January 20, 2022

Chapter 49: Hostility

Huan took the whole family to visit Yansheng’s grandmother on the weekend.

The Zhang family took their children to visit their grandmother at least once a month, and Yansheng’s uncle would also go there with his family, so they could have a family gathering at once.

This time, Huan proudly showed off to his mother, “Your granddaughter has been admitted to the preparatory class.”

Yansheng was expressionless because she really didn’t think there was anything to show off about getting into the preparatory class. For her, it was indeed a big surprise to be admitted to this class. But to the outside world, it wasn’t like she had gotten into the top-tier class, so it was embarrassing to show it off.

Especially in front of her cousins, who were outstanding students.

As expected, her male cousin, Lin, laughed and said, “Preparatory class huh? Then you have to continue to work hard.”

Zhang Lin was one year older than her and was in his second year in high school. Although he attended a private school, he was in an elite class.

Her older female cousin, Zhang Qi, shoved her younger brother and said, “Being able to enter the preparatory class at least shows that Yanyan has worked hard and deserves to be praised.”

This older female cousin was three years older than her and was now a freshman at a university. Her cousin, Qi, had been excellent since she was a child. She was in the top-tier classes both in middle and high school. This year she was admitted to K University, which was located in K City, so it was convenient for her to go to school.

However, Huan was just so happy. Yansheng hadn’t had anything to show off for him for several years. Then suddenly, she made such a big improvement, so he couldn’t help but talk about it.

But in front of his outstanding niece and nephew, it seemed that there was really nothing worth showing off.

Huan’s expression changed and his face couldn’t help but turn red a little bit.

On his side, Yingying wanted to laugh out loud but she didn’t dare to, so she endured it with all her might.

Yansheng’s aunt showed a subtle smile. It was a smile that wanted to be polite but couldn’t hide her inner pride.

Her aunt also said to her two children, “You two have more experience, so you should communicate with Yanyan more often. You must act like an older sister and brother.”

Heling could not recognize a meaningful glance yet. She was eager to let everyone know how Yansheng studied hard during this summer. For the first time, she took the initiative to approach her grandmother and said loudly, “Grandma, you don’t know, Sister didn’t go on any trips during the summer vacation and she didn’t go anywhere. She studied in her room every day. She really worked so hard!”

Judging from Yansheng’s mediocre grades in middle school for three years, this description was obviously a typical example of ‘clasping the Buddha’s feet’.1抱佛脚 – lit. to clasp the Buddha’s feet (without ever having burned incense) (idiom); fig. to profess devotion only when in trouble / panic measures in place of timely preparation

Lin snorted with laughter.

In her previous life, Yansheng later ran all the way towards the ‘bad girl’ side, wild and rebellious on the surface, and didn’t care about anything. In fact, in her heart, she felt very inferior to this pair of excellent cousins. Because they were the kind of people her mother once wanted her to be.

Yansheng’s face also turned a little red when her cousin laughed like that. She wanted to tell Heling not to talk too much, but this silly girl’s eyes were shining and her mouth was curled up, clearly showing that she was proud of her sister.

Yansheng couldn’t bear to hit her, so she could only bear it by herself.

Grandma smiled, touched Heling’s head, and said, “That’s why she has made so much progress, right? Your sister has set a good example for you, so you have to study hard too.”

Heling raised her small chest. “I have studied seriously and also Shoushou. Sister is in charge of both of us. If anyone doesn’t study hard, he will be beaten.”

Shuocheng then took the opportunity to complain, “It hurts whenever Sister hit my butt!”

Yansheng’s grandmother was a little surprised.

According to her understanding, Yansheng almost ignored these two younger siblings before. But Heling’s words meant that not only Yansheng did not ignore them, but was also willing to put in effort to teach them.

Huan also hit the iron while it was hot, “Yanyan is now older, very much like a big sister, and her younger brother and sister also listen to her.”

As he said that, he touched Shuocheng’s head. Shuocheng snorted bitterly but did not refute.

Yansheng’s grandmother smiled with relief. She looked at Yansheng and said, “You’re a grown-up now, you grew up so well.”

Yansheng only lowered her head slightly and put on a humble demeanor.

Grandma touched Heling’s little hand and said, “Our Hehe has grown up too. Today, she is wearing a matching outfit with her sister. It’s so beautiful!”

Heling raised her chest again under everyone’s gaze, very happy.

Yansheng’s aunt laughed and said, “Hehe looks like her mother and is beautiful.”

Yingying was taken by surprise and cursed ‘D*mn you’ in her heart, but she could only grit her teeth and smile in front of the old lady. “Sister-in-law, don’t always laugh at me.”

The aunt smiled slightly, but did not answer her back. She didn’t want to deal with this second wife who was a gold-digger.

Yingying swallowed her anger.

The reason why the aunt said such a sentence was to remind the old lady that Heling was a child of this gold-digger mistress.

At first, the old lady didn’t want Yingying to enter their family at all and even suggested that she could take care of the children. But Huan still felt that the children could not live without their mother, so Yingying got in.

The old lady had lived so long that she didn’t need to look at anyone’s face or worry about anyone’s mood in the family. She didn’t like Yingying, so she just ignored her.

Qi received her mother’s signal, walked over with a smile, and sat beside the old lady to talk to her. As if unintentionally, she squeezed Heling aside.

Heling had already become accustomed to it, so she obediently made room for her.

Yansheng couldn’t help but frown when she saw that.

When she was young, her grandmother loved her very much.

Her aunt and grandaunt were of the same kind. They were both delicate and ladylike characters, so her grandmother actually didn’t like her aunt very much. Yansheng’s mother was a career-oriented woman and was more to the old lady’s liking.

The older people got, the more they loved to do whatever they wanted, so the old lady preferred what she liked. She was obviously more kind to Yansheng and her mother than she was to her aunt and cousin.

Unfortunately, Yansheng’s mother had cancer, not to mention her career, she couldn’t even take care of her daughter, so she died in the end. Yansheng gradually became mediocre, became more and more extreme and stubborn, and later became a bad girl, completely disappointing the old lady.

Yansheng admitted that if she were to look back on her old behavior now, she would not like herself at all. So, she didn’t hold any grudges against the old lady. Moreover, the old lady didn’t like Yingying, at least this matter won her heart. The old lady didn’t seem to like Heling very much later on. Considering Heling’s later personality and Liang Yingying’s character, the old lady’s dislike for her didn’t seem to be anything to be blamed for.

But now, at least for the time being, Heling was still just a naive little girl. Yansheng was not happy that Qi, a grown-up cousin, was so obviously ostracizing and bullying her.

She later hung around outside and always had a somewhat chivalrous reputation. People said that she was righteous, but this was the case for outsiders. For Heling, who was only an elementary school student, Yansheng was even more unlikely to let her be bullied.

She stepped forward, stood behind Heling, and stretched out her palm against her back, preventing her from continuing to retreat. If she retreated further, she would retreat to the corner where no one could see her. Heling had always been like this in her previous life, at home and outside.

She was cute, lovable, and well-behaved. But if she would always retreat, who could see her?

“Does Sister Qiqi want to live inside the campus?” Yansheng asked after hearing Qi talk to the old lady about the university.

Qi replied, “No, I’m a day student. Didn’t I say it last time, my parents rewarded me with a car, did you forget?”

Yansheng was reborn in mid-to-late July. She remembered that when her cousin’s college entrance examination results came out, she knew that she would be able to enter K University. Her uncle and aunt immediately held a celebration party and rewarded her cousin with a sports car.

It was more expensive than Yingying’s car.

Yingying was particularly jealous, but Huan would not buy it for her until two years later. Yansheng just didn’t know why in this life, he suddenly bought it for her.

“Sister Qiqi should tell us more about K University later so that we can also understand it. In the future, we don’t have to look at the rankings and listen to the school promotions when choosing a school,” said Yansheng.

Qi raised an eyebrow. “Oh, does Yanyan want to go to K University in the future?”

K University was a first-rate school. Not that Qi looked down on her cousin, but based on her middle school grades, it was a joke to say that she wanted to go to K University in the future.

Although she entered the top-tier preparatory class this time, her uncle might have spent money to save face.

Yansheng smiled. “My grades are far behind.”

Then, she touched Heling’s head. “But maybe Hehe will. Hehe has very good grades and has always been in the top three in her grade, either first or second.”

The advantage of a sister-matching outfit, a mother-and-daughter outfit, or a couple outfit was that when two people stand together, the visual effect would be magnified.

No matter how annoyed Yingying was, she couldn’t stop Heling from being happy to dress exactly like Yansheng. The two sisters stood there, the elder sister smiled and rubbed her younger sister’s head, one was beautiful and the other one was cute. Both of them had natural intimacy in their smiles, which made them very attractive to look at.

The old lady was quite surprised. “Hehe has such good grades? How come I didn’t know it? Why didn’t your father ever mention it?” she said as she cast a dissatisfied glance at Huan.

Regarding this matter, Huan was also embarrassed and could only laugh. “Isn’t it because I’m busy, I can’t take care of everything. Their mother is in charge of the children’s affairs.”

He confidently put the blame on his wife. Yingying cursed secretly in her heart, her forehead was slightly sweaty, for fear that she would make the old lady unhappy again, then she said softly, “Actually, well… there is nothing to say.”

Yingying was very good at talking on normal days, at least in front of Huan. She would whisper and whine around him but only picked out what he’d liked to hear. But why did she become stupid in front of the old lady?

I can’t listen to what she says! Huan was so angry that he didn’t want to look at her anymore.

His eldest brother and sister-in-law both smiled slightly.

The old lady rolled her eyes, ignored her, looked at Heling, and beckoned lovingly. “Come here, talk to Grandma.”

Yansheng gently pushed Heling in front of the old lady.

The old lady glanced at her, took Heling’s hand, asked the little girl to sit down next to her, and asked her about the school in a gentle voice. Heling’s answer was childish and serious.

The old lady didn’t pay much attention to this little granddaughter because of her mother. When she paid attention to her at this time, she felt that she was a child with a very simple mind, but it was very different from her mother.

She couldn’t help but glance at Yansheng again.

Yanyan had never liked Hehe before, but today, it seems that the two sisters have a good relationship. The last time she saw them was at her sister-in-law’s birthday banquet. It was only a month that passed. At that time, Yanyan was still very cold to her younger sister. How can there be such a big change suddenly?

Is it because she has grown up? And knows how to read people now? 

Because Heling sat down next to the old lady, Qi had to move to make room for her.

She watched the old lady be attracted to this little cousin who was a bit silly, but this little cousin who had never known how to please her elders before was pushed in front of the old lady by her older sister.

She glanced up at Yansheng.

From this glance, there was a faint amount of appraisal, scrutiny, and a little bit of hostility.

Yansheng was startled.

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    抱佛脚 – lit. to clasp the Buddha’s feet (without ever having burned incense) (idiom); fig. to profess devotion only when in trouble / panic measures in place of timely preparation