Chapter 368: A ravenous den of relatives
The Xiang family was under attack from all sides.
The first time this happened was at night. Eldest uncle’s family and that ‘wondrous’ cousin of theirs claimed that they had specially come over to extend their congratulations. Yet, they seemed to have forgotten what they had set out to do before even having begun as time and time again, they either hinted at or openly requested for the Xiang family to help them to inquire about their acquisition of flats, which they hoped they would be able to receive a discount for.
Mr and Mrs Xiang were left totally befuddled by this. Unable to openly express their frustration, they could only explain time and time again that they really did not possess any such connections and methods and therefore could not be of help. The only person they were acquainted with regarding Zhicheng was that young lady from the sales building, Lin Yixian.
How would that trio of adults believe it? Despite not going into further detail regarding the matter, they simply refused to give up throughout.
This was how it had always been since ancient times. Amongst relatives, those who believed they were not receiving what they should logically be entitled to easily expressed their dissatisfaction.
The next day, many people came. Beside the trio from the previous night who visited again, even the families of Xiang Ning’s eldest aunt and second aunt were persuaded to come. They even brought all their kids with them. Even Xiang Ning’s Grandma came, though the old woman did not get involved in anything at all as she simply watched television and chatted with her.
Even so, the pressure on Mr and Mrs Xiang was still great.
Little Xiang Ning felt even more ticked off by this. As someone who was true to her emotions, unable to stand it any longer, she eventually found a chance and went back to her room to call Xu Tingsheng.
“My family’s attacked by relatives on all sides…” Xiang Ning complained vexedly.
“…Why is that so?” Xu Tingsheng asked curiously.
“What else if not for you!” Xiang Ning retorted.
“Huh? They know that it was me? Have your parents found out?” Xu Tingsheng felt frantic.
“Well, no. But even though they haven’t mentioned you, they all still believe that my family has some connections. Why would that be if not for you? Others might not know, but I do.”
Xiang Ning smiled, next relaying everything that her relatives had said, both overtly and covertly, to Xu Tingsheng.
Xu Tingsheng felt a headache coming on. This was Ning Garden, not the ‘Shi Family Village’…
Moreover, Little Xiang Ning had complained about the words and ways of some of these relatives to him before…
And to ask for a discount-wasn’t this a blatant rip-off? It was daylight robbery! Any ten percent or fifty percent discount or whatever would already mean tens of thousands of yuan…
Also, there was only a limited number of flats in Ning Garden’s first phase. While those of the Black Horse Club had resisted the pressure and refused quite a number of people who had connections with them, as a member of society, giving others face and promising them perks was sometimes really an inevitable, unavoidable thing. Therefore, quite a few of Ning Garden’s flats had already been internally reserved by now…
There was no way that they could let the sales of their flats end up being totally replaced by internal reservations, right?
If such were really to happen, Zhicheng would be drowned by a sea of saliva in Yanzhou.
But what was to be done then?
Xu Tingsheng was caught in an inner struggle for a while before he finally mused, “There’s definitely no way to satisfy all those relatives, because there would be no end to them wanting more then. Human beings are insatiable creatures. How about we try to think of something for a few relatives of yours that you feel are better while keeping it from your Mum and Dad?”
Because of this phone call of Little Xiang Ning’s, Xu Tingsheng had already completely discarded all his principles.
But who knew that Little Xiang Ning would immediately object vehemently, “No way! That’s not okay at all.”
“…Why not?” Xu Tingsheng thought there was some factor he had not taken into consideration.
“This is all our money! I don’t want to waste it like that,” This was what Little Xiang Ning said in the end.
“That’s right! You said that you’re selling the flats to earn other people’s money and upkeep me. Have you forgotten?”
“…No, I haven’t.”
“Isn’t that right then?!”
“Also, we, we’ll have kids to raise in the future,” Little Xiang Ning said somewhat awkwardly.
“Student Xiang…” Xu Tingsheng feigned a stern tone as he held back the urge to smile.
“You’re only sixteen! Have you no inhibitions?” Xu Tingsheng smiled.
“You…” A bashful Little Xiang Ning exclaimed furiously, thoughts flashing through her mind at lightning speed as she then immediately put a smile on her face and asked slyly, “Oh, so you were aware of that?”
“Huh? I’m aware of…what?”
“You…why don’t you go ask that great big liar, Xu Tingsheng! The year before last, I should only have been fourteen! I think you can go ask Xu Tingsheng’s parents, too. When I was just fifteen, they apparently already wanted to take me back home as their daughter-in-law…” Little Xiang Ning was chortling throughout as her tone was both triumphant and threatening.
“And that dirty ruffian Xu Tingsheng is also in a student-teacher relationship…”
“Anything else you want to say?”
While Little Xiang Ning had successfully defeated Uncle, Mr and Mrs Xiang were unable to obtain victory over all those relatives. It took a whole lot of effort which included both lunch and dinner as well as an entire day’s worth of work before they finally succeeded in temporarily sending them away.
The two sat down, feeling exhausted in both body and soul.
“What do you think is up with them this time? Why won’t they just believe it no matter what we say? …Also, they have been going and and on about it without giving any reason or basis at all…” Mrs Xiang complained with a helpless expression on her face.
“It’s probably because we won that prize. Because of that, they believe that we definitely have connections of some sort…then, there’s Li Meng’s mother and the wife of Little Ning’s eldest uncle. They’ve constantly been stoking things up from behind the scenes…” Mr Xiang said rather furiously.
“Actually…” Mr Xiang stopped before saying anything else.
“But didn’t you say that you asked about this before? The boss of that company is surnamed Fang. It’s really totally unrelated to Tingsheng…” Mrs Xiang’s words showed that she too had actually long since thought of what Mr Xiang was thinking as well yet dared not voice out loud.
“But that’s not what they think…” Mr Xiang said helplessly.
“What do you think we should do then?”
“Promise not to be angry if I say it out.”
“Just say it first.”
“I originally told Tingsheng that we’d invite him for a meal after Little Ning’s results came out…”
“…It just so happens that our family has been blessed with double happiness. We’ve definitely got to invite our relatives and friends for a meal. I think that we might as well call Tingsheng and that Miss Li over when the time comes.”
“If Tingsheng is present on that day, with how that cousin and eldest sister-in-law of yours are, they’ll definitely gather around him and ask about it on their own. Then, with the words having come out of Tingsheng’s own mouth, they’ll probably have no way of bothering us anymore whether they believe him or not.”
“Will that work? Aren’t you afraid of even more things being said?”
“It should. Since that’s what they all believe and we’ve got to do something about this, let’s just call him over in an upright, aboveboard manner then. That could shut some of them up instead.”
“Let me think about it,” Mrs Xiang whose attitude had already changed quite a bit over the past few days following the matter of the Fuxi bones hesitated for a while before saying, “That’s fine then. You can notify him when we’ve decided on the timing. I just don’t know if he’d still be willing to come…actually, I feel I was pretty harsh with him before…it’s been tough on the boy…”
“He’ll come for sure,” Mr Xiang smiled.
Little Xiang Ning joyfully snuck back into her room from the stairwell, covering her mouth as she dared not let out any noise. Still, she was smiling happily as she sent Xu Tingsheng a text: Mum and Dad want to invite you over to our house for a meal…”