Chapter 357: Regarding offering up little white cabbages
On the way home, Xiang Ning finally learnt what the matter was about.
Still, buying a flat was still a very distant concept for her. She simply listened to it once before it basically slipped out of her mind.
Back in her room, after her parents had turned off the lights in the house, Little Xiang Ning secretly gave Xu Tingsheng a call. Her thoughts were actually very simple. Having faced an incident which had occurred, she naturally thought of that person, wanting to tell him this tale.
Although Little Xiang Ning was full of tears and snot over the phone as she virtually only talked about the relationship between she and her Grandma ever since young, Xu Tingsheng was still able to apprehend ‘viewing flat at eastern riverbank’ from her words.
“Yes, capture success! Where can you run to, mother-in-law?!” Xu Tingsheng thought to himself rather deviously.
“I will definitely be filial to Grandma in the future,” Little Xiang Ning declared over the phone, her thoughts on a completely different frequency from Xu Tingsheng’s.
“Yeah, I will be filial to Grandma too,” Xu Tingsheng said warmly.
“Huh? You...how shameless! My Grandma, why’re you calling her Grandma too? Why must you be filial to her?” It could vaguely be sensed how Little Xiang Ning had stopped snivelling slightly as she was instead smiling.
Xu Tingsheng was caught unawares by this question. Still, it also didn’t seem to be the most pressing issue at hand.
He changed his tone, asking, “Right, Xiang Ning, will you be going to view the flat with your Mum and Dad then?”
“Like I’d go. I told them not to buy it...it’s not like I’m scared of staying in school. I’m already used to it,” Little Xiang Ning said.
“Erm...actually, it wouldn’t be anything bad if they bought it, right? I heard it’s guaranteed to rise in value and earn a profit. Like this, before you’re grown up, your Mum and Dad might not have to work so hard…” Xu Tingsheng said.
“Is that how it is?” Little Xiang Ning asked.
“Yeah,” Xu Tingsheng said.
“I’ll think about it then. If my cousins all go and Mum and Dad ask me to go too, I’ll go take a look then...it’s not like I have anywhere to go during the summer holidays. Sigh, I’ve nothing to do everyday. I want to take a look at senior high material to prepare, but there’s no one to teach me…”
This hint was really a little too obvious.
Yet, Xu Tingsheng’s current goal still had Mr and Mrs Xiang as the foremost priority. Before that, the most important thing was to avoid their wariness of him going up. This was why he currently dared not meet with Little Xiang Ning...on the off chance that they were discovered...it might just be game over for good…
As for why Xu Tingsheng hoped that Xiang Ning could go along and view the flat, his rationale was this. If this matter could be settled directly through Mr and Mrs Xiang, it would naturally be best if Little Xiang Ning were unaware of it…
But if that was truly impossible, he would still have a partner to coordinate with at the very least.
Little Xiang Ning was still young and pure in her thoughts. She should not have any reservations regarding material possessions or whatnot…
In another room, Mr and Mrs Xiang who had turned off the lights were actually still awake. Of course, they were not in the mood for anything else as they were just lying down and chatting. Today, they had felt pleasantly surprised, stifled, despondent and moved too.
“There’s 130000 that we have saved up ourselves. We can’t use Mum’s twenty thousand; we’ll safeguard it for her. I’ll try to borrow some later on. Gathering around 200000 or so shouldn’t be a problem,” Mr Xiang said.
His determination was high this time, especially after tonight as he instead just felt as though he definitely had to buy it no matter what. Actually, in this day and age, the Xiang family was really doing rather well if it had over a hundred thousand yuan in savings. This still fell short, though, when considering the money needed to buy a flat.
“Yeah. If we have to pay thirty percent up front as the deposit, it’s hopefully not too expensive, and we can hopefully buy one. We’ll just have to work a bit harder to return the housing loans and the money in the future at most,” Mrs Xiang said breezily, her tone sounding very normal.
Still, her resolve was actually even firmer than Mr Xiang’s. Firstly, women like to vindictively obtain victory in arguments more by nature. Secondly, her mother’s gesture and words that night had pierced right into the core of her being.
“Right, didn’t they say that it can still rise in value? Seeing the property value rise over the next few years, we can take working that little bit harder as accumulating more money with our flat.”
Mr Xiang inadvertently hit on a ‘true principle’ here. Those who could think of ‘accumulating more money with their flats’ over this couple of years would generally all earn a hefty sum.
“Yep,” Mrs Xiang responded before silently burrowing further into Mr Xiang’s embrace.
She had really been much too mentally exhausted today. There was also an aggrieved, helpless feeling as she just wanted to rest in the embrace of her husband, gaining warmth from this simple, honest relationship between husband and wife.
As she lay there, some time later, tears soon started trickling down her face.
Mr Xiang rubbed Mrs Xiang’s back, asking, “Feeling aggrieved?”
“Actually, it’s more that I was moved by my Mum. I feel guilty too. It’s like we aren’t treating Little Ning as well as my Mum does. I am feeling aggrieved too. I hate that cousin of mine to death now. It’s clearly Tingsheng himself who didn’t like her daughter Li Meng. I helped her out of goodwill, but why is she being like that? Saying even those things? Targeting me in every single aspect too. I clearly only set things up for them back then because they themselves begged me so shamelessly and desperately.”
Mrs Xiang was just like a little girl too as she spoke badly of others and poured out her grievances to her husband.
Mr Xiang considered this for a moment before saying, “It's also understandable, actually. Such a realistic person like your cousin-with Tingsheng's merits, failing to snag him, wouldn't it be like slicing off a piece of her flesh? People also stomp on the ground after suffering a fall, scold the heavens when they lose money.”
“But she's even thrown the blame on me! What, can I do anything about which girl Tingsheng likes?” An infuriated Mrs Xiang exclaimed.
“Who says you can't do anything? Isn't doing something exactly what you're doing…” Mr Xiang muttered softly.
Thinking about this and realising what Mr Xiang was saying, Mrs Xiang hit her husband's chest in exasperation, saying, “Do you find that all the gossip isn't enough? Don't go around randomly saying these things.”
“You can't always go around paying attention to other people's gossiping. This is just because it's our family. If it were Li Meng's family or someone else's, would they even care about that? It'd long since be on the headlines. With Tingsheng's merits, if this really came to something, be it relatives or neighbours, wouldn't all the gossiping turn into toadying? Even if they had malicious intentions, they'd have to suppress it and put on a smiling face.”
Hearing Mr Xiang's words, Mrs Xiang sat bolt upright, questioning severely, “Hey, Xiang Guoliang, what are you thinking? How old is Little Ning this year?”
“Sigh, that was just a figure of speech. What I really meant is…”
“When you were sixteen, didn't you hide and kiss in a pile of straw with me?”
Mr Xiang was actually trying to jokingly cheer his wife up. Yet, it turned out that...he had stirred up a hornet's nest.
Mrs Xiang was really infuriated by this as she sat cross-legged, saying severely, “Make it clear, Xiang Guoliang. What do you mean? Do you really want to sell our daughter? Since when did you become like this?”
Mr Xiang immediately felt despondent as he sat up as well, replying, “Hey, Shi Youmei, aren't you being too much? I'm just stating things as they are. Selling my daughter how? Let's not talk about Tingsheng's qualifications. There's no use thinking about that; if you did, you wouldn't have married me in the first place. The question is: How does he treat Little Ning? Besides thinking for her, has he ever laid a hand on her before? Just those study materials that Little Ning took out today-do you think they wouldn't have taken several days and nights? Do you think he's really so free?”
“He's got ulterior motives.”
“By that logic, I also had ulterior motives in treating you well before. All men have ulterior motives when they treat women well. Say, if this was a few years later, like when Little Ning is in university or has maybe even graduated, if a kid like Tingsheng were placed before you, how would you feel then?”
Mrs Xiang thought about it. If this were when Little Xiang Ning was attending university or had graduated, with Xu Tingsheng's qualifications and how well he treated Xiang Ning, there really was nothing for her to be dissatisfied with... not only would she not be dissatisfied, things really could not be any better.
If things had really been this way, she knew she would definitely have been overjoyed.
When a mother-in-law appraised her prospective son-in-law, hoping that her daughter would have a good life, it was really inevitable that she would consider how well-off the guy was. Of course, that he treated her daughter well was still of foremost importance. Xu Tingsheng lacked neither of these. On the contrary, he could not excel any more in both areas.
“But the time still isn't right yet! It would have to be in another three years at least. Three years later and I'd agree,” Mrs Xiang had relaxed her tone slightly.
“See?” Mr Xiang said, “If not for these considerations, why do you think I'd be with you on this? We're really going rather overboard here. Think of Tingsheng's expression those few times. It just froze all at once. How he’s suffered...and has he rebutted even once? He accepted everything we said, never once putting up a fight.”
After an awkward pause, Mrs Xiang asked softly, “What do you mean by saying all this then?”
“There's no need to go so overboard. Treat them like just any ordinary teacher and student or take it as if Little Ning has an older brother-that’s still okay, right? Isn't it just a couple of years? During these three years-no, four, a year's already passed-you can't just treat him like an enemy for four whole years before permitting him to return with a wave of a hand afterwards? Would he still come back then?”
Hearing Mr Xiang propose not managing the relationship between Xu Tingsheng and Xiang Ning so strictly, Mrs Xiang thought for a moment, next realising something as she immediately said nervously, “No way, definitely not!”
Seeing her fickle attitude, Mr Xiang asked helplessly, “What is it now?”
Mrs Xiang hesitated for a bit. While the two were husband and wife, it would still be awkward to say things too explicitly in matters regarding their daughter. After thinking for a while, she found an analogous way to say it.
Lying down, she said ambiguously, “A perfectly good little white cabbage, still yet to have grown. Aren’t you afraid of it...being offered up and harvested by someone?!”
Hearing these words, Mr Xiang too felt worried as he thought for a moment before smiling wryly, saying, “I’m just afraid that our family’s little white cabbage herself could bear for it to happen...”
“Can’t you tell how Little Ning feels about Tingsheng? Let’s not talk about before. Today, she was nearly going against you because of Tingsheng, her face all stubborn and aggrieved. This is still when she’s young too. If it were a few years later, perhaps she might even up and run off.”
“...That’s why I must manage her more strictly,” Mrs Xiang said helplessly.
Mr Xiang had nothing to say regarding this as he too felt worried.
“Actually, what I can’t understand most is still this-what does Tingsheng see in our Little Ning? This doesn’t make sense! With his age, appearance and qualifications, it shouldn’t be difficult to find someone who’s better and prettier than Little Ning, right?”
“It wouldn’t be hard for him to even marry a celebrity,” Mr Xiang said.
“I can’t make sense of it too. This is what I’m most worried about.”
“Yeah. Little Ning’s sixteen now. If it really happens, with so many years up ahead, how can we guarantee that Tingsheng will always be faithful to she and she only? What if Tingsheng treats her badly, abandons her and finds somebody else...aren’t many rich people all playboys? If such a thing happens...what can Little Ning do?” Mrs Xiang finished, her voice full of worry.
Mr Xiang sighed, throwing down his stance, “You’re right. You should continue managing this...if they really are destined for each other, and Tingsheng is able to wait, we’ll just apologise to him then.”
Parents would inevitably be conflicted for a long time over and over again regarding this issue.
“Let’s sleep. I’ll go borrow money tomorrow, and we’ll check out that flat next time. Right now, what’s most important is for us not to let Little Ning’s life be tough. They all say to raise a son if you are poor and raise a daughter if you are rich. While we aren’t rich, we can’t always have our daughter feel inferior in this regard,” Mr Xiang said.
“Right. Actually, Little Ning doesn’t care about such things at all right now. That makes me feel a bit more reassured,” Mrs Xiang said.
“Huh? What do you mean?”
“She won’t try to approach Xu Tingsheng for whatever or feel that she’s inferior as compared to him in terms of background, getting all troubled over it...so whether she likes him or not, it’ll all be real. However well Tingsheng treats her, such things will just never seep into her mindset.”
“You can rest assured on that. Our daughter is very brainless in this aspect,” Mr Xiang smiled.
The lights in Xiang Ning’s room came on. Little White Cabbage had had a dream. She got up and rubbed her ankles...waist...legs...smiled triumphantly...she opened her collar and glanced inward...her face instantly fell.
Thinking about how she was soon to enter a relationship with Uncle, Little White Cabbage was being very ruffian-ish herself...
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