RERC Chapter 40 Approaching the Festival

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Xu Zhao was very willing to have Cui Dingchen stay here for a cup of water or to even stay the night, but he couldn’t for the time being. Cui Dingchen had money, a car, looks, and he was from the city, but it was quite conspicuous. As soon as he stepped foot into Xu Zhao’s courtyard, Xu Zuocheng and the other brother would imagine a million possibilities regarding “money.” They would come look for Mother and Father Xu later for money and stir up trouble.

Therefore, Cui Dingchen definitely couldn’t enter South Bay Village.

However, how was he supposed to tell Cui Dingchen that?

While Xu Zhao was hesitating, he heard Cui Dingchen say, “Next time.”

Xu Zhao was stunned, thinking that Cui Dingchen had read the conflicted expression on his face. And so, he directly said to Cui Dingchen, “Next time then. I’m sorry, Youngest uncle. It’s just that my two older brothers—”

“Mn, I understand. You’re making the right decision,” Cui Dingchen rebuked.

Hearing this, a knot released in Xu Zhao’s heart. “Thank you, Youngest uncle. Thank you for understanding. Let me know when you have time and I’ll treat you to a meal.”

“Then it’s decided.”

“Okay,” Xu Zhao simply agreed.

Cui Dingchen let out a rarely seen smile. The little smile made him look especially handsome. It couldn’t be helped. If you were handsome, you’d be handsome no matter what. After Xu Zhao let out a sigh in his heart, he persuaded Mother Xu with Cui Dingchen.

Mother Xu regretted letting Cui Dingchen go, and watched as the compact car disappeared on the dirt road. Mother Xu kept praising Cui Dingchen for how handsome he was, how good he was at making money, and how good of a person he was. She praised him using dozens of sentences. Seeing that no one answered, she shifted the topic and asked Xu Zhao and Xu Fan what happened in the city.

Xu Zhao briefly explained the main points, stating that he had to go to the city again tomorrow. He’d bring back 500 pieces of mooncakes to Fan’s Little Shop and do a trail sale.

While they were talking, they had already arrived at the entrance of South Bay Village. It was already night time and all the houses in South Bay Village already had their kerosene lamps on, but it couldn’t be compared to the bright lights in the city and couldn’t be used to illuminate the area.

Xu Zhao was afraid that Father Xu would fall, and he was afraid that Mother Xu wouldn’t be able to support Father Xu. Therefore, he left Mother Xu to slowly push the bicycle while he held Xu Fan with one hand and supported Father Xu with the other as they walked on the small dirt road that led inside South Bay Village. As they were walking, two small children energetically ran toward them.

Before Xu Zhao could see clearly, the two children had already run to them.

At this moment, Xu Fan spoke up, “Daddy, Erwa pushed me.”

Xu Zhao was surprised and asked, “The one who ran over just now was Erwa?”

“And Dawa as well. Dawa didn’t push me. Erwa pushed me,” Xu Fan replied.

“It’ll be fine. I’ll rub it for you. Stay away from him during the day and he won’t be able to push you.”

“Okay. If Erwa tries to push me next time, I’ll push Erwa.”

“Erwa?” Mother Xu shifted the topic and said, “The ones who ran over just now were Dawa and Erwa?”

“It’s them,” Xu Zhao said.

Mother Xu was immediately unhappy and said, “Those two kids have no respect!”

Xu Zhao had long been used to Xu Zuocheng and Xu Youcheng lacking respect, so he never took it to heart. Moreover, Mother Xu was merely saying it, and forgot about it after a while.

They walked to their courtyard door, and Mother Xu noticed something off. Firstly, the wooden door to their courtyard was half open, and secondly, the flour pancake she had left in the pan for Xu Zhao and Xu Fan was gone. Mother Xu was extremely pissed, but she couldn’t go find trouble for Xu Dawa and Xu Erwa without any evidence.

She could only stand in the courtyard and scold someone’s cat or dog for stealing the wheat pancakes. She yelled for a whole half hour, attracting the neighbors over. but it was useless. Xu Zuocheng and the others wouldn’t admit it. Moreover, they would probably use this method again in the future to steal what they wanted.

However, this matter reminded Xu Zhao of something. If they had money in the future, they absolutely couldn’t leave it at home. And at the same time, an idea formed in his heart. And that was after they made money, they needed to quickly move. Even if they couldn’t move into the county town, they should still find a new piece of land to build another tiled house.

If they didn’t, the mud wall inside the courtyard wouldn’t be enough to block the dirty tricks of Xu Zuocheng and Xu Youcheng’s families. Therefore, after Xu Zhao comforted Mother Xu, he entered work mode. Not only did he think about channels to sell the mooncakes, he also thought about how to use the money after he earned it to make their lives a bit better. And at this time, the neighbors to the left and right had already left.

Da Zhuang was the only one who remained.

Da Zhuang and Xu Fan gropped in the dark as they played with dirt in a corner of the courtyard. They played very excitedly.

“Sanwa, a dog at your wheat pancake?” Da Zhuang asked.

“A dog didn’t eat it. It was a cat,” Xu Fan said.

“It was a dog,” Da Zhuang said.

“No, a cat,” Xu Fan persisted.

“A dog.”

“A cat.”

“It was a dog. A cat wouldn’t be able to finish eating two wheat pancakes,” Da Zhuang explained to Xu Fan.

“A dog wouldn’t be able to reach the stove,” Xu Fan also explained to Da Zhuang.

“A dog.”

“A cat!”

Da Zhuang thought for a moment, and compromised and said, “Then a dog and a cat ate it together.”

“The cat and dog ate it together. Da Zhuang, where’s your slingshot,” Xu Fan asked.

“At home,” Da Zhuang replied.

“Let me play with it.”

“Okay, let’s go to my house to play with the slingshot,” Da Zhuang said bluntly.

“Let’s go.”

Xu Fan stood up, about to head toward Da Zhuang’s house.

Xu Fan happened to come from the kitchen at this time and yelled, “Xu Fan, where are you going?”

Xu Fan hugged his toy car as he turned his head and said, “Going to Da Zhuang’s house to play with the slingshot.”

“It’s already dark. Aren’t you going to sleep?” Xu Zhao asked.

“Daddy, I’m not sleepy,” Xu Fan replied.

“Just because you’re not sleepy, does that mean Da Zhuang’s father won’t be sleepy?

“I played with Da Zhuang, not Da Zhuang’s parents.”

“…” This answer was very reasonable and he couldn’t refute it.

In the end, Xu Zhao allowed Xu Fan to play at Da Zhuang’s house for ten minutes before he went to Da Zhuang’s house to bring Xu Fan home. After washing up, the father and son slept in the courtyard as always. Before Xu Zhao could fall asleep, he heard Mother Xu grumbling to Father Xu and even blaming herself from time to time.

In fact, Mother Xu still held a grudge over the wheat pancakes. Xu Zhao sighed and thought to himself that he needed to hurry up. He needed to quickly pass August 15th and after making money, he’d build a tiled house. If he wanted to move, he couldn’t be passive.

The next morning, Xu Zhao stayed at home. Fan’s Little Shop was left to Cui Qingfeng, and he didn’t need to get the 500 pieces of mooncakes from the West Prefecture Food Factory until the afternoon. Therefore, he had a rare leisure day at home and sharpened sickles and mended gloves by the well with Mother Xu.

Since the soybeans needed to be harvested soon, they needed to prepare the necessary tools. They busily worked until noon, then Xu Zhao went into the village to call Xu Fan back for lunch. Xu Fan and Da Zhuang were crouching next to the radio in the barber’s, Old Wang, place. Their meaty hands held their faces as they listened to <Journey to the West> that was being broadcasted on the radio. The two were completely concentrated on listening. 

When they finished listening, Da Zhuang said, “Ah, master is g-going to be put inside a pot by a m-monster to be cooked and eaten.”

“He won’t be cooked,” Xu Fan said.

“Why not?” Da Zhuang asked.

“Because the pot wouldn’t be able to hold the master,” Xu Fan said.

“That’s right. The pot can’t hold the master,” Da Zhuang said.

“But the m-monster would roast the master and eat him,” Xu Fan said in a milky voice.

“…” Xu Fan was probably a spy sent by the monster group.

At the same time, the group of adults who had also finished listening to the radio let out large laughs. The adults who didn’t like to play dominoes, if they weren’t busy, either went to Old Wang’s house or someone else’s house to use the radio to listen to book comments, stories, weather forecasts, operas and other things. They often saw Xu Fan and Da Zhuang crouching by the radio, and it wasn’t the first time they were amused by the two children.

Xu Zhao stepped forward and awkwardly picked up Xu Fan and carried him home. After eating lunch, he took Xu Fan to Fan’s Little Shop in the county town. Besides Cui Dingchen inside Fan’s Little Shop, Cui Dingchen was actually also there. Xu Fan immediately smiled and greeted him.

“Heading to the city?” Cui Dingchen said.

Xu Zhao nodded and said, “Mn.”

“I’m heading there as well,” Cui Dingchen said.

As well?

Xu Zhao didn’t think much of it since the main location of Cui Dingchen’s work was currently in the city, so it was normal for him to head to the city often.

And so, he left the bicycle at Fan’s Little Shop and carried Xu Fan to sit in Cui Dingchen’s car to go to the West Prefecture City. Once he picked up the 500 pieces of mooncakes, they returned to Fan’s Little Shop, and he used a brush to write on a piece of cardboard. He wrote several signs that said:

—Order mooncakes.

—Selling mooncakes.

 —Mooncakes from West Prefecture City Food Factory.

It was just that the writing was…ugly.

Cui Dingchen couldn’t help but raise his glance at Fan’s Little Shop’s signs.

“These were all written by Xu Zhao,” Cui Qingfeng whispered at the side.

“Why didn’t you write it?” Cui Dingchen asked.

“My handwriting is ugly.”

“You write better than this,” Cui Dingchen said truthfully.

Cui Qingfeng quickly made a “shh” gesture with his finger, then pointed at Xu Fan and indicated to Cui Dingchen not to say anything bad about Xu Zhao. And if he did, don’t let Xu Fan hear it or else Xu Fan would get very angry. Worried that Cui Dingchen didn’t believe him, Cui Qingfeng deliberately teased Xu Fan by asking, “Sanwa, who wrote this?”

“My Daddy!” Xu Fan immediately said with pride.

“Does it look good?” Cui Qingfeng looked at Xu Fan and asked.

“Very good.”

“But I don’t think it looks good,” Cui Qingfeng said.

Xu Fan angrily stomped his little feet and huffed out, “It looks very good!”

“It’s not good.”

“It’s very good!”

Cui Qingfeng laughed when he heard this.

“Alright, stop teasing him. Go help out. I’m heading to the city again,” Cui Dingchen said.

“Youngest uncle, why are you going to the city again?” Cui Qingfeng asked.

“I need to do something,” Cui Dingchen calmly replied.

“You need to do something? Liar. Are you going on a date with your little man?” Cui Qingfeng half-jokingly and half-seriously winked at Cui Dingchen.

“Move aside,” Cui Dingchen said with a calm expression.

Cui Qingfeng chuckled.

Cui Dingchen ignored him, and after notifying Xu Zhao, he drove his car away.

Cui Qingfeng laughed and entered Fan’s Little Shop.

Inside Fan’s Little Shop, Xu Zhao was busy counting the mooncakes. He counted four rows and placed them inside the little shop, then counted 200 pieces of mooncakes and placed them inside a foam box. And using mooncake stickers that he got from who knew where, he stuck it on the ones inside the mooncakes. Afterwards, he carried the foam box to the bicycle.

Cui Qingfeng was surprised and asked, “Xu Zhao, where are you going?”

“To sell mooncakes of course,” Xu Zhao said.

Cui Qingfeng asked, “Where are you going to sell them? It’s not the Mid-Autumn Festival yet. You won’t be able to sell them. Let’s wait a couple more days.”

Xu Zhao smiled and said, “I know. I didn’t actually plan on selling them.”

“Then why would you waste your time running around?” Cui Qingfeng asked again.


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