When Yu Qiu came back, the old man drank the water and finally told the whole story.
The old man’s name was Yu Yuankai. He was a businessman when he was young. He had done a good job in business. Not only did he open many stores, he also bought a mansion that was just one block away from the magistrate’s house. He also married the daughter of a scholar’s family. The husband and wife were very loving. Even when the lady had been gone for many years, the old man never thought of taking a concubine.
It was not until the old man was nearly half a hundred years old that Mrs.Yu finally gave birth to a son for him, which was Yu Qiu.
The old man was very happy. However, the Yu Family’s business wasn’t going well a year after Yu Qiu was born. Later on, the old man had to run around in order to raise his family.
When Yu Qiu was five years old, the old man went out again. At this time, a group of bandits came to Yulian County, where they were now living in. The bandits burned, killed and plundered in the city. Many people suffered, even the magistrate’s house. The Yu Family’s guards took Mrs. Yu and Yu Qiu with them to escape, but the carriage was overturned by the bandits.
Because of this, Mrs. Yu died and Yu Qiu became stupid.
When the old man came back, he was so depressed that he failed all the businesses that he could barely maintain. He also became addicted to gambling and alcohol, and now he had nothing but the four walls of his house.
Since these things happened after Yu Qiu was born, many people blamed him for the decline of the Yu Family. They believed Yu Qiu was a death star through and through. However, Yu Yuankai never thought so. No matter what happened, no matter how difficult things got, he never thought of abandoning Yu Qiu, or even treating Yu Qiu, who had never known the world, as a burden. In Yu Qiu’s past life, Yu Yuankai tried to protect Yu Qiu until he died.
Knowing these things, Yu Qiu was once again deeply moved by his old man.
Then he thought of his first question, “So what’s the relationship between our family and the magistrate’s family?”
“I just said it,” said Yu Yuankai. “Our house used to be one block away from the magistrate’s house.”
“So our two families used to have a good relationship?”
“No,” said Yu Yuankai. “The magistrate doesn’t like me for being a businessman.”
“When I was a kid, did I use to play with their gongzi?”
“That’s it.” Yu Yuankai frowned for a moment and thought, “Xiao-gongzi’s family is very strict with him that he couldn’t see you a few times a year. How could he play with you?”
Yu Qiu was speechless. “So, how does our family and their family seem to have nothing to do with each other?”
“It doesn’t matter.” Yu Yuankai said as a matter of factly.
“Why does Xiao Chunmian help us?” Yu Qiu finally couldn’t help but ask this question.
Yu Yuankai looked at him for a moment in surprise, then nodded his head clearly, “I was wondering why you were curious about their family, and it turns out that you had met him… Alas, that young man of the Xiao family is such a good boy. He is not the same as his black-hearted father at all.”
So the reason why Xiao Chunmian was so helpful… was just because…
“Because he is a good man!” Yu Yuankai said it directly.
Yu Qiu was relieved.
“Xiao-gongzi has the heart of a Bodhisattva.” Yu Yuankai continued to boast vigorously, “He doesn’t put on airs even when he’s the magistrate’s son. He is very kind to everyone. No matter who is looking for him, as long as he can help, he will never refuse!”
The corner of Yu Qiu’s mouth twitched as he thought: That’s a rare benevolent person.1冤大头 – (yuān dà tóu) Refers to a person who is taken advantage of because of their money.
Then, Yu Qiu groped for the silver ingot in his pocket and thought that he would have to pay it back more quickly. He shouldn’t make it difficult for good people…
But then Yu Yuankai immediately boasted, “No matter how much money people owes him, he does not collect debt!”
Hearing this, Yu Qiu almost fell from the bed. “Do you still owe him money?”
“A little…” Yu Yuankai played with his fingers, embarrassed. “Just a little bit…”
Yu Qiu quickly asked, “How much?”
“About more than a hundred or so.” Yu Yuankai answered with a finger.
One or two silver coins were equal to a string of a thousand copper coins. A thousand copper coins can buy two dans2a unit of measure for grain of rice. Each dan of rice was about enough to feed an adult mortal for three months. Yu Qiu had plopped up the abacus in his mind as he tried to convert the money to a value he could understand. The more he calculated, the more dizzy he became.
He was already struggling to pay back the three silver coins he owed Xiao Chunmian, and now he learned that his family owed the teenager enough silver for two ordinary people to live for more than twenty years!
Wait… When it came to owing money, those fierce men who almost killed the old man yesterday (and really killed him in the last life), they also came to collect debt, didn’t they? Although Yu Qiu hated those people so much that he could not bear the pain of gnashing his teeth, and no matter how violent and wrong those men were in collecting their debt, it was all justified, since Yu Qiu and his father should pay off their debt.
“What about those people yesterday?” Yu Qiu then asked. “How much do you owe them?”
Yu Yuankai’s gaze was constantly flickering. “Not much… Fifty-two…”
Well, fifty-two silver coins in debt was already enough to almost kill you. In contrast, they owed Xiao Chunmian more than a hundred coins… Yu Qiu couldn’t help but sigh again. The life of a good person is hard.
“There’s also from the Ji Family bank… probably fifty-two.”
“Father,” Yu Qiu took a deep breath, and then took another deep breath, psychologically preparing himself. Then, he asked with a straight face, “How much in all do you owe others? You can say it in one breath.”
As the saying goes, when a person has too many debt, one would stop worrying about them. With Yu Yuanka’s series of reports, Yu Qiu’s face became more and more relaxed. “Hahaha! What’s the difference between a total of two hundred with a total of five hundred? Father, don’t you agree?”
“Qiu-er…” Yu Yuankai was very worried. “Are you ok?”
“It’s nothing, I’m fine.” Yu Qiu wiped his face and asked. “How much money do we have left?”
Yu Yuankai lowered his head and nibbled on his fingers.
“Five hundred silver coins in total…” Yu Qiu couldn’t help but take a deep breath again. “How did you spend it?”
“Just…” Yu Yuankai’s head couldn’t be hung any lower. “In the gambling houses…”
Alright, Yu Qiu understood.
Thinking how his old man became addicted to gambling after the devastating changes in his life, Yu Qiu went soft in the end.
Yu Qiu silently kept all these debts in mind. He took note of them on by one, and then patted the old man on the shoulder. “Father, I’d better have a good rest. I’ll talk about the rest tomorrow morning.”
While Yu Yuankai was stunned, Yu Qiu had already shrunk in the corner of the bed. Yu Yuankai looked at the sky. Although he still wanted to talk with his son whose mind hadn’t woken up for so long, since it was in the middle of the night, it didn’t take him long to fall asleep.
But Yu Qiu, who had lain down earlier, did not sleep deeply.