Translator : Casualtranslator
~ Enjoy ~
Liu Yueyue laughed as she said, “No matter how lucky I am, it still cannot beat your fate, which was sent to you by the heavens. You can savor you happiness slowly, while I try to hold on to that dream of mine, to listen to my husband recite my favorite poetry, exchange proses with me, look at the scenery when we are idle, and I will serve him dutifully in the night.”
Liu Qing said, “Yueyue, love is sweet but we have to be realistic about life. I had the same dream as you, but the heavens arranged someone like Zhang Xiaolong to me, so I can only accept my village life. Everyone has their own different lives, but I hope that we both get to achieve our own happiness.”
Liu Yueyue said, “Elder sister, I believe that we will find our happiness. However, I want to ask elder sister for the last time: have you truly decided to marry this person from Guo village who has less than ten characters in his vocabulary? Ten years down the road, are you sure you will not regret about your decision today?”
Upon hearing her question, Liu Qing pulled Liu Yueyue and said, “Yueyue, there are somethings that cannot be explained by reason. Perhaps the masses are right and I will regret my decision ten years later. However, I do not regret my decision at this current moment. If I am over-cautious and did not make my stand today, I would lose the opportunity to make my own choices. Life is the result of our choices, different choices will lead to a different path in life, if you and I had made the same choice, then wouldn’t there be joy in variety of life? Xiaolong may be a village farmer, but he knows his letters and more importantly, he is not a stone that cannot be sculpted. I believe that our differences will lead to some conflicts, but we will also change each other in the process. Perhaps I will not need someone to recite poetry to me, instead I will teach him to read and write; we will not have a beautiful courtyard to admire, but he will farm while I sew. In short, we will slowly change so that our lives will become happier.”
Liu Yueyue smiled as she said, “Elder sister, you have always been more studious than me, and have read more books than me. I will not be able to out-talk you, but I cannot help but feel that you will suffer if you marry into the Zhang household. Why would you want to give yourself so much discomfort?”
Liu Qing replied, “Yueyue, you are still holding on to some prejudice. These two words ‘happiness’ is the same for everyone, whether or not you are rich or poor. You will not necessarily be happier if you have more money than the other person, and the reason why I chose to be poor over rich was to pursue this happiness. There is happiness in hardship and luxury, as long as one is happy, why would he be afraid of hardships? As the saying goes ‘How does one know if the fish you set free is happy?’ There is only so much happiness in the world, if you are happier, then the other person will be less happy, and vice versa. Rather than to give your happiness away, why not lead each day happily?”
Hearing her words, Liu Yueyue wrinkled her brows as if she was confused. However, she said immediately, “Elder sister, my aim was to persuade you, but now I have confused myself. No matter what, your words are right and I have no interest towards that Zhang Xiaohu.”
Liu Qing said, “You little rascal, I was only sharing my perspective with you, I did not try to play the role of a matchmaker.”
While the two ladies were discussing in their room, the two families in the main room had finished discussing over the major points of the marriage. The day was becoming late, and if they did not leave soon, their return journey would have to be covered at night. However, teacher Liu was reluctant to let them leave, so dinner was prepared in his house. After all, after that day, the two households can be considered as one large family, so the dinner was exceptionally delicious and joyful.
In the early morning of the next day, when the sky was still gloomy, Zhang Cai and Guo Sufei bade their farewells and hurriedly left for Guo village. There were not many days till the end of the month, so they had many things to prepare for the wedding.
After the two parents reached Guo village and shared the news to Zhang Xiaolong, as well as the Zhang Xiaohu and Zhang Xiaohu who was waiting beside him, they all jumped in joy as they felt that this future sister-in-law is too capable to have thought of such an idea. They had not realized that they would be meeting her so soon, and when the grandmother heard of the matter, she would not stop praising “This good child, what a good daughter-in-law” for the next few days. If she could stand up, she would have immediately burned some incense to pray in thanks for being able to find such a good granddaughter-in-law.
Zhang Cai and Guo Sufei’s family had a good reputation in Guo village, and since this was the first wedding within the household, the rest of the villagers were naturally eager to help out. Many people have also met Liu Qing, and even though the Zhang household had never announced their true relationship, there were many people who gossiped behind their backs. Once news of their upcoming marriage was spread, everyone was not too surprised, they only felt that it was quite rushed but when someone mentioned the grandmother, everyone became enlightened and they could not help but praise Liu Qing again.
The way a farmer prepares a wedding is quite simple. They would erect a shed in the courtyard, place a large table in the house and find a good chef to prepare some delicacies. Then, when the well-wishers arrive and they would be hosted in the shed. The bridal room has to be prepared as well, and the couple had planned to use the three brothers’ room as a temporary solution. Zhang Xiaohu was chased out and forced to share a bed with Zhang Xiaohua, while the house in the courtyard was renovated simply. Fortunately, many hands make the work light, and under the help of the villagers, all the preparations were completed in time. On the wedding day, the entire Zhang courtyard was filled with a merry and joyous atmosphere.
The sky was still dark but there were already sounds of shouting in the Zhang courtyard. Many people had arrived and were busy with their own tasks, some of the village housewives has come to help arrange the tables and chairs and prepare the vegetables, while the chef has started a large fire in preparation to cook. Zhang Xiaolong was woken up early in the morning to get ready to ride over to Bali Gou with the troupe and procession to pick up his wife.
The route they chose was naturally not the small road which they would usually take, so the time spent on the journey was longer than usual, and they still had to hurry back before afternoon to not miss the auspicious hour. Just as everyone was ready to leave, Guo Sufei suddenly realized that the one of the best man, Zhang Xiaohua, was not around, so she urgently asked Zhang Xiaohu to find him. Zhang Xiaohu felt strange, he was woken up early by the bustle of the preparations, and had called Zhang Xiaohua up before he went out to help, but could the latter still be sleeping? Indeed, when he returned to his room, he found Zhang Xiaohua sleeping like a log on his bed, and would not wake up no matter how hard he tried, even when he splashed water and shook his body. Unfortunately, the job of the best man was already assigned to him, and they could not find another replacement on such short notice. Fortunately, there was a sedan, and the grandmother knew that Zhang Xiaohua would always sleep until the sun rose, so everyone carried Zhang Xiaohua into the sedan, and the matchmaker willingly gave up her spot for him.
The procession thus carried the sleeping Zhang Xiaohua as they walked in the darkness to Bali Gou, and after walking for half the distance, a ray of sunlight appeared in the sky and flashed across the sedan. Only then did Zhang Xiaohua open his eyes, and as he rubbed his eyes, he realized that he was sleeping in an unfamiliar place, and opened the sedan windows in surprise before realizing the situation and hurriedly greeting the people below. Thus, the procession paused for Zhang Xiaohua to get off, and the boy immediately ran to the horse in front where Zhang Xiaolong was seated to apologize. Zhang Xiaolong carried him up onto the horse and said while hugging him, “Xiaohua-ah, there is no need to be sorry, you are still growing so it is understandable. However, you have widened my horizon, for I have never seen someone like you who could not be woken even when we poured water over you.”
Zhang Xiaohua’s face reddened as he said apologetically, “I do not know why either, perhaps I have always been sleeping like that but never had to wake up so early before.”
Zhang Xiaolong pondered and felt that he could be right, he had slept with his younger brother for so long yet there was never anything strange, and there was a never a need to wake up so early before so Xiaohua could probably be sleeping like this all this while. As long as it was not some illness, and there is no need for him to wake up this early, then there should be no need to pursue this matter any further.
There was not much distance left in the journey, and under the excited feelings of Zhang Xiaolong and the idle chatter of the brothers, the distance was covered soon after.
Bali Gou village entrance could be seen from afar. At that moment, Zhang Xiaolong stopped his horse and allowed the procession to rest for a short while, before letting out the firecrackers and getting the musician troupe to start playing their instruments. Zhang Xiaohua obediently get off the horse and held the reins for his brother, and he walked in the front of everyone else while leading the horse.
Some men from the Liu household were already waiting at the village entrance since early in the morning, and when they saw the oncoming procession, someone immediately ran to inform teacher Liu. The peaceful stillness was also broken by the loud blaring music, so everyone in Bali Gou was woken by the sounds of the celebration. There were also many children who blocked the procession while asking for sweets which the Zhang household had naturally prepared earlier on, and although the procession had to be stopped several times, everyone was in high spirits as this was a custom of the village. Everyone deserved a small slice of happiness when someone gets married, and as more people came over to grab their share, the times when the procession was obstructed grew even more frequent.