translator: baumkuchen editor: ellabells
“My apologies, I truly hadn’t thought that it was actually like this.” With the facts displayed right before his eyes, even though Wu Xiao was shaken, he could only accept this unbelievable answer. Although he could see ghosts when he was younger, after he grew up, he practically had no contact whatsoever with these things from that field. He originally thought he’d lost that ability, but he never thought that he’d actually been in contact with a supernatural being all this time, it was just that he hadn’t realised it…
Wu Xiao looked towards Lu Qingjiu and said earnestly, “I’d like to offer you a generous compensation for dismissing you. If you’re willing, I’d like to invite you to return to the company…” His tone and eyes were both very sincere, it could be seen that he was sincerely apologising to Lu Qingjiu.
But Lu Qingjiu refused very calmly, “You don’t have to feel guilty. Actually, even if this hadn’t happened, I would have resigned on my own.”
“Why?” Wu Xiao asked doubtfully, “You… you aren’t saying this to comfort me, right?”
“Of course not,” Lu Qingjiu laughed and said, “It’s not like we’re little children, having to find our parents after being bullied. If I really hadn’t wanted to leave, I would definitely have asked you for a reason for my dismissal.” If he’d asked for a reason, the misunderstanding could have been resolved and naturally wouldn’t have had to continue until today.
Wu Xiao thought it over, that was indeed true. At the time, when he’d informed Lu Qingjiu that he was either going to resign voluntarily or be dismissed, Lu Qingjiu had accepted it calmly, without even trying to argue. At the time, Wu Xiao had thought it was because he was guilty, but now, he feared it was for some other motive. And his reason for dismissing Lu Qingjiu was of course not because he was gossipy, but because in the toilet, Wu Xiao had heard Lu Qingjiu describe in great detail one of the company’s upcoming project plans. It was after hearing that content that Wu Xiao firmly decided on dismissing Lu Qingjiu.
Seeing the complicated expression on Wu Xiao’s face, Lu Qingjiu naturally could guess what this boss of his was thinking about. He patted Wu Xiao on the shoulder, smiling as he said, “You really don’t have to feel too guilty. My resignation was my own choice.”
“Then why did you want to resign?” Wu Xiao still wasn’t willing to just end things like this.
“Something happened at home.” But Lu Qingjiu’s response to this was very perfunctory, clearly not planning on explaining his reasons to Wu Xiao in detail.
Wu Xiao still had questions, but Old Tree in the toilet who had been left ignored shouted, “Jiu-er, Jiu-er, you finally came back. I really missed you. After you left, there was no one to talk to me any more, I was really bored.” He was still using Lu Qingjiu’s voice, just that the tone was very different, more like that of a naive young man.
It was said that Old Tree had already been living here for almost two hundred years. His roots had spread to many places. Even though to a human, two hundred years was enough for blue seas to become mulberry fields, to them, it was just the snap of a finger. It wouldn’t be wrong for Old Tree to claim himself a young child.
But Lu Qingjiu had already gotten used to calling it Old Tree.
“En, I’m leaving now. I might not come back very often in the future,” Lu Qingjiu said to Old Tree, “You’ll need to be fine on your own.”
Old Tree was silent for a moment, “Where have you been?”
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
“I went back to my hometown,” Lu Qingjiu said, “Just wait, I’ll come over and see you a little later.”
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“I’ve only heard him three or four times over the past half year,” Wu Xiao said, “One time, he was even talking about my…”
Lu Qingjiu said, “Talking about your what?”
Wu Xiao coughed dryly, then changed the topic, “Let’s not talk about this anymore. Is there a way for me to be able to hear him speak more often?”
Lu Qingjiu thought for a moment, not answering. He indeed didn’t have any methods, but if he went back and asked Bai Yuehu, he might really have a way. Actually, Wu Xiao’s character wasn’t bad, he was even very righteous. Other than his temper being rather bad and liking to target himself, he didn’t have any major flaws. After he left, Old Tree would also be really lonely. If he could leave a person to spend time with Old Tree and talk to him, it would be really good.
“President Wu, then let’s just leave it at this today,” Lu Qingjiu said, “I still have a little something else on, so I’ll leave first.”
Wu Xiao said, “Alright, if there’s anything I can help with, just say the word.” Although Lu Qingjiu said he didn’t care about being fired, Wu Xiao still felt guilt in his heart.
Lu Qingjiu nodded, then turned and left.
After leaving the company, instead of driving home, he went to the park near the company — where Old Tree was located. He still wanted to talk to Old Tree about some things, but with Wu Xiao there, he wasn’t too willing to speak.
It was already 11pm, the streets began to empty and the wind became colder, blowing into people’s faces, giving them a kind of indescribable satisfaction. Lu Qingjiu walked over to the park and before even entering, he saw a big tree covered in lush, green foliage. Because it was the height of summer, the leaves at the top of the tree were all-encompassing, practically covering half the square. Lu Qingjiu let out a smile, walked over to the big tree, sat down on the bricks bordering the flowers, reached out a hand and tenderly stroked the rough tree trunk. “I’m back.”
Old Tree’s trunk trembled as if it had been scratched. Large leaves drifted down from the sky, falling down one after another like heavy rain.
Old Tree asked, “Have you been doing well in your old home?”
“I’ve been alright,” Lu Qingjiu said, “My old home has been great, it’s just that I haven’t yet found a single clue about what I wanted to know.”
Old Tree said, “That thing might just be a kind of conjecture.”
Lu Qingjiu said, “Even if it’s just a conjecture, I still need to test it.” He leaned against the tree trunk and murmured, “I’m the only one left now anyway.”
Ever since the accidental death of his parents, up to the death of his grandmother due to illness, Lu Qingjiu’s connection to the rest of the world became weaker and weaker. In university, he was busy working, and then after entering society, he had to put all his energy into his career. Although his relationship between him and his co-workers was rather good, there were some things that one just couldn’t say. At that time, Lu Qingjiu met Old Tree, a verbose tree spirit who liked to talk but couldn’t find anyone to speak to.
One person and one tree gradually became closer to one another. Later on, if Lu Qingjiu had any matters, he got into the habit of telling it to Old Tree. Old Tree also told him many things, including what he wanted to know, as well as what he didn’t want to know.
The tree race was different from humans. They were born with inherited memories, knowing many private matters and methods.
Six months ago, Old Tree had awakened a new ability, he could divine their fates using their Eight Characters. At the time, Old Tree had originally wanted to divine Lu Qingjiu’s fate, but in the end, he was refused by Lu Qingjiu. He didn’t wish to understand his future through fortune telling. However, he’d given his parents’ Eight Characters to Old Tree, and let him divine using the trigrams.
Upon receiving the divinatory diagram, Old Tree found it a little strange when interpreting it. He said, “That’s strange, your parents’ Eight Characters are all really good. Their union was also blessed by the heavens… Why did it end like this?”
Lu Qingjiu said, “It shouldn’t have been like this?”
“…A sudden and unexpected disaster, it really is strange,” Old Tree said, “Ai, it could also just be that I didn’t calculate it correctly, don’t take it seriously…”
After Lu Qingjiu heard this, he didn’t say anything about it, but soon after, he resigned from the company, planning on returning home.
Old Tree knew that Lu Qingjiu had taken what he’d said to heart, but he didn’t know how to persuade Lu Qingjiu otherwise. Seeing Lu Qingjiu had already made up his mind, he could only wish Lu Qingjiu a smooth journey.
But now it seemed like Lu Qingjiu returning to his old home wasn’t a bad thing. At least, Old Tree felt like he was brimming with vitality, much better than when he was still working at his office.
“I met a lot of people in my hometown,” Lu Qingjiu smiled as he spoke to Old Tree, “I even met a beautiful fox spirit.”
Old Tree said, “A fox spirit? Really? Even I haven’t seen a fox spirit before.
Lu Qingjiu said, “Naturally it’s true.” He also told Old Tree about many interesting things that had happened in at his old home. Old Tree listened with great interest. He said enviously, “I envy you humans being able to move around, I also want to visit other places.”
“Will you be able to change forms in the future?” Lu Qingjiu asked.
“I don’t know,” Old Tree said, “But even if I can, that’ll only happen after thousand years…” His tone became more despondent, “I don’t know what the world will be like by then.”
Lu Qingjiu patted his rough bark, “It’s alright, the time will go by quickly.”
The two talked about many things. Old Tree even told Lu Qingjiu some interesting gossip about what had happened in the company after he left, like how A and B were in an office relationship and were afraid to make it public, but afterwards it was found that the both of them had been secretly cheating on each other with other people, and in the end, after a loud bitchfight at work, both resigned. Or like how Wu Xiao’s hemorrhoids had gotten better recently, but because last week he’d went drinking and had a recurrence, he almost died of acute blood loss and had to go to the hospital.
Seeing Old Tree prattle on endlessly, Lu Qingjiu could only hurriedly call an end to their chat. With Old Tree’s level of
verbosity, he could talk on and on about these pointless trifles for an entire night.
“I’ll be going back tomorrow morning.” Lu Qingjiu was still worried about those two people who couldn’t cook back home. “I’ll go back and ask if there’s any way to let Wu Xiao hear your voice.”
Old Tree asked, “You’re leaving now?” He shook his branches.
Lu Qingjiu said, “I’m leaving.”
“Will you still come back?” Old Tree then asked.
Lu Qingjiu smiled and said, “Naturally, I’ll still come back. I’ll at least come back once every year.” His parents’ graves were still in this city, he naturally had to come back.
“Okay.” A large leaf slowly drifted down onto Lu Qingjiu’s head. The Old Tree’s voice was gentle, “I’ll wait for your return.”
Lu Qingjiu smiled and said, “En.”
Thank you to Moon bunny and Samie for the ko-fis!