Accompany by A Fool to Do Farming
Chapter 56: 商量 (Discuss)
That night, Shen Yu Bei stayed overnight at their house. There were only two bedrooms in the Zhao family’s ancestral home, one was occupied by Zhong Ziqi and Zhao Zheng’an while the other room was naturally given to Shen Yu Bei and his servants.
The room where Shen Yu bei stayed for the night had the ‘huo kang’ (Heated brick bed) which was used by rural people in winter. It was no problem for two or three people to squeeze in there. Zhong Ziqi brought the quilt over and laid it out carefully.
As for how the two of them were going to sleep afterwards, that was not their business.
[Pic of Huo Kang= Heated brick bed]
There was no entertainment in the night so they said ‘good night’ to each other and went to their respective rooms for an early night’s rest.
Zhong Ziqi undressed and got into bed. As he shivered, he burrowed into Zhao Zheng’an’s warm arms and said, “Our house is a bit old, do you think we should build a new one? In the future, when we have guests at home, they can also stay in it.”
Zhao Zheng’an yawned and placed his chin on his head, saying in a soft voice, “Well, it’s good to build one. This house is too old and can’t bear it, in case of a natural calamity or man-made disaster.”
If there was an earthquake, or a rainstorm, their house would definitely fall down.
“It’s getting cold now. It’s going to be winter soon. We’ll have to build it next spring when the snow and ice have melted.”
“Then we’ll build it next year, there’s no hurry.”
In the middle of the night, Zhong Ziqi was half asleep when he suddenly felt a bit cold. He subconsciously rubbed against Zhao Zheng’an’s side, but was not comforted.
He opened his eyes in a daze, through the blurred moonlight, he saw Zhao Zheng’an was panting and sweating with his face turned towards him.
All at once, Zhong Ziqi’s sleepiness ran out.
“Got another headache?”
Zhong Ziqi asked gently, lifting his hand to gently massage several acupuncture points on his head, which he had specially learned from the old doctor. The old doctor was helpless ( 束手無策) with Zhao Zheng’an’s case so he could only teach Zhong Ziqi how to massage at a few important acupuncture points.
[束手無策 shù shǒu wú cè: lit. to have one’s hands bound and be unable to do anything about it (idiom); fig. helpless in the face of a crisis]
Zhao Zheng’an’s voice was a little weak. Each of his headaches lasted for about five minutes, which looked and felt short, but only those who endured the pain knew how long it was, it was like going to split his head in two.
“It looks like we still have to find that miracle doctor as soon as possible.” Zhong Ziqi muttered.
Hong Ying, who had been lying straight next door, sat up silently, his ears pricked up, not knowing what he was listening to.
“What’s wrong?” Shen Yu Bei narrowed his eyes at Hong Ying who was not far from him.
“Answering master, this subordinate heard a sound next door.”
“No one came in, right?”
“Then don’t bother.”
It was probably the young couple doing something … Shen Yu Bei yawned, this was the first time he had slept on this hard heated brick bed and he was a little uncomfortable sleeping.
After Hong Ying made sure there was no problem, he lay back down again.
The next day, Zhong Ziqi woke up before dawn. He didn’t wake Zhao Zheng’an up, he simply washed up, opened the door and went to Zhao Amu’s house.He told him about today’s events, that he would probably not be able to go to shop today as well.
Zhao Amu nodded understandingly, knowing that they had a guest at home.
“Ziqi, who exactly is coming to your house?” Zhao Amu asked. Since it was getting late, they had to go to town.
“It’s my Amu’s family who came over. The person who came is none other than my Amu’s brother, my biological uncle.” Zhong Ziqi subconsciously did not say that this person was the one who often went to their shop, by the first glance, it was, that two people of extraordinary status.
“Your Amu’s mother’s family came looking for you? Are they looking for you by their own accord?”
“Yes, by their own accord. If they hadn’t come, I wouldn’t have known there were such relatives.”
After all, his Amu had only made a light passing reference to his grandfather’s family without ever going into detail, so he lived to say that the original body had never cared in his mind either.
“So what does that uncle of yours’s family do? Are they also ordinary folk?”
“The family only does some small business.”
Zhong Ziqi said modestly, he didn’t want to tell others too much about how great this uncle of his was, he didn’t have that much vanity and didn’t need to accept the admiring glances of others to follow him.
“Ya, that’s impressive.” Zhao Amu was so surprised that he couldn’t close his mouth, then he whispered to Zhong Ziqi, “Ziqi, it’s impossible for you to make friends with the Zhong family anymore, but you must make good relations with this uncle, so that he can help you with anything in the future,one can’t have no relatives at all.”
“Yes, I know.”
“It’s late, I have to go, let’s talk when we have time.” Zhao Amu said as he looked at the sky, which was beginning to light up.
“Well, I’ll be off then, Amu.” Zhong Ziqi waved his hand and went home.
When he arrived home, Zhao Zheng’an was already up, picking up water from the well and heading for the kitchen.
“What have you been doing?” Zhao Zheng’an came out of the kitchen with a bucket of water, just in time to see Zhong Ziqi coming back from outside.
“I went to Zhao Amu’s house and told him that I wouldn’t be going today either.” Zhao Zheng’an nodded and put the bucket away.
“You go and rest for a while longer! I’ll go and cook.”
In the past, he had to get up early because he had to go into town, so it was rare that he could sleep in today.
“No, I’m not sleepy! I’ll help you burn the firewood.”
Zhao Zheng’an shook his head and refused. He was not a lazy person, and usually did not laze around to take a nap unless he was very tired.
When Zhong Ziqi’s meal was about to be ready, Shen Yu Bei and Hong Ying walked over slowly and leisurely but if you look closely, there were still very heavy dark circles under their eyes.
“You’re up, little uncle! Why don’t you sleep more?”
Shen Yu Bei smiled helplessly: “No more sleeping! I got up a little late today.”
Usually he would get up a bit earlier than this time, last night he had insomnia due to not adapting to the new place so he only fell asleep in the latter half of the night, which is why he got up late.
“You two are up early enough, even breakfast is ready.”
“We’re used to it. Usually we have to go into town early to open for business, so even though we’re resting, we can’t sleep when it’s time.”
Zhao Zheng’an said, standing up and pouring a basin of hot water for Shen Yu Bei to wash his face.
“Little uncle, did you sleep well last night?” Zhong Ziqi asked as he glanced at Shen Yu Bei.
Shen Yu Bei bent down, lifted up the warm water to wash his face, chasing away his drowsiness. His nose smelled the aroma rising from the pot, the occasional cries of the chickens and dogs in the courtyard,and the magnificent view of the mountains in the distance, he suddenly felt that this kind of leisurely life was indeed good.
For breakfast, Zhong Ziqi didn’t make it too greasy, but made a pot of rice porridge, some rice in case someone didn’t like porridge, some eggs and a few small dishes.
It was obvious that Shen Yu Bei’s heart was won over. He ate comfortably, drinking several bowls of congee in a row, which relieved Zhong Ziqi, who was afraid he had made it too unpresentable.
“I’m going back to Jiang Nan Ping Yang tomorrow. Do you guys want to come with me?” Shen Yu Bei looked at Zhong Ziqi: “Your grandpa and grandma must want to meet you too.”
Zhong Ziqi thought for a moment and shook his head, “No need, Little Uncle! Look, I really can’t get away right now, so why don’t we wait until there’s time.”
“All right then! When I come next time, I’ll take you back.” Shen Yu Bei did not force the matter, giving him time to think it over.
“Okay.” Zhong Ziqi nodded his head and agreed.
When they finished eating, Zhong Ziqi got up to clear the table and went to the kitchen to wash the dishes.
Zhao Zheng’an sat on the chair and hesitated for a moment: ” Little Uncle…”
“En? What’s the matter?”
“En…” Zhao Zheng’an had a difficult look on his face, not knowing how to say it.
“If you have something to say, just say it.”
“Little Uncle, can I… can I learn how to run a business with you?” Zhao Zheng’an hesitated for a moment and said.
Shen Yu Bei was surprised: “En? Learn how to do business with me? That’s fine! But I’m going back to Ping Yang tomorrow, so I can’t teach you.”
“Unless …… you go back with me.”
“I’ll think about it.” The thought flashed through Zhao Zheng’an’s mind, but not yet, he had to discuss it with Zhong Ziqi first.
“Well, think about it,then come back and talk to me.”
Shen Yu Bei was quite positive about Zhao Zheng An. He had been in contact with him for a while, he felt that he was different from the average mountain villager, not awkward nor slow-speech, smooth and evasive when dealing with problems, also very clever. The important thing is that he has a sense of responsibility and a heart for progress. For these reasons alone, he could be confident in handing over Zhong Ziqi to him. Otherwise, if he were to be an opportunist or the type of person who tried to evade work and responsibility, he would have to take Zhong Ziqi back no matter what.
Zhao Zheng’an got up and went to the kitchen. Zhong Ziqi was standing near the stove, brushing the dishes. Zhao Zheng’an walked over to him, hugged him from behind and pressed himself against his waist.
Zhong Ziqi first stiffened, then relaxed his body: “In broad daylight, can you not be so…”
Zhao Zheng’an interrupted him, “Ziqi, can I discuss something with you?”
“What is it?”
Zhong Ziqi asked sideways, rarely hearing Zhao Zheng’an call him by his name in such a serious manner.
There was a silence behind him.
“What’s wrong? Is something wrong?” Zhong Ziqi asked, a little uneasy.
“Oh, then you do tell me.”
“I…I…I want to go to the south [Nan Fang] with Little Uncle.” Zhao Zheng’an said with his eyes closed.
The bowl in Zhong Ziqi’s hand fell back into the basin with a snap, splashing a large pool of water but Zhong Ziqi didn’t care, he ‘ooh’ as he turned around and looked at Zhao Zheng’an with sharp eyes:”Say it again!”
Zhao Zheng’an was prepared for many kinds of reactions from Zhong Ziqi: “I want to go to the south with the little uncle. You, don’t panic, listen to me! You know how lucrative it is to run a business nowadays. We can’t rely on you alone to support our family. I’m the man. Uncle has a big business in the south, so I’ll go with him and learn from him. They have a special team. I’ll go with him to learn and make some money so later you won’t have to work so hard, I’ll earn money to buy you a big restaurant and you’ll be the boss.”
“Painted pie to feed the hungry.
What if you don’t make any money?”
[画饼充饥 ( 畫餅充飢 ) : huà bǐng chōng jī
lit. to allay one’s hunger using a picture of a cake / to feed on illusions (idiom)]
Zhong Ziqi deliberately poured cold water on him. His heart felt uncomfortable therefore he didn’t want Zhao Zheng’an to leave his side. He had no one in this world that he could rely on and turn to. It was not easy for him to finally have someone he loved the most so he could not bear the loneliness of being apart, even if it was only for a short time.
“Who do you think am I, your husband? I am a man of good fortune. How can I not make money? I don’t talk about the long term, but a trip as a dealer will make a lot of money, at least it is enough for our family to spend for years.”
“There are also those who lose money. If you lose money once, you’ll lose everything.”
The most important thing about running a business is the eye and the brain. Those who combine the two, they will make a fortune, otherwise, a short-sighted person will invest his money in things of little value and often lose his money.
“Don’t throw cold water on me!”
Zhao Zheng’an grabbed his face helplessly:”I only need a little capital money, that’s all. More than that, it’ll be what I will earn.If the result is the opposite, I can’t lose much either. At worst I’ll come back and let you raise me. Who told you to be so capable? ”
“Who wants to support you?” Zhong Ziqi deliberately looked disgusted, then changed to worry: “But you still have a headache? What if you run into danger?”
This was his biggest worry, being outside was not like being at home, you had to be careful everywhere.
“It’s fine. Don’t worry! I can handle it. At the same time, I can also look for that miracle doctor you mentioned previously.”
Zhong Ziqi shook his head, not wanting to talk . He knew that Zhao Zheng’an was doing his thinking rather than discussing it with him. He looked like he was always ‘xi xi ha ha'(laughing and joking) and out of tune all day long, in fact, he was a man with a stronger sense of self-respect than anyone else, not in the sense that he had to save face, but in the sense that he was a man, a man who had to take on the life of another person so when he became a married man, he did not allow himself to be lazy. He wanted to support the family and did not want to make him, as a ger, run around and work every day.
To put it bluntly, he was a bit male chauvinist therefore he couldn’t stand being supported by him. Although he didn’t feel anything about it, he could understand his restlessness and his agitation. However, he couldn’t ‘cry and weep endlessly’ like a woman to detain him from leaving (to urge him to stay), because he also knew that this was a serious business.
[大男子主義 dà nán zǐ zhǔ yì : male chauvinism]
Looking into Zhao Zheng’an’s earnest and expectant eyes, Zhong Ziqi suddenly felt that this was something absolutely necessary.
[勢在必行 shì zài bì xíng: circumstances require action (idiom); / imperative]
The next chapter will be a little of smut again