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How could that be?
Xu Zhao smiled and explained to Cui Qingfeng that he was getting word of Fan’s Little Shop out and advertising. This was all for the sake of selling mooncakes two weeks later, and not to sell mooncakes now. After he got through to Cui Qingfeng, Xu Zhao tied the foam box onto the bicycle’s back seat and also hung a cardboard sign on the bicycle’s handlebars. On the sign written in big letters was—East Street Intersection’s Fan’s Little Shop.
“Are you really going to go now? Isn’t it too early? There’s still two weeks till the Mid-Autumn Festival,” Cui Qingfeng asked.
“Mn. It’s not too early. Not at all. It’s exactly the right time now,” Xu Zhao said.
“Then, are you sure you don’t want me to go? I’m very tolerant of the sun,” Cui Qingfeng tried to promote himself.
Xu Fan refused with a smile, “It’s fine. You stay and watch the store. I’ll take our Xu Fan to look around and gain some experience.”
“Fine. Then make sure to contact me if anything happens,” Cui Qingfeng could only say
“I got it.”
Afterward, Xu Zhao took Xu Fan to North Street first to hawk mooncakes. Since his original plan was to come out to advertise, Xu Zhao didn’t feel any pressure as he walked the streets and alleys. He was very carefree as he casually taught Xu Fan some life knowledge. Electric poles, electric fans, charcoal briquette, faucet, cinema, little alleys, and other things were all taught to Xu Fan. Xu Fan was extremely happy today, and he became even more cheerful. He would also ask about anything he saw.
“Daddy, what is that?”
“It’s a pagoda.”
“What’s a pagoda?”
“A pagoda is a kind of building. It’s a building like a house.”
“T-then does the Great Sage Equalling Heaven1The Great Sage Equalling Heaven is the self-proclaimed title of the Sun Wukong otherwise known as the Monkey King from Journey to the West live there?”
“How could the Great Sage Equalling Heaven be there?” Xu Zhao asked in turn.
“Isn’t this the pagoda bearing god’s2Li Jing, also known as Pagoda-Bearing Heavenly King Li is a figure in Chinese mythology and a god in Chinese folk religion. He also appears in many shows like Journey to the West. pagoda?” Whenever Xu Fan had time recently, he would always listen to the radio with Da Zhuang and listen to <The Journey to the West>. The two children were completely enchanted, and they must have listened to it several times already. Not only did they know that the pagoda bearing god once used a pagoda to hold down Sun Wukong, they also knew some details that even Xu Zhao didn’t know.
“Daddy, what’s that?” Xu Fan sat on the bicycle and used his small finger to point at the blue sky and asked.
“Daddy, what’s that?”
“Ducks. You don’t know what ducks are? Little brat, you dare lie to Daddy.”
Xu Zhao continued to bring Xu Fan around like this, accompanied by the crisp sound of the bicycle’s bell as they rode all over North Street, East Street, West Street, and Middle Street. The sometimes lively and sometimes quiet streets, roads, and alleys of the ‘80s were all ridden around by Xu Zhao and Xu Fan.
The father and son even compassionately helped an old granny carry water, send a lost little lady home, as well as helped a peddler push their ox cart and much more until…they obtained the praise of all the people who lived in the streets and alleys. Of course, a lot of people also knew that this father and son duo sold mooncakes and their store was on the East Street intersection. They spend their day very happily.
Of course, some unpleasant things also happened. Just as Xu Zhao had said, Xu Zuocheng and Xu Youcheng took the opportunity while Xu Zhao wasn’t home to find Mother and Father Xu for money. The two elders naturally didn’t give them any. Although they followed Xu Zhao’s instructions and went to find the village chief to have the village chief berate the two brothers, Father Xu was still angered to the point of having to be hospitalized and needing two IV drips.
Fortunately, there weren’t any major problems. Xu Zhao was relieved, then started bringing Xu Fan to the countryside. He had already hawked and shouted in all of the villages surrounding the county town. From time to time, the father and son would sit under the tree shade to cool down or sit inside some granny’s house to gnaw on summer radishes…
Riding and laughing like this, Xu Fan actually lost two catties, causing Mother Xu to be very distressed. Father Xu even said that his Baobao lost at least five catties. It was Xu Zhao, the dad, who took him to tan in the sun, making him very dark. The two elders held Xu Fan, not letting Xu Fan follow Xu Zhao to sell mooncakes. Xu Fan didn’t listen at all and continued to follow Xu Zhao since he loved Xu Zhao more. Whenever he opened his mouth, it was always about “my Daddy,” and it wouldn’t do if he couldn’t see Xu Zhao for even a moment.
The days passed like this and the Mid-Autumn Festival still hadn’t arrived but the busy farming season had come. The busy farming season was very close to the Mid-Autumn Festival. Xu Zhao couldn’t be in two places at once and Father Xu still couldn’t bear any weight, so Xu Zhao spent money to hire Da Zhuang’s father and the others to help harvest the soybeans.
And after laying the groundwork for mooncakes for so long, Xu Zhao could finally put his plan into action. He really wouldn’t bring Xu Fan with him this time, and thankfully Xu Zuocheng and Xu Youcheng were also busy with the busy farming season and didn’t have time to cause a fuss. The night before he decided to start busying himself with work, Xu Zhao discussed it with Xu Fan and had him start following Father Xu.
“Daddy, where are you going?” Xu Fan’s little face scrunched with doubt as he asked.
“I’m going to sell mooncakes,” Xu Zhao said.
“I can sell them too,” Xu Fan said.
“You’re still too young and there’s a lot of mooncakes. You can’t carry them, and Daddy will be very busy and won’t have time to take care of you.”
Xu Fan stared at Xu Zhao without saying anything and started to feel wronged.
Xu Zhao said, “Daddy will be busy for ten days. After ten days and once I’ve made money, I’ll buy you new clothes, toys, and meat, okay?”
Xu Fan wanted to cry but didn’t as he said, “But I want Daddy. I want Daddy.”
Xu Zhao thought for a moment and said, “Mn, you want Daddy, but Daddy also wants Daddy’s Daddy.”
“Daddy’s Daddy is Grandpa,” Xu Fan answered.
“That’s right.” Xu Zhao rubbed Xu Fan’s little plump face and said, “Grandpa is sick. We need to spend money everyday to buy medicine or else Grandpa won’t get better. Do you want Grandpa to be sick?”
Xu Fan shook his head.
“Xu Zhao softly said, “Then you help Daddy watch over Grandpa. Once Daddy has made enough money, I’ll come home to play with you, okay?”
“Okay,” Xu Fan said obediently.
“Good boy!” Xu Fan cupped Xu Fan’s little meaty face and gave it a kiss.
Xu Fan finally stopped feeling wronged.
After discussing it with Xu Fan, the next day, Xu Zhao used the chance while Xu Fan was still sleeping to quickly pack his things and rode the bicycle to the Cui residence. As soon as he entered the courtyard, he saw Cui Dingchen who was wearing casual clothes. Cui Dingchen opened his mouth to say, “How rare.”
“What’s rare?” Xu Zhao asked.
“You haven’t appeared in close to a month. I thought you disappeared from the face of the earth,” Cui Dingchen said expressionlessly.
Xu Zhao was a bit embarrassed and said, “Youngest uncle, you must be joking. I even saw your car a week ago.”
“But did you see me?” Cui Dingchen asked, his tone a bit chilly.
“…No.” In fact, he only saw the car since he knew it was Cui Dingchen’s car.
Cui Dingchen raised an eyebrow at Xu Zhao and asked, “What are you doing here today?”
“Looking for Qingfeng to carry the mooncakes.”
“Mn. Old Liu will be driving his van here soon. You guys can sit in his van.”
“Thank you, Youngest uncle.”
Xu Zhao hadn’t thought about it until about a week ago. There were simply too many mooncakes. They definitely couldn’t use an ox cart or a bicycle to carry it around so he could only find a car. And so, Xu Zhao remembered that Cui Dingchen was involved in logistics. Cui Qingfeng volunteered to tell Cui Dingchen of this matter. He didn’t expect Cui Dingchen to have already made arrangements this morning. He really was very quick.
“Mn, I’ve also been busy lately so I haven’t been able to help you guys,” Cui Dingchen said.
“Youngest uncle, you’ve helped me out a lot already,” Xu Zhao said politely.
Cui Dingchen was very impressed by Xu Zhao’s politeness and modesty. The more he appraised Xu Zhao, the more he (CDC) found Xu Zhao pleasing to the eye. However, he kept feeling like something was missing and asked, “Where’s your little fatty? I haven’t seen him in a month.”
Xu Zhao didn’t react for a second and asked, “Who?”
Cui Dingchen changed his words and said, “Where’s Xu Fan?”
“Oh, he’s at home. Grandpa is watching him.”
“He didn’t cry?”
“He was still sleeping when I left.”
As Cui Dingchen was about to say something to Xu Fan, Cui Qingfeng came out.
Xu Zhao immediately said goodbye to Cui Dingchen and left with Cui Qingfeng.
Cui Dingchen stood in his original place, and he felt an inexplicable ease inside his heart. It had been close to a month and it was the only time that he had felt that life was wonderful, making him feel strange… It was really strange, and this strangeness led him to follow them outside. He sat inside Old Liu’s van with Xu Zhao and Cui Qingfeng.
Xu Zhao and Cui Qingfeng had a face full of surprise.
“Boss,” Old Liu directly shouted.
Cui Dingchen hummed in reply and said, “Qingfeng, today is you guys’ first day hauling goods. I’m worried you’ll be deceived.”
Cui Qingfeng immediately happily said, “Thank you, Youngest uncle.”
Xu Zhao also said thank you, but he didn’t pay attention to Cui Dingchen since his heart was completely focused on mooncakes and money. When the car started, he took out a small notebook and entered work mode.
“Qingfeng,” Xu Zhao called out.
“Mn.” When Cui Qingfeng turned his head, he saw the very focused Xu Zhao. His handsomeness left a charm that made it hard for others to shift their gaze. At the same time, it also infected Cui Qingfeng to also become serious.
“Qingfeng, listen up. In a bit, we’ll arrive at the WEst Prefecture Food Factory to haul 15,000 pieces of mooncakes. Of those, we’ll deliver 6,000 to West Prefecture City’s cigarette factory. Afterwards, Old Liu and I will send you to the bus station, and we’ll place 900 mooncakes on the bus with you. You’ll take these 900 mooncakes back to the county town. I have the order form here. You’ll ride the bicycle and deliver the 800 mooncakes to each house. The remaining 100 pieces will be sold at the shop. Can you handle it?” Xu Zhao handed the order form to Cui Qingfeng.
“No problem,” Cui Qingfeng said as he accepted the order form.
“You’ll pay for the travel fees for now and I’ll reimburse you later,” Xu Zhao said as he lifted his gaze to Cui Qingfeng. “Also, if more people want to buy mooncakes during this time and 100 pieces isn’t enough, write down the number. It would be even better if you could have them pay a deposit, but it’s fine even if they don’t.”
“Mn.” Cui Qingfeng nodded.
“Also—” Xu Zhao paused.
“What?” Cui Qingfeng asked.
“We’ll have to trouble Uncle Cui to help us answer the phone at home since there might be some people trying to call me. Once everything is settled, I’ll personally go thank him,” Xu Zhao said.
“It’s nothing. In any case, my dad has nothing to do at home,” Cui Qingfeng said.
“Thank you then,” Xu Zhao said.
“What about you?” Cui Qingfeng asked.
Xu Zhao looked at the small notebook and said, “There are still 8,000 mooncakes left. I’ll deliver the mooncakes to the 17 shops in the city first, then head to Jiang Ping County’s steel factory to deliver 3,000 mooncakes to them. I’ll return to the city afterwards and wait—”
Xu Zhao paused.
“What are you waiting for?” Cui Qingfeng asked.
Xu Zhao glanced at Cui Qingfeng, his eyes full of confidence, making Xu Zhao look very vivid and active and even better. However, Xu Zhao didn’t realize and said, “Wait to collect the money.”
Cui Qingfeng was stunned.
Even Cui Dingchen was attracted by the confidence flowing from Xu Zhao, and he felt like his heart was pressed by something making him suddenly feel very particular, and it was a… very wonderful feeling.