Author: Yin Ya
Translator: Renkun27, Pline
As ever, Shiquan County’s marketplace was bustling with familiar and traces of unfamiliar faces. Most people would take the initiative by coming and saying hello to Wang Cheng.
Wang Cheng’s face was stiff. As he smiled, the corners of his mouth would often twitch. As a result, others would put on an air of cheerfulness. Someone even walked toward him and persuaded him not to take the matter to heart… Fuck, what does he look if he was taking things too hard?
It had been more than half a month since the old monk’s death. All the people in town should have already known about it. Even all the children knew that the old monk who lived in the temple for a long time, had passed away. Most of them had sympathetic thoughts for him. For this reason, they were a little warmer than usual. At every turn, they would look at him with a pair of eyes that said ‘my condolences’ or ‘poor boy.’ It was as if he did not have anything to rely on anymore as soon as the old monk died.
“Dad, Mom, I’m back.”
Wang Cheng passed through the bustling marketplace and arrived in front of his household’s door, but did not enter the door just yet. His loud shout, imbued with a spirit that conquers mountains and rivers, began resounding first. Suddenly, those cursed chickens in the yard flew up and down. He could vaguely hear a loud voice coming from inside. A middle-aged woman with a broom in her hand came out in a rage. Seeing him made her immediately open her eyes wide in a circle.
“Little Wang Cheng, are you courting death? Every time you come back, you would always scare your old mother’s chickens. Believe it or not, your old mother won’t let you eat chicken later?”
Mama Wang’s broom seemed to greet him in the next second, but Wang Cheng knew it was just a bluff. He has been doing this kind of thing for more than ten years. She only used this broom with all of her might to greet him, but never once did she really hit his body when he was especially naughty. Speaking of which, these were all vague events in the past.
“Mom, I’m just helping them boost their courage, so that our family’s chickens will grow very fat. Their meat can be especially tasty and chewy.” Wang Cheng shamelessly hugged Mama Wang’s arm with his cheek rubbing against it. He was smiling, particularly to curry favor with her.
Usually, Mama Wang would definitely make a few sarcastic remarks, ‘Boost what courage!’ but today, she just gave him a look, told him off with the sentence “How big this person is, still acting like a spoiled brat,’ then turned back to the yard to continue feeding the chickens. This time was usually the time to feed the chickens, so there would be that scene of those cursed chickens flying up and down.
Wang Cheng eagerly caught up.
Papa Wang, who was inside the house, heard the sound coming from outside so he poked his head out. He caught sight of Wang Cheng, then yelled at him: “Cheng Cheng, haven’t eaten?”
“I’ve eaten. Dad you’re busy. I’ll help mom feed some of the chickens.” Wang Cheng took the rice from Mama Cheng’s hands. After he was done feeding the chickens in the yard, he went inside the house and walked over beside Papa Wang. There were some debris on the floor. Beside the mess laid a few big pieces of wood, which was used by Papa Wang in making a new bed. “Dad, I haven’t seen you for a while. Your craftsmanship is getting more and more exquisite.”
“Compared with your Uncle Jiang, your dad is a long way off. I just casually fiddle with it, but it can be used for the business line. We also don’t stress on the beauty.” Papa Wang continued striking with the hammer in his hand. The outline of a bed already began to appear. He was really not an expert in this field. He just learned a little basic knowledge from Uncle Jiang, who specialized in this line of business. Some simple furniture in the house was made by Papa Wang himself. His purpose was also to save money.
“Dad, how come I don’t see Little Sister?”
Wang Cheng turned around. He did not realize that the college entrance exam just ended. He should wait at home for his Little Sister, Wang Ziyu, to return to Papa Wang’s side.
“Little Yu, she went to her part-time job. She’ll be back for dinner.” Papa Wang did not lift his head.
“Where is she working?”
Wang Cheng knew that their family’s economic condition was rather difficult, most especially when they were younger. Therefore, at a younger age, the three siblings were already sensible, moreover, they had developed a hardworking and independent character, most especially his big brother and his little sister. His big brother could study until he graduated from college and was mostly relying on his scholarship together with working at a part-time job for his tuition. His little sister could help with work at home. Both of her hands and feet worked very neatly and tidily… So the most useless was him?
“It turns out a staff member in Uncle Zhang’s steamed stuffed bun shop in the Zhangs’ Village handed in their resignation. For a moment, they couldn’t find manpower. By chance, Little Yu had nothing to do so she went over there to give it a try.” Papa Wang knocked on the last nail. He was finally done. A layer of sweat has formed on his forehead. His back was also wet.
Wang Cheng went outside and took a broom and a dustpan to sweep the debris off the ground. The useful block of wood was put away. It might be of use to Papa Wang next time. After he finished with these bits and bobs, Mama Wang happened to come out, carrying a plate of fried rice. He had already noticed the aroma earlier. At once, Wang Cheng eagerly gathered up.
Wang Cheng’s appetite had always been relatively large, and the old monk lived relatively poor, so he was frequently in a state of not eating his fill until he was satisfied. Papa Wang and Mama Wang both knew this a bit. Every time they saw him return, they would prepare a meal for him to eat. The children of the family already have jobs, especially their older son who was relatively working hard. It was said that he was working in a large company. Now, their family lives their days more comfortably than before.
“Eat slowly. There’s none who’d grab it from you.” Mama Wang turned around to give him a glass of water, afraid that he would eat too quickly and choke.
Wang Cheng stood up, still eating a big mouthfuls. The rough thick skin of the meat—he seemed to completely not worry about being burned by the heat. Not a moment later, the last grain of rice on the plate was licked up by him. He also finished noisily drinking a cup of water as he leaned on the back of the chair. Wang Cheng patted his belly and burped with satisfaction, “Still, Mama’s craft is good.”
Mama Wang came over to clean up the plate and chopsticks. She usually moved very swiftly. Suddenly, she paused, “Cheng Cheng, stay at home later.” When she said this, she took a cautious tone.
Wang Cheng laughed a ‘hehe’ tone, and threw himself over to hug Mama Cheng’s waist, “Ma you’re really good. I’m still afraid of you bearing a grudge about the last time I wasn’t careful and broke your earthenware pot and you wouldn’t let me enter the door.”
“Brat, don’t you mention that to this old lady. I entirely forgot about this matter.” Mama Wang laughed.
“Ma, I’m gonna go to see Little Sister.”
“This brat slipped away really fast.” Mama Wang went to the door and looked out. His silhouette soon disappeared. He ran faster than the rabbit. She immediately shook her head with unhappiness, suddenly sighed once again, then turned around to look at Papa Wang with the same complicated look.
Wang Cheng ranked as the second child. At the age of seven, because of the birth of his little sister Wang Ziyu, it caused the burden of their home to intensify. Papa Wang and Mama Wang thought it thoroughly over and over again. They had no choice but to give Wang Cheng to the old monk, intending to be raised up and have him be accepted as an apprentice of the old monk, and so this fostering was for exactly eighteen years.
Although Wang Cheng would go down from time to time to see them, and the relationship with his brother and sister was also not bad, however Papa Wang and Mama Wang were still anxious that Wang Cheng would bear grudges against them. Seven years old was a sensible age. Because of this, their relationship had always been not particularly intimate.
This time, the old monk died, Papa Wang and Mama Wang were both awfully anxious about Wang Cheng. They got along for eighteen years, it was impossible not to have any attachment.
They have seen the temple of Mount Feng Xia. The two had lived there appearing to be particularly cold and cheerless. Living alone was even more empty and more frightening, so after hearing the news of the old monk’s death, both Papa Wang and Mama Wang were trying to get Wang Cheng back to live here. A few days ago, they met him once, but they did not know how to start talking. It was not at all very easy for them to open their mouth. Wang Cheng also changed how he moved to make them happy.
“Cheng Cheng, this child is too thoughtful.” Papa Wang sighed.
In fact, both of them could tell that Wang Cheng did not want them to worry about it. Overlooking this kid’s usual carelessness, in fact, his mind was more delicate that anyone else.
Mama Wang did not feel good in her heart, “We owe him.”
Papa Wang patted her back, then comfortingly said: “Okay, after we live together, we can try making up for these years that we owed him.”
Mama Wang nodded, thinking that she could live under one roof with her second son. Finally, she felt a little better in her heart, “What about that matter that we talked about last time, is it true?”
“Most of it is true. Earlier, I saw a group of strangers surveying inside our village. Recently, everyone’s also discussing this matter.
It seems, 80-90% of this matter of the surveying will be implemented.” Papa Wang thought they had to prepare for whatever it comes, as soon as possible.