Wednesday, 15 March 2017

VGAFH 28

28. Chapter 28 Dinner
    Lian Fang Zhou thought about her blunder, suddenly feeling a bit embarrassed.

    She coughed once and then laughed. Afterwards, she lightly grinned at Sun Zhang Xing. "Uncle Sun, there's something I want to ask. Please don't be angry!"

    "If there's something, ask!" Sun Zhang Xing froze.

    Lian Fang Zhou then blandly said, "I don't know when Uncle Sun goes hunting every time, ah, but what if you send some game to the judge's house?"

    Sun Zhang Xing abruptly looked at Lian Fang Zhou, feeling surprised with his eyes wide open.

    "Fang Zhou, thank you for telling me!" Sun Zhang Xing immediately understood Lian Fang Zhou's meaning as he embarrassingly smiled. Secretly, he felt ashamed in his heart; even a little girl knows this logical reasoning, How could he be so muddled head!

    The judge serves as the village official. The position may not be grand, but it held real power. The sale of land, the collection of crops tax, and the responsibilities of resolving neighborhood disputes, settling household registration, opening road guide, establishing various official requirements on proof, etc., are all managed by him!

  At least, going through him is necessary for the first step.

   Sun Zhang Xing and his wife lived at the edge of the village. Normally, they upheld  the belief of having less matters rather than more, so basically they made sure not to mingle with the village people. Over time, they become more and more isolated.

   Not only do they have no connections in the village, but no one would think of informing them about whatever matters that happen in the village.

   In fact, several times a few households wanted to sell their paddy fields, and sometimes the prices weren't bad. If they grit their teeth, Sun Zhang Xing and his wife could still buy two acres.

   Unfortunately, when they came to know about it, the new owner has already sowed the field. Sun Zhang Xing could only silently regret and envy other people's luck.

   They can only wait until next time. And this "next time" really means forever.

   But if they have a good relationship with the judge, then it is not the same. At least if there's something, the judge would give them a heads up. When it is time to give allowance, they will give more allowance once or twice, rather than always being indifferent and separating business from personal life.

   "Oh, Uncle Sun these words of gratitude I dare not accept!" Lian Fang Zhou smiled.

   So, the atmosphere suddenly got more lively. On the way back, Sun Zhang Hang took the initiative to talk a lot about the Mount Xian Teng matter to Lian Fang Zhou and her sibling.

Gradually they got out of the mountains. The mountain range did not carry a type of unapproachable atmosphere, and crops also began to appear from afar. There were also more footprints on the road.

   Now they're near home. The three people gently sighed in relief, and their hearts relaxed.

   Home is always the dock of the harbor, especially after exhausting themselves for the whole day.

   "I have to go to Shang village to see if Landlord Zhou needs anything and also to go ask several other people, so we're not taking the same road. You siblings go back first then!" At the fork of the road, Sun Zhang Zhang stopped.

   Lian Fang Zhou and Lian Ze naturally didn't have any objections. The two parties said their goodbye.

   Sun Zhang Xing then took two spotted feathered chickens that hung from his shoulder. One is worth around 4 liang or so. While handing them over to Lian Fang Zhou and Lian Ze, Sun Zhang Xing became somewhat embarrassed as he laughed, "Take these back with you to have a taste! Ah, today's luck wasn't great. If it was better, I would give you some more... ... "

   Although the chickens weren't large, but the meat was very delicious and fresh. Lian Fang Zhou and Lian Ze, already feeling delighted, hurried to smile as they gave their thanks.

   Lian Ze hung the two chickens at one end of the pole. The more he looked at them, the more he love them and could not help but talk to Lian Fang Zhou with envy saying, "It'll be great if could hunt like Uncle Sun. There's endless amount of game to be caught! If I could do it as well, that'll be good! Sister, what do you say if I ask Uncle Sun to accept me as his disciple and teach me archery? Will he accept?"

Lian Fang Zhou glanced at him and laughed. "You think about things too simply! Although he can hunt, if hunting is an essential means of making a living, then it's not as good as you thought it would be or else how can you see Uncle Sun's home in that state? If there's paddy field and a stable living, he certainly wouldn't want to go hunting! You want him to accept you as his disciple? Forget about it! This is his ability to survive. How could it be so easily taught to you?"

   Lian Ze suddenly lost his energy and silently sighed out. "A pity!"

   Lian Fang Zhou laughed. "The mountain is full of beasts, wandering here and there. It is very dangerous. Even if he is willing to accept you, I can't help but worry! So we better not think of that. We'll decently live our days!"

   Lian Fang Zhou believes that with her own knowledge of agriculture, their lives will definitely get better and better, and she does not want Lian Ze to have wild thoughts and become a hunter - having it as an occasional pastime is fine, but being like Sun Zhang Xing is too hard!

   The two talked all the way back without noticing time passing by quickly.

   At this time, night has already fallen. The horizon of the sunset displayed only a thin afterglow, an unusually gorgeous orange hue.

   "Sister! Second brother!"

   In the distant village under a big locust tree, two small figures happily shouted, flying toward them as they ran. They didn’t need ask to know who they were.

The two siblings(LFZ&LZ) looked at each other and laughed. Their hearts warmed up a little.

   Lian Fang Qing and Lian Che ran to the two of them, completely panting. Their eyes looked exceptionally clear and bright.

   "Sister, second brother, you're finally back. We waited for so long!" Lian Fang Qing tugged Lian Fang Zhou's dress, as her little face raised up with a smile.

   "Rest assured Sister, the front door is locked! Two old hens were also penned!" Lian Che also added.

   "Good, good!" Lian Fang Zhou laughed. "You both are good children, but next time best obediently wait at home. Don't come out around this time, since it's cold in evening!"

   While they laughed and talked, they showed them the big and red dates, which were very very sweet, and also the large shrimps, as well as the spotted chickens, the mushrooms and yam. Tonight, there's plenty of delicious things!

   Lian Fang Qing and Lian Che were overjoyed. The four people's happy laughter spread as they walked all the way home.

   When they reached home, Lian Fang Zhou took those dates out and let the two little ones wash them for everyone to eat. Sweet dates entered their mouth, making Lian Fang Qing and Lian Che delighted. The two of them didn't forget their brother and sister and brought it to them to eat, so Lian Fang Zhou was completely moved.

After a short break, the four started getting busy.

   Lian Fang Zhou spread the mushrooms on the clean ground, letting Lian Fang Qing and Lian Che sorted them out, picking out those that were crushed. Then, she went to the kitchen with Lian Ze to make dinner.

   Tonight's dishes were quite lavish. The two chicken's feathers were plucked and were then washed. Using a knife, she cut each into four pieces, and together with fresh mushrooms she made a stew.Simultaneously, she boiled the large shrimp in clear water, while simply frying the slice yams!

   Originally, Lian Fang Zhou was prepared to deep-fry the big shrimp, but she can't waste oil ah, so they can only be boiled. There was rather a lot of shrimp. Therefore tonight they’ll only eat half, then after dinner she plans to use a small fire to slowly evaporate the water in the rest, , leaving them tomorrow for Lian Fang Qing and Lian Che to eat. This is because tomorrow they still have to go back to the Mount Xian Teng.

   The four siblings have not eaten such a lavish dinner for such a long time, so when the stewed chicken and mushrooms' aroma permeated throughout the house, the four couldn't help their eyes lighting up. They  looked at each other and burst out laughing.

   At the same time as she laughed, Lian Fang Zhou's heart secretly felt ashamed; she's almost a thirty-year-old person, but she can actually be gluttonous like a child.

After a splendid dinner, the bones and shrimp skins were collected to be used to feed the chickens tomorrow. When hens eat a lot of shrimp, they will lay more eggs.

    After dinner, the four continued to sort the mushrooms, while Lian Che suddenly said,
"Ah, my sister, I forgot to tell you that sister Ah Juan came over to our house and said that Aunt Zhang was looking for you!"
    "Aunt Zhang was looking for me? I'll go over then!" Lian Fang Zhou stood up and washed her hands, heading over to Aunt Zhang's.

    Initially, she wanted to bring some fresh mushrooms and yams to give Aunt Zhang, but then after thinking about it, when the time comes Aunt Zhang and others will definitely ask where did these come from, and if they heard that they went to Mount Xian Teng, they will certainly discourage them from going again.

    Lian Fang Zhou was neither willing to refute their kindness nor willing to give up Mount Xian Teng. Also, she did not want the people in the village to know that they went there. After thinking about it, she decided that it would be better not bring them for now and wait until after they collected enough mushroom to sell for money. Then, she can buy some gifts for them as a long overdue thank you gift.

Friday, 10 March 2017

VGAFH 27.2

Maggie here! Sorry! Was busier than I thought I would be T.T
 Edited by Marci

The road back is not too far away, and also having to carry the two bags of mushrooms, that is strenuous work ah.

So Lian Fang Zhou and Lian Ze still looked for a few yams to dig out.

These were real wild yams, a bit flat and twisted in some places probably because it grew around a piece of rock, making it deformed.
Each were about 2 or 3 fingers wide. The big ones were half an arm long, while the short ones were palm sized neither neat nor too regularly shaped.
However, it doesn’t matter e if they taste really delicious after being roasted.

    From the cracks of the yams, a warm aroma spread. Inside them looked as white as snow. When eaten, they were powdery and waxy (kinda like mashed potato), whetting one’s appetite.

    This is authentic natural wild food, not to mention Lian Fang Zhou,  it also garnered Lian Ze’s never-ending praise as he ate.

    Then,  the two dug out three or four more yams, cleaned them with water and got some leaves to wrap them to bring back as an ingredient for cooking.

    Full and satisfied, they noticed it was almost time to leave. So the two of them decided not to go anywhere and rest to maintain their physical strength. They chose a place without  sunshine to sit down and rest.



  
The autumn afternoon's rays warmly shone on their bodies. From time to time, an autumn breeze blew by, making the leaves rustle. The two people grew  a little tired, and unconsciously drifted to sleep, until they were woken up by Sun Zhang Xing.

   They rubbed their eyes as they burst into laughter and greeted Sun Zhang Xing with a few words. They saw Sun Zhang Xing shouldered strings of colorful feathers from a pheasant. There were also two fat hares. The two could not help feel envious. They grinned as they said, "Uncle Sun harvested a lot today ah!"

   Who knew that Sun Zhang Xing would give a wry smile, and lightly sighed replying, "Just some small things, not worth much!"

   "Those still aren't worth much! How could that be!" Lian Ze exclaimed with surprise.

   Sun Zhang Xing just laughed responding,  "Do not worry about it! We're not near the city from here or else the city's restaurants will want a lot of them.  So, you can only sell these to landlord Zhou, Assistant Minister Zhu, Master Zhao, and other major families. All of them know that no one else will buy these besides them. And when I keep for ourselves, I can't scratch it (meaning-don't have the heart to eat them), so the price isn't high! Unless I hunt mountain otters, gray martens, squirrels, deer and the like, the fur can be worth some money. A large goat or a wild boar, will also be worth even more money! Of course, we often don’t have that kind of luck."

   Sun Zhang Xing looked slightly vexed as he explained, so Lian Fang Zhou knew that he told the truth. He was neither being perfunctory with the two siblings, nor  pretending to complain.

   Originally, Lian Fang Zhou had also became somewhat confused; having such a large forest  is equal to an endless treasure trove. Why is Sun Zhang Xing, who has wandered here to hunt for so many years, still so poor?

   Today, she finally understood.
  

He doesn't recognise the value of the mountain’s resources. He only knew how to hunt,so it was as if half of the treasure became wasted.

   
And when hunting just having the tool is not enough, you still need luck and time.

   If you do not hit valuable prey, then naturally your harvest will not be worth as much. But most of the large beasts lived deep in the forest, so no matter how good Sun Zhang Xing’s skills were with a bow and arrow, he still did not dare to go further inside  alone.

   And this forest is so vast and full of countless dangers - especially in the evening, so he could only come in the morning and return home in the afternoon. With just that amount of time, how much opportunity would he have to hunt for valuable things? Many hunters enter the mountains, staying for good few days or even ten days.

   No wonder that even when the day has yet to brighten, he has to hurriedly depart to the forest. But this way of fighting for time, in fact only earns an effectiveness that is almost equal to zero.

   After thinking for a short period of time, Lian Fang Zhou completely understood the situation.

   She could not help but look at Sun Zhang Xing with sympathy.
   Sun Zhang Xing just inadvertently glanced over, just happening to meet Lian Fang Zhou's eyes. He could not help, but freeze for a second, before immediately shifting his eyes away. His heart felt slightly a bit unhappy; what did he do to make a little girl feel sympathetic?He didn't mingle around that badly, right?

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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

GEWW 25

Chapter 25 -Yun Luofeng was press down.
 Translated by Maggie    Edited by Marci
“Master, there’s someone following behind us.”
On the street, Yun Luofeng was just going toward the General Manor’s direction when suddenly a soft, creeping voice from her soul spread straight into her mind……
“It’s that woman, Mu Wushuang’s henchmen.”
Xiao Mo explained yet again.
Yun Luofeng slightly frowned; her agile body stealthily dashed into a lane at the side. And then, she saw a few silhouettes quickly dashing toward the street where she had just stood.
As they walked, they searched for something in the crowd.

“Seems like I should raise my strength as soon as possible.”
Yun Luofeng lightly wrinkled her brows, eyes flashing with determination.
On this mainland, only one’s fist is the real justification. When the fist is strong, even the emperor has to listen to your orders!
“Alright, they’re gone. I should return now.”
When she saw those silhouettes completely disappearing from the street, Yun Luofeng clapped her hands and walked forward. Just when she was about to walk out of the lane, a black shadow jumped out from over the wall. Yun Luofeng was caught off guard, so with a boom, it crashed right on top her.
By chance, when that black shadow dropped down, his face was right in front of Yun Luofeng’s. Then logically , his lips pressed against the young girl’s lips.
Similarly, his body also pressed the young girl down to the ground. Two bodies were close together. This position could easily make people’s imaginations run wild.
Yun Luofeng slightly squinted her eyes; a dangerous glint flashed from her pupil.
“Scram!”
The guy had no reaction whatsoever and still pressed the young girl down on the ground. At this moment, the young girl could feel the other person’s weak breaths.
BANG!
Seeing that guy still relentlessly pressed down on her, Yun Luofeng’s gaze grew increasingly more threatening. She raised her hands and used force to push the guy away. Under her strength, the guy’s head couldn’t help but hit against the wall. He weakly cried out.
At the same time, the man’s mask fell off……
Even if Yun Luofeng had seen countless beautiful people, she was utterly surprised when she saw his face. He didn’t possess Gao Ling’s cool handsome appearance or like Yun Qingya’s stunning elegance, not even Gao Shaochen’s warm like jade mien.
However, he was completely flawless. If this man’s appearance was brought out to public, it will cause an uproar with countless screaming women left in his wake.
Such sharp eyebrows, he possessed a heroic face with completely perfect facial features as if  they were meticulously carved out. Especially his figure, his opened up black robe revealed those eight pack abs. Any woman who saw this couldn’t help but drool.
His lips carried a tint of red, looking really soft. At the moment his lips were pursed, indicating that he felt immense pain.

“Master, his body constitution is of the spiritual entity!”
Inside the God’s code space, Xiao Mo became excited. He had forgotten that his owner was just molested by this guy.
“Quickly take him back with you. He will be of use to you.”
“Spiritual entity?” Yun Luofeng frowned. She looked at the unconscious man and asked: “What kind of system is that?”
“Master, didn’t I tell you? Your constitution is an empty spiritual body, so your body is really weak, which causes non stop bleeding during cultivation! Only with my special method can you cultivate! This spiritual entity and your body are similar. Only his body can’t cultivate before age of 10. After 10 years old, his strength will be speedily grow.”
Normally, in Long Xiao Mainland, sorcerers start practicing from a young age.  This spiritual entity is different; he has no way of cultivating before the age of 10.
Once past 10 years old, he will cultivate incredibly fast.
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Wednesday, 8 February 2017

VGAFH 27 part1

27 Helpless hunter part 1

     Not long later, they caught a lot.

     When Lian Fang Zhou looked up on the bank, she grinned and called Lian Ze: "Oh, it 's enough, enough! Anymore then we can't carry it. Let's come again tomorrow. And catch some more again!"

     Lian Ze thought about it, this forest still have plenty more mushrooms inside! Moreover, they didn't go elsewhere to explore. So when they look around, there will definitely be more mushrooms ... ... So, certainly need to come again.

     This time didn't need Lian Fang Zhou talk,. Lian Ze was no longer reluctant to come.

People tend to be afraid of the unknown. But once they witnessed, they will then know it's not like that. Lian Ze's mood at this time is just like that.

    "Sister, there's wild banana over there. I'll pick some leaves to these shrimp wrap!" Lian Ze pointed above the stream.

    Lian Fang Zhou followed where he pointed, it really has a cluster of four or five wild banana tree not far from in front, growing tall and small. But not too high, looks about two meters. Then said: "Then you quickly go. I'll pack up these shrimp!"

    For a moment, Lian Ze pluck the banana leaves. The two then wrapped up the green shrimp they caught. Lian Fang Zhou weighed, look like about two or three jin. Then grinned: "Unfortunately, if only we had a bucket, then it'll be great!"

    This far, it is clearly impossible.

    But the her now, have no qualification to be picky about living shrimp and dead shrimp. What's more, these mountain of wild shrimps, since it was brought from this far away, the taste should be good, right?

    "Bucket? How can we do that! So bulky!" Lian Ze was surprise and said with eyes wide open. He was shocked by what his sister said!

    Lian Fang Zhou froze. Only then remembered this era doesn't have light plastic buckets. At home were wooden barrels, aren't they so bulky!

Imagine carrying a wooden barrel going all this way. She could'nt stop herself from laughing. Laughed: "It's sister being muddled head! Look at what I'm saying"

    Lian Ze also laughed, at same time also relieved. Scratching his head, he grinned: "Sister scared me for a moment!"

    At this time, the sun just pass after noon. From the time, Sun Zhang Xing said when he come back is still a long time away. On the way here, he said not far in the east, there were a wild date forest, bear a lot of fruit. Near the north edge of date forest were yam vine. They can pick some dates and dig some yam to roast with fire to eat.

    The two took a break for a while, then went according to the direction Sun Zhang Xing pointed to.

    Sure enough, that wild date forest has around twenty to thirty trees of various size. Some still small, did not fruition. Those that bear fruit, the fruit completely encrusted on branches. A mass of dark red dates covered the whole trees.

    When they just arrived the forest edge, they smell a hint of fresh date fragance blowing by.

    "So many dates!" Lian Ze was joyful, busily pluck several of those big and red ones. And then ran over to hand over to Lian Fang Zhou. Raised a smile: "Sister!"

    Lian Fang Zhou smiled as she took them. Casually wiped it, then took a bite. Once enter mouth was crisp, sweet and juicy. She nodded her head toward him, smiled: "The taste is really good too!

"Let's pick some to bring back! Qing er and Che er will love them as well!" Lian Ze grinned as he said. No matter what kind of good thing, he never forget those two little ones.

    Naturally Lian Fang Zhou has no comments. Just smiled and said: "Today, take a bit less. Tomorrow we'll need to come anyway!"

    Lian Ze was stunned: "Tomorrow still come?"

    "Of course!" Lian Fang Zhou nodded without hesitation, said: "Since we already know the way. Tomorrow it's fine to come by ourselves. Don't need come this early. Pick mushrooms and then we can go back! Take advantage of these days good weather, and gather a lot of mushrooms, bring back home to sun-dry. Not only can we leave some to make some dishes for ourselves to eat, and also sell some for some money to help some family expenses!"

    The ten liang silver from dissolving engagement couldn't be help but be spent ah. Repairing the roof has already used up some. And the things need to buy are plentiful!

    "What Sister said is right!" Lian Ze nodded.

    This date tree full of fruit, so the weight cause the branches to be heavy. The siblings picked them to eat while talking. And soon they didn't feel hungry.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

VGAFH 25 & 26

---SPONSORED BY PIOTR---
CHAPTER 25 + 26
translate  by Maggie edited  by Marci

25. Chapters 25 Opportunity gotten by sacrifice


   Mrs Miao secretly speculated that this scoop of rice should be at least four jin(or 4x500g) or it could have also been five jin(2.5kg). Mixed with vegetables, sweet potatoes and the like, it’s enough for the couple to eat for the next two weeks.

   Only leading the way, and you can get this much rice. Only a fool wouldn't do it.

   "How about this," Mrs Miao thought for a bit: "Tomorrow, I will make a trip to your uncle and aunt's home with the both of you in order to let them know. After all, it's such a long trip, and you’ll be heading into a large forest. It’s better to let the adults at home know.

   Lian Fang Zhou and Lian Ze looked at each other. Neither of them thought that Mrs Miao would say that.

   They knew Mrs Miao's intention about greeting the adults to obtain consent. In case anything happened, they can explain everything clearly.

   Lian Fang Zhou could understand Mrs Miao's misgivings.

   However, this was uncle and aunt; needing to give greeting to that couple, this -

   Lian Fang Zhou didn’t know what to say.

  It must be mentioned that although the siblings and the couple are not on friendly terms with each other as Lian Li and Mrs Qiao bully them fiercely, outsiders don't catch a wind of it. This is because after all, their quarrels never broke out into public.

But even so, the fact is Lian Li and Mrs Qiao can’t be considered as their elders - at least the siblings don't treat them as elders.

   If they had the appearance of elders, then when the Hua Family came several times to bully them, they would have stood up to protect them  or at least said a single fair word.

   To have these kinds of people, that happen to be their "elders" in the eyes of outsiders,  make decisions for them? Lian Fang Zhou could only snort in her heart.

   Lian Ze became anxious, just when he was about to speak, Lian Fang Zhou  lightly pulled his sleeve. She nodded and smiled as she said, "Great, then Aunt Sun tomorrow call on me, and we'll go to my aunt's to let them know."

   Lian Fang Zhou had readily agreed.

   "OK, then now it's settled!" Mrs Miao felt slightly relieved, and also candidly smiled as she nodded.

   Sun Zhang Xing then said, "You really did come at a good time. The day after tomorrow, if the weather is good, I was planning to go on a trip to forest!"

   "Really? That's really great! Our luck isn't bad!" Lian Fang Zhou's eyes lit up as she spoke.

   "Haha, who says it isn't!" Sun Zhang Xing also started laughing.

Seeing that matters have been discussed, Lian Fang Zhou and Lian Ze took their leave.
Lian Fang Zhou left the rice behind with reluctance.

   Mrs Miao was joyful at first, followed by a little hesitation and said, "This - not right, your aunt, we don't know if she will agree or not to let you go ... ..."

   "How would she not agree!" Lian Fang Zhou smiled, using a carefree tone and said, "Uncle Sun isn't an untrustworthy person, and us siblings are not without sense, so how could aunt disagree!" "

   Lian Fang Zhou without any explanation, gently rested the melon scoop on the table, saying "Put it here for now!"

   "Haha, then ... ... Haha!" Mrs Miao rubbed her hands; her words of refusal were pushed back into her throat, as she became a bit speechless.

   Lian Fang Zhou also did not give her the opportunity. She smiled as she took her leave, pulling Lian Ze along.

   "Sister." On the road, Lian Ze worriedly asked, "Would Aunt really agree? She treats us -"

   Lian Fang Zhou thought about it thoroughly, and coldly said, "That is why she'll agree, Hmph, possibly in her heart she’ll wish something will happen to us in the middle of it!"

   Lian Ze's chest tightened, his face changing a bit. His eyes looking at Lian Fang Zhou expressed his emotions quite clearly, what if -

   "Don't worry," Lian Fang Zhou faintly smiled toward him, saying "We will definitely come back perfectly fine!"

He did not know why, but when Lian Ze heard her  tone filled with certainty and saw her faint mood, his heart settled down.

   "I believe in my sister," he said softly.

   Just like Lian Fang Zhou expected, the next day she and Mrs Miao knocked on the door of Lian Li’s home. She pleasantly smiled as she talked about this matter to Mrs Qiao. Mrs Qiao was surprised for a moment, and then gently harrumphed. With neither a salty nor bland tone, she replied, "Where you go to is your own business. Do as you like. Everything is fine and you come and ask me for what? "

   Mrs Miao wanted to say something, but Lian Fang Zhou already interjected, "Since Aunt said this then we don't have worry.Rest assured! Aunt Sun, let's go!"

   Mrs Miao froze; then she suddenly thought of some rumors she occasionally heard, and coupled with the lack of sleep she had after they so happily accepted the rice last night, she half-heartedly let Lian Fang Zhou pull her away.

   Anyway she has greeted the elders of the Lian Family!

   Mrs Miao thought in her heart.

   Because the next day they had to walk along such a long mountain road, that day Lian Fang Zhou and Lian Ze didn't go anywhere and stayed at home to rest. Lian Zhou also instructed Lian Che and Lian Fang Qing how they should be at home.
     The next day, when it was still not bright outside, Lian Fang Zhou and Lian Ze had already gotten up.

   After opening the door, the morning cold chill blew in, seeping into their bone marrow. They hastily started the fire, ate something, and took the sacks they prepared last night for the outing.

Yesterday Lian Fang Zhou asked Sun Zhang Xing, what kind of things did they need to bring, such as dry food, water and the like?

   Sun Zhang Xing unrestrainedly waved his hand, answering "No need! The mountains have the cleanest spring water. And during this season, there's a lot of wild fruit; mountain herbs aren't scarce. What need is there to carry dry food?"

   Even with that being said, Lian Fang Zhou still felt afraid that, since it’s the first time the siblings are going unlike Sun Zhang Xing, not eating something to suppress the hunger, might inhibit them from carrying on.

   Coupled with the fact that the two of them weren't familiar with Mount Xian Teng and still needed to ask Sun Zhang Xing a lot, in order to prevent his impatience, they gotta bribe is that not right?

   There is a way to make people’s mouth soft by eating. Lian Fang Zhou doesn't believe that after eating their family's food, he won't answer their questions.

   As a result, she gritted her teeth and made five boiled eggs, and used bamboo leaves to wrap three rice dumplings up. She left two eggs for Lian Fang Qing and Lian Che. Then she carefully packed the remaining three and the rest of the rice dumplings in a clean cloth.

   Before going out of the house, Lian Fang Zhou gently woke up Lian Che and Lian Fang Qing and said a few words. Afterwards,  she went out together with Lian Ze.

   These two children were lovable. Even with half-squinting sleepy eyes, they still knew to say "sister and second brother come back early."

At the east, the white color of fish belly have yet to appear; the dark blue sky was so blue that it was exceptionally clear, with a clean desertedness stars that seemed to be suspended in the ice.

    In the sky, one star looked particularly bright. That was the morning star.

    The siblings used the weak starlight to go to the village entrance where Sun Zhang Xing's home was located. From afar they could see his house with a dim light shining within the hut.

    "Uncle Sun!" Lian Fang Zhou and Lian Ze happily greeted him as they stepped forward.

    "Oh, you have come!" Sun Zhang Xing laughed with a 'haha' and gave them a nod, saying "I was just talking about it, and you came! Let's go. We'll set off!"

26.Mount Xian Teng

 "En," Lian Fang Zhou and Lian Ze smiled as they agreed. The two, sister and brother, felt the excitement and curiosity of exploring new things, as well as, joy in their hearts.

   "Be careful on the road! And come back early!" Mrs Miao waved at them.

  Sun Zhang Xing turned back and said. "En, I know! You go back now! The day’s still early; go back to sleep!"

   Mrs Miao did not respond to his words and yelled, "Take care of Fang Zhou and her brother!"

   "I know. Don't worry," Sun Zhang Xing said.

   After they walked far away and reached a bend, Lian Fang Zhou subconsciously looked back, and could faintly see Mrs Miao still standing there, looking over in their direction. In the cool night, she looked so lonely and frail.  
   Lian Fang Zhou's heart felt a little bit pained. She couldn't help but think about how all year round, there are many days that Uncle Sun goes hunting and how Aunt Sun's share of waiting in torment also isn't little.

   In the end, it’s because of being too poor, ah!

   Sun Zhang Xing was very familiar with the mountain road, but he still hasn't entered the mountains. There was a large number of people on this road, what's more is that it’s also flat and not difficult to walk on. Therefore, it is not difficult for Lian FangZhou and Lian Ze to keep up with him.

Sun Zhang Xing is also a kind-hearted person. Because he felt that his own family received so much rice, not taking care of them, could not be justified. So he was very patient from time to time reminding them of their steps on the road and did not once go as he liked.

   Gradually dawn arrived, and the morning star hanging high above the sky gradually faded. At the East appeared the white fishbelly. The road beneath their feet can already be seen clearly, and so the three sped up their pace.

   After walking for about half an hour later, Sun Zhang Xing turned around and smiled. "Let's take a break here. In a while we won't get to rest. There's still two more ridges too! If you’re tired, just  say it and we'll stop to take a break. Traveling through the mountain road needs one burst of energy. If we rest the legs they'll become soft, then it will only be more and more harder to walk!

   Both Lian Fang Zhou and Lian Ze nodded, smiling as they said alright and gave their thanks again.

   Sun Zhang Xing pointed to the side said, "Down that the slope, there's a spring. If you're thirsty, you can go drink a few mouthfuls of it!

   Lian Fang Zhou then laughed. "I was going to ask Uncle Sun if there’s any place I could get a drink around here!" Then she stood up.

   Lian Ze also said he wanted to go, so the siblings went over together.

   After resting more than a few minutes, the three continued travelling.

   The sky was getting brighter, and thin faint rays appeared at the east sky. It is expected that it won't be long until the sun comes out.

At this moment, without having to concentrate on her foothold on the road, Lian Fang Zhou took the opportunity to ask Sun Zhang Xing various things about Mount Xian Teng.

   Originally, she was worried that Sun Zhang Xing wouldn’t be willing to tell her anything. Who knew that he was a talkative person. It just happened to be a good way to pass time on the road, so he endlessly chatted with the siblings.

   The two siblings from time to time asked questions, which made Sun Zhang Xing more and more interested in them. In the end, the three of them did not feel tired as they travelled.

   After about an hour, they finally reached the foot of mount Xian Teng.
   In fact, when they gradually got closer to Mount Xian Teng, both sides of the forest seemed to be a lot taller; vegetation also seemed to be more lush. On both sides of the mountain, the forest obviously didn't look the same as the ones they previously saw. They were more towering, tall and broad.

   "I have to go into the woods to see if my luck is good and if i can hunt some good stuff! You two don't go too far. If you lose your way, then you're in trouble! In case you can not find the way back, remember to go find streams in the mountain and follow the direction of flow to leave the forest! When entering the mountain, it’s best to follow along the stream, well like that one right there. Doing it this way will be better! Around shen hour(3-5pm), let's meet up here, and we can head back together. You better not be late!"

   Sun Zhang Xing solemnly said.


   Lian Fang Zhou and Lian Ze quickly agreed. Lian Fang Zhou smiled and took out the egg and rice dumpling, handing them to Sun Zhang Xing. "We brought some food, just a little bit of our gratitude. Uncle Sun we hope you won't refuse!"

Sun Zhang Xing originally wanted to decline, but hearing Lian Fang Zhou say this, declining would be a bit too hypocritical. He generously accepted and smiled. "Thank you. Thank you both! Well, I have to go first! This is the time to hunt, and time flies. In the twinkling of an eye, one day will be over! "

   The siblings bid him farewell.

   "Come on. Let's eat something, then we’ll go after a while!" Lian Fang Zhou said.

   "En!" Lian Ze nodded. The two sat down as they ate the eggs and rice dumplings. They rolled up leaves to scoop the nearby mountain spring water to drink.

   "Sister, do you think we can find mushrooms?" Lian Ze looked up and observed the gloomy big forest that looked as if it could open its mouth, waiting for people to send themselves in. His heart thumped like drums.

   "Let's try it first! Since we came, we can't go back empty handed ah!" Lian Fang Zhou laughed.

   Lian Ze also grinned and nodded. His heart was originally thumping, but since Sister wasn't afraid, and since he is a man, what is there to be afraid of?

   When they had eaten, they sat down again in the time it takes to make tea. Then, according to what Sun Zhang Xing said, they walked along the direction of the stream into the forest.

   They just needed to remember the location of the stream, so going a little further from the riverside also isn't a problem.

The two walked into the forest, reaching the tall trees which are rushing toward the sky. Below the trees that had lush vines climbing and wrapping around their trunks, the area was filled with a variety of short grass and shrubs, lots of whose names aren't really known.. It looked pretty, but walking through the vegetation was difficult.

   Perhaps since normally no one came to this place, the mushrooms were plentiful. Because numerous trees fell down and a  long period of time had passed with no one to deal with those fallen trees, they began to decay, covered with moss and wrapped with vines.

   And these kinds of rotten wood are the best place for mushroom to grow.

   The siblings were extremely delighted.

   "Sis, can these be picked?" Although Lian Ze was filled with excitement until his eyes shone, he did not forget to ask Lian Fang Zhou first.

   Lian Fang Zhou could not help but be secretly delighted in her heart. First, she took a good look and then pointed out to him how to pick them.

   This forest did not only have mushrooms, but it held various types of mushrooms . Just with a glance, she could see that there's ectomycorrhizal, Morchella, wild shiitake, wild jelly ear, and Russula. Lian Fang Zhou also found some Tremella fuciformis and Boletus edulis. It made her overjoyed. She carefully harvested them.

   This place has an abundance of mushrooms, so in less than an hour, the two Lian siblings already filled the four sacks they brought with them.

   They tied the sacks tightly and picked up an appropriate branch from the forest to use as the pole. Each carried two sacks out of the woods. They came to the place where they separated from Sun Zhang Xing and set the sacks down on the grass.

Fortunately, the mushrooms weren't heavy, but they could not be squeezed to minimize the space they took up. Although the sacks were loaded to the top, in fact they weren't heavy.

   The two took a break for a while. Seeing that the day was still early, Lian Ze said that he wanted to go to the stream to see if there are any fish. Lian Fang Zhou went with him.

   This terrain was more leveled, so the stream of water was also more gentle. The width of stream was two meters or so.  They can see through the crystal clear water, and at the bottom were large chunks of dark stones.

   The edge of the stream was full of coin-size wild chrysanthemum. A touch of purplish blue petals wrapped the golden stamens. At first glance, it grew along the river to no end, dazzling people's eyes. 

   Perhaps because it was daytime, the stream was too clear. It has fishes, but the thin small fish were the size of pinky finger or a chopstick. Schools of fish swam here and there, but there were no big fish.

   However, under the large stones, there are thumb-sized freshwater shrimp.

   They carefully removed the stones. Then saw hard-shelled, almost transparent shrimp waving their long pair of claws. With their thumb and index finger, they pinched the backs of the shrimp, gently holding them and pulling them out of the water. The pair of slender pliers waved around as their bodies struggled.

   "Sister, such big shrimp and also this many. Really rare!" Lian Ze excitedly laughed. "We can catch more to bring back!"

   "Good! Tonight we’ll have something good to eat again!" Lian Fang Zhou is also delighted.

The river next to the village also has shrimp, but no big shrimp like these. Just small ones about an inch long. Its body was the size of a green bean or a soya bean. Those kinds of shrimp can be caught only using a special net. The locals called them "shrimp twist.". This is because there’s no way of catching them, not because they can't catch enough. Then people would get exhausted after fishing for half-day and would still not be able to catch enough for a break.

       Both sister and brother were overjoyed to catch such big freshwater shrimp. Each shrimp that came from under the stones were thrown to the shore. The feeling of watching them jump under the sun was incomparable.


Sorry for the delayed release! Will try get another one done tomorrow as an apology!