To celebrate my freedom from isolation, I will be updating five chapters today.
Enjoy! 3/5

After Old Man Yu and Yu Dameng left, Yu Laoer finally came to the door.

This was Qiao Yuan’s first time meeting him.
He is as thin as a stick.
If he were to tell outsiders that he is Yu Dameng’s older brother, no one would believe him.

Lin Cuifen saw him come and turned back to the main room.
She clearly didn’t want to see him.

Qiao Yuan had no choice but to greet him.
“Second Brother.”

Yu Laoer glanced at the main room with some restraint.
Upon hearing Qiao Yuan’s greeting, he quickly took out a red envelope from his pocket and said, “When you and Dameng got married, I couldn’t come.
Take this, it’s a token of your sister-in-law’s and my affection.”

“How can this be done? It’s not allowed.” It was clear that he wasn’t doing well financially, and Qiao Yuan refused to take the money.

During the stalemate, Lin Cuifen suddenly said, “Yuan Ge’er cannot accept this money.”

Qiao Yuan turned his head and saw that Lin Cuifen had already stood at the corridor of the main room., but he didn’t know when she had arrived.

Yu Laoer knelt down and kowtowed, “Mother.”

Lin Cuifen did not respond, but spoke in a cold tone: “Your younger brother does not want to argue with you and is willing to continue to associate with you.
Your sister-in-law is also a good person.
You and your wife should be aware of this.”

Yu Laoer nodded and his eyes turned red, “Mother, I know I was wrong, I will never do it again.”

Lin Cuifen turned back to the main room and didn’t come out again.

Little Liu Ge’er had never seen such a scene before and was scared.
He threw himself into the arms of Yu Shanwen and cried loudly.
The twin brothers were busy comforting him.

But Qiao Yuan didn’t have the mood to deal with it.
What did “your younger brother doesn’t want to argue with you” even mean? Could it be that Yu Dameng didn’t tell him the truth last night? He couldn’t believe… He didn’t believe anything anymore! He was just Yu Dameng’s fake husband! He should pay off his debt to him as soon as possible and end things!

His mind was in a mess, and he wasn’t as polite to Yu Laoer as he was at the beginning.
He said in a businesslike manner, “I sell them for one wen per piece in the village.
I’ll calculate it for you at eight fen11 wen = 10 fen.
You can decide what price you want to sell them for outside, but in Xianhe Village, it must be one wen per piece.”

Yu Laoer hurriedly said, “I’m not going to sell them in the village.”

Qiao Yuan said again: “Once the silver and goods are exchanged, you are responsible for the unsold items if you take them from me and cannot sell them.”

Yu Laoer had no objections to this.
This was how business was supposed to be done.
On the first day, he only took 100 cakes and paid Qiao Yuan 80 wen.
After an hour, he would come back to pick up the goods.

Qiao Yuan sat by the stove, feeling depressed, and the small ones were too afraid to approach him.

It was Lin Cuifen who noticed his mood and asked him what was wrong.

Qiao Yuan remained silent for a long time before asking in a choked voice, “Mom, what exactly did Yu…Second Brother do to hurt Dameng?”

Lin Cuifen sighed when Qiao Yuan asked about the incident.
“During the year that the court was conscripting soldiers, each family with two or more sons had to send one of them.
At that time, your fourth and fifth younger brothers were still young, and we owed a large sum of money.
We all counted on your father to support us.
Your elder brother had already become a student, so according to the laws of the court, he couldn’t serve.
Your second brother should have taken his place due to seniority…”

“But he secretly took Dameng and registered him without telling me or your father.
We don’t play favorites with them2The phrase “手心手背都是肉” literally means “both the palm and the back of the hand are flesh”.
It is used to express that one loves both parties equally and cannot bear to hurt either of them.
It is often used by parents who have more than one child and do not want to favor one over the other.
so your father and I couldn’t bear to let him3Yu Laoer go! Your older brother was already  dealing with this matter in the county at that time.
Although he couldn’t avoid military service, at least he wouldn’t be sent to the war-torn border.
I didn’t expect him to rush and persuade Dameng to sign up! He was in the first batch, and Dameng was sent to the border!” Lin Cuifen gritted her teeth.

“Crack!” The wooden stick in Qiao Yuan’s hand broke with a snap.
Why should he deceive Yu Dameng into going when he himself didn’t want to go? Who knew what could happen in the border after six years? How could he be sure that Yu Dameng would come back alive? How could he be so selfish, especially when he was two years older than Yu Dameng?

Qiao Yuan thought about how he had listened to Yu Dameng’s words last night and even helped to bridge the gap for his second brother, and he was so angry that he was shaking.
This fool doesn’t even know when he’s being taken advantage of!

Lin Cuifen continued, “Among my sons, Dameng looks the most foolish, but he is actually the most capable.
Your father and I have already decided that when the village chief’s family has a celebration, your eldest brother will come back and we will also separate you and Dameng.”

Qiao Yuan was stunned for a moment, “Mom?”

Lin Cuifen smiled and said, “You, young couple, should also live your own lives.
The others haven’t come to serve me, so you shouldn’t either.
Originally, you should have separated on the second day of your marriage, but at that time… I’ve seen it these past few days, you are a good son-in-law.
You should live a good life with Dameng in the future.”

Qiao Yuan’s eyes welled up with a sour feeling.
Although he had only been with the Yu family for a few days, he really liked the atmosphere here and had gradually come to think of it as home.
Qiao Yuan sniffed and said, “Dameng and I will take good care of you and father in the future.”

Before Lin Cuifen could say anything, Yu Shanwu’s voice suddenly came out like a pig being slaughtered, “Mom! Mom! The pig… the pig is about to give birth.”

Lin Cuifen hurriedly ran to the backyard, and Qiao Yuan followed to join in the fun.

The pig was screaming in pain but hadn’t broken her water yet and was still suffering.

It wasn’t until the afternoon that the mother pig gave birth to the first piglet.
It was a struggle until evening when Yu Dameng and his father returned.
Finally, the mother pig gave birth to the last piglet in the litter, a total of nine piglets.
Lin Cuifen was so happy that she couldn’t stop smiling.

Yu Dameng was also laughing out loud, but Qiao Yuan gave him a fierce glare.

He was completely puzzled and didn’t know what was going on.
He wondered if Yuan Ge’er was still angry with him about him spending money recklessly or about the clothes he had bought without permission.
But that was several days ago.
This morning, Yuan Ge’er helped him pack his basket and sent him off so gently.

Qiao Yuan’s mood was fickle indeed.

Yu Dameng couldn’t figure it out, but admitting his mistake was the right thing to do.

Qiao Yuan snorted lightly and asked him like interrogating a criminal, “What did you do wrong?”

Yu Dameng felt embarrassed and said, “Well…it’s just that small piece of clothing…”

If he hadn’t brought it up, it would have been fine, but now Qiao Yuan was even angrier.
He couldn’t help but twist Yu Dameng’s arm.
“How dare you bring that up!”

Yu Dameng took a sharp breath.
“I was wrong.”

“I didn’t use much force.
Was it really that painful? ” Qiao Yuan’s tone softened unconsciously as he thought about how Yu Dameng had been kind to him these past few days.
Then he remembered the main point and asked him, “When Second Brother took you to register in the county, did you know what it was for?”

Yu Dameng was momentarily stunned, then foolishly said, “Oh, you mean that? I knew it! Second Brother had just gotten married, and he didn’t want to serve.
So I thought, as his brother and a man who stands tall in this family, I should step up!”

Qiao Yuan became angry when he saw how happy Yu Dameng was about being taken advantage of.
He sarcastically said, “Ha, Yu Dameng, you still think you’re clever but act like a fool.4大智若愚 (dà zhì ruò yú) – act like a wise fool, pretend to be foolish while being clever.”

Yu Dameng thought Qiao Yuan was praising him and scratched his head, feeling a little embarrassed.

Qiao Yuan kicked him and went to the backyard in a huff to see the piglets.

At this moment, the other members of the Yu family are all busy with their own tasks.

He saw that the water in the pigsty’s basin was gone, so he followed Lin Cuifen’s example and added some salt to the cool boiled water, intending to pour it into the pigsty’s basin.

Unexpectedly, the mother pig went crazy and howled, leaping up and knocking down the pigpen fence along with Qiao Yuan.
The pig weighed over 200 pounds, and although it had just given birth, it was not weak at all.
Qiao Yuan fell heavily to the ground, crying in pain.
The pig refused to let him go and continued to pounce on him relentlessly.

Qiao Yuan gritted his teeth and got up in pain, shouting for Yu Dameng to save him.

Yu Dameng heard a noise and quickly ran to the backyard.

Qiao Yuan saw his savior and immediately jumped onto Yu Dameng’s body, embracing him tightly.
Qiao Yuan’s heart instantly calmed down.

Yu Dameng held him tightly, his face dark as he glared at the crazed mother pig.
Surprisingly, the mother pig was used to being served as food and seemed to know that the big guy in front of her was not to be messed with.
She slowly and leisurely returned to her pigsty.

The crisis was averted and Yu Dameng patted Qiao Yuan’s back to comfort him.
“Don’t be afraid, Yuan Ge’er, I’m here.”

Qiao Yuan was still trembling in fear, his back and waist aching from the impact.
Yu Dameng’s gentle voice soothed him, and tears welled up in his eyes.
He felt a little embarrassed, sniffed, and rubbed his head on Yu Dameng’s shoulder, not speaking in grievance.

His eyes were red and puffy, and his nose was also red.
He looked pitiful.

Yu Dameng wiped away his tears and said softly, “Don’t cry.”

Being coaxed in such a gentle voice and cared for, Qiao Yuan felt as if the hard shell that had been enclosing his heart had shattered in an instant.
He only wanted to freely bury his most genuine and softest part into Yu Dameng’s embrace, letting him protect and cherish him.

Their eyes met, and the affection between them deepened.

But it was interrupted by a child’s voice saying, “Shameful!”

Qiao Yuan turned his head and saw Yu Shanwen covering Liu Ge’er’s mouth.
Yu Shanwen immediately felt a chill in his neck and quickly waved his hand, saying, “We didn’t see anything!”

Yu Dameng didn’t want the mother pig to attack them again, so he sent them to fetch his parents.

Qiao Yuan came to his senses and struggled to get down with a red face and a warm heart.

But Yu Dameng wouldn’t allow it and carried him back to the bedroom.

If you like my translation, a cup of coffee is very much appreciated.
I will post a bonus chapter for every five kofis received.
Thank you!

11 wen = 10 fen2The phrase “手心手背都是肉” literally means “both the palm and the back of the hand are flesh”.
It is used to express that one loves both parties equally and cannot bear to hurt either of them.
It is often used by parents who have more than one child and do not want to favor one over the other.3Yu Laoer4大智若愚 (dà zhì ruò yú) – act like a wise fool, pretend to be foolish while being clever.

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