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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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Nowadays the family didn’t lack for meat or other delicacies. Their table was groaning under the weight of the dishes – there were a dozen or so. Soup, vegetables, everything was there aplenty; there was no need to snatch food.
Liu Changshi smiled and said, “Of course, that’s just a rough estimate of the total earnings. I haven’t yet deducted cost of labor, fertiliser and everything else.”
“You will still make a bundle.” Liu Changqi said. Then he scratched his head and smiled, “Now that you’ve said all that, I am tempted to plant goji berries in my own fields.”
Liu Changshi quickly said, “It would be best not to plant them in all of your fields at once. Dage, goji berries don’t produce within the year. Erge and I only started to plant them two years ago with the excess fields we owned. We still made sure to plant enough grain for ourselves…. If not, we would have nothing to eat for the first two years!”
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Nkw Ubydtik pxkzle pbllrkpbzu, “R jdso. R’x fwpv pyukdt vbyv….” Tl qlzv y zkvvzl cye. Gzvbswtb bl oyp vbl lzelpv, vbkdtp bye clld ps vaswczle kd bkp qyxkzu vbl rypv qlo ulyap vbyv bl bye vs lxrvu bkp nsqqlap. Tl bye sdzu fwpv pvyavle vs alnshla yde nsxl cynj sdvs pvyczl qssvkdt vbkp ulya. Tl alyzzu nswzed’v bsrl vs nsxryal okvb lkvbla Flnsde sa Wswavb.&dcpr;
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Nkw Ubydtik bypvkzu dseele, “Zlp.”
Nkw Zwd’la oyp yv vbl vyczl dlmv vs vblx. Gv vbkp ayvbla kdyrrasrakyvl xsxldv, pbl tyhl y nsze pdlla. Tla flyzswp tygl eakqvle shla Nkw Dw’la, cwv pbl alyzzu eked’v eyal vs ydtla bla qyvbla yde tayderyaldvp. Fs pbl eked’v eyal vs pdlla vss zswezu.&dcpr;
Nkw Dw’la ktdsale bla. Tl pbk bye blyae kv yp olzz, cwv pbl sdzu tyhl bla y zssj yde eked’v pyu yduvbkdt.&dcpr;
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Ohld kq dsvbkdt oyp pyke, lhlausdl nzlyazu wdelapvsse vbyv Nkw Qys pbk oyp prlnkqknyzzu ypjkdt qsa rlaxkppksd qsa Nkw Zwd’la. Tl pbk nswze sdzu ytall vs yzzso Nkw Zwd’la vs pvyu okvb vblx qsa vbl dktbv.&dcpr;
Nkw Mys oyp ds kppwl. Tl nswze pvyu okvb Nkw Fbw yde Nkw Nkd yv vbl sze alpkeldnl. Tl pbk caswtbv Nkw Dw’la yde Fldgk shla vs Nkw Ubydtpbk’p bsxl vs alpv. Maykzkdt qya clbkde bla oyp Nkw Zwd’la. Mbydjqwzzu, Nkw Ubydtpbk bye xydu assxp kd bkp bsxl, ps vblu eked’v dlle vs pbyal assxp.&dcpr;
In the middle of the night, Liu Xu’er was woken by a baby crying. Filled with interest, she quickly draped an outfit over herself and went over to He Ruyu. As she was doing that, she happened across Liu Yun’er’s room and heard Liu Yun’er grumbling. “D*mn brat! Crying late at night; won’t he let others sleep!”
Liu Xu’er gasped! Then outrage poured through her! She stood outside the room for a long while, wrestling with herself if it would be alright to rush in and give her a beating? Just then, He shi came out from her own room and saw her lurking in the dark. That gave her a good fright! “Ai! Xu’er? What are you doing standing there in the middle of the night? Do you want to scare others to death?!”
Liu Xu’er came over. “I heard the baby cry and wanted to go over for a look. Today, nai can’t be here….”
“I will go, you head back to sleep!” He shi said.
But Liu Xu’er was insistent about following her into the house. The room was dark – He Ruyu was fumbling about trying to start a light. He shi immediately went over to light a candle before also lighting the oil lamp at the side of the kang. Liu Xu’er spotted the little baby at the side of the kang. His eyes were squeezed close, but his mouth was emitting a loud, fierce cry! She quickly shook his little fist, “Oh, oh, oh. Don’t cry.”
He shi came over and laughed. “What’s the use of doing that?!” Then she instructed her to bring a nappy over, before swiftly helping to change the baby. She wiped the baby’s butt with a soft cloth before wrapping him up in a clean dry diaper. Then she returned him to He Ruyu. He Ruyu started to nurse the child.
Liu Xu’er pinched her nose and dumped the dirty diaper into a basin.
“I will be here for the next few days. I will get Wang shi to stay here and look after you. After this, I will just leave her here to care for you! We can’t let mum help you wash the baby’s diapers!” He shi said, upset with herself. “I didn’t think of this before!”
He Ruyu quickly soothed her, “I’ve never allowed mum to wash – it has always been Changshi doing the laundry….”
He shi let out a relieved laugh. She nodded, but still said, “That’s good, but I think it’s best to leave Wang shi here with you! Otherwise, it would be too much work for everyone.”
Liu Xu’er had come over to sit at the side of the kang. She started to play with the baby’s chubby white hand. She asked, “Sishen, when we are in town, does Liu Yun’er often come by?”
He Ruyu was a bit taken aback by the question. “Not frequently…. When I had just married last year, she did come over a few times together with Xian’er. After Xian’er got married, she hasn’t been by.”
Liu Xu’er nodded and said, “The grudge between Liu Yun’er and myself – sishen, you should be aware of it? How we got to that point?”
He Ruyu nodded, “I know… What about it?”
He shi started to frown, “What happened?! Did that dratted girl say something?!”
Liu Xu’er said, “Hasn’t she said a lot of unpleasant things? I am just reminding sishen that when sishu goes out to the fields, and you are by yourself, you need to be very careful of the baby. Especially if she comes, you need to watch the baby very very carefully. That girl… her heart is vicious and her hand is heavy. She could do anything. The baby is so little. It’s best to be careful.”
When she said that, He Ruyu’s facial expression changed! He shi frowned, but didn’t say anything. Liu Xu’er moved to quickly lighten the mood, “I’m just reminding sishen to be on guard! She wouldn’t definitely…. It’s just a reminder is all.”
He shi told He Ruyu, “What Xu’er said is true. When we are not in the village, you must be careful! That girl is very vicious, and it comes out of the blue! You might think you hadn’t done anything to offend her, but who knows what she’s thinking. She might have felt that you slighted her in some way or another. I’m not trying to be petty here, but when you’re by yourself with the baby, you really do need to be very careful!”
He Ruyu nodded her head, “I will remember… I will be very careful.”
He shi and Liu Xu’er nodded their heads,
After an hour of bullying all of them, the tiny infant finally fell back to sleep, The adults too headed back to bed. He shi decided to just sleep with He Ruyu, and got Wang shi over to sleep on the floor next to them.
With so many people to take care of him, although the infant woke once more, he was very quickly soothed back to sleep. Liu Xu’er’s sleep was rather broken, so she woke rather late the next day. When she got up, she heard that Liu Yun’er had already returned home.
When they got to the old residence, they again started to chat with Liu Gao shi and Old Man Liu. Then they prepared to head back to town.
Liu Tao had also gone back to his own home to pick up some clothes before coming back. When Liu Xu’er saw him, she immediately took him to the side, “Sange, tell me truthfully. How did those few rabbits die?!”
Liu Tao started to mumble under his breath, but didn’t say anything. Liu Xu’er gave him a cold smile and said, “Did Liu Yun’er kill them? Why didn’t you and dabo stop her? Why is she so vicious?!”
Liu Tao mumbled, “Of course we tried to stop her! My dad even gave her a beating, but my jie… Her heart is like stone….”
Liu Xu’er shook her head, “She will get into some serious trouble one day! That dratted girl!” Then she turned to leave.
When she entered the room, Liu Shu came out. He looked at Liu Tao outside, and pulled her to ask, “What’s happened? Did something go wrong?” He had just seen Liu Xu’er’s cold expression during her conversation with Liu Tao.
Liu Xu’er shook her head. “Nothing’s wrong. I was just asking about Liu Yun’er.”
Liu Shu shook his head, “Ignore her. Go and pack up. We should be heading back soon….”
Just as he was saying that, an elderly woman came in through their door. She smiled and asked, “Shu, are your grandparents home?”
Liu Shu and Liu Xu’er glanced at her and recognised her to be a fellow villager. Liu Shu quickly said, “My grandparents are both at home! Granny Chen, you’ve come? Please come in.” Then he quickly went to let his grandparents know of the visitor.
Liu Changgeng had actually packed up and was ready to go, but was delayed by the arrival of this guest. No one knew what the adults were speaking about, but they had a rather long, private conversation. The group of children waited outside for a long while, but Liu Changgeng didn’t make an appearance. Liu Shu could only say, “Why don’t we head into the room there. Senzi, stop eating! Your stomach will hurt!”
As he said that, Liu Changgeng re-emerged from the house, but he only craned his neck out, “Lin? Go to your sishu’s and call your mum over!”
After that one sentence, he retracted his head back into the room.
Everyone found the situation strange. Liu Lin quickly ran to call He shi, while the rest of them entered another room to wait. Liu Xu’er was mumbling, “What’s the situation? Are we leaving or not?”
“Did someone else come to propose marriage? Otherwise, why wouldn’t dad leave? And why call for mum?” Senzi said, munching on some migaomo.
Liu Xu’er jumped, while Liu Shu laughed. “Surely not! Xu’er, how long has it been since you’ve come back? Surely you couldn’t have drawn everyone’s gaze when you returned, and caused them all to quickly run over to propose marriage?”
Liu Xu’er’s face flushed a deep red, “It’s impossible! Don’t listen to Senzi’s nonsense!”
Liu Tao grinned. “I think so! That granny Chen; doesn’t she spend all her time trying to matchmake people? Doesn’t she love to investigate all those marriageable girls and boys?”
When he said that, it rang true for everyone. Senzi stuffed the last snack into his mouth and was about to run out to eavesdrop when Liu Xu’er pulled him short. She poured a glass of water down his throat before releasing him.
Everyone sat quietly in the room. Liu Xu’er found the whole situation strange. Liu Lin had run off to get He shi over. When He shi entered the house, she spotted Senzi crouched outside the window. After reprimanding him, Senzi flew back to the house.
When he returned, everyone was impatiently waiting for his news. But this little fellow started to put on a mysterious air. He smiled and went to sit at the edge of the kang and slowly poured himself a cup of tea.
Liu Lin urgently asked, “What did you hear! Tell us!” When he saw Liu Sen gesture his cup, he quickly poured him another cup, before offering it up to him with both hands, “Oh Young Master, quickly drink! When you’re done, quickly share!”
Liu Sen didn’t bother taking the teacup. He just smiled and rolled on the kang. Everyone started to laugh, before Liu Shu pulled Liu Sen up to ask, “Say it. This time, which family came to propose marriage? Who in the village is so bold as to ask for my sister?”
When Liu Sen had his fill of teasing them, he pointed at him and smiled, “Dage, that family sure is bold. They want to marry their daughter to you!”
“What?!” Four or five shocked voices called out. Stunned, Liu Shu looked at him. Immediately, he flushed red.
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Thanks for he chapter!!