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2. This is a fan work and the interpretation represents only the translator’s personal views without any input from the author.
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The Village Head had experience with these sorts of matters, and knew that it was about time to wrap up. Right now was not the time to try and fight it out, rather, to find a way to leave the Ma brothers with enough face to back off gracefully. After all, they had brought a whole village of people over. If they weren’t left with any face, they would probably fly into a rage again. That would be bad.
As such, the Village Head took the opportunity when they were discussing to softly say to Old Man Liu and Liu Gao shi, “Everything should be wrapping up soon. In a while, make sure that Changqi shows a good attitude, and make sure that Changshi is not so confrontational. We need to send them off satisfied, so that we can all enjoy our New Year! What do you think?”
Liu Gao shi quickly nodded and agreed, “Yes! You’re absolutely right.” Then she went off to speak to Liu Changqi.
At the side, although Ma Decheng understood what his brothers were saying, he still couldn’t swallow this grievance. Of course, all the brothers didn’t want to accept it. Another brother even said to Ma Dechang, “Dage, we can’t just let this matter go! Even if our sister is in the wrong, she has contributed to the family! She gave them a son – isn’t that a major contribution? She was also filial to their father and mother….”
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Gv vbl pkel, Nkw Qys pbk blyhkzu bxrble yv vbyv. Xze Yyd Nkw yzps pvyavle vs nswtb byae, yp kq bl bye nbsjle sd bkp rkrl pxsjl. Mbkp oyp nzlyazu vs kdeknyvl vs vbl casvblap vbyv vbl vos lzelap alqwple vs ynjdsozletl bkp zypv pvyvlxldv!
Tlyakdt vblka alprsdpl, vbl rlapsd nswze sdzu pvkqzl vbl alpv sq bkp osaep.&dcpr;
Mbl Akzzytl Tlye oyp eskdt bkp ryav vs xlekyvl, “El pbswze yzz pzsozu ekpnwpp vbl pkvwyvksd…. Mblal yal y zsv sq vbkdtp vbyv ol byhld’v tsdl shla. Gqvla yzz, qsa vbl xyaakle nswrzl vs byhl nsxl vs vbkp pvytl, kv oswze cl kxrsppkczl vs ts shla lhlauvbkdt kd y pldvldnl sa vos. Zsw casvblap pbswze ekpnwpp vbkp.” Mbld vbl Akzzytl Tlye zssjle wr, “Mseyu kp vbl eyu clqsal Llo Zlya. Rv’p yzaktbv vs xkpp vbl alwdksd ekddla vsdktbv, cwv vbl sqqlakdt sq pynakqknlp vsxsaaso nyd’v cl xkpple! Rv oswze cl clpv vs zlv vbl alpv sq uswa hkzzytlap ts bsxl, obkzl usw casvblap pvyu blal. Mbld ol nyd pzsozu vyzj vbkdtp vbaswtb….”
“Ls oyu!” Yy Plnbldt oyp ydmkswp.&dcpr;
Mbl Akzzytl Tlye qasodle, “Ebu kpd’v vbyv yzaktbv? Tyhl kv uswa oyu vbld yde vyzj lhlauvbkdt vbaswtb kd qasdv sq csvb hkzzytlp! Fbyal lhlauvbkdt vbyv byp byrrldle!”
Ebld Yy Plnbydt blyae bkp casvbla’p osaep, bl bye yzalyeu pvyavle vs qllz vbyv kv oswze cl clpv vs nsdvkdwl vbl ekpnwppksd rakhyvlzu. Gqvla yzz, kd vbl xyaakle nswrzl’p rakhyvl zkhlp, vblal oswze pwalzu cl y zsv sq ekavu zywdeau. Elal vblu vs pbyal yzz sq vbyv kd qasdv sq lhlausdl? Mbl qlo xyvvlap pbyale lyazkla olal yzalyeu pbyxlqwz ldswtb!
Tl blpkvyvle qsa y xsxldv clqsal vwadkdt vs ekpnwpp vbl xyvvla okvb bkp svbla casvblap. Ebld Yy Plnbldt blyae, bl oyp wrplv, yde pvyavle vs iwyaalz, cwv oyp pnszele cu Yy Plnbydt….
Mbl Mysbwy hkzzytlap jdlo vbyv vbl xyvvla oyp ycswv vs cl alpszhle. Gqvla yzz, yzvbswtb kv oyp vlnbdknyzzu vawl vbyv vblu nswze xkpp vblka alwdksd ekddla, ds sdl ynvwyzzu oydvle vs xkpp kv! Gde pkdnl vblal oypd’v tskdt vs cl y qktbv, vbld obyv oyp lhlausdl eskdt blal? Fs vblu pvyavle vs pyu, “Odswtb, ldswtb. Wsa usw yzz vs tlv cynj oswze vyjl y zsdt vkxl! Eswzed’v kv cl clvvla vs zlv lhlausdl bwaau cynj yde vau vs nyvnb yv zlypv ryav sq vblka alwdksd ekddla? Nlv vblx alvwad! El yal yzaktbv – yqvla yzz, swa bsxlp yal nzspl cu. Jwv usw’hl eayttle ps xydu rlsrzl shla. Zsw nyd’v yzzso vblx vs xkpp swv sd sqqlakdt vblka pynakqknlp vs vblka ydnlpvsap.”
Even if the Ma brothers still had the heart to try and battle things out, they couldn’t hold onto everyone. The few of them spoke amongst themselves before Ma Dechang offered his salute to the people behind him. Then the rest of his cousins started to gather everyone to head back home.
The response was lively – some of them offered cheap platitudes, while others showed concern. If the brothers were to stay here by themselves, would the Taohua villagers take the chance to beat you all up?
That stirred the Taohua villagers into retorting. After a few sarcastic exchanges, the Majia villagers started to slowly trickle back out of the village. Some of them turned to watch as they left. Finally most of them were gone.
The Village Head then gathered Liu Changqi, Liu Changgeng and Liu Changshi. “In a while, I will say a few things and leave. I won’t stay while you discuss your family matters, after all, I’ve my own reunion dinner to attend. But remember! There is no need to quarrel anymore. You should discuss this nicely, and then let this go! Right? After all, they are right too! Ma shi was with your family for over 10 years, and gave you a son. That is her contribution! You can’t insist that there was nothing good about her! Right? Changqi, you are the crux of the matter – you need to discuss the situation nicely with them. I think that Ma First is not so unreasonable. Say whatever you need to say, and let this matter pass peacefully! Understand?”
The three brothers nodded. They weren’t fools – they each knew how to use their heads.
With that, the Village Head relaxed. After all, their family still had Liu Gao shi, a learned person! Her words were concise and reasonable. Look at what happened earlier – she had the situation well under control!
So as the Majia villagers started to leave, the Taohua villagers too started to disperse. Liu Changgeng and Liu Changshi offered their thanks to everyone for their support. They were especially thankful to Yuan Hao’s eldest brother. Yuan First then instructed Yuan Hao to stay with their parents to guard them, a command Yuan Hao was only too happy to follow.
Seeing Liu Changgeng’s arm injury, Liu Changshi said to him, “Erge, hurry back to my place and let ersao help you bandage that up. You may as well also let them know to bring some food over.”
Liu Changgeng agreed. He had seen the Village Head and Liu Changqi usher the Ma brothers and a few of their people into the courtyard, but they were still clearly outnumbered. Yuan Hao was also there, carefully guarding their parents. Assured that the situation wouldn’t get out of control, he left for Liu Changshi’s home.
At Liu Changshi’s house, the courtyard was filled with women and children, all anxiously pricking their ears up to listen. Although it was clearly rather noisy, there weren’t sounds of a major fight breaking out. Then they seemed to hear a lot of people pass by their door – did that mean that the people had left?!
Liu Lin had just daringly opened the door when Yuan Hao’s second brother brought a few people over to greet them. They told them that everything was fine, and that the crowd had already dispersed. Everyone could relax.
Liu Lin immediately gave a deep bow in thanks, causing Yuan Second to burst out laughing. He stretched his hand out to rub his head. He shi also quickly came out to offer her gratitude.
Yuan Second smiled and said, “We’re all relatives, so why are you doing this?” Then he left with the others.
He had just left when Liu Changgeng came over. Bumping into them, Liu Changgeng offered his sincere thanks to them and explained the general situation. Yuan Second pointed at his shoulder and said something. That was when He shi noticed that the jacket’s cotton wadding at Liu Changgeng’s arm was spilling out, and there seemed to be some red spots on it!
That scared her into a little shriek! She ran out a couple of steps and shocked Yuan Second and Liu Changgeng. When they saw her standing there, they could see the obvious worry on her face.
Yuan Second smiled and told Liu Changgeng to quickly go and bandage the wound. He would head back first. It was only after he headed off that Liu Changgeng entered the house. He shi anxiously rushed over to grab hold of his arm. “Is it serious? How bad is the wound?”
Liu Lin had also spotted the injury. He turned and rushed into the house. “Sishen! Does your place have any incense ashes?”
He Ruyu quickly nodded, “Yes! I’ll go and get it…. Who’s hurt?”
Liu Xu’er happened to be in the kitchen – Senzi had gotten hungry and she had been preparing him something to eat. When she heard that, she quickly grabbed the incense burner that had been used over the Xiaonian, as well as the bowl of wine that had been earlier prepared, out with her. She asked, “Who’s hurt?”
“Dad! Dad’s hurt!” Liu Lin said.
“What?!” The children immediately rushed toward the courtyard door. He shi had already carefully supported Liu Changgeng back. Liu Shu quickly asked, “Dad, is your wound serious?!”
“Let me see!” Liu Lin immediately squeezed in.
Liu Xu’er also wanted to push her way in for a look, but Liu Sen was anxiously calling from behind her, “I want to see! Help me see! Dad, does it hurt?”
Liu Changgeng laughed at all their anxious questions. He said, “It doesn’t hurt. It’s not serious. I just have a flesh wound. It will be alright.”
He shi’s eyes were all red. Pulling him into the side room, she took off his jacket. She saw that blood had completely stained the clothes around his arm. Although she could tell that it was a single slash, she couldn’t tell how deep the wound was. And blood kept dripping.
Senzi rushed in ahead and finally managed to get in front of Liu Changgeng. When he saw that his white clothes were all dyed red, he gasped. Then he asked, “Dad, does it hurt? Do you want me to blow on it?”
His display of shock amused Liu Changgeng. He lifted him onto his lap and said “If you blow on it, it won’t hurt anymore.” Then he brought his arm closer, while Liu Sen gave his best effort blowing on it. “There, it shouldn’t hurt anymore.” He said.
Meanwhile, He shi had gotten Liu Xu’er to look for He Ruyu. They needed some cloth strips for bandages. Liu Xu’er had just left when He Ruyu came by. At the doorway, she passed them over to her. Face filled with anxiety, she asked, “Is the wound serious? Was…. anyone else hurt?”
“I don’t know if it’s serious yet. I haven’t managed to look.” Liu Xu’er replied before quickly bringing the cloth strips in and passing them to He shi. She then turned to ask Liu Changgeng, “Dad! Was my sishu hurt?”
Liu Changgeng quickly responded, “No, Fourth is completely fine. By now, everyone should have left. You can relax!”
Outside, He Ruyu blushed at how directly Liu Xu’er phrased the question. But she was very relieved to hear Liu Changgeng’s response. She stood at the doorway for a while, unsure of how she could help. Then she heard Liu Changgeng call out from the room. “Sidimei, quickly go and make some food! Ma shi’s brothers all haven’t left yet – the matter still needs to be discussed! Prepare some food and wine, and bring it over there.”
He Ruyu agreed and quickly left to prepare.
He shi was already preparing the bandages when Liu Xu’er brought the bowl of wine over. She was preparing to help Liu Changgeng pour it onto his arm when Liu Changgeng quickly said, “What a waste!” Then he took a mouthful of the liquid, got her to move back, and spat it onto his wound!
Liu Xu’er was actually rather worried. She didn’t know if that would be effective at killing all the germs. She wanted to pour more over it when Senzi, stunned, called out, “Dad, why did you spray the wine on your arm?”
Liu Changgeng laughed. Taking the chance while he was distracted, Liu Xu’er immediately poured the rest of the wine onto his wound, all while muttering, “Flush, flush! No matter what dirty thing is hiding in there, it needs to be flushed away!”
Liu Changgeng sucked in a breath. It hurt so much, he trembled all over.
He shi then tipped the incense ash onto the bandage and came over to him. Liu Xu’er was still staring at the injury and saying, “Oh my, it’s really scary looking! Dad, does your bone hurt or not? Did it injure your bone?”
“No, it really doesn’t hurt. There’s too much meat around the area.” Liu Changgeng said.
That made Senzi laugh. He shi was so angry, she glared at him, “You sure are a hero!”
Liu Changgeng quickly looked at her and softly said, “It really doesn’t hurt. It is really alright!”
He shi didn’t say anything – her children were all there, what could she say? Seeing her mother start to put the incense ash directly on the wound, she quickly interrupted, “That’s no good!” Then she wrapped a cloth strip over the wound first before putting the bandage coated with incense ash on top of it. That would provide a barrier first. And when the injury had clotted over, it would make it much easier to tidy.
“What’s the situation like over there?” He shi asked as she bandaged him up. “Are dad and mum alright? Have all the Majia villagers left? After such a big fight, why are we wining and dining them?”
Liu Changgeng laughed and said, “Dad and mum are fine! Their villagers have all left. It’s just that the few brothers are not resigned to what has happened and insist on a further discussion! They might even need to be compensated…. I was just thinking, if they want some money, we should just give it to them. After all, she’s been with dage for 14, 15 years. We can’t just let her leave with nothing. Also, the matter of Xian’er’s marriage has to be discussed! And… oh, there are so many other matters! They will need to slowly talk it all through.”
When he finished, he smiled at them. “You all can relax! Set up the table here for the meal! Listen, in a while, there should be firecrackers going off!”
What a joke – firecrackers had already started to go off. It seemed that the instant everyone got home, they had set off firecrackers, as if to try and chase away the Majia villagers.
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