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He Ruyu had heard that her eldest brother and his wife were here, so she carried her child over for a visit. She sat down and listened to the conversation for a while before saying with some astonishment, “Dage, are you also here to help ask about Mrs Deng’s Xiaoling?”
He Wenqing was stunned when he heard, “What? Did someone also mention it before?”
Amused, He Ruyu said, “Mrs Deng had also come to tell me about it. A few days ago, she came to visit and told me about how wonderful her Xiaoling was. She said that her age was well matched with Liu Shu. She kept going on and on…. At the time, I just vaguely responded. I only agreed to help her ask.”
He shi was both exasperated and amused when she heard. Turning to Liu Changgeng, she said, “What is this… what’s the point in asking so many people?”
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“Mbyv’p aktbv. Rv’p yzxspv yp vbswtb pbl’p vaukdt vs qsanl swa byde.”
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Tl Eldikdt’p okql iwkvl dseele, “Mbyv’p aktbv.”
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Tl Eldikdt’p okql pxkzle yde nzyrrle, “Jwv sq nswapl! Rv’p vbl xykd vsrkn sq nbsknl yxsdtpv vbl osajlap. Rd vbl nyav, sd vbl oyu vs yde cynj qasx osaj, kv’p yzz vblu vyzj ycswv. Rv’p dso clnsxl y byckv. Mblu lprlnkyzzu vyzj ycswv Nkw Nkd… Rv’p vawl, xsal rlsrzl yal ypjkdt ycswv Nkw Nkd vbyd Nkw Fbw!”
“Fbw kp swa lzelpv. Ohlausdl jdsop vbyv kv’p dsv lypu vs cl vbl okql sq vbl lzelpv psd.” Nkw Ubydttldt zywtble yde pyke.&dcpr;
He Wenqing’s wife then asked He shi, “Dajie, let’s not mention Shu’s matter. Liu Lin is the same age as Liu Shu. You should also pay some attention to him! The Chang’s daughter-in-law from our village keeps asking me….”
She hadn’t finished when she was pulled away by He Wenqing. He Wenqing’s wife stopped to look at him. He shi then smiled and asked. “There’s no hurry for Liu Lin. He isn’t the eldest… We are even willing to consider someone in the family for him” She smiled and looked at Liu Changgeng, “Their father, what do you think?”
Liu Changgeng smiled.
He Wenqing’s wife immediately understood. When He shi mentioned “In the family”, she must be referencing someone in his jiujiu’s family. The only one who was of a suitable age – wasn’t it her own Xiuxiu?
He Wenqing smiled and said, “She’s still too little! It’s not urgent, not urgent at all. We will wait for Liu Shu’s matter to be settled first.”
“That’s right, that’s right. We will settle Shu’s matter first!” Liu Changgeng also smiled.
He Wenqing’s wife understood immediately. She started to ponder the situation, and weighed Liu Lin up. Because Xiuxiu was so young, she hadn’t actually considered this before. Now that she heard her dajie’s intention, and her husband seemed to be agreeable, she started to think about the matter.
Xiuxiu’s mother naturally was agreeable. Like she was saying, Liu Shu and Liu Lin were considered to be very eligible bachelors. Rather than giving them to others, why not keep them for herself! Liu Lin was the better choice as he wasn’t the eldest. That way, Xiuxiu wouldn’t be the eldest daughter-in-law when she married. She wouldn’t have to bear as much responsibility. And since the two families were already related, her mother-in-law was her own dagu1 大姑/Dagu – 姑/Gu refers to one’s father’s sister, while 大/ Da refers specifically to the eldest. So one’s father’s eldest sister! She definitely wouldn’t treat Xiuxiu badly!
When Xiuxiu’s mother thought it through, she was all for this! But now, she was in an awkward situation. She smiled and covered her mouth.
Seeing that her sister and brother seemed to have a tacit agreement, He Ruyu had also understood the situation. She smiled and said, “Oh, now I regret giving birth to a son. If I had a daughter, I can also let her marry into dajie’s family. Liu Shu and Liu Lin are both such good catches! Senzi as well – he will definitely do well in future!”
A laugh escaped He Wenqing. “Oh stop! Aren’t you barking up the wrong tree? You’re not just her meimei, but als her dimei! Any daughter you have is going to be part of the Liu family as well…. What are you thinking?”
It had just slipped He Ruyu’s mouth. When she heard what her brother said, she laughed, and everyone else joined her in her amusement.
Everyone was having a good time chatting when Liu Changshi came by to look for his wife. His neighbours were celebrating a wedding, and Old Man Liu and Liu Gao shi had been invited for the celebrations. Liu Changshi had just come home from the fields and saw that no one was home. Knowing his wife, he knew he would find her here.
He shi smiled and told him not to go. They could all share a noon meal together. Then she went to the kitchen to instruct Wang shi on what to prepare. Xiuxiu’s mother hurried over to help out.
At noon, the whole house was filled with noise. Liu Shu and the rest had also come home from the store. When Senzi spotted his two biaodi2表弟/ Biaodi – Younger maternal male cousin, he was thrilled.
These two biaodi were only slightly younger than him, and the three of them got along very well. During the meal, they were regaled with tales about the store from Liu Sen. Dabiaodi, He Zhongzhou was enthralled by the stories. He pleaded to be brought to the store after lunch. Liu Sen himself wanted to show his two cousins around, so he asked permission from his dajiu. He Wenqing smiled and agreed.
During the meal, Liu Xu’er saw her parents’ expression and knew that the matter with Xiaoling would definitely not happen.
Their situation was completely different from before. Nowadays, the Liu family were in a good financial position. Furthermore, since Liu Shu was the eldest, their parents would definitely be very careful picking his wife. There was already a negative example in the generation above them after all! So of course, they were nervous about this! They were extremely careful and cautious about who they would consider for Liu Shu.
After the meal, Liu Lin, Liu Sen and Liu Tao brought He Zhongzhou and He Zhonghao to the store. Xiuxiu also wanted to go – she had agreed to buy things back for her little friends after all! After the meal, she closely shadowed her mother. She didn’t ask to go, but kept following her around. He Wenqing and his wife naturally understood their daughter. Since it wasn’t a big deal for her to go with her cousins and brothers, the two of them agreed.
Excited, Xiuxiu quickly asked Liu Xu’er, “Biaojie, are you going as well?”
Liu Xu’er thought for a moment. Today, Shi Cheng didn’t come by for the meal. She wasn’t sure what had happened. Furthermore, Liu Shu intended to stay at home to deal with his accounts. She wanted to stay and be at hand for that.
Liu Lin was now a sturdy, reliable youth. Since Shi Cheng hadn’t come by, he knew that Liu Xu’er wouldn’t want to leave. So he said, “Dage and Xu’er need to stay at home to deal with the accounts. They might come out later. Xiuxiu, if you want to go, you can come with us. In a while, your jie will join us.”
Liu Xu’er quickly nodded, “That’s right Xiuxiu, Head out with them first. I will be by in a while.”
Xiuxiu then nodded. Everyone there was a relative – it wasn’t a big deal for her to go out with them. She only asked Liu Xu’er out of courtesy.
As such, they all headed off. But the instant they left, issues immediately arose. When Xiuxiu left home this morning, she had agreed to help some of her good friends bring back handkerchiefs and five-colored bands. But those two items were only sold at the store Liu Tao was managing.
Senzi wasn’t headed to the store. Although he had regaled tales to his two cousins about the store, now that he was out, he wanted to bring them around town to play. Naturally, He Zhongzhou and He Zhonghao both were keen to join him.
The store Liu Lin managed was the new store, so he said to Liu Tao, “Why don’t you bring Xiuxiu over. In a while, dage and Xu’er will head over.”
This wasn’t a big deal. Liu Tao was Liu Shu and Liu Lin’s tangdi 3 堂弟/tangdi – Younger male cousin of the same surname – ie, father’s brother’s son . He was as good as Xiuxiu’s own elder brother. They were all family. Xiuxiu nodded, and came over to the old store with him.
Liu Tao went to open the door. After he had taken down the first plank, he smiled and told her, “Xiuxiu, why don’t you head in first to have a look. I will continue to open the door.”
Xiuxiu nodded and headed in. The old store looked mostly the same as before, but it had been renovated. Because a few of the items had been moved over to the new store, it didn’t look as cramped as it did before. Everything was nicely exhibited. Xiuxiu headed to the first glass counter to have a look
On top of the counter was a porcelain bowl. In the bowl were several red, round fruits. At its side was an ornamental plant. Xiuxiu didn’t pay any attention to the plant – she was immediately attracted to the fruit. She loved eating fruits, and she’d never seen a fruit like this before! So she swiftly put one into her mouth and started to chew.
The fruit was both sour and sweet. It was delicious. Xiuxiu felt that one was not enough, so she took a few to eat. Smiling, she twisted to look around at Liu Tao. “Liu Tao ge, what fruit is this? It’s sour and sweet – it’s really nice.”
Liu Tao had just moved another plank when he heard. He immediately whipped his head around and watched as Xiuxiu took another fruit from the counter. He dropped the plank in shock!
He rushed over, “Oh, oh! That cannot be eaten! It’s not edible! You’ve already eaten it?! How many did you eat… Oh my goodness!”
That made Xiuxiu panic. She immediately hurled the fruit away from her! She spat out the piece she was chewing on. With a sob in her voice, she cried, “I’ve eaten quite a few….”
Liu Tao dragged Xiuxiu to the doorway and told her to vomit everything out! But Xiuxiu was both shocked and panicky. Instead of spitting out, she swallowed whatever was still in her mouth! Then she cried out again in panic, “I swallowed it…. I’ve swallowed it all! What should I do?!”
Liu Tao’s face was white with fear. He jumped up and said, “Let’s head to the medical hall!” But he hadn’t completely lost his head. He immediately ran into the store and dragged out the money box. He rushed out and called toward the neighbour, “Liu dage! Liu dage!”
A man in his 20s came out running. He had been galvanized by the panicked cry, “What’s happened?”
“My meimei accidentally ate those red fruits! Help me watch the store, I’m bringing her to the medical hall!” Liu Tao was so anxious, he was about to break down in tears.
The man jumped, “What?!”
Liu Tao didn’t have time to explain the situation. He pulled the still crying and spitting Xiuxiu and ran toward the medical hall.
They left the stunned man standing there. After a brief hesitation, he immediately ran back into his own store shouting, “Wife, wife! Quickly come out and watch the store, I need to head to the medical hall!”
His wife emerged from the courtyard and asked, “What’s wrong?”
“It’s bad. Liu Tao’s meimei accidentally ate the red fruit Liu Tao bought from us this morning! That… It might be poisonous! If anything were to happen, it might implicate us. I need to have a look!” After he was finished, he rushed off toward the medical hall.
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Oh my ghad!!! Liu Tao…. What was that and who was that red fruit for?!!!
Thanks for the chapter!!!
HAHAHA – well, the answer will be known shortly!!
And that’s the saying “curiosity kills the cat”. Let’s see how things progress in the next chapter 😂 thanks for the chapter.