There’s no actual title name for this chapter. And since it’s the start of the VIP chapters, the authors put three chapters into one release… that’s why this chapter is soooo long TT *sob* Enjoy!
If you aren’t reading on lazysakuratranslations.com then these translations were stolen!
It was Mother Xu.
Mother Xu was wearing gray and old clothes, her face full of sweat as she walked in their direction.
Xu Zhao’s brain immediately brought up numerous possibilities regarding Father Xu. For example, his sickness got worse, or he was declared paralyzed, or… Xu Zhao didn’t dare to continue that line of thought, his body and mind tense.
However, it was exactly the opposite because Mother Xu was bringing good news. This afternoon, Father Xu’s condition was very good. He had his senses on all parts of his body, therefore the doctor said he could cut down on his stay at the hospital. If there were no accidents while he was hospitalized, then he wouldn’t become paralyzed.
Mother Xu specifically came to tell this to her son to let him not worry and not work so hard. She didn’t expect to see her own son and grandson busying around on such a hot day. Especially her grandson. A small kid like him was helping out by selling popsicles, and her eyes involuntarily reddened. She directly looked at the fleshy body of Xu Fan who was just gaining meat, her heart hurting as she said, “Our Sanwa got skinnier.”
Sanwa got skinnier? Did he?
How is Mother Xu seeing that?
Xu Zhao consciously reached out a hand to wipe away his sweat, then spoke the truth, “Mom, our Sanwa gained six catties.”
Mother Xu was shocked and asked, “He gained weight? Why does it look like he lost weight to me?”
“He gained weight. Even his double chin came out,” Xu Zhao said.
“Why can’t I see it?”
“Probably because even if your Sanwa eats till he becomes a pig, you’d still think he’s skinny.”
“That’s just nonsense,” Mother Xu said with a wry smile.
Mother Xu hugged Xu Fan for a long time, kissing Xu Fan’s small apple cheeks. Before leaving, she pulled out half an apple from her cloth bag and gave it to Xu Zhao, telling Xu Zhao to share it with Xu Fan.
Because the apple became oxidized, a layer of pale yellow already appeared on the surface of the apple. This was definitely given to Mother Xu by someone else, but Mother Xu didn’t have the heart to eat it, bringing it here for him and Xu Fan to eat instead. Thinking of this, Xu Zhao’s heart softened, and his eyes started to sting as well.
“Daddy,” X called.
Xu Zhao lowered his head to look at Xu Fan.
“Grandma left,” Xu Fan said.
Xu Zhao lightly “hmmed,” watching Mother Xu’s departing shadow. Seeing that Mother Xu hurriedly rushed back and forth just to deliver half an apple, he felt that no matter how hard he had to work, it would be worth it.
Xu Fan flatted his mouth and said, “I don’t want Grandma to leave.”
“Do you want to stay together with Grandma?” Xu Zhao asked.
“Mm. I want to eat and sleep with Grandma and Grandpa.”
“We’ll wait a bit longer. Wait till Daddy makes money and brings Grandma and Grandpa home.”
“Okay.” Xu Fan was easily pleased.
Xu Zhao glanced at Xu Fan’s hand and said, “Quickly eat the apple then we’ll continue our work.”
Xu Fan immediately handed the apple to Xu Zhao and said, “Daddy, you eat too.”
“Daddy won’t eat any. Eat it yourself.”
Xu Zhao was forced to take a bite of the apple before picking up the shovel again to continue filling in the potholes, his heart filled with happiness for Father Xue’s turn for the better, and filled with distress for Mother Xu acting like a loving mother. As he turned to watch Xu Fan eat the half an apple, he also felt grieved.
In the end, these three emotions silently turned into his driving force.
Once the potholes were filled and the popsicles sold out, he troubled Cui Qingfeng to watch Xu Fan for a bit, then returned home. He placed the previously prepared food into the enamel jar, borrowed Da Zhuang’s family’s ox cart, and placed the 100ish bricks and planks he had received after the family was split, as well as a bit of wheat, and loaded them all on the ox cart. He pulled it to the intersection in the county town, waiting for Da Zhuang’s father and the others to come construct the building.
He has already discussed this with Da Zhuang’s father earlier, to completely construct a tiled house would cost 100 Yuan. And so the next day, when Da Zhuang’s father brought four middle-aged men to the intersection to take a look, they said that 100 Yuan would not be enough to construct the building. Since they were laying down bricks, the foundation as well as the four walls would need at least 3500 bricks. Adding on the tiled roof, and without increasing the labor fee, it would cost at least 200 Yuan. So how could 100 Yuan be enough?
This was not what they had previously agreed on.
They were clearly untrustworthy.
Da Zhuang’s father immediately started bickering with the other middle-aged men, saying that those four were cheats, that they weren’t giving him any face, saying that Xu Zhao was his good bro, how could 100 Yuan not be enough to construct the building? In short, he raised such a fuss that attracted the attention of numerous passersby.
Seeing this, Xu Zhao hastily went to stop it, trying to appease Da Zhuang’s father.
After some discussion, they agreed to lay bricks, but will use planks for the walls, and have a thatched roof instead of a tiled one. Along with the labor costs, they finally brought the price down to 150 Yuan. This finally settled everyone to stop arguing and start laying down the foundation, mix the plaster, lay the bricks and other actions involved in the building process.
During this time, Xu Zhao didn’t find fault with those four men because of the earlier unpleasantness. On the contrary, he was very courteous. Besides providing tea every day, he would also provide popsicles, and even corn cakes every once in a while.
A week later, the small tiled house on the intersection was completed. The agreed upon three walls became four walls in the end. However, the doors and windows were a bit large, but this way, it was easier to do business.
“Brother Li, didn’t we agree upon three walls? How did it become four walls? Did you help speak up for me again?” Xu Zhao asked with surprise.
“Who are you saying helped speak up for you? You spoke up for yourself,” Da Zhuang’s father said.
“What do you mean?” Xu Zhao asked.
“ You bring them two popsicles every day as a greeting. They all know this in their hearts, and they’re not bad people. How could they keep taking advantage of someone like that? That’s why everybody immediately decided to take a lower labor fee. They couldn’t put you out like that. That’s why they built the last wall, as well as set up the side door for you. They won’t charge you for it so don’t worry,” Da Zhuang’s father said.
“Brother Li,” Xu Zhao gratefully shouted.
Da Zhuang’s father immediately smiled and said, “You’re being too mushy. I can’t stand it.”
Xu Zhao smiled and said, “Fine, then I’ll treat you to a meal.”
“Later. I know you have talent. Treat me when you have money,” Da Zhuang’s father said.
Thank you, Brother Li.”
“Here we go again.”
“Thank you very much, Brother Li,” Xu Zhao said again.
“If you thank me again then I really have to believe what your sister-in-law said. I’d have to think that you became silly from studying.”
Xu Zhao immediately laughed.
Da Zhuang’s father carried the shovel and plaster bag, and ate a popsicle with the four middle-aged men as they headed towards the road back to South Bay Village.
Xu Zhao turned around and quickly opened the side door to take a look at the new building. According to Xu Zhao’s request, there was a large window at the front of the building and the door was on the side wall. Therefore, there was plenty of natural light.
However, since the bricks were laid with plaster and were laid with clay instead, therefore, the whole house was covered with clay and straw. Xu Zhao immediately grabbed the shovel and broom to clean the place up. Afterwards, he went to Cui Qingfeng’s house, bringing Cui Qingfeng and Xu Fan to come take a look at the new building.
“Wow!” Xu Fan said shortly.
“Wow.” Cui Qingfeng deliberately learned from Xu Fan.
Xu Fan turned his head and asked, “Daddy! Is this our house? “
“Yes,” Xu Zhao said.
“It’s so big and pretty!” Xu Fan happily said.
“…” it’s clearly very small. Even the walls have the bare bricks exposed, okay? How was it pretty? However, compared to the thatched hut he and Xu Fan slept in, this was basically a palace.
“Daddy, will we live here in the future?” Xu Fan said.
“Not for now,” Xu Zhao said.
“Why not?” Xu Fan asked.
“There’s nothing here. Are we just going to start here?” Xu Zhao countered.
Xu Fan tilted his head and said, “We can just eat popsicles.”
“Fine, you can stay here and eat popsicles everyday. You won’t be able to eat meat or anything else, okay?” Xu Zhao asked.
“No,” Xu Fan hastily said.
“Why is it now no?”
“I’m going to live with Daddy.”
“But I don’t live here.”
“Then I won’t live here either.” Xu Fan walked over and hugged Xu Zhao’s leg.
He’s learned how to act spoiled !
Xu Zhao smiled softly, reaching out to pet Xu Fan’s head, then turned to Cui Qingfeng and said, “I now owe you 250 Yuan.” He had borrowed more than fifty Yuan from Cui Qingfeng to construct the building or else he wouldn’t have enough money to pay for Father Xu’s hospital fees.
“What are you saying? If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have been able to make that 250 Yuan in the first place, right? Besides, I still have even more money on hand. So there’s no rush. You can pay me back whenever you have money,” Cui Qingfeng said with a smile.
“Thank you, Qingfeng. I’m so lucky to have you as a friend,” Xu Zhao sincerely said.
Cui Qingfeng shyly bowed his head. He wanted to say that he didn’t want to be friends but lovers, but Xu Zhao was too outstanding. He couldn’t say those words out, and could only say instead, “There’s no need for thanks between friends.”
“Okay. Then, tomorrow we’ll start selling popsicles all day,” Xu Zhao said.
“We’ll start selling all day tomorrow?” Cui Qingfeng asked.
“Mn. We’ll place all the popsicles boxes here and have either you or me watching the place to sell. How does that sound?” Xu Zhao said.
“Sounds good,” Cui Qingfeng immediately replied.
“Also, tomorrow I’ll order some newspapers so that we can sell those as well,” Xu Zhao said.
“Have you already contacted the newspaper company?” Cui Qingfeng asked.
This year, paper products sold really well, especially newspapers. TVs and radios weren’t widespread yet, so if you wanted the outside world, you basically had to obtain it from the newspaper. That was why newspapers were best-sellers since most families loved buying them.
“All right, let’s tidy up the place first,” Cui Qingfeng said.
Cui Qingfeng supplied a long table to use in the small building and to place the newspapers. They then moved over stools, and chairs for Xu Zhao and Xu Fan to use. They also brought over cardboard and a writing brush to write on the cardboard—All day long sales of popsicles and newspapers.
However, Cui Qingfeng hesitated and said, “My handwriting is ugly. Let’s have my youngest uncle write it. His handwriting is very pretty.”
“Your youngest uncle isn’t home, though,” Xu Zhao said.
“My youngest uncle will be back in a while.”
“That means we’d have to wait. I’ll write it.”
Xu Zhao took the brush and dipped it into the ink, then faced the cardboard and swiped the brush to write “All day long sales of popsicles and newspaper” these eight words.
Once he finished writing, Cui Qingfeng finally realized that Xu Zhao had a shortcoming, and that was… his handwriting was very ugly.
The words Xu Zhao had written, not to mention comparing them with Cui Qingfeng, but they couldn’t even be compared with Cui Qingfeng, the weak student. If Cui Qingfeng knew this, he would have written on the cardboard instead since he couldn’t tell Xu Zhao that he had bad handwriting to his face. However, when Xu Fan came out from the small building, he clapped his hand and said, “Wow! Daddy, your handwriting is so good! It looks so good!”
Complimenting with his eyes closed!
He truly was complimenting with his eyes closed!
Cui Qingfeng couldn’t look at Xu Fan.
“Alright.” Xu Zhao then turned to ask Cui Qingfeng, “Does this work?”
Cui Qingfeng lifted the corner of his mouth and said, “It’s fine. We’ll leave it like this. In any case, it’s fine as long as they can read it.”
“Then let’s see what else we’re missing and prepare it,” Xu Zhao put down the brush and said.
“We’re missing a lock,” Cui Qingfeng said.
“Yes, let’s buy a lock.”
Therefore, for the whole morning, Xu Zhao and Cui Qingfeng thought of things they needed and obtained them. In the afternoon, the time when they needed to make popsicles, it suddenly started to pour, and the entire county town had cooled down. Seeing the bad weather, Xu Zhao and Cui Qingfeng only made 100 popsicles and sold them inside the small building by the intersection. They were actually able to sell out, thus, Cui Qingfeng had a better impression on the small building.
There was good weather the next day, and it happened to be the time to plant the soybeans. All the citizens of the countryside were busy, including Xu Zhao.
Father and Mother Xu wouldn’t be able to return to plant the soybeans, Xu Zhao wouldn’t be able to plant the soybeans by himself, Xu Fan wouldn’t be able to help with the work, and he couldn’t work together with Xu Zuocheng and Xu Youcheng, so Xu Zhao planted soybeans with Da Zhuang’s family yet again.
Technology wasn’t developed in this era, so everything relied on manpower and the use of oxen. Therefore, the speed of planting soybeans was really slow, taking a whole week to plant this batch. During this time, Xu Zhao visited the hospital and Cui Qingfeng’s house every day. Of course, everywhere he went, he would bring his son, Xu Fan. Even when he was planting soybeans in the field, he still brought Xu Fan. It was like Xu Fan was a part growing on Xu Zhao, and in this way, Xu Fan was able to experience many things of the world. Little Xu Fan spoke more elegantly, and most importantly, he was able to eat until he had gotten fatter.
Cui Qingfeng had suddenly realized that Xu Fan got fatter. He hadn’t perceived it when he usually looked at Xu Fan, but after taking a closer look, he discovered that Xu Fan had actually gained quite a bit of weight.
“Xu Fan, you got fatter,” Cui Qingfeng said with surprise.
“I didn’t. I didn’t eat my fill last night,” Xu Fan said.
Cui Qingfeng pointed to Xu Fan’s little pants and said, “Look at your pants, they’re already stretched taut.”
“I grew taller,” Xu Fan explained.
“No, you didn’t grow taller. You grew fatter,” Cui Qingfeng said.
Xu Fan thought for a bit then said, “I… I got just a little bit fatter.”
“Not just a little bit, but a lot fatter.”
“Just a little tiny bit,” Xu Fan insisted.
Cui Qingfeng crossed his arms and sized up Xu Fan, then said, “Sanwa, you really didn’t just get a little fatter. Tsk tsk. You were actually able to get this fat in the middle of the summer. It’s really quite shocking.”
Seeing Xu Fan’s blank and lovely face, Xu Zhao spoke up, “We got fatter, and now we look better!”
Hearing this, Xu Fan immediately giggled, his small hand grasping his cheeks, “I’m fat and I look good!”
“Exactly.” Xu Zhao turned to Cui Qingfeng and asked, “How did the popsicle delivery go today?”
“Very good, and they settled the account.”
“They settled the account? Why so suddenly?” Xu Zhao asked in shock.
“Mn. It just so happened to be when they were balancing their accounts, so they paid everything off. Moreover, Sister Yun ordered for another two weeks. However, they only want 200 popsicles a day for the factory workers. The office workers won’t get any,” Cui Qingfeng said.
“That’s fine. This is how the popsicle business always goes.”
Cui Qingfeng pulled the money out of his pocket and said, “They paid 115 Yuan. We each get 57.50.”
Xu Zhao accepted it and said, “Mn. I still won’t be able to pay you back for now.”
“I know. You should go visit your parents. Sister Yun wants you to sign the contract for the two weeks’ order the day after tomorrow.”
Xu Zhao took the 57.50 Yuan and headed to the hospital to pay the hospital fees and medicine. It was announced that Father Xu could leave the hospital the next day.
He could finally be discharged!
Mother Xu sobbed with joy.
Xu Zhao pulled the ox car that had a comforter inside it from South Bay Village to the hospital. He placed Father Xu inside the ox cart, then pulled it back to South Bay Village. Besides Father Xu, Xu Fan was also on the cart.
Xu Fan sat next to Father Xu, his small meaty hand feeling Father Xu’s small beard and said ,”Grandpa, why aren’t you speaking clearly?”
“Xu Fan!” Xu Zhao scolded Xu Fan.
Xu Fan immediately shut his mouth.
Xu Zhao didn’t want Xu Fan’s childish words to make Father Xu sad. Patients were fragile, therefore he’d especially berated Xu Fan.
However, Father Xu was unwilling and muttered out two sentences that were unclear. In any case, he was calling out Xu Zhao.
And thus, Xu Zhao stopped berating Xu Fan, and silently pulled the ox cart forward.
Father Xu gave a slight smile as he looked at Xu Fan, hmphing out two sentences. He was trying to placate Xu Fan, but he couldn’t control his mouth and he was also drooling.
Xu Fan had seen Xu Zhao and Mother Xu help Father Xu wipe the drool off before, and so he picked up the handkerchief that was by the side and helped wipe Father Xu’s mouth, and said, “Oh, Grandpa, why are you drooling again? Stop drooling.”
Father Xu gazed at Xu Fan and laughter came from his throat.
Mother Xu saw how well-behaved Xu Fan was acting, and her eyes teared up again.
A while ago, Mother Xu and Father Xu had heard that the family had separated from Xu Zhao, and knew about the brick and clay wall that separated the two households. However, when they returned to the courtyard of the three thatched huts, they still felt bitterly disappointed. Xu Zuocheng and Xu Youcheng were raised for naught!
When Father Xu was discharged, the neighbors came to see Father Xu. Da Zhuang’s family even gave them some eggs. However, Xu Zuocheng and Xu Youcheng didn’t even show up for fear that Father Xu would want to cling onto them in the future, and burden them.
Xu Zhao appeased Mother Xu and Father Xu, then killed a rooster. He gave the smaller half to Da Zhuang’s family, then Mother Xu split the larger half into several portions, then used a portion to stir-fry some potatoes and chicken, another portion to make chicken soup for Father Xu, then saved the rest.
“Mom, it’s hot today. Let’s eat all of the chicken. If we leave it for too long, it’ll smell,” Xu Zhao said.
“How could it smell? I sprinkled salt on it. We’ll leave it to dry in the sun and eat it during the winter.”
Summer wasn’t over yet and fall still hadn’t arrived, yet she wanted to eat it during the winter…
Xu Fan simply couldn’t convince Mother Xu against her frugality. However, the dishes Mother Xu made were truly delicious. Xu Fan kept saying that it was good, and he ate until his small belly plumped out.
After the meal, Mother Xu started tidying up the thatched hut.
Xu Fan crouched next to the chickens and ducks and watched how they ate. He suddenly heard the sound of the bicycle and turned his head. He quickly stood up and ran in front of Xu Zhao, raising his small arms as he faced his back to Xu Zhao.
“Xu Fan, what are you doing?” Xu Zhao asked.
“Coming to the county town with Daddy,” Xu Fan said.
“Who said I’m going to the county town?”
Xu Fan twisted his body and raised his small head to look at Xu Zhao.
“I’m going to take a look at Da Zhuang’s house,” Xu Zhao said.
“I’m coming too,” Xu Fan immediately said.
“Don’t go out for now and stay home to accompany Grandpa. Grandpa will be anxious if he can’t see you. I’ll come back home soon, okay?”
As long as he spoke reasonably with Xu Fan, Xu Fan will always listen. Therefore, Xu Fan agreed.
Therefore, Xu Fan stayed at home for Xu Zhao to return. He waited, looking left and right, but didn’t see Xu Zhao come back, then asked, “Grandma, where’s Daddy?”
“I don’t know,” Mother Xu said.
“Why isn’t he back yet?” Xu Fan said.
“I don’t know either,” Mother Xu replied.
“I’m going to Da Zhuang’s house to find him.
Xu Fan ran his tiny legs to Da Zhuang’s house. Da Zhuang’s mother said that Xu Zhao had returned home, and so Xu Fan ran back home and asked again, “Grandma, where’s Daddy?”
“I don’t know,” Xu Fan said. In fact, he didn’t want to bring Xu Fan while he ran around, so he left for the county town from Da Zhuang’s house.
“Didn’t he come back?” Xu Fan asked.
Xu Fan’s eyes widened, and he asked with his face at a loss, “Then where did Daddy go?”
Mother Xu couldn’t bear to lie to Xu Fan and said, “He probably went to the county town.”
“Why didn’t he take me with him?”
“Maybe he was too busy and didn’t have time to take you?”
When Xu Fan heard Mother Xu’s words, he stopped speaking, his head drooping. He dragged his legs and took small steps towards the corner. His forehead pressed against the wall and he didn’t make a sound.
“What’s wrong?” Mother Xu asked.
Xu Fan started to sob as he replied, “I miss Daddy.”
“Daddy will be back tonight.”
“I miss Daddy,” Xu Fan continued to say.
Mother Xu hugged Xu Fan and said, “Daddy will come home after he finishes his business. Sanwa, don’t cry. How about Grandma make you an egg pancake?”
Inside Xu Fan’s watery eyes, two large tears were formed and about to fall. He said to Mother Xu in a milky voice, “Make for Daddy too.”
Mother Xu was very distressed and immediately said, “Okay.”
“And for Grandpa.”
“No problem,” Mother Xu said with a smile. “I’ll make some for all of us to eat.”
After coaxing Xu Fan all afternoon, the sky darkened and Xu Fan became depressed again. He sat on a stand by the courtyard door, looking towards the road. It didn’t matter what Mother Xu said, he continued to sit there, waiting for Daddy. He didn’t even enter the courtyard. Mother Xu knew that Xu Fan had deep emotions and a kind heart. When Xu Zhao didn’t treat him well in the past, he still treated Xu Zhao well, often calling out Daddy. Back then, Xu Zhao didn’t pay attention to him much.
Now that Xu Zhao treats him well, he couldn’t help but want to stick close to Xu Zhao all day.
In the end, it was different when it was one’s own biological dad.
Mother Xu sat inside the courtyard peeling string beans as she watched and talked to Xu Fan.
“Sanwa,” Mother Xu called.
“Grandma, why are you calling me?” Xu Fan asked.
Mother Xu deliberately found a topic to watch to Xu Fan about. “What do you do with your Daddy every day when you go to the county town?”
“Sell popsicles,” Xu Fan replied.
“You also know how to sell popsicles?”
“Yep! Daddy said I’m great at it.”
Mother Xu had a kind face as she chatted with Xu Fan.
“Daddy!” Xu Fan suddenly stood and happily ran towards the road.
Mother Xu quickly looked towards the entrance door. Her eyes were a bit hazy so she couldn’t see very clearly. All she saw was a figure riding a bicycle, but they were still far away. How could Xu Fan tell that it was Xu Zhao?
Xu Fan happily and excitedly ran towards Xu Zhao. When he almost reached Xu Zhao, he fell with a “plop” and the sound of sobs sounded.
“Sanwa,” Mother Xu shouted.
Xu Zhao stopped the bicycle and immediately got off, scooping Xu Fan into his arms and taking him home to look under the kerosene lamp. His mouth was cut open and bleeding a bit and his knee was bruised purple. The whole family felt distressed.
Xu Fan also delicately leaned into Xu Zhao’s embrace, not saying a word.
“Does it still hurt?” Xu Zhao asked.
“It hurts,” Xu Fan replied.
“Don’t run so quickly next time.”
However, the next day, when he saw Xu Zhao walking towards the bicycle, Xu Fan ran out faster than anyone. His small hand grabbed onto the bicycle’s handlebar as he raised his head and anxiously looked at Xu Zhao. Xu Zhao had no choice but to lift him onto the bicycle, and said to Mother Xu, “Mom, I’ll just bring him with me. You stay at home and look after Dad. Make sure you help him walk around some too.”
Mother Xu looked at Xu Fan who was in high-spirits and could only say, “Go on. Look after Sanwa.”
Xu Zhao brought Xu Fan to the county town. They went to the steel factory to sign the two week contract. They originally said they wanted 200 popsicles every day, but when Xu Zhao arrived to sign the contract, it changed to 300 popsicles. That meant they got an extra 45 Yuan. Xu Zhao and Cui Qingfeng were extremely happy about this. Cui Qingfeng then pulled Xu Zhao and Xu Fan to his house to have lunch. Xu Zhao couldn’t refuse so they had lunch at Cui Qingfeng’s house.
During lunch, Cui Qingfeng pointed at Xu Fan and said, “Mom, don’t you think Xu Fan got fatter?”
Mother Cui examined Xu Fan and said, “You don’t say. He really did gain weight.”
“Cui Qingfeng laughed and said, “Mom, don’t you think Xu Fan is gaining weight but not growing at all?”
Mother Cui blinked at Cui Qingfeng and said, “Some children are late bloomers.”
“But it’s too late for Xu Fan,” Cui Qingfeng said. “Take a look at the boy next door. He’s only older than Xu Fan by three months, but he’s already a head taller than Xu Fan.”
Xu Zhao looked worried and looked towards Mother Cui to ask, “My Xu Fan won’t be short, right?”
Mother Cui quickly and firmly said, “He’ll definitely grow tall. Do you guys see, the tip of Xu Fan’s head isn’t flat, it’s pointy. Those with this kind of head shape will definitely grow tall. Qingfeng’s youngest uncle’s head was also like this when he was younger. Everyone said that his youngest uncle wouldn’t grow tall, and I was the only one who said he would. And now, he’s 187 centimeters16’1 tall! Xu Fan is indeed just a late bloomer.”
“When Qingfeng’s youngest uncle was young?” Xu Zhao expressed his doubt.
“Yes, when Qingfeng’s youngest uncle was young. What of it?” Mother Cui asked.
Xu Zhao was afraid Mother Cui was deceiving him with lies and said, “Auntie, how do you know this if this happened when Qingfeng’s youngest uncle was young?” What he meant was, if they were similar in age, that meant there was no way Mother Cui was much younger than Qingfeng’s youngest uncle. So how did Mother Cui remember what happened when the youngest uncle was still young?
Mother Cui and Cui Qingfeng were shocked, then burst out laughing.
Xu Zhao was baffled by their laughter.
Cui Qingfeng covered his stomach and laughed nonstop. After a while, he finally asked, “Xu Zhao, you can’t be thinking that my youngest uncle is some big-bellied old man, right?”
Indeed. Xu Zhao indeed thought that way. When thinking about Cui Qingfeng’s youngest uncle, even if he wasn’t a big-bellied old man, he must at least be over forty-years-old, right? That would still be considered older.
Mother Cui also laughed nonstop.
Cui Qingfeng laughed again then said, “Cui Qingfeng, my youngest uncle is only twenty-eight years old this year, okay? Only twenty-eight!”
Xu Zhao’s mouth twitched, then he said, “Twenty-eight years old.”
Twenty-eight years old?
Xu Zhao felt embarrassed.
Cui Qingfeng slowly stopped laughing and said, “That’s right. When my dad was seventeen, my grandparents wanted a daughter, then gave birth to my youngest uncle. Before my youngest uncle even became an adult, my grandma and grandpa passed away one after the other, so my youngest uncle came to live with us.”
Mother Cui continued, “In fact, his youngest uncle didn’t stay with us for long. Qingfeng’s youngest uncle is very smart. We were too poor back then. When I married Qingfeng’s dad, the only thing we had was a single pot, so there wasn’t any money to attend school. Lots of people didn’t attend school and neither did Qingfeng’s youngest uncle. However, while others were playing around, he would run to the classroom in the next village over and sneakily listen to the teacher through the window. In the end, he was discovered by the teacher.
“The teacher was a good person and gave him an examination paper, telling him to take the test. As a result, he got full marks and the teacher thought he was talented at studying. The teacher dragged him to find Qingfeng’s dad and hoped that Qingfeng’s dad would let him study. Afterwards, Qingfeng’s dad carried over soybeans to the teacher asking the teacher to teach him.
“He was very sensible and knew from a young age that our family was poor. He studied hard and skipped grades, graduating earlier than most people. So he started struggling by himself when he was young. If it wasn’t for him, our whole family would have starved to death.”
Xu Zhao was moved after hearing the story. “He’s really amazing.”
“That’s right. He’s only older than Qingfeng by four years, yet he had to fight and crawl through mud. He suffered a lot of bitterness in his life, but because he was smart, he never got cheated,” Mother Cui said.
“I’ve been cheated,” Cui Qingfeng added. “I was cheated once three years ago. My youngest uncle was—”
“You and your nonsense.” Mother Cui cut off Cui Qingfeng’s words, turning and said, “In any case, his youngest uncle suffered a lot. Once he finishes his current matters, I’ll have him stay at home and rest. I won’t let him return to his own home. He’ll stay here so that I can make him delicious food every day.”
“I want to eat too,” Xu Fan heard there was delicious food and immediately added on.
Mother Cui laughed, petting Xu Fan’s plump little cheek and said, “All right. Our smart Xu Fan can eat as well.”
Xu Zhao smiled and looked towards Mother Cui. Thinking of the goal of this meal, he opened his mouth and said, “Auntie, your old colleague who was going to open a noodle factory, are they still opening one?”
“Yes. What’s wrong?” Mother Cui asked.
“I want to sell their noodles in the building on the intersection.”
Mother Cui and Cui Qingfeng were taken aback.
“Xu Zhao, why do you want to sell everything?” Cui Qingfeng couldn’t understand and asked.
“To make money,” Xu Zhao sincerely replied.
“…Can this make money?”
“Yes. We must make it popular first, and then we’ll be able to make money. We’ll take it one step at a time.”
“You’re not thinking of opening a snack counter, right?”
“Not just that.”
“Then what are you thinking?”
Cui Qingfeng couldn’t understand Xu Zhao.
Xu Zhao turned to Mother Cui and said, “Auntie, can you introduce me to them? Their noodles are very tasty, so I’d like to sell them.”
“Of course. She’s currently worried that she won’t be able to sell the noodles. When I talk to her, I’ll have her give you a discount,” Mother Cui happily said.
“Thank you, Auntie. Thank you.”
“You silly child. You’re too polite.”
After speaking, Mother Cui gave Xu Zhao and Xu Fan another piece of meat, then told Xu Zhao and she would help him ask about the noodles tonight. When night arrived, Mother Cui happily relayed Xu Zhao’s matter and discussed it with Cui Qingfeng, and decided to get ten packages of noodles to sell at the small building on the intersection first. In any case, they still had the popular popsicles to keep them going, so they just had to wait for the noodles to be sold.
If the noodles sold well, they’d get more. If not, they’d forget about it.
Thereafter, Xu Zhao just needed to wait for Mother Cui to give him the ten packages of noodles. He and Xu Fan sat inside the small building on the intersection to sell their products. With a tiled house covering them, they wouldn’t get sunburnt. It was a lot more comfortable but still a bit hot. Xu Zhao grabbed the fan to fan himself as well as giving a little wind to Xu Fan’s body as well. Xu Fan was currently sitting on the stool, folding a paper airplane. “Daddy, where’s Uncle Cui?” he raised his head and asked.
“He went to pay the electricity bill,” Xu Zhao replied.
“When will he be back,” Xu Fan asked.
“He should be back soon,” Xu Zhao replied.
“Oh.” It wasn’t that Xu Fan actually wanted to know where Cui Qingfeng was, his small mouth just didn’t stop moving as he kept talking about this and that without any rhythm.
Xu Zhao indifferently replied to him, his attention completely on the road. He hoped that Mother Cui would bring the ten packets of noodles over soon. However, after waiting all this time, Mother Cui still hadn’t shown up. As he was anxiously waiting, Mother Cui walked forward in a relaxed manner, her face covered in smiles. When she saw Xu Zhao, she immediately exclaimed, “Oh my, Xu Zhao. I forgot about the noodles.”
“It’s fine. You can bring them tonight,” Xu Zhao said with a smile.
“That’s not it. I brought the noodles home, and as I was about to pick them up, I had to leave the house in a hurry. That’s why I forgot to bring them over to you. I’m currently rushing to the food market to buy vegetables or else I won’t be able to get any later. How about you go get them yourself? There’s someone at home.”
“Sure. Auntie, you should quickly go buy the vegetables.”
“Okay. You should come to our house to eat at lunch,” Mother Cui happily said.
“No thanks. I need to take Xu Fan home this afternoon,” Xu Zhao said.
When Xu Zhao finished speaking, he had wanted Xu Fan to watch the shop. But when he saw how handsome Xu Fan’s little face was, he worried that he (XF) might get kidnapped. Therefore, he closed up shop and pulled Xu Fan to the Cui house.
As soon as he opened the courtyard door, Xu Zhao called out, “Qingfeng, Qingfeng.”
“Uncle Cui, Uncle Cui. Are you here? Me and my daddy are here,” Xu Fan called as well.
The father and son called out a few more times before Father Cui’s voice finally called back, “Who is it? Who’s looking for Qingfeng. Is it Little Xu Fan?”
“Not me. It’s my Daddy and me,” Xu Fan replied.
This answer… gets full points! Full points!
Xu Zhao wiped his head. As he was going to see Father Cui, a tall man came out from the main hall. The man wore casual clothes: white short-sleeved shirt and pants with a pair of new slippers on his feet. He was clearly dressed in ordinary clothes, but he gave others the feeling of sophistication along with a sense of pressure. Especially since the man was very tall and very handsome. There wasn’t a single problem with his appearance.
When Xu Zhao was working odd jobs in the 21st century, he’d seen many male celebrities. They made themselves up to be very handsome. However, there wasn’t a single one that was better looking than the naturally handsome man with an intense atmosphere in front of him.
Xu Zhao was in a daze.
Xu Fan also stared blankly at him. He was almost three years old but this was his first time seeing someone so handsome.
“Qingfeng isn’t here.” The man’s voice was deep and languid.
Before Xu Zhao could reply, Xu Fan opened his mouth. “W-We’re not looking for Qinghong. W-we’re looking for noodles,” Xu Fan stuttered as pronounced Qingfeng’s name incorrectly.
“Where are the noodles?” the man expressionlessly asked.
“I-I don’t know where the noodles are either. My daddy knows.” Xu Fan lifted his head to look at Xu Zhao and asked, “Daddy, where are the noodles?”
Omg this chapter was soooo long. So much happened in this chapter and we’re finally going to meet the youngest uncle, who I think is the Mc? I don’t know. Who do you think Xu Zhao should end up with?