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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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When Liu Changgeng entered the house, Liu Changqi was already speaking to Old Man Liu while Liu Gao shi sat at the side of the kang. Liu Changshi was standing next to her.
The family had agreed previously that Liu Changqi would accompany Liu Gao shi to go into town to look for Liu Changgui and ask what he intended to do? What was the situation? Was he intending to break ties? He didn’t come back at all for the New Year, and didn’t even bother to inform them.
Yesterday they had gone to look for him, so today, Liu Changgeng came over to find out what had happened.
“The house seems to be newly bought, and is much better than the house they first stayed in. It’s a single entry courtyard. Third and his wife were all dressed in silks, and they even had servants in the house…. There was a little girl serving Third’s wife.” Liu Changqi explained the general situation.
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Xze Yyd Nkw’p caso oakdjzle. “Pke usw ypj Mbkae obu bl eked’v nsxl cynj qsa Llo Zlya? Rp bl rzyddkdt vs nwv vklp okvb bkp xsvbla yde R? El caswtbv bkx wr – obyv eke ol es oasdt? Ebu oswze bl….”
Tl eked’v qkdkpb obld Nkw Qys pbk nszezu byaawxrble. “El yrryaldvzu nyd’v czyxl Mbkae! Tl’p y hlau cwpu rlapsd yqvla yzz! Gqvla nsxkdt cynj vs plzz vbl zyde, vbkp cwpu rlapsd yrryaldvzu bye vs pvyu kd Fbydesdt qsa byzq y ulya! Tl eked’v nsxl cynj yv yzz ewakdt vbyv rlakse. Tl yrryaldvzu lhld pldv wp y zlvvla, yde eked’v lmrlnv vbyv ol oswzed’v alnlkhl kv!”
Xze Yyd Nkw bye dlhla ealyxv vbyv vbkp oswze cl vbl nypl. Wsa y xsxldv, bl oyp pvwddle. Nkw Ubydttldt yde Nkw Ubydtpbk olal csvb yzps nsxrzlvlzu pkzldnle.&dcpr;
Nkw Ubydtik nsdvkdwle, “Mbkae’p okql yzps pyke vbyv vblu bye vbswtbv vbyv ol oswze elqkdkvlzu ts yde zssj qsa vblx. Mblu bye kdqsaxle vblka dlktbcsap vbyv kq ydu sq wp oldv, vs zlv wp jdso oblal vblu oldv. Tso nswze vblu jdso ol olal wdyoyal….” Tl nszezu zywtble yde pbssj bkp blye. “Fbl oyp nzlyazu czyxkdt wp qsa dsv zssjkdt qsa vblx.”
Xze Yyd Nkw qswde kv pvaydtl. “Ebyv kp bl eskdt kd Fbydesdt? Ebu eslp bl dlle vs pvyu vblal qsa ps zsdt? Mbyv rzynl…. Ps vblu byhl ydu alzyvkhlp vblal? Eblal kp bl pvyukdt?”
“Eypd’v Kky pbk’p mkyspbwpbw osajkdt kd Fbydesdt? Gp vs obyv vblu’al eskdt, R’hl ypjle. Mblu fwpv pyke vbyv vblu yal eskdt cwpkdlpp, yde eked’v lzycsayvl. Mblu pyke vbyv vblu sdzu tsv cynj vblpl rypv vos eyup, yde olal fwpv ralryakdt vs nsxl yde hkpkv wp.” Nkw Qys pbk bye y clzzu qwzz sq qkal. Tla osaep olal eakrrkdt okvb elakpksd, “Ebyv y nskdnkeldnl, esd’v usw vbkdj?”
Nkw Ubydttldt pyke, “Jwv obyv cwpkdlpp yal vblu eskdt? Pke bl yzps fskd Kky pbk’p wdnzl kd vayhlzkdt vbl oyvla aswvlp? Kky pbk’p wdnzl xyel bkp qsavwdl vbyv oyu, aktbv?”
“Ebs jdsop?” Nkw Ubydtik qswde kv hlau see. “Jwv esd’v usw vbkdj vbyv vblu tsv aknb vss iwknjzu? El blyae vbyv vbl bswpl oswze byhl nspv yaswde 100 vylzp sq pkzhla! Mbkp kp…. Rv’p vss kdnalekczl!”&dcpr;
Liu Changgeng and Liu Changshi were both shocked! After all, they were very clear of Third’s financial situation when the family first separated. At most, they should have had maybe 10 or 20 taels of silver more than the rest of them. Now…. How is it that they could wear gold and silver, and stay in such a large house?
Even with Liu Changshi’s recent trip to Ningxia, he only made about 50 taels.
The brothers looked at each other. They couldn’t begin to guess what Third’s mysterious business was. Liu Gao shi coldly told Old Man Liu, “Surprisingly, they were willing to host a meal for First and myself, but Third’s wife hid in the room and didn’t bother to come out. Instead it was a little servant girl waiting on me! I repeatedly asked Third – what on earth are you doing? He just refused to say. Everytime I tried to press him, Third’s wife would start to violently cough from inside the room! It was like she was guarding against a thief. Third didn’t say anything at all, just gave me some sweet words, and said that he should have written more, and sent more messengers to us. Who would’ve thought that we were completely in the dark…. Complete, utter nonsense! When I came out, he tried to give me two taels of silver! To show his filial support for us! I refused.”
After a while Old Man Liu nodded, “You were right to refuse. We cannot accept this money…. Did you see any of Third’s wife’s maiden family in the house?”
Liu Gao shi shook her head, “No.”
Old Man Liu thought that over before nodding, “That’s fine.”
The matter regarding Liu Changgui had finally been somewhat cleared, but everyone was in low spirits. Why was this matter…. So strangely suspicious?
The brothers comforted their parents for a while before taking their leave.
Liu Changgeng shook his head, and asked for Third’s address from Liu Changqi. The next time he went to town, he planned to call Third out to ask in more detail.
“When you go, it would be best to hide it from Third’s wife. Ask Third what on earth is going on? Are his actions being controlled by someone else? If not, remind him that he didn’t marry into the Jia family! I actually wanted to talk to him, but with his wife constantly around, I couldn’t find the chance to say it. If you are able to call Third out and speak privately to him, then tell him that last year, the reason we didn’t go and look for him was because…. Dad and mum were very angry that he came back to sell his land. Everyone in the family was upset, so no one went to look for him. But actually during the Mid-Autumn Festival, dad was already thinking of him.”
Liu Changqi gave the address to him.
Liu Changgeng nodded, “I’ve got it.” He turned and saw Liu Changshi come out, so he called to him, “Fourth, have you decided where you are going to build your new place? Bring dage and I over to have a look.”
Liu Changshi had originally planned to discuss the matter with his brothers. It was just that after hearing what his mother had said earlier, he felt that it wasn’t appropriate to bring the topic up. Now that Liu Changgeng had spontaneously mentioned it, he quickly nodded and said, “Sure, let’s go and have a look.”
Guiding his two brothers, he brought them to the site. Liu Changqi’s place was to the east of their parents’ place, while he had chosen a site west of their parents. Liu Changgengs’ house was somewhere between the two of theirs.
“This place was originally where our grandfather stayed, and the plot is under our dad’s name. Since I want to build my own house, I thought it would be best to build it on our own land. That way I can avoid any possible disputes. Even if everything here is under our clan’s name, what if they return…. The situation would be impossible to resolve.” Liu Changshi said.
Liu Changgeng and Liu Changqi completely agreed. “That’s right. Since you are going to build your own house, then it’s definitely best to build it on our own plot of land.”
On the site, an abandoned decrepit house still stood, The courtyard walls had long gone, and a big rainstorm had battered down the house. Because no one stayed there, no one cared. It had been several decades since it had been lived in.
The brothers looked over the site, and started to discuss how best to build it. It definitely needed to face the south, but how many rooms, and whether they should use brick or mud adobe to build it etc, were all questions that they discussed amongst themselves while there.
“Actually brick would be much easier than mud adobe. You just need to buy and transport the brick – it won’t take as long as a mud adobe house. It would take a maximum of half a month to build!” Liu Changqi said. “If we start now, you can finish it before the spring sowing.”
Liu Changshi quickly said, “I don’t want to rush this. I plan to do it during the seventh month farming lull.”
Liu Changgeng smiled, “Don’t you want to get married sooner?”
Liu Changshi flushed. He muttered, “I’ve already told mum and dad that I should only get married next year…. No matter what, I need to show my sincerity to the He family and visit them for a year. Also, Ruyu is still quite busy with her embroidery work, I don’t want to rush…. And I still haven’t found any good farmland to buy yet.”
Liu Changgeng nodded, “This way of thinking is right! You shouldn’t try to rush the wedding – it would make the family think that you were disrespecting their daughter. We need to do this beautifully! Right, dage?” He turned and asked Liu Changqi.
Liu Changqi of course nodded, “Look at Yuan Hao. Although he married Liu Hong at the end of last year, he still came by with gifts for dad and mum over the New Year. We will also not short on those gifts. You should go by frequently during this year. That should increase her father and mother’s standing and reputation!”
Liu Changshi nodded.
“Then that’s what we should do. In the seventh month farming lull, you should build the house! At that time, we brothers will discuss how we should contribute.” Liu Changgeng said.
Liu Changshi quickly said, “No, no, no! You don’t have to contribute! This time, for my wedding and for my house, no one needs to give any money!”
Liu Changgeng looked at Liu Changshi and didn’t say anything. After all, although his own family’s situation was getting better, who knew about dage’s family? Furthermore, even if his family’s situation was good, his wife….
Liu Changqi saw that Liu Changgeng and Liu Changshi had stopped speaking, and knew that they were avoiding the topic for his sake. He stopped for a while before sighing and saying, “I also have regrets. Before, I shouldn’t have…. Ai, forget it, no point in saying anymore.” He got up and left.
His two younger brothers also got up and went home.
When Liu Changgeng returned home, he shared what had happened with his wife, while Liu Xu’er listened in from the side. She too was flabbergasted. Mentally, she wondered, exactly what business was sanshu and his wife doing? After all, all businesses take time to slowly build up wealth, how could there be a sudden explosion of riches? If there were such a business, wouldn’t everyone be fighting to do it?
After thinking it over and over, she still couldn’t figure it out, so she gave up. He shi had again returned to her maiden home and finally managed to confirm that He Ruyu would take over embroidering the handkerchiefs. From now on, all the money from the sales of the handkerchiefs would go to her. He shi smiled and asked He Ruyu if she could manage? After all, she also had to embroider her wedding trousseau!
He Ruyu blushed and lowered her head. With regard to the handkerchiefs, she knew that it was her sister and Liu Xu’er’s way of helping their family. Since they were all family, it wouldn’t be good to try and refuse, but she mentally resolved that she would make Xu’er another two outfits.
During the same visit, He shi’s two dimei gave her their first batch of five-coloured bands as well as the crocheted animals. The two sisters-in-law had split the work. The one with clumsier hands made the five-coloured bands, while the nimbler one crocheted animals. They had made quite a few in the past few months. He shi was delighted to receive the goods, but she had forgotten to discuss with Liu Xu’er about how to make payment. Should she pay first? Or wait till they were sold before paying them?
After thinking it over for a bit, He shi made the decision to just give them the money first. Since the thread was bought by Xu’er, she deducted the cost of the raw materials away, and paid them the balance. In a lump sum, she gave them about 1500wen. She would let her sisters-in-law divide it amongst themselves according to their work.
Her dimei hadn’t expected her to be so decisive! They were shocked to see how much those little trinkets could fetch! Immediately, their eyes brightened, and they were keen to continue the work. He shi advised them to use the remainder of their existing thread as a guide to what they should buy when they went to town. Then she went home.
The instant Liu Xu’er saw her mother bring the goods back, she was delighted! She had just been worrying about the supply of goods. And when she heard He shi say that her xiaoyi had agreed to embroider handkerchiefs, she was even more thrilled. She asked her father to send her into town the next day. She too had a batch that she wanted to send in and she also needed to purchase some more raw materials.
When she entered town, she met up with Shi Cheng, Liu Shu and Liu Lin. Everything was well, and everyone was busy with their own work. After a few more days, Shi Cheng’s family would be hosting the new baby’s full month banquet. The entire village was invited to it, so she didn’t worry about speaking to Shi Cheng while in town. She could wait till everyone went home to discuss matters slowly.
After a few days, Shi Cheng’s didi’s full month celebration had come. Shi Qian had thought to use this opportunity to let the villagers see his home. He didn’t mean to flaunt his riches, but rather wanted to slowly introduce them to their wealth, so that when the family moved to town and started to do big business again, his neighbours wouldn’t find it too shocking.
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Third Lui is SUS…. They might be in some shady business…
Thank you for the chapter!!!
Hehehehe!! Just have to wait for the story to unfold! And you’re welcome!
Happy New Year!!!🎊
Happy New Year yourself! I hope you enjoyed yourself!