to transport salt bags to melt snow?”
“Then you should have told us, what good can you do alone.”
“Humph, young man, you still look down on me.
Come on, Uncle Yuan, no one believes in you but yourself!”
Lu Ying laughed, lifted two bags of salt with one hand and threw them onto the cart with ease, not forgetting to tell his son, who was watching curiously, “Zaizai, this is Grandpa Yuan.”
“Good morning, Grandpa Yuan.” Lu Zaizai said obediently.
“That’s a good boy.
Quickly go to the station by the roadside, it is clean and safe there.
Don’t play on the road.”
“Go over there, Zaizai, you can build a snowman on a station chair.”
Lu Zaizai hesitated: “But I want to help Dad.”
“Little fool, if Dad uses you as a child labourer, he will be scolded.”
“All right then, I’ll go and build a snowman.
If Dad needs help, call me and I’ll help you.”
“Be careful not to get your hand hurt.”
Captain Yuan grinned, “Your boy is so strong, a good boy who knows how to behave.”
“Well, he’s been well-behaved since he was little.”
Shortly afterwards, other employees arrived, and the group divided up the work, transporting carts of salt bags to various parts of the road and sprinkling salt on the streets to make the snow melt quickly.
The weather had been cold for a few days and there was less rubbish on the streets than usual, but today the snow piled up and greatly increased the workload.
Usually Lu Ying could finish work in four hours at the slowest, but today there was still a bunch of work until almost nine in the morning, when the road was already full of cars and pedestrians.
“Xiao Lu, stop working, hurry up and go to the shopping mall, we’ll do the rest.” Captain Yuan sympathetically urged Lu Ying to hurry up and go.
Lu Ying shook his head, waved his shovel and continued shovelling snow, occasionally looking at his son who was playing next to him.
The boy was in good spirits; he had woken up in the middle of the night and was still playing hard, not tired at all.
“Aren’t you afraid you’ll be late for work?” Captain Yuan was anxious for him.
Lu Ying stopped, resting one hand on his shovel and tugging the clothes on his back with the other.
He had worked hard for a few hours and the clothes inside were all drenched in sweat, sticky and wrinkled on his back.
“I’m not going.
I got fired yesterday.”
“What? How could you be fired?” Captain Yuan exclaimed.
Lu Ying simply said, “Yesterday afternoon the supervisor called to tell me that my resignation letter was rejected by the manager and I was dismissed in turn.
The reason is that I was absent from work yesterday without permission.
Last month’s salary will not be paid either.”
“Outrageous, what kind of manager is this? If they don’t pay for your work, you can go to the labour department and apply for that arbitration or whatever to sue them! 2,000 or 3,000 yuan a month for your hard work, don’t let them have a penny! Don’t be afraid, we old people will help you.
I don’t believe they will dare not to pay.”
“Those who don’t pay for work should be struck by lightning!”
This group of his street sweeping colleagues were filled with righteous indignation and helped Lu Ying come up with ideas.
Lu Ying placated, “Thank you all, I will definitely ask for my salary.
I’ll be fine on my own.”
“Don’t do everything on your own, call us if you can’t!”
“Dad, I’ll help you sweep.”
As the station became more and more crowded, Lu Zaizai had no place to play and was bored, so he ran over, picked up a broom and swept the road in a decent manner.
Everyone laughed and praised him for his diligence and Lu Ying let him do it.
Rubbing their hands, the father and son worked together.
At around noon, the streets were finally cleared of snow and everyone was so tired that they could barely stand and walk home after work.
Lu Ying was starving, and Lu Zaizai was lethargic, looking pitiful and ready to fall asleep at any moment.
After eating at home, Lu Ying dragged his dozing son to the outside bathhouse to take a bath.
The clothes were not easy to dry in winter.
He usually only washed once every two or three days.
Boiling water at home and squeezing in the bathroom to wash was not a pleasant experience.
Every time Lu Zaizai was crying like a wailing ghost during washing.
There was a concealed bathhouse next to the community, and the tenants who couldn’t afford to use electricity and water at home chose to go to the bathhouse.
It was five yuan for adults and three yuan for children, individual cubicles for everyone.
When the owner saw that Lu Ying had brought the child, he gave them a slightly larger bathing room.
Lu Ying was fully equipped with towels of all sizes, travel size shampoo and shower gel, children’s cream and large plastic basins.
“Wow wow wow, so hot, I’m going to be scalded!” As soon as the shower sprayed, Lu Zaizai began to yell and wriggle like a loach.
Lu Ying rolled his eyes as he filled the basin with water: “Where is it hot? Is it better to wash in cold water?”
“Woo, I want to use the Ultraman basin to wash.” Lu Zaizai cowered in the corner, washing himself slowly.
Lu Ying ignored him, “Whatever you want.”
Lu Zaizai slowly washed himself, sometimes slapping the water, sometimes waving the towel and turning around, almost falling over.
Lu Ying gasped and gently twisted his ear: “Every time I take you out for a bath, you’re naughty.
You deserve it if you get your injury wet.”
“Dad, don’t be angry, I won’t move around.” Lu Zaizai immediately pretended to be a good boy: “Dad, I’ll help you take a bath.”
“No, you won’t.”
“Dad, the mark on your belly has turned red.” Lu Zaizai was amazed.
He stretched out his hand to touch Lu Ying’s abdomen.
The scar was usually a light pink, but now the hot water had deepened the colour, “It feels slippery, like a little fish, hahaha, it’s fun.” The little hand poked and prodded.
Lu Ying plucked away his son’s little hand and snorted softly.
“The little fish has grown into you.”
The big pig trotters made me ugly at my young age!
With the thoughts of Mrs.
Qin yesterday and all the past, the hot water rushed mercilessly over his body, scalding Lu Ying’s eyes red.
Lu Ying’s emotions were still tense when he walked out of the bathhouse, his flushed-cheeked son following him with the Ultraman basin in his arms.
“Dad, my socks are disobedient and are shrinking into my shoes again.
Help me get them.”
Lu Ying bent down and helped Lu Zaizai pull out the edges of his socks.
The moment he got up, he seemed to feel something.
Someone was following him in the shadows; but when he looked up, the feeling disappeared again.
Lu Ying took his son’s hand and increased his vigilance.
In the office, the assistant made Qin Zhuopu a cup of oolong tea.
Qin Zhuopu didn’t even look at it, his eyes fixed on the computer screen.
High-definition photos flashed on the screen, all featuring a single person.
Not long after, there was a clanging sound.
The assistant walked in, frightened, only to see the tea cup being broken into several pieces.
The boss had his back turned to the door, standing by the window and smoking.
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