“Shi Gui, what type of clothes does Aunty usually like to wear?” Ning Xi went through her closet. The light-coloured ones were too plain, while the dark-coloured ones were too mature or too bright. She searched around, but couldn’t find anything that she was happy with. “Maybe you should pick one for me.”
“Don’t worry. My mother likes you a lot. No matter what you wear, she has seen it all on TV before.” Chang Shi Gui hugged Ning Xi from behind, then chuckled, “Don’t be too nervous. I’ll be with you.”
“I’m not nervous.” Ning Xi tapped the hand on her stomach, “I’m just not very used to this.”
“Yes, yes, I know. Xixi is fearless.” Chang Shi Gui laughed and echoed Ning Xi’s words, then took the opportunity to sneak in a kiss on her cheek.
Ning Xi ignored his patronising words, and eventually chose a tailored long-sleeved light-coloured qipao and a silk shawl. She also put on some stylish yet understated accessories, and gathered the stray hairs at the sides of her face. She then looked up at her reflection in the mirror and giggled.
When she watched shows in the past, she completely couldn’t understand the nervousness portrayed by the young men and women when they met with their partner’s parents. Clearly a relationship was a matter between two people, why did they have to care about others’ views and thoughts? It was only now that she understood, once you truly cared for someone, no matter how confident you were, you couldn’t help but feel anxious during these times.
When meeting elders, one shouldn’t put on heavy make-up, but it would be too casual to go without make-up. Hence, it would be best to just put on some light make-up.
When Ning Xi had completed her make-up, Chang Shi Gui felt that there was something different about Ning Xi today, but he couldn’t tell what it was. Anyway, Ning Xi looked exceptionally beautiful and gentle today.
Men didn’t understand the wonders of make-up, hence they would never understand that by simply drawing the eyebrows and eyeliner differently, one’s look would be drastically different, as though it was the first time they’d met.
After getting the bodyguards to move the first meeting gifts into the car, Ning Xi pulled her shawl and got in. The car started slowly, and unexpectedly, she started to slowly calm down. Their relationship had already progressed to this stage; it would only be useless worry if her mind ran wild.
Chang Shi Gui gripped her hand tightly. He was silent, and he didn’t release his hand throughout the entire journey.
“The soup that I asked to be cooked - is it ready?” Tao Huixue was seated in the living room, reading a magazine. However, even though she had been in the living room for a long time, she didn’t actually go through many pages in the magazine. On the other hand, she would call the butler over occasionally and ask how the kitchen’s preps were.
“Don’t worry. The kitchen has prepared it already. Once Young Master and Miss Ning arrives, and we’ll be able to start eating.” The butler replied cheerily, and asked, “Would you like some fruits first?”
Tao Huixue shook her head, then looked down at her outfit. In order to welcome Ning Xi, and not let her future daughter-in-law feel reserved, she had intentionally chosen an outfit that made her look exceptionally approachable. She wondered if it would suit her future daughter-in-law’s aesthetic tastes.
After waiting for about thirty more minutes, Tao Huixue heard the sound of a car arriving from outside. Joy appeared on her face, but after adjusting her smile to make her appear more endearing, she then rose and walked towards the entrance.
The black car drove slowly through a pair of gigantic floral carved gates. Ning Xi observed her surroundings, and saw that both sides of the road were filled with greenery. After about two minutes, the car stopped. She alighted the car, and noticed that apart from the luxurious mansion facing her, there were also two other small buildings, all of which belonged within the confines of the Chang family’s estate.
“Be careful, there’s a step here.” Chang Shi Gui held her hand and then stepped over the threshold.
Ning Xi pulled her gaze back and followed Chang Shi Gui as they entered the main entrance of the large mansion. They’d only taken two steps in when they saw a well-maintained woman with an extraordinary air. Her heart skipped her beat. The hand that was holding on to Chang Shi Gui tightened as she said, “Hi, Aunty.”
“Hi, come on in,” Tao Huixue smiled gently. When she saw the guards behind the couple carrying numerous bags of all sizes, she remarked, “There’s no need to buy so many things. It’s just coming home, there’s no need to be so polite.”
Ning Xi followed Tao Huixue into the house. The interior was intricately designed, but it was as luxurious and outstanding as she had expected.
The helper brought in some fresh fruits and drinks. After Ning Xi gave her thanks, she smiled at Tao Huixue. She then took a sip from the cup; it was the taste that she usually liked.
“I’ve long wanted to meet you, but I was concerned that I would disturb you two’s work and life, hence we never got a chance to really meet.” Tao Huixue saw that Ning Xi was still somewhat reserved, hence she added, “In future, you can treat this as your home. There’s no need to stand on ceremony. There’s only a few of us at home, and we’re not concerned about those ridiculous rules. You can be who you always are here.”
To tell if someone was sincere or patronizing, one could simply discern by listening closely. Tao Huixue was more easygoing than she had expected, so Ning Xi could put down the last of her worries. She turned and looked at Chang Shi Gui. Getting along with such family members should be very easy.
Noticing her gaze, Chang Shi Gui blinked. What was she trying to say? That his mother was easy to get along with?
Ning Xi raised a brow, and discreetly squeezed his finger. Unexpectedly, Chang Shi Gui gripped her hand. She looked up at Tao Huixue, who pretended as though she didn’t notice that, and her cheeks started heating up.
It wasn’t that Tao Huixue didn’t really see it, but as an open-minded senior, she had to always retain the stance that she “didn’t see anything”.
After chatting for a while, Tao Huixue observed that Ning Xi was especially polite. No matter what she spoke about, the young lady was able to keep up with the conversation. It was obvious that she was a knowledgeable young lady who had been taught well from a young age.
However, as Tao Huixue thought about what Ning Xi had faced, she couldn’t help but feel her heart ache. Hence, in the time they spent together, she was exceptionally warm and caring towards Ning Xi.
The two of them became increasingly engaged in their conversation. On the other hand, Chang Shi Gui became an accessory to the pair. If people didn’t know the situation, they would have thought that this was a daughter bringing the son-in-law to visit his mother-in-law.
It was only when it was time for their meal that Tao Huixue ended the conversation somewhat reluctantly, then got the helpers to prepare the table.
“Madam, your sister is here to visit you.” The butler saw that the dishes were in the midst of being set on the table, and he sighed internally. This younger sister of Madam was really blind to have married a man from the Jiang family.
“Alright.” Tao Huixue nodded, her brows furrowed slightly. She didn’t expect Minya to come today. She wondered if Ning Xi would feel uncomfortable if another person joined them.
Ning Xi and Chang Shi Gui had just washed their hands and returned to the dining room to see another person at the table. Ning Xi was stunned for a moment, but immediately after, she smiled at the newcomer.
“This is my sister, you can call her Second Aunty.” Tao Huixue introduced the pair, “Minya, this is Shi Gui’s fiancée Ning Xi.”
“Hi, Second Aunty.” Ning Xi took the initiative to greet Tao Minya.
“Hi,” Tao Minya didn’t think that she would meet Chang Shi Gui’s celebrity girlfriend at the Chang residence today. She was surprised, but she returned the party’s smile awkwardly. Before that, Jiang Yun made things matters ugly for Chang Shi Gui, and she had still helped Jiang Yun put in some good words. Now that she was meeting Ning Xi, she felt somewhat embarrassed.
Fortunately, Ning Xi didn’t mind this matter, and her expression also didn’t show any strangeness. Hence, the awkwardness in Tao Minya’s heart slowly diminished.
The four people sat together and enjoyed a harmonious lunch. Tao Minya had finally witnessed how satisfied her sister was with this future daughter-in-law. As she recalled how she still intended for Jiang Yun to get closer to Shi Gui, she felt that her brains must have been submerged in water.
This female celebrity named Ning Xi didn’t lose out to Jiang Yun in any way, apart from her family background. The Chang family wasn’t lacking money or power, so why would they look for a daughter-in-law like Jiang Yun? At that time, she was still deeply entrenched in the issue, hence she didn’t understand it. Now that she had stepped out of the mess known as the Jiang family, she could finally see it clearly.
After the meal, everyone sat down and started chatting. Tao Minya suddenly recalled something. “Shi Gui, the reason for my visit today, apart from thanking you for the help with the legal team, is to tell you something else.”
Chang Shi Gui placed a plate of nicely sliced fruits in front of Ning Xi, then used a napkin to clean his hands. He then turned to look at Tao Minya, “Don’t mention it.”
Tao Minya was slightly blushing. Back then, in order to protect her husband’s family, she had chosen not to do anything when her sister and nephew were at the lowest point in their lives. Now that she had hit rock bottom, the only people who helped her were her sister and nephew.
She felt increasingly ashamed as she thought of this, hence she was going to say what she knew. “There are some things that you probably already know, and to say them again now would just be disgusting.” She smiled bitterly, “I was married for more than ten years with Jiang Yuanpeng. I may not know other things, but I would know what kind of person he’s like.”
“I know that recently, you’ve been working with others to push the Jiang family out of the market. However, Jiang Yuanpeng is vengeful and petty. I’m afraid that he might do some illogical things if he’s being pushed to the edge. You’d better be careful these few days.”
A day as a couple is equivalent to a hundred days of grace. Tao Minya initially didn’t want to speak too badly about Jiang Yuanpeng, but now, she didn’t bother too much, as she added, “Especially you, Miss Ning, Jiang Yuanpeng knows that Chang Shi Gui values you. I’m afraid that he would use you to threaten Shi Gui.”
Ning Xi smiled and replied, “Thanks Second Aunty for the reminder. I think he doesn’t have many chances.”
Tao Minya thought that Ning Xi was talking about how Jiang Yuanpeng wouldn’t be able to survive for much longer after being squeezed out by the larger families, hence she nodded, “It’s times like these that you have to be even more cautious. We can’t use the mentality of a normal person to understand a narrow-minded person.”
“Aunty, don’t worry. I’ll arrange everything.” After finding out that his aunt had come to warn him, Chang Shi Gui's expression became somewhat warmer, “Thanks for the reminder.”
“What’s there to thank?” Tao Minya said mockingly, “I’ve done quite a number of foolish things these years, I can’t possibly continue down this path.”
“It’s all over, there’s no need to bring all these up again.” Tao Huixue cut Tao Minya off, then said to Chang Shi Gui, “Shi Gui, bring Ning Xi around, let her familiarise herself with her house.”
Ning Xi could tell from Tao Huixue’s words that she was concerned about Ning Xi’s feelings. Even these words were specially said to create a sense of belonging for Ning Xi.
“This place is huge.” After walking around, Ning Xi pretended to lament, “It’s good to be rich.”
“Now, you’re also a rich person.” Chang Shi Gui gave a low chuckle. His laugh was ticklish at Ning Xi’s ear.
“Whatever’s mine is yours.”
Ning Xi reached her hand out and hooked her fingers with his.
“Mine is also yours.”
At this time, in the Dongnan Police Station, the police officers investigating the suicide of Madam Qin Yi from eight years ago had finally gathered all the evidence. They couldn’t help but sigh. It’s said that money will move people’s hearts, and at times, even kinship can be weak in the face of one’s interests.
They had originally thought that even if this culprit was an acquaintance, it would only be one or two people who became ill-intentioned in the face of money. Unexpectedly, after investigating their clues, the people who were implicated in the case had reached up to six people. However, two of the suspects had already passed away, hence the police couldn’t pursue their crimes further.
After Li Hao handed the evidence to the station, he applied for an arrest warrant, then prepared to capture the suspects and start interrogating them.
That afternoon, the Dongnan Police Station arrested suspects Ning Xiuli, Ning Gaofeng, Ning Qianfu and Zhao Quanhe. These four were Ning Xi’s aunt, eldest uncle, second uncle, and her aunt’s husband respectively.
The other two suspects, Ning Xi’s grandparents, had already passed away, hence they were excluded from the list of suspects.
After the suspects were arrested, they quickly admitted to their crimes. This solved the case that countless netizens were concerned about, and the Dongnan Police Station, which bore an immense pressure, finally heaved a sigh of relief.