January 30, 2022

Chapter 59: Perplexed

The mountains are actually quite fun, not as boring as Zhang Yansheng thought.

The Old Lady Zhang’s villa is located halfway up the mountain. Looking up, there are mountains to climb. Looking into the distance, you can see villages looming in the mist of other mountains. Not only is the air fresh, but the autumn colors are cascading in the mountains and forests, and the fruits are plentiful, which is particularly interesting.

There are waterfalls and water pools in the back mountain, and they have been developed with money paid by the old lady. This is not a scenic spot, but a mountain hill where land use rights were bought privately. The old lady bought several nearby hills, and planting something is the second thing. She mainly wanted this quiet environment.

For example, the waterfall pool in the back mountain, after being developed, becomes the private landscape of the old lady’s villa. This environment is much better than the swimming pool of a town house in the city.

However, it is autumn now, so you can only play in the water for a while when the water temperature is hottest in the afternoon.

Even so, Zhang Shuocheng still went crazy. He was climbing trees, digging bugs, picking fruits, and piling mud in the mountains. He was simply happy.

He played happily and didn’t really trouble the adults. He was asked to eat and to do his homework.

The old lady was surprised after observing for a few days.

Liang Yingying has been in Zhang’s house for several years, and the old lady has not kept thinking that these are her own grandchildren, but she has always been unable to get close to Liang Yingying’s two children. One is always timid, and the other is uneducated at first glance.

Unexpectedly, after not seeing each other for a while, these two children have changed a lot.

Zhang Shuocheng was much more obedient and he became more and more obedient under the care of Zhang Heling.

“Hehe, come here.” Walking on the mountain path, the old lady beckoned Zhang Heling over, “Tell Grandma, why are you so good at taking care of your younger brother now? How did you make your brother obedient?”

Zhang Heling was wearing a sun hat and had an insect trap in her hand, her face flushed, and she told the truth: “My sister asked me to take care of him. If Zhang Shuocheng doesn’t obey, my sister will beat him up. He is most afraid of my elder sister.”

The old lady became interested, and asked her how Zhang Yansheng beat Zhang Shuocheng, and she listened with relish.

“That’s how he should be beaten!” she said.

Zhang Heling covered her mouth and smiled, and her eyebrows curled. The old lady looked at her and thought she was much cuter than before, so she touched her head: “Go, go and play.”

It happened that Zhang Shuocheng shouted over there: “Sister! Sister, come here! There is a big green worm here!”

“Coming! Don’t kill it first!” Zhang Heling ran away quickly holding the net.

The eldest daughter, the second daughter, and the youngest son have all grown up. The old lady has not experienced this kind of childlike interest for a long time, and she can’t help but put a smile on her face.

Zhang Qi took the old lady for a walk, and watched from a distance as the two little ones squatted on the ground and met each other to tinker with the big green worm, while Zhang Yansheng stood beside them with her hands on her waist and looked at them. She smiled and said, “Seriously, I thought Yanyan came here to do her filial piety. As a result, she was dragged by these two little ones, and didn’t have time to accompany you at all.”

The old lady smiled: “She is an older sister who takes care of her younger brother and sister when they come out. Of course, she has to take care of them. This is a responsibility.”

While talking, Zhang Yansheng came over.

“Grandma.” She asked, “Are you tired? Go back if you are tired. The two of them haven’t had enough fun yet.”

“Don’t underestimate me.” The old lady said angrily, “I can walk this road back and forth without sweating.”

Zhang Qi carefully helped the old lady, smiled and said to Zhang Yansheng, “Grandma has me here, don’t worry about it. Go and watch the two of them, don’t tell them to run around, the mountains are quite dangerous.”

“It’s okay, let’s go and sit there.” The old lady pointed to the outdoor bench under the tree in front of them, “Let’s look at them together.”

The three of them walked over and sat down. The bench was not far from the two younger ones. Not only could they watch them, they could also hear the two chattering.

Zhang Shuocheng wanted to roast the big green worm, but Zhang Heling felt it was too cruel and refused to let him do it. The two little ones are arguing.

Very interesting.

Before sitting down, Zhang Qi asked, “How is Yanyan in school now? Can you keep up in the preparatory class?”

This is a topic that the old lady also cares about, and she also asked, “Yes, how are you at Yi High School?”

“The school is very good, but I am not.” Zhang Yansheng honestly admitted, “I am at the bottom ranking in the monthly exam. Although I am not in last place, I am still not in a good position. If I don’t work hard, I will be pushed out.”

Contempt and pride flashed in Zhang Qi’s eyes.

The old lady laughed, patted the back of Zhang Yansheng’s hand and said: “If you can’t do it, I think you know it very well. Achievement can’t determine everything. If you know how to work hard, then that’s okay.”

Zhang Yansheng also laughed and said, “Although that is what I said, in school, everything is measured by grades. There are a lot of students in our class. I have a classmate whose notes are like calligraphy works. He is even a boy. I now think that it is really the right choice for me to study at Yi High School. If someone like me went to private school, I would definitely not be able to learn anything from laziness. This environment is very stressful and everyone around you is studying hard. In this kind of atmosphere, I dare not to relax at all.”

“Public institutions naturally have their advantages.” The old lady said disapprovingly, “I have always disapproved of letting my children study at private schools. Our country is strong in basic education and the best educational resources are in public schools. If you want to go abroad in the future, you should lay the foundation first. It’s not necessary.”

When the old lady said this, Zhang Yansheng didn’t look at Zhang Qi, but she could feel Zhang Qi’s discomfort from the corners of her eyes.

Zhang Qi is the first grandchild of the Zhang family, so she received a lot of attention from the old lady after she was born. Under the interference of the old lady, Zhang Qi went to public schools all the way.

But Zhang Yansheng’s aunt was very unhappy about this. It’s just that the old lady said the same thing, and she didn’t dare to object in front of the old lady, but there were many complaints in private.

Later on, the old lady learned about the complaints, so she didn’t interfere so much with her first grandson, Zhang Lin. The aunt fulfilled her wish and sent Zhang Lin to a private school.

But afterwards, it was discovered that the old lady was increasingly leaning toward the second daughter-in-law, who was Zhang Yansheng’s mother. It was discovered that the old lady no longer interfered with Zhang Qi and Zhang Lin’s affairs, but in the same way, the love and concern for them also faded.

Zhang Yansheng’s aunt was a little panicked, and she discussed with her husband whether to send Zhang Lin to the public school again. After being discovered by the old lady, the old lady called Zhang Yansheng’s uncle to scold him: “After choosing a good path, you can go on, but can’t go back and forth. Why are you tossing your child? Xiao Lin has adapted to the atmosphere of a private school. Will he be comfortable if you send him back to the public school?”

This matter was over.

But Zhang Yansheng’s aunt often complained at home, complained that the old lady was arbitrary and tyrannical, complained that the old lady was partial to her sister-in-law and niece, and worried that her family would suffer a loss from distribution of inheritance in the future.

Zhang Qi has listened to her mother’s complaints and worries since she was a child, and has regarded her cousin Zhang Yansheng as her competitor from then on.

When she was a child, the adults always praised her cousin and considered her as ‘other people’s children’.1别人家孩子 – Children from other people’s families, in online terms, refer to a creature that you can’t surpass anyway. They are omnipotent and can compare with you at any time. Fortunately, after the death of her aunt, her cousin became more and more mediocre, but she and her younger brother were excellent all the way, crushing her cousin.

Without the care of her aunt, this cousin became more and more ignorant, and gradually lost the favor of her grandmother. Zhang Qi was secretly happy, but when she went to high school this year, she suddenly seemed to understand things and became sensible again.

As for the old lady, her heart was too biased… No matter how hard Zhang Qi had been doing in front of her, with Zhang Yansheng only showing a little bit of good intentions, the old lady immediately crooked to her side.

Zhang Qi bit her lip secretly.

Zhang Qi has been secretly observing Zhang Yansheng these days, and Zhang Yansheng is also observing Zhang Qi. Both of them have their own gains.

The old lady was observing the two of them.

After dinner, Zhang Yansheng was sitting on a recliner in the courtyard looking at the stars, when suddenly someone touched her head. Zhang Yansheng looked up and saw the old lady, she didn’t know when she came over.

Zhang Yansheng hurriedly got up and gave the recliner to the old lady, and asked, “Have you sprayed Wen Bu Ding already?”

The air in the mountains is good, the scenery is good, and the water is good, but there are too many mosquitoes. Zhang Yansheng carried both Wen Bu Ding2蚊不叮 – Wen Bu Ding – literal meaning no mosquito bite / a brand of mosquito repellent and cooling balm3清凉油 – Cooling Balm – literal meaning cooling oil/balm – cream medicine made of peppermint oil, camphor, cinnamon oil, eucalyptus oil and other paraffin wax. Formerly known as Panacea. Suitable for heat, dizziness, cold, headache, mosquito bites and mild burns. with her, so she quickly took it out and sprayed it on the old lady.

“You’re getting better and better at taking care of people.” The old lady sighed, “If your mother sees what you look like now, she will definitely be very happy.”

“Forget it.” Zhang Yansheng said angrily, “If my mother is alive and sees the two little ones, I’m afraid she will be angry with my father.”

It was her own son who cheated on her second daughter-in-law for having illegitimate children. The old lady was also a little embarrassed, sighed and said, “I didn’t teach your father well.”

“It’s not your fault.” Zhang Yansheng said, “He is not a child anymore. He knew what he was doing.”

The old lady sighed, stopped dwelling on this matter, and turned to say, “I think you are becoming more and more like an older sister now. Do you get along well with Hehe and Shuoshuo?”

Zhang Yansheng lowered her eyes and said, “Both of them have been born, and it is impossible for me to stuff them back into Liang Yingying’s belly. Moreover, injustice has a head and a master. It’s my father and that woman that should be sorry, not the two of them.”

“Leave the affairs of adults to the adults. You, you are still a child. Xiao Min has been dead for several years now. She definitely hoped that you can live your life well, not because that woman made trouble with your father. Don’t always be angry with Hehe’s mother, your father is not a fool, she can’t afford to make big waves.” The old lady comforted her.

Zhang Yansheng thought this was a bit familiar. She suddenly remembered that her grandmother had persuaded her before.

It’s just that she was young and full of resentment, so she can’t listen to such words. Later, she split up with her grandma all the way to that extent.

She was silent for a while, then nodded: “I know. I won’t let her affect my life.”

The old lady was very relieved. She asked lovingly: “I watched you sit here for a long time just now. What were you thinking to be so lost in thought?”

Zhang Yansheng replied honestly: “I’m thinking about Sister Qiqi.”

The old lady showed an expression of interest: “Oh?”

“Sister Qiqi seems to have a very clear goal in life.” Zhang Yansheng said, “And so is brother Xiao Lin. I heard that he wants to go to a foreign university, has a target school, and has something he wants to learn.”

The old lady listened patiently.

“But I don’t have one.” Zhang Yansheng said, “Grandma, I know I should study hard, but I don’t know what my goal in life should be. The classmates around me are working hard, but if you ask them, they would just say, ‘of course I have to work hard’. Only with a good university and a good degree can you find a good job, get a high salary, and make more money.”

“But I have never been short of money. I also know that no matter how hard they work in the future, they may not earn more money than my current pocket money. So, I am particularly confused.”

“I know I should work hard, but I don’t know what this hard work is for.”

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  • 1
    别人家孩子 – Children from other people’s families, in online terms, refer to a creature that you can’t surpass anyway. They are omnipotent and can compare with you at any time.
  • 2
    蚊不叮 – Wen Bu Ding – literal meaning no mosquito bite / a brand of mosquito repellent
  • 3
    清凉油 – Cooling Balm – literal meaning cooling oil/balm – cream medicine made of peppermint oil, camphor, cinnamon oil, eucalyptus oil and other paraffin wax. Formerly known as Panacea. Suitable for heat, dizziness, cold, headache, mosquito bites and mild burns.