He was focused on the new people in the room but his voice was filled with worry.
"It seems that the servants are getting balsy," she gritted out. Qing Yuan gasped at her use of expletives and let it go with a chuckle.
"You know how to curse?" he asked, amused.
"Of course, I do. I can swear like a sailor, I just pretend to be a good little girl so that my father doesn't kill himself for raising such a disgrace." She shrugged for effect, making Qing Yuan snort.
Qian Meng felt someone stare at her. When she looked up, the slimy man that was Bai Ye Qing was gaping at her.
Jiang Xin was the first one to greet them with Yun Sui Bo close on her heel. "Welcome to our home. Are you tired from travelling?" she asked sweetly, inviting them in to sit on the couch. With so many people in the room at once, it was impossible for everyone to sit at the same time. "Meng Meng, quickly go and make some tea for Mrs. Bai and Mr. Bai. Ye Qing, what do you want to have?"
Qian Meng pursed her lips, feeling a great sense of dissatisfaction at the situation. Asking her to make tea? If she were a spoiled princess like other rich heiresses, she would have made a fuss in front of the guests. She might have been rebellious, but she knew not to drag the family name in front of strangers. The same couldn't be said about Jiang Xin.
Qian Meng got up from her seat, looked at Qing Yuan firmly and sauntered towards the kitchen without a second glance.
"Sis, I'll help you!" Qing Yuan called from behind her. Qian Meng hid a smile when she heard him catch up. Thankfully, he had gotten up from the couch before Jiang Xin could reprimand him for butting in when the elders were talking.
Upon entering the kitchen, they saw the servants grow silent. Qian Meng moved forward and asked one of the more familiar workers to show her were the ingredients were.
"You know how to make tea?" Qing Yuan asked, awed.
"I live alone. I may not be able to cook, but I can make tea and coffee," she said seriously. By the look of admiration, she knew that Qing Yuan knew nothing of household chores. Well, he could live a happy life for as long as he wanted, so he didn't need to come near hot water or other things to begin with.
"Sis, you're really amazing." He raised his thumb in a show of support and planted his butt firmly on the kitchen slab. The servants stayed silent as Qian Meng gave him a disapproving look.
This was the first time she was seeing the fancy porcelain tea set being used. It seemed that Jiang Xin really wanted to make a good impression. Qian Meng scoffed, wondering why they were so important in the grand scheme of things.
A sliver of suspicion ran through her mind, but before she could grasp onto it, the thought disappeared. 𝚒n𝐧𝑟ea𝚍. 𝒄𝑜𝚖
"Sis, I can see why you don't want to marry that man," Qian Meng suddenly spoke up. There was pin drop silence in the kitchen. Apart from the single worker that had showed Qian Meng the location of the ingredients, no one remained.
The worker too, remained mute throughout. "It's good that you know. Someone in this family has good sense," she sighed.
"I must have gotten my intelligence from you," Qing Yuan said with a sagely nod. Qian Meng threw him a warning look before going back to keeping watch over the tea. It wouldn't take too long to prepare, but she decided to make something special for Mr. Bai. From what she remembered from her dream, he had been her greatest supporter. As if to thank him for some time of reprieve in her nightmare, she made him what she thought would suit his appetite the best.
It was precisely at that moment that someone spoke up from behind her.
"Qian Meng, I'll have some coffee," Bai Ye Qian said in a sweet voice. He must have thought that it made him sound endearing but the siblings turned to him in a fright.
"How long have you been standing there?" Qing Yuan asked, his jaw dropped at the audacity.
"I just arrived. Auntie asked me to come see if everything was alright." Qian Meng didn't turn around but she did hear the sound of his footsteps approaching. She could feel him peering over her shoulder and froze for a split second before finding her composure.
"Move," she growled, stepping away.
"Just looking," he replied placidly. "You must be really good at cooking."
Sensing her unwillingness to speak, Qing Yuan too didn't reply. He tried a couple more times to engage her in conversation, but Qian Meng had already gotten busy making the coffee Bai Ye Qing so desired.
Bai Ye Qing looked mighty pleased by the fact that she was making coffee for him as well.
"Bai Ye Qing," Qing Yuan started. "Sit in the living room. We'll bring the refreshments out soon." With that the pest was shooed away.
When he was out of reach, Qing Yuan turned to Qian Meng with a surprised expression. "Sis, you actually made him coffee!"
Qian Meng was surprised herself that she did it. She smiled slyly as she poured all the drinks separately and handed the tray over to Qing Yuan. "Don't just stay idle. Take this to the room." With an incredulous look, Yun Qing Yuan moved away.
When she followed out, she could hear Chen Yue fawning over the tea set.
"Why did you pour out two cups already?" Jiang Xin asked, faking concern.
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