Yang Chen was stunned. He never would have thought that the man who had no care for his own kin, was that loyal to his love.
Guo Xuehua gave a nonchalant smile and said, “Well before we reunited, I did have quite a strong relationship with him. I have always known that for someone with his capabilities, came a great deal of temptation. I was not always by his side over the years. For him to still be so earnest and loyal to me, is truly a wonder.
“You might not have known, but the reason that I started getting involved with charities in the first place, was to compensate my guilt for losing you. I always thought that if I did my part for the orphans, maybe the heavens would treat you, who have vanished, better. My wish was that wherever you were in this world, you would be safe and happy.
“At first your grandfather hated the idea that I spent so much of my time helping the community instead of fulfilling my duties as the sole daughter-in-law of the Yang clan. He had always believed that it was my job to stay home to take care of the elders while maintaining my family’s reputation.
“But that man never stopped defending me and the things I did despite your grandfather’s opposing view. It is him whom I should thank for helping me convince your grandfather. It has been more than 20 years since we got married; never once has he done anything that would hurt me. Other than your case, I have nothing but appreciation for that man.“
“Do you regret that?” Yang Chen lightly mentioned.
“Regret? Why should I?”
“Regret leaving your loving husband for your playboy headache of a son?” Yang Chen said jokingly.
Guo Xuehua was left speechless as she rolled her eyes on Yang Chen. She then replied, “Why would I regret that? Yang Pojun was an excellent husband, but that was as far as it went. As a father however, he had disappointed me to great lengths. I’m not just his wife, but a mother to two sons.
“Decades ago, abandoning you for the sake of the clan was a terrible decision made on my end. I gave the Yang clan two sons, and with that I no longer owed the ancestors anything. Now that I’m halfway to a hundred years old, how can I witness you slip away from me again?”
Yang Chen felt a little at ease after hearing those words. He resolved to take better care of his mother. She sacrificed her loving husband for him. How then, could he leave her alone?
But, that ‘better care’ clearly excluded his ways of dealing with relationships.
Yang Chen mumbled, “Mom, while we’re on this topic, I promise to always take good care of you. But you have to help your own son achieve lifelong happiness, don’t you? Each and every one of my women has a special place in me. We have all gone through certain events in the past which led us to finally end up together. How could I just leave them all of a sudden? Either way I’m not letting any of them go. So can you please meet with my mother-in-law?”
Guo Xuehua had loosened up a little just moments ago, but was made tense again with his request. “Yang Chen, to have so many girls love you is definitely a blessing. But we’re not in medieval times anymore. You can’t just proudly boast your hoard of women like it’s nothing! You aren’t even like some other guys that pay for their mistresses in secret. You literally go to these women and make out with them like it’s totally fine. If the news spreads, how do you think they’ll take it?
“Moreover, it would be fine if Ruoxi didn’t know about your arrangement, and I will still try my best to hide it from her. But you don’t even try to hide it yourself! She’s not blind nor is she a robot. How much more do you expect her to take?”
Yang Chen gave a bitter smile. “Mom to be honest with you, back then when we got married, we weren’t in it for the long haul. So she never cared if I had other women. Who knew that things would have happened the way they did?”
“What do you mean?” Guo Xuehua was frustrated. “What does ‘not in it for the long haul’ even mean? How exactly did you guys meet in the first place, and seeing how bright a mind Ruoxi is, why would she just marry any random guy?”
Yang Chen lightly scratched his nose in response to the awkward atmosphere. But he soon decided that Guo Xuehua should know the whole story. She was bound to find out sooner or later. He knew that his mom would keep it a secret anyway.
Hence, Yang Chen told her everything, from the part where he returned to China and started to sell mutton skewers. To the time he coincidentally bumped into Lin Ruoxi who was depressed because of her father Lin Kun. He witnessed her getting drugged and decided to rescue her, but mistook her as an escort.
Once she heard about Yang Chen mistaking Lin Ruoxi for a prostitute, and popped her cherry, Guo Xuehua was so shocked her mouth sprang wide open to the point where it could fit an entire egg!
At the very end, Guo Xuehua had no clue how to react. She swung her hands around and started smacking Yang Chen in the torso. Agitated, she replied, “What is wrong with you? What is up with your assumptions? What terrible judgement! Have you seen a prostitute that needed her drink to be drugged? If she worked the field, why would she need to be drugged? Not to mention you actually thought a girl like Ruoxi was a prostitute in the first place!”
Yang Chen reached to the back of his head as he recalled that moment. Back then, it was really because he was horny that he accepted Lin Ruoxi’s identity.
Through the flashbacks it led to his eventual discovery that, compared to Zhang Hu and his gang back then, he wasn’t too different from them after all!
“Now that it has been made clear to me, turns out your wife was ‘stolen’ by you little jerk!” Guo Xuehua pointed her finger right at Yang Chen’s head. “That story would explain why a nice girl like Ruoxi would even consider marrying a good-for-nothing brat like you!”
Yang Chen somehow still managed a chuckle. “I did take responsibility didn’t I? Are we not married now? Besides, I’ve gotten back on track haven’t I?”
“This is what you meant by getting back on track? Your rooms are separated! When will my wish for a grandchild ever come true?” Guo Xuehua was furious.
Yang Chen replied, “Mom, matters like these cannot be rushed. I’m always ready, but Ruoxi said she wouldn’t move to my room unless I break up with the other girls. Isn’t she basically asking for my death?”
“And what exactly is wrong about that? She’s helping you correct your wrongdoings,” Guo Xuehua taunted.
Yang Chen clenched his teeth. “Mom, why do you keep defending Lin Ruoxi? If I had a few more women wouldn’t that increase the chances of you having a grandchild? Besides, the Ruoxi that you see these past few days is not the real her. How often do you see a workaholic become a family woman this quick? She’s obviously trying to get Wang Ma and you on her side against me!”
Yang Chen upon making his point felt extremely uneasy to stab Lin Ruoxi on the back like that. But he found himself in a situation where he had no other choice.
However, Guo Xuehua instead replied with sounds of laughter. “Hah! Oh my son, you really think the both of us didn’t know all this while?”
“What?” Yang Chen was caught by the unprecedented response.
Guo Xuehua sighed as she shook her head. “I have been Ruoxi’s mother-in-law for a while now, but first and foremost, I am a woman too. Of course I know her better than you do. These few days when she suddenly became so obedient and so lovable, did you really think I failed to notice? I was even discussing it with Yulan.”
[TL note: Yulan is Wang Ma’s real name.]
Only then was Yang Chen clear, that Guo Xuehua knew the act by Lin Ruoxi all along. Puzzled, he asked, “Then why did you still…”
“Because, even if Ruoxi was putting up an act, her intentions were genuine. She actually does care for us while she works hard to fight for the things she wants.” Smiling, Guo Xuehua continued, “Since everyone was happier that way, there really wasn’t a reason for us to expose her was there?”
Yang Chen went silent for a long while, looking downcast. “Wow. While you guys were all enjoying, I’ve had my backed pushed up against a cliff. ”
Guo Xuehua, with a broad smile on her face, said, “I can’t help you with that. All I wanted was for the people in this house to be happy and healthy. If you really want to maintain things the way they were, convince Ruoxi to accept your choices. Just don’t turn this household into a mess.”
Guo Xuehua had already loosened her restrictions towards Yang Chen in an effort not to stand between him and his relationships. After all Yang Chen was not his husband, she need not fear that his son had multiple women. Moreover, she was not brought up in a common household—polygamy was not uncommon to her.
Yang Chen contemplated for a while and then replied, “I cannot predict what the future may hold. But as of right now, I have to fulfil a promise that I made to myself—to keep the people around me happy. As of right now, that mother-in-law of mine is waiting to meet you. Can you please meet up with her as a favor? I need you to do this to keep her happy. With your social skills, I’m sure you are more than capable.”
This time, he even tried to get on Guo Xuehua’s good side.
Guo Xuehua chuckled as she shook her head, frustrated with the pointless arguments that she had with her son. “Alright fine, since things are progressing the way they are, why don’t you pick a date and venue. Oh right, what’s her mother’s last name?”
Yang Chen, filled with glee, happily replied, “I knew that you would have my back. My mother-in-law’s surname is Ma and she’s a rather frugal person. You two should hit it off quite well.”
“This isn’t about whether we can keep a conversation. It’s about her immediate resentment against you once she finds out about your situation,” Guo Xuehua said while silently contemplating her decision.
Yang Chen knew that these matters had to be dealt with sooner or later. All he could do was face it head on. So once again, he decided not to overthink. He had faith that there was always a solution for everything.
Yang Chen was in a great mood now that he settled the problem of getting both in-laws to meet each other and was on his way to make Guo Xuehua some tea to express his gratitude. But right when he was about to go into the kitchen to prepare the tea, Wang Ma who went out to shop for groceries came back with Lin Ruoxi.