Accompany by A Fool to Do Farming
Chapter 8: 进山 (Into the Mountain)
After a meal, Zhao Sheng had already shed off his initial unfamiliarity. He knocked on his little brother’s head, saying: “Look at you! You can’t cook at all,whenever you cook, the frying pan ends up burned. If you have time, you have to learn from Qi Ge’er, so that later when you enter your in-laws’ house, you won’t be at a disadvantage.”
Zhao Ning said angrily when his older brother exposed him, “In your heart, my sister-in-law is the best, I know, as your little brother, I had to stand aside.”
Zhao Sheng scratched his head in embarrassment.
Zhong Ziqi watched with amusement as the two siblings bicker with each other,from time to time he was also interjecting, while Zhao Zheng’an was already sitting on a stool, dozing off.
It was getting late,with the remaining light of the summer night, Zhao Ning and Zhao Sheng went back to their home.Before they left, Zhong Ziqi brought a large bowl of vegetables for Zhao Ning to take back, it was for uncle Zhao and Zhao Amu to eat. Zhao Ning and Zhao Sheng both refused to take it, but Zhong Ziqi forced it on them and said, “This is not for you, this is for Uncle and Amu, it’s useless for you guys to refuse it! Hurry up and leave!”
Since Zhao Ning was unable to persuade him, Zhao Ning had to go home with the big bowl.Zhao Amu was just eating with Zhao Baogen. In the summer, dinner is late in the countryside, that’s why they can do more work.Seeing his ger return with a bowl, she wondered, “Don’t tell me after you’ve eaten dinner there, you guys still pack a bowl and bring it back?”
Zhao Sheng scratched his head in embarrassment, “Qi Ge’er insisted on bringing it back for you guys to try.”
Zhao Ning put the bowl on the table, opened it, immediately the aroma of the food reached the nose.: “Amu, dad, try it! Ziqi’s skill is excellent,even my brother and I are still holding up from eating it!”
Zhao Amu shook his head and said, “You’re no good! ( Useless!)” But he and Zhao Baogen still took a chopstick and tasted it, and it was just as his ger had said, even though he had been cooking for many years, yet he couldn’t even catch up.
Even the quiet Zhao Baogen gave a rare compliment: “It’s delicious! There is also quite a lot of oil in it.”
Zhao Amu nodded and said, “But unfortunately Qi Ge’er is still too young to know how to save, but I didn’t expect him to have such a skill.”
Zhong Ziqi cleaned up the dishes before waking up Zhao Zheng’an, who was sound asleep,then he wiped his oily face with a wet towel.Zhao Zheng’an was still in a daze and confused, so he just did as his wife pleased. After wiping his face, Zhong Ziqi helped him up: “Get up! Let’s go to bed! ”
“Oh,” Zhao Zheng’an replied dazedly, twisting and turning, heading for the bedroom.
“Take off your clothes before you go to bed!” Seeing that Zhao Zheng’an was about to fall down like this, Zhong Ziqi hurriedly pulled him back.
“Oh.” Zhao Zheng’an while his eyes closed, he began to pull on his clothes, his hands fumbling around for the buttons, like a drunken man.
Zhong Ziqi didn’t know whether to smile or to cry, he sighed before he helped him unbutton his clothes and take them off. Zhao Zheng’an closed his eyes, smiled foolishly and muttered, “My wife is so nice!” Thus he fell asleep.
Zhong Ziqi couldn’t help but roll his eyes, he didn’t care anymore. He went to the kitchen to boil some hot water for himself, too tired to take a bath,so he wiped himself before he also fell asleep.
The next day,they ate the leftovers from last night, which smelled good even overnight. After eating, Zhong Ziqi found that there was really nothing to do at home, so he wanted to go to the fields to see the three acres of land that he got after they had been separated from the Zhao family. In fact, he also wanted to go up to the mountains to see if there was any way to make money, but he didn’t know the way there, therefore he had to ask an acquaintance to show him the way.
The three acres of land belonging to them were considered to be lower to middle class fields, the rice grains were not as full as those of the upper class fields. He didn’t expect to make a fortune from farming. The three acres of land were enough for them to eat, later he would buy good land when he had money.
When he came home after looking at the land, he saw Zhao Ning wandering in front of his house: “Isn’t it hot? What are you doing here?”
Zhao Ning raised his hand, “I’m bringing you bowls, and by the way, Amu brought you some eggs.” Sure enough, there were two bowls filled with about seven or eight eggs.
“Eggs! Chicken,chicken! ” Zhao Zheng’an’s eyes lit up when he saw the eggs, he knew that they were laid by chickens and were delicious, although he had only eaten eggs once.
Zhong Ziqi said with a stern face, “What’s the point of bringing this? It’s not like we’re short of food, it would be better to keep it and sell it for money.” He knew the situation of Zhao Ning’s family, they were not rich,moreover Zhao Sheng was going to get married soon, which would be another expense, the family had five or six small hens that usually laid eggs, they could save it to sell in the county. Seeing that they gave him so much, it could be seen that Zhao Amu was a kind-hearted person, this kindness he accepted.
“Oh, you don’t have to be so overly careful with me, just take it! If you don’t then you’re looking down on me. Do you even still consider me as a friend?” Zhao Ning pretended to be angry.
“This ….then I’ll take it! “Zhong Ziqi had no choice but to accept it.
He opened the door, enter the house.
“What have you two been doing?” Zhao Ning asked curiously.
“We went to see the fields. Oh right! I want to go to the mountain to take a look, do you know the way to the mountain well?” Zhong Ziqi said.
“Of course, I often go into the mountains with my brother. Do you forget? At that time, I asked you to go, but you wouldn’t go, saying that your Amu didn’t allow you to go.”
Zhong Ziqi smiled awkwardly since in his mind,he had no memory of this: “Then will you take me into the mountains?”
“Of course! I know the mountains well, as long as we don’t go too far into it, it’s fine! I’ll call my brother too if you’re not sure.”
Zhong Ziqi waved his hand, “I believe in you so don’t need to ask Brother Sheng to go up to the mountain! I want Brother Sheng to help me to keep an eye on Zheng’an. After all, we can’t take care of him when we’re on the mountain.” He didn’t want to take Zhao Zheng’an to the mountain because he didn’t know the situation on the mountain well.
Looking at Zhao Ning, who seemed like having a good plan, it should be fine for him to go. He remembered that not long ago, he had seen a ger going up alone to the mountain.
“Fine! Approximately not a problem,I’ll let my brother come and help to watch him. So when are you going? ” asked Zhao Ning.
“How about after lunch?”
“Okay, your call! I’ll go back and let my brother know.”
Zhong Ziqi actually had an idea; Qing Shui Town was a town bordered by a canal which often had merchant ships only passed through here for rest and supplies, so the two docks north and south of Qing Shui Town were very busy and traders could be found everywhere.
This is what Zhong Ziqi had in mind.
He wanted to sell some food on the docks. With his unique handicraft, he was sure he could make money, but he would have to plan his preparations well beforehand.
After lunch, Zhong Ziqi calmed down the noisy Zhao Zheng’an for a while, before gratefully saying to Zhao Sheng, “Trouble and Thank you Brother Sheng!”
Zhao Sheng scratched his head and waved his hand, “It’s nothing, you guys go ahead! Be careful, don’t go too far!”
Only then did the two of them go up the mountain with confidence.
This mountain, if you look at it from a distance, you can’t see much at all, but when you enter, you will find that inside, there is a dense jungle, strange rocks, deep down, there is also an endless mountain range. It is said that no one has ever been there, nor do they know where it leads, but everyone knows that it is dangerous since all the big beasts are concentrated there and thrive in that deep place, which is why the villagers here dare to go up without fear, even if they encounter the most ferocious beasts, such as wild boars or young wolf cubs that have escaped by mistake.
Zhong Ziqi and Zhao Ning were walking through the jungle, one behind the other, carrying a basket on their backs, Zhong Ziqi’s eyes glancing around feeling very new. In his previous life, his hometown was inclined towards the plains, and the most he had seen was the grassland, so he had never seen a big mountain, let alone a jungle like this. It was an eye-opener for him.
He had been in the mountains for a while and had seen many things that sell for high prices in modern times, such as pecans, chestnuts, apples, wild grapes, prunes, etc. In modern times it would cost a lot of money for an ordinary family to eat fruit every day, but here it was everywhere, so he could eat it whenever he wanted.
But it is also because these things are everywhere that they become worthless, anyone who has a craving for them can go up to the mountains and pick some.
Apart from these, there were also a lot of bamboo shoots and mushrooms in the mountain, as well as black fungus which Zhong Ziqi happily picked off a large piece of, before he turned his head to meet Zhao Ning’s strange gaze.
[Notes on 木耳: known as black fungus Basidiomycotina, Layer Fungus, Auricularia: air saprophytic fungi. It generally grows on the dead or fallen wood of broad-leaved trees. The fruiting bodies are shaped like human ears or leaves, initially reddish brown, and dark brown after drying. It is almost black. It can be cultivated artificially with broad-leaved tree segments or sawdust. It is rich in nutrients ,can be used for medicinal purposes and it’s edible.]
“Er…what’s wrong?” Zhong Ziqi asked, puzzled.
“Ziqi, why are you picking it?”
Zhao Ning’s expression became even more odd: “Ziqi, have you forgotten that someone in the village had eaten it before,it was hard and unpalatable, it also caused stomach trouble for many days?”
“Er …” Zhong Ziqi scratched his head speechlessly, eating black fungus would become like this, that could only mean one thing,the way he ate it was wrong. He blinked his eyes, trying to figure out how to deal with the situation, “Xiao Ning, I read in a book later that it’s called ‘black agaric’, actually you just need to soften it first in water before eating it, otherwise it will be hard like you said.” Zhong Ziqi wasn’t really lying, from memory of the original owner, he was a literate one, such a rare one among the gers.
Zhao Ning remained sceptical,looking at the large pile of black colour fungus and admonishing uneasily, “Still be careful! We’re not short of food either, or else just forget it!” He also knew that Zhong Ziqi knew how to read and write because Uncle Zhong had been holding him since he was a child, teaching him to read and write. He had a lot of books in his room, and he could read them all smoothly, which made many of gers envious.
“It’s very safe! It’ll be fine, trust me!” Zhong Ziqi turned his hand to throw the fungus into his backpack basket as he continued his search. Occasionally he came across fresh mushrooms and of course bamboo shoots, which he and Zhao Ning had dug up.
Zhong Ziqi and Zhao Ning had been walking around the mountain for a long time, they had more and more things in their backpacks,thus they finally had to go back to their homes.
During his trip to the mountains, Zhong Ziqi had many ideas in his head and many ways to make money, all of them had something to do with food. It’s not his fault that he studied economics at university.He didn’t like the subject himself, but it was only because someone he likes enrolled in this faculty, that’s why he came along.Even after he started working, he was still involved in the industry, but it was useless to put it here.He doesn’t seem to have much to offer, apart from his cooking skills which are quite good.
There are indeed many practical things in the modern world that can be put here to amaze, but only if he can, and only if he has the resources and conditions to do so, otherwise there is no need to talk about anything.
In the evening, after returning to the home, Zhong Ziqi wanted Zhao Ning and Zhao Sheng to stay for dinner but the two said nothing,they did not stay but hurriedly left. Zhong Ziqi shook his head helplessly, knowing that they were afraid of adding to his burden.
Zhao Zheng’an, ever since he came back, had been around him, wandering around, and kept calling “Wife” from time to time. Zhong Ziqi didn’t care about him, letting him cling to him like sticky candy. In his opinion, he and Zhao Zheng’an had established a weak layer of trust between them, not the kind of trust where Zhao Zheng’an would do whatever he said, but the kind where he would trust him wholeheartedly even if he wasn’t around. The kind of trust that he will come back sooner or later.
Although this trust, nowadays, is still weak, from the last time Zhao Zheng’an waited for him to return with red eyes to today, when he’s not doing anything other than being irritable, it’s clear that there’s been a big change, this is what he would like to see. It’s not that he doesn’t want to take him with him and let him cling to him, but he can’t guarantee that there will be no any unexpected situations when they can’t be together, so he has to let him learn to calm down, but this is something that has to be done gradually,it is not possible to do it in one go.
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