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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 Xu’er said all of that subconsciously. As a result, when she was done, all three adults were staring at her. He Wenyu smiled, “Why are you, this little person, so sharp? Look at how you speak, you sound more like an adult!”
Liu Xu’er jolted! Mentally sticking her tongue out at her slip, she immediately looked at Shi Cheng. Sure enough, Shi Cheng was giving her a look, reminding her to tone it down! Liu Xu’er stuck her tongue out but didn’t dare to say anything further.
After searching for a while, They finally found Yuan Hao in front of Shi Cheng’s store. Yuan Hao was just too honest for his own good. After he had finished his shopping, he had hurried over to look for them in the store, but when he had gotten there, Xiaochen told him they had gone out for a meal. Yuan Hao had sat there waiting for them, not daring to move an inch.
Liu Changshi was both amused and exasperated. He quickly introduced He Wenyu, who went up to greet him.
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Gqvla lmnbydtkdt caklq rzlypydvaklp, Nkw Ubydtpbk ypjle kq Zwyd Tys bye bkp xlyz? Zwyd Tys alrzkle vbyv bl’e bye psxl ayvksdp obkzl oykvkdt. Fs yzz sq vblx blyele sqq vs pbsr.&dcpr;
Ju dso, kv oyp ycswv 2rx. Mbl dlktbcsakdt hkzzytlap obs bye nsxl qasx qwavbla yoyu bye pvyavle vs blye bsxl. Mblu qkapv oldv vs cwu psxl vbalye qasx vbl pbsrp. Ekvb Tl Swuw blal, pbl nswze tkhl bla srkdksd vs Nkw Dw’la ldyczkdt bla vs pbsavzkpv psxl dknl nszswap. Ekvb vbl rzyd vs xyjl elnsayvkhl jdsvp yde caykele nsaep, pbl sdzu dllele vs cwu vbalyep, ps pbl xyel pwal vs cl lmvalxlzu nzlya sq obyv pbl oydvle.&dcpr;
Tl Swuw pbsole Nkw Dw’la bso vs xyvnb nszswap. Nkw Dw’la’p lxcaskelau pjkzz oyp elqkdkvlzu olyjla vbyd blap. Kwpv cu zssjkdt yv vbl vbalyep, Dw’la&dcpr; nswzed’v vlzz obyv nszswap oldv okvb obyv cwv Tl Swuw oyp ekqqlaldv. Ekvb y raynvknle lul, pbl xyvnble y qlo nszswap yde lmrzykdle vs Nkw Dw’la obu lynb oldv vstlvbla. Nkw Dw’la oyp rzlyple – vbyv oyp ydsvbla pjkzz yniwkale!
Gqvla lxlatkdt qasx vbl vbalye pbsr, vblu oydvle vs ts yde cwu Nkw Fbw yde Nkw Nkd vblka cssjp yde cawpblp, cwv pwal ldswtb, Zwyd Tys pvsrrle vblx. “R’hl yzalyeu cswtbv vblx!” Wasx vbl ckt cypjlv sd bkp cynj, bl vssj swv y bwtl cwdezl sq vbkdtp.&dcpr;
Tl bye cswtbv Nkw Fbw yde Nkw Nkd iwkvl y dwxcla sq cssjp. Mblal oyp vbl Fbwsoldfklgk, vbl Mball Ubyaynvla Uzyppkn, Hldttwydtmkydold, vbl Mbswpyde Ubyaynvla Uzyppkn1千字文/ Ckydgkold – Maydpzyvle yp vbl Mbswpyde Ubyaynvla Uzyppkn, kv’p y 6vb nldvwau rslx vbyv oyp y vayekvksdyz alyekdt rakxla&dcpr;. Jypknyzzu, vblal olal xydu cssjp vblal. Mbld vblal olal qswa cawpblp xyel okvb olyplz qwa, yd kdj pvsdl, yd kdj pvknj yde lhld psxl qkdl oakvkdt ryrla. Rv oyp yzz obkvl! Kwpv zssjkdt yv kv, vblu jdlo vblu oswzed’v clya vs wpl kv.&dcpr;
Nkw Ubydtpbk typrle, “Yu tssedlpp, bso xwnb xsdlu eke usw prlde? R vbswtbv usw olal fwpv tskdt vs cwu y qlo cssjp, obu eke usw cwu ps xwnb?!”
Zwyd Tys, bsolhla, qlzv y ckv cye. “Mblu’al dsv vbl clpv iwyzkvu. Mbl kdj pvsdl yde kdj pvknj yal yzz sq saekdyau tayel…. R nswzed’v yqqsae vbl vawzu lmrldpkhl sdlp….”
“Ebyv yal usw pyukdt, vbkp kp yzalyeu lmvalxlzu…. Fbw, usw vos iwknjzu nsxl yde vbydj uswa Mbkae Bdnzl Zwyd!”
Liu Shu and Liu Lin rushed forward to thank Third Uncle Yuan. The two of them carefully carried their gifts, terrified of losing them.
Then they started to head back. They sent Shi Cheng, Liu Shu and Liu Lin back to the store. Shi Cheng saw someone selling candy at the side, and hurriedly went to buy two wen worth of it. He passed it to Liu Xu’er and told her to give it to Senzi when she got home. Liu Xu’er quickly kept it.
While the adults were speaking, Liu Xu’er told Liu Shu, “Don’t buy the ledger today. When you and erge have some free time on your own, you can buy it. Oh, and here’s 300 wen. It’s for you to buy food in the next month…. Whenever you are free, just go over to your teacher’s home to study. These next two months should be relatively light for us.”
Shi Cheng then said, “I’ve spoken to my dad. The place that Uncle Xiaochen rented has a large kang in the room. When we’ve arranged everything, Liu Shu and Liu Lin can stay with me. That way, they don’t have to spend money to stay at the teacher’s place.”
“Sure….” Liu Xu’er amused herself thinking of her parents reaction. If her parents were here, they would definitely be embarrassed, unsure of how to express their gratitude and trying to refuse the offer. Whereas, she just lightly and easily agreed with a “Sure.”
In light of this, Liu Shu refused the 300 wen. “Take it home, Since we can save money on boarding fees, and since money is coming in from the store, we won’t starve.”
Liu Xu’er thought that made sense, so she nodded and reminded them, “Remember to keep the accounts clear. Don’t forget, a string of cash was brought back to give to mum. Remember also to record the rest into the accounts. Do you still remember how much we spent today?”
Liu Shu laughed, “Yes, yes.”
In a reversal of roles, it was the adults who had to wait for the kids to finish their discussion. When they were done, they waved goodbye. Liu Shu, Liu Lin and Shi Cheng headed into the store, while Liu Xu’er followed the adults out.
After leaving town, they boarded the cart. Yuan Hao had heard Liu Changshi mention the matter of sending the two He siblings back and had assured them “No problem! Even if it’s a little far, this mule can move quickly!”
Liu Changshi and He Wenyu sat in front, talking and laughing with Yuan Hao. He Wenyu asked if he had found someone to make the cart or if he had bought it ready-made? Yuan Hao said that he had custom built the cart. It was made last year, in the third month.
It was at this time that Liu Changshi softly explained what had happened to He Ruyu earlier today. He advised He Wenyu to be careful of Mao Third. And if they wanted to start a fight, to let him know!
He Wenyu started to curse softly.
Liu Xu’er and He Ruyu sat at the back. He Ruyu was still teaching her how to match colours. Liu Xu’er took out all her bags. Opening them, she took a look atthe threads within and started to try mixing and matching them herself.
The mule-cart was quite fast and they had arrived at Liu Xu’er’s laolao’s home in slightly over an hour. Since they had come, courtesy demanded that they drop in for a visit. Yuan Hao was a bit embarrassed, but he had thankfully bought quite a few things today, so he took out a few to present as gifts and accompanied Liu Changshi into the house.
He Wenyu tried to stop him – he had already given them a lift back, how could he accept his gifts? The two pushed the matter back and forth before Liu Changshi smiled and said, “Just accept them. Although, the visit isn’t specifically to meet with everyone, since he is now here, just let him in to visit your parents. After all, we are all relatives!”
With that, He Wenyu could only give in and invite everyone in.
Liu Xu’er had long ago been pulled into the house by He Ruyu. Her laolao and laoye2 姥爷/ Laoye – Maternal grandfather were only in their forties, but their skin was dark and wrinkled from long years working in the harsh elements.
The two elders were delighted to see Liu Xu’er come in. Laolao went over to carry and kiss Liu Xu’er, before giving her a good look. “She’s grown, hasn’t she?” She turned and asked laoye.
Laoye smiled and nodded. He stretched his hand out to rub Liu Xu’er’s head. “She has! She’s also so obedient!” He saw Liu Changshi come in and hurried to greet him.
“Xu’er, why haven’t you visited laolao?” Laolao pulled Liu Xu’er into the house and asked.
Liu Xu’er hadn’t replied when He Ruyu said, “Mum, how can you ask a child this question? Especially since you clearly know that jie and jiefu were both injured!”
Laolao smiled and stroked Liu Xu’er’s face. “Ai, I was just too happy to see Liu Xu’er! She’s grown so much prettier!”
Hearing the commotion, first He Wenqing, then He Wenhui came in. Everyone started to chat, while Liu Xu’er quickly greeted everyone. Everyone started to introduce themselves to Yuan Hao, and exchanged pleasantries.
He Wenqing told Liu Changshi and Liu Xu’er to stay the night, but Liu Changshi refused. He definitely wanted to head back! There was no point in him staying here by himself.
He Wenqing knew that Yuan Hao would definitely not stay, so he could only give in.
They had only planned to drop in briefly, but they ended up staying for much longer. It was only when Liu Changshi saw that the sun was about to set that he quickly rose and made his excuses.
The He family had no choice but to send them off. He Ruyu quickly ran to her room and pulled out a package. Passing it to Liu Xu’er, she said, “The lotus coloured outfit is for you, while the bright red is for your xiaogu. Help me pass it to her.”
Liu Xu’er took it. Smiling, she said, “Thank you xiaoyi!”
“Why are you being so courteous?!”
Since there were fewer people, the mule-cart was even faster. Liu Xu’er took out her outfit from the package. It was made with fine cloth. There was a lined short jacket and skirt outfit suitable for spring and autumn. Thrilled, Liu Xu’er kept gently stroking it. This was the first pretty outfit she’d ever owned.
Liu Changshi suddenly felt sad for her. He stretched his hand out and stroked her head, thinking – after he had received his pay from Landowner Xia, he would buy Xu’er some cloth.
Yuan Hao was driving the cart in front. Turning, he saw her smile. He said to her, “Xu’er take the cloth bag and open it. There are two pieces of cloth in there for you.”
Liu Xu’er hurriedly thanked him and went to go and open it. She was stunned when she saw them. Third Uncle Yuan had bought even better cloth. There was a piece of bright red fleece and a piece of lake-blue summer cloth. It was very clear that the red cloth was meant for winter or autumn wear, while the blue was intended for the warmer seasons.
Liu Xu’er was overwhelmed with joy. She again thanked him, “Thank you xiaogufu!”
Liu Chagshi laughed, “You sure know how to butter them up! Have you started to call him xiaogufu again?”
Liu Xu’er laughed while looking at him. In her heart however, she thought that it seemed that sishu has taken a fancy to xiaoyi! That was a good match! At any rate, Liu Xu’er thought it was good – they were very compatible! She needed to give the matter some thought, to see if she could push it along.
After another hour, they managed to arrive home just before dark. He shi was so anxious that she was going to the doorway to check every so often. Liu Changgeng had returned from the fields and was washing up in the courtyard.
The instant Liu Xu’er came in, she called out, “Dad, mum! Senzi!”
Like a bullet, Liu Sen rushed out of the house and shouted, “Jie, you’ve come back! Did you bring Senzi anything nice to eat?!”
Liu Xu’er smiled and took the candy out. The little fella immediately was all smiles as he went to take it. After he received it, he hurried off to the room to eat it. Liu Changshi was at the back, helping to take in all the packages they had bought, while Yuan Hao helped with a basket. Stunned, Liu Changgeng and He shi hurried out to help them, all while asking why there were so many packages? They then invited the two in to sit.
Yuan Hao and Liu Changshi declined the offer. After a brief conversation, both of them headed back home.
When the whole family had settled in the room, Liu Xu’er explained what had happened in the store. He shi and Liu Changgeng were so excited and happy they had no words to express themselves. After hearing her explain the next few steps, He shi immediately nodded, “Will do! Those braided cords and decorative knots…. Teach me how to make them too! I will make them when I have the time.”
“Since you know how to crochet little animals, you will surely be able to quickly learn how to make these.”
Liu Changgeng smiled and said, “Then I really need to quickly make a large chest to store the rabbit fur! That way, they won’t change colour even with the changing of the seasons.”
“Dad! After you’ve made the chest, you should continue to make the little wooden fish and beetles! But this time, you need to use only peach wood to make them…. I’ve thought about it dad, if you’ve the time, just make those. You don’t have to wait till specific festivals to make them. Those are good talismans to ward off evil, and can be used for quite a few different festivals. But don’t use any other wood in the future, just use peach wood to make them.”
“Ok, I will do as you say.” Liu Changgeng smiled and said.
Liu Sen was sitting and eating his candy. When he heard what was said, he asked, “Jie, then what should I do?”
Liu Xu’er giggled, “You? Just eat!”