Accompany by a Fool to Do Farming
Chapter 62: 回来 (Return)
In a flash, almost half a month has passed. Zhong Ziqi didn’t have time to count down the time. He discussed the date (Zhao Sheng’s marriage)with Zhao Amu and the others, joined in the fun.
After almost a month of getting along with each other, both the Zhao Amu family and that Ger’s family were very satisfied with each other. Especially that ger’s family deeply felt that this was a meat pie falling from the sky. The main reasons were Zhao family’s family conditions and their family comparison with them was simply between heaven and earth. They were people from ten miles away and eight villages around here. They were also near the town, so the slightest whiff of trouble could be transmitted for several miles immediately.
[The literal words for it- 风吹草动 fēng chuī cǎo dòng : grass stirring in the wind (idiom)]
Their family knew about the Zhao family because their business was very popular in the town, but at that time they were just envious. They never imagined that the Zhao family would now be married to their own, which was a blessing they had ‘cultivated in a previous life’ for their family, An Ning,
Once the two parents saw that the two children were to have an affinity with each other . The two parties saw that the two children were on ‘I am willing and you’re willing’s terms’ so they decided and started to discuss the date for the marriage. It was already winter. Chinese New Year was only a few months away so the two families decided to get married before then. Although initially the ger’s family wanted to keep him at home for one last year to celebrate chinese new year together yet Zhao Amu said that the two families were close to each other, just one village away, he would let Zhao Sheng accompany An Ning home for the chinese new year. The An family heard this words therefore there was no reason to decline anymore.
[情投意合 qíng tóu yì hé; to have an affinity with each other (idiom) / to find each other congenial]
In the past few days, Zhong Ziqi was so distracted by this matter that he forgot about the day.
It was not until this day when work was finished, Zhong Ziqi and Zhao Ning were laughing and talking on the way before they returned home thus they discovered that the lock on the front door was missing.It was obviously still there when they left earlier, there was no way they both could remembered it wrong.
“Could it be a thief?”
Zhong Ziqi said warily, his eyes sweeping around as he picked up an arm-thick wooden stick. Zhao Ning also picked up a wooden stick in fear, followed Zhong Ziqi behind him, and whispered worriedly:”Be careful, Ziqi! If it’s impossible, wait for me. I’ll go back and call my father.”
The two gentle and frail-looking gers could not stop a strong adult man, not to mention the fact that they didn’t even know how many people were inside!
Zhong Ziqi also knew this reason, so he turned his head and shushed: “I’ll open the door quietly and see who’s inside. If the situation is not good, we will immediately run.”
He was hiding all his belongings in his room. No matter how generous he was, he would still feel distressed over it. It was his hard earned money with Zhao Zheng’an over the past few months.He didn’t want to underestimate anyone but he wanted to see who had the guts to steal from his house?
Zhong Ziqi took a deep breath and gently opened the door to a gap.He took a look inside and saw that there was nothing unusual. Da Hei and Xiao Hei were sleeping in the yard as usual.
Zhong Ziqi wondered, why Da Hei and Xiao Hei were so quiet?
It didn’t make sense ah!
It was known that these two dogs in their family are usually the most fierce. They would bark for the whole village to hear when a stranger came.
But now they were so quiet, not normal!
It’s so out of the ordinary!
Zhong Ziqi looked at the house where the doors and windows were closed tightly, bent an ear to listen carefully, but there was no sound of rummaging through the cupboards. He opened the door then, as he and Zhao Ning walked in quietly on tiptoe.
Da Hei and Xiao Hei saw that their master had returned, they ran over with their tongues sticking out happily but Zhong Ziqi hurriedly shushed at them, “Don’t make any noise!”
Da Hei and Xiao Hei did not understand, so they whimpered twice.
“Why is there no sound at all?” Zhao Ning tugged on Zhong Ziqi’s shirt and asked in a whisper.
“I’m wondering too.”
Zhong Ziqi cautiously pushed open the door of the room. The tables, chairs and tea bowls in the room were all neatly arranged as they were when they left.
It was not the same!
Zhong Ziqi’s sharp eyes found that one of the tea bowls had been moved. The floor of the house also carried a not very clear footprint, which led to the direction of the bedroom.
Zhong Ziqi listened sideways, but there was still no sound at all.He gave Zhao Ning a wink to indicate that he should stand back and be careful.
Zhao Ning nodded, his hands sweating from holding the wooden stick.
Zhong Ziqi also broke out in a cold sweat. His heart was very nervous. He held his hand on the bedroom door handle and took a deep breath. Zhong Ziqi slowly and quietly opened the bedroom door, just a small gap in the width of the palm of his hand.
But immediately Zhong Ziqi found a man lying on the heated brick bed. The man dressed in disorderly clothes, covered haphazardly with a quilt, his head facing inward while sleeping soundly. When he listened carefully, he could hear the sound of snoring.
Zhong Ziqi looked at the familiar figure and knew at once who it was. He pushed the door open with a sigh of relief, a little limp, and turned back to Zhao Ning and said, “It’s Zhao Zheng’an who is back. Don’t be afraid! “
Zhao Ning smiled, looked around and saw who was there if not Zhao Zheng’an.
He was relieved therefore the wooden stick in his hand fell to the ground with a sudden bang.
The three people were startled in the silent room.
That’s right, it was three people. Zhao Zheng’an arrived in Qing Shui Town at noon. He wanted to go to the store to find Zhong Ziqi, but he had to give up with a lot of things in his hand. He rented a carriage and went home.
He hadn’t slept well last night because he was so close to home. Now, when he returned home, he was suddenly relaxed and fell asleep on the bed without changing his clothes, washing his face or eating.
While he was sleeping soundly, he heard a bang and sat up with a start. He looked blankly at the two people who had suddenly appeared in the doorway, clearly not recovered yet.
Zhao Ning scratched his hair awkwardly: “Hand …hand slip.”
Zhong Ziqi couldn’t help but laugh, when he found out it was Zhao Zheng’an, he almost threw the wooden stick in his hand. He had thought that Zhao Zheng’an would not come back so early, but he had unexpectedly come back.
It was his brain that was not working.The only person who had the key to the house besides him was Zhao Zheng’an. For a moment, he thought that a thief had entered the house.If he had thought about it calmly, he would have realised that there was no such thing as a thief who didn’t rummage around? How could their Da Hei and Xiao Hei also be so quiet?
“You guys are back?”
Zhao Zheng’an yawned, finally coming back to his senses. He looked out of the window to see that the sky was starting to get darkened.
Zhong Ziqi took a look at the piles of things piled up in the house. He looked at Zhao Zheng’an, who was a bit haggard and bearded, and asked distressedly: “When did you come back? Why are you so haggard?”
Zhao Zheng’an got up and folded the blanket:”I haven’t been home for so long, so I slept for a while when I saw you guys weren’t back.”
Zhao Ning saw that Zhao Zheng’an had returned and it was not good for him to stay here any longer. He had to go back first seeing that it was getting dark outside.
“I’ll send you off.” Zhong Ziqi said and walked out the door.
“You don’t have to! It’s so close, what’s there to send me for? ” Zhao Ning waved his hand to declined.
“What if you meet some bad guys? Let’s go, I’ll take you to the center of the village! I won’t keep you for today. I’ll invite you guys for dinner later.”
Zhao Ning nodded with understanding. His husband had just returned therefore he must have something private to talk about, so he wouldn’t be in the way here.
[礙眼 ài yǎn : to be an irksome presence (i.e. sth or sb one wishes were not there)/ eyesore]
After sending Zhao Ning away, Zhong Ziqi returned home to find that Zhao Zheng’an had cleaned up after himself.He was back to his old clean and tidy self, not remarkably alike to the ‘old uncle’ he was just now.
When he saw Zhong Ziqi coming home, Zhao Zheng’an couldn’t help but go over to him with hot eyes and make out with him. If Zhong Ziqi hadn’t stopped him, Zhao Zheng’an would have done something that was not suitable for children.
“Tell me what you’ve been up to for these past few months.” Zhong Ziqi wiped his mouth and asked Zhao Zheng’an.
Zhao Zheng’an had not fully satisfied, smashed his lips and said, “Wife, I’m hungry! Cook me some food first ba!”
As soon as Zhong Ziqi heard this, he immediately got up and said, ” You wait here! I’ll go and make it right away.”
Fortunately, when he left in the morning, Zhong Ziqi had taken out a piece of meat that had been frozen at home and put it in the kitchen. It was already soft and tender by now.Zhong Ziqi was very efficient, in a short while, he had stir-fried two dishes.He was afraid that Zhao Zheng’an couldn’t wait longer so he didn’t make anything too fancy.
Zhao Zheng’an smelled the aroma of his wife’s cooking and gulped deeply.He was so used to his wife’s cooking that he felt uncomfortable eating the food outside. Even if he had eaten in the best restaurants, he had never felt that their food was better than his wife’s cooking.
The food was just brought to the table by Zhong Ziqi, Zhao Zheng’an was so eager to eat, Zhong Ziqi saw him eat well, his mouth could not stop smiling: “You eat slowly! Do not choke!”
“Mmm … Still your cooking is the tastiest and the most delicious.”
“It’s not that exaggerated.” Zhong Ziqi was in a good mood and also sat down to eat, unknowingly eating a bowl more than usual.
After eating and tidying up, Zhong Ziqi sat on the huo kang (heated brick bed) with Zhao Zheng’an and listened to him talk about what he had heard and seen.
“I used to hear people say that our country Da Ze is blessed by the heavens and has plentiful resources. At the time I used to scoff at them, but after this time, I realised that I was really a frog in a well.I have travelled through many cities and towns, some poor and fall behind, the others rich in resources.Like one town I visited, nothing could be grow there, half of the plants & crops would die and the remaining half would be dry and weak.”
Zhong Ziqi was fascinated listening to his words, “So what do they do (for living)?”
“Because most of the fields they live in there are full of stones, someone who is careful has found a particularly strange and hard stone that can create hard and sharp weapons, not worse than iron. Usually the people there earn money by selling these stones.
Zhong Ziqi thought in his heart, this was the answer to the saying that if ‘God has closed a door for you, but he will definitely leave a window open for you’.
“There is also a small town where there’s a plant that is said to be able to get rid of all your ailments and you’ll have good health if you eat it.But we don’t know if it’s true or not. It’s just that people there rarely get sick and they are as strong as the bulls.”
Zhong Ziqi nodded his head in understanding.In his previous life, he had heard of many strange plants, such as a town where newlywed women who stayed there for a year and a half would be able to conceive twins, but after investigation, it turned out that the plant produced there which the locals usually eat, secreted the kind of estrogen. The estrogen in the bodies of the women who lived there increased several times so naturally they could conceive twins.
There are many such cases so he didn’t think it was too strange.
“Oh yeah, look at this!”
Zhao Zheng’an pulled out a few pieces of paper and a few ten taels of silver from his arms.
Zhong Ziqi took them and opened up the papers, only to see that on the top of each piece of paper was written brightly ‘one hundred taels’. Only then did Zhong Ziqi realize afterwards that this was not paper.
It was clearly the legendary silver banknote!
[银票: banknote with a value in silver]