Ji Anning looked at the time and suggested going back.
She changed her clothes and came out. Wen Yu said, “Let’s have a meal together.”
Ji Anning refused.
“Only when I have time off can I cook some fresh food for my grandmother,” she said.
“Then let’s do it together,” Wen Yu wanted to freeload a meal.
Ji Anning coldly refused, “No.”
Wen Yu wanted to say something else, but Ji Anning said, “Forget it, there’s a sick person at home, it’s really not suitable to invite someone over for a meal.”
Her tone was sincere, not perfunctory. It was because of the smell caused by her grandmother not flushing the toilet at home. Wen Yu probably wouldn’t be able to eat a mouthful of food.
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Eld Zw alzwnvydvzu tyhl wr yde vsze bla, “Psd’v qsatlv vs cakdt vbl nzsvblp cynj.”
Kk Gddkdt blpkvyvle yde pyke, “Mbydjp qsa vbl qyhsa vbkp vkxl, cwv esd’v cwu nzsvblp qsa xl kd vbl qwvwal. R wdelapvyde obyv usw xlyd, R’zz cwu psxl nzsvblp xuplzq.”
Yspv sq Kk Gddkdt’p vktbv-qkvvkdt M-pbkavp olal pdwt sd bla cseu. Fwd Zymkyd bye xsnjle bla qsa kv kd bla ralhkswp zkql.
“Zsw’al yzoyup ealpple ps plmu, obyv yal usw rzsvvkdt?” pbl pyke.
Rd qynv, Kk Gddkdt’p nzsvblp vblxplzhlp olal saekdyau kd pvuzl, cwv vbl pxyzz pkgl xyel vblx nzkdt vs bla cseu, tkhkdt sqq y plmu hkcl.
Jwv vbkp vkxl, Kk Gddkdt xkpwdelapvsse Eld Zw.
Eld Zw eked’v cwu bla dlo nzsvblp clnywpl pbl ealpple rashsnyvkhlzu, bl cswtbv vblx clnywpl sd Ysdeyu bl blyae Kk Gddkdt ypj kq pbl nswze “olya osajswv rydvp,” yde bl twlpple vbyv pbl eked’v byhl eleknyvle osajswv nzsvblp. Fs obld bl oyp cwukdt osajswv nzsvblp, bl rknjle wr vos swvqkvp yp olzz. Rv oyp alyzzu fwpv yd yqvlavbswtbv.
Eld Zw eked’v qkde Kk Gddkdt’p nbsknl sq nzsvblp vss plmu yv yzz, bl zkjle kv.
Instead, Ji Anning’s words attracted his attention. He stared at her and suddenly noticed some marks on the front of her T-shirt. At first glance, it seemed like an unremovable stain, but as he looked closely, he realized that it wasn’t a stain from something, but rather the logo of the original shirt had been washed off, leaving a faint trace.
Looking closely, he could still make out the shape of the logo, it was a very popular sports brand. It was cheap for Wen Yu, but for Ji Anning’s financial situation, it was definitely expensive.
Wen Yu stared at Ji Anning’s chest, squinting his eyes. “This shirt of yours…”
His gaze made Ji Anning instinctively take a half step back.
It would have been fine if she didn’t step back, but once she did, Wen Yu couldn’t hold back.
“Let me see.” He reached out and grabbed Ji Anning’s back neck, flipping open her collar.
“Hey!” Ji Anning broke free, her cheeks flushed, her eyes widened in anger.
But Wen Yu had already seen it, the size was stitched, although it had washed off some threads, he still vaguely saw it—Kids.
“Children’s clothing?” he laughed.
“Big children’s clothing!” Ji Anning pressed down on her collar and glared at him.
Teenage clothing and children’s clothing are not the same thing! Some brands also call it youth clothing.
Wen Yu was delighted. “When did you get this outfit?” Elementary school?
Ji Anning snorted. “Junior high school.”
At that time, her biological father was still around, and their family conditions were good. They had everything they needed. The clothes she bought back then were of good quality and lasted for several years without breaking. They were just a bit tight.
Initially, it was fine. But after she entered high school, her chest developed too quickly, stretching the clothes and transforming her body shape from a flat board to a curvaceous figure.
Thinking back to the news report about “attending school while carrying her grandmother,” it mentioned that Ji Anning’s father had failed in business and disappeared during her junior high school years. Wen Yu suddenly realized.
However, as he looked at Ji Anning’s expression, he didn’t seem to mind. She was just annoyed that he touched her without permission.
When she thought about it, if she did mind, it would be like a public execution with reporters surrounding her, capturing her gratitude towards the authorities.
Wen Yu felt fortunate that Ji Anning was open-minded and able to face it calmly, but he couldn’t help but feel heartbroken for what she had experienced over the past few years.
He had heard from Chen Hao about the gossip that on the first day of school, the headmaster called Ji Anning to the podium and asked her to give a speech to the entire freshman class and express her determination.
Wen Yu moved his lips, and Ji Anning, noticing it, preemptively said, “I told you not to buy me clothes anymore. I’ll buy them myself.”
Ji Anning worked several jobs, so she wasn’t really in a situation where she couldn’t afford food or clothes. But she had a habit of being particularly frugal with money.
She preferred saving money over spending it. Spending money made her anxious, while saving money made her feel at ease.
In her past life, she couldn’t even bring herself to buy a microwave oven.
It couldn’t be helped. When her biological father took the money and ran away, and when she and her grandmother were forced out of their original house and had to rent a leaking and dilapidated shack, she suddenly went from worry-free living to destitution. Since then, she had become particularly tight-fisted with money.
Later, things got worse when her grandmother’s mind started to deteriorate, and Ji Anning had to bear the burden of supporting both of them. She became even more reluctant to spend and saved whenever possible.
She always felt that if the clothes were still wearable, why spend money on new ones?
But the truth was, whether it was food or clothing, there were differences in quality. If she didn’t buy expensive clothes, she could still buy cheaper ones.
Instead of buying T-shirts for a few hundred yuan at the mall, she could buy oversized cultural shirts for 18 yuan at the morning market.
But Ji Anning just couldn’t bring herself to do it. She was willing to spend money on her grandmother, but when it came to herself, she had become so frugal that it was almost pathological.
In her past life, she didn’t think there was anything wrong with it until she died.
The meager savings she had painstakingly accumulated and stored in her bank account went unnoticed. When Wen Yu sent her grandmother to the nursing home, he didn’t take anything from that house.
Her strict frugality towards herself became meaningless.
The new clothes Wen Yu bought for her served as a reminder. In this lifetime, she needed to change.
Wen Yu finally agreed not to randomly buy things for Ji Anning, and they couldn’t have a meal together at home.
Ji Anning went home, cooked and cleaned up, settled her grandmother for a nap, locked the door, and went to the café.
Normally, she only worked the evening shift and didn’t work in the afternoon. But now it was the Golden Week holiday, and the store was busy, so she took an extra shift from the afternoon until evening.
Indeed, the holiday was particularly busy, and Ji Anning was constantly busy throughout the afternoon. She finally took a breath when it was time for dinner.
“Tired, huh?” Shu Chen asked.
Shu Chen also had dinner with Ji Anning in the back kitchen. He was tired too, but he willingly accepted the fatigue. He was the boss, and the more tired he was, the more money he could earn.
“I’m fine,” Ji Anning replied, eating quickly.
She had long adapted to this level of work intensity. On regular days, she was more diligent and proactive than others, which always made Shu Chen feel like he had struck gold.
Ji Anning quickly finished eating and wanted to go back to work. Shu Chen, feeling sorry for her, held her back instead. “Take a break for a while.”
This afternoon, Ji Anning did the most and was the most exhausted. Shu Chen was well aware of it, and he understood the situation.
When the boss spoke, Ji Anning could rest assured. She remembered to ask Shu Chen, “Manager, do you know of any other jobs suitable for girls?”
Shu Chen asked, “Who are you looking for?”
Ji Anning said, “For myself.”
Shu Chen was surprised, “You still have time to spare?”
Shu Chen had a general understanding of Ji Anning’s schedule, and she was almost fully occupied. On weekends, she even worked part-time at a bar on South Bridge Road and returned home very late.
He had always been concerned for her.
After thinking for a moment, he said, “I’ll ask my mother to see if she knows any tutoring jobs.”
In reality, the income from tutoring for college students was not high, far less than those “famous teachers,” and one also had to consider the time spent on commuting. Speaking of income, NL made the most. Without the income from NL, Ji Anning had to seriously consider what she could do and which jobs could balance time and pay.
She gave up the income from NL. If she were to do a job that consumed time and energy but had low income, it wouldn’t be cost-effective.
She seriously considered the things Wen Yu said last night. He made a lot of sense.
In fact, over the years, no one had ever guided or advised her like this before.
Many people thought that certain things and principles would naturally be understood and done by a person as they grew up from childhood to a certain age. But the truth was, there was nothing that one would “naturally know.” This so-called “naturally knowing” couldn’t happen without the guidance, direction, or subtle influence provided by adults around them during the process of growing up.
But Ji Anning didn’t have that. She had always been feeling her way forward on her own.
During high school, life and thoughts were simple. Her school had a militarized management style, where everyone focused on studying for the college entrance examination, and the school strictly prohibited early relationships. Under this school atmosphere, she safely passed through her high school years.
In college, it was like entering a small society, where collectivism and discipline were weakened, and people’s hearts became more complex.
Last night, Wen Yu’s words were like a wake-up call for Ji Anning, making her more aware.
She thought that she should first see how she could coordinate the time spent on making money with the time spent on the most important thing, which is studying.
If necessary, she could consider using Wen Yu’s money.
He was right, she couldn’t struggle with her own life, and she shouldn’t delay her preparations.
Considering her past and future, she already owed him a lot and even had a feeling of “having no worries when in debt.” She couldn’t help but find it both funny and emotional.
She would slowly repay it.
Wen Yu had lunch by himself and then drove back to his parents’ house.
Since it was a holiday, Wen Guoan and Cheng Lian were both there. They only gathered as a family on special occasions like these.
“You’re coming back now that it’s a holiday,” Cheng Lian complained, “Where did you wander off to?”
Wen Yu casually said, “I slept in with the family in the morning and woke up at noon.”
Wen Guoan said with concern, “Don’t mess up your routine just because it’s a holiday. It’s not good for your health.”
Wen Guoan was older and a person who paid special attention to health. He had a regular routine and emphasized exercise. He only ate natural organic food and even set up a farm in the south to grow organic food for himself, ensuring the quality of his food.
But all of this couldn’t stop the normal process of aging.
Wen Guoan was nearly twenty years older than Cheng Lian, who took good care of herself, so when the three of them gathered together, it felt like a father with his two children, which seemed a bit strange.
Wen Guoan had always been strict with Wen Yu’s studies and health, never indulging him.
In Ji Anning’s eyes, Wen Yu was a frivolous and promiscuous second-generation rich kid, but in reality, he never skipped classes in school and was mature and steady in the company. Some of the old servants who had followed Wen Guoan for decades also had high hopes for Wen Yu.
As for private matters like dating and fighting, who hasn’t been a little reckless in their youth? The older generation just laughed it off.
So it was this Wen Yu who gave guidance and advice to Ji Anning about her disorganized and short-sighted life.
They had a warm dinner together.
Wen Guoan asked, “What are your plans for the holiday?”
Wen Yu casually said, “No specific plans.”
His so-called lack of plans meant that he didn’t have any arrangements to travel to different places or countries. But in reality, he had already agreed with Ji Anning that he would give her one-on-one training every morning during these few days.
Wen Guoan said, “Then come with me to the island.”
Wen Guoan bought a small island in the South China Sea and developed it into a private wellness and leisure resort. It had good air and water quality, and he regularly went there to rest. Sometimes he would also invite friends or business partners to join him.
He said, “I’ve invited Director Wang, Director Gao, Director Zhu, and Director Li this time. Go there to get to know them well.
Wen’s family business spans three major sectors, without being publicly listed. Outsiders usually only know that the Wen family is influential, but it’s actually difficult to grasp the full extent of this massive iceberg.
In addition to wholly-owned subsidiaries, the company also has various hidden holdings behind natural persons. The overall structure is intricate and complex, with frequent internal capital flow. Even for Wen Yu, truly taking over is not a matter of one or two days, or even one or two years.
Wen Guoan deeply feels that he has aged too quickly in recent years. He can’t wait for Wen Yu to graduate and eagerly wants to push him forward.
Wen Yu understands his father’s thoughts. Such things cannot be avoided, and he has no intention of avoiding them. Just like he said that studying well is Ji Anning’s proper business, taking over the family business at an early date is Wen Yu’s proper business.
At the dinner table, Wen Yu asked Cheng Lian, “Mom, are you coming along?”
Cheng Lian casually replied, “No, they’re all old acquaintances. It doesn’t matter whether I go or not. You can go.”
Wen Yu then asked her about her holiday plans, and Cheng Lian said she wanted to go to France for a visit.
After finishing dinner, Wen Yu chatted with Cheng Lian for a while, played a game of chess with Wen Guoan, and then returned to his own room. He called Ji Anning but nobody answered.
He remembered that she was working two shifts in a row at the coffee shop today, so she probably couldn’t answer the phone during work.
As he relaxed in the luxurious and comfortable massage bathtub, Ji Anning called back.
“Hello?” There was some background noise.
“Just finished work?” Wen Yu asked.
“Yes,” Ji Anning replied.
Wen Yu could hear the sound of the bus announcing the next stop, indicating that she was on a public bus.
Ji Anning asked, “Did you need something?”
Her voice sounded tired, clearly indicating that she had a rough day. After all, it was the Golden Week holiday.
Wen Yu lay in the extravagant and comfortable massage bathtub, listening to her tired and no longer cold voice, and suddenly felt a pang of sympathy.