Chapter 100: Relatives
Mother Chu made an effort to return her facial expression to normal. She glanced at Zhong Yibin carefully pulling the blanket over Chu Qin securely and attempted to sound him out. “Why do you treat my family’s Chu Qin so well? I’ve never seen such a good boss before.” ‘Good’ to the point where he slept under the same quilt with an employee, ‘good’ till he ran over to someone’s house to pass the New Year and even hugged the person in front of the person’s parents.
Zhong Yibin hid the hand that was lightly griping Chu Qin’s under the blanket. He lowered his head and gazed at him with eyes brimming with tenderness. “When I woke up with amnesia, he was the only one I could remember. To me, he is more important than anything else.”
Mother Chu’s heart gave a thump as she listened to these words. A sensation of paralysis spread from the top of her head to the ends of her feet – this was commonly referred to as having been struck by lightning. How could a normal person only remember a single employee after losing his memories; this was too bizarre!
Chu Qin had already awoken when his mother started speaking. Hearing Zhong Yibin utter such words, his ears couldn’t help reddening. The atmosphere of helplessness was too awkward so he didn’t dare open his eyes and could only stealthily pinch Zhong Yibin’s waist under blankets.
After the ushering of the New Year was done, Zhong Yibin directly carried the still-pretending-to-sleep Chu Qin into the room. Seeing the skilled technique and natural movements, Mother Chu almost couldn’t maintain her facial expression.
“His dad, don’t you think that those two seem very fishy?” Mother Chu kicked Father Chu, who was crunching on melon seeds.
“What’s fishy?” Father was puzzled. Looking towards Zhong Yibin, who had scooped Chu Qin up into a princess carry and was using his elbow to open the door, his brows knitted. “Qin Qin’s too skinny. Look at Yibin, he scooped him up at one go.”
Mother Chu rolled her eyes and rapped that wooden brain with her fist. “Idiot, forget it.” Saying this, she went back to the house in a huff. This couldn’t carry on; she would need to think of something.
Father Chu leaned forward after being hit and raised his head in bewilderment, scratching the back of his head.
“Hello, sister-in-law. Happy New Year,” Mother Chu gave her sister-in-law a call. “Hey, Chu Qin came back but there isn’t a girlfriend.”
On the other end, Chu Qin’s aunt instantly grew excited. “Then let him meet the girl I told you about last time over the New Year.”
‘En, I wanted to talk to you about this,” Mother Chu hung up and sat at the bedhead dazedly.
“Our son’s only twenty-seven, what are you so anxious for?” father Chu didn’t quite understand her anxiety over a daughter-in-law. As a public teacher who interacted with youths all year round, he had a greater understanding of the youngsters today. Given Chu Qin’s age, it was a good time for him to stake his all on his career. It wasn’t like he was ugly or came from a poor family and would need to worry about not being able to marry a wife. With his son’s excellence, even if he were forty-one years old, a whole bunch of people would still go after him crazily.
“Is it okay for me not to be anxious? It’s already a desperate situation!” Mother Chu gritted her teeth. If she still didn’t get anxious, her son would be snatched away by someone else. Seeing that her husband still didn’t seem to get it, she could only remind him. “What do you think of that child, Zhong Yibin?”
“Pretty good. He has an outstanding appearance, is as elegant as jade and has a good temper. Such a good boss can’t be found even if one were to light a lantern and search for one,” Father Chu beamed. It would be great if the president at work was also this good.
“Have you never seen men who liked men?” Mother Chu was at the last tethers of her patience and uttered this statement. The minute the words left her mouth, she regretted it. Her husband was old-fashioned, and the current situation was not confirmed. If a misunderstanding were to occur and they ended up offending Zhong Yibin, her son would face great difficulties at work.
“I’ve seen them before,” father Chu said calmly. “I’m already so old; what have I not seen. What happened, does Zhong Yibin like a man?” Speaking to this point, Father Chu couldn’t resist wrinkling his brows. He wasn’t concerned about the entertainment industry and didn’t know if there were any rumors about Zhong Yibin.
“I don’t know either… I just said it without thinking it through,” Mother Chu didn’t say anything more and gestured for her husband to go to sleep. They still needed to visit Chu Qin’s grandmother at her house the next day.
“Nine-tenths of the rumors in the entertainment industry are false. Yibin, that child, seems quite good,” Father Chu persisted in his views.
Mother Chu didn’t respond anymore and turned her back to him, her heart still in a state of agitation.
“Did my mother notice?” Chu Qin asked Zhong Yibin in a low voice in the neighboring room.
“Probably. At the very least, she suspects,” Zhong Yibin dragged the person into his embrace to knead. “It’s fine. It’s not bad for her to guess it on her own too, so as to avoid being shocked.”
“En…” Chu Qin quietly grabbed onto a corner of Zhong Yibin’s pajamas. It had to be said that with someone facing it with him, he was no longer as scared. Stretching one’s head was a weapon, withdrawing one’s head was also a weapon; for something that would happen sooner or later, the worry wouldn’t exist if he didn’t think about it. Accepting it and relaxing his mood caused the feeling of being trapped to lift.
The two people hugged and passed the New Year in warmth. Speaking of this, this was actually their first time passing the New Year together in so many years.
“In the future, we’ll be together every year,” Zhong Yibin kissed his forehead.
The next morning, Chu Qin rose very early and wished his parents a happy New Year. Since he had already started working, his parents no longer gave him New Year’s money. Instead, it was Chu Qin who gave his parents a red packet.
As he took out two large red packets for his parents with a huge smile, Chu Qin’s heart felt blissfully satisfied. At the side, Zhong Yibin followed suit and also took out two red packets for the parents.
Mother Chu turned rigid for a moment. “Yibin, there’s no need for this…”
“When in Rome, do as the Romans do; I’m too fond of auntie and uncle. In my heart, I regard you as my parents as well,” Zhong Yibin said sincerely.
“If I had a son like you, I would dream and wake with a smile on my face,” Father Chu said giddily and received Zhong Yibin’s red packet. “Since you’ve gifted money, then you’ll have to be my son in the future!”
“Ai, father!” Zhong Yibin sweet-talked him and directly called him ‘father’.
The corner of Mother Chu’s mouth twitched. Though she reluctantly received Zhong Yibin’s red packet, her expression was as if she had received a block of iron.
On the first day of the Lunar New Year, they needed to visit the paternal grandparents. Zhong Yibin wasn’t at all self-conscious about his status as a guest and eagerly followed Chu Qin’s family to call on grandmother.
Chu Qin’s grandfather had already passed away and his grandmother celebrated the New Year with her brother-in-law.
“Zhong Yibin!” The female cousin from the brother-in-law’s family had just graduated from university. Upon seeing Zhong Yibin, her eyes nearly turned into slits.
Learning that he was Chu Qin’s boss, grandmother’s family treated Zhong Yibin very courteously. The female cousin constantly stared at Zhong Yibin but when Zhong Yibin looked over, she couldn’t help shyly lowering her head.
“Cousin, is your relationship with Director Zhong very good?” The female cousin, Chu Jin, asked Chu Qin.
“En,” Chu Qin made a vague sound of agreement. He wasn’t particularly close with this female cousin. Ever since young, he had to give in to this younger sister and let her have the good things first. However, this younger sister was spoilt at home and was very wilful. Moreover, she would always make him the scapegoat. Over time, how was it possible for him to like her?
Chu Jin didn’t mind her older cousin’s coldness and sneaked a peek at Zhong Yibin with a red face. “Does he have a girlfriend?”
Chu Qin frowned slightly. Ignoring her, he dragged Zhong Yibin off to eat fruit. In the afternoon, the family sat together to eat. Zhong Yibin sat beside Father Chu while Chu Jin swiftly followed after him and sat beside Zhong Yibin.
“Xiao Jin, why are you sitting there?’ Grandmother Chu found it unusual that her granddaughter wasn’t sitting at her usual spot.
Due to these words, the entire family turned to look towards them and Chu Jin instantly reddened. Brother-in-law and his wife saw their daughter’s state and pursed their lips in laughter. “Yibin doesn’t have a girlfriend yet?”
Chu Qin was instantly unhappy upon hearing these words. He was just about to speak up when Zhong Yibin replied first. “I already have a partner whom I want to marry.”
Brother-in-law immediately felt that it was a shame. His family’s daughter had high standards and didn’t take a fancy to the partners they had introduced to her. They lived in a small city, where would they find a Mr Perfect? They finally ran into someone Chu Qin knew with much difficulty, but the other party was already about to get married.
This meal that Chu Qin ate at grandmother’s place was eaten with a panicked heart. But he hadn’t expected for something even worse to be coming after.
On the second day of the Lunar New Year, his aunt wanted to introduce him to a potential partner.
“I originally thought that you had a girlfriend and was going to decline, but now it’s just right – that girl just came back to pass the New Year. Let nature take it’s course; why not fix it tonight?” This aunt had a forceful temperament and would carry out whatever she claimed she would.
“Aunt, there’s no need. I don’t want to go on a blind date,” Chu Qin’s lips thinned as he raised his eyes to look at his mother.
Mother Chu seemingly didn’t notice her son’s request for aid. On the contrary, she came over to add her input. “I’ve heard of this lady before. Her qualifications are the best among the best, she returned from abroad with a master’s degree and also works in the capital. It’s at that television office or something, those people who specialize in managing you all,” The father of the girl his aunt recommended was a local government employee. The family was also wealthy; nobody would dare to introduce them any ordinary person. It was only because it was Chu Qin, whose qualifications were superb, that they dared to do so.
“I already set a date with that lady. Even if you’re worried you won’t like her, you can still go and take a look. Otherwise, how will auntie show herself in front of others in the future?” The aunt persuaded patiently. This lady’s father was in charge of the project Chu Qin’s uncle was currently working on; he was someone they absolutely could not afford to offend.
The author has something to say:
Qin Qin: I don’t want to go on a blind date
Er Bing: No worries, I’ll accompany you
Qin Qin: What use will you have there?
Er Bing: If I go, the other party will take a fancy to me
Qin Qin: ( ⊙ o ⊙ )Then there’s even more reason for you not to go!!!
 Grandmother in this case refers to the grandmother on the paternal side. There aren’t any qualifiers in English for this sort of detail but in Chinese, there are typically different characters to reference a specific family member on the paternal or maternal side.
 Meaning that regardless of one’s means, the outcome would be the same.
 Aunt in this case refers to the maternal uncle’s wife.