The leftover grapes managed to perfectly fill 3 jars of jam. Ling Jingxuan left a jar for the kids to eat, the other two were sealed with a white cloth and placed in the Crescent Moon Spring waters to cool in preparation to bring to the market tomorrow to sell. At night he cleaned the two buns, then also helped plant the pear branch and grapes in the front yard and watered them. Ling Jingxuan then went back inside the house.
“What are you doing? Counting it everyday like it's your lover?”
The two buns facing each other were sitting cross legged on the bed. In between them were copper coins strung on horse hair, the two were using the moonlight to count. Helpless, Ling Jingxuan shook his head. He was dumbfounded by their need to count the coins every night.
“How is it enough? How much is this ah, if possible I would count it at every moment.”
Only at this time, Big bun had an unusual naiveness where he could only see money.
“Eh… you might as well just drill yourself into the money hole.”
Mouth couldn’t help but twitch, powerlessly Ling Jingxuan held his forehead. Seeing the love of money, who has ever seen it like this?
“I want to ne.”
Not sensing his father’s speechlessness at all, Big bun held onto the money excitedly and faced him, “Dad, take a guess how much copper coins we have?”
Ling Jingxuan lazily lifted his eyelids and easily poured himself a bowl of herbal tea. Could he say that everytime he heard the little buns mention money his whole body trembled?
“Almost 900 copper coins ne. Blame dad for buying too many things today, or else we most definitely would have 1 silver.”
Speaking to the end, Big bun glared at him with blame. Even now his heart was still aching over those jars. Who knows if that wine thing could make money ah, just in case it couldn't be sold, a couple hundred Wen would have been wasted.
Having heard what was said, Ling Jingxuan who happened to be drinking coughed and nearly choked to death. The two buns upon seeing immediately climbed off the end, one left one right and patted his back.
“Daddy are you ok?”
The little bun was still good, patted his back and looked at him with concern with large glimmering eyes. The Big bun…
“Dad, you said you’re also not young anymore. How are you going to choke on water still?”
If it wasn't because of you, would I choke?
Hearing this little adult talk, Ling Jingxuan rolled his eyes, wishing that he could just hang himself. Him, this father is annoyed ah!
“Cough cough… ok that's enough, I’m fine.”
With great difficulty he managed to recuperate and scattered Big bun’s “Mental shadow’ that he gave him. After wiping his mouth he looked at the Big bun and said, “Xiao Wen, I plan on going to the county market tomorrow. Second uncle is still missing some medical ingredients, we also need to buy some things, also want to buy some more clothes, we…”
“Dad, what are you doing? How can you only think of spending money all day? Was it easy for us to make this much money? How many times have I told you already, this money is used for emergencies. Why won’t you listen? Is there someone who would spend their days like this? Even if we had a mountain of gold and silver coins we still can’t bear for you to spend like this ah. Dad ah, just calm down a bit ba, we…”
Not waiting for him to finish talking, Big bun with a stern voice interrupted him. Slim little face was the color of a pig liver, plump eyes fiercely glared into him. As if he was chanting a Buddhist scripture his mouth burst out a long row of words. It was like he had done something heinous. Ling Jingxuan was flabbergasted, he… didn’t even let him finish talking?
Father and son, didn’t know that every word of their conversation was heard by the healing neighbor in the other room. The corners of the man’s lip as a result bent up, face revealed a smiling expression and longing that he didn’t even realize. His heart faintly felt that having a wife and children like that wasn’t bad.
“...dad listen to me. One’s life is not supposed to be spent like this. We must understand how to be frugal. You want to buy herbs for second uncle I won’t oppose, everything else isn’t needed. It’s not like we don’t have things at home. The clothes we wear it isn’t like it's not wearable…”
“Stop! Xiao Wen, I won’t touch your copper coins, is that ok?”
Big bun’s nagging kept continuing, Ling Jingxuan was so twitchy he wanted to pull his hair out. At the end of his patience he yelled out. F*ck, he wanted to revoke the financial authority, definitely wanted to.
“Umm… we can think it over.”
Two buns were startled. It seemed as if they sensed his anger, Big bun’s red face naturally moved himself away from the line of sight, Little bun fiddled with his hand as he coweringly looked at Ling Jingxuan. Since daddy became normal again, it was still the first time he yelled at them. To them, they were not accustomed to it.
“Sigh… well, I’m sorry, I’m not doing it on purpose.”
Upon seeing this, Ling Jingxuan lowered his voice and muttered to himself. Pulling them over he gently apologized. The two little buns kept their heads lowered and didn’t say a word, little hands twisted together tightly. Obviously they did not accept his pacification. Helpless Ling Jingxuan said, “Daddy really isn’t doing it on purpose. Xiao Wen, our family is poor, I know this. Saving money is also a must, but trying to save on everything isn’t correct. People often say, eating is endless and clothes are endless. You can’t plan to be poor your entire life. Arent I earning money so that our lives will be better? You can’t part with money for food, can’t part with money for clothes, aren’t you inverting the root and branch (1)?”
He had thought of telling him these words two days ago, but thinking he was only five years old and afraid of poverty, didn’t not open his mouth. Seeing it now, things that must be said need to be said, otherwise afraid that Big bun’s temper would go to the extremes.
“I know some money needs to be spent, but.. but…”
Lifting his head, Big bun’s eyes were brimming with tears as he looked at him, “But everytime I see the money being spent from my hands, it's like my flesh is being cut off.”
Accompanying the last word were tears. The tears that were locked up in his eyes began rolling down. This sadness was unable to be described by words. Heart aching Ling Jingxuan hugged him, “Ok ok, daddy won’t say anything. In the future if you want to save then just save, daddy won’t speak out of turn.”
In the end, he still lost to his own son.
“Wu wu.. Daddy…”
Burying himself in his chest, Big bun cried brokenly. The Little bun on the side seeing this also threw himself over to join in. Holding onto two crying buns, Ling Jingxuan felt both heartache and a pain in the ass. His forehead wanted to split open. In this life it seems that he was in their hands.
“Dad, how about this ba. In the future when you spend money I’ll try not to watch.”
A little later while laying on the bed, with his back facing the little bun, he suddenly spoke. Ling Jingxuan only felt that his heart felt more pain and sour, “No need, currently our money isn’t a lot. There isn’t much we can spend, you should still take care of the money ba. In the future when we make more money, daddy will leave a portion to be spent, the rest will be given to you to save up for emergencies.”
In the end, he still couldn't have the heart to take away Ling Wen’s only hobby.
In the dark, Ling Wen repeatedly nodded his head, little face finally burst forth a smile. Ling Jingxuan used the moonlight to see him, didn’t say anything. He only used his hand to kneed his head and slowly fell asleep. Concerning the matter of money, they had finally reached an agreement, but.. Was it really like that? Hehe, Ling Jingxuan would know very soon.
- Inverting the root and branch: Idiom that basically means you’re putting things in the wrong order, confusing cause and effect