RERC Chapter 30 Operation

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Xu Zhao grew up in the 21st century, and he thought he felt apathetic about everything. In fact, he was still very sensitive to some things, for example, Xu Fan crying. He immediately had a sense of unease, grievances, and felt like he was being depended upon.

Therefore, when Xu Fan raised his little arms, Xu Zhao immediately stopped the bicycle and hugged Xu Fan into his embrace. With a gentle smile, he comforted him, “Alright, alright. Don’t cry. Daddy’s back now. I’m back.”

Xu Fan was very aggrieved as he cried and hiccuped, his tiny body would shrug, he would hiccup again and his body would shrug again. He looked very adorable.

Xu Fan reached out his hand to wipe away the tears on Xu Fan’s face and said, “Be good. Don’t cry.”

Xu Fan slowly stopped crying.

Xu Zhao then turned to Father Xu and said, “Dad, let’s go home. Walk slower.”

“Okay.” Father Xu nodded as he used his crutches to head back into the village.

Xu Fan carried Xu Fan with one hand and pushed the bicycle with the other, walking behind Father Xu. “Why were you crying?” he asked Xu Fan.

Xu Fan had already stopped crying and replied, “I missed Daddy.”

Xu Zhao continued to say to Xu Fan, “Daddy also missed Xu Fan, but Daddy didn’t cry.”

Daddy also missed Xu Fan, but Daddy didn’t cry—

Hearing this, Xu Fan didn’t speak anymore and obediently leaned his small head on Xu Fan’s shoulder. He stayed this way until they arrived home like a quiet little handsome boy. In total, he sat in Xu Zhao’s arms for half an hour.

He returned to his lively and cute appearance again because not only did Xu Zhao keep his promise of buying pig trotters for Xu Fan, he even bought Xu Fan a toy car—a red bus.

The red bus was made of plastic, and although the workmanship was crude, it was sturdy and bulky and fit perfectly in Xu Fan’s embrace. There were even small doors on the car and the doors could be opened. You could even put small items inside like coins, marbles, or other small items. On the front of the car, there was a five-pointed star, symbolizing that it was made in China.

Xu Fan immediately calmed down, his eyes shining brightly as he stared at the toy car.

“Come play with it,” Xu Zhao said.

Xu Fan happily hugged it, looking it over as he carefully rubbed the body of the car and the wheel, then giggled. He squatted and tried to place the toy car on the ground. At first, he held the body of the car and let the car roll back and forth. He used a bit of force and pushed the toy car forward. The toy car whistled as it rolled back and forth.

Xu Fan happily pointed to the toy car and excitedly said, “Daddy! Da! The little car ran!”

“This isn’t a little car, it’s a big car,” Xu Zhao said.

“Is a little car.”

“It’s a big car.”

“Little car. It’s little.”

“…”

It was bad. Xu Fan had completely confused big cars and compact cars. It looked like he needed to be brought to the city to see what compact cars and big cars really are. However, before they’re able to go to the city, Xu Zhao had better take out the paper from his pockets and draw large and compact cars to show Xu Fan and explain to him a couple times. As for the difference between big and little cars, Xu Fan finally pointed to the toy car and said, “Second Grandpa Cui has a big car, and my car is also big!”

T-They’re all big cars—

Fine, leave it like this for now…

Xu Zhao helplessly let Xu Fan stay on the side and play as he sat by the stove and lit a fire.

Mother Xu stood before the stove, placing each of the freshly kneaded multi-grain steamed bunss into the bamboo basket. She also put dry pickled Chinese mustard, two pieces of meat, and half a pig trotter into the basket to steam. Afterwards, she closed the basket before beginning to criticize Xu Zhao for recklessly spending money. After criticizing for a few minutes, she changed the topic and asked Xu Zhao about today’s situation in the city.

Xu Zhao smiled and said, “I’ve just about completed the preliminary stages.”

“What does that mean? Does that mean there are final stages?” Mother Xu asked.

“Not final, but medium-term stages.”

“Why are there still medium-term stages? What does that mean?”

It couldn’t be clearly explained in a few words, so Xu Zhao could only say, “It means I’m going to the city again tomorrow.”

“Why are you going to the city again?”

“Mn… It’s because I haven’t finished my work.”

“When will you finish?”

“It will be completely finished after the Mid-Autumn Festival.”

Xu Zhao hadn’t finished speaking yet when the multi-grain steamed bunss were finished steaming and the subject was interrupted. Mother Xu went to call Father Xu and Xu Fan from the village to come eat.

After eating, Xu Zhao bathed Xu Fan in the courtyard while Father Xu explained why Xu Fan was crying earlier. He said a neighbor was joking with Xu Fan by saying that his daddy didn’t want him anymore, and that was why Xu Fan started wailing.

Joking?

That kind of joke wasn’t funny at all. It was very harmful.

Especially since there were no lies in a child’s world. Therefore, when it was time for them to sleep in the courtyard, Xu Zhao especially had a heart to heart with Xu Fan, expressing that Daddy will always love his son and would never not want him. However, Daddy will get busy sometimes, therefore he couldn’t play with his son all the time. During this time, the son had to be independent and stay strong because an independent and strong Baobao is the most handsome and the best.

Xu Fan lay naked beside Xu Zhao and said, “Daddy, I’m the most handsome.”

Xu Zhao smiled and said, “Yes, that’s why when Daddy goes to the city tomorrow, you can’t cry.”

“I won’t cry.”

Xu Zhao continued to speak softly, “Yes, and when you wake up tomorrow morning, you’ll go to the county town with Grandma and Grandparents and go with them to Uncle Cui’s house to pick up and sell popsicles, okay?”

Xu Fan thought for a moment, then said, “Okay, but Daddy, when are you coming back?”

“Daddy will come home tomorrow and pick you up. We’ll eat dumplings tomorrow night.”

“Dumplings!” Xu Zhao echoed.

“Mn, then it’s decided. You can’t cry or make a fuss.”

“I’m the most handsome.”

“That’s right!”

Once everything was said, Xu Zhao left out a breath of relief. This was the first time being a dad, so he didn’t actually understand anything.

In the 21st century, the living standards had greatly increased, and more and more people had placed an importance on education. Whether it was Weibo or Wechat, they would push family education, school education and other issues. Once education was involved, it would definitely attract a wave of battles and discussions. Under those influences, he was able to learn this little bit, and looking at it now, it seemed those discussions were of some use.

At least Xu Fan returned to his lively and cheerful self, sleeping comfortably next to Xu Zhao. Xu Zhao suddenly remembered that he still hadn’t gone over the notes he had taken during the day. Therefore, he crawled up again and went to find a match from the kitchen. He lit the kerosene lamp and sat on the big desk into the thatched hut to read the small notebook. He sorted through everything that he recorded today and made calculations in  his heart before returning to the courtyard to lay on the wooden bed and sleep.

The next morning, at the first glimmer of light, Mother Xu dragged Father Xu to take a walk in the village. Xu Zhao also woke up and roused Xu Fan awake. Who knew that as soon as Xu Fan opened his eyes, he didn’t look at him but looked around in confusion instead. Seeing the end of the toy car, he reached out and wrapped the toy car in his embrace, and then closed his eyes to continue sleeping.

Xu Zhao: “…”

Why does he love cars so much?

Xu Zhao smiled helplessly, and got up to wash his face and brush his teeth. At this time, Mother and Father Xu also arrived home. Xu Zhao called out to them then brought out two multi-grain steamed bunss from the kitchen and filled them with a bit of salted vegetables. Afterwards, he rode his bicycle to Cui Qingfeng’s house, making the popsicles in advance with Cui Qingfeng. During this time, Cui Qingfeng happily said, “Youngest uncle agreed!”

“Agreed to what?” Xu Zhao asked.

“He agreed to take us to West Prefecture City’s East District.”

“Really?” Xu Zhao became very happy.

“Of course. You always say that I’m great, but you don’t know that my youngest uncle is also great. Once you’ve interacted with him more, you’ll understand. My youngest uncle is the actual great one. He’s just a bit cold and always pretending that he’s thinking. By the way, where’s Xu Sanwa?” Cui Qingfeng said.

“He’s at home. He’ll ride the ox cart over later,” Xu Zhao replied.

“Didn’t he want to sit in the car? Why didn’t you bring him over?”

“I won’t be able to do business if I bring him along. Besides, I’ll be busy with work so who’ll watch him? Your youngest uncle?”

“That’s true.”

The two talked while they finished making the popsicles and placing them in the refrigerator. Once Mother and Father Xu arrive at the county town, they just have to place the popsicles inside the foam box and bring it to Fan’s Little Shop to sell.

Afterwards, Xu Zhao and Cui Qingfeng washed their hands and cleaned the area, then called Cui Dingchen. Cui Dingchen wore a gray and blue checkered shirt, dark blue pants, and black sneakers. Although he was wearing casual clothes, he still looked put-together. To be able to dress like this in this era, the pieces must have been carefully selected  and he must love showing off his beauty.

“Let’s go,” Cui Dingchen said.

Xu Zhao and Cui Qingfeng rode in Cui Dingchen’s black compact car. When the black car drove past the intersection, Xu Zhao and Cui Qingfeng saw Mother Xu, Father Xu, and Xu Fan.

As Xu Zhao pressed his face against the window to get a better look outside, the car also slowed down.

Therefore, Xu Zhao saw Mother and Father Xu happily talking as they pulled the ox car, and sitting on the ox cart was Xu Fan. Xu Fan was freely swinging his two short legs back and forth, the patch on his crotch was clearly visible. Xu Fan was completely unaware of this as he held the toy car in one hand and his other meaty hand held a multi-grain steamed buns, smacking his lips while eating it. He was completely focused on the bun and didn’t even notice the black car passing by.

With the speed of the far, Mother Xu, Father Xu, and Xu Fan’s image fell to the back. Xu Zhao and Cui Qingfeng couldn’t see them anymore. “Xu Fan’s still eating?” Cui Qingfeng said with a smile.

“Mn, maybe he didn’t eat his fill. Or Grandma and Grandpa were rushing him so he could only eat on the ox cart,” Xu Zhao said.

“He’s able to eat more and more.”

“How else will he plump up quickly?”

“He did get a lot fatter.”

“He didn’t get a lot fatter, just a bit,” Xu Zhao said while defending Xu Fan. “He plumped up just the right amount. He looks very good now.”

Cui Qingfeng nodded and said, “Right, right.”

Cui Dingchen listened as he glanced at Xu Zhao through the rearview mirror before retrieving his gaze and returning his focus on driving. He drove all the way to West Prefecture City’s East District.

West Prefecture City’s East District was West Prefecture City’s factory district. Besides the national enterprise cigarette factory, provision and other factories, there were also the small private factories that were opened in the past few years. For example, clothing factories, provision factories, and breeding farms. There weren’t many regulations, but the awareness of the people of West Prefecture City was already good so they would definitely develop well in the future.

The car slowed down when it arrived in the East District. “Where to?” Cui Dingchen asked.

Cui Qingfeng looked at Xu Zhao and asked, “Where are we going? Where should we stop the car?”

“Youngest uncle, why don’t you stop here? We’ll be wandering around this area for a while. If you have something you need to do, you should go ahead. Qingfeng and I can take the bus home later,” Xu Zhao said to Cui Dingchen.

Cui Dingchen looked at Xu Zhao through the rearview mirror and said, “I’m not busy today.”


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