SPMW 06 – Young master Shang’s unknown smile

Two days flew past quickly.

Location: One of the five-star business hotel under Shang Establishment Group.

Inside the luxurious private restaurant cabin, Shang Yushang leaned back lazily on his seat, his countenance aloof, while played with the tea cup in his hand.

Old Madam Shang had her tea cup in her hands, and she drank from it slowly. Sitting opposite her was her son, Shang GuoZhang, and his wife Qiu Huilin. Both were drinking their tea as well, and only the sound of them sipping their tea could be heard inside the entire cabin.

About ten minutes later, guided by the waitress, the four members of the Yin Family – Elder Yin along with her son, Yin Zhinian and his wife, Congmin, and lastly, He Changning walking behind them, entered the private cabin.

Just for this meeting, Elder Yin had especially instructed her son and his wife to be well-dressed so that they would not be looked down on by others. Of course, they had also reminded He Changning not to put the Yin family to shame.

He Changning simply smiled it off without a word. Elder Yin can’t be bothered with him, and she even noticed that although he went without being well-dressed on purpose, Changning was still more presentable than anyone in the Yin family. So, she pretended not to notice his casual attire, while she made sure to warn him to act appropriately – since he’d already agreed, he’d better not screw things up.

The old Madam Shang gestured to her family members to get up and walk over to greet the Yin family members. With a generous smile, she greeted with a slight head bow, “You must the Yin family’s old madam I suppose? Nice to meet you.”

Elder Yin quickly gestured towards her politely, “You’re too modest, Madam Shang. Nice to meet you too, I am Changning’s grandmother.” She greeted with a smile, squeezing her small, bright eyes into a thin line.

“You’re welcome. Here, take a seat inside.” Old Madam Shang politely made a ‘this way’ gesture.

Elder Yin humbly walked to her seat together with the Shang family, the rest following behind. As everyone took their seats, the waitresses entered to serve some tea before retreating out from the cabin.

Old Madam Shang took a sip from her tea cup before starting, “Madam Shang, it is nice to meet your family today. Let me introduce you, this is my son, his wife,” then she shifted her gaze to Shang Yushang, “and this is my grandson, Shang Yushang.”

Elder Yin smiled from ear to ear as she greeted Shang Guozhang and Qiu Huilin, “Nice to meet all of you. Let me introduce you to my family as well. This is my son, Yin Zhinian, that’s his wife,” then she pointed at He Changning, “and that’s my grandson, He Changning.” As if there was a need to explain, she added on, “Oh, he followed his mother’s surname.”

Old Madam Shang was observing He Changning from the moment he entered the cabin. He Changning’s calm, stable behaviour, neither servile nor overbearing, made old Madam Shang appreciate his character – her initial impression of He Changning was very positive, “You’re Changning aren’t you? Hmm, you seem like a good child.”

Old Madam Shang’s praise made Yin Zhinian feel relieved. At least when Changning is married over, with old Madam Shang watching over him, he should not have a miserable time with them.

Congmin despised old Madam Shang in her heart – What’s that gaze supposed to mean? She could not see anything good about He Changning. But for the sake of resolving the Yin Establishment’s financial crisis, she must continue to put on a fake smile – an awkward smile that looked a tad twisted.

Conversely, Elder Yin’s heart was full of delightedness – with old Madam Shang’s firm opinion over He Changning, then this marriage was confirmed as good. That meant the negotiating talk over the dowry later would be a more flexible one.

Shang Guozhang and Qiu Huilin shared a glance with shock and disbelief in their eyes. They knew all too well that old Madam Shang rarely praised anyone. For the old lady to even say ‘not bad’ about someone, then she had imprecisely assured this person’s character. For a person that she just met for the first time, then that’s even more exceptional.

The Yin family’s’ individual expressions were all captured in He Changning’s eyes. Especially Elder Yin’s obviously scheming gaze.

He Changning’s eyes shone like black diamonds as his pupils shrunk slightly. The edge of his lips unknowingly curled upwards as he continued observing – Such greediness, they don’t seem to be afraid of swallowing more than what they could handle, do they?

As opposed to He Changning who only shared one glance with him, Shang Yushang’s fixated gaze had never left him. Every detail of Changning’s facial expression was captured in his gaze; the calm and peaceful look when he just arrived, to the humble and patient look when old Madam Shang praised him. He thought to himself; This little fellow’s self-restraint is commendable, unlike those people that the Yin family have raised. Perhaps deep down, he’s more like his mother, or maybe even the He family.

Shang Yushang also noticed Elder Yin’s scheming gaze, but he was not bothered at all. Only when he saw the tinge of sarcasm in He Changning’s eyes did his gaze darken.

Elder Yin smiled as she replied, “We’re flattered. Changning is still young and naive. He will need your guidance in the future.”

Old Madam Shang sips her tea and then she replies, “Oh no, I think this child is pretty decent – not arrogant or impatient and with a sense of propriety – it’s very rare to see such a young and earnest child. Don’t you think so too, Yushang?” the old Madam Shang turned her gaze towards her grandson.

Shang Yushang nodded his head slightly as his lips curled very lightly on his expressionless face. With his deep, attractive voice, he agreed, “It is as grandmother says.”

Old Madam Shang turned her attention to He Changning with a benevolent smile, “Changning, can I call you that way?”

He Changning curled his lips as he put a pleasant and innocent smile on his face, “Madam Shang, I’m alright with anything.”

Old Madam Shang’s grin got even wider, “You’re really are such a sensible child. It must be hard on you.”

He Changning dazed for a moment then gave a knowing smile, “Madam Shang, thank you for your kind love.”

Old Madam Shang nodded her head slightly and did not say anything further.

The dishes they ordered were gradually served, spread out on the dining table, and everyone chatted while they ate.

Yin Zhinian and Shang Guozhang chatted about the happenings in the business community whereas Congmin engaged Qiu Huilin in talks about jewelries and fashion etc.

While Elder Yin was busy working her way into being friends with old Madam Shang, her face blatantly showed – You hear my sincerity? Then let’s quickly get onto the topic of the dowry.

Old Madam Shang handled Elder Yin like Taiji1 as she chatted leisurely with He Changning, “Changning, you’re twenty this year? Are you still schooling?”

He Changning put down the chopstick in his hands and replied, “I’m not schooling anymore. I’ve graduated.”

Old Madam Shang was slightly taken aback, “Already graduated?”

“Yes, Madam Shang.”

“But I thought kids your age should still be studying in their freshman at university. How did you graduate so quickly?”

“I’ve skipped levels in junior high school and senior high school. I’ve also completed my university studies in two years, hence the early graduation.”

Everyone stopped their conversation and looked at He Changning in amazement.

To be stared by so many people like he was a monster made He Changning blush as he pursed his lips shyly.

Shang Yushang’s gaze darkened – this side of He Changning was simply too irresistible.

A dash of light pink blush covered his pale face, as his long eyelashes fluttered along with his doe-like eyes batting away. Just below his sharp nose were those healthy, light-red lips that spoke every word like a melody. His long, slender fingers unconsciously rubbed against the edge of the teacup nestled in his hands, and one could easily see the blue veins beneath his pale skin.

With an outgoing, tall and slim figure, he was definitely not associated with weakness. His body was wrapped perfectly in his white blouse, the curves of his flexible muscles formed from long-term exercising were vaguely revealed where the fabric met his skin. His body’s flexibility could easily be deduced from the way he moved his jean wrapped legs – he must be really good (at stretching).

Shang Yushang suddenly thought of a descriptive phrase that perfectly described He Changning – 陌上人如玉,公子世无双。2

The thought that such an outstanding, gorgeous person would soon become his wife caused Shang Yushang’s smile to widen.

Getting stared at so persistently by Shang Yushang, He Changning could not even ignore it. He tilted his head and looked at Shang Yushang as he mumbled in his heart – this fellow has been staring at me since I got here, you’re not tired?

He Changning’s questioning gaze amused Shang Yushang and his lips curled upwards and smiled back at him, “Changning’s intelligence is certainly outstanding.”

After he witnessed the ultimate poker-face, Shang young master, reveal his unknown smile, He Changning suddenly felt a chill down his spine.

[1] Taiji – Chinese martial art exercise – in this case, it’s like saying madam shang is pushing her off(?) is an appropriate and defensive way

[2] 陌上人如玉,公子世无双 – is a part of a Chinese poem that basically means “your beauty is like no other person in the world, no matter where I go, I’ll always be reminded of you.” I did not translate this part as it’s too difficult to phrase it in English in a poetic way.

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