Jiang Wang felt he shouldn’t go out for a while.
It was extremely humiliating for an adult to be ridiculed in public, not to mention getting slapped in the face.
“What’s the use of coming all the way here? Your father still worries too much about you!” The woman looked old and distressed, venting all her life’s stress on Ji Linqiu: “After all I’ve said, you still don’t have any expression at all— you monster!”
Ji Linqiu moved slightly as if hearing what she actually wanted to say.
“You came to the provincial city without telling me, just so you could set me up for a blind date, right?” He said indifferently, “Having a cerebral hemorrhage in the middle of the night after staying at Sister’s house for two days, is that also because of me?”
The elderly Mother Ji gave him a fierce look.
“We scrimped and saved to send you to college back then, just to see you acting like this now!”
“Now Dad is already in the intensive care unit,” Ji Linqiu’s voice turned cold. “You still want me to leave him and go on a blind date now, are you serious?”
The woman let out a mournful cry and rushed forward to poke him on the shoulder in anguish.
“Ji Linqiu, remember you’re almost thirty years old!! Is there something wrong with you that you’re not getting married yet?”
“Your father gets treated like a joke by his colleagues at work every holiday, and your mother gets asked every time she returns to her maiden family’s house. Some people think we don’t treat you like a son at all.”
“Do we owe you? Have we made any unreasonable demands? We just hope you can live a normal life!”
Ji Linqiu was still looking at the figure in the hospital room, and for a long time trying to filter out all the negative emotions she exerted on him, and said lightly: “I understand.”
His sister stood beside them, helpless and aggrieved, but she didn’t dare participate in their conversion from beginning to end, as if she had already accepted her status in the family.
“Tomorrow at noon, you will go to have lunch with the daughter of Uncle Tong’s family. The family is a family of professors who are well-educated and respectable. Let’s fight for the dignity of our old Ji family!”
The woman’s anger hadn’t been drained yet, she kept poking him endlessly, “Don’t mess around anymore, do you hear me!”
Ji Linqiu suddenly pulled his arm back and looked at her coldly.
“Are you mating livestock?”
“What’s the matter? Are you afraid that I won’t be able to perform and can’t give you grandchildren?”
Mother Ji’s face turned pale, Jiang Wang had a hunch that the situation was worsening so rushed to the rescue, and the stern-faced nurse also appeared at the same time.
“What’s the noise? This is the inpatient department, many patients need to rest!”
“If you have something to say, please go outside. If you continue to make trouble, I’ll call security!”
“Alright, alright, we won’t be loud anymore, no more.” Mother Ji changed back to her previous submissive appearance as if she had never lost her temper just now: “I’m sorry, we’ve really caused you trouble.”
Jiang Wang walked between them, seemingly unintentionally blocking Ji Linqiu behind him, smiling very politely.
“Teacher Ji and I took turns driving all night, if we went to lunch without sleeping for a while. It will be difficult to be in good condition.”
Mother Ji was very cooperative in other things, but she was particularly determined not to let go of this matter.
“This opportunity won’t come again. It’s good for your stomach to eat first and then sleep!”
“What opportunity?”Ji Linqiu raised his eyes and said, “The opportunity of climbing the high branches or going through the backdoor will be gone?”
Mother Ji didn’t expect that the child who had usually been obedient would dare to talk back to her. She suddenly stretched out her hand in front of Jiang Wang to slap his face again.
But he was blocked by Jiang Wang’s two fingers.
“Auntie, it’s not appropriate.” Jiang Wang smiled and said, “You’re the one who mentioned he’s almost thirty.”
Mother Ji sighed heavily, and then seamlessly switched back to her grievance mode, rambling about how difficult it was for her.
Jiang Wang got tired of hearing it so he made an excuse that the hospitalization procedures had not been completed yet then he took Ji Linqiu to the doctor’s office for a temporary silence.
After about an hour or two, it was already dawn. Kuang Ye, whose brother-in-law was in the hospital, rushed over.
This guy looked like a brown bear, he threw a punch at Jiang Wang as soon as he met him.
“You’re amazing, dude! Tossing me up in the middle of the night!”
Jiang Wang smiled, “We’re deep in affection and loyalty. Isn’t it great to get things done?”
He turned slightly sideways and introduced the two to each other.
“This is Teacher Ji, a person I respect very much.”
“This is Kuang Ye, a friend I met through business. He has a wide network of contacts in the provincial city.”
Ji Linqiu greeted him politely, and Kuang Ye shook his hand in a careless manner.
“You look like a scholar with a good temperament at first glance. Don’t worry, I have specifically instructed my brother about your father’s matter. He will come and take care of it later.”
Ji Linqiu hadn’t slept all night and looked a bit unwell, he was a little shaky when he bowed.
“I’m sorry for the trouble. Please let me treat you all to dinner tonight.”
Kuang Ye as his name suggests was wild in nature. Since the family had money, he rode a motorcycle around all day long and made friends depending on happiness.
Jiang Wang was confident he could entrust this matter to him. He thought he would also take more care of the other’s factory business later.
They made a few jokes while talking and also introduced Kuang Ye to Ji Linqiu’s mother to discuss the situation.
By the time it was past ten o’clock in the morning, the drowsiness came up uncontrollably, as if all the blood from his brainstem to his neck was drained.
He himself felt uncomfortable, so when he looked at Ji Linqiu, his gaze was sympathetic.
“Do you really have to go?”
“Just treat it as a free meal.” Ji Linqiu self-deprecatingly smiled, “If I am mistakenly regarded as a ‘phoenix man’,This term is used in Chinese culture to refer to a young man who comes from a humble or disadvantaged background but achieves significant success or wealth later in life. It is often associated with … Continue reading I won’t be able to chat for long.”
“Oh, can I come with you?”
Ji Linqiu was taken aback for a moment then nodded in agreement.
“That would be great,” he seemed to breathe a sigh of relief at last. “Usually only girls get accompanied by female friends on a blind date. I’m the first to enjoy this treatment.”
Ji Linqiu’s mother was satisfied as long as she saw her son agree to the blind date. She was also worried that it would affect Jiang Wang’s rest, so she pretended to be polite and exchanged pleasantries a few times.
“My son has always been afraid of getting too close to girls since he was young. Maybe I was too strict with him before, watching him all day long for fear of puppy love,” Mother Ji wiped her eyes as if she had borne twelve times the suffering alone, “Now that there are friends like you accompanying him, it’s better, he’s finally become more cheerful.”
Jiang Wang felt relieved in his heart, he thought she would start finding fault even with him.
The restaurant was quite high-end. It was located on the 22nd floor of the five-star hotel. When you look out from the rotating restaurant you could see the panoramic view of the entire city.
Crystal chandeliers rotated and hung down like shells, and there were no wrinkles on the crimson-red velvet tablecloth.
The girl was 25 this year, her pearl earrings dangled, and she was dressed beautifully.
However, looking at the stifled smile of her female companion, there was a high probability that she was also forcibly kidnapped by her parents.
Delicious dishes were served one by one at the table, Jiang Wang ate slowly, and most of his attention was on Ji Linqiu.
He found this person really interesting.
Men were all the same, unable to resist looking at a woman’s breasts and buttocks when they meet good-looking girls, only the degree of concealment was different.
Jiang Wang observed for a while and found that Ji Linqiu was always distracted. He didn’t even look at the other girl next to him.
Even when the girl went to the bathroom halfway through the meal, he didn’t bother to look at her slender legs.
Could it be that he’s really afraid of women?
Ji Linqiu was sleepy all the way through but maintained his politeness and eloquence, coupled with his handsome appearance, this actually pleased the two young girls.
The female companion of the blind date partner originally intended to be a background figure, but later couldn’t resist joining the conversation, she even held her face to watch Ji Linqiu intently.
The girl on the opposite side was more interested in Jiang Wang, and when the meal was over, she deliberately asked if he was single.
“Divorced and with a child,” Jiang Wang didn’t want to spoil their good mood, so he smiled and declined. “My child is already eight years old.”
The girls expressed their regrets and walked away, holding hands with their friends and sighing a few words.
They stayed in the provincial city for a total of four days.
During these four days, Ji Linqui was arranged for a blind date three times, either eating or drinking coffee and only had evenings free to accompany the old man.
Ji Linqiu always maintained a polite distance and was very polite to the girls.
One of them was slightly tempted but was politely avoided by him.
Jiang Wang could tell what was going on, so during the intervals of accompanying the old man in the hospital, he took Ji Linqui to the small garden in the courtyard to breathe in some fresh air
The garden was not big, at this moment, only two or three old people were being pushed in wheelchairs for a walk.
The afternoon sun fell on them, casting scattered and messy spots of light.
“What’s the matter? In a bad mood?” Jiang Wang held a cigarette and walked slowly with him, feeling that he was getting closer and closer to the truth of his previous life. “Those relatives gossip or something… it’s just for a sense of superiority.”
“They are all married and have children, so they can only compare and give a few pointers on this kind of thing.”
“But… are you deliberately avoiding girls?”
Ji Linqiu stood still under the phoenix tree,The Chinese Parasol Tree in English. looked at him for a moment, and said, “Teach me how to smoke.”
Jiang Wang did not respond positively, “It’s not a good thing, don’t learn it.” TL/N: Smoking is bad!
Ji Linqiu stared at him.
Jiang Wang sighed and handed him the cigarette that he had just taken two puffs from, so as not to waste a good thing.
“Inhale, then exhale through your nose, don’t choke.”
Ji Linqiu hesitated for two seconds, then took the cigarette and examined it closely.
“Do you mind my saliva,“ Jiang Wang didn’t bother to worry about this, as he was used to being carefree in the barracks, “Wait, I’ll give you another one.”
Ji Linqiu shook his head and took a deep dang.
The smoke choked into his lungs, his eyes became flushed by the taste of tar, coughing while covering his mouth.
His aggrieved look was quite charming.
Looked easy to bully yet still acted stubbornly.
When he coughed hard, his eyelashes got stained with tears, and the sound of his breathing sounded broken.
Jiang Wang took the cigarette back and took another puff of his own to demonstrate to him.
“Use your nasal cavity, look at me.”
Ji Linqiu looked on absently, holding the cigarette between his fingers like him, and repeating the action with a cold gaze.
The fragmented shadows of the plane tree leaves enveloped them as if providing temporary shelter.
Jiang Wang watched as his former teacher took deep breaths for the first and second time, his movements gradually becoming proficient, and the light in his eyes gradually dimmed.
He suddenly realized that Ji Linqiu was also an ordinary person.
An ordinary person like him, was also confused and irritable when dealing with family relationships.
He had always intentionally or unintentionally viewed him through a halo, and Ji Linqiu was so adept in taking care of children, sometimes giving Jiang Wang the illusion that he could handle everything well.
After the filter was broken, he felt closer, even felt a kind of mutual understanding as if meeting someone of the same kind.
Ji Linqiu finished smoking the entire cigarette Jiang Wang had given him, he put out the cigarette butt in the gravel bowl of the trash can and threw it into the bin of hazardous waste.
Jiang Wang witnessed the whole process, thinking that his teacher was really a good teacher. If it were someone else, they would have turned and left after putting out the cigarette on the tree.
As the two of them walked back, Jiang Wang asked a question.
“How do you feel?”
“I feel dizzy from rushing.” Ji Linqiu sighed. “I won’t smoke again in this lifetime.”
Jiang Wang laughed heartily.
The old man woke up on the afternoon of the day he had the surgery in the ICU, but he was very tired and spoke very little.
After he was transferred out of the ICU, Mother Ji accompanied him through the whole process step by step, while their daughter was responsible for going home to make soup and buy medicine, she took care of him diligently.
The old lady was like a meticulous housekeeper, she reported to him every detail of what happened every day.
Although Father Ji was still unable to move, he would squint his eyes and listen, then nod and shake his head vigorously.
At this time, Mother Ji would look back at Ji Linqiu with tears in her eyes.
Jiang Wang, who had not had much experience with family memories in his two lifetimes, felt his scalp tighten as he observed the situation on Ji Linqiu’s side for two or three days.
F**k, this was too suffocating.
They actually went on a blind date for the fourth time before leaving, pinching some free food before returning to the city.
This time, they sat across from a divorced woman with a four-year-old child. The child either demanded to hear stories or poked the dishes with his chopsticks the whole time. The two reluctantly smiled and quietly packed two hamburgers and some chicken wings in a bag without letting the Ji family see.
“After you go back, consider it again. We can use our connections to transfer your job to the provincial capital as soon as you want, okay?” Mother Ji changed back to the appearance of a loving mother at this time, her face full of concern. “Mom is most worried about you. We have money at home for you to get married, and we still have the dowry your sister received back then.”
“Take good care of yourself at home, cook well, sleep early on weekdays, do your work well, and don’t stay up too late. Be obedient.”
Ji Linqiu perfunctorily agreed and waved goodbye to his family.
Thank you for reading! Ko-fi? ~旦_(^O^ )
Translator: asoc1a7 ꒰˶• ༝ •˶꒱
|↑1||This term is used in Chinese culture to refer to a young man who comes from a humble or disadvantaged background but achieves significant success or wealth later in life. It is often associated with someone who has risen from the ashes like a phoenix, overcoming challenges or hardships to achieve success.|
|↑2||The Chinese Parasol Tree in English.|
|↑3||TL/N: Smoking is bad!|