Accompany by A Fool to Do Farming
Chapter 58: 见面 (Meet)
Zhong Ziqi looked surprised when he saw Zhao Ning. He immediately looked down at himself, fortunately he was wearing an inner cloth which Zhao Zheng’an should have put on for him while he was asleep, only then did Zhong Ziqi look up and ask him, “What are you doing here?”
“Your family Zhao Zheng’an asked me to come, saying that you are not feeling well.”
Zhao Ning was, after all, an unmarried ger therefore he was a little embarrassed to face such a scene. His expression was tinged with a blush.
Zhong Ziqi was also quite uncomfortable with him, especially now when his entire body was sore and he could not sit down any longer, so he had to lie down again slowly: “Zheng’an ne?”
He couldn’t have left, could he?
“He came to me so early in the morning and told me to look after you. He also said he was going on a trip so he asked me to come here and keep you company at night, is that true?”
“En, he’s going on a trip to the south.”
“What? The South?” Zhao Ning exclaimed, “What is he going to do in the south? How he will go there?”
Zhong Ziqi stretched out his hand to rubbed his waist and explained, “He’s going there with my uncle. My uncle has a small business in the south. Zheng An is going to follow him to learn a bit and to inspect the business opportunities.”
“Your uncle is in the south, huh?”
Zhao Ning had heard his Amu say that Ziqi’s uncle had come over. This relative was not bad, but he did not say where so he did not expect it to be so far away: “So they are leaving today?”
“En. They said they were leaving today. What time is it?” Zhong Ziqi asked Zhao Ning.
“It’s almost noon now.”
Zhao Ning said helplessly, actually he had come early in the morning, but Zhong Ziqi hadn’t woken up, so he didn’t have the heart to wake him up. He wanted to help him tidy up the house but he found out that Zhao Zheng’an had done everything that needed to be done, even before he left, he had made a pot of porridge, it was still hot in the pot!
Zhao Ning couldn’t help but envy their relationship. He wondered what his future half would be like, he would not ask him to be rich, but he must treat him well.
Zhong Ziqi didn’t think it would be already noon, he had slept so well. It was obviously too late to go to town now, they should have left too.
“Ziqi, are you hungry?”
Zhong Ziqi touched his stomach and nodded silently, “Is there any food?”
Zhao Ning smiled: “You wait,I’ll bring it to you.” Then he went out.
Zhong Ziqi slowly propped himself up, shaking out the clothes that were neatly folded on the bed and putting them on. He didn’t need to guess who had put them there. Although he was a man, he was a very attentive one!
[To differentiate man and ger, the original one used the word 汉子=han zi as a man, so basically Zhong Ziqi say that although Zhao Zheng’an is a han zi, he is a very considerate type]
In a short while, Zhao Ning walked in with a pot of porridge and a plate of small pickles.
“Huh? Did you make this?”
Zhao Ning hid his mouth and laughed: “This isn’t me, I’m not that thoughtful.”
Zhong Ziqi was stunned, then he knew who it was. His heart suddenly warmed up like the summer sun was shining inside of him.
“What about you? I remember there were still quite a few dishes from last night!”
Zhong Ziqi slowly sat down in his chair, adjusted his sitting for a moment, looked up and asked Zhao Ning.
“I saw it, it’s warming up in the pot. I’ll bring it over.”
Zhao Ning and Zhong Ziqi were not stranger to each other therefore when Zhao Ning was heating up the porridge just now, he had also heated up several delicious dishes together. Originally, he had to eat here today so since Zhong Ziqi couldn’t be bothered, he had to take care of what he would eat himself. He didn’t know how to cook, but he could still heat up the food.
After eating, Zhong Ziqi went back to the bed, while Zhao Ning sat on a stool near the table.
“What are you doing?” Zhong Ziqi asked, tilting his head.
Zhao Ning was holding a piece of blue cloth in his hand. Zhong Ziqi did not know what he was sewing.
“I’m embroidering a lotus bag.”
Zhao Ning raised his hand and showed Zhong Ziqi what was in it: “My Amu said that I should learn how to embroider a lotus bag and give it to my future husband when we get engaged.”
Zhao Ning was a little shy after saying that.
Zhong Ziqi took it and looked at it, and found that Zhao Ning had made a particularly beautiful one, with only half of the mandarin ducks embroidered on it, but it was easy to see how delicate they were.
“It’s very pretty, I didn’t expect you to be so good at needlework!”
He was completely incompetent in this area, usually just sewing clothes was barely passable, if he was asked to embroider something it would simply kill him!
“It’s still okay, right? I’m only good at this, I am hopeless at anything else.”
Zhong Ziqi handed him back his purse and said lazily, “We can learn if we don’t know how. You stay here with me and I’ll teach you how to cook.”
“Really? Okay then!”
Zhao Ning was naturally happy to do so. It was just as well, his Amu wanted him to learn how to cook from Zhong Ziqi, otherwise who would dare to marry him? For the countryside’s fellow, cooking and sewing were the most important things!
At this moment, a passenger boat to the south was docked at the pier in Qing Shui Town.
Zhao Zheng’an and Shen Yubei walked to the pier, one in front of the other. Zhao Zheng’an would look back from time to time.
“Didn’t you say he wouldn’t come?” Shen Yu Bei looked at Zhao Zheng An.
“En…he won’t come.”
“Then why are you always looking back?”
Zhao Zheng’an shook his head with a bitter smile . He just couldn’t help but look back, knowing full well the fact that the person would definitely not be able to get out of bed now, much less appear here. Obviously, they only separated recently but his heart was starting to miss him. His heart had an urge to not go to the south and just stay by his side, but his reason told him that since he had made a decision he had to carry it out to the end, not to stop half way!
“Let’s go, the boat is leaving soon! You will be back soon.” Shen Yu Bei patted his shoulder and said.
“En, let’s go!”
In the absence of Zhao Zheng’an, Zhong Ziqi was quite unable to adapt to it at first. As time went on, he slowly got used to the loneliness of being alone.
Oh, he said that ambiguously, he shouldn’t have said alone, because Zhao Ning was always at his house with him, eating and living with him at night.
During this time Zhong Ziqi had added a new product to his own – it was Mahua. He put a small amount of honey in it then it tasted sweet and delicious. It attracted a lot of customers at once.
[麻花= Mahua or Fried Dough Twist is a Chinese dough twist that is fried in peanut oil. It has a shiny and golden look. It is prepared in various ways with different flavors, which range from sweet to spicy, and usually has a dense and crisp texture.]
See Pic here:
Because of the ingredients used in Mahua, the price of it was naturally a bit higher than that of the Chinese Breadsticks. But still, the food was very popular among customers. Therefore it became one of Qing Shui town’s specialties. Many people from outside the town would come here to buy it. Since it would last for a long time, many people would buy a lot of Mahua at once, so it was a must-have item when they went out.
The owner of Jin Hua restaurant, Master Jin, even came to him to discuss the possibility of Zhong Ziqi supplying the restaurant with ‘Fried Dough Twist’ and ‘Chinese breadsticks’, but Zhong Ziqi refused on the grounds that he did not have the manpower and time for this moment.
If the restaurant was to be supplied with ‘Fried Dough Twist’ and ‘Chinese breadsticks’, it would be impossible to have too few. Only a few dozen for a day definitely would not be enough. Nowadays, even his small shop didn’t have enough to sell every day, let alone for the rest.
He couldn’t cope on his own so he couldn’t help but consider whether he should find a helper but he had to think carefully about it.
After a busy day, the harvest was the most enjoyable way to sweep away tiredness.
Zhong Ziqi and Zhao Ning returned home, simply ate their dinner then washed up and went to bed. He had no time to think about anything during the day, but before he went to bed, he would think about Zhao Zheng’an. He would think about how many days he had been gone, how he was doing in the south? Has he been tired? Has he made any money? Has he found any news of the miracle doctor? And…has he been exchanging flirting glances with other gers behind his back? These were the things Zhong Ziqi would wildly imagine about every night before he sent himself into the dreamland.
This day during his break, Zhong Ziqi chatted with Zhao Ning, who was standing next to him: “Xiao Ning, since Sheng Ge’s marriage engagement has been broken off, why don’t you guys find another one for him?”
After hearing what he had said,Zhao Ning pouted his mouth before he smiled and looked at his brother, who was so busy like a gyroscope: “It’s indeed already over but we don’t know what’s going on to that family, they come to my house every now and then, as if we were related. Moreover, every time they come to our house, they bring that ger with them. That ger always looks at my brother as if ‘he wants to talk but also a little embarrassed to say it’, it makes me sick. We’re both busy in town so we don’t really see much of each other, but the other day he found his way here.”
Zhong Ziqi was surprised: “Found his way here? How come I didn’t hear about it?”
“Two fried dough twists! A bowl of jellied tofu!” Someone shouted from outside.
Zhao Ning said, “I’ll talk to you later.” and went out with the ordered food.
Soon after, he came back and said to Zhong Ziqi, “Actually, we don’t know about this. Because my brother found out before he came in. My brother seemed angry and told him not to come to look for him anymore, that he would not marry him, let him find another person.”
“Then how did you know?”
Zhao Ning laughed ‘he he’: “We only found out after my brother accidentally blurted it out but my brother’s words seemed to have an effect, that ger didn’t come again these days but his parents still seemed to be not given up yet.”
Zhong Ziqi understood, after all, Zhao Amu’s family had made a lot of money in the past few days so their family had also become well-off, even if they were stupid, they would know whether they wanted the bear’s paw or the fish. It was just too late to turn back.
[Tl Notes: The bear’s paw and the fish are both valuable items, in the case where the two cannot be obtained at the same time then you have to choose only one.This saying comes from Mencius who compares life to a fish, and righteousness to a bear’s paw, thinking that righteousness is more precious than life, just as a bear’s paw is more precious than a fish.]
Let’s talk about Zhao Zheng’an, he had just arrived in the south not long ago. During the day, he went out with Shen Yu Bei to learn how to do business. He lived in the Shen family’s mansion during the night.
When he first arrived at the Shen family’s residence, the two elders of the Shen family summoned him to see him as soon as they learned about his identity.The two elders of the Shen family have some white hair but their bodies are very strong. Shen Fu (Father Shen), at first glance, looked like what Zhong Ziqi had said before, a very serious person while Shen Amu was a very kind old Amu with subtle eyes. But at this moment, his eyes were red and he had obviously cried a lot. Besides him, Father Shen clutching his cane with his hand tightly signalling that he was not at peace.
“Tell me what you know again.” Father Shen said in a deep voice.
Zhao Zheng’an glanced at Shen Yu Bei before he had to tell them about Shen Amu and Zhong Er Shu again, he was also mentioning his own marriage with Zhong Ziqi at the end.
But it was obvious that the old couple had omitted the rest of his words. Shen Yu Bei’s Amu began to cry with a handkerchief covering his mouth while Father Shen was like a deflated ball, even his back was bent a lot.
Although they had been unable to find news of their elder ger for so many years, they had always imagined that he was doing well in some corner.But in the end, they had never imagined that ‘the white haired man had to send off the black haired man’.
[白发人送黑发人 : basically it mean “to see one’s child die earlier than oneself”]
“It’s all your fault! You had to decide on a marriage for your elder ger, If not, he wouldn’t have died in vain like this.” Madam Shen said as he cried and complained.
“Yes, it’s all my fault.”
Father Shen mumbled and suddenly fell out of his chair, but fortunately, Hong Ying was quick to catch him.
“Father? What’s wrong with you, Father?” Shen Yu Bei picked up Shen’s father in panic as he patted his cheek.
“Old man, what’s wrong with you? Don’t scare me!”
Shen Amu also panicked: “I don’t blame you! Don’t take it to heart! Please wake up quickly! ”
Zhao Zheng’an was also startled by the series of events before him.
The doctor soon arrived, diagnosed that it was a ‘heart problem’, caused by a deep depression in his heart therefore if he could not untie the knot, he would not live long.
The doctor left some medicine to nourish his body and left. Zhao Zheng’an also didn’t feel good to stay any longer, so he went back to the room arranged for him by the Shen family.
Master Shen woke up the next day. Everything was normal on the surface, except that the knot in his heart could not be untied ‘overnight’.
[一朝一夕 lit. One morning and one evening= in short time/overnight]
Melancholy person will cry a little in this chapter, probably not.
Next chapter, finally ‘spring time’ for Zhao Ning?