Accompany by a Fool to Do Farming
Chapter 48: 往事 (Past Event)
These two men were none other than Shen Yu Bei and his personal bodyguard (plus also his personal servant), who were originally come from Jiang Nan.
The last time Gao Han Jin came back from the north and told him about Zhong Ziqi, Shen Yu Bei had his mind set on it,so he had his reliable agent, Hong Ying come over to the north to investigate. Finally he got a result that made him half happy and half worried. He intuited that there must be something here that he was looking forward to. He handed over the matter at hand to his retired father before then he personally made a trip to verify the final result.
So, what was the …… he wanted to verify?
Well, it started many years ago.
The Shen family business was an ancestral one. It had always done ‘well’
( 紅紅火火 ); they were the offspring from a famous family in the south. The family always had the same ‘single lineage’, even when they had a lot of children,they only had one boy, the rest were all gers. In his father’s case, there was also no exception (no surprise), because he (SYB) was the only boy in the family. Since his father was a devoted man who married only one person in his life, his Amu. His Amu had two children, one for him and one….his Ge Ge (older brother).
[红红火火/ hóng hóng huǒ huǒ: booming / prosperous]
[名门望族 ( 名門望族 ) míng mén wàng zú: offspring a famous family (idiom); good breeding / blue blood]
[单传 ( 單傳 ) dān chuán: to have only one heir in a generation (of a family, clan etc)]
His brother was a ger, more than ten years older than him. While he was still a toddler, learning to walk, his brother had already gone to school and was exposed to the outside world. In those days, some biographies were very popular. As a ger, his brother was not allowed to go out on his own, so he always took the opportunity to buy a few biographies on his way to and from school and read them with great interest.
Because since he was a child, ‘most of the time’, he was always spent and followed behind his brother, ‘brother that, brother this’. His brother would also hug him tenderly, making him happy, accompany him to talk, and whisper to him.In his eyes, his brother was like a second father and Amu, who cared for him ‘in every way'(taking care of him very carefully).
But he never thought that his brother, who was always gentle and sweet-tempered, would one day be so ‘intensely angry’.
It was not long after his grandfather’s death that his father had taken over the business, having learned the business from his grandfather earlier in life, but not everyone believed in his father. At that moment, it was the lowest point of time for the Shen family so the business matters kept his father ‘busy’ till he ‘badly burned his head’. Every day, he would come home late and sometimes, he would not come home for several days.
[焦头烂额 ( 焦頭爛額 ) jiāo tóu làn é:
lit. badly burned about the head (from trying to put out a fire) (idiom) / fig. hard-pressed / under pressure (from a heavy workload, etc)]
The whole family was worried. But then, one day, unexpectedly the same father who hadn’t returned for a few days, suddenly came back with some shocking news. Their family was going to be linked to married to another aristocratic family with equal standing status.
That was not what surprised them the most. They had heard of that aristocratic family, indeed they were considered to be ‘well-matched in terms of a social status’.
[门当户对 ( 門當戶對 ) mén dāng hù duì:
the families are well-matched in terms of social status (idiom) / (of a prospective marriage partner) an appropriate match]
But therein lay the problem: that family had five children.The eldest was a man, already a family man and the second one was a ger also a married one.
The third was a man but he was a man who liked to ‘spend his time living a life of debauchery’ since the town was so big, bad rumours could often be heard.
However, because he was the favourite child of the master of the family, many things,of course, not all of those rumours were true, were said by many people to be the result of the two older brothers fearing that the family fortune would be inherited by his younger brother, so they poured the water dirt on him and created rumours about him so that his father would be disappointed in him. Anyway, there were numerous perspectives, which were ‘confusing’ to outsiders . All they knew was that the man had a bad reputation.
The fourth and fifth children were just two children who were able to run around so it was obvious who was marrying who.
They didn’t know what their father thought. All they knew was that their father’s decision was irrevocable. At that time, they did not know that their family business was in trouble. Their father was already in distress, but he did not tell them.
For the first time, his brother was furious and got so angry that he vowed not to marry. His father was so angry that he locked him up.Shen Yu Bei remembers his brother being locked up in his room.He had no desire to eat or drink.Every day, his face was pale, as if he had no hope for life.He often looked at his brother through the doorway.He would talk to his brother, but he would either stop talking to him or he would ‘ramble’ about how he didn’t want to marry a man he had never met and had a bad reputation.He wanted to find a man who would treat him well, know him and love him, just like in the biography book.
At that time, although he was still very young, he was a sensible and intelligent child. His heart ached as he watched his brother grieve.One night, while the housekeeper was asleep, he stole the key the housekeeper carried with him and opened the door where his brother was locked. He was very happy to see his brother’s haggard face glowing with hope again.
That night, his brother held him for a long time as he told him that he was the only heir in the family, so he should be stable and take care of the family business. He should also be filial to their parents and do his share of filial piety for him. His brother asked him to tell their Father and Amu that he was sorry for them. But he did not want his life to be ruined by marrying such a person.
That night, he was the only one who knew that his brother had left. He left the family, even the city, he didn’t know where he went, he hadn’t seen him ever since, and he missed him so much.
When his father found out, he was furious and beat him severely. It wasn’t because his brother was gone and there was no one to replace him to marry or neither because the marriage was ruined. Nor was it because of his business difficulties that could not be resolved anymore. It was, rather, because what would happen to his brother, a ger who ‘never left the house’,being outside? Would he meet misfortune then? It was unimaginable.
His father mobilized everyone around him and went looking for his brother but there was no sign of him. His Amu blamed his father every day. With this, His father seemed to have grown older all of a sudden. At that time, he didn’t understand why his father forced his brother to do something he didn’t want to do. It wasn’t until he took over the family business that he realised how much helplessness was there.
Until today, He kept asking himself one question.And that was whether he regretted letting his brother go.
(Tl: sad 😢)
In fact, he reluctantly did not want to admit it. Subconsciously, he had already regretted that he would never see his brother again for 17 years. Even so much that they were probably already two worlds apart.
[阴阳两隔: the original was separated between Yin and Yang, it described the separation was parted by life and death situation where one person still alive, yet another man already in the grave. ]
But he was sure that his brother would not regret it.Because his child was already this big. According to his brother’s character, if he didn’t like it, he wouldn’t marry.
When he first saw Zhong Ziqi, all that came to his mind was — similar, it was, indeed, too similar!
From what Hong Ying had found out, his Amu’s surname was also Shen. It was just a different name, but he was sure it was his brother’s child without a doubt.Because his brother had a small mole at the base of his ear.It was not obvious. People were unaware of this but since he had grown up in front of his brother, he knew it very well. Now that he had found the same little mole at the base of Zhong Ziqi’s ear, it was no doubt too much of a coincidence.If there were too many coincidences, it would no longer be a coincidence.
This was indeed his Ge ge’s child, officially also his nephew.
“Why do you think he’s here anyway?” Zhao Zheng’an was remain puzzled after pondering over it a hundred times (百思不解).
“Why are you thinking so much since you can’t figure it out? Hurry up and go feed Da Hei and Xiao Hei and also the chicks, get them into the henhouse!” Zhong Ziqi couldn’t stand his nagging mood and hurriedly sent him away.
“Look at you …… I’m analyzing and analyzing yet you still are not willing to listen.” Zhao Zheng’an was dissatisfied while he protested over it. Why didn’t his wife have a sense of worry at all?
“Hurry up! Get it done and come back for dinner, or I won’t prepare yours.” Zhong Ziqi said in an unpleasant voice.
“No, no, no, I’ll go now, wait for me.” Zhao Zheng’an scurried out in a flash. ‘The head can be broken, the blood can be shed’ — but his wife’s cooking, he couldn’t not eat it.
[‘The head can be broken, the blood can be shed’
Meaning: Not afraid to sacrifice for the sake of justice. It is often used to praise someone’s rare and valuable spirit. ]
Zhong Ziqi looked at the lively view of his back with a smile on his lips. This kind of Zhao Zheng’an, bringing with him the flavor of life, someone he could rely on, he felt safe with him. He felt good that his life, as it was now, didn’t need to change anymore.He was happy,very fulfilled.
‘Splatter’ The sound of the basin touching the floor suddenly rang out.
Zhong Ziqi stood up with a surprise and rushed toward the outside. Only to see that Zhao Zheng’an was holding the wooden fence with one hand while the other hand was holding his forehead. Under his feet was the food bowl that had been turned upside down.
This posture was all too familiar to Zhong Ziqi: Zhao Zheng’an had another headache.
“Are you okay?” Zhong Ziqi asked, worriedly holding him up.
Zhao Zheng’an closed his eyes but when he opened them, he could no longer see any signs: “It’s fine! Don’t worry, it’s much better.”
“You just lied to me, didn’t you say you don’t have that ‘attacks’ as often anymore?” Zhong Ziqi was not in ease about this headache, so he took this opportunity to ask him, “Does your head hurt? Do you want to rest for a while?”
Zhao Zheng’an didn’t know if he was tired of being asked or if he was afraid of him worrying about him, so he told him that he was better and that the frequency of attacks had decreased. Now, it seemed that this must have been a lie on Zhao Zheng’an’s part, he was too tolerant, too good at pretending. He had almost fooled him.
“It’s really okay. Why would I lie to you? Just today, it came on suddenly. You see, I can’t control it too; I can’t stop it from hurting, can I? But it only hurt for a little while. Now it doesn’t hurt anymore. If you don’t believe me, I’ll give you a couple of jumps.” After saying that, Zhao Zheng’an really intended to jump a few times.
Zhong Ziqi pulled him back: “I believe you, is that alright? Let’s go inside and rest for a while. The work here, I’ll do it.”
“Okay.” Zhao Zheng’an didn’t refuse, in fact his headache hadn’t gone away. Now he was so weak that he really needed to rest and wait to recover.
Like Zhong Ziqi had said, he had actually lied to him, his headache hadn’t been relieved . It was just that instead of talking about it and being worried by Zhong Ziqi, it would be better not to talk about it and bear it for a while then it would pass.Just now, it was definitely an accident. He was about to put the food bowl on the chicken nest when he was struck by sudden pain and dizziness. He didn’t pay attention that the food bowl had fallen to the ground and brought Zhong Ziqi’s attention here.
Zhong Ziqi didn’t know what Zhao Zheng’an was thinking, so he helped him sit in a chair: “Rest first, I’ll be right back.”
Zhong Ziqi went into the chicken coop, drove the chickens into the nest, blocked them out, and put the food bowl on the nest.
Then he went into the kitchen, washed his hands carefully before he put the food on the table. He put a bowl of rice in front of Zhao Zheng’an’s eyes. After thinking about it, he put a large chopstick of vegetables into the bowl.
“Do you want to feed me?”
Zhong Ziqi thought seriously for a moment.
“You really want to, huh? I still have the strength to eat . Stop it, don’t make a fuss over it! You should eat now! The meat is very well cooked today, I love it. Next time, make it more!”
Zhong Ziqi subconsciously replied, “Okay.” Yet he was speechless at his clumsy changing subject of talk.
After eating, Zhong Ziqi boiled the bath water.The two of them took a bath in order of priority.They went to bed as early as possible and rested.
The day after, the restaurant ‘Quite Delicious’ was open for business.
Once again, Shen Yu Bei and his personal servant showed up at the shop. They also ate the same menu, beancurd jelly accompanied with deep fried breadsticks as they had ordered yesterday.Today, it was obvious that Shen Yu Bei was really here for the food, his eyes were normal except for the occasional glance at Zhong Ziqi.
Yesterday, because of his excitement, Shen Yubei did not taste the food in the shop carefully. Today, when he ate it again, it was really good, the taste was unique, no wonder it was so “hot”.
[Hot here means ‘popular’ or liked by many people.]
Hong Ying’s face was expressionless as he ate the chinese fried breadsticks. On average, he ate one a minute. Yesterday, Shen Yu Bei taste the food in detail, but Hong Ying ate them with relish. Yesterday, most of the food on the table went into his belly so he knew best how delicious it was.
Shen Yu Bei swept him a glance:
“Did the Shen family treat you badly?”
Hong Ying: “….answered the master, ….No.”
“Then, why do you look like you’ve never eaten in several lifetimes?”
Hong Ying immediately put down his bowl and chopsticks, as he wanted to stand up and bow to salute him, but he was stopped by Shen Yu Bei: “All right! Just eat your food.”
This time, Hong Ying slowed down and ate.
Besides that, Zhao Zheng’an’s initially good mood had been ruined by the two of them. But luckily, the man hadn’t done anything too much today. So he was reluctantly less hateful towards him, but …still, he wouldn’t let his guard down.
Unexpectedly, there was a lot of emotional roller coaster in this chapter, the feeling of regret, the feeling helplessness, the excitement of being able to see his nephew, and how he missed his brother. All of these, made me wonder how we human wanted so much to change the past.
But there was nothing left if we kept regret over things that couldn’t be changed.
Keep walking and find your own way.