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During lunch, Yang Chen noticed that the large soup bowl, which he usually used, wasn’t taken out. Since he had an insatiable appetite, he loved to gulp down large amounts of foods at a time. As a result, he had Wang Ma prepare an extra large soup bowl to accommodate for his eating style.
Wang Ma noticed that Yang Chen was looking for the bowl. Smiling, she said, “Young Master, Madam Guo said you weren’t allowed to use the soup bowl to eat anymore.”
“Ah? Why?” Yang Chen looked at Guo Xuehua. Isn’t my mother restricting too much of me?
Guo Xuehua coughed to clear her throat. “Although we’re at home, you still shouldn’t eat so fast, your food isn’t going to be snatched away, nor will it disappear. Also, you cause such a huge commotion every time you eat. I know that you have been accustomed to eating this way, but the girls Ruoxi and Hui Lin feel distressed watching you eat like an insane man . They didn’t voice it out back then because they tolerated your behavior. You should consider how they feel as well.”
Yang Chen smiled bitterly. He asked Hui Lin, “Hui Lin, be honest with me. Does the way I eat affect your appetite?”
Hui Lin was an honest girl, so she wouldn’t lie. Having stammered for a while, she said softly, “Actually, it isn’t a very big problem. When I looked at Brother Yang eat, I still consider the meal was delicious… but… but before I have even started to eat, I’d get full just by looking at how you ate…”
Yang Chen instantly got embarrassed. He really didn’t know he gave off such an impression. He then looked at Lin Ruoxi, only to find a don’t-ask-me expression. It didn’t take him long to realize his eating behavior was indeed inappropriate.
“Then… what about a slightly larger bowl? This bowl is overly small. This can only hold a few mouthfuls of rice,” Yang Chen said gloomily to Guo Xuehua as he held the palm-sized bowl.
Guo Xuehua shook her head resolutely. With a serious tone, she said, “Nope, you can refill the rice if you need more. Everyone’s using this type of bowl to have their meals. Although you’re the only man at home, you are not an exception.”
“Young Master, I’ll just help you refill your rice when you finish. The worst that can happen is to fill up a few more times,” Wang Ma said with a smile.
“Wang Ma, don’t make him get used to your pampering. How can he make an elder serve him during his meals?” Guo Xuehua immediately stopped Wang Ma from doing so.
Yang Chen finally understood the situation. He didn’t fetch a mother home, but hired a ‘disciplinary teacher’ instead to ‘correct’ his ways.
Although it wasn’t too much of a bother, he still wasn’t used to a lot of things. Finally, he pouted and used the small bowl to eat together with the others.
Guo Xuehua was glad to see that Yang Chen stopped talking about bowls. She smiled when she saw Yang Chen eat uncomfortably before pinching some vegetables for Yang Chen with her chopsticks. Looking at him warmly, Guo Xuehua said, “Have more vegetables during the winter. Your stomach and skin will benefit from it. Don’t just stick to eating meat. Although you’re not fat, you still need to make sure that your diet is balanced.”
Yang Chen nodded. Although he was eating some delicious food prepared by the four, it tasted tasteless to him. He was too focused in his thoughts. Having lived for more than twenty years independently, no one had taught him stuff like what a ‘balanced diet’ is.
Unconsciously, Yang Chen felt a bit upset but satisfied at the same time.
Lin Ruoxi felt envious when she witnessed the little actions between Yang Chen and his mother. Although he hadn’t had parents by his side in the past, Guo Xuehua who was determined to make up for her absence in the past, appeared. On the other hand, although Lin Ruoxi was loved by her grandmother when she was young, she was very lonely.
At this moment, Guo Xuehua pinched some vegetables again, but put them into Lin Ruoxi’s bowl. She gave Lin Ruoxi a warm gaze with a slight smile at the corners of her lips.
“This is what I have to do. If I want to treat my son well, I very well can’t overlook my daughter-in-law,” Guo Xuehua said in a half-joking manner.
Wang Ma and Hui Lin both nodded, as if they fully agreed with Guo Xuehua, while Lin Ruoxi’s face and ears reddened so much that she wanted to look for a hole to hide in.
Why does she always seem to know what I’m thinking about?
Yang Chen very much enjoyed to see Lin Ruoxi’s current shy behavior. Since his mother came, Lin Ruoxi seemed to be a lot more emotional. He didn’t know if this was a tactic used to get on the good side of her mother-in-law, or she truly enjoyed interacting with Guo Xuehua. Either way, it was a good thing that Lin Ruoxi became more empathetic.
After the meal, under the supervision of Guo Xuehua, Yang Chen helped to carry the plates back into the kitchen. Fortunately, Guo Xuehua was reluctant to make him wash the dishes. As a result, Yang Chen managed to survive the tragedy.
Since it was almost Lunar New Year’s Eve, they felt that it was time for some shopping to celebrate the coming of a new year.
Although the well-off family didn’t lack foods, drinks, or any necessities, certain things still had to be bought.
For example, fireworks.
In the past, since the old CEO passed away, Lin Ruoxi and Wang Ma were the only ones at home, so they didn’t care much about festivals. However, not only did Lin Ruoxi get married this year, she even got a sister Hui Lin and mother-in-law Guo Xuehua. Naturally, they had to properly celebrate the festival.
Thus after dinner, Yang Chen being the only man, was sent out to buy fireworks. However, Guo Xuehua was afraid that Yang Chen was too reckless in his decisions that he would not choose the fireworks correctly, so she let Hui Lin who had high expectations to go with him.
Lin Ruoxi felt emotional as she watched Yang Chen driving away together with Hui Lin.
Around this time last year, the house was quiet and lonely. Only Wang Ma and I were here. No matter how rich I was, I never seemed to be able to fill the loneliness in my heart. However, after a year, I finally managed to feel such enrichment and warmth, Lin Ruoxi thought.
Everything has changed since that guy’s arrival… As Lin Ruoxi was immersed in her thoughts, a smile involuntarily surfaced on her lips.
“Ruoxi, what are you smiling for?” Guo Xuehua asked as she gave Lin Ruoxi a mischievous gaze. Lin Ruoxi didn’t know how long she had been standing there.
Lin Ruoxi got frightened. She turned around to finally identify who the person speaking was, before patting on her chest. Pouting, she said, “Aunt Guo, you scared me.”
“Why would I frighten you? If anything bad happens to you, the baby I finally managed to retrieve may dump me away,” Guo Xuehua said sadly.
Lin Ruoxi knew that she was teased again, so she acted like she heard nothing.
Guo Xuehua felt that her daughter-in-law sometimes really wasn’t bothered to entertain her, but she got slightly better when she thought of the usual coldness Lin Ruoxi gave Yang Chen.
Sighing, Guo Xuehua asked, “Ruoxi, are you free now?”
“Yeah, I don’t have much to do these days during the new year,” Lin Ruoxi said.
“Then come upstairs with me. I want to show you something,” Guo Xuehua said.
Lin Ruoxi didn’t ask what Guo Xuehua wanted to show her. She obediently followed her upstairs and entered Guo Xuehua’s room.
Guo Xuehua’s room was specially arranged by Wang Ma. The bed and other furnitures had always been complete. Lin Ruoxi had more money than she could possibly spend, so even the usually empty rooms had all the furnitures a person would require, making it easy for guests to stay over.
Guo Xuehua walked towards the bedside table and bent down to lift a small, handmade bamboo basket before taking it for Lin Ruoxi.
“This is…” Lin Ruoxi blinked her eyes. She didn’t expect to be shown such a thing.
“They’re knitting tools,” Guo Xuehua said with a smile. Pulling Lin Ruoxi with one hand, she walked towards her bedside and took out a half-complete, light grey scarf from the basket. As she touched the cashmere, she said in satisfaction, “This is the scarf I planned to make for Yang Chen. Unfortunately, I only know how to make simple ones. My skills are rusty as it is. I asked Wang Ma to get these for me. Yang Chen doesn’t wear many layers of clothing in cold weathers, so I thought of doing this for him. Although I know that he’s different from ordinary people and shouldn’t be afraid of low temperatures, I just can’t hold myself back from making him a scarf. It isn’t for him to keep himself warm, but act as an undeserving redemption for myself perhaps…”
Lin Ruoxi quietly listened to Guo Xuehua’s speech. She took a look at the remaining large amount of wool, then at the half-complete scarf. She must have been working under the cover of the night for the past three days, Lin Ruoxi thought.
“Ruoxi, after I finish making this scarf, can you promise me to deliver it to Yang Chen and put it on for him?”
Lin Ruoxi was stunned by Guo Xuehua’s sudden request. She didn’t understand what it was for.
“Don’t feel strange about it. Just say that you made it yourself,” Guo Xuehua said with a smile.
“But, this isn’t m—”
“He won’t believe you.” Guo Xuehua couldn’t help but to shake her head. “Foolish Child, trust me, Yang Chen certainly wouldn’t believe that you made it. He’ll know that I’m the one who made it instead. However, it’d be easier for him to accept it if I passed it to him through you. Also, I too hope that you can wrap this scarf on his neck as Yang Chen’s wife.”
Confusion flooded Lin Ruoxi’s eyes. She then managed to slowly understand what message Guo Xuehua was trying convey. Not only did Guo Xuahua want Yang Chen to know how much she loved her, she only wanted to tell Lin Ruoxi that she was merely Yang Chen’s mother, the one who would walk with him to the ends of time was his wife.
Her good intentions didn’t have to be spoken explicitly to be understood.
“Ruoxi, although I don’t know why, I know that there exists a small gap between you and Yang Chen. I won’t force you to accept everything about him. In my eyes, he’s my son, while you’re Zijing’s daughter. To me, you’re both just like my children. I won’t act as an unreasonable mother-in-law and push you into doing various things, but I hope you can accept this small request of mine.”
Lin Ruoxi had long been convinced. Thus, she nodded her head in agreement.
Guo Xuehua let out a smile. “You’re such an obedient child. Do you want to learn some needlework? Although I only know some of the basics, it’s more than enough to get by.”
“Can… I learn it as well?” Lin Ruoxi suddenly felt moved. At the end of the day, she was still a young lady, and was the kind with a traditional mindset. She hadn’t had a chance to interact with embroidery back then. When Guo Xuehua suddenly offered to teach, she was immensely interested.
“Of course, you may make a vest for him next year once you know how to do it,” Guo Xuehua advised.
Lin Ruoxi pouted as she thought, There’s no way I’m knitting clothes for that bad guy… But soon, she got impatient and asked, “What… what do I do first?”