BLL Chapter 31 Reminisce

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Toward the end of the year, Zhao Liniang was able to eat and drink well for a few months. The chicken and ducks were also fat, strong, and lively. The firewood shed could no longer accommodate them. Zhao Liniang really was skilled at raising chickens and ducks. Many of the ones they bought survived. And not only did they not have any illness, they were also very lively, especially the little roosters. No, they should be called big roosters. Now

But when the roosters saw the little donkey, it became terrified.

Zhao Liniang counted the chickens and ducks. Besides the ones they’d keep for food during the new years, she determined how many to sell and how much money they could be sold for. Money was money, after all. She told Ger Yan that they could be taken to the county town in a few days to be sold. Zhao Liniang grabbed the wing of a big rooster. “Look at the size of this rooster. Look how good he looks!”

“Mother, you raised him well.” Ger Yan took the rooster from Zhao Liniang, examined it, and weighed it in his hand. It was very heavy. The big rooster screamed and struggled to escape, but unfortunately, it was lifted by its wings. It had no choice but to cry out. Its sharp beak turned left and right, revealing a triangular red and tender tongue. Every part of the chicken looked good.

“When the new year comes, I’ll stew chicken soup for you everyday.” Zhao Liniang grabbed the big rooster and threw it back into the flock. The big rooster stood up tall, went around looking for food, then energetically followed a hen around.

Lin Lixuan rubbed his nose and agreed, “Mother is right. Ger Yan really needs to nourish his body…”

Zhao Liniang rolled her eyes and turned the conversation topic back to Lin Lixuan. “You both have to nourish your bodies. Look at you, you even caught a cold a few days ago, scaring Ger Yan… Ger Yan, you need to eat more too and gain a bit more weight.” After she finished speaking, her eyes fell on Ger Yan’s butt for a moment.

If she raised Ger Yan well, then she could hold her grandson sooner. Their family was in a good situation now. They could give birth to one, two, three, four, or even five kids…and they could raise them all well.

Ger Yan was embarrassed by the two of them and blushed.

Zhao Liniang laughed gently. She counted using her fingers and calculated. “Hehe, he’s blushing. After they gain a profit from selling in the shop for a few more days, she’ll go to the county town to sell the chickens and ducks to prepare for the new year… Then next year…”

“We should build a new house next year…” Lin Lixuan said.

“There’s no rush to build a new house. Let’s wait for Ger Yan to get pregnant first next year. Most importantly, our family is rich now. You should make your plans. Next spring, you’ll pick up your books and head to the academy in the county town to study. Studying is what you should do. Don’t worry about the restaurant. Ger Yan is here, plus, we have the excellent Ger Qiu. You can rest assured. Starting tomorrow, don’t go to the shop anymore…”

“I think the shop’s business is very good. It wouldn’t make a difference if you’re there or not… You can stay home and study in peace.” Zhao Liniang’s eyebrows wiggled as she spoke. Her son had become a Xiucai at the age of 17. He was a famous talent in their village. Her son was so smart. He was good at doing business and successfully opened a store, but he was even better at studying…

Lin Lixuan’s expression became even darker. Zhao Liniang was still thinking about having him take the imperial examination. She even said that she and Ger Yan would support the family, while he studied with a peace of mind. He wouldn’t do it. He didn’t want to take the imperial exam. He couldn’t let his husband and mother support him while he studied. “Mother, I said a long time ago that I don’t plan on taking the imperial exam.”

Lin Lixuan decided to explain this matter to Zhao Liniang.

Zhao Liniang was anxious. “Why not? Your father and I have worked hard to send you to study for over ten years, so how can you say that you don’t want to study anymore…Besides, Xuan’Er, you’re so smart. It won’t even take a few years for you to successfully pass the imperial exam. When they happens, our Lin family will have produced a successful scholar. And when I go to the afterworld, I’ll be able to face your father…”

Lin Lixuan chuckled. “Is the imperial exam that easy to pass? Mother, don’t think about this. Our family has a good life now…” He was aware of what happened to scholars who took the imperial exam. And after arriving here, he’d seen 50 to 60 year old scholars who had yet to pass the imperial exam. In ancient times, being a scholar was a bottomless pit. And if one didn’t have familial background or talent, it was very difficult to climb up the ranks.

Lin Lixuan was very satisfied with his current pastoral life. He looked up at the green mountains and down into the green water. Writing all day, cooking and eating, growing melons and vegetables with Ger Yan. They lived freely and happily. Why bother with work that was hard and gave little reward? In his previous life, he was a workaholic. He spent all day doing project reports, meetings, and other things. He would have to negotiate and fight on the conference table. In the end, he died of stomach cancer. He didn’t want to have a repeat of his busy and boring life again.

Zhao Liniang frowned. The wrinkles on her face became more and more obvious. She interrupted Lin Lixuan’s words. “How can that be! I might not know about others, but I know that my Xuan’Er will definitely pass…”

“Xuan’Er, don’t worry. Mother believes in you. Ger Yan and I both believe in you…”

“What if even after two years, three years…ten or twenty years, I still haven’t passed the test?”

“How could that be? Xuan’Er, as long as you work hard…” Zhao Liniang had infinite confidence in her child.


The mother and son started to have a cold war. Ger Yan was sandwiched in the middle. Lin Lixuan tried to reason with Zhao Liniang and spoke all his thoughts. He used every method to persuade Zhao Liniang, leaving no room for persuasion. He used arguments to analyze the benefits of “not taking the imperial exam”, but Zhao Liniang didn’t listen. Whenever Lin Lixuan thought Zhao Liniang was finally relenting, she would cling to her view in the next second. “You have to take the test!”

“Mother, look how good the chickens and ducks you raise. Let’s raise more next year. We can carve out a piece of land outside the house, build a grass shed, and build a few more chicken coops inside an enclosed fence…”

“Chickens and ducks must be raised, but you must go study as well.”

“…” Lin Lixuan was helpless.

“Old Man Lin, how good would it be if you were still alive. Look at our Xuan’Er, he doesn’t even listen to me anymore… Us husband and wife have worked hard to send him to school, but he… We just wanted to give glory to our ancestors…”

“The villagers called us stupid for sending our child to study. It was already enough if we knew a few words… But our Xuan’Er, who’d become a Xiucai at a . young age, became the only Xiucai in Jade Creek Village. He gave us face…”


Lin Lixuan, who was trapped in the house and couldn’t return to the county town, had no choice but to follow Ger Yan to the mountains to pick up firewood. He covered his ears, put a basket on his back, and went to the nearby mountain with Ger Yan.

“I’m finally free.” Lin Lixuan rubbed his wait. He looked at the sky and sighed. The sky was gray-blue, looking like faded clothes. It felt a bit old.

Ger Yan picked up a slender dead branch, patted off the mud from it, and threw it into the basket on his back. “Lin-dage, you really don’t want to study?”

Lin Lixuan raised a brow as he grabbed an old tree root. “Why? You want me to study?”

Ger Yan scratched the hair by his ear. The wind was a bit strong today. “Mother wants you to go …”

“What about you?” Lin Lixuan wanted to hear Ger Yan’s thoughts.

“I don’t know.” He felt that what Lin Lixuan had told Zhao Liniang made sense. He didn’t know who’s side to be on. Lin-dage didn’t want to study and take the imperial exam, so he couldn’t force him. But Mother said that he had studied hard for over ten years now, so how could he just give it up now…

Lin Lixuan spoke up and teased him, “If I really pass the test and become Zhuangyuan, then the emperor’s ministers will want to marry their daughters and Shuang’ers to me. What if I turn into a snob and player? Will you go to the capital to live a lonely life…” Lin Lixuan laughed as he spoke…

“Huh?” Ger Yan didn’t understand. What did he mean by a player and a lonely life?

It was very annoying when the other person didn’t understand what he said. “What are you confused about? What I mean is—what if I don’t want you anymore?”

“…” Ger Yan felt wronged. What did studying have to do with not wanting him anymore?

“…alright, alright. Let’s not talk about this anymore. I might not want others, but I’ll always want my Ger Yan. Come, let’s continue collecting firewood.”

“If you don’t want me, I’ll always follow you. I’ll hold onto your arm so that you can’t shake me off…”

Lin Lixuan was surprised. He didn’t expect Ger Yan, who had always been sensible and well-behaved, to say such a thing. “Okay. When the time comes, I’ll wrap a rope around my wrist and tie the other side to you. I’ll take you wherever I go…”

Ger Yan was very familiar with the mountains surrounding Jade Creek Village. He said, “When next spring comes, there will be a lot of bamboo shoots in the mountain. Oh, and mushrooms as well. We can go up the mountain and pick mushrooms together. Mushroom soup is very delicious…”

“In the past, I used to dig bamboo shoots with Ger Yu in the spring. The dried bamboo my mother made was very delicious.”

“Then have you learned your mother’s recipe?”

“Mn.” Ger Yan nodded proudly. “I’ll make it for you next year.”

Lin Lixuan picked up a long stick and swept it on the ground. He saw a small cluster of purple flowers in the corner. It was a flower with purple and white cross shapes. Lin Lixuan didn’t recognize it, so he asked Ger Yan what it was. Ger Yan didn’t know either. He squatted beside the small flower and pulled a few stalks. As soon as he used force, it all came out along with…peanuts?

This dried flat thing, was it peanuts?

The wind was getting stronger. Ji Qian stretched out his hand and exhaled. He rubbed his palms. It wasn’t easy to get rid of Song Qiao’er and slip out for some air. He walked along the mountain road by the edge of the field. The more Ji Qian thought, the more sad he became. Last year, he was still an unmarried, beautiful man in Jade Creek Village. There were always girls chasing after him wherever he went to hang out. Now, even the dogs disliked him.

Ji Qian sighed again. He could only stand in this remote corner, where he had once coexisted with the little beauties in the village. He reminisced about the past and thought about his present.

Suddenly, a rustle of footsteps came from nearby. Ji Qian turned around to take a look. Why was it him?

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