Back to the Countryside
Chapter 58: 赵家 (Zhao Family)
As the saying goes, ‘Scandals travel a thousand li, while good deeds always stay indoors’, within two days the He family’s scandal was known by everyone in Gushui Village. The villagers were all saddened by the news. From now on, they would cross paths regularly since they live in the same place, wouldn’t the family be embarrassed?
hǎo shì bù chū mén , è shì chuán qiān lǐ
lit. good deeds do not go beyond the door, evil deeds spread a thousand miles / a good deed goes unnoticed, but scandal spreads fast (idiom)]
He Ling, who was cooking, almost cut his hand off when Xu Hua told him about the incident. No matter what, he never thought those two would get together!
Xu Hua was so frightened that he hurriedly put down the vegetables he was washing, took his hand to make sure it wasn’t really hurt before he was relieved, “If I had known you would be so surprised, I wouldn’t have picked up this time to tell you.”
“It’s okay, I just didn’t expect it.” He Ling withdrew his hand and smiled at him. He hadn’t seen any ambiguity between Liu and He Gui before, so how did … that happen?
Xu Hua went back to the vegetable pot then he washed all the vegetables.
“Not to mention you, I was also surprised when I first heard it!”
He Ling shook his head and stopped thinking about it, concentrating on chopping the vegetables, “Forget about them, after all, it’s someone else’s business. It’s none of our business.”
“That’s true!” Xu Hua fished out all the washed vegetables and put them in the basket beside him, asking.
“Shall I simmer the rice first?”
“Yes,make the texture soft. Xiang Gong said that it’s not good for Uncle Xu to eat something soft.” He Ling nodded as he explained to him.
After Zheng Yuefeng returned that day, he was burned with anxiety and immediately went to find a craftsman to bring the smith to Gushui Village, the next day to renovate Xu Hua’s house. This made Xu Hus didn’t know whether he should laugh or cry .How can he say something like ‘the wind is the rain’?
[It means ‘you will do what have you said’
Literal explanation: The wind is blowing first then it rains,there are some intervals in between. It is used to describe a person who is quick to speak and to act.]
Since the house was going to be completely rebuilt, it was definitely not possible to live in it. At the same time, it was impossible for Xu Hua to follow Zheng Yue Feng to the town yet. Anyway, their house is big enough and many of the rooms are empty, since only two of them living in the house were also quite ‘cold and silent’.
Since Uncle Xu is the eldest, the other main room was given to him. One of the side rooms was given to Xu Hua.
Therefore the father and son were temporarily settled in their house.
[耳房 : ěr fáng / literally: ear room /an aisle / apprentice / side rooms]
After they came to live here, it would be much easier for Qi Yue to take care of Father Xu’s health. Every day, when he cooked medicine for He Ling, he would prepare an extra portion for him. He estimated that after they stay here for a month or two, Father Xu would be completely cured of his hidden illness.
The two lived in their house, Zheng Yue Feng could not have been more relieved. He brought a whole cart of rice and grain from the town and filled the back room of their house with grain, and said with a pat on his chest that if there was anything he wanted to eat, he would bring it over from the town.
“Ever since we met, we have always caused you trouble!” Xu Hua heard his words and had a moment of emotion in his heart.
“Don’t you say that!” He Ling stopped chopping vegetables and turned to look at him, “I’m glad you’ve come to stay with us. When Xiang Gong and I lived alone earlier, it wasn’t as lively as it is now.”
The two of them living in such a big house was cozy, but it was a bit cold and quiet, but it was different with the two of them.
In addition, Zheng Yue Feng and Zheng Yue Yan, the amusing siblings, often came here. Their family’s empty yard doesn’t seem to be that big anymore.
“Besides ……” He Ling’s tone changed and he winked at him prodigiously, “The food that your family’s one stuffed over is enough to last a year,so we’re not at a loss.”
Xu Hua’s face reddened at his words, as he turned away in shame to get some rice to wash. He left him with a backward glance, “You’ve learned to be bad!”
He Ling was so happy that his hands were much lighter in chopping vegetables, no wonder his Xiang Gong always liked to tease him. Because it did feel very good to tease people.
Today was the wedding day of the eldest grandson of the Zhao family, their family was a wealthy family in Gu Shui village, also considered to be an old household in the village. They had a certain prestige so the invitations were sent to almost every family, naturally there were very many people there.
Qi Yue and his family went together with the Lin family, as they were already familiar and lived close to each other, so they had to go together.
From a distance, they could hear their family’s gongs and drums. All the noise was a celebration so they didn’t need to look to know that there were many people there.
The bridegroom is wearing a big red dress, smiling with a face full of joy. The one standing next to him was a little older man. His name is Zhao Yongfu, the eldest son of the Zhao family.
The oldest son of the Zhao family definitely had read some books. He had some ideas for naming his children. He had four sons, each of them was named with ‘Fu Shou An Kang’ (福壽安康) with the word ‘Yong'(永) in the middle, implicated ‘永久’ (eternal) .
[福寿 fú shòu : happiness and longevity
安康 ān kāng : good health]
For his six grandsons, he used the name ‘文武雄才禄仕/Wen Wu Xiong Cai Lu Shi’, with the word ‘Cheng(成)’ in the middle, therein for his three and one granddaughters and ger, he used the name ‘Mei Lan Zhu Ju’, with the word ‘Ruo’ in the middle, all with the anticipation that his next next generations will have their own good luck.
[ Tl notes: if you curious what the names mean, here’s the list:
文武 (wén wǔ) : civil and military
禄 (lù) : good fortune / official salary
仕 (shì) : to serve as an official
才 (cái): talented/capable
雄 (xióng) : heroic
成 (Cheng) : to succeed / to finish / to complete / to accomplish / to become
梅 (méi): plum flower
蘭 (lán) : orchid
竹 (zhú) bamboo
菊 (jú) :chrysanthemum
若 (ruò) :to seem / like / as / if]
Today’s wedding was the eldest grandson, Zhao Chengwen’s wedding. He was given this name as he had been educated since he was a child. Now, he works as an accounts officer in a small shop in town.He looked somewhat refined and polite in manner.
“Welcome, Old brother Lin, Old (little) Brother Xu, and Qi Xiao Zi!” When he saw the couples coming together, Zhao Yongfu greeted them with his son, then he had him to greet them.
Qi Yue has been in the limelight ever since he arrived in the village. He was a young man with a lot of skills, good temper and a flexible personality. The way he dealt with the He family last time gave people a new insight into him.
The Xu Family’s current popularity in the village has not been overshadowed by him at all. Xu Hua, a ger that looks like a boy,without saying a word, was unexpectedly engaged to the young master of a big and wealthy family in town. He was very much favoured. The young master was always running to their village. In the past two days he had even sent someone to build a new house for them.The young master has paid a lot of silver for the neighbours around to cook for the craftsmen/smith!
The Lin family, with whom they had a good relationship, also had a status in the village so no one bothered to mess with them easily.
When such people come, Zhao Yongfu is naturally much more enthusiastic. He also wanted his son to have dealings with them. He heard that the Zheng family had a lot of shops in town, so if he could get his son to work as an accountant in his big shop, wouldn’t that be better?
They exchanged pleasantries at the door before Zhao Yongfu took them in himself. When he passed the seats in the courtyard, Xu Hua saw He Tian and Qian sitting near one of the tables, just the two of them, no one else from the He family was there.
He tugged on He Ling’s sleeve, leaned over to his ear and said, “Your eldest uncle and aunt are here too!”
He Ling followed the direction of his eyes,glanced over there before shifting his gaze and shaking his head at him, “Don’t mind them! They won’t do anything on this occasion.”
Seeing that he didn’t care, Xu Hua also didn’t say anything more and stopped looking over there.
When they saw He Tian and Qian, the other party naturally saw them too. Seeing that He Ling only glanced over here and entered the house with the others, Qian was not happy, “This ‘white-eyed wolf’ is getting more and more rude, he doesn’t even know to come over and say hello!
[White eyed wolf= ungrateful wrench]
The people at the same table with them, all laughed in their hearts at her words,with the things they had done yet they still expected people to come over and greet them like elders? What a generous heart!
“All right! Shut your mouth!” He Tian gave an annoyed rebuke, clearly sensing the mocking glances of others.
This foolish woman, she would only give him ‘shame’!
[Shame= to lose face]
He didn’t know who was the one who was so talkative and spread the word about He Gui and Liu’s affair. The family had lost face in the village. They still came in time for the wedding of the Zhao family’s grandson, the family is already being criticised in secret yet they still didn’t restrain their behavior a little.
Qi Yue and the others were led by Zhao Yongfu into the house, where they were seated nearby the village Head and other senior members of the family who were close to the Zhao family. By this, they were indeed valued for being seated here.
The old master of the Zhao family was sitting in the main seat. He looked in good spirits, not at all like an old man in his sixties. He greeted them cheerfully with good food and drink.
It was clear that the old man was in a very happy mood as his beloved grandson was getting married.
After greeting all the people that present and those who they knew each other, they sat down at an empty table.
The table was not yet ready for the banquet, so the table was decorated with fruits and snacks, not as good as the Qi Yue family’s, but decent enough for the village.
He Ling had just sat down on the stool when he felt a line of sight fall on him. When he looked up, he saw Liu Qiao, that ger who had helped He Zhen to push him around the last time.The other person also met his gaze, rolled his eyes and turned his face away.
He just felt puzzled, he didn’t know why that Ger loathed him so much? He hadn’t done anything to offend him, had he?
He Ling stopped thinking about what he couldn’t understand, just as Xu Hua turned his head to talk to him, so he diverted his attention and didn’t think about him anymore.
Zhao Chengwen married a girl from Shang Zhuang village, a village that was rich and had few poor families.
The girl he married was from a good family so from all points of view, they were a good match.
Today, the Zhao family’s bullock cart was wrapped in red silk.The bull also had a big red flower on its head, which made it look particularly festive.It was a great way to pick up the bride, it definitely gave her very much an honor.
The village of Shang Zhuang is a little further away from Gu Shui Village than Liu’s village, so it took half an hour to drive the bullock cart there.
By the time they returned, it was already midday.
Because of the cover, people couldn’t see the new bride’s face, but looking at the appearance of the groom’s smile who was unable to conceal his happiness, then she should be a pretty young girl!
After sending the bride back to her room, Zhao Chengwen began to drink and toast from one table to another table, as his face became ‘bright red’ and somehow more ‘festive’.Even his literary aura was washed away. He looked so happy yet silly at the moment!
As He Ling watched him, he couldn’t help but imagine in his mind what Qi Yue would look like when they got married.
He put Zhao Chengwen’s appearance on Qi Yue’s face then he couldn’t hold back his laughter, causing everyone at the table to turn their heads to look at him. He was a little embarrassed, pursing his lips to hold back his laughter.
“Other people are getting married, why are you making yourself happy like this?” Qi Yue reached out his hand and pinched his cheeks.
He Ling shook his head, he wouldn’t and couldn’t say it,thinking in his heart like this about his Xiang Gong, if he knew, he would not ‘forgive’ him lightly.
Seeing that his eyes were shining, he was obviously thinking about something, perhaps about himself, so Qi Yue narrowed his eyes and moved closer to him, “Tell me, what’s going through your head?”
He Ling shield back and stood up straight away, his eyes bent with a smile as he said, “I’m going to the toilet.”
Seeing that the person had just run away, Qi Yue smiled and shook his head, his little Fu Lang was becoming more and more cunning, not even as easy to tease as before!
He Ling went to the toilet and washed his hands with water at the well, still quite happy in his heart. His husband was always perfect, if he really showed that kind of expression, it would be really funny!
“I’m not the one choking her, listen to what she says, it’s clearly a ‘sarcastic’ remark!”
He had just reached the road back to the front yard, next to where he was going back, when he heard someone talking, a voice he was too familiar with, the voice of his eldest aunt, Qian.
“Can’t you put up with it? Don’t you know what kind of reputation our family has now? Just finish your meal and go home quietly, but you have to fight with people and be seen as a joke!”
He Tian seemed to be with her so He Ling thought for a moment as he hid in an inconspicuous corner near to them, that when they had finished talking, he would go back.