The atmosphere in the car was a little awkward.
Mainly, Tao Mu was still a little bit unable to figure it out. They were just talking normally, so how did Li Xiaoheng turn the topic to kneeling on a computer keyboard and washing board. Was this kind of thing also a tradition of the Li family?
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Li Xiaoheng said warmly: “There are many people in our family, counting second uncle, third uncle, eldest aunt, and youngest aunt, just the main branch family there are more than 20 people. If also counting the relatives on second gandpa, third grandpa and great-grandfather’s brothers’ side, the family members are even more. Every year on the New Year’s family gatherings, the house is full to the brim with seventy or eighty people.”
“These relatives usually have no contact. We only meet at the New Year’s gathering and divide the end of the year dividends. The relationship with the main branch family is also not close. Some of them would also rely on being elders to make it difficult for the juniors and say something unpleasant.” And most of these mean words were aimed towards the daughter-in-laws and grand-daughter-in-laws.
When the junior daughter-in-laws suffer grievances from the elders, due to courtesy they were unable to speak back. They could only vent their anger in private. So the men in the Li family had lomg trained their ability to coax their wives. Kneeling on computer keyboards and washing boards were just the basic operations. Li Xiaoheng had grown up under this custom, and had learned it all long ago. But what Li Xiaoheng didn’t say was that if Tao Mu participated in the family gathering with him, he would never condon those relatives to make it difficult for the person he liked under the banner of being elders. Not even an unpleasant word would he allow Tao Mu to hear.
This was also an important reason why Li Xiaoheng left the family after starting college. The painful experience of graduating from junior high school made Li Xiaoheng deeply understand what was called “economic independence determines one’s speaking right”. Li Xiaoheng did not want to be bound by the rules of the family, and he didn’t want to listen to some certain elders who relied on being elders to stick their nose in his business. As a result, his only choice was to establish his own career.
Today, Li Xiaoheng’s Xiaoheng Capital had long been the biggest pillar of Fengxing Group, and it was also an important source of profit dividends of many branch family relatives of the Li family. Li Xiaoheng’s right to speak within the family had also increased. He had strong capital to adhere to his principles and protect the person he wanted to protect. He would never be like his father who spent his whole life and energy in maintaining the overall situation, enduring the actions of the shareholders that would come from time to time.
“But you can rest assured that even if those elders see you, they will not dare to make it difficult for you.” Picking up on Tao Mu’s hesitation, Li Xiaoheng smiled and comforted. This was not a lie. After all, before knowing Tao Mu, Li Xiaoheng had always been arbitrary, and did not allow anyone in the family to reach their hands into Xiaoheng capital. After knowing Tao Mu, Li Xiaoheng was willing to take the initiative to jointly develop some projects with huge potential together with Fengxing Group. Not to mention that after Tao Mu became a senior partner of Xiaoheng Capital, the analysis reports he gave had earned so much profit for Xiaoheng Capital in the international financial market.
The Li family, regardless of the main branch or the side branches, could see how much Tao Mu’s existence allowed them to benefit. So just like when his mother married to the Li family, because his mother’s natal family had strong capital and in addition to her husband’s status and influence as the chairman, she had not suffered much difficulty or grievances in the family. Li Xiaoheng believed that he had enough ability to protect the person he liked from suffering grievances.
Hearing these words, Tao Mu frowned subconsciously. He did not doubt the guarantee of Li Xiaoheng. He just couldn’t help recalling the fear of being governed by the youngest aunt Li’s marriage urging at the dinner table——it must be said that youngest aunt Li’s habit of urging marriage regardless of the person or situation really left a layer of psychological shadow on Tao Mu.
Although Tao Mu did not like the family atmosphere of the Shen family, he obviously also was not very able to accept this gossipy and aggressive mode of getting along with the Li family. Moreover, how the people of the Li family kept directly and indirectly hinting at making their relationship public also made Tao Mu a bit dissatisfied.
Out of a responsible attitude, Tao Mu did not want to conceal his relationship with Li Xiaoheng. Even in the face of relatives and friends, Tao Mu took the initiative to reveal the news. But considering his career planning and big screen image, Tao Mu obviously did not plan for this relationship to be advertised to the whole world. So when he heard Li Xiaoheng talking to him about attending family gatherings, Tao Mu, who didn’t know what attitude to face the Li family, chose to escape subconsciously——in the end, Tao Mu was not a person able to deal well with family relationships and family contradictions. If he could do this, he would not have been betrayed by all his family and friends and then committed suicide in despair in the previous life.
The psychological shadow left over from his last life was not so easily reversed. Tao Mu did not want Li Xiaoheng to be disappointed or suffer greivances himself. So he could only tactfully say: “Actually, you don’t have to worry so much. As long as you remember to tell me the date of your family gatherings. During that time, I will avoid that day.”
Li Xiaoheng heard Tao Mu’s response and was slightly disappointed. But he could also understand Tao Mu’s thoughts. In the end, Tao Mu was only 19 years old this year. It was still three years before the minimum age that one could get a marriage certificate stipulated in the law. And Tao Mu was also an actor. Regardless of the consideration of career planning or considering other aspects, Tao Mu obviously would not step into marriage prematurely——since it was just dating, then it was far from the level of attending family gatherings during the Chinese New Year.
Tao Mu felt that his attitude was displayed very obviously. But he was worried about whether Li Xiaoheng would be angry or not. For a while, he couldn’t help feeling conflicted and hesitant. Until Li Xiaoheng took the initiative to speak——
“This is also fine.” Li Xiaoheng smiled gently. Looking at Tao Mu who in the co-pilot seat who was appearing increasingly at a loss, he changed the subject and teased warmly: “The topic just now had not finished. Do you prefer a computer keyboard or a washboard? I recall that there seems to be no washboard back at home. If you need it, we can go to the supermarket later.”
Just as Tao Mu’s expression was half conflicted, it cracked and shattered again.
Li Xiaoheng hooked the corner of his mouth subtly. Although a little distressed, Li Xiaoheng still felt that the Tao Mu helplessly being urged to enter marriage by the youngest aunt, and after a few hours still felt lingering fear such that he even rejected to attend any future family gatherings with him was even more adorable. As if his whole person was dyed with the warmth of simple everyday family life. He was no longer like before, intentionally or unintentionally separating himself from the crowd. Every time he said or did something, he must weigh the pros and cons, appearing courteous and serious as if he was a ruler turned into a person.
Not knowing that his habit of subconsciously using profits and interests to maintain relationships and make connections was seen in such a way by the other, Tao Mu looked at the teasing Li Xiaoheng, and explained in a warm voice: “It’s not that I don’t like your family, I just…..I’m still a bit unsed to it.”
“Understandable.” Li Xiaoheng nodded. Not to mention Tao Mu, even he himself was annoyed by his family. If not, Li Xiaoheng would not have made up his mind at the beginning to stay in the US after graduation. Since he himself was unwilling, Li Xiaoheng, of course, would not force Tao Mu to accept the Li family without reservation.
Anyway, Tao Mu was dating him, not the Li family.
It was pretty good just like this.
Li Xiaoheng dropped Tao Mu at the gate of the community. After getting out of the car, Li Xiaoheng took Tao Mu to buy a purple plastic washboard in the supermarket. Then he stood at the door of the apartment building with the washboard, and reluctantly saw Tao Mu go upstairs.
Tao Mu…..Tao Mu left without looking back!
Because he wanted to continue to discuss the preparation of the TV series with Xiao Qi Dad. That night, Tao Mu asked Li Xiaoheng to send himself to his two dads’ house.
Liu Yao and Meng Qi also knew that Tao Mu was going to get his measurements done, and was very nervous the entire day. They were particularly afraid that Tao Mu would suffer grievances at the Li family. Knowing that Grandpa Song’s concerns must not be less than the two of them. The two picked up Grandpa Song before dinner. One grandfather and two fathers, since Tao Mu came back, all had hesitant looks on their faces, wanting to ask but not daring to ask. In the end, Tao Mu couldn’t stand it himself and took the initiative to explain.
Grandpa Song was shocked immediately. Liu Yao’s temper was the most straightforward, and he blurted: “The Li family also urge marriage?” He thought those affluent families were also like those shown on TV! Unexpectedly, they also urge marriage and gossip as much as the neighborhood aunties.
Tao Mu listened to this description by his Yao Dad and couldn’t help but chuckle. Then he heard Liu Yao say with delight: “From this point of view, it turns out the elders of our family are the most enlightened. Xiao Mu, you can rest assured. Even if you don’t get married by the age of thirty, we will not urge you at all.”
Granpa Song, who was truthfully afraid that Tao Mu would still not get married after 30 years old, looked at Yao Dad with words on the tip off his tongue, but in the end did not say anything.
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——Forget it, the children and grandchildren have their own fortune. As long as the child was happy, getting married or not, it was really not that important.
A few kilometers away, CEO Li, who was holding a washboard as he made his way back to his apartment, sneezed successively.
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