“Ah! It’s Xie Ama!”
Finally brought back to reality by Xie Ama’s loud voice, Xu Qing hurriedly dressed, with messy hair, and went out to greet the slightly chilly morning breeze.
As Xu Qing opened the courtyard gate, he saw Xie Ama, dressed in a green robe, standing at the doorstep, carrying the vegetable basket he had delivered the previous night. Xu Qing noticed that the hem of Xie Ama’s clothes was slightly damp, probably from being brushed by the roadside weeds on the way.
“Come in quickly, Xie Ama. Has something happened?”
Xu Qing scratched his messy hair in embarrassment, pulled Xie Ama into the house, and cautiously glanced at the sky outside. It was probably just past six in the morning. If Xie Ama came to find him at this hour, it couldn’t be good news from home!
Translated on ho lo lo novels dot com.
“Oh, it’s nothing serious. Come, sit next to Ama.” Xie Ama looked at Xu Qing’s disheveled appearance and knew that he had been pulled out of bed by himself. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been up so early.
“Yes, Brother Qing, let me ask you, where did this wild rabbit meat come from?! Don’t try to deceive Xie Ama, just tell me honestly!”
Initially, Xu Qing thought Xie Ama had come only to return the basket. But as he looked at the intact rabbit meat inside the basket, his eyes widened. “Heavens, Xie Ama, why did you bring it back to me?!”
“Why? Let me tell you, I haven’t figured out where this thing came from, but it’s a delicacy! I can’t even eat it!” Now that Xie Ama had brought up the main topic, he became more talkative. “You don’t know, when your uncle and I opened it and saw that it was rabbit meat, we were truly startled. In all these years since your father’s passing, we’ve never received such wild rabbit meat, let alone a rabbit of this size! So, speak up!”
Although the people now live in peace and prosperity, life is still tight. Wild game like this, which can be sold for thirty wen per jin in town, is not something every household can afford. Even if someone is lucky enough to hunt and catch it occasionally, they wouldn’t casually eat it like Xu Qing does. They would sell it in town to save some money for future needs.
“Oh, this is what I hunted in the mountains yesterday. I can’t finish it alone, so I wanted you and Uncle Xie to taste it!” Xu Qing finally explained the origin of the rabbit, speaking vaguely but not lying. He simply omitted some details.
“You went into the mountains? And you caught it?!” Xie Ama asked Xu Qing once again with a face that said, “Are you kidding me?!”
Confused by the question, Xu Qing replied, “Yes, it was me. What’s the matter?”
Xie Ama looked at Xu Qing, with his messy hair and poorly dressed appearance, and carefully observed the small bumps on Xu Qing’s face. Well, everything was the same as usual.
“Hey, Brother Qing, the bumps on your face don’t seem as red anymore!” Xie Ama exclaimed with surprise upon noticing this phenomenon.
Following Xie Ama’s words, Xu Qing reached out his hand and touched the still slightly bumpy face. “Hmm, they are slightly smaller than before.”
The Spiritual spring water had already eliminated most of the accumulated toxins from Xu Qing’s face. Even if he didn’t use Spiritual spring water to wash his face in the future, as long as he avoided spicy food, it wouldn’t take long for his face to fully recover. Therefore, compared to Xie Ama, who was excited by this discovery, Xu Qing remained calm.
Xie Ama, in his happiness, didn’t notice this change. In his eyes, as long as Brother Qing didn’t have those scary red bumps on his face, he looked better than many other young gers in the village. After all, Brother Qing’s mother was considered the most outstanding beauty in the village during his youth, and Brother Qing was not inferior to anyone.
“By the way, I almost forgot to ask you, Brother Qing, tell me honestly.” Xie Ama, after calming down, didn’t forget what he wanted to ask.
“You, did someone give you this rabbit? Ah?” Xie Ama asked Xu Qing with a mysterious and gossiping tone.
Xu Qing was even more confused, completely unaware of Xie Ama’s train of thought. “No, I hunted it myself in the mountains yesterday afternoon! No one gave it to me. Besides, in this village, apart from you and Uncle Xie, no one likes to give me things.”
Seeing that Xu Qing still didn’t understand his meaning, Xie Ama felt a bit awkward. Well, it was inappropriate for someone his age to discuss these things with an unmarried young ger. It would be better to be direct and at ease!
“Ahem, what Xie Ama means is, do you have, have a crush on someone, ah?”
After hearing Xie Ama’s words, Xu Qing accidentally choked on his own saliva!
“Cough, cough, cough! What are you saying! I don’t have anyone!” Xu Qing’s face turned as red as a cooked shrimp when questioned about having a romantic interest. “That really was me, I went to the mountains myself! And I even used my father’s bow and arrow. Look, it’s still hanging on the wall! If you don’t believe me, take a look for yourself. Yesterday, before using this bow, I cleaned it thoroughly!”
In order to prove that he was truly a single dog, the poor child hastily jumped up and handed the bow and arrow hanging on the wall to Xie Ama, asking him to see the clean body of the bow.
Xie Ama looked at the bow and arrow with a skeptical gaze.
“So, you really went into the mountains yesterday afternoon?”
“Yes, yes, just me!”
“Well, well, you’ve become quite capable, huh? A young ger daring to go into the mountains alone!!” Xie Ama reached out and grabbed Xu Qing’s ear, who was still desperately trying to prove his innocence, and shouted loudly!
Oh no! He really couldn’t escape from what was right in front of him, no matter how much he tried to avoid it! Xu Qing’s face was twisted in pain, resembling a chrysanthemum. “Ah, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, Xie Ama!”
“Are you still going there later?! Ah?!”
“I’m not going! I’m not going!” Yeah, right!
The moment Xie Ama let go of Xu Qing’s ear, Xu Qing immediately reached out and vigorously rubbed the ear that had just been grabbed. Surprisingly, he put quite some strength into it!
“It’s not that I’m being nosy, but you, a young ger, ah! Just running into the mountains all alone, who knows…” Xie Ama paused, “You should know that you’re the last hope for the Xu family’s lineage!”
Xu Qing stopped rubbing his ear and walked over to Xie Ama, pulling him to sit down. “I know, Xie Ama, thank you.”
Being able to feel such long-lost love and care in this foreign world, he felt content and grateful.
“Alright, let’s not talk about this anymore. Since we’ve come to this point, let me remind you that you’ll be turning twenty-one in two months! Come on, tell me, what do you think about it?”
Xie Ama suddenly remembered the matter of official pairing and brought it up, but Xu Qing had no idea about it at all!
“What’s so special about turning twenty-one? I don’t want to get married!” If I were to marry, I’d want it to be someone I find attractive and someone I like! Xu Qing thought somewhat petulantly.
“Oh, so you’re thinking of marrying someone in! That’s not a bad idea. In that case, the Xu family’s lineage won’t be cut off! You’ve thought it through!” Xie Ama hadn’t even considered the possibility of Xu Qing marrying a husband into the Xu family. He had been worried before about Xu Qing getting married and what would happen to the Xu family’s land and house! Now he didn’t have to worry about that anymore.
Xu Qing’s mouth was wide open, as if it could fit an entire egg inside. “What marry in?!”
Seeing Xu Qing’s expression, Xie Ama knew he had misunderstood and his face turned dark. “So you mean you won’t marry out or marry someone in?!” Before Xu Qing could recover and respond, Xie Ama continued with even more shocking words, “Do you know that if you’re not married by twenty-one, you’ll be officially paired by the government on your birthday? The men they pair you with are either old bachelors or worthless scoundrels! If you marry one of them, your whole life will be ruined!!”
Damn it! Who the hell came up with such a twisted rule! Xu Qing felt like a million grass mud horses were galloping through his mind!
Seeing Xu Qing’s saddened look, Xie Ama immediately felt sorry for him. After all, he was still a child, even if he was turning twenty-one, his appearance looked more like fifteen or sixteen.
“Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid. I secretly had someone inquire about it yesterday. Those soldiers returning from service are the most sought after every year. Tell Xie Ama, what kind do you like? I’ll find someone for you.”
Xu Qing lowered his head and fell silent. He had calculated countless things, but he never anticipated this aspect in this world. Well, actually, being alone was quite lonely.
“I want to marry a husband in!”
Xu Qing suddenly lifted his head and looked at Xie Ama with determination.
“He must be several years older than me!” He’s into older men!
“He must not have married anyone else!” He has a cleanliness obsession when it comes to emotions!
“He must have a good temper!” Otherwise, it won’t be easy to boss him around!
“He must have a special skill!” He can’t be freeloading!
“I want him to have the appearance I like!”
“Stop! Hold on!”
Xie Ama was a bit dizzy. “I could understand what you said before, but this one, he must have the appearance you like? What kind of appearance do you like?”
Xu Qing was now stunned. What kind of appearance does he like? In his previous life, he was still a virgin and never had a partner!
“Well, I just want someone I find pleasing to the eye!” Xu Qing blushed and stammered as he tried to articulate his distorted requirements for a partner.
Xie Ama had a delighted expression on his face. He was afraid that Xu Qing would make an impulsive decision and wait for the official pairing. Now he had to arrange things properly!
“Alright, I’m leaving. There’s cornbread I made this morning in the basket. Heat it up and have it. I promise I’ll find someone good for you!”
As soon as Xu Qing heard Xie Ama was leaving, he no longer felt shy. He grabbed the basket and stuffed it into Xie Ama’s hands. “If you don’t accept this rabbit meat, then I won’t marry anyone!”
“What nonsense are you saying! Spit it out! Fine, it’s been years since I had any game meat. If it weren’t for thinking about the rabbit’s origin last night, I would have used it as a side dish with your Uncle Xie! Alright, I’m leaving, don’t send me off. Go freshen up and get ready to become a bride!”