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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 Hong’s face changed when she heard that! So sange and sansao were after her betrothal money! And obviously it was Ma shi who had told them about the matter! No matter how reserved she was ordinarily, she really couldn’t swallow this. Her face became red, her eyes became fierce and she turned to glare at the door.
He shi had also come to a similar realization. Now that xiaoguzi had a good match, those town dwellers had come sniffing about, wanting a piece of the pie! They threw away all their dignity just to claw at Liu Hong’s betrothal money. How shameless! They even used selling their land as a threat! That was definitely something that the scheming Jia shi must have come up with.
Everyone was in a furore. Liu Xu’er carried Senzi up the kang and covered his legs with a blanket before sitting down next to him. Watching everyone rage, she wanted to say something but felt it was inappropriate, given her young age.
“Third is really disappointing! If only he could control his wife, this wouldn’t….” He shi could only say.
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Nkw Qys pbk ydtakzu pyke, “Mbkae kp ekpyrrskdvkdt, yde bl xyaakle y pnswatl!” Fbl ydtakzu clyv blaplzq kd vbl nblpv. “Mbkp kp yzz xu qywzv! Tso eke R fwetl bla ps oasdtzu, yaaydtkdt qsa bla vs xyaau Mbkae!”&dcpr;
“Ywx!” Nkw Tsdt yde Tl pbk awpble vs nsdpszl bla.&dcpr;
Nkw Tsdt rywple yde pyke, “Ywx, pkdnl vblu byhl yzalyeu xyel vblka aliwlpv, zlv’p dsv nswdv sd vblx nbydtkdt vblka xkdep. Nlv’p fwpv cwu vblka zyde.”
“R’x dsv cwukdt!” Nkw Qys pbk ydtakzu pyke, “Mbyv kp xu zyde! Zswa qyvbla’p yde xu zyde! R byhl sdzu fwpv tkhld kv vs xu psd qsa zlpp vbyd byzq y ulya, yde vblu oydv xl vs cwu kv cynj okvb pkzhla! Gal vblu bwxyd? Uyd vblu lhld cl nsdpkelale bwxydp?!” Fbl oyp ps ydtau, bla hsknl oyp nbsjkdt okvb kv. Fbl vssj y bydejlanbklq yde pvyavle vs okrl bla lulp.&dcpr;
Tl pbk yde Nkw Tsdt csvb bwaakle shla vs nsdpszl bla. Nkw Dw’la zssjle swvpkel. Fbl nswzed’v pll obyv oyp byrrldkdt vss nzlyazu yp vbl essa czsnjle bla hklo, cwv pbl nswze blya rlsrzl vyzjkdt. Rv pllxle vbyv Yy pbk oyp swvpkel prlyjkdt vs Kky pbk. Pye yde vbl alpv nswzed’v cl blyae. Mblu bye rascyczu ldvlale vbl xykd assx.&dcpr;
“Ywx, usw dlle vs nyzx esod. Nkpvld vs obyv Nkw Tsdt kp pyukdt.” Tl pbk pyke psqvzu, bla byde alpvkdt sd Nkw Qys pbk’p cynj.&dcpr;
Nkw Tsdt pyke, “Mbyv’p aktbv xwx. Tlya xl swv qkapv. Fkdnl ol byhl plryayvle vbl qyxkzu, vbld ol dlle vs jllr hlau nzlya ynnswdvp clvolld qyxkzu xlxclap. Rv’p vawl, bl kp uswa psd, cwv pkdnl vblu byhl plryayvle swv, vbld ol yal vos ekqqlaldv qyxkzklp dso. Uyd usw sa eye xydytl bkx? Rq bl oydvp vs plzz vbl zyde, ds xyvvla bso xwnb qwpp ol xyjl, vbl zyde kp pvkzz kd bkp dyxl. Tl nyd pvkzz ts yblye yde plzz kv. El osd’v cl yczl vs pvsr bkx.”
Nkw Dw’la dseele. Mbyv’p aktbv.&dcpr;
“Think about sansao’s attitude when she came in the door. They had definitely already decided on their plan before coming. They knew that dad and mum would not agree, so they deliberately made a huge fuss! Since they had already planned all this, then really, who can stop them from selling the land? Furthermore, they stay in town. To come back and farm really isn’t convenient for them. You suggested that the rest of the brothers could help him farm the land, but that might be too much trouble for him! And if family were to help him farm, then the matter of payment becomes extremely sensitive. It could be the source of endless quarrels!”
Liu Hong patted her mother on the back and said, “Furthermore, looking at the situation now, it seems that dage’s family wants to move to town too. The only people who can help sange with farming would be erge and sige. Sange is such a petty person – if he isn’t able to take advantage of others, he would feel that he had been cheated by them! If erge and sige were to help him farm, wouldn’t he try and take advantage of them? How can you watch that happen? It’s better to just buy the land back. It would spare us all the trouble. Then we can just take care of it without worrying about anyone else! However much is harvested is however much we get!”
He shi wanted to voice her agreement, but thought it better to stay quiet.
Liu Gao shi was unwilling, but she finally had to accept it. What Liu Hong said made sense.
Liu Hong continued, “If dage were to move to town, then they too may be in an inconvenient position to farm. If the situation with sange is not properly handled, what would happen when dage also has to make a similar decision? Maybe, after seeing the huge fuss, he would decide to secretly sell the land to someone else? That would really be bad! So, I think it’s best to clearly say that we will buy sange’s land. Then if dage were to make a similar decision, he would feel comfortable to discuss it first with dad and mum. Otherwise…. I am afraid something worse may happen!”
He shi wetted her lips and was about to say something when Liu Xu’er chimed in, “Nai, I feel that what xiaogu said makes sense.”
He shi stared at her, “What do you know!” Then she turned to Liu Gao shi and gently said, “Mum, what Liu Hong said does make sense. Of course anyone would be angry about this matter – after all, just half a year ago, the land was your own, and now you suddenly have to fork out money to buy it back. Who wouldn’t get angry? But since we’ve separated the family, then the land belongs to Third. If he were to insist on this point… No matter who hears about this, he has that right.”
Liu Hong nodded, “Putting aside everything else, if he were to really go to the Village Head, reason really is on sange’s side. Even if you tell him not to sell the land, that can only be considered to be advice from his elders. Whether he’s willing to listen or not…. Even an official would have a hard time dealing with this matter. The Village Head cannot possibly force sange to listen to you.”
Liu Gao shi was herself an educated and literate woman. Earlier, she was just overcome with rage. Now, with these two advising her, she too understood that what her daughter said made sense. She thought it over and stood up, “Let’s go! Liu Hong, since they’ve targeted your betrothal gifts, then let’s go and find out exactly how much they want to take from you!”
Saying this, she pulled Liu Hong toward the main house. He shi looked over at Liu Xu’er and Senzi sitting on the kang. She said, “Xu’er, watch over your brother!” Before heading over as well.
Liu Xu’er naturally wanted to know what was going to happen. She got off the kang and carried Senzi over. When she left the room, she saw Liu Xian’er, Liu Yun’er and Liu Tao, all in the courtyard. Liu Tao had already run off to play, while Liu Xian’er and Liu Yun’er were standing at the doorway.
Ma shi, one foot on the doorsill, was listening, eyes wide, to the people inside. When Liu Yun’er spotted her, her hands immediately balled into fists.
Liu Xu’er ignored her and carried Senzi into the house. With the room full of adults, Liu Yun’er couldn’t do anything to her.
Just as she was passing Ma shi, Ma shi tried to push her out. “ What are you trying to squeeze in for?!”
Liu Xu’er was about to dodge, but He shi, who was standing close to the doorway, blocked her off. Glaring at Ma shi, she took over carrying Senzi and pulled Liu Xu’er into the room with her.
Liu Xu’er noticed that the mood in the room was very heavy. Old Man Liu sat on the kang, with Liu Gao shi seated at his side. Liu Changgui stood in the center of the room, while Jia shi sat, back against the wall, tidying her hair. The few brothers stood closer to the middle, with only Liu Changgui standing closer to the door. He shi had just been standing next to him.
Liu Hong sat near Liu Gao shi who was speaking. “Since we need to ensure that accounts are clear between family members, and since you have your heart set on selling your land, then you can only sell it to your father. State your price!”
“Mum, how could you put it that way, Xiaozhen’s words… They were all just words in anger.” Liu Changgui was still putting on his act. His face was sly, while the clothes he wore were still askew. It was obvious he had just been beaten.
Liu Gao shi gave him a look filled with indifference and scorn. Even Liu Xu’er could sense how utterly disappointed nainai was with this son of hers. Her heart was completely broken over this matter.
Angry and disappointed, Old Man Liu looked at Liu Changgui. But because he had been persuaded by Liu Gao shi earlier, he only glared at him, and didn’t contradict what Liu Gao shi said.
Liu Gao shi coldly said, “Don’t give me any more of your cheap words. I know, you’ve married an intelligent wife. You’ve learnt how to make excuses, how to make trouble, and how to threaten others! Since you’re so capable, you’ve even managed to move to town, and become a townsperson. Your dad and I congratulate you! Just keep all the glory for yourself! My Liu family cannot afford to raise shameless people like you. Of course you don’t want the land. If you keep it, how can you get rid of your humble peasant background?! We all understand! There’s only one thing – your dad said that the land cannot be sold. That was land that our Liu forebears went through significant hardship to earn! If you want to sell the land, you can only sell it to your mum and your dad! Enough of your rubbish, give me a price!”
As she was saying this, Liu Changgui’s face changed several times. His sly countenance faded, and he turned to look at Jia shi. Jia shi glared at him.
Old Man Liu knew that Liu Gao shi’s words were also meant to be a reminder to him! Since the family had separated, and the land had been given to his son, then there was no way to stop him from actually selling it! He may as well go along with what his old partner was saying and buy the land back.
Old Man Liu’s heart was chilled. Even though he had given Third a beating, and scolded him for forgetting his ancestors, he could tell that his son wasn’t listening! Old Man Liu knew that this son and his wife had already come with the intention of clawing money from them. They were determined to sell the land. If he didn’t agree, then he would use that as a justification to sell it to someone else!
So he coldly said, “How much money!”
Liu Changqi was the eldest, but his wife, Ma shi, kept talking about moving to town. She had some personal savings, enough to buy a house in town and First too had the mind to move to town. So on this matter, he could understand Liu Changgui’s point of view. He himself had never considered selling the land, and would definitely not sell the land, but he didn’t actually feel that Third was unreasonable for doing so.
It was only Liu Changgeng and Liu Changshi who felt similar to Old Man Liu and Liu Gao shi.
Liu Changgeng was about to say something, but He shi gently tugged him on the arm and softly said, “Mum has already thought it through…. Liu Hong has also agreed.”
This was to clearly let Liu Changgeng know that everyone was aware that Liu Changgui and Jia shi were doing this for the betrothal money. No one was being tricked into the exchange.