Chapter 12 – Phoenix Man (12) *edited
Yan Jingze carried a lunchbox and went to the canteen, as usual, to pack three meat dishes before heading home.
When he arrived home, it was almost dinner time. Upon opening the door, the aroma of the food greeted him.
When Grandma Jiang first arrived in the city, she didn’t know how to use anything in the kitchen. However, she was quite eager to learn and gradually mastered the skills. Now, she was the one cooking all the meals at home.
Even her favorite TV shows had turned into cooking tutorials.
Over the past six months, she even became friends with the elderly lady next door, learning how to grow vegetables. They collected many discarded foam boxes and filled them with soil to grow green onions, leeks, and peppers, saving a lot of money.
Today, the elderly lady used her homegrown leeks to make scrambled eggs and cooked two vegetable dishes.
The only downside to the elderly lady’s cooking might be her reluctance to use oil, but Yan Jingze didn’t mind. He believed less oil was healthier.
As soon as Yan Jingze entered, the elderly lady greeted him, and Jiang Pingxiu, who had been studying inside the room, also emerged, his gaze fixed on Yan Jingze.
Under his intense gaze, Yan Jingze felt the impulse to be affectionate.
Of course, he restrained himself in front of the elderly lady, and even in private, he tried to hold back. Otherwise, he felt a bit like a beast.
Their mealtime was flexible. Once everyone was hungry and gathered, the food was ready, and they could start eating. Today, as Yan Jingze returned, it was time for the meal.
During dinner, Grandma Jiang asked, “Xiao Yan, isn’t it tiring for you to study and work for money again?”
Yan Jingze smiled, “Not really, Grandma. Look, I sit around at home all day, where would I get tired?”
“Thinking is exhausting too,” Grandma Jiang said. “Xiao Yan, I just found out Pingwa’er hasn’t been working lately… I can’t let you support us. I have some money here…”
Grandma Jiang took out the card that Jiang Pingxiu had given her and intended to give it to Yan Jingze.
While Grandma Jiang was speaking, Yan Jingze had already guessed her intentions. Seeing the card made it even clearer.
“Grandma, we’re all family. Why bother with such distinctions? My money is your money,” Yan Jingze said with a smile towards Grandma Jiang.
Grandma Jiang had already prepared herself for Yan Jingze refusing the money. She had even thought about how to persuade Yan Jingze to accept it. But then, Yan Jingze unexpectedly said they were a family?
“Family?” Grandma Jiang was stunned.
Jiang Pingxiu was also taken aback. When he wanted to give money to Yan Jingze, he recalled Yan Jingze saying they were family and should share equally… He felt warm and fuzzy at the time. But now… his grandma was right there!
Yan Jingze knew that what he was about to say to Grandma Jiang would be quite a bombshell. But Grandma Jiang would eventually find out about this matter. Moreover, in the past six months, he had subtly prepared Grandma Jiang by occasionally mentioning the concept of contemporary “DINK” couples and news about men marrying men from foreign countries, presenting it as news to the elderly lady.
She believed anything he told her. She had started to think it was perfectly normal for men to marry men.
But Jiang Pingxiu, who had been diligently studying in the house, probably wasn’t aware of this conversation.
Yan Jingze said, “Grandma, in fact, Pingxiu and I are in a relationship.”
“What?” Grandma Jiang was dumbfounded. While she had heard about men marrying men in foreign countries, she had never thought her grandson and Yan Jingze… She always thought her grandson was just Yan Jingze’s follower.
Jiang Pingxiu was dumbfounded, and his body uncontrollably trembled again. He hadn’t expected Yan Jingze to disclose this to his grandma. What if his grandma got angry?
Yan Jingze noticed Jiang Pingxiu’s unease. He knew that calming Grandma Jiang would mean calming Jiang Pingxiu. So, he faced Grandma Jiang and said, “Grandma, I’m really sorry. I’ve influenced Pingxiu… But rest assured, we will be together for life, and I will take care of both of you.”
Grandma Jiang was still a bit bewildered. “How did you end up together? Why did you take a liking to Pingwa’er?”
“He’s a good person, and I just like him,” Yan Jingze explained.
“I didn’t mean to say Pingwa’er isn’t good, but…” Of course, Grandma Jiang thought highly of her grandson, but it was still unbelievable to her that Yan Jingze had taken an interest in him.
Back in the village, Yan Jingze was the most outstanding, whereas Jiang Pingxiu was the complete opposite – the least likable.
When Jiang Pingxiu was younger, he was often bullied, and every time Grandma Jiang saw the bruises on his body, she felt deeply pained, but was utterly powerless…
“Grandma, you might not know, but Pingxiu provided the money for me to attend high school,” Yan Jingze grabbed Grandma Jiang’s hand. “He worked hard at that time so I could finish high school properly. Later, when I went to college, he came out to work to earn money for my education. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be who I am today.”
Grandma Jiang was genuinely unaware of this, looking somewhat stunned.
Yan Jingze continued, “Actually, what he has done for me far outweighs what I’ve done for him. It’s just that I was so poor before and couldn’t give him much. But now that I have money, I’ll entrust it to him.”
As he spoke, Yan Jingze took out a card and handed it to Jiang Pingxiu. “Pingxiu, this is the money I’ve saved in the past six months. Take it!”
Jiang Pingxiu stared blankly at Yan Jingze and didn’t move. Yan Jingze forcefully pushed the card into his hand.
“Brother Jingze…” Jiang Pingxiu attempted to refuse.
Yan Jingze then looked at Grandma Jiang. “Grandma, we genuinely love each other. Please don’t separate us.”
Grandma Jiang, feeling dizzy from the conversation, only remembered one thing at that moment, “If you two are together, what about the child?”
“I don’t want children, and besides, I have a younger brother in my family. If I don’t have children, it’s not a problem. If Pingxiu wants a child, we can adopt one and carry Pingxiu’s surname,” Yan Jingze said.
This was something Yan Jingze had considered a while ago.
In their rural area, having a son was highly valued for old age security. However, when one couldn’t have a child of their own, adopting a child was just as cherished.
As expected, Grandma Jiang didn’t object, saying, “Okay!”
“Do you agree with us being together now, Grandma?” Yan Jingze asked.
“I’ll listen to Pingxiu,” Grandma Jiang finally recalled that they were discussing her grandson’s matters and turned to Jiang Pingxiu.
Jiang Pingxiu had been anxious and very afraid, fearing that his grandmother would be angry and wouldn’t agree.
This matter was so delicate; what if his grandmother became upset?
The result was beyond Jiang Pingxiu’s belief at the moment!
“Pingxiu, are you willing to be with me?” Yan Jingze asked.
Grandma Jiang also looked at her grandson.
Under the gaze of these two people, Jiang Pingxiu’s face blushed again. “I’m willing!” Of course, he was willing to be with Yan Jingze. In this world, there was nothing he wanted more than this!
Seeing his agreement, Yan Jingze smiled at Grandma Jiang, “Grandma, don’t worry, we will live well together.”
Grandma Jiang, somewhat dazed, nodded, suddenly recalling something, “Wait, you two will sleep in one room, this…?”
“Grandma, don’t worry, Pingxiu is still young, and we won’t do anything,” Yan Jingze assured.
Grandma Jiang looked at Yan Jingze, puzzled, “Pingxiu is still young? He’s not that young… I mean, you two men…” How would two men ‘sleep’?
Yan Jingze: “…” The old lady was concerned about that?
In rural areas, early marriage was common. After graduating from junior high school, they would start looking for a partner. Once they found someone, they would get engaged first, and then many would only officially register their marriage when they reached a certain age. In fact, many people even had several children before getting married.
However, he couldn’t discuss this matter with the old lady.
He felt quite embarrassed!
Thinking this way, Yan Jingze noticed Jiang Pingxiu looking at him curiously, full of curiosity in his eyes.
This kid probably didn’t know how two men were supposed to ‘sleep’.
In this household, perhaps his thoughts were the least pure.
Yan Jingze, with impure thoughts, did not answer the old lady’s question.
He quickly finished the food in his bowl and then said, “I still have work; I need to go.”
He entered the house but didn’t actually get busy; he still kept an eye on the happenings outside. He then heard Jiang Pingxiu looking embarrassedly at his grandmother, “Grandma, I’m sorry…”
“It’s alright, Grandma knows, it’s natural. Some even turn themselves into women,” Grandma Jiang said.
Jiang Pingxiu was a bit stunned; he didn’t even know his grandmother’s thinking was so open-minded!
Grandma Jiang continued, “Pingwa’er, don’t go turning into a woman, it costs a lot.”
Jiang Pingxiu couldn’t help but smile wryly, “Grandma, I won’t.” He was a man, and he was very sure of that. He just didn’t understand why he liked Yan Jingze, and now, he was liking him more and more, finding it hard to be without him.
“As long as you don’t change.” Grandma Jiang sighed in relief. She couldn’t bear it if her grandson were to become her granddaughter.
But seeing her grandson like this now…
“Pingwa’er, in the future, do I not have to save money for your marriage anymore?” Grandma Jiang suddenly asked.
Since Jiang Pingxiu was very young, she had been worried, afraid she wouldn’t be able to gather enough money for her grandson’s marriage, fearing he would remain single. Now that her grandson didn’t need to marry a wife, she suddenly felt a sense of relief.
Jiang Pingxiu: “…”
Yan Jingze, who was eavesdropping: “…”