In the middle of October, a gust of cold air, which had come from the north, made a surprise attack on Hangzhou. In contrast to the situation at this time in former years, the cold weather fell on Hangzhou much earlier. Moreover, the continuous autumn rain started to hit this city.
As the saying goes, a spell of autumn rain, and a spell of cold. After the golden week of National Holiday just ended, Hangzhou looked somewhat bleak. It seemed that after the carnival was over, only loneliness remained.
By the time Qin Sheng got up, Lin Su had already woken up. Lin Yue was in the master bedroom and had slept soundly. Since she was born into the Lin family, so rarely would Lin Yue have something on her mind. At least, she did not need to worry about her livelihood.
Lin Su had prepared the porridge and two steamed buns already. There was a plate of pickles and another plate of noodles seared with red oil, which was Qin Sheng’s favorite, on the table. Upon seeing Qin Sheng walking out of the study, Lin Su said gently, “Before you go there, have some breakfast.” Lin Su was still dressed in the pajamas. She did not even have time to comb her messy hair.
Qin Sheng, who had dressed himself up, walked over and combed Lin Su’s messy hair gently. After that, he sat down, ate the buns, and ate the porridge silently. When he was enjoying his food, usually, he did not like to talk. Since Qin Sheng did not say anything at all, Lin Su was also silent. She stared at Qin Sheng, observing how he finished his breakfast quietly.
A few minutes later, Qin Sheng finished the bowl of porridge and two buns. After wiping his mouth with a tissue, he stood up and was about to go out. Lin Su handed over the umbrella to Qin Sheng as she said, “It’s raining outside. Take an umbrella with you.”
Qin Sheng nodded. When he was about to go out, it seemed that he had thought of something. He turned his head and kissed Lin Su’s forehead gently. Lin Su smiled gently as she said, “I will wait for you to come back.”
The autumn rain pattered continuously outside. There were no passers-by at all in the whole residential quarter. Qin Sheng’s figure looked somewhat lonely. At this time, most of the people were still sleeping soundly. Instead, Qin Sheng had to face his enemy, whom he did not intend to confront.
By the time Qin Sheng got to the entrance of the residential quarter, Chang Baji was already waiting for him there.
Qin Sheng got in the car, packed his umbrella up, and closed the door of the car.
Qin Sheng picked up his mobile and started to look through all the unread messages on his WeChat account. Though there were different messages sent from all the people he knew, he did not make any reply at all. After that, he opened an app on his mobile and started to browse the news. The whole procedure seemed to be almost the same as the one that he would experience when he went to work every day. He did not feel anything unusual at all.
Half an hour later, they arrived at the Lingyin Temple. After Chang Baji found a place to park his car, they held up a black umbrella and walked toward the main entrance of the Lingyin Temple. On his way here, Lin Changhe had already texted Qin Sheng, saying that he would wait for them at the main entrance.
The gate of the Lingyin Temple would be opened at seven o’clock. If it were in previous days, at this time, many tourists, who came here to burn incense and worship the gods, would be already here. However, since the weather was not good today, there were not many tourists around. Only some pious monks were seen.
At the entrance of the Lingyin Temple, Lin Changhe, who was dressed in a suit with a black coat, had been waiting for Qin Sheng there for quite some time. There were two bodyguards behind him. It just so happened that the three people all held up a black umbrella, making them look like gangsters who were here to meet each other or conduct some deal.
After seeing Lin Changhe, Qin Sheng asked in a low voice, “Second Uncle, he is already here, right?”
Qin Sheng looked pretty solemn today. The look in his eyes was quite distant. Lin Changhe said in a low voice, “He is already inside, waiting for you.”
Qin Sheng replied, “Well, let’s go.”
Lin Changhe and Qin Sheng walked in the front. Chang Baji and two bodyguards followed behind them respectively. When they arrived at the gate of the Lingyin Temple, Qin Sheng lifted up his head and took a glimpse at the gigantic characters engraved on the golden board, which said “Lingyin Temple”. He smiled rigidly. It seemed that everyone who held a high social position liked to write inscriptions.
On Lin Changhe’s side, he had set everything up. Consequently, they directly went into the Lingyin Temple and rushed to the place where Yan Chaozong was now. This was not the first time Qin Sheng had been to the Lingyin Temple. Whether it was the scenically beautiful place of Taoism or the holy land and the well-known mountain of Buddhism, every time Qin Sheng arrived in a new place, he definitely would pay tribute to the local sacred land. Consequently, he had been to the Lingyin Temple many times before. However, except for the first time he had been here, he had toured around the whole location attentively. While for the other times he had been here, he had just strolled around randomly.
In the Hall of Great Strength in the Lingyin Temple, Yan Chaozong, who was dressed casually, was discussing the Buddha Dharma with a master. Though Yan Chaozong was a rich playboy, he was not a wastrel who knew nothing at all. He was proficient in many ways. Though he was not erudite and informed, he had read a lot of books. Moreover, he was gifted and versatile. Otherwise, Old Master Yan would not have designated him as the Yan family’s future successor.
Standing under the stairs outside the gate of the Hall of Great Strength, Feng He, who was dressed in a black leather jacket, was holding an umbrella, waiting for the arrival of Yan Chaozong or Qin Sheng. Qin Sheng wondered what he would think now since they met each other now after such a long time.
When Lin Changhe and Qin Sheng walked to the front of Feng He, he stretched out his hands and blocked their way. Lin Changhe felt somewhat angry. Even though he was a senior in the Lin family, the servants of the Yan family still treated him so arrogantly. Qin Sheng did not give a damn about Feng He at all. Instead, he eyed this merciless person up and down, who had rushed all the way to the Western Area of Sichuan basin to get him killed.
Staring at Qin Sheng acrimoniously, Feng He sneered as he said, “It did not occur to me that you actually were still alive.”
Qin Sheng shook his head, smiled bitterly, and said, “You are dying to get me killed, right?”
Feng He replied quite straightforwardly, “Whoever intends to play against the Yan family is my enemy.” Though they finally met each other after a long time, they did not act affectionate toward each other. Instead, since they were enemies, their eyes blazed with hatred when they saw each other. Consequently, instead of exchanging rituals and pleasant remarks, they got straight to the point.
Originally, Qin Sheng had intended to refute him, saying that he was a wastrel and not capable to get Qin Sheng killed. But upon pondering on it for a while, he gave it up. He was here today to bend his knees and pretend to be a loser. It was not necessary for him to quibble with a servile follower. Consequently, he smiled awkwardly and didn’t say anything at all.
Chang Baji stared at Feng He as if he were staring at a clown. To him, Feng He was just a defeated opponent. If there came a day when Qin Sheng was somewhat capable to face Yan Chaozong, he definitely would deal with Feng He first.
However, upon seeing Chang Baji, Feng He dared not look down upon him at all since he knew Chang Baji was an authentic marital master. It was due to his protection that Qin Sheng could be still alive today. Otherwise, speaking of the time that they had played against Qin Sheng, they would not have chased Chang Baji away on purpose before they had intended to kill Qin Sheng heartlessly. Unfortunately, the group of people, including Uncle Zhao, had run into bad luck.
As a senior in the Lin family, Lin Changhe was confident whenever he faced Qin Sheng or Yan Chaozong. Though he could act politely, he could not be looked down upon. Yan Chaozong actually put on airs like this now. If Qin Sheng had been the only one here, he actually would not have cared about him at all. However, Lin Changhe was also here today. Feeling somewhat angry, he directly ordered as he said, “You go ahead, I will be here waiting for you.”
Qin Sheng nodded quietly and was about to enter the Hall of Great Strength. Feng He blocked his way once again as he said, “Young Master asked you to wait here.”
Lin Changhe said indignantly, “Who the hell are you? You dare to give me orders here?”
Since Lin Changhe got angry now, though Feng He felt indignant, he dared not speak out. He dared not swagger before the Second Master of the Lin family. If he did so, even his Young Master could not save him at that time. Consequently, he had no choice but to step back obediently.
As expected, Feng He was someone who prayed on the weak. Qin Sheng worked off his feelings, more or less. After that, he walked at the Hall of Great Strength slowly.
At first, Yan Chaozong, who had been staying in the Hall of Great Strength, had not noticed what had been going on outside. It was not until he heard the quarrel and noise outside that he saw Lin Changhe and Qin Sheng.
Qin Sheng was walking in his direction. Yan Chaozong smiled at the master across from him gently and said, “An old friend is here to visit me, so I won’t disturb you today anymore, Grand Master. I will come to you another day.”
The master, who looked extraordinary, smiled happily as he said, “Amitabha. Benefactor, do as you please.”
It was not until this moment that Yan Chaozong stood up evenly and walked out of the hall. He stared at Qin Sheng with a somewhat mocking smile on the corner of his lips and behaved like a winner. Qin Sheng, who had stood under the stairs, also saw Yan Chaozong. He stopped his paces subconsciously. The look on his face was peaceful and the look in his eyes was dull. He faced Yan Chaozong directly in this way, trying not to let Yan Chaozong perceive his subtle reactions.
They were old friends, rivals in love, and enemies.
With one standing on the stairs and the other standing under the stairs, they looked into each other’s eyes in this way, which seemed to correspond with their respective situation at this moment. However, whether it was Qin Sheng or Yan Chaozong, after confronting each other many times, it was hard to define whether they had won or lost. Though Qin Sheng had lost his future, he had won Lin Su over. Though Yan Chaozong had not won Lin Su over, he had overwhelmed Qin Sheng.
In the end, Yan Chaozong, who had been standing on the stairs, took the initiative to ask as he said, “The fast noodles in Shifang Garden taste good. Every time I am here, I will try a bowl of noodles. Would you like to try it out?”
Yan Chaozong’s attitude made Qin Sheng feel somewhat surprised. He actually had taken the initiative to ask him to have fast noodles. However, anyway, it was a good beginning. Even though Qin Sheng had finished his breakfast, he needed to help Yan Chaozong maintain his pride. Consequently, he said in a low voice, “Your wish shall be my command.”
Yan Chaozong smiled. The look on his face was complex. After that, he walked in the direction of Shifang Garden. When he passed by the front of Qin Sheng, he did not even stare at him at all. Qin Sheng followed behind him awkwardly.
On the other side, both Feng He and Chang Baji intended to follow over subconsciously. Without ever turning his head back, Yan Chaozong shook his hands first. Feng He got his point immediately and stayed where he was. Qin Sheng turned his head, stared at Chang Baji, and nodded. Consequently, Chang Baji stopped following behind him.
Lin Changhe said randomly, “Since it is an issue between them, it should be solved by themselves.” He believed that Yan Chaozong would not be that petty and it was not possible for him to act randomly in this kind of place. Since he had done what he should do, he would leave the rest of the things to Qin Sheng. As a result, he did not intend to stay here any longer. He intended to turn to some familiar masters in the Lingyin Temple and ask them for a cup of tea.
Consequently, only Chang Baji and Feng He stayed here.
Staring at Chang Baji, Feng He said in a respectful yet provoking manner, “If I have a chance, I want to ask you for some advice since you are my senior.”
Chang Baji replied moderately, “Never have I ever spared a person twice.” However, what he had said sounded somewhat rude and pretty aggressive.
Feng He was not angry at all. Instead, he sneered as he said, “Senior, are you that confident?”
“If you doubt me, you can have a try anytime you want. I will be waiting.” Chang Baji did not bother to pay attention to his defeated opponent. Instead, he walked in the direction of Shifang Garden. Of course, he would not disturb Qin Sheng and Yan Chaozong’s private and detailed conversation. However, the closer he stood to Qin Sheng, the farther away the danger would stay from Qin Sheng.
Shifang Garden could be counted as a restaurant operated by the Lingyin Temple, which was open to the public. As always, it was famous for its vegetarian food, especially its fast noodles, which were pretty amazing. A lot of tourists here would order a bowl of fast noodles after they finished burning incense and paying tribute to the gods. Previously, every time Yan Chaozong had accompanied his elders here, he would eat a bowl of fast noodles routinely. Consequently, He retained this habit.
At this moment, in Shifang Garden, there were not many guests. Qin Sheng and Yan Chaozong sat across from each other near the door. Though the fast noodles were not served yet, the undercurrent emerged between them…