Autumn's Concerto / Next stop, happiness 下一站幸福 Chapter 8.2


Chapter 8.2 - 8th Stop: Recalling The Painful Memories (2)

So he is Hua Tuoye.

Guangxi found a man in the house with Mucheng when he brought Xiaole home. He gave off a very comfortable feeling when he looked at him. Then Xiaole screamed upon seeing him. He ran straight into his arms.

“Brother Tuoye, you’re back!”

“Yes. Xiaole, did you miss me?” Tuoye asked while he tousled with Xiaole’s hair.

“I don’t. I just remembered that you promised to get me a remote control car.” Xiaole said and made a funny face at him.

“You ingrate! All you care for is the remote control car.” Tuoye pretended to be angry. “I won’t be playing games with you in future then.”

“We’re best friends. Why must you be so calculative? You’re older than me, you know. Shame on you.”

“What did you say? You little rascal, I’ll tickle you…”

“Save me! Mummy, Brother Tuoye’s bullying me!”

“Okay. That’s enough. Tuoye, can you bring Xiaole in and wash his hands for him. We’ll have dinner in a while.”

“Mummy, you’re wrong. This is our house, I should be the one leading the way instead.”

“How old are you, rascal? You want to lead me around? Hmph!”

“I’m older than you when it concerns the mental age.”

“Do you know what ‘mental age’ means?”

“I know it more than you…”

The bickering duo left for the bathroom. Mucheng looked at the two of them and smiled. She turned around and found Guangxi standing at the door.

“What are you doing over there? Come on in.”

 “Okay.” Guangxi entered the house. “Is that man Hua Tuoye?”

Mucheng was stunned for a moment. “How did you know?”

“I heard from the villagers that the two of you share a really close relationship.” He said, trying to see how she’d explain for that.

“Yes, we do. He’s my best friend. I’m really thankful to him for taking care of me and Xiaole.” She smiled, admitting that they shared a close relationship.

“Is that so?” Guangxi suddenly felt uncomfortable to see her smiling like that. The three of them seemed like a family just now and that made him really upset. “Since so, why didn’t you marry him?”

“What?” Mucheng was shocked by his question.

“I’ve heard that Hua Tuoye’s interested in you. Why aren’t the two of you married then?”

“Why must I marry Tuoye?” She was embarrassed by his question. “We’re just friends.”

“Is it because of Xiaole? He’s worried because he feels that Xiaole is a burden, right?” Guangxi said, staring at her.

“What one earth are you saying? Tuoye’s not that kind of person.” Mucheng was provoked.

“Then why aren’t you marrying him then?” Guangxi was upset. Why did she have to defend another man?

Mucheng stared at him angrily and ignored his question.

He suddenly thought of something. “Is it because you still can’t forget Xiaole’s biological father?”

She turned pale upon hearing his remark. He knew he was right and he felt even more complicated. “Who on earth is that guy? Does he know about Xiaole? How can he let a woman raise a child on her own?”

“This… is none of your business.” She turned away.

Guangxi frowned and noticed that Mucheng’s hands were trembling. His heart swayed along uncontrollably too.

***

What was the matter with him? Why was he so concerned about that woman? She was right; it was none of business what happened between her and Xiaole’s biological father. But even so, he couldn’t seem to poking his nose into their business. The mother and son were deep in his mind, whether he liked it or not and he couldn’t stop himself from thinking about them. Darn! Guangxi cursed. He was really upset by his behavior. He was going overboard as a friend. It seemed as though he had fallen for her. That spelt trouble!

He decided that he should calm himself down soon. He should make a trip back to Taipei to see Yiqian. Everything would be solved when he sees Yiqian.

Yiqian was on duty when he was back and she wanted him to wait for her at her house. He went straight up to the second floor when he was there. He was passing by the study and wanted to say hello to Director He. But he heard something instead—

“Ren Guangxi is in charge of the Huatian Village case now?” The person who posed the question was Xu Fangguo. He was Huanyu Constructions’ legal advisor and Director He trusted him very much.

“Yes, it’s Guangxi’s case for now. I’m taking the advantage of him doing C.W.O. over there to build the rapport with the villagers so that they’ll trust him. He’ll then be able to convince the villagers during the meeting to give up their land ownership.” Director He explained.

“Will they listen to him in the first place?’ Xu Fangguo expressed his doubt.

“That’s why we need another backup plan just in case this backfires. Didn’t you get someone to pollute the water source at Huatian Village the other time? It will not be long before they won’t be able to grow healthy flowers. When that time comes, they won’t be able to rely on that as their livelihood and they’d therefore have to sell their land.” Director He said with a hypocritical smile. He stopped for a moment and continued. “But we must keep this from Guangxi. He mustn’t know that we forced the village head’s grandson to sell us the land too.”

“Isn’t he your future son-in-law? Why are you so distrusting then?” Xu Fangguo said sarcastically.

“This is a totally different matter from that. After all, Guangxi has a weird temper. That’s why we’ll have to be careful about things.”

“You should be.” Guangxi looked extremely upset as he entered the room. The two people in the room were shocked to see him around. “What are you doing? Uncle He, how can you resort to such underlying means to deal with the villagers of Huatian Village?”

“Guangxi, when did you arrive?” Director He walked up to him and smiled. He tried to calm him down. “Listen to me, you’ve misunderstood us…”

“I’ve not misunderstood you. I’ve just heard it with my own two ears that you’ve sent someone to pollute the water source at Huatian Village. You also lied to the village head’s grandson so that he’d sell the land to you.” Guangxi stared sternly at his prospective father-in-law. “Uncle He, don’t you think that’s too much?”

“I’m too much?” Director He said, frowning. “Didn’t you say it yourself too; you’d resort to any means as long as you can win a case? How dare you lecture me when you’re just as cold-blooded?”

“I…” Guangxi didn’t know what to say. Indeed. That was what he had been observing these 6 years but…

He was suddenly reminded of Mucheng. He remembered how she braved the typhoon in order to save her flowers; how she suffered from red, sore hands and how she raised her son solely and was troubled as she couldn’t afford his school fees…

He couldn’t bring himself to ruin her livelihood. How could he choose to help the bad guy and let her suffer?

With this thought, Guangxi turned and left the room. He met Yiqian at the staircase landing.

“Guangxi!” She ran into her arms. “I missed you.”

“I’m sorry, Yiqian. I’ve something to settle now. I’ve to rush back to Huatian Village at once.” He pushed his fiancée slightly away from him, leaving her dazed at the spot.

“Let me take a look at your hand.”

The first thing Guangxi did was to check on Mucheng’s hands when he returned to Huatian Village. He saw that her hands were red and full of rashes. He realised that he definitely had something to worry about and work on.

“Didn’t you realise that it might be due to a polluted water source?”

“Is it?” The truth suddenly dawned on Mucheng. “No wonder I was thinking why my flowers withered so easily these days. How did you know about the pollution?”

Guangxi was expressionless. “It was done by Huanyu Constructions.”

“What?” Mucheng was shocked and stared back at him.

He frowned and made a decision. “Don’t worry, I’ll settle this.”

How would he settle it? Mucheng was puzzled. She finally realised what he meant by that when Guangxi announced that he’d be suing Huanyu Constructions on their behalf at the meeting a few days later.

He had gotten someone to investigate on the matter for the past few days and found out the Huanyu Constructions was indeed the culprit behind the polluted water source.

Everyone was shocked by what Guangxi had said. Xu Fangguo, who was representing Huanyu Constructions stood up and objected to his decision. “Mr. Ren, please do not defame Huanyu Constructions. Otherwise we’ll take legal action against you.”

“I’m not afraid of Huanyu Constructions suing me. That’s why I dared to say this aloud in public.” Guangxi stated.

“Please don’t believe what he said.” Xu Fangguo saw that Guangxi was composed and decided that he should deal with the villagers instead. “Perhaps you guys do not know but Ren Guangxi is actually engaged to our Director’s daughter. He’s our Director’s prospective son-in-law. Can you all believe him then if he’s going to represent you all?”

With this, the villagers were even more shocked. The messenger of justice was actually working for the devil.

“Believe me, I’ll help you all.”

“Don’t believe in him. He has an ulterior motive!”

Both parties argued with each other but the villagers just didn’t know who to listen too. In the end, the village head decided to call off the meeting.

The meeting caused everyone to look down on and detest Guangxi but he didn’t mind at all. He continued to try his best to look for evidence that was against Huanyu Constructions. He then drafted the document. He also got Tuoye to find out where the village head’s grandson was and persuaded him to stand out and be a witness.

“Why are you doing this?” Mucheng didn’t understand why he was doing this. “Isn’t it different from your original aim when you came to Huatian Village? Weren’t you supposed to help Director He persuade the villagers to sell you their land instead?”

“It’s supposedly so but he has gone overboard this time.” Guangxi said with a glum look on his face.

“But aren’t you going to offend your prospective father-in-law then?”

“I don’t have a choice even if that happens.” He shrugged his shoulders. “Whatever it is, I don’t agree to what he’s doing.”

Mucheng stared at him. She remembered that he went against his own mother six years ago when he was defending her back then. It seemed like history had repeated itself again.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” She smiled as she was touched by his gesture. That made him felt really awkward. “Do you think I’ve found my conscience? It’s far from that.”

“What is it then?” She asked him softly.

“I’m just doing it… for you.” He admitted it reluctantly. “The truth is; it’s none of my business what will happen to the villagers after they sell us the land. I just didn’t want you to lose your livelihood. What would happen to Xiaole if you did?”

“So you’re just worried that Xiaole and I won’t be able to survive?’

“I was just thinking that you’re a country bumpkin who knows nothing other than growing flowers.” He said, making it sound like he wasn’t really concerned about her. He didn’t want to know that she had touched the soft spot in him.

Mucheng smiled secretly. Perhaps she would have been angry because of his attitude if this happened a few days ago. But now, she knew that it was his attempt to try to hide his emotions from her.

He was still the Ren Guangxi that she loved 6 years ago—

“Thank you.” She thanked him sincerely.

“What is that for?” He didn’t dare to look at her. “I’m starved. Is this how you should treat your ‘guest’?”

“Okay, I’ll make you something to eat now.” She smiled at him. 

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