Table For Two Chapter 200
Other than the consistency, the uni-directional means of the communication also raised a few eyebrows. This mean that while Qing Qing wrote to this address practically once every month, there was a dearth of reply.
Then again, Qing Qing might not even be writing letters because Lin Kang's men found out the letters were often mailed alongside postal cheques. From this, Xiu Ling suspected the address might lead to a PO Box but why wouldn't Qing Qing keep her money inside a bank but mail them to a PO Box? It was confusing to say the least.
In the end, Xiu Ling decided to pay the address a visit in an effort to make sure that no stone stayed un-turned. She wanted to gather as much information as she could on Qing Qing before she had the showdown. She wanted it to be the first and last time she would need to deal with the young woman.
Xiu Ling did not want Qing Qing to stick around like a recurring nightmare. To do that, Xiu Ling needed to know where to strike so she could deliver the fatal damage.
Lin Guan Village was as its name suggested, a small village that was carved into the mountainside. In fact, the place reminded Xiu Ling a lot of the village where she grew up and where her mother still resided at.
Xiu Ling got out from the car and asked a passing lady for direction. Xiu Ling gave her the address and the lady pointed at a wooden house that was at the western end of the village. Xiu Ling thanked her for her kindness and made for her destination.
Instead of knocking directly on the door, Xiu Ling stopped to observe the surrounding. The place looked like a typical farmer's home. The biggest giveaways were the farming equipment like hoes and watering cans that littered the grassy courtyard as well as the plot of land the house was attached to. The soil was tilled and the plot was planted with fresh vegetables like cabbages and cauliflowers.
The wooden house looked weathered but sturdy. It had a rustic charm to it.
'Why would Qing Qing mail money back to this place monthly?' was the question on Xiu Ling's mind. 'Well, there's only one way to find out.'
Xiu Ling moved to knock on the door. A powerful male voice could be heard coming from within. "Coming!"
Based on the base tone of the voice, Xiu Ling expected a young male but to her surprise, it was an old gentleman who held the door open for her. Xiu Ling frowned from the discrepancy to her expectation and her expression was reflected on the old man's face.
The old gentleman was wearing a pair of white singlet and shorts that reached to his knees. It was an outfit that was conducive for farm work. Based on the way the man was dressed and the callus on the man's hands, Xiu Ling guessed this was the owner of the house and the mediocre-sized plot of vegetable garden.
The old man was eyeing Xiu Ling up and down but not with hostility but with open curiosity. He was probably wondering where she came from since he knew she wasn't from their village. People in the city probably would have chased you away once they saw a stranger's face but in the countryside, people were friendlier and more welcoming.
Xiu Ling smiled and began in way of explanation, "Good afternoon, old sir. I'm Qing Qing's friend..."
That was a lie but Xiu Ling figured that was the safest route to go with since Qing Qing had been writing to this address monthly. It was clear that she had some sort of relation to the old gentleman standing before her.
The old man's face lit up with joy at the mention of Qing Qing's name. Before Xiu Ling could finish, the old man took a step back and welcomed Xiu Ling into his house. "Oh, you're Qing Qing's friend. Please come in, come in. Don't just stand outside, the sun is so hot. Come in and have a seat."
Xiu Ling did as she was told. The wooden house was small but comfortable. It was clear that the owner of the house took special care of it. There was a simplified living room and attached to it was the kitchen. A small corridor led to two separate bedrooms. This caught Xiu Ling's attention because from her observation, the old man was the only one who stayed at the house so who was the second bedroom for?
The old gentleman placed Xiu Ling in the living room while he wandered into the kitchen to prepare some beverage for her. "Old sir, you shouldn't have. I'll just be here for a while," Xiu Ling said politely.
"What nonsense, you're my guest and I have to treat you well. Sit, sit. I'll be back with the drink in a minute." The old gentleman answered as he bustled about in the kitchen, "Also, please don't call me 'old sir'. It makes me sound older than I actually am. Just call me Qing Hai."
The name struck a chord within Xiu Ling. "Uncle Qing Hai?!"
Qing Hai chuckled. "You dropped the 'old sir' but added an uncle?! You're just so polite, I wish my Qing Qing can be more like you."
"Wait, this means that Qing Qing is your daughter?" Xiu Ling asked with surprise.
Qing Hai came back to the living room with a tray of drinks. He placed it on the table and replied, "Yes, didn't Qing Qing tell you about me?"
Xiu Ling immediately caught herself and backpedaled, "Of course, I just didn't imagine Qing Qing's father would be someone as young as you."
Qing Hai was embarrassed by the compliment. He was by all means, an honest man. After some interaction, Xiu Ling realized Qing Hai reminded her so much of her own mother, they were both friendly people with kind heart. They wanted to see the good in people.