No matter what happened, his master was his master. As the proverb said: Even if someone is your teacher for only a day, you should regard him like your father for the rest of your life.
Liang Zhengchun had returned to China, but Xia Lei hadn’t visited him yet. Now that Liang Siyao suggested it, he would have to visit Liang Zhengchun, no matter what.
Xia Lei prepared some gifts, and drove to the place that Liang Zhengchun rented in the Sunshine district in the evening.
It was a very average neighborhood and the houses were all relatively old. There weren’t many greening designs in the public areas of the neighborhood. One look and one could see that it was just a normal neighborhood where average people lived.
Xia Lei was uncomfortable when he saw his master and the woman he once loved deeply living in a place like this.
Xia Lei had just parked his car when Liang Siyao walked over. She had been waiting for him.
“I was starting to think that you weren’t going to come,” said Liang Siyao with a smile.
Xia Lei carried a big bag of presents out of his car. “I stopped by some places to buy some presents on the way here, so I was delayed.”
“You don’t need to be so courteous.” Liang Siyao’s gaze held a faint ‘tut-tut’ when she said that.
Xia Lei laughed. “How can I come empty-handed?”
“I’ll hold the bag for you. Follow me.” Liang Siyao took the bag from Xia Lei.
Xia Lei followed her and asked, “Siyao, why are you and Master living in such a place?”
“There’s nothing wrong with living in such a place. The place I lived with my father in the past was like this too. There’s not much of a difference,” said Liang Siyao.
“You can tell me if you have any difficulties. You don’t have to be courteous with me. I was not as able in the past, but I can help the two of you now,” said Xia Lei.
“Are you talking about money? It’s true that I don’t have much money. The CIA salary isn’t high and I ran away. I’m afraid to touch the money in my bank account because of that. My father was the one who paid for the rental of this place,” said Liang Siyao.
“Master didn’t earn much money from running his martial arts school. How about this, I will buy a house for you and Master. I will give Master some money for retirement too. Is that okay? This is a show of filial piety I have for him,” said Xia Lei.
Liang Siyao smiled. “You want to buy a house for my dad and me? If Tang Yuyan finds out, won’t she come and tear the house apart?”
Xia Lei was a little embarrassed. “The two of us are just ordinary friends.”
“You treat her as an ordinary friend, but she doesn’t treat you as an ordinary friend. Have you not noticed? Today, at Bureau 101, she tried to show off her dominance by hinting that I should stay away from you. It looks like she considers you her boyfriend, hmm?”
Xia Lei didn’t know how to respond to her question. He coughed dryly. “Let’s talk about something else. Are you used to living here now that you’re back?”
“Is there something going on between you and Long Bing?”
Xia Lei was speechless.
Xia Lei saw Liang Zhengchun sitting on the sofa watching TV when he walked in. He greeted him, “Master.”
Liang Zhengchun hurriedly stood up from the sofa.
Liang Siyao said with a smile, “Dad, Lei is here. He also bought you a lot of gifts.”
“Lei, you really are too much. My home is your home. Why would you buy gifts when you return to your own home?” Liang Zhengchun had said it that way, but his face was still full of smiles.
He had always regarded Xia Lei as his own son, but his daughter had done something unforgivable to Xia Lei. Because of that, he was ashamed to face Xia Lei. He would’ve still been happy even if Xia Lei hadn’t bought any gifts.
Xia Lei walked forward and knelt to greet his master. This was an ancient style of greeting one’s Master and martial arts people pay particular attention to this. Xia Lei was willing to give Liang Zhengchun this kind of respect since he was able to escape from danger many times and survive until today, all because of Liang Zhengchun. His survival was linked to the true Wing Chun techniques Liang Zhengchun had passed on to him.
Liang Zhengchun helped Xia Lei up. He was deeply moved by his actions. “Look at you, it would’ve been fine if you had just come. But you have also bought gifts and you even kneel before me. I... ah, Master doesn’t have any accomplishments. I can’t accept your great respect for me.”
“Master, don’t say that. You are my Master for this lifetime. Besides, how can I come empty-handed when I come visit my Master? I should buy some gifts for you, at least. I didn’t buy much besides your favorite oolong tea and some tonics,” said Xia Lei.
Liang Zhengchun laughed. “Kid, do you think that I’ve reached the age where I need to eat tonics? Even though I’m old, I’m still strong and vigorous.”
“Dad, Lei is here. Let’s start eating.”
Liang Zhengchun’s expression suddenly turned cold as he looked at Liang Siyao. He sternly said, “Start eating? You still have something you haven’t done yet.”
Xia Lei couldn’t bear for Liang Siyao to be blamed, so he hurriedly asked, “Master, what else needs to be done? I will do it.”
“You just need to stand.” Liang Zhengchun said, “Siyao, come here.”
Liang Siyao mumbled something under her breath and slowly walked to Liang Zhengchun and Xia Lei.
“Kneel down!” Liang Zhengchun yelled.
Liang Siyao trembled and glanced anxiously at Xia Lei.
“Why are you looking at him? I want you to kneel down and admit your mistakes to Lei!” Liang Zhengchun glowered at Liang Siyao.
Xia Lei finally understood what Liang Zhengchun had meant when he said that there was still something that Liang Siyao hadn’t done. He hurriedly said, “Master, don’t be like this. I… Siyao and I are all good now. I don’t want her to admit to her mistakes. She actually didn’t do anything wrong; it was all because of her work.”
“You’re still protecting her!” Liang Zhengchun became even angrier.
Liang Siyao knelt in front of Xia Lei with a plop. Tears continued to flow from her eyes as she said, “Xia Lei, I… I was wrong. Please forgive me.”
Xia Lei reached his hands out to help her up, but Liang Siyao refused to get up.
“If you don’t forgive me, then I won’t get up,” Liang Siyao said.
The corners of Xia Lei’s eyes were also getting a little moist. His voice trembled a little as he said, “I forgive you. It’s fine now, so get up. Get up.”
Liang Siyao finally allowed Xia Lei to help her up. She stood up and saw the tears forming in Xia Lei’s eyes. In that instant, her heart was touched. Happiness and grief engulfed her heart. Her tears began to flow uncontrollably from her eyes once again.
“Why are you crying? Do you feel regretful now? It was a blessing from the Heavens when you were together with Lei. You didn’t cherish it but you did such a thing behind his back instead! All the pride of this old man has been thrown away by you!” Liang Zhengchun didn’t spare any of her feelings when he lectured her.
Liang Siyao silently accepted his lecture. She dared to look at Xia Lei, but she didn’t dare to look at Liang Zhengchun.
“Okay, okay. Let’s eat.” Xia Lei hurriedly tried to shift Liang Zhengchun’s attention away from her.
Liang Siyao obediently poured a glass of wine for both Liang Zhengchun and Xia Lei at the dining table.
Xia Lei said, “Siyao, you should drink a glass too. It’s rare for the three of us to finally be together again.”
Liang Siyao nodded, but she glanced at Liang Zhengchun like she was asking for his permission.
Liang Zhengchun said unhappily, “Since Lei is asking you to drink, then drink, or do you expect me to pour you a glass?”
Xia Lei had already picked up the wine bottle and poured Liang Siyao a glass of wine.
“Thank you.” Liang Siyao’s voice was small.
“Let’s have a toast for our reunion.” Xia Lei raised his wine glass.
The three wine glasses clinked together. This glass of wine tasted particularly sweet.
After drinking a few more glasses of wine, the atmosphere became much more relaxed. Xia Lei said, “Master, I want to discuss something with you.”
“What is it?” Liang Zhengchun glanced at Liang Siyao and then she added a piece of pork ribs to Xia Lei’s bowl.
Xia Lei didn’t pay attention to that. He said, “Master, I didn’t have the ability to show you filial piety in the past. Now, I have to ability to be filial to you. I don’t feel good about letting you live in such a place. You are like a father to me. If other people see you living in such a place, they will say that I’m a poor disciple to you.”
“What are you getting at, punk?”
Liang Siyao interjected and said, “Father, Lei wants to buy a house for us. Mm, he also said he will give you...”
Liang Zhengchun interrupted Liang Siayo. “When did I say you could speak? Shut up.”
“Oh.” Liang Siyao closed her mouth obediently.
Liang Zhengchun looked at Xia Lei. “Is it true?”
Xia Lei replied, “Yes. I want to buy a house for you and Siyao. I also want to give you some money for retirement.”
“Isn’t this inappropriate?”
“Master, why isn’t this appropriate? You are my Master; I’m considered your son. Why can’t a son buy his father a house? You should accept it and give me this opportunity to show you filial piety,” Xia Lei said sincerely.
“You want to buy me a house and give me money for retirement.” Liang Zhengchun smiled as he said, “Could it be that you still want my stupid daughter?”
Xia Lei was speechless.
“Dad!” Liang Siyao rolled her eyes at Liang Zhengchun. “Lei is trying to show you some filial piety, why are you changing the subject to me? Leizi is sincere about this, so you should accept it. At worst, I will just pay him back in the future.”
“How will you pay it back? Do you think I don’t know how expensive houses are in the capital? It won’t even be enough if I sell you to him,” Liang Zhengchun said.
Liang Siyao peeked at Xia Lei from the corner of her eye.
Xia Lei quickly used his chopsticks to pick up the pork rib that Liang Siyao had put in his bowl, and gnawed on it.
“Okay, I will accept it. But you will have to come to visit me every few days, since you’re the one who bought the house or I will move back here,” said Liang Zhengchun.
Xia Lei smiled. “Of course, of course.”
After dinner, Liang Zhengchun said that he was going to play chess with someone and slipped away before Liang Siyao even finished putting the dishes away. Only Xia Lei and Liang Siyao were left in the house. It was only the two of them, and the atmosphere became awkward between the old lovers.
“I’ll help you clean up.” Xia Lei helped Liang Siyao tidy up the bowls and chopsticks.
Liang Siyao grabbed Xia Lei’s hands. “How can I let a man do these things? You can rest.” She told Xia Lei to rest, but she didn’t let go of his hands.
“Um… I’ll help you clean up.” Xia Lei pulled his hands away from her, picked up a plate, and walked towards the kitchen.
Liang Siyao also began walking towards the kitchen. The kitchen door was narrow, so they were suddenly pressed up against each other when the two of them walked through the door at the same time. The leftover plate of scrambled eggs with tomatoes in Liang Siyao’s hands splattered on Xia Lei and herself.
The two hurriedly separated from one another but the scrambled eggs with tomatoes had already spilled on her chest, her lower abdomen, and her short skirt. Xia Lei didn’t escape from the spill either. His chest, lower abdomen, and his trousers were stained with sauce from the scrambled eggs with tomatoes.
“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. Don’t move, I will clean it up for you.” Liang Siyao immediately reached out her hands to pat off the tomatoes and scrambled eggs stuck on Xia Lei’s clothes.
Xia Lei was embarrassed. He was about to tell her that she did not need to do that when Liang Siyao crouched down to help him clean away the stains. It was impossible for there to not be a lot of touching in that process.
The atmosphere between them became ambiguous.
Xia Lei can’t endure this kind of atmosphere anymore. He said nervously, “I suddenly remembered that I still have something to do. I have to return to the company.”
“You… How can you leave like this?” Liang Siyao’s eyes were full of disappointment.
Xia Lei freed himself from her and began walking away. “It’s fine. Only my trousers are dirty. No one will be able to see it when I’m sitting in the car. Oh, right, I’ll get my assistant to go and look at houses tomorrow and I’ll give you a call when it’s done.”
Liang Siyao sighed softly. Couldn’t he tell that what she wanted wasn’t the house?Previous Chapter Next Chapter