If you aren’t reading on lazysakuratranslations.com then these translations were stolen!
It was Cui Qingfeng who answered the phone. Recognizing the voice, Xu Zhao laughed and wished Cui Qingfeng a happy new year and a happy family. He then spoke with Cui Qingfeng for a few moments. He sensed that he wasn’t very happy and thought that it was because he wanted to watch the Spring Festival Gala. And so, Xu Zhao didn’t chat with him any longer. He laughed again and said a few more blessings.
After hanging up the phone, Xu Zhao looked at the time. It was already time to sleep. He walked to the kitchen and kindled the brazier with some dry wood and placed it inside the west wing. Afterward, he glanced at the main hall. Da Zhuang and Da Zhuang’s grandma had already gone home. He then called Xu Fan over to wash his face, feet, and butt so that they could go to sleep.
“Daddy, I don’t wanna sleep,” Xu Fan answered while not turning from the main hall.
“You’re not sleepy?” Xu Zhao asked.
“I-I-I want to listen to the radio,” Xu Fan’s milky voice replied.
Xu Zhao continued and said, “Then you listen and I’ll sleep.”
Xu Zhao’s words had just fallen when Xu Fan, who was eating rice crispy treats, giggled as he came inside. He sweetly called, “Daddy.”
“You’re still eating? Stop eating. It’s time to sleep,” Xu Zhao said.
“Grandma said to eat more during the n-new year,” Xu Fan’s small mouth muttered.
“You’re going to gain three catties over the new year.”
“I’ll look good after gaining three catties.”
“Nonsense. Come here and wash your face.” Xu Zhao reached out his hand to pull Xu Fan over.
Xu Fan stood in front of Xu Zhao and siad, “Wash face and rub fragrance.”
“Okay, rub fragrance.”
While Xu Zhao helped Xu Fan wash, Xu Fan giggled and said, “Daddy, help me cut my toenows.”
Xu Zhao asked, “You want me to cut your toenails?”
“Mn.” Xu Fan nodded.”
Xu Zhao looked at Xu Fan’s small meaty feet. He couldn’t remember the last time he had cut them. It really had grown long, and it was time to cut them. And so, he said, “Okay, I’ll cut them when it’s time to sleep.”
“Thank you, Daddy,” Xu Fan said in a milky voice.
Xu Zhao replied out of habit, “You’re welcome.”
After Xu Zhao washed himself, he brought the stool over and grabbed the scissors. He placed the brazier beside the bed. He placed Xu Fan on the edge of the bed and grabbed Xu Fan’s small meaty feet and said, “Don’t move or else I’ll cut your flesh.”
Xu Fan didn’t dare to move, but his small mouth didn’t stop moving. “Cutting flesh will h-hurt, and I will cry.”
“As long as you know.”
“Mn, I’m amazing.”
Xu Zhao glanced up to see the plump Xu Fan. He was very eye-catching. Xu Zhao immediately was in a happy mood. He bowed his head and carefully cut Xu Fan’s toenails. He suddenly remembered the blind date that Mother Xu had mentioned today. Although Xu Fan was still young, he thought that children “understood” things very well. Therefore, he said, “Xu Fan.”
Xu Fan asked, “Daddy, what is it?”
Xu Zhao was silent. In fact, not only did he see Xu Fan as his son, he also saw him as a friend. And so he asked, “How about Daddy find another Daddy for you?”
Xu Fan immediately answered, “Don’t wanna.”
“I already have Daddy.”
“You can have two daddies. Just like Qiangqiang from the village. Qiangqiang has two daddies. Having two daddies is great.”
“Not good,” Xu Fan firmly said.
“Why isn’t it good?” Xu Zhao lifted his gaze to look at Xu Fan.
Xu Fan’s small face was dazed for a moment, then his water eyes stared at Xu Zhao as he said, “Because Qiangqiang doesn’t listen and his two… his two daddies will hit him together. They hit very fiercely. It hurts a lot.”
“…” Xu Zhao’s mouth twitched. Why, oh why did Xu Fan always focus on things that others wouldn’t. Forget it. People learned from other people. If he said anything now, this three year old child wouldn’t understand anyway. And so he said, “Daddy won’t hit you. Daddy will tickle you.”
After cutting the toenails, Xu Zhao placed the scissors on the table and reached out his hand to tickle Xu Fan’s meaty feet. He tickled Xu Fan so much that he was basically drilling into the quilts. Once he was in the quilts, he boasted, “You can’t tickle me now. Can’t tickle. Hehehe.”
“Little one, you’re even giggling.”
Xu Zhao also drilled into the quilts and tickled Xu Fan until he was laughing nonstop. Xu Fan got addicted as soon as they started playing and said, “Daddy, tickle again. Again.”
“Stop tickling,” Xu Zhao said.
“Exhausted,” Xu Fan deadpanned. “Then rest a bit then tickle again.”
This child learned to speak better and better. Moreover, he was very handsome and he was becoming more independent as well. This made Xu Zhao very happy. However, his personality wasn’t like his nor the original Xu Zhao. He must take after that man.
Xu Zhao desperately searched the original’s memories and could only remember that that man was very tall. He didn’t seem to be a student and he wasn’t very young either. Moreover, he was very strong. Everything else was full of vague steamy scenes… After the matter, the clear-headed original Xu Zhao was cowardly and didn’t even dare to take a look at that man before quickly running away.
As for that man—he probably wasn’t young anymore. It had been four years, after all. He could be married already or perhaps have another child. Then Xu Fan—
“Daddy!” Xu Fan shouted.
Xu Zhao turned back to look at Xu Fan and asked, “What is it?”
“Tell a story!”
“Whatever,” Xu Fan curtly said.
“C-can you tell the story of the pony crossing the river?”
Xu Zhao started, “Once upon a time—”
Xu Fan immediately interrupted and asked, “Daddy, why is it ‘once upon a time’ again?”
“…” Xu Zhao looked down at Xu Fan. Why was this child hung up on that? Why that! But still, Xu Zhao changed his words and said, “A long, long time ago…”
Xu Fan finally stopped talking and quickly listened to Xu Zhao’s story. As he listened, he slowly fell asleep. Xu Zhao also stopped until his throat was dry. He drank some water to moisten his throat, then held Xu Fan as he slept.
The next day was the 1st of the year. Before it was bright out, the sound of firecrackers rang throughout the village. However, Xu Zhao didn’t wake up. He held Xu Fan and continued sleeping.
He didn’t wake up until dawn, but Xu Fan woke up before him. Xu Fan had Mother Xu help him put on clothes and went with Da Zhuang to stomp on the snow in the village and pick up the firecrackers. Afterwards, he happily ran back to eat dumplings. He took the chance while Xu Zhao was brushing his teeth to drop his spoon. He wanted to use his small meaty hands to grab the dumplings again.
“Your daddy saw you,” Mother Xu said.
Xu Fan was frightened and quickly used the spoon to eat again.
After eating, the adults went to pay a visit to others and play cards. Xu Fan loved liveliness. Seeing that Xu Zhao wasn’t leaving, he grabbed his grandpa’s hands and followed Grandpa to walk around the village.
Xu Zhao was idle. He sat in the courtyard and bathed in the weak winter sunshine. Afterward, he grabbed the original Xu Zhao’s original books to read. The 1st and the 2nd of the year passed like this. Although it was very idle and comfortable, it was too idle. The house phone didn’t even ring once. In the past, Cui Dingchen and Cui Qingfeng would call every few days. But these past couple days, they didn’t give him a single call.
It really was weird.
Perhaps the Cui family had a lot of relatives?
Xu Zhao didn’t place this matter in his heart. The skies were also clear on the 3rd. The snow had melted and the roads weren’t very muddy. Xu Zhao followed Mother Xu’s plans and brought Xu Fan to his uncle’s place to pay respects. The polite, handsome, and eloquent Xu Fan was praised a lot, so he was very happy when he came home.
On the 4th, Xu Zhao’s uncle brought his son and grandson over to see Mother and Father Xu. The Xu family was full of joy.
On the 5th, Xu Zuocheng brought Zhu Youlan and Xu Dawa over while carrying two bags of brown sugar to pay respects to Mother and Father Xu. Since it was the new year, no one wanted to raise a fuss. Therefore, Mother and Father Xu and Xu Zhao acted perfunctory to them.
After Xu Zuocheng became ill from falling into the sewer, he had become thin and pallid. However, because he was guilty, he didn’t dare to act arrogantly. Intentionally or otherwise, he spoke with Xu Zhao and asked him to give Xu Dawa a proper name later. Since Sanwa’s name “Xu Fan” sounded very good. Xu Zhao picked the name “Xu Zhong,” meaning to be loyal to the heart.
Xu Zuocheng looked disgusted, then got straight to the point. He wanted to ask Xu Zhao how he grew the vegetables in the big greenhouse. How could Xu Zhao not know Xu Zuocheng’s intentions? He said a few vague sentences. Xu Zuocheng asked again, and Xu Zhao cut him off. Xu Zuocheng wanted to shamelessly get a free meal at Xu Zhao’s house, but Mother Xu didn’t cook. She didn’t cook even when it was mealtime.
Xu Zuocheng angrily carried the two bags of brown sugar back, making Xu Zhao dumbstruck. This Xu Zuocheng was really something. However, he didn’t argue with Xu Zuocheng. Moreover, Xu Fan was hungry so Xu Zhao quickly helped Mother Xu cook.
While eating, Da Zhuang’s grandma came over to tell Xu Zhao and Mother Xu the meeting location. It was decided that they would meet tomorrow morning at 9:30 at the entrance of Jiefang Restaurant. She told Xu Zhao to go with Da Zhuang’s father so they could take a look together.
This was the first time Xu Zhao went on a blind date. He had wanted to refuse, but Mother Xu and Da Zhuang’s grandma were too persistent, so Xu Zhao could only agree.
The next morning, Mother Xu nagged at Xu Zhao on what he should say. She then supervised Xu Zhao as he dressed. His hair had to be combed back, his clothes ironed, and his face moisturized. If Xu Zhao was a woman, Mother Xu definitely would have gotten a pot of ashes to do Xu Zhao’s eyebrows.
After everything was ready, in order so that Xu Fan didn’t chase after Xu Zhao, Mother Xu especially took out three pennies and grabbed Xu Fan’s small meaty hands, telling him that they were going to the small stop to buy pickled plum powder and Tang Seng Meat for Xu Fan to eat.
Tang Seng Meat was a new snack that had just been released at the end of the year. There were a couple kinds. One was made of dried apricots and one of dried hawthorn. It was sweet and sour and children loved to eat it.
As soon as Xu Fan heard this, he immediately followed Mother Xu.
Xu Zhao waited for Mother Xu and Xu Fan to walk far into the distance before pushing the bicycle to Da Zhuang’s house to find Da Zhuang’s father. In the end Da Zhuang’s grandma said that Da Zhuang had already left for the county town first since Da Zhuang’s father didn’t know how to ride a bike. Moreover, he thought he was too robust, and with how skinny Xu Zhao was, he definitely wouldn’t be able to bike him around. Therefore, he walked to the county town early in the morning. He left a message saying that he would wait for Xu Zhao at the county town’s intersection.
Da Zhuang’s father! How could he be so pure and honest! He was able to bike around 200 catties of grain, so why wouldn’t he be able to bike around him who weighed 100 catties? Xu Zhao thought it was very funny as well as moving. His heart warmed. His Brother Li was so much better than his blood related older brothers, Xu Zuocheng and Xu Youcheng.
Xu Zhao quickly got on his bicycle to catch up. He had just arrived on the small trail when he found a small sheep blocking the way. And so, Xu Zhao used his strength to ring his bell. When the bell sounded, the sheep was startled. Its four hooves moved and it immediately ran away.
However, Xu Fan had also ran over. When he was in the small shop, he heard the sound of the bicycle’s bell. He immediately knew it was his daddy. His hand grabbed the Tang Seng meat, and he didn’t even have time to grab the pickled plum powder before his small legs quickly padded out of the small shop. And he actually did see Xu Zhao riding his bike away. His small face was stunned and he instantly cried out in a loud voice, “Daddy!”
Xu Zhao was so frightened he almost fell off the bike.