OMF V1C59 What A Bad Girl!

Zhong Gang and Li Fang didn’t hesitate to put their plan into work. The next morning, as soon as Mister Zhong exited his room, his cousin hurried over, a small package in his hands and a big smile on his face.
“Ah Gang, you’re awake! Come, come, I’ve got something for you!” He ushered him back into the room, put the package on the table and unwrapped it himself, presenting a set of new clothes to him.
Mister Zhong scratched his head. “What’s this?”
Zhong Gang smiled satisfied. His cousin didn’t grow angry, so his plan should have a chance of working. “It’s like this: I want to show you and your family the teahouse today. Since it’s under our family’s name, I thought it might be good to directly show the people of the capital, that you are part of the family. After all, nobody knows you yet, so they might think it is just an establishment I gave my name for. I discussed long with Li Fang about this and she suggested, that we might wear matching clothes, so that people will notice better how similar we look. Isn’t that a great idea?”
Mister Zhong scratched his head again and smiled embarrassed. “Sure, that sounds good, but … isn’t that a little too much?” He grabbed the edge of the clothes and rubbed the fabric between his fingers. He had never seen something like this in the village! Even Mister Pi, who liked to dress smartly — as he called it — didn’t own something like this. “I’m afraid, I can’t accept this.”
“Hogwash!” Zhong Gang slapped his shoulder, causing Mister Zhong to stumble to the side. “You’re helping me with this. You know: Just giving my name will not be as effective as having someone from my family run the business. I’ve manage to make a good reputation for myself in the capital. People would trust someone from my family, but they need to see, that you’re really part of my family. So, please, do me the favor, yes?”
Mister Zhong looked still a little unwilling, but he finally nodded. “I don’t understand about business. If it’s really this important, then of course I’ll comply.”
“Yes, yes, it is!” Zhong Gang grinned sheepishly. Indeed! This was mighty important! After all, this might decide whether he got his preferred son-in-law or not. Ah Lei, please don’t blame me. I’m sure, if you knew, you’d also want for your Jing Yi to marry my Guanyu!
Mister Zhong nodded and took the clothes, but still hesitated a bit.
“Go on, just try them!” His cousin urged him.
Mister Zhong finally complied and changed his clothes. His cousin laughed happily, seeing him like this. The clothes fit him alright, though he did look uncomfortable in them. He just wasn’t accustomed to wearing something like that.
Zhong Gang nodded. “Great! Really great! You should go and see your wife. Li Fang prepared clothes for her and your son, too. If you take the two of them with you, people will know with one glance, that you’re a family!”
“Is that … really alright?” Mister Zhong questioned again. He was the one working for his cousin. His family maybe shouldn’t be involved?
“Ah, no need to fret. It will be quite hectic in the first few days. If they can help you, it would be great. You can just let your wife sit at the entrance and get some of the more important guests orders. They’ll love, that the owner’s wife is personally tending to them!”
“What owner’s wife?” Mister Zhong wanted to argue, but Zhong Gang didn’t want to hear anything.
“Ah, don’t, don’t, don’t! Just go and tell your wife. I’ll send Li Fang with the other clothes over.”
“Mn, alright.” Mister Zhong finally relented. In the end, though he was uncomfortable wearing these clothes, he felt like he should give his wife and child the possibility to dress a bit more prettily. He had never been able to let them experience something like that. Why shouldn’t they enjoy themselves for the next few days?
Zhong Gang was content with his cousin’s approval. He ran back into the house and told his wife, who hurried over to Madam Zhong and her son, handing her two matching outfits. Looking closely at them, it was obvious that special care had been given to Jing Yi’s clothes.
Li Fang laughed, when she saw Madam Zhong’s gaze. “I hope you don’t fault me, sister. When my husband and I came up with that idea, I couldn’t help wanting to let Jing Yi wear something good. Such a cute child should only get the best!”
Madam Zhong was of half a mind to decline, but Li Fang beat her to it.
“I know, this might seem strange to you. But, you see, I just feel so happy with him around. It reminds me of my own son. I loved to dress him up like this. Which mother wouldn’t? So please, just this once?” She looked pleadingly at Madam Zhong, who couldn’t refuse with that gaze directed at her.
Hmph. Qiu Ling harrumphed. Guilt trapping my mother-in-law. We’ll see, where that gets you! I certainly won’t let you get away with this so easily! Though, he did not have a plan at the moment. For now, it was just important to make sure, that that girl of her wouldn’t get any ideas on Jing Yi. If she really didn’t, then no further intervention was needed. If she did … he’d formulate a plan in an instant!
Seeing Jing Yi in the clothes she had picked Li Fang clasped her hands over her mouth and repressed her laugh only narrowly. This is just too perfect! My daughter won’t be able to contain herself!
“Ah, how great you both look!”
“Thank you for your kind words.”
“Now that everything is set, let’s go eat!” She turned around and left the room with a spring in her step.
Jing Yi looked at his mother, not really comprehending, what was happening. Madam Zhong shrugged her shoulders. “Maybe they just want to make us feel welcome.” She certainly wouldn’t have thought, that Zhong Gang and Li Fang wanted to make their daughter fall in love with her son.
Madam Zhong took Jing Yi’s hand and followed Li Fang to where Zhong Gang and Mister Zhong were already waiting.
“I’ll get Guanyu to come eat!”, Li Fang announced and hurried to her daughter. She had spent extra care this morning, to make her as presentable as possible. The girl pouted. She could imagine, why her mother was doing this, but in the end, she didn’t complain, since she also loved looking good.
In a bad mood she followed her mother to eat. But upon entering the room she froze and her face, that had been locked into a crabby expression, softened. A beautiful smile started playing around her lips, while her gaze locked on Jing Yi.
Qiu Ling narrowed his eyes, fixating the girl, that dared to covet his love. What a bad girl! I’ll certainly make you pay!

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