Translator : Casualtranslator
~ Enjoy ~
Zhang Xiaolong smiled as he said, “Our spring water! When I saw teacher Liu drinking the tea that day, he looked even happier than receiving ten silvers. If we give him more of the spring water in the future, not only will he be satisfied, he would be able to keep his body healthy, so wouldn’t that be better than any other gifts? Oh right, father, when you go over this time round, take the opportunity to suggest to teacher Liu to migrate over here. I could see that he has some intention of doing so but had too many reservations. Now that Liu Qing is coming over, I believe that he will be more willing to follow as well. In this way, it will be easier for Liu Qing and I to look after him as well. What do you think?”
Zhang Cai exchanged glances with Guo Sufei and said, “I will definitely raise these points when I go over. In this case, you can keep the checks and plaque for the time being, and if the need truly arises, you can cash the checks whenever you want.”
Zhang Xiaolong pondered and said, “Alright then, I will hold on to them for now.”
After finishing his sentence, he kept the checks and plaque into his breast.
Since Zhang Xiaolong was not agreeable to using the checks, the bride price that the Zhang household prepared was a lot simpler, which were the usual few gifts that they have prepared many times before. This particular morning, Zhang Cai and Guo Sufei wore their newest clothes and set off towards Bali Gou to prepare the most important event of Zhang Xiaolong’s life.
When Zhang Cai and Guo Sufei reached the Liu’s household, they were received with a warm welcome. When they presented the simple bride price, teacher Liu did not seem to mind at all, and he respectfully received them. Seeing his reaction, the Zhang couple could not help but feel relieved. There was only butcher Liu’s family waiting for them in the house, so it seemed that teacher Liu was not one who placed much importance to crowds or customs. However, Liu Qing was not anywhere in the main room, so they thought that she must have hidden herself in embarrassment.
The process of the proposal was simple but strict; everything had to be done in the accorded hour and in the right order. When the ceremony was close to its end, both parties would discuss the wedding plans together. Zhang Cai and Guo Sufei receded the final decision to teacher Liu, and they only requested that the wedding be held sooner because the grandmother’s health was deteriorating very quickly, and her final wish was to see her grandson get married.
Teacher Liu pondered for quite a while, and he took out a calendar of auspicious dates to flip though. However, his brows wrinkled which caused Zhang Cai to feel anxious again. After half a bell worth of time, teacher Liu raised his head and said, “Looking at the dates, the closest one is at the end of the month, and the next closest date is in June. If we hold the wedding by this month, wouldn’t it be too rushed? As for the later date, the old woman might…” Teacher Liu left his sentence in the air.
As expectedly, Zhang Cai and Guo Sufei wrinkled their brows, and Guo Sufei asked hopefully, “Is there no suitable dates in between?”
Teacher Liu replied, “There are some auspicious dates in between, but they are all incompatible with Xiaolong and Qingqing’s eight words.”
Zhang Cai let out a long sigh before saying, “Ai, then we will have in the wedding in June. There are only a few days to the end of the month, and the house for the new couple has not been prepared yet. What can we scramble up with using only these few days?”
Teacher Liu nodded his head and said, “Then we have no other choice, but as for the grandmother?”
At that moment, a voice came from outside saying, “Father, I think it is better if we hold it this month instead.”
Everyone looked over, and the person who entered was indeed Liu Qing who had been listening to their conversation from outside the whole time.
Liu Qing flushed as she said, “Uncle, auntie, seeing that Xiaolong’s wedding is grandmother’s last wish, we should do our part as children and grandchildren to try and fulfill it. Actually, how grand the wedding should depend on us, there is no need for it to be too magnificent because it will not be realistic anyway. I also think that you not need prepare a new house and just find some another place for us to stay temporarily. Hasn’t father been considering migrating to Guo village? You can take this opportunity to buy a piece of land beside the Zhang household, build some small rooms and a surrounding fence, and wouldn’t that be a home already? When the house is ready, not only you, but Xiaolong and I can move in together, and we can take care of you and uncle’s family as well. What do you think?”
Liu Qing’s idea seemed too incredible, but after careful consideration, it was actually quite realistic. The grandmother’s body most probably cannot hold out until June, and if she passed away before then, the wedding would have to be postponed again. Furthermore, it was the grandmother’s last wish to see her grandson’s wedding ceremony, so they should have held the wedding at the end of February. The Zhang household could not a hold a large scale wedding with their financial situation, but a simple wedding can be done easily and quickly. All they needed was for some of the fellow villagers to help out and everything would be ready in a few days’ time. The largest obstacle was the new house for the newlywed, because it would take at least a few months to build a house from scratch. Liu Qing wanted to be close enough to take care of her father, so their homes had to be close enough; why not just live together instead? However, Zhang Cai was currently thinking that his daughter-in-law has not yet married into his family and she has already planned to live apart from them, could she have the intention to not get closer to their family?”
However, he changed his mind after thinking about it twice. What was there in his family that Liu Qing would be greedy of? It was only that well, and the reason why Liu Qing persuaded her father to move was obviously because of his well-being, which was an act of filial piety. As for Xiaolong and Liu Qing to move out, it was only a matter of time, and their family has three sons so how could they all continue to live together? Even though it was slightly early to raise the topic, after some careful consideration, it was almost the most appropriate solution. At least, Liu Qing had looked far enough in the future and had taken Zhang Xiaohu and Zhang Xiaohua into consideration.
As for teacher Liu, he naturally had no objections to the matter. He had always worried about his retirement, and he knew that he would be welcomed in most places as a scholar. Knowing that there was no teacher in Guo village, he would definitely have no problems migrating over. Furthermore, with his daughter to rely on, while being able to protect his daughter, wasn’t it the perfect outcome for him? He was still thinking about how to raise the issue of his migration to Zhang Cai, and now that his daughter has raised it for him, wasn’t the timing perfect as well?
However, there were people who objected to the idea as well, and that was naturally the members of butcher Liu’s household.
Butcher Liu bellowed, “Elder brother, why did you not discuss with me your intention to migrate to Guo village. The both of us have lived in Bali Gou all our lives.”
Teacher Liu replied gently, “Second brother, am I not considering this now as well? Qingqing is moving faraway, and she will be alone with no one to look after her. Liu Kai and I will also be living without any woman to look after the household, so the days here will not be as smooth sailing as before.”
Liu Yueyue interrupted, “But uncle, don’t you have me? Haven’t I been helping around during this period?”
Teacher Liu smiled as he replied, “Yueyue-ah, I know that you have been extending yourself during this period, and it is not going to be a long term solution for us both. Now that your elder sister is getting married, will your own marriage be any further away? Even if you are married to a family in Bali Gou, you cannot possibly come over daily to look after uncle. Furthermore, Liu Kai should be looking for a wife now, and this house is going to be left to him. Although I will not force him, I do not know when he will ever get married.”
Liu Kai flushed as he said, “Father, look at what you are saying. I just have not found the right person yet.”
Teacher Liu gave him a look and said, “Then you should start looking seriously, and take advantage that you sister if getting married this year to give me a double blessing and surprise.”
Liu Kai was speechless thereafter.
Then, teacher Liu said to butcher Liu, “Second brother, even though the Guo village is said to be far, it only takes half a day worth of travel so even if I moved there, it will still be convenient for us to visit each other in the future. Furthermore, your dealings as a butcher does not intersect with my teaching, and we will still have our brotherhood between us which will not fade as time goes by. In the future, if you are bored of the life in Bali Gou, you can even move in with me.”
Teacher Liu knew that butcher Liu could not be counted to keep a secret, so he did not tell him about the spring water, although if the water does end up to be effective, then teacher Liu would definitely try to bring butcher Liu and his family over.
Seeing that no one else had any other objections or concerns, he set the date of the wedding to be on the last day of February. Then, he turned to Zhang Cai as the two men began to discuss the wedding specifics, while Liu Qing and Liu Yueyue excused themselves.
After entering Liu Qing’s room, Liu Yueyue asked, “Elder sister, why are you as impatient as Xiaolong to move out so quickly?”
Liu Qing replied, “It is not what you think, the grandmother in Zhang’s household has no much time left; the last time I went over, she was already coughing blood. After a life of hardships, I would hope to fulfill a single wish of hers. Furthermore, you are well aware of the financial situation of his family, if the wedding proceeded in a hurry, it would actually be a relief of their burden and make Xiaolong and my future life easier. This decision of mine was definitely made in consideration of my own interests.”
Liu Yueyue said, “The last time after we spoke, I went back to think about what you said. I feel that this fate you mentioned is very strange, the both of you had not known each other for more than two months and yet were living under the same roof. Now that I think about it, it was quite mystical.”
Liu Qing smiled as she said, “You have the choice as well, I have seen the way Zhang Xiaohu looked at you, and I am sure he would like to live under the same roof as you too.”
Liu Yueyue’s face turned red and said, “Elder sister should stop teasing me, I have already told you before at Zhang’s place that I only have feelings of gratitude towards him. To borrow your words, there is no fate between us. Furthermore, Mr Zhao from Xue village had sent some men over to ask my hand for marriage on behalf of his second son, Zhao Yuzhao. I have met this Zhao Yuzhao in person before, he has a good background and decent appearance, but because of your affairs, my father was too busy to reply him. Once you wedding is over, it may be my turn to get married off soon.”
Hearing her words, Liu Qing’s heart was jumping for joy, and she said, “You little rascal, to think that you are hiding such a big secret from me. I have met this Zhao Yuzhao before, his knowledge and appearance is indeed quite decent and suited for you. Yueyue, you luck is pretty good.”