Chapter 11: Helping
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Chen Hu smiled at Su Sanlang and said, “Wasting my time? I’ve already finished all the work at home today. What trouble can it be if I help you cut some weed? Besides, we’ve been good friends since we were young. If I don’t help you now, I’ll be unable to sleep peacefully in the future.”
“Plus, it’s been sunny for a few days in a row already. It might rain cats and dogs some day. Sister-in-law just gave birth. She can’t be in the rain. Don’t say anything. Let’s get to work.”
Chen Hu started cutting the weeds immediately.
Su Sanlang was so touched that he choked. “Thanks.”
With that, he picked up the scythe and continued cutting the weeds.
By sunset, a large patch of weed in this wasteland was cleared. Chen Hu then helped to twist the weeds into ropes and tie up the cut weeds in large bundles.
“Sanlang, when are you going to renovate the house? Do you want to do it tonight? I’ll help you weave the grass after dinner. It’s a beautiful day and there’ll be a moon tonight.”
Chen Hu told Su Sanlang as he tied up the grass.
Su Sanlang was grateful, but he rejected the offer. He said, “Hu, I appreciate your kindness, but you really don’t have to help. I can get it done myself. It’s not easy for you either. Take care of your own home.”
Chen Hu’s situation was not much better. When Chen Hu was little, his feet were burned and he became a cripple. Although he was the youngest son in the family, his two older brothers were seven or eight years older than him, and he was a cripple, so he was not well liked by his parents.
Chen Hu’s wife, Madam Qian, was also disabled after being burned when she was young. There were scars on her face, and only half of her thumb was left on one hand.
He had two daughters and no sons. He was not in a good place at home. He had been scolded a lot when he came to help Sanlang.
Chen Hu lowered his eyes and swallowed before saying, “Sanlang, why do you think our lives are so difficult?”
“In any case, I regard you as my brother. If you hadn’t saved me when I was young, I, Chen Hu, wouldn’t be alive today. Besides, I’ve done most of the work that I’m supposed to do. I want to help you and no one can stop me?”
Chen Hu looked up, his eyes red. He had a disability and was not tall. His parents felt that he was embarrassing and did not like him, but they did not think about who caused his disability in the first place!
When he was younger, his two older brothers, who were seven or eight years older, had fought over food. His parents hadn’t cared. He hadn’t been able to fill his stomach and was lucky he didn’t die.
When he was young, he was pushed into a river by his two brothers. It was Su Sanlang who risked his life to save him. When he was young, he loved to follow Su Sanlang around. Su Sanlang would give him two bird eggs when he found three, and some wild fruits when he picked them. Over the years, they forged a deep and lasting bond.
He’d never forgotten it.
Looking at Chen Hu like this, Su Sanlang found it difficult to refuse. He patted Chen Hu’s shoulder and smiled bitterly. “As long as I don’t die, I’m not afraid. Come after dinner. I’ll remember this favor. If there’s a chance in the future-”
He would definitely repay Chen Hu.
However, Chen Hu interrupted Su Sanlang with a smile and said, “I don’t want you to pay me back even if you have the chance. I’m the one paying you back in the first place.”
Chen Hu helped Su Sanlang pick some grass. When he saw that the Su siblings had cleaned up the well, his worries about Su Sanlang disappeared.
Although Su Chong and Su Hua were silly, they were obedient.
Su Sanlang looked at the well, which had been mostly cleaned. It will be ready for use tomorrow afternoon after another round of cleaning. He stroked the children’s hair with relief. “Be good, all of you. Wash your hands. Let’s make dinner. Dad will bury some chestnuts for you in the fire pit later.”
The children nodded happily, and Su Sanmei immediately went to help with the fire.
At night, they had bacon vegetable soup that did not have much oil in it. They would occasionally taste the minced meat inside.
Su Chong, Su Hua, and Su Sanmei would never covet what’s in the pot. After Su Sanlang scooped their portions for them, they ate it obediently and slowly. Occasionally, when they got to the meat, their eyes would light up and they would chew on this little bit of meat.
Su Sanlang sent the food to Madam Zhao. As Madam Zhao was eating, she said with concern, “Sanlang, you should go and eat too.”
Su Sanlang nodded. Being constantly cared for warmed his heart. He smiled and said, “No rush. Let me check on Simei.”
Su Xiaolu looked at her father and yawned.
Needless to say, she saw the words ‘I love you’ in her father’s eyes. She must be a beautiful and cute little daughter.
At this point, Su Xiaolu had never looked into a bronze mirror before, so she naturally did not know that she had not bathed since she was born. There was still some fetal fat on her body, and a layer of it was still buried in her hair.
However, this didn’t stop Su Sanlang from liking her. He liked to look into Su Xiaolu’s eyes because they were bright and full of life. Just by looking at them, he could understand what Dr. Wu meant when he said that her eyes had life in them. They were shiny, intelligent, and lovable.
“Good girl, be good. I’m going to eat too. I’ll hug you properly after I’m done.”
Su Sanlang spoke to Su Xiaolu. It was strange for adults to talk to children. After all, children would not understand.
Yet, Su Sanlang didn’t think so. He thought his little girl understood his words. When he spoke, her eyes looked at him seriously. She even opened her cute mouth wide, as if she was saying, “Oh, oh, I know.”
Su Sanlang couldn’t help but smile. Then, he said to Madam Zhao, “Darling, call me when you’re done eating. I’ll go eat.”
Madam Zhao smiled and nodded. “Alright, go ahead and eat.”
Madam Zhao’s heart ached for Su Sanlang’s hard work. She only wanted him to go eat quickly. He had been busy all day and there was no good food at home. How could he not be hungry?
Su Sanlang went out to eat. There was not much white rice in the meal, and it was almost all ground corn. He could not bear to eat too much of the vegetables, so he only scooped up a little soup to eat.
After dinner, he asked the Su siblings to wash the dishes together. After cleaning the dishes, the three siblings could dig up the chestnuts buried in the fire pit to eat. Meanwhile, Sanlang moved a small round wooden stool and started to weave grass.
The weeds were dry. Most of them could be used directly. The bottom layer had to be woven tight so that it wouldn’t leak.
He had been weaving for an hour when Chen Hu arrived. The two of them did not speak much and worked silently.
When it was almost midnight, Su Sanlang lowered his voice and said, “Huzi, I’m stopping too. You should go back and rest too.”
He had urged Chen Hu several times, but Chen Hu refused to leave. He did not want to stop, but it was almost midnight. If Chen Hu did not leave, his body would not be able to take it tomorrow. Eventually, Su Sanlang simply stopped.
Chen Hu smiled and stopped as well. He said, “Sanlang, I’ll go home today. I’ll come back tomorrow. I might not be able to help you with the renovation, so I’ll take the time to help you cut the grass and weave it.”