Aerial Rain
Translating Web Novel

TGCF Ch 7 – From Now On, All the Delicious Food Auntie Made Will Be Xiao Feng’s

Xia Mian mockingly called out, “Former brother-in-law, had a good time?”

“What are you calling me?” Zhang Qiming responded helplessly. He was tall and handsome, with thick eyebrows and large eyes. This must be the reason why he, an uneducated temporary worker, managed to completely charm Xia Chun, a college student, into marrying him against all odds.

Sitting on his shoulder was a sturdy-looking young boy, about four or five years old, chubby with dangling legs. At a glance, Xiao Feng, who looked much younger and smaller, could easily be mistaken as the younger brother.

“Good afternoon, Teacher Mi, Aunt Liu. How are you?” Zhang Qiming greeted with a smile, seemingly oblivious about the incident at his home today. He then looked at Xia Mian with surprise, “Mianmian, you’re willing to chat with the neighbors?”

Seeing Xiao Feng, he also expressed surprise, “Our Xiao Feng is not shy today? It’s good to see you coming out to play with your aunt. Mianmian, please bring him out more often. He’s been here for half a year and still always hides in the corner, too scared to meet people.” First, he greeted everyone warmly, then looked pleased with Xiao Feng’s progress. Furthermore, he indirectly suggested to the listening crowd that his son was very timid and avoided even his father.

Xia Mian was astonished by his thick-skinned nature — in a short while, Zhang Qiming smoothly guided everyone’s perception by expressing that he was unaware of Xiao Feng’s mistreatment and abuse.

But the little man on his shoulder was completely without scruple. The chubby boy, hugging his father’s neck, stared at Xiao Feng for a while before suddenly commanding, “Bastard!”

Zhang Qiming’s expression changed, and he scolded the boy as he took him down, “Xuanxuan, who taught you that? He’s your brother!”

However, Xuanxuan, clearly spoiled, viewed Xiao Feng as his slave at home, free to insult or hit as he pleased. Upset by the scolding from his father, he loudly repeated, “Bastard! Bastard! He is a bastard.”

Zhang Qiming became furious and slapped Xuanxuan on the buttocks twice, causing the boy to burst into tears.

Xia Mian sarcastically remarked, “What does a child know? It must have been taught by adults.”

Zhang Qiming frowned, “I’m busy with work usually, so this child has really been spoiled by Xiaojuan. I’ll definitely teach him a lesson later.” He then turned to Xia Mian, somewhat helplessly, “I was shocked when I got a call from the police today. Mianmian, I know you don’t want her hitting your sister’s child, but it didn’t have to escalate to the police station. The police said we were wasting their resources, causing them trouble.”

So, he wanted to express that it wasn’t him who bailed out Huang Xiaojuan, but the police station released her because they were annoyed?

This Zhang Qiming was indeed not easy to deal with. Knowing that she couldn’t compete with his shamelessness, Xia Mian chose not to say more, as it would only provide him more opportunities to clear his name.

Instead, she shifted the topic, “Are you blaming me, brother-in-law? I was looking for you first, but you were nowhere to be seen, so what else could I do? By the way, did you take Xuanxuan for an outing? Where did you two go?”

“I know this. They went to the park,” Sister Zhao chimed in. “Xiaojuan has been talking about it for days, saying Qiming was off today and planning to take the child out to play.” At this point, she glanced at Xiao Feng and added, “I’m not trying to criticize you, Qiming, but why only take Xuanxuan and not Xiao Feng? It’s not right to act like a stepfather just because there’s a stepmother.”

Zhang Qiming responded with a wry smile, “Sister Li, you have raised children too, so you know how unruly they can be. How could I look after these two little monkeys by myself? Besides, Xiao Feng may seem shy, but he’s also quite mischievous. This time I took Xuanxuan, next time I’ll take Xiao Feng.” His explanation seemed reasonable, leaving little room for anyone to argue.

Xia Mian set Xiao Feng down, leaned over to the still-howling Xuanxuan, and asked, “Xuanxuan, have you been to the zoo?”

Xuanxuan’s attention was immediately diverted, and he proudly lifted his chin, “Of course, I’ve been there. There are pandas and monkeys!”

So not only his father had taken him to the park, but also to the zoo, huh? Xia Mian gave Zhang Qiming a mocking look, took Xiao Feng by the hand, and said goodbye to everyone, “Perhaps our Xiao Feng is too shabby-looking for his dad to want to take him.”

Being exposed by Xia Mian, Zhang Qiming didn’t seem awkward and wore a look of indulgent helplessness instead, “Got it, next time I’ll definitely take Xiao Feng with us. Let’s go, let’s hurry home.” Then, with a cheerful demeanor, he greeted everyone before ushering Xia Mian upstairs.

As they stepped onto the second floor, the security door opened. The moment Xia Mian followed Zhang Qiming inside, Huang Xiaojuan slammed the door shut and swung a slap towards her, accusing, “You damn girl, dare you causing trouble for me!”

Obviously, Huang Xiaojuan was taking advantage of Xia Mian holding Xiao Feng, thinking she couldn’t fight back.

With a sneer, Xia Mian quickly sidestepped, protecting Xiao Feng as she raised her leg and kicked hard.

Huang Xiaojuan fell to the ground, clutching her stomach and groaning in pain.

Xia Mian looked down at her, “What? Haven’t had enough beatings?”

“Enough!” Zhang Qiming finally showed his anger, “What happened today? How did it end up at the police station?!”

Xia Mian lifted Xiao Feng’s shirt and looked straight at Zhang Qiming, “Do you know about her abusing Xiao Feng?”

Zhang Qiming was momentarily stunned, then his face soon filled with shock and distress, “What’s going on here?” As he spoke, he moved to hug Xiao Feng.

Xiao Feng clung tightly to Xia Mian’s clothes, his body stiffened.

Xia Mian dodged his hands and smiled mockingly, “What’s the act for? Today, Huang Xiaojuan admitted publicly that you doubted Xiao Feng was your biological son, so you both abused him. My sister was murdered because of your suspicions, right?”

Zhang Qiming turned sharply towards Huang Xiaojuan, a flash of viciousness in his eyes, “What did you say?!”

Huang Xiaojuan, feeling a chill from his gaze, hastily denying, “I didn’t say anything, I didn’t say anything, she’s framing us.”

“Whether you said it or not, everyone in the courtyard can testify,” Xia Mian scoffed. “There were plenty of witnesses.”

“Huang Xiaojuan, you really dare to say anything to shift the blame!” Zhang Qiming roared, no longer maintaining his friendly facade, and slapped his wife hard, “What exactly have you been doing while I was not home?! You dared to abuse my son!”

Xia Mian observed his fierce expression, feeling his fury wasn’t so much about avenging Xiao Feng as it was about his bruised ego. Regardless, as Huang Xiaojuan’s screams filled the building, it served to clean Zhang Qiming’s image.

With Xuanxuan crying loudly, Zhang Qiming pushed Huang Xiaojuan into the bedroom. Even in her panic, she didn’t forget to bring Xuanxuan with her.

Xia Mian, not yet reassured, watched as they shut themselves in. Then, ignoring the symphony of Huang Xiaojuan’s screams and Xuanxuan’s cries, she calmly went to the refrigerator to fetch four eggs, planning to make egg custard for Xiao Feng.

She gently beat the eggs, dissolved salt in some lukewarm water, and mixed it into the eggs at a 1.5 times ratio. She then skimmed off the foam on top, and, not finding a fine sieve in the kitchen, used a cloth instead to filter the egg mixture before setting it to steam on the gas stove.

In the meantime, she diced green onions and cooked them with minced meat in a generous amount of oil, instantly filling the kitchen with a mouthwatering scent. In this era, people who lived in apartment buildings generally had their kitchen on the balcony. Because of the open space and the lack of a range hood, the aroma of Xia Mian’s cooking wafted everywhere.

Aunt Liu, looking up from downstairs, noticed the striking red hair and called out, “Xiao Feng’s aunt, are you cooking? It smells so good.”

Xia Mian replied with a smile, “Making a minced meat egg custard for Xiao Feng. He hasn’t eaten well today. Aunt Liu, I’ll bring some over for you in a bit. Should Zhuangzhuang be getting out of school soon?”

As they were speaking, Aunt Liu’s daughter-in-law returned with a boy in tow. “Grandma!” The child broke free from his mother’s grasp and ran towards Aunt Liu, who smiled at the sight of her grandson. “Did you just get out of school? Were you a good boy today?”

“Of course,” Zhuangzhuang nodded, then sniffed the air like a little mouse, “It smells good! Grandma, I’m hungry.”

Aunt Liu tapped his forehead, chuckling, “You really have a dog’s nose.”

Hearing this from upstairs, Xia Mian leaned out and laughed, “It’ll be ready soon. Aunt Liu, Xiao Feng and I will come down to eat with Zhuangzhuang, okay?”

She didn’t think they could eat in peace with the Zhang family.

Aunt Liu, of course, had heard the commotion caused by the Zhang family and was eager for the gossip. Hearing Xia Mian’s proposal, she happily agreed, “Come on down, the chicken soup I’ve been stewing is almost ready! It’s for Xiao Feng.” Saying this, she led Zhuangzhuang upstairs.

When the egg custard was ready, the noise from the bedroom had quieted. Xia Mian sprinkled the cooked minced meat on top and added a bit of soy sauce and sesame oil, creating a simple yet delicious dish that was easy on the stomach.

Attracted by the smell, Xiao Feng temporarily forgot his fear and looked up eagerly at Xia Mian, lips pursed in anticipation. Xia Mian patted his head, “Let’s go eat at Grandma Liu’s!”

Xiao Feng whispered, “What about brother?”

Suddenly, the bedroom door opened, and a bruised Huang Xiaojuan stepped out, glaring at Xia Mian. Eyes still red, she accused sarcastically, “How generous of you to use our stuff to curry favor!”

Seeing the large bowl of egg custard with minced meat and the glistening oil on top, her anger surged, her tone rising sharply, “How much of our stuff did you use!”

Xia Mian ignored Huang Xiaojuan. She lowered her head and held Xiao Feng’s hand, who had tensed again in fear, then firmly answered his interrupted question, “Xuanxuan will have his parents cook for him, from now on, everything Auntie makes is for Xiao Feng.”

Xuanxuan was still a child. Even though he had been crying loudly just moments ago, his tears immediately stopped upon smelling the aroma, “I want to eat! It’s all mine, the bastard can’t have any!”

With a loud shout, he charged towards Xia Mian like a cannonball. Xiao Feng, frightened, shrank back and closed his eyes. His reaction clearly indicated he was often bullied by the chubby kid.

Xia Mian’s expression darkened slightly as she stepped in front of Xiao Feng. With her stable stance, when the chubby kid collided with her legs, he bounced back, retreating a couple of steps before falling on the buttocks, somewhat dazed.

Xia Mian looked at him coldly, “Who is the bastard you are calling?!”

Xuanxuan, belatedly realizing what had happened, started crying loudly, “The bastard calling you… bastard, bastard…”

Xia Mian suddenly smiled, “Quite self-aware for your age.”

Huang Xiaojuan, limping, rushed over to hug Xuanxuan. Upon realizing Xia Mian was insulting her son, she shrieked, “Why are you bullying a child?!”

Xia Mian responded, “I thought you were just malicious, but it turns out your eyes and brain aren’t working too. Who is bullying whom?”

“If Xuanxuan wants to eat something, you make it for him. Why are you scolding me? I’m not his aunt!” Turning to Zhang Qiming, who still had a grim expression at the bedroom door, she continued, “Former brother-in-law, the compensation money for my sister’s death was tens of thousands, and my family didn’t take a cent of it, all left for Xiao Feng. What, Xiao Feng can’t even eat a few eggs?”

Zhang Qiming’s gaze swept over Huang Xiaojuan harshly, and just as he was about to speak, the door was knocked. Aunt Liu’s voice came through, “Xiao Zhang, open the door, it’s not right to scold the children.”

Zhang Qiming shot a warning glance at Huang Xiaojuan, then turned to Xia Mian with a bitter smile and helplessness, “Even without that compensation money, Xiao Feng is my son, how could I not let him eat?” Walking to the door to open it, he continued, “I know you dislike Xiaojuan, but don’t take it out on Xuanxuan. He’s even younger than Xiao Feng. You’ve made some for Zhuangzhuang; if you say Xuanxuan can’t have any, wouldn’t he make a fuss?”

Xia Mian looked at Aunt Liu peeking through the door, then back at the pitifully bruised Huang Xiaojuan and the sobbing Xuanxuan. Zhang Qiming indeed played a good hand, making her seem like the unreasonable one.

 

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