Chapter 3: Arc 1: Rural Love 3: Throwing Myself at Your Feet
It took a while for Li Gen to understand and his sharp facial features turned so black it could drop cinder.
He took a glance at the young man and sneered, “What is your generation name?”
Huang Dan said, “It’s very obvious, I am ‘Xiao1‘.”
Li Gen choked. He had never seen such an honest person before.
Huang Dan lowered his sight only to see himself wetting his pants and legs. His forehead pulled slightly together.
Someone called out to Li Gen, saying that the movie was starting.
Li Gen stepped on the cigarette end in the grass before he turned and left. He did not call Huang Dan out nor did he have the effort to mock him. He was not an important person anyway.
Huang Dan rubbed vigorously at his trousers. Just now he had touched his dick and his hand smelled.
The nearest pond was still quite a distance away, so he could not wash his hands.
Huang Dan tried to divert his attention. An introvert was different from a recluse. The former was slow to get started but that did not necessarily mean he had no friends. The latter rejected interaction with the outside world, it was sure that he had no friends.
Possessing both of these two types, the original owner must be a monster in the eyes of the villagers.
Regardless of whether the original owner spoke lesser or more, whatever he spoke was annoying. Even if he stood at the side not making any sound, he would still be discriminated and get eye rolls.
Over time, the situation of the original owner worsened. Others were not fond of him and he was also not fond of them.
Huang Dan went towards the direction of the field. As a monster, his actions could not only be unusual but it could keep on changing too.
This situation was in his favor.
As to why the movie had such a great appeal, it was not only because of the fun and lively atmosphere, but also it was a good opportunity for dates.
Usually, those young adults were busy working in their respective fields, they could only use this community outing as an opportunity to take in experiences.
Talk to those who suited your taste, if your heart was moved and you like that person, you could consult with your family and find a matchmaker to propose a marriage.
The projectionist had to run around for more than a dozen times in every village in a month’s time, so he knew everything.
So the second movie was a love story. It was a tale about a poor scholar and a rich young lady.
It was just a little sad and beautiful.
The starting part was still good. The young lady and the poor scholar met at a lantern festival and fell in love at first sight.
In the middle of the movie, the parents of the young lady objected and ordered a servant to make things difficult for the poor scholar, forcing him to leave the town.
The poor scholar’s old mother also advised him to give up as their family could not afford to claim ties of kinship with someone of a higher social position.
The latter half was so abusing that it made one’s intestines and liver felt broken.
Under the repeated coercion from the rich young lady’s family, the poor scholar left with his mother.
A few years later, the poor scholar returned as the top scholar in the imperial examination. He learned that the young lady actually chased after him on the day he had left the town. Halfway through the journey, she met a robbery.
When the family members came, the young lady had already been tainted and she hung herself under the tree where she had pledged her love with the poor scholar.
The poor scholar spat out a mouthful of blood at once and fell onto the ground, losing his conscious.
The field rang out with the sounds of wailing. The girls had already cried into tears, saying that it was too cruel, why was it so cruel, why must it be like this, heaven was too heartless. There were even boys wiping their eyes.
Zhang Ying Xiong burst into tears and his nose was sniveling, “Don’t you think that they are very pitiful?”
Huang Dan said, “It’s pitiful.”
Zhang Ying Xiong shook his mucus and took his shoes to wipe them away, “Then why did you not have any reaction at all?”
Huang Dan said, “My tears flew into my heart.”
Zhang Ying Xiong was at a loss. “…What does that mean?”
Huang Dan said, “It means, I am so upset that I can’t handle it.”
He sighed softly, “You are still young, you will understand when you grow up.”
Zhang Ying Xiong, “…”
The movie started playing a piece of sorrowful music. The poor scholar who had gone mad, start talking and laughing at the air, causing many people to cry even more fiercely.
In the night, let’s not bother about how they weren’t sleeping at their house and instead climbing mountains, crossing rivers and feeding those mosquitoes but even their eyes had to suffer.
Some were dissatisfied with this movie. They looked forward to the movies with impatient expectancy but it turned out to be so tragic.
The atmosphere was not right and there was no mood to date.
Huang Dan looked around and the orange firelight at the side of Li Gen’s mouth suddenly flickered and disappeared.
Shouldering the rumor of cursing his wife, he would most likely have to be a bachelor throughout his life. His mood must be very complicated.
Li Gen caught Huang Dan’s eyes. He frowned and blew the smoke towards him.
A cloud of smoke came rushing and Huang Dan coughed several times.
Li Gen had yet to open his mouth and someone had already given up his small stool.
He crossed his legs and the smoke trembled as he spoke, “What is there to cry? The movies are all false. It was acted according to the script.”
Several girls had a face of ‘You don’t understand love’.
Li Gen really did not understand. He was a rough man. He only knew how to do love from picture-story books but never understood how to talk about love.
Time was an unfaithful lover that ruthlessly abandoned his wife and son. Whether you rolled around the ground while screaming or made a big scene, it wouldn’t stay.
After the end of the movie broadcasts, the big groups of each village went back one after another.
Huang Dan searched for He Wei’s figure. His eyes were fixed on Wu Cui Ling where his greed and desires were exposed in this dead night.
Wu Cui Ling was talking to Li Gen and she did not notice anything. Instead, it was Li Gen who became aware and his eyes turned cold.
He Wei turned back in a flurry and stopped looking.
This happened all under Huang Dan’s gaze. He scratched at the mosquito bump on his face and was absorbed in thoughts.
The moon sat atop the tree, the night wind blew and the dry heat faded unknowingly. It was rather cool.
Everyone was conversing about the movie while they walked. It was unknown when the next movie would be played.
Huang Dan smacked at his arm. He was still bitten even though he was moving. The mosquitoes here must have wanted to accompany him home and make good friends with those at his home.
While passing the mass graveyard, the sails on the graveyard made a whistling sound as they were blown by the wind. Many people accelerated their pace at the same time.
Here, it was laced with heavy yin2; they were afraid that the yin would stick to them if they walked slowly.
It was unknown which bastard suddenly yelled, “There’s a ghost-”
The girls started screaming ‘Ah, ah, ah.’
Huang Dan looked at the young man who jumped into his arms. He verified that he was Ying Xiong, not a little black bear3.
Zhang Ying Xiong could catch snakes with his bare hands and each catch was as accurate. He was not afraid of any rat, bat or centipede but Ah Piao4
When he was afraid, he would even cast himself aside.
After leaving the mass graveyard, Zhang Ying Xiong was once again a good man, “Do you think that there are Ah Piao in the world?”
Huang Dan said, “Believe and there is; and none if you don’t believe.”
Zhang Ying Xiong was unhappy. “I went to junior high school at the minimal. You haven’t even finished your first grade, how do you know so much?”
“Did you learn from outside?”
There was a firmness in his eyes, enveloped with longing and yearning, “I must go out next year!”
Huang Dan did not say anything.
Everyone would be curious about the unknown world, walk around and have a look, then they would know what was going on.
In the evening, Zhang Ying Xiong struck to Huang Dan, life or death he wanted to sleep with him.
Huang Dan had no other choice, so he divided the bed in half and shared with him. He ended up listening to a night of electric drill-like grunting sound.
Within two days, Zhang Ying Xiong came to ask for shelter once again. Huang Dan firmly unconsented.
Father Zhang chased Zhang Ying Xiong from the east of the village to the west of the village, because Zhang Ying Xiong was secretly smoking in the bedding and burned the new quilt.
Chen Jin Hua advised two sentences before she turned back and asked, “Dong Tian, did you work without smoking when you were outside the city? Mom hasn’t seen you smoke.”
Huang Dan inwardly said, Auntie, your son had no money to buy cigarettes. The money had been used to buy things for a girl. He dared not give them to her personally when he bought them.
The girl thought it was someone else’s gift and fell in love with that person.
Huang Dan’s thoughts were disturbed by Zhang Ying Xiong’s scream and he did not tidy up anymore.
There was no alarm clock in the village. Huang Dan would be woken up by the big rooster in the yard in the morning.
His task had not been completed, the rice crops had not been cut, nor had he picked them. Each of these three things got more troublesome.
Chen Jin Hua saw her son was dawdling and urged, “Finish up the west field today, dry the unhulled rice, pick all the rice bed tomorrow. You won’t be able to use the rice machine if it’s too late.”
Huang Dan ate a side dish and drank the porridge. “Okay.”
Chen Jin Hua went to the kitchen and swiftly made some cake. She asked her son to take them to the fields and eat them when he was hungry.
Huang Dan put the sickles, water bottles and jars inside the bucket and carried it. He also took the cakes that were going to keep him alive.
Not far away from home, he saw Li Gen near the bamboo forest and a young woman with twisted braids. She was not from the village.
The young woman was very beautiful in her white floral dress. When she looked at Li Gen, she was a little shy.
Huang Dan only saw Li Gen’s back, so he did not know what his expression was.
A few seconds later, the smile on the young woman’s face disappeared, her eyes turned red and she ran away crying.
Li Gen turned around and Huang Dan quickly flashed to the corner, waiting for the sound of footsteps to disappear before he came out.
He pursed his lips, why did he hide? He was only passing by.
After thinking for a moment, Huang Dan took a detour and passed by Li Gen’s house. He looked for a corner to hide again.
In front of the door, He Wei was carrying a bag in which several carps were desperately struggling.
Wu Cui Ling said that she couldn’t accept it.
He Wei’s face stiffened but recovered again. “Just a few fishes.”
Wu Cui Ling said, “Your sister has just given birth to a child. It’s good to have fish soup in the confinement month.”
He Wei laughed and said, “My sister has a lot of them. She keeps them in a big water tank.”
He stuffed the bag into Wu Cui Ling’s hands. “Just take it. Why are you so polite with me over several fishes?”
“If Da Gui had still been alive, I didn’t need to say anything; he would just grab the fish and leave.”
Wu Cui Ling’s movement of breaking away halted.
He Wei said remorsefully, “Don’t be angry, Cui Ling. Sometimes I just don’t have a stopper on my mouth.”
Wu Cui Ling’s face was not very good. As soon as she was about to speak, a voice came from the room. “Cui Ling-“
“My mother-in-law is calling me. Take the fish back.”
With that, Wu Cui Ling pushed the door into the room and closed it with downcasted eyes.
He Wei’s face was gloomy and he swore a foul word only to throw the fish into the ditch and scolded again, “Just a loose woman that has fucking long played by Li Gen, still pretending to be pure!”
He Wei spat at the ground and squinted his pair of small eyes, “Son of a bitch, when Lao Zi sleeps with you, see if you dare to be spirited.”
Huang Dan who was at the corner came across what was called to be bullshiting in the mouth.
Chen Jin Hua, who was hanging clothes in the yard, saw that her son had came back carrying a bag. “Where did the fish come from?”
Huang Dan said, “I picked them up.”
He hung the bag on the bamboo pole. “Mom, those fish that didn’t drop their scales, keep them in the pot, as for the rest, go and braise them in soy sauce.”
“Well, Dong Tian, you tell your mother what exactly these fish are…”
Chen Jin Hua chatted to the empty door for a while, then finished hanging the clothes and went to kill the fish.
On the other side, Wu Cui Ling was wiping the urine on the bamboo mat for her mother-in-law.
Wang Yue Mei was sitting on a wheelchair. Although she was old, one could still see from her appearance that she was extremely beautiful when she was young.
Otherwise, her two sons would not be so handsome.
Wang Yue Mei asked, “Were you talking to He Wei outside the door just now?”
Wu Cui Ling said, “He said that he caught a lot of fish and brought some to our house. I didn’t want them.”
Wang Yue Mei said, “You’re right to be afraid of gossips.”
“Nevertheless, He Wei has a deep friendship with Da Gui. He is also very nice and warm-hearted. He came for Da Gui, not you.”
The implication was to be self-aware and not to take yourself too highly.
Wu Cui Ling’s face was white and she said nothing.
Wang Yue Mei asked, “Did your big brother go to the field?”
Wu Cui Ling said, “En.”
Wang Yue Mei sighed. “He is going to be thirty-two years old after new year, and he still doesn’t know what he’s going to do.”
Wu Cui Ling whispered softly, “Big Brother knows very well in his heart.”
Wang Yue Mei said knowing very well is bullshit and called Wu Cui Ling to push her to where the red big suitcase was kept and took out a bag from the bottom of the case.
“This bracelet and gold jewelry were my dowries, keep them carefully.”
Wu Cui Ling was stunned and in disbelief.
The next moment she heard her mother-in-law say, “Find a time and go to the city to pawn it away, see how much you can pawn.”
Wang Yue Mei looked at her daughter-in-law. “Don’t blame your mother for not leaving these things for you. It’s important for your big brother to marry. That’s the most important thing.”
Wu Cui Ling smiled. “I understand.”
She put her shock haircut behind her ear and showed her ordinary, but white and red face. “Mom, I’ll go to the rice field and turn over the rice.”
Wang Yuemei was picky. “Both of your sides are too wide, it better if you don’t show it.”
Wu Cui Ling placed her hair back to the previous position.
In the late morning, when the sun was burning, the several pieces of cake Huang Dan brought were eliminated and the several jars of water were drank.
He saw the tall figure of a man in the field next door. His work had been done and was helping other families.
The man’s speed was very fast. He could only see the thick arm muscles swinging constantly and the row of unhulled rice behind being cleared.
Huang Dan murmured, if only he could help him.
Ai, he grabbed the towel around his neck, wiped his face and went on working.
Nearly at noon, there was a radio announcement echoing, “Dong Tian of the west field, your house’s pig5 ran away, your mother wants you to hurry home!”
Huang Dan, “…”
He lifted his face in the midst of the field. He was burned red by the sun and his mind was a little confused.
A laugh could be heard from in the ridge, “Did you hear the broadcast? Your pig ran away, why aren’t you not chasing after it?”
Huang Dan saw that the man was wearing shabby blue trousers. His shoulders were wide and his sweat had soaked a large portion of the jacket, which clearly showed his strong body.
He said slowly, “It’s okay. The pig’s legs are short, it can’t run far.”
Li Gen’s mouth twitched slightly.
Huang Dan came up from the field, tidied up the area and took the bucket. “Ge, can you help me cut the rice this afternoon?”
Li Gen turned his head, “What?”
Not sure if he really did not hear it or there was another meaning.
Huang Dan repeated again, “My mother asked me to cut the rice today and to pick them all up tomorrow.”
Li Gen’s voice was clasped in between the sound of the key shaking, “Your field is two acres and you only cut 3 or 4 parts, with your speed, that will be too early.”
Huang Dan looked at the back of the man’s head and saw the sweat dripping down his neck, “I’ll help you the next time.”
Li Gen said, “Let me have a look in the afternoon.”
The two men crossed the ridge of the field and found a small figure in the woods. That was the pig running in the shade.
Seeing that the pig was running towards them, Huang Dan swiftly went behind Li Gen.
Li Gen squinted his eyes, “Why are you hanging around my butt when you are supposed to coax the pig to come home?”
Huang Dan said, “I am looking for a suitable tree branch.”
The pig was already very close and Li Gen directly grabbed at its tail and clamped the front two hooves, carrying it up.
Huang Dan was afraid of pigs. “Ge, you are really amazing. I really admire you to the point of throwing myself at your feet.”
Li Gen raised his chin, “Show it to Ge.”
Huang Dan asked: “What?”
Li Gen said: “Throwing yourself at my feet.”
Huang Dan frowned. “I have not yet finished my first grade in primary school. I don’t know any idioms, I heard this from somewhere else. In fact, I don’t even know what it means. How about Ge teach me this one time? I will learn from you.”
Li Gen, “…”
He threw the pig to Huang Dan with a black face.