Zhuo Jingren eyed the tall gates made of wrought iron that were slowly opened by two guards. Then the car that they were riding in slowly entered the property, revealing another road surrounded by tall lush orange trees.
"My grandfather love oranges so much. So my grandmother asked someone to surround the mansion with orange trees," Lily quickly explained, her eyes were taking in the scenery outside the car. "The last time I was here was two months ago, during Grandmother's funeral and burial."
Zhuo Jingren nodded at Lily's words. Not much was known about Lilian and her husband Frederick online so Zhuo Jingren did not know much about Lily's grandmother. He didn't think it was important or necessary to find out more about Lily's grandmother as his focus and attention had always been on Lily, be it in the past or present.
After a few more seconds, the car made a stop in front of a building made of stone. If his guess was right, this building must be a mausoleum, that was located at the back of the Facci Mansion.
"This property is too big. I will give you a tour around another time. For now, I want you to meet my grandmother and grandfather," Lily said just as the car door was opened from the outside by Daohu. Zhuo Jingren was the first to get out of the car. Standing next to the car, he held his hand out for Lily like a gentleman which surprised her. She took his hands and got out of the car with his help and a smile on her face.
Zhuo Jingren watched as a butler named Victor opened the bronze doors to the mausoleum. Zhuo Jingren roamed his eyes on the exterior of the mausoleum. The place looked like a stone house that was akin to a roman building with two upright columns supporting a horizontal block that was laid flat across the top, acting as its roof. The house was about a hundred square meter big.
It was as if Zhuo Jingren was watching a smaller version of the Pantheon in Rome but this house had a flat roof.
"My grandmother loved Roman architecture," Lily said when she noticed that Zhuo Jingren was roaming his eyes, observing the architecture of the place. Then she tugged at him, while gesturing with the other hand for him to go inside with her.
Hand in hand, Lily and Zhuo Jingren walked inside the mausoleum. The first thing that Zhuo Jingren noticed was the carpeted floor and the two tombs right at the center of the mausoleum. On top of each tomb was a headstone made of limestone with some words inscripted on it. On Lilian's headstone were these words: "Until we meet again." On Frederick's headstone were these words: "Time passes, love remains."
The duo then stood in front of the tombs in silence, to show their respects. Now that Zhuo Jingren was closer, he could clearly see that on each of the headstone was a picture of the old couple.
"Let me tell you a secret," Lily started as she stared at the photo of the loving couple. "My grandfather was a prince who abandoned his status for my grandmother," she said as her eyes turned gentle. What kind of person could abandon the life of a royalty for love? Lily used to think that her grandfather was stupid for doing so. But now, as she watched Zhuo Jingren looking at her, his eyes full of gentleness, Lily was sure that her grandfather was not crazy at all.
"When my grandfather left his life as a prince, he also changed his surname to Facci. That was long before they started the company. I used to think that he is stupid," she added, making Zhuo Jingren look at her. "But when I saw the way my grandmother would look at my grandfather's photographs after he died, it changed my mind." She wanted to add how his stares looked similar to the way her grandmother would also look at Frederick's pictures, but she chose not to say it.
"Maybe an emotion as intense as that really exists," Lily whispered.
"It does." Zhuo Jingren said after a long silence. Then he slowly let go of Lily's hands and put his arm around her waist. He pulled her a little closer towards him and slowly kissed her temple. "I know it does."
Lily did not say anything else as she continued to stare at the photo of her grandparents. Unknowingly, her lips lifted into a smile.
After a few minutes inside the mausoleum, Lily and Zhuo Jingren walked out of the building still hand in hand with a smile on both of their faces.
"Where are we going next?" he asked as he opened the car door for Lily.
"We're going to see a beautiful friend," Lily said before she went inside the car with Zhuo Jingren in tow.
"So basically… you wanted me to ride a horse?" Zhuo Jingren asked. His face was calm but Lily immediately sensed the distress in his voice.
"Don't you know how to ride a horse?" she raised an eyebrow at him. Seeing Zhuo Jingren purse his lips and did not answer her, was enough for Lily to know that he hasn't ridden a horse before. "Don't worry, I can teach you." She smiled at him before patting his shoulders.
"That is not my concern!" Zhuo Jingren said. "I am a fast learner but I don't… I think horses are scary." He leaned towards Lily and lower his voice, making sure that Lily was the only one who could hear him. Though Yang Mi and Daohu were the only ones following them, Zhuo Jingren still felt that it was necessary for him to lower his voice, not willing to let those two know his fear. He desperately wanted to back out but how could he when they were already inside the farm with stables. If he backed out now, he would only be a laughing stock ah.
When he heard a horse neighing nearby, Zhuo Jingren almost jumped up in fright. "Horses are very sensitive and unpredictable too," he whispered while eyeing the black stallion from afar.
His statement immediately made Lily laugh. This was totally unexpected! A six foot two man, afraid of horses and acting like a child was too much for Lily.
"Stop laughing at me. I am being serious," Zhuo Jingren hissed. Before he turned towards the black stallion. "Do you see that horse? Look at the way he glares at me. Look! If I stand next to him, I'm sure he will kick me to death."
"Hey, I have a question." Lily said in between her laughter.
"Are you afraid of guns?" she asked in a low voice.
"I am not… why would you…" Zhuo Jingren did not continue his words as he narrowed his eyes at Lily. "Horses are different than guns. Horses could pounce on you at any moment… believe me… Hey, stop laughing! I am being serious! Lily!"
Lily on the other hand was already clutching her stomach as she tried to stop herself from laughing at Zhuo Jingren's explanation. How could a man not be afraid of violence and guns but fears a horse? To Lily, the man in front of her now was extremely adorable. Seeing Zhuo Jingren still ranting on about the danger of horses made Lily reach out and pinch the latter's cheeks.