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The little kid who had just turned three actually knew what the word “awkward” meant. This really made Cui Dingchen not know if he should laugh or cry. When Xu Zhao took Xu Fan away, Cui Dingchen’s thoughts were still swirling. “How awkward,” sounded very funny to him and the corner of his lips couldn’t help but lift up.
“Dingchen.” At this time Mother Cui came over to chat.
Cui Dingchen lifted his gaze to look at Mother Cui.
Mother Cui smiled and asked, “What are you laughing about?”
Cui Dingchen answered truthfully, “At Xu Fan.”
Mother Cui immediately looked around and asked, “Did Sanwa come over?”
“He already left.”
“Why did he leave already? I haven’t seen him in a few days.” Mother Cui really liked Xu Fan and liked everything about him. She asked with concern, “Did he follow his dad to sell vegetables again today? Did he get soaked from the snow? Won’t he catch a cold?”
Cui Dingchen said, “He didn’t. He’s fine. He was just a bit chatty.
“Who was chatty?”
Mother Cui rolled her eyes at Cui Dingchen. “How is that being chatty? Kids who are just learning to talk are all like this. They like to talk and ask questions like they can never exhaust their energy. You and Qingfeng were also like this when you were young. Being like this is good. It’s tempering the mind. You at you. Now that you’ve grown, you don’t talk much anymore and you’re very smart.”
Cui Dingchen half believed her words and said, “Sister-in-law, I probably didn’t speak much when I was young, right?”
Mother Cui persisted and said, “You spoke a lot. You had just come back. Once you entered society, you experienced more things and started hiding more things. Therefore, you become more careful with your words. Let me tell you, you can’t say that Xu Fan is chatty in the future. You must learn from Xu Zhao and encourage Xu Fan to speak. He’s more cute like that, don’t you think?”
Cui Dingchen hurriedly said, “Yes, yes, yes.”
Mother Cui didn’t nag any longer. She lifted her gaze to the sky and said, “ Oh, my. It’s snowing again. I wonder if Xu Zhao and the others have arrived home yet?”
“Not yet. They’re probably buying furniture right now.”
“What are they buying?”
“Xu Fan said three door wardrobe.” The three door wardrobe that came with a mirror.
It was indeed as Cui Dingchen had said. Xu Zhao, Xu Fan, and Da Zhuang’s father were currently in the county town’s Middle Street buying a three door wardrobe. Besides the three door wardrobe, there was also the five door cabinet, pantry, and a long narrow table. Xu Zhao bought everything all at once. It was perfect since he could place it all on the tractor.
Afterward, Xu Zhao ran to two different vegetable markets to buy two ducks, 20 catties of pork, then drove the tractor toward South Bay Village. On the road, Xu Fan and Xu Zhao ruefully explained multiple times about how big the mirror was. The mirrors at home weren’t good enough for his face. Now he finally had a mirror that matched his good looks.
As soon as they arrived home, Xu Fan went to boast to Da Zhuang that his family had bought a mirror. He pulled Da Zhuang over to run to the west wing so that they could both look in the mirror. The two little guys crouched in front of the mirror as they listened to the radio.
It really made Xu Zhao speechless. Fortunately, whenever the two kids started listening to the radio, they became especially obedient. Xu Zhao didn’t pay attention to them anymore and especially went to Mother and Father Xu’s west wing to settle the accounts. After calculating, he took out 3,000 Yuan to return to Cui Dingchen later.
Afterward, Xu Zhao entered the big greenhouse to harvest some coriander, some tender heads of garlic, then drove the tractor to the villager’s committee to return the tractor. He also delivered the coriander and heads of garlic to the village chief and secretary.
The village chief and secretary insisted on not accepting it.
Xu Zhao repeatedly said the words “organizational trust,” “offering,” “exert oneself,” and “gratefulness” before the village chief and secretary finally accepted the coriander and the heads of garlic.
The village chief took the coriander and garlic and asked, “Did you sell everything from the big greenhouse?”
Xu Zhao smiled and said, “Not yet, there’s still a bit left.”
“There’s still a bit left?”
Xu Zhao nodded. “There were some that hadn’t grown yet, like string beans and cucumbers which could grow a bit more. The garlic seeds, garlic sprouts, and garlic shoots are separated into three periods. We sold the garlic seeds, raised the garlic shoots, and the garlic heads are still in the soil. It will be ready for sale after the new year.
Hearing this, the village chief couldn’t help but admire him again.
The village secretary even praised him directly, “Xu Zhao, you really have the ability.”
Xu Zhao was still as humble as always. “I don’t. It’s all because of the conditions of the village. Village chief and secretary, you guys take care of the big picture. There’s also the trust and care of our neighbors. Besides the “outsider” who stole the vegetables last time, our fellow villagers really treat us very well.”
“That’s because working together is a beautiful thing,” the village chief said.
Xu Zhao said, “Yes, that’s right. I will count on your care in the future as well.”
“What are you saying, we’re all villagers of the same village.”
Xu Zhao smiled and said, “Thank you, village chief. If the big greenhouse gets busy again, I’ll have to invite more people from the village to help out.”
“No problem.” The village chief happily said, “If there’s any difficulties, we will all solve it together.”
“Thank you, village chief. I hope to have your support when the time comes.”
“Rest assured. I will definitely support you.”
“Village secretary, you must stand as a witness. The village chief said he would definitely support me.”
“I will bear witness,” the village secretary said.
“The village chief laughed.
After testing the village chief and secretary’s attitude, Xu Zhao relaxed a lot. He knew that his next plans wouldn’t encounter too many obstacles.
When he returned home, Mother Xu and Da Zhuang’s grandma were discussing frying deep-fried noodle cake, sweet potato deep-fried dough cake, and vegetable meatballs tomorrow. Xu Zhao looked at Da Zhuang’s grandma and took 50 Yuan, 5 catties of pork, and a chicken from the east wing to Da Zhuang’s house and gave it to Da Zhuang’s father. He said that the 25 Yuan was Da Zhuang’s father’s wages, 20 Yuan was Da Zhuang’s grandpa and grandma’s wages, and the last 5 Yuan was a year-end bonus for their family.
Da Zhuang’s entire family had never made this much money in their lives. They pushed the money back and forth, but after accepting it, they were so thankful that they couldn’t speak. They didn’t know what they could do in return, so that night, they made a bowl of red braised pork and four poached eggs that were dripping with oil. The family didn’t eat any of it, and instead, gave it to Xu Zhao’s family.
Xu Zhao then gave Da Zhuang’s family a bowl of flour noodles. After that was accepted, Da Zhuang’s father gave him back more things. This happened a few times, as Da Zhuang’s father didn’t want to take advantage of Xu Zhao.
Father Xu sighed and said, “If you give them more noodles, it’ll be cold.”
Xu Zhao sat down to eat. After ten or so days, the family could finally eat without rushing or panicking. After eating halfway, heavy snow like a goose’s feather started pouring outside. Mother Xu sighed and said, “I originally thought that we would go hungry and cold this year.”
Xu Zhao smiled and said, “We never expected to have ample food and clothing.”
“That’s right. It’s all thanks to you.” Mother Xu was so proud of Xu Zhao.
“You can’t say that. You and Dad helped me out a lot too. I’ll pay you guys your wages in a moment as well.”
“I don’t want it!” Mother and Father Xu both refused at the same time.
However, after Xu Zhao finished eating, he still gave Mother and Father Xu 100 Yuan each. Mother Xu then hid it. She would learn how to deposit it later. She would deposit it all for Xu Zhao so that Xu Zhao and Sanwa could use it in the future.
However, Xu Zhao wasn’t aware of Mother Xu’s thoughts. After exiting the east wing, he pulled Xu Fan, who was looking at himself in the mirror of the three door wardrobe, over to wash his hands, face, feet, and butt. After rubbing in the fragrance, he stuffed Xu Fan into the quilts.
From the quilts, Xu Fan’s small head peaked out. He said, “Daddy, I haven’t looked at the mirror enough.”
“Stop looking,” Xu Zhao said.
“I wanna look!”
“Stop looking. You’re already disastrously handsome. You don’t need to look.”
“I’m disastrously handsome!” Xu Fan copied Xu Zhao’s words.
“That’s right, so stop looking. Daddy will tell you a story in a bit.”
Xu Fan obediently lay inside the quilt.
Not long later after Xu Zhao finished settling everything, he also went under the quilts. He grabbed the water bottle that had already been warmed inside the quilts, then held Xu Fan and started telling Xu Fan a story. They had been very busy recently and weren’t really able to relax. Xu Zhao didn’t want to think about anything and wanted to spend two days doing nothing. After the new year, he could think again.
At this moment, he concentrated on telling Xu Fan a story. Afterward, the father and son asked and answered questions, laughed and smiled before falling asleep.
The next morning, Xu Zhao was afraid that the big greenhouse would be crushed by the snow, so he specially went to the big greenhouse to take a look. He never expected that the snow on top of the big and small greenhouse would have been swept clear. After asking around, he learned that it was Da Zhuang’s father and Da Zhuang’s grandpa who had removed it. Before the sky had even brightened, the two had already cleared it up.
Xu Zhao’s heart was filled with warmth as he returned to the west wing. Xu Fan had also just woken up, and as he dressed Xu Fan, Xu Fan looked at the vast whiteness in front of them and shouted, “Daddy! Lots of snow!”
This was probably the first time Xu Fan interacted with snow. Xu Fan didn’t understand anything when he was one year old, and when he was two years old, he didn’t have any clothes to wear. When it snowed, he was shut inside the thatched hut. This year was probably the first year he really experienced snow.
Xu Zhao, who had lived in the central era in his previous life, also experienced so much snow for the first time in his life. The entire world was covered in the vast white, making it look especially pure.
“Is it pretty?” Xu Zhao asked.
“Very pretty!” Xu Fan shouted.
“How about Daddy take you to see the snow?” It was rare for them to have free time. Xu Zhao wanted to take Xu Fan out to play.
And so after breakfast, Xu Zhao helped Xu Fan wear the newly bought Lei Feng hat, scarf, and cotton shoes before leaving the house. They stepped into the white snow and walked through the quiet and pure South Bay Village.
Xu Zhao walked in the front, flattening the snow.
Xu Fan wobbled as he followed Xu Zhao’s footprints. The people of South Bay Village who were afraid of the cold were keeping warm at home. Therefore, at this moment inside the South Bay Village, only Xu Zhao and Xu Fan, one big and one small, walked around in the village one in front of the other.
“Daddy!” Xu Fan called.
“What is it?” Xu Zhao asked.
“I’m stepping on your feet!” Xu Fan used force to stomp on Xu Zhao’s footprints.
Xu Zhao glanced back and said, “Go ahead and step on it.”
“Daddy, my feet are small. Daddy’s feet are big!”
“That’s right. When you grow up, your feet will grow big.”
“Right now I’m Daddy’s Baobao. Daddy is Daddy.”
“That’s right, you’re daddy’s Baobao.”
“I’m Daddy’s Baobao.”
Xu Fan tirelessly chattered. His small mouth didn’t stop once as he followed Xu Zhao to the entrance of South Bay Village. His view was filled with an endless expanse of white snow. It was beautiful and tranquil. It was so beautiful that it made others feel relaxed and carefree.
“Wow! So much snow! Daddy, there’s so much snow!”
Xu Fan was very happy. While not paying attention, his step slipped and he fell on top of the snow. Not waiting for Xu Zhao to help him up, his small arms and legs started to flap. But since he was wearing too much clothing, regardless of how much he struggled and how much snow particles fluttered around, he still couldn’t turn himself around and get up.
Xu Fan was tired as he muttered. His small voice was especially milky as he called, “Daddy, Daddy. I can’t get up. Help me. Daddy, help me!”
How funny. Xu Zhao couldn’t help but laugh.
“Daddy, help me,” Xu Fan continued to yell.
“Okay, I’ll help you.”
Only then did Xu Zhao stop laughing. As he went to pull Xu Fan up, he suddenly heard someone shout in the distance, “Xu Zhao!”
Today is the last day of RERC being updated 4 times a week. I hope you enjoyed it! It will go back to once a week until I have more chapters stockpiled. I’ll keep you all updated on that front as I want to finish RERC soon but real life commitments are making that a bit hard. 😭 For now, RERC will be back to Thursday updates!