Selling Cured Meats
After returning home, Yu Qingze returned the cart to the village chief’s house and went to Brother Chang’s house.
Upon hearing his purpose, Brother Chang immediately said, “Okay, I’ll come over.”
It was already mid-afternoon, and it was almost time to prepare dinner. Brother Chang’s mother said, “Then I’ll come too. I have to make some dim sum for tomorrow morning. Brother Chang, pack some Laba porridge and bring some for Brother Le to eat together.”
Brother Chang nodded.
After listening to it, Yu Qingze suddenly remembered that he forgot to bring Laba Porridge for Brother Le when he went to the town earlier. Although they had already eaten lunch, there was still plenty of porridge at home. So he said, “Wait a moment, I’ll go back and pack some too. You can try what I made and we can exchange and eat.”
The Laba Porridge here was slightly different from what he knew, but since Grandpa Chang and the others trusted his skills, they let him make it according to his method. As expected, the one he made was much more delicious than the local traditional one, and they all liked it very much.
“Boss Yu, did you make this? It must be delicious. Pack more, please,” Brother Chang shouted in the kitchen.
Yu Qingze smiled and agreed, then went back and packed a lot of porridge in food containers, enough for the three of them to eat. He asked Brother Chang and the others to take it to the shop.
Arranging someone to accompany Brother Le, Yu Qingze returned home with peace of mind, took a hoe, and went to find Grandpa Chang and the others. They were digging in the backyard, preparing to plant the Chinese cabbage seedlings today.
By the time Yu Qingze arrived, they had already dug two-thirds of that small plot of land. He went over, tapping and flattening the soil while saying to Grandpa Chang, “Grandpa, I didn’t go to get the prescription. I thought about it, and I think we should go see Dr. Li tomorrow. What do you think?”
Grandpa Chang nodded and said, “Alright. We should have Dr. Li take a look.”
“Then please come with me tomorrow so that Dr. Li can also take your pulse. It will help him make a better judgment,” Yu Qingze suggested.
Grandpa Chang hesitated and said, “Should I go too? I was planning to plant the scallions over there tomorrow.”
Yu Qingze persuaded him, saying, “If you don’t go, Dr. Li won’t know your symptoms, and it will be difficult to judge whether the prescription is effective or not.”
After thinking it over, Grandpa Chang said, “Okay, I’ll go.”
In the evening, after dinner, Chang Hao continued to work on his homework as usual. Yu Qingze was teaching Jiabao arithmetic. They had started learning multiplication, so Yu Qingze asked Jiabao to recite the multiplication table up to nine times nine before teaching him further.
Watching the young boy earnestly calculating on the abacus, Yu Qingze asked him, “Jiabao, have you paid off all your debts?”
Jiabao shook his head and said, “I still need five hundred and sixty wen to clear them.”
“Tomorrow, I’ll go with you, and we’ll repay all the money. Also,” Yu Qingze glanced at Chang Hao and then looked at Jiabao, asking, “Jiabao, do you want to go to school and study?”
During this period, he was too busy, and sometimes he would be called by the villagers at night to handle issues, so he didn’t have time for Jiabao. Now that things had finally eased up a bit, he saw Chang Hao working on homework and suddenly thought that if Jiabao went to study, he would definitely be a good student and might even achieve some academic success. If Jiabao wanted to go to school, he would send him.
Jiabao hesitated for a moment when he heard this and looked up at Yu Qingze. He asked, “Big brother, why are you asking me this?”
Chang Hao also looked up at Yu Qingze. If Jiabao could go to school with him, that would be great!
“You are so smart and have a good foundation. If you go to study, you will definitely be able to pass the imperial examinations and achieve success,” Yu Qingze replied.
Chang Hao nodded in agreement with these words.
Jiabao looked at the abacus in silence, not saying anything. After a while, he looked up, shook his head at Yu Qingze, and said, “Big brother, I don’t want to go to school. I want to learn bookkeeping from you, learn cooking, and learn to run a business and open a shop.”
Yu Qingze frowned, thinking that Jiabao was worried about the snack shop and money. He said, “You don’t have to worry about the snack shop. I can find someone else to take care of it. Money is not a problem either. With the money we are earning from the snack shop now, it’s no problem to send you to school. You just need to consider whether you want to go or not. If you want to go, I will send you to the school.”
Jiabao continued shaking his head, a trace of inexplicable sadness on his face as he said, “Knowing how to read is enough. There’s no need for me to go to school. I don’t want to pursue academic success. The court is too complicated, and I’m not suitable nor do I want to walk that path. I just want to live a simple life. My mother also told me not to pursue an official career.”
Yu Qingze slightly opened his mouth, somewhat surprised by the words the young boy uttered. It made him reconsider Jiabao’s background.
Jiabao was only thirteen years old. According to what Old Huang said before, he came to Tongshan City with his mother when he was five and had been living at the bottom of society in Tongshan City for seven or eight years, working hard every day to make a living.
His mother could read and had taught him how to read and do arithmetic. It could be seen that their family background used to be good, but it was unclear why they ended up in their current situation.
Yu Qingze had always assumed that Jiabao might have come from a declining wealthy family and ended up in Tongshan City with his mother. But now, considering his words, it might not be the case.
“…Is it related to your father?” Yu Qingze asked tentatively.
Jiabao looked up at Yu Qingze in shock, then quickly lowered his head, tightly clenching his fists, his knuckles turning white.
Seeing the young boy’s reaction, Yu Qingze couldn’t bear it and patted his shoulder, saying, “It’s okay. If you don’t want to talk about it, I won’t ask anymore. Don’t worry.” Anyway, from his reaction, it was clear that it was related to his father, but the specifics were unknown.
Translated on ho lo lo novels dot com.
Jiabao kept his head lowered, his thoughts unknown. After a while, he raised his head again and continued to work on the problems.
After some time, with red eyes, Jiabao looked up and said to Yu Qingze, “I’m sorry, big brother. I didn’t mean to hide it from you. It’s just… “
Yu Qingze patted his head and said, “It’s okay. If there are things you can’t talk about, then don’t. When the time comes and you want to talk about it, you can tell me.”
“Big brother…” Jiabao’s eyes welled up with tears and then he couldn’t hold back anymore.
“It’s alright, don’t cry. You’ll make Xiao Hao laugh at us,” Yu Qingze patted his head and said.
“Yeah, I won’t cry…” Jiabao wiped away his tears and looked at Chang Hao with great embarrassment.
Chang Hao had been stunned when he saw Jiabao crying earlier, but now as Jiabao looked at him, he smiled and said, “It’s okay. I used to cry a lot too. Grandpa said that crying is like washing your eyes, but don’t cry for too long, it’s not good for your eyes.”
Jiabao nodded with flushed cheeks and lowered his head, feeling embarrassed, and continued to work on the problems. Yu Qingze didn’t bring up the topic of sending him to school again.
The next day, Yu Qingze took Grandpa Chang to see Dr. Li for a consultation, and then showed him the prescription that Dr. He had given them yesterday.
Dr. Li studied the prescription for a while and then had a pleasantly surprised expression on his face. He exclaimed, “This prescription is marvelous! Who prescribed this? It’s amazing, I never thought of combining the ingredients like this!”
Yu Qingze and Grandpa Chang exchanged glances. Yu Qingze asked, “Dr. Li, can this prescription be used?”
Dr. Li nodded and said, “Yes, it can be used. This prescription is very good. I can say that it’s the best prescription I’ve seen so far for treating this illness.”
Yu Qingze said, “Then let’s follow this prescription and prepare ten doses of medicine.”
Dr. Li handed the prescription to his assistant to prepare the medicine and then asked, “Which doctor prescribed this prescription? I’d really like to meet him and discuss it.”
Yu Qingze replied, “It was a doctor we happened to meet yesterday. His surname is He, and he lives at the Fulai Inn. I’m not sure if he’s still there today.”
“Alright, I’ll try my luck and pay him a visit,” Dr. Li said happily. He enjoyed discussing medical techniques with others.
After getting the medicine, Yu Qingze and the others returned to their shop.
During lunchtime, they were surprised to see a man in his thirties pushing Dr. He into the shop.
Dr. He seemed equally surprised when he saw them and said, “My son told me that the food here is delicious, so I wanted to try them. Turns out, it’s your shop?”
Yu Qingze smiled and said, “Yes, Dr. He. Take a look and let us know what you’d like to eat. It’s on me.”
Dr. He chuckled and replied, “I can’t always eat for free from you. I still haven’t paid for the meal yesterday.”