Chapter 187 - To Pester Endlessly
Lady Fang hugged her goddaughter’s delicate little body and felt her maternal instincts rising up from deep within her heart . As if she was coaxing an infant, she gently patted Xiaocao’s shoulder . Xiaocao, who had originally planned on resting for a bit, had actually fell into a deep slumber under her godmother’s gently patting .
When they arrived in the town, Xiaocao was still asleep, but Lady Fang couldn’t bear to wake her up . In the end, it was the hawking outside the carriage that woke the sleeping Xiaocao up . She sat up and used her small hands to rub her eyes . She blinked sleepily and had a dazed expression on her face, as if she didn’t know where she was . Looking at the dazed Xiaocao, Lady Fang’s heart melted into a pool of water .
“Ah! We’re already in town?” Xiaocao’s pair of abnormally big eyes brightened up again . As soon as she turned her head, she saw an unidentified water stain on the front of her godmother’s clothes . She blinked her eyes twice in confusion . When she finally realized what the water stain was, her face instantly flushed .
Lady Fang lowered her head to look at the trace of saliva that her goddaughter left on her clothes, and then she calmly said, “It’s alright . I brought spare clothes, so I can just change in inner room of the watermelon shop . ”
Linglong showed the small bag in her arms to the young miss . When the noble madams and ladies went out, they would always bring a change of clothes as to avoid being discourteous when encountering an accident at someone else’s house .
In the watermelon shop, Xiaocao’s eldest maternal aunt Madam Han had been busily working since early in the morning . The watermelons were transported over yesterday afternoon, so there was no queue outside the store this morning . However, even after the craze of the opening of the new store, there was still an endless stream of customers in the melon shop .
After Lady Fang changed her clothes, she went to buy necessities with Linglong . Xiaocao stayed in the shop to help her eldest maternal aunt . After all, Li Li was the assistant of the imperial envoy . He couldn’t leave his post and stay to help them for a long period of time . Seeing that there was someone helping at the shop, he returned to the docks . These past two days, Wu Yun had been extremely busy at the docks because the imperial envoy went to the prefectural city for work and Li Li was helping out in town!
Unlike the first two days, today’s watermelons weren’t sold out before noon . By the time it was three to four in the afternoon, there were still five or six smaller watermelons left . At this time, Yu Hai and Yu Xi delivered two carts of watermelon over .
Xiaocao moved the remaining small watermelons to the table at the entrance . She took a small wooden plank and wrote: ‘Special Sale For Watermelons! One Tael Each!’ Although these watermelons were smaller in size, they were still very sweet and fresh . They would usually cost two taels each .
There weren’t any customers in the fabric shop next door, so the boss Shopkeeper Feng walked over while swaying her hips . Seeing the notice on the plank, she looked around and said with a smile, “Why are you doing a special sale on these watermelons? Are they leftovers from the past two days?”
The people in the shops nearby peeped out curiously when they saw Xiaocao taking the watermelons out . They had also seen the words on the wooden plank, and several of them were eager to make a move . But, when they heard Madam Feng’s question, they stopped themselves .
Yu Xiaocao picked up a fresh melon seedling and showed her . The smile on her face remained unchanged as she explained, “Older Sister Feng, look at this watermelon seedling, it doesn’t look like it’s not fresh, right? As you have seen, the watermelons in our shop were all delivered here on the day of or in the afternoon of the day before . They definitely won’t be placed in our store for more than a day . These watermelons are smaller in size, but they will certainly taste the same when eaten . If you don’t believe me, I can cut it open for everyone to see!”
Xiaocao swiftly cut open the smallest watermelon with a knife . The red melon meat and the black seeds appeared in front of everybody . A strong sweetness subsequently drifted into everyone’s noses . Xiacoao handed a slice to Madam Feng, and then she invited several of the shopkeepers of the nearby stores to have a taste .
The shopkeeper of the store two shops down from the watermelon shop was pale and chubby, and he had a bright smile on his face like a Buddha . He slowly walked over, unreservedly grabbed a slice of watermelon, and said with a grin, “Little girl, you’re actually willing to do this . This cost a tael ah!”
“Of course, I’m willing! One must give up on some things in order to gain more!! Wasn’t everyone feeling skeptical about purchasing the special bargain at our shop? After tasting it, you guys can rest assured!” Seeing that everyone was coming over to taste the watermelon, Yu Xiaocao’s heart felt completely at ease now . She was full of confidence in the taste of her watermelons .
Sure enough, after tasting it, Madam Feng immediately picked the biggest one of the remaining watermelons and gave a tael of silver to Xiaocao . Of course, the taste of the watermelons sold at the Yu Family’s watermelon shop was amazing, but it wasn’t sold at a price that just anybody could afford .
Most of the shopkeepers of the stores on this street were wage earners . It was fine to buy one occasionally, but they wouldn’t be able to afford eating it on a regular basis . Right now, there was a special sale on watermelons . Moreover, the price was reduced by half . Only a fool wouldn’t take advantage of this discount ah!
All of the remaining watermelons, no matter big or small, were swiftly snatched up by several of the shopkeepers of the neighboring stores . Those who didn’t manage to buy the discounted watermelons asked frustratedly, “Little girl, when will you have another special sale for watermelons?”
Yu Xiaocao smiled and said, “In the future, our shop will launch a special watermelon sale at random times every day . Please pay close attention to our watermelon shop!”
The fair and chubby shopkeeper of the silverware store looked at Xiaocao with squinted eyes and chuckled, “Little girl, you’re quite good at doing business! Not bad, not bad . A young person’s abilities should be respected ah!” In his mind, he pondered whether he should also do a special sale for the unsalable jewelry in his shop . This way, they could quickly earn back their capital—Yes, he should go back and discuss this matter with his boss!
Yu Hai, who was unloading watermelons next to the store, saw that his daughter had swiftly taken care of the remaining watermelons . He couldn’t help but proudly praise her within his heart, ‘She is definitely my daughter . She is born with the innate talent to do business!’
Ever since the watermelons had ripened, the whole family had been busy without time for rest . His daughter’s godmother had also come, so after working for the whole day, she still had to take care of her godmother when they got back in the village . The father-daughter pair could only interact at night . However, everyone had been exhausted the whole day, so they fell asleep without saying much to each other . It had been several days since Yu Hai got to bond with his daughter . After unloading the watermelons, he stayed in the shop to chat with his daughter . In the evening, he would come pick her up and go home together .
The spouts of the freshly picked watermelons were so fresh that one could pinch water out of them . Earlier, when the watermelons were being unloaded, it had attracted many customers to shop in their store . At this time, there were two to three patrons picking watermelons at different shelves in the store .
Yu Xiaocao sat at the entrance of the shop and counted the money, while Yu Hai stood beside her, looking at her with a grin . Just as a patron handed Xiaocao a small five tael ingot, a figure suddenly rushed towards her .
Yu Hai thought that someone wanted to rob them, so he strode forward and blocked his daughter from the other person .
“What are you doing! You, this unfilial son, even wants to hit me!!” Madam Zhang’s mean-looking face appeared in front of Yu Hai like a nightmare . She had rushed over too quickly, so she almost couldn’t stop herself and plunged right into Yu Hai’s arms .
With one look at her grandmother’s expression, Yu Xiaocao knew that she came with malicious intentions . Her father was the too foolishly soft-hearted, so he definitely wasn’t Madam Zhang’s opponent . After she securely locked the money box, she walked out from before her father and said, “Grandmother, who is being unfilial ah? Didn’t we already send you guys the grain that we have to give you every month, as a form of our filial respects?”
With her arched eyebrows slanted, Madam Zhang glared at them with her triangular eyes and stiffly replied, “As a son, you’re eating and living well every day, yet your elderly parents can only gnaw on bean cakes . Aren’t you afraid of being struck by lightning!”
The watermelon shop had been too busy these past two days, so she didn’t have time to cook . Thus, they had been eating the food delivered from Zhenxiu Restaurant . Although there weren’t any expensive dishes, it wasn’t something that ordinary people could afford! All the workers in the shop ate the meals sent by Zhenxiu Restaurant, while his own parents could only eat bean cakes… Everyone around them all looked at Yu Hai and his daughter with a contemptuous gaze .
Without a change of expression, Yu Xiaocao said, “Grandmother, when you forced my family out of the house with nothing, it was written down in black and white: ‘As filial respect, the second son must send over fifty catties of coarse grain every month . ’ Even when we lived in a rundown house that could barely withstand the wind and snow, and didn’t have enough to eat, we still gave you everything as promised . After we started selling vegetables and planting watermelons, we have changed the fifty catties of coarse grain to fifty catties of white rice and wheat flour, with an additional five catties of pork . We delivered them to you every month without fail . Why are you still giving my grandfather bean cakes to eat?”
Without waiting for Madam Zhang to speak, she continued, “Oh! I remember now!! I heard from Brother Heizi that you sold all the white rice, wheat flour, and pork that we gave you for money, which you used to buy paper and brushes for Younger Uncle!! The family isn’t that poor that you need to sell your food rations in order to buy paper and brushes ah! Before we split from the main family, my father had gotten severely wounded from hunting a bear . Didn’t you take all of the three hundred taels? It hasn’t even been half a year, where did all the money go?”
More and more people gathered around . From this little girl’s words, they had gotten a lot of explosive contents: The second son of this family had gotten injured while hunting for a bear, but the money for selling the bear had been confiscated by the mother . The injured son was forced to split from the main family, moreover, he had to leave with nothing . After splitting from the family, his family could only live in a rundown house and not have enough to eat . However, they still needed to save food while starving in order to send them to their elders as filial respect… She couldn’t possibly be his real mother . What mother wouldn’t be concerned about her children and grandchildren? Moreover, she was making things worse for them and adding to their burdens?
“What nonsense are you talking about!! What three hundred taels are you talking about? This damned wretch! You waste of money! Stop speaking nonsense here!!” Seeing the onlookers pointing and gossiping about her, Madam Zhang’s eyes darted around and shouted at Xiaocao with a fierce appearance .
Outside of the crowd, Lady Fang, who had come back from shopping, quietly looked at the scene in front of her . Linglong said with slight concern, “This woman is too fierce and unreasonable . I’m afraid Miss Cao’er will be at a disadvantage!”
Lady Fang, on the other hand, felt that her goddaughter could handle this situation with ease based on her calm appearance . She smiled and said, “This must be Xiaocao’s ‘exceptional’ grandmother! Seeing that the son who had split from the family was living well, she came to harass them with unreasonable demands . She is truly ‘amazing’ ah!! But my goddaughter isn’t a pushover either . Let’s just quietly wait and see how it turns out!”
Xiaocao almost got sprayed by her saliva . She took two steps back, rubbed her ears, and said, “Grandmother, being loud doesn’t mean that you’re in the right . Why are you screaming so loudly? Are you saying that you didn’t receive the three hundred taels that Uncle Zhao sent over? Are you sure? That’s not what Uncle Zhao said ah!! He’s a fourth-ranked military official, which was a title that the emperor personally conferred . So he wouldn’t lie to us, right? If you insist, then I’ll write a letter to the capital to ask . I reckon that Uncle Zhao hasn’t set out to the border yet, so he should be able to receive my letter…”