Lu Jingqing turned to his daughter and said, “Zhizhi, follow your mom and your eldest brother to meet everyone. Daddy has to go say hi to your grandma first.”
Lu Yushen was still receiving treatment in the hospital, so he had not come to the party. Fu Zhi nodded in understanding and replied, “Don’t worry, dad. I’ll take care of mom and my brother.”
Xu Wei and Lu Yumo fell silent as a thought surfaced in both their heads. ‘We’re sorry for being such a burden!’
Lu Jingqing chuckled and then went to look for Madam Lu with the orchid pot in his hand.
When his mother saw him, a grin broke across her face and she said, “Jingqing, finally. Come on. Hurry up and show Madam Zhao the orchid that you bought for me.”
Lu Jingqing nodded at the people around and put the pot on the table.
It was a white orchid with several tiny blooms, but there were no leaves in sight.
Even though it was a delicate orchid in its own right, Madam Zhao burst into laughter as she said, “Isn’t this an Emerald Orchid? Besides, it’s not the latest breed either. Sis, isn’t the Lu Family one of the most prestigious families in Yu City? Why can’t you guys even get a decent orchid pot?”
Madam Ma tried to stop Madam Zhao from talking, but Madam Zhao paid her no mind. She added, “Well, I can’t say I didn’t see this coming. After all, of all the kids across the nation, you had to go to the extent to adopt the worst one from the countryside, so it’s really not that hard to see that you have poor taste. In my honest opinion, I would say that this orchid really suits your taste, don’t you think so?”
Madam Lu’s expression turned grim when she heard Madam Zhao’s remarks. The smile on her face disappeared without a trace as she snarled at her second son, “Where is the Tianyi Lotus Orchid? What is going on with you? How can you bring this kind of crap to me? Do you really want to make your mother a laughing stock?”
Before Madam Lu could continue, Bai Yao, who had noticed the commotion, walked over. When she saw the orchid pot on the table, her smile dropped as she turned to Lu Jingqing and said, “Jingqing, don’t you think you’ve gone overboard this time? How can you bring this kind of crap to mom’s birthday party? You could’ve told me in advance if you were not willing to spend money on mom’s present. I would’ve bought the orchid myself!”
Lu Jingqing frowned and replied, “The Tianyi Lotus Orchid can only be bought at auctions abroad. The Emerald Orchid is already considered the best orchid species.”
Madam Lu’s expression darkened after she heard what Lu Jingqing had said.
“If that’s the case, then you should’ve told us and discussed it with us instead of just showing up with this rubbish and expecting mom to accept it. Your daughter is the culprit. She’s the one who destroyed the orchid. Were it not for her stupid plant, how is there any chance the worm would have gotten into the greenhouse and eaten the orchid? Since you’re the one who insisted on adopting her, as her father, don’t you think you are responsible for cleaning up the mess she made?” Bai Yao said, her voice sharp, leaving no room for arguments.
The few madams sitting around the table frowned, and their gazes were laced with contempt as they studied Lu Jingqing from head to toe.
They had heard that Lu Jingqing had founded a company with his friends, leaving his own family business in the lurch. If this was not impiety, then what was it?
Today was the day Madam Lu would introduce Fu Zhi to the public. Lu Jingqing did not want anything to happen, so he suppressed his anger and explained, “This is what we came up with after our discussion. If the Tianyi Lotus Orchid is what you yearned for, mom, I’m sorry for not being able to fulfill your wish. I’ll try my best to compensate you in another way.”
“Compensate her?” Bai Yao scoffed. This was the best opportunity for her to get back at Lu Jingqing for wanting to beat her kids, so there was no way she was going to let it slip like that. Therefore, she said, “Jingqing, it’s your duty as a son to take care of mom. Even if she wants all your money, you have to give it to her without any questions! You knew that it was mom’s birthday today, but you still cared about your money more than you cared about your own mother. What do you think others will think of our family, huh? Just like mom said, you’re making us the laughing stock of the whole town!”
Lu Jingqing stared at Bai Yao icily and asked, his voice bereft of any emotion, “So what do you suggest I do then?”
“It’s too late to buy the orchid, so let’s just forget about it. After all, you’re mom’s favorite son, and we’re in no place to say anything. As long as you feel it’s fine to splurge a few million and donate a building to the school for your daughter instead of buying an orchid for your mom, it’s fine by us too.”
Lu Chuwan shot a dissatisfied gaze at Lu Jingqing after hearing what her mother had said.
“That’s enough!” Madam Lu shouted. She had never felt so embarrassed in her life before, so she just wanted to end this farce as soon as possible. She looked at Bai Yao and said, “Just shut your mouth if you don’t know how to speak!”