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Cui Qingfeng had been busy with the popsicles business recently. He was busy day and night and would occasionally help Father Cui deliver goods to Fan’s Little Shop. Xu Zhao was also very busy, so he hadn’t seen Cui Qingfeng in a long time. At this moment, he was extremely happy and called, “Qingfeng!”
Hearing this, Cui Qingfeng returned to his senses and squeezed out a smile before slowly walking over.
Xu Zhao smiled and asked, “Qingfeng, why were you dazed just now?”
Cui Qingfeng smiled awkwardly and slowly replied, “I was thinking about buying vegetables.” In fact, he was shocked by the sweet scene Xu Zhao and Cui Dingchen created.
“Have you decided what kind of vegetables to buy yet?”
“Not yet.” Cui Qingfeng shook his head.
Xu Zhao laughed. “Before you buy vegetables, you need to ask Auntie Cui first.”
“I’ll ask before buying next time.” Cui Qingfeng gave a dry smile. His gaze involuntarily turned to Cui Dingchen as he said, “Youngest uncle, you’re back.”
Cui Dingchen nodded and hummed in acknowledgement.
Cui Qingfeng asked, “When did you return?”
Cui Dingchen replied, “This morning.”
“Dad said you left after visiting him. Why didn’t you come home?” Cui Qingfeng continued to ask. In the past, as soon as Cui Dingchen returned to the county town, he would go to the Cui residence first to visit Father Cui and stay home to accompany Father Cui. This time, he went to visit Father Cui at Fan’s Little Shop before leaving with his car.
Cui Dingchen replied, “I went to Xu Zhao’s place.”
Went to Xu Zhao’s place—
From morning till evening—
He knew it. He knew this was the case. Cui Qingfeng’s heart hurt after hearing this. Although he knew that Xu Zhao and his relationship was too shallow and it was impossible for them to be together, he still held a trace of hope deep in his heart. He always thought “what if.” What if Xu Zhao didn’t like his youngest uncle… But there was no “what if.” Xu Zhao was almost kissed by his youngest uncle just now and Xu Zhao didn’t reject it. He laughed instead, which showed that Xu Zhao… Xu Zhao liked his youngest uncle.
No longer looking at Cui Dingchen, Cui Qingfeng couldn’t help but glance at Xu Zhao.
Only then did Xu Zhao smile and ask Cui Qingfeng about the popsicles.
“It’s going very well,” Cui Qingfeng calmly said. “The popsicles are selling great. There aren’t enough to sell everyday.”
Xu Zhao smiled and said, “Business is that good, huh? Then you should hire some people and become a boss.”
Cui Qingfeng lowered his head and smiled bitterly. He didn’t reply.
Xu Zhao didn’t see Cui Qingfeng’s expression but saw the watermelons on the stall instead. He handed the two watermelons on the stall to Cui Qingfeng and Cui Dingchen and said, “I couldn’t sell the last two watermelons. You two should take it home to eat.”
Cui Qingfeng wasn’t in the mood to refuse.
Cui Dingchen also didn’t refuse.
Xu Zhao then pulled Xu Fan and said, “It’s getting late. I’ll head over and buy some meat and rice before going home. You guys should head back too.”
Cui Dingchen said, “I’ll take you.”
Xu Zhao said, “No need. It’s not far, and we’ll get home soon.”
“I’ll take you,” Cui Dingchen insisted.
“Okay.” Xu Zhao didn’t insist anymore.
Cui Dingchen glanced back at Cui Qingfeng and handed the watermelon in his hand to Cui Qingfeng, then said, “I’ll send Xu Zhao and Xu Fan back to South Bay Village before coming back. You should head back first.”
Cui Qingfeng nodded.
Only then did Cui Dingchen, Xu Zhao, and Xu Fan head into the vegetable market together to purchase pork and glutinous rice before heading back to South Bay Village together.
Cui Dingchen didn’t stay in South Bay Village for long. He rode Xu Zhao’s bicycle and rode back to the county town at dusk. He saw Cui Qingfeng beside the telephone pole at the intersection of the county town.
Cui Qingfeng held two watermelons in his arms. His head was tilted as he watched the ground.
Cui Dingchen didn’t get off the bicycle but supported the bike up with one leg. He turned to Cui Qingfeng and called, “Qingfeng.”
Cui Qingfeng replied in a low voice.
Sensing Cui Qingfeng’s low mood, Cui Dingchen frowned and called again, “Come here.”
Cui Qingfeng carried the watermelons over.
Cui Dingchen’s voice was the same as usual. “Get on. Let’s go home.”
Cui Qingfeng lightly “hmmed” in reply.
Cui Dingchen steadied the bicycle.
Cui Qingfeng held the watermelons and sat on the back of the bicycle.
Cui Dingchen peddled hard, and the bicycle immediately moved forward steadily. Cui Dingchen held the handlebars and rode toward East Street. When they arrived on the street, he rang the bicycle’s bell. After the crisp ring, there was only the silence of the two of them.
A while later, Cui Qingfeng spoke first. “Youngest uncle.”
Cui Dingchen replied.
Cui Qingfeng said as a statement, “This is Xu Zhao’s bicycle.”
Cui Dingchen said, “Mn, it’s his.”
“Xu Zhao let you ride it?”
After speaking, it became silent again. After a long time, Cui Qingfeng spoke again, “Youngest uncle, were you in contact with Xu Zhao while you were on your business trip?”
Cui Dingchen replied, “Mn. I would call him whenever I found a phone.”
“If you had a phone every single day—”
“Then I’d call him everyday.”
Cui Qingfeng didn’t speak.
This time, Cui Dingchen spoke. He glanced at the bright moon and said, “Qingfeng, Xu Zhao doesn’t just want companionship. He also needs the occasional protection, support, understanding, as well as a strong backing. I can provide all of these.”
Cui Qingfeng lowered his head and said, “I know. I already know this.”
Cui Dingchen lightly replied. Looking at the moon, he suddenly missed Xu Zhao again. He wondered what Xu Zhao was doing right now, and if he missed him (CDC) even a little. Probably not since Xu Zhao had Xu Fan, who was always trying to get his attention, beside him. Xu Zhao definitely didn’t have time to think about him.
The matter was just as Cui Dingchen thought. Xu Zhao really didn’t have time to think about Cui Dingchen. From when Xu Zhao returned home, Xu Fan had talked nonstop in Xu Zhao’s ear. He kept talking, saying that he saw Da Zhuang’s younger sister, Da Ni’Er. Saying that Da Ni’Er looked flushed and like an old man. She didn’t look good at all.
Xu Zhao, who was wrapping dumplings, turned and said, “You also looked like this when you were just born. All flushed and not good looking at all.”
Xu Fan was stunned to hear his daddy say that he wasn’t good looking.
Xu Zhao continued to wrap dumplings.
Xu Fan came to Xu Zhao’s side and firmly said, “I’m very good looking!”
Xu Zhao said matter-of-factly, “You weren’t good looking when you were first born.”
“I’m very good looking.”
“Not good looking.”
“Very good looking!” Xu Fan yelled as he stomped his foot.
Xu Zhao couldn’t help but laugh, then explained to Xu Fan that every child is an angel from another planet. Their parents’ love beckoned them to Earth. The flushed face of an old man wasn’t ugly. It was the hardship they had to experience in order to come to their parent’s side. The children who receive their parents’ love would grow up to be very good looking.
Xu Fan seemed to understand and said, “Da Ni’Er will look good in the future.”
Xu Zhao nodded and said, “Yes.”
“I’m super good looking.”
Such a chatterbox! Xu Zhao said perfunctorily, “Yes, yes. You’re super good looking. How come our Sanwa is so good looking?”
Xu Fan’s watery eyes looked at Xu Zhao as he earnestly replied, “I-I don’t know why I’m this good looking either.”
“…” Where did he get this confidence from!
Xu Fan called again, “Daddy.”
Xu Zhao’s patience was about to run out as he said, “My dear Baobao, don’t call Daddy anymore. It’s about time to eat dumplings.”
“…What is it now?”
“I want to eat a bowl of dumplings.”
Xu Zhao served the dumplings in four bowls and brought them to the small dining table in the middle of the courtyard. Xu Fan washed his hands and ran to the small dining table to grab the dumplings with his hands. He wasn’t experienced at using chopsticks, and the spoon was too slippery. Every time he ate dumplings, he would always want to eat them with his hands.
But Xu Zhao insisted that Xu Fan couldn’t use his hands or he couldn’t eat.
Xu Fan angrily turned around and stood by the wall to protect Xu Zhao’s “tyranny.” Xu Zhao ignored Xu Fan.
Mother Xu came out of the kitchen and asked, “What’s wrong with Sanwa?”
Father Xu replied, “He’s mad.”
“Mad at what?”
“He said he won’t get full by eating with a spoon or chopsticks. He wants to use his hands, but Xu Zhao won’t let him.”
Mother Xu said, “He can’t not eat.”
Xu Zhao added, “Don’t mind him. Let’s eat by ourselves.”
Mother and Father Xu had made mistakes in educating their children in the past. Xu Zhao said this to the two elder’s faces a couple times. In regards to educating children, the two elders now listened to Xu Zhao completely. They would never go against Xu Zhao.
And so, the three adults bowed their heads and ate dumplings. The dumplings were pork and radish filings. Most of them were radish filling. Only a small portion was pork flavored. There were also some scallions and wood ear mushrooms added in. Once the thin soft skin was bitten, the fragrance of the radish mixed with meat permeated the air.
“How does it taste?” Mother Xu asked Xu Zhao.
Xu Zhao said, “Very good.”
The flour was ground from their own wheat, and the radish was grown by them as well. The other ingredients also had a pure and natural taste, so of course it was delicious.
Father Xu also added on, “Mn, it’s delicious. There’s also meat inside.”
Mother Xu said, “There isn’t a lot of meat. Dumplings taste better when there’s less meat.”
Xu Zhao added, “The meat is also fresh.”
As soon as the three adults finished speaking, the table gained a small chubby child. It was Xu Fan who was standing by the wall earlier. Xu Zhao looked at Xu Fan and deliberately teased, “Oh, my. Who’s this? Who’s gripping our dining table?”
Xu Fan giggled and said, “Daddy, it’s me. I’m Sanwa.”
Xu Zhao continued to pretend to be clueless, “Sanwa? Oh, it’s Sanwa. Sanwa, what are you doing?”
Xu Fan looked at Xu Zhao and said, “Daddy, I also want to e-eat dumplings.”
“You also want to eat dumplings?” Xu Zhao continued to ask. “That’s not right. Didn’t you just say that you were mad? And that you weren’t going to eat?”
There were too many questions at once and Xu Fan didn’t know how to reply.
Xu Zhao got to the main point and asked, “Are you not mad anymore?”
Xu Fan seriously replied, “I’m mad.”
“You’re still going to eat dumplings even though you’re mad?” Xu Zhao asked.
“Mn. I-I-I’ll finish eating dumplings and then be mad again.” Xu Fan reached out to grab a spoon.
Finish eating dumplings and then be mad.
Xu Zhao: “…”
Mother and Father Xu laughed.
Xu Fan didn’t hold back. After speaking, he wiggled his small butt and sat on the small stool beside Xu Zhao. He then shouted in a milky voice saying that he wanted to eat dumplings. Xu Zhao definitely wouldn’t let him starve, so he took out a dumpling from the big bowl, blew on it, then placed it in the small bowl.
Xu Fan immediately scooped it up with his spoon and took a bite. His joyful face was very healing. “Wow, it tastes so good!”
This little guy!
Xu Zhao smiled and reached out to pinch Xu Fan’s small meaty face.
Mother and Father Xu also laughed.
The entire family was happily eating when a knock came from the front door.
“Who is it?” Father Xu asked.
“It’s me,” a familiar voice came from behind the door.
“Who are you?” Father Xu asked again.
“Dad, it’s me, Youcheng,” Xu Youcheng whispered from outside.
It was Xu Youcheng—
Father Xu was stunned.
Mother Xu immediately went on alert.
Suspicions grew in Xu Zhao’s heart.
2 thoughts on “RERC Chapter 99 Paying a Visit”
i know he fucked up pretty big and had a lot of hate in his heart but idk i kinda hope they are able to reconcile anyways
Same. I know he did bad, but I like a happy family when the people actually change.