Chapter 16 - Xu Family Estate
The black sedan drove through the mountainous road in the dark night. Its destination was the Xu Family’s secret mansion on the outskirts of the capital city. The mansion, hidden by trees, was located in the middle of the mountain, and from afar, only the wing-shaped rooftop emerging from the depths of the mansion could be seen. It was an excellent place to recuperate, and it indicated that those living there must be extremely rich.
The guards at the gate stopped the sedan. But then the car window slowly rolled down, revealing Mu Mingcheng’s expressionless profile. The guards immediately gave a salute, pressed the gate button, and allowed the car to smoothly drive in.
After traveling a short distance, Mu Mingcheng could see a vintage courtyard. Mu Mingcheng got out. He straightened his clothes and then walked in. Secretary Fang trailed behind him.
There was winding path on both sides, and every few meters, a street lamp illuminated their way. The yard was very quiet in the early summer, with only the occasional croaking of frogs or shrilling of cicadas making some noise before someone caught them or chased them away.
Such an amount of noise was usually fine. But tonight, the Grandmaster was sick and couldn’t bear the noise.
“Good evening, Master Mu.”
The Xu Estate servants hurried back and forth with precise footsteps. But when they saw Mu Mingcheng, they paused for a moment before greeting him, a sign of their high-quality training.
Quite a few people in the mansion had watched Mu Mingcheng grow up, and he nodded to the people he knew.
A serious-looking man was waiting at the entrance of the main hall. He wore a tidy, traditional outfit and his hairstyle was neat. He walked up to Mu Mingcheng with furrowed brows and asked in a scolding manner, “Why are you first getting here now? Grandpa has been waiting to finally talk to you for a long time.”
This person was Xu Chenghui, the Young Master Xu who had talked to Secretary Fang. He was six feet tall with a solid figure and a squarish face with a strong jaw. Among common people, he could be considered somewhat handsome. Such a face made him a natural candidate to be involved in politics.
However, this man’s height and appearance fell short in comparison to Mu Mingcheng. Xu Chenghui couldn’t help but stand two meters away before looking straight up at the man in front of him. He really didn’t like his cousin.
Mu Mingcheng’s gaze swept over the inner room and he said with a laugh, “Why is Cousin so anxious? If Grandpa knew why I was late, he would surely be happy.”
Xu Chenghui could not guess what his cousin had done to please that old man. But as if showing who was the master between the two of them, Xu Chenghui led the way. “Come in quickly.”
As Mu Mingcheng entered, the corners of his lips lifted to form a sarcastic smile.
The secretary and the driver weren’t able to follow them. But this didn’t prevent them from seeing Young Master Xu’s unhappy expression.
Seeing that no one was around, Secretary Fang nudged the driver beside him and said with a grin, “Old Liu, look at Mr. Xu’s prideful posture.”
Old Liu dismissively looked at the secretary and then walked two steps away while staying silent. They were all adults. He also knew Young Master Xu’s character. He was not deaf and had clearly heard the conversation between him and his boss.
Master Xu lay on the bed in the inner room with acupuncture needles pierced all over his wrist. From time to time, his muddy gaze turned toward the door, and he asked with a weak voice, “Mingcheng, why hasn’t he arrived yet?”
An old lady with gray hair sat on a stool next to a bed, accompanied on the side by a few men and women. The family doctor observed the situation from the other side of the bed.
“I just called him. He said he was arriving soon,” Mrs. Xu answered as she covered her husband up with a blanket.
Sickness can come as quick and as violent as a landslide on a mountain, but recovery takes a long time. This saying was no exaggeration to the Xu Family.
For the Xu household, the elder lying on the bed represented the mountain of their family. Xu Baishan had lived through a warring era, and he had achieved great accomplishments on the battlefield. Other elders from the same generation were now buried beneath the earth. Their contributions in their lifetime had played a pivotal role in establishing Z Country. People throughout Z Country would have to show all due respect when meeting face to face with the Xu Family.
Until the age of seventy-one, Xu Baishan had enjoyed good health, and his family paid close attention to his care. But old age spared no man, after all. His old body was no longer resilient. The weather in June would go from cold mornings to unquenchable heat throughout the rest of the day. And one such morning Master Xu arose early. He caught a cold and then suffered a high fever in the evening. As he suffered from the pain, he wouldn’t stop talking about his favored grandchild, Mu Mingcheng.
Xu Chenghui immediately called for Mu Mingcheng to come inside. When Mu Mingcheng entered the room, his gaze swept on the crowd gathered around the bed. He saw around ten people. The mood was quite heavy, and he slightly frowned.
Mrs. Xu quickly stood up and offered her seat. “Mingcheng, your grandfather is waiting for you.”
Xu Baishan opened his eyes and angrily scolded, “You smelly boy, you’re just like your parents. You don’t contact me anymore just because I’m old?”
Mu Mingcheng helped his grandfather sit up in his bed as he replied with a laugh, “Grandpa, you said that you’ve yet to embrace a great-grandson. How could you be old?”
“That’s because none of you boys have married yet. How could I possibly have great-grandchildren?”
Xu Baishan had two sons, and both of them brought forth several grandchildren. However, the eldest of the grandchildren, Xu Chenghui, had yet to be married.
Currently, the Xu Family did not have a fourth generation. However, the competition between the second and third generations was still going on, so Master Xu was in no hurry. Most of his children and grandchildren had average qualifications anyway. If the Xu Family desired to maintain its glorious status, it needed to strive to constantly cultivate the new generation.
Xu Baishan knew that this disease of his was quite serious, but that didn’t matter. He could live well for at least another twenty years, so there would be no problems in raising a good successor. But the prerequisite was that a grandson of his family needed to get married and have children.
Although Mu Mingcheng wasn’t surnamed Xu, unfortunately, his family didn’t have an elder in the Mu Family. So Master Xu had thought it would be appropriate to take on the responsibility of looking after this grandson of his.
Xu Chenghui solemnly looked at his grandfather and said with resolve, “Grandpa, my brothers and I are planning to start a business before focusing on raising a family. Mingcheng is already successful in his career, but there is no woman beside him. You might as well encourage him.”
“Don’t worry about it, Grandpa. I already have a girlfriend,” Mu Mingcheng dropped this bomb on his family with a smile.
“Cousin has a girlfriend? Since when?” A few of the Xu Family members exclaimed in shock. In the past, none of them dared to converse with Mu Mingcheng as he occasionally leaked out a murderous aura. It caused them to back off in fright. But in these past two years, after this man retired from the military and went into business, he seemed a lot calmer. They had finally gained the courage to approach him.
“Just recently.” Mu Mingcheng seemed slightly embarrassed.
Xu Chenghui couldn’t help but shiver as he looked up at his cousin in surprise. Is this tender lovestruck man the same Mu Mingcheng that I know?
Meanwhile, Xu Baishan, who was planning to vent his anger regardless of his grandson’s excuses, was completely caught off-guard. “Now that’s some good news! When are you going to bring her here and give me a healthy grandchild to play with?”
Am I supposed to have a child just so you can play with one?
However, when he thought of having a chubby, soft child with Gu Jin, Mu Mingcheng couldn’t help but shiver.
He quickly replied, “We’re in no hurry. For now, it’s just a trial relationship. If we’re not suitable for each other, we’ll just go our separate ways.”
Xu Baishan was feeling too sick to continue. So after a few more words, he dismissed everyone. Mu Mingcheng was given his own room at the estate, so he decided to rest here instead of heading home.
“I never imagined that Cousin would also have a romantic side,” a girl said. She was the youngest daughter of the Xu Family’s second elder sister-in-law. The young woman’s eyes sparkled as she stared at Mu Mingcheng’s figure. His wide shoulders, narrow waist, and long legs looked really appealing. She said with a sigh, “Cousin must have saved a nation in his previous life.”
Xu Chenghui heard this sentence right when he entered. He scolded the young woman with a frown, “It’s late. You should go to sleep.”
Xu Jiaoyun didn’t care for him. She mumbled a few words and stuck out her tongue at him before retreating back to her room.
This girl has no idea what it entails to save a nation, and now she’s even saying that Mingcheng has a romantic side? How ridiculous! If one was trained to be a killing machine, how would that person have a shred of tenderness? Xu Chenghui sneered.
Rain was pouring outside. Gu Jin sat cross-legged on the sofa as she quickly browsed for information on her computer. After some time, she set aside her laptop and did some stretches. She then treated herself to some ginger tea and brown sugar on the table. After making sure her stomach was filled with warmth, she leisurely laid down on her bed.
Starting a business is difficult!
Gu Jin’s heart had been swayed by Tong Lin’s proposal of creating a magazine together. Why be a soldier when you could be a general? And which CEO would be willing to work under someone else?
Gu Jin touched her face as if she were caressing a delicate flower. She definitely had the looks. With a little more money, she wouldn’t need to look for other men in the future. Instead, men would flock to her. As for Mu Mingcheng? Surely, neither of them could satisfy the other’s desires, so it was best to break up within three months.
Gu Jin spent an entire day in her apartment reading information about this world. The development of literature here was quite similar to that in her previous life. However, webnovels were still in their infancy. All of the romance stories online were filled with overbearing masochistic CEO’s. Gu Jin shuddered whenever she read those overdramatic plotlines. No wonder she could not find any interesting novels to read these days.
Fortunately, her persistence paid off. With her hard work, she finally found a small website with decent works. And among their novels, there were several high-quality works similar to the webnovels she used to read in her previous life.
Gu Jin thoughtfully touched her chin. Since she was helping a friend open a magazine, would it be possible for her to publish a novel as well?
As this thought came to her mind, she opened her WeChat and sent a message to Tong Lin. After all, starting a magazine as a business was his idea, so it was only polite to ask his opinion. If she published her novel under the magazine without his knowledge, he might become unhappy.
Anyway, if he didn’t agree with her idea, Gu Jin could negotiate with another publisher by herself. But Tong Lin replied soon enough.
[Good idea. I’ll talk to Yang Zhe in a few days about it.]
He also sent her a link. When Gu Jin opened the link, she found that it led to a novel targeted toward boys. The novel was about a million words long. Its story was quite popular, but it had no official contract or book signings.
How could Gu Jin be unaware that a noble and benevolent young man like Tong Ling would actually read these books in his past time!
She tried to tell him as delicately as possible.
[President… I don’t read… that kind of genre.]
[It’s not like that…]
[I promise, it doesn’t have overdramatic romance. You can check it out and see for yourself.]
Obviously, Tong Lin had recognized her hesitation, so he quickly explained to her. Tong Lin was certainly a trustworthy character, which was why Gu Jin felt a little guilty. For some reason, she couldn’t refuse him.
[All right, let me finish reading the one I am in the middle of first.]
[Yes, go ahead.]