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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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Laoye was a little annoyed. These women managed to change the topic at hand, so he quickly dragged it back. “Let’s not discuss that first…. 3.5 mu, it’s enough for two. Fourth is rather conscientious!”
He shi smiled and nodded, “That’s right. He’s a very honest fellow and a good worker.” She thought for a while before adding in a quick reassurance, “The matter of Xu’er asking Ruyu to embroider handkerchiefs is completely separate from Fourth’s matter. No matter whether the marriage proposal is accepted or not, we still want Ruyu to help us with the handkerchiefs if she can manage the workload….”
Old Man He was exasperated by her nagginess. The thought hadn’t even crossed their minds! He directly asked, “Where are they going to stay? Since the family is separated, then after they marry, will they also move out? Is there a place for them to stay?”
He shi was stumped by the question. She said, “The matter wasn’t mentioned…. When we separated, there were many abandoned houses formerly owned by the extended Liu clan. They are a bit run down and shabby like ours was though…. But since we’ve patched it up, we’ve been staying there quite comfortably these two years. Fourth could probably move into one of those himself…. Or maybe he’s thinking of building his own?” To build a house in the village would cost maybe 10 taels of silver. But she really didn’t know his plans – Liu Gao shi hadn’t mentioned the matter at all.
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Xze Yyd Tl dseele yde pyke, “Gzz vblpl xyvvlap xwpv cl pzsozu ekpnwpple….” Tl vssj vos rwqqp sd bkp rkrl yde ypjle, “Zswa kd-zyop. Ebyv kp vblka pkvwyvksd zkjl dsoyeyup?”
Tl pbk pyke, “Pye yde xwx yal dso iwkvl nsxqsavyczu sqq. Nkw Tsdt’p bwpcyde kp y tsse xyd. Gqvla pbl xyaakle swv, bla bwpcyde oswze pvkzz cakdt vblx tkqvp lhlau qlo eyup. Gzps, dso vbyv xu qyxkzu’p qkdydnlp yal dsv ps vktbv, yde Mbkae’p zyde kp wdela vblka dyxl, vblu tsv iwkvl y qyka yxswdv sq taykd zypv ulya….”
“Zswa kd-zyop yzps byhl 3.5 xw sq zyde?” Nyszys iwknjzu ypjle.&dcpr;
Tl pbk dseele, “Mbyv’p aktbv.”
Nyszys lmnbydtle tzydnlp okvb zysul. Mbkp oyp vawzu y tsse xyvnb. Gzvbswtb vblal olal ekqqknwzvklp kdhszhle obld alzyvkhlp tsv xyaakle, vblal olal yzps cldlqkvp. Wsa sdl, vblu nswze cl lmvalxlzu nzlya ycswv vbl ldvkal qyxkzu’p pkvwyvksd. Nkw Wswavb oyp sq tsse nbyaynvla – vbyv yzsdl oyp y xyfsa rzwp.&dcpr;
Xze Yyd Tl bwxxle clqsal pyukdt, “Ebu esd’v ol es vbkp. Zsw ts cynj yde ekpnwpp okvb uswa xsvbla-kd-zyo. El yal yzz alzyvkhlp, cwv clvolld alzyvkhlp, ol dlle vs cl lmvalxlzu nzlya. Mbl alypsd rlsrzl yald’v okzzkdt vs xyaau alzyvkhlp kp clnywpl kv’p ekqqknwzv vs ekpnwpp elvykzp srldzu okvb lynb svbla. Jwv kq ol ytall, ol elqkdkvlzu dlle vs cl nzlya sq lhlauvbkdt, qsa lmyxrzl, oblal vbl nswrzl oswze pvyu yqvla vblu xyaau.”
Tl pbk dseele, “Xj, R okzz zlv xu xsvbla-kd-zyo jdso vbyv.”
Ekvb vbyv, vbl ekpnwppksd oyp xspvzu oayrrle wr. Gv Nkw Ubydttldt’p pkel, bl bye blyae vbyv Tl Elduw’p yrrzl vallp olal alyeu vs clya qawkv dlmv ulya. Omnkvle, bl bye tsdl vs byhl y zssj yv vblx.
He Wenyu had four apple trees. The entire He family’s backyard had to be dug up to grow them. “At that time, I didn’t plan this properly. I should have planted it in the farm land. I didn’t realise that as it grew, all its roots would spread everywhere. There was a storage room there originally, but it had to be taken down.” He Wenyu said.
Liu Changgeng nodded, “It’s not bad, really not bad! When these few trees make you money, then you can consider planting more in your farmland! This way is more secure!”
He Wenyu nodded before checking in with Liu Changgeng about how their own apple tree was doing? Liu Changgeng smiled and said, “It’s growing well. It’s grown taller than Liu Shu this past year, and has started to really branch out.”
“That’s good, that’s good.” He Wenyu smiled and nodded.
He shi then went to He Ruyu’s room. The matchmaker had already been by, so He Ruyu knew what her dajie was here to talk about. Head low, she sat at the side of the kang embroidering. She softly said, “Jie, you’re here?”
After He shi entered the room, she first went to look at the handkerchief she was embroidering. “This embroidery frame really is rather good. You can sew so many pieces at a time…. If I commission you to do more for me, would you be able to manage?”
He Ruyu didn’t expect her to bring that up. She paused before lifting her head and looking at her, “What commission?”
He shi said, “It’s my family’s counter. Last year, we tried it out and found that business was rather good. It’s just that there’s too much to do, and we can’t keep up production. After the eighth month, we just couldn’t keep up the supply at all. The last time I came, I asked your two saozi to help us with the five-coloured bands, but a few days ago, Xu’er discussed the matter with me. We agreed that embroidering handkerchiefs was another time intensive task, and wanted to pass it to you. You can be like your two saozi, everything earned would come to you. A handkerchief would be five wen each. Of course, you don’t have to embroider as intricate a design as the ones you’re doing for the Gu family. Just some simple embroidery for everyday people to use. You’ve seen the ones we’ve made.”
He Ruyu was speechless. After a long while, she finally found her voice. “Jie, are you purposely trying to help our family? How is it that you cannot manage that kind of work? So long as you buy your own embroidery frame, wouldn’t that solve everything….”
He shi smiled and said, “Why are you so overanxious! Furthermore, what’s wrong with trying to help my family? I didn’t take anything from my in-laws to support you…. Your jiefu also knows about the matter, and it really is the case that we cannot manage the load. Xu’er and I will concentrate on embroidering pouches, scent sachets, making hand-warmers and forehead bands. Basically, we need to fill the counter. Embroidering handkerchiefs for you would be a small matter, and the pouches and scent sachets you make would definitely be better than ours! It’s not because you have this embroidery frame, but because you are more skilled than us.”
He Ruyu thought it over before saying, “Let’s talk about it some other time.” She didn’t immediately agree.
He shi knew that it was because she was worried about the marriage talks. If the marriage talks failed, then it would be troublesome if she agreed. So she nodded and said, “That’s fine, we will wait till after your marriage is settled… That’s right, what do you think about the proposal?”
He Ruyu lowered her head. After a long time, she said, “Dad and mum can make the decision.”
He shi let out a snort. “Hey, are you still going to pull that on your jie? Who was the one who told mum that she wouldn’t accept anyone from the village?”
He Ruyu immediately blushed red. Even her forehead had reddened. Head bowed low, her hands had stopped their work. She started to fiddle with her fingers.
“So what is it? Are you willing or not?” He shi laughed. She saw that Ruyu kept her head low, silent and couldn’t help mentally sighing. This meimei was a lot younger than her, so she wasn’t very close to her. She would probably not feel confident enough to share her feelings….
He shi sighed. Smiling, she stood up and said, “Alright! Seeing you like this, I’ve got it! I will go and speak to mum!”
After returning home, He shi immediately went to report to Liu Gao shi. Of course, she tactfully rephrased Old Man He’s questions.
Liu Gao shi was a smart person, and she had long known of her son’s choice. She had spent a lot of time thinking the match through, so she smiled and said, “I am also someone with daughters. I am well aware of people look out for when looking for a match. About the house, we really haven’t discussed it with Fourth; after all, he’s been rather busy lately looking for land. He doesn’t want to buy much, just one or two mu, but who in the village is willing to sell? He needs to wait for an opportunity. But tell your parents not to worry, when he marries, he will definitely live by himself!”
He shi was rather uncomfortable at having to bring this up. She sheepishly said, “Mum, you’re a really good person. I really don’t know what to say….”
Liu Gao shi smiled, but she thought to herself – Fourth likes her so much that he went all the way to Ningxia for her! Could she, his mother, stop him?
Thinking about houses reminded He shi. When she got back, she discussed the matter with Liu Changgeng over the meal. “Should we also build our own house? We have the money – why don’t we build a house atop the slope?”
Liu Changgeng was taken aback. He looked at Liu Xu’er. Liu Xu’er too was stunned, as were Liu Shu and Liu Lin.
Liu Changgeng looked around the house. “This house is still fine – there’s no problem staying here for another year or two. When we can’t stay here any longer, we can discuss it again.”
Liu Xu’er also had her own priorities. She quickly nodded and said, “That’s right! Mum, the place we’re staying at now is nice and spacious. Dad has really kept it well these past two years! Why don’t we save the money, and when we have enough, we can buy a house in town?”
Now everyone was looking at her gobsmacked. Liu Changgeng said, “What is with the two of you today? One wants to build a house, and the other wants to move to town! What, is this house not good enough? Is it leaking rain or letting in the wind?”
He shi started to laugh, “No… It’s just that I thought of it is all. After all, we’ve the money….”
“Even if we’ve money, we can’t just spend it recklessly! Are you just thinking of spending all the money we’ve earned?”
“Alright, alright, alright! Your logic is sound! We won’t spend it, you can save the money all up and count it everyday!” He shi said with a smile. This was obviously something that Liu Changgeng had said to her before and she clearly remembered it. Today, she finally returned it to Liu Changgeng.1 It seems that Liu Changgeng had said this/ something similar to her in an earlier chapter, but I really can’t find the original quote. Let me know in the comments if you find it!
Liu Changgeng laughed and said, “Women are so petty. I just said a little, and you remembered it so clearly?”
Liu Xu’er also smiled, but she was secretly rolling her eyes. Dad, mum – is it really good to be so lovey dovey in front of your children? She didn’t continue on with her original topic of buying a house in town. She just needed to mention it now, so that dad and mum were alerted to her thoughts. Any serious discussion on the topic would have to wait till they had enough money saved.
At the beginning of the second month, Liu Shu, Liu Lin and Shi Cheng returned to town. Just as before, they all stayed together in the same house. After a few days, Shi Cheng returned to the village. His mother had given birth to a chubby baby boy and Shi Cheng’s father was over the moon.
Shi Cheng only came back for three days. He didn’t stay at home much, preferring to come over to look for Liu Xu’er. After the traditional washing ceremony on the third day after the baby’s arrival, Shi Cheng returned to town. He would be back for the baby’s first month celebrations.
The He family had given their approval, so Old Man Liu and Liu Gao shi were both overjoyed. To show their sincerity, after the couple’s bazi were matched, the two elders personally went to the He family home to discuss marriage details. Of course, they also discussed more weighty matters, such as where the couple would stay after the wedding.
He shi and Liu Changgeng were the best go-betweens for all these matters. As such, they were called upon to join the discussions. The two families were relatives, so discussions were very cordially and amicably held.
It helped that the Liu family was so open and sincere, and they were very open to discussions about the house. Liu Changshi planned to build a new house near to his parents place and Old Man Liu had personally come down to check with the in-laws if that was suitable. The He couple were so touched by the respect they’d been given that they immediately agreed with the plans! It was good, of course it was good! Their daughter had been brought up to be filial, and of course, it was only right for her to stay close to her in-laws!
Liu Gao shi very beautifully returned the compliment – Your eldest daughter is my second daughter-in-law. I can tell that her family upbringing is excellent. All of your family’s daughters are exceptional!
They used Liu Hong’s betrothal as a benchmark – they gave 20 taels of silver, as well as all the traditional gifts. That was completely unexpected. After all, how could the Liu family’s financial situation compare with Yuan Hao’s? Even if Liu Fourth had made some money, it couldn’t all be spent marrying a bride! Who would have thought that the Liu family would actually give that much! Old Man He was a bit embarrassed, but no one would ever say that the betrothal money given was too much, so he agreed. In his heart though, he mentally promised that he would need to give his daughter more in the way of a trousseau.
Because each side was courteous, the discussions went smoothly. When the two Liu elders returned home, the He family was rather satisfied.
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Shisu is very lucky. Considering he’s very honest, he has Xiaoyi earns money and 2nd family’s support in learning to do business. Thanks for the chapter.
He is super lucky! But even though he’s a bit too honest , he is still quite enterprising!
Can you tell I really like sishu? 🤣
I caught up!!! Tha k you for the chapter and advance happy new year, pawdles-san!!
You’re most welcome! And a happy new year yourself!!