146 Charming the Elders
Seeing the silent scream on Little Brother Ye's face, Ye Shuang knew she had hit the nail on the head. Little Brother Ye was unconsciously trying to not look at the supermarket. If Xu Jian's parents were leaving, then he would have nothing to worry about. He only needed to distract Ye Shuang for a while and they would have left already. Since he was acting like this, then they should still be inside the supermarket.
Ye Shuang smiled as she dragged Little Brother Ye to the supermarket. "Well, what do you know? I'm trying to find out what has been going on with Xu Jian's family recently, so I'll depend on you to make some conversation."
"Sis, it sounds so easy to you." Little Brother Ye cried, but there were no tears. "I'm their son's ex-girlfriend's brother; what is there for me to talk about with them? I visited them so many times when you two were still together, but in the end, they ended up with nothing. Why do you think they will want to talk with me‽"
Ye Shuang looked at him with condescension. "Based on that logic, you want me to sacrifice myself so that they won't think it's such a waste‽ When it's time to be shameless, you need to step up to the plate. You have always been good at that, so why are you acting all shy now‽"
"That's not what I meant!" Little Brother Ye sighed, but he knew there was no getting out of it that day. "Fine, I'll be shameless since you've asked for it. After all, you're my sister."
"Good boy, I'll raise your allowance this month." Ye Shuang patted him on his head.
With the lure of gold, Little Brother Ye recovered instantly. Since he had agreed to cooperate, Ye Shuang did not need to waste her energy reading his expression anymore. They entered the supermarket, grabbed the trolley, and soon found Xu Jian's parents. It wasn't hard to achieve that. As elders, they would be shopping at the fresh foods section.
Then, the pair of siblings pretended to pick out the vegetable as they wandered close to their target. With Ye Shuang's improved eye sight, she could even discern the number of holes on a vegetable's root. Therefore, as they wandered through the market, she tossed several fresh vegetables into their trolley like they were really there to shop.
"Eh, isn't this Uncle Xu‽" Little Brother Ye pretended for a long time at the section selling potatoes before gasping to grab the attention of Xu Jian's parents, who were standing beside them. Ye Shuang rolled her eyes. Little Brother Ye's acting was so forced.
Then again, Xu Jian's parents did not seem to have noticed this. The middle-aged man who was called Uncle Xu raised his head to look at Little Brother Ye with confusion. "You are… right, Xiao Ye is it‽"
It finally dawned on him as he managed to recognize the young man who greeted him.
There were indeed some differences between a high schooler and a university student. Even though the base had not changed much, the facial features had gained more dimensions. Thankfully, Little Brother Ye had managed to gain the favor of the two elders when he was young or else they would not have been able to recognize him.
Mrs. Xu's favorite was Little Brother Ye. There were two women in his family that Little Brother Ye needed to deal with on a daily basis, so he had long mastered how to win their affection. This meant that he won Mrs. Xu's heart with ease. When she heard her husband call out the familiar name, she immediately turned around to have a good look before her face broke into a bright smile. "It is Xiao Ye! You've gotten even more handsome after all these years!"
After peeling off that first layer of shamelessness, Little Brother Ye pretended to know them well. With just a few words, he managed to get the two elders laughing. It seemed like a great reunion. It was as if he was really their junior. The awkward situation that he worried about earlier did not happen.
Ye Shuang's acting skill was on full display. She smiled reservedly while standing to the side. That presence, that face, she could not have been more obvious. The two elders kept glancing her way in the middle of their conversation. After they told Little Brother Ye to come over for dinner whenever he was free, they finally could not help themselves from asking, "Xiao Ye, who is the girl‽"
Little Brother Ye curled his hand around Ye Shuang's waist with a smile. He leaned his face close to Ye Shuang's face. "This is my sister, Ye Shuang. Uncle Xu, Auntie Xu, don't you think we look similar‽"
Ye Shuang greeted them with a smiling nod. "Auntie, Uncle."
Mr. and Mrs. Xu were stunned. This was their son's ex-girlfriend‽
This thought had not crossed their mind. When Ye Shuang wanted to trick others with the model of a young lady, even the socialites at Jing Hu City were unable to see through her acting, much less Xu Jian's parents, who had not seen much of the world.
Combined with the delicate features, no matter how much they were biased for their son, they could not say that their son would be a great pair with this goddess. They had initially been curious about why such a quality girl would be standing beside Little Brother Ye, but they had never expected that this would be their son's university girlfriend whom they had heard so much about but never met.
Suddenly, they realized that it was only fair that the girl broke up with their son. Perhaps her standard had not yet been so high when she was studying at the university. Xu Jian's parents looked at each other and nodded silently.
"My sister is planning to take the examination to be a professional Go player. She just came back from Jing Hu City to have private lessons from our national player." Ye Shuang had already told Little Brother Ye what to say, so Little Brother Ye made his move immediately. "I haven't seen my dear sister for quite some time already because she just arrived at San Lin City, so I dragged her out to come grocery shopping with me so that we can spend some quality time together."
That was rather accurate but also misleading at the same time.
Planning to be a professional Go player‽ Meaning she would not just be taking up the art. She had probably been researching it for years already.
Just came back from Jing Hu City where she took private lessons from national player? Meaning she was good at her job to get such a good teacher.
Just arrived at San Lin City? Sounds like she had been residing elsewhere.
Everything Little Brother Ye said was the truth, but the focus had been shifted. After muddling the key information, it gave a different impression for others. Xu Jian's parents instantly felt that she was definitely beyond their son's standard.
Ye Shuang chatted with the two elders. Even though it was not intimate, she was respectful and polite. Obedient children always had an easier time winning the love of the elders. Little Brother Ye's style might have been able to endear him to the elders faster, but that depended on the personality of said elders. If they did not mind it, they would find him cute, but if they did mind it, they would find him disrespectful. On the other hand, Ye Shuang's setting could be accepted by all. The good girl persona never failed.
The identity of their son's ex-girlfriend aside, the two had a good impression of Ye Shuang. Therefore, the group of two soon became a group of four.
"You should have come to pay us more visits when you were young." Auntie Xu walked alongside Ye Shuang while the two men walked at the back. They did look like a happy family.
Auntie Xu patted Ye Shuang kindly on the back of her hand. The more Auntie Xu looked at this girl, the more she liked her. Alas, her son had ruined everything. Then again, the girl is still single, and if the interaction becomes more constant, perhaps there is still a chance‽
The more she thought about it, the more confident she became. Auntie Xu's expression turned immensely kind. "When you're free, remember to come visit us with Xiao Feng. After all, your Uncle Xu and myself have already retired and are rather bored at home."
Ye Shuang nodded silently. "But Uncle and Auntie are still so young. Why retire so soon?"
"It's all thanks to Xu Jian," Auntie Xu said with a humble expression. "He's working for his uncle and now holds quite a powerful post. He said that he didn't want us to work as he can take care of us, so he helped us arrange for an early retirement."
Early retirement was common in many companies. When a company was about to cut their employees, they would normally target those that were close to their retirement age, about five years away from the retirement age set down by the law. However, it was also permissible if the employees wanted to retire earlier than that. After all, no one paid this that much attention.
"Xu Jian's uncle is also in San Lin City‽" Ye Shuang put on an innocent expression to face Xu Jian's parents. While showing interest in their son, she tried to get more information from them. "Then Xu Jian has been working for his uncle since his graduation? His uncle's business must be very big."
There were only so many things elders liked to do, but comparing their children's achievement would be one of them. Ye Shuang very expertly turned that topic to that particular interest, and Auntie Xu was more than glad to oblige. "I don't know much about business, but I know he has been managing a foreign company. He only returned to San Lin City several months ago. By the way, have you heard of the Xi Hwa Group? They just opened a branch office in San Lin City, and his uncle is the chairperson."
"Is that so‽ That's amazing." Ye Shuang smiled and nodded. Haven't heard of that name before!
They chatted for a while longer before Auntie Xu who needed to rush home to cook dinner parted from the future daughter-in-law. After they were a distance away, Little Brother Ye sighed as he massaged his cheeks. "Oh my god, my face was about to fall off already from all the smiles! But then again, who would have thought I have such a good connection? Auntie and Uncle are still so friendly even though we haven't met for years."
"In your dreams, that's because you have a beautiful sister." Ye Shuang saw through Auntie Xu's intention, but she did not point it out. After all, she might still have use for this identity. If she could get more information on Xu Jian this way, why not?
As they exited the supermarket with their purchases, Ye Shuang took out her phone. Of Ye Shuang's contacts, the one who was most familiar with San Lin City was Yao Zhixing, so that was who he called.
"Brother Yao, have you heard of the Xi Hwa Group in San Lin City?"
Yao Zhixing was stunned. "The Xi Hwa Group? How do you know them?"