Inside the villa in Dragon Garden, Yang Chen lazed on the sofa of the living room, watching the boring, political news on the television alone. Lazily, he yawned out of boredom.
He reached out to take his piping hot mug of British black tea . It was a nice blend of dark red, contrasting the white smoke which lingered above the mug. Before he drank some of the tea, the heavy scent filled his nose.
Yang Chen took a small sip. In truth, he wasn’t a fan of drinking tea in this manner. However, he wasn’t in the ‘tea drinking’ mood right now. Almost all of his attention was focused in the kitchen.
The four women had been chatting for almost an hour, filling the kitchen with all sorts of laughter. Furthermore, strange chuckles would even resound from there. Even the usually stoic Lin Ruoxi guffawed occasionally. Yang Chen off-put by their ignorance of his existence.
How did the preparations of a simple meal, require the work of four ladies and over two hours?! Wang Ma usually takes less than an hour when she cooks herself!
Also, it was the third day that Yang Chen’s meal was significantly delayed. The root of the problem was simple—Guo Xuehua was here!
Guo Xuehua’s arrival gave rise to a new branch of topics to converse about. Chatter in the house had increased dramatically. The cause had started three days ago…
Three days ago, when Yang Chen brought Guo Xuehua home, Lin Ruoxi, Hui Lin, and Wang Ma were all surprised.
Lin Ruoxi knew that Yang Chen went to see Guo Xuehua, but didn’t expect him to bring her home. Guo Xuehua even wanted to stay at her home temporarily!
Lin Ruoxi blushed while her heartbeat thumped rapidly. Her jade-like, white, charming cheeks turned as rosy as a juicy peach. The CEO of one of the largest companies, who had no problems dealing with people, thousands of employees, panicked when she was face to face with Guo Xuehua. Legally speaking, she was her mother-in-law!
“Ma—Madam Guo… Nice to meet you.” It was Lin Ruoxi’s first time in her life that she didn’t know what to call someone. At the same time, she had to show a sincere welcoming gesture toward Guo Xuehua. The ice beauty really suffered on this day. She had no clue what to refer Guo Xuehua as!
Will I appear overly presumptuous if I call her ‘Mom’? Also, it’s too difficult for me to call her this way. Should I say ‘Miss Guo’? Although she’s really young, she’s still my elder! Calling her ‘Madam Guo’ would make me indifferent… Lin Ruoxi had a massive headache!
Hui Lin didn’t have too much to think through. She had known Guo Xuehua for quite some time after all. Calling her ‘Aunt Guo’ would do. Since Wang Ma was a few years older than Guo Xuehua, she, naturally, had nothing to feel awkward about. As a result, she called her ‘Madam Guo’ to show respect.
Guo Xuehua asked Yang Chen who Wang Ma was, before greeting them one-by-one. When it was Lin Ruoxi’s turn, she looked at Yang Chen who gave off an indifferent, unhelpful look. She then said to Lin Ruoxi, “You must be Ruoxi. We’ve met a few times before, but we haven’t been able to properly introduce ourselves. I hope to be happily related to you.”
Lin Ruoxi suddenly became incredibly shy. What Guo Xuehua meant was obvious. She had started seeing Lin Ruoxi as her daughter-in-law, which implied that Yang Chen had accepted her as his mother. Moreover, she also planned to accept this daughter-in-law who popped out abruptly.”
Yang Chen was actually muddle-headed at the moment. He suddenly ‘caught’ a mother home. Since it was the first time that his mother was around, he found odd and hard to get used to. He even almost went the wrong way when driving home earlier! Thus, he wasn’t in the mood to think about how Lin Ruoxi and Guo Xuehua would interact.
When Yang Chen was driving earlier, he secretly cultivated True Qi to flood Guo Xuehua’s meridians, so she didn’t feel tired.
Everyone welcomed Guo Xuehua and had her seated on the sofa. Wang Ma boiled a pot of tieguanyin tea before striking up conversation. Generally, they asked about why Yang Chen’s family member suddenly appeared, and where Guo Xuehua planned to stay.
“Ruoxi, your mother is Xue Zijing, isn’t she?” Guo Xuehua asked Lin Ruoxi gently, which instantly shocked the three ladies.
Lin Ruoxi’s body shivered while she widened her eyes. The expression of her face turned from nervousness to astonishment, which allowed her to finally recover her usual calmness.
“Madam Guo… how do you… know that?”
Lin Ruoxi was curious as to how she knew, even Wang Ma who was familiar with the ancestry of the Lin clan looked at Guo Xuehua weirdly. They didn't understand why she knew about Lin Ruoxi’s mother.
Upon getting married with Lin Kun, Lin Ruoxi’s mother Xue Zijing had lived a quiet life, and had limited interaction with the outside world. Most people from the Xue family even emigrated abroad, and hadn’t been in touch with Xue Zijing.
When Lin Ruoxi was in high school, Xue Zijing’s life quietly ended due to blood cancer. In fact, Xue Zijing’s personality was not unlike Lin Ruoxi herself, cold and aloof, as if she didn’t belong to this world, possibly due to her husband constantly getting drunk outside and messing with women, failing to take care of his home.
Lin Ruoxi never got the chance to interact with her mother like normal families do, but her lonely and cold behavior was largely influenced by her mother. Except coldness, she basically left nothing for Lin Ruoxi.
After all these years, no one had mentioned her mother’s name in front of Lin Ruoxi. The most Lin Ruoxi thought of when she reminisces of the past, was of her grandmother, not her unnoticeable mother.
Guo Xuehua smiled faintly before saying, “There’s nothing surprising about this. Actually, I had an inkling feeling that you were related due to your likeness, but I just wasn’t sure back then. When I found out that you’re the CEO of Yu Lei International, I was finally sure that you were Zijing’s daughter. Ruoxi, I actually grew up with your mother as best friends. We went to the same schools, and entered the same university.”
Lin Ruoxi was stunned for a while. The blurry memories of her mother flashed in her mind. Her eyes watered up slightly. “Is it… My mother… She hadn’t mentioned it before.”
“When Madam was still alive, she was an exceptionally quiet person. She certainly hadn’t talked about Madam Guo before,” Wang Ma said as she sighed.
Sorrow appeared on Guo Xuehua’s face. Sighing, she turned to Yang Chen and smiled. “Yang Chen, I’m starting to believe that this is the work of magic. It’s fate, I guess. When I was young, I told Zijing that when we gave birth to a child in the future, we’d let them treat each other as siblings if they were both boys or girls, and marry them if they were of different genders. Originally, due to our incompetence, I lost you. I thought I would never be able to fulfill our promise. However, the heavens thought otherwise and several years later, you two were married.”
Yang Chen looked at Lin Ruoxi who looked dreary. She looked like she was immersed in recalling the past. “There’s nothing strange about this. I used to think I wouldn’t ever get married back then, and would live all my life alone.”
Lin Ruoxi regained awareness after listening to Yang Chen’s words. Her gaze which brought complicated emotions met Yang Chen’s. Lin Ruoxi bit her lips while her cheeks turned pinkish. Evidently, things like fate and destiny made her rather shy about it, but at the same time, she thought it was sweet.
Hui Lin turned dismal after listening to what Guo Xuehua said. Brother Yang and Elder Sister really were fated to be together…
Soon, Guo Xuehua recalled her memory as she said, “More than twenty years ago, I was married into the Yang clan, while Zijing got married with Ruoxi’s father. Since Beijing was very far from Zhonghai, and I hadn’t had the chance to visit, in addition to Zijing’s personality, we drifted apart with each passing year. A few years ago, I suddenly heard from a classmate that Zijing had passed away due to illness, which made me feel miserable for a long time.”
“Madam Guo, can you tell us about Mother’s past? In… in my memory, Mother would sit at the balcony alone as she stared into the distance for the entire afternoon without saying a single word,” Lin Ruoxi said as she felt rather embarrassed. Her pitiful look gave rise to compassion.
Guo Xuehua smiled weirdly and said, “Ruoxi, when it comes to intimacy, we’d appear too distant if you call me ‘Madam Guo’, as your mom and I were best friends. Also, you shouldn't call me ‘Madam’, since you’re married to Yang Chen. However, if you find it hard to call me that… You can follow Hui Lin and call me ‘Aunt Guo’. That should suffice. You may take you time to adapt to this form of calling.”
Wang Ma repeatedly signalled Lin Ruoxi by blinking her eyes. Evidently, Wang Ma hoped that Lin Ruoxi could quickly improve her relationship with her mother-in-law. As a result, calling her ‘Mom’ was most appropriate.
However, Lin Ruoxi called, “Aunt Guo,” while smiling, escaping her awkwardness.
Next, Guo Xuehua briefly talked about a lot that had taken place in the past regarding Xue Zijing. The four ladies laughed really hard about some of the things Xue Zijing had done. Lin Ruoxi found out that her mother hadn’t lived her whole life in solitude.
Guo Xuehua had the opportunity to partake in many events, and founded so many orphanages throughout the years. Naturally, she was excellent in socializing. Thus, sounds of laughter could often be heard in the house due to her presence.
Yang Chen felt that something was off. Since his mother was the best friend of Lin Ruoxi’s mother, why hasn’t she visit her tomb and pay her respects every once in a while, after Xue Zijing passed away for so many years? Moreover, no matter how busy she was after getting married, there was no reason for her to not meet up with Lin Ruoxi’s mother for so many years.
However, these questions Yang Chen had in mind were secondary, not to mention he was too lazy to ask. He just hated that these women treated meal preparation as a time for them to talk about the past.
Yang Chen watched the morning news and all through the afternoon news. If this continued, he’d have to rewatch the morning news.
“Hey, are you guys done yet? I’m very hungry!” Yang Chen finally couldn’t hold himself back anymore.
In the kitchen, Wang Ma answered, “Young Master, please be patient. It’ll be finished soon. We’ll take the dishes out now.”
Before long, the four women carried a few dishes out from the kitchen together with bowls and chopsticks. Upon putting down a plate of stewed fish, she frowned and said, “Yang Chen, you’re the only man at home. Even if you can’t cook, you can help them carry the plates out, can’t you? Why do you let Wang Ma and the others do all the housework?”
A mother educating her son at its purest form. Having experienced various hardships in life, she was a reasonable person. Although her heart was full of guilt towards Yang Chen, she would still try her best to fulfill her responsibility as his mother. At the same time, she didn’t think obeying Yang Chen in every way was the right way to repay him.
She hoped that she could make Yang Chen a better character to inherit the clan.
At least, she managed to spot a few issues through her experience of staying in the house for a little more than three days.
For example, the house, the car, and everything else belonged to Lin Ruoxi. So my pitiful son is a poor fellow?!
Also, Yang Chen and Lin Ruoxi clearly slept in different rooms. Although she couldn’t tell if they had nighttime activities or not, she knew that they weren’t the type of couple who would cling onto each other all day. They sleep in separate rooms at this age? Something must be wrong between them, Guo Xuehua thought.
Guo Xuehua could easily tell that Lin Ruoxi was dissatisfied towards Yang Chen’s carefree attitude. His laziness, casualness, occasional rudeness, and absurd thinking certainly weren’t qualities a girl like Lin Ruoxi would like. She even couldn’t accept his behavior sometimes being his mother.
As a result, before Lin Ruoxi took action, Guo Xuehua felt that she had to fix her son’s bad habits, in hopes of making him a man who could truly stand proud in front of Lin Ruoxi.
Although she understood what she was supposed to do, a part of her didn’t want force Yang Chen into doing something he didn’t want to. Parents do nothing to harm or give suffering to their children. Guo Xuehua wanted Yang Chen to live a good life at the end of the day.
After listening to Guo Xuehua’s lecture, Yang Chen scratched the back of his head. He didn’t usually do housework. Since moving into this house, Wang Ma took care of everything, so he never thought that he should help.
He wasn’t angered after being complained at by Guo Xuehua, but felt a strange warmth in his heart instead. Blushing, he smiled as he ran into the kitchen to carry the two hottest plates out.
Lin Ruoxi didn’t expect Yang Chen to behave this obediently to Guo Xuehua. This was something she had always wanted to ask Yang Chen to help out with, but she never expected that Yang Chen would listen to her. She turned her gaze towards Guo Xuehua, only to find that Guo Xuehua was looking at her as well. The gazes of the two women met. Guo Xuehua winked at Lin Ruoxi.
Lin Ruoxi quickly lowered her head. She felt embarrassed as Guo Xuehua knew what she was thinking about. However, a slight smile could be seen hanging on the corners of her lips.