Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The plane finally landed at the provincial airport. Li Du did not need to call a cab this time, as he had someone to pick him up.
His old classmates, Yao Zhibo and Du Hang, were there. Yao Zhibo drove a minivan, while Du Hang had a business car from his company.
The news of Li Du’s return was only announced to the group of his high school classmates. As soon as they knew, several people wanted to come to pick him up, but Li Du refused them. Finally, Yao Zhibo and Du Hang were too enthusiastic for him to turn down.
All this attention was unsurprising. Everybody wanted to be close to the rich, after all.
Li Du came with a lot of luggage, which all fit in Yao Zhibo’s minivan. He had only bought this minivan recently, and the vehicle was well maintained, though it was not new.
“It seems that the vegetable greenhouses and vegetable delivery work are really hard. Not only the people would be tired, but the car would be affected too,” Li Du patted the dark-skinned Yao Zhibo’s shoulder and sighed.
Du Hang smiled happily and said, “Why would the car be affected? Yao cherishes it like he would cherish his wife, and washes it every day.”
Yao Zhibo stared at him. “Are you kidding? You will see how I’ll cherish my wife when I have one.”
Li Du said, “Your car needs some maintenance. Didn’t you just buy it?”
Yao Zhibo smiled embarrassedly and said, “I bought a second-hand car. I just started this business and need some money to run it. A second-hand car is enough. Hang found someone who sold me this one.”
Li Du finally understood. “Oh, no wonder.”
Sophie was at the back, negotiating with the customs to get the little ones out. She was the last of their party.
Without their pets, they could have had a simple and easy journey. However, when they were about to leave, the little ones didn’t want to be separated from them. Instead of staying in the car, they were smart enough to claw at their luggage or to follow them around, refusing to be shaken off.
Li Du’s parents felt pity seeing this and asked Li Du to take the animals along.
So the trouble came. It was very difficult for them to go through customs. They had to declare a month in advance and take the animals to be inspected every day. Because this time they had a honey badger and a kangaroo, which were species not found in China mainland, the customs procedure became more difficult.
Fortunately, Li Du recalled that he and Sophie had helped Liu Jinlong, the exchange student who had suffered a gunshot, and both sides would contact each other occasionally.
Liu Jinlong’s parents, Liu Jianguo and Zheng Fengrong, were officials of the Beijing customs. They found a way for him and used their contacts. That was how they were able to bring along the little ones.
Seeing Sophie, Du Hang exclaimed, “So this lady is Li’s wife? Really, there’s no other way to describe her, she looks like a Hollywood movie star.”
Yao Zhibo nodded and said, “Hmm, she is really beautiful and elegant.”
Li Du introduced them to each other, loaded their luggage and belongings into the trunk, and they got into the car.
The villa in the rose garden had a hired housekeeper who was supposed to take care of it and maintain it in a livable condition.
The car drove into the villa’s underground parking lot, and Li Du took some milk products with him as he rode in the elevator. He had planned to stay in the villa for a few days after he bought it last time he was in the country, but he was called back by Lu Guan to attend the Garbage Master’s warehouse auction in Australia.
However, thanks to his participation in the auction, he was able to get a license to catch black gold abalone. Otherwise, there would have been no trip to Australia, no Lightning Ridge Mine, and no Seagull Island.
Li Du was stunned when he used his card to pass through the double security door.
What happened to the villa? Was it robbed? What’s all this?
The floor was littered with wrappers, papers, beer cans, and beverage bottles. The tables, chairs, and sofas were all in a mess.
Sophie, from the back, took one look and asked weakly, “Was there a party? Did my uncle and aunt have a farewell celebration before they left?”
Li Du’s parents then came, and they were also stunned and disbelieving. “How did this happen? What does this mean? Wasn’t it all right when we left? Who did this? Who has been in?”
The house had suffered an invasion. Brother Wolf dropped the box he was holding and was ready to whip out his gun.
Li Du stopped him. Domestic security was very good in China, and the villa security was better. It was impossible for a thief to break in, and even if someone did, why would a robber need to cause this kind of mess?
He immediately called the property management, and hearing that something had happened, a tall, thin middle-aged man came in a hurry. The man introduced himself as Gao, and the rose garden property manager.
Seeing what was going on in the room, Gao said, “You had a house party the day before yesterday. Someone came in with your keys and the housing license. We could only let them in after registering them.”
The girl who came with him said, “I was going to ask you, but I couldn’t get through to your number. I had tried multiple times.”
Li Du’s parents had gone to the United States, so there was nobody to answer the home line. They have been using Li Du’s mobile phone to contact relatives back home, as their mobile phone number did not support global calls.
“What do you mean by a house party?” Li Du asked.
Du Hang explained, “You have a lot of them in America, don’t you? House parties are quite common, so I gather, but they haven’t been popular in our county that long. People throw them frequently in big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, and Shenzhen.”
Li Du took a deep breath. He knew who to look for. Only the domestic management company had the letter of authorization and the key. Who would have these other than them?
Apparently, the housekeeping company used their villa for other purposes.
The five little ones were quite satisfied with the messy environment. They got in and tossed around. Ah Meow used his claws and played with an empty beer bottle, looking excited.
Sophie saw that Li Du was angry and stared at the five little ones.
However, usually, she was too gentle to the little ones, and they did not take her seriously. They turned, gave her a playful look, and continued to act wildly in the house, ignoring her.
It wasn’t that they were undisciplined, but they were really suffocated in the plane. They were locked in a cage throughout the journey and had very little room on the car. They were now finally free, so how would they not play?
Sophie was angry and went to catch them. The house was in more chaos. The five little ones jumped on the sofa TV, climbed the wall and cables, and were capable of anything.
The property management people were stunned, and the manager mumbled, “What sort of animal is this?”
One of his girl workers said excitedly, “That’s a honey badger. He’s also called the flat-headed badger. He is amazing. He runs the show in Africa.”
“Come back here!” When Li Du roared, the five little ones trembled and ran to hide behind Sophie. They ducked their heads and were not as arrogant as before.
Li Du asked his parents and Sophie to take the naughty little ones back first. He got into Du Hang’s car and said, “Go to the housekeeping company.”
The housekeeping company’s name was Peace Everyday, or Ri Ri An in Chinese. Du Hang said helplessly, “Why did you hire the Ruan Company?”