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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 siblings finished up the glutinous rice cake together. When they were done, Liu Xu’er went to wash the bowl. The chickens started to cluck loudly, so Liu Xu’er hurried to drive them from the room before collecting their eggs. She took out the wild vegetables that He shi had already minced up and mixed it with a little bran. Then she scattered the mixture in the courtyard. The two chickens rushed over to eat.
Outside, evening was falling and the sun was about to set. Liu Shu started to get nervous, and would occasionally open the door to check whether dad and mum had returned.
The sky was dark. The chickens had gone back into the room to roost, and the two rabbits had full bellies, resting unmoving in their nest. Liu Xu’er emerged from their little room and looked at the sky.
Once the sky was dark and Liu Sen still did not see He shi, he started to whine unhappily. Liu Xu’er climbed onto the kang to soothe him softly. Liu Lin sat at the side with a gloomy face, while Liu Shu was waiting in the courtyard, listening for any sign of their return.
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Gv vbkp vkxl, yzz vbl pkczkdtp olal qllzkdt wdlypu. Ywx yde eye oswze elqkdkvlzu dlhla zlyhl vblka uswdt nbkzeald yzsdl yv bsxl yqvla eyaj.&dcpr;
Eyp kv vbyv psxlvbkdt cye bye byrrldle?
Xdnl vbl vbswtbv ldvlale Nkw Dw’la’p xkde, pbl iwknjzu pbssj bla blye vs tlv ake sq kv. Jwv vbl vbswtbv jlrv pwaqynkdt, takrrkdt bla alzldvzlppzu. Rv oyp yzalyeu eyaj – vs cl yv vbl ayhkdl dso oyp lmvalxlzu eydtlaswp.&dcpr;
Nkw Fbw nyxl kd, zssjkdt tayhl. Tl rywple yde vsze Nkw Nkd, “Nkw Nkd, pvyu yv bsxl vs oyvnb shla ekek yde xlkxlk, R okzz ts yde zssj qsa eye yde xwx….”
Ekvbswv oykvkdt qsa Nkw Nkd vs pyu yduvbkdt, Nkw Dw’la kxxlekyvlzu hsknle y hkszldv alqwpyz. “Ls! Pytl, usw nyddsv ts! Rv’p eyaj, tskdt esod vbl ayhkdl kp eydtlaswp ldswtb kd eyuzktbv, zlv yzsdl yv dktbv! Psd’v ts, ol pbswze nsdvkdwl vs oykv.”
Nkw Nkd qlahldvzu dseele bkp blye. “Mbyv’p aktbv tl, usw nyd’v ts. El pbswze oykv y obkzl zsdtla.”
Nkw Fbw’p qwaasole bkp caso, bkp qynl pvlad. Tl oyp ycswv vs pyu psxlvbkdt obld vblal oyp xye cydtkdt sd vbl nswavuyae essa. Mbld nyxl y rlapsd’p hsknl, pbswvkdt zswezu. “Nkw Fbw? Nkw Nkd! Zswa ryaldvp olal kd yd ynnkeldv!”
Mbyv tyhl yzz vbl nbkzeald kd vbl bswpl y ckt qaktbv! Nkw Fbw yde Nkw Nkd ayd vs srld vbl essa. Nkw Fld, obs bye fwpv dsvknle vbl blyhu yvxsprblal kd vbl bswpl yde oyp sd vbl hlatl sq naukdt, oyp pbsnjle kdvs oykzkdt cu vbl pweeld cwapv sq jdsnjkdt.
Overwhelmed, Liu Xu’er hugged and soothed him, but she herself was so scared, her heart was beating wildly. She carried him toward the doorway when she saw that Liu Shu had opened the door, and a person had barged in. She could not see who the person was as it was dark, but the person was loudly exclaiming. “Liu Shu, Liu Lin! Quickly go to your ye and nai’s house to tell them the news! Your dad and mum fell down the ravine! Quickly, get your uncles to help with the search….”
Liu Shu and Liu Lin were both shocked into barraging him with questions. Liu Shu quickly asked. “Uncle Wang! How did my parents fall into the ravine?”
“It was dark, so they couldn’t see clearly…. I didn’t see the accident firsthand. I was at the ravine, when I heard someone at the bottom shouting. After listening for a while, I finally realized it was your parent’s voice…. Hurry, hurry, don’t waste time asking questions, quickly look for help! I am going to find the village head!”
Liu Xu’er was so frightened her knees went weak!
Liu Lin quickly sped off. “I will go to ye and nai!”
Liu Shu also started to take off before turning to call toward the house. “Xu’er! Look after Senzi. Don’t take a step out of the house!” Before continuing on his way.
Liu Sen was frightened even further, and his crying got louder. A neighbor had also heard the commotion and came out. From the courtyard door, she saw that Liu Xu’er was sitting sprawled on the floor with Liu Sen crying desperately in her arms. Worried, she quickly came in.
“My my, what happened? Xu’er? Xu’er! I am your Aunt Wu! What happened?! Who was that person just now and what did they say?!”
Liu Xu’er was helped up, and Aunt Wu took over carrying and soothing Liu Sen. Liu Xu’er’s throat was so tight, it was a struggle to get the words out. “My parents fell into the ravine…. Aunt Wu, quickly help me find people to help with the rescue…. Quick….”
Aunt Wu was their new neighbor, but since they were all still in the same village, everyone was familiar with each other. Once she heard what was said, she got a big shock. She quickly placed Liu Sen on the kang and ran out shouting, “Husband, husband! Quickly come out, Liu Second had an accident!”
Liu Xu’er heard the outside become very noisy with lots of people shouting. She saw from a distance that several people were preparing torches, and all the neighbors were calling each other. Lots of people were running back and forth in front of their courtyard, shouting at one another. There was even a young teenage girl who ran in. She came into the house and carried her onto the kang. “Xu’er be good, don’t cry.”
Outside, people continued to run by, shouting at one another.
“Rope! We need to prepare rope, so that we can tie everyone together. If we go and someone else falls, it would be very difficult!”
“Quick! Quickly, quickly! My erge and ersao have fallen down!”
Liu Xu’er heard her sishu’s voice! She determinedly scrubbed her face of tears, and went to hug Liu Sen.
The person who came in was Aunt Wu’s daughter, Xiaotian. This year, she was only 13 or 14. She was also scared into trembling. Seeing the two siblings huddled together, she sat at the side of the kang and watched the doorway with a pale face.
“You should go back! Go back! Liu Hong, go and look after the children, you are not to go to the ravine!” A sudden clear voice rang from the courtyard door. Xiaotian quickly ran to have a look. Liu Xu’er had also heard it and came out. That instruction had come from dabo Liu Changqi.
One in each hand, Liu Hong dragged the struggling Liu Shu and Liu Lin in. Liu Hong brought them both in and shouted. “Both of you stay here! If anything happened to any one of you….” Her throat tightened and she couldn’t say anymore, bursting into tears.
Seeing that, both Liu Lin and Liu Shu couldn’t resist anymore, and everyone started crying. Liu Xu’er was wiping her tears and looking at Liu Hong. Xiaogu was only 14, and she too was anxious.
Aunt Wu swept into the room. Seeing everyone in tears, she first pulled Liu Hong to one side and said, “Hey, you’re their aunt! You’re here to help look after them, why are you joining them in crying? Once you cry, wouldn’t that make the children more anxious? Quickly dry your tears. Look, you’ve made them all cry.”
Saying this, she carried both Liu Shu and Liu Lin up the kang and removed their shoes. “All of you, stop crying! Nobody has said that anything really bad has happened! Perhaps they just slipped into a deeper part, but they’re completely fine. With so many people helping them, once they get out, things will be ok! Wasn’t it said that they were yelling at the bottom of the ravine? If they can still yell, that means that they should be ok!”
As expected of an adult, with those few sentences, everyone’s emotions stabilized. Liu Hong quickly wiped her tears. Nodding she said, “That’s true, I’m sure they’re fine… At the very least, they are alert and conscious. They should be fine.” Somewhat sheepishly, she turned and looked at Aunt Wu. “Aunt Wu….”
Aunt Wu patted her shoulder. “It’s alright. Let’s focus on looking after these kids. Liu Shu, stop crying! You’re the oldest, you can’t scare your younger siblings.”
Liu Shu had already started to dry his tears, but hearing this, he bowed his head and wiped them all off before going to carry Liu Sen, while reaching out to pull Liu Xu’er’s arm.
Outside was still in chaos. After a while, Liu Gao shi came in, her face tight and wan. Her trembling, wrinkled hands patted each child comfortingly before she was pulled out by Aunt Wu for a quiet chat.
Liu Xu’er had no heart to eavesdrop on their conversation. She was listening hard to what was happening outside. The adults would definitely never allow the children to leave the house, terrified that in the blink of an eye they would run off. If they were to go to the ravine in their agitation, they may just fall into the ravine…. That would be unthinkable! So Liu Hong and Xiaotian both sat at the side of the kang, refusing to let them even get off the kang. Liu Xu’er opened the window and leaned out to look.
Torches were everywhere. That’s what it meant to be in a village – the instant one family was in trouble, everyone came to help out. From the courtyard door, an occasional adult would check in, “Are the kids alright?”
At that time, both Liu Gao shi and Aunt Wu would quickly respond, “They’re fine! What’s happening at the ravine? Is everyone alright….”
They wouldn’t have finished their questions before the other would have taken off.
Liu Xu’er kept her ears peeled, hoping that she would be able to hear some good news from all the commotion outside.
From the courtyard door, a little person flew in. Before the courtyard guardians, Aunt Wu and Liu Gao shi, could respond, the person had already rushed into the main room calling, “Xu’er! Xu’er, are you alright?”
With that one shout, Liu Xu’er knew it to be Shi Cheng. Turning to confirm, she saw Shi Cheng’s anxious face headed up the kang. Liu Hong gave him a hand, and he clambered on. He went over to look at her, and seeing that both her eyes were red, he quickly said, “When I was running over, I happened to hear someone shout that they had already been found, and they were planning how best to bring them up.”
In relief, Liu Xu’er gripped his arms and asked. “Really?!”
Everyone in the room was relieved and hopeful, but remained unsure. They gathered around him. “Is this true? Have they really found them?!”
Shi Cheng nodded, “It’s true. They said it was quite easy to find them.The first responders heard them calling from below the fir tree forest. Everyone knows about that road. Now, it’s probably mostly about how to get them back up.” He looked at Liu Xu’er and comforted her. “Your parents are both there, and I heard they were both conscious. Maybe it’s just a sprained leg or the like.”
Liu Gao shi and Aunt Wu both came in to listen. Hearing that, they both uttered, “Amitabha!”
From the doorway, a person frantically ran in shouting, “Shi Cheng! Aunt Wu, did my family’s Shi Cheng come here?!”
Aunt Wu saw it was a servant from Shi Cheng’s family, Uncle Quan, so she quickly nodded, “That’s right, he just arrived!”
Uncle Quan ran in, and saw Shi Cheng lying on the window sill with Liu Xu’er, looking out. Letting out a big sigh of relief, he started to grumble. “Shi Cheng, why are you so disobedient? Running out like this, you really scared your parents…. That slope is so long, how could you just run on it at night….”
Shi Cheng impatiently turned to look at him. “Uncle Quan, when there’s been trouble in someone’s family, it’s not right to be this naggy!”
Uncle Quan was pulled up short.
Hearing Shi Cheng, this young lad, saying such an adult thing, Aunt Wu was surprised into giving Shi Cheng another look. Liu Gao shi was anxiously pacing around the house, so she hadn’t noticed what they were saying. Aunt Wu went over to offer her some comfort.
Shi Cheng softly spoke to Liu Xu’er, and for a moment, there were no loud voices in the house. Everyone was softly murmuring to each other. Liu Sen was still sniffling while Liu Hong carried and tried to soothe him.
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Just as I finished ch 16, I was gifted a ch 17! Thanks tl for the chapter and I hope you have a productive and wonderful day or evening ahead! :))
Aiyy… cliffhanger… thanks for the chapter.
😏 The good news is, the next chapter is now up!