Chapter 8 – Paying a visit
Old Uncle Wang, the village chief of Ten Mile Village was well respected by all the villagers in the village.
Naturally, it was because of his fair dealings, but more importantly, it was because he had a son who was the department chief of the Civic Department’s Cadastral Section in East City.
Old Uncle Wang was naturally proud of having such a son.
Yet this son of his occasionally gave him moments of headaches too.
A year ago, an outsider came to the village, was an old man with a disability in both legs and sat in a wheelchair.
Yet he had an aura that was still fresh in the memory of Old Uncle Wang.
The old man had the aura of a man of the worldly expert, his eyes showed no anger yet still gave off a sense of prestige as if when he glared at them, their legs would go weak from it.
Old Uncle Wang, who had never been outside of the city, had never seen a person with such dignifying aura before, yet this man was brought back by his son Wang XuDong to the village.
His son instructed him to build a mansion on the hill behind the village and make a stone path for the elderly man to travel on.
From then on, the elderly man would live in the village.
After hearing his son’s request, Old Uncle Wang was shocked: “How can you just give the land in the village to an outsider? The… the villagers will have a problem with this!”
Yet his son only replied: “Dad, for this matter, you just follow what I said.
This matter is ordered by the higher up, your son is also following orders…..
Alas, in any case, leave it alone, the city will coordinate the specific matters.”
Old Uncle Wang was even more surprised to hear that! The city would take care of it? How important this person must be?
In his perception, those who could make the city pay attention to them were naturally big shots.
He didn’t dare to say anything else and just follow what his son had asked.
It turned out to be exactly what his son had told him, within a few days later, the city sent down an official document stating that the elderly man had invested in many projects in the city and had made a great contribution to its development.
He wanted to stay in the village for retirement and recuperation because of its beautiful scenery.
The land in the village was not used in vain either, and each villager was given a subsidy.
The subsidy was generous and was given each year.
The villagers now naturally had no problem with this, and the old man had lived in the back of the hill ever since.
In the villagers’ mindset, this old man was an entrepreneur, a big shot.
Even the children in the village were told that no one was allowed to cause trouble outside the mansion or they would get beaten up once they returned home! In fact, there was this small scheme in the mind of the villagers.
They were afraid that if the old man’s peaceful lifestyle were disturbed, and left in a fit of anger, it would ruin the generous annual subsidy in the end.
The old man lived in the village for a year or so and never once did they see him leave the hill.
All the food and necessities for life were delivered regularly by Old Uncle Wang.
As time went by, Old Uncle Wang gradually got used to it.
All he does was deliver things, and the old man never requests anything else.
Strangely enough, when he went to deliver the things the day before, the old man actually broke the silence and asked him about the village.
The question was about the very day he had accompanied Professor Zhou in choosing his ancestral gravesite, the details of which were asked a few times.
This made Old Uncle Wang feel doubly strange, yet after this, there was something even rarer!
Before he left, the old man asked him about the birth date of Old Xia’s granddaughter, Xia Shao!
Although Old Uncle Wang was the village chief, how could he know the birth date of a little girl? He had no choice but to invite Xia Shao’s grandfather Xia GuoXi to his house for a meal.
He knew that Xia GuoXi likes to drink, thus he made him drink a lot of wine during the meal, and only then did he manage to get the information out of him.
He sent the birth date straight away to the old man, and when he went back yesterday, the old man actually made another request—— He wanted to meet Xia Shao!
What, what was happening?!
Old Uncle Wang shook his head repeatedly, Xia Shao was only ten years old who had been asked for her birth date and now meeting too? Could it be that this elderly man had a grandson’s in his family and wanted to set up a baby marriage?
If that was really the case, it would be considered a great stroke of luck for Old Xia family as this old man was a big shot who even the city’s officers respected!
Old Uncle Wang didn’t dare to delay, he hurriedly rushed down the hill, and went straight to Xia GuoXi’s house.
When he reached near the entrance of Xia’s house, Old Uncle Wang was frozen.
From a distance, he saw Zhou Wang leading Professor Zhou, who was also walking in this direction and the two of them were carrying some gifts in their hands.
As he got closer, he saw that Zhou Wang was carrying five bottles of MaoTai wine and five long packs of quality cigarettes as well as two large yellowtail fish.
When Zhou Wang saw Old Uncle Wang standing outside the Xia family’s courtyard, he was stunned and asked: “Village Chief, why are you here too?”
Old Uncle Wang asked too: “What are you doing here?”
Zhou Wang immediately showed a bitter smile when he heard that: “It’s all because of what happened two days ago.
My second uncle is always talking about how he should thank that little girl ShaoZi, for helping our Zhou family to avoid a big disaster.
He’s here to thank them today.”
“What?” Old Uncle Wang’s eyes were widened as he was also present that day.
This… How could the child’s words be taken seriously?
He couldn’t figure out, how a little girl had caught the eye of the professor at the Capital University as well as the old man at the back of the hill, which is really……
Old Uncle Wang shook his head and kept quiet.
He had shouted twice across the courtyard to the house, and in a short while, Xia Shao and her grandmother Jiang ShuHui came out to welcome them.
As soon as she saw Zhou Wang carrying something in his hand, Xia Shao instantly knew why they had come for.
She didn’t show it on her face but in her heart, she was very impressed with Professor Zhou’s character.
Although it was true that Xia Shao helped with saving the lives of Professor Zhou’s family, this was something that most people would only consider to be a coincidence and would never give full credit to a child.
Professor Zhou was obviously very fond of Xia Shao and picked her up when he saw her, making Xia Shao’s grandmother look stunned.
When she reacted, she hurried them into the house and called out her old mate who was lying on the bed listening to the radio.
Xia GuoXi was an ill-tempered man that was well known in the village.
Even if the person who came for visit was Professor Zhou, he didn’t seem too friendly either but just invited them into the house.
Yet when he saw the cigarettes and wine which Zhou Wang placed on the table, he then said: “WangZi, we’re all from the same village, you and your second uncle came over for a visit, why bring so many things with you? Ey! Although your Uncle Xia is an ex-soldier, these days, as you know, life is better, so who will care about all the ex-soldiers? Only Professor Zhou, who is truly a man of culture, still remembers to visit me, an old man, when he returns to the village, alas! He’s so much better than those city officers.”
Zhou Wang stifled a grunt and almost laughed out loud.
Old Uncle Wang had an awkward expression too, and they both knew that Xia GuoXi had misunderstood.
He thought that Professor Zhou had come to visit him on purpose but in reality, they had come because of his granddaughter instead.
Professor Zhou, however just smiled elegantly and didn’t correct him while chimed in: “The country has always been concerned about veterans, we all came from the war-torn era, without the soldiers who had fought in the front line back then to defend our country, how could we have the peaceful days which we have today?”
Speaking of this, it was exactly what Xia GuoXi felt in his heart.
He even started talking about his bravery on the front line back then which was even commended! His military medals were still hanging in his home, but because of his bad-temper, some officers were displeased with him and took away his entitlements, so he ended up farming in his hometown.
The old cadres who were discharged in the same year as him were now living a life of leisure and respect in the city, and whenever he runs into these old comrades, he felt that ashamed.
As if he had met a close friend, Xia GuoXi chatted about the olden days with Professor Zhou who look patient as he listened to it.
He was so well-cultivated that he even discussed with Xia GuoXi.
They even addressed each other as elder brother and younger brother when they found out that Professor Zhou was ten years older than Xia GuoXi.
“Brother Xia, if you ask me when we reach this age, it’s time for us to look past many things.
If you are really depressed, then look at the next generation! As the old saying goes, the Feng Shui will rotate, and the children’s generation may not be inferior to the older generation.” Professor Zhou said soothingly while looking over at Xia Shao who was sitting quietly at the side as they chatted.
“Your granddaughter is well educated! I saw her once the other day, she is young, polite and smart too! I asked her about some of the lesser-known countries in the world when I came back from the back of the mountain the other day, and it’s not often that a little girl could even name out that capital!”
Professor Zhou didn’t mention the selection of the site for the ancestral tomb for that day.
For one thing, he knew that there had always been a deep misunderstanding of the Feng Shui profession in the country, and people often described this profession as swindlers, liars and had such a bad reputation.
This profession had always been difficult in the country and Xia GuoXi, a man who looks up to his reputation, would have blamed Xia Shao for not learning well at such a young age if he had really spoken of it.
Furthermore, in his heart, Professor Zhou thought that the incident for that day was just a coincidence, but even if it was a coincidence, it was true that he had benefited from the child’s thoughtless remark.
Thus, today he had come to thank them if not he would feel that he owed something.
Xia GuoXi had finally met someone who understood him and was able to spill out all his unhappiness over the years and now he was in a much better mood than usual.
Therefore, when he heard that his granddaughter had been praised by a professor from the Capital University for her studies, naturally he felt that he had grown in his reputation.
He nodded to Xia Shao with a rare look of relief in his eyes, and his granddaughter look a little more favourably than before.
“Old mate, go and fry up two more dishes since Old Brother Zhou is here today.
I will have a couple of drinks with him!” Xia GuoXi instructed.
Jiang ShuHui was already a little embarrassed about the cigarettes and alcohol they received today, so when she heard this, she hurriedly responded and cooked the two yellowtail fishes that Zhou Wang had brought with him.
She even took out some meat and vegetables from the house to cook a few more dishes.
Old Uncle Wang couldn’t wait any longer, the old man on the hill had been waiting for too long but he never found the opportunity to interrupt.
Once he heard that Old Xia wanted to add more dishes and drink too, he then coughed and interjected: “Cough! Old Xia, in fact, I came today because I have an important matter……”
Xia GuoXi, Zhou Wang, and Professor Zhou were all stunned.
Zhou Wang thought that Old Uncle Wang was just passing by Xia GuoXi’s house and saw them coming in so he followed them to chat for a while.
Yet he didn’t expect that there was really something important.
“Well, here’s the thing.
You all remember the old man who lived in that mansion at the back of our village, right?”
“How could we forget that?” Zhou Wan was energized when he heard this: “That’s a big shot who even the city had to give in to him! Didn’t he have bad legs and was recuperating in our village? But ever since he moved into the back of the hill, he hasn’t been seen.
Old Uncle Wang, you often go to deliver the thing to that man right? He, he’s not dead, is he?”
“Ah pui pui pui! What nonsense are you talking about!” Old Uncle Wang almost smacked Zhou Wang on the head: “If he died, wouldn’t your Old Uncle Wang be delivering things to ghost all these while?!”
Zhou Wang scowled and grunted: “How come a living being doesn’t get out of the mansion for over a year? So mysterious.”
“Don’t anyhow guess, this man is alive and well! Also, I came to Old Xia house today was because this man had requested me.” Old Uncle Wang said.
“What? He asked you to find Old Uncle Xia?” Zhou Wang glanced over to Xia GuoXi in surprise: “Old Uncle Xia, when did you know such a big shot? Why did you hide it and not tell us?”
“Who knows such a person?! He probably relied on those damn money he earned! An outsider occupied the village land and even had a document from the city.
I wonder how many shady deals are involved! It’s only been a few years since the founding of the country and already there’s corruption! I don’t want to know these officials and rich people at all!” Xia GuoXi looks hostility as his temper rises again.
Old Uncle Wang glared at Zhou Wang for his big mouth, although he saw that Xia GuoXi’s stinky temper was back again, he had no choice and continued his request.
“Aiya, not for Old Xia!”
“Huh? Not looking for Old Uncle Xia?” Zhou Wang’s eyes widened.
“No!” Old Uncle Wang waved his hand and turned his eyes to Xia Shao as Zhou Wang, Xia GuoXi wondered and Professor Zhou looking inquiringly at him.
“It’s Old Xia’s granddaughter that he request to meet! Old Mr.
Tang has asked me to come and bring little ShaoZi up to the hill.”
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