Editor: Wahnsinniger Herrscher
Yay, challenge completed! Thank you all so much ^^
The first thought that came to Zhou Yuan was to ask her, ‘How come you won’t pick me up?’
She stated that I was the best, didn’t she?
His second thought was, ‘Miaomiao is too young right now. She can’t learn how to drive. She isn’t even allowed at the steering wheel of the car.’
The more I think about it, the more I realize that she can’t pick up either Jingjing or me.
His heart was now at ease.
He took a book out of his schoolbag and began reading it. Then, he noticed that Miaomiao turned her head to look at him. With an ebullient smile, she said, “When I can drive, I’ll also pick up also, is that okay? We can dance together.”
Before Zhou Yuan could respond, Jingjing said, “How can the three of us dance with each other? There aren’t any dances where three people can dance with each other.”
She had never heard of three-person dances.
As if she was facing some insurmountable obstacle, Miaomiao frowned and began dwelling on this.
Yes, there isn’t a dance where the three of us could dance with each other.
Then, a light bulb went off in her head. In a milky voice, she said, “Deng Feng. He’s also part of our group. I’ll dance with Jingjing while Zhouzhou and Deng Feng will dance with each other.”
Miaomiao directed her gaze back to Zhou Yuan and asked, “Zhouzhou, will you dance with Deng Feng?”
Deng Feng heard someone utter his name, so he raised his head in curiosity, “Wh…what?”
In response, Jingjing said, “Miaomiao said she would pick up to dance when she can finally drive. You’ll dance with Zhouzhou.”
Zhou Yuan conjured up a scene in his mind where he had to dance with Deng Feng, and he immediately rejected her proposal without hesitation, “I dislike dancing.”
Even though she felt regretful, Miaomiao still responded, “Then, you’ll come and watch us dance.”
We’re still good friends. We could still play together.
Noticing the earnestness in her eyes, Zhou Yuan nodded.
Miaomiao finally glanced at her desk after their conversation. She found a bottle of yogurt on top of it.
Miaomiao peered at Zhou Yuan, “Zhou Yuan. Did you buy this for me?”
Zhou Yuan nodded.
Miaomiao was ecstatic to get a little present from him, “Zhouzhou, you’re so nice to me.”
Zhou Yuan produced a straw and inserted it in, “Hurry up and drink.”
During class, the Chinese teacher was beginning a new lesson.
Suddenly, Jingjing thought of something. She bent her body forward and whispered to Miaomiao, “Miaomiao, Miaomiao. When you drive us around, do I have to sit in the child safety seat?”
Jingjing and Miaomiao weren’t aware that children couldn’t drive. No one has elucidated this fact to them.
Miaomiao turned her head and whispered, “No, my mother told me that children should sit in child safety seats.” Miaomiao remembered her mother explaining this to her.
The Chinese teacher spotted them whispering to each other and said, “Jingjing, Miaomiao. Pay attention and don’t speak in class.”
Miaomiao hastily turned around and listened to the teacher with sobriety. Then, she took out her ‘special notebook’ and wrote, ‘Don’t speak in class.’
In the future, pay attention to the teacher in class and don’t speak.
Now, Miaomiao was willing to memorize these rules since she felt that doing so would prevent her mother from feeling sad and dejected.
Time passed faster when one paid attention in class. It wouldn’t be long before class ended.
Jingjing then entered a discussion with Miaomiao about where they could go when Miaomiao could drive.
“I’m going to go see the Golden Tower*,” said Jingjing. She watched a cartoon some time ago, which depicted pyramids in a land of gold.
Because Jingjing was cognizant of what gold was, whenever she watched this cartoon, she would believe that it was called the Golden Tower.
Miaomiao was incognizant of what pyramids were. “What’s the Golden Tower?”
Jingjing naturally replied, “It’s a tower made from gold. Gold is shiny, yellow and very expensive. My father bought two gold bars and hid them under bed. Then, he told me that I shouldn’t tell my mother about them…”
Zhou Yuan: “…” Miaomiao will find out that it’s impossible to converse with this group of youngsters after a while.
“Oh,” Miaomiao replied. She felt as if she had learned a lot.
Since gold was very expensive, Miaomiao proclaimed, “I won’t buy any gold at the Golden Tower. I don’t have the money.”
“It’s okay. We’ll secretly take two bars when the time comes. Once you have them, you can sell them for money.” Jingjing told Miaomiao.
At that moment, Zhou Yuan, who was sitting next to them in silence, finally interjected, “You’re not allowed to steal them.”
Miaomiao replied, “Then, I won’t take any, and Jingjing won’t either.”
Jingjing was a little confused, “Well. Then, we won’t take them.”
She sighed and continued, “But what if we don’t have any money. You know a semester costs a lot of money…more than 20,000 yuan.”
Jingjing was talking about another kindergarten she attended in the past. Since it was a high-end, bilingual kindergarten, the tuition was very expensive. She once overheard her mother speak about its fees.
More than 20,000 yuan…
Miaomiao was unaware of how much 20,000 yuan was, but she knew that it was an exorbitant amount of money since Jingjing said so.
Zhou Yuan palmed his forehead in exasperation and corrected her, “We are in elementary school, which means we don’t have to pay any tuition fees. We only pay 200 yuan for books, 1,000 yuan for our lunch and some other miscellaneous fees. The total is around 1,300 yuan per semester.”
The school hired a chef to cook lunch for the first-graders. Lunch was very delicious, and the cost seemed reasonable as well.
Although Miaomiao was unaware of how much 20,000 yuan was worth, she knew how much 1,300 yuan was worth.
Her eyes immediately dilated.
It’s a lot of money. It turns out my studies cost a lot of money. More importantly, my school lunches cost a lot also.
After hearing this, her first thought was, ‘I could eat more at breakfast and dinner, which means that I could skip lunch…this way, I can save money.’
Suddenly, Miaomiao recalled that Zhouzhou wouldn’t eat his vegetables. This was his daily routine.
If I fell into hunger, I could simply eat all the vegetables that Zhouzhou refuses to eat. By doing this, Zhouzhou will receive a little red flower, and I won’t need to starve to death. It’s a win-win.
The more Miaomiao thought about it, the better it sounded; therefore, she discussed her idea with Zhou Yuan.
Noon came, and it was lunchtime. When the P.T. teacher served Miaomiao her lunch, Miaomiao lifted her head. Though her shyness still slightly consumed her, she still managed to ask soberly, “Teacher…could I skip lunch?”
The P.T. teacher was surprised to see Miaomiao looking into her eyes and speaking with her today.
The P.T. teacher smiled and asked, “How come you don’t want to eat lunch, Miaomiao? Not hungry?”
In reality, Miaomiao was hungry, and her stomach grumbled in response to her hunger.
“Because it’s too expensive,” Miaomiao replied earnestly.
The P.T. teacher felt amused and responded, “How about I give you some more food, Miaomiao. Is that okay?”
Zhou Yuan finally realized that Miaomiao felt this way.
After thinking for a little bit, Zhou Yuan felt that he understood.
Miaomiao’s father isn’t with her right now. She probably feels that her family is being mired in all sorts of financial problems.
The P.T. teacher came back and added a spoonful of vegetables to Miaomiao’s palate and uttered, “Eat slowly.”
After that, the P.T. teacher left without answering Miaomiao’s question about whether it was acceptable to skip lunch or not.
Miaomiao bit into the fried pork with black fungus.
Because the teacher had already prepared lunch, I might as well just eat it for today.
After Miaomiao finished her meal, Zhou Yuan gazed at her and said, “Do you have money problems at home, Miaomiao? Is that why you want to skip the school lunches?”
Miaomiao nodded. Back then, she used to be hesitant and refused to speak due to her bashfulness. But now, she could freely express her thoughts.
Jingjing sat at the table behind them. She overheard this conversation, and thus she began to exclaim before Zhou Yuan could even utter a word, “We could make money ourselves!”
Deng Feng, who sat next to her, also joined in the conversation, “Yes…Yes…make money…me too…”
Miaomiao couldn’t comprehend their comments, “But I don’t know how to make money…”
In her viewpoint, one could only make money by drawing or performing surgery since her mother made money by drawing and designing clothing, whereas her father made money by performing surgery.
Deng Feng said, “This…this…I…I know how…outside our school…there are…”
Jingjing always arrived at school in the same car with Deng Feng; therefore, she knew instantly what he was referring to.
On their way to school, there was a beggar. There was a box and a music player in front of him, which played a song, “As long as everyone gives a little love…”
He always had this box with him. People passing by would occasionally give him some spare change if they had it.
One day after school, Deng Feng noticed someone giving that person money. He then told his mother that he wanted to do the same thing when he grew up. When he finished saying that, his mother beat him up.
Jingjing hurriedly said, “No, we can’t do that. My mother said that since we still have our hands and feet and if there is nothing wrong with them, it wasn’t a good idea to do that. Money must be earned by hard work.”
Jingjing also couldn’t think of a way to earn money.
As a result, the three little ones stared at Zhouzhou who sat next to them.
Zhou Yuan, who buried himself in a book, gazed at the three children in response.
Drafting a presentation of a lesson? Correcting homework?
Obviously, these three couldn’t do it.
Zhou Yuan started to drift off into his thoughts.
What could the three of them do to make money?
The thoughts of all four children swirled around the same exact thing.
Suddenly, an idea struck Jingjing, and she declared, “I know. I know. Let’s go celebrate New Year!”
Jingjing continued in exultation, “When the time comes, we only need to bow and say Happy New Year. Then, we can make a ton of money.”
Zhou Yuan who considered opening a store: “…”
When Miaomiao processed the words ‘Happy New Year’, she suddenly remembered a painful memory. Her body trembled with fear.
She remembered someone hitting her and announcing, “Quickly. Say Happy New Year to Laozi.**”
She instantly shook her head and replied, “No! We can’t do that. It hurts.”
Although she wanted to make money, she couldn’t bear to see Jingjing in pain.
Jingjing thought it was a little strange.
Why would it hurt?
Jingjing’s suggestion stunned Zhou Yuan for a moment, and then he said in exasperation, “You can only use New Year’s greetings during New Year’s Day.”
Jingjing replied, “Oh.” This didn’t discourage her, so she continued to figure out another way to make money.
Miaomiao finally thought of a solution. This was the first time she had conjured up a solution with conviction and sobriety. This was something that she considered doing for a while.
Miaomiao proclaimed, “Let’s cook some food and sell it. I’ll learn how to cook from my mom, so I could sell food like the teacher.”
Jingjing nodded, “This is an excellent idea. You won’t have to pay for lunch now, and you’ll be able to make a lot of money for your mom. When the time comes, I’ll stand next to you to collect the money, okay?”
Miaomiao agreed, “Okay!”
Zhou Yuan: “…” My business empire is over.
* Golden Tower – Jingjing saw the pyramids on T.V, but she didn’t know what it was called, so she called it the ‘Golden Tower’.
**Laozi – Used as ‘I, your father’ (in anger, or out of contempt) / ‘I’ (arrogantly or jocularly)
TN: Hope you guys enjoy reading Miaomiao and Zhouzhou’s story.
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