UGH what is it with Asian mother-in-laws? Maybe it’s all mother-in-laws…but I wouldn’t have experience there xD
Original and most updated translations are from MerakiTranslations.
Chapter 53.1 I want to marry her, and live with her for a lifetime.
Autumn in Beijing. The skies were a lofty blue, the sunlight was warm. It was indeed a rare, pleasant season in the middle of the year.
When Xu Xu and Ji Bai disembarked from the airplane, there were already a few cars waiting on the parking apron from the Ji family and from Grandfather. There were even Shu Hang and a few others, grinning surreptitiously, standing by the side of their cars.
This scene caused Xu Xu to look thoughtfully at Ji Bai – he was always rather low-key. If he had arranged for such a big crowd to be present**, naturally, he must have done this deliberately.
- **兴师动众 move troops and stir up people – draw in many people (to do something))
She listened to him making arrangements.
Ji Bai was wearing a black windcheater which she had bought him. The neat tailoring and clean colour set off his tall and slender frame, highlighting his handsome appearance and cool demeanour. As if he could read Xu Xu’s mind, he held her hand tightly without saying a word, and laughingly walked towards the crowd.
After Shu Hang and the others had hugged Ji Bai, they looked at Xu Xu and deliberately made a big show of bowing and scraping before her: “Sister-in-law! You’re here! The imperial capital is graced by your presence!**” “Since you’ve come, don’t go back, we will all miss you if you do!”
- **蓬荜生辉 – your presence brings light to my humble dwelling)
Xu Xu did not know how to respond to these glib-tongued rascals, and was only able to smile bashfully. Ji Bai put his arm around her waist and knocked on the roof of Shu Hang’s car: “We are going to visit Grandfather first. After a couple of two days we’ll arrange a get-together with you.”
“Ok. Sister-in-law, whatever you want to eat or do, make a list, your brothers here will defy all difficulties and dangers to comply**- we will even pluck the stars from the heavens for you . . .”
- **赴汤蹈火 – go through fire and water; 在所不辞 – will not refuse under any circumstances)
Xu Xu could not help but laugh, and Ji Bai also burst into laughter: “It’s not your privilege to pluck the stars for her. Let’s go!”
The car sped along the highway, and very quickly arrived at Grandfather’s house.
The house was located in a quiet compound in the city centre. Phoenix trees screened off the interior, and the winding corridors were profoundly calm. Holding Xu Xu’s hand, Ji Bai strode into the compound with their gifts. The security officers and housemaids were acquaintances of many years’ standing, and they all laughed when they saw him: “Ji Bai has come home? Is this your girlfriend?”
Ji Bai smiled slightly as he nodded, and introduced Xu Xu to each person, before asking: “Where’s Grandfather?”
“The commander woke up from his afternoon nap and is sunning himself in the back garden. He’s been waiting for you for a long time.”
Xu Xu accompanied Ji Bai into the back garden, and saw an elderly man sitting in a chair under a tree with his entire body bathed in sunlight. He was wearing a very ordinary blue shirt, loose cotton pants, and he looked very tranquil and benevolent.
Ji Bai walked over, bent down and said softly: “Grandfather, I’ve brought Xu Xu home to meet you.”
When the old man saw him, he was overjoyed: “It’s great that you’re home . . .” He slowly lifted his head to look at Xu Xu.
Xu Xu also observed him. He was at least 80 years old, but his figure was as tall and sturdy as Ji Bai’s. His face was lined with wrinkles, but she could still see traces of the handsome and bright visage that was so similar to Ji Bai’s. This warmed Xu Xu’s heart, and she quietly thought: When Ji Bai gets old he will also look like this, and it’s still very attractive.
Ji Bai turned to look at Xu Xu: “Come and greet Grandfather.”
Xu Xu: “Greetings, Grandfather.”
Grandfather nodded warmly, and asked Xu Xu about her age, education, and family background. When he heard that her father was a professor, he told Ji Bai: “A scholarly family. The next time your eldest brother visits Lin City, ask him to represent me to call on the family to pay my respects. We must not be lacking in courtesy.” Upon witnessing Grandfather’s attitude, Ji Bai felt at ease, and nodded with a smile on his face. Xu Xu’s mood also slowly lifted.
After a while, Grandfather asked smilingly: “Little lady, what is it about our family’s 3rd son that attracts you?”
Xu Xu pondered briefly, then replied: “Everything.”
Ji Bai, at the side, laughed. Grandfather was taken aback for a moment before laughing as well.
Xu Xu had spoken straight from her heart. On seeing the two laughing, she explained further: “I most like his unswerving determination, his open-mindedness and calm demeanour. He is not swayed by popular opinion, and in every situation he is able to maintain his true self. He is a person of noble character, and his morals are exemplary. In my heart, he is an extremely suitable life partner.
On leaving Grandfather’s house, Ji Bai’s mood was excellent. As he hugged Xu Xu’s shoulders and looked out at the twilight descending on the sprawling city of Beijing, he felt both calm and satisfied.
This was Xu Xu’s first meeting with the head of his family. Although she could feel her heart dropping, she still could not help but ask: “Your grandfather . . . he had a good impression of me?”
As Ji Bai looked at her, the private conversation he’d just had with Grandfather was floating around in his mind.
Grandfather and grandson had not seen each other for many days, and thus had many important issues to talk about. Xu Xu naturally understood this, so, after a while, she excused herself to rest in the front hall.
After some brief conversation, talk turned to Xu Xu. Grandfather, with a kindly expression in his eyes, said: “Xu Xu is a good girl. I’m very happy that you’ve brought her home, and my heart is at ease.”
Then, Ji Bai knelt down, grasped Grandfather’s hand, and said softly: “Grandfather, I want to marry her, and live with her for a lifetime. In future, we will give you clever and adorable great-grandchildren, you will definitely love it.”
After remembering this, Ji Bai bent his head to kiss her. The driver and security officers were in front of them, so Xu Xu was a little stiff, and wanted to avoid making a fuss so that she didn’t draw attention to herself. Thus, she could only allow him to repeatedly ravage her red lips.
Ji Bai kissed her until her face was crimson, then laughingly said to her: “As to whether he has a good impression of you, when you feel the weight of the red packet** he gives you, won’t you know what he thinks of you?”
- **Note: it is a Chinese custom to give red envelopes (for luck) of money to the wedding couple)
Ji Bai’s father had been a businessman, thus the family home was not located within the military district, but was a villa in the western suburb of Xiangshan (about 17 miles NE of Beijing City). When they arrived, it was already completely dark. The distant mountains were hazy and still, while the lights of the villa shone like gems against the forest surroundings.
When Ji Bai and Xu Xu walked into the living room, they noticed many people sitting on the sofa. Upon sensing their arrival, some looked up at them, while others got up to welcome them.
Xu Xu had studied the Ji family photo, and was able to recognize everyone at a glance.
The first to stand up had been the second Ji son and his wife. They had kind and pleasant faces, and a boy, who was about 7 or 8 years old, stood by their side. All three were examining Xu Xu with curiosity.
The person slowly getting up was the eldest Ji brother. He looked even tougher than Ji Bai. Although his expression seemed indifferent, his eyes were warm. At his side, his wife (the eldest sister-in-law) also stood up with him, and courteously smiled at Xu Xu.
Sitting right in the middle were, of course, Ji Bai’s parents. Mr Ji was tall, and smiled in a refined manner while nodding at Xu Xu. Mrs Ji wore a deep blue skirt-suit, accessorised with diamond earrings and a necklace. Her face was excellently maintained, and her makeup was minimal. Her eyes skimmed past Xu Xu with a faint smile.
Ji Bai’s mood was also good. He held Xu Xu’s hand, and introduced her to them one by one. After greetings had been made, they all sat down to dinner.
The meal basically went smoothly.
Father and sons had not met for some time. Once the wine was flowing, even the more introverted eldest brother started to talk more. Everyone asked Xu Xu questions occasionally, and she answered them one by one, steadily and calmly;, knowing when to say more, and when to be more discreet atmosphere was really quite good.
- **进退有度 – estimating when to advance and when to retreat).
The only person who said very little was Mrs Ji. She only occasionally interjected a word or two with a smile, and did not ask Xu Xu any questions at all.
Time sped by, and it was almost 10 p.m., but the men’s desire to drink and converse was still strong. Eldest and second sister-in-law said pleasantly that they were unable to carry on, and retired to the guest rooms to sleep. When Ji Bai heard them, he put down his wineglass and grasped Xu Xu’s hand: “We will drink for a while longer. Why don’t you go to sleep first?”
Xu Xu nodded. Ji Bai asked his mother: “Mom, have you arranged for Xu Xu’s room?”
His mother replied lightly: “The arrangements have been made.” She called a maid over: “You take her there. Has everything been prepared in the room?” The maid answered affirmatively.
Xu Xu stood up, and happened to meet Mrs Ji’s eyes. She immediately smiled gratefully, but Mrs Ji calmly looked away.
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