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Something happened at home?
Xu Zhao carefully asked around before finding that the daughter from Sister Yun’s family suddenly got really sick last night and was hospitalized. That was why Sister Yun and Sister Yun’s partner hadn’t gone to work since yesterday, but rushed to accompany the daughter instead.
After clearly asking and finding that it was the County Town Hospital Center that Father Xu was hospitalized in before, Xu Zhao didn’t delay and rode the bicycle, bringing Xu Fan to County Town Hospital Center. He especially bought a watermelon at the intersection along with the box of mooncakes. Since he didn’t know what kind of illness Sister Yun’s daughter had, Xu Zhao pulled Xu Fan through the hospital hallways and looked through the doors one by one in search of them.
After searching for a long time, he still didn’t find them.
Xu Zhao suspected that Sister Yun’s daughter might have already been discharged, but it was only a suspicion. Therefore, he planned to look again and give up if he still couldn’t find them. At this moment, he heard a familiar voice call out from behind, “Xu Zhao? Xu Fan?”
Xu Zhao and Xu Fan looked back and immediately saw Sister Yun standing in the hallway. Sister Yun wasn’t wearing her work clothes, but a simple flower patterned short-sleeved shirt with black pants. Her mental state also didn’t look back. Seeing Xu Zhao and Xu Fan, she was shocked, walked over and asked, “Xu Zhao, what are you doing here?”
Xu Zhao hurriedly said, “Sister Yun, I’m here to see your daughter.”
“To see my daughter?” Sister Yun asked in surprise.
Xu Zhao pulled Xu Fan and walked towards Sister Yun as he said, “Mn. I was selling mooncakes in the city all day yesterday, so I didn’t come back. Qingfeng was the one who delivered the popsicles. That’s why I didn’t know that your daughter was sick and hospitalized. Today, I heard from the office sisters that your daughter was hospitalized, so I came to visit.”
“Were you two looking for us room to room?” Sister Yun asked.
Xu Zhao nodded.
A wave of emotion flourished inside Sister Yun’s heart.
Xu Zhao didn’t know this and asked worriedly, “How is your daughter?”
Sister Yun regained her thoughts and hurriedly said, “She’s all right. It’s appendicitis.”
Appendicitis… That was a big deal. “Did she have surgery already?” Xu Zhao asked.
“Yes, and it was very successful. She’ll stay in the hospital for three to five more days before being discharged.”
“That’s good. Very good.” Xu Zhao let out a sigh of relief.
Sister Yun enthusiastically pulled Xu Zhao and Xu Fan into the ward to sit and visit for a bit.
In order to prevent Xu Fan from disturbing Sister Yun’s family, Xu Zhao didn’t speak much with Sister Yun. He put down the watermelon and mooncake before pulling Xu Fan to leave. He didn’t mention the mooncakes at all since it wasn’t the right time. He could wait a bit longer. Wait until Sister Yun’s daughter was discharged, and Sister Yun and her partner were in a better mood before bringing it up.
Therefore, the remaining five boxes of mooncakes were tied to the bicycle again. Xu Zhao placed Xu Fan on the front handlebars, and just as he was about to ride away, he saw Sister Yun from the corner of his eye rushing out and calling, “Xu Zhao. Xu Zhao!”
Xu Zhao stopped and waited for Sister Yun.
Sister Yun held two bills in her hand and asked Xu Zhao, “Did you leave these two Yuan pressed under the mooncake box?”
Xu Zhao didn’t conceal it and said, “I did. It’s money for visiting the patient.”
Hearing this, Sister Yun didn’t say anything and stuffed the money into Xu Zhao’s pocket.
Xu Zhao leaned to one side.
Sister Yun failed to stuff the money into Xu Zhao’s pocket. She looked at Xu Zhao and said, “Visiting already shows your intentions, so why did you give us money? Take it back.”
Xu Zhao smiled and said, “Sister Yun, you should keep it. You and your partner have helped me out so much. I don’t have much money, but use these two Yuan to buy snacks for you daughter.”
“Snacks don’t need two Yuan.”
“Buy some meat to nourish her body.”
Sister Yun instantly had nothing to say. In fact, she was already surprised that Xu Zhao had come to visit. Her daughter’s hospitalization this time, many of her family members knew about it, but because they were too poor or for whatever other reason, everyone pretended they didn’t know, so they didn’t even give a greeting. She didn’t hold any resentment since everyone had their own difficulties, however, she never would have thought that Xu Zhao would come to visit. Not only did he bring watermelon and mooncakes, he even thoughtfully put two Yuan at the bottom of the mooncake box.
Although two Yuan wasn’t much, she felt that this sincerity was very rare and precious. Her eyes instantly reddened. In fact, as the clerk of the steel factory, she had helped numerous people in regards with purchasing their items, and Xu Zhao was only one of many who had benefited from her. However, Xu Zhao was the most sincere and genuine one. Not to mention that he was usually very polite to her, the Fan’s Little Shop he opened sold her partner’s cigarette. And every time, he would let her partner profit on the difference. One could say that Xu Zhao truly understood kindness and favors.
Sister Yun looked at Xu Zhao, wanting to say something but nothing came out.
Xu Zhao looked at Sister Yun and said, “Sister Yun, you should head inside. I’ll head back first. Xu Fan, say bye to auntie.”
Xu Fan immediately said obediently, “Bye, auntie.”
Sister Yun looked at Xu Fan, her gaze gentle. As Xu Zhao pushed the bicycle out of the hospital, her gaze landed on the bag of mooncakes that were on the back of the bicycle. “Xu Zhao, wait!” she called out.
Xu Zhao stopped again and asked, “Sister Yun, what’s wrong?”
“Are you selling mooncakes now? I think I heard you say that you went into the city to sell mooncakes yesterday?” Sister Yun asked.
This “now” word made Xu Zhao a bit embarrassed. Xu Zhao really did want to sell everything, but for now, Xu Zhao only nodded and said, “Mn.”
“Are you planning on selling them to the steel factory and cigarette factory?” Sister Yun asked.
Xu Zhao looked at Sister Yun in shock.
Sister Yun smiled and said, “Every Mid-Autumn Festival, the steel factory and cigarette factory will give mooncakes to their workers. Don’t you want to fight to have our factories use your mooncakes?”
I do. I originally wanted to talk to you about this matter,” Xu Zhao said with a bit of embarrassment.
Because of Xu Zhao’s sincerity, Sister Yun liked Xu Zhao even more. She smiled and asked, “And then you saw that my daughter was hospitalized so you didn’t bring it up?”
Sister Yun laughed and said, “All right. I’ll remember this matter. When my parents come this afternoon to watch my daughter, I’ll head to work with my partner and speak with the higher ups about the worker benefits for the Mid-Autumn Festival.”
Xu Zhao looked at Sister Yun in surprise.
Sister Yun smiled and patted Xu Zhao’s shoulder, and said, “Don’t be surprised. Good people will be rewarded. You deserve this.”
Xu Zhao glanced at Sister Yun and immediately understood. He let out a relieved smile.
Sister Yun patted Xu Fan’s plump small face, and said to Xu Zhao, “It’s hot, so you should head home quickly. Take a good rest and wait for my good news.”
“Thank you, Sister Yun,” Xu Zhao said very politely.
Sister Yun smiled and said, “If I really had a younger brother like you, I’d be so happy.”
“Then, I’ll be your younger brother in the future,” Xu Zhao intentionally said.
“You really have a clever mouth. Now go quickly.”
“Later, Sister Yun.”
Watching Xu Zhao ride the bicycle and carry Xu Fan away, the warmth in the bottom of Sister Yun’s heart had spread out, making her feel elated. She lowered her head and looked at the two Yuan in her hand, her smile grew wider as she put the two Yuan away. She turned around and reentered the hospital, telling her partner about the matter of the mooncake. Meanwhile, Xu Zhao had already biked back to Fan’s Little Shop and told Sister Yun’s situation to Mother and Father Xu.
Although Mother and Father Xu felt distressed over the two Yuan, they felt that their son did the right thing. Therefore, they didn’t say anything and went back to doing their own things.
Three days later, it was pouring in the morning. Xu Zhao borrowed Uncle Zhang’s phone to call Cui Qingfeng’s home and told him that it would be hard to sell popsicles in the rain and the roads weren’t good. He happened to be home, so he would count the mooncakes and balance Fan’s Little Shop’s accounts as well. Cui Qingfeng agreed.
Hanging up the phone, Xu Zhao stayed at Uncle Zhang’s house and helped Uncle Zhang read a letter sent by the Zhang’s family’s seventh daughter. The Zhang family’s seventh daughter didn’t have a phone and could only write letters. Afterward, Xu Zhao wrote a letter back to home, and once done, Uncle Zhang once again stuffed two milk candies into Xu Zhao’s hand, saying it’s for Xu Fan.
Xu Zhao didn’t refuse. He took the candy and left Uncle Zhang’s house. He walked a few steps to avoid the muddy water, and saw Da Zhuang as well as Xu Fan.
It was raining, but Xu Fan and Da Zhuang weren’t afraid of getting wet, and who knew where they had taken off and left their shoes. Using their bare meaty feet, they stomped in the puddles and mud, their whole bodies were covered in mud, yet they were still laughing happily.
“Xu Fan,” Xu Zhao called.
Xu Fan didn’t hear it at all.
However, Da Zhuang heard it and said, “Xu Fan, your dad is here to beat you up.”
“Your dad is the one who beats you! My dad has never hit me. My dad spoils me,” Xu Fan said without looking up. He had already forgotten that Xu Zhao had beat him once before.
Da Zhuang pointed his small hand toward Xu Zhao and said, “Look, your dad is here to beat you up.”
Xu Fan looked over and saw Xu Fan’s stiff face.
“Who let you get soaked in this rain?” Xu Zhao said.
Daddy was angry! Xu Fan immediately used his bare food to run towards the small courtyard. He almost slipped and fell a few times, but he still managed to run unevenly to Mother and Father Xu’s thatched hut. Once Xu Zhao entered, he saw Xu Fan hiding behind Father Xu, anxiously looking at Xu Zhao. His meaty legs were covered in mud.
“Where are your shoes?” Xu Zhao asked.
“My shoes didn’t get dirty,” Xu Fan answered evasively.
“Then where are they?”
Shoes? Where were his shoes?
Da Zhuang had come to look for him to play earlier, and he was very happy. However, Daddy said he couldn’t get his shoes dirty or wet, so he immediately took them off. However, where did he throw those shoes to? His watery eyes looked all around, and he finally saw his own small shoes. He used his tiny fingers to point and said, “Over there.”
Xu Zhao saw a pair of tiny shoes next to Father Xu’s seat. The little guy actually knew not to get his shoes dirty.
“Come here,” Xu Zhao said.
“But…” Xu Fan said.
“If you come here, I won’t hit you. I’ll give you three seconds. Three…”
Xu Fan immediately ran to Xu Zhao’s side.
Xu Zhao saw that his hair and clothes were completely soaked, and his face, hands, legs, and feet were covered in mud.
Feeling that Xu Zhao was angry, Xu Fan immediately Da Zhuang out Da Zhuang. “Da Zhuang fell down, but I didn’t.”
The corners of Xu Zhao’s mouth twitched a bit. The interactions between Xu Fan and Da Zhuang, these two children, were completely shady. However, if something happened to them, they would come together again to work as well. For example, when Erwa bullied Da Zhuang before, Xu Fan and Da Zhuang teamed up to beat up Erwa. It was just that as soon as they opened their mouths, they would sell the other out. Xu Zhao really couldn’t understand, and said, “Xu Fan, you’re very awesome.”
“Mn. I’m very awesome!”
Children were naughty and loved playing by nature, plus they hadn’t done anything wrong. When Xu Zhao was eight or nine years old, he remembered that he also loved playing in the mud and whatnot. Therefore, he didn’t reprimand Xu Fan about this. Instead, he told him that it was easy to get sick in the rain. Afterward, he boiled half a pot of water and gave Xu Fan a bath.
During the bath, the rain stopped. Therefore, Xu Zhao carried the wooden basin, and Xu Fan, who was sitting inside of it, out into the courtyard. As Xu Fan stayed naked and helped Xu Zhao stand into the wooden basin so Xu Zhao could wash his legs, Cui Qingfeng had come.
Cui Qingfeng immediately exclaimed, “Oh my! Who is this? Oh wow! Isn’t this our Xu Sanwa? Wow wow. He’s completely naked! How shameful.”
Xu Fan looked back, his small arms immediately wrapping around Xu Zhao, his face buried in Xu Zhao’s check. His small booty faced Cui Qingfeng as he said, “Daddy, don’t let him see.”
Xu Zhao: “…”
“Sanwa, why are you bathing during the day?” Cui Qingfeng happily joked.
Xu Zhao wrapped an arm around Xu Fan as he looked at Cui Qingfeng and asked, “What are you doing here?”
“Guess,” Cui Qingfeng said with a smile.
“…Are you that bored? Tell me. What’s up?” Xu Zhao used a towel to wipe Xu Fan’s tiny body.
“About the mooncake matter!” Cui Qingfeng said.
Xu Zhao immediately looked up toward Cui Qingfeng.
Cui Qingfeng deliberately carried a briefcase over today. He took out two pieces of paper from the briefcase and said, “Can you guess what this is?”