A significant amount of time had passed, and by the time Su Mu and her two companions returned home, it was already evening. The sky was adorned with the hues of sunset, and the chimneys of every household were emitting smoke.
Father Su had arranged things for the elderly man. Their home had plenty of rooms, and the key was to ensure that the old man’s emotions remained stable—just like what had happened at the hospital.
Fortunately, after leaving the hospital, the elderly man’s condition improved. He could engage in brief conversations with Father Su, although he would often provide unrelated answers. His memory remained confused.
Su Mu was still concerned about the wild vegetables that Grandma Li and Grandma Chen had specially sorted out. Selling the vegetables today wasn’t possible, and they couldn’t use so many for mustard green dumplings either. She looked at the fresh wild vegetables and felt a sense of regret.
Even though she could use her special abilities to maintain the moisture in the vegetables, keeping them as fresh as if just picked, doing so would likely arouse her parents’ suspicions. In this hot weather, even if stored in the refrigerator, the vegetables might still wilt somewhat.
While Su Mu was at home, her mother had already mixed the stuffing for the mustard green dumplings. She had blended mustard greens, minced meat, salt, cooking wine, sesame oil, and various seasonings evenly. The mixture emitted a strong fragrance even before being cooked. Once cooked, the flavor would be absolutely irresistible.
Seeing her daughter frowning in front of a pile of wild vegetables, Mother Su couldn’t help but smile. She shook her head and let out a sigh. After all, she was still a child.
“Take these vegetables to the village square under the big banyan tree. Let the villagers take some home to eat. When you return to the village to farm, no matter what, you will eventually need the villagers’ help. Sharing these vegetables with them will leave a good impression. When you need their help in the future, the benefits will become apparent.”
Sometimes, neighborly relationships were built up little by little.
Su Mu’s eyes brightened. “Mom, you’re really quick-witted!”
With that, she effortlessly lifted the basket and headed straight to the village square.
Mother Su merely glanced at her daughter before returning to her task of making dumplings. How many dumpling wrappers had Mu Mu bought? There were stacks upon stacks of them, and it seemed like she wouldn’t be able to finish them all.
The sun’s light was not as intense as it had been at noon. Facing the evening breeze, Su Mu walked along the path. Occasionally, she encountered villagers chatting. She politely greeted each of them and then showed them the contents of her basket, allowing them to take a few bunches and add a variety to their meals.
Translated on ho lo lo novels dot com.
“These were picked from our own vegetable garden, absolutely fresh.”
“Wow, it’s been so long since I’ve seen such tender wild vegetables!”
“Isn’t that the truth?” Su Mu’s eyes curved into a smile. “Feel free to take a couple bunches.”
“No need to pay, exchanging money with neighbors can strain relationships.”
As the crowd dispersed, most of the vegetables in the basket were gone.
Su Mu lifted the basket again. There was still a short distance to the square, and she estimated that the vegetables would be used up within half an hour.
Thinking about the mustard green dumplings for dinner tonight, she was filled with energy. She hoped to finish delivering the vegetables quickly and return home for dinner.
A little further away, a black car was approaching. Su Mu moved to the side, and her keen eyes caught the emblem on the car—a seven-digit price tag. A scrape would be beyond her means.
However, when did such an upscale person appear in the village?
Unexpectedly, the small car came to a slow stop beside her. The car window rolled down, revealing a serious face. She heard him ask, “Excuse me, young lady. Can you tell me how to get to the Su Tang residence?”
Hearing this voice, Su Mu felt an odd sense of familiarity. After a moment of contemplation, she realized it was the elderly man’s son, a man named Mr. Fu Da.
“Mr. Fu, right? I’m the one who called you earlier today.”
Fu Da’s composed demeanor cracked. He undid his seatbelt, got out of the car, and gave Su Mu a deep bow. “I apologize for my tone on the phone, young lady.”
“Is my father okay now?” He had driven swiftly, following the directions to Taoyuan County People’s Hospital, only to be informed upon arrival that his father had already been discharged. Fortunately, the family had left their home address, so he rushed here without stopping.
Being recognized by the young lady relieved half of the burden on his heart. However, his tone on the phone at noon had been somewhat impolite. He had misunderstood her intentions, thinking she had ulterior motives for helping his father. Both ethically and logically, he should offer a formal apology.
Su Mu quickly stepped aside and waved her hand. “No need, no need. It was my father who helped your father. I’m just a go-between.”
Understanding his urgency, she added, “Your father is fine. He’s at my house. Let me lead you there.”
As she spoke, she moved to pick up the basket, but Fu Da skillfully intercepted it and took it from her. “Please get in the car.”
Su Mu didn’t waste any time and got into the passenger seat.
Their house wasn’t far, and the car quickly arrived at the doorstep.
Fu Da held the basket in one hand and anxiously searched for his father’s figure. Who knew the suffering and regret he had experienced on this journey?
In the center of the yard, a dining table was set up. Several people were lively wrapping dumplings around the table. Fu Da saw his father finish making a dumpling and handed it to the person beside him. Perhaps due to receiving praise, his father smiled innocently, resembling a child.
His eyes became slightly teary. It had been a long time since he had seen his father’s smile.
Fu Da approached and affectionately called out, “Dad.” His father recognized the voice and happily clapped his hands while shouting, “Da Da, Da Da.”
Then, he started crying again, “Da Da, where did you go? I couldn’t find you.”
Fu Da’s tears flowed uncontrollably as he held his frail father, apologizing repeatedly. “I’m sorry, Dad. Da Da came late.”
Watching this scene, Su Mu felt deeply moved. She pondered how painful it must be for the forgotten person, especially considering their age and the bonds of family.
The three members of the Su family quietly entered the kitchen, thoughtfully giving them space. Mother Su let out a sigh. “Look at this Mr. Fu, he seems to be filial. How could he manage to lose his own father?”
Fortunately, the elderly man was walking on the main road. If he had accidentally wandered into the mountains, it could have been a tragedy.
“Maybe he just got lost. Anyway, it’s their family matter. Let’s go back to making dumplings,” Father Su replied.
Talking about this, Mother Su gave her daughter a sideways glance. “Mu Mu, how many dumpling wrappers did you buy? The filling we prepared isn’t enough, so I had to make another batch!”
Feeling a bit embarrassed, Su Mu admitted she hadn’t been to the market in a while. She wasn’t sure about prices and quantities. When the vendor asked her how much she wanted, she said she wanted to spend twenty yuan…
When they were weighed, she was taken aback. It was two big bags, probably over a thousand wrappers. No wonder people gave her strange looks when she said twenty yuan.
She paid the vendor, and since the money had already changed hands, she couldn’t bring herself to ask for a refund…
Su Mu shrunk her neck and stuttered, “Tw-twenty yuan.”
“What?!” Mother Su raised her voice. This daughter of hers, who wasn’t in charge of household matters, didn’t understand the value of things like groceries.
Twenty yuan would feed them for a long time, until they got tired of eating it.
“Twenty yuan!” Su Mu blushed with embarrassment. She knew she had made a mistake.
“The May 1st holiday is coming up. My brother, sister-in-law, Mr. Liu, and that Mr. Gu are all coming to visit us. We’ll finish these in no time.” Tonight, they might have Mr. Fu as a guest for dinner as well, which would also help consume the dumplings.
“Alright, alright, look at you,” Mother Su said helplessly. “You bought them, so we have to finish wrapping these dumpling skins tonight! Otherwise, they’ll go bad by tomorrow. I’m going to cook now.”
When guests were over, they couldn’t be slow.
Father Su didn’t dare to speak up in front of his wife. After she left, he gave his daughter a reassuring look. “Your mother has worked hard for everything she has. She values money more. Mu Mu, don’t take it to heart.”
Su Mu responded with a wry smile, “I’m not angry; I just bought too much myself.”
Outside, the father-son reunion was heating up with gestures and expressions. Mother Su was unaware, fully focused on preparing dinner. The atmosphere returned to being warm and cozy.
The two Fu father and son gradually calmed down. Surprisingly, the elderly man suddenly regained his clarity of mind.
That’s how this illness was—sometimes better, sometimes worse.
“Let’s go, we have to thank them. Otherwise, my old bones won’t be able to pass this test,” Fu Qingming spoke up.
Supporting his father, Fu Da slowly walked into the kitchen.
Father Su was the first to notice them coming in. He quickly stood up and said, “You’ve arrived. The kitchen is a mess, I apologize.”
Fu Qingming waved his hand and sincerely said, “Thank you truly. If it weren’t for your assistance, I…” He couldn’t bear to think about the consequences. He was old, not many good years left. He hadn’t even seen his son get married and have children. He couldn’t resign himself to it.
“It’s alright, just a small favor. Anyone would help in such a situation,” Father Su replied, starting a never-ending conversation. Su Mu struggled not to burst out laughing and said, “As long as you’re fine. You two can go sit outside for a while. Dinner will be ready soon.”
Mother Su chimed in, “Yes, yes, about half an hour more.”
Under Fu Da’s insistence, both of them stayed in the kitchen to help wrap dumplings. Thankfully, with their assistance, Su Mu successfully completed the task her mother had entrusted to her.
Laying out over a thousand dumplings in a neat row on bamboo mats was quite impressive. Su Mu felt a great sense of accomplishment.
Fu Da owned a high-end supermarket. During the early days of its establishment, he personally inspected the goods, including fruits and vegetables. His sharp eye for produce was cultivated through experience. He had noticed the quality of the wild vegetables in the basket earlier and now, having a close encounter with the wild mustard greens filling, he found it even more impressive. The fragrance was invigorating.
His professional instincts kicked in, and he couldn’t help but ask, “Miss Su, did you buy these vegetables?”
Father Su chuckled, “You can find them all over the fields. Who would want to spend money buying this stuff? These were all dug up from our own vegetable garden.”
“In that case, are there many of these high-quality wild vegetables?” Fu Da often stayed in the city and was unaware that rich people nowadays liked eating rural produce. Wild vegetables were now much more expensive than cultivated ones.
If there were plenty, he could buy some to give to his business partners. They would surely appreciate it.
Hearing this, Su Mu also caught on. As the saying goes, opportunity comes from adversity. She had been worried about sales, but it seemed that her worries were misplaced. Wild vegetables didn’t stay fresh for long, and they grew quickly. She used to worry about how to sell them, but now it seemed like a silver lining had appeared.