Chapter 606: Confiding What Was Inside The Heart
Facing this particular question made Mu Wanying flustered. She didn't just like Tang Xiu. It was far more than that, and it couldn't just be described by the only word "love". She wanted to reveal what was inside her heart to Tang Xiu's grandmother, yet she restrained herself and reserved the embarrassment and pride inside her, causing her face to blush.
"I…" She opened her mouth, but the words seemed to be blocked inside her throat.
Qin Changyue's expression, in particular, was very serious, and she looked at Mu Wanying's expression before saying with all seriousness, "Wanying, behaving with restraint is all good and the correct thing to do, but if your lifelong important matter were to be delayed because of it, then it's not worth gain for the losses you'll have. If you do like our family's Xiu'er, then tell it seriously to Grandma, since Grandma believes that he's not a child without a heart."
Mu Wanying recalled the many female friends Tang Xiu had. She was conscious that she had a lot of love rivals out there, and courage suddenly sprung up inside her heart as she gently nodded and said, "I do like him."
The serious expression on Qin Changyue's face melted, as a smile climbed up on her apparently young face. Then, she held Mu Wanying's hand and said with a satisfied expression, "It's good that you like him, therefore Grandma will take care of you well. I will not spare that brat if he dares to bully you."
Despite feeling touched inside, yet Mu Wanying still said, "Thank you, Grandma, but I don't want to force him. Besides, he just began his studies this year, so it's still too early. Let us get along well slowly first, then I will rely on myself to fight for it. Please don't give him pressure, Grandma."
Qin Changyue's lit up, she really appreciated Mu Wanying now. Then, she nodded and said, "Don't worry! Grandma won't pressure him, but I can't just stand by doing nothing. Besides, Grandma has a clear idea of what should be done."
As dusk came, Tang Xiu returned to the Tang Family's ancestral home. What he didn't expect was that nearly all members of the Tang Family in Beijing were there. Even his uncle, Tang Yunpeng, who just happened to return to the capital, was sitting on the sofa in the living room hall, all smiling.
"You are…" Tang Xiu looked as Mu Wanying hurriedly stood up from the sofa. There was restless and uneasy expression on her face. He also looked at the rest of his family members with smiling faces, and a bad feeling suddenly appeared in his heart.
With a blossoming smile on her face, Qin Changyue waved at Tang Xiu and said, "Good Grandson, come to Grandma."
Tang Xiu walked to her and asked, "Did some accident happen in our family? How come so many people are here today?"
"Grandson, Grandma heard that the matter regarding your relationship with Mu Wanying was exposed in the club today, is that right?"
Though he could guess that everyone coming here was probably related to Mu Wanying, yet how could he lay it bare like that?! It was evident that the address Mu Wanying used to call him finally made everyone misunderstood it. He wanted to explain, but he was afraid that Mu Wanying would be embarrassed, so he could only smile wryly and replied, "Grandma, there shouldn't be a need to make everyone gather and open a meeting just because of an issue regarding young people's relationship, right?"
"Silly brat, we, as the elders of the family, must pay attention to the relashionships of our younger generation, to begin with! The face of the Tang Family as a whole will be directly affected by the wife you will marry in the future. This child, Wanying, is very good and remarkably outstanding. Grandma really likes her and so does everyone," said Qin Changyue.
I… AM… FUCKED! Finally, Tang Xiu exploded inside.
"Xiu'er, Grandma wouldn't call everybody here if the relationship between the two of you was not exposed to others. But the hard fact is that you can be sure that it won't take long for all the social circles in the capital to know the news that Wanying is your girlfriend. Even if you don't care about yourself, don't you have to consider her innocence as a girl and her family?" said Qin Changyue.
"Grandma isn't what you said is too… too exaggerated?" Tang Xiu forced a wry smile. "How come it will affect toward the innocence of a woman?"
"What you said is just the way it is, Xiu'er," said Qin Changyue with all seriousness. "With our family's background, all the family members treat sentiments and feelings between lovers as something important. If the news that the Little Princess of the Mu House is your girlfriend has been exposed to outsiders, then she will be labeled as being tied to our Tang Family and everyone else will regard and treat her as someone from the Tang Family. Now, you tell me, who will marry her if she doesn't marry you in the future? Isn't it possible for you to find a new lower and then wouldn't everyone think that you dumped her? And at that time, will she even be capable of facing others?"
Tang Xiu was struck dumb. This problem was out of his consideration before, and he suddenly realized that what his grandmother said was correct.
But… they were, after all, only a fake couple! If this was a set up arranged to force the two of them to be together and, granted he himself didn't think that it matters, how could Mu Wanying's family still be willing to accept it?
Tang Guosheng stoop up with a happy expression, as he waved his hand and said, "Who among the descendants of the Tang Family is fickle and irresponsible? Since Xiu'er and Wanying are lovers, they shall never be separated in the future as well. Besides, younger generations will do all right on their own. Let them develop slowly first and, after everything ripen or so they think, then this old man will personally visit the Mu Family to propose marriage and hold a wedding. All right, dinner should've been prepared, so let us all have a meal first."
Proposing marriage? Hold a wedding?
Cold sweat streamed down all over Tang Xiu's body. He looked at Mu Wanying, who was blushing and had her head lowered. If he didn't hesitate and care about Mu Wanying's face, drowned by discomfiture and distress as he was now, he really wanted to shout loudly to everyone: WE ARE FAKE LOVERS!
As dinner commenced, the dishes were sumptuous, and yet Tang Xiu didn't have any appetite. On the contrary, Mu Wanying, who became a distinguished guest of the family, ate a lot, being cared and cherished by everyone. It was so much so that Tang Ying, who was also at the table, felt sour inside, as she occasionally raised her head and rolled her eyes at Tang Xiu.
It's none of my goddamn business, to begin with. You eat what you sow.
Tang Xiu also glared back to retaliate at her once in a while as well as suppressed his temper and forced himself to finish the meal. After seeing that his Grandma was about to pull Mu Wanying to chat again, he hurriedly made an excuse and said that Mu Wanying still had things to tend to this evening, and took her quickly to leave the Tang Family's residence.
Huff… Tang Xiu heaved a deep sigh of relief the moment they stepped out of the residence's entrance.
"I'm sorry!" Mu Wanying's expression was a bit complex as she softly spoke with her head down.
Tang Xiu looked at her face and secretly sighed inside. He couldn't blame Mu Wanying at all. Let alone that today's incident was in fact not her fault, but everything was because of Tang Ying.
"Forget it, you don't need to worry." Tang Xiu waved his hand and then spoke after they got in the car. "It's getting late. I'll send you back home."
"All right." Mu Wanying nodded gently.
Oriental Rose Garden, a high-class residential complex in Beijing.
Following Mu Wanying's guidance, Tang Xiu stopped the car in the underground garage. Instead of rushing to talk, he opened the window and lit a cigarette. He took two deep puffs before speaking, "Wanying, my situation is quite complicated, for I was once badly scarred and wounded by this very sentiment in the past. I never thought neither do I have the intention to start a new relationship until this scar is healed completely. What occurred between us is just a strange combination of circumstances that happened to turn into this situation, and I'm sorry if this matter has an impact on your reputation."
Mu Wanying was shaken inside. Despite having suspected that Tang Xiu had been plagued by sentimental problems in the past, to think that he was really that hurt was out of her imagination. She really couldn't figure out what blind woman had the heart to hurt such an outstanding man.
"Tang Xiu, it's I who must say sorry. If it wasn't because of me, today won't be…"
Tang Xiu waved his hand and said, "It's all right. What you did back then is nothing to be said against. It's understandable since we are a couple, albeit a fake one. Since they have misconstrued it, then let them misunderstand it. If anything, I haven't considered to ever involve myself in feelings, affections, and sentiments for the next few years. In case that you also don't want to fall in love for the time being, then let us continue act this way. Don't let others' misunderstanding disturb us."
Mu Wanying's was bit loss as she replied, "Okay."
Her expression wasn't noticed by Tang Xiu as he continued, "What happened today is bound to be spread out and be heard by your family. If they ask you and you want to explain it, then please do. If you don't want to, then call me. I know that the news that we are lovers will inevitably affect your reputation. If you still haven't found the right man a few years later while you and I are also still single, then we'll carry on to tie the marriage, and that's it."
Gazing at Tang Xiu for a long while without speaking, Mu Wanying then firmly said, "Then I'll marry you if you haven't yet married at that time."
"What?" Tang Xiu was taken aback.
"Despite knowing nothing about who hurt you so deeply, I'm willing to heal the wound in your heart with the love I have for you. And I believe I can do it," said Mu Wanying softly.
"You…" Tang Xiu was struck dumb and tongue-tied.
Mu Wanying forced out a bitter smile and said, "I couldn't do anything about it since I feel that I've already fallen in love with you. I originally wanted to act with restraint and reserve it as much as possible and let you speak out what you have in your heart first. But I'm afraid… I'm afraid that I'll never be able to wait, since waiting is not even an option. You're too outstanding, and there are so many remarkable girls around you as well. As a matter of fact, I have already explained to your grandmother that us being a couple is nothing but a fake relationship. But she…"
Tang Xiu was silent.
If only Xue Qingcheng didn't exist, if only he didn't experience the life in the Immortal World for 10,000 years, he would have been attracted by Mu Wanying and even fall in love with her. But now, the wound in his heart made him afraid, constraining him to not to want to pour out his feeling too prematurely. He had never thought about feelings and affections so seriously in the past, yet at present, it was a must.
However, just as he began to think about it, he felt somewhat depressed. First of all, it went without saying that there was Han Qingwu, Xue Qingcheng from his previous life, and Ouyang Lulu, who was trying to pursue him desperately. And then there was Kang Xia, whom he had given his body to. He was already at his wit's end, and now Mu Wanying was added to the line. For a moment, Tang Xiu's mind was disconcerted as his thoughts whirled about.
"Anyways, I'm going back. I need to rest early."
As the second cigarette was burned through, he then turned to look at Mu Wanying.
Mu Wanying hesitated for a moment before speaking, "Would you like to go up? I live alone here!"
"No." Tang Xiu shook his head. "I'm going back to Star City tonight since there are some things in the Magnificent Tang Corporation I need to tend to."
"All right. Pay attention to your safety on the way there." Mu Wanying nodded silently, yet her face was dark and gloomy.
Chapter 607: Welfare House
Tang Xiu originally wanted to stay in the capital for a few more days while waiting for the confirmation from the Virus Research Institute that the infectious disease was completely solved before returning to Star City. However, he finally decided to leave tonight since he didn't feel like explaining the misunderstanding to his family members.
After making a few phone calls, Tang Xiu drove back to Star City overnight. He was stumped for words when he returned to South Gate Town however, as he found that his parents were not resting yet. They were now chatting in the living room in their pajamas.
"Sonny, are you in love?"
It was two in the morning, but Su Lingyun didn't look like she was sleepy at all and came to welcome him with a joyful expression instead.
"The news flew this quickly?" Scratching the back of his head, Tang Xiu could only reply with a helpless expression, "Mom, Mu Wanying and I are only fake lovers. She happened to have many male students pursuing her, whereas your son was also pursued by a lot of female students, and therefore we thought it over and decided to be a fake couple just to deter those pursuers."
The revelation made Su Lingyun and Tang Yunde struck dumb.
The very reason they weren't asleep yet was that they learned that their son was returning back from Beijing. They were full of expectations and were waiting due to the news they were told by others, but little did they expect that it was actually false news. In a flash, Su Lingyun seemed as though a deflated balloon as she sat back on the sofa, looking dispirited and downcast. She then yawned and said, "Son, I heard that this girl called Mu Wanying is quite outstanding. But even so, pretense may turn into a reality if you work hard on it! Well, I'm bit sleepy now. I'm going to sleep."
Tang Yunde shot Tang Xiu a ruminating look before shaking his head and turning to walk to their room.
Continuing with the pretense may become reality?
While looking at the back of his parents, a depressed feeling filled Tang Xiu's heart. Then, he went to the second floor, took a bath and changed his clothes into new pajamas and went to sleep in his comfy bed. A few hours later, he woke up and had his spirit recovered and full of energy, following which he washed and began to cultivate.
His present cultivation level had now reached the Peak level of the Viscera Transformation Stage and had his internal organs been tempered. They were now thousands of times stronger than that of an ordinary person's. He was now only a little away from the Blood and Qi Circulation Stage, and only after he reached this stage would he be able to conjure more profound magical spells easily.
Nevertheless, he was conscious of the fact that haste would make waste. It would be very difficult to breakthrough to a higher stage for the next few years. The reason being that him being able to reach his cultivation level at present was caused by too many fortuitous encounters. However, he didn't feel a need to rush it either, for every high-rise building started with its foundation first. The last layer of the first stage of his cultivation, the Stars Tyrannical Body Realm, was to condense his qi into Nine Cores Phase Forming, yet it was but only a foundation stage for the Heavenly Art of Cosmic Genesis. His cultivation in the later stages would be more stable only if he laid out a robust foundation.
It had been more than half a year since he returned from the Immortal World, yet he was able to achieve his current state. His cultivation was indeed progressing by leaps and bounds. Therefore, on the premise that there was no huge fortuitous encounter, he would need to suppress this progress rate even if the situation was possible and allowed him to have a breakthrough.
After expelling out a foul breath, Tang Xiu slowly opened his eyes. South Gate Town may have a beautiful environment, yet it was still located in the city, and the concentration of spiritual qi here was in no way compared with the Walled Hill Village's, let alone the Nine Dragons Island's. Without a rich concentration of spiritual qi as the medium, the degree of energy absorption from the stars was weakened by several points.
Tang Xiu got out of his bed and opened the curtain. Big flakes of snow were unexpectedly falling down outside. Star City was neither located in the South nor did it belong to the North Region, and only had a little snow whenever New Year was over. Yet it unexpectedly snowed, though there were still a few days away from the New Year's. Moreover, heavy snowing like today was a rare sight in Star City.
The outside world was shrouded in white. Even the plum blossoms which were proudly blossoming were covered with white snow, shrouding its gorgeousness. There was hardly any resident walking through the falling snowflakes, but a lot of security guards and employees from the Property Management Office were sweeping the snow on the concrete road in the villa area.
Tang Xiu's gaze landed on a tall girl. He immediately remembered his promise to treat her to dinner for her help in obtaining his driver license. It was a very long time ago, and yet he hadn't fulfilled this promise.
A few minutes later, Tang Xiu was neatly dressed. In order to not attract attention, he disguised himself by putting on a down coat, which he didn't know when his mother bought him, and then walked outside.
Back when he was in the Immortal World, Tang Xiu had seen the world of ice and snow, so he wasn't that disturbed nor did he care about the heavy falling snow at present. After greeting the security guards he knew well, Tang Xiu came to Long Xueyao's front. He watched as she cleaned the snow with a shovel and then said with a smile, "I'll help you!"
Long Xueyao stood up and immediately smiled upon seeing Tang Xiu, "You're a busy man, Mr. Tang! I haven't seen you for a long time. Are you on vacation from college?"
Tang Xiu took over the iron shovel from her before nodding and smiling, "Yeah. I just returned to Star City last night. Never thought it would be snowing heavily today, though."
"It's great that you came back yesterday." Long Xueyao smiled. "It wouldn't be easy for you to come back if the heavy snow had closed up the road."
"Indeed." Tang Xiu smiled. "Anyways, how about I treat you to lunch this noon, provided that you have nothing to do by then, that is."
Stunned for a moment, Long Xueyao immediately smiled and said, "How come you are treating me to lunch all of sudden?"
While shoveling snow, Tang Xiu replied, "Back when I got my driver's license, I said that I would treat you to a meal. Many things happened and delayed me, though. It just so happened that Long Zhengyu called me on the way back yesterday. He learned that I was gonna come back and invited me to a meal. Hence, I want to invite you too."
"Nevermind with the driving license matter. You don't need to worry about that." Long Xueyao shook her head while letting out a faint smile. "It was not my merit that it went smoothly, to begin with. Anyhow, I won't join in the fun in the men's gathering, though. Besides, I'm afraid I won't be able to go out since there are things I need to tend to at noon today."
"Ah, since you have things to do, then how about some other day?" Tang Xiu nodded and asked.
Long Xueyao gently nodded in response. Suddenly, she seemed to recall something and then said, "Are you guys going to have a drink and a meal and then hang around at night? If I remember correctly, Long Zhengyu played mahjong with his friends last night. I'm afraid it will probably be very difficult for him to get up this noon, right?"
"How do you know he played mahjong all night?" Asked Tang Xiu, surprised.
"Did you forget we're relatives?" Asked Long Xueyao with a smile. "We had dinner together last night. He told me at that time."
Tang Xiu suddenly understood. Long Zhengyu and Long Xueyao were cousins, so it was nothing special for ones of the same family to have dinner together. After pondering, he then replied, "I'll look for him in the evening, then."
"If so, how about going to a certain place with me at noon?" Asked Long Xueyao with a smile.
"Where to?" Asked Tang Xiu with a puzzled expression.
"You'll know when you go with me," said Long Xueyao. "Anyways, Let's finish this first!"
Tang Xiu smiled in response. He didn't think much about her keeping him guessing. Besides, he just came back and didn't have many things to tend to, whereas following her to have look at what exactly it was wouldn't make him stay at home and got unceasing nagging from his parents about a man and woman relationship issues at the very least.
As an hour passed, the snowing reduced a bit and Tang Xiu returned home to have breakfast. After spending two hours reading a book in the study room, he got a call from Long Xueyao. The villa complex was filled with a lot of people now compared to the deserted and cold scene in the morning. Not only were there teenagers, even their parents were accompanying them to play, throwing snowballs and making snowmen.
"It's still ten in the morning. Why go so early?"
As Tang Xiu came to the front of the Property Management Office's building, he asked Long Xueyao, who stood in front of an SUV.
"There are some things I need to buy." Long Xueyao slightly nodded. "I guess it will be noon when I get everything."
"What are you going to buy, exactly?" Asked Tang Xiu.
"Are young going to pay whatever I buy today, by chance?" Asked her with a smile.
Tang Xiu couldn't help laughing and replied, "If what you want to buy can make up for the meal, then no problem."
"That's a promise then," said Long Xueyao with a bit self-satisfied smile.
Immediately after, the duo drove to the nearby shopping malls. What made Tang Xiu feel strange was that he could tell that Long Xueyao had clearly noticed the staff in the stores in advance, for the purchase of twenty to thirty sets of down jackets with a lot of shoes and socks. All of which were for children under ten years of age.
"Xueyao, are we going to the welfare house, by chance?" Asked Tang Xiu after pushing the trolley with the help of the store staff, and then the duo finally moved everything.
"I knew I couldn't hide it from you." Long Xueyao smilingly said. "We are indeed going to the welfare house. Furthermore, this welfare house is in the worst condition in the entire Star City."
Tang Xiu nodded without speaking. In fact, he was also very supportive of visit and doing charity to the welfare house. Many children who had lost their loved ones were very pitiful, to begin with. Supposing that the welfare of the said welfare house was really poor, they would be facing and enduring hard times in the dead of winter.
Bluestar Welfare House. It was the most dilapidated welfare house located in the suburbs of Star City, and only had six staffs to manage it including its Head, whose leg was crippled due to a fall a few years ago. The other five were responsible for buying groceries, cooking, and their daily needs. The welfare house itself adopted 32 children, and four of them were less than a year old.
At the gate of the welfare house where the snow fell gently, the Head of the welfare house—Wu Xiufen held a broken umbrella and waited near a dilapidated sign. She received a phone call from Long Xueyao yesterday and therefore kept coming to the gate since this morning. She had been waiting for more than an hour and came out dozens of times.
The SUV stopped at the gate to the welfare house and Long Xueyao and Tang Xiu came out from the car. Long Xueyao walked toward Wu Xiufen and looked at her lips that had turned slightly purple, and then said with concern, "Dean Wu, why did you come out? The weather is cold and snowing!"
"It's all right. I'm wearing thick clothes!" Replied Wu Xiufen.
The clothes she wore were very thick and she was a bit plump. But some padded cotton on the shoulder of her wadded jacket were exposed. The needlework on it was obviously broken, while there were also several stitches on some other places. As for her feet, she only wore worn, unpadded shoes.
Tang Xiu, who stood at the side, secretly sighed inside. Long Xiaoyue told him on the way here about the situation in the Bluestar Welfare House, so he learned that this welfare house was only funded by a few people out of their good intentions, while the aid from the government was close to nothing.