The woman finished shouting the familiar lines and belatedly looked carefully at her son.
Ruan Qingmu didn’t show any reaction, even the loathing expression that he used to show in the past was nowhere to be seen.
He looked the same as usual, entered the house, and inhaled.
“There’s sweet and sour pork ribs?”
This area consisted of a set of storied buildings that faced the street.
Every household had torn down their porch and opened the access to the road.
They had opened breakfast stalls, small grocery stores, and hardware stores; they even opened massage stores, like Ruan Qingmu’s family.
As soon as they entered the door, there was a receptionist desk right opposite the entrance.
Because it was mealtime, they had dragged out a temporary dining table, and there were four home-cooked dishes on top of it.
The sweet and sour short ribs were gleaming with oil, the stir-fried shredded pork with white jade mushroom looked refreshing, the eggplant in chicken sauce was neatly stacked, and the colour of the stir-fried broccoli’s was fresh and green.
These were all the specialty dishes of Ruan Qingmu’s mother.
They were full of colour and fragrance, and their appearance was good.
A man also sat beside the dining table.
He was young, and the pupils of his eyes were all milky.
Hearing Ruan Qingmu’s voice, he lifted his head and greeted, “Xiao-Mu has come back?”
The direction of his line of sight was more or less correct, but the angle was amiss.
It was clear that he was blind.
Ruan Qingmu sat down, took a pair of chopsticks, picked up a sweet and sour short rib, and put it in his mouth.
His mother took a basin of cool water from the kitchen and brought it over.
“You’re covered in sweat everywhere, but you don’t even wash up before eating.”
Ruan Qingmu’s leg was inconvenient, and he wasn’t unreasonable, so he took the basin and carefully washed his face.
The sweaty face became cool and fresh.
He raised the wet hair in front of his forehead and said with a smile, “Thank you, mom.”
His mom, Mu Wanli, and the technician, Xiao-Zheng, became slightly dazed after hearing him saying this.
His white teeth and red lips became more apparent, and his gaze was clear and bright.
Ruan Qingmu sighed in his heart.
Of course, he knew the reason.
The previous host was from a single-parent family.
His mom, Mu Wanli, raised him herself.
It could be said to be full of bitter hardship.
But in the eyes of the previous Ruan Qingmu, all the men who walked in this house, all the mocking gazes from their neighbours, were without a doubt enough to overwhelm an introverted half-grown child.
The previous host’s mood was volatile in his memory, and he would secretly weep in the middle of the night.
Toward his mother’s job – right, the job that had raised him – he was full of resentment.
Before the car crash, the former young man hadn’t called out to his mother in a long time, much less in the form of such gentle and lovable thanks.
Ruan Qingmu helped Mu Wanli pick some short ribs while eating.
“Mom, you should eat too.”
Mu Wanli looked at her son in bewilderment and quickly stopped him.
“Take it away.
It’s not like you don’t know that I don’t like to eat this.”
“In last semester’s history class.” Ruan Qingmu’s cheeks were bulging.
“Teacher told us that when the prices of goods had soared in the Great Ming Dynasty, the price of pork rose to 400%.
It was much more expensive than the price of pork for now.”
His tone was vague.
“Our teacher likes to make small talk.
She also told us that her house had also bought less pork recently.
She only bought a little short rib and was only willing to give them to the children in her house.”
Mu Wanli’s hand completely stiffened, and she dazedly looked at the short ribs in the bowl.
She suddenly bowed, turned around, and walked to the kitchen in quick steps.
Her voice trembled a little.
“Look at my memory; I forgot…to take out the soup.”
Xiao-Zheng hesitantly inclined his head.
His pair of white pupils had no focus.
He seemed to want to say something but then paused again.
Ruan Qingmu turned and looked at a massage room in the back.
“Yun-jie is still working?”
Xiao-Zhen replied, “En, Old Li from house number 3 came, and Xiao-Yun was still working on him.
Almost finished, there are 20 minutes left.”
The whole-body massage cost 38 yuan and generally took one hour.
This price wouldn’t be found in other regular massage and foot bath stores in the city and could only be found in this kind of family workshop opened in residential buildings.
This kind of low price was the only merit of such a simple and shabby place.
The ones coming were also the familiar old neighbours in the nearby area.
Ruan Qingmu slightly stopped the movement of his chopsticks, and then he sped up his eating.
He finished the bowl in three mouthfuls, turned around, and opened that room’s door curtain.
This floor consisted of two rooms and one small living room.
Both rooms had been opened up into massage rooms.
Three separate massage beds were placed inside the room.
In summer, the air conditioner inside the massage room would certainly be on.
But the room wasn’t exposed to sunlight, the light wasn’t good, so it appeared a little dim.
On top of that, the lingering smoke inside made it even more difficult to see.
A bald big-bellied old man lay on his back with his eyes closed.
A slender young lass stood beside him and was helping him to massage his temple in total concentration.
“Uncle Li turned around.
I’ll massage your back.” The girl softly said.
The old man responded.
When he turned around, his hand touched the young girl’s thigh.
Ruan Qingmu quietly walked over, reached over, pulled the young girl’s hand, and whispered beside her ear, “Sister Xiao-Yun, you can go eat.
I’ll switch with you.”
The blind girl was startled, but her mouth had been lightly covered by Ruan Qingmu’s hand.
Quietly pushing her out, Ruan Qingmu stood beside the massage bed.
He looked down and composedly began to massage that chubby back.
The old man was drowsy, and he didn’t realise that there was a change in person.
He groaned in a daze.
After a while, whether it was intentional or not, his hand moved again and extended toward the side.
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