OMF V1C68 Come With Elder Sister!

Jing Yi was getting impatient. He furrowed his brow and stared at his father with an accusation evident in his eyes. This was probably the closest he would ever get to throwing a tantrum.
Unfortunately, his antagonizing glare was completely misinterpreted. Mister Zhong laughed heartily, bent down and pinched his cheeks. “Are you already practicing to smile at the customers? What a good child! Come, come, let father help you!” Much to Jing Yi’s dismay, Mister Zhong sat down as if he had all the time in the world. A goofy smile spread out on his face and he pointed at the corners of his mouth. “Look at this! Try lifting them up a bit.”
Jing Yi still glared at him. He even took the extra effort to press his lips into a straight line to make sure his father would finally understand his intentions.
Could it be this easy? Mister Zhong looked at the boy worriedly, then pinched his cheeks again, this time trying to lift the corners of Jing Yi’s mouth on his own. “Look! Just like this! Isn’t it fun?” He smiled brightly.
Jing Yi’s face grew gloomier by the minute, but with his cheeks still being held like that, it wasn’t as noticeable. Qiu Ling sighed, seeing this. Mister Zhong wouldn’t understand if he wasn’t told, while Jing Yi wouldn’t tell and just look accusingly. Why was it so difficult for the two of them to communicate?
Madam Zhong, too, noticed the problem. She went over and patted her husband’s shoulder. “Come on now, don’t play around. You wouldn’t want to be late for the opening of the teahouse, would you?”
Mister Zhong finally let go of Jing Yi’s cheeks and leapt to his feet. “You’re right, you’re right. Ah, don’t worry, Jing’er, your smile looks great!” He still tried to reassure his son, who was rubbing his cheeks begrudgingly.
But seeing his father hurrying to the door and his mother waiting for him, his spirits lifted again. He ran over and grabbed her hand, sweetly smiling at her. Madam Zhong reciprocated and patted his head.
“Just be like that in the teahouse and the guests will want to take you home!”
Jing Yi halted his steps. “They’ll take me home?”
Madam Zhong laughed. “They would love to! But don’t worry. Mommy won’t give you away. Aren’t you mommy’s favorite person?”
“Mn!” Jing Yi continued to follow her, but some steps further down the road, he stopped again. “Then … Does mommy like me more than she likes father?”
Madam Zhong smiled. “Of course! Aren’t you the most important thing to both of us?”
Jing Yi nodded, not really caring if he was the most important person to his father. The main point was that he was his mother’s favorite person!
Jing Yi and his mother finally arrived at the teahouse, too. Mister Zhong was already busying about, sweeping the floor, rubbing the counter and the tables until everything was polished. Finally, he lit some incense for the atmosphere.
He sighed contented and took his place behind the counter, waiting for the first guests to arrive. Half an hour passed and finally, a young woman entered the teahouse.
Mister Zhong perked up, smiled brightly and even walked over to welcome her. “Dear customer, please come in! Have a seat! Tell me what you’d like to have!”
The woman stopped, looking a bit bewildered. “Ah … You are …?”
“Oh! I’m Zhong Lei! This is my cousin’s teahouse!”
“So it’s like that.” The woman gave him a strained smile. “My name is Nie Huang. Mister Zhong probably told you about me?”
Mister Zhong’s eyes went wide. “Nie Huang?” His cousin had indeed mentioned that name. Nie Huang was the master he had invited to brew tea in his new establishment. He had endlessly gushed about the lofty status of that person and his incredible skills.
Mister Zhong had imagined a respectable old man with white hair and a long beard, who was clad in expensive robes and exuded an elegant air, to come to the teahouse. But now, in front of him stood a woman, who was even younger than himself! She could hardly be in her mid-twenties. Most probably she was even younger.
This is … that Nie Huang? Mister Zhong scratched his head, unsure what to say.
Nie Huang frowned, but soon smoothed out her expression. “Well, if you don’t know anything about it, then I should better go.” She took one last glance at the teahouse and turned around.
I should have known, she thought. Whatever that Zhong Gang said, he still wouldn’t want a young, unmarried woman to brew the tea in his establishment if he had any other possibilities. He probably found some average middle-aged man for the job and didn’t dare refuse me directly, so he sent that guy to pretend to be his cousin, who was clueless about everything. He won’t lose face that way and his revenue might even be better with a man brewing the tea.
Madam Zhong sighed seeing her husband like this again. The woman was already leaving and he still stood there, not moving an inch or saying anything worthwhile to save the situation. “Come, Jing’er, let’s go greet that big sister, alright?”
Jing Yi nodded obediently and followed her over.
“Miss Nie, you’re finally here!” Madam Zhong caught up with her at the doorway and spoke up, before Nie Huang could really leave. The woman turned around and was greeted with Madam Zhong’s smiling face. “My husband’s cousin told us so much about you already. Look at him, he is totally tongue-tied now that he finally saw you.” She ignored her dumbstruck husband and pushed Jing Yi to the front. “Say hello to Miss Nie, Jing’er.”
Jing Yi blinked his doe eyes and smiled at the woman. “Hello, elder sister!”
Nie Huang looked at the boy and couldn’t help but smile. Whatever intentions that Zhong Gang had and whoever that man over there was, she liked this woman and the child already. They seemed like nice people. “Oh, who’s this?”
“I’m Jing Yi! My mommy helps my uncle with the teahouse!”
Nie Huang lifted her brows. Oh?
Madam Zhong laughed. “This is our son, Jing Yi. My husband’s cousin told us that there wouldn’t be many people working at the teahouse for a while, so my husband will need my help. I just couldn’t bring myself to leave my son alone at home all day. Would it be too troublesome if he stayed with you in the preparation room for some time? He’s a little shy and I’m afraid he might not like being around the guests.”
Nie Huang’s smile eased. If there was one reason to regret not having married until now, then it definitely was not having any children. Leaving this adorable boy with her for some time was more of a gift than a bother! “Of course not. Just leave him with me all the time. I don’t —”
Before she could finish her sentence, Jing Yi had grabbed his mother’s skirt, looking at Nie Huang warily.
Nie Huang was stunned, but who would hold something like that against a child? Especially, if said child looked so afraid? “What is it? Did elder sister say something wrong?”
“Does elder sister want to take me home, too? I don’t want to leave mommy!”
Nie Huang stared at him, her lips slowly curling. Finally, she couldn’t hold it in anymore and started laughing. “Oh, so you were afraid of this!”, she got out between her laughs. “You don’t have to worry, little one! Elder sister is just going to take care of you, while your mommy works. She’ll come and get you as soon as she finishes work.”
“Oh.” Jing Yi’s grip loosened a bit, but he still felt uneasy. He should ask his grandfather if it was true.
“So, the first guests should come soon. Do you want to watch me brewing the tea for them?”
Jing Yi looked up at his mother in lieu of an answer. Madam Zhong nodded. “Why not? Miss Nie knows a lot about brewing tea. You’ll certainly like it.” She nudged her son a bit, happy that he didn’t outright reject the offer.
It seems that son of mine finally opens up a bit. Coming to the capital really was the right decision.
Nie Huang took Jing Yi’s hand and led him into the preparation room. Fortunately for her, a certain someone wasn’t there at the moment and didn’t see this small gesture of affection or it might have spelled trouble for her.

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