When the regimental commander’s wife finished listening, she immediately smiled and poked on Tang Tang’s forehead, “Ah, why are you so stupid? Isn’t it very obvious!”
“Eh?” Tang Tang let out a sound before asking, “Sao Zi, you know the reason?”
The regimental commander’s wife was displeased, “How can I not know? It’s so obvious. Ji Yan was clearly angry that Zhang Cheng’s wife didn’t take you seriously. Basically, he was angry for you.”
“Ah? Why?” Tang Tang blanked.
The regimental commander’s wife truly liked Tang Tang because she was pure, naive, and good-tempered. Also, she was sincere and innocent which was rarely seen in adults, and it made others want to get close to her unconsciously. But good-tempered people like her sometimes made others feel helpless. That was because she didn’t understand other women’s little schemes.
Knowing that Tang Tang really didn’t understand, the regimental commander’s wife could only carefully explain to her, “Last night, when you went to help, Zhang Cheng’s wife didn’t do anything apart from peeling some garlic. It was like she was the guest. Also, during the meal, you were busy in the kitchen while she was drinking with others at the table. It was like you helping her was something normal. No matter what, she should have given you a hand in the kitchen. Furthermore, shouldn’t it be the owner who should clean up at the end, not you doing the cleaning alone. You were a guest. That was impolite. If it were me, I would have fallen out with her on the spot. You’re too nice to be bothered about it.”
“Ah … so it was for that reason ….” Tang Tang suddenly understood and mumbled, “To be honest, I didn’t mind and I felt she wasn’t really being impolite with me but more of she really didn’t know how to do anything. She couldn’t help out much and she did drink a lot afterwards so I didn’t think it was strange. After all, we’re neighbours so it’s not too good if we’re picky about everything.”
The regimental commander’s wife sighed, “Your temper is too good. I think it’s right for Ji Yan to be angry. He has good self-restraint though. If it were someone who had bad self-restraint, they would have made a scene if their wife was being ordered around! For this matter, if Ji Yan wasn’t angry then he isn’t a real man. It’s only natural for a husband to care about his wife.”
Tang Tang went silent. Ji Yan was angry for her? He cared for her …
The regimental commander’s wife patted Tang Tang’s hand, “Listen to Ji Yan. Don’t simply agree if she asks for your help again. She wasn’t right. It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t cook, but her attitude was wrong. She should have stayed in the kitchen and kept you company. It’s not that Sao Zi is trying to sow discord, but Zhang Cheng’s wife is arrogant. Normal people won’t enter her eyes. If they did, she would have taken care of them properly.”
Tang Tang understood the deeper meaning of those words. Zhang Cheng’s wife looked down on her. That was why she was impolite with her.
“But… But why does she look down on me? Is it because I don’t look good? Or because I don’t have a job?”
The regimental commander’s wife shook her head, “It’s not what you think. Don’t think she’s just a teacher. Her status is different from us. She is like a real princess. Her father is a general and her uncle is a city mayor, all her family has high positions. As for herself, she is a graduate from Harvard University so her personality is a bit prideful. She’s only here because of Zhang Cheng, otherwise, she wouldn’t be willing to live here.
“It’s like that, ah…” Tang Tang didn’t expect Zhang Cheng’s wife to have such an amazing background. It was no wonder she was like that.
“But no matter what, you don’t need to fawn over her. Ji Yan relies on his ability and his future prospects aren’t any worse than Zhang Cheng. Since she looks down on you, there is no need for you to rush and help them. You should help those that are your genuine friends, what do you think?”
Tang Tang nodded, “You’re right, Sao Zi. I know now. I won’t simply agree to help in the future.”
After knowing the truth, Tang Tang didn’t feel upset. Instead, she was feeling really happy. Ji Yan was angry because he cared for her. The sweetness she felt in her heart could not be described with words.
He was slowly treating her better. Does that mean if she worked harder, he would slowly like her?
Since she was in a good mood, everything looked better than usual. It was like her world was blooming with flowers. Usually, Tang Tang would make delicious food when she was in a good mood. She remembered that she hasn’t made gyoza in a long time so Tang Tang decided to make it today. Ji Yan liked gyoza.
Since she decided, Tang Tang bought the ingredients, minced the meat and kneaded the dough. By the late afternoon, the table was filled with gyozas. Ji Xiao Zhuo was very happy as he drooled. He wanted to immediately start eating.
But Tang Tang told him that they could only eat when daddy was back, so Ji Xiao Zhuo spent the rest of the afternoon glancing at the door. His ear almost raised when he heard footsteps. He would immediately open the door to see if his daddy was back.
When it was about time for Ji Yan to be back, there were footsteps at the stairs. Ji Xiao Zhuo’s eyes brightened and dashed for the door and shouted, “Daddy!”
Tang Tang assumed Ji Yan was back and rushed out excitedly. When she was about to call out her husband, the person in front of her was Zhang Cheng instead. She swallowed her words instantly.
“Zhang Cheng, ah, you’re back.”
Awkwardness flashed across Zhang Cheng’s eyes. He avoided Tang Tang’s gaze by lowering his head and said, “Sao Zi, Ji Yan is right behind. He’ll be up soon. I’ll go in, first.” He entered his home once he had spoken. It was like he didn’t want to waste another second.
Tang Tang thought Zhang Cheng’s attitude was a little strange today. It was like he was guilty. She wondered if it was related to last night.
Before Tang Tang could think it through, footsteps were heard at the stairs again. It was really Ji Yan this time, but there was a woman behind him.
“Tang Tang, Xiao Zhuo.” Gu Yan Ran smiled sweetly at Tang Tang and Xiao Zhuo as she greeted them.
“Miss Yan Ran?” Tang Tang was surprised. Why was she here?
Gu Yan Ran stroked Xiao Zhuo’s head, “Tang Tang, just call me, Yan Ran. Miss Yan Ran is too distant. After all, brother Ji Yan and I grew up together.”
Tang Tang could only nod before looking at Ji Yan questioningly.
Ji Yan explained, “Yan Ran is a military doctor. She is in charge of health checks in our military district. She heard you moved here so she came to visit.”
Tang Tang understood and quickly invited her in.
Gu Yan Ran looked around their home and praised, “Tang Tang, you really know to look after a house. Your home is decorated warmly.
“Not really, it was decorated casually.” Tang Tang poured her a cup of water and embarrassedly said, “I didn’t know you were coming. There isn’t much prepared. I only made gyozas for tonight. I hope you won’t mind, Yan Ran.
“I don’t mind. Gyozas are delicious. Seems like I’m blessed with good food tonight.”
Tang Tang relaxed when she heard Yan Ran’s words. She got up and went into the kitchen.
Gu Yan Ran watched Tang Tang get busy. She smiled at Ji Yan and teased, “Brother Ji Yan, it appears you’re living your days well.”
The corner of Ji Yan’s lips rose. He didn’t say anything but his attitude was silently admitting it.
A glimmer flashed across Gu Yan Ran’s eyes as she pushed her hair behind her ears, “Right, Brother Ji Yan, have you received Brother Zhuo Ji’s notification? It’s Grandma Zhuo’s 80th birthday next week. Are you going back?”
Ji Yan nodded.
“Talking about it, Grandma Zhuo watched our group grow up. She treated us like we were her biological grandchildren. It was like a blink of an eye and we have reached the age to settle down and she is old now. I remember when we’re small, Grandma Zhuo liked you and Brother Yuan Lang the most. She always said you two were like generals the most. It made the rest of us annoyed, but it seems like it was true.”
Ji Yan also reminisced about his youth. Happiness flashed across his eyes.
Ji Xiao Zhuo was nestled in Ji Yan’s embrace as he played. As he listened, Xiao Zhuo pulled out a little gold monkey that was hanging from his neck and looked up at Ji Yan, “Daddy, was Grandma Zhuo the one who gave me the little gold monkey?”
“You still remember, ah? Grandma Zhuo hired a specialist to make the little gold monkey for you, but you shouldn’t call her Grandma Zhuo. You should call her Great-grandma.” Ji Xiao Zhuo was born in the year of the monkey and so was Du Du. When they were born, Grandma Zhuo hired a specialist to make the two gold monkeys and a master bless them before giving it to the two children to wear. It was a wish for them to grow up safely. Ji Yan mentioned it before to Xiao Zhuo. He didn’t expect Xiao Zhuo would remember.
Ji Xiao Zhuo pointed his fingers together and was vexed, “I remember, daddy, but I don’t remember what Great-grandma looks like.”
Stroking Xiao Zhuo’s head, Ji Yan replied, “It doesn’t matter. Daddy will take you and Mummy to visit Great-grandma next week. Remember to thank her.”
“Okay, Daddy! I need to thank Great-grandma for giving me a little gold monkey.”
The glimmer in Gu Yan Ran’s eyes dimmed and she spoke in surprise, “Brother Ji Yan, you’re taking Tang Tang as well this time? I remember you never brought her along in the past. How come this time….”
Ji Yan replied plainly, “Grandma Zhuo has never seen Xiao Zhuo’s mother before. She should visit her elders.”
Gu Yan Ran lowered her eyes and her smile unnoticeably dimmed.
“Should see who?” Tang Tang was carrying the cooked gyozas out when she heard that she should visit someone. As such, she asked curiously.
Ji Yan stood up and took a few large steps towards Tang Tang to take the large pan, “I’ll carry it. It’s hot.”
“Oh.” Tang Tang passed the pot to him and immediately pinched her earlobes.
Ji Yan stared at her hands, “What’s wrong? Did you burn yourself?”
Tang Tang showed her hands to him, “No, no, there’s nothing wrong.”
Seeing there really wasn’t anything wrong, Ji Yan answered her previous question, “Next week is Grandma Zhuo’s 80th birthday. I’m bringing you and Xiao Zhuo along.”
“Ah, 80th birthday. That’s good fortune. We should celebrate with her.” As she spoke, Tang Tang naturally thought about the present, “Husband, what present should we get for her? I haven’t prepared anything.”
Ji Yan muttered, “I’m still thinking about it. Let’s eat first.”
Tang Tang nodded and called Yan Ran to eat.
“Tang Tang, can I trouble you and stay for the night? There are no female dormitories here and I don’t really like staying in the hotel.” Gu Yan Ran suddenly asked Tang Tang when they finished eating.
There were only male soldiers here so there were no female dormitories. Tang Tang definitely wouldn’t reject such a small request, “Of course. The guest room is empty. I will prepare it for you later.”
Gu Yan Ran looked at the door of the guest room and the master bedroom. She pursed her lips and smiled, “Then I’ll be troubling you.”
After the meal, Tang Tang put fresh sheets in the guest room and prepared the necessities for Gu Yan Ran. After confirming she was alright, Tang Tang returned to the master bedroom. When all three had washed up, she filled a basin with hot water like usual and put some medicinal herbs in for Ji Yan’s foot bath.
After adding the medicinal herbs in the water, it was no longer suitable for Ji Xiao Zhuo. So Xiao Zhuo couldn’t enjoy a foot bath anymore, but to appease the little one, Tang Tang would massage his feet before going to sleep. It wasn’t really a massage. She was really just playing with him but Xiao Zhuo enjoyed it regardless.
Unknown to the little one, his father was really the one who got the proper foot massage.
As Tang Tang massaged Ji Yan’s pressure points, she carried on talking about Grandma Zhuo’s birthday. Since this was Ji Yan’s elder, Tang Tang attached importance to it.
“Husband, what is Grandma Zhuo like? I think we could get a present that matches her interests.”
When Grandma Zhuo was mentioned, Ji Yan’s eyes were filled with respect and love. He spoke more than usual, “Grandma Zhuo is a very talented and intelligent lady. She’s proficient in poems and history. Also, she has a good mind for business. She is good in many aspects. Zhuo Ji’s calligraphy and tea ceremony were personally taught by her.”
“Grandma Zhuo isn’t a frail and rich elderly. Instead, she was a female hero. When the Zhuo family was in turmoil, Grandma Zhuo supported the family. Grandma Zhuo has contributed a lot to bring the Zhuo family to where it is today.”
Tang Tang was dumbstruck as she listened. She was also filled with admiration. Just from Ji Yan’s description, she knew Grandma Zhuo was a very intelligent lady. Tang Tang could never catch up to a woman like her even if she was racing on a horse.
“Then Grandma Zhuo would probably like calligraphy or tea sets, right? Should we give one of those?”
Ji Yan shook his head hesitantly, “Grandma Zhuo does like those things, but she has already collected many top sets. It will be hard to find a better set to gift her. Also, I believe many others would give her something similar. If we the younger generation give the same thing, it would be like we didn’t put much thought in our present.”
Tang Tang thought that made sense. Generally, people would just give presents that matched the elder’s hobby, also there was no store they could go that sold top-quality tea sets or calligraphy sets.
What else could they gift?
Recently, Ji Yan was having a headache over this matter. The elder treated him like he was her biological grandson. He didn’t want to randomly get a present but it was difficult to give something that the elder would like. The price didn’t matter, it was the thought that counted.
Tang Tang suddenly spoke, “Husband, I think the elderly definitely don’t care about the cost. They care more about the thought.”
Ji Yan smiled. They both had the same thoughts about this.
“Husband, does Grandma Zhuo have anything she particularly liked from the historical times such as jewellery, hairstyle, or clothing?” Tang Tang thought someone like Grandma Zhuo probably didn’t like stuff like gold, silver, or diamonds. Instead, she probably liked things that had historical value.
Ji Yan blanked. He carefully remembered Grandma Zhuo’s style of dress. She mostly dressed like a lady from ancient China. Her hair would be styled up, she would wear embroidered shoes, and Qi Pao or Ao Qun. Also, he thought he heard Zhuo Ji mention before that apart from calligraphy and tea sets, Grandma Zhuo especially liked collecting Qi Pao and Ao Qun.
Tang Tang was not very clear of Qi Pao since she had never worn it before. But as for Ao Qun, she was extremely familiar with it because she wore it since she was a child. But she just didn’t know if the Ao Qun mentioned was the same type as the one she knew.
Tang Tang grabbed her phone in a flurry and found an image of Ao Qun and let Ji Yan take a look before asking, “Husband, does Grandma Zhuo like wearing these types of clothes?”
After taking a careful look, Ji Yan compared it to the clothing Grandma Zhuo wore from his memory and nodded.
Seeing Ji Yan’s nod, Tang Tang’s eyes instantly brightened, “I know what to give as a present now!”
It was rare for Ji Yan to get interested as well. He wondered what Tang Tang had come up with.
Tang Tang smiled, “Look since Grandma Zhuo likes wearing Ao Qun, then I’ll personally make one that’s suitable for her. I’ll make a pair of embroidered shoes to match it as well. This happens to be something I’m good at. What do you think, husband?”
Ji Yan remembered Tang Tang’s skills. Her sewing looked better than the ones from a sewing machine. For some reason, he unconsciously believed the dress she was going to make would definitely look good.
Her idea made his heart beat faster.
“I think Grandma Zhuo will like it.”
After getting his affirmation, Tang Tang became extremely happy and swung Ji Yan’s hand, “Husband, husband, quickly show me what Grandma Zhuo looks like. I will make her an exclusive dress that matches her appearance and figure!”
Ji Yan got influenced by her happiness and raised the corner of his lips and showed her a picture of Grandma Zhuo.
At first glance, Tang Tang’s sight was attracted by a beautiful and graceful white-haired elder. Without a doubt, Grandma Zhuo was definitely an incomparable beauty when she was young. But the passing years didn’t ruin her appearance, instead, it added to her charm.
Seeing Grandma Zhuo, Tang Tang couldn’t help but think about her nanny from her previous world. They both gave people the same feeling. They were both wise and respected elders.
Tang Tang instantly thought about what her nanny used to wear. She knew what clothing to make for Grandma Zhuo now!
Very quickly, Tang Tang finished Ji Yan’s foot massage and passed the towel to Ji Yan and ran off, “You can wipe your feet dry tonight. I need to buy material and threads.”
It was Ji Yan’s first time seeing her in such a rush. She actually acted like a young woman that matched her age. He smiled as he shook his head. Then he wiped his feet and poured the basin of water away in the bathroom.
Ji Xiao Zhuo was waiting for his foot massage, but who knew that his mummy had forgotten about his massage once she had finished massaging his daddy. Xiao Zhuo raised his chubby leg to Tang Tang, “Daddy’s massage has finished. Then what about my massage, mummy?”