Translator : Casualtranslator
~ Enjoy ~
Teacher Liu said, “Qingqing, whether or not father drinks this well water and gets better or live up to a hundred years of age is not something you should consider. What father cares about the most is whether or not you can lead a stable and happy life.”
Liu Qing replied, “Father, then what if I am able to both lead a happy life and take good care of you so that you can stay healthy? Why would I not want to do so? Furthermore, marriage has always been a gamble, you may be able to judge a person’s personality in one look, or you can never figure it out for a whole life. Thus, you can only judge based on what you know, and if you win the gamble, then happiness will belong to you. The so called perfect match is only a name that people give to those successful marriages, there are so many ‘perfect matches’ in the world that ended up with an unhappy marriage. Liang Sanbo and Zu Yingtai’s beautiful romance is just a story, perhaps in the real world, they would not be as loving as you and mother. Zhang Xiaolong may not be as dashing or suave as Liang Sanbo, but he definitely win in the area of steadfastness and kindness. To those scholars in the past, I could only see their personality on the surface, but for Xiaolong, I could see in an eye the essence of his nature, which is willing to continue the fate between the two of us.”
Teacher Liu was surprised when he heard her speech, and said, “Qingqing, I have taught you to read since you were young and now I am not sure if it was the wise thing to do. Having read so many books, I don’t even have the ability to compete in words with you anymore.”
Liu Qing smiled as she said, “Father, what I know is but a small part of what is out there. Compared to father’s broad knowledge, the difference is too vast.”
Teacher Liu smiled and did not say anymore. Instead, Liu Qing continued, “Actually, the Zhang household has another strength which had made me moved. I am referring to the harmony within the family and how they treat the elderly. Marriage is not just about the two people, but about the interactions with the rest of Xiaolong’s household. During my short stay, I had received much care and concern from the two adults and even the grandmother; I felt that they had a sensible perspective of the world, and are considerate of other people. Only in this environment would allow the later generations to live a good, happy life. Thus, I believe that I can find happiness not less than that in Bali Gou, and sometimes even more.”
Up to this point, teacher Liu could not help but let out another smile, as he scolded, “You little rascal, already badmouthing about Bali Gou before you leave. No wonder other people compare their daughters to gra water.”
Liu Qing said sweetly, “Father, that is not what I meant. I only said that there are things in the Zhang’s household that cannot be found in Bali Gou, perhaps because there is no mother here.”
Teacher Liu turned solemn and said, “Indeed, Qingqing. It has been hard on you to not have a mother’s love when growing up, while your second aunt is so brusque that she is not even concerned for her own Yueyue, not to mention you. These are all part of your father’s mistakes.”
Liu Qing comforted teacher Liu, “Father, don’t be upset. I have already grown so much, and will perhaps receive love in the future. You keep calling second aunt a brusque uneducated woman, but isn’t Xiaolong’s mother an uneducated woman as well? However, she is meticulous and gentle, and so different from second aunt. Of course, I am not saying that second aunt is bad, after all, second uncle’s household is run by her and they are so much livelier than us. Perhaps, I am compatible with Xiaolong’s mother, which is why I feel a sense of motherly love from her.”
Teacher Liu nodded his head and said, “You have always been strong headed, seldom would anyone be able to take you under his wing. It seems like this is another reason for choosing Zhang Xiaolong.”
Liu Qing flushed as she nodded her head.
Teacher Liu sighed and said, “When this Zhang Xiaolong met you and save you, I guess that it can be counted as fate. When the Zhang household dug up well which contained the miracle water, it can be counted as a benefit. The Zhang household has fate with you, and their people are all easy to get along, all these have been said by you, how else can I argue?”
Liu Qing was jubilant as she asked, “In that case, father, are you agreeing?”
Teacher smiled as he said, “You have stayed in this Zhang household for more than a month, people who knew the reason said that you are honorable and was determined to return the favor, and I did not pay attention to the trash talk of those who spouted rubbish. Anyway, to have such an outcome could be said to be the perfect ending of a fairy tale story. Furthermore, with your personality, wouldn’t you start to emulate Cui Yingying if I had continued to disapprove?”
Li Qing replied sweetly, “Father is not as paranoid as that Cui household mistress.”
Teacher Liu said, “Don’t get smart with your words. Seeing you come back, I already expected you to be fully prepared to convince me. If not, knowing your personality, you would still be hiding in the Zhang household away from me.”
The father-daughter couple continued their banter for a while, and teacher Liu said, “It is already getting late, quickly go and prepare some dinner and invite your second aunt and Yueyue over to help out. We can all gather and celebrate together tonight. Oh right, you can hurry over to Xiaolong to let him know, or he will continue to be jittery all night.”
Upon hearing his reply, Liu Qing said happily, “Then father should go out with me, so that you can talk and learn more about each other.”
Then, Liu Qing supported her father as they went out of the study room together.
The sky outside has already turned dark, and the oil lamp was already lit and placed under the roof. Butcher Liu and the two men were still chatting while seated, and there was a new addition beside them, who was none other than Liu Kai. Zhang Xiaolong’s gaze has swept passed the study room door several times, and had not paid much attention to the topic as he was too preoccupied in his own thoughts. At that moment, Liu Qing came out of the room with her father, and he was naturally the first person to notice them, and he stood up immediately without realizing. Seeing that Zhang Xiaolong has stood up, Liu Qing flashed him a smile and nodded her head slightly, which Zhang Xiaolong caught and his heart bloomed into happiness. At this moment, Liu Kai noticed the commotion behind him; he turned his head and saw his sister whom he has not met in a while, and was so happy that he ran over to sound out her wellbeing, “Qingqing, it has been such a while, why do I feel as though you have changed into a completely different person? Not only have your skin become whiter, even your eyes are brighter, and your demeanor has become more elegant. How does this look as if you have been attending to an injured person?”
Hearing his sentence, Liu Qing looked at teacher Liu happily while teacher Liu nodded his head knowingly. Liu Qing replied, “Where so, elder brother, it just has been a long while since we met. In the next few days, you feel that your younger sister has not changed at all from the past.”
Liu Kai said, “Reasonable, this is probably the case of ‘not meeting for three days, and the lens turns rosier’.”
Liu Qing skipped the topic and asked, “Elder brother, what should we eat for dinner?”
Liu Kai jumped and said, “I have cleanly forgotten about this while talking to second uncle and Zhang Xiaohu. I will go over to second aunt’s house to inform them right now.”
Liu Qing pulled his arm and said, “Father said we can all eat at our house, as treat it as a reunion meal. I will buy some things from the village, you can go over to second aunt’s house and ask them to bring whatever they made over so we can share our meals together. At the same time, they can come over to help out.”
Liu Kai agreed and left quickly.
When Liu Qing was about to step out to shop, Zhang Xiaolong naturally wanted to follow but he was stopped by teacher Liu who said, “Xiaolong, don’t leave yet. Come with me to the study room for a while.”
Thus, Zhang Xiaohu followed Liu Qing to the village while butcher Liu was left along to drink his wine. As the latter looked at the busy people around him, he gulped his wine and thought of how colorful his life was.
Zhang Xiaolong was nervous when he entered the study room; the previous look which Liu Qing gave him had already told him that their trip was successful, and it seems that this old man is about to give him the run down to state clear of his new responsibilities. Even though he was mentally prepared, he still felt jittery in his heart.
Teacher Liu entered the room and invited Zhang Xiaolong to sit without sitting down himself. Then, he wrinkled his brows and paced back and forth across the room, and after three rounds, he broke the silence and said, “Xiaolong, you probably know what my response is.”
Zhang Xiaolong answered cautiously, “Yes sir.”
Teacher Liu replied, “In that case, I won’t talk too much. The reason why I called you in was to lay down some things to you.”
Zhang Xiaolong respectfully said, “Please go ahead, I will carve them into my heart.”
Teacher Liu seemed satisfied with Zhang Xiaolong’s response. He smiled and said, “Qinqing has lived in Bali Gou all her life, and even though we cannot be said to be wealthy, Qingqing has never gone through any hardships so she has no experience in farming and the likes. This differs greatly from your household, so I hope you bear that in mind.”
Zhang Xiaolong replied, “You can rest assured about this matter. Our household does not have much land in the first place, Xiaohua’s field was even reclaimed from the hills, so there will not be much field work to do. I cannot promise that Qingqing will never work in the fields, but I will never allow her to do any of the hard labor when I am around.”
Teacher Liu said, “What you said was the truth, you did not say something ridiculous like Qingqing not having to work a day in her life. Actually, Qingqing is not someone who cannot take hardships, it is just that she has no experience in the fields. When both of you live together in the future, I only ask that you take good care of her. I do not expect you to provide her with some high standard of living, but I hope that both of you will remain loving and happy. Another thing is about your education. You have not read many books, so there is quite a difference in knowledge between the two of you. This is something you lack, and it will definitely impact your lives in the future. I do not ask that you become a bookworm, but I hope that you can learn some characters and read some good books, so that you can have a common topic with Liu Qing and can communicate better with her. One more thing, helping others in need is not wrong, but you are no longer alone in the future. On your shoulders is the burden of your family, so when you encounter any injustice, I hope that you think about your own abilities first. If not, should any misfortune occur, the whole family will be the ones to suffer.”
Then, teacher Liu spoke about a few more things, while Zhang Xiaolong nodded in agreement. Even though he disagreed with some of the opinions, he knew that teacher Liu was saying so for his sake so he could not talk back. Thus, it continued like this where one person who speak and the other would listen until the sky turned completely black, and the surroundings were harder to make out. Just as teacher Liu was about to lit the lamp, someone knocked on the door of the study room.