OMF V1C55 A Sudden Turn

As proposed, Zhong Gang showed the Zhongs around the restaurant, before giving some reminders to his employees and heading out. “About those horses you told me about, I’ll send one of my servants to get them later. In fact, we do need some horses, so it’s perfect you brought them back.” He laughed once again, while leading the way through the streets.
“Ah, have a look at that!” He pointed at another restaurant on the other side of the street. “That’s the Wu’s restaurant. It was there before we opened, so the owner blames his recent losses on me, but in fact it hasn’t been doing well for quite some time already.”
“Oh.” Mister Zhong nodded and instantly thought of the tigers and dragons Mister Pi had told them about. Hopefully, the Wu’s were neither of them.
“That over there”, continued Zhong Gang and motioned at a house in another side street. “That is the house of a good friend of mine, Shao Chen. He’s a merchant and brings the things I need for the restaurant back to the capital for a good price. That new establishment I am planning is mostly thanks to him. He has a lot of connections and managed to get some special tealeaves … Did I mention, that it’s a teahouse I want to open?” He turned around to Mister Zhong, who could only shake his head.
“No. Maybe you wrote it in the letter?”
“Maybe.” Zhong Gang thought a bit, but couldn’t remember, so he just waved it away. “Well, what I want to say is: It’s thanks to him, that you’re here now. Haha, I should find an opportunity to let you meet.” Zhong Gang continued to point out the houses and establishments of friends and enemies alike.
The Zhongs didn’t even manage to remember half of them. In fact, asking them how they had finally arrived at Zhong Gang’s home probably wouldn’t yield any result. They had seen and heard so much, that they couldn’t even remember the way they had taken.
Zhong Gang didn’t notice this problem and just brought them into the house quickly. “Wife! Wife!”, he called out, as soon as he stepped inside. “Come and have a look, who’s here! Ah Lei and his family already came!” He stood in the entrance proudly, with Mister Zhong and his family a little lost behind him.
Was it really alright, to just come here like this? After all, they had only been expected in another one or two weeks. Mister and Madam Zhong exchanged a glance, both clearly thinking the same. But now it was too late anyway.
Jing Yi didn’t think further and only examined his uncle’s home, Qiu Ling once again right behind him, ready to brave whatever danger might befall his beloved.
Finally, a woman walked in. She was some years older than Madam Zhong, but the finely made dress with the bright colors made that nearly imperceptible. She hadn’t heard, what her husband had said, and only noticed, that he seemed to have returned sooner today. Correspondingly, she was quite surprised seeing the people behind him. She forced a smile, seeing their humble appearance.
She hadn’t minded, when her husband told her he wanted to invite his family to the capital to help him with the teahouse. But then again, she hadn’t imagined his family to look like this. Zhong Gang’s father had already made quite a bit of money and he took the business over early, so when she married him, nothing could be seen of his humble heritage. Seeing this family now, it was quite the shock to her.
Zhong Gang laughed. “Quite the surprise, eh?”
“Ah … indeed.” She nodded at Mister and Madam Zhong. “My husband has told me a lot about you already. It’s great, you came earlier!” So she said, but she didn’t really think like that. She couldn’t help wondering if those people might have ulterior motives. Didn’t people always tell such stories? Ah, you couldn’t even trust your own family nowadays! She really hoped her husband would wake up from his fantasies soon.
Qiu Ling threw a glance at this other Madam Zhong and snorted. Sure enough, my mother-in-law is better. Now wonder, such a woman has a daughter. Speaking of which … He looked around, but couldn’t find that damn girl anywhere. “Hmph. It’s better, if you stay away. I also wouldn’t want to hurt someone from my beloved’s extended family.” With that thought, he turned to Jing Yi again, who was running through the room.
But Qiu Ling was not the only one, who thought of that girl. Zhong Gang perked up and smiled at his wife. “That’s right. Where is Guanyu? Ah Lei brought his son with him. They’re nearly around the same age. They’d certainly get along well!”
The lips of his wife twitched. She knew her husband well enough to understand, what was going on in his head. “Guanyu is busy right now.” She didn’t add any explanation, leaving Zhong Gang to feel a little awkward.
With a nervous laugh, he scratched his head. Qiu Ling coughed. They really are family! Father-in-law would certainly have done the same!
“Well, nothing can be done about that, I guess … Jing Yi, I hope you don’t mind.” He bent down a little and smiled at the boy.
Jing Yi turned around and smiled, happy that his uncle had not called his daughter over. If he could decide, he’d never meet her!
Zhong Gang’s wife turned around, seeing her husband speak to Jing Yi. She took one look at the boy and her attitude turned around. “Ah, what a lovely child! So this is your son? Mn, he really looks like he is Guanyu’s age!”
Madam Zhong smiled, proud of her son’s good looks. Which mother wouldn’t want her daughter to marry someone good looking? “Mn, Jing Yi is seven. But he is a little shy.”
“No problem, no problem!” Her eyes shone and she hurried to Madam Zhong’s side, intimately grabbing her arm. “Come, come, sister, have a look at my daughter.”
“Ah …” Even Madam Zhong felt overstrained at this sudden turn in attitude. Was her son’s face really that useful? But she couldn’t refuse, so she threw her husband a reassuring glance and let the other woman take her away.
Qiu Ling’s gaze followed them, while his eyes narrowed dangerously. Don’t think, I’ll let you use my mother-in-law against me! Whatever you do, it’ll be pointless. Jing He is mine. Mine alone.

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