Chapter 619: Suzhou’s Qing Garden
Xu Tingsheng and Xiang Ning prepared to return to Yanzhou. Mrs Xu had made her a big box of donkey-hide gelatin cake with walnuts, dried dates and wolfberries to bring with her. During her stay at the Xu family home, Xiang Ning had already fully made up for her weight loss over her worry for Xu Tingsheng previously.
From a visual perspective, she might even be plumper than before. Still, as Mrs Xu had hidden the weighing scale, Miss Xiang herself did not know this.
She did not discover the increase in her weight, rather feeling that...they really had grown a bit bigger. So, doing that had helped.
“Let’s continue when we’re back in Yanzhou…” Miss Xiang said.
Xu Tingsheng felt that a mishap would occur sooner or later if they went on like this.
Fu Cheng’s family would be returning to Yanzhou with them. Over the summer holidays, they too had come back to accompany his parents for a few days. It seemed like Mr Fu would be promoted to the position of Vice County Head very soon. With his smooth-sailing career, he was in a great mood. Meanwhile, Mrs Fu who really missed Niannian a lot was apparently trying to plan for an early retirement...because she really had no way to bear how long it would be before she was able to see Niannian again.
Xu Tingsheng drove Xiang Ning to the Fu family home to pick the three of them up. There, he found…
Fu Cheng was on a tree. The country had regulated towering trees in its old small districts. Fu Cheng was on the tree, hugging a tree branch as it swayed and swayed, swayed and swayed…
“Dear, Mum, Dad...can I come down already?” Fu Cheng asked.
The three beneath the tree unanimously shook their heads.
Niannian leaned over and extended her hands, saying, “Climb, Niannian climb.”
This matter had come about because Fu Cheng had suddenly been inspired to teach Niannian how to climb trees. Then...Ms Fang had seen it and called for his parents...and so, Fu Cheng had been chased up the tree.
“Luckily you came. I’ve been on that tree for more than two hours,” Sitting in the co-driver’s position in the car, Fu Cheng complained to Xu Tingsheng.
Xu Tingsheng said nothing in reply. He did not dare to get involved in this sort of war involving differing education philosophies within a family. While Fu Cheng and Ms Fang shared a relationship so sweet, they actually quarrelled too, most of the time over how to raise Niannian.
Their education philosophies actually clashed in quite a few areas.
Xiang Ning switched to the backseat and sat with Niannian.
Kissing Niannian’s little face, she asked exceptionally earnestly, “Niannian, do you mind getting a boyfriend in the future who’s a few years younger than you?”
“Oh, I want to be your mother-in-law!”
Elsewhere, Suzhou, the Yu family home.
Yu Qing’s previous wedding could actually be said to have brought shame to her family to some extent. A girl booking her own wedding banquet, wearing her wedding gown, asking her destitute boyfriend if he would marry her or not…
While that scene had moved many people...Fang Yuqing had been arrested by the police in the midst of the wedding. Yu Qing had watched helplessly in her wedding gown before staunchly continuing to toast the remainder of the guests alone, persisting till the end of the wedding. Then, she had spent the night alone in the booked hotel room.
It could not have been any more piteous that day…
After the incident, there had been much mockery and gossip. People had increasingly said that Yu Qing was silly as some even called her parents silly.
Not wanting to give his daughter pressure, Mr Yu had pretended that he was simply impervious to it, just that he would pour a glass of wine and secretly sigh when he was alone.
Mrs Yu was a woman at the end of the day. Unable to suppress her emotions, she would suddenly start shedding tears before her husband and daughter from time to time…
“Qing’er, Mum’s not afraid of the gossip or anything else. I’m just worried...what will become of you in the future?”
Relatives, neighbours, villagers and colleagues-many people were waiting to see how it would ultimately pan out for the Yu family.
Yu Qing and Fang Yuqing had actually still not collected their wedding certificate yet. Still...many were saying stuff like ‘look how long she can last before she remarries’ and ‘let’s see which man will still dare to marry her’…”
After dinner that night.
The auntie squad of plaza dancers discovered that Mrs Yu who had not been coming for a long time since Yu Qing’s wedding had suddenly come again. Also, she was all smiles and intricately dressed up.
Within the garden pavilion of the small district were gathered people who were playing mahjong, cards and chess. They too were surprised to discover Mr Yu appearing once again after a long period, swelling with joy.
Over the past few days, the people in the neighbourhood had only been gossiping about this. It was what they discussed when taking a break from dancing in the plaza...it was also what they idly chatted about in the pavilion.
“It’s been decided. That small district across from us will be demolished in a few days,” Someone said.
“It’s high time that happened. Look how dilapidated it is already,” Someone else said.
The area was buzzing with discussion.
“Speaking of this, our district should be demolished too. It’s also too dilapidated to live in.”
“That’s right, they should demolish it. We’ll even be able to get a compensatory sum that way. I estimate that it shouldn’t be long now, probably within the next few years. I was also thinking that I’d best buy a flat during this time to save the trouble of having to rent one or stay with others when the time comes.”
“Why not buy one opposite then? You don’t have to leave this area. We’re all familiar with each other. I heard they will be building a new district opposite. They’re a developer from out of the area. They said something big, that they’re going to build the number one district in Suzhou.”
“Can you believe the developer’s words? They say it’s number one, and it’s number one?!”
“You should believe it. They’ve really done it before. In Yanzhou, newly built...rated on the internet as the number one newly built district in Jianhai Province.”
“I know that. Little Pert Waist. I think it’s called Ning Garden,” A kid who was in the midst of reading interrupted.
“It’s in Yanzhou? Which company built it?”
“I think it’s called Zhicheng Real Estate or something.”
Some families who were closer with the Yu family vaguely felt like they had heard something before...they caught a whiff of something...they successively turned to look at Mr and Mrs Yu.
The two smiled, not saying anything.
The discussion was still ongoing as somebody who was better informed said, “That’s right, it’s Zhicheng Real Estate. They’re the ones who built Yanzhou’s Ning Garden. As for what they’re going to build here...I think it’s called Qing Garden (Qingyuan) or something…”
“Love relationship (Qingyuan)? What love relationship?”
Mr and Mrs Yu were finally able to vent after being stifled for so long. The two dragged on their voices, deliberately feigning calmness as they said to those around them, “Yuan as in Garden...the Qing from my family’s Yuqing.”
“Oh, isn’t that a coincidence?” Some had already understood, while others still did not know of the situation.
Mr and Mrs Yu said, “It’s not a coincidence. Zhicheng’s boss…is my son-in-law. Quite a few of you saw him at the wedding banquet before. This district’s name is precisely using the Qing of Yu Qing.”
The atmosphere changed all at once.
Mr and Mrs Yu were surrounded as they happily and earnestly explained how Fang Yuqing had been set up. In the end, a higher-up from Central who had ties with his family had stood up for him. He was totally fine now and was in the midst of furthering his career…
“Oh, my family’s Yu Qing. It’s not that I’m praising my own daughter, but the girl really is loyal and righteous...that’s why she’s blessed like this,” Mrs Yu said.
“Right, right! What a good child. She deserves this fortune, to be blessed her entire life,” The bunch of aunties chorused enthusiastically.
The next day, Fang Yuqing was walking beside Yu Qing on their way home. Yu Qing rather wished to ignore him...still, half the neighbourhood was enthusiastically greeting them, asking stuff like:
“Yu Qing, is that your husband? Handsome and dignified indeed…”
“Yu Qing, bringing your husband back home to eat? I saw your mother buying groceries early in the morning.”
Yu Qing had no choice but to respond, “Oh, yes.”
Fang Yuqing was full of smiles as he returned their greetings.
“Did you hear? Ha, they said your husband is really handsome and dignified,” Fang Yuqing said to Yu Qing.
Yu Qing could not be bothered to answer him.
Fang Yuqing could only lower his voice and say ingratiatingly, “Look, don’t be angry...isn’t it just a Qing Garden? I just wanted to give you a surprise.”
Yu Qing shot him a look, saying exasperatedly, “You clearly know that I’m most afraid of being so flashy...just you wait. As soon as my Mum and Dad go around promoting it, our house will definitely be filled with people. You’ll be annoyed to death in the future by people wishing to purchase flats based on connections…”
“Many of my colleagues and higher-ups already came asking me about it today. Not only did they ask about the flats, the higher-ups even asked if I want to resign, saying that I should tell them earlier if I do so they can be prepared. While I said I wasn’t going to resign, they wouldn’t believe me. Why would I still go for two thousand yuan per month...anyway, it’s all your fault.”
“Heh, I’m not afraid of annoyances. I’m just afraid of you suffering so many grievances, hearing so much gossip...bearing it all for nothing. I just want to let everyone know how great Yu Qing is, and that that’s why she’s married a good man who will always be good to her,” Fang Yuqing said.
Speaking of suffering grievances, how could she not have suffered?
Looking at Fang Yuqing, Yu Qing bit her lips, holding back her tears.
Finally, she said, “Hurry up. My Mum’s called several times already. You must know, it was them who invited you to come. It’s got nothing to do with me…”
“How could it have nothing to do with you? If you weren’t my wife, could Mum and Dad have called me over? Moreover, you’ve even wed me into your family...hm, that’s what all those bastards in Yanzhou say. They say that you wed me,” Fang Yuqing said.
“Don’t be so full of yourself now. We haven’t collected the certificate yet,” Yu Qing said.
“Right, right. The certificate. When are we going to collect it?”
“In the past, your Mum and Dad said that it was impossible that they’d allow us to marry. I was the thick-skinned one this time. It doesn’t count. As for what happens in the future, we’d better wait and see. Although you were fooling me in what happened last time, I find that what you said actually isn’t completely unreasonable. Being a businessman, you will surely have to entertain your customers...I don’t want to have to worry everyday about such things, much less hear one day that you only did it for appearance’s sake. I wish for it to be simpler,” Yu Qing said.
Actually, which girl doesn’t bear grudges, doesn’t worry?
“I won’t!” Fang Yuqing said.
“I can’t know that,” Yu Qing said.
Actually, Yu Qing did not have a very strong sense of security at all.
Fang Yuqing had no idea what to do.
He secretly texted Xu Tingsheng for help.
Xu Tingsheng replied: Be shameless! Then, slowly prove it to her...in future, for entertaining customers, you can just call Hu Shengming over. Then, just determinedly act as if you don’t know how to drink outside. And when you get back everyday, you definitely cannot be drunk.
Fang Yuqing and Yu Qing opened the door to her home...it was full of people.
Relatives and friends were squeezed into the Yu family’s small home such that even turning was hard...no one was a fool. They had all checked up on Fang Yuqing’s current situation, connections and capabilities. They also knew of how much the price of Zhicheng’s other construction, Yanzhou’s Ning Garden had shot up from sale till its handing over of flats.
Yu Qing glanced at Fang Yuqing as if to say: Now you know, huh?
Fang Yuqing could only force a smile.
Only at mealtime did a portion of the crowd disperse.
“Have more food. Look how thin you’ve become…” Mrs Yu focused on giving Fang Yuqing food.
Mr Yu poured wine and said, “Come, have one with Dad.”
Fang Yuqing raised his wineglass and had a toast with his father-in-law.
“In the future, come home to eat when you’re in Suzhou,” Mr Yu said.
Beside him, Mrs Yu said, “The way I see it, you shouldn’t stay in a hotel. Stay at home...while our house is a bit small, you won’t have to set up another bed if you stay here, right? When staying in one’s own home, everything is definitely more convenient.”
“Mum, Dad…enough already. He’s a big boss, he’s busy,” Yu Qing said.
“I’m free…” Fang Yuqing hastily said, “Mum, Dad, Zhicheng’s project in Suzhou is pretty big. I’ve reached an agreement with the company. For the next two years, I’ll basically be stationed in Suzhou. So, I won’t stand on ceremony with you two. I’ll go over to the hotel and move my belongings in a bit...I’ll be troubling Mum and Dad in the future.”
Mr and Mrs Yu nodded happily.
Yu Qing said, “No.”
Mr and Mrs Yu were flummoxed, their eyes full of bewilderment as they looked at their daughter and Fang Yuqing.
“Dad, I’ll toast you…” Fang Yuqing downed a glass and choked on it as the tears flowed down.
Wiping his tears, he said, “Mum, Dad, I daren’t tell you this without drinking first. I’m afraid Yu Qing will be unhappy...actually, Yu Qing, she isn’t willing to go with me to collect the certificate. I...I don’t know what to do. I can only shamelessly beg the two of you to please help me out…”
He cried as he spoke, his authentic emotions showing that were sorrowful to the extreme.
Yu Qing had not thought that Fang Yuqing might suddenly resort to this. She was left dumbfounded and gaping.
Glancing at his daughter. Mr Yu snorted as he brought the wineglass in his hand heavily down on the table. Wine spilled over its edges.
“Slam!” Mrs Yu slammed her chopsticks on the table.
“Mum, Dad…” Yu Qing wanted to explain.
“Mum, Dad...I’m, I’m really helpless. You’re also aware of Yu Qing’s temper...everything’s good about her, just that she’s stubborn…”
“Rest assured, Yuqing. Mum will be the judge for you,” Mrs Yu stood up, then glared at Yu Qing, saying in no good humour, “Oh how I’ve spoilt you…”
With that, she stomped over to the rooms and emerged a while later, a red booklet in her hands.
“Yuqing, you can keep the residence book first. Have you brought your own?” Mrs Yu said while handing Fang Yuqing the residence book.
“I’ve brought it, I’ve brought it,” Fang Yuqing hurriedly pulled his out.
“That’s good then. After we’ve finished eating in a while, Yuqing’s Dad and I will accompany you two in registering it,” Mrs Yu told Fang Yuqing.
“And not a word from you,” Mrs Yu told Yu Qing.
Mr Yu topped up Fang Yuqing’s wineglass and toasted him.
At the door of the Civil Affairs Bureau, after Mr and Mrs Yu had left.
Holding his brand new red booklet, Fang Yuqing raised his head towards the skies and laughed loudly.
Yu Qing did not utter a sound.
“Don’t worry, dear. Trust me,” Fang Yuqing calmed down and looked into Yu Qing’s eyes, saying, “Look, we’re married.”
Yu Qing looked at him, looking, looking...
Finally, she plunged into his embrace.
Her grievances that had been piling up and she had been suffering alone in silence ever since she had coincidentally run into Fang Yuqing’s parents in their university days...they erupted all at once...having painfully tolerated everything thus far, Yu Qing began to bawl in Fang Yuqing’s embrace.
“I was insensible before. It’s been tough on you.”
“In the future, I hope that you don’t have to be so sensible, can be a bit more wilful and happy,” Fang Yuqing said.Yu Qing nodded, “Yeah.”
The two hugged each other for a long time. Yu Qing’s tears finally subsided too.
“Call me hubby?” Fang Yuqing asked.
Lovers in university would basically all do this. Still, Yu Qing had always refused to do so for some reason...only a very long time afterwards had Fang Yuqing learnt the reason behind it. This was because Yu Qing had always thought that the two of them had no future together.
At the time, she had only wanted to accompany that still insensible Fang Yuqing, making memories together.
Afterwards, he had travelled a long distance amidst the night to propose.
Afterwards, there had been an ultimate refusal to fold in the face of adversity.
“Yes.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter