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 Liu Changgeng and He shi discussed between themselves, they decided not to take the 700 wen they were given, opting instead to gift it to Old Man Liu and Liu Gao shi. In addition, they had separately given Liu Hong a string of cash for her wedding.
After separating the family, the brothers didn’t discuss how they would support their parents, whether they would need to give any money to them. Liu Changgeng felt that they should, but also felt that he couldn’t bring the matter up by himself. Otherwise, his brothers might not take kindly to it, and it would make matters messy. In the end, he made the personal decision to give them some money whenever he could.
He shi also felt that this way was best. It would help to avoid any ugliness.
When Liu Hong went back to her maiden home, Liu Xu’er was at the old residence along with her parents. The entire time she was there, she didn’t see Liu Changshi, so she asked about him. It was only then that she found out he had actually gone out to source for red dates and goji berries! Liu Xu’er was honestly stunned, but quickly realised why he had done it.
The following parts of the text will be scrambled to prevent theft from aggregators and unauthorized epub making. Please support our translators by reading on secondlifetranslations (dot) com. If you are currently on the site and and you are seeing this, please clear your cache.
Dkysuk oyp yczl vs lyad xsdlu qsa blaplzq. Lykdyk schkswpzu oswze cl olzz yoyal sq vbyv, yde ps kq pbl olal vs rasrspl xyaakytl qsa pkpbw, zyszys oswze rascyczu qllz vbyv vblu olal vaukdt vs vyjl yehydvytl sq vbl pkvwyvksd. Fkpbw dllele vs rashl bkxplzq, yde ps oldv swv vs xyjl bkp sod xsdlu.&dcpr;
Gnvwyzzu, vbkp oyu oyp clpv. Ekvb pkpbw lyadkdt bkp sod xsdlu, zyszys oswzed’v qllz pbsavnbydtle, yde pbl oswze cl yczl vs pll vbl pkdnlakvu pkpbw oyp pbsokdt vsoyae vbkp xyaakytl. Mbyv oswze kdnalypl vbl zkjlzkbsse sq y pwnnlppqwz xyvnb.&dcpr;
Tsolhla, Nkw Dw’la oyp wdyoyal sq bso eydtlaswp Lkdtmky Msod oyp. Fbl sdzu qswde vbyv swv zyvla, cu lyhlpeasrrkdt sd bla ryaldvp’ nsdhlapyvksdp. Tsolhla, cu vbyv vkxl, Nkw Ubydtpbk bye tsdl qsa iwkvl y zsdt obkzl.&dcpr;
Rv oyp dso vbl 11vb xsdvb. Ohlausdl bye pvyavle vs vbkdj ycswv ralryakdt qsa vbl Llo Zlya nlzlcayvksdp. Nkw Dw’la bye yzps nsxrzlvlzu pokvnble shla vs xyjkdt byde-oyaxlap, qsalblye cydep yde svbla oyax kvlxp. Xq nswapl, pbl wple bla aycckv qwa qsa lynb sq vblpl.
Wasx vbl Yke-Gwvwxd Wlpvkhyz vs Nkw Tsdt’p oleekdt, Nkw Fbw yde Nkw Nkd bye caswtbv cynj sdzu y qlo bwdeale old. Mbl alypsd oyp vosqsze – sdl, cwpkdlpp bye nsszle esod yqvla yzz vbl qlpvkhkvklp, yde vos, yzz sq vblka pvsnj bye xspvzu tsdl ewakdt vbl qlpvkhl pkmvb, plhldvb yde lktbvb xsdvbp!&dcpr;
Nkw Dw’la bye psxl xkptkhkdtp ycswv vbl byde-oyaxlap. Gqvla pbl bye psze vblx zypv ulya vs vbl esnvsa yp olzz yp vs vbyv olyzvbu qyxkzu, pbl byed’v xydytle vs plzz y pkdtzl ryka kd vbl ldvkal ulya. Nkw Dw’la osaakle vbyv vblpl kvlxp olal wdpyzlyczl.
Fbk Ubldt vsze bla vs fwpv xyjl y qlo. Gqvla yzz, vblpl kvlxp olal dsv rlakpbyczl – vblu oswzed’v prskz shla vkxl. Rv oyp clvvla vs byhl vblx sd byde vbyd vs awpb vs xyjl vblx kq dllele aktbv?
Nkw Dw’la vbswtbv vbyv shla yde qlzv vbyv kv oyp vawl. Gp pbl xyel vblx, pbl pvyavle vs vbkdj ycswv vbl rzydp qsa dlmv ulya. Mblu nswze dsv alrlyv obyv vblu bye esdl vbkp ulya, osajkdt zkjl blyezlpp qzklp, qaydvknyzzu awpbkdt vs xyjl tssep qsa lynb qlpvkhyz. Mbl ldvkal qyxkzu oyp osajle sqq vblka qllv, cwv lhld pvkzz, cu vbl dkdvb yde 10vb xsdvb, vblu bye ds xsal pvsnj. Nkw Dw’la pvyavle vs vbkdj ycswv vbl pkvwyvksd yde xyjl rzydp.&dcpr;
Liu Changgeng would obviously continue to make the little wooden ornaments. Now that he had a complete set of tools, he would be able to make these items much faster than before. He shi would handle the embroidering of handkerchiefs, pouches, forehead bands as well as neck scarves, while Liu Xu’er would focus on making hand-warmers, scent sachets, as well as make braided cords, decorative knots and necklaces.
As for those little crocheted animals, as well as the five-coloured bands, Liu Xu’er and He shi discussed the matter and thought, couldn’t they give it to her jiuma to make them? After all, her jiuma would have free time, and the He family’s finances were quite tight. Since their family had a way of making money, then they should also share some of the pie with their relatives.
He shi was obviously delighted by it, but she was careful to check in with Liu Changgeng to see what he thought. Liu Changgeng was a loyal and honest person, so he was only too happy for that to happen.
Liu Xu’er and He shi discussed everything, then they approached her jiuma. Since they were all relatives, they wouldn’t try to make a profit from their work. They would give them all the money that these little ornaments brought in. The Liu family wouldn’t take a cut.
After everything was discussed, the family went to town both to buy New Year goods as well as purchase all the thread they needed. Since jiuma had no experience with this, they helped them to purchase it this time. Jiuma would be able to use them as a template so that they could handle subsequent purchases for themselves.
He shi brought Liu Xu’er back to her maiden home and shared their plans with her mother and her two dimei. They were all obviously thrilled – they had seen how He Ruyu managed to bring in so much money from her embroidered handkerchiefs, and they were more than happy to be given this opportunity.
They offered profuse thanks to He shi who re-directed them to Liu Xu’er, explaining that it was her who made the plans. Jiuma were a little taken aback, but they turned to thank her with a smile.
Of course Liu Xu’er didn’t dare to accept their thanks. She waved them away before reminding her mother to teach the two of them how to crochet the little ornaments as well as to make the five-coloured bands.
Actually, these two were rather simple to make, especially the five-coloured bands. They only needed to be shown how to make them once, before her jiuma were capable of making it themselves. According to the experience she had acquired over the year, Liu Xu’er advised her two jiuma to make use of this current downtime to make as many of them as they possibly could.
Liu Xu’er was also quite conscious of her sishu going to Ningxia. She wondered if her xiaoyi was aware of it. She was just pondering how to bring up the matter when laolao asked her mother about it over lunch. So your family’s Fourth has gone to Ningxia to purchase red dates and goji berries?
He shi was surprised. Smiling, she asked how her mother had found out. Laolao replied, she had heard it from someone.
Liu Xu’er then saw her laolao give a seemingly accidental glance toward her xiaoyi. Xiaoyi’s head was bowed and throughout the meal, she hadn’t made a peep. Liu Xu’er had also noticed that her xiaoyi seemed to be in a low mood. She looked rather worried. Did her sishu share his plans with xiaoyi? Laolao seemed to know something.
After the meal was over, Liu Xu’er’s laolao dragged He shi into the room for a chat. When He shi left the room, her expression was strange. She gave Liu Changgeng a weird look, causing Liu Changgeng to stare back at her.
Liu Xu’er knew then that her laolao had shared what she knew with mum. She heaved a huge sigh of relief! It seems that everyone who needed to know, finally knew! No matter what, so long as sishu was able to come back safely and successfully conclude selling his red dates and goji berries, his marriage proposal had a good chance of being accepted.
On the first day of the 12th month, Liu Shu, Liu Lin and Shi Cheng came back from town. After settling rent for these past few months, they only had a string of cash left. This was the last earnings for the year. After Liu Shu came back, he shut himself up and started to calculate exactly how much they had made in the year, including in his tally all the household expenditure and business expenses.
They had made about 27 -28 strings of cash. After deducting all the rent, the money spent on raw materials, as well as other miscellaneous business expenses, they had over 10 strings of cash remaining. Then they had repaid all of their loan, saved up four taels, while spending over three strings of cash on household expenses.
When He shi saw that they had used over three taels of silver, she was shocked and asked if Liu Shu had miscalculated? Had they ever spent over three strings of cash in a year before?!
Liu Shu smiled, “I didn’t miscount.”
He shi kept clucking. She repeatedly said that they had spent too much, they had spent much too much this year… Then the next day, when she went to town to buy New Year goods, she spent another tael. She bought 20 jin of cotton for the children’s jackets, a ham for them to have over the New Year as well as other incidental items.
The entire family was extremely busy. After laba festival, they started to prepare in earnest for the New Year. He shi basically stopped her handicrafts to turn her attention to everything that needed to be done for the New Year celebration.
On the 10th day of the 12th month, they went into town, firstly to send their gifts to Liu Shu and Liu Lin’s teacher, but also to check to see if they needed to pick anything up as it was the last market day for the year. Everyone went, including Senzi.
Shi Cheng’s mother by now was heavily pregnant. This year, she didn’t go out – instead servants were sent to buy their family’s New Year goods. When Shi Cheng heard that Liu Changgeng’s entire family were going to town, he spoke to his parents, and joined them in their fun.
The family had prepared two dan of millet, one dan of apples and cabbages, a string of sausage along with the two boys school fees for the year ahead and presented everything to Liu Shu and Liu Lin’s teacher. Although the teacher was casual about the way he taught the students, it was undeniable that both Liu Shu and Liu Lin had learnt a lot from him.
The teacher received many gifts, with both richer and poorer gifts presented, depending on the student’s family circumstances. When Liu Changgeng sent his in, he bumped into another family doing the same. It was obvious that the family was from town. They had brought a Jinhua ham and 10 strings of cash, shocking Liu Changgeng. Why would a family like this send their child to this teacher?
When he went in to give his gifts, neither Liu Shu nor Liu Lin entered. They only waited at the doorway.
By the time the 12th month was halfway done, Liu Gao shi couldn’t stay still. Anxiously, she paced around. Ningxia was so far, and very few people from around here would go there. There wasn’t even any way to send a letter!
“What do you think is going on? Do you think anything has happened?” When He shi and Liu Xu’er sent the pork over to the old residence, Liu Gao shi dragged He shi to chat earnestly. “This is worrying me to d–” During this month, it was unlucky to utter the word “death”, so Liu Gao shi cut herself off and started to sigh.
“Surely there haven’t been any issues?” He shi wanted to say something, but seeing Liu Gao shi silent, she gave up on trying to change the subject. She continued to comfort her saying, “Sidi is a big strong man. He knows how to take care of himself, so don’t you worry. Since he said he will be back before the New Year, then he will definitely return.”
After comforting her for a while, Liu Gao shi seemed a little relieved.
Because the northwestern region had a dry climate, it seldom snowed during the winter. Even if it did, it tended to be quite light. This has been the case for many years. But this year turned out to be the exception. From the 18th day of the 12th month, the weather suddenly changed, and snow started to fall heavily. It carpeted the entire mountain and ravine in a thick layer of white. From a distance, you couldn’t differentiate between path and the ravine. And the snow continued on for two days, with no sign of stopping.
Such heavy snow signalled a fruitful year ahead. Most of the people were delighted by this favourable sign. It was only those who had family members travelling home who worried.
Liu Gao shi was unable to take it any longer. She discussed the matter with Old Man Liu. Should they get First to go out and search for him?
Old Man Liu was calmer. He said, “In such a heavy snowstorm, do you think First would be fine? It’s also dangerous for him. If you insist on sending him out, won’t you be inviting First’s wife to hate you? Furthermore, in such heavy snow, Fourth probably wouldn’t be travelling. He would naturally know to look for a sheltered spot to wait this out. After all, he’s not stupid! Just patiently wait for him!”
Although Liu Gao shi was anxious, she knew that what Old Man Liu said made sense. She could only wait. Because of her anxiety, she was listless all day, she was in no fit state to deal with the New Year preparations.
Liu Changgeng had visited daily during this period. He too was rather anxious about his younger brother. Seeing that his mother had not prepared anything and Liu Hong had married out, it was all he could do to get He shi to come over to help them with the preparations.
Second Life Translations' Comment Policy
1. Be kind and respectful. Comments with curses will be put under moderation.
2. No links to other websites or asking for links.
3. No spoilers!