Chapter 88: Acrobat 5
T/N: Still haven’t started translating the remaining 5 chapters though…..
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Originally, Shi’ao Village only had a small path enough for one person to walk up and down the Mountain. Later, the original body’s father earned some money and having feelings for the house in his hometown; he spent some money to build a mountain road for the village. After all, he also did come back to live in the mountain village for every three to five days.
It was just a simple ground levelling and filling it up with sand. It was not like he repaired or used expensive asphalt or cement to repair the road. Even so, it cost Jiang Sanchun nearly 200,000 yuan in those days. That money was enough for him to build two or three three-story small bungalows in those days.
Because of this incident, the Jiang family’s prestige in the village was also very high. Everyone remembered the Jiang family’s kindness.
This road made it easier for people in the village to go down the mountain, and it was also safer. Significantly, after the road was completed, the car can be used to travel up and down the mountain. Even so, due to the unsuitable soil and climate, the villager couldn’t cultivate fruit trees on this mountain. If not for this, this kind of farming might have helped them to lift out of their poverty life and become rich.
When going up to the mountain this time, Jiang Liu had come up on foot. The original body only left him with a nearly scrapped Santana which was bought by the original body’s father in the late 1990s to show off his wealth. In recent years, he had used a large truck to travel north and south for his performance. Before he disbanded the acrobatics troupe, he transferred the truck to the troupe’s prop master before he planned to return to scout for his apprentices. Therefore, Jiang Liu still has one more important thing to do. Considering the current condition, it would be too inconvenient not buy an off-road vehicle or small truck for running this mountain road. Otherwise, he would need to spend several hours going up and down the mountain every day.
Since he thought so, he might as well acted on it. On the second day after choosing the apprentices, Jiang Liu took them down the mountain. This day happened to be the day when the open market was held in town.
The habit of going to the market to buy necessities still being maintained in this impoverished county. The stalls sold things cheaply, and they were all kind of daily needs that meet the living standards of the surrounding people.
A pair of children’s rubber-soled cloth shoes only cost 15 yuan while a pair of adult sports shoes only cost 25 yuan. As for a pair of pants, you can get it for 15 yuan, and a piece of cloths will cost only about 29 yuan….
The snack stalls were also full of Kang Shuaifu instant noodles, Wangwang snow cookies and Xizhilang jelly…. and the prices were also staggeringly low.
These things were definitely could not be found in other economically developed areas, but business was booming in this impoverished area with low per capita income.
Yet, due to the low price, the texture of these things was relatively poor, while the colours were too gaudy, and each of them has its own ugly points.
Jiang Liu rummaged through the shoe stall for a long time before he managed to locate a few pairs of pure black rubber-soled cloth shoes that matched his apprentices’ shoe size and looked pretty.
He tried the softness and hardness of the soles and felt that these shoes could be used as exercise shoes for the children. He then let them put them on to see if it fit.
In addition to training shoes for the three apprentices, Jiang Liu also picked a pair of peach-pink leather shoes.
The shoes were in a brilliant red colour with a rounded toe cap. A bright yellow flower was attached to the Velcro’s straps.
Forgive Jiang Liu, who had reincarnated for several lifetimes and yet still possessed the straight male aesthetic. Intuitively, Jiang Liu felt that these little shoes were pretty, and handed them to Xu Meihua’s hand, asking her to try it on her feet.
“No, no, no.”
Xu Meihua waved her hands again and again. Xiao Binbin and the others, at the moment, tried the shoes that will be used for their training. She was there to help with the cooking. Therefore, there is no need for her to have a new shoe anyway.
Although she refused, her eyes were still fixed on the shoes in front of her.
For a girl at this age who could only wear the leftover old shoes worn by her cousin or other relatives, these new peach-pink shoes are too tempting.
“I’ll just give this to you first. When you are older, you can help me make some shoes. Uncle needs a pair of thick soles shoes. Actually, I’m not used to wearing this kind of leather shoes, so I love to wear handmade shoe instead.”
Jiang Liu directly tore open the Velcro strap and asked Xu Meihua to try it on.
“Master, when I make money in the future, I will ask someone to make a pair of shoes for you.”
Among the three apprentices, Xu Quanjun, who was eight years old, has a sweet mouth and can always say something nice to make Jiang Liu happy.
At this moment, he had already put on the pair of training shoes that Jiang Liu had picked up for him and was walking around happily.
Jiang Liu smiled and responded.
“I will do it immediately for you.”
Xu Meihua still didn’t want to accept these shoes. Anyway, if Uncle Jiang really likes to wear thick soles shoes, she will let her mother help her make a few pairs this evening.
“Boss, I want these seven pairs of shoes.”
At this time, all three apprentices have tried their shoes. Each has two pairs. One pair fits their feet perfectly, and the other pair was slightly larger. After all, children at this age grow fast, so they need more shoes.
In addition to that, Jiang Liu also picked a pair of cotton slippers for himself.
“Six pairs of rubber-soled shoes are 90 yuan. Slippers are 8 yuan. There is a total of 98 yuan.”
The boss glanced at the shoes Jiang Liu was holding to, and responded with a smile. For him, Jiang Liu, who bought seven pairs of shoes in one breath could be considered as a big customer.
“Boss, make it cheaper. I bought seven pairs of shoes, or else you can give me this one for free.”
With that being said, Jiang Liu picked up that pair of peach-pink leather shoes.
“That’s not good. Those are leather shoes. Real leather. It will be at least 20 yuan for that.”
The boss replied with a painful expression while shaking his head.
“Come one, boss, is it possible for leather shoes made of genuine leather cost only 20 yuan? You see, there are many scratches on these shoes. I bought so many pairs of shoes from you. You should give me these as freebies. If you don’t want to sell them, then I will just go to another stall to take a look.”
If you think the things here are cheap and felt reluctant to bargain, then you will only lose your money. In fact, you can also bargain at this kind of small stall.
Jiang Liu made a posture as if he was leaving, and sure enough, the boss called him to stop.
“Okay, Okay, Okay. I’ll sell it to you because of your sincerity. Ei, you really made me lost this business. If you want to buy shoes in the future, you must come to me and take care of my business.”
How could the boss lose anything? Yet he still showed an expression as if the customer had taken advantage of him.
Jiang Liu took those few pairs of shoes packed in a big red plastic bag and then handed him a hundred-yuan bill. The boss tossed over and checked it several times before he took out a small purple-light money detector to make sure it was real money. Later, he handed the two yuan change to Jiang Liu.
“This pair of shoes is a freebie. They are free. You can wear them.”
After leaving the booth, Jiang Liu handed the sack with peach-pink leather shoes to Xu Meihua.
The shoe size is still her shoe size. Jiang Liu and his three apprentices couldn’t wear it, and Xu Meihua couldn’t refuse it anymore.
But she knew in her heart that this is Jiang Liu’s kindness.
She hugged those shoes tightly and vowed to make the best and most comfortable thick soles shoes to honour her Uncle Jiang after returning home.
[T/N: If you want to see how to make thick soles shoes, you can go to Liziqi channel (A multi-layer sole shoes for my grandma, in memory of good old days) to watch it. This is not a promotion~]
After that, Jiang Liu also helped his few apprentices to buy a few sets of exercise clothes. After that, he spent the rest of the time sweeping the vegetable market.
The temperature on the mountain was low than the other place. Therefore it was very convenient for the preservation of the ingredients. Since the trip down the mountain is troublesome, Jiang Liu simply took advantage of this trip to buy nearly a week worth of ingredients.
Many people on the mountain had a vegetable patch at their homes, so they didn’t even need to spend any money on it. Whenever they wanted to eat something, they just need to inform the owner and pick one or two at random. But the meat must be bought at the foot of the mountain. Therefore, Jiang Liu bought a half slab of pork and one hind leg of a sheep.
In the other hand, it was quite challenging to catch fresh fish up the mountain. So, he simply went to the aquatic product store and bought some dried fish from the south, dried shrimps, flavoured roasted seaweed and other fresh fishes etc.
In addition to this, Jiang Liu also bought a lot of melon seeds and candies. Most of this will be distributed to children and for the elderly to relieve their boredom while chatting.
With completely packed plastic bags, Jiang Liu simply refused to carry these things up the mountain on his feet. So he temporarily put these things in the small western-style house belonged to the Jiang’s family at the foot of the mountain. He then let the four children watched the TV at home while he went to the county town. It took him more than an hour to buy a small truck which cost him 80,000 yuan.
After he completed all the purchase, he drove back to the village in his new car with the spoils of the trip and the children on his back.
“You should make these dishes these days.”
Jiang Liu demonstrated to Xu Meihua the process of cooking that she needed to do. He was afraid that this child would be too thrifty and will not be willing to use too much oil, meat and even seasonings when cooking.
“This is used to remove the fishy smell. This is used to remove the mutton smell. Put these things in, and the mutton soup will be more delicious.”
“Seaweed soup is the easiest. Add the spring onions with a pinch of salt. Then put a handful of shrimp and brew it in boiling water.”
Jiang Liu cooked four meat dishes, two vegetarian dishes, plus a pot of mutton soup. For the time being, he taught Xu Meihua these types of dishes. She was tasked to cook any of these dishes for them every day. Jiang Liu will wait until he got bored of the current dishes before he is going to teach her some other dishes.
During dinner, the four children looked at the hot meaty dishes and couldn’t help swallowing.
“There’s a lot of meat, ah.”
Xu Quanjun felt that this master was outstanding. He had never seen so many delicious foods, even during Chinese New Year. He wished that he could move his chopsticks immediately.
Xiao Binbin and Wang Gouzi were also greedy. However, thinking that they could eat so well at the master’s house, but their mother and sister/grandparents at home could only eat pickled vegetables and porridge, they could not help but feel a little bit ashamed.
“Meihua, do you want to stay here to eat, or pick your share to eat at home?”
The original body’s family only has a small population. The dining table in the old house was the most common square table. Only one person can sit on each side. Of course, if they willing to squeeze, it can still seat two children per side.
Jiang Liu asked Meihua such question not because he wanted to drive her away, but he knew that there were still a mother and sisters in Meihua’s family. She definitely wanted to share these delicacies with her family.
“I’ll go home to eat.”
Xu Meihua swallowed her saliva and said.
If she is going home to eat, she can divide her share into four parts, and then eat the sweet potato gruel cooked by her mom at home. The mother and daughters will then be able to enjoy their meals happily.
Jiang Liu took a large bowl and filled it with rice. He then packed a portion of each dish for her and asked her to take the large bowl home and eat it slowly.
After Xu Meihua left, the master and three apprentices finally sat down and have their meal.
“In the future, you will come to me to eat at every meal. The exercise is very exhausting. You must eat well to have enough physical strength. Of course, you are not eating for free. After you finish your apprenticeship, I will take one-fifth of your wages for the first ten years. That is, if you earn one hundred yuan, you have to give me twenty yuan. This food is all your wages in advance.”
Jiang Liu informed it to them slowly, and the three children nodded while eating.
“Practicing this art is far more difficult than you think. Who can’t stand it, just tell me.”
Starting tomorrow, he will formally train them. He decided to put these ugly words upfront. If any of them could not keep up, he was not bound to teach them.
But wearing these new clothes, new shoes, and eating such a delicious meal, these three children all saw a wonderful life after they finished the apprenticeship. So how could they turn around and give up so easily?
After the meal, there were still a lot of vegetables left. Jiang Liu divided these vegetables into three portions. With the excuse of not having any wastage, he asked his apprentices to take each bit back home.
Although it was only a leftover, there was still a lot of meat in it. Everyone took their shares and happily brought it back home to share with the elders or younger siblings in the family.
Because he had been overeating, Jiang Liu decided to ignore the dirty dishes. He went back to his room to lie down for a while.
Half an hour later, Jiang Liu, who had had enough rest, was about to go to the kitchen to wash the dishes, chopsticks and pots. Before he could enter the kitchen, he heard the sound of pots and bowls colliding with each other.
He quietly walked to the window on the other side of the kitchen and saw Xiao Binbin, who seemed to have never left, and Xu Meihua, who did not know when she came back, cleaning the kitchen utensils and the appliances.
He stood silently for a while, then went back quietly.
Such a sensible child, was he really what the original body had imagined in his previous life?
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