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While he was talking the car had already stopped in front of Xiangfei Pavilion. After bidding Ji Meng goodbye, Ye Qian opened the car door and exited. When he got out of the car, Ji Meng Qing implored Ye Qian once more to attend Beng Beng's birthday, Ye Qian nodded and said he would go for sure.
The second floor of the Xiangfeng Pavilion was a tearoom. The decorations were of a beautiful antique style. Ye Qian went there directly after getting off the car. He couldn't help feeling his heart beating with putong putong sounds, after all this was their first meeting, saying he wasn't nervous would be a lie. It's a good thing Ye Qian's heart was naturally strong, by the time he entered the tearoom in the second floor, his heart had gradually calmed down.
There weren't many people in the tearoom. Ye Qian scanned the entire room until he spotted a middle-aged woman sitting upright on a seat by the window. She was wearing a business attire, black high heels and her hair was coiled up in a very traditional bun for middle-aged women, refined, there was an elegance that couldn't be put into words. A cigarette was inserted between her fingers, her right hand was elegantly placed over her left leg, not fast or slowly drawing at her cigarette. In front her was a cup of tea that was emitting steam, beside it was an already opened box of Red Eagle cigarettes. Upon careful inspection, she and Lin Rou Rou had many facial similarities, it seemed Lin Rou Rou really took after her a lot.
Ye Qian took a deep breath then slowly walked over. He didn't know what kind of disposition this future mother-in-law had, Xu Mei, so he only sat down in across from her after greeting her "aunty".
Xu Mei sized Ye Qian up coldly then said, "Order what you want to drink yourself."
Face-to-face with the assertive attitude behind Xu Mei's indifference, Ye Qian's mood became even calmer. He gestured for a server. When the server arrived, Ye Qian said, "A pot of Pre-rain Dragonwell Tea."
Since the time Ye Qian had entered, Xu Mei had been deliberately exuding an aura of pressure, but she suddenly discovered that this fellow in front of her was unexpectedly not nervous at all. Instead he seemed to be in a very relaxed and comfortable; she couldn't help feeling a little surprised inwardly. But she was a person who had seen a lot of the world, the expression in her face did not change much. "Do you smoke?" Xu Mei asked while slightly pushing the pack of cigarettes toward Ye Qian.
Ye Qian casually lit his own cigarette, ignoring the world as if he were doing his own thing. He wasn't an artificial person, there were times when he did things his own way, but overall this type of personality was not a bad thing, at least it wasn't hypocritical. When he had just entered the room, Ye Qian felt that Lin Rou Rou and Xu Mei were very similar, but now in this short period of contact, Ye Qian suddenly felt that Lin Rou Rou, apart from the looks she had inherited from this mother-in-law, her temperament and personality was vastly different. Lin Rou Rou had the sweet and gentle temperament of a Su Hang* girl, while this mother-in-law was much closer to Qin Yue's cold type, only she was even haughtier than Qin Yue by a lot.
Ye Qian had some idea of Lin Rou Rou's family background based on her own telling. Even though this aristocratic family of government officials was a sun setting over western hills, this mother-in-law's bearing had the air of a strong woman who often mixed with bureaucrats. This type of woman often had the very strong desire to dominate, so much so that Ye Qian felt some pity for Lin Rou Rou's father. Facing this type of woman, Ye Qian really didn't know how he could have lived like this for many years. It's said that the temperament of husband and wife are complementary, then did that mean that Lin ROu Rou's father was that type of approachable and kind father? Ye Qian thought inwardly.
"How did you meet Lin Rou Rou?" Xu Mei asked right to the point.
Because he had more or less guessed this mother-in-law's temperament, so he did not make himself appear domineering. After all, if two domineering people had a conversation, it might lead to them ending it in bad terms. For Lin Rou Rou, for his own cute wife, Ye Qian made himself polite and subdued, narrating in full detail the course of events of he and Lin Rou Rou's romantic relationship. He didn't treat it like a chat but as if he were giving a governmental report.
Xu Mei seemed to be very satisfied with this kind of conversation, but in the middle of the story when he heard Ye Qian bring up Laodie, her brows furrowed, "What does your father do?" she asked.
"He's only a junk collector." Ye Qian replied indifferently, not feeling any shame. He could say that Laodie was somebody who bestowed him with second life, so ye Qian felt a strong feeling of gratitude and a deep feeling of familial affection. In his eyes, no matter what Laodie did, he was his own family, so what if he was a junk collector? Ye Qian did not feel like there was anything worth not speaking of, like there was anything shameful about it.
Xu Mei's face had an obvious look of displeasure, and the originally cold expression now had a faint sliver of sternness. Worldly, Xu Mei didn't care if people saw her this way, since that was the reality of things, especially with an influential family like theirs that was born from a political marriage, partners well-matched in social status were commonplace. One's marriage sometimes did not just affect a single person, but their entire clan as well. The Lin Family was already on its way to its decline, if Lin Rou Rou remarried to some nobody, it was tantamount the realization of the Lin Family's greatest fear of being unable to change their situation. The had intended to marry Lin Rou Rou off to the son of provincial party committee official of JS province. After all, both his family background and reputation were good, so he would be a great asset to the Lin Family's future.
Going by Xu Mei's expression, Ye Qian could already tell what she was thinking, and couldn't help the sigh that escaped his lips. Frankly speaking, Ye Qian hadn't really much of a good impression of Xu Mei. In the first place, Ye Qian was already of the mind that mothers should care more about their daughter's happiness above all else instead of what benefits their family would receive. Perhaps Xu Mei believed that choosing an appropriate husband, status-wise, for her daughter would result in her happiness. Secondly, Xu Mei was aggressive and profit-driven person—which Ye Qian couldn't take—however, because she was from an influential family of officials it was not exactly unforgivable for her to have such vulgar thinking.
After a moment of silence, Ye Qian said, "Aunty, I know what you're thinking, but Lin Rou Rou is looking for a boyfriend, not a eunuch. So in my opinion, what Laodie does isn't important, I am confident that I can make Rou Rou happy. You're a woman, so you ought to know very well that a woman's happiness doesn't lie in money or power. I believe women to desire a husband who would cherish and protect them, isn't that right? Actually, it doesn't really matter if you agree, I can have a fortunate and blessed life with Rou Rou all the same. I respect you only because you are Rou Rou's mother, but that doesn't mean that you can interfere with our love, no one can."
Su Hang girl - there's a saying that beautiful women come from Suzhou (Su) and Hangzhou (Hang)Translated by:
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