Translator : Casualtranslator
~ Enjoy ~
The person who came back was Zhang Xiaolong.
When the couple heard the conversation between the grandmother and mother, Liu Qing’s face turned red in embarrassment while Zhang Xiaolong observed her expression as he continued to listen. When he saw the disappointed face on his grandmother, he could bear no longer and pulled Liu Qing’s hands while rushing into the courtyard to say spiritedly, “Qingqing is not going home.”
Liu Qing’s face was flushed as she thought to withdraw her hands, but for some reason, she did not do so and obediently followed Zhang Xiaolong into the courtyard. While she was running, she thought in her heart, “Thank goodness that this thin layer of paper has finally been pierced though. She had been worrying all this time on what to say when Guo Sufei finally catches herself to sit down and talk. Now that Zhang Xiaolong has impulsively extinguished the fire, he had saved herself the inconvenience of living through that experience. This Zhang Xiaolong is just like a lucky star, or was it fated again?”
Everyone looked at the absurd couple who ran into the courtyard, and when the latter stood in front of the grandmother, they noticed that Zhang Xiaolong was holding on to Liu Qing’s hands with a confident expression on his face. When he noticed the weird gaze they everyone had on him, he then noticed that he was holding on to Liu Qing’s soft hands and suddenly felt unsure on whether to hold on to his grip or let go.
Seeing her son becoming embarrassed, Guo Sufei asked, “Xiaolong, what you said about Qinqing not going back, was that her own idea?”
Zhang Xiaolong pulled his face not knowing how to answer. When the hand he was holding on to used its fingers to rub softly against his, he got the hint and said happily, “Yes, mother. Qingqing told me personally.”
Everyone broke out in joy, even the grandmother was smiling from ear to ear.
Guo Sufei walked towards Liu Qing and asked in a tone of disbelief, “Qingqing, this matter concerns your future happiness, you must think carefully to avoid any future regrets.”
No one stopped her because they knew that Guo Sufei was reaffirming Liu Qing’s intentions, and Liu Qing herself was happy because she felt that everyone was being honest. In fact, those words should have come from her family instead. Liu Qing also knew that she could not be vague with her answer this time, so she finally nodded her head, before breaking free of Zhang Xiaolong’s grasp and escaping outside.
Seeing her response, Guo Sufei nudged her so and said, “Still not chasing?”
Zhang Xiaolong replied as though he just woke from a dream, “Erm, yes.”
But just as he took a few steps forward, he turned around and said, “Father, give me some coins. We forgot to bring some when we went out to buy meat.”
Zhang Cai hurriedly took out some coins from his breast and pressed them onto his son. The latter took the money and immediately ran off to chase after the shadow of Liu Qing who was obviously waiting for him.
Hearing Zhang Xiaolong’s footsteps turning lighter, the grandmother smiled and said, “This child truly has good fate, not carrying coins out could even become an opportunity for him. When I heard your words earlier, I even thought that he had no more chance with Qingqing anymore.”
Guo Sufei also said happily, “That’s right. The previous time I asked Qingqing about this, she still seemed to be unwilling, and I didn’t even know how to go about asking her the second time. Fortunately, all these problems are settled now.”
Zhang Cai was also excited, and he said, “Xiaohua, go to the village and get me some wine so I can celebrate properly.”
Zhang Xiaohua replied, “Okay.”
Then, he got up and ran. After he ran for quite a distance, Quo Sufei asked, “Have you given Xiaohua the coins yet?”
Zhang Cai replied dejectedly, “No, I’ll wait till he comes back.”
For the next few days, the Zhang household was a bundle of joy. Liu Qing would turn red every time she saw Zhang Xiaolong and try to avoid him, while Zhang Xiaolong would appear flustered and freeze on the spot. The whole family had fun watching the two turned embarrassed while indulging in the sweet atmosphere of the budding relationship.
The grandmother’s mood has also improved, except that she became skinnier as the days went past. Guo Sufei was feeling happy for her son, yet feeling upset about her mother, and the two conflicting emotions were like ice and fire in her heart.
While other people could not be certain of the grandmother’s condition, Zhang Xiaohua could feel that she was getting worse. On this day, he could not bear to do nothing so he told Guo Sufei secretly, “Mother, I have something to tell you.”
Guo Sufei looked at her youngest son’s suspicious movements and asked, ”What trouble did you get into? Acting all suspiciously like that.”
Zhang Xiaohua replied in mock anger, “Mother, when had I given you any trouble?”
Guo Sufei stroke his head and smiled while saying, “Then what is the matter?”
Zhang Xiaohua said hurtfully, “Mother, I can feel something floating away from grandmother’s body. The more of it floats off, the thinner grandmother becomes, and I can feel that grandmother doesn’t have much of these things anymore.”
Guo Sufei said angrily, “You little rascal, do not thrash talk.”
Zhang Xiaohua insisted self-righteously, “It is true, mother. I really felt it, and I have ever told elder sister Qingqing, and she believed me.”
“Ah…..what did your elder sister Qingqing say?” Guo Sufei asked curiously.
“Elder sister Qingqing said that it is because grandmother dotes on me the most, and I cared the most about her too, which is why I am able to feel the condition of her body. However, she said that it is difficult to explain, although people who are closed to each other would be able to understand.” Zhang Xiaohua replied naturally.
Upon hearing his reply, Guo Sufei immediately got up, left Zhang Xiaohua by himself and looked for Zhang Cai. Seeing that his mother had taken him seriously, he felt happy in his heart and then went over to accompany his grandmother.
Guo Sufei met Zhang Cai and recounted Zhang Xiaohua’s words to him. Zhang Cai pondered for a moment, and replied, “I have heard of these things before, maybe Xiaohua is telling the truth. It seems that we have to make some preparations right now.”
Guo Sufei listened and nodded her head feeling disheartened.
However, she immediately asked Zhang Cai again, “What should we do about Qingqing and Xiaolong? My mother wishes to see Xiaolong get married, but if she really passes away before then, the matter about Xiaolong and Qingqing would have to be pushed back.”
Zhang Cai said, “Why don’t we go over to Liu Qing’s household in a few days to propose? If we are able to rush their marriage before mother passes on, then that would be the best case scenario. If not, then we can at least confirm their engagement.”
Guo Sufei nodded her head and replied, “Then I will ask Qingqing for her opinion.”
That night, Guo Sufei told Liu Qing about their intention to propose the marriage to her father. Although she was expecting Liu Qing to postpone the matter, Liu Qing approved the idea somewhat embarrassingly which made Guo Sufei felt relief. Guo Sufei could tell that Liu Qing was someone who how to pick out the important matters. Knowing that the grandmother wanted to see the union of her and Xiaolong, she chose not to dally on the matter and made a significant decision which would affect her whole life. However, her actions also made Guo Sufei feel that this daughter-in-law that her family has gotten to be the best daughter-in-law in the world.
On the next day, Zhang Cai prepared many presents and brought Zhang Xiaohua to Liu Qing’s house in Bali Gou to propose. Zhang Xiaohua was very happy, he had also missed butcher Liu’s wife and the five spiced meat.
There was some distance between Guo village and Bali Gou, Zhang Cai and Xiaohua did not take their time and by the time they reached the village’s entrance, it was three poles after morning. Zhang Cai’s body which had just recovered was still unused to the exercise, so he sat on a rock outside the village to rest. Zhang Xiaohua did not seem to be even the least tired, his breathing was still even, which made Zhang Cai envious of the youngster’s body. Actually, Zhang Xiaohua was also breathless the first time he came over, and was even more exhausted than how Zhang Cai is now, although he did not show any sign of exertion during this trip.
After some rest, the two picked got up again and following Zhang Xiaohua’s lead, they reached to teacher Liu’s house.
Teacher Liu’s house was unchanged from the previous time and the door was open. Zhang Xiaohua shouted for long while but there was no reply from inside. Thinking that the house was empty, he brought Zhang Cai in to move the presents into the house. When they entered the courtyard, Zhang Cai noticed that there were all types of flowers and vegetation planted, and even though they have yet to bloom, he could see the refined taste of the owner. The scene made him feel depressed, because he could not provide such an environment for his own children and only an environment like this could nurture a child as exemplary as Liu Qing. It also made him anticipate for the future, if his own courtyard could be similar, then the house would be a nice environment for him to retire and feel satisfied. As Zhang Cai was thinking about the courtyard, Zhang Xiaohua’s thoughts were much simpler. Since the door was unlocked, there should be someone in, but despite his calls from outside, no one came to welcome them so they must be busy. However, what would these learned people be busy with? Nothing apart from writing and painting; Zhang Xiaohua ever heard Liu Qing said that her house has a study room at the side of the main room, so perhaps teacher Liu was in the study room.
Sure enough, in the room at the right wing was a familiar silhouette, who was indeed teacher Liu. His back was to the door, and was writing something on his desk. Zhang Xiaohua pulled his father who was about to walk to the main room and pointed to teacher Liu’s back. Zhang Cai then stopped in his tracks, and followed Zhang Xiaohua to the room teacher Liu was in. Just as Zhang Xiaohua was about to enter, Zhang Cai stopped him and made a gesture to keep silent. Zhang Xiaohua understood his father’s intentions, the latter was afraid of disturbing teacher Liu. Thus, the two men stood at the door for a while, and just as Zhang Xiaohua was about to talk to his father out of boredom, footsteps suddenly appeared from outside; the two men turned around to see Liu Qing’s elder brother Liu Kai return home.
When Liu Kai entered through the door and saw the two men standing in the courtyard, a smile appeared on his face when he realized who they were. He immediately went up to greet them, and seeing his father who was busy in the study room, he apologized, “My father is just like that. When he is busy with his own things, he will become oblivious to his surroundings. He will naturally come out once he is done, would uncle follow me to the main room instead?” After receiving the presents, Liu Kai courteously led the two men into the main room and poured them tea.
After walking for almost the whole morning, Zhang Cai and Zhang Xiaohua were thirsty and they gulped down the drink while thinking, “This tea is indeed not as nice as the one in our house.”
Seeing the two men finished their tea, he let them rest for a while before asking, “Why did uncle come to our house, did Qingqing not return with you? Is she fine?”
Zhang Cai quickly answered, “Qingqing did not return with us today, she is living well with us. The reason why I came was because I had a matter to discuss with teacher Liu.”