Translator : Casualtranslator
~ Enjoy ~
While the party was leaving the jujube forest, the sky has begun to darken. Fortunately, the return trip was uneventful, and by the time they left, whether it was the experienced Sir Yanming or the younger generation disciples, they all heaved in relief as this “co-operative” expedition has finally come to a close. They have managed to keep their lives, and the mission could be said to be complete as the treasures are now in their hands.
Sir Yanming smiled at the party and said “Young heroes, it is better to be patient and wait until we reached the thumb of the five claw peak before we discuss anything else in detail.” Then, he brought the party back to their previous meeting location.
As everyone sat surrounding the ox-sized rock, Sir Yanming began to speak “Young heroes, this expedition is finally complete. Next, I would impose on you all to bring the fruits of this expedition back to your respective faction, and at the same time send my greetings to your elders. Pass on my invite for a meetup at our usual place on the second day of February so we can enjoy some good wine and good company again.”
After finishing his sentence, he used his qinggong and left immediately, as though he did not want to stay in the vicinity as longer.
The rest of the party looked at each other, exchanged nods, and then, the Tan brothers took their leave in their unique synchronized fashion. They were followed by Wen Wenhai and Xue Qing who cupped their hands towards Ma Xiangyang and Shitu Ping before they left. Suddenly, as though a thought has suddenly struck his mind, Wen Wenhai stopped and turned towards Shitu Ping and said “Sect head Shitu, , we passed by Lu town two days ago and intervened in a minor matter to save a village family. We wish to apologize in advance if we had caused any inconvenience then.” Shitu Ping was also a quick-witted person, and she immediately replied “My sect member had lost his bearings in front of you two, I hope that you do not mind. If you ever encounter a similar matter in the future, please do not hesitate to intervene and help my sect maintain our reputation.” Wen Wenhai smiled as he said “Of course, of course. May we meet in the future.” Then, the two disciples followed their original route and left quickly.
In a blink of an eye, there were only two people left at the ox-sized rock. Shitu Ping began to feel unease, but fortunately, Ma Xiangyang broke the silence and said “Shitu sect head, I will not elaborate further on the other matters, but since you are aware and even participated in this expedition, I would like to invite you back to thousand swords peak as a guest for a period of time, so that my sect master can decide on how to proceed from here.”
Shitu Ping nodded “As per your instructions.” Then, she followed Ma Xiangyang back through the route which they came from.
Soon, the ox-sized rock was still again.
Just as the Jianghu people were returning back to their respective factions, Zhang Xiaohua and butcher Liu were hurrying back to Guo village.
Liu Qing and Liu Yueyue were sitting in the house while helping Guo Sufei with some embroidery. When butcher Liu approached, Liu Yueyue coincidentally raised her head to look outside, and her vision went past the short wall surrounding the Zhang family courtyard to the familiar figure. Unable to control herself, Liu Yueyue broke down into tears as she ran out of the house and jumped into butcher Liu’s embrace. “Father ~ ~” Her tears were falling continuously like pearls on a plate, while butcher Liu hugged his daughter and patted her back tenderly, his own eyes turning red as well. As his intention was to let his daughter go out to town to enjoy the New Year’s festivities, he would never imagine that such an unfortunate event would befall on her, giving her such a huge trauma. Liu Qing who followed behind was also crying; she could not remain calm having finally seen a loved one.
Zhang Cai also went out of the house in his clutches to invite butcher Liu in. With the arrival of so many people, the Zhang family house was crowded, but fortunately, the fellow villager politely excused himself and went back home.
Zhang Xiaohua also visited his brother the moment he reached home. Zhang Xiaolong and Zhang Xiaohu’s injuries were much more severe than his as they were with their father trying to fend off the goons so that Zhang Xiaohua could escape with the ladies. Fortunately, Zhang Xiaohu did not suffer any fractures, and was currently lying on the platform conversing with his elder brother. Xiaolong’s injuries were about as bad as Xiaohu, but he had also suffered a fracture and had to get his bones reset by the village doctor. Thus, he could not sleep much from the pain last night, and was feeling dull. Seeing Zhang Xiaohua enter, Zhang Xiaohu asked “Has Liu Qing’s family arrived?”
Zhange Xiaohua replied “Yeap, they just entered the house.”
Zhang Xiaohu asked further “No one else?”
Xiaohua was puzzled “Who else?”
Xiaohu replied “A matchmaker!”
Zhang Xiaohua scratched his head like a recently converted monk.
Zhang Xiaolong smiled from his side of the platform “Ignore second brother’s nonsense.”
Zhang Xiaohhua immediately understood the joke, and replied with good humor “You will have to wait a while longer, the matchmaker will not arrive today because it takes time to prepare the betrothal gifts. After all, the other family would want to express their gratitude properly since eldest brother risked his life to stand up against twenty plus goons. The heavens were moved, and thus, eldest brother’s heroic behavior has captured elder sister Liu Qing’s heart, and she is now willing to sacrifice anything for her undying love.”
Then it was Zhang Xiaohu’s turn to be confused “Why would the heavens be moved?”
Zhang Xiaohua replied “If true love exists in this world, then wasn’t eldest brother’s love sincere enough to move the heavens?”
Zhang Xiaohu retorted “Why are you acting like some educated scholar, Dowry, that is called a dowry. Furthermore, Liu Qing’s father is a teacher, this future sister-in-law of ours would have read thousands of books before, once eldest brother become influenced, wouldn’t he be more educated than you?”
Zhang Xiaolong’s face was marked with embarrassment, and he admonished Zhang Xiaohua “You little rascal, what do you know? Stop following second brother‘s trash-talk, you will implicate Liu Qing if someone else hears you.”
Just at that moment, someone walked into the room, and a crispy hoarse voice sounded “Who is talking about my elder sister? Who is taking advantage of her? I could overhear some parts of your conversation.”
The three brothers raised their heads, it appeared that Liu Yueyue had brought butcher Liu to see them.
The smile on butcher Liu’s face was obvious as he looked at them. Liu Yueyue also had a playful smile on her face, while Liu Qing was standing behind red in embarrassment as she lowered her head. Zhang Cai who was guiding them as the master of the household was far behind and could not overhear their conversation.
When Zhang Xiaohua saw them enter, he immediately jumped off the platform and was about to tidy some space for butcher Liu to sit, when Liu Qing and Liu Yueyue swiftly tidied some space in front of them and helped butcher Liu sit down. Evidently, during the day when Zhang Xiaohua was not around, the two ladies have cleaned up the place more than once, which led him to think in his heart “Today, was it the two elder sisters who fed eldest and second brother their lunch?”
Seeing a group of people suddenly enter, Zhang Xiaolong’s face also turned red as though he had a guilty conscience. Zhang Xiaohu picked his body up, and just as he was about to get off the platform, butcher Liu took his hand and said gently “This boy is still recovering from his injuries, he should not move about too much.” Zhang Xiaohu struggled a little but was unable to break his grip, and thus had to lie back down obediently. When Zhang Xiaohua saw the “kindness” in his face, he felt disgruntled. As for Zhang Xiaolong, while he had the intention to sit up, it was more inconvenient for him due to his arm. Seeing Zhang Xiaolong tried and failed to get up, Liu Qing hesitated for a moment before moving over to support him by his shoulders. When the two exchanged gazes, electricity flew between their eyes and their faces flushed even redder.
When butcher Liu saw the scene, a smile blossomed like a flower over his face, as he said to Zhang Xiaolong “This boy sure has a righteous heart, to be able to stand up to the bully and save my daughter and niece, this old Liu owes you a bow.” After finishing his sentence, he got off the platform and attempted a deep bow towards Zhang Xiaolong. Zhang Xialong became flustered and extended his uninjured hand over, saying “Please do not act this way, uncle. That was already something I should have done. Aren’t you reducing my life by bowing to someone of a younger generation? Xiaohua, quickly stop uncle.” Zhang Xiaohu then took the opportunity to get up, and as Zhang Xiaohua tried to stop butcher Liu, but how could he match up the larger and stronger man, thus the latter completed his bow. This led Zhang Xiaolong to feel out of place, and he turned towards Liu Qing to beg for advice, but both Liu Qing and Liu Yueyue were unsure as well.
Zhang Cai the said “Children’s elder, please do not be so courteous. Young people are naturally hot blooded, weren’t we the same during our youths? There is no need to be so formal, and the injuries my children incurred are not too serious, they will get better soon enough. Instead, why don’t the two of us go out and have a chat over some wine?”
Upon hearing his words, butcher Liu smiled and said “Heroes only emerge from youths, and we have already grown so old. Alright, I shall leave you youngsters alone, us old people will go drink our wine.”
Then, he turned and return to the communal room, with Zhang Cai following behind, leaving Liu Qing and Liu Yueyue with the Zhang brothers in the small room.
Zhang Xiaohua looked at Liu Qing’s face which was as scarlet as cherry blossoms, and Liu Yueyue’s eyes which were darting about, and could feel the awkward atmosphere, so he said immediately “Elder sister Liu Qing, you look really pretty today. I shall let you guys talk, while I go out to play.” Then, he left the room in a flash.
The relationships between a man and woman is indeed strange, when Zhang Xiaolong first met Liu Qing at the cloth store, their fate would have ended if the bully did not appear, and these couple would not have met a second time. The events in town Lu displayed Zhang Xiaolong’s hot bloodedness, which left a deep impression on Liu Qing. Through this current short period of interaction, and under the deliberate fanning of flames by some outsiders, Liu Qing did begin to feel some attraction towards the young man growing in her heart. She thought that if there was such a man who would protect her with his own life, then perhaps he was sent by the heavens to her. When she took a second look at Zhang Xiaolong’s weather beaten face, it radiated a sense of masculinity which she did not see in her elder brother, and her heart began to feel foreign to her.
Butcher Liu naturally stayed over in the Zhang family house to pass the night.
On the morning of the second day, Zhang Cai accompanied butcher Liu to chat about farm work while Guo Sufei accompanied Liu Qing and Liu Yueyue to nurse the two injured brothers, as well as to do some housework. The two ladies seemed to know many tips for housekeeping that she was not aware of. For example, Liu Qing helped place some pots of plants in the common area and Zhang Xiaolong’s room, thus brightening up the house.
This is truly a good daughter-in-law… candidate~