Jiang Moxiu and Xia Wenjin could possibly have become friends. However, Lecturer Jiang’s first informal meeting with his father-in-law could only be described as a tragedy.
The group arrived via a private plane to S City. The family driver came to pick up Baobei and her brother. When Baobei saw that her father didn’t personally come to receive them, she rubbed her nose, lamenting that it was bad.
Jiang Moxiu might be used to most types of big events, but he wasn’t experienced in dealing with such matters. He was anxious. He made Jiang Mojie escort his parents to the hotel to rest, while he personally drove Baobei home.
When they returned, Xia Tian was first to enter the house. It was quiet inside, and Xia Wenjin sat alone on his personal sofa, reading the papers. When he saw his son running in, then his daughter followed behind with Jiang Moxiu, walking in fearfully as though she was a little daughter-in-law, the anger that was already simmering in him rose. What were they trying to do? Did she need to act like this even when returning to her own home?
Xia Tian ran around the house and shouted around. Mother and Grandmother Xia came out from the kitchen after hearing his voice. When they saw Baobei’s subservient look, they thought to themselves, they thought to themselves, This child is usually so smart, why would she go against her father right now?
“Mom, you’re familiar with the elder Brother Jiang? He’s my future brother-in-law.” Xia Tian slung his arm over his mother’s shoulder, his mood exceptionally good. This child was really blind - he was rejoicing away, but didn’t notice that his father was almost on the verge of exploding with anger.
“Grandma, dad, mom, I’m back.” Baobei couldn’t tell if she was feeling shy or scared right now. Right now, she really wanted to sing the song “Uneasy” .
“What brother-in-law?!” Xia Wenjin slammed the papers onto the coffee table, then swiped a glass ashtray and threw it in his son’s direction.
“Oh! Dad! I’m also your biological son! If you want to kill me, you’ll have to ask for my mother’s permission, and my grandma’s permission!” Xia Tian hastily ducked behind his grandmother and mother.
Xia Wenjin harrumphed in a bad mood.
“Jiang Moxiu, you ill-intentioned scoundrel! And I was still wondering why you would come visit me in S City during the New Year. It must be because you had Baobei in mind already.”
In Xia Wenjin’s point of view, anyone who had their eyes on Baobei were heinous bastards. However, Xia Tian truly felt that it was a good thing that a girl was in a man’s mind.
“I’m sorry, Uncle Xia.” Jiang Moxiu clutched Baobei’s hands tightly. His apology might appear insincere, and this action, in Xia Wenjin’s eyes, seemed like an act of showing off. However, the words he said following this caused Xia Wenjin’s blood pressure to spike. “The purpose of my visit is to ask you to agree to Baobei being with me. Also, we would like to complete our engagement ceremony before the end of the Labour Day holidays.”
Even Mother Xia was frowning when she heard this. She then turned to look at Xia Wenjin; his face was flushed, a result of his increased blood pressure. Then, he turned calmly and went to the study. When everyone was confused, he came out with a hunting rifle, staring neurotically at Jiang Moxiu.
“Oh my god!” Xia Tian was shocked, and his first reaction was to rush forward and snatch the gun. This hunting rifle was previously used by Xia Wenjin in the States for hunting, and he had resorted to all sorts of means to bring it back to the country. Now, this rifle was simply a display piece on the wall. If there were bullets loaded, Xia Tian wouldn’t have dared to snatch the gun away; after all, it was better to be alive than dead.
“Xia Tian, I’m warning you. If you dare to block me, I’ll kill you first!”
“Hubby, calm down!”
“Put the rifle down! Don’t scare the children!”
“Will you leave first? My father is furious now. I’ll call you later.” As Baobei spoke, she pushed Jiang Moxiu out, her voice breaking. Baobei had been dumbfounded too; she had been pampered from young, and Xia Wenjin had never even glared at her before. His actions today had seriously scared her.
Jiang Moxiu pursed his lips and nodded, squeezed Baobei’s hand, then nodded at the people in the house. “Grandmother, Uncle, Aunty, I’ll leave first. I’ll come and visit another day.”
“If you dare to come again, I’ll still welcome you with my gun! I’ll release the dogs on you!” Xia Wenjin was still shouting. This was an entirely different image from the scholarly aura that he always showed.
“Dad!” Seeing Jiang Moxiu leave hastily, Baobei’s eyes reddened. It can’t just be said that a woman’s heart was with her husband. In a relationship, how many could completely take into consideration what others felt? This was especially so for the people who cared and loved you. After all, you know that these people would love you unconditionally, and you are sure that they would tolerate and forgive you regardless of anything that happens.
Xia Wenjin’s anger immediately faded. His heart ached looking at his daughter’s reaction, but he was truly angry. Throwing his rifle on the ground, he returned to his study without looking back, slamming the door after he went in.
Baobei looked at the tightly shut door with her eyes red, then looked pitifully at her mother and grandmother. Pouting, she ran back to her room, feeling wronged. Growing up, Xia Wenjin had never slammed the door in her face. This child only remembered how well her father treated her, but she forgot that this time, she was the cause of her father’s unhappiness.
The dinner that Grandmother Xia and Mother Xia spent an entire day preparing was only attended by Xia Tian in the end. This boy was also without a conscience. He didn’t see how his grandmother and mother were frowning. His appetite was great, and he even tried various ways to say good things about his “future brother-in-law”.
On the other hand, Xia Wenjin was silently fuming in his study, while Baobei locked herself in the room, refusing to come out. Both of them rejected dinner, neither of them refusing to relent.
The dinner table was filled with a depressing air.
Suddenly, Mother Xia slammed her chopsticks onto the table, then stood up and walked upstairs. Xia Tian was still chewing on a small chicken drumstick, and at the moment, stared blankly at his mother, who had exploded.
She knocked twice, then entered the room. She found her daughter lying prone on the bed. The latter had already stopped crying, though the rims of her eyes were red, and she was still pouting. Originally, she was still quite angry, furious that her daughter was not mature enough. However, when she saw her daughter, that anger disappeared without a trace, and she suddenly felt that her daughter had grown up. Who didn’t act frivolously during their youth? Love, to a girl her age, was sacred.
“How dare you feel aggrieved?” Mother Xia slapped Baobei’s butt.
“Daddy’s a bully!” Baobei turned around, refusing to let her mother see her defeated self.
“Big Jiang is here to snatch your dad’s darling. If I was him, I would react the same way too. He just reprimanded him slightly, and you can’t bear it anymore? Moreover, was he the only one bullying you? Didn’t you bully him too?” Mother Xia was tickled. Baobie was still a child. “Think about how much your father pampers you. He didn’t let Xia Tian tell you, but he’ll call Xia Tian regularly to check on you. When he passes by the bank, he’ll go in to check on your account. If it’s empty, he’ll quickly put in more money, because he’s worried you don’t have enough to spend. He said that his daughter grew up in riches, now that she’s outside, how can she not have money to spend? But you went to study, and didn’t say anything about dating. And when you return, you say that you’re getting engaged. Wouldn’t you be angry if you were him?”
Boabei turned around and looked pitifully at her mother.
“Honestly, I’m quite angry too. Of course, we were worried that you married someone with a normal background, because we hope that you will live a good life, and never have to worry about money. That’s right, Big Jiang is outstanding, and his family background is exceptional. However, those are not the only conditions that your father and I choose our son-in-law with. In fact, I think that Big Jiang is too outstanding. There must be a lot of temptations around him, and he’ll be really busy. I’m worried about whether he’ll be able to spend adequate time with my daughter, and stay with her through the joys and sorrows of life.”
“Baobei, in mom and dad’s eyes, you’re still too young.” Mother Xia looked down, took Baobei’s hand into her and scrutinized it carefully. “It feels as though I’d just given birth to you yesterday. Time flies. We haven’t even had the chance to feel it, and you’ve already grown up. Today, you even came home and told us that you have a boyfriend, and you’re going to be engaged…”
“Baobei, don’t make your father sad. He really, really loves you.” Mother Xia’s eyes were red too.
Baobei stood up, leaned forward and hugged her mother. She wanted to apologise, but felt that anything she said now would appear feeble. A few years later, she would hear a song by coincidence. At this time, Father Xia was still healthy, and was bringing her mother on a trip to Europe. However, tears would subconsciously flow down her face. There’s a type of love in this world known as a father’s love. It’s not gentle like a mother’s love, but it’s as deep and imposing as the ocean, simple yet tenacious. It’s not meticulous like a mother’s love, but it is equally rooted in blood ties.
“Be good, and come down for dinner with Mom. If you get sick from hunger, your father’s going to be sad again.” Mother Xia pulled Baobei’s hand.
“Has Dad eaten?” This little heartless one was still feeling awkward.
“After picking up a call yesterday, he didn’t have much appetite. He didn’t eat much in the afternoon too.” Mother Xia didn’t lie, but Mother Xia intentionally said this to make Baobei guilty.
“How can this be!” Immediately, she jumped off her bed.
“I don’t have the ability to persuade him to eat. You should bring the food to your father.” Mother Xia smiled. “Don’t you usually have a way to coax your father? Today, you should bring that to a hundred percent, and conquer this mountain. The world is relying on you.”
Baobei pouted as she obediently allowed her mother to lead her downstairs.
Xia Tian looked up and grinned, then continued eating. In his eyes, he was clearly saying, “Skillful!”
Separately, Xia Wenjin was regretting making his daughter cry. However, this was the posture he had to show them. If he didn’t flare up, his daughter would really be taken away by the wolves.
Looking at his daughter carrying food in, Xia Wenjin was slightly pleased, as he thought to himself, No matter how obnoxious that brat Jiang Moxiu is, the one whom Baobei loves most is me!
Baobei brought the tray to the coffee table, then stood here fiddling with her fingers. As she observed her father standing by the window fuming, she didn’t know what to say.
On the other end, Xia Wenjin was anxious too. This lass should hurry up and say something! Just as he started fretting, he was lightly hugged from the back by a small figure.
“Daddy……” This child's voice was cracking. She sounded really pitiful, and immediately, Xia Wenjin’s heart softened.
“Daddy… I didn’t mean to make you angry.... Actually, I didn’t know how I just liked him. Sister said that it’s too difficult to meet someone who likes you back and also wants to spend his life with you, so I want to quickly hold onto him.” On top of acting pitiful, this child was also trying to influence her father. A man as intelligent as Xia Wenjin, how could his IQ become negative when dealing with his daughter?!
“I know that my happiness is important to you. You always say that Sister has found a good man, so you’re at ease. I’m also trying to not make you worry…”
Xia Wenjin sucked in a deep breath, then turned and held his daughter by her arm. “Baobei, tell Daddy, does he treat you well?”
She sniffed as she nodded, then added another line, “Apart from Daddy, he treats me the best. Even Xia Tian doesn’t treat me as well.”
Father Xia was cocky! Listen to this! In his daughter’s heart, her dad is still the best! It’s just too bad for our little friend Xia Tian, who got shot even when lying down. This child was truly filial towards his sister!
“I don’t need my in-laws to come from a very prestigious family. Before that, I wasn’t too agreeable when Xia Xu said that she wanted to marry Xiao San. You know it too, your brother-in-law wasn’t too reliable in the past too, but your sister loved him. Xia Xu is more independent than you, and stronger than you. She knows what she wants, and she knows how to get it, so I’m not worried about her at all. But you, you’ve been protected since young. I don’t wish for you to marry a prince, but I want you to marry someone who treats you as a princess.”
“Daddy, he’ll treat me well.”
“How well does he treat you?” He asked in return.
“Does Big Jiang smoke?”
She frowned. “Sometimes.”
“Does he drink?”
“Then you should tell him to stop smoking and drinking. If he doesn’t know how to cherish his own body, how can I feel at ease about handing my daughter over to him?”
“Does this mean you agree?” The child was good at catching the main point in his words.
You see, a woman’s heart would always be with her husband. Xia Wenjin squeezed Baobei’s face hard. “You know, let’s not talk about the engagement anymore. I won’t agree to it. It’s the same for Big Jiang. He’s under probation, and he can only become full fledged when I’m satisfied.
No matter what, he did finally give way.
Actually, Xia Wenjin’s worries were somewhat unnecessary. Baobei was so quick-witted, even though she was inexperienced towards love, but she still had Xia Tian, the fiendish brother, by her side. This brother had educated his sister well. Any sweet nothings said or sugar bombs thrown by men, he had demonstrated every single one of these for his sister. Hence, Baobei’s immunity was quite strong.
For example, if a man told a woman, I could die for you. Would the woman be touched? Most women probably would. However, this was what Xia Tian taught his sister - If you hear this, you should immediately clean the oil off the soles of your feet, and run as far away as you can. If someone is willing to die for you, it means that he doesn’t cherish his life, nor is he considerate of his parents. If he doesn’t cherish his life, why would he cherish you then? If he’s using his life as an exchange, what will you use as an exchange with him? Run! A person is willing to die for you doesn’t mean you need to love him. The only thing you can do, is probably to go to a temple to pray.
After the conversation, the father and daughter had dinner together in the study. They weren’t in high spirits, but at least the atmosphere was good. Ever since Xia TIan grew up, Xia Wenjin had seldom experienced the joys of having his children around him. After dinner, the two started playing chess. On this rare occasion, Xia Tian didn’t run out too, and started playing mischief by the side.
Later that night, Xia Wenjin returned to his room and briefly shared his thoughts about the day’s events with his wife. Downstairs, in the living room, Xia Tian and Baobei’s laughter could be heard, and Grandmother Xia was grinning widely. Xia Wenjin received an official call from the Jiang family’s parents. This end appeared to be getting ready for battle, as he accepted the invite in a tone that was neither obsequious nor supercilious. However, he thought inwardly, How dare you come and snatch my daughter away! It’s still a hundred years too early!
 The song “Uneasy” (忐忑, tǎn tè) was a song by Chinese singer Gong Linna.