Accompany by a Fool to Do Farming
[Act as Middleman]
After the baby’s one-month old birthday event, Zhao Zheng’an and Zhong Ziqi’s life returned to peace. The only thing that was not so peaceful was that their home suddenly became much more lively. The most common thing was the battle between Shen Mu and Father Shen to compete over their great grandson. Zhong Ziqi and Zhao Zheng’an were already used to this. Little Shu Yan was very well behaved. They were very relieved to put him under the care of his great grandparents. Only at night would they put the baby in their room since Shen Mu and Father Shen were old ; if things continued this way then they wouldn’t be able to sleep well at night because of all the noise, and their bodies would not be able to endure it.
A few months after the little Shu Yan was born, An Ning gave birth. An Ning’s delivery was much smoother than Zhong Ziqi, taking only about an hour to give birth. He gave birth to a big fat baby. Zhao Amu and the others were overjoyed. Zhao Sheng was particularly similar to Zhao Zheng’an’s state at that time. If he hadn’t been so tongue-tied, he would have been bragging about it everywhere too.
Zhao Sheng and An Ning’s son was also named by Father Shen. The villagers personally spread the rumour that Father Shen was a very knowledgeable great man. Most people subconsciously feel a deep veneration and respect everytime they see him.
Neither Zhao Amu nor Zhao Bao Gen could read or write.They could only come up with names such as Bao or Ping, which were too unpleasant to hear. So when they came up with an idea, they approached Father Shen. As the two families were close, they had already gotten to know Father Shen and Shen Mu quite well.
Since Father Shen and Shen Mu were about the same age as their own father and Amu, Zhao Baogen and Zhao Amu respected and revered them from the bottom of their hearts. Although they didn’t know what their status was, they felt that it didn’t matter anymore. The most important thing was that they lived here with them like ordinary people to eat, drink and be merry. It was enough that they never looked down on them as coarse country folks.
Father Shen eventually gave Zhao Sheng’s child the equally beautiful name of Zhao He Rui, hoping that the child would not be too naive and uncommunicative as his father, he would be gentle but with a sharp mind.
Zhao Sheng and An Ning both thought it was a good name and had a good meaning so their child name was settled on Zhao He Rui.
Zhao Amu even specially came to ask Zhong Ziqi if he wanted to make the arrangement for the infant matrimony, since the two families were so close, it was reasonable to say that was a good idea for their children to get engaged so it would make their relationship even closer.
Zhong Ziqi refused without even thinking about it. He didn’t want their children to be tied down by an arranged marriage, just like his Amu and just like this original body. This was significant material for teaching the child by bad example. Thus, he wanted his child to find his own, to find someone where both sides were willing and where both treasure each other, not to follow in the footsteps of the last generation.
Shen Mu and Father Shen agreed with Zhong Ziqi’s decision. Having experienced what happened to their elder ger’s son, they already understand that everything cannot be forced.Their descendants possess their own happiness. Therefore there was no need for them to get involved, otherwise it would have backfired and the consequences would have been unthinkable.
In bed, the little cutie Shu Yan is unaware that his relatives have already thought about his future.He is now lying in bed, sleeping soundly, with silver threads hanging from the corners of his mouth, occasionally moving his little fleshy arms and going back to sleep.
It wasn’t long before Zhao Amu came with pleasantly surprised news. Zhao Ning was also pregnant, it was simply two happy events coming one after the other! Huang Amu now didn’t even let Zhao Ning work at the ‘quite delicious’ restaurant anymore. They let him stay at home and nurture his body, exactly as what Zhong Ziqi had experienced before when he was pregnant, living the life of a rice worm (fig.for parasite).
Although he was bored, Zhao Ning gladly endured the hardship1[甘之如饴 (gān zhī rú yí) : lit. as sweet as syrup (idiom, from Book of Songs); to endure hardship gladly / a glutton for punishment]. It was only because Huang Jinlei’s unlimited doting on him had him deeply engrossed in it.
At the time when little Shu Yan was six months old, Zhao Zheng’an decided to move the ma hua and you tiou workshop back to Zhao Jia’s village. They would do it here, at the stewed meat workshop. The workshop was so large that it only took up half of the space so the other half was perfectly fit for Zhao Xuemei to make the ma hua.
[麻花 má huā : fried dough twist (crisp snack food made by deep-frying plaited dough)]
[油条 yóu tiáo : you tiao (deep-fried breadstick)]
Moreover since those restaurants in the town have to come to Zhao Jia Village every day, this way, it would not be so troublesome in the future too.
But the one thing that let Zhao Zheng’an notice something was definitely wrong with Wang Jicheng, Wang Jicheng seemed to be a bit off. If at first he could explain it by saying that he couldn’t bear to leave the town, after a while, his inability to leave was all bullshit.
There must be something going on with Wang Jicheng. As a subordinate, he could brute anyone, but he could never hide anything from his master.
So on this day, Zhao Zheng’an simply approached Wang Jicheng straight away: “I see you’ve been absent-minded lately. Is there something wrong?”
Wang Jicheng was startled and hurriedly bent over, cupping both of his in obeisance: “Young master, this subordinate is fine. I am sorry that I made you worry.”
“Uncle Cheng, if you have something to say, just say it, if you hide it like this, I might think of something bad.”
Wang Jicheng heard that the situation was so serious so he dared not hide anything anymore and immediately told the truth.
It turned out that Wang Jicheng had someone he liked. This person, Zhao Zheng’an knew him too. Exactly, it was Zhao Lan who was working at the ‘Quite Delicious’ restaurant, so Wang Jicheng was reluctant to leave the town which was very close to Zhao Lan.
Zhao Zheng’an was silent for a long time before he asked helplessly: “Since when? What does Lan Ge think about this?”
Whatever human minds intend to do, Heaven decided the end, unexpectedly, the spring time has come for Wang Jicheng.
Wang Jicheng rubbed his head and foolishly smiled: “It’s been a while. I also don’t know what Lan Ge’er thinks.”
How he met Zhao Lan and became acquainted with him, this was how it happened; Zhao Lan was in task of selling ma hua and you tiou at the town, at the ‘Quite Delicious’ shop. He got all his supplies of ma hua and you tiou from the workshop in town. He often went to Wang Jicheng’s compound to get his goods. Little by little, they became familiar with each other. The two were single and both had a ‘good impression’ on each other. As time went on, it was inevitable that their feelings would change.
But although Wang Jicheng knew what his feelings were, yet he didn’t know Zhao Lan’s. He also didn’t dare to ask him because he and Zhao Lan’s ages were so many years apart. He was afraid that Zhao Lan would dislike him… dislike him for being ‘the toad wants to eat swan meat’.2[It is a metaphor for people who have no self-knowledge and are bent on finding things that are impossible to obtain. ]
Zhao Zheng’an knew his way of thinking. He went home and discussed it with Zhong Ziqi in detail. Finally, it was decided that Zhong Ziqi would go and ask Zhao Lan what he thought of this.
Today, not long after Zhao Lan returned home, Zhong Ziqi came to see him. Zhao Lan was a little surprised to see him: “Qi Ge’er, why are you here?” Since Zhong Ziqi rarely came here.
Zhong Ziqi smiled, “Naturally, I have some matters that I want to talk about.”
“What is it? Let’s go inside and talk.”
Zhao Lan and Zhong Ziqi walked into the house together. Zhong Ziqi simply got straight to the point 3[开门见山/ kāi mén jiàn shān : lit. to open the door and see the mountain; fig. to get right to the point (idiom)]and said, “Lan Ge, you see, it’s not easy for you to live alone as a ger. Have you ever thought of finding someone?”
Zhao Lan was surprised that Zhong Ziqi would ask this question, he shook his head: “It’s also not bad to be alone, one person can eat to his fill and the whole family won’t be starving.”
“Lan Ge, you’ve been married before, you should know the advantages of having a man. Although that last marriage didn’t go as well as you wanted, we can’t let these scum families harm your next opportunity right?”
Zhao Lan naturally understood the meaning of his words. It was because he had gone through those painful experiences so he had some difficulties in trusting people and was resistant to interacting with strangers.
“Forget it, Ziqi, I’m a ger that divorce once, who dares to want me? Even if I were to marry him, I’d probably be looked down upon.” Zhao Lan said.
“Don’t be in such a hurry to deny it. First, listen to who I’m introducing you to.”
“Who is it?”
Zhong Ziqi laughed ‘He he!’ : “This person … is Uncle Cheng.”
Zhao Lan froze for a moment: “What does that mean?”
“It literally means like that. Our Uncle Cheng is honest and capable, not a narrow minded person. Moreover he is also a resolutely unwavering person. The most important thing is that he no longer has a father or mother so you completely don’t have to worry about being disliked for being looked down upon if you get married to him later. The only thing that doesn’t match is the age difference between you two, I wonder if you can accept it?”
Zhao Lan sat in his chair and stared forward in silence.
Zhong Ziqi asked: “Lan Ge, what are you worried about?”
“I … I’m not ready yet.” Zhao Lan said, after that failed marriage, he was really a bit scared. Even though he knew that Wang Jicheng was definitely a good person, he just didn’t dare to take that step yet.
“What do you need to prepare for? You and Uncle Cheng often get in touch with each other. You should know what kind of person he is. He will definitely treat you well. Don’t hesitate and run away anymore! You two should try to know each other more, if it really doesn’t go well, you guys could just split up and be done with it.
It’s not going to be a problem. You ah, some of the things you should just let go. If you don’t start to move on, others of course won’t be able to come in either.”
Zhao Lan thought for a while in silence, he had to admit that Zhong Ziqi had said a lot and it was right. He really couldn’t walk out of that shadow. He felt terrible even thinking about it. It was just that after so many years had passed, he should probably start and try to accept someone.
“So … does he agree?” Zhao Lan asked hesitantly.
Zhong Ziqi saw there was still a chance so he immediately replied happily : “Uncle Cheng naturally agrees, otherwise I wouldn’t come too.”
Zhao Lan nodded his head. For a moment, he did not know what to say.
Zhong Ziqi got up with understanding, leaving him time to think alone: “Lan Ge, I’ll go back first. I’ll give you a day off tomorrow, so you and Uncle Cheng can go out for a walk and interact with each other.”
“… Okay.” Zhao Lan reacted half a beat slower and said. By the time he came back to his senses, Zhong Ziqi was already far away.
In the afternoon, Zhong Ziqi returned home, Zhao Zheng’an immediately asked : “How did it go? What did Lan Ge say?”
Zhong Ziqi glanced at the little Shu Yan who was sleeping soundly. He touched his clenched fist and said in a low voice: “It’s done. Lan Ge has agreed. Tell Uncle Cheng to go take a walk in the town with Lan Ge tomorrow. Tell him to buy something nice for Lan Ge and don’t be too uncommunicative.”
Zhao Zheng’an nodded: “I’ll go and tell him right now.”
“Go then!” Zhong Ziqi nodded.
Wang Jicheng heard that Zhong Ziqi had arranged it for him, he was so happy that he wanted to kneel down and kowtow (with head-banging on the ground) twice to the two young masters but Zhao Zheng’an and Zhong Ziqi didn’t like it.
The next day, early in the morning, Wang Jicheng left with Zhao Lan. Zhong Ziqi was not worried at all about the two of them. He felt that with their nature and situation, they should be able to turn well because Zhao Lan obviously had a good impression toward Wang Jicheng. As long as there was a favorable impression, their development would continue to turn out well.
Just as expected, when Wang Jicheng returned from town in the afternoon, he couldn’t stop grinning. The progress was clearly still within the effective rate and this was worthy to be celebrated.
1 chapter more before this novel’s translation is complete.
Thank you for your support, hope you guys enjoy reading it
- 1[甘之如饴 (gān zhī rú yí) : lit. as sweet as syrup (idiom, from Book of Songs); to endure hardship gladly / a glutton for punishment]
- 2[It is a metaphor for people who have no self-knowledge and are bent on finding things that are impossible to obtain. ]
- 3[开门见山/ kāi mén jiàn shān : lit. to open the door and see the mountain; fig. to get right to the point (idiom)]