Chapter 458: There Was No Pressure To Express Distaste For Another’s Child
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Even those who used to be close to Grandmother Chang had stopped contacting her.
Besides, she was almost grounded at home by her own son and was not allowed to go anywhere!
“That Qi family, what is it then if it’s not bully?” said Liu Xiangwen as she felt a growing sense of grievance. “Before this, they forced us to transfer Jianan to another school because he had a fall out with Qi Youxuan. It was merely a brawl among the children. Even blood-related siblings have fights with one another. Children never hold grudges. They always get along again soon after their fights. Yet the Qi family refused to let such a small conflict off…”
Chang Zhiyuan had truly lost his patience. It was indeed merely a small conflict among children. So, was it not annoying to bring it up repetitively?
“What do you want to say? You haven’t answered my earlier question. Why are you going over and over again on the past matter?” Chang Zhiyuan glared at Chang Zhixing who was standing next to Liu Xiangwen. He felt so mad that he had disregarded his own identity to discipline his sister-in-law on behalf of his younger brother. “Have you forgotten the pain where gain follows? Who came back from school the other day, crying so badly that she couldn’t even speak clearly? How long has it been since? Have you forgotten your lesson and are trying to cause more trouble now?”
Liu Xiangwen’s face reddened as Chang Zhiyuan mocked her.
Chang Zhiyuan was disheartened. No wonder Ruan Danchen had refused to be recognized as a part of the Chang family!
Who would want to return to such a troublesome family?
Chang Zhiyuan recalled how harmonious the Ruan family was. Then, he cast a glance across his own and felt his strength leaving him at the comparison.
“As for the question I asked earlier, forget it if you don’t want to answer me. Just stop beating around the bush!” said Chang Zhiyuan in exasperation.
“I only brought up the Qi family’s strangeness in this incident.” Liu Xiangwen was pained by Chang Zhiyuan’s words. “My friend saw you at the wedding today and called me out of curiosity. You were seen sitting with the Ruan family at the head table. Didn’t… Didn’t the Qi family leave us out of the wedding? How did you even get in and be placed at such good seating?”
Liu Xiangwen’s feelings were very contradictory. On one hand, she was very angry at the Qi family for ‘bullying’ them. She perceived the Qi family to be so petty and absurd that she could not hold back her hatred for them.
On the other hand, she was very jealous to find out that Chang Zhiyuan had attended the Qi family’s wedding whereas she was not invited. She yearned to attend the wedding because it was after all an honor to be associated with the Qi family.
The contradiction between hatred and wanting to be on friendly terms with the Qi family was indeed indescribable.
Then, Liu Xiangwen’s expression quickly changed into that of suspicion as she looked at Chang Zhiyuan. “Brother Zhiyuan, could it be possible that the Qi family did send us an invitation but you kept it away from us and attended the wedding secretly?”
Immediately after her question, Grandmother Chang glared furiously at Chang Zhiyuan as though believing in Liu Xiangwen’s accusation.
In fact, Grandmother Chang agreed that Liu Xiangwen’s suspicion was rather plausible.
Chang Zhiyuan scorned in disdain. He was so enraged that he felt his viscera 1crunching up in pain, especially when he noticed that Grandmother Chang had been taken in by the accusation.
“Will you believe me if I tell you that I was invited by the Qi family when I happened to pass by the entrance of Dynasty?” Chang Zhiyuan sneered.
Of course, they would not.
“Don’t treat us like idiots!” Liu Xiangwen spat back at him.
“Ha!” Chang Zhiyuan let out a ridiculing laugh. He would definitely not divulge the truth to his family. Earlier that day at the wedding, he had already made up his mind to protect Ruan Danchen, his niece, at all costs!
The hostility and resentment toward Ruan Danchen that he caught in Chang Jingqiu’s eyes put him on his guard. Liu Xiangwen’s meddling could perhaps lead Chang Jingqiu to begin to suspect Ruan Danchen’s identity. Chang Zhiyuan was afraid that when pushed too far, Chang Jingqiu might do something extreme to hurt Ruan Danchen in order to keep her own identity and status.
That was also a reason why he had agreed to not give away Ruan Danchen’s identity to the Chang family.
“I know that our family has some conflicts with the Qi family. Nonetheless, even if we were to meet force with force, we’ll still lose out. I’ve nothing to say if you insist that you’re right out of a false sense of pride. However, I’m the eldest son in the family. I need to support Changhe’s operation and take care of your daily lives. I can’t afford to be as obstinate as you. Since you’re unwilling to lower your head, let me be the one doing it. It’s true that the Qi family didn’t invite us and I don’t think that I’m in any way better to let them invite me alone to the wedding.” Chang Zhiyuan stared coldly at Grandmother Chang and Liu Xiangwen.
“If we didn’t have a fall out with the Qi family, with the Chang family’s status even if we aren’t close to each other, we would still receive their wedding invitation. Why don’t…” Why don’t you have enough decency to feel ashamed of yourselves?
Chang Zhiyuan did not complete his sentence. Otherwise, Grandmother Chang would go at him in fury.
“I believe that you too have felt the hostility in our circle these days resulting from our poor relationship with the Qi family.” Chang Zhiyuan continued to stare at Grandmother Chang and Liu Xiangwen.
Both Grandmother Chang and Liu Xiangwen were silently disgruntled. They were still piqued at the Qi family’s absurd actions.
Chang Zhiyuan noticed their disagreement but was helpless against it.
Shaking his head, he sighed, “Let me guess. Being isolated by the circle, no more gatherings, and no one to flatter you whenever you go out. You must have gotten fed up with this life. The Chang family, a first-rate family, has now become worse than a common small family in the circle. Do you still want to let it go on this way? Your friends in the past, have they even come to visit you?”
Liu Xiangwen pursed her lips. Even Grandmother Chang who had refused to accept the truth could not refute him.
“If you don’t want to continue living your lives like this, someone must lower their head to the Qi family, don’t you agree? Today, I did so by waiting in front of Dynasty with a red packet. They were willing to let me in just because I was in their way.” Chang Zhiyuan tightened his lips. He hoped that they would believe in the excuse he gave or at least, let Chang Jingqiu lowered her guard.
“As for the Ruan family,” Chang Zhiyuan sneered, “The other tables were full. Their table was the least occupied with only five people. Besides, I was the one who set aside my pride to go and apologize. So, they did not ask me to leave.”
While Chang Zhiyuan was explaining, he caught a flash in Chang Jingqiu’s eyes as though letting out a sigh of relief.
He felt slightly at ease and said, “The Ruan family are kind and sensible. It is my privilege to be allowed to sit with them.”
Grandmother Chang hit the armrest of the sofa hardly. “Why did you apologize? We did nothing wrong! Why did you go and apologize? The others will assume that it’s our fault if you go and apologize! If you lower your head to them, do it yourself! Don’t represent us!”
“Even if we are in the right, the others will nevertheless assume that it is our fault. After all, we brought it on ourselves by offending the Qi family. In their opinion, whoever with higher authority is always right.” said Chang Zhiyuan coldly. Since his mother insisted that she was right, he gave up on the argument.
If he could make Grandmother Chang admit her mistakes, then that must not be Grandmother Chang anymore.
“Hmph! It is only a group of common people. I can let it off for the Qi family. Yet you apologized to the Ruan family as well. Who are they to accept your apology?” exclaimed Grandmother Chang bitterly.
Chang Zhiyuan chuckled, “A wrong is a wrong. It has nothing to do with identity or status. If you could understand this principle, you would have understood it a long time ago.”
He glanced coldly at Grandmother Chang, Liu Xiangwen, and even Chang Zhixing who Grandmother Chang had no control of.
He continued to mock frivolously, “You want to continue living a good life but couldn’t set aside your pride. You don’t want to suffer any loss to your self-esteem or material. So, I’ve chosen to forgo my pride on your behalf for your comfort. Has it now become my fault for meddling? As the eldest son in the family, I do bear the responsibility to care for you but I don’t owe you anything. My sacrifices are not for you to step on! If you think that what I did is not good enough, you can try to figure something out yourselves. I would also like to know what other ways that you can come up with to preserve your self-esteem as well as your material!”
Chang Zhiyuan stood up from his seat. He did not want to speak any longer with Grandmother Chang.
“Where are you going? Stop right there!” bellowed Grandmother Chang harshly.
Chang Zhiyuan gritted his teeth as he lowered his head to look at her.
With a somber expression, Grandmother Chang said in seeming reluctance, “We know that it is hard on you. However, as the eldest son in the family and the director of Changhe, everyone in the family and the company is counting on you. Shouldn’t you pay the price and carry the responsibility corresponding to your current status? Besides, I am your mother and Zhixing is your younger brother. We are both your family so where comes your grievance? Isn’t it a must to act for our sake? If it’s not for us, your family, who else can you care for?”
Chang Zhiyuan curled his lips into a sneer. He said nothing else.
Mo Yuxin also stood up with him. She would stay by his side regardless of his decision without any questions.
Still, Grandmother Chang’s words were too shameless!
Why did Chang Zhiyuan need to face injustice just because he was the eldest son in the family?
He had done his best to provide them comfortable lives but his efforts were not appreciated.
Although one should not be too calculative with their family, their family should not be as ungrateful as her husband’s.
They were enjoying the fruits of his labor while criticizing his efforts.
Mo Yuxin trembled in anger. Suddenly, her hand was held in another.
She lifted her head to see Chang Zhiyuan blinking at her. He was soothing her down and letting her know that he was alright.
Mo Yuxin’s eyes reddened. Then, she looked down after calming down.
“Since we have made up with the Qi family, go and negotiate with them so Jianan can return to Jixia Academy,” said Grandmother Chang suddenly.
Chang Zhiyuan looked at Grandmother Chang in disbelief. Even if she was his mother, he was tempted to ask her, ‘Are you still sane?’
When she noticed Chang Zhiyuan’s silence, Grandmother Chang had thought that he was reluctant to do so. Thus, she pulled a long face and said, “Jianan is our child, our one and only precious child. How can he not study in an aristocratic school? Isn’t it lowering his status? It’s a disgrace to let Jianan study with the children from those families with new money. That’s unfair to him. Who are those children to be of equal footing with our Jianan?”
Chang Zhiyuan’s lips curled up cynically yet Grandmother Chang was not aware of it and spouted on, “Since we’ve made up and we were the one to lower our head first, the Qi family should return our sincerity with sincerity. They should properly, politely and earnestly invite Jianan back to Jixia Academy!”
Upon hearing that, Chang Zhiyuan was no longer furious. He was horrified instead. Despite being unfilial, he had to admit that his mother was a fool!
“Tell them that. Additionally, we’ll also get the short end of the stick and acknowledge Ruan Danchen’s status. I’ll hold myself back in the future even if I can’t stand her.” Grandmother Chang felt that she had swallowed her humiliation and given in greatly. “Let’s… Let’s just take it as acknowledging her status!” she said unwillingly.
Chang Zhiyuan could not stop the chuckle from escaping his lips. “Mom, Ruan Danchen doesn’t need your acknowledgment.”
“How can it be?” exclaimed Grandmother Chang. “If she wants to keep a foothold in our circle, she needs to socialize with us. Does she want everyone to look down on her?”
Then, Grandmother Chang lifted her chin and said proudly, “You must be clear with my position in our circle. If I initiate our interaction, everyone else will be on friendly terms with her!”
Chang Zhiyuan realized then that Grandmother Chang was not a fool, she was only dreaming all along.
“Do you assume that Grandmother Qi to be incapable? Her words would work better than yours,” Chang Zhiyuan could not hold back ridiculing her, “I heard that Grandfather Ruan and Grandfather Xiao are close friends. Perhaps, the Ruan family is not as wealthy as us but their reputation is definitely better. Grandfather Ruan often chats with our nation’s leader over the phone and everyone out there always addresses him as our national treasure. Tell me, is there anyone as capable as him in our family?”
Didn’t Grandmother Chang prioritize a person’s status the most? Didn’t she feel that every other family was not up to par with the Chang family? She often considered the rich as new money and the less wealthy as poor as refugees.
He would let her know that the Chang family was nothing in terms of reputation.
Grandmother Chang’s face had become distorted from Chang Zhiyuan’s scorn. Nevertheless, he did not stop upsetting her. “Let’s not mention how Ruan Danchen doesn’t need you to raise her status. Who else in the circle do you think can uplift their own status and scold her whenever they see her just like you?”
Chang Zhiyuan let out another scoff, “Who doesn’t try their best to treat Ruan Danchen politely and get on her good side? Don’t you see the Qi and Ruan families backing her up? Only you would think that she is not worthy enough and requires your help to place her footing in the circle.”
Grandmother Chang was either mad or shocked for her chest moved up and down as she gasped deeply for breath.
In fact, both feelings were bubbling inside her. Not only was she furious at Chang Zhiyuan’s derision, but she was also shocked at the same time. She had never noticed the changes to the Ruan family. Her perception of the Ruan family had stayed the same since the past. Wasn’t the Ruan family a group of normal research nerds? How could they become so great?
Since when did the Ruan family solidify their background? Their reputation alone could only be measured up by the favorable Great Eight Families.
“When can you realize that you have no right to point your finger at the others? Their lives and statuses have nothing to do with you. The Qi family will be there for Ruan Danchen. Therefore, her status doesn’t bring you shame,” advised Chang Zhiyuan earnestly.
Who were you to worry about it!
“I don’t want to discuss this anymore! Look at how you talk back to me! I’m old now. My children don’t respect me anymore! You’re just the same as your wife, looking down at me all the time! Having a son like you to set such an example, how can she even respect me?” snapped Grandmother Chang.
Mo Yuxin: “…”
Mo Yuxin was really an innocent caught in a crossfire. Grandmother Chang, on the other hand, was like a beacon that could never shine on its own base. She had never looked back at her own virtue. She should at least act in a respectful manner to earn respect from others.
“Just tell me, are you going to negotiate with the Qi family? Since they want to make up with us, they should not let us be the one to lower our heads all the time,” Grandmother Chang continued in irritation.
“…” Chang Zhiyuan pursed his lips before saying gently, “Mom, it’s my fault for not making it clear. Although I represented our family to apologize to the Qi family, they did not mention anything about making up with us. They just chose to take the high road and won’t affect our future business relationship.”
Grandmother Chang’s eyes were wide open at that clarification. “What’s the point of all the things that you have said to make yourself seem so pitiful! Aren’t you ashamed to be standing here and criticizing us if you have not even solved anything?”
Liu Xiangwen wiped away her tears next to Chang Zhixing. “Brother Zhiyuan, didn’t you say that you’re willing to set aside your pride for our sake. However, you just left us and went to make up with the Qi family on your own. Do you… Do you intend to only bring sister-in-law out to socialize with the people in the circle and abandon us?
Her eyes were glazed with tears as she continued, “Brother Zhiyuan, you can’t… You can’t be thinking about splitting up the family, aren’t you?”
Chang Zhiyuan laughed out of anger, “Sister-in-law, your brain seems to be lacking usually but it has finally caught up now! How about it? Are you afraid that I would really want to split up the family and abandon all of you?”
“So, you can still be afraid that I’ll split up the family. Why aren’t you afraid of the consequences when you did those things earlier? Can’t you work up your brain more?” Chang Zhiyuan shifted his gaze to Chang Zhixing while pointing at Liu Xiangwen. “Keep a leash on your wife. I’m your brother after all. I’ll only admonish her here and won’t harm her. If she still goes out with a loose mouth like this, who knows how many more people will be offended.”
“Mom, one day, I’ll not be able to save us all even if I were to kneel and beg. I wonder if you’ll only regret it when that time comes,” said Chang Zhiyuan coldly.
His family had always forgotten the pain after the wound was healed.
When Jianan was forced to transfer to another school, they regretted their actions so much that even Liu Xiangwen was keeping herself under the radar for some time. Yet, how long had it just been for them to forget their lesson?
“I’m tired. My head hurts. I’ll go have a rest.” Chang Zhiyuan sounded truly worn out. “Zhixing, send mom home will you?”
Then, he left them on their own and went upstairs with Mo Yuxin.
Right before he closed the door to his bedroom, he could hear Grandmother Chang’s angry screech, Liu Xiangwen’s adding-fuel-to-the-fire sobs, Chang Zhixing berating Liu Xiangwen, and Chang Jingqiu placating Grandmother Chang.
After the wedding, both the Qi and Ruan families gathered at the Qi family mansion.
Qi Chenglin and Ruan Danchen were leaving for their honeymoon in the early morning the next day. They had packed their baggage and kept them in the mansion.
Qi Youxuan wriggled in Guan Liya’s arms while observing Little Youjin crawling around happily on the carpet. His large dark eyes rolled around as he saw Little Youjin crawling toward the coffee table. Little Youjin gripped the side of the coffee table with his small hands and attempted to support himself up. His eyes were shining brightly at the sight of the fruits and candies on the table.
Qi Chengzhi frowned slightly at the sight and carried Little Youjin away from the coffee table. Little Youjin waved his short limbs anxiously, trying to flop toward the coffee table.
“Yayayi!”‘Eat! I want to eat! Still… still hungry!’
“Oh, look at how hungry the child is,” said Grandmother Qi with concern. “Can’t you two let the child enjoy eating more?”
“What if he becomes as fat as Youxuan?” Qi Chengzhi said distastefully.
Qi Chenglin: “…”
Ruan Danchen: “…”
Qi Youxuan: “…”
Look at how he had no pressure expressing his distaste for another’s child.
“That is your nephew. How can you say that?”
Grandfather Ruan harrumphed and took Qi Youxuan into his embrace. “Our Youxuan looks best like this. How soft and adorable he is! Children look better if they are chubby. It’s not good for them to be too skinny. Skinny children look as though they lack fortune.”