The next day, I followed the Second Master's instructions and put the flower hats together. The Second Master picked and chose from the pile of flower hats, separated them into two or three piles, and then asked me to put them onto the cart.
I thought that after what happened yesterday, the Second Master probably didn't want to go out anymore.
He asked me to go to Minjiao Ge in the west of the city, a shop that sold rouge and jewelry. When we arrived at the door, the Second Master asked me to go in and call for the shopkeeper.
The shopkeeper came out and saw the Second Master sitting in the cart, his face not looking too good, but he still greeted him.
The Second Master asked me to sit aside and then spoke to the shopkeeper himself.
I sat under a tree root and couldn't hear what they were talking about. The shopkeeper picked up the flower hats I had made and looked them over. After almost half an hour, I saw the shopkeeper call for the shop assistant to take the flower hats on the cart into the shop, and then he went in himself. Only then did the Second Master call me over.
"Let's go back home."
I didn't dare to ask any more questions and pushed the cart back home. When we got back home, the Second Master tossed me a bag, which I received. Inside were several pieces of broken silver. I looked at the Second Master in surprise and he said, "This is what you earned."
This, this, this…
The Second Master instructed, "Deliver once every three days until the flower season is over.
Pick peony branches, add some hibiscus, and don't use willow branches."
I quickly nodded, "Yes, yes."
The master is indeed the master.
I earned more, worked less, and had more free time. Now the Second Master, apart from eating, drinking, and going to the toilet, was exercising his body. I was afraid he would bump into something again, so I made some grass cushions and spread them on the ground.
Since the Second Master's injury had healed, he put on his trousers. For convenience, I cut off the legs of the trousers and sewed them together, just enough for the Second Master to wear.
The Second Master's body was now much smaller than before, and even sitting was difficult. Every day I supported his back and he practiced sitting by himself, sitting for the whole morning.
At first he always fell to the right, but after the Second Master practiced more, he gradually sat firmly.
Now the Second Master not only could sit, but could also support himself with his hands and move forward.
I asked the Second Master if he wanted a craftsman to make a wheelchair. The Second Master thought for a moment, shook his head, and said, "That thing is too inconvenient to move around in."
The Second Master rubbed his left thigh, looked at me, and said in a low voice, "Come here."
I was already standing in front of you, how can I come over?
But the master's orders still had to be obeyed, so I stepped forward half a step. The Second Master said, "Feel it."
The Second Master impatiently said, "Feel my leg!"
I didn't know what he was going to do, but I still stretched out my hand.
He put his hand away and I touched it carefully. This was not the first time I had touched his leg, I had also touched it when I changed the medicine, and it was still bare. Now this thigh was worn in a small piece of trousers that I had cut, and I looked at it and was even more nervous than when it was bare.
The Second Master seemed to be affected by my attitude, his face was slightly red—I felt that I had angered him.
I obediently touched it. The Second Master's leg was still quite strong, and I couldn't wrap my hand around it. Under my hand was cloth, and there were some pits and troughs in the cloth. I don't know if it was my hand shaking or the Second Master's leg shaking.
"Feel it clearly?"
I nodded like a fool.
The Second Master said, "Go to the carpenter's workshop and make a bamboo tube as thick as this."
Me: "Something so thick..."
The Second Master was so angry that his face turned red, "Exactly as thick as my leg!"
"Ah ah, yes." I reacted and asked again, "How long should it be?"
The Second Master didn't look good, he gestured with his hand, "Too long won’t help with walking, two palms long is enough. Make another wooden cane."
I said, "Also short?"
I stepped away to take care of something, and the carpenter listened to my request and said directly to wait here. I thought I'd have to come back and get it in a few days, but the master gave me a contemptuous look and said, “It's just a small job, it'll be done in two shakes.”
When I came back with the finished product, I thought to myself, sure enough, it was done in two shakes.
However, as I walked and looked at what I had in my hands, I took my cane and measured it against my waist. I looked at the round bamboo tube again and felt a little sour inside. My Second Master was now this tall.
When I brought it back, the Second Master looked at the things for a long time. He had a calm expression, and I, standing at the side, didn't dare to breathe.
The Second Master said, “That was fast.”
I immediately said, “The carpenter master is very skillful!”
The Second Master gave me a look without saying anything, and I lowered my head and obediently kept my mouth shut.
I felt that the Second Master was sad inside. The way he put the bamboo tube on his leg was very rough, don't ask me how I could tell, I just felt it.
I went over and helped him put it on, his hands were shaking, and his head was lowered so I couldn't see his face.
I said, “Second Master, be gentle.”
The Second Master's hand stopped and the rest of the work was done by me.
The Second Master got off the ground, holding the cane with both arms, and the length was just right.
That is, up to my chest.
He supported himself with both hands and swayed his body.
And then he fell flat on the ground with a thud.
I hurried over to help him, and the Second Master asked me to stand aside, so I watched him get up by himself. Then he tried it again.
I didn't know that the Second Master could stand up so easily now.
After that, the Second Master practiced walking with the cane all day, and he started to fall down all over, and later he walked more smoothly, and even threw away the left cane and walked with only one.
Of course, the consequence of practicing so much was that the thigh was rubbed with fresh blood.
Every time he took medicine, the Second Master was in pain and gritted his teeth.
One time I couldn't help but tell the Second Master to practice less and take it slowly.
The Second Master shook his head and said, “Every year at this time, the tea merchants from Beijing will come to Hangzhou, and there will be frequent tea trading opportunities. I have to make sure I understand the road before that.”
I didn't dare to say, how can you do business like this, Second Master.
Later, the Second Master really understood the road.
When the Beijing merchants came to Hangzhou, they often talked about business in a tea house next to West Lake. The Second Master went there all the time. He ordered the cheapest Longjing tea and kept it until it became plain water.
People in the store knew that this was the second son of the Yang family. Seeing him in this condition, they secretly said bad things about him. The Second Master acted like he was deaf and poked his thigh with a cane while humming a tune and looking at the scenery outside.
That day he entered the tea house, his eyes turned, and he saw three people at the table on the edge. Two of them were playing chess. He leaned on the cane and walked over.
When he arrived at the table, the two people looked at him. Only the old man kept his eyes on the chessboard without moving.
The Second Master was not much higher than the table. He supported himself on the stool with his left hand and pushed himself onto the empty stool with his right hand.
The two young people saw this scene and frowned. Just about to drive him away, the Second Master spoke, “If you don't move the horse, the pawn will be in the palace in three steps.”
Finally, the old man looked up and glanced at the Second Master.
“Young man, watching chess without speaking is the behavior of a gentleman.”
The Second Master smiled and patted the shoulder of the young man who was playing chess with the old man and said, “The kid doesn't dare to win, I'm helping him out of the fire.”
The young man blushed and bowed, "W-What don't dare to win. Master Lin, don't listen to him..."
The old man chuckled and looked up and down at the Second Master. "Are you Yang Huishan's son?"
The Second Master nodded and the old man saw his legs but said nothing.
Later, the Second Master chatted with the old man for an afternoon. I couldn't understand what they were talking about, but I knew that a lot of people were watching them. When they left, the Second Master paid for the table of tea.
It was only two pots, but it cost us our savings of two months.
I felt a little pang of pain, but since the Second Master had spoken, I couldn't say anything.
When they left, the Second Master walked ahead first and I heard the young man say to the old man, "Master Lin, is that the second son of Uncle Yang?"
Hearing them talk about the Second Master, I slowed my pace and listened in at the corner.
The old man hummed and the young man frowned, "I heard about him in Beijing. People said he was a complete spoiled brat, fond of pleasure and unable to learn, and had no respect for anyone. Why do you want to entrust such an important route from Beijing to Hangzhou to him?"
The old man smiled softly and said, "Do you think he can't learn?"
The young man paused and said in a low voice, "Even if he has some cleverness, his character is still lower."
The old man said, "Min Lang, what do you think is the most valuable thing in the world?"
I silently thought, gold and silver mountains!
The young man thought the same as me, "Valuable things are naturally gold and silver treasures."
The old man shook his head.
The young man asked again, "Then what is it?"
The old man picked up the teacup, apparently thinking of something, and smiled softly, "The most valuable thing in the world is a prodigal son's return."
When I got home that day, I cooked for the Second Master and then chewed on some noodle flour in the kitchen. The Second Master didn't know what was going on and didn't call me. He came to the kitchen and saw what I was eating and froze in place.
Then he asked me, "What is this?"
I said, "Food."
The Second Master's face darkened like the bottom of a pot.
He snatched it up and smashed the porridge bowl together. I was so scared that I jumped up from the ground. The Second Master left after smashing and came back with a food box after a while. He put it in front of me and said "eat" before going back to rest.
I opened the food box and found three layers of dishes, rice, dishes and desserts. I swallowed my saliva and carefully picked up a plate and ate it. Then I packed up the remaining food and put it on the stove.
When I went to bed at night, I thought that I might have embarrassed the Second Master again.
The next day, I opened my eyes and saw the Second Master standing in front of my bed with a crutch.
Although he wasn't tall, I still screamed.
The Second Master had an ugly face and picked up something from the ground and asked me, "What is this?"
I noticed that the Second Master recently liked to ask me this question.
I looked at it and it was the food box that the Second Master bought back yesterday. Just as I was about to answer, the Second Master suddenly lifted the food box and smashed it on the ground.
Crack! The remaining few dishes were ruined. I thought that if I had known earlier, I would have eaten them all yesterday and not saved them.
I noticed that the Second Master recently liked to smash things.
The Second Master looked angry and his whole body was shaking. He pointed at me and said through gritted teeth, "Why did you keep it, are you thinking that I’ll have to save up for a few days just to pay for the boxed lunch?"
I subconsciously wanted to nod, but looking at the Second Master's face, I quickly shook my head.
The Second Master was so smart that he seemed to have seen through it and was so angry that his hands holding the crutch turned white.
He said word by word, "I, Yang Yiqi, may not be good enough, but I can still afford to raise you."
After saying this, he left.
I looked around at the mess and was really at a loss.
Translations during sleepless nights. I can sleep when I'm dead! ...Please let me sleep. Happy readers keep me awake, and lots of love and a huge thank you for supporting my hobby!
Give me feedback at moc.ebircssutol@ypeels.