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His voice sounded so good!
Xu Zhao raised his eyes to look at Cui Dingchen. In the dark of the night, he saw Cui Dingchen’s gleaming black eyes filled with laughter.
“Are you not?” Cui Dingchen asked with a smile.
Xu Zhao replied reluctantly, “I guess I am.”
Cui Dingchen chuckled.
Xu Zhao was immediately at a loss.
Cui Dingchen looked at Xu Zhao’s cute expression, his heart felt itchy. He asked with a smile, “What were you doing when I called?”
Xu Zhao replied, “I-I was making a plan.”
“A plan for planting the fruit?”
“Mn.” Xu Zhao nodded.
“For the greenhouse fruits?”
“Mn? What does that mean?” Cui Dingchen asked.
“I plan to grow seasonal fruits in a big portion of it, and a small portion of it will be greenhouse fruits and vegetables.” Speaking of his own matters, Xu Zhao suddenly spoke more and said, “Fruits are different from vegetables. The soil, fertilizer, labor etc. are relatively more complicated. Nobody in South Bay Village has grown fruits on a large scale before. And I only studied for a week in the imperial capital, so there are still many aspects that I haven’t grasped.
“I want to plant the seasonal fruits and greenhouse fruits together to accumulate experience first without worrying about making money. When fall comes, I’ll take that experience and plant a large area of vegetables. And I’ll plant a large area of fruits next year so that I won’t lose too much money.”
After all, he had two elders and one child to feed. He couldn’t take too much risk and needed to take the safe route.
Hearing this, Cui Dingchen nodded and said, “That’s good. You thought it through. Doing it this way is safer. What kind of fruits do you plan on planting?”
Xu Zhao replied, “Mainly watermelon. The rest will wait and see.”
Cui Dingchen smiled and said, “I like watermelon.”
Xu Fan added, “Xu Fan also likes watermelon.”
“What a coincidence.”
Xu Zhao softly smiled and said, “Mn. Once the watermelon ripen, come to my house and you can eat for free.”
“When will they ripen?”
“In the summer when the wheat is also ripe.”
“Okay.” Cui Dingchen looked at Xu Zhao with a smile then suddenly asked, “Are you not nervous anymore?”
Xu Zhao looked at Cui Dingchen curiously.
Cui Dingchen said, “Talking with me doesn’t make you nervous anymore?”
Xu Zhao: “…”
Cui Dingchen whispered, “Don’t be nervous. It’s not like I’ll eat you up.”
Xu Zhao was indeed a bit nervous earlier, mainly because Cui Dingchen was too close to him and his voice was too magnetic and pleasant sounding. He was a bit overwhelmed.
Cui Dingchen also knew that Xu Zhao was like this. He looked calm on the surface but in fact, he was very shy inside. He smiled and suddenly thought of something and said, “Xu Zhao, wait here for a second.”
Xu Zhao curiously asked, “Hmm?”
Cui Dingchen turned and walked to the truck. He opened the truck door and took out a black bag from the truck. He handed it to Xu Zhao and said, “For you.”
Xu Zhao accepted it and asked, “What is it?”
Cui Dingchen said, “Milk powder and clothes.”
“Why did you buy this stuff?” Xu Zhao asked curiously.
“Old Liu needed to buy some for his daughter-in-law, so I bought some with him.”
Old Liu bought for his daughter-in-law—
Why did Xu Zhao feel off when he heard this?
Cui Dingchen was about to continue when the truck driver called out and reminded Cui Dingchen that they needed to leave. Cui Dingchen replied and turned to Xu Zhao to say, “I’m leaving. We’ll talk on the phone.”
Xu Zhao nodded, “Mn. Be safe on the road.”
Cui Dingchen turned and walked to the trunk. After two steps, he turned again to look at Xu Zhao.
Xu Zhao asked with suspicion, “Youngest uncle, what’s wrong?”
Cui Dingchen was silent for a moment before saying, “Don’t always carry everything yourself. Remember that I’m here as well.”
Xu Zhao was stunned.
Cui Dingchen smiled at Xu Zhao, then got into the truck.
The truck turned around and drove towards the direction of the county town. Not long later, it disappeared into the night. It was only then that Xu Zhao retracted his gaze and carried the heavy black bag home. He had only just placed the black bag on the table when Xu Fan’s milky voice came from inside the east wing.
“What’s wrong?” Xu Zhao replied.
“Are you still busy?”
“Y-Y-you’re not done yet?”
“When will you be done?”
He really was such a chatterbox!
Xu Zhao didn’t pay attention to Xu Fan and let Xu Fan talk to himself. He reached out and closed the wooden door to the west wing. He then sat in front of the table and continued reading his notes, making sure that there weren’t any problems with the planting process. Only then was Xu Zhao relieved.
He stood from the table and stretched before walking inside the east wing to carry Xu Fan. However, Xu Fan had already fallen asleep while hugging his bottle.
It had finally quieted down.
Xu Zhao carried Xu Fan to the west wing’s bed. He washed the bottle. As he was returning to the west wing, he remembered the black bag Cui Dingchen had given him. He opened it and saw that there were indeed two cans of milk powder, a set of children’s sportswear, and a set of men’s spring wear inside.
Cui Dingchen was really considerate!
Xu Zhao looked at the black bag. Ripples overcame his heart. Especially when he thought of when Cui Dingchen said “Don’t always carry everything yourself. Remember that I’m here as well.” Yes, he was here. He was here. He had always been here. He had always helped out. He had always supported him… As Xu lay on the bed, his brain was filled with Cui Dingchen. It seemed like he really, really couldn’t resist Cui Dingchen.
He really couldn’t resist him.
Xu Zhao fell asleep while thinking of “Cui Dingchen.” When he woke up the next morning, Xu Zhao gave the children’s sportswear to Xu Fan to try. The navy blue sportswear looks surprisingly good on Xu Fan.
But it stoked Xu Fan’s narcissism. He stood in front of the three door wardrobe and said nonstop, “Oh my, I look so good. So, so good.” He also refused to take it off, and in the end, Xu Zhao had to forcefully take it off of him. Xu Fan even felt wrong and cried.
Xu Zhao explained, “It’s still cold. You’ll catch a cold if you wear such thin clothes.”
Xu Fan angrily turned his small face to the side and ignored Xu Zhao.
Xu Zhao didn’t even try to coax Xu Fan.
Not long later, Xu Fan calmed down by himself and started calling out “Daddy, Daddy” again. But Xu Zhao didn’t have time to pay attention to him. After handing Xu Fan over to Mother Xu, Xu Zhao instructed Da Zhuang’s father to take Zhang Xiaohu, Tian Dakui, and Su Qingqing to tidy up the roof of the big greenhouse and roll up the edges of the greenhouse. Afterward, they turned over and fertilized the soil in the big and small greenhouse, divided the plots, and etc. Of course, all of this wasn’t completed in a single day.
Xu Zhao left Da Zhuang’s father in charge while he focused on raising the watermelon seedlings. When he returned from the imperial capital, Zhu Qingqiu gave him some fruit seeds, which included watermelon seeds. But the quantity was limited so he couldn’t waste any of it.
Therefore, he used the method of raising the seedlings in a nursery to grow the watermelons. He turned and fertilized the soil on a small piece of land inside of his own courtyard. He watered it then sprinkled watermelon seeds into the soft soil. He would water it once every two to three days, and after about ten days, small green seedlings grew in this small nursery.
Xu Zhao removed the small seedlings from the soil, and with Da Zhuang’s father and the others, planted them one by one in the ventilated big greenhouse and the tightly sealed small greenhouse. They sprinkled some straw on top of it to help it keep the moisture and prevent weeds from growing, then added fertilizer again. Once done, the seedlings were finished being planted.
Up next, Xu Zhao handed the matter of the seasonal vegetables and fruits to Da Zhuang’s father and the others. He concentrated on the situation of the small greenhouse’s vegetables. From the seedlings stage to its growth period, flowering period, fruiting period, and all related things, Xu Zhao took care of it all by himself and recorded all the information in his small notebook.
Each day passed like this, and the period for the mature wheat came and the villagers of South Bay Village became busy again.
This also included Xu Zhao’s family, but Xu Zhao’s family only grew two fields of wheat, so they were able to harvest it very quickly.
When the wheat was completely cut, the watermelons Xu Zhao planted were also almost ripe. Close to noon, Xu Zhao pulled the ox cart with Xu Fan sitting in the ox cart. The father and son came to the big greenhouse together to harvest watermelons.
Since it was seasonal watermelon, there was no need for the big greenhouse to be insulated. Therefore, the big greenhouse’s canopy was stashed away and they could see an entire field full of watermelon. Each one was round and large. They were either laying on the ground or hanging from the shelves. It was a very pleasant sight.
“Wow! So many watermelons!” Xu Fan shouted.
“That’s right. There’s a lot of watermelon,” Xu Zhao said.
“Daddy, can I eat it?” Xu Fan asked.
“Then let’s eat a big watermelon first.”
“We just ate one yesterday.”
“That was yesterday.” Xu Fan now knew how to talk back.
Xu Zhao explained, “We can’t eat them yet. We’ll eat it in the afternoon. We need to harvest a cart full first and drive it to the county town to sell for money.”
Xu Fan repeated, “Sell for money.”
“That’s right. Now come down. Let’s harvest watermelons.”
Xu Zhao entered the watermelon field and picked one that was big and deep in color. After picking it, he placed it on the ground and picked another then another. In a short while, he harvested an entire row, but Xu Fan didn’t pick a single one. He hugged a watermelon and said, “Melon, come with me. Come with me!”
But the watermelon was connected to the watermelon vine. How could it leave on command?
Xu Fan’s little face was full of exhaustion and flushed as he held the big watermelon and called, “Daddy! Daddy! T-the watermelon won’t listen to me. It won’t come with me. I-I’m tired!:
If you try to pick such a big watermelon, how could you not get tired?
Xu Zhao used the scissors to cuff the watermelon vine by his feet and said, “Out if down. Carry this one instead. This one will definitely go with you.”
“I don’t want you anymore!” Xu Fan said to the watermelon in his arms and turned to hug the watermelon beside Xu Zhao. As he carried it away, he happily said, “Daddy, it listened to me.”
Xu Zhao replied without lifting his head, “Mn. It listened to you.”
“I’ll carry another one.”
“Okay, don’t fall.”
Xu Fan wobbled as he carried the watermelon to the side of the road. He carefully put the watermelon on the side of the road, and when he looked up, he saw Cui Dingchen, who was wearing casual clothes. He quickly said, “Dingchen! The big car is coming over!”
The corners of Cui Dingchen’s lips couldn’t help but twitch.
Xu Zhao quickly turned his head and really saw Cui Dingchen.
Xu Zhao had been very busy these days, and Cui Dingchen had also been busy. However, Cui Dingchen could come and visit Xu Zhao every 10 to 12 days. Although it would be during the evening every time and only for a few minutes. However, even if it was only ten minutes each time, it still closed the distance between the two of them.
“Youngest uncle.” Xu Zhao smiled and walked over. “Why did you come over during the day?”
Cui Dingchen said, “I finished my work.”
“You finished your work? What does that mean?”
“It means I’ll have free time now, so I came to help you harvest the wheat and watermelon.” Cui Dingchen walked over and bent down to pick two watermelons to place by the side of the road. He then returned to Xu Zhao’s side, took the scissors in Xu Zhao’s hand, cut the watermelon vine, then carried the watermelons away. He did it all very skillfully.
Xu Zhao hurriedly stopped him and said, “Youngest uncle, there’s no need. I can do it myself.”
Cui Dingchen said, “Let’s do it together. It’ll be faster. Besides, it’s hot today.”
Xu Fan added, “It’s very hot today.”
Cui Dingchen smiled.
Xu Zhao didn’t try to stop Cui Dingchen again.
Xu Zhao and Cui Dingchen harvested the watermelons together.
Seeing the adults work, Xu Fan also busied himself. He padded his short legs and ran back and forth in the melon field.
“Xu Fan, slow down. Don’t drop the watermelon,” Xu Fan said.
“I-I won’t drop the watermelon.”
Xu Fan wouldn’t drop the watermelon, but he would fall down along with the watermelon.
A “crash” sound attracted Xu Zhao and Cui Dingchen’s attention. The two turned their heads to see Xu Fan crawl up from the ground. The watermelon had dropped and broke into pieces. Xu Fan got up from the ground, his eyes watery as he looked at the watermelon. His small meaty hands rubbed his small belly. He raised his gaze to Xu Fan and daziedly said, “Daddy, t-the watermelon won’t listen again.”
He really knew how to talk.. Cui Dingchen laughed.
Xu Zhao asked with a serious expression, “Is it the watermelon that won’t listen?”
Xu Fan said, “No.”
“Then what’s going on?”
“So who was in the wrong?”
“Me,” Xu Fan bravely admitted.
“What should you do if you’re in the wrong?”
“I-I should admit I was wrong, so that I won’t make the same mistake next time.”
Xu Zhao nodded with satisfaction. “Mn, come here. I’ll cut it up later so we can eat it.”
Xu Fan lifted his small head and asked, “Daddy, we’re going to eat it?”
“We’re going to eat it.”
Xu Fan was instantly happy.
Afterward, Xu Zhao placed the watermelon under the shade and prepared to recut a watermelon for Cui Dingchen. Cui Dingchen didn’t agree, saying that he could just eat the one that broke open. And so, the two of them, one big and one small, sat under the shade and ate watermelon.
Xu Fan finished eating a piece and saw that there was another piece inside the bamboo basket. He looked at Xu Zhao, who was currently eating a watermelon, then looked at Cui Dingchen, who hadn’t eaten his watermelon yet, and wobbled to the bamboo basket. He squatted down and joyfully stretched his small meaty hand to the last piece of watermelon. As he was about to touch it, a large hand suddenly snatched it away.
Xu Fan was stunned and watched as Cui Dingchen took away the last piece of watermelon.
Cui Dingchen took the watermelon and looked back at Xu Fan.
Xu Fan immediately frowned and said, “You can’t eat too much watermelon. Your tummy will hurt.”