Fu Yunruo, Wenwen, and Qian Shengnan returned to Shanghe Village after a few more days in Beijing. They hadn’t had the chance to meet either Si Yue or Yuan Xin on this trip, but saw the former practically everywhere. A movie Si Yue starred in was shortlisted for a triennial international film festival, which was a great honor for an actor. The news about Si Yue was flooding the internet, and a giant screen in the city square repeatedly played his movie trailer.
At first, Wenwen still clamored to see Si Yue, but after Fu Yunruo explained that Uncle Yue was going overseas with the director to promote his new movie, the boy stopped making a ruckus and nodded in understanding.
It took almost three days on the road to travel between the village and the capital, mainly because there was no direct transportation. They not only had to take a roundabout route, but also had to transfer buses several times after getting off the plane. A car would make the journey faster and a bit more convenient, but long-distance travel would remain a hassle unless an airport was built near the town.
When Fu Yunruo’s group of three reached home, they were totally beaten. It took no time for the villagers to hear the news of their return and began to come visiting in flocks. They all wanted to know whether Ruoruo and Wenwen were really going to move?
In fact, the villagers had known from the beginning that Ruoruo and her son would leave their small village sooner or later, but when the time to say goodbye really came, everyone was very reluctant.
They had gotten along as neighbors for a few years and had long regarded Fu Yunruo and Wenwen as their own. Moreover, they had also watched Wenwen grow up from a red-faced newborn into the cute and handsome little lad he was now, and were even more reluctant to part whenever they thought that the tender, cute, and soft little boy who called them uncle and aunt in his babyish voice would no longer be here.
The ones who received the most shock, however, were the children, who couldn’t believe their ears.
Their Wenwen was going to leave the village far, far away?
The children rushed to Fu Yunruo’s house one after another and crowded the yard in an instant. They surrounded Wenwen tightly, expressing their sadness, loss, and disbelief.
Trusting her son to appease his playmates, Fu Yunruo left the children alone and went back into the house. A bunch of parcels had arrived and were now piled up in the living room, bought as souvenirs from their trip to Beijing. Together with Qian Shengnan, Fu Yunruo spent hours unpacking and delivering the souvenirs to their neighbors.
These souvenirs were actually bought using Wenwen’s money, because Fu Yunruo had spent most of her savings buying the house and no longer had sufficient cash on hand to buy gifts for the entire village. In the end, with Wenwen’s consent, Fu Yunruo reluctantly used the boy’s savings for the purchase.
Everyone in the village, including their pet cats and dogs, received a gift from Fu Yunruo to thank for their kindness over the years.
The remaining days passed peacefully, and Fu Yunruo continued her normal life while Wenwen spent his time playing with his friends as much as possible. At the end of August, the boy received another shocking announcement from his mother.
“Going to kindergarten?!” Wenwen had heard from Fu Yunruo more than once that he was about to start schooling. But seeing no particular actions on his mother’s part, he soon let go of his worry.
Wenwen’s eyes rolled, thinking hard and quick. He then said pitifully, “I don’t want to go to kindergarten. I want to spend more time with Grandpa Mei, Grandma Mei, Zhuangzhuang, and the others…”
Wenwen grabbed Fu Yunruo’s hand and shook it, acting coquettishly, “Mom, can I?”
Who’d like to go to kindergarten with little kids! With his brain, he should be in the fifth grade at the lowest, alright!
“Mom, I’m still young. I’m still a baby…”
Fu Yunruo was amused, but she deliberately looked serious as she argued, “Don’t you always call yourself a little adult? You are already a four-year-old big kid. It’s time for you to enter kindergarten.”
Wenwen retorted and raised six of his chubby fingers, “I’m not four yet. It’s still six months away!”
“Witty kid!” Fu Yunruo stopped arguing with the boy. Her original intention of enrolling Wenwen so early was not to make him learn any knowledge, but to let him get used to the local kindergarten for a semester. She wanted him to not feel out of place once they moved to Beijing and started schooling for real.
Since the boy himself refused to go, Fu Yunruo didn’t force it. Wenwen was indeed a bit too young, but he would grow up a bit and should be more sensible in a few months. Moreover, Wenwen’s argument actually touched Fu Yunruo’s soft spot because, just like her son, she also took the hassle of commuting from and to the flower garden every day, all for the sake of spending more of what’s little time remaining in the village.
That evening, Fu Yunruo went to the Mei family house to chat with Auntie Mei as usual. These past few days, she noticed Uncle Mei left early and returned late every day, and he always came back with a smile on his face.
Curious, Fu Yunruo asked, “Does something good happen?”
Auntie Mei replied, “It should be about the government. He has been very mysterious recently.”
“Does it have something to do with the donation?” Fu Yunruo was reminded. Otherwise, why should Uncle Mei go out for meetings all day?
“It seems so?”
However, both Fu Yunruo and Auntie Mei guessed wrong. It turned out that a survey team of some huge corporation took fancy of the beautiful scenery and air quality, and thus expressed their intention to build a retirement home for the elderly here.
The scope of the project was huge, involving at least several county towns and villages.
Needless to say, the money involved would not be small, enough to even alarmed the higher-ups. Moreover, this so-called investment was actually a charity project with no prospect of profit. However, if everything went well and the project was successful, the local economy was guaranteed to be heavily stimulated.
For a long time, the government had been racking their brains to develop the rural economy and lift the locals out of poverty. Still, there was no easy one-size-fits-all solution to this problem. The geographical location in most places was horrible, located deep into the mountain and far from modern infrastructures. Not only did the area lack convenient access, but there were also no particular resources that might attract private investment.
This time, a consortium that ranked forefront globally and whose main power was located abroad had expressed their willingness to pour heavy money on rural development projects. Seeing this act of patriotism, the government naturally gave the green light without much thinking.
The consortium also decided to fund the construction of an airport nearby in order to facilitate future tourism projects.
This was a great boon for the locals. Since the news came out, the land price had gone up.
Recently, the favorite pastime for the villagers was to get together and chat about the project. They had lived here for generations, but never realized that their home was actually a treasure trove highly regarded by outsiders. They all felt honored.
Fu Yunruo was equally overjoyed. If an airport was really going to be built nearby, it would be easier for them to go back to visit!
Everything was going for the better!
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