There were a lot of benefits to having the entire family live together. For one, the beautiful missus could come over whenever she missed her grandsons or wanted to chat with Mother Song since it only took a short carriage ride. And whenever Xiaoqi wanted to visit Qian fu again, she can even get there on foot.
However, problems do still occur with close relationships as with right now. The beautiful missus carried the big bundle of crimson roses with unnecessarily over-pruned leaves that Old Man Qian had personally gifted her yesterday. This made the eyes of Mother Song and Xiaoqi, who was hugging her daughter, turn red with envy.
The beautiful missus paid no attention and said, “That Fat Old Man said it was the westerners’ custom to gift roses as a show of deep affection. Haha, we’re already an old couple, what are we talking about affection for, right? How unreasonable!”
The beautiful missus’ face was slightly bashful. With a snip, a spray (sprig of a plant with blossoms) was cut off, causing Mother Song’s heart to tighten for a moment along with it.
The beautiful missus passed a bloom over and pouted. “Jiejie, look at this rose. Even though they say it’s very similar to Chinese roses, it’s much prettier, isn’t it? The Old Man personally cut ones that were only half blooming. Look at this flower bud, isn’t it beautiful? That guy even sprinkled dew on it. Haha, he’s always fiddling with those rare little toys.”
Mother Song took it and looked at it for a little while. She smiled with a bit of difficulty. “Meimei is blessed. At such a large age and still being this sentimental.”
The beautiful missus lifted her slender brows and slightly pouted as she said, “He also likes these sort of things. Whenever he gives me a jade ring or something as a present, he would always hide it inside a flower and wouldn’t even tell me that there’s something inside, making me guess on my own. Haha, once, he got a walnut-sized pearl from somewhere and forcefully stuffed it inside a flower. I had remarked how awkward the flower was even though it didn’t seem like it had a lot of layers. When I spread it open, aiyoh! All the petals inside had been pulled out and that huge pearl was just stuffed in there.”
The beautiful misses clicked her tongue. “Fancy that. Only he would think of it.”
Mother Song glanced at Xiaoqi who was pouting and said with a smile, “Meimei and meimei’s husband sure are in love.”
The beautiful missus smiled sweetly as she took the flower back from Mother Song’s hand and gave her an apologetic look. “In total, there are thirty-three flowers. The Old Man said it was three births, three lifetimes*. Haha, if jiejie likes them, meimei can go pick some other ones. The roses in the garden are right in the midst of blooming.”
There actually a saying of ‘three births, three lifetimes’. The actual saying is ‘one birth, one lifetime’ means to be together forever. In regards to ‘three lifetimes’, Buddhism says that humans have three lifetimes: the past incarnation, this life, and the next life. Three births come from the common saying ‘the blessing of three lifetimes’. In all, the saying basically means to be together forever.
The little Kexin in Xiaoqi’s arms gnawed on her hand even more enthusiastically as she looked at the pile of red flowers in front of the beautiful missus. As she smacked her lips, she continuously drooled. Speaking of this name, Kexin, there was actually a story behind it. The Qian family felt that ‘gifting money’ was not good and Mother Song felt that ‘gifting money’ was not refined enough. So finally, the minority gave into the majority and only made Qianqian(shallow/light) a pet name.
Mother Song shook her head and took her granddaughter from Xiaoqi’s arms. She glanced at Xiaoqi whose lips had changed from wrapping up the skies to wrapping up the earth and switched the topic. “Is Xiaoqi tired after sitting here this long? We’ve also stayed an entire night so why don’t we head back today?”
Xiaoqi nodded, then shot a glance at the red roses the beautiful missus had finished trimming and was now reinserting into the huge vase. She wrinkled her nose as she said, “My husband has also gifted me flowers before.”
The beautiful miss laughed. “That’s a wonderful thing ah. Why do you have such an expression of great bitterness?”
Because those were fake ah~ah~ah~ Xiaoqi thought indignantly. Mom’s so hateful, she’s clearly just showing off.
On the way home, Mother Song and Xiaoqi were both a little gloomy. When they reached Song fu and Song Qingyun wasn’t there to welcome them, Mother Song’s face darkened.
Xiaoqi didn’t pay any attention to Kexin who was going ‘yiyiyaya’ looking for her mom and stormed off. She rushed back to the small courtyard in a gust and made the maid carrying the baby run to follow her. Xiaoqi dug out a large porcelain vase in preparation and pouted as she sat next to the vase waiting. Xiaoqi had decided, if Song Liangzhuo didn’t gift her a big armful of flowers, she won’t forgive him. She actually never got fresh flowers before?! The more she thought about it, the more wronged she felt.
On the other hand, when Mother Song stormed into the back courtyard, as she expected, she saw Song Qingyun playing mahjong with his grandsons. She stood to the side for a while. Song Qingyun waited until Song Yi lost a round before lifting his head and saying with a smile, “You’re back.”
Mother Song curled her lips and gave a humph before turning and entering the house.
Song Qingyun was baffled. Song Yi put on an act as he folded his hands behind his back and gave a sigh. “Granny definitely showed off some treasure again. Grandpa must remain calm and hurry to overtake Granddad.”
Song Yu patted Song Qingyun’s knee and turned his little face up as he said, “Grandpa also has treasures. Older Brother and I look exactly the same. I’m Grandpa’s treasure. Granny’s family doesn’t have any identical ones.”
“Little traitor!” Song Yi slanted a look over. “Last time, you were still saying that you were Granny’s treasure.”
Song Yu squeezed into Song Qingyun’s arms and tugged at his beard, asking, “Grandpa, is Yu er a traitor?”
Song Qingyun rubbed his head. “You’re not, our family never turns out traitorsT/N.”
Song Yu lifted his little chin towards Song Yi smugly, but Song Yi arrogantly turned his head away and selectively ignored it.
Grandpa disappointed the grandsons.
It wasn’t that he didn’t want to overtake the granddad, but that he had no idea how to. Mother Song had an unhappy expression on ever since they finished eating dinner. Right now, they’ve returned to their room but Mother Song’s face was still as wintry as the twelfth lunar month, without any indication of thawing at all.
Song Qingyun sighed, then took the initiative to move a stool over to sit next to her. “You’re unhappy?”
Mother Song gave a cold laugh, then cast Song Qingyun a glance. “All the way until this present moment, have you ever gifted me fresh flowers before?”
Song Qingyun twirled his beard and knitted his brows as he thought hard. “Have I never given you any?”
“Have you given me any?”
“I have!” Song Qingyun nodded confidently.
Mother Song lifted her brows. Song Qingyun smiled and tapped her coiled hair. “That year when you were pregnant with Liangzhuo, didn’t I weave flowers into your hair?”
Mother Song knitted her brows. “What stale grain and over-cooked sesame (old-fashioned and insignificant, not really related to the main topic matter) is that? How come I don’t remember it? All I remember is that you were always busy with this and that and never thought of properly keeping me company.”
“Aren’t I free now? Look, first, you dislike me for never being at home but now that I’m idle, you’re always annoyed with me for hovering in front of you. Then I stopped hovering in front of you, and you start saying that I’m avoiding you out of dislike since you’ve aged and lost beauty. Say, why is someone already half a century old having so much to nitpick about everything?”
Mother Song felt wronged now. She pointed at Song Qingyun and couldn’t get a word out for a long time. Finally, before she was even able to squeeze out her words, tears were squeezed out instead. Now, this cause Song Qingyun to panic. Mother Song actually cried very little so with this abrupt occurrence, it was truly flustering.
“You, you, I want flowers, red, fiery, fiery red ones. I want ninety-nine of them!” Mother Song sobbed rather childishly.
Song Qingyun didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as he gently coaxed her, “After getting old you’re copying the little kids in crying again. When you were young, I never saw you cry much. In regards to flowers, aren’t there plenty in the garden? The entire back garden is yours.”
Mother Song pushed Song Qingyun away and said angrily, “I want ones that are presents from you. Ones that are cut then gifted to me. Other people even gift flowers to represent three births and three lifetimes, but you? You didn’t even gift me a single one before. Are you hoping to stay far away from me in your next lifetime?!”
Song Qingyun lifted his hand to knead his forehead but it was slapped down by Mother Song with one stroke.
“And, if you say I’m old one more time, I’ll stake everything*!” Mother Song opened her eyes wide and set her lips in a grim line as she held up a fist like she was going to go all out in a fight.
我和你拼 the literal translation of what I translated as ‘I’ll stake everything’ is I’ll stake with you. The basic meaning of saying this is that I’ll stake my life/everything to beat the crap out of you or kill you but doesn’t actually say ‘beat the crap out of you’ or ‘kill you’ which would be considered explicit threats
Song Qingyun’s jaw dropped from being shocked. Only after a long while did he close it and say, “I’ll, I’ll give, I’ll go look tomorrow. I’ll give you as many as you want. We can only have more than others, no way we can accept having less.”
Mother Song seemed to feel that crying up a fuss like a young married woman at such an old age kind of lost face. Her face was a little red but she still wiped her face and toughened up her scalp skin to say, “I want ones that are sincere and earnest. If they aren’t sincere, I don’t want them.”
Song Qingyun nodded, “Sincere and earnest. Yesterday, when I went to stroll in the back garden, I recalled how our life was back when we were young when I saw those Japanese roses. I was just wondering when to pick some to give to you.”
Mother Song continued to ask, “Did you really think of gifting me flowers?”
Song Qingyun nodded again and took off his garment himself as he said, “Of course I did.” Ever since this daughter-in-law and her mom showed up, everything fake became real.
Mother Song clearly was a little bashful now. She rubbed her hand against her belt as she pouted, “I didn’t mean to roar at you. It’s just that recently, after getting old, I can’t help but fret.”
“En, I know. Perhaps it’s because the days are getting hotter so one’s temper is worse. In a few days, let’s go walk along the dam and see how those peach trees are growing.”
Mother Song smiled as she nodded. “It’s not that I want to compete either, I really want them. A big armful of red ones are a strangely beautiful treasure.”
“Do you like other colors? We not only have red, we also have yellow and pink ones.” Song Qingyun was mulling over the fact that no matter how he thought about it, there was no way the crimson Chinese roses in their back courtyard could add up to ninety-nine.
“No, I just want red ones. They’re festive to look at.” Mother Song sat down happily next to the bed and waited for Song Qingyun to lie down before releasing the cotton canopy.
This ah, haa, looks like there’s no leeway to negotiate.
Song Qingyun pulled Mother Song down onto the bed and stroked up her little arm as he asked, “You really don’t want pink or yellow ones?”
“Haha, I don’t. Aiyah, you’re always so shameless…”
The dispute provoked by the roses ended up giving Song Qingyun and Mother Song a wonderful night. Within the canopy, there was even more concentrated spring than outside in the courtyard.
At the side courtyard, Xiaoqi was still sitting with her cheeks puffed up next to the vase sulking. Song Liangzhuo carried Kexin and swayed until she fell asleep. Then he placed his daughter on a little bed to the side and used his freed hands to pull Xiaoqi into his arms.
“What did Mom show you?” Song Liangzhuo hugged Xiaoqi from the back and gently rocked.
Xiaoqi’s lips flattened. “Flowers.”
Song Liangzhuo lifted his brows. “And then?”
And then I wanted to thrash you! Xiaoqi ground her teeth but her mouth failed to live up to expectations and said, “I also want some.”
Song Liangzhuo was extremely tender as he hugged Xiaoqi and swayed like that to the bed. He bit her ear as he said, “You have way more flowers than Mom. Is it worth it to get angry over a couple flowers like that?”
“Huh?” Xiaoqi twisted her head around and just happened to bump into Song Liangzhuo’s lips. Xiaoqi looked at Song Liangzhuo’s mirthful eyes, then twisted her head away, blushing. “Where? Dad gave Mom thirty-three crimson roses saying it represented three births, three lifetimes. Husband, you’ve never given me flowers before.”
Song Liangzhuo carried Xiaoqi onto the bed and nibbled her neck as he said, “Can roses even represent three births and three lifetimes? How come I heard that peach flowers were the true ‘three births and three lifetimes’? Does Mom have more flowers than Qi er? Qi er’s peach flowers stretch more than ten miles.”
Song Liangzhuo spoke unhurriedly, yet Xiaoqi felt so soothed by these words it was like she was eating hibiscus cakes.
Xiaoqi pouted as her eyes whirled around. She couldn’t help but laugh. “Indeed, I have more. Just one of my peach trees has countless flowers.”
“That’s right ah, what can’t you have that you want? In the future, don’t get so angry by yourself, alright?” Song Liangzhuo kissed Xiaoqi’s neck as he said softly.
“Haha, nn…” Xiaoqi unhappily pushed Song Liangzhuo away. Only after a while did her head clear and she recall what she was thinking. “Those are on the tree. Mom’s is, is a gift from Dad. Mmm… a really long stem, so pretty…”
Xiaoqi hit Song Liangzhuo who had seized her mouth, a bit displeased. However, in the next second, she couldn’t help but tighten her arms around the person on top of her and even energetically offered up her own tongue. Xiaoqi thought dizzily, what about that vase? She already expended so much effort to drag it out, she couldn’t very well move it back again.
Credits: Translated by Chiyomira, Proofread by Ocelot
T/N – “our family never turns out traitors” In this part, Song Qingyun’s saying our family never ‘produces/manufactures’ traitors.
Haha, Song Liangzhuo’s so skilled at coaxing the ladies now. His character has truly developed lol.
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