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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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“You should shut up! No matter what, I am still your dasao! Do you still have any regard for your dage? How can you treat me so disrepectfully?!”
Ma shi laughed grimly and her voice got louder and louder. “When we separated the families, it was clearly stated there were only 10 strings of cash. Including each branch, each family was given two strings of cash! So how could this happen? In the blink of an eye, after separating out the family, how was there suddenly an extra six or seven taels of silver! And this was all used to support Second’s family! Where did this silver come from? Where! No, we need to clearly discuss this! If you two elders were being unfair when we separated, then I won’t hold back. We should go to the village head to discuss the matter clearly!”
“Stop quarreling!” Old Man Liu bellowed. “What’s there to quarrel over? Even after separating, we still can’t put an end to the squabbles?!”
With that yell from Old Man Liu, Ma shi didn’t dare to continue shouting. Her volume dropped noticeably.
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“Wkapv’p okql, vseyu, zlv’p xyjl vbkp nzlya. Zswa xwx yde R eked’v plvvzl ynnswdvp okvb usw shla vbl ralhkswp xyvvla. Zsw’al y tasod wr; usw pbswze jdso rasrla nsdewnv! Rq usw qllz vbyv obyv usw eke oyp aktbv, vbld nsdvkdwl vs clbyhl vbkp oyu, yde kd vbl lde, ol okzz pll obs nsxlp vs taklq! El eked’v vaswczl usw shla vbyv xyvvla, ps usw pbswzed’v vaswczl wp ycswv vbkp. Xwa qyxkzu byp yzalyeu plryayvle; obs ol nbsspl vs blzr, ol okzz blzr. Rv’p dsv uswa rzynl yp y eywtbvla-kd-zyo vs tkhl wp saelap yde xyjl y aynjlv! Rq usw eyal vs nsdvkdwl jknjkdt wr y qwpp, Wkapv, clyv bla yde nbypl bla swv qsa xl!”
“Qsv kv, eye!” Nkw Ubydtik alprsdele.&dcpr;
Nkw Dw’la oyp bsdlpvzu pwarakple! Rv pllxle vbyv Yy pbk oyp pvkzz dsv pyvkpqkle! Tla ryaldvp olal kdfwale – ul yde dyk’p xsdlu oyp tkhld vs blzr vblx okvb xleknyz nspvp! Jwv pbl oyp pvkzz wdbyrru!
Kwpv yp pbl oyp vbkdjkdt vbkp, pbl ytykd blyae Yy pbk zswezu naukdt swv. “Xb, obu kp xu zkql ps ckvvla! Ebyv es usw vbkdj vbyv R oydv kd vbkp zkql?! Zsw oswze lhld clyv xl yde nbypl xl yoyu. Psd’v usw jdso obu R yx eskdt vbkp?! Mbkae kp dso zssjkdt qsa y bswpl kd vsod! Mbl vos sq vblx ynvwyzzu oydv vs xshl vs vsod vs zkhl! Mblu’al zlyhkdt clbkde eye yde xwx qsa xl vs vyjl nyal sq….”
“Pypys, kq vbyv kp uswa alypsd, vbld usw pbswze pvsr jknjkdt wr y qwpp dso. Rd qwvwal, R okzz vyjl nyal sq xu ryaldvp. Mblu osd’v vyjl y pkdtzl xswvbqwz qasx usw! Rq usw yal yczl vs, vbld ts yblye yde xshl vs vsod! Ls sdl blal okzz tlv flyzswp!” Nkw Ubydtpbk pyke.
Xze Yyd Nkw pyke. “Wkapv’p okql, xwx yde R csvb jdso obu usw yal xyjkdt vaswczl! Fs vseyu, ol okzz xyjl vbkp hlau nzlya. Wkapv, usw pbswze zkpvld nzsplzu vss! Ebslhla oydvp vs xshl vs vsod, nyd xshl. Rq usw’hl vbl yckzkvu, usw nyd lhld ts vs vbl nyrkvyz yde cl dlktbcsap okvb vbl lxrlasa bkxplzq. R osd’v kdvlaqlal! Jwv, R okzz calyj vbl zlt sq obslhla eyalp vs plzz sqq vblka zyde!”
Nkw Ubydtik pyke, “Pye! Ebu yal usw pyukdt vbkp? Ohld kq ol xshl vs vsod, ol okzz elqkdkvlzu cakdt usw vos yzsdt!”
“Txrb, R osd’v byhl vbyv tsse qsavwdl, yde R elqkdkvlzu esd’v oydv vs byhl vs zkpvld vs usw iwyaalzkdt okvb uswa okql lhlaueyu.”
Ma shi said, “Mum, dad, to take care of you is our duty! But as our elders, you need to be fair! If you’re too biased….”
She hadn’t finished speaking, when a loud “pa” rang out! It seemed Ma shi had just been slapped, so the crying became even more strident. “You hit me! You should just beat me to death! If you don’t, then don’t even think of stepping a foot out of this place today!”
There was a sudden spate of ringing, and after a while, Liu Changqi dragged Ma shi out. Ma shi was still screaming, “I don’t care! If you give Second’s family silver, then you should give me a share!”
Then all of a sudden, they spotted Liu Xu’er looking stunned, and everything became quiet. Liu Xu’er saw that Ma shi’s face had a stripe of red and another of purple. The corner of her mouth appeared swollen and purple, clearly from a former beating.
Ma shi saw her standing there stunned, and immediately continued shouting, “Hit me! Today, you should beat me in front of Second’s child! Beat me to death!” Saying this, she waved both arms up and looked like she was charging over to slap Liu Xu’er!
“Pa!” Not waiting for her to charge over, Liu Changqi slapped her again, causing Ma shi to roll on the floor.
Liu Hong and Liu Changshi had already dashed out of the house. Liu Changshi quickly snatched Liu Xu’er up and hurriedly headed out.
They walked quite a distance away – till they couldn’t hear Ma shi’s loud cries – before Liu Changshi asked, “Xu’er, why did you come?”
“Shi Cheng gave me a dying apple sapling, but I want to plant and keep it, so I came to look for you….” Liu Xu’er was so frightened by the earlier incident that her face was all pale. She was still scared, her small face would not have been able to handle a slap from those huge hands.
Liu Changshi nodded, “Ok, I will come with you now.”
Liu Xu’er quickly asked, “Sishu, was what dashenzi said earlier true? Sanshu and sanshen want to move to town?”
Liu Changshi’s brow wrinkled. “Ignore them! It’s best if they moved to the ends of the earth!”
Liu Xu’er again asked, “Is it that dashenzi also wants to move to town? That’s why she didn’t care if she burnt bridges and insisted on demanding money from ye and nai?”
Liu Changshi hadn’t realized that she had heard everything and had even managed to guess Ma shi’s motives. Surprised, he looked at her, before standing still and sternly saying, “Xu’er, you cannot let your parents know about what happened today. They are recuperating right now, and don’t need to worry about this. Also, if your father were to know, who knows if he would be able to stay in bed.”
Liu Xu’er nodded. “Understood sishu.” However, in her heart, she harbored extreme hatred toward Ma shi. She was the one who wanted to move to town, but she actually went to ye and nai to ask for money! And this was after all the families had separated out! How shameless!
“Sishu, the money that ye and nai gave to my parents for medical expenses, I will definitely repay. I will repay with interest! After I’ve grown up, I will also take care of ye and nai!”
Liu Changshi’s brow was originally deeply furrowed, but when he heard what she said, he finally gave a laugh. Stretching out his hand, he poked her nose. “You’d best remember what you’ve said!”
Liu Xu’er again asked, “Sishu, is it that ye and nai have no more money? As well as you? When we separated, every family got 2 strings of cash, so the four taels of silver that ye and nai provided for my parents to see the doctor were the money that both you and they had? And any private savings that ye and nai managed to save, at most would only be one or two strings of cash, that must have all been given to my mother….”
“Oh, my little ancestor!” Liu Changshi was thoroughly amused. “How is it that you are in such a gloomy mood? You’re so small, but your thoughts sure aren’t! Who’s taught you to count?”
Liu Xu’er pouted. “Two plus two is four. Four plus two is six! Even a three year-old baby would know that!”
Liu Changshi poked her nose, smiled and said, “Nobody’s children would know that! Many children don’t even know how to count their age! It’s only you who’s so smart.” Saying this, he was clearly delighted. He laughed and carried Liu Xu’er back into the courtyard.
The window was open. He shi tended to be more anxious, so she was sitting by the window. When she saw Liu Changshi enter, she quickly called. “Their sishu, you’ve come?”
Liu Changshi quickly responded. Smiling, he went into the house to greet Liu Changgeng and He shi before heading to the back yard to look at the apple sapling.
Liu Changshi examined it for a while before shaking his head. “I’m afraid it may not survive.” However, villagers would never waste things, so even as he said that, he still dug a hole, and carefully planted the apple tree into it.
The hole was several tens of centimeters deep. And it was planted in a more spacious spot, because if the tree managed to survive, the roots would become very big and spread widely.
And as expected, when Liu Changshi saw the two brothers, Liu Shu and Liu Lin, sweating profusely with blisters on their hands, trying to till the earth, but barely managing to scratch the surface, he told them to go and rest. Then he started to use the shovel and continued the work.
An adult’s strength was definitely not the same. The dirt that was hard as rock under Liu Shu’s and Liu Lin’s power, was soft as sand in Liu Changshi’s. After an hour, Liu Changshi had managed to finish tilling the plot. They would first leave it alone for now. When Liu Shu tilled it again the next day, they could start to dig furrows for the seeds. Since the soil had been loosened, the rest of the work wouldn’t be as difficult.
Liu Shu nodded in agreement. Liu Xu’er had already headed to the kitchen to prepare the meal. She asked Liu Changshi to join them, but Liu Changshi was still concerned about what had happened at home, so he waved goodbye and left.
Liu Xu’er temporarily said nothing of what happened at the old residence to her parents. Firstly, it was truly as sishu said. If dad were to find out about how dashenzi went against ye and nai, and that their family was the reason, he would definitely be unable to continue resting on the kang and would insist on going over to visit ye and nai. Secondly, mum actually was a rather ambitious person. If she were to find out that after separating the family, First and Third’s families wanted to move to town, Liu Xu’er worried her mood would become even more unsettled.
The second day, Liu Changshi came again. He dug two deep furrows at the plot and planted the carrot seeds.
With half the seeds remaining, Liu Xu’er told sishu to bring it home to sow. Liu Changshi agreed. Carrots cannot be too densely planted, otherwise it either wouldn’t grow or their growth would be stunted. They could also establish a vegetable plot back in their own courtyard and grow these.
Liu Changgeng gave Liu Xu’er the little boxes he had made. They were very small, and could be closed with a lid. Liu Xu’er was delighted. Taking these two boxes, she called her two gege. Today, she would comb the rabbits’ fur.
It is only when the rabbits’ fur had grown to a very long length that they could be sheared. It was not yet suitable for them to be sheared, but their fur could be tidied up.
Liu Xu’er took a wooden comb, and carried the rabbits from their nest to a little stone platform in the courtyard. Then she began carefully combing them.
“Their fur is really long.” Little Liu Sen said as he stretched his hand out and grabbed hold! The rabbits were in so much pain they trembled all over.
Liu Shu was scared by his action. He quickly held fast to Liu Sen’s hand. “Senzi, it’s alright to stroke them, but you can’t grab them. Grabbing the rabbits is painful for them.”
“Rabbits can also feel pain?” Liu Sen was surprised. But after that, he started to very gently stroke them.
Liu Xu’er smiled. With each brushstroke, a fair amount of fur would be left on the comb. She was surprised and delighted. This was also rabbit fur – it could be taken to mean that the rabbits had started producing fur! She quickly called out to Liu Lin, “Erge, open the box.”
Liu Lin opened the little box, and Liu Xu’er carefully put the rabbit fur in. Immediately, three hands all reached in to stroke, mostly because the rabbit’s fur looked especially soft and warm. Anyone who saw it would want to stroke it. Even Liu Shu couldn’t resist touching it. Smiling, he said, “It’s so soft.”
Liu Xu’er nodded and laughed. “Otherwise, why would rich people like to wear clothes with rabbit fur.”
As she spoke, her hands kept combing the rabbits. Under her grooming, the rabbit’s long fur slowly became much neater. It was laid like a person’s hair, neatly flat on their bodies. And as she combed, there was more and more rabbit fur – it even managed to fill an entire box. Liu Xu’er firmly pressed it down causing Liu Lin to startle and cry out, “Hey, what if it becomes solid after you’ve pressed it down?!”
That tickled Liu Xu’er and Liu Shu into bowling over laughing.
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