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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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Liu Changgeng had to speak up. “What are you saying? Dasao and sandimei…. Dasao has to look after her children, so she couldn’t come over to help out. As for sandimei, her character…. Just ignore her – why get angry with her?!”
He shi chokingly said, “They didn’t even bother to drop by! The children were alone for a whole night, and they didn’t even bother to come and have a look!”
“What nonsense have you been hearing?”
Liu Lin stuck out his chin and said, “It’s true! Dashenzi and sanshenzi didn’t even come by for a moment!”
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Nkw Ubydttldt oyp blze wr pbsav, wdpwal sq obyv bl nswze pyu vs nsdpszl bla. Nkw Ubydtpbk’p qynl bye vwadle talld, obkzl Nkw Tsdt oyp takvvkdt bla vllvb. Fbl oydvle vs nwapl, cwv pbl blze cynj yp pbl oyp kd qasdv sq vbl nbkzeald.
Nkw Dw’la nswze qllz Tl pbk’p ldvkal cseu valxczkdt. Gqvla y xsxldv sq vbswtbv, pbl rwzzle swv sq bla taypr, pyv wr pvayktbv yde pxkzle yv Tl pbk. Fbl pyke, “Ywx, obu yal usw naukdt? R nswzed’v cl byrrkla! Jsvb usw yde eye yal qkdl, yde byhl pyqlzu alvwadle bsxl. El pbswze cl byrru! Eswzed’v usw ytall, eytl?”
Nkw Fbw oyp y pldpkczl nbkze, ps bl kxxlekyvlzu dseele. “Od, xwx! Zsw yde eye yal csvb qkdl. El okzz yzz cl sjyu.”
Gtykd Nkw Dw’la zswezu ypjle Nkw Fld, “Fldgk! Mlzz xwx obyv usw bye qsa zwdnb?! Elal usw qwzz?”
Mbl kdpvydv Nkw Fld blyae vbyv, bl kxxlekyvlzu pvawttzle swv sq Tl pbk’p lxcaynl. Tl pvayktbvldle bkp zkvvzl cseu yde alrsavle zswezu. “Tye ltt nwpvyae yde dssezlp! Lyk pvlyxle yd ltt nwpvyae qsa Fldgk. Lyk lhld pyke, Fldgk’p pvsxynb oyp yp aswde yp y cyzz.” Fyukdt vbyv, bl awccle bkp vwxxu.&dcpr;
Tkp nbkzekpb hsknl qkdyzzu xydytle vs yxwpl vbl yewzvp kd vbl assx yde Tl pbk’p vldpl qynkyz lmralppksd pvyavle vs lypl.
Nkw Ubydtpbk yde Nkw Tsdt pvyule yde nbyvvle okvb vblx qsa iwkvl y obkzl clqsal Nkw Ubydtpbk zlqv. Nkw Tsdt pvyule clbkde vs ralryal vbl yqvladssd xlyz clqsal blyekdt cynj.&dcpr;
Xdnl yzz vbl rlsrzl bye zlqv, Tl pbk yzzsole blaplzq vs aytl yde ollr. Fbl pyke, “Nkw Tsdt kp sdzu 14, yde R bye vs tlv bla vs blzr nyaau xl yaswde. Ps usw jdso bso yoqwz R qllz ycswv vbyv! Tso kp kv vbyv xu alzyvksdpbkr okvb svblap kp ps rssa? R byhl vos pkpvlap-kd-zyo, yde ulv ds sdl kp okzzkdt vs blzr? Ebyv eslp vbyv xyjl xl?!”
Liu Changgeng said, “Why do you say this? Who in the village doesn’t know exactly why this happened? It’s not as if they are blind! Everyone knows the character of those two, so who would blame you if your relationship with them is poor? It’s alright, stop thinking about it.”
He shi lowered her head. “I still feel awful…. We have only just separated from the family and we both…. Don’t you think that those who are more malicious would point and say that the separation of the family was driven by quarrels amongst ourselves…. “
“Whoa there, aren’t you being overly sensitive and overthinking this? Nobody quarreled during the separation process? Who quarreled? In the village, when the old Zhang family separated, those few brothers nearly started fighting with knives! We peacefully split the family assets, so who would say anything? Alright, alright, stop thinking about this. The more you dwell on it, the more upset you get!” Comforted Liu Changgeng.
“Even so, what are we to do now? Both of us can’t move, these days…. What are we to do?”
“Ai, you really are a worrier. Don’t think about it. There will definitely be a solution.”
Both Liu Shu and Liu Lin went to send off sishu and xiaogu, so Liu Xu’er took the time to go and look in on her rabbits and chickens. The chickens had laid eggs, so she brought them back.
When she entered, she saw her mother atop the kang, head lowered and wiping her tears. Liu Sen who had been playing at the side seemed to have sensed that something was wrong. His mouth flattened unhappily and he was on the verge of tears.
Liu Xu’er had just heard a bit, so she knew that her mother was still upset over dashenzi and sanshenzi’s no show. She laughed and came in waving the eggs. “Dad, mum! See, the chickens have laid eggs. Everyday, there are always two eggs!”
Liu Changgeng and He shi sat unmoving on the kang. Liu Changgeng smiled and nodded. “You’re such a good girl, Xu’er.”
Liu Shu and Liu Lin returned and sat at the head of the kang. Liu Xu’er kept the eggs before joining them. Liu Shu looked at Liu Changgeng’s leg and asked softly. “Dad, your leg…. Will it be alright?”
“It will be fine, it just needs a few days.” Liu Changgeng smiled and rubbed his head.
Liu Xu’er’s lip twitched. “Sishu has already said, you’re not to get off the kang for two months! Dad, if you want to get all better, then stay on the kang and focus on recuperating. Please don’t try to get off to do work after a few days…. You too, mum!”
He shi was originally still feeling down, but hearing her little girl talking like an adult, she was amused. “Puchi”, she laughed and raised her head. “Hey? Is it now your turn to supervise dad and mum?”
Liu Xu’er raised her chest proudly. “But of course!” She then stared at Liu Changgeng, “Dad! You really cannot get off the kang after a few days!”
Liu Changgeng was delighted, “I know. With my little supervisor around, I wouldn’t dare get off.”
At the side, He shi also agreed in a soft voice. “That’s right, their father. Didn’t the doctor say, your injury is quite serious. If you’re not careful, you could become lame? You cannot ignore this.”
Liu Changgeng could only repeatedly nod and promise that he would stay and rest on the kang.
Liu Xu’er laughed.
Liu Shu nodded his head. “Dad, mum, you need to rest well. The work around the house can be done by Liu Lin and I. At noon, the meal was made by Xu’er.”
He shi had heard what Liu Sen said he ate for the noon meal, but she had assumed that it was made by Liu Gao shi. Brows raised, she asked surprised, “What? Xu’er knows how to cook?”
Liu Xu’er smiled sheepishly. “I only cooked the noodles. Nai brought the egg custard…. Mum, the noodles you left in the kitchen cupboard have all been used.”
Liu Changgeng laughed and nodded repeatedly. “Good! My little girl is so capable! She already knows how to cook!”
“What is so impressive about cooking noodles? I‘ve seen mum make it hundreds of times. Once the water boils, just put the noodles in, that’s all.” Liu Xu’er smiled and said.
He shi smiled and nodded, but her facial expression couldn’t hide all of her worry. Liu Xu’er knew – she was worried about what to do once all the flour was gone.
Liu Xu’er was also mulling over this problem. There was definitely not enough grain for her family. Originally, she thought it would be able to last till the second or third month next year, but looking at the situation now, it would be good if it could last till the New Year! Originally there were two strings of cash that the family received when they separated, but with this injury, those two strings would definitely all have been spent, and it was likely that they had to borrow extra.
Her two rabbits – who knew whether they would start producing fur before the New Year….
She sighed in her heart. She couldn’t keep thinking about this. The more she thought, the more depressed she felt. They still needed to keep on living; they could only take it one step at a time.
At least the rabbits really were easy to rear. They had only been bought for half a month, but they had grown quite significantly. The little rabbits from before were now half grown and their fur was quite long. Liu Xu’er had looked at the book Shi Cheng gave and followed their instructions. After another half a month, she would put the two rabbits together to raise. It would be good if they could successfully breed their first litter before the twelfth month.
Once she realized that the first litter of baby rabbits might be born during the coldest period of the year, Liu Xu’er couldn’t sit still. She climbed down the kang and went to look for any broken pieces of cotton wadding or some such, to help prepare a warm nest for the rabbits.
However, after rummaging the entire house, she couldn’t find even a small piece of broken cloth. But then again, this was the village – cloth and cotton were very valuable, who would waste them? Even if it was a broken off piece of cloth or cotton wadding, it could be used to make shoe soles or cotton shoes. Who would just throw them away?
Because Liu Xu’er was wearing her brother’s hand-me-down cotton jacket, the sleeves and pant legs were too long. Liu Shu and Liu Lin, on the other hand, had too short pants and sleeves.
Empty handed and crestfallen, Liu Xu’er returned from the back of the house. In the courtyard, Liu Shu was calling. “Xu’er?!”
She quickly replied, “I’m here! I’m heading back!” Saying this, she headed toward the doorway. Again she heard someone call from a distance. Looking in that direction, she saw Shi Cheng running like the wind down the slope! That nearly shocked Liu Xu’er into shrieking!
The slope’s angle was very steep – till now, Liu Xu’er could not make her own way up! Who would imagine that the similarly aged Shi Cheng would run like that! If he tripped, he could roll all the way down!
So when Shi Cheng had made his way in front of her, he hadn’t even managed to catch his breath when Liu Xu’er rained a scolding on him. “Are you crazy?! What is so urgent that you need to run like that? That slope is so steep, and instead of carefully coming down, you put your life at risk to run down? Is that how you ran down last night? It was so dark – do you still want to live?! What would happen if you fell and snapped your neck?”
Shi Cheng had just rushed to her and gotten a scolding. He quickly came to a halt. He blinked and waited for her to be done. Seeing her eyes turn all red, he quickly smiled and explained, “Wasn’t it because I saw that you were heading in, so I became anxious….”
“What’s there to be anxious about?! Wouldn’t it be enough for you to call out? Furthermore, I’m just headed home. Is it so difficult to walk a few more steps to find me there? Would I suddenly disappear?! What’s there to be anxious about? If you ever dare to run like that….” Liu Xu’er was choked off. If anything happened to Shi Cheng…. She didn’t dare to imagine any further.
“I won’t, I won’t….” Shi Cheng promised, rubbing his neck, his lips wry. Then he moved onto the main topic. “How’re things today? Your parents have returned? I heard others mentioning they had come back – is everything ok? I was kept at home all day by my mother to study ….”
Liu Xu’er took a couple of deep breaths, before slowly exhaling. “They’ve returned, and everything’s alright. It’s just that their injuries are pretty serious. They need to rest for a few months. If your mother told you not to come, then don’t. Don’t make your mother upset.”
“It’s alright, I had already finished my studies for the day before leaving.” Saying this, Shi Cheng looked around before asking in a hushed voice. “Your parents’ injuries – you must have spent a lot of money? What are you going to do? Do you want me to take some money from my home….”
Liu Xu’er immediately resolutely declined. “You had better not! If your parents found out, what would they think of me and my family? Even if they didn’t find out, my parents are not stupid. Where would this silver suddenly appear from?! Don’t you know how sensitive villagers are toward money, even if there was an extra wen or two, they would still know. If they were to think that I stole it from somewhere…. Wouldn’t that just blow up the matter! So, you definitely, definitely cannot do that.”
Shi Cheng’s brow wrinkled. “Of course I am aware of all that. Isn’t it just that I am worried….”
“Xu’er?” Liu Shu, who was waiting in the courtyard, saw that Liu Xu’er was taking a while. Thinking she must have run off, he anxiously called again and started to come out.
Liu Xu’er quickly responded. As her back was to the courtyard, it was Shi Cheng who first spotted Liu Shu. He quickly called out, “Liu Shu!”
Because Shi Cheng wanted to be close to Liu Xu’er, even his relationship with Liu Shu and Liu Lin was quite good. When Liu Shu saw him, he quickly ran over. “Shi Cheng, why didn’t you come in? What were the two of you talking about here?”
Shi Cheng laughed and waved his hands. “It’s nothing. I came out to play and saw Xu’er, so I came over to ask. It’s good to know that your parents are fine. I should go back.”
Liu Shu nodded. “Okay, go on then. Be careful on the slope.”
Shi Cheng waved at them before turning and heading back up.
The two siblings, Liu Shu and Liu Xu’er watched him make his way up before returning. In the evening, they had the meal that Liu Hong prepared. Then people from the village started to stop by to check in on them. A lot of them were people who had gone down the ravine to help with the rescue, so Liu Changgeng and He shi kept repeatedly thanking them from atop the kang.
There was no other way to express their gratitude except to keep saying “Thank you”. There were no words that could express how thankful the both of them were.
Translator: The first four weeks of posts have been completed! There is still a long way to go, but I really need to thank everyone for reading it, giving it a like or a heart and for your kind words. Thanks to everyone’s encouragement, I managed to keep up the translation pace, and should be able to make 5 updates a week for at least the next four weeks. Hope you enjoy!