Accompany by A Fool to do Farming
Chapter 38: 夜谈 (Night’s Talk)
In the evening, Zhong Ziqi and Zhao Zheng’an sat on the bed after dinner and counted the money.
Zhao Zheng’an sighed teasingly, “My wife is so great. I’m really under great pressure!”
Zhong Ziqi smiled at him and gave him a blank look: “What’s this under great pressure about?”
Zhao Zheng’an supported his chin with one hand and played the coins with the other hand: “Look, nowadays, you earn all the money for food and clothes, and I’ve become a waste( 吃軟飯).”
[吃软饭 ( 吃軟飯 ) chī ruǎn fàn =to live off a woman]
“What? You don’t like it?” Zhong Ziqi put the money away and said jokingly, “Ask any man in the village who is not happy to sit at home and count the money? They would rather not do anything.”
“That’s true, such a good and capable wife is making the villagers envious. Unfortunately, it’s no use envying since the person is mine.” Zhao Zheng’an said proudly.
The more Zhong Ziqi spent time with this man, the more he realised that sometimes this man looked silly and well-behaved on the surface, but in reality he was incredibly thick-skinned.
[Thick-skinned mean ‘shameless’]
For example, at the beginning, it was only because of Zhao Zheng’an’s interference that the two of them got through that most awkward period.
Now they are getting along just like before, Zhao Zheng’an still has the cheek to call him his wife, although he has repeatedly asked him to call him by his first name, but unfortunately he has turned a deaf ear to it.He still does as he pleases.Zhong Ziqi did not bother to correct him anymore, let him be happy, who told him to habitually spoil him.
Zhong Ziqi ignored his lack of tone and said with a straight face, “Zheng’an, I have an idea. Listen and tell me what you think about it?”
“Go ahead.” Zhao Zheng’an saw that he was serious so he became serious too.
“You see the two families, Zhao Amu and Huang Amu have been good to us so I want them to do business with us.”
“Frying ‘fried breadsticks’ with you too? I don’t think the chinese breadsticks business is appropriate. We have just the right amount of customers for our current business, if we add more I’m afraid we won’t have that many customers.” Zhao Zheng’an replied after some thought.
Zhong Ziqi looked at him in surprise: “You know a lot. Don’t say if you were at home eating and doing nothing, it would be such a waste for you.” Since he had recovered, he had never been to the pier once, so how could he tell?
Zhao Zheng’an grinning, showing his teeth, “That’s right, I’m good at a lot of things. You’ll see it later.”
Zhong Ziqi pondered, “Here’s what I’m thinking, let Zhao Amu and Huang Amu sell congee next to me. Chinese breadsticks are best served with congee. Add a little pickle and an egg would be extremely great too.If you had ‘jellied tofu’ that would be the best thing.”
“What is ‘jellied tofu’?” Zhao Zheng’an asked. He always heard unfamiliar words coming out of his mouth.
“It’s a food made with tofu. It’s delicious! But there are no tofu sellers.” Zhong Ziqi shook his head. His favourite food was soft bean curd.
豆腐脑= Jellied Tofu=Soft bean curd = Pudding Tofu = Bean curd Jelly = Flower Tofu = Tau Hua
“They sell it in our village . You wouldn’t forget, would you?”
“Er …… whose house? I really forgot,” Zhong Ziqi tried to recall as if there was a vague impression.
“It’s the family of Er Zhu Zi who used to come to play with me. Their family makes tofu.” Zhao Zheng’an smiled as he remembered his ‘little pals’.
“Ah, I forgot! I’ll buy some for you to try one day.” Zhong Ziqi had never been to anyone’s house except Zhao Amu’s house since he came here, so it wasn’t unusual for him not to know.
“What do you think of my idea?”
Zhao Zheng’an thought about it: “It’s quite good, just… don’t let both families sell the same food, to save them from the heartache of who has more and who has less.”
“Hmm…that makes sense. Hey …look at you, you are a man but you are more attentive than me who is a ger. It’s kind of unbearable for me!” Zhong Ziqi pretended to shake his head and sighed.
“The more you see, the more you know.” Zhao Zheng’an said with some melancholy. He had known how to make money since he was ten. After six or seven years of being in the middle of working around, even a naive child will have his edges sharpened and become slick and sly as the ways of the world.
“Let’s not talk about that! Let’s move on to congee. How about having Huang Amu sell congee and Zhao Amu sell eggs?” Zhong Ziqi said enthusiastically.
“I don’t think eggs are good. As you said, it’s better to have some soup. Eggs are fine as an extra. You can see that there are still more workers at the docks, it costs them nearly ten wen to eat the chinese breadsticks. If you add eggs and congee, it’s hard for the average person to afford it. Even the landlord’s staff doesn’t have such a good life!”
Zhong Ziqi nodded thoughtfully. Yes, at first there might be people who would like to eat it but after they tasted it, they would not spend so much money on fancy food everyday,excluding of course the wealthy families in the town.
“So what do you think we should do?”
Zhao Zheng’an rubbed his chin, “Didn’t you say you had that jellied tofu?”
“I think so. Since the tall trees attract wind and we also do not have enough manpower, by just selling the fried breadsticks alone, the profit is sufficient for us. Besides that,there is also the cost of tofu for jellied Tofu, so why not let Zhao Amu do it? By buying tofu from Er Zhuzi’s family, we could also make a fortune as a good karma.”
[樹大招風 shù dà zhāo fēng :
lit. a tall tree attracts the wind (idiom) / fig. if a person is famous or has money, it is easy to attract attention and trouble]
“Well …… that’s fine, as you wish.” Their family can’t always keep to themselves for the rest of their lives. They need to make some friends and get to know the people in the village.
“Where is the tofu shop in the village? If I have time, I’ll go and buy two pieces of tofu and try making it first.”
“I’ll go buy it tomorrow.” Zhao Zheng’an said.
Zhong Ziqi yawned and nodded. It was time for Zhao Zheng’an to go out for a walk after recovering for so long.
The night was dreamless. When Zhao Zheng’an got up the next day, Zhong Ziqi was already gone. The color of the sky was already bright.
He sat on his bed for a while to ease the pain in his brain. Then he got dressed and washed up. In the pot was Zhong Ziqi’s cooking.
Zhao Zheng’an finished his meal beautifully. After washing the dishes he went inside and carried two boxes of pastries (the ones he had bought for the Zhong family last time) before sneaking out of the door.
Strolling along the path and facing the breeze, he had never experienced this kind of leisurely life since he could remember. What he could remember was only being busy and busy since the slightest of slacking off would attract cussing.
Now that he thought about it, he had to thank his Amu for finding him a good wife!
Instead of going straight to Er Zhuzi’s house with his pastries, Zhao Zheng’an went to Li Zheng’s house. If he had to talk about it, he was still related to Li Zheng’s family (so Li Zheng’s also surnamed Zhao). But their families had already gone out of the five servers.
[Out of the five servers:
For example, if someone is the first generation, his son is the second generation, his grandson is the third generation, the great-grandson is the fourth generation, and the great-great-grandson is the fifth generation.
It will come out in the sixth generation. ]
The purpose of his visit was to get in touch with Li Zheng. After all, he had to get closer for the purpose that in the future, if anything happened, it would be easier to talk to him.
[Note : Li Zheng is not the man’s name but its official name. Li Zheng is a village junior officer in feudalist society. In ancient times, a small official in the village was in charge of household registration, taxes, and other matters. Li Zheng is the same with Li Chang and Li Jun)
“Yo, isn’t this the fool?” A shady voice sounded behind Zhao Zheng’an.
Zhao Zheng’an knew who it was as soon as he heard it.He was known as a jealous person in the village named Zhang Feng Cai, who talked badly about whoever was well-fed and well-clothed. He was secretly called a jealous person because he was jealous of others. Usually, people did not like to talk to him.
That person did not see any answer so he walked a few steps faster to catch up with Zhao Zheng’an, who looked at him with a ‘tsk!’.
The other Amu who was following him also said, “Don’t tell me, the sun is coming out of the west this time, right? Usually that little ger of the Zhong family treated him like a treasure. How come he was released today?”
Zhao Zheng’an frowned, this is really unpleasant to hear, what do you mean by release? He is not a cat or a dog.
“Yo, what’s that in your hand?” Zhang Feng Cai reached out to touch the pastry Zhao Zheng’an was carrying.
Zhao Zheng’an dodged it in a flash.
Zhao Zheng’an frowned unhappily as he looked at the two of them with sharp eyes, saying in a cold voice: “Don’t touch if it’s not yours.” After saying that, he ignored the frightened two people, turned a corner and walked away.
This man was shameless, you didn’t want to talk to him! Yet he dared to cross the line. If it had been his old delirious self, he would have been completely bullied. Not to mention the pastry, he didn’t think there’s even a string left.
When he went to Li Zheng’s house, the door was open. Zhao Jiang, the youngest son of Li Zheng, happened to be there. He noticed Zhao Zheng’an standing at the door and waved, “Zheng’an, come in!”
Zhao Jiang came over happily.He and Zhao Zheng’an were good friends and had played together since they were children. When his son was one month old, Zhao Zheng’an had even given his son a silver lock.
See Pic for 小银锁
It was only later that a big change happened.They were a bit too far apart to take care of him. He also heard that now that he got married, his wife keeps a close eye on him and won’t let him out.Besides that, they live in a remote area,moreover Zhao Zheng’an was also a fool, so he wouldn’t dare to come to the house, which would cause a lot of gossip.The last time he helped their family build a wall, he (ZZA) was not home.
“Da Jiang.” Zhao Zheng’an called out with a smile.
[ Da Jiang= Big Jiang = Brother Jiang]
Zhao Jiang looked at him with surprise: “You still recognize me?”
“Nonsense! I’m not stupid!” Zhao Zheng’an out of anger, slapped him on the back of his head.
Zhao Jiang was dumbfounded by the familiar action. He looked at Zhao Zheng’an incredulously.
“It’s useless, even if you look at me, I’m already a married man. There’s no way I can look at you anymore.” Zhao Zheng’an said in a serious manner. The eyes also leaked the joy of reuniting with his friend.
Black line (see pic)
Zhao Jiang’s face ‘black line’. This familiar tune, who dares to say that the Zhao Zheng’an in front of him is still a fool? How could he not be anxious?
“Zheng’an…you have recovered?” Zhao Jiang asked, his eyes wide open as he pulled his arm.
“Well … recover by accident.”
“It’s good to be well, it’s good to be well!” Zhao Jiang patted Zhao Zheng’an’s shoulder with red eyes, genuinely happy for his good brother.
Zhao Zheng’an was also smiling happily, but he hadn’t forgotten the purpose of his trip.
“Li Zheng, Amu, I’ve come to see you.” Zhao Zheng’an said as he looked at the two people standing in the doorway.
Not to mention Zhao Jiang,even the two of them hadn’t come to their senses! They were blown away by this news.
It took half a day for Li Zheng’s wife to accept the snack Zhao Zheng’an handed them, “Come in and talk.”
Li Zheng also nodded, “Come in.”
Zhao Zheng’an entered the house with Zhao Jiang.
“When did you get well?” Li Zheng also asked, quite curious. He hadn’t heard any rumours.
“Just a little while ago. There was an accident then I recovered.” Zhao Zheng’an said with a smile.
“It’s good that you have recovered! It’s not easy for Qi Ge’er to be on his own. There are all sorts of things being said out there.” Li Zheng’s wife said. He quite liked this ger, whom he hadn’t met many times.
“Yes, I have to thank Li Zheng and Amu for taking care of us all this time, otherwise I don’t know how he would have been bullied.” Zhao Zheng’an thanked them with a sincere face.
Li Zheng and his family looked at each other. They knew exactly what they were talking about. It was a bit confusing whether Zhao Zheng’an’s attitude was on his wife’s side or his parents’ side.
“In terms of seniority, Zheng’an should call me Uncle Quan! Don’t call me Li Zheng! You’re too polite. We haven’t helped much.”Li Zheng said with the same smile.
In his opinion, Zhao Zheng’an and Zhong Ziqi were people with good prospects. Each of them were experts in making money.Their future was bound to be a great success.Even if Zhao Zheng’an didn’t come, he had to take the initiative to get on good terms with them, for the sake of his two sons.
[潜力股 ( 潛力股 )qián lì gǔ :
stock that has potential to increase in value / (fig.) sb with good prospects]
So, with mutual consent, Zhao Zheng’an exchanged the usual pleasantries at Li Zheng’s house for some time before leaving.
Translator OS: So far, what I can say about Zhao Zheng’an personalities is he is shameless, capable and confident ?. Btw, I also really like ‘jellied tofu’… It’s delicious ?.