Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
Lame Ma was even more pissed that his bed cabinet had been opened with the blanket inside taken out. It was laid out across the stove bed for the two young adults to warm themselves. There was also a tiny aluminum plate on the table with oranges, apples, and other fruits placed on it. However, those fruits appeared to be his as well!
Lame Ma pricked up his brow as he instantly felt infuriated.
In a northeastern farming village, it was common among the villagers to not lock their doors when out for short periods of time. This was especially so for One Finger Village. The village’s general situation wasn’t too bad. Although there were ruffians like Dog Song, almost no one behaved like a burglar. Therefore, no one had the habit of locking their door.
If others were to head to another person’s home and realize that they weren’t home, they would know to leave. Even when visiting relatives, people didn’t rummage through their relatives’ belongings. Places like wardrobes, the kitchen, fridge, root cellars were considered more private. Almost no one who had any sense of propriety would touch such areas.
As for not greeting him the moment he stepped into the house, taking the initiative to eat the master’s things without any permission was almost unheard of!
Lame Ma was incensed when he saw this. He was someone with a bad temper to begin with. Hence, his face turned ashen as he asked, “These fruits are mine, right?”
The moment that was said, the house instantly fell silent. The young couple didn’t say a word, but their faces turned a little red, as though they felt a little embarrassed. The man by the side of the stove bed frowned and looked at Ma Jiangping.
On the contrary, Ma Jiangping didn’t seem to feel embarrassed in any way. Instead, she laughed. “Isn’t that so? But we are family, so why the fuss? We came in a hurry and didn’t manage to buy anything in time. The moment we entered, you weren’t home… Man, why is your house so messy anyway? We helped you clean up the house and washed some fruits to put outside. There’s no need to thank us. We are family after all.”
Lame Ma’s frown deepened. So they were there to visit him without anything. Yet they were eating and using his things and even expected him to thank them for it!?
Lame Ma’s fury grew as he instantly waved and said, “Jiangping, it wasn’t easy for you to come all the way here. You aren’t just here for a short visit, right?” In Lame Ma’s eyes, the villagers of One Finger Village were who he considered family. However, due to the blood they shared, he didn’t chase them out instantly. Hence, Lame Ma decided on handling them before sending them off.
When Ma Jiangping heard that, her face wore a sulky expression. “Second Brother Ma, what are you saying? It’s as though we are here to take advantage of you. Don’t think of me as someone who’s so improper. It’s only because I treat you as family that I act this way. If it were anyone else, I wouldn’t go even if they invited me. If you think that we are here to take advantage of you, fine! We will leave now! Dezi, Xueyu, get off the bed! Let’s go!”
The more Ma Jiangping spoke, the more furious she became. She directly shouted for her son and daughter-in-law to get off the bed, packing up as they prepared to leave.
Lame Ma’s heart skipped a beat when he saw this, thinking, “Did I really read them wrong?”
Lame Ma wasn’t good socially to begin with. He was a person of low emotional quotient, with it being barely above zero. He knew this very well, so at that instant, he felt as though he had blamed Ma Jiangping unjustly.
Hence, Lame Ma hurriedly said, “Alright, alright. Why are you leaving? Since you came from so far in this darn cold winter, leaving will only bring harm to the children. Sit down.”
The moment he said that, Meng Dezi and Peng Xueyu looked at Ma Jiangping.
Ma Jiangping still wore a grim expression and didn’t say a word.
Her husband coughed dryly and said, “Jiangping, enough. Since Second Brother has said that, why wear such a sour expression? Go prepare lunch!”
Ma Jiangping glared at her husband, Meng Changming, and said, “Fine. Since Second Brother has said so, I’ll listen to him.”
With that said, Ma Jiangping went to the kitchen with the streaky pork which Lame Ma had brought back. She rummaged through the cabinets for food which Lame Ma had prepared for the new year and prepared to cook lunch. Lame Ma’s frown didn’t ease as he looked at Ma Jiangping’s family. He felt even more pissed seeing Ma Jiangping act that way.
He didn’t feel his heart pain for those things since he was now wealthy. He was also not lacking in those new year goods. To put things bluntly, with Lame Ma’s skills, if he didn’t wish to eat at home, he would be invited to meals every day. However, to have his things taken out without his permission, he still felt his anger burn.
However, with Ma Jiangping having said that, Lame Ma forgave her since she was such a person. It wasn’t right to pursue the matter.
Hence, Lame Ma called out to Ma Jiangping’s husband, Meng Changming, and told him to sit down. They began to chat rather awkwardly, and Meng Changming appeared to be bothered. He spoke hesitantly, making Lame Ma, who was a person who spoke freely, feel rather depressed. Before long, lunch was served.
The Chinese were particular about chatting about anything at the dining table. After three rounds of drinks, Meng Changming finally spoke out hesitantly, “Second Brother, there’s really a reason why we came here this time.”
Lame Ma had quite a strong alcohol tolerance, so although he was flushed red, his mind was lucid. He nodded slightly and said, “Go ahead and tell me.”
Meng Changming said, “This son of mine is in his twenties. He only studied midway before returning. Up to now, he hasn’t gotten a single proper job. I got him to work, but he’s the kind who can’t handle hard labor. After lots of thought, I thought it would be best if he learned a skill. As the saying goes, a skill is enough to feed you for life. With this skill, he wouldn’t need to starve to death. Hence, Jiangping and I discussed and felt that letting him study some craftsmanship and engraving from you would be for the best.”
Upon saying that, Meng Changming, Ma Jiangping, and Meng Dezi looked at Lame Ma with an expectant look. Even Peng Xueyu, who was feeding the two children on the floor, looked over as well.
When Lame Ma heard that, he didn’t say a word. He took a mouthful of food and drank some alcohol before saying, “Learning a skill, sure.”
The moment he said that, Meng Changming and Ma Jiangping exchanged looks and saw the delight in each other’s eyes. Then, the both of them hurriedly toasted Lame Ma.
Lame Ma thought simply. One Finger Village was going to recruit apprentices anyway. Having one more Meng Dezi didn’t matter. Besides, they were related by blood after all. Even though he wasn’t fond of the older generation, he didn’t need to hold it against the younger generation. Therefore, he agreed.
However, Lame Ma never imagined that this was just the beginning!
After a few more rounds of drinks, even Lame Ma was a little tipsy. He became talkative and began talking about One Finger Village’s future development.
The moment they heard that One Finger Village was building a school, Ma Jiangping and Meng Changming exchanged looks. Their eyes were as bright as if there were sparks in them!
Hence, Meng Changming asked, “Second Brother Ma, a school is a good thing. Why don’t you let Dezi study under you for two days and let him become a teacher there?”
The moment that was said, Lame Ma frowned!