1. This is an unofficial translation and no permission has been obtained from the author/ official publisher. It may be taken down if the author/official publisher requests.
2. This is a fan work and the interpretation represents only the translator’s personal views without any input from the author.
3. No permission has been granted to use, publish, upload and/or copy this translation to any other site except for Second Life Translations.
After a while, Liu Gao shi re-entered. Although she desperately tried to hide it, the delight showed in her eyes and deepened her laugh lines.
Liu Changshi quickly got off the kang. He took his seat again only after Liu Gao shi sat down.
Old Man Liu asked, “What was she here for?”
A silly smile on her lips, Liu Gao shi said, “She brought…. The formal engagement announcement.”
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Ekvb yzz vbl nbkzeald ralpldv, Xze Yyd Nkw eked’v ypj qsa xsal elvykzp. Tl fwpv dseele bkp ynjdsozletlxldv, cwv kv oyp hlau nzlya vbyv bl vss oyp hlau byrru. Tl ekpble swv zyatl yxswdvp sq xlyv qsa yzz vbl nbkzeald, obkzl bl bkxplzq kdewztle kd okdl. Ekvb y pyvkpqkle “yb”, bl twzrle kv esod.&dcpr;
Nkw Dw’la yzps wdelapvsse. Ekvb vbkp ldtytlxldv yddswdnlxldv, bla tayderyaldvp bye nzlyazu ytalle vs vbl xyvnb yde bye pvyavle lmnbydtkdt xyaakytl nswavlpklp. Ohld vbswtb vblu olal pkxrzl hkzzytl qszj, kv eked’v xlyd vbyv vblu eked’v vyjl yzz vbl xyaakytl nwpvsxp hlau plakswpzu.
Nkw Dw’la yvl blyavkzu, bla zkrp pxlyale okvb skz.&dcpr;
Xdnl yzz vbl nbkzeald bye lyvld, vblu zlqv, pvsxynbp cwztkdt. Ohld Nkw Dw’la oyp awcckdt yv bla pvsxynb, nsxrzlvlzu pyvkpqkle. Mbkp oyp vbl zkql!
Nkw Ubydtpbk rknjle wr yd yzlav zssjkdt Fldgk, obkzl vbl alpv blze bydep. Mblu olal fwpv ycswv vs zlyhl vbl bswpl obld Nkw Qys pbk nyzzle swv vs Nkw Fbw. Vyppkdt bkx y cypjlv, pbl pyke, “Mblal yal qswa rkt’p vasvvlap kd vblal, yzz nssjle. Nlv uswa ryaldvp byhl kv vsdktbv. Rv’p hlau dwvakvkswp. Zswa ryaldvp dlle kv….” Gqvla pyukdt vbkp, pbl nswzed’v alpkpv takddkdt vs blaplzq.&dcpr;
Nkw Nkd wdelapvsse vbl pwcvlmv yde yzps pvyavle zywtbkdt zswezu,&dcpr;
Nkw Ubydtpbk jdsnjle bkp blye tldvzu, “Ebyv yal usw zywtbkdt ycswv?” Nkw Fld pvalvnble bkp blye vs zssj yv bkp casvbla, yp kq nwakswp ycswv obyv bl qswde ps qwddu?
Nkw Fbw yde Nkw Dw’la pyke kd wdkpsd, “Mbydj usw dyk!”
Liu Gao shi smiled widely. “What are you two doing, being so formal with me?”
Liu Shu took the basket, while Liu Xu’er called out, “Bye!” Coincidentally, Liu Shu was also just saying that. Liu Gao shi was delighted.
Liu Changshi sent them back. After popping in to say “hi” to their parents, he left. He shi smiled and asked Liu Sen what he had for lunch. Liu Sen rolled wildly on the kang, repeatedly saying, “Meat, meat! It was yummy!”
Everyone was happy that the children had managed to have a good meal with plenty of meat. Liu Changgeng and He shi kept teasing Liu Sen, asking him how much he ate etc, while Liu Xu’er went over to check on the little rabbits. The pregnant mother rabbit was squatting in the corner, with her eyes closed. She appeared to be sleeping, while the male rabbit was continuously eating.
The two newer rabbits were still too young to be raised together, so they were currently still being separated. After checking on them, Liu Xu’er returned to her own room and took out the hand-warmers she had made previously.
The piece of brocade that xiaoyi had left for her had all been used to make a pair of hand-coverings similar to Senzi’s size. Also, when xiaoyi was here teaching them embroidery, she had left some good quality leftover cloth. Liu Xu’er had taken it out and measured to check if there was enough material. She had found she had just enough to make another two pairs, but they were quite small, maybe the size of a newborn’s hands.
Liu Xu’er thought that if she made hand-warmers, she could maybe tap on Shi Cheng’s connection and leave it at his family’s store to help them sell it. Maybe they could even show it to the Gu Family’s Second Madam. As such, she didn’t just make a single pair – after all, it would look too sad if there was just one!
However, there was only so much good cloth available to her. And after making the three pairs, there was no more left over. So, Liu Xu’er had to head over to He shi to get more cotton cloth, to make the pair she had agreed for the doctor’s grandson. Measuring the cloth, she prepared to make a few pairs of hand-coverings with the ordinary cotton cloth.
As if on cue, Shi Cheng came by in the afternoon and told her that new stock for his family’s jewelry shop had arrived in Hanzhong City and would be in town in another few days.
Liu Xu’er quickly replied, “Then I will need to hurry and make a few more pairs of hand-warmers. That’s right, I need to discuss something with you. Last time my xiaoyi came, she brought some good quality cloth. I’ve made three pairs of hand-warmers with them. Could I put them in your store? Is there some way you can think of to show it to the Second Madam?”
Shi Cheng quickly agreed, “That’s no problem. Just pass it to me. When my dad goes to town to see about the new stock, I will tag along and ask the shopkeeper to show it to Second Madam when she comes.” Saying this, he suddenly thought of something else. “Do you want to come along with me?”
Liu Xu’er thought for a moment. “Whether I go or not doesn’t matter, but I need to give the doctor who treated Senzi a pair of hand-warmers. It would be best if I could give it to him personally, and thank him again.”
To Shi Cheng, thanking the doctor was immaterial. After all, he had been paid for his medical services. There was no need for repeated thanks. However, he definitely hoped that Liu Xu’er could come along, so he didn’t contradict her, saying instead, “It would definitely be best to gift it in person.”
Liu Xu’er nodded. After Shi Cheng left, she quickly started to work on the hand-warmers. She had been practising this recently, so she was rather familiar with the process. After two days of non-stop work, she managed to make another two pairs, with a little white rabbit stitched on top. It looked adorable.
On the third day, Shi Cheng came over to inform her that the new stock had arrived. He and his father would be going to town the next day. Liu Xu’er then went to discuss this with her parents. She said only that she wanted to give the doctor her hand-warmers. She then asked whether it would be better to give it to him personally or not?
Her parents had been feeling a bit uneasy about the unpaid medical bills. Furthermore, as humble village folk, they had great respect for all doctors, so they both felt that it would be better for Liu Xu’er to go personally. After discussion, they decided to get Liu Shu to go along as well. This time, her parents felt less anxious about the children going by themselves as they had managed previously.
The next day, Shi Cheng specially brought Uncle Quan over to meet them, trying to allay Liu Xu’er’s parents’ fears. Liu Lin didn’t particularly want to go to town this time. After all, he had already been there twice and he didn’t think there was much to do while there.
The children sat in Shi Cheng’s carriage and headed to town. The weather outside was not too bad – it wasn’t a particularly chilly day. Uncle Quan sat outside driving the carriage, while Shi Cheng’s dad sat near the carriage door. When they arrived at town, it was, again, Uncle Quan who brought Liu Xu’er and Liu Shu over to the doctor. That way, they could kill two birds with one stone and also get the medicines He shi and Liu Changgeng needed, while Shi Cheng went with his dad to the store.
Shi Cheng carried the hand-warmers that Liu Xu’er had given him. Walking a bit ahead, he softly instructed Uncle Quan that after leaving the medical hall, he should bring the two over to the store. Uncle Quan agreed.
Liu Xu’er and Liu Shu followed Uncle Quan to the medical hall. It was one of the larger ones in town, and was run by the family of the doctor who treated Liu Sen’s injury. He was the attending doctor in the hall. The place was divided into two, with the back portion meant for doctors to see patients, while the front was a place that sold medicines.
Liu Changgeng and He shi were both sent here after their accident in the ravine. Which was why, when the doctor made the housecall for Liu Sen, he also had a look at their injuries.
Uncle Quan went in to greet him. The doctor raised his head and saw Liu Shu and Liu Xu’er standing timidly by the door. Smiling, he waved them in, “Come on in, don’t be scared.”
Liu Xu’er immediately went in. Walking in front of the doctor, she took out two pairs of hand-warmers. Presenting them with both hands, she said, “Uncle doctor, I brought the hand-warmers you asked for last time. I hope you like them!”
The doctor laughed. Taking them in hand, he looked at it in detail. It was soft to the touch, and the handiwork was very detailed. There were even two little red-eyed rabbits stitched on them. The doctor was very satisfied. Smiling, he nodded and said, “Good, it’s not bad. I really like them!” Saying this, he smiled and asked her, “How much for a pair?”
Liu Xu’er was stunned. She hadn’t thought of selling them, so she paused and said, “There’s no need for payment. Just accept it as thanks from my family for treating our family members.”
The doctor shook his head. He smiled and said, “We need to treat that as a separate matter. I need to pay for these, otherwise, I cannot accept them.” Saying this, he returned them to Liu Xu’er in refusal.
Liu Xu’er was a bit helpless. She looked at Liu Shu, but he too didn’t know what to do. At the side, Uncle Quan smiled and said, “What the doctor said is true. You should let him know your price.”
Liu Xu’er thought about it. When the doctor saw them, he had already charged them for his medical services. He probably did not want to be indebted to others. Even if they were just very small hand-warmers, he would probably feel uncomfortable owing others? Otherwise, in future, when he had to treat someone in their family, he may potentially have difficulty deciding whether or not to charge them. But if he didn’t charge them, he would definitely make a loss.
After thinking it through, she quickly said, “Uncle doctor, if you find them acceptable, then a pair would be….” She stopped to think here. She had never thought about how much they were worth, so it was difficult for her to name a suitable price. After a while, she embarrassedly said, “200 wen for a pair…. Is that alright?”
Uncle Quan and the doctor both laughed. On the streets, a cloth hand-warmer was easily two or three taels of silver each and those were filled with ordinary cotton. Although these hand-warmers of hers were small, and were made by villagers with ordinary cotton cloth, they were still made in a very meticulous fashion and the insides were filled with rabbit fur. It was stuffed very generously from what the doctor could tell.
The doctor muttered to himself. Originally he wanted to offer 800 wen per pair, but didn’t want to appear too stingy. Furthermore, these village folk were a bit pitiable so he decided to go with a whole number instead. Smiling he said, “I’ll give you a tael for a pair then. I want both pairs.” Without waiting for Liu Xu’er to say anything, he called for an assistant to bring two taels of silver over.
Liu Xu’er was shocked. She twisted around to look at Uncle Quan. Uncle Quan only smiled and nodded, so she didn’t say anything. Her face flushed red, and her heart was racing with excitement.
After receiving the two taels of silver from the assistant, Liu Xu’er was even more embarrassed. Red-faced, she thanked the doctor, “Thank you uncle doctor!”
The doctor smiled and nodded, “You’re welcome. You’ve also spent quite a lot of time on this. Your handiwork is very well done!” He praised her.
Liu Shu then took out the prescription and asked the assistant to help them pack it up. After paying, they left. The doctor was clearly in a good mood, and even stood up to send them off.
When Liu Xu’er had left the house this morning, He shi again gave them 500 wen for the medications. Anything that was left could be used to buy some snacks to eat. But she very sternly warned her that she was not to buy any more rubbish! Even if they didn’t buy any food, she was not to buy chicks, rabbits and whatnot!
After spending over 300 wen on the medications, there was about 100 plus wen remaining, along with the two taels of silver they had just made. Liu Shu was about to keep it away, when Liu Xu’er tugged at him and asked softly, “The medical fees from last time were paid by Uncle Quan. Shouldn’t we return it to him?”