Shi Lei began to strongly question Wei Qing’s sexual orientation based on the words that had just come out of his mouth.
Wei Xingyue covered her mouth and laughed, glancing over at Shi Lei with her alluring eyes. She actually had the same feeling as Wei Qing, but not the sense of familiarity which he had toward Shi Lei. After all, her encounter with Shi Lei possessed a strong motive. However, after she interacted with him, she realized that he was the most comfortable person to hang out with. They became closer from the numerous incidents that had occurred between them.
In the middle of the meal, Shi Lei’s phone rang. When he fished it out and checked the caller ID, he found that it was unexpectedly his cousin.
Shi Lei’s family had a relatively good relationship with their distant relatives, but because they were all ordinary citizens and spread out across the city, they didn’t meet up that often, only during New Year’s. Shi Lei had been studying in Wu Dong for a long time. Around two years ago, there was this one time when a younger cousin had visited the city because he’d wanted to go to college in Wu Dong, and Shi Lei had taken him around the city after the high school standardized tests were over. In the end, this cousin of his didn’t make it and opted to go to a school in northern Jiangdong province. Ever since then, none of his relatives took the initiative to contact him.
This was the most common of relationships between relatives. There were no disagreements, but also not a lot of contact. The one thing they relied on to maintain the relationship was their shared blood.
But his cousin calling him today was truly surprising.
“Excuse me, I need to pick up a call.” Shi Lei grabbed the phone and walked out of the room. He answered it in the corridor. “Jing jie, what made you think to call me?”
His cousin, who was around four or five years older than him, was called Xu Jing, the daughter of his aunt. She was already married and working, with a child more than one year old to take care of.
Shi Lei’s tone sounded relaxed, but Xu Jing’s voice was rather panicked. “Shitou, are you busy studying right now? Ugh, it doesn’t matter if you are. Hurry up and come back to Run Zhou. Your dad, he…” She paused in the middle of the sentence.
Shi Lei was shocked. “Jing jie, spit it out. What happened to my dad?” he quickly asked.
“Uncle is in the First People’s Hospital right now. He’s injured. He didn’t let us tell you because he was worried that it would affect your studies, and it’s not like you can do much about it even if you do come back. But I thought about it for some time and decided to tell you!”
When Shi Lei heard what Xu Jing had said, it was as if he was struck by lightning, standing frozen on the spot.
From her words, he knew that his father definitely wasn’t sick or accidentally injured. Something had happened at home.
Perhaps his father got hit by someone? But the man was a sincere person. He would, at most, crack a few jokes. It would never cross the bottom line, so how could he have such troubles?
Or maybe their house was being forcefully demolished? That was also impossible. The house was a benefit given by the factory, which was built with money from both parties. The factory covered a part of it and the workers paid for a part of it themselves. They used the factory’s land, so was impossible to have conflicts over such a thing.
“Shitou…Shitou…” Xu Jing, who hadn’t heard any sounds for a while, called in panic.
Shi Lei snapped out of his thoughts and quickly asked, “How was my dad injured? How severe is it?”
“He was hit in the head and fainted on the spot. His leg is also broken. My mom just asked the doctor, who said that his life isn’t in danger, but there might be sequelae(1). His leg needs a steel bar to reinforce it. Anyway, it’s just very serious. Uncle just had his surgery and isn’t awake yet!”
Shi Lei exploded when he heard it.“Someone hit him?!” he yelled into the phone. “My dad is such a nice person! How―”
“I think it has something to do with your house,” Xu Jing said in a panic. “A bunch of people came over. Aiya, I don’t really know the details. Find outyourself after you come back.”
Shi Lei understood that Xu Jing’s family probably went to the hospital after the incident and didn’t really ask about the details. He had to go back to find out what happened.
“Okay, Jing jie. Please look after my mom. I’m scared that something will happen to her, too. I’ll go back immediately.”
With that said, Shi Lei quickly hung up and walked back to the room.
Both Wei Qing and Wei Xingyue had heard Shi Lei’s yell. They knew that something bad had happened, and had something to do with someone getting hit. Shi Lei had a grim expression when he came back. They exchanged a glance with each other, then asked in unison, “Did something happened to your family?”
Shi Lei nodded. “I’m sorry. I need to go back right now.”
“Do you need help?” Wei Qing and Wei Xingyue asked at the same time again when they saw Shi Lei turning around to leave.
“No, it’s fine!” Shi Lei left them with this and ran out of the hotel. He only remembered to call for a car when he was already standing out on the street.
Of course, Shi Lei knew that no matter what happened, everything would be solved easily with Wei Xingyue and Wei Qing’s help. With their families’ power, whatever happened between his father and the factory owner was nothing. But Shi Lei felt that there was no need to flaunt their relationship and seek help with even the tiniest problem. If he did that, then how was he any different from the people Wei Xingyue and Wei Qing knew before?
He called for a car on his phone and headed straight for Run Zhou.
On the way there, Shi Lei suppressed the anxiety and worry in his heart and didn’t call his mother. Since something like this had happened and she didn’t let their relatives tell him about it, then it was obvious that she didn’t want him to know. If he called, then his mother would only worry more. She was fifty years old and Shi Lei was really worried about something happening to her as well.
In the room at Da Zhong Ting, Wei Xingyue and Wei Qing stood up together as they watched Shi Lei leave. After exchanging a glance, they sat down again.
“We should find someone to check what happened…” They spoke at the same time again. They had spoken in unison three times already, and yet neither of them had the time to marvel at the coincidence.
They made each calls. Wei Xingyue knew quite a lot about Shi Lei’s parents since she had investigated him before. Wei Qing wasn’t far behind as he called and found Shi Lei’s parents’ names in the police safety system in Run Zhou, then learned about his father’s workplace. He called again and, not long after, both of their phones rang. They heard the entirety of the story before even Shi Leii, who was still on the highway.
About half a month ago, Shi Lei’s father was forced to rescind his labor contract under the company’s need to lay off an overabundance of workers. In simpler words, he was laid off. Then the factory said that his family’s house was the factory’s resource, and because Shi Lei’s father was no longer a worker at the factory, they wanted the house back. Shi Lei’s father argued against it with logical reasoning, expressing that he also paid for part of the house. So the factory made the repulsive decision of returning all the money the family had spent on house, telling them to, in turn, move out within three days.
There was no way Shi Lei’s parents could agree to such a condition. They built the house ten years ago. It was a small house with a certificate of property ownership, but no certificate for the ownership of the land. The funds didn’t surpass 30,000 yuan. However, even if it was a small property, its market price would be around 300,000 to 400,000 yuan. It was bullying them by only returning the 30,000 yuan.
Shi Lei’s parents didn’t want to move out, so a bunch of people came in the morning to chase them away. Conflict arose between the two parties, and in the end, they broke his father’s leg, smashed a hole in his head, and knocked him out right then and there.