Gui Yuanzhang woke up the next morning. He opened his eyes and in addition to his son and daughter-in-law, he also saw a familiar young man. It was the doctor who took him for the coronary angiogram. He remembered that the doctor’s surname was Xiao. This person’s tone was gentle when he spoke and he was always smiling. He also helped Gui Yuanzhang contact the most authoritative expert in the Department of Cardiac Intervention to perform the surgery.
Gui Yuanzhang looked in Xiao Lou’s direction and said in a hoarse voice, “Doctor Xiao, thank you this time. If you hadn’t persuaded me to do a detailed cardiovascular examination, this aneurysm wouldn’t have been so easy to find.”
Xiao Lou stepped forward. He helped Gui Yuanzhang lie down on the bed and said with a smile, “Mr Gui, you’re being too kind. The operation went smoothly which also shows that you are blessed with great luck.”
Gui Xiujie stepped forward. “Dad, Chief Shao personally came to see you during the surgery yesterday. Just now, he sent me a WeChat message asking if you are awake. If it is convenient, he wants to come visit in the afternoon.”
Gui Yuanzhang thought about it carefully. “Chief Shao? The young boss who gave you the medical examination card?”
Gui Xiujie bowed his head in shame. “Yes, this time it is thanks to him. I usually ignore your physical health. If I didn’t have the full body examination card that he gave me, the consequences would be unimaginable. The doctor said that your aneurysm could’ve ruptured at any time.”
Gui Yuanzhang had a calm expression as he patted his son’s hand with a smile. “I am old. Illness and death are common things. You don’t have to feel guilty. Aren’t I well? It is like Doctor Xiao said. I am tough, hahaha.”
Hearty laughter filled the entire ward.
Xiao Lou saw his optimistic expression and the stone in his heart finally fell. Perhaps it was precisely because Senior Gui had this outlook on life that he made such a choice in the Card World. Now everyone had worked together to save his life and let him live a few more years. They just hoped that he could be happy every day in the days to come.
In the afternoon, there was an endless stream of people visiting the ward.
In addition to some of Gui Yuanzhang’s friends, Shao Qingge and Yu Hanjiang also came to visit in person.
It was the first time Gui Yuanzhang met the two young men but regardless of whether it was Shao Qingge’s demeanor or Yu Hanjiang’s temperament, he liked them very much and couldn’t help but praise the two people for being promising.
Shao Qingge respectfully said, “Mr Gui, I actually like your calligraphy very much.”
Yu Hanjiang also agreed. “I have always admired your ink paintings. I wanted to buy them at a previous auction but didn’t succeed.”
Gui Yuanzhang was very happy. He touched his chin and wondered, “How come I suddenly have so many young fans? I always thought that calligraphy and Chinese paintings were things that only us old men and old ladies like to ponder on.”
Xiao Lou smiled. “Senior, your calligraphy is indeed very good. My father has collected the cursive script of ‘Jiang Chengzi’ that you wrote and he hung it in the study at home.”
Shao Qingge took advantage of the situation. “I don’t know if I can ask for a piece of Senior’s calligraphy?”
“No problem. Once I am discharged, I will write one for you. What characters do you want to be written?”
Shao Qingge thought about it carefully. “Abundant Wealth?”
Gui Yuanzhang had written so many words but no one had ever asked him to write ‘abundant wealth’! However, Chief Shao was a businessman and it was normal for him to write these characters. In addition, directly saying that he liked money proved that Shao Qingge was frank. It was better than the hypocritical people who clearly loved money but pretended to be noble. Gui Yuanzhang smiled at this thought and agreed. “No problem!”
The surgery went well and Gui Yuanzhang’s body recovered quickly. He was discharged from hospital three days later.
Gui Yuanzhang got home and picked up a brush to write the characters ‘Abundant Wealth’ for his ‘number one fan’, Shao Qingge. He framed it and sent it to Shao Qingge. Shao Qingge said, “I will definitely treasure it. I will borrow Senior Gui’s words to make more money.”
Gui Yuanzhang also painted a picture for his ‘number two fan’ Yu Hanjiang. It was the scene of ‘lone boat, fishing alone in the snow of the cold river’ from a poem. The ink painting was majestic and vividly depicted the depression of winter. Yu Hanjiang liked it very much and hung it in the study of the home he shared with Xiao Lou.
As for Xiao Lou…
Gui Yuanzhang thought about it and sent the calligraphy that read ‘Magical Hands Bring the Dying Back to Life’.
Gui Yuanzhang thought that the phrase ‘Magical Hands Bring the Dying Back to Life’ was very suitable for a doctor.
Xiao Lou didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when he received it. In order to bring Senior Gui to the physical examination, he pretended to be a doctor and worked as a guide with his classmate for a few days. However, he was actually a forensic doctor!
Yu Hanjiang pointed to the words and said in a serious manner, “If a forensic doctor can bring back the dying with magical hands, it means that after you dissect a corpse, they can be resurrected.”
Xiao Lou looked at him helplessly. “Is your expression so serious when you joke?”
Yu Hanjiang wondered, “Am I joking?”
Xiao Lou, “……”
It seemed that Xiao Lou had to secretly keep Old Gui’s ‘Magical Hands Bring the Dying Back to Life’!
In the days that followed, Gui Yuanzhang’s health got even better. He returned to the hospital for regular examinations and found that his heart function recovered quickly. His electrocardiogram was completely normal.
He couldn’t do strenuous activities after surgery but fortunately, he had never been fond of strenuous activities. He only loved chess and fish, both of which could cultivate oneself. Therefore, Gui Xiujie didn’t object.
Senior Gui had bought a house on the outskirts of the city in his early years. It was surrounded by mountains and rivers and the environment was very special. He planned to move there to retire. His son and daughter-in-law were very filial but he always felt it would cause trouble for the younger generation if two generations lived together. Gui Xiujie couldn’t stop his father so he insisted on hiring a caretaker and visiting him every month.
Gui Yuanzhang wanted to save some effort regarding the house decorations and planned to contract a decorating company. As a result, Shao Qingge introduced a friend to him and said the friend was a very powerful designer. He would design it according to Senior Gui’s preferences and even give 30% off!
Gui Yuanzhang met with Mo Xuemin and told him the style he preferred. Old Mo was very attentive in the design. He rushed to do the draft overnight and came up with a set of preliminary plans that were praised by Senior Gui. “Mr Mo is indeed a professional designer. I never thought of these things. After the renovation, the space will be much larger and it will also be more comfortable to live in.”
The praised Old Mo had a sore nose and he replied seriously, “As long as you like it.”
Old Gui asked, “This design cost…”
Old Mo smiled. “There is no need for money. The studio has recently done some designs for customers for free for the purpose of publicity. As for the decorations, I can personally supervise and find a decoration team that I am familiar with for you. I won’t pit you in terms of furniture.”
Gui Yuanzhang completely relaxed his mind. “That is great. Then thank you, Mr Mo.”
The decorations of the house were left to Old Mo. Gui Yuanzhang was bored and went fishing by Nanchuan Lake.
As a result, he met two young people while fishing. One was very tall and handsome. There was a bit of a ruffian from his eyebrows when he laughed. The other person was gentle and educated but looked very serious.
The two of them sat beside Gui Yuanzhang and fished for an afternoon, but they didn’t catch a single fish.
Therefore, Lu Jiuchuan came over and took the initiative to ask for advice. “Senior, you caught three fish in just one hour. We have both been fishing for half a day. Why can’t we see a single fish?”
Gui Yuanzhang laughed. “Your fishing rod is thrown too close and the bait isn’t placed correctly. Fishing requires a calm mind and some skills… Come, I will teach you.”
The two of them seriously studied with him and as a result, they really caught one.
Lu Jiuchuan smiled. “Thank you, Senior. I’ve finally learned it. My home is nearby. Why don’t I invite you to eat fish tonight?”
Gui Yuanzhang readily agreed. “I also caught a few. We can have a whole fish feast tonight.”
Lu Jiuchuan personally cooked a pot of fish soup for Old Gui and Old Gui was full of praise. “Delicious. This is the freshest fish soup I have ever drunk! Xiao Lu, right? I didn’t expect you to be such a good cook.”
Lu Jiuchuan explained, “I am a soldier. I learned some cooking skills in a cooking class when I was in the army. Haha, Senior Gui has seen the effect. If you like it, we will fish together when we have time later and I will cook the soup for you to drink.”
Tang Ci didn’t say a word but he seriously drank the pot of fish soup clean.
A few days later, Gui Yuanzhang’s grandchildren came to visit him. The two children were very excited and chattered non-stop. His granddaughtern said that was a teacher surnamed Qu at the dance center where she previously took classes. This Teacher Qu was willing to come to her home to teach her and the fees were very cheap. It was a rare conscience price. Teacher Qu was kind-hearted and a very good Latin dancer so his granddaughter decided to follow her to study hard.
In addition, there was an aunt surnamed Chu who taught her a few Taekwondo tricks. She was no longer afraid of being bullied by boys when she grew up.
His grandson happily said that he went to the gymnasium and met a coach surnamed Long. Not only did the coach teach him to play table tennis and badminton but also took him to play a game of children’s soccer. He would go to the gymnasium on the weekend to play.
Gui Yuanzhang saw his grandchildren’s happy appearance and was also delighted.
Life went on like this.
There were more and more friends in Gui Yuanzhang’s WeChat.
First, there were the three ‘fans’ Xiao Lou, Yu Hanjiang and Shao Qingge. They liked his calligraphy and paintings and helped him solve the problem of his heart disease. Next was the interior designer Mo Xuemin. Then he added the ‘fishing friends’ Lu Jiuchuan and Tang Ci. Later, his grandchildren pushed the teachers they met to their grandfather’s WeChat. Gui Yuanzhang added friends such as Long Sen, Qu Wanyue and Chu Huaying.
Finally, there were the two high school students Ye Qi and Liu Qiao who had excitedly asked him to take a photo with them during an art exhibition.
Even 16 year old teenagers had heard of him. Gui Yuanzhang was extremely proud!
For some reason, many good things happened lately and he always met people who were full of goodwill toward him. Gui Yuanzhang thought that he probably had better luck recently. Or perhaps he did something good in the past so that he could live more smoothly as he got older, even finding and curing the heart aneurysm in advance?
The doctors said that as long as he paid attention to his diet and rest and had regular check-ups, his chances of having a heart attack would be low. The last time he went to the hospital for a check-up, he met an 80 year old man who also had heart surgery a long time ago but was still alive and well. Gui Yuanzhang felt that he might be able to live to 70 or 80 years old.
Previously, he always believed it was natural for people to live, grow old, become sick and die. He had suffered hardships and enjoyed blessings in his life. He had children and grandchildren and had achieved success in his career. People would always die when it was time. Just go with the flow and there was no need to pursue longevity.
Now he thought that his days were becoming more interesting and he still wanted to live for a few more years.
If Shao Qingge was free, he would go to Gui Yuanzhang’s place to chat with him about stocks and business. This young man was indeed capable of starting the largest fund company in Jiangzhou from scratch. Gui Yuanzhang also appreciated Chief Shao’s humor and often invited Chief Shao to come to his home as a guest.
Yu Hanjiang was more serious but he would also take time to play chess with the old man. Usually, Yu Hanjiang would come with Xiao Lou. Gui Yuanzhang believed that his chess skills weren’t bad but he didn’t expect that Yu Hanjiang was so meticulous in his thinking when playing chess and Yu Hanjiang would often beat him. The two of them played chess against each other and Gui Yuanzhang liked it when Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou came to visit.
Lu Jiuchuan was in the army and didn’t have much vacation time but as long as he was on vacation, Gui Yuanzhang could always see him and Tang Ci at Nanchuan Lake. Xiao Lu’s fishing skills were becoming better and the fish soup he cooked became more delicious…
Gui Yuanzhang admired the vitality of these young people.
Over time, he gradually started to wonder why there were so many young people who showed great kindness to him during this time.
One time, Gui Yuanzhang won a game of chess against Yu Hanjiang. He put down his chess pieces and turned to look at Xiao Lou, who was sitting next to them and peeling apples. “Xiao Xiao, I always feel that the timing of your appearance is a bit of a coincidence. You, Chief Shao, Group Leader Yu, Mr Mo, Xiao Lu, Xiao Tang… do you know each other?”
Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang looked at each other before Xiao Lou smiled. “Senior, in fact, we have a WeChat group with people from all walks of life in the group. Everyone likes playing escape room games and we gradually became familiar with each other. Since I, Group Leader Yu and Chief Shao admire you very much, we’ve mentioned your name a few times and the others in the group have also long admired you. This is why everyone is a bit excited when they see you.”
Gui Yuanzhang suddenly realized. “There is still a group! Escape room? Is it a game?”
Xiao Lou nodded. “Yes. Senior, if you are interested, why not join our group?”
Gui Yuanzhang immediately took out his phone. “Yes, you pull me in.”
-Xiao Lu has invited ‘Homecoming’ to join the group chat.
The people in the group finally changed from 11 people to 12.
This was the most complete appearance of their team.
Apart from Gui Yuanzhang, everyone else’s mood was a bit complicated. Xiao Lou sent a ‘welcome’ emoji in the group and the others followed suit. The group was instantly overwhelmed with flowers and applause.
Gui Yuanzhang greeted everyone with a smile. Then he asked, “What type of game is an escape room? Can an old man like me play it?”
Xiao Lou replied, “Yes, it is a reasoning escape room that isn’t too bloody or stimulating. Senior, are you interested?”
“I also want to increase my knowledge of the games of you young people.”
Xiao Lou asked Yu Hanjiang’s opinion with his eyes. He saw the other person nodding and simply made a decision. “Why don’t we do it this way? During the winter vacation, Xiao Ye and Xiao Liu are on vacation. We will all get together and play the current version of the escape room. Senior Gui’s heart isn’t very good so I will choose reasoning rooms with less exciting themes. What do you think?”
The group excitedly replied with a row of: no problem.
Gui Yuanzhang looked up and saw that the group’s name was ‘Card Secret Room’.
He thought that these young people probably gathered because of the escape room games. They had people from all walks of life. Now he joined the group and the age difference in the WeChat group was even more astounding. It ranged from a 60 year old man to a 16 year old boy!
Still, what did this matter?
Since ancient times, there had been ‘friends despite the difference in age’. He liked these young people. He believed that a 16 year old and a 60 year old could also become friends.
Proofreader: Paranoid Kitten