The moment that would show if Jing Yi’s evasion would be enough to deter Mi Fang soon arrived. Zhong Gang set up a large dinner that day to welcome his cousin and, of course, to leave a good impression on him. His gaze couldn’t help but flit to Jing Yi every few minutes.
Finally, he himself couldn’t take the suspense any longer and bent forward. "Jing Yi, my wife will be bringing our baby girl Guanyu down soon. Are you excited?" His eyes sparkled. He could already see how those two would become childhood sweethearts this very same day!
Ah, dreams sure were beautiful. Unfortunately, they would seldom come true. Jing Yi was going to disappoint him. As soon as he heard the word 'girl' his eyes went huge. He leaped to his feet and darted away, hiding somewhere out of sight.
Zhong Gang stared dumbfounded at the place where the boy had been sitting before.
Mister Zhong scratched his head. "Uh … I said he’s shy." He shrugged his shoulders. Jing Yi running away when girls were mentioned had already become normal.
His cousin swiveled his head around to him and knitted his eyebrows. "Ah Lei, How can you call that shy? The boy was totally spooked! How fierce are the girls in your village?!"
Mister Zhong tightened his lips and turned to his wife. He was too embarrassed to tell the story! Madam Zhong chuckled. She also didn’t want to warm those old stories up. "They’re indeed a little fierce. And he’s our only son. I might have been a little overprotective."
Zhong Gang nodded gravely. "You should be, you should be! It’s so easy for something to happen!" He knew what he was talking about. In fact, his daughter Guanyu wasn’t his only child. He had had a son. Originally. Unfortunately, the child had died some years back and it was unlikely that his wife would give birth to another one.
That was probably one of the reasons he had taken a liking to Jing Yi so quickly. He reminded him of his own son and having his daughter marry a distant relative was better than having her marry some other man, right? Like that, everything would stay in the family too! Could there be a better outcome?
Before Zhong Gang had time to wallow in his remorse about not being able to save his eldest child his wife came over with the second one.
The small Guanyu wore a long flowing pink dress with the matching embroidered shoes. Her dark hair framed a round face with big eyes. Looking at her like this, she was really cute.
Qiu Ling’s face fell. This was the worst kind of girl! Trying to trick his Jing He with that adorable appearance of hers? He’d expose her true colors! He looked around for something to use. He had to make sure she left a bad first impression that wouldn’t be turned over so soon!
Meanwhile, Mi Fang led her daughter into the room. Her smile seemed to light up the surroundings. She had made sure her daughter looked her best! She would certainly stun her father’s family appropriately. Now, she only had to display some manners. Mn, it couldn’t hurt to remind her of the proper way to deal with this situation. "Guanyu, say hello to uncle and auntie!"
Guanyu pouted her lips and gifted the Zhongs with a disdainful look. Why should she greet these people?
Qiu Ling stopped in his search for a tool and fixed his gaze on the girl. Oh? Was someone going to destroy her own chances? Disrespecting his beloved’s mother was the worst she could do if she wanted him to like her!
But this wasn’t even the worst Guanyu had in store. Mi Fang turned to the Zhongs with an apologetic smile. "I’m sorry. She’s probably sad because I told her she could see Jing Yi and now he isn’t here. Where did he go?" She looked around but couldn’t spot the boy. After all the years of running away from girls in the village, he had become rather good in hiding.
Qiu Ling lifted his brows and smiled smugly. "Ha! You’re way too late, woman! My beloved is already educated in this regard. He won’t fall for those petty tricks of yours!"
Madam Zhong suppressed a sigh. She knew her son didn’t like girls and she also didn’t want to force him out of hiding but this was her husband’s family, after all. "Jing’er," she called in his direction. "Look, auntie brought her daughter over. Come out and greet her at least." After that, you can go hide again if you like. She didn’t utter her thoughts but her son understood. He gingerly came out.
Qiu Ling clenched his hands into fists and grumbled. "Mother-in-law, how mean! How can you treat an outsider like that? Especially after you know that I love Jing He so much? Shouldn’t you be on my side?!"
Yes, a certain dragon king was convinced that Madam Zhong understood his heart after their short talk in the inn and that she was supporting him. He couldn’t understand how she could stab him in the back like this now.
Luckily for him, the women’s efforts yielded nothing since the girl was perfectly capable of cementing her own image.
Upon seeing Jing Yi, she raised her chin and snorted. "What is this filthy beggar doing here? Mommy, throw these people out! I don’t want to see them!" Her tone grew increasingly shrill and she certainly would have added some other hurtful things, had Mi Fang not hastily clasped a hand over her mouth.
Her mother could only laugh embarrassedly and excuse themselves, claiming that her daughter wasn’t feeling well that day.
Only two people in the room were happy.
So, does that mean I don’t have to spend time with her? Jing Yi wondered. I should ask grandfather!
What a good girl! thought Qiu Ling and smiled. Really, she was sparing him so much trouble!