An old lady with glasses and grizzly hair appeared at the door.
“Mother!” Xu Qing shouted.
“Xiao Qing, Xiao Qing, you came!” The old lady’s face became excited as she hurriedly opened the door.
Seeing the two people standing behind Xu Qing, the old lady hesitated. “Who are they?”
Xu Qing pulled Sheng Jiaoyang forward. “Mother, this is Jiaojiao!”
“Jiaojiao?” The old lady pushed her glasses up and inspected her seriously. The height was the same, the appearance… Her appearance had changed a lot. “Our Jiaojiao has really changed after becoming a celebrity! She’s become much prettier.”
She then looked at the other person. “Oh, is this Jiaojiao’s boyfriend?”
Xu Qing awkwardly said, “Mother, he’s my boyfriend.”
“Ohohoho, I remember now! Qiqi told us earlier that you’d found a young man, is this him?” Grandmother Xu laughed.
Xu Qing was embarrassed as she hurried to change the topic. “Mother, are Brother and Sister-in-law home?”
“Come in, I almost forgot, let’s not stand at the doorway and talk.” Grandmother Xu stopped at the shoe rack to find slippers for them.
“Let me.” Xu Qing stepped forward and picked up three pairs of slippers.
“Your brother and Qiqi are at work, while your sister-in-law and her daughter-in-law went to a beauty parlour,” Grandmother Xu answered Xu Qing’s earlier question.
“Daughter-in-law? Qiqi’s married?” Xu Qing was very surprised.
Grandmother Xu responded as she led them to the living room, “Qiqi and Aiyan got engaged in August. Once they finish decorating their new place, they’ll exchange wedding drinks. I haven’t been able to contact you guys. As their Aunt, you have to participate in their wedding.”
“I’m sorry, Mother, I changed my sim card and forgot to tell you guys my new phone number. It’s also been pretty busy, so I haven’t had time to see you guys,” Xu Qing mumbled guiltily.
“It’s alright, I didn’t have any hopes for you anyways. It’s fortunate you’ve borne a good daughter. With Jiaojiao here, there’s no need to be worried about anyone bullying you or being alone at old age.” Grandmother Xu shook her head.
“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of Qingqing so she’ll always be happy,” Li Weiqi said at once.
Grandmother Xu paused and examined Li Weiqi, asking, “Where’d you come from? Your accent is rather strange.”
“I’m originally from Guangzhou, and then immigrated abroad where I grew up,” Li Weiqi said.
“Oh, then what do your parents do? Do you have any other siblings at home?”
“Mother, your legs aren’t good, so let’s find somewhere to sit before talking.” Xu Qing helped Grandmother Xu to the sofa.
Grandmother Xu took a seat and continued staring at Li Weiqi, waiting for his reply.
Li Weiqi took a seat by Xu Qing and started to narrate, “My parents did business, but now they just relax at home. I also have two brothers, both older than me.”
“Then, what’s your current job?”
“Qingqing and I are working on a charity fund right now,” Li Weiqi said.
“What chartie fish? Can you eat it?”
”…It’s not a fish, it’s something that helps other people.”
Now that he’d learnt how to cook, he naturally knew there was a type of fish called chartie fish.
Grandmother Xu nodded. Just when everybody thought that she’d understood, she said, “So, in other words, the two of you don’t have a job?”
“U-uh…I guess it’s like that.”
Grandmother Xu’s expression changed upon hearing his reply, becoming fussy. “I say, you two don’t even have a job yourselves, and yet you still have money to donate to others? Do you have anything better to do?”
Xu Qing and Li Weiqi looked at each other in dismay, seeing the same trace of helplessness in their eyes.
“Mother, Weiqi has his own investment company, so don’t worry about him going hungry,” Xu Qing helped him explain.
“Why would I worry for him? I’m worried about you going hungry with him!” Grandmother Xu said.
Xu Qing sighed helplessly. “Mother, my life’s very good right now. You don’t need to worry about me.”
“Of course, your life’s very good right now with how amazing our Jiaojiao’s become. Jiaojiao, come, take a seat and talk with me.” Grandmother Xu waved to Sheng Jiaoyang.
Everything Grandmother Xu knew about Sheng Jiaoyang’s situation had come from what her grandson and his wife had said based on the news. It was all gossip, like what celebrity boyfriend she had, how she was targeted by the teacher at school, what dramas she’d appeared in, etc. In front of everybody, she kept pulling Sheng Jiaoyang’s hand and asking about everything.
The doorbell suddenly rang.
“I heard Grandmother’s voice, are there guests?” a young woman asked.
“I wonder who came?” an older woman could be heard responding.
The two women then entered the living room.
“Sister-in-law.” Xu Qing stood up.
Li Weiqi stood up too.
“Jiaojiao!” Zhang Aiyan exclaimed when she saw the person sitting next to Grandmother Xu, “Jiaojiao, you’re here!”
“Yep. Cousin-in-law, long time no see, you’ve become prettier since I’ve seen you last,” Sheng Jiaoyang also got up and replied to Zhang Aiyan. Then, she turned to greet the older woman standing next to her, “Auntie.”
Liang Dahui saw how bright and glowy Xu Qing looked even without makeup and was secretly jealous. She then looked at the man standing next to her, who was young and in his prime with an unordinary bearing, and felt even more unhappy. Something must be wrong with this man’s eyes to have chosen an abandoned old woman like Xu Qing!
Liang Dahui looked over when she heard her daughter-in-law excitedly shout, “Jiaojiao!” Sheng Jiaoyang was completely unrecognisable from the crude little girl with thick bangs, shoulder-length hair, and big glasses. Really, how’d that lucky bastard manage to turn from a nerd to such a big star?
“Jiaojiao, you’ve become so beautiful. You’re even a big star now!” Zhang Aiyan praised.
Liang Dahui sneered, “The entertainment circle’s just like one big plastic surgery hospital. As long as you can enter it, nobody cares if you were a toad before as you’ll definitely be transformed into a phoenix. However, whether they’re really a phoenix or not depends on the foundation. Those without ability can only rely on their youth to enjoy a few years of stardom. In the end, they won’t go far. Therefore, Jiaojiao, Auntie advises you to study more so you’ll be fine when you can no longer stay in the entertainment circle.”
Her words sounded proper, but her preachy tone was very unpleasant. Apart from Grandmother Xu, everyone frowned.
“Mother, Jiaojiao has the ability. In the first place, she attends a top university and is currently an international supermodel. She’s also the female lead of a drama, so her future prospects seem unlimited!” Zhang Aiyan said.
Liang Dahui glanced at Zhang Aiyan. How stupid was her daughter-in-law?! Couldn’t Aiyan see that she didn’t get along with Jiaojiao’s family?! How could she speak for an outsider?!
“I’ll remember Aunt’s words. Thank you for caring about my future.” Sheng Jiaoyang smiled insincerely.
“Jiaojiao, it’s such a pity that you couldn’t attend your cousin and my engagement. Next time, you have to come to my wedding!” Zhang Aiyan smiled at Sheng Jiaoyang.
“I changed my phone and sim card and lost all my contacts, so I couldn’t find a way to tell you my new contact info. We can add each other later.”
“Alright!” Zhang Aiyan repeatedly nodded.
Liang Dahui saw her daughter-in-law happily following somebody else and felt unhappy. Wasn’t she just a stupid celebrity that relied on improper favours? Otherwise, how could the backgroundless Xu Jiaojiao become so popular so quickly in the messy entertainment industry?
“Xu Qing, why don’t you introduce me to the man beside you?” Liang Dahui looked at Xu Qing.
Xu Qing pointed at Li Weiqi. “His name is Li Weiqi and he’s currently my boyfriend.”
“No wonder Aiyan said you found a young boyfriend earlier, I didn’t expect it to be true. Mr Li, are you turning 30 this year?”
“I’ll turn 33 this year,” Li Weiqi replied.
Liang Datui dragged out her words, “Oh, a seven-year difference, huh…do your families know about you and Xu Qing?”
“They know, my family’s coming over tomorrow. Today, Qingqing and I wanted to visit you guys to meet you all first. The day after tomorrow, our families will meet again to discuss marriage plans.”
“Wait…marriage? You two want to get married?” Liang Dahui interrupted Li Weiqi.
“Really? That’s great! I wish you two happiness!” Zhang Aiyan’s eyes shone.
Liang Dahui silently stared at her strangely excited daughter-in-law, secretly finding her increasingly displeasing.
“Thank you for your blessings.” Li Weiqi smiled.
“Your parents also agreed to you marrying such an old woman? You have to remember how old Xu Qing’s child is! Your parents will definitely want you to find somebody younger and one you can have your own child with.” Liang Dahui stared at Li Weiqi, almost as if she was possessed. She refused to believe that there’d be parents that’d allow their son to marry such an older woman.
Sheng Jiaoyang saw the upset expression on Xu Qing’s face and said, “Aunt, you don’t need to worry about this. They’re both experienced adults and will naturally overcome these things together.”
“Right. I’ve already decided to be with Qingqing forever. If there are any problems, we’ll overcome them together.” Li Weiqi nodded.
Zhang Aiyan also spoke up, “Mother, you should be happy for Aunt to have found such a blessing. Even if it’s a bit difficult, we can face it together. There’s nothing that can’t be settled.”
“Mhmm, Aiyan’s right. Although I’m worried about his family’s opposition, since Xiao Qing finally found another person to settle down with, we must all support her,” Grandmother Xu said.
Emotion filled tears fell from Xu Qing’s eyes as Li Weiqi drew her in for a gentle hug.
Liang Dahui narrowed her eyes and swept her glare across everyone in the room, particularly her future daughter-in-law, Zhang Aiyan. She spat in her heart. How could Qiqi have fallen for such a rotten child?!
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TL: Kiki | Editor: Purpledragon | TLC: Grace