Of Parents and Children (1)
Shen Wanying brought up the interview request during that afternoon’s self-study session in the library. There were no objections. Well, beyond having no objections, Fang Yichang was delighted. After all, he had never been the subject of such face-to-face interviews.
“Do we have to dress more formally for something like that? Will we have a stylist?” He was eager to start preparing.
Zhao Yimeng rolled her eyes at him. “I’m afraid you’re not the one they really want to interview.”
He rolled his eyes right back. “Well, it isn’t you either.”
She had nothing to say to that.
Tuesday afternoon, the young journalist had brought a few compatriots to the library with him, to interview the sophomore’s most high-profile study group.
At first, many didn’t understand how Fang Yichang had come to be a part of this study group, but the young journalist understood his place in it. In such a group of people, a character like Fang Yichang’s was necessary. He was the one through whom people would see the effectiveness of such a study group, after all!
The interview attracted a lot of attention after it was published on the school forum, generating more clicks than the photograph of Huo Cheng and Ji Yao. The students had also begun holding their own study groups, getting together with their friends to study. Even the library saw a little more foot traffic than usual.
In the midst of this enthusiastic, hardworking environment, the midterms approached. A few of the major high schools in City A had collaborated on the questions for the midterm and thus had synchronised their midterm papers for the Monday and Tuesday of that week.
The ranking system would also expand to include these schools. On top of receiving one’s ranking within one’s school, one would also be ranked alongside students from all the participating schools, to give one’s approximate standing among students in City A.
Everyone was incredibly nervous about this midterm exam. Everyone, except Ji Yao and Huo Cheng that is. For the former, nonchalance was a habit; as for the latter, he really, truly was not concerned.
These were the top two students in their level. 🙂
[T/N: I don’t know what this seemingly passive-aggressive smiley is for but I’m really feeling it.]
When the two days of exams had concluded, the atmosphere of relief was palpable: it was as if the students had shed their tension like an old snakeskin. The teachers, however, were in a mad rush to finish grading the exam scripts, in preparation for that Friday’s parent-teacher meet.
The parent-teacher conference took up the final two afternoon periods of Friday’s classes. This was also the time that the students broke off into their respective club activities. When the bell rang to signal the end of the first period, there were already parents standing in line in the corridors outside the classrooms.
Zhao Yimeng peered out the window nervously, and sent Shen Wanying a text: 【My Lady, which of your parents is coming?】
Shen Wanying: 【My mom】
Zhao Yimeng: 【Same here. I’m screwed, I have a feeling I didn’t do well this time around.】
Shen Wanying: 【Relax. Didn’t you go over your answers with Ji Yao?】
Zhao Yimeng: 【That’s the thing, I went over my answers with him and so many of them were different, now I’m scared qwq】
Shen Wanying: 【Why don’t you go ask Huo Cheng about his answers? For all you know, Ji Yao could’ve been wrong.】
Zhao Yimeng: 【…….You have a point.】
So you and Huo Cheng are on such good terms, huh.
Shen Wanying wasn’t one to compare answers after a test, so Zhao Yimeng could only turn to the other students for help in this area. But it was already time for the parent-teacher meet, and she didn’t feel like comparing answers anymore.
Ah, whatever, let’s just see what fate has in store for me!
Shen Wanying turned to Huo Cheng, who sat in the left corner at the back of the class. “Huo Cheng, who’ve you got coming for the meet?”
Uncle Huo is out of the country, and his mother is… well, not around. Is it his grandfather who would be coming?
Huo Cheng replied, “My aunt is coming.”
Shen Wanying was surprised. “Your aunt?”
“Yup. My grandfather is too old, and he’s not suited to an environment like this.”
Shen Wanying nodded. Parent-teacher meets were often tiring, and involved crowded rooms and a lot of people; an old man would indeed not quite be suited for it.
By the end of the second period, everybody’s attention span was flagging. As a result, the teacher decided not to teach and gave them the time to do some self-study. The crowd of parents outside the classroom grew steadily. Mr. Song ended class early, and sent the students off to their club activities, emptying the classroom so the parents could enter.
Their seats were all named, and the parents sat at their assigned seats. Jiang Yu was one of the first to enter, and the moment she set foot in the classroom, the students all recognised her as Shen Wanying’s mother.
“Wah, that’s Lady Shen’s mother, she’s got such a powerful presence!”
“Yeah! No wonder Lady Shen is so good-looking, her genes are so strong!”
As they clamoured softly and whispered among themselves, Shen Wanying stood and greeted her: “Mom.”
Jiang Yu acknowledged her with a nod and turned her gaze to Huo Cheng. She seemed to look him over for a few moments, sizing him up, then smiled and greeted him. “Huo Cheng, do you still remember me? It’s been so many years, you’ve grown into such a handsome young man!”
Huo Cheng replied politely, “It’s good to see you, Aunty Jiang.”
“Yes, and you too.” The more you look at him, Jiang Yu thought, the more good-looking he seems. And so polite, too! In her opinion, any future husband of Shen Wanying’s should be just like Huo Cheng.
“Huo Cheng, are you sitting here?” Huo Yanni had arrived, and upon entering the classroom noticed Jiang Yu. Jiang Yu herself was already born to a prestigious family, but she had married into the Shen household and been entrusted a position within the Shen Group that outranked even that of her husband, Shen Qian.
This woman really was something else entirely.
Huo Yanni smiled and made her way over to Jiang Yu. “Jiang Yu, are you here to attend the parent-teacher meet with Wanying?”
“Yes.” Jiang Yu returned the smile. “Huo Cheng has been looking out for our Wanying recently, so I came over to greet him.”
Huo Yanni laughed to herself. That gaze Jiang Yu cast at Huo Cheng, was the look of a mother-in-law sizing up a prospective son-in-law. Between the Shen and Huo families, were they planning on a strategic marriage?
She mulled it over. Her own daughter, Qiqi, was only a year junior to Huo Cheng. Huo Qiming kept telling her, over and over, not to get romantically involved with anyone too early, to focus on her studies first. But when it came to Huo Cheng and Shen Wanying, Huo Qiming and Jiang Yu were already playing matchmaker? It was laughable.
At first, because Huo Tingxiao spent most of his time abroad, and Fang Ke had passed on, Huo Yanni had felt that Huo Cheng would be helpless to change the course of his family’s history all on his own. But if he was really to be joined to the Shen household and have the backing of the Shen family, he could very well have a chance.
At this point, Huo Yanni realised she was getting ahead of herself. Even if they were to marry, they’d have to graduate both high school and college first before that could begin to be arranged. And that was still so many years away. Who knew what would happen within so much time?
The teacher’s announcement interrupted her musings.
“Can I ask that all parents please be seated when you have found your seats? Students, please don’t linger in the classroom, and go attend your club activities.” Mr. Song restored order to the classroom from the podium. Huo Cheng and Shen Wanying, having no more business here, left for the Archery Club room.
T/N: Love how the adults have started matchmaking. It’s kind of weird knowing they do end up married, but it’s starting to beg the question, what in the world could have driven Wanying to murder her doting husband? Are you suspicious of anyone yet? I know I have my theories >_> and we also have advance chapters, so let us know if you’d be interested in those! After all, we’re all dying to know where this is going, right?