Monday, 22 October 2018

VGAFH 63

Gonna leave more chinese phrase inside the future chappies, causing I really can't find the english word for it.
 
63. Want to have a share(3)

Hearing Lian Li's words, Mrs. Zhao was in agony, as if someone had dug out her flesh. How could she not speak out when the opportunity was right in front of her?

At once, Lian Li felt guilty. He wanted to pressurize the Lian siblings with his demeanor. With a cruel glare, he warned. “Fang Zhou, we're in an outsider home, so you should have the sense on what you can say and what you can't! Think carefully on who you will be relying on in future!”

Lian Fang Zhou openly declared. “Uncle, I had always thought it through! In the future, I won't rely on anyone else, but ourselves. Is what Zhao Sao-zi said just now true? Why is it that I don’t remember ever I said those words to Uncle ?”

Lian Li’s old face immediately flushed. “Although you didn't exactly say it like that, I did hear it was this meaning.”

Mrs. Qiao quickly nodded, “That's right! You can't possibly be thinking of denying you ever said that!”

Lian Fang Zhou countered, "Then it was you who misinterpreted my words. That was never my meaning! That is Uncle Li's trade, how could I simply let someone join? Within this region, you won't find anyone else do this. If Uncle Li hadn't had the heart to take care of us and consider how we’re still so young, he wouldn't have let us join in. It couldn’t be that Uncle came running over here in hope to steal their trade?”

“What nonsense are you saying! I had no such thoughts!” Being exposed in front of other out of nowhere by Lian Fang Zhou, immediately Lian Li was enraged from the embarrassment.

“Oh, then I might have misinterpreted your meaning. I knew Uncle wouldn't have this intention.”Lian Fang Zhou gave a cold smile. And slightly bent down. “ I must apologize Uncle.”
 
Mrs. Qiao criticized. “The Li hadn’t said anything yet, so why are jumping in and making a racket? I have never seen anyone as brazen as you.”
 
Mrs. Zhao quickly intervened “Your Uncle said when the time comes, they can take good care of you.”

Lian Fang Zhou ignored Mrs. Qiao, turned to say to Uncle Li politely. “ Uncle Li, we don’t need looking after, we’re not that fragile. You obtained this skill, so how it should be is how it should be. You and Aunt Zhang had always taken care of us. And we know that very well deep down. If you felt like you can't look at us in the eye because of this, then we’re at fault!”

How could Uncle Li not understand now. To Lian Li, he graciously expressed. “So it was all a misunderstanding! This, haha, it's great that it's clear up. Rest assured; we’ll watch over Lian Fang Zhou and the others. I won't overwork them! After all, we’re from the same neighborhood...”

With Uncle Li’s words, it gave the Lian couple a stage to step off. They can't let their relationship become extremely strain since the couple is the siblings' elders after all.
 
However, Mrs. Qiao wasn’t appreciative. Instead, she agitatedly mentioned. “Just now we had agreed. Brother Li, how could you do this? This isn't moral!”

Mrs. Zhao was infuriated and couldn’t resist rebutting. “Aunt Qiao, when did my father ever promise anything? It was you who done all the talking! With much difficulty, we finally learn this trade, how could we simply let anyone watch?”

“Mei-zi!” Aunt Zhang lightly admonished Mrs. Zhao a bit. Turning to Mrs. Qiao, she gave an apologetic smile. “This daughter-in-law of mine has a loose tongue. So what she says isn't pleasing to hear. Don’t be mad, her Aunt!"
 
Even though it's unpleasing to the ear, it wasn’t incorrect.

“Since they aren't appreciative, then treat it as us worry over nothing. Let's go and not seek more hatred by staying here. Younger generation not acting like one. Oh, my pitiful brother gone so early. And perfectly fine children became like this!” Lian Li heavily sighed as he grumbled. Before he left he didn’t forget to step on Lian Fang Zhou as well as dragging Uncle Li and Aunt Zhang in.

“In the future, don’t ask me to stand up for you when you suffer! Even if you beg on your knees, I won't help!” Mrs. Qiao shot the two siblings a venomous glare and also left.

Uncle Li, Aunt Zhang and Li San Ge looked at each other. Mrs. Zhao lightly spat and muttered. “What kind of person is that!”

Seeing Aunt Zhang shooting a warning gaze over, she unyieldingly uttered: “Mother, even if you look at me like that, I'll still say it!”

These words made Lian Fang Zhou amused, and the atmosphere lighten up.

“It's my fault. I never thought they would stir up trouble to this extent and didn’t give uncle and aunt a head up.”Lian Fang Zhou apologetically smile.
 
“No need to say this kind of words!” Aunt Zhang grasped her hand with a reassuring smile. She lightly sighed, “Oh, this really is...”

In the end, Uncle Li felt terrible, and suggested, “All in all, they are your elders. How about… we count them in in this matter?”

“Uncle Li! You mustn't say that!” Lian Fang Zhou shook her head. She firmly stated “You guys know it very well, so I'm not afraid to talk about my family's messy situation. What kind of person are my Uncle and Aunt? They had never helped us a single bit. If we must say, they are the ones who participated the most in bullying us orphans. If we endure and give way this time, they would only become more arrogant, and in future, they might demand more and more. And also, their life isn't so terrible that need money to avert a crisis.”

Aunt Zhang lightly sighed again, “It's been difficult on you.”

Lian Fang Zhou faintly smiled, “Difficult? Not relying on them, we can still have a good life. There's a limit to their seeking trouble tendency. When forced too much to a corner, it'll spread out, and  see how shameless they are as elders.”

“Anyhow you're all one family! If you can, then don't take that step unless there's no other choice!” Aunt Zhang swiftly advised.

Lian Ze reasoned, “Aunt Zhang, when did they ever treat us their family! Before when my parents were still alive, they took out an older brother attitude and made my parents help with their work from time to time. Now it's just us, if they could take advantage of us, they won't be polite about it.”

Aunt Zhang then replied. “On normal matters, you should endure. If you can't, then you need a justified reason. Or else when it spread out, it won't be good since they are your elders after all! Then, in the end, you'll suffer a loss. Other matters is fine, but it'll be terrible when someone ruins your reputation. Your younger siblings’ marriage will be affected in the future. And also Che-er, didn’t you say you plan to send him to school?”

At once Lian Fang Zhou felt a moment of helplessness. Ancient time is really troublesome. At the same time, she secretly became more vigilant: she not from here, what if she slipped up when she wasn't paying attention?

She the obediently nodded, “I'll remember! Thank you for the reminder, Aunt Zhang!”

Lian Ze also agreed and gave thanks.

Uncle Li solemnly asserted. “Alright, this matter count as settled! I understood your meaning in this matter, and won't budge on it anymore.”

“I have troubled you a lot!”Lian Fang Zhou gratefully smiled

Uncle Li dismissively waved his hand. “It's nothing! If you weren’t thinking of us, we wouldn’t have been able to earn this money! In future, if you ever need something, freely ask. No need to be shy.”

Lian Fang Zhou and Lian Ze promised and spoke a bit more small talks before they left.

Once the two of them, Third Aunt came forward to probe for information. Lian Fang Zhou just answered ‘It's fine now’ and nothing more. She also informed them all to stay away from the couple if possible. So they can avoid getting schemed by them.

Lian Fang Qing is mischievous, while Lian Che who was the same age, was completely steady and full of self-control. Lian Fang Zhou instructed Lian Che, “Keep a good eye on your fourth sister!”

“Yes,” Lian Che promised. Lian Fang Qing eyes innocently blinked as she pulled a face.

Monday, 15 October 2018

VGAFH 62

62. Want to have a share (2)


Lian Fang Zhou's eyes darken as she looked at Mrs. Qiao. "Aunt misspoke. We were willing to help in this matter. Each bit we earn is a bit more, as we siblings have to eat and buy clothes. And also next year in early spring, we need to buy seedlings and farming tools. All this require money, right? How about Uncle and Aunt lend us?"

"We have no money!" immediately Mrs. Qiao responded in agitation when she wanted to borrow from them.

Lian Li interrupted her, "That's not how it goes! You helped them with that much work, then you should get that much worth of money. You can't just let them brush you off with few coppers!  You got thin faces, and feel that they have helped you a lot, so find it embarrassing to mention about it. They're thrilled to have someone to order around for nothing! And even if you mention it, it's useless. You don't know how much the product is sold and how the accounts are done. Don't let them cheated you later on and you guys still feel greatly indebted to them. "

"That's right!" Mrs. Qiao then followed up. "You need an adult with you to keep an eye out! We are one family after all! As elders, how could we not side with you? This matter, you must count us in!"

"This isn't about who gaining from who. It's about doing the task much better, more appropriately and prevent you guys from suffering a loss without knowing. Secondly, the old Li couple won't look good when it spread around the village that they are deceiving the younger generation! What do you think, isn't what Uncle say very reasonable?" Lian Li glimpsed Lian Fang Zhou.

"Isn't that the logic! This way it's just and honorable, and very fair to everyone!" Mrs. Qiao added on. Then continued. "Let's go! Come with us, and we'll go reason with Li family now!"

Lian Fang Zhou finally understood, this pair wanted to get a share!

Afraid there's more to it.
 
This Uncle is an intelligent man. The chances are learning how to make charcoal is his final aim.

Right now being able to get a share of profit isn't bad, but once they can learn how to make charcoal, the can do it for the rest of their life. Otherwise, why would those who know the skill wouldn't pass it an outsider and not let outsider watch at the side during the process?

"Uncle! Aunt!" Lian Fang Zhou apathetically remarked, "Just now, I had already explained clearly. Uncle Li and Aunt Zhang aren't that kind of crooked people. And we also don't find it arduous! As to whatever go reason with them, there's need for it at all! Uncle, Aunt, please return!"

"Look at this! What foolish word she is speaking?" Lian Li turned to Mrs. Qiao. Using a tone that was laced with pity, he lamented. "It's clear they are ordered around by Li Family for nothing, and she still speaks up for them! Sigh, how old are you guys? How much experience do you have? Aren't you deceived so much that you can't tell between black and white? If we don't stand up for you, who will?"

"That's right! Husband, what you said is so right!" Mrs. Qiao firmly agreed.

Lian Fang Zhou laughed in exasperation. She had seen shameless but never so blatantly like this before! They're really treating her like a child!

"Oh?" Lian Fang Zhou raised one brow. Asked. "Could it be that Uncle thinks I'm a fool? Think that us siblings are all fools?"

"What are you saying!" Lian Li frowned and stated. "Of course you aren't fools!"

"But what you said just now is treating us as fools!" Lian Fang Zhou sneered. "We aren't stupid. We know deep down who treat us well! If Aunt Zhang and Uncle Li didn't want to look after us sincerely, they wouldn't have let us join in the charcoal making, right? Have you ever seen anyone else does this? How about we take it outside and pick a bone with fellow villagers?

"We are your elders! You dare talk to your elder like this!" Mrs. Qiao screeched. "Now you're calling for everyone to pick a bone!"

"Aunt, "  Lian Fang Zhou said in an upright tone. "Which part have I said is wrong, please point them out! If you can point one out, I'll pour tea and apologize!"

At once, Mrs. Qiao was silent. She dare not say those bad words about Li Family in front of everyone.

Lian Li coldly snorted. "There's nothing to point out. Well, it's a waste of our good intention! Fine then! In any case, they won't appreciate it, then there's not else to say! They are willing to work for them for free, why bother ourselves with it? Good intention was treated as ill intent!"

Lian Li stood up, gave Mrs. Qiao a glare and shouted. "We're leaving! Let's not lower ourselves to the younger generation's level!"

Mrs. Qiao was displeased but knew that if they can't make Lian Fang Zhou change her mind, this matter had no way of continuing. She fiercely glared at her and spitted out, "You'll meet with retribution for disrespecting elder!"

Only then did she follow after Lian Li.

After they left, Lian Fang Zhou called in Lian Fang Qing and gave her few instructions. Lian Fang Qing nodded and turned around and went.

Not long later, Lian Fang Qing came back breathing hard. Once she entered the house, she yelled, "Sister! Sister! You guessed right! I saw them head toward Aunt Zhang's home!"

"They really have the gut to do it!" Lian Ze was overcome with anger. Without needing to guess, he knew what they plan to do.

"Let's go and check it out!" Lian Fang Zhou wasn't surprised.  She hurried over there with Lian Ze.

You can't use ordinary people's line of thought to assess brazen people. The things they do create a new record every time!

When the two siblings reached Li's home entrance, they can hear Lian Li speaking in a courteous tone: "... those few kids are timid. They couldn't bring up the courage to say it, so they let us do it! Tomorrow when you head up to the mountain, call us as well! This way we can watch out for them. At such a young age, it makes people worry for them!"

Lian Fang Zhou's and Lian Ze's face was colored with rage. They both full-throat called out ' Uncle! Aunt!' and stepped in.

By sheer coincidence, all of the Li Family breathed out in relief.

Needless to say, they were aware of the relationship between the two branches of Lian Family. But no matter, Lian Li and Mrs. Qiao still have the identity of their elders. And also, this charcoal-making skill was learned from Ah Jian, and he also lives at Lian Fang Zhou's place. If Lian Li and Mrs. Qiao insist on tagging along, as honest peasants, they have no standing to say no.

"Why did you come! Shoo, shoo.  there's no place for you kids to talk when adults are discussing!" Mrs. Qiao immediately pulled a long face when she saw Lian Fang Zhou and Lian Ze and bawled with real elder bearing.

On the other hand, Lian Li took the chance to bring the topic to an end. "Then that's settled! We'll be leaving first!"

With this, the matter count as set in stone!  Lian Li gratefully praised the Lian siblings' perfect timing in his mind, 'Wonderful!'

Lian Fang Zhou didn't let them have their way. She walked over and stopped them with her arms wide. With a sardonic smile, she questioned "Uncle, Aunt, we haven't finished talking about this matter, so how could you leave?"

Lian Li never expected Lian Fang Zhou to speak to him like this in someone else's home. His expression turned unpleasant.  In a disgruntled tone, he berated, "What are you doing! No sense of decorum at all!"

"Still not making way! You child have no elders in your eye! Our Lian Family's face lost all it glow because of you!" Mrs. Qiao scolded

As they spoke, they planned to barge through, but Lian Ze had taken one step ahead to shut the door firmly and guarded it.

Lian Fang Zhou gave Mrs. Qiao a glance first, declaring. "Aunt, my parents are gone, and I'm the head of the second branch. So I'm not just some kid. Don't use that kind of tone talking to me. It strangely uncomfortable to my ear!"

Then turning to Lian Li, "Why is Uncle so anxious to leave? Is it because you're feeling afraid or conscience-stricken?"

Mrs. Zhao lit up at the sound of this. She rushed to input. "Fang Zhou, your Uncle just said he wants to join in on making charcoal tomorrow and that it was your intention! It's perfect that you're here. I can ask for your thoughts."


Monday, 8 October 2018

VGAFH 61

61. Want to have a share (1)

Third Aunt saw that Ah Jian left, she couldn’t resist grumbling to Lian Fang Zhou. Saying what if he went and never came back?

Not waiting for her sister to answer, Lian Fang Qing snatched to say, “Brother Ah Jian isn’t that kind of person! He’ll definitely come back. ”

Third Aunt continued. “Oh, what if it's possible? This isn't his home after all!. That hounding Zhao Family mostly likely will give him more salary than us.”

Then Lian Fang Zhou blandly pointed out. “If he wanted to leave like this, could we make him stay?”

Immediately, Third Aunt turned silent. She mumbled a bit then declared, “If it's like that, don’t give him a penny from the profit of selling the charcoal.”

Lian Fang Zhou secretly rolled her eyes and didn't say anything.

Then Lian Che mentioned: “We’ll be fine but what about Second Brother? He’s learning martial arts from Brother Ah Jian!”

“I’m with Qing-er. I believe Brother Ah Jian will definitely come back!” Lian Ze rushed to proclaim. After a pause, he continued. “If he doesn’t come back, what Sister said is reasonable…”

Lian Fang Zhou gave him a reassuring smile. “If you still want to learn martial arts, there’s nothing to it. We’ll go discuss it with him and let him teach like usual. I believe he won't refuse.”

Lian Ze wrinkled his brow. “If it's like that, then I won't learn from him!”

Lian Fang Zhou questioned him with a serious face, “Why?”

Lian Ze remained quiet.

Lian Fang Zhou continued on speaking. “I understand your meaning. Firmly believe if he’s not a genuine person, then you don’t want to learn from him, right?”

Lian Ze froze then lightly nodded.

Lian Fang Zhou then said, “When looking at people, use your heart! Don’t just look at the matter on the outside. What kind of person is Ah Jian, we can already see from this period of time, right?  If he wanted to stay in Zhao Family, then he must have his reason. We can't paint him black or white just based on one matter. Isn't that right?”

 The matter in this world, isn’t completely white or black? Usually, Lian Ze's disposition is too upright. Lian Fang Zhou had long wanted to find a chance to educate him.

 Seeing him not respond, she then explained about how it’s more convenient for Ah Jian to stay in the city to search for news on missing people. Only then Lian Ze was surprised and said. “If it’s really like that…then … then we can't blame him.”

“It's great that you understand!” Lian Fang Zhou beamed.

After breakfast, the four siblings entered the mountain. Lian Ze and Lian Fang Zhou chopped wood for charring. Lian Fang Qing and Lian Che were also occupied. They helped to transport. In the beginning, Lian Fang Zhou didn’t want those two to come, but they persist in following them to the mountain to play. Lian Fang Zhou could only let them be. In any case, it’s up to them whether they help or play.

Not long after it passed noon, Ah Jian arrived.

The three of them gave a giant sigh of relief. Lian Fang Qing flew over to Ah Jian and pulled his hand as she happily cried out. “Brother Ah Jian, you finally came back!”

Ah Jian rubbed her little head with a grin and glanced at Lian Fang Zhou.

Lian Fang Zhou's heart subconsciously relaxed. She nodded to him, grinning, “The matter is settled?”

Ah Jian simply answered with ‘mm’ and nothing else was spoken.

Lian Fang Zhou also didn’t ask anymore. “That’s great. Leaving the matter unclear, is asking for trouble after all. ”

The second round of charcoal was soon out of the stove. With the previous experience, they had a more accurate grasp of time this round. Not only was the yield much higher, but two days were saved.

The two families were like groundhogs storing food as they chopped firewood and wood for charring non-stop. The flat spot beside the kilns was piled into a little mountain. After the charcoal in the kilns was taken out, it (i think it's referring to the kiln) was cooled for half a day then it can be refilled. The process was even quicker.

This time around, the four kilns made a total of over five thousand jin of charcoal. That means eleven-twelve silver and one family can get a share of five-six silver.

One haul after another, the dark gleaming charcoal was moved to the home. On everyone face was rippled with joy.

Mrs. Zhao was smiling till her teeth overshadow her eyes. Her thought was on the discussion about to get two sets of clothes, buying a silver hairpin and a pair of earring for New Year...

That day they just came back from the mountain, Lian Li and Mrs. Qiao were at the door, calling out “Anyone there?” and barged right in.

Lian Fang Zhou swept a glance over, it seems that they have prepared. Deep down she understood the couple was definitely waiting near the entrance so that once she was back, they’ll come over.

She raised her hand to comb the loose hair and stepped up to welcome with a smile pasted on. “Uncle and Aunt, you must have nothing to do! Please take a seat.”

Lian Fang Zhou could guess the reason for them coming here. Since her family and Aunt Zhang’s didn’t hide the matter about them making charcoal—actually, there's no way of hiding it.

Lian Li harrumphed and sat down. Mrs. Qiao cast her a glance and also sat down. Mrs. Qiao said with displeasure. “Do you place any importance to your Elder? We have come, and you didn’t even give us tea!”

Her words had yet to finish, and Lian Che and Lian Fang Qing could be seen carrying the tea over.

Lian Fang Qing pouted and rebutted. “Aunt, it also takes time to brew tea, no? We had no idea you were coming over otherwise it would already be prepared. What are you being so anxious that your face is fuming red for?.”

Mrs. Qiao was now putout and sneered without speaking anymore.

How was she to know that the second branch’s kids would take the initiative to pour tea? She couldn't wait to point out fault, so she can grasp their shortcoming and take the opportunity to give them good teaching. And they would also have a stronger position in later discussion.

Who knew it was them who revealed their shortcoming instead.

“You're too problematic,” obviously Lian Li recognize this fact. He threw a fierce glare at Mrs. Qiao before turning to Lian Fang Zhou with a pleasant face. “Your Aunt is just frank and outspoken. You don’t have to mind her.”

Lian Fang Zhou just smiled and glanced at Mrs. Qiao. She leisurely answered with 'oh.'

Mrs. Qiao angerly gave her a fierce stare.

Lian Li lifted up the teacup without any intention to drink it. He was waiting for Lian Fang Zhou to open her mouth. Waiting for Lian Fang Zhou to ask why they had come, so he can conveniently get into the topic.

But Lian Fang Zhou’s eyelids were slightly lowered. Don't know what she was thinking about but it was clear she had no intention to speak at all. The three younger Lian siblings and Ah Jian had already left. Third Aunt was still in the kitchen.

Just sitting there won't do. Without any other choice, Lian Li lightly coughed. “Fang Zhou, I heard that you're working with Li Family on the charcoal business.”

“Mhmm,” Lian Fang Zhou lifted her head, gave Lian Li a nod and then nothing else.

Lian Li started to feel a bit angry. Irritated he said, “Previously Li Family didn’t know how to make charcoal. So where could they have learned this?”

“I also don’t know!”Lian Fang Zhou smiled. There's no adult in their home, and Ah Jian isn't from here, so he had no footing. They could only explain to others, it was Uncle Li who learned to make charcoal from somewhere. Incidentally, he also called on the Lian siblings to help out and share the benefits. Naturally, they tell others, the profit they get also isn't a lot.

Aunt Zhang often helped Lian Fang Zhou and the rest, so this time around wasn’t any surprise.

Seeing Lian Li getting rebuffed repeatedly, discontent emerge within Mrs. Qiao.  She snorted, “How much wage does the Li family give? I say, their family is too much. They cheat you into working for them! And you siblings are stupidly working yourself to death. I'm afraid you can't even earn enough to match their loose change. They are simply bullying you cause your young and not placing any importance to us Uncle and Aunt.” 

Completely acting as if they were standing up for them and with a stance of wanting to head to Li family to create a large scene.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

VGAFH 60

60. The harassing Xi Que (2)


Ah Jian hurriedly spoke out. “Coming over is her matter, I didn’t say I would go with her.”

When hearing this, Lian Fang Zhou burst into chuckles. Lian Fang Qing was in the midst of washing her face when she lifted her head and daintily called out. “Big Brother Ah Jian, even if want to leave, I won't allow you to. Our family can't bear for you to leave.”

Ah Jian grinned happily as his heart settled down. Then he turned to go out.

“Ah Jian,” Xi Que saw Ah Jian as if she found a giant gold nugget that had fallen down from heaven. That intense friendliness made Ah Jian step back. With a frown, “Didn’t I express it clearly? I’m not going to Zhao family!”

Xi Que came to a halt. She hadn’t said it yet and already got rejected by him. She mentally called him a fool,  blockhead and the likes. Today she had especially dressed up, did he not see that? If he saw, then how he could bear to reject her?

“It's like this, “Xi Que stood her ground, as she softly spoke. ”That xx day you saved our Miss, and since our Miss is a person who would repay her gratitude, she insisted that I must invite you to our household! Isn’t the city better than here? There are so many people want to enter our household but can't. This is a great opportunity! Don’t worry,  Zhao Family won't mistreat you. Our Miss said how much salary you want, is up to you to choose. Once you enter our household, you’ll also get two sets of new clothes. So don ’t be foolish anymore! You are our Miss’s savior, once you arrive in Zhao Family, who wouldn’t place important to you?”

Not waiting for her to finish, Ah Jian interrupted. “Are you done speaking? Now it is my turn to speak. I’m not going! Please return!”

Then he turned to leave.

“Hold on a moment! “Xi Que became anxious. She rushed over to block Ah Jian from the front, and with a sheepish smile, “I believe you didn’t hear me. Our Miss said the salary is up to you to choose!”

“Please return!” Without batting an eye, Ah Jian still repeated.  Xi Que became anxious. She mentally cursed him non stop. She carefully inspected Ah  Jian once. And immediately stomped her feet and reached out to grasp Ah Jian’s sleeve. Her cheeks flushed as she quietly and coyly said: “I’m Miss’s first class maid. If you’re willing to go, how about I… I marry you-”

As if he was burnt, Ah Jian hurried to fling her hands off him. He retreated backward, and with a frown, he bellowed: “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”

Since he came to Lian Household, Ah Jian always had a smile when he spoke with anyone. The Lian Family had never heard him shout like this before, especially when it carries anger.

Inside the house, the Lian siblings, as well as Third Aunt, was shocked. They all looked blankly at each other.

“What’s, what’s going on? “Third Aunt murmured.

“I'll go out check it out!” Lian Fang Zhou rushed out.

Xi Que thought that she, a real and gorgeous girl, taking the initiative to say this, Ah Jian would become speechless from joy. Who would have known that he would yell at her instead. She became embarrassed as well as enraged. Instantly tears welled up in her eye.

“Ah Jian, what has happened?”Lian Fang Zhou asked.

Xi Que immediately became unsettled. If Ah Jian spoke out the truth, would she still have the face to see people?

Ignoring her own embarrassed anger, she stepped up, and her knees softened and kneeled in front of Lian Fang Zhou. She pulled on Lian Fang Zhou's sleeves and begged. “Miss Lian, I beg you. Let Ah Jian go with me. I beg of you. No matter how much charcoal you make, I'll buy them all, alright?”

Immediately, Lian Fang Zhou felt a burst of disdain. This counts as negotiating condition right? If she agreed, what kind of person would she become? What's more, she never thought of accepting from the start -- And what does this matter has to do with her?

If Ah Jian wanted to go, although it's regretful that they’ll lose their main working force, she still wouldn't say anything.

“I say, Miss Xi Que, didn’t I already tell you? The decision is up to Ah Jian. Don’t ask me. He is temporarily staying at our house. He’s not our hired hand!”

Lian Fang Zhou politely spoke and tried to pull off Xi Que hand. But Xi Que’s hand was like it grew on her sleeve. No matter how she couldn’t get it off. Lian Fang Zhou’s face flashed a hint of annoyance. She might as well stand there unmoving. 'If you want to kneel, then kneel. Want to grab then grab!'

How is this begging someone? This is simply acting shamelessly!

Xi Que, who had Miss Lian rolling off her tongue long and short as she continuously pleads, abruptly found that she was putting on a one-person show. She halted before her voice gradually turned quieter and no longer cause a scene.

Lian Fang Zhou unexpectedly pull back her sleeve with great force from her grasp and said, “Miss Xi Que, we still need to head up to the mountain to work. So do as you please!”

Ah Jian was already run out of patience. So without any more thoughts, he turned to walk away.

“Miss Lian!” Xi Que became frantic. She rushed forward to reach out two arms to stop Lian Fang Zhou. With reddened eyes, she sobbed. “I'll be honest with you! Our Miss has already spoken out, if I cant invite Ah Jian back, she, she won’t want me anymore. sob sob... Miss Lian, I beg of you to be kind. Let Ah Jian make a trip over, please. Staying or not, let him tell our Miss. This way I can report to our Miss!”

Xi Que continuously begged Lian Fang Zhou. Ah Jian made her lose face, so she was too humiliated to ask him.

 Lian Fang Zhou wrinkled her brow and looked over to Ah Jian. After some consideration, Ah Jian spoke. “I make a trip over to explain things clearly and come back.”

“The sooner you go, the sooner you come back,” Lian Fang Zhou nodded. Although they haven’t known each other long, she still understands Ah Jian’s personality. It's impossible for Zhao Family to make him stay.

“That’s wonderful! Thank you, Miss Lian! Many thanks, Miss Lian!”Xi Que was overjoyed. She quickly asked. “Ah Jian, shall we go now?”

Xi Que felt proud of her pity-seeking act on the inside. In her opinion, the reason for Ah Jian not willing to work for Zhao Family is because he never been to Zhao Family place or seen Zhao Family's ostentation. As long as he witnesses it, he will definitely change his mind.

Ah Jian glanced at Xi Que, with full of cautiousness. “You go back first. I'll go by myself.”

“Why go to such trouble? I happen to have a carriage here! ”Xi Que courteously grinned. Ah Jian gave her an apathetic gaze with inexplicable thoughts that need not be brought to open. If Xi Que could paw him in public, then who knows what she would do when nobody is around. Ah Jian doesn’t want to gain some messy reputation.

Xi Que understood Ah Jian ‘s expression, her face immediately redden. Ashamed she said, “Then, then I’ll leave first. Don’t make our Miss wait long.”

And she finished without bidding Lian Fang Zhou goodbye. She speeded into the carriage as if she was escaping.

Lian Fang Zhou wasn't bothered by her attitude. Instead, she swept up and down at Ah Jian with a strange gaze. This made Ah Jian feel uneasy. He forced a smile, “Why, why are you looking at me like that?”

Initially, Lian Fang Zhou wanted to ask, but when she thought about Xi Que behavior, afraid it was very likely something terrible. And she replied with, “Oh, its nothing much. Since you promised her, then you should quickly go.”

 “Ok, I'll come back earlier and make it in time to chop more wood to char!" Seeing that she wasn’t going to grill him, Ah Jian sighed in relief and hurriedly nodded with a grin.

Lian Fang Zhou chuckled and said. “I didn’t say you need to rush to work for half day. You don’t need to be hasty. Just rest in the afternoon!”

Ah Jian just smiled, didn't respond. Not long later, he went out.

VGAFH 59

59. The harassing Xi Que


As to Mrs. Qiao, what Third Aunt said was right. She is an elder after all.

There's a lot of things Lian Fang Zhou can't do. From the beginning, she had asked Third Aunt to keep an eye out on ordinary days. Or else, even if it's a small petty matter, she has no might to dispute with Mrs. Qiao.

If you argue about,  then you seem to be stingy, and the younger generation can't act like that. If you don't bother with it, then other will gain an inch and want a foot. Perhaps, a whole other pest may appear!

After getting the taste of benefits, Uncle Li's whole family, Lian Fang  Zhou, and the others worked with great drive. Early the next day they headed to the mountain again.

Another three kilns could be dug out in that area. So they'll end up with four holes. With one patch of charcoal, one family could earn around four to five silver! Making a few more rounds, it's also enough for a year's expenditure.

This day, Lian Ze, Ah Jian, Uncle Li, and Li San Ge dugout the new kilns. While the women chopped the firewood and wood for charring.

Because they had the previous experience, and also, more importantly, the abundant profit from the last time, they got three new kilns freshly made in a day and a half! After that, the men joined in chopping wood.

What the mountain has is an endless amount of trees. With two and a half days, not only do they have the wood to be placed in the kiln ready, but they also had firewood for burning the kiln done too.

Ah Jian, Lian Fang Zhou, Uncle Li, and Lian Ze, the four of them filled the kiln and lit it up. Aunt Zhang and Mrs. Qiao continued chopping firewood, looking for wood. Since even if this patch of kilns is finished, they still have a use for them.

And also, under Zhao Ru Jun's order, Xi Que had rushed over to Da Fang village in a horse carriage the next day after breakfast with the address her subordinate found.

Unfortunately, Ah Jian and Lian Fang Zhou were in busy earning money for New Year and had already headed to the mountain. So, Xi Que missed the boat.

Toward this, Xi Que didn't find it too surprising. Rural people ma, how could they not go out and work in the daylight and stay at home? Thankfully, she was prepared for it.

Xi Que took out a large red rectangular invitation from her bosom and handed it over to Third Aunt to let her give it to Ah Jian. Telling her, she'll be coming again tomorrow.

Receiving the invitation, then he'll have to entertain guest or else it's terrible manner! Xi Que mentally praised how smart she was as she walked away pleased with herself.

But she had forgotten that it was her, who dropped in the invitation, and it wasn't Ah Jian willingly accept it.

And also, how could rural people understand these common courtesies? Lian Fang Zhou wasn't an inhabitant of this era, so she even doesn't know.

Therefore, Xi Que's invitation was resplendently ignored.

Ah Jian pushed it to Lian Fang Zhou with a frown. "You go brush it off!"

Lian Fang Zhou responded: "This Zhao Family, how come they're this overbearing!? Can't they peacefully let it go? Let's just ignore them; tomorrow we'll go on like usual!"

Ah Jian strongly approved.

Waiting until the second day, when Xi Que came, Third Aunt returned that invitation without waiting for her to speak. With a face full of contempt, she also said, "This toy is pretty to look at but doesn't have any use at all. It's too hard even to use it to wipe the bottom clean. Take it back! Our family doesn't feed idle people. Ah Jian had already gone to work! While you ah, it's better for you to go back!"

Xi Que was paralyzed from anger. Her hand was gripping on the invitation that Third Aunt stuffed back, somehow unable to recover her sense.

Once she regained her wits, she glared at Third Aunt, and her first sentence was: "I'm the city's Zhao Family's people!"

Third Aunt wasn't the kind of person willing to suffer. Her eyes glared back even more force. "I know that. You said before!"

As she spoke, her lips had curled into a sneer, so what if you're from the city. Is the city that great? If it's so great, then why are you running to our countryside?

Xi Que paused and thought for a moment. She frustratedly laughed at herself: that's right. Rural people don't understand these courtesies. It was her who thought too highly of them. It was like giving coquettish glances at a blind man. This old woman must have never entered the town before so it can be forgiven since she doesn't know Zhao Family.

Xi Que calmly took a look at Third Aunt and opened her mouth to say some words of sarcastic ridicule. But reconsidered, when she remembered that Ah Jian was working for this family. Since she wants to take him from them, she can't start quarreling with her. Otherwise, what should she do, when they don't let him go.

So whatever words she wants to say, can only wait until Ah Jian leave his employment first.

Therefore, Xi Que gave a restrained smile and turned to leave.
  
The next day during the evening, Xi Que came again.

Seeing her, Third Aunt said with a long face on, "I say, are you a haunting ghost that can't be dispelled? What thing does this poor household have that had pining for it? That is worth a few trips to come here!?"

At Zhao Ru Jun's side, Xi Que gained some importance. She had always compliment herself to be 'more aristocratic than those ordinary family's proper miss.'  Hearing Third Aunt's words, she considered how she is aiming at Ah Jian, and her face couldn't help start flushing. She bit her lips and glared at Third Aunt.

How could Third Aunt be afraid of her? She rolled her eyes, impatiently waved her hands as she said, "Leave, leave! Don't poke around here. I need to sweep the ground! In a moment, if you're dress get dirty, then don't blame me!"

Xi Que glanced around the clean ground and became mad. She angerly vented. "I say you rural woman, how could you say this kind of word!"

"Oh, who's family's miss is this? To actually come running to this rural woman to show off!" Third Aunt raised her voice even louder as she took out a bamboo brush from the corner of the corridor.

Xi Que wanted to flare up but can't. She could only resentfully retreated from of the courtyard to the outside.  However, she remained there, unwilling to leave.

With this, Third Aunt began wondering. She stretched out her neck to peek at her, mumbling a bit and no longer bother with her. "It couldn't be that this lass got a spell cast on her... "

It can be seen that the sun was setting, but Xi Que still didn't see him come back and anxiety started to set in.  Unconsciously, she scraped the mud on under her feet. She still needed to rush back to the city. The sky is about to darken, so it's also not easy for the carriage to travel.

Before the eyes, the remaining strip of sunset disappeared. Xi Que stomped her feet in frustration. She could only enter the carriage and doubled back.

The next day, she had learned her lesson. Dawn had just broken out, and she pressed the driver to head to Da Fang village. That driver had already accompanied her for few trips now and was a bit fed up. Both his thoughts' and words' meaning was: Just attending to you, Miss Xi Que, do still even need to take care of Master, Madam and Young Miss?

Xi Que only stared at him as she harrumphed and spoke. "Today's trip, I won't let you do it for nothing! Thirty coins should be enough right? And also, this task was instructed by Miss. If you have the ability, then don't go!

After finishing, she turned to get onto the carriage.

Zhao Family doesn't have only this carriage. So how could it delay the masters from going out? She knew the driver dislike that he didn't get any reward for transporting her on a few trips.

Towards her attitude, the driver also felt peeved. But for thirty coins, he disgruntledly swung his whips and drove the carriage. His mouth was still mumbling. "So pretentious, acting like a prestigious miss.  Few days work, and all I get is just this bit of money. You still dare to brag..."

Xi Que's face turned white in indignation.  Inside the carriage, she shot a fierce glare toward the curtain of the carriage that separated the outside and swore she'll definitely get the task done today!

When Xi Que arrived at Lian's home, the Lian family had yet to leave. Only from Third Aunt's mouth,  they all know Xi Que had been coming over every day.

Seeing her coming here bright and early, Lian Fang Zhou was slightly speechless. That (found a typo 0.0 was Lian instead of Zhao ) Zhao Family must be really short of staff, otherwise, why are they set on hiring Ah Jian?  I have never heard of any employer going this far before. Even the head-hunting company won't be this harassing, right?

"It's better that you go explain it clearly to her! I don't know if she finds it tedious to make a trip after a trip, but I am tired of looking at it!" Lian Fang Zhou glanced at Ah Jian.

Monday, 1 October 2018

VGAFH 58

I swear I didn't forget to translate a chapter a week! Really! Well... I did translate the wrong chapter...

58. Making dumplings

In a short moment, Ah Jian was pulled in by Lian Ze. Initially, Lian Fang Zhou thought Ah Jian wasn't willing to do this kind of housework, but who knew that he wasn't very particular about it. He went to stand at one side of the table, turned to ask Lian Fang Zhou cheerfully, "Did you called for me to do this? Ok, teach me how to do it!"

Lian Fang Zhou considered how with more people they can be quicker, so she demonstrated as she gave simple pointers. Afterward, she let him try.

Lian Fang Zhou waited at the side to watch him messed up. However, Ah Jian never gave the chance to. With one try, he was able to master it. The dumpling wrap was rolled out fast, even and looks good.

"Ah Jian is very skilled, to be able to do anything!" Even Third Aunt couldn't hold back her praise when she saw. And also mentally added, -'it was the right decision to let him stay!'

Lian Ze glanced over at Ah Jian. With a proud beam, he thought, how could such a small task trouble his teacher? He was able to master more difficult martial arts!

In contrast, Ah Jian was acting modestly. He politely smiled and asserted. "It was Fang Zhou who explained so easy to understand."

This made Lian Fang Zhou burst out into chuckles.

Lian Fang Zhou had her hands freed up, so she taught her three siblings how to fill and fold the dumpling.  She showed them how to do each and every step.

This was a slightly harder technique. The dumplings the three little ones made was supposed to be dumpling in essence but can't really be called one in shape. Looking at those oddly shaped appearances made them continuously laugh.

And also Lian Fang Zhou had highlighted, "Other parts doesn't matter but one thing you must definitely do is seal the filling in properly!"

The three of them was afraid of leaving gaps, so they kept on pinching the edge hard with anxiety. Resulting in the dumplings looking much more terrible.

Third Aunt couldn't bear to watch it anymore.  With a bang, she stopped her doing the work at hand and criticized. "You call that dumpling!? It's a disgraceful sight! Ah Ze, you do this. I'll let you see what is truly called dumpling!"

The Lian siblings studied Third Aunt's quick, smooth movement of holding the dough, filling it, enclosing it and pinched out neat folds. A full and bulging, neatly folded, snow white dumpling was produced.  Compare to the siblings' weirdly shaped one, you can't compare them at all.

The siblings gasped in surprise, "Third Aunt is really cool!"

Third Aunt waved her hand. "You two little ones, go do what you're supposed to be doing one. With me here, is enough! Fang Zhou, go heat the water. Once the water boil, we can cook the first batch!"

"There's so much. We'll also help out or else how long would it take for you to finish?" Lian Fang Zhou quickly pointed out. Just when she finished speaking, she saw the pan had another four bulging, pretty dumpling on it. She immediately corrected herself. "I'll go to the kitchen and boil water."

With this pace, it'll be as fast as them four siblings doing it!

Lian Fang Qing and Lian Che helped to get the dough balls and lined the dumplings. They chatted and laughed lively as they watched the process in great relish.

After the water boiled, Lian Fang Zhou came over. As expected, there are already a few dozen dumplings made. She happily said: "I'll go cook them. In a while, we'll eat first before we make the rest."

"Sister, I'll help you watch the fire!" Lian Fang Qing cast aside the work at hand and gleefully declared. She followed her to the kitchen.

Not long later, a large pan of the delicious dumpling was out of the steamer. Lian Fang Zhou used a bowl to hold them when she brought it out. She had also brought the small bowl and chopsticks. She merrily called everyone, " Quickly eat these! Just perfect, I'll have this batch cooked. Tonight we'll be having a feast!"

In the midst of the swirling steam, a  fragrant smell drifted around. Everyone exclaimed out ' smells delicious!' as they sat together to start eating.

"It's really yummy! I had never had such delicious dumpling before!" Lian Fang Qing took a bite, finding the taste was really unforgettable.

Third Aunt also sighed out, "Let's not about someone as young as you, even I haven't tried a dumpling like this before! With this generous amount of meat, how could it not be mouth-watering!"

Causing everyone to erupt in laughter.

Lian Fang Zhou then laughed, "What's this? Our life will definitely get better and better, so wait until you get tired of eating it one day! Hm, when it's New Year, we'll buy some pork again. While we're at it, we'll buy some lamb, chicken, fish and made few more kinds of dumpling filling!"

"You can really dream, ah! " Third Aunt scolded with a smile at her.

Lian Ze followed up, "We'll have enough when we make a few more batch of charcoal, so we'll do however Sister want it!"

Third Aunt heart was moved and thought of asking how much they earned from selling charcoal. She was so focused and overjoyed about the things they bought back, that she forgot to ask.

After some thoughts, in this house, she's not the family head. There's a chance she might make Lian Fang Zhou displease if she asked. So why bother? She swallowed up the unspoken question and happily gobbled up the dumplings.

Through the merry chatters, they quickly finished the big bowl of dumplings. Lian Fang Zhou had already brought over the second bowl of freshly cooked ones.

"It's a pity that we don't have any vinegar. Next time we'll need to buy some to dip in.  The taste would we much better and not get tired of it." Lian  Fang Zhou uttered.

Third Aunt exclaimed. "Aiya, how could we get tired of it? We won't even if we had it every day!"

Making everyone burst into laughter.

With this bowl finished, everyone was stuffed. They started wrapping the rest of the filling into dumplings and neatly stored them there. Afterward, they tidied up and prepared to bathe and sleep.

Third Aunt was in the kitchen washing the dishes when Lian Fang Zhou came in and gave her thirty nuggets to Third Aunt. "These days, it was hard on Third Aunt. Take this bit of money to keep at hand!"

"For me?" Third Aunt was surprised as well as delighted. She smiled like a Cheshire cat as she reached out to receive it. But that and withdrew when it was midway. "This, there's no need! I'm eating and living here as well as getting newly cutted-out clothes and newly made shoes. Which one of these isn't money? How could I still take your money!"

"You can just accept it!" Lian Fang Zhou stuffed the big bundle handkerchief wrapped nuggets into Third Aunt's hand. She insisted with a grin, "You deserve it! Next time we profit, there's more!"

"Oh, this, I'll accept it then! Usually, I would have to refrain myself from asking you to buy some needle, threads and the like!" Third Aunt no longer refuse. Hearing that there's more in future, She became blooming in joy, and all displeasure dissipate.  After some contemplation, she turned to Lian Fang Zhou to express her usefulness. "One thing,  yesterday, that cow, Mrs. Qiao wanted to enter our veggie patch to steal. When I saw her, I gave her a good scolding and drove her away! Next time she dares to come, I won't let her off!"

"Aunt is really outrageous! Third Aunt, I'll have to trouble you in the future!" Lian Fang Zhou expressed.
 
"That goes without saying! This kind of matter isn't suited for you young girls and the younger generation to do. In future, you'll still need to marry-- cough, I need to wash the dishes. You should quickly wash up and sleep! The pot on the stove still has hot water!"

All at once, Third Aunt recalled that Lian Fang Zhou had her engagement broken. So in the middle of her sentence, she changed the topis in an instant.

Lian Fang Zhou also didn't expose that. She just nodded with a smile. "Ok, I'll go now then! You should also rest up early later."

She didn't care about it all. So what if she remained unmarried for the rest of her life?