RERC Chapter 5 A Bag of Wheat

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When the overbearing Xu Zuocheng and Xu Youcheng saw this, their imposing pressure was inexplicably cut down by half. However, the two people have always been thick-skinned, and they will stubbornly still vent their anger. 

Xu Zhao calmly looked at the two and said, “I’m here. What is it?”

“Did you steal Dawa’s ice cream?” Xu Youcheng asked.

“Who said that?” Xu Zhao asked.

“Dawa did.”

Xu Zhao didn’t refute right away, but asked instead, “Where did Dawa get the ice cream from?”

“Dawa—” Xu Youcheng couldn’t answer, and couldn’t help but look at Xu Zuocheng.

Xu Zuocheng was already pissed off at Xu Zhao because of this morning’s incident, but he still acted like a good elder brother and looked at Xu Zhao to ask, “You say it’s not Dawa’s ice cream, then whose is it?”

“Mine,” Xu Zhao.

“Where did you get it from?”

“My classmate sells ice cream,” Xu Zhao slowly said to Xu Zuocheng.

“Then, as an elder, shouldn’t you give it to your juniors?”

“There’s only one.”

“Can’t you split it equally?”

“No,” Xu Zhao directly refused.

“Xu Zhao.” Xu Zuocheng’s patience for Xu Zhao had already reached its limits. He gritted his teeth and said, “Are you that thoughtless?” 

“What does being thoughtful mean? Is stealing your nephew’s noodles what you call ‘thoughtful’?”

“Xu Zhao!” Xu Zuocheng finally couldn’t hold it in anymore and shouted. 

Xu Zhao also did not show my weakness. Although his voice wasn’t loud, each sentence was full of power. “Starting today, I don’t know what being thoughtful means. All I know is that Xu Fan is my son. If he doesn’t do anything wrong, then no one is allowed to scold him. If anyone does, they’ll have to deal with me! If you don’t believe me, then just give it a try! I don’t care who you are! In any case, I’m someone who has already died once before!”

The dying once before was referring to him falling into the lake three days ago and almost drowning to death. Everyone knew that had happened, however this was a terrifying thing to say out loud. Even Xu Zuocheng and Xu Youcheng suspected that an evil spirit had taken over Xu Zhao’s body. Otherwise, how could someone who once had a pushover personality suddenly become so tough?

Perhaps it really was the evil spirit?

Xu Zuocheng and Xu Youcheng were speechless for a moment. 

Xu Zhao looked at Xu Dawa and said, “I won’t let you off if I see you stealing Xu Fan’s things again!”

Xu Dawa guiltily hid behind Xu Zuocheng. 

Xu Erwa, who wasn’t mentioned, saw that they weren’t able to successfully bully Xu Zhao, and Xu Zhao was actually able to turn the tables on them. He was scared that he would get beaten by Xu Youcheng, so he quickly sneaked off. 

“Erwa, where are you going?” Xu Dawa gently called. 

Xu Erwa ignored Xu Dawa and hastily ran away. 

Xu Dawa saw Xu Erwa run. He was also afraid of receiving a beating from Xu Zuocheng, so he took the chance when they weren’t paying attention to also slip away.

Xu Zuocheng and Xu Youcheng looked around and saw that the two children were missing. How could they stir up even more trouble?

Xu Zhao looked at the two and asked, “Is there anything else?”

Xu Youcheng was angered to death.

Xu Zuocheng turned around and left the yard.

Xu Zhao stood at his spot and saw that Xu Zuocheng and Xu Youcheng didn’t have the slightest bit of guilt and they didn’t plan on apologizing either. He didn’t hope for them to educate Xu Dawa and Xu Erwa. However, he knew that if he stayed here, they would keep coming to stir up trouble. It was currently the busy season for farmers and everyone was currently busy. Once the busy season is over, Xu Zuocheng and Xu Youcheng’s families might cause some kind of trouble. When that happened, it wasn’t certain that he could hold his own against them. He needed to get stronger or else the coming days would get harder. This reinforced Xu Zhao’s determination to leave this place. 

He stood by the door for a moment to calm his mood before turning to enter the thatched hut. He then saw little Xu Fan sitting on the bed. 

Xu Fan had already finished eating the ice cream. At this moment, he was sucking on his fingers one by one and with great gusto. Although it was cute, it was truly unsightly. He was so greedy for ice cream. 

Xu Zhao helplessly called out, “Xu Fan.”

Xu Fan raised his gaze and called, “Daddy.”

“Are your hands dirty?”

Xu Fan chuckled and said, “They’re dirty.”

“You’re sucking on them even though they’re dirty?”

“They’re sweet. So sweet.” Xu Fan extended his tiny hand to Xu Zhao and said, “Daddy, try it.”

“They’re dirty.”

Xu Zhao smiled and carried Xu Fan off of bed and washed his hands. While it was still bright out, he borrowed Da Zhuang’s family’s ox cart to pull the wheat back and piled them in front of the thatched hut. 

The next morning, when the members of the Xu family went to the fields to deal with their common food stock, Xu Zhao placed his own stock of wheat in the yard to bask in the sun. While it was still scorching hot outside, he took the time to clean the hut inside out. During his cleaning, he actually found paper and pens as well as numerous books. However, they were very damp, so he placed them under the sun to dry. 

Afterwards, he found a light novel to read. However, he couldn’t focus on the book since he had something else on his mind. He was thinking about the matter of selling popsicles. Selling popsicles during this season was very profitable. However, he didn’t have any seed money. He didn’t possess a single cent, so where could he go to get money? 

Father Xu and Mother Xu hadn’t finished cutting up the wheat yet when they heard that Xu Zhao’s uncle got sick. It could be said that the uncle of the original Xu Zhao had treated their family very wholeheartedly. In the ‘60s, if it wasn’t for the original Xu Zhao’s uncle bringing out his bowl of mixed wheat bran and cornmeal, then the Xu family might have starved. That’s why when they heard the original Xu Zhao’s uncle was sick, Father Xu and Mother Xu hastily went to visit him and help him cut wheat. They probably won’t be back for a couple of days, and even when they do come back, they probably wouldn’t have any money on them, right?

Xu Zhao was even more unlikely to borrow money from Xu Zuocheng and Xu Youcheng. While he was down with his thoughts, he heard someone shout, “Is Xu Zhao home?”

“Who is it? Who’s looking for my Daddy?”

When Xu Zhao stood up, Xu Fan had already used his short legs to sprint to their front gate. By the time Xu Fan asked the question, Xu Zhao had already seen that it was Uncle Zhang and Auntie Zhang from the village.

Xu Zhao, Auntie Zhang, were you two looking for me?” Xu Zhao walked over and opened the courtyard gate. 

“Yes,” Uncle Zhang said with a smile.

“Come in and sit down. What did you need?”

Aunt Zhang smiled and said, “After thinking it over, we realized that you are the only person in the village who knows how to read, even the village chief doesn’t know how to. That’s why we wanted to ask you for a favor.”

“What is it? Tell me.”

Auntie Zhang patted Uncle Zhang.

It was only then that Uncle Zhang pulled a letter from the sleeve of his Mao suit. “Please help us read this letter,” he said.

“Who’s letter?”

 “My son’s.”

“Alright, I’ll read it to you.”

Aunt Zhang happily patted Uncle Zhang’s shoulder and whispered, “I told you Xu Zhao could do it. He’ll definitely be willing to help us.”

“Quiet down. Let’s listen to him read the letter,” Uncle Zhang said.

Auntie Zhang immediately quieted down.

Xu Zhao accepted the kraft paper envelope and unfolded the paper to reveal the standard red striped stationery paper. Seeing the neat calligraphy, he started reading the letter word for word to Uncle Zhang and Auntie Zhang. Uncle Zhang’s son was an intellect that was rarely seen in the villages. Actually, after graduating junior high, he left to strike out on his own and ran to Guangzhou to grow, and he didn’t do too badly. He especially went to the post office to send back fifty Yuan to reassure Uncle Zhang and Auntie Zhang so that they don’t worry about him and to make sure they take care of their own health.

No one expected Uncle Zhang and Auntie Zhang’s son to develop so far, and become one of the first groups of migrant workers.

“Is he doing well?” Auntie Zhang asked.

“Yes, he’s able to eat meat every few days,” Xu Zhao said.

“Being able to eat meat is good. Very good,” Uncle Zhang and Auntie Zhang said in unison.

Because he helped them read the letter, Uncle Zhang and Auntie Zhang looked kindly upon Xu Zhao. They realized he wasn’t as bad as the rumors, so they couldn’t help but stay and chat for a bit longer. When the two heard that Xu Zhao could help them write a reply letter, they couldn’t contain their joy. They pulled Xu Zhao to ask about him, and pulled out two large White Rabbit candies out of their pockets to give to Xu Fan. They then turned to ask Xu Zhao how his wheat collecting was going. They talked and talked, and eventually Uncle Zhang mentioned how they didn’t have a good harvest last year. They were getting older and couldn’t farm their land so they had to run outside of the village to purchase goods. They might have to do the same again this year.

When Xu Zhao heard this, he suddenly remembered what he had been worrying about these past few days: money. He immediately said, “Uncle Zhang, I can sell you some of my wheat.”

“Yours?” Uncle Zhang and Auntie Zhang asked in unison.

“Mn, I’ll sell my wheat to you,” Xu Zhao said.

“How much wheat did you collect this year?”

“More than a hundred catties,” Xu Zhao said.

“If it’s only a hundred catties, then that’s not enough for you and Xu Fan to eat,” Auntie Zhang said.

“I have other ideas,” Xu Zhao said. “Auntie Zhang, if you two need it, I can sell you sixty to seventy catties. If you need more later on, I will help you buy more food from outside.”

“Really?”

“Mn.”

“But I’m worried that you won’t have enough to eat. You’ll have to pay the grain tax in a few days as well.”

“It’s enough. Don’t worry. Since I’m willing to sell to you, that means I have my own plans.”

Uncle Zhang and Aunt Zhang looked at each other. Thinking that this was a harvest year, and the fact that the Xu family owned a lot of land, they thought the plan was feasible.

“Well, alright. We’ll buy sixty catties from you for now. If you have any problems in the future, come find us.”

“Alright.”

“Then what is the price?”

“You can decide,” Xu Zhao said.

Uncle Zhang thought for a bit before saying, “In previous years, wheat was sold for thirteen to fourteen cents per catty, and it should be about the same this year. How about this? I’ll give you fifteen cents per catty. Just help us write some letters to our son in the future.”

Xu Zhao smiled as he said, “I can definitely help you write the letters, but as for the price, we’ll set it at thirteen cents per catty.”

“That won’t do. We can’t let you suffer a loss.”

“I won’t be suffering a loss. This is new wheat that’s still filled with water. It might shrink in another few days and it won’t be sixty catties anymore.”

“Says who? I saw that you had them basking in the sun for a day already. We’ll buy it for fifteen cents.”

Uncle Zhang and Auntie Zhang were stubborn with their offer and wouldn’t back down. In the end, Xu Zhao could only listen to them.

After they agreed on the price, Auntie Zhang immediately started to get the money. She pulled a rolled up handkerchief from her pocket and slowly unwrapped it. Inside contained a roll of banknotes with values of two Yuan, one Yuan, fifty cents, twenty cents, and ten cents. Uncle Zhang and Auntie Zhang carefully counted out nine Yuan and handed it to Xu Zhao. 

Xu Zhao accepted it with a smile.

Xu Dawa and Xu Erwa just happened to return and witnessed this scene. Xu Dawa immediately pulled Xu Erwa inside and ran to Xu Zuocheng to say, “Dad, Third Uncle sold our family’s wheat!”

“What?” Xu Zuocheng asked with surprise.


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5 thoughts on “RERC Chapter 5 A Bag of Wheat”

  1. I hope he gets rid of his annoying family as soon as possible. God they’re so irritating!
    Thank you for your hard work! Can’t wait for ML reveal

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