Our Secret Hideout (2)
When Shen Wanying returned home, she didn’t eat lunch a second time, instead took a nap before going straight to her speech classes. Jiang Yu approved of her association with Huo Cheng, and didn’t ask her any questions when she got home, letting her breathe a sigh of relief.
Because she and Huo Cheng had had fun the entire morning, they hadn’t even touched the practice papers. If her mother decided to check her exercise books, she would most definitely be exposed. She decided that the next time she went out to have fun, she would wrap her exercises done beforehand.
When Huo Cheng returned home, Huo Qiming and Huo Yanni were sitting in the living room. They looked like they had been waiting for him. He approached and greeted them, “Grandfather, Aunty.”
Huo Qiming made a sound of acknowledgment. He smiled amicably and asked, “Huo Cheng, have you eaten?”
“Mm.” Huo Cheng nodded. “I ate at the villa.”
Huo Qiming: “That’s good.”
Huo Yanni chimed in, “You went to the villa with Shen Wanying today, were you studying?” She sounded like she was itching for some gossip.
Huo Cheng: “Yes.”
Huo Yanni smiled at him. “So you say. What were you doing, going so far away just to study? It’s three hours of travel back and forth, that’s such a waste of time. Next time, the two of you should just come here to study instead. We have so many rooms, you can just choose one to tidy up and use it as a dedicated study room.”
Huo Qiming cut her off. “This is between two young people, what would you understand?”
Huo Yanni bristled. What did he mean she wouldn’t understand? She was still young, okay?
“Huo Cheng, don’t listen to your aunt. You two study wherever you want to study.” Although those were his words, he had his own theories about what might be going on between the two children.
In his family, Huo Cheng was the most outstanding of his generation, and Huo Qiming’s favourite grandson. He had the looks, countenance, discipline, and intelligence; he was exceptional among his peers. And the Shen family’s daughter, he knew, was Jiang Yu’s pride; intelligent and beautiful, elegant in everything that she did – truly a treasure in her own right. If his grandson were to choose her, he would approve. So if there was anything going on, he didn’t want to interfere.
“Grandfather, I’ll be paying respects to Mom’s grave tomorrow,” Huo Cheng said before he climbed the stairs.
Huo Qiming didn’t like talking about her, but she was Huo Cheng’s mother, after all, and he was the only person in the family who could speak of her so calmly.
“Alright.” Huo Qiming nodded. “You’ve been away for so long, it’s only right that you go visit her. When are you leaving? I’ll ask the chauffeur to give you a ride.”
Huo Cheng: “Tomorrow morning.”
Huo Qiming: “Okay.”
After Huo Cheng went upstairs, his grandfather sat down on the sofa. Huo Yanni joined him, saying in a sombre tone, “I told you he missed his mother….”
Huo Qiming shot her a look, so she shut up obediently and returned to her room.
The next day, the chauffeur drove Huo Cheng to a cemetery in City A. He had worn a black suit for the occasion and brought a single, large champagne rose. It was his mother’s favourite flower.
His mother’s grave was further within the cemetery, in an area with the best feng shui, supposedly. Of course, it had also been the most expensive. As he approached, he noticed that before the grave was placed a small vase of daisies.
He frowned slightly and scanned the area, but there didn’t seem to be anyone suspicious. It wasn’t his mother’s death anniversary, but someone had still been here earlier than him. He ran through a list of her close friends in his mind but couldn’t think of anyone who would be so generous. He stared at the vase for a while, then placed the rose that he had brought next to it.
He spent about twenty minutes by the grave before departing. In the distance, a figure moved from behind a tree and watched him leave, silently lighting a cigarette.
On Monday, Huo Cheng went to school as usual and met up with Shen Wanying. In the morning, they were sought out by a student from the Newspaper Club, who told them that he had heard that they had formed a small study group and wanted to interview them about it.
It was the same young journalist who had taken the photograph of Huo Cheng and Ji Yao. Back then, the Newspaper Club had been very eager to take his picture and sell it for money, but they had withheld this piece of information from him? Angry, he had confronted the Club President but had been told that all the funds they’d collected from the sale of the pictures had been used for club expenses, and what remained was enough to buy one person a cup of milk tea.
He got his milk tea.
Shen Wanying listened to his request, barely hiding her mixed feelings behind her usual smile. In reality, the group of them hadn’t formed any sort of study group. But since things had evolved to this point, it might as well be a study group. So she said, “I’m not averse to the idea. If everyone else is agreeable, we’ll do the interview.”
“Okay!” the young journalist replied happily. “Then, I’ll trouble my lady to discuss with the rest. If they all agree, you can contact the club to arrange an interview!”
[E/N: Any time I see them call SW ‘my lady’, I just picture a guy in a fedora tipping his hat at her o.o[/mfn]
He had intended for Shen Wanying to be the one to contact him, but had he done that, he might as well have been asking her for her number. He didn’t dare be so bold and thus had no choice but to ask them to contact the club instead.
“Alright.” Shen Wanying kept her smiling mask on.
T/N: Anyone here relates to the “I have to cover my tracks or my parents will kill me?” because man, so many flashbacks to my school days. Huo Cheng’s family dynamic is… interesting. Starting to wonder if any of them had anything to do with his mother’s death since literally everyone is uncomfy when she’s mentioned. Like, these are grown-ass adults?? Anyway, yeah, give me your theories people! I’m reading this with y’all xD and while you’re at it, let us know if you’d like advance chapters! All in one comment, after all. You ask, we provide. That’s how it works, right? Thanks for reading~
E/D: Right there with you on the parents’ thing. Pretty sure I could have tried out for track the number of times I ran from my mom when she found something out XD Usually my grades >.> I’m curious who the smoker behind the tree was and why he stuck around. Seems a little creepy to me.