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Chapter: 42


     Finding someone to unlock Zhao Yuqiong’s former residence was much easier than Li Zhenruo expected.

       At first, he was worried that the next-door neighbour would come out and accuse him as a thief, but he didn’t expect that the building was really about to be demolished, and even the few remaining residents had moved out.

       Li Zhenruo found an unprofessional locksmith and spent 100 yuan for that person to help him unlock the door.

       The locksmith took the money and left. Li Zhenruo slowly pushed open the wooden door that had been covered by dust for a long time, and the old mouldy smell filled his nostrils. Actually, the house was kept clean. Although Zhao Yuqiong had left, Li Jianglin had found someone to clean the room. All the furniture was covered with white cloth, and the windows were all locked from the inside.

       It was just that Li Jianglin seemed to have forgotten about the house after he found someone to clean it up. No one has come in and touched the furniture for so many years.

       The furniture in the house was very simple. It was just a small apartment with one bedroom, one living room, and a very old TV style. Li Zhenruo has some doubts that if it could be used at all now. He stood quietly in the living room for a while, and in a trance, he seemed to see a young woman with a big belly sitting down on the sofa with difficulty, then lowered her head and gently stroked her belly.

       He took a deep breath and walked toward Zhao Yuqiong’s bedroom.

       The bedroom has a large bed, a bedside table, a desk and a wardrobe. Since the room was not big, the furniture was arranged compactly.

       Li Zhenruo reached out and opened the cabinet, and thought that he could see Zhao Yuqiong’s previous clothes. To be honest, his emotions were very complicated, and he was even a little scared, but when he opened the door of the cabinet, he found that there was nothing inside.

       He was stunned for a moment, Li Zhenruo wondered if there was a custom to burn all the clothes of the deceased. He didn’t know much about it, but he seemed to have heard of it when he was a child.

       So he walked to the front of the desk. Li Zhenruo sat down and opened the drawer.

       There were some miscellaneous items in the drawer, including some women’s small jewellery and one ruby ​​necklaces that looked very tacky now. The ruby was obviously an artificial fake gem, and it was not worth much, but Zhao Yuqiong still carefully store it away.

       Li Zhenruo found an album in the drawer on the right side, he hurriedly took it out and opened it, but found that it was an empty album with no photos posted in it.

       After he stared blankly for a moment, Li Zhenruo noticed that it was a children’s album, from the baby’s one-month-old birthday to the age of one or two, recording the trajectory of the child’s growth. He thought that this might have been prepared for him by Zhao Yuqiong, but unfortunately, she was not able to accompany her son to grow up.

       There were a lot of emotions that he thought he wouldn’t care about, but at this time they came out in a flood. Li Zhenruo lowered his head and put the album back, and slowly closed his eyes.

       He rummaged through the drawers of the desk and couldn’t find anything of value. He didn’t find a letter or the diary he hoped for, just as this empty room didn’t leave many records about this woman.

       Li Zhenruo stood up and put his last hope on the bedside table.

       There were two drawers on the bedside table. The one on the top was filled with keys and some old certificates, while the one on the bottom was empty. The bottom was covered with newspapers, perhaps previously used to put socks and underwear within the personal belongings.

       Li Zhenruo was originally squatting on the edge of the bed and wanted to get up at this time, but suddenly noticed that there seemed to be a white piece of paper under the mattress, showing a small corner on the outside. If he didn’t look carefully, he wouldn’t notice it at all.

       He reached out and grabbed a piece of paper, raised the mattress with the other hand, and pulled out the piece of paper. Only then did he see clearly that it was the back of a photo, and there was not only one photo under it. He hurriedly pulled out the other one as well.

       As he flipped the photo to see the front, Li Zhenruo saw that it was a group photo of two people. The colour in the photo seemed to be too old and had begun to turn yellow. The background of the photo was probably a scenic spot in China, and there were two people in front, one of them was a young Zhao Yuqiong, and the other was a young man. Because the person was photographed somewhat small, it was difficult to see the man’s face clearly, but Li Zhenruo was sure that it was not Li Jianglin.

       He flipped through another photo, this time it was a one-person photo. It was the man in the photo just now, wearing the same clothes, standing in front of a stone monument in a scenic area. This photo was so clear that Li Zhenruo can see his facial features carefully.

       He unconsciously tightened his fingers while holding the photo, because he could see clearly that the man’s appearance was clearly similar to his.

       If that man were to stand with Li Jianglin, he would probably doubt that he was not Li Jianglin’s biological son just by looking at him.

       Li Zhenruo’s legs become a little numb after squatting for a long time. He got up and sat down beside the bed regardless of the dust on the bed. He never took his eyes off the photo. He knew what these two photos meant. If Li Jianglin saw these two photos at the beginning, then he would not be Li Zhenruo, maybe his surname was Zhao, or maybe it was something else.

       Before, he had been thinking about who had discovered what clues and began to doubt his relationship with Li Jianglin. Now he was holding these two photos in his hand, and he began to have some thoughts in his heart.

       Li Zhenruo bent down and carefully looked at the traces under the mattress. He believed that these two photos should have been pressed here for more than 20 years and no one could find them. When he pulled it out just now, it was even stuck to the bedboard and needed to be removed with force. So are there other pictures? Could it be that the man in this photo has appeared?

       He sat up straight and raised his hand to rustle his hair.

       If he had discovered these two photos a few years ago, his first reaction would have been to destroy the remains, but now it was no longer necessary. Anyway, it was a secret that was no longer important.

       He stood up with the photo and planned to take it away. There were other things besides the picture, and it seemed that Li Jianglin has completely forgotten about the existence of this house. Even if it was demolished, he would definitely not come to remove the things, because it was meaningless to him. At that time, this stuff would probably be transported and disposed of together with the construction waste. If he wanted to take away some memories of Zhao Yuqiong, then there was only now.

       But Li Zhenruo also has a problem, that was, that he had no place of his own now, and he must live with Li Zhenran. No matter where these things were stored, it would be difficult not to be discovered by Li Zhenran.

       After he hesitated for a while, Li Zhenruo put away the photos, including the tacky ruby ​​necklace in the drawer and the blank photo album, and put them into an empty file bag, then quietly exited and closed the door.

       Li Zhenruo left Zhao Yuqiong’s former residence and called Feng Junyuan.

       Dr. xiao Feng was still working in the hospital at this time and received a call from Li Zhenruo asking him to come to the hospital to find him.

       Li Zhenruo took a taxi and found him in the surgical department where Feng Junyuan worked. He handed the file bag to him and said, "Doctor Feng, could you please help me keep these things?"

       Feng Junyuan saw that his attitude was so solemn, and asked, "Is it a very valuable thing?"

       Li Zhenruo shook his head, "It’s not worth the money, but it’s important to me."

       Feng Junyuan looked down at the old and yellowed file bag, nodded and replied, "Okay."

       Li Zhenruo couldn’t help but smile, "Thank you so much, you have helped me a lot, but please don’t tell Mr. Luo about this, I don’t know if it’s okay?"

       Feng Junyuan replied, "Well, but even if Luo Fei knew about it, he wouldn’t say anything to Li Zhenran."

       Even when he knew what he was thinking was seen through by the other party, Li Zhenruo didn’t care, and said, "It’s nothing really, I just don’t want him to know something now."

       Feng Junyuan said, "Don’t worry."

       For some reason, Li Zhenruo felt very relieved when he heard Feng Junyuan say "don’t worry". He has a strange sense of trust in Feng Junyuan and Song Jun, probably because Feng Junyuan offered him a helping hand when he was most at a loss and helpless, making him feel that this person was truly reliable.

       As he left the hospital, Li Zhenruo saw that it was late, so he took a taxi back to Yunlin.

       The security guard downstairs already knew him, and no one came forward to stop him. It was almost time to get off work at that time, and Li Zhenruo was in a hurry to leave, afraid that Li Zhenran would call him later. He hurried into the VIP elevator leading to the 22nd floor and above. When he looked up, he found that there was still a person standing inside, and it turned out to be Li Jianglin.

       The elevator came up from the first floor, and Li Zhenruo was frozen. He realized that Li Jianglin had probably returned from something temporarily, and had just come out of the underground parking lot to go up to the twenty-fourth floor where his office was located.

       The elevator dedicated to the Li family was not forbidden to be used by other employees, but except for new employees or people from outside who occasionally made mistakes, the company employees usually do not use this elevator.

       When Li Zhenruo rushed in, Li Jianglin just glanced at him, stood up straight with crutches in his hand, and said nothing.

       He didn’t ask, Li Zhenruo simply pretended not to know, and even pretended not to recognize Li Jianglin, pressed the elevator door with his back to him, and pressed the button leading to the twenty-third floor.

       The elevator went up smoothly, Li Zhenruo lowered his head and wanted to hum some songs pretending to be indifferent.

       When they reached the tenth floor, the elevator seemed to shake. Li Zhenruo immediately looked up and saw that the elevator was still going up, but as it goes up two more floors, the elevator shook more and more. Li Zhenruo began to feel that something was wrong, so he reached out and pressed the nearest elevator floor and want the elevator to stop.

       Sure enough, when it reached the thirteenth floor, the elevator stopped, but it stopped completely. After making a clanging sound, it stopped firmly, but the elevator door did not open.

       Li Zhenruo hurriedly pressed the door button, but there was no response, and the light above his head flashed and suddenly went out.

       Now he could be sure that he has encountered an elevator failure. After he dazed for a little, Li Zhenruo pressed the call button outside and called for help.

       "Anyone?" Li Zhenruo shouted. He didn’t hear a reply from outside, and he didn’t know if the communication line was malfunctioning, or if no one could hear his call for help.

       At the same time, Li Zhenruo heard a crisp sound behind him. He didn’t realize what it was at first, but then he suddenly remembered that Li Jianglin was still inside, and the sound just now sounded like Li Jianglin’s crutch fell to the ground on the elevator floor.

       Not only did Li Jianglin fall down on his crutches, but he also seemed to be very uncomfortable. His hand was propped on the elevator wall and looked like he was trembling.

       Li Zhenruo could barely see Li Jianglin’s figure by the emergency light on the elevator panel. He stepped forward to help him and asked, "Old man, are you alright?"

       With the help of Li Zhenruo, Li Jianglin stood up forcibly, covering his chest with one hand, as if he was too uncomfortable to speak.

       Li Zhenruo knew that Li Jianglin had a heart problem, but he didn’t expect that he would suddenly fall ill at this time. At this time, he couldn’t care to continue to call for help. He could only help Li Jianglin to lie down first, and knelt on the ground to let him rest on his knees. He reached out to touch Li Jianglin’s jacket pocket. He knew that Li Jianglin had the habit of carrying medicines with him.

       After he found the medicine bottle, Li Zhenruo hurriedly unscrewed the cap, poured out the medicine and fed it to Li Jianglin’s mouth, saying, "Old man, take the medicine first."

       Li Jianglin opened his mouth and swallowed the medicine.

       Li Zhenruo then immediately took out his mobile phone and called Li Zhenran. His tone was hurried. As soon as Li Zhenran answered the phone, he said, "Your father and I are trapped in the company elevator. Your father has a heart attack now, quickly find someone to get him out!"

       Li Zhenran asked calmly, "Which floor are you on?"

       Li Zhenruo said, "The thirteenth floor! We’re in the VIP elevator, hurry up."

       Li Zhenran seemed to have already acted, and he said, "Wait for me."

       He didn’t hang up the phone, but Li Zhenran didn’t care to talk to him. He called out to Hua Yibang to call the engineering department and the security department, while he took another elevator to go down to the thirteenth floor.

       In the small and dark space, Li Zhenruo could only hear Li Jianglin’s rapid breathing, and he couldn’t help raising his hand to wipe the sweat from Li Jianglin’s forehead.

       Li Jianglin was not his biological father. Although he knew it for a long time, he still felt nervous and heartbroken at this time.

       Li Zhenran’s side was very efficient. In less than two minutes, many people had gathered outside the elevator, planning to pry open the elevator door directly.

       When Li Zhenruo heard Li Zhenran calling him on the phone, he quickly put it to his ear and said, "I’m here."

       Li Zhenran asked, "Are you all right?"

       Li Zhenruo said, "I’m fine, but your father is not very well."

       At this time, Li Zhenruo found that the elevator door had been pried open, and soon after that, several security personnel opened the elevator door that was powered off for safety. Li Zhenruo half supported and carried Li Jianglin first and sent him out.

       Li Zhenran reached out and took Li Jianglin, picked him up in person, and hurried into the elevator next door. He had to take Li Jianglin to the hospital.

       Li Zhenruo was a little out of strength and stretched out his hand to hold the inner wall of the elevator. The staff outside called him loudly. With the help of others, he got out of the elevator, waved his hand and said nothing, and then stood quietly with his back against the wall for a while.

       "Are you okay?"

       Li Zhenruo suddenly heard someone ask him, and turned to see that it was Hua Yibang.

       Hua Yibang said to him, "Zhenran asked me to take you back first. Shall we go now?"

       Li Zhenruo was stunned for a while and thought that he would definitely not be able to go back to Li’s house like this. He was somewhat ashamed to turn into a cat in front of Hua Yibang, so he simply shook his head and said, "No, I’ll go to Ran ge’s office and stay there for a while, you can go first, don’t worry about me."

       Hua Yibang was obviously hesitant because Li Zhenran ordered him to send this… um… his cat back to Li’s house.

       Li Zhenruo pointed upstairs, "His office is unlocked, right?"

       Hua Yibang took out the card from his pocket and gave it to him.

       Li Zhenruo took it and said with a smile, "Thank you, xiao Hua ge," and then walked to the side and pressed the elevator upstairs.

       Hua Yibang did not follow him upstairs but called Li Zhenran to say that his little cat refused to go back, and was in his office now. In fact, Hua Yibang’s word in his heart was "your little stray cat", but he was too embarrassed to say it.

       Li Zhenran said to Hua Yibang, "Let him go, you don’t have to worry about him."

       Li Zhenruo went up to the 23rd floor alone, opened the door of Li Zhenran’s office with a key card, and then turned on all the lights. He walked slowly to the desk to sit down.

       Li Zhenran’s office was almost the same as his previous office. He sat on a chair with his eyes closed and seemed to be transported back to the past.

       Li Zhenruo experienced too many things in just one day, and he was a little exhausted. As soon as he closed his eyes, an old photo of Zhao Yuqiong appeared in the darkness, and the sound of Li Jianglin’s rapid breathing in the elevator just now sounded in his ears.

       Li Zhenruo began to make up stories for the two of them in his head, thought about how they met, how Zhao Yuqiong had fornicated with other men and got pregnant and then tricked Li Jianglin into handing over the child to him.

       When he opened his eyes, those pictures disappeared. Li Zhenruo knew that he would never be able to piece together a complete truth just with imagination, but the deeper he dug, the sadder and exhausted he felt.

       He took a deep breath, Li Zhenruo sat on the table and chair, turned for half a circle, slid forward a certain distance and stopped in front of the floor-to-ceiling glass window. He stared at the city outside motionlessly and saw that the sky was slowly darkening until it was pitch black, the surrounding tall buildings were lit up one after another, the streets were jammed with cars, and the colours looked like a gorgeous river.

       He stared blankly. He didn’t know how long it was, and suddenly heard the sound of the office door being opened.

       Li Zhenran was back.

       He was still wearing the suit he used to go to work today, his slender legs wrapped in straight suits and trousers, and walked slowly towards the window. When he passed the desk, he threw the key card on it and made a crisp sound, and then stood behind Li Zhenruo.

       "What are you looking at?" Li Zhenran asked Li Zhenruo.

       Li Zhenruo did not answer.

       Li Zhenran reached out with one hand, and pressed his palm against Li Zhenruo’s neck, slowly stroking it upwards.

       His palms were dry and warm, full of irresistible force, holding Li Zhenruo’s lower jaw to raise his head, then bent down and kissed Li Zhenruo’s lips.

       A kiss full of encroachment, after the kiss ended, Li Zhenruo found himself gasping for breath.


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