Although he was born and raised in Luo village, Xiao Luo did not believe in the Teacher (God of Luo Village surnamed Shi), but it was the belief of Luo village people .
Ji Siying almost finished drinking a bowl of sacred water, which was cool and refreshing, sweet, and indeed had a faint fragrance . After drinking it, all five zang-organs and six fu-organs seemed to be moistened . Taking advantage of Xiao Luo’s inattention, she quietly took a small bottle and filled it with the rest of the sacred water in the bowl . Later, she would take it back to NSA for research and analysis to see if there was any secret hidden in the water .
After the memorial ceremony, the middle-aged women in Luo Village entered the side kitchen to cook chicken congee .
Xiao Quanren wrote couplets for the master altar . His calligraphy was recognized by the whole village, and he was the only old man who could write sweeping trends¹ in calligraphy .
[TN¹: This is probably the so-called magic symbols prior along with the sacred water]
“Young people should practice calligraphy more . This is a Mo Bao² handed down from our ancestors . It has a deep foundation and can write characters . If you don’t pick them up, they will be lost sooner or later . ” Xiao Dechang said earnestly to the teenagers in Luo village .
[TN²: Mo bao= film/wrap of some sort]
Some nodded approvingly, others scoffed it off as a joke, and the rest did not respond as if all this had nothing to do with them . .
“Is the old man’s calligraphy very good?” A boy of seven or eight years old asked curiously .
“Of course . ”
Xiao Dechang said proudly, “The old man is a scholar of the Qing Dynasty . He had read ‘The Five Classics and Four Books’³ thoroughly and could write poems in Seven Steps verse⁴ . His calligraphy is even easier to aspire . Even the calligraphers in the county praised his excellent handwriting . ”
[TN³: The Five Classics and Four Books were the basis of the civil examination in imperial China and can be considered the Confucian canon . ]
[TN⁴: The Seven Steps Verse, also known as the Quatrain of Seven Steps is a highly allegorical poem that is usually attributed to the poet Cao Zhi . The poems first appeared in the classic text Shishuo Xinyu, published in 430 . ]
“Wow, the old man is so fierce!”
The boy’s eyes were immediately filled with admiration and respect .
“Shh… be quiet…” Someone made a gesture of silence to keep everyone quiet .
Two red couplet papers were spread out on the table top . Xiao Quanren put on a pair of worn reading glasses and held a pen to write . The whole master altar was quiet and everyone watched him eagerly . For many people, it was a pleasure to watch the old man write, because the old man not only could write so well, but could also come up with a couplet that was very good and full of great inspiration .
But today, Xiao Quanren’s condition did not seem to be very good . The ink brush stopped in mid-air, and he did not start for a long time . Moreover, the ink brush was trembling in his hands .
“What’s wrong with the old man?” The boy asked again .
“Don’t talk . The old man is meditating . He has to figure out what to write before he can start writing . ” His father whispered to him .
But after ten minutes, Xiao Quanren still did not start writing, and the brush which was dipped in ink kept shaking . Finally, a drop of ink dropped from the tip of the pen and fell on the red paper, forming a big ink dot .
This was definitely a big taboo in calligraphy!
This was absolutely not allowed .
Everyone looked at each other, asking in their hearts: “Sir, This… what happened?”
“Parkinson’s disease, a common neurodegenerative disease of the elderly, has afflicted the old man!” Xiao Luo saw it at a glance .
Although it was said that God would protect you from all diseases, it was only a belief and a wish . In fact, there was no real protection against all diseases . Hearing Xiao Luo’s remark, Xiao Dechang’s face turned solemn, “Xiao Luo, are you sure sir is ill?”
“Xiao Luo, don’t talk nonsense . The old man is in good health . Don’t curse the old man at random . ” Xiao Qiu’s awe-inspiring rebuke .
Xiao Luo ignored Xiao Qiu and only answered Xiao Dechang’s question, “Parkinson’s clinical symptoms mainly include resting tremor, bradykinesia, muscular straightness and postural gait disorder . The old man is immobile and his hands are shaking constantly . This obvious characteristic indicates that Parkinson’s disease is his illness . ”
“You’re not a medical student . What makes you so sure?” Xiao Qiu shouted .
Other people shared the same question: ‘Doctors had the right to speak, but was Xiao Luo a doctor?’
At this moment, Xiao Quanren put down his brush and said cheerfully, “Xiao Luo did not say anything wrong . I went to the county hospital a few days ago to have an examination . The doctor said that I had a disease but it was hard to remember its name . When Xiao Luo said it, I remembered . What he said was what the doctor was talking about . ”
“Father⁵, it’s Parkinsons . ” Xiao Luo repeated with a smile .
[TN⁵: a form of address for Xiao Qanren]
Xiao Quanren squinted and smiled, “Yes, yes, this is Parkinson’s disease . Alas … I am getting old and useless, and my memory is getting worse and worse . ”
Since it was confirmed, the people looked at Xiao Luo with different eyes .
Xiao Dechang asked, “Xiao Luo, since you know what disease this is, then you should also know how to treat it?”
Xiao Luo shook his head, “This is a complication of advanced age . There is no way to cure it at the present, but it will not have any effect on the life span of the old man . Only when he is concentrating on something, some part of the old man’s body can’t help shivering and can’t keep still . ”
Hearing this, everyone was relieved, as long as it did not affect the life span .
“Xiao Luo, it seems that you didn’t read for nothing in college . You know a lot . ”
“Yes, I haven’t even heard of Parkinson’s disease . You have given me a lot of knowledge . ”
“It seems that it is useful to let our children read more books . ”
Xiao Qiu’s face became very ugly . He did not attend university, but he compared Xiao Luo’s career with his own career to illustrate the futility of reading . At this time, he was undoubtedly subverted, which made him hold a grudge against Xiao Luo .
“Of course, Luo Zi is the only undergraduate student in our village . He has the highest academic qualifications and certainly knows a lot . ” Xiao Ping was not stingy when praising Xiao Luo .
Xiao Qiu was really angry, he pointed a finger at Xiao Ping, “What nonsense! Who said that he knew a lot when he studied in university? Now, college students have not had the golden content of the past years . The four years of university are not for studying things, but are busy in love, eating, drinking and having fun, not knowing anything . All the students coming out of university are lazy people . ”
He changed his method in scolding Xiao Luo .
“Wax gourd, this isn’t absolutely right . ”
“Yes, otherwise, Miss Ji would not have liked Xiao Luo . ”
Xiao Ping did not dare to fight back against Xiao Qiu, but the people in Luo Village did . Everyone knew about Xiao Ping, and everyone knew about Xiao Ping’s borrowing money from Xiao Qiu . Xiao Qiu was so rude to Xiao Ping and would reprimand him at random . Everyone was not happy when they saw this . What was the difference between this and the people who seized other people’s handles and threatened others?
Xiao Qiu didn’t say a word, after all, he knew only an idiot would go against the crowd .
After the discussion, one problem still had to be addressed, the old man could not write couplets now .
“Then who should write a couplet for the master altar?” Xiao Dechang asked again .
Everyone shook their heads . Everyone was a farmer, farming at home . Farming in the field was certainly their specialty, but dancing with the pen and writing, this was really not in line with their skills . Let alone calligraphy, even holding a pencil to write words would result in it looking like being beaten by chicken feet; it was very ugly .