I messed up and uploaded wrong chapter 😭 So I’m just gonna give the ones I missed to y’all too. Enjoy!
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Xu Zhao had a distinct idea on his next plans to make money. However, it was only an idea so if he told Cui Qingfeng, Cui Qingfeng might not understand. Moreover, he also didn’t really know how to explain it, so he replied in a concise manner, “I want to take a look in the city and learn to do business.”
“Learn to do business?” Cui Qingfeng asked.
“Yes.” Xu Zhao nodded.
Cui Qingfeng was very interested in doing business. Although he wasn’t as smart as Xu Zhao, he could still learn, so he said, “I’ll go with you.”
“Sure, let’s go together.”
“Are you taking Xu Fan with you?” Cui Qingfeng asked again.
“No. Taking him would be troublesome. It would be inconvenient to do things,” Xu Zhao said firmly.
“Will he agree, though?” Cui Qingfeng knew how attached Xu Fan was.
“What do you mean? My Xu Fan is a good and reasonable child.”
“I don’t believe that.”
Therefore, the next day, Xu Zhao gave Cui Qingfeng a metaphorical slap in the face. He told Xu Fan in front of everyone that he had to go to the city to make money and he would return at night. He told Xu Fan to stay at Fan’s Little Shop and help Grandma and Grandpa sell stuff. He had to especially help Grandpa since he wasn’t very healthy so he needed Xu Fan to watch over him and stuff.
Xu Zhao added a special sentence at the end, “Your Uncle Cui said that if I go, you’d definitely cry.”
Xu Fan immediately retorted, “I won’t cry. Daddy will be back tonight.”
“Yes, Daddy will be back tonight. Well, Daddy is leaving now. Are you going to say bye to Daddy?”
Xu Fan stretched out his small meaty hand and waved and said, “Bye, Daddy.”
“What a good child.”
Xu Zhao gave Xu Fan a brief kiss, then turned to Cui Qingfeng as if saying, “See that? My son is very reasonable and sensible.”
Cui Qingfeng rubbed his nose and smiled apologetically to Xu Zhao.
Xu Zhao walked forward.
Cui Qingfeng kept up.
After only taking a couple steps, Xu Zhao heard Xu Fan’s milky voice shout from behind him, “Daddy! You have to come back soon! Come back soon!”
He wanted him to come back soon when he hadn’t even left yet—
However, after hearing these words, Xu Zhao felt his heart warming. Especially after he turned his head to see the pouting chubby Xu Fan, his heart really couldn’t bear it. However, for the sake of Father Xu’s illness and to provide the whole family enough food to last through the winter, he needed to leave Xu Fan with Mother and Father Xu so that he could produce results faster. He smiled and called out, “Okay, Daddy will give you pig trotters to eat when I come back.”
“Daddy, I want to eat big pig trotters!”
Originally, he was very emotional, but after hearing “I want big pig trotters,” even Cui Qingfeng started laughing. The two arrived at the county town’s bus station and waited over twenty minutes. Each person spent 20 cent to sit on the worn-out bus, and sat through the shaking for half an hour before finally arriving at West Prefecture City.
West Prefecture City was very different from the county town. The roads were broad with many people and bicycles, and there were even many buildings with three or four floors. There would occasionally even be small compact cars on the roads. Although it couldn’t compare to the bustling county towns of the 21st century, it was already very good. The pedestrians, buildings, as well as the street vendors were all very lively, indicating the rapid future development.
Xu Zhao and Cui Qingfeng were walking amongst the crowd. Because Xu Zhao was very handsome, he attracted many people’s glances. Xu Zhao had never been glanced at before so he was a bit embarrassed. And moments later, he acted as if he didn’t see them and continued walking forward as he looked left and right like he was looking for something.
“Xu Zhao, what are you looking for?” Cui Qingfeng asked doubtfully.
“I’m looking for a store,” Xu Zhao said.
“Did you want to buy something?”
“Yes, I want to buy something.” Xu Zhao nodded.
“What do you want to buy? I’ll help you look for it.”
“Mooncakes,” Xu Zhao said.
Cui Qingfeng immediately laughed and said, “There’s still more than a month until August 15th, so how could they sell mooncakes already! Even if you looked around the entire city, you still wouldn’t be able to buy mooncakes.”
Cui Qingfeng was correct. According to history, everyone had just crawled out from the abyss of hunger, and could only think about the present. If they had a bite to eat, then they’d eat. People would rarely think so far in advance. Therefore, it was probably impossible to sell mooncakes a month in advance.
“I want to buy it because it can’t be bought,” Xu Zhao said with a smile.
“Why?” Cui Qingfeng asked doubtfully.
“To understand the market.
Cui Qingfeng shook his head and said, “I don’t understand.”
Xu Zhao smiled again and said, “Once I’ve sorted the information, I’ll let you have a look and you’ll instantly understand.”
After Xu Zhao finished speaking, he entered a store. The store was very large, about three times larger than Fan’s Little Shop. It sold various items like milk powder, toys, shelled peanuts, wok spatula, and other things. Xu Zhao didn’t browse anything and just looked at the boss standing behind the sales counter. The boss was a female with short hair that was permed. She truly dressed in the fashion of this era and was very beautiful.
Xu Zhao stepped forward and asked with a smile, “Excuse me sister, do you sell mooncakes?”
The boss laughed and said, “Who would sell mooncakes now? It’s not August 15th yet.”
“Then when do you start selling mooncakes?” Xu Zhao asked again.
The boss thought about it before replying, “Probably around August 8th or 9th. That’s when I’ll get the goods.”
“Where do you acquire the goods?” Xu Zhao asked again.
The people of this era were simple and didn’t harbor bad intentions, so she directly said, “The east of the city.”
Xu Zhao didn’t ask anymore questions since it would annoy the other if he asked too much. Besides, he had already obtained his goal so he left the store. After walking to the curbside, he fished out his small notebook and a pen, then started writing.
“What are you writing?” Cui Qingfeng asked.
“Taking notes,” Xu Zhao replied.
“Writing down the address and any related information.”
“Why are you jotting that down?”
“I’ll analyze it when I go home.”
“Oh, I see.”
Cui Qingfeng didn’t dare ask more, afraid that Xu Zhao would realize that he was too stupid, so he nodded instead, only half understanding. He followed Xu Zhao to run all over until the afternoon. Whenever they saw a store or a snack counter, they would enter it and ask questions. When they were finally finished, the two tiredly sat on the curb to catch their breaths.
“Do you still want to enter stores?” Cui Qingfeng asked.
Xu Zhao let out a breath of air and said, “Not today.”
“Not today? Do you mean you’re coming again tomorrow?”
“Mn, but I won’t be coming here.”
“Then where? Why are you coming to the city again?”
“To buy mooncakes.”
“You’re still going to buy mooncakes! I already said you won’t be able to buy mooncakes!” Cui Qingfeng said in shock.
Xu Zhao smiled and nodded. “If you don’t want to come, then I’ll come by myself.”
“If you come, how can I not come? Why don’t we have my youngest uncle send us tomorrow? That way, we won’t have to be so exhausted. My legs are completely stiff,” Cui Qingfeng said.
“Is your youngest uncle free?” Xu Zhao asked.
“He might be. I’ll ask when I get back.”
“Okay. We should leave and head home. It’s probably going to get dark soon.”
Xu Zhao and Cui Qingfeng stood up from the curb, and on the road back home, they passed the first shop again, the one with the female boss with permed short hair. Xu Zhao suddenly stopped moving and looked inside the store.
Cui Qingfeng stopped as well and asked, “What’s wrong?”
Xu Zhao looked inside the store and said, “I saw they had toy cars.”
“Inside that store.”
Xu Zhao walked towards the shop owned by the curly-haired woman, and pointed to the small black toy car sitting on the shelf behind the boss. It was pretty big. “How much is this toy car?” he asked.
“This one is two Yuan,” the boss said.
Cui Qingfeng also thought that it was expensive.
Xu Fan also felt that it was too expensive, but Xu Zhao thought of how infatuated Xu Fan was with cars to the point of it being uncontrollable. He couldn’t help but want to buy it, but it really was too expensive. Two Yuan! That was enough to buy many pig trotters for Xu Fan to eat. Xu Zhao was at a loss while inside the store as he thought about Xu Fan.
At this time, Xu Fan was also at South Bay Village thinking about Xu Zhao. At first, he happily played with his friends and didn’t have time to think about missing Daddy. Once it got dark, the kids all returned to their homes, calling out Mom and Dad as they got home. He also started looking for Xu Zhao and from time to time, would ask when Daddy would come home.
“He’ll be home soon. Don’t worry,” Mother Xu said.
“How long is soon?” Xu Fan asked.
“…” Mother Xu looked at Xu Fan and said, “It’ll be very quick. Didn’t your Daddy tell you earlier? He went to the city to make money. Once he makes some money, he’ll buy pig trotters for you to eat.”
Xu Fan twisted his tiny body to hang off the wooden door to the kitchen, not uttering a sound. A moment later, he turned his body to leave, walking outside the courtyard. He sat on a large rock outside the courtyard as he looked towards the dirt road.
At this time, a neighbor passed by, smiling as they greeted, “Oh, isn’t this Sanwa? Sanwa, why are you sitting by the doorway?”
“Waiting for Daddy,” Xu Fan replied.
“Where did your Daddy go?”
“My Daddy went… went to make money. He’s going to buy me pig trotters after making money,” Xu Fan replied.
“Yo, he’s going to buy you pig trotters, huh? Seeing that your Daddy still hasn’t come back this late, he probably doesn’t want you anymore.”
“He doesn’t want you!” Xu Fan immediately replied fiercely.
“Haha, this child is too funny.”
The neighbor left.
A cry began to come from Xu Fan’s small mouth.
“Baobao, Baobao, what’s wrong? Why are you crying?” Father Xu quickly used his crutches to come see Xu Fan.
Xu Fan pulled Father Xu’s head and walked towards the dirt road.
“Baobao, what are you doing?” Father Xu asked.
“Look for Daddy. I’m going to look for Daddy.” Xu Fan cried as he pulled Father Xu towards the dirt road.
Father Xu dearly loved his grandson, so he used his crutches to follow Xu Fan towards the dirt road.
“Baobao, don’t cry,” Father Xu said vaguely.
Xu Fan continued to pull Father Xu towards the dirt road, thinking that he was getting closer to his daddy, he stopped crying. After he pulled Father Xu’s hand and made it to the dirt road, he continued walking forward towards the county town.
“You’re still going?” Father Xu asked.
“Mn, to find Daddy.”
“But Grandpa can’t walk.”
Xu Fan raised his small head, looking at Father Xu with a pitiful expression.
Father Xu had no choice but to give in and said, “Then we can go a bit further, but if we don’t see Daddy, we’ll go home, okay? There are wild dogs out here that will bite people, okay?”
“Will the wild dogs bite my Daddy?”
“…They won’t since your Daddy is riding a bicycle. That’s why we’ll only walk a bit further before going back, okay?”
Xu Fan nodded. “Okay.”
The grandfather and grandson walked on forward a bit more. Not seeing Xu Zhao, Father Xu pulled Xu Fan back to South Bay Village. When they arrived at the entrance, they suddenly heard the sound of a bicycle.
Father Xu and Xu Fan turned their heads at the same time.
Xu Zhao’s bike also happened to stop in front of the two people.
“Dad,” Xu Fan called out to Father Xu then looked at Xu Fan and said, “Son, Daddy’s back.”
Xu Fan dazedly looked at Xu Fan, then cried out without warning.
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