Lin Ruoxi almost choked on her congee when she heard him say ‘vegetable plot’.
She covered her mouth awkwardly and looked at him in confusion. “Grandfather…is there anything you need help with?
Yang Gongming nodded. “You seemed very interested in vegetables and fruits. I could teach you a thing or two about having a green thumb.”
Tending to plants?
Lin Ruoxi thought it sounded a little random. If he did not want to do it himself, she was sure there were servants available to help.
“Sounds random, doesn’t it?” Yang Gongming seemed to know what she was thinking. “My vegetables are off-limits to the servants. You, Sanniang and I are the only ones who are allowed to touch them.”
Lin Ruoxi was happy to hear that despite finding it odd.
Yang Chen didn’t care too much. He still had to finalize some things with Ron and double-check all the arrangements for the final day.
After breakfast, Lin Ruoxi accompanied Yang Gongming to the vegetable garden from yesterday.
Lin Ruoxi didn’t dare to touch any of it and followed Yang Gongming into a small hut near the garden, who had already changed into a greyish blue outfit. From the looks of it, it was most probably his work attire for gardening activities.
Lin Ruoxi, on the other hand, didn’t have any suitable outfit so she gave up on changing them.
Yang Gongming pushed open a door that released a strong stench. Lin Ruoxi immediately covered her nose and peered inside to see the source of the smell
“Ruoxi, you should just stand outside, the stench is pretty strong,” Yang Gongming said before walking in.
Lin Ruoxi waited outside curiously and fifteen minutes later, Yang Gongming walked out with a bucket on his back while holding a sprayer.
Yang Gongming smiled and explained it to her. “You’ve never seen this before, right? Aren’t you curious? This is what we use to fertilize plants.”
Lin Ruoxi nodded in understanding. She was excited to try something new but was reluctant to allow the smell and dirt to stain her white dress.
“Then...Grandfather, what should I do?” she asked.
“I’ll be fertilizing the vegetables. Just water them evenly.”
Right at this moment, Yan Sanniang walked over with a watering can and passed it to Lin Ruoxi.
Lin Ruoxi extended one hand and accepted it with a smile, thinking it shouldn’t be too heavy for her since Yan Sanniang had no problems carrying it. One moment later, the can was sent free-falling toward the ground!
She quickly used both hands to catch it so it wouldn’t break.
“Young Madam, the can is full, so it’s pretty heavy.” Yan Sanniang told her.
Lin Ruoxi stared at her in shock! This can which weighed over forty pounds seemed like nothing in Yan Sanniang’s hands
She thought about it and came to the conclusion that Yan Sanniang was more than she let on to be.
But before she could think things through, Yang Gongming had already led her towards the aubergines for fertilization.
She watched him fertilize them and then she’d watered them under his guidance to dilute the manure.
“Aubergines have to be fertilized frequently so that it can grow well, but too much nitrogen can damage the roots. That’s why I asked you to water them after me.”
Yang Gongming explained to her while fertilizing.
Lin Ruoxi listened to him attentively. She asked a couple of questions from time to time when he explained something she couldn’t understand.
Time passed quickly and it was already an hour later when they were finally done with gardening.
Lin Ruoxi placed the watering can down and sat down on the bench with Yang Gongming. She was completely drenched in sweat.
Her hair was a mess with a few strands of hair stuck to her forehead.
She was panting and heaving heavily. Yan Sanniang passed her a cup of herbal tea which she downed in one shot.
Her head lowered in embarrassment when she realized that they were both staring at her while smiling.
“There’s nothing to be shy about. In fact, it makes me rather happy to see you like that.” Yang Gongming smiled in content.
Lin Ruoxi was a bit confused but took it as a compliment.
Yan Sanniang smiled and said, “Master, when I watched Young Madam working in the garden, it reminded me of Miss when she was working from a long time ago.”
Lin Ruoxi was utterly confused, who was that?
Could it be Yang Gongming’s daughter Yang Jieyu?
But a long time ago wouldn’t be so accurate would it?
Yang Gongming’s eyes were filled with longing. He began to explain, “The Miss she meant was my wife, Yang Chen’s grandmother. She passed away ages ago.”
Lin Ruoxi nodded but the asked, “Why did Granny Yan call grandmother Miss?”
This time it was Yan Sanniang’s turn to answer, “Young Madam, you didn’t know this, but I was actually her personal maid. I followed her into the Yang clan when she was married. After her passing, I stayed to take care of the master.”
Lin Ruoxi couldn’t believe it. Yan Sanniang used to be a personal maid?
From her calm and collected attitude, her unfathomable gaze and her hidden abilities, she looked nothing like a maid!
Lin Ruoxi couldn’t help but became curious about her grandmother-in-law, wondering how she was like, so she asked, “Grandfather, what can you tell me about Grandmother? How was she like, she sounded like a very special person.”
Yang Gongming drank a sip of his tea and turned around to face the garden.
He smiled warmly. “Your grandmother...I don’t know where to start. She was in her last stage of cancer when she gave birth to Pojun. Medical technology wasn’t as good as it was now. She would have been cured if she had contracted it now instead of then.”
He sighed heavily and continued, “Your grandmother wasn’t really pretty. In fact, when she was young, she would have been best described as plain-looking. Things were difficult for a big clan like us. We did not possess the same business acumen as the Tang clan had. Your great grandfather and I were both in the military and we had to divide our pay amongst our subordinates. Your grandmother was very kind, she used to feed the stray dogs and cats secretly. She still did it even after being scolded by your great grandfather. Now that I think about it, I used to suspect if she used the money she earned from making clothes to buy food for the stray dogs and cats…”
Lin Ruoxi could see yellow pages of a diary being flipped in front of her as she listened to Yang Gongming reminiscing about the past.
“After Pojun was born, things were better for our clan. I inherited my father’s position as the clan leader after his passing. Because of my command in Vietnam, I was promoted to Marshal. In just twenty years of independence, we’ve had two marshals in our clan! The Yang clan had reached an all-new peak. Following the cooperation with overseas’ economy and my participation in the Central government, our clan started to gain more power, just like the other three clans. People start to have all sorts of desires once they gained money and started to feel comfortable. That was when I strayed from my path when I saw how other people have multiple lovers. And so, I followed.”
Lin Ruoxi was listening to him attentively at first and when she heard that, she blushed and looked at Yang Gongming in disbelief!