Chapter 731: Meeting Wu Zeqing's family
Translator: Legge Editor: - -
The next day.
With his next program still undetermined, Zhang Ye went ahead with his vacation.
After breakfast, Zhang Ye was in a very happy mood. He hummed a tune that sounded like a Jingyun Dagu or a verse from an introductory poem that no one could really make out. Inside his bedroom, he pretentiously set up a desk and placed the Four Treasures of the Study on it. It was rare of him to be in the mood to practice calligraphy. Although his house was not big and did not have much space, he could still make do with it. Since it was only for practice, it did not matter how big the space was as long as there was a brush, paper, and ink. [1.] [2.]
He picked up a brush and dipped it in the ink.
Then he smoothly wrote out the song he was humming.
"Storytelling, acting to persuade people."
"Walking the middle of three roads."
"What goes around comes around."
As he sang, his mother knocked on the door from the hallway. "Don't sing anymore, you're too noisy!"
Zhang Ye snorted, "What so noisy about it? This is art."
His father also said something at this moment. "Chenchen wants to go out."
"What does she want to go out for? Just let her stay home and watch television," Zhang Ye said.
The door opened and Chenchen walked in. "Zhang Ye, I want to go play with my classmates. I've already arranged to meet up with them."
Zhang Ye smacked his lips disapprovingly. "It's such a mess out there. I don't want you running around outside."
Chenchen was not having any of it. "Zhang Ye, send me there."
His mother said, "Chenchen is going to her classmate's house. A few of her classmates have arranged to have lunch at Mengmeng's house. The place is not far away, so send Chenchen over, and pick her up in the afternoon."
Zhang Ye exclaimed, "I'm busy right now."
His mother stared at him and said, "What are you busy with?"
"I'm dabbling in the arts," Zhang Ye said confidently.
Chenchen came over and looked at the calligraphy on the Xuan paper, then let out a contemptuous "hur hur."
His mother seethed. "You call writing some crappy words dabbling in the arts? Then if I steam some buns, can I call it scientific research!? Stop talking nonsense. Hurry up and send the child there. Her classmates are waiting for her. I just got off the phone with Mengmeng's mother and she informed me that they are already preparing lunch."
Zhang Ye said helplessly, "Alright, I understand." After that, he looked at Chenchen and groaned, "You only know how to cause trouble for me. Old Rao is too much. She said she would return in a month at most, but it's already been three months and there's still no news of her. This bro is going to become a professional nanny soon. Let's go then, Little Grandaunt."
He put on his sunglasses and a face mask. Zhang Ye held Chenchen's hand and led her downstairs. As Mengmeng's house was not situated too far, as it was on Zixin Road, he decided to not drive and just walked with Chenchen straight to Mengmeng's house.
Today's weather was not bad. The weather was cooling and there were clear skies above them. It was quite rare to see clear blue skies in Beijing these days, so it was also a good chance to take a stroll and enjoy themselves.
They reached their destination. It was an apartment complex that still hadn't been torn down, and was located inside an alleyway.
"Chenchen is here!"
"Ah, and Uncle Zhang!"
"Hello, Uncle Zhang."
Her young friends all ran out to greet them.
Zhang Ye smiled and said, "Hello, everyone."
Zhang Ye had met these children before during the school's parent-teacher meetings. They were in the same class. There were four children, two boys and two girls. However, he was unable to call them by name.
Mengmeng's parents also came outside.
"Yo, Teacher Zhang is here?"
"Teacher Zhang, quick, come into the house quickly and have a seat!"
Mengmeng's parents were very friendly and rather polite.
Zhang Ye quickly gestured with his hands. "There's no need for that. Let the children play by themselves. I've got to go. Chenchen is a naughty girl, so if anything happens, please be tolerant of her. Sorry for giving you additional trouble."
Mengmeng's mother laughed and said, "It's no trouble at all. Chenchen has always been Mengmeng's closest friend."
Mengmeng's father said, "Since The Voice has finished broadcasting, we don't know what other shows there are to watch anymore. Is your new program starting production yet?"
"It should be soon," Zhang Ye said.
He made small talk for a long time.
Chenchen pulled on Zhang Ye's sleeves impatiently and said, "Zhang Ye, you can go now."
Zhang Ye said in a speechless manner, "Whoa, you're chasing me away now?"
Everyone was tickled.
"Alright, I'll come back and pick you up later." Zhang Ye reminded Chenchen again to be obedient and not to cause any trouble. Then he left and strolled east. Actually, he was very worried about Chenchen, even though he always deriding her by picking at her faults. However, when the moment the kid got out of his sight, Zhang Ye could not quite get used to it and was always afraid that she would cause trouble or something bad would happen. He was worried because this little one was very different from the kids her age in that she should not be assessed by thinking of her as a child.
He walked and walked.
He had nearly reached Taoran Pavilion Garden's North Gate. It was just ahead.
Just as he was thinking about whether he should go to the park to enjoy the view of the lake, he spotted in his peripheral vision a BMW 7 Series parked on the opposite side of the road. It looked very familiar. As this color of BMW 7 Series cars were not commonly seen around the area, coupled with the fact that Old Wu also lived nearby, Zhang Ye immediately walked closer to take a look at the license plate. Heh, so it really was Wu Zeqing's car! What a coincidence! And so he crossed the road and stood beside the car, looking around and waiting.
About five minutes later.
Wu Zeqing's figure appeared from a market in the wide but dark alleyway, carrying large and small bags of stuff and walking in the direction of the BMW.
Zhang Ye waved at her. "Old Wu!"
Wu Zeqing looked up with a smile and said, "What are you doing here?"
"I was just taking a stroll when I saw your car." Zhang Ye pointed at the BMW. "You came to buy some food? Isn't there a Wumart Store on Taiping Street?"
Old Wu said, "That place is a bit more expensive."
"You're not working today?"
"I have a half-day and need to go to the office in the afternoon. Are you on break too?"
"Yes, the entire program team is on break for two days." Zhang Ye glanced at the things she was carrying and asked, "You bought so much stuff? You have visitors at your house?"
"My relatives came to visit me." Old Wu placed the bags into the car and invited, "Do you want to come over to my place?"
Zhang Ye said nervously, "Aren't your relatives at your house? How can I go there?"
Old Wu smiled. "What about it? It's not like there's a conflict of interest there. Let's go."
Zhang Ye hesitated. "About that, I don't think it's appropriate? Our relationship is still under wraps, so I'm thinking when the occasion is right, we could officially..."
Old Wu smiled and looked at him. "Are you afraid of going?"
When he heard this, Zhang Ye let out an uncontrolled laugh. He was a person who could not take provocation lightly and immediately got ruffled. He threw his head forward, cupping his ears as if he did not hear her clearly. "Eh, what did you just say? I seem to have heard you say that I was 'afraid'? Afraid of going? Me? Afraid of going? Aiyo! Old Wu, why are you so funny? Me? Afraid of going? I have nothing to be afraid of! Isn't that a huge joke! Aiyo, this temper of mine, hurry up! Get in the car! I must definitely go to your house today! Let's go! Start driving!" He got into the BMW and sat in the passenger seat.
Old Wu: "..."
Several pedestrians who were nearby also looked over, wondering to themselves what had gotten into the person wearing a face mask.
Old Wu drove the car off. They reached Old Wu's house within three minutes.
When the car was parked, Zhang Ye coughed and immediately lost all his energy. "Do I really have to go in?"
Old Wu smiled and said, "Yeah."
"Your relatives are all here?"
"No, only my elder sister is here."
"Hai, you should have told me earlier!"
After getting out of the car, Zhang Ye straightened his back. He was not terrified of seeing Old Wu's elder sister, more worried that he would have to see her parents. If her entire family and relatives were all here, Zhang Ye wouldn't have dared to come as the time to meet them was not ripe yet. With his current status and reputation, if Old Wu's family saw him, they would probably demand he break up with Old Wu. Getting Old Wu to agree to be his girlfriend was only the first step. If he wanted to marry Old Wu, then his path ahead was sure to be beset with difficulties.
In the villa.
When they entered the house, Zhang Ye saw a plump figure.
"You're back?" The plump woman looked over.
Old Wu put down the groceries and said, "I brought a friend over. We happened to bump into each other on the way just now."
Zhang Ye immediately said, "Hello." He had already removed his sunglasses and face mask.
The fat woman was stunned. "Aiyo! Hey, isn't this Teacher Zhang? Zeqing, you're friends with Zhang Ye? Why didn't you say so earlier?!"
Old Wu remarked curiously, "Didn't I say that before? Didn't I invite Little Zhang to join Peking University? I was also the one who kinda linked him for the endorsement of Little Mo's Brain Gold commercial."
"You..." Zhang Ye opened his mouth to say something but he did not know how to address her. No one knew that he was in a relationship with Old Wu, but he still couldn't possibly call her Auntie, right? The seniority was also a little bit messy in this case. The woman standing in front of him had somewhat similar features to Wu Zeqing, but they had a wide age gap. She looked in her forties to fifties. He remembered that Old Wu had previously mentioned that she was fourth in her family. She had two elder sisters and an elder brother. This plump lady was likely the eldest sister in her family.
Thankfully, the plump woman said, "Just call me Fat Sis. That's what everyone calls me."
She even had a nickname? Zhang Ye said in a slightly reserved manner, "Sure, then I will address you as Fat Sis?"
Old Wu gently said, "You two chat first, I will start preparing the food. Some of the food is quite troublesome to make and I'll have to fry them in oil first before marinating them."
Fat Sis waved her off with her hands. "Go ahead, I will chat with Little Zhang." Then she enthusiastically dragged Zhang Ye and sat on the sofa. "If I knew that you were so close to my younger sister, I would have invited you to our home to have a meal long ago. You might not know this, but I have seen all of your TV shows, especially The Voice. I got such a kick out of watching it that I even caught it online several times. It was simply out of this world!"
Zhang Ye said, "Thanks for your support."
"How's Qian Pingfan? I liked him the most. Why didn't he win first place? Is there any conspiracy behind that?"
"No, there isn't!"
"A record label has already signed Little Qian. From what I understand, he will probably release a single sometime later, so that could be considered his official debut."
"Are you familiar with Luo Yu?"
"Yes, I am."
"Everyone claimed that she's a lesbian. Is that true?"
"Heh, of course it is not true. Those are just rumors."
Wu Zeqing's eldest sister was quite a talkative person. She could speak about almost anything and was commenting on everything. Coincidentally, Zhang Ye was also similarly good at chatting. The way they spoke and their natures felt quite similar. The more they talked, the more it felt like they had really compatible personalities. The whole of the living room was filled with the sounds of Old Wu on the chopping board and the chattering between Zhang Ye and Fat Sis.
About a full hour later.
Fat Sis said, "Little Zhang, you're quite a nice person. We must become friends!"
Zhang Ye also said, "That's for sure. If you need any help in the future, just tell me."
"Now that you mention it, I really do have something I need your help with." Fat Sis shifted and said bluntly, "I saw the Brain Gold products you are endorsing for my nephew, Little Mo, selling like hot cakes. In the past, his health products company was only valued at one-tenth of my company. But after having benefited from his association with you, his company has become the market leader in health products. Then that kid started blabbering every day about his goal of getting his company listed on the stock market. As someone senior to him, I'm also feeling the pressure now. Little Zhang, why don't you become my company's spokesperson as well? We can also aim to get listed on the stock market!"
Zhang Ye answered without even thinking. "Sure."
In reality, Fat Sis was just speaking in jest and she did not expect Zhang Ye to really accept. After being stunned for a moment, she said, "I'm serious."
Zhang Ye laughed and said, "I'm not kidding either."
[1. Jingyun Dagu: storytelling in Beijing dialect with drum accompaniment]
[2. The introductory poem is used in crosstalk performances when the crosstalk actors make an appearance on stage. It is usually done in a softer volume, just enough to grab the attention of the audience so that they fully focus on trying to listen to it and not talk among themselves. It is used to quiet an audience before a performance. Also used in opera for when a character first appears.]