Chapter 133: Annual Family Clan Gathering
Henyee Translations Henyee Translations
“What did you say?”
Chen Xu tightened face as he was shocked by Chen Fan’s sudden burst of anger.
The room became pin drop silent. The adults were rendered speechless by what they heard. They had been used to castigating their children for their mistakes and never once had their children talk back.
“Chen Fan, respect your elders!” Great Uncle Chen Zhenxin pulled a taut face and rebutted hotly.
“Great Uncle. You are my elder, and therefore, I respect you.” Chen Fan linked his hands behind his back and said with a smile.
“I am your nephew, and my father is your brother, so yes, theoretically you are my blood kin. But are you doing what blood kin are supposed to do? What if Wei Zifang wanted you to sever ties with me? Are you going to disown your nephew?”
Chen Fan’s remarks didn’t sit well with Chen Zhenxin, Great Uncle’s face crumpled right away. Chen Fan’s Great Auntie hurried to her husband’s aid.
“That’s not what we meant.”
“Well what do you mean?” Chen Fan snorted. “Wei Zifang could be the benefactor that you tried so hard to gain, but count me out of your shameful ingratiating act. Why should I apologize to you because I didn’t want to talk to him?
“Can you please explain why?”
Hearing Chen Fan’s sharp words, Chen Ning and Chen An both were both speechless.
They had never thought that the usually meek Chen Fan had such courage to refute his elders in such a confrontational way.
Chen Ning felt anger and regret seething inside of him, she was angry at Chen Fan for disrespecting the elders and making things much more difficult than it should be; meanwhile, she regretted ever spilling the beans about what had happened at the horse riding club since it had led her parents to this embarrassing confrontation with Chen Fan.
There were many things that should remain unspoken, such as shamelessly seeking connections with the rich and the powerful at the expense of one’s relatives dignity.
“Good. Very good!” Great Uncle’s hands trembled in anger. He looked over Chen Fan and glared at his brother. “Brother, I never imagined that you would have such an uncouth and unruly son.”
Many elders of the family looked toward Chen Fan’s father. They outright ignored the boy and only sought justice with the parents.
Chen Fan stood still; he was confident that his parents would be on his side.
His father was a man of virtue and hated the sycophants that cozied up to the rich and powerful for selfish needs. If he couldn’t uphold his moral bearing, he would have become another lapdog of the Wang family.
Lo and behold, despite Chen Gexin’s troubled look, he lowered his voice and defended his son. “Brother, I agree that Xiao Fan was disrespectful to the elders, but I also see his sense. Xiao An needs to focus on working hard and work his own way up to the top, instead of using connections and shortcuts. Even if he were able to befriend one or two influential people, their help could only go so far. ”
“How dare you!”
Chen Zhenxin felt his heart was going to burst out of his chest.
What kind of relatives are they, no wonder they were still piss poor and looked down upon by the other family members.
“That’s enough!” The old man slammed the tabled and growled: “We are all blood kin, are you waiting for outsiders to laugh at us?”
Seeing the dispute had riled up the old man, everyone became quiet.
Most of the third generation dared not even take a breath much less utter a word. Chen Fan, however, was the only young person who stood confidently with his chin up.
The old man gave Chen Fan a long glance and then said slowly: “Gexin was right. Although building a network of friends was important, improving personal skills and abilities should be the priority. The rich and powerful wouldn’t need as much effort to make connections with others, wouldn’t they?
“That being said, the fault was on Xiao Fan as well. They are your elders, and you need to show respect.”
“Yes, grandpa.” Chen Fan bowed slightly.
Although he didn’t fully agree with the old man, he respected him unconditionally.
The Great Uncle snorted and said nothing. He glared at Chen Fan’s family with a great measure of displease.
After the gathering was over, Chen Fan and his family in an unprecedented moment were allowed to stay in the mansion for the night. The old man’s overly lenient attitude toward his third son rubbed against the jealous grains of the other two sons.
“Humph! Who the hell does he think he is? “Second, Uncle cursed under his breath as soon as he was through the exit.
“Let it be. The gathering is near; we will kick back and watch as they make themselves into walking laughing stocks.” Great Auntie said.
Hearing her words, everyone flashed a gloating smile on their face. The annual gathering would be the time that reality taught their young brother and his family a lesson.
Although Great Uncle didn’t speak a word, the promise of seeing his younger brother’s embarrassment brought a smile onto his face.
“My brother, you always insisted that the personal connection is not important. I can’t wait to see how you will fare during this years family gathering.”
The next day morning, Chen Fan went to the East Mountain park first thing in the morning.
Ever since he returned home, he found less and less time to spend on cultivation. Therefore, he decided to make time by waking up a bit earlier in the morning.
When he arrived at the park, there had already been many elderly people exercising and practicing Tai Qi.
He found an empty area and started to practice the fist forms. He curved both arms and rested them in front of him as if he was hugging a tree. His form was steady and unshakable like a pillar in the dragon temple that supported the sky. Then he started moving. His movement was smooth like silk and the connection between each move was seamless. The forms infused the energy about Chen Fan with a grand and nearly boundless quality.
“Xiao Fan, what are you practicing? Why have I never seen that before?”
An old man came over to Chen Fan and asked incredulously.
“Grandpa.” Chen Fan paused and then gathered himself. “This is called True Martial Thirty-Six Forms. A grand master taught it to me. I can teach you if you’d like to learn.”
“There is no need. I am in my seventies, so Tai Chi is good enough for me.” Chen Huaian waved a hand and said: “Come walk with me, will you?”
The two of them walked along the lake shore.
Chen Huaian said heavily: “Xiao Fan, you know that although your uncle could have handled things better than he had, his intentions were good.
“Your father had been stubborn for his entire life and failed to understand the importance of blending in.
“In the Dream of the Red Mansion, there is a famous sentence; it goes like this: ‘A grasp of mundane affairs is genuine knowledge; Understanding of worldly wisdom is true learning.’ It is always righteous to uphold moral standards, But sometimes, it is wise to accept the ugliness of reality and learn to work around it.”
The old man generously offered his life lesson to his grandson.
He had lived a rough and tumble life that eventually led him to Jin City. There he planted his roots and made a fortune for himself. His achievement should have been a good foundation for his sons to develop further. However, the fall out between Chan Fan’s father with the Wang family had halted the growth of the family power. Even so, the old man never complained once to his youngest son.
“Both your Great and Second Uncles are of mediocre talents. Your father, on the other hand, was very talented but was as stubborn as an ass. Of all the third generation youngsters, only Chen An is capable of handling himself. However, he is too materialistic, and… selfish for lack of better words.” Chen Huaian said as he heaved a sigh.
“After I leave the world, I bet the family will quickly crumble in their hands.”
“Grandpa, you are going to live a long life. Don’t say things like that.” Chen Fan put in.
“Hehe, I know better than anyone about my health.”
Chen Huaian shook his head and then turned over to Chen Fan.
“Xiao Fan, you are my favorite.”
“You have what it takes to become a good leader; you just need good guidance. What you need is a big set back in your life. That should shake things up for you and force you out of your comfort zone, and release your potential.”
Chen Fan was stunned by the old man’s words. He had never thought that the old man had such high expectations of him.
“Even in my last life, my grandpa believed in me too. However, I was not able to pull myself together until I was 30 years old after having tasted riches, poverty, and everything in between. After I embarked on the journey of cultivation, I worked day and night, hoping I could right the wrongs in my life.”
With that thought in mind, he said firmly: “Grandpa, be rest assured, I won’t let our family fall apart.”
“Good, very good!” Chen Huaian nodded pleasedly.
A final content satisfaction gleamed in the old man’s eyes.
The spring festival had been torture. Although everyone pretended to get along well, they could feel that Chen Fan’s family and the rest of the two families were drifting apart. No one came to hang out with Chen Fan, and even Chen Guoguo was grounded by her parents.
Chen Fan didn’t mind the others ignoring him. He spent most of his time with the old man, strolling in the park and exercising with him. It was fun to Chen Fan just the same.
Soon, the new year’s eve was over, and the entire Chen family clan was to gather at the old family estate in the countryside.
The annual gathering of the Chen Family clan was about to draw back its curtain.