Accompany by a Fool to Do Farming
Chapter 66: 买人
( Buy a Person)
[Warning Alert: Since the setting is ancient time so as the title said, it was still common at that time for buying a person. ( In another word, slavery)]
On this day, people living in Qing Shui Town noticed that strangers with horse-drawn carriages were always stopping in an obscure alleyway. After that, someone enters the alleyway. In a few moments, they put a few large wicker baskets of stuff on the cart and leave again with the carriage.
“What are they doing?” Someone asked, wondering what was in those baskets.
Someone familiar with the situation heard him, looked at him up and down: “You don’t come to Qing Shui Town often, do you?”
The man nodded at this and looked at him inquiringly.
“Have you ever heard of ‘Quite delicious’?”
“Yes, I have. It’s a rumour in our village that their You tiou and Mahua are really good! And the owner is extraordinary too!”
[Mahua: fried dough twist
You tiou : deep fried breadsticks]
“The owner is quite good. Doesn’t he set up a big yard that specially sells you tiou and mahua? The people driving the carts are all from the restaurants in the nearby towns. They come here to buy from here.”
The man shrank his neck after hearing that, he can’t afford to provoke these people so he better walk around and go away! Don’t bump into anyone!
Zhong Ziqi and Zhao Zheng’an stayed at the workshop all day. Zhao Xue Mei and others worked neatly and efficiently, they didn’t have any problems at all. The representatives from the nearby restaurants had been buying You tiou and Mahua since morning non stop. They also bought a lot of it.
Since it was a lot of money, Zhong Ziqi was so happy counting the money that he almost passed out.However, these two menus alone were still too few so Zhong Ziqi thought through that he would have to think about adding several kinds of menus in the future.
At the end of the day, Zhong Ziqi counted the silver. He had earned several times more than he had at ‘Quite Delicious’! At this rate, he would soon be able to earn his money back.
Zhong Ziqi was so happy that he cooked a table of good food for Zhao Zheng’an.But the result of it was that Zhao Zheng’an was so full that he sat on a chair and rubbed his stomach.
Zhong Ziqi was quite disdainful and said:”You’re no good!”
Zhao Zheng’an laughed ‘he he’ at the scolding, but it didn’t hurt and didn’t tickle.
[不痛不痒 ( 不痛不癢 ) : bù tòng bù yǎng
lit. doesn’t hurt, doesn’t tickle (idiom); sth is wrong, but not quite sure what / fig. not getting to any matter of substance / scratching the surface / superficial / perfunctory]
“Wife, tomorrow I’ll go to the human trader to buy someone and train him well, to be a steward. How about that?”
“Why do you suddenly want to buy someone?” Zhong Ziqi asked, puzzled.
“It’s because I want you to take a break and not to be too tired, okay?”
Zhong Ziqi shook his head: “Let’s decide on this later!” Although he wanted to stay home for the winter, it was a waste of money to buy a person. Moreover, he didn’t feel comfortable leaving it to someone else.People in this day and age were very good at acting one thing in front of people and another behind their backs.
“I’ll go and see. If there’s a suitable candidate I’ll settle on one. If not, then that’s it for now.” Zhao Zheng’an said after thinking about it.
“Wife, it’s getting late . Let’s go to bed and rest!” Zhao Zheng’an licked his face, came closer to Zhong Ziqi.
Zhong Ziqi looked at him with a black line. The Heart of Sima Zhao was well known by everyone. Although it was already dark, Zhong Ziqi estimated that six o’clock had not even passed yet. This guy is going to bed, does he think that he was the (second) fool?
[司马昭 ( 司馬昭 ) : Sīmǎ Zhāo (211-265), military general and statesman of Cao Wei 曹魏]
[The Heart of Sima Zhao was well known by everyone mean that Sima Zhao’s trick is obvious to everyone — an open secret]
“Aren’t you eating too much? It’s not good to sleep too early!” Zhong Ziqi said in a serious and sincere tone.
“That’s okay. Since it’s not good to go to sleep so early, let’s do some exercise!”
Zhao Zheng’an said shamelessly, after he finished talking, he held Zong Ziqi’s waist, hugged him and brought him inside.
Zhong Ziqi struggled endlessly, but unfortunately his strength was no match for him. In the rustling of cold wind only a feeble and pale sentence could be heard coming out from him: “…..You can’t do exercise even after a meal!”
But the words, already ignored by the excited someone.
On the next day, Zhao Zheng’an really went to the human dealer and looked for some.He just looked and looked but he didn’t like any of them.They were either behaving like a thief / furtive one or dull-eyed and silly, another type was the oily-mouthed and smooth talking ones. Zhao Zheng’an thought that if he recruited that kind of back home, he might play a lot of dirty tricks behind his back.
In the end, Zhao Zheng’an had to give up and planned to come back again later to have a look.
Time moved very quickly and in the blink of an eye another half month had already passed. The weather was at its coldest.Zhong Ziqi’s little workshop was getting on the right track. Zhao Lan had also already adapted to his work.
As Zhong Ziqi had guessed, when Zhao Lan’s father and Amu, heard that their youngest son, who had been kicked out by them was now working in town together with Li Zheng’s daughter-in-laws, they still had the cheek (shamelessly) to go to Zhao Lan’s house again.
They tried to get Zhao Lan to return by playing the card of affection. They also wanted Zhao Lan to get his sister-in-law to come over there and work with him.
Zhao Lan naturally refused.He was not obliged to help those who ‘hit a person who is down’, cold-hearted and cold-blooded on the name only family.He sort of saw through that how many people in this world can really be good to someone willingly and unconditionally? Even his own father and Amu were like this? How can he expect others to treat him well?
[luò jǐng xià shí 落井下石 : to throw stones at sb who fell down a well (idiom); to hit a person who is down]
Zhao Lan’s Amu was rejected and he looked terrible.
One day when Zhong Ziqi was on the way home, he didn’t know whether it was intentional or not, he happened to bump into Zhao Lan’s Amu.Zhong Ziqi said hello out of courtesy, but he didn’t expect that it would lead to a long conversation with Zhao Lan’s Amu.
Zhong Ziqi kept a smile on his face as he listened to his conversation, which started off with some trivial and daily life of a family but slowly moved on to Zhao Lan.
It was the first time that Zhong Ziqi had ever seen an Amu who spoke so sarcastically about his own family’s child. He recommended his own daughter-in-law instead.Zhong Ziqi deeply mourned for Zhao Lan for having such a family. At the same time, he interrupted Zhao Lan’s Amu’s non-stop chattering.
“Amu, I have to go back. The weather is so cold.I’m freezing, so I won’t talk to you anymore.I’ll go back first.” After saying that, Zhong Ziqi ‘slipped away’.
Afterwards, Zhong Ziqi told Zhao Lan about it as a joke.Zhao Lan only said sorry to him.There was only indifference left in his eyes.
Zhong Ziqi lamented that this world of valuing boys over gers had really broken the hearts of many gers!
On the twelfth lunar month, a letter came from Shen Yu Bei.He said that he had found a trace of the divine doctor.It was not in the rich and fertile southern part of the country nor in the powerful and enormous capital.Instead, it had taken root in an nothing out of the ordinary town in the northern part.No one in that town knew that he was the legendary doctor.He had only been in the town for a year but he was already a little famous.
He cured all the people around him including people who had any kind of illness or dubious or hard-to-treat cases. So there were many people who didn’t know he was the legendary doctor, but still came to him on account of his reputation.
At the end of the letter, Shen Yu Bei wrote down the address of the miracle doctor.
After reading the letter, Zhong Ziqi asked Zhao Zheng’an:”Have you heard of Pu’an Town?”
Zhao Zheng’an thought for a moment and shook his head: “No, I haven’t heard of it.”
“What about Yang Zhou City?”
Zhao Zheng’an nodded vigorously: “I’ve heard of Yangzhou, it’s not very far from the capital but I’ve never been there.
Naturally, I can’t find it either.”
“It doesn’t matter where it is.What matters is when we will go there?” Zhong Ziqi wanted to go there earlier as it was almost New Year’s Eve.He wanted to have a carefree New Year with Zhao Zheng’an without any worries.
“It’s …. unless I go alone.Otherwise, who will take care of the family?”
“Then what should we do?”
Zhong Ziqi said hesitantly after some thought:”How about ….You better go and buy a person! Pick an honest one.”
“Okay, I’ll go there tomorrow and check it out!”
The human dealer obviously still remembered Zhao Zheng’an, when he saw him coming, he greeted him very warmly : “Big brother, you didn’t get a good choice last time.Look again this time, I’ve got a lot of new ones here.See if you like anything.”
Zhao Zheng’an nodded his head and
He followed him into a small alleyway. There were all sorts of people inside,some standing and some sitting.
Zhao Zheng’an looked around carefully before he picked a tall and strong man with a fierce face. This man was about thirty years old. Probably because of the scar on his face, he looked particularly scary. But the occasional flash of naive and innocent attitude caught Zhao Zheng’an’s attention. He felt that this man couldn’t be judged by his appearance.
[It came from this idiom: 人不可貌相，海水不可斗量 :You can’t judge a person by appearance, just as you can’t measure the sea with a pint pot. ]
Zhao Zheng’an walked over and asked the man, “What’s your name?”
“I…my name is Wang Jicheng.” The man was obviously a little nervous.
“Where are you from?”
“From Zhong Zhou City.”
Zhao Zheng’an nodded, he had heard that the disaster-stricken this year was quite serious.
“How did you get this scar on your face?”
The man looked even more nervous: “It was cut accidentally in a fight!”
“Oh? What was the fight for?”
The man’s heart ached. It turned out that Wang Jicheng had indeed fled because of the disaster in Zhong Zhou City. He had no father or mother since he was young. He had married a wife early in life but he ran away with someone because he was too poor. This scar was accidentally cut from a fight with the adulterer. Just after the impulse, he had left himself an ugly scar. However, those two people had long since run away.
He suffered enough from the roll of the eyes (disdain or scornful look from others) because of the scar, when he went to look for a job he was driven away because his appearance was too frightening. In the end it was difficult to scrape a meager living and he fell into this kind of situation. Even the steward who came to buy the servant would not even look at him.
Zhao Zheng’an nodded at his words, then he asked him a few more questions, which Wang Jicheng answered honestly. Finally Zhao Zheng’an nodded in satisfaction, “He’s the one!”
Wang Jicheng was stunned, not expecting anyone to really be willing to buy him. Even the human broker was surprised because the scars on the man’s face was too unbearable terrifying when he looked at it
“Big brother, do you …. want to see the others?”
“No need. I chose him. How much?”
The human dealer stopped dissuading him when he saw he didn’t change his mind, instead announced the number. It wasn’t too high. Zhao Zheng’an also didn’t lower the price, handing over the silver taels and taking Wang Ji Cheng’s contract of selling from the human dealer.
[卖身契 : an indenture by which one sells oneself or a member of one’s family]
“Let’s go!” Zhao Zheng’an asked Wang Jicheng to go and follow him.
Wang Jicheng was nervous from the bottom of his heart but at the same time he was also glad. He looked forward to his new life.
“You’re back?” Zhong Ziqi was doing the maths when he saw Zhao Zheng’an coming back,he greeted him immediately. After he saw Wang Jicheng behind Zhao Zheng’an, he was also slightly startled.
“This is the man you bought back?”
“Hn, his name is Wang Jicheng. He looks quite honest, but he just looks quite scary.” After Zhao Zheng’an finished talking, he introduced Zhong Ziqi to Wang Jicheng : “This is my Fu Lang, from now on you will listen to whatever he says!”
Wang Jicheng nodded foolishly, “This little one understands.”
Zhong Ziqi scratched his head,as he realized it late,he thought of a problem: This person could not follow them home, not to mention, it was too show off. Moreover, there was no room for him to live in.
“What’s wrong?” Zhao Zheng’an saw Zhong Ziqi’s look of ‘find things difficult’.
“There’s no place (for him) to stay!” Zhong Ziqi said in a small voice.
Zhao Zheng’an was stunned and thought for a moment, “Why don’t you let him stay here? There is a small heated brick bed in this room so it’s not a problem for one person to live in. Aren’t you worried about what to do if a thief comes in? Let him stay here and look after the house.” Zhong Ziqi thought about it and agreed.It was a small place, but it had everything needed.
Wang Jicheng naturally did not have any objection, this place was much better than the place he was sleeping in now, so he naturally would not be choosy.