roaming on the streets. However, Meng Zhe was different. Though he was a straight-A student, who aspired to achieve more progress in academic studies, he actually knew how to conduct himself well and knew clearly of his position in that small circle. It was usually he who would be the mediator.
They both had changed a lot over the past few years. After Hao Lei was done with his training in the army and returned, he retained a low profile and became calm and inarticulate. As for Meng Zhe, after finishing his college studies in Beijing, he went back home. He became somewhat sophisticated instead, which might have been caused by either the fact that he was about to get married soon or the fact that he had experienced a lot of things while striving in society for a few years.
It was out of the question that nobody would remain unchanged in the end. After all, everyone needs to stay alive in the most comfortable way. To do so, people have to adjust to society gradually.
Qin Sheng did not know what had happened before Meng Zhe took the initiative to ask him out. He still considered Meng Zhe as his good friend, though they contacted each other less and less. However, he and Hao Lei still kept in touch on a frequent basis.
Qin Sheng drove Lin Su directly to Zhongnan Mountains. The torrid sun at noon rendered the weather a bit hot an stuffy. However, the weather at the hillside of the Zhongnan Mountains was cold and comfortable. Every summer, a lot of city residents would go into the mountain to get away from the summer heat and enjoy the coolness.
After parking his car, Qin Sheng and Lin Su walked toward Old Master’s yard, with stuff on their hands. They bought those things on the way there, among which—besides the fruits and the incense paper—was of course, a West Phoenix 375 included, which was Old Master’s most favorite wine.
While pointing at an inconspicuous mound, Qin Sheng said, “That’s where my grandfather is resting.”
Obviously, Lin Su was a bit astounded. It seemed that deep down her heart, she had been thinking of Old Master Qin as that kind of real master. After all, she heard Qin Sheng talking about Old Master’s anecdotes often. She thought it was impossible for the Old Master to have been buried in such an ordinary place.
“It’s totally out of your expectation, right?” Qin Sheng noticed Lin Su’s expression out of the corner of his eyes and chuckled.
Lin Su replied honestly, “Yes. It is a bit surprising.”
“Grandfather preferred quietness. He chose his resting place on his own. I also did not know how to tell whether the place was fair or foul. According to his saying, it was not until I got married and had my own children that I could set up a tombstone for him. Let me tell you something you may find incredulous. So far, I don’t even know his name,” Qin Sheng said pretty helplessly.
Lin Su replied thoughtfully, “Old Master was not an ordinary man at all.”
“Since my childhood, I’ve known it. Upon thinking back of many things which I thought were pretty common in my childhood, I now find out that some persons could not even achieve his accomplishments in their entire lives, which he simply could get by doing a sole task. Being so, I am dying to know everything about my grandfather and my family background. The desire had been growing stronger and stronger,” Qin Sheng said earnestly.
Lin Su nodded gently as she said, “You will definitely figure it out in the end.”
While smiling gently, Qin Sheng said, “Let’s stop talking about the past. I should have a good conversation with my old Grandfather.”
Qin Sheng placed the fruits and lit up the incense paper. After the incense paper was burned out, Qin Sheng sprayed a bottle of 375 wine on the gravemound. After that, he kneeled down. Without any hesitation, Lin Su followed his example and kneeled in front of the grave. She did not mind whether doing so would muck up her pretty expensive dress or not.
“Grandpa, I, your grandson, bring my wife along with me to see you here,” Qin Sheng said pretty straightforwardly. Lin Su by his side said in a low voice, “Grandpa, my name is Lin Su. I am so lucky to come across him and fall in love with him. Qin Sheng has told me many things of your past together. I know you definitely love Qin Sheng most dearly. So, Grandpa, you can rest assured that I will take good care of Qin Sheng from here on. You don’t need to worry about him. We will come back to see you often.”
“Grandpa, due to my incompetence, I was not able to see you for such a long time. Kindly forgive me for that. A lot of things have happened in the past half a year. Because of your blessing, I managed to get through. Otherwise, we would have met each other by dozens of years in advance,” Qin Sheng said in an amusing way. “I am just being talkative. Grandpa, you also know how frivolous I have been. However, Grandpa, I highly appreciate the efforts you put in paving these paths for me. Without you, I might have died earlier. Grandpa, you can rest assured that as long as I am alive, I will try my best and work hard. One day, I will become outstanding. I won’t disgrace you and the Qin family.”
Upon finishing his words, Qin Sheng made three strong kowtows. So did Lin Su by his side. They stood up at the same time. However, Qin Sheng did not intend to leave at all. He continued and said, “Grandpa, although three years have passed since you left me, you are lingering around every corner of my life. I am anxious to know your past and my family background. Though I did not care about it before, perhaps I will know the truth soon. At that time, I will see you again and have a good conversation with you.”
After finishing his words, Qin Sheng was about to drag Lin Su to leave. Lin Su was surprised and said, “Are you sure you are leaving so soon and won’t stay a bit longer?”
“Grandpa always shows up in my dreams. If I have anything to tell him, I will talk with him in the dream. It does not matter at all whether I stay here for a little while or not,” Qin Sheng said randomly. However, he was a bit confused since there were quite many ash remains and many unburned scented heads in front of the grave. The latest scented stick was still stuck on the grave mound. Even the weeds were all cleaned up. He wondered who on earth had visited his grandpa before.
Auntie Wang and Xin Xin may have been there. So could the Old Taoist from Louguantai Temple. Maybe Hao Lei had been there on his behalf. Upon pondering over it, Qin Sheng did not really give a damn about it. He definitely would not know Qin Changan had been there three times over the past half a year. Never would he know that Su Qin had also been there twice, just the day before being the last time she had visited.
Lin Su nodded and said to the grave mound, “Grandpa, we will leave first. See you next time.”
When they were leaving Zhongnan Mountains, Qin Sheng said in a deep voice, “If there is a chance, I will show you around Zhongnan Mountains. I am familiar with this grand mountain very much and it seems to be my old friend. Many old friends of grandpa’s and mine also live here. Next time, if we are here, I will take you to visit the old house where my grandpa and I were dependent on each other for survival. Since I have not been back there for several years, I don’t know whether the old house is still there or not.”
“Okay,” Lin Su nodded as she replied. Of course, she would follow Qin Sheng to see how his past had been.
By the time they arrived at the prison, it was already three o’clock in the afternoon. It was not long before Qin Sheng and Lin Su finally saw Uncle Lin walking out. Uncle Lin looked good, whose situation is better than what Qin Sheng had expected.
While standing up in a hurry, Qin Sheng said, “Uncle Lin.”
“When your aunt visited me some time ago, she told me that you would come back in these days. So I have been waiting for your return. Since I haven’t seen you in half a year, I don’t know how things are going on your side. I know you won’t tell your aunt anything even if there are some issues,” Lin Xi said pretty amiably. The imposing manner he had held previously was completely gone. Only a smile, which was as plain as water, remained on his face.
While feeling guilty, Qin Sheng replied, “Uncle Lin, sorry for making you worry about me. I did go through a lot of things in this half a year. But they are all settled now.”
After sitting down, Lin Xi said gently, “It is fine as long as all the mishaps are gone. I won’t poke further. After all, there is little help I can offer. You are a smart kid. You know what should be done and what shouldn’t.” Then, he looked at the liberal and dignified beauty by Qin Sheng’s side and asked, “Who is this one?”
“Uncle Lin, I almost forgot to introduce her to you. This is my girlfriend, Lin Su. I brought her back this time specifically to meet Auntie Wang and you,” Qin Sheng said in a low voice.
Lin Su smiled with closed lips as she said, “Uncle Lin, I hope you’re doing fine.”
“I am fine, fine, and fine,” Upon hearing Lin Su’s greeting, Lin Xi grinned from ear to ear as he said. “Both your Auntie Wang and I are worried about your personal matters the most. However, in this case, we don’t need to worry about it anymore in the future. Ha-ha-ha.”
While lowering her head, Lin Su smiled in a shy manner. She could tell that Uncle Lin was ver satisfied with her.
“Uncle Lin, are you doing OK?” Qin Sheng inquired.
While letting out a sigh, Lin Xi replied, “It’s still the same as always. While staying inside, I lead a pretty quiet life. But I am idle every day.”
While grinding his teeth, Qin Sheng said, “Uncle Lin, just wait for a while. I will definitely get you out of there.” Speaking of how to get Uncle Lin out of the prison, it was currently Qin Sheng’s most urgent concern. If he couldn’t help Uncle Lin wipe out his deep grievance, he would feel guilty for his entire life.
Lin Xi frowned as he said, “Qin Sheng, since my case is already set in stone, you don’t need to worry about it anymore. All you have to do is to work hard, lead a good life outside, and help me take care of your Auntie Wang and Xin Xin. That’s all.”
It was useless even if Qin Sheng continued illustrating his point. He had to prove his resolution with practical deeds.
“Uncle Lin, as for Auntie Wang and Xin Xin, you don’t need to worry about them. Everything on my side is fine now. I am capable of protecting them,” Qin Sheng said confidently.
Lin Xi sighed as he said, “Then it’s good. My only regret is that I may not be able to attend to your wedding at that time.”
“Uncle Lin, you can. You definitely can,” Qin Sheng said. The look in his eyes was as bright as a torch.
Since the time for visiting a prisoner was limited, Qin Sheng and Lin Su did not stay there long and left. When they were leaving, they were reluctant to part with Uncle Lin. After all, for more than three years, he had only met Uncle Lin twice. The duration of their meeting each time was less than half an hour.
By the time they had arrived in the downtown area, it was almost six o’clock. Qin Sheng had informed Auntie Wang in advance that they would not go home for dinner since he had invited several friends out to hang out together. Wang Li understood his plan and did not say anything further.
The place where they were going to have dinner together was not decided by Wu Hao and Zhao Xuan, but by Meng Zhe. It was not that kind of luxurious restaurant, but the barbecue food stall where they had visited often in the past, which was located next to the Hua Run Wan Jia Plaza in Yanta North Road. Shu Nan Zhu Hai Small Bamboo Stick Barbecue was their favorite.
Meng Zhe, Wu Hao, and Zhao Xuan all arrived in advance. While waiting for Qin Sheng’s arrival, they ordered a plate of edamame peanuts and drank Ice Crown beer. Zhao Xuan was pretty perturbed as he said, “Lao Meng, in your opinion, when Big Boss sees us, will he directly turn around and leave?”
“No, he won’t. Because Big Boss wouldn’t act like this,” Meng Zhe said pretty confidently.
While squinting, Wu Hao said, “Speaking of the issue that took place last time, it was our fault. We will apologize to him sincerely today. If he still cares about our brotherhood feelings cultivated in the past, he definitely will forgive us. As for the things in later days, it depends on how we act. If he doesn’t care about our brotherhood anymore, just forget it.”
While grinding his teeth, Zhao Xuan said, “Anyway, I will do it only once. I will just leave my dignity behind.”
Though looking calm, Meng Zhe actually was more upset than the other two. He knew more about Qin Sheng’s situation than Zhao Xuan and Wu Hao did. After all, Hao Lei had called him frequently. However, he was not sure whether those two had surrendered to Qin Sheng out of their own accord or because of other reasons.
Ten minutes later, Qin Sheng and Lin Su arrived at Yanta North Road. After parking their car, they walked toward the place where they were going to have dinner. While they were passing by a convenience store, Lin Su told Qin Sheng that she was going to buy some stuff. She told Qin Sheng to go there first and she would show up later.
Qin Sheng did not overthink and directly went there. After all, the distance was pretty close.
After arriving at the food stall, Qin Sheng found where Meng Zhe was easily. After all, they all sat outside. However, upon seeing Wu Hao and Zhao Xuan sitting by Meng Zhe’s side, the look on his face was slightly changed right away. He could not help but ponder on Meng Zhe’s intention.
Meng Zhe, Zhao Xuan, and Wu Hao on the other side all noticed Qin Sheng’s arrival. They all stood up subconsciously and looked at Qin Sheng, holding different thoughts in their minds.
Qin Sheng was hesitant for a long time. In the end, he directly walked over.