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Madam Zhang-w.a.n.g brought two people to the closest residence. This was also the abode of the oldest resident, Zhang Sheng. This year, he is 65 years old, living with his son and his two daughters and a 9-year-old grandson. His wife pa.s.sed away early.
Madam Zhang-w.a.n.g intends to go to him first to give him these things. In the end, before she has walked there, a group of people have gathered before her. Madam Zhang-w.a.n.g was not frightened, she is after all on the lands of Zhang manor, it would not be easy to hurt her here. She stood waiting for the crowd in front to approach.
It was only once they saw the people approaching clearly that the people next to Madam Zhang-w.a.n.g relaxed. Just now, they almost shouted for help to the entire manor. As long as they shouted, someone would come out to help.
In front of her was Zhang Sheng, whom Madam Zhang-w.a.n.g was intending to visit first today. There were many people following behind him, each carrying a lantern in their hands. It looked to be a significant number of people. Their lanterns were framed with red paper. Looking out, it looked like a red expanse.
The two people met on the road, without waiting for Madam Zhang-w.a.n.g to say that she was going to Zhang Sheng's home, Old man Zhang Sheng waved his hand, and the people behind him carried their lanterns and came over.
“Madam, where are you going?” Zhang Sheng asked, hunching over.
“Looking at the Zhang household, I was originally prepared to go to Uncle Zhang's home first. What is Uncle Zhang doing?" Madam Zhang-w.a.n.g was confused. How did these people get together?
"Madam, everyone has been receiving benefits from the lord's family during our usual days. We would like to repay but we don't have much money. Since it is the 15th of the first month, all 106 of us who usually do such crafts and works decided to each make a lantern. This old man made two extra, in total we have a hundred and eight lanterns, an auspicious number. We were just about to send these to the lord's manor."
Hearing this, Madam Zhang-w.a.n.g stood there so moved, she was speechless for a long while, until the person beside her nudged her. She took a deep breath and said: "Uncle Zhang, this is perfect timing. My yard still lacks lanterns, many thanks to you folks. The things you are giving to the manor, we have received, now I want to give you folks a few things."
As she said these, with a wave of her hands, the people in the yard took the things they were holding and gifted them. A hundred individuals gave it first, and the others went to the house.
"Uncle Zhang, these are the clothes and shoes for your family of six. This is a chicken, I picked the biggest for you. These are lanterns and candles and these are dumplings and firecrackers. There are so many things, you can't carry all of them. How about we help carry them for you?"
Xiao Hong came out with his wife this time, letting the person who was pushing the wheelbarrow behind him, come out in front and pa.s.s the items to Zhang Sheng. So many things, as more and more were pa.s.sed to him, he couldn't quite carry them all. Even though the lantern was a foldable silk lantern, he still couldn't carry it all.
“This… this… these things, madam, are you giving this old man to deliver things?" Zhang Sheng has lived for so many years, he didn't lack this bit of insight. He watched the people in the main house holding things and pushing the wheelbarrow. The things piled up in the car like little hills, and he immediately understood.
“Not for delivery. This is a holiday. Everyone is happy. On the other side of the small bridge, at the Xu time, there will be people performing dancing lions, and there will be some things to sell. Those things will be cheap. Everyone should go to watch the fun. I originally wanted to go from house to house to inform everyone. “
Madam Zhang-w.a.n.g tried to control herself and try to make her tone calm. She has never seen a resident take the initiative to bring things to the main house. Other than paying the grain, if she wanted a resident to do something, she needed to send people out to look for them. Looking at the hundred and eight lanterns shining brightly in front of her, Zhang-w.a.n.g felt that her heart was also shining brightly.
The surrounding villagers were also listening. Hearing about lion dance, they also know that this is the paid by the main family. Otherwise, will the lion performing troupe come to this place? The roast chicken, the silk lanterns, the dumplings and the clothes etc. How much silver did the main house have to spend in order to give all these?
The people on both sides did not know what to say. They were all dazed there, lingering beneath the pomegranate tree cultivated under the training of Zhang Xiao-Bao and w.a.n.g-Hao. When their hearts had calmed down a little, they said: "Madam, why don't we all go to each house to check, one shichen (2 hours) would be enough"
Madam Zhang-w.a.n.g looked at the pomegranate tree briefly and nodded with appreciation. She said, "Even better, folks, accompany me to see the families first and then send the lanterns to our yard. “
A group of people, under the guidance of Madam Zhang-w.a.n.g, walked towards Zhang Sheng's home, put things down and went to the next house, and told these villagers to go to the little bridge, and the villagers all wanted to kneel down and kowtow. With such a lord, this life is truly worth living.
It was only when the last house was done, that Madam Zhang-w.a.n.g returned to the yard with a hundred and eighty lanterns, and hurried to relay her moving experience today to the old lady and the old lady.
w.a.n.g manor naturally had Madam w.a.n.g acting, at the same time, their residents seem to have followed the residents of Zhang manor. The two manor's villagers seem to have discussed well, and the w.a.n.g manor villagers also sent a hundred and eighty lanterns. Causing Madam w.a.n.g to also be moved to tears.
At Xu hour, all the people from both manors came out. Each family was carrying a lantern of silk. All the people were wearing new clothes. As long as they were women, whether they were young teens or old ladies, they wore light green clothes. The men wore light grey.
The clothes of the servants of both household also changed. The women all wore red, the men all wore white, they looked very dazzling.
Without waiting for the villages to reach the little bridge, one could already see that all the torches set in the manor were all lit up. Both manors formed a bright expanse of light, comparable to the moon up in the sky, bright like the stars. In their hearts, some of the villagers counted. Once they counted clearly, they could see that the total of these torches is equal to the number of residents within the two manors, seven hundred and ninety.
Waiting for these people to go to the small bridge, they could see that the area around the small bridge was also shining, lights dancing with the wind, many stalls were placed there, the lion dancing performers were ready.
In an instant, it was full of excitement. The shopkeepers wearing new clothes were watching there, picking up what they needed, and the firecrackers occasionally sounded. These firecrackers were paid by Zhang Xiao-Bao and w.a.n.g-Hao and was given to the residents too. Once they go back, they'll light up their own.
The festive atmosphere of the Zhang and w.a.n.g manors were so boisterous that the people of Ge manor couldn't help but notice. They also wanted to come out with their lanterns at night, as a result, they could see the river shining bright with the light reflecting off the other two manor's lanterns and the continuous beating of the drums on the other side.
The people of Ge manor were curious and they came to the little bridge to take a look. As a result, when they saw the place, they all didn't know what to say. Lion dance, there was actually a lion dance. How many years has it been since they have seen…
Look at the people of the two manors over there, all the clothes they wore was the same, the lanterns were all silk.
"Xiao San, can you see? Look at the other two manors! In addition to the things that the two main families gave in the New Year, they even gave things on the fifteenth. New clothes, new clothes, silk lanterns and even torches shining across the manor! Sigh!"
One person said to the child next to him and finally could only sigh.
Xiao San obediently nodded. “I know that their days are better than us. Didn’t the Si Gou go there? Other people directly bought silver, when can our manor do the same?"
Others looked enviously at the other end of the bridge, only daring to look at it, but not daring to go over, their heart can be described as a mixture of five flavours.
"Wu House's lad, Seventh aunt, you all have finally arrived! Quick come over, I made a stall here, the things are cheap, not really making much of a profit. If any of them meets your eye then go ahead and buy, oh and there is the performing lion."
At this time, Si Gou whom Ge manor had just been mentioning came out, his body clad in a set of white silk, an inlaid crown cap on his head, even his waist was not as bent as it used to be before. His face plumper than before, his smile was unchanging.
As he spoke, he pulled a few people's hands, while talking he led them over the bridge onto the other side. These people originally did not want to go but could not resist the excitement over there and the enthusiasm of Si Gou. Half pushing, half cajoling, they were led to the other side by Si Gou. After a short while, they adapted, looking at the performances here and looking at the stalls there to see if there was anything they wanted. Casually picking something up and asking, they found that the price really was too cheap.
With other people pioneering, other people from Ge manor also came over and looked around. Suddenly they saw that the two lords of Zhang and w.a.n.g manor were all out and laughing with the villagers.
The old lady of the Zhang family was sitting with an old lady in the village, watching the excitement in front of her, chatting enthusiastically and laughing a few times from time to time, revealing that two teeth were lost, letting others to see as if they didn't feel ugly.
The Zhang and w.a.n.g manors were so boisterous on their side, naturally, the Ge manor's main family was also alerted. Ge Ying-Xi heard the loud sounds outside and was puzzled. He was currently appreciating the moon and drinking with his family. He ordered the person by his side: "Er Gou, go to that side and take a look. What is happening?"
Er Gou, who had been serving the people at the side came out and was equally curious in his heart. When he could see the situation over there, his mouth fell open, and gradually opened bigger and bigger. It is so lively over there ah, he pinched himself hard to see if he was dreaming. The pain helped him realise it was all true.
Is this still the most remote manor in SanShui County? This may be how festive it is in the SanShui town. As he watched, Er Gou's feet were as if they were not under his control, moving forward little by little when he saw the people of their own manor on the bridge, his legs moved even faster.
"Er Gou, you came too? Quick, come on over here, I prepared some good food over here. You see, today, anywhere with the signs of the two manors, Zhang and w.a.n.g, all the snacks can be eaten as you wish. Eat as much as you want. Come, let’s drink a bit, the money for the wine has to be paid out of our own pockets, I paid already."
Si Gou was acquainted with Er Gou. They were usually on good terms. Si Gou was super alert, once he saw Er Gou, he hurried to pull him over.
Er Gou couldn't control himself already and was dazedly dragged to a small table by Xu Si. The two benches were placed and he was pressed onto one by Xu Si. Two dishes were placed on the table. Er Gou didn’t even know that the two dishes were called spicy aromatic pig ears and dried phoenix skin.
Si Gou was renamed to Xu Si by the Zhang Manor a while back but the people of the Ge Manor might still think of him as Si Gou.
Interestingly, Si Gou = Four Dog and Er Gou = Two Dog. I think it was pretty common for naming conventions to go by birth order in the past for peasants in ancient China.
PS: Sorry for the slow updates, I got accused of poaching (another novel) and it was kinda off-putting, especially since I’m just translating because I enjoy it. I am not dropping the translations though I won’t mind if anyone else wants to pick this up. I do tend to update in irregular bursts. ヾ(_ _。）
Thanks for the readers that commented! Your comments remind me that people were still interested in new chapters and motivated me to translate this (/^▽^)/