Accompany by A Fool to Do Farming
Chapter 63: 巨额
[Large sum (of money) ]
“How come it’s so much? ” Zhong Ziqi cried out in surprise, this silver ticket was as much as 300 taels, how did he earn it?
‘Is it possible that …Is it robbery?’
~Sigh~Sigh~ Zhong Ziqi threw out the unrealistic thoughts in his head. He had thought that a hundred taels at most would be enough, after all, he had only taken twenty taels of silver when he left. Who would have thought that it would have doubled so much?
Zhao Zheng’an looked at him who was having a look of surprise and joy, his heart overflowing with satisfaction. Even if the journey was difficult or even if he met bandits and almost died (and across the yellow springs), he felt it was worth it.
[The Yellow Springs is the underworld from Chinese mythology / the equivalent of Hades or Hell]
Zhao Zheng’an did not want to talk to him about the dangerous things, so he only told him some interesting stories. For example, the shells and sea snails he sold and the many strange things he sold to make money.In fact, he would not have made so much money at once if it had not been for the generosity of the young masters of the aristocratic family. He was already giving high prices, looking for rich people to sell it to, yet, often, the rich young masters would give him the remaining large sum of money as a tip.
“Indeed rich people are willful!”
Zhong Ziqi shook his head as he listened, they, as the common people, would hate to be unable to break a penny into half to use but these rich people ‘squander the money recklessly’. Which money was not hard-earned by parents? Using his father’s words: get beaten up too lightly!!
It was not that Zhong Ziqi hates the rich, he was just feeling a bit emotional, because in his previous life there was no shortage of people like this, it could even be said, they all can be found everywhere. It was only now that he was living at the lowest rung (of society) that he felt how big was the gap between the rich and the poor. Besides that, those officials who are rich were only concerned with their own free and unfettered matters. How many of the officials really give thought to the common people?
Zhao Zheng’an carried the large and small bags he had brought back to the bed.
“What are these?”
Zhong Ziqi was curious and opened a box, which contained dried fruit of some kind.Zhong Ziqi took a look at its dark and shapeless appearance, hesitated for a while before he ate one.His eyes lit up as the sweet and sour taste was delicious.
Zhong Ziqi unpacked the mountain of things one by one like digging for treasure. Everything was inside, such as glutinous rice flour,pickled plum, dried fruit of some kind, snow-white pearls, all kinds of shells and sea snail conch. Surprisingly, there were also several yams, many other herbs that Zhao Zheng’an had heard were nutritious for the body, fruits, and so on. Anyway, there were a lot of messy things.
Zhong Ziqi was distressed and said: “You …. Why do you buy all these things? How much does this cost?”
Zhao Zheng’an smiled unconcernedly: “It didn’t cost much. These things seem expensive to us, but they are very common in the local area. Moreover, I go to home specialties to buy them. It’s definitely cheap.”
“Why do you buy all these medicinal ingredients? And this ‘miscellaneous stuff’ is useless too, isn’t it? I’ve never seen them before. Aren’t you afraid that you’ll eat it? ” said Zhong Ziqi, speechless.
“These are all good for the body. I’ve asked the doctor. Just put some in your cooking. The herbs are all very mild,there’s nothing that clashes with each other, they can nourish the body.”
Zhong Ziqi nodded and put his mind at ease. Otherwise, he wouldn’t dare to take such things as herbs indiscriminately.
Zhao Zheng’an took out another box, opened it,and inside the box were two wooden hairpins. These were the same two that he had bought in Yong Quan City:”Look at them, are they pretty?”
Zhong Ziqi nodded: “Pretty.”
He had no desire for such accessories.The one he was wearing now was the simplest of all, a worthless wooden pin without even any pattern on it.
However, he had never cared for such things.For those ‘rouge ornaments’ that Zhao Zheng’an had bought back, he could only sigh at the waste. He couldn’t stand the thought of applying it on his face. He would look like a ‘demon’ (youkai). The thought of a layer of powder falling off whenever he talked, was way too scary!
“I’ll put it on for you.” Zhao Zheng’an got up and took the hairpin off from Zhong Ziqi’s head, put the new one into his hair, stepped back and surveyed it, before nodding in satisfaction: ” It looked good on you! Wear it from now on ba!”
Zhong Ziqi touched the wooden hairpin and nodded. Anyway, the colour was simple yet elegant, so if he had to wear it,just wear it then!
“By the way, did you find out about ‘the divine doctor’?”
[shén yī 神医 : highly skilled doctor / miracle-working doctor]
Zhao Zheng’an smiled and scratched his head in embarrassment.
Zhong Ziqi immediately looked at him with a bad expression on his face, “You didn’t forget, did you?”
Zhao Zheng’an had indeed forgotten. He had inquired about it at first, but then he got busy here and there before he forgot about it. Moreover, he had gone to all the ‘secluded and out-of-the-way places, where could he find a miracle doctor?
“Forget it! Luckily, I’ve spoken to the little Uncle. He promised to help me look for it.”
Zhong Ziqi rolled his eyes and had the feeling that the emperor was not in a hurry but the eunuch palace was in a hurry.
[It is a metaphor to expressed the person concerned is not very anxious to deal with the matter, but the people around him are anxious and think of ways for it (slightly ridiculed or derogatory).]
Zhao Zheng’an, knowing that he was in the wrong, went over to curry favor and kissed him on the cheek.
At night, after a month and a half of separation, the two of them were on fire, naturally similar to dried firewood that came across with the raging fire. The two of them flipped over and rolled around on the heated brick bed in some kind of regular pattern of exercise, yelling and murmuring which occurred again and again.
The next day, no doubt, Zhong Ziqi woke up late again.He woke up when the sky was already bright. The house was extremely silent inside and out. Occasionally, there was the sound of roosters and the whimpering of Da Hei and Xiao Hei
Zhong Ziqi got dressed and got out of bed with some weak legs. He was not surprised to see Zhao Ning in the kitchen again, warming up the food.
“Hey, hey, you’re up!” Zhao Ning said.
“Where is he?”
“Your family Zhao Zheng’an has gone to town!”
Zhong Ziqi nodded, they could not have both of them at home unless there was something they had to do.
Zhong Ziqi washed up and sat down and began to eat the ‘early but not early, late but not late’ meal.
“Ziqi, tell me about it.” Zhao Ning asked with a starry-eyed look on his face.
“Didn’t Zhao Zheng’an tell you anything about what he saw and heard? Can you tell me about it too?”
Zhong Ziqi shook his head as he sipped his porridge, ” He didn’t say much but he did visit a few interesting places.”
Zhong Ziqi picked and chose some of it.
Zhao Ning listened as he was fascinated incessantly by it, “I heard that it’s warmer in the south and there’s a lot of delicious food there, isn’t it?”
“It’s true that the winter in the south is much warmer than here. Some places even have four seasons like spring.”
After Zhong Ziqi finished his talk, he looked at Zhao Ning whose face could not help but feel envy so he made fun of him and said: “How about… I ask my little uncle to find you a good match in the south? Let you marry there, so you can have a good look at what the south is really like.”
Zhao Ning believed it, and shook his head at once, thinking that it was real, hurriedly denying it: “Don’t …. I’m just asking, I don’t want to marry so far away. It’s hard to go back home. if I’m being wronged at my husband’s house, I don’t know who am I going to complain tearfully to?”
“Oh ….are you sure, there’s no other reason? For example… there is someone special.” Zhong Ziqi said in a deliberately mysterious manner.
Zhao Ning instantly burst into red and stumbled, “What … are you talking about? What…what someone special? What if someone hears about it?”
Zhong Ziqi looked like he had a sudden realization: “So someone who looks like he yearned for love all day is not having someone special yet? Then how about I introduce you to someone? I guarantee you the person is nice and the family background is also good.”
“Go eat your food ba! Even eating so much won’t stop you from talking.” Zhao Ning said angrily.
Zhong Ziqi smiled and shook his head.
After eating, Zhong Ziqi and Zhao Ning went into the room. He took out a box of rouge and some delicious food from the cupboard for Zhao Ning.
Zhao Ning’s attention was immediately drawn to the food. As he ate the food, he sighed in admiration, saying that the South was indeed full of delicious food.
Then he picked up the ‘rouge’ that Zhong Ziqi handed over and studied it again.
“Do you like it?” Zhong Ziqi asked.
“Like it. Is this from the south too? It smells so good! It’s even better than the one that Da Mei’s husband bought for him.” Zhao Ning said fondly.
Zhong Ziqi had heard of Da Mei, a distant cousin of Zhao Ning’s. Although he was married to a peasant household, that family’s condition was well-off. His husband bought him better accessories and rouge than ordinary people.
“If you like it, I’ll give it to you.”
Zhao Ning was shocked and hurriedly gave it back to Zhong Ziqi: “I don’t want it, this is what Zhao Zheng’an bought for you with great difficulty. I don’t want it, you hurry up and put it back!”
Zhong Ziqi smiled and handed it back to him, “Take it, I still have it. He bought two boxes. I don’t like to use it either, it’s useless to keep it here. Why don’t you take it?”
Only after Zhong Ziqi’s reason with him in every way possible did Zhao Ning happily accept it.
Zhao Zheng’an came back in the evening. He was surprised to see Uncle Huang’s son in the shop; he had always heard Huang Amu and Uncle Huang chattering about how good his son was, but had never met him. Yesterday, Zhong Ziqi forgot to tell him because he was too happy so when they (refer to ZZA & HJL) met today, they were both stunned.
Luckily, after Huang Amu’s introduction, they slowly became acquainted.
Zhao Zheng’an was an individual that easily got familiar with others and a great socialiser. At the time, when they were still at the pier,he was able to interact with others ‘as if a fish gets water‘. Not to mention Huang Jin Lei, within half a day, he got along (became familiar) with the somewhat ‘uncommunicative‘ Huang Jin Lei. They started to call each other brothers.
[如鱼得水 ( 如魚得水 ) rú yú dé shuǐ
like a fish back in water (idiom); glad to be back in one’s proper surroundings]
[沉默寡言 chén mò guǎ yán ; habitually silent (idiom) / reticent ]
“Brother Lei is a good person, straightforward and upright, although he talks less but we have a very similar personality.” Zhao Zheng’an had this evaluation about Huang Jin Lei.
“Yes, but you’re not the only one who thinks he’s good.”
“What does that mean?”
Zhong Ziqi said with a wicked smile, “I realized that Zhao Amu is always secretly watching Brother Lei these days. I reckon ah, I think Zhao Amu wants to tie the knot with Huang Amu’s family!”
“That’s a good thing! Brother Lei is a nice guy,also ‘know through and through’ (know the background), so it’s good for the two families to tie the knot.” Zhao Zheng’an said.
Zhong Ziqi said, “I think so too, but it hasn’t been decided yet. We can’t get involved in other people’s affairs.”
Zhao Zheng’an paused for a moment, changing the topic and asked, “Have you thought about how to use this money? Are you going to buy land on the mountain or open a restaurant and continue doing the business?”
Zhong Ziqi was caught off guard, he had thought about this question, too.It would be good to be a landlord, he could just rent out the land, just sit back and wait for the money to come in every year.
But opening a restaurant was a quicker way to make money, but it was also a very troublesome business.
For a while, he had a hard time choosing, so he had no choice but to put this issue to Zhao Zheng’an.
Zhao Zheng’an didn’t even think about it and said, “Choose both!”
Zhong Ziqi was speechless: “If we talk about the restaurant alone, it’s not sure if you can afford it. Even if you do, with the later expenses, how will you have money to buy the land?”
Zhao Zheng’an laughed, “When we open the restaurant, we’ll have money!” With Zhong Ziqi’s skills, would he still be worried about earning the money back?
Although Zhong Ziqi thought it made sense, in the end, after thinking about it,he still shook his head: “Let me think about it.”
It wasn’t easy for them to open the restaurant, after all there was still Jin Hua around, with his handicraft he believed he could steal half of the customers, but doing so was too that …
He (Jin Hua’s owner) had done him such a great favour before. Now it’s unseemly to turn around and compete for business.He’d better plan it out and think of a ‘one-size-fits-all strategy’.
[extremely thoughtful strategy and method]
“Okay, you think about it. There’s no hurry. Let me tell you one more thing.”
“What is it?”
“Our (maternal) grandfather, they’re coming.”
“Huh? When?” Zhong Ziqi opened his mouth, they’re not coming now, are they?
“At the beginning of spring, it’s too cold now. Little Uncle stopped him.” Zhao Zheng’an said.
Zhong Ziqi breathed a sigh of relief, if they came in the middle of winter, what if he did not serve them well?
The climate difference between the north and the south is huge, in case there is an illness or disaster, where can he find a doctor? The medical skills of the doctors in their small town were ‘very ordinary’. If something happened, what should he do?
“It’s mainly because Grandpa has suffered from emotional issue.Since he found out that Amu had passed away.He’s been depressed all day long. He felt guilty and blamed himself. If it weren’t for the very cold winter, the whole family would have come over sooner! The doctor said that if this knot in the heart is not resolved,his life will not last long.” Zhao Zheng’an said, sighing.
“What should I do then? In fact, my Amu never blamed him, although he didn’t often talk about his family.But he did say that my grandfather was a serious person who took everything upon oneself, responsible and good grandfather. He was deeply devoted to my grandmother and never changed his mind about taking a concubine. From this, it can be seen how my grandfather’s moral standing (character) is.”
Zhong Ziqi remembered the original body’s memory of his Amu, mentioning about his father who forced him, but there was no complaint on his face, only a strong sense of longing.
“There’s nothing I can do. I can only hope that the old man, himself, will get over it!” Zhao Zheng’an said, shaking his head.