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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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The full month banquet was too large to be held just in Shi Cheng’s home. The party extended from their courtyard out onto the large empty field in front of their house. By the time Liu Xu’er had walked up the slope, the entire field was already filled with people.
Her whole family had come. Although Shi Cheng’s family originally had nothing to do with hers, because the children had become close, the two families naturally also started to have closer ties.
When he saw them arrive, Shi Cheng called out, “Liu Shu and his family have arrived!” He had started to become more careful in how he managed his relationship with them. In order for the people around him, especially his mother, not to become suspicious, he had started to pretend that his relationship with Liu Shu and Liu Lin was closer than with Liu Xu’er.
After calling out, he ran over smiling, “Second Uncle Liu, Second Aunt Liu!”
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Nkw Ubydttldt yde Tl pbk pxkzle yv bkx.&dcpr;
Gv vbl pkel, Fbk Ckyd, obs oyp vyzjkdt vs vbl Akzzytl Tlye, dsvknle vblx. Tl nyxl shla prlnkyzzu vs tallv vblx, zlyhkdt csvb Tl pbk yde Nkw Ubydttldt qllzkdt ayvbla yojoyae.&dcpr;
“Jsvb sq usw nyxl! Mbydj usw qsa pbyakdt swa fsu!” Fbk Ckyd oyp qasx y mkwnyk’p qyxkzu – bkp osaep olal lzltydv yde alqkdle.&dcpr;
Nkw Ubydttldt pxkzle yde pyke, “Usdtayvwzyvksdp! Usdtayvwzyvksdp sd vbl ckavb sq uswa psd!”&dcpr;
Fbk Ckyd eked’v ktdsal Nkw Fbw, Nkw Nkd yde Nkw Dw’la vbl oyu bl oswze svbla nbkzeald. Rdpvlye bl ryvvle lynb sq vblx sd vbl blye obld vblu nyxl yde tallvle bkx. Fxkzkdt, bl pyke, “Qsse, usw yzz yal ps sclekldv!” Mbld bl pxkzle yde pyke vs Nkw Ubydttldt, “Flnsde Jasvbla Nkw, uswa nbkzeald yal vawzu ps pxyav. Oynb sq vblx yal pwnb tsse nbkzeald!”
Nkw Ubydttldt pxkzle yde pyke, “Tso nyd vblu nsxryal okvb uswa Fbk Ubldt? Frlyjkdt sq, ol alyzzu dlle vs vbydj usw. Mblpl vos nbkzeald pvyu yv uswa vsodbswpl, cwv byhld’v tkhld ydu aldv qsa kv. Ohlauvbkdt vblu lyv yde eakdj kp vyjld nyal sq cu Fbk Ubldt, yde ol byhld’v lhld pyke yduvbkdt. R’x ps psaau….”
Fbk Ckyd pxkzle yde pyke, “Ebu yal usw clkdt ps qsaxyz? Gald’v ol yzz dlktbcswap? Wwavblaxsal, Nkw Fbw yde Nkw Nkd byhl clld blzrkdt Fbk Ubldt y zsv yv vbl pvsal! Rq ol alyzzu olal vs nsdpkela kv, R pbswze alyzzu cl ryukdt vblx csvb pbsr yppkpvydv oytlp! Br vkzz dso, Fbk Ubldt’p pvsal bypd’v dllele vs bkal ydu yppkpvydvp clnywpl sq uswa vos psdp’ blzr.”
Gnvwyzzu, Nkw Ubydttldt bye yzalyeu yrrasynble Fbk Ckyd zypv ulya ycswv vbl xyvvla. Tl qlzv vbyv obkzl nbkzeald nswze cl qsatkhld qsa dsv wdelapvydekdt vbl obszl pkvwyvksd, yp vblka qyvbla, bl nswze dsv ktdsal vbkp. Fs bl bye yrrasynble Fbk Ckyd sd vbl xyvvla sq aldv. Rv oyp sdzu vbld vbyv bl’e qswde swv vbyv Fbk Ckyd bye yzalyeu cswtbv csvb vbl bswpl yde vbl pbsr, yde vbyv Fbk Ubldt oyp kd nbyatl sq yzz vbl elnkpksdp.
Of course, Shi Qian refused his money. He liked Liu Changgeng’s entire family – he felt that they were of good character and were very capable. His daughter was so smart, and his sons were hardworking and honest children. As such, he had the mind to foster good relations with them.
After the two of them exchanged polite pleasantries, they were invited by Shi Qian into their house. They saw that there were a few tables in the courtyard, with many more tables out in the open field. Most of the villagers were outside. Only those that were closer to the family were invited into the courtyard.
Shi Cheng had already carried Liu Sen in. Liu Sen was asking him, “Shi Cheng ge, why are there so many people in your house today?”
Shi Cheng smiled and said, “Something good has happened in my family. I’ve a didi now. You can also call him didi.”
That thrilled Liu Sen into clapping, “I have a didi, I have a didi!”
He shi’s face immediately turned red but the children didn’t notice. They followed along talking and laughing. Shi Cheng got Liu Xu’er, Liu Shu and Liu Lin to follow him into the courtyard.
When Liu Xu’er entered, she saw that Liu Yun’er was already seated at the table. She was glaring daggers at her. Liu Xu’er thought for a moment before quietly saying to Liu Shu, “Dage, watch Senzi carefully today. Don’t let him run off anywhere alone. Otherwise, someone might try to secretly hit him.”
Liu Shu thought about it before realising who she was guarding against. He quickly nodded, before looking at her strangely, “Are you busy?” It wasn’t that he was being nosy, it was just that usually Liu Xu’er was extremely vigilant about protecting Senzi, especially when Liu Yun’er was around. She was always ready for a fight.
Liu Xu’er was a bit embarrassed. She thought, today I want to pretend to be a gentle, refined young lady! This was Shi Cheng’s house – Shi Cheng’s parents and grandparents were all around. She couldn’t possibly behave like a tiny fishwife…. What impression would she leave then?
Shi Cheng brought them around. First, he took them to the main house to greet his grandparents – they seldom left the house, so Liu Xu’er rarely saw them. Then he brought them over to visit his mother and new baby brother.
This was how Shi Cheng demonstrated the importance of the Second Liu family – he specially escorted them to visit his elders. His mother immediately noticed, and treated them with more respect.
When Liu Shu, Liu Lin and Liu Xu’er first entered, they gave their well wishes. Shi Cheng’s mother smiled and called them all in. Liu Xu’er went over to have a good look at the baby. His chubby face was wrapped in swaddling cloths. Although he was asleep, his mouth moved slightly, as though trying to drink milk even in his sleep. The children were all rather tickled to see that. Liu Xu’er reached a finger out to gently touch the baby’s face, and the baby actually smiled in his sleep!
Shi Cheng smiled and said, “My didi also likes Xu’er!”
Shi Cheng’s mother was overjoyed.
After visiting the two of them for a while, they quietly left them to rest. After they left the room, Shi Cheng immediately brought them over to his room. When they got there, they saw that a table had already been laid out with food. Shi Cheng smiled and said, “Today, let’s have our own private meal!”
Liu Shu hesitated, but Liu Lin already moved over to sit. Liu Xu’er tugged Senzi over to the table. At a glance, Senzi had already spotted a glass cup on the table. Inside, there was a white coloured liquid. He quickly asked, “What’s that?”
Liu Xu’er smiled and brought it over for him. “Milk, you had it when you were little.”
Liu Sen helped himself without a trace of embarrassment. He stretched a little chubby hand over and took a gulp. Liu Shu gave him a look – he was behaving completely at home! He could only let out an exasperated laugh, shake his head and sit down. “Shi Cheng, do we need to tell Uncle Shi about this? Or is there anything you need to help with? It should be quite busy right?”
Shi Cheng smiled and said, “There’re servants. Don’t worry, there’s nothing we need to do!” Saying that, he took out a large alcohol jug in the corner and opened it. “Outside, the adults are drinking wine, here, we can drink some milk. We should also eat, drink and be merry!”
Liu Xu’er burst out laughing at that. Liu Sen had already finished a glass of it and was smacking his lips. Liu Xu’er carried him to sit at the table. “Senzi, today, you should eat well! But make sure not to get food everywhere!”
Liu Lin said, “Shi Cheng, your place is rather grand. I’ve never seen anyone in the village hold such a large banquet before.”
“Un, when I heard that they were planning a large celebration, I hadn’t quite realised how large it would be. But, if it makes my dad happy, he can have as large a celebration as he wants! We just need to enjoy ourselves.” These glass cups were specially requested by him.
At this moment, all of them were filled with milk, and he had come over to sit down. Smiling, he lifted his cup, “Come, let’s have a toast to our little store. May our business prosper and wealth come flowing in!”
Liu Xu’er smiled, then she, Liu Shu, Liu Lin all raised their glasses. There was a little wooden bowl in front of Liu Sen and Liu Xu’er had already scooped some food into it. He was happily guzzling away, his face and mouth covered in oil. Food was scattering everywhere as he ate.
It was the first time that Liu Shu and Liu Lin had tasted milk. After a mouthful, Liu Lin quickly placed the cup down. “What is this taste?!” Then he finished the rest of the cup. “Why does it taste so awful?”
Liu Xu’er laughed, while Liu Shu said nothing. Their relationship with Shi Cheng was as close as siblings – they didn’t need to be too careful around him.
Shi Cheng also laughed heartily before saying, “You need to drink more of this to grow tall! In the future, my family will regularly send the townhouse some milk. Everyday, some fresh milk will come. The two of you should also drink some!” Then he turned and looked at Liu Xu’er, “But what about you and Senzi?”
Liu Xu’er giggled, “You don’t have to worry about me! Just drink your milk.”
Shi Cheng grinned. The children talked about sishu’s trip to Ningxia as they ate. Liu Lin said carelessly, “Our business also needs to expand. I’ve thought it through – in another two years, I will also go to Ningxia to check out the situation there. Maybe we can sell our hand-warmers there….”
That scared Liu Xu’er and company. Jumping up, Liu Xu’er said vehemently, “Don’t you dare!”
Shi Cheng said, “Even if you want to sell goods there, you don’t have to go personally. There are always travelling merchants. We can just sell them to the travelling merchants.”
Liu Lin smiled sheepishly, “How can that compare to the profits we make if we did it personally…. Alright, alright, alright… I was just thinking about it. Everyone in the family is so busy, I can’t be the only one idle.”
“How are you idle? You and dage are both so busy in the shop. That’s the most important thing! No matter how many goods we churn out, if we can’t sell them, then what’s the point? Erge, I’m warning you, although business is important, we are doing this so that we can live comfortably. If we need to put ourselves at risk, worrying all our loved ones, just to make money, it’s not worth it. We may as well go back to just farming then!” Liu Xu’er sternly said to Liu Lin.
Liu Shu agreed, “That’s right. We can try to earn money, but we cannot risk our lives to do so. What’s the point in making money if we are not around to enjoy it?”
Shi Cheng nodded, “That’s right! Your meimei and gege have both said it well. Forget about that plan!”
Without anyone’s support, Liu Lin could only nod and smile. “Alright…. Alright…..” It was clear he was only placating them.
Liu Xu’er could obviously tell. But she knew that it wasn’t easy to change his mind with just a sentence or two. Still, there was plenty of time to talk it out. Also, the situation might change – it may be that the environment would change, and he wouldn’t or couldn’t go. Then he would naturally change his own mind.
Whatever the case, she would just watch him closely and not give him any chance to go there.
Liu Shu then started to ask Liu Xu’er – the last time she mentioned wanting to move to town. Was that a joke, or was she serious about that? Liu Xu’er nodded and said, “That’s right. I was definitely being serious. When our business grows, we definitely need to move to town. It would make it much more convenient to do business…. Of course, our family won’t sell our land! And we will keep the house, so that we can come back frequently to visit. And when we make money, we can buy more land for ourselves. Like xiaogufu, we can hire workers for it…. And…. I still have lots more plans. We can take our time to discuss them…..”
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Liu Lin is quite ambitious for a kid his age. Seems like he’s addicted to do business so much. Thanks for the chapter.
Hahaha, oh yeah! At least it’s a constructive type of addiction?😬
Actually, I think Liu Lin could of help Shisu whenever he’s Ping out to do business. He can help his uncle negotiate tho. That’s sure a win win situation for the Shi siblings.