Chapter 7: Discussing Price
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This is a fan work and the interpretation represents only the translator’s personal views without any input from the author.
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Mrs Shi, however, was quick to agree.
“Let Xu’er come over! These next few days should be more leisurely, so she should come and learn during this period.”
He shi smiled broadly.
“My, we really need to thank you! This skill usually isn’t taught outside the family.
For her to learn this from you is really us overstepping ourselves ….”
“Look at what you’re saying! We’re all neighbors, so why are you speaking as though we are strangers”
The two married ladies started to chat among themselves.
Liu Shu was uninterested in the rabbits and so stood behind his younger siblings, carefully watching them to make sure they didn’t wander off.
Seeing that both her and Shi Cheng’s fathers were still talking, Liu Xu’er continued to squat in front of the rabbit cage to wait.
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Gv bla zlqv yde aktbv piwyvvle vos rlsrzl, Fbk Ubldt yde Nkw Nkd.
Fbk Ubldt’p pxkzl oyp lmyttlayvlezu zyatl.
“Ebu Gal usw vbkdjkdt sq aykpkdt aycckvp”
Nkw Dw’la oyp ps ydmkswp bla qynl vwadle ale.
Fbl vwadle vs qklanlzu tzyal yv bkx clqsal vwadkdt vs zssj yv bla latl. Gp yd ynvwyz plhld-ulya-sze, bkp qynl oyp clokzelale.
Rv oyp sdzu obld bl blyae obyv Fbk Ubldt pyke vbyv bl wdelapvsse.
Fvyavzle, bl nakle, “Ebyv! Dw’la, usw oydv vs aykpl aycckvp Mblpl zkvvzl aycckvp….
Ebyv oswze usw qlle vblx Gzps, nyd swa qyxkzu lhld aykpl vblpl vurlp sq ralnkswp ydkxyzp”
Mbl osaep bye fwpv zlqv bkp xswvb obld Nkw Dw’la yde Fbk Ubldt nswzed’v alpkpv tkhkdt bkx y pvyal.
Mblu olal fwpv aycckvp; bso kd vbl osaze nswze vblu cl nsdpkelale ralnkswp”
Fbk Ubldt ycawrvzu alnyzzle psxlvbkdt.
Nywtbkdt, bl zsolale bkp hsknl yde pyke.
“R wdelapvyde! Zsw’al vyatlvkdt vbl ryvnb sq qswa-zlyhle nzshla vbyv’p sd vbl pzsrl ycshl vbl ekvnb kd qasdv sq uswa bswpl
Nkw Dw’la clnyxl lhld xsal watldv.
Tla ldvkal qynl qzwpble ale, pbl vwadle yde psqvzu vsze bkx sqq.
“Frlyj psqvzu! Gald’v usw yqayke vbyv svblap okzz qkde swv vbyv usw yal….
Ebyv qswa-zlyhle nzshla, vbyv’p yzqyzqy taypp! Gde usw’al aktbv, R yx vbkdjkdt sq vbyv ryvnb sq yzqyzqy.
Sycckvp zshl lyvkdt vbyv.
R oydv vs aykpl aycckvp vs blzr cwkze olyzvb….
Rp vbyv dsv yzzsole!”
Fbk Ubldt zywtble.
Nsolakdt bkp hsknl qwavbla, bl pyke.
“Ebyv’p vblal vs ekpyzzso”
“Txrb! Mbld obyv yal usw nyaaukdt sd ycswv!” Xwv sq vbl nsadla sq bla lul, Nkw Dw’la pyo vbyv bla qyvbla bye oyzjle shla.
Fbl iwknjzu pvsrrle vbkp wdnbkzezkjl nsdhlapyvksd yde vkzvle bla blye vs nyzz vbl dlyakdt Nkw Ubydttldt.
“Pye! Jwu xl vos sq vblpl aycckvp rzlypl”
Nkw Nkd nswzed’v nyvnb obyv vbl vos bye pyke obld vblu olal xwaxwakdt vs lynb svbla, cwv bl bye blyae obyv oldv sd clqsal.
Fs bl yzps kxxlekyvlzu vwadle vs zssj yv Nkw Ubydttldt vs yddswdnl, “Pye, Dw’la oydvp vs aykpl aycckvp.”
Liu Changgeng had come over.
He nodded his head at Mrs Shi in greeting before passing Liu Sen to Liu Shu to carry.
Then he went and squatted at Liu Xu’er’s side, raising his hand to gently pat her head, he asked, “What You want rabbits”
Liu Xu’er solemnly nodded her head.
“Yes, dad! Buy me two, I only want two….” Saying this, she grasped her father’s arm with both her hands and started to shake them back and forth.
Shi Cheng squatted at her side and laughed to himself while watching her act spoiled with her father.
To be honest, Liu Changgeng tended to spoil the children more than his wife.
He scratched his head and asked the seller, “These rabbits….
How much for a pair of them”
The rabbit seller had originally not been paying much attention when the little Liu Xu’er had started squatting in front of the cage.
After all, the rabbits were very cute, and little children often wanted to look at these new rarities.
However, those who were willing to buy were few.
After all, most of those who came to this town were from the nearby villages, and there weren’t many with the spare cash to buy these.
However, the seller saw that Liu Xu’er appeared serious about wanting to buy, and the accompanying adult seemed to be the sort to be soft on his children, so he started to make preparations.
When he saw that the adult had finally come to ask about the price, he quickly smiled in greeting.
“You want a male and female pair, right A pair would be 500 wen.”
500 wen! The simple Liu Changgeng almost toppled over from fright! He gasped, “What rabbits are so expensive! You want a half string of cash1!”
The seller really wanted to secure this deal, so he warmly explained.
“These aren’t ordinary rabbits, these are long-furred rabbits.
Once the fur has grown out, you can shear it and sell it for money! Do you know how much one jin2 of rabbit fur is worth There are those who can sell it for 300 – 400 wen per jin! Also, after you’ve sheared it once, it will quickly grow again.
So long as the rabbits are well kept, you will always have rabbit fur! This is a very safe investment, an extremely worthwhile buy! These were brought all the way from Songjiang Prefecture.
In the entire Taohua town, I am the only seller! If you don’t believe me, you can ask around, there definitely aren’t any other sellers!”
Liu Changgeng was a simple and honest villager.
All he knew was that with a half string of cash, he could buy two dan3 of grain! In an abundant year, he could perhaps buy three to three and a half dan of grain! How could he agree! Vigorously shaking his head, he said, “Too expensive, it’s too expensive!” He stood up and bent over to carry Liu Xu’er up saying, “Xu’er, the rabbits are too expensive, let’s not buy them.
When we go home, Dad will go into the hills and help you catch two wild rabbits….”
It wasn’t easy for Liu Xu’er to have this opportunity with long-furred rabbits.
How could she be willing to give up.
Anxiously, she gripped Liu Changgeng’s arm with all her strength.
“Dad, buy me a pair please, I really want to raise them, I really really really want to! For the New Year, I don’t want anything else.
Dad, please please please.” Saying this, tears filled her eyes.
Liu Changgeng still carried her up.
Softly, he coaxed her.
“Xu’er, be good.
We can’t afford these rabbits.
Dad will help you catch two that are identical to these, ok”
“No, no, I don’t want Dad’s, I want these long-furred rabbits!” Liu Xu’er’s tiny body was being carried up.
When she saw that she was about to be brought away, she was so anxious, she leant over Liu Changgeng’s shoulder with her tears threatening to fall.
Shi Cheng stood up as well.
Scratching his head, he really wanted to say something, but he knew that for these kinds of situations, an outsider had no right to intrude.
Liu Lin had also gotten up.
He and Liu Shu were staring wide-eyed at Liu Xu’er.
Then little Liu Sen caught sight of the cute little rabbits and immediately began hollering and struggling to be put down so he could stroke them.
Teary-eyed, Liu Xu’er told Liu Changgeng, “Dad, this year, I don’t need anything for the New Year.
You don’t need to make me new clothes, use the money for cloth to help me buy rabbits.”
Seeing his daughter so miserable, Liu Changgeng’s heart was breaking.
He subconsciously muttered, “Cloth doesn’t cost 500 wen….”
On hearing that, Liu Shu jumped in.
“Dad, I also don’t need new clothes.
Could you buy it for meimei”
Hearing his elder brother speak, Liu Lin quickly nodded his head.
“Yeah dad! I don’t need new clothes either!”
Liu Changgeng felt even worse hearing this.
He looked at the two brothers standing in front of him; they were already seven and a half, but they weren’t even as tall as the five-year-old Shi Cheng….
“I don’t want new clothes either! I want the little rabbits!” Squatting in front of the basket, Liu Sen, who was lovingly stroking the rabbits, shouted.
Liu Changgeng looked at the teary Liu Xu’er slumped over his shoulder.
His face filled with helplessness, he said, “Oh you!”
Hearing that, Liu Xu’er immediately knew that her dad had given in.
Her tears dried up immediately, and she quickly struggled to be let down to pick the rabbits.
“Are these easy to rear What do they need” These rabbits cost 500 wen! Liu Changgeng definitely needed to clarify all these matters.
Seeing that they were going to buy, the rabbit seller naturally was very happy.
Face wreathed in smiles, he said, “It’s no different from raising an ordinary rabbit.
They aren’t difficult to keep, it’s just that their fur needs to be sheared when it gets long.”
“Is there anything to pay attention to when shearing them”
“Nothing in particular.
These rabbits were bred with the intention of shearing them for fur.
If you don’t shear them, they get extremely uncomfortable! Relax, everything’s the same as normal rabbits.”
As they were speaking, Liu Xu’er was looking through the rabbits.
Shi Cheng joined her in her selection, picking out a few that were alert and had erect ears.
Then from the shortlisted few, Shi Cheng spontaneously separated out the males from the females before suggesting two to Liu Xu’er.
Liu Changgeng had just finished speaking with the seller.
He lowered his head to see if they were done selecting the rabbits.
Worried, he gave the rabbits a good once over.
On seeing that they appeared in good health, he nodded in satisfaction, and went to go to He shi to get the money.
Seeing that Liu Changgeng had left, Shi Cheng turned to the seller and said, “Can’t you lower the price 500 wen is too expensive!”
Liu Xu’er nodded in agreement and added.
“Yeah, it’s too expensive!”
Seeing that these two little kids wanted to bargain with him, the seller was stunned.
He waved his hands, “It’s not expensive, not even a little bit expensive.
This is already the cheapest I can sell it.” He couldn’t be bothered to discuss price with little children, so he just remained silent and waited for Liu Changgeng to bring the money over.
The adult didn’t try to bargain; he just went to get the money.
In a short while, the seller would receive the 500 wen, why would he be silly enough to start bargaining now!
Shi Cheng noticed that the seller was ignoring them, so he stretched his hand to pull Liu Xu’er’s arm.
“Xu’er, let’s go.
Let’s not buy it anymore, it’s too expensive!”
Liu Xu’er obviously recognised this strategy.
Very cooperatively, she stood up and said, “Yes, it’s too expensive.
Let’s not buy it anymore!” She walked along Shi Cheng’s side and said, “Let’s walk ahead.
Maybe there are other nice things there for us.”
“Un, ahead they are selling chicks! That should also be pretty good, and they’re much cheaper!” Shi Cheng said as they walked side by side.
Standing at one side, Liu Lin and Liu Shu were both stunned silly.
Dazedly, they watched the previously nearly-in-tears Liu Xu’er just walk away.
Liu Shu stared incomprehensibly at the two’s actions.
Sure enough, the seller became anxious.
Wasn’t it this little lady who begged the adult for the rabbits If the young lady just left, wouldn’t it mean that the adult won’t buy them! Before Shi Cheng and Liu Xu’er could make it two paces, he called for them.
“Okay, okay, okay.
I’ll lower the price by two wen. 498 wen!”
Shi Cheng tilted his head and sneered lightly.
“Are you treating me like a child I often come to town to play! My family even owns a store here! Along the western main street, there often are sellers of little rabbits, donkeys, and calves.
Those people would only ask for 450 wen!”
He lowered his head again and told Liu Xu’er.
“Let’s check that side.
If they have it there, we should buy it! Cheaper by 50 wen! With that kind of savings, you can buy a dozen or so chicks….”
Liu Xu’er nodded along to what he was saying, humming in agreement.
She behaved like a completely different person from earlier when she was begging for the rabbits! The rabbit seller was dumbstruck.
Looking at the quick-witted little boy, he became helpless and could only agree.
450 wen, I’ll sell it for 450 wen….
The two of you are so shrewd!”
With that, Shi Cheng and Liu Xu’er broke out into grins.
Liu Xu’er darted back and carefully cradled the two previously selected rabbits.
Oblivious to what was going on, little Liu Sen had just been smiling throughout.
Now, he immediately turned and stretched out pudgy hands to stroke the two rabbits cradled by his sister.
Shi Cheng laughed.
When the seller had agreed to a discount, Liu Shu had been staring in amazement at Shi Cheng.
Turning to look at Xu’er and Senzi with the rabbits, he breathed deeply, as if he had made some sort of important decision.
He shi, who had been happily chatting with Shi Cheng’s mum, rushed over when she found out that Liu Changgeng wanted to buy rabbits.
However, Liu Xu’er refused to relax her hold, and no matter how He shi tried to coax her, she resolutely carried the rabbits, refusing to put them down.
Added to the fact that Liu Changgeng was murmuring his support, and the fact that Shi Cheng’s parents were watching from the sidelines, He shi was too embarrassed to have a public fight with her husband and children.
She could only give in and surrender the money.
Liu Shu and Shi Cheng carefully reminded Liu Changgeng – the price of the rabbits was now 450 wen.
Liu Changgeng gave the two a strange look before counting out 450 wen.
Once Shi Cheng’s parents brought him away, He Shi’s face immediately fell.
She stretched out her hand to fiercely poke Liu Xu’er’s forehead.
“Aren’t you the capable one!”
Liu Xu’er said nothing, tightly holding onto her two rabbits.
With the money spent on rabbits, the Liu family didn’t buy anything else and drove the cart back home.