Translator : Casualtranslator
~ Enjoy ~
Tian Zhongxi’s response struck into Zhang Xiaohua’s heart like thunder, how… how could this be? Zhang Xiaohua turned back to look at Ma Jing and saw the latter eating happily as though he has already taken little Red Peach as a concubine, his smile was wide and burrowed into his face. From the light of the dinner hall lamp, one could see the excitement in his eyes and the touch of flush on his forehead.
Zhang Xiaohua immediately understood the situation and his heart flared into a thousand flames. Even though he was a child from the village without much experience in the world, he was not willing to be make a fool of or be bullied. He had not scolded Ma Jing, and at most persuaded the latter to wash his feet for the sake of his own hygiene. To be played out like a fool while causing Tian Zhongxi to have a bad impression of him was too evil for a prank.
Zhang Xiaohua clenched his teeth and rolled his fists and walked towards Ma Jing. However, upon his second step, a thought suddenly flew into his head as he looked at Ma Jing’s unconcerned expression. If he were to confront Ma Jing like this, the latter could simply deny everything, and the surrounding people were usually rogue-like who cannot distinguish good from bad themselves, how could he expect anyone to stand up in his defense? Even if he were to go over and beat Ma Jing up, then what? Wouldn’t he be chased out even before he could learn any martial arts?
The few questions that popped into his head made Zhang Xiaohua calm down. He gave one last look towards Ma Jing and went back to his seat to eat quietly.
All of his motions were missed by the group of azure robed men with little hats, the exception being Ma Jing who was peeping from the corner of his eyes. However, the middle aged man in well-fitted attire could hear the conversation clearly, and he could personally see Zhang Xiaohua’s response and final decision. He retracted his gaze after Zhang Xiaohua returned to his seat and continued his own meal.
After dinner, Zhang Xiaohua returned to Tian Zhongxi’s room to collect his belongings and moved them back to the room he shared with Ma Jing. However, Zhang Xiaohua did not stupidly ask the latter for the reason behind his prank. He also did not listen to Ma Jing’s chatter in the night, and instead walked about casually in the courtyard while deep in thought.
Even though this matter was not large, it gave Zhang Xiaohua an invaluable lesson, and made him learn that there were all sorts of people in the world. There was not just either harmony or hatred between two people but many different types of complex relationships. Different people would have different ways of handling things, some may be kind, others may have ill intents, and one will not know a person’s heart even if he is a close acquaintance. Thus, he had to carefully analyze the other party’s words no matter whom he was speaking to, because bad people will not going around with the word “bad” on their faces.
Ever since that day, Zhang Xiaohua would open the window in the room before he slept even if it rained.
After a few more days, Zhang Xiaohua’s lazy idle days came to an end. Zhang Xiaohua was not pleased living in other people’s jealousy, so he was very happy when Tian Zhongxi assigned him his first task.
His task may be difficult to the other azure robed servants, but it was a piece of cake to someone like Zhang Xiaohua who had grown up in the fields of his village.
In the morning of that day, Zhang Xiaohua put on the azure shirt and little hat which Tian Zhongxi gave him and walked spiritedly out of the room behind Ma Jing. His duty was to learn from Ma Jing the ropes of tending to herbs in the field.
Seeing Zhang Xiaohua’s happy expression, Ma Jing could not help but secretly despise the latter. This kind of person who came from the village and whose hands would itch from not working for a day was born to tend the fields for the rest of his life, and when he thought of the prank he played on Zhang Xiaohua a few days ago and the latter’s beaten down expression, Ma Jing felt happy inside. Who says that I, Ma Jing, am the most easy to prank person in Huanxi mountain villa? Isn’t there a new mudbag from the village who just got pranked by me?
It was fine to despise Zhang Xiaohua and play pranks on him, but Ma Jing would not dare to extend his jokes into their duties. Ma Jing would meticulously tell Zhang Xiaohua what to do, and what to look out for because he was aware of the importance of each herb. If he was not serious or unintentionally left something out, Zhang Xiaohua would not be the only one to blame if something were to happen. Ma Jing was clearly aware of his responsibilities and he would not dare to have any ill intention.
Zhang Xiaohua naturally did not know Ma Jing’s thoughts and he originally thought that herbs would be difficult to look after. However, as he listened to Ma Jing’s explanation while they were walking over, he realized that they were basically the same steps and he carefully noted down the minute differences in his head. To him, it was just using a smaller hoe and spade to loosen the earth, and when Ma Jing questioned Zhang Xiaohua the next day, he was pleased with the latter’s answer and performance later in the fields.
Hence, another two days passed like that. Ma Jing informed Tian Zhongxi that Zhang Xiaohua could be left to work along without supervision. Zhong Tianxi was unsure of what he heard, his new recruits had taken a much longer time to become familiar with their duties before their supervisor’s would let them work along, was this Ma Jing fooling around? Thinking back to Ma Jing’s usual actions, he reconfirmed his suspicion.
However, when he took Zhang Xiaohua for a day, he realized that the latter really knew his job and felt guilty at suspecting Ma Jing. When he questioned Zhang Xiaohua thoroughly, he learnt that the reason for Zhang Xiaohua’s smooth transition was because there was not much difference between herb fields and crop fields. The previous servants in Huanxi mountain villa were recruited from people who lived in or near Pingyang city and all had some connections with them, when would they ever spare a glance towards to poor farmers’ children? Zhang Xiaohua was the only exception, he was from a poor family and had worked in the fields since young, whereas his group of azure robed subordinates with little hats was from families whose ambitions were higher, when would they ever go onto the fields? Thus, it resulted in them feeling that working in the medicinal field was complex and tough.
After realizing all these, Tian Zhongxi could not help but sigh, humans are really inflexible by nature.
After then, Zhang Xiaohua finally left his idle days and returned to the familiar fields. His little medicinal hoe and spade looked somewhat cute and was much easier to use than the large hoe he had at home. Zhang Xiaohua’s strength was also no longer the same, and thus he could complete a day’s worth of work easily. That day was truly comfortable for Zhang Xiaohua.**
However, there was another thing that would make Zhang Xiaohua excited waiting for him later.
In the morning of that day, Zhang Xiaohua was looking at the middle aged man in well-fitted attire practicing his martial arts again. However, the person did not leave immediately after he was done, instead he walked over to Zhang Xiaohua’s front and said, “You are Zhang Xiaohua right.”
Zhang Xiaohua blinked and nodded, and he heard a sentence which would made him overjoyed. “Young lady has passed down instructions for me to teach you martial arts when I have the time.”
Zhang Xiaohua dropped his jaw and said, “Really?”
The person smiled and said, “Really. I am He Tianshu, you can call me squad leader He. Wait here for me after dinner, I will begin my lessons tonight.”
Zhang Xiaohua was dazed from happiness again.
He Tianshu saw that Zhang Xiaohua did not reply him and guessed the latter’s feelings, so he patted his shoulders again and turned around, leaving Zhang Xiaohua behind to slowly digest this piece of long-awaited news.
This young lady is truly a good person, Zhang Xiaohua almost wanted to charge into the inner courtyard to give his thanks to the young lady. However, when he thought of the complex routes inside, wouldn’t he be mistaken as an intruder if he took a misstep and lose his way? Hence, he extinguished the idea. In short, he was grateful beyond words toward OuYan, and this young lady whose name he was not aware of was put onto the same pedestal as sister-in-law Liu in his heart.
The whole of the day was spent in excitement and anticipation for the evening, he almost made some mistakes in the fields but this made Zhang Xiaohua controlled his feelings and concentrate on his work. How could this little first step towards learning martial arts make Zhang Xiaohua lose his bearings? Be serious, be serious. Zhang Xiaohua cautioned himself as he worked, but whenever he looked up in the sky, he would wonder why the sun was taking so long to set.
After a long and exhausting wait, the sun finally set and Tian Zhongxi’s voice could be heard from afar. Zhang Xiaohua immediately rushed out of the medicinal field and had left all the caution and concentration back in the fields. Evidently, Zhang Xiaohua is still far from reaching the stage of controlling his emotions in times of joy and sadness.
Zhang Xiaohua hurriedly finished his dinner and reached the main entrance very early. The moonlight was like water but Zhang Xiaohua’s feelings were like a waterfall rushing down, it was that agitated because a wish from who knows how long ago is finally going to be fulfilled. Why has that He Tianshu not arrived yet? He seemed to have almost finished his meal during dinner time earlier, and would usually leave early immediately after finishing his meal yet why is he so slow today?
Zhang Xiaohua paced back and forth under the moonlight as he waited anxiously.
After an unknown period of time, he finally heard footsteps coming from the courtyard. Zhang Xiaohua quickly went over to welcome the newcomer, and it was indeed He Tianshu. Zhang Xiaohua said happily, “Squad leader He, you have arrived.”
He Tianshu looked at Zhang Xiaohua and said in a solemn voice, “Xiaohua, even though I am teaching you martial arts, I will not be your martial arts master, and squad master is only a kind of address, do you understand?”
Zhang Xiaohua nodded his head vigorously and He Tianshu continued, “Then the first thing I will tell you today is that martial arts require a peaceful heart to train. Look at yourself now, do you think you are in the correct mindset to learn martial arts?”
Zhang Xiaohu immediately understood many things when he heard the other party’s words. Indeed, what has become of him today to be consumed by happiness? He immediately focused on his emotions and said to He Tianshu in a natural tone, “Thank you for your advice.”
At that moment, He Tianshu nodded his head in satisfaction and said, “This is good, no matter what happens in the future, you will have to be like an ancient well that does not shake no matter the water level alright. Come over here with me.”