Translator: O(n^n) oh baby
Quality Check: Kai
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter One Hundred and Sixty-Four: About His Elders
“Yes, that’s the way it is,” Xiao Yu said.
He Xinjia looked first at him, then at Jing Mo. She wanted to say something but stopped.
Jing Mo shrugged helplessly.
“Right, let’s gather your teams’ designs. There won’t be any problems with the meeting this afternoon, right?” Although Xiao Yu cared a lot about the exhibit, it definitely couldn’t compare to the collaboration with Master Andy.
“No issues on my side. All of them should already be on the company network,” Jing Mo replied.
“Aside from my own work, the rest of my teams’ work is ready. I’ll ask them to hurry up with my work in a while.” He Xinjia laughed embarrassedly while fiddling with her new nail polish.
Xiao Yu said, “YL’s already course-corrected to using the proper methods. You—”
“Don’t think of it that way. It takes a thousand days to train raw recruits, but only one day to use them.” He Xinjia laughed. “Don’t resent me for being useless right now. There’s still some benefit from me having less to do. Isn’t it good that you have someone close to confide in?
“Ugh… alright then.”
It had been raining for a few days now, and the weather had become stuffy and humid. It already felt like summer.
On the second month at Yan Jin’s villa, Xiao Yu received a call from Madam Fang.
Faye hopped onto Xiao Yu’s knee and gave a meow. Xiao Yu quickly grabbed Faye into his arms and picked up the call.
“Hi Aunty Fang.”
“How have you been?”
She’s not referring to him and Yan Jin, right?
Xiao Yu’s grip tightened on the phone.
“That’s good to hear.”
The sound faded away for a bit. When she returned, her voice clearly sounded hesitant.
“Little Hao mentioned a few days ago that he’s enrolling in a dual degree and needs another hundred thousand.”
Naturally, the currency wasn’t in RMB.
Xiao Yu wasn’t too surprised. Typically, Madam Fang never called him for anything other than money. However, he knew that no matter how much money he gave, Madam Fang would give all of it to Xiao Zihao, who was studying alone overseas. She wouldn’t leave a single cent out.
“Aunty Fang, dual degrees shouldn’t need so much money…”
“Right, I haven’t told you the good news yet. Little Hao was accepted to country M’s S University as a graduate student. The additional money is for his graduate studies.
Xiao Yu turned to look at the calendar on the wall. The more he thought about it, the more he felt that it currently wasn’t the time of year for graduate school applications.
During the last New Year, Xiao Zihao had called him. He had decisively told him that he had no intentions to enroll in graduate studies. Instead, he had said that he’d look for a job to sustain himself after graduation.
“Aunty Fang, if you have time, you can go visit Little Hao. I think that it’s possible…”
“We’ll return all the money in the future. The housing prices in city S are still increasing. Once the market stabilizes, I’ll sell the house and return all the money.
“That’s not what I mean, I—” Xiao Yu inhaled deeply and drooped his head. “Send me your account number. I’ll send the money in a bit.”
“I’ll convey my thanks in place of Little Hao.”
“Right, one more thing.” Before, Madam Fang had never continued talking for too long after getting Xiao Zihao’s money, but this time she surprisingly added, “It’s been fifteen years since your father passed away.”
Xiao Yu thought hard, not knowing where she was going with this. “Mhmm.”
“Your birthday in February’s already passed too.”
“I’m saying that you’re already twenty-six years old now. Twenty seven or eight if you count by lunar years. So you should start thinking about settling down with a family now.” [TLN: Traditional Chinese culture counts age by number of lunar new years, although this is used relatively infrequently nowadays.]
Xiao Yu choked.
“It’s not my place to say this, but because your parents passed very early, you don’t have any elders to impart this knowledge to you. It’s very normal to not understand the logic that older people frequently talk about. Don’t take my words too personally. I’m just a busybody stepmother that’s overstepped my duties.”
Xiao Yu had just made noises of assent throughout without saying anything, but at her final words, he hurriedly reassured her, “No, no, it’s okay. I’ve always valued my relationship with you…”
“A while ago, I lost the necklace your father gave me. It’s probably because he blames me for not caring enough about you.”
Xiao Yu was at a loss. Beside him, Faye had flipped over to beg for belly rubs. Xiao Yu’s conscience panged as Faye let out a meow.
“About the jade necklace, Aunty Fang…”
“I know what you’re thinking. It originally should have been left for you. I can only offer my apologies. When I sell the house, I’ll compensate you.”
Xiao Yu covered his face.
*Sigh*. He’d always felt that Madam Fang at least held some responsibility for his weak personality.
“In the end, you should have known this stuff long ago. Others at your age already have multiple kids. You’re very qualified and you make a lot, so it’s very normal for you to think that most girls aren’t worthy of you. But ultimately, marriage isn’t like fitting two jigsaw pieces together.”
Before Madam Fang could continue with her lecture, Xiao Yu finally found an opportunity to interject, “Actually, I’m already seeing… someone.”
Xiao Yu hadn’t thought too much and had almost blurted out that he had a boyfriend.
Shocked silence came from the phone. After a while, she said pleasantly, “Really? That’s great! How long have you known her? Is she reliable? What kind of person is she? What does she do?”
Instead of asking why he hadn’t told her something so important earlier, Madam Fang reacted like a normal mother digging for more information about her son’s girlfriend. Her happiness seemed so natural.
Faye let out a very timely meow which woke Xiao Yu up from his slightly sour feelings.
“We’ve known each other for about a year now but we only formalized our relationship recently. The person I’m going out with treats me very well and works in… operations management.”
There would only be more problems if he revealed the title of “Chairman”, so he had no choice but to downgrade Yan Jin. In his heart, he apologized to Yan Jin.
In a market not far away, Yan Jin, whose social status had been lowered by about ten levels, sneezed.
“Hmm, so it’s an administrative job. Not bad, it should be pretty stable. The only thing is that the pay might not be as high.”
“It-It’s still pretty high.” Xiao Yu recalled that long ago in a magazine, he’d seen that Yan Jin’s net worth was at least eight figures.
Speaking of which, that was three years ago. YL had developed so much in the last few years. How much was Yan Jin worth now?
Xiao Yu felt it was better not to think too much about it.
“For someone you’re going to be spending a long time with together, don’t look took too much into these details. It’s fine as long as you like her.”
Madam Fang, who had always given Xiao Yu the impression that she haggled over every cent, now appeared like she was incomparably open-minded. Just from her tone, she sounded very accepting and magnanimous about her future daughter-in-law.
“Although I said that it’s fine as long as you like her, do bring her over so I can sound her out for you. As a child, you were always very simple. Seeing that you make so much now, if you get swindled, you’re not the type of person to argue either… Don’t worry, when you marry, Little Hao and I won’t keep hanging onto you. I’ll follow Little Hao; I don’t need a daughter-in-law to come take care of me. Whoever you marry will be the only person you need to care about day-to-day. You won’t have an evil demanding mother-in-law. I promise not to bother or harm you…”
For someone who didn’t like to talk about family matters, Madam Fang’s long monologue was the equivalent of an entire year’s worth of normal conversation with Xiao Yu.
However, her words gave Xiao Yu an extremely uncomfortable feeling. It was as if introducing his “girlfriend” to Madam Fang would be his last interaction with her.
After that—after that, would his life be meaningless to her?
“Even if I form my own family, you’ll always be my close relative.” Xiao Yu gripped the phone tightly.
It was clearly a statement that revealed all of his thoughts, but the tone on the other end suddenly became stiff.
“I understand your intentions. There’s no need to say pleasantries.”
“Alright, I’ve already said everything that I should say. The two of you should come over for a meal. Let me know ahead of time when you’re getting married. As the elder, there’s still much I need to prepare.
“Aunty Fang, if…” Xiao Yu gnashed his teeth as he considered revealing Yan Jin’s identity. However, Madam Fang’s next words dispelled this idea.
“Right, I almost forgot the most important thing. In this age, there’s no longer a need to have children in order to take care of you when you become old. However, you still must have children to ensure that there will still be people to remember and recount your life and think about. Don’t you dare follow that new trend of having two bread-earners in the household without any kids. Your Aunty is old now and cannot tolerate that stuff. If your father’s spirit is still around, he’d definitely want to see his future grandchildren.”
Xiao Yu’s indicated his assent so softly that it was hard to hear.
“Okay, if there’s nothing else, I’m hanging up then. I’ll go to your house in a couple days to deliver some stuff to you.”
“Hey, wait a moment. Umm, I’ve moved houses. I’m at the Golden Age Gardens area now.”
Xiao Yu racked his brains for a normal address, but couldn’t quickly come up with one. He could only first give the approximate location of Yan Jin’s villa.
He could only hope that Madam Fang didn’t have a strong understanding of City S’s housing market distribution. Hopefully from these tiny clues, she wouldn’t be able to work out his exact location.
Rather surprisingly, Madam Fang quickly accepted the response.
“That’s true, you two have been dating each other for a year now. It’s about time you two move in together. Let’s drop the issue for now; I’ll come find you at a later time. Alright, I’m hanging up now.”
After hanging up, Xiao Yu sank into a blank but happy state.
This was probably the first time Madam Fang had cared for him so much. Like a normal mother, she had called in to check on her son and urge him to get married. Similarly, Xiao Yu was also like a normal son confused at what do from the urging.
If it wasn’t for the issue with Xiao Zihao…
Sighing, Xiao Yu prepared to head out to transfer the money. He didn’t have that much on his Alipay card. Furthermore, for such a large sum of money, going directly to the bank was more convenient. Because he also needed to convert currencies, it was safer to talk to someone at the counter.
It was raining outside. Although the villa was in a very good neighborhood, it was a little remote. There wasn’t public transportation available nearby, and the nearest bank was a pretty long car drive away.
Xiao Yu gave up on trying to resolve the issue on his own and quickly thought of Yan Jin’s secondary card.
Speaking of which, Yan Jin had once mentioned that the card’s maximum spend limit was extremely high, but was it enough…?
Xiao Yu quickly navigated to the appropriate app on his phone. He thought it was quite unlikely that he’d be able to move so much money in one go. There’ll probably be a pop-up saying insufficient funds or re-authentication required, right?
Unexpectedly, there was no pop-up after he’d entered the payment passcode.
Xiao Yu looked stupefied at the “spending” of over six hundred thousand RMB and unconsciously squeezed Faye.
Faye hissed as her claws gleamed.