1. Gēgē - Big brother
Return of the Noble Abandoned Consort
7. The First Lesson
After Qiáo Wēi got money, she began a daily routine of counting it since she now knew how to do so. From one to ten taels, she noticed that this dynasty’s currency had a strict set of standards. Broken taels were pulled and did not generally circulate in the market. Previously, from reading novels, female characters would just randomly pull out twenty silver ingots. Forget twenty ingots, even if it was only ten of them, she wanted to see it in person.
In modern times, a single tael was equal to 50 grams but in this dynasty, it was only 37 grams. Five grams, along with ten taels of silver was about 375 grams altogether which was roughly a single catty. It was actually a bit heavy; the weight of twenty taels could be compared to that of a brick’s. Qiáo Wēi could not imagine a young woman taking a brick out from the pockets of her inner robes.
The current dynasty not setting a higher level of ingot currency was rather sensible. Of course, this was only true for commercial use, official government currency was different. According to Xú Dà Zhuàng, a single ingot could equal up to fifty taels.
An ingot worth fifty taels...
Just thinking about it made Qiáo Wēi suck in a breath in case she started drooling on accident.
After counting the money, Qiáo Wēi opened up her account “book” in satisfaction. Ancient ink was expensive so there was not any in the original owner of her body’s home. Qiáo Wēi could only use flat chips of wood as paper and cut up charcoal for a pen. These wood chips were densely packed with a list of things she needed to purchase: food, winter clothes, comforters, a bed, a knife, bow and arrows, make-up, menstruation bands... It was best to buy some rammed earth and fix up the house. As she was trying to fall asleep last night, she could not help but stare at the cracks in the wall. Her heart twisted with worry as she imagined a sudden onslaught of wind and rain immediately making her walls collapse.
Thinking of wind and rain, the roof should also be renovated. The roof has been leaking because of the recent snow these past couple of days.
Recalculating everything again, it seemed her funds were tight.
Qiáo Wēi sucked in an annoyed breath. Save money, save money, save money! She was going crazy. She would have to see what from her list could afford to wait and hold off on them first.
Qiáo Wēi picked up her charcoal pen and hovered over her list, circling around a few times before clenching her teeth as she crossed make-up off from the list.
Once she confirmed her final shopping list, Qiáo Wēi stuffed her money into her hidden pockets to head into town. Just as she was about to step out, however, Èr Gǒu Zi rushed in. “Jǐng Yún’s Mother!” he cried out. “Hurry and come out, Jǐng Yún is fighting with people!”
Èr Gǒu Zi was ten years old this year and was one of the few people that hung out with her son. In the past, if someone bullied her son, Èr Gǒu Zi would be the one to step in. For him to personally come up the mountain to find her... It seemed that Èr Gǒu Zi could not handle whoever was picking a fight with her son. And if he was unable to, then how could her four-year-old son handle it?
Qiáo Wēi quickly went down the mountain. Upon entering the village, she immediately saw the empty field in front of Èr Gǒu Zi’s house where a woman wearing purple floral robes was chasing Qiáo Jǐng Yún around with a stick trying to land a hit. Qiáo Wēi immediately felt her anger rising, like fire burning inside of her.
A fight? This was a fucking fight? How can such a large person chase around a four-year-old child?! Does she have any shame?! Any at all?!
The rage inside Qiáo Wēi continued to burn and she rushed forward. She already recognized who the woman was; it was the same Madame Liú that had accused her son of stealing chicken before. Thinking back to Aunt Luō’s intervention, it was no wonder Madame Liú had left afterwards. Qiáo Wēi thought that Madame Liú was more tactful and would no longer find trouble with her family. Who would have guessed she was such a “capable” person.
Good, very good! Taking advantage of her absence, and dared to raise a hand against her son. If Qiáo Wēi didn’t give her something to remember, then her surname was not
Qiáo Wēi’s hand shot out and grabbed a tight hold on Madame Liú’s wrist just as she was about to struck her stick down onto Qiáo Jǐng Yún’s body.
She does not hit a woman’s face, ever.
However, in this world, there are ways to deal with people using methods that are more effective than face-slapping.
Qiáo Wēi narrowed her eyes coolly. She shifted her center of gravity and adjusted her hold as she threw Madame Liú over her shoulder and onto the ground.
Completely taken by surprise, Madame Liú had absolutely no chance to react and only knew that she had somehow taken a heavy fall.
When the little buns saw that their mother had arrived, they immediately ran to her. Qiáo Wēi pulled them both into her arms and gently stroked their heads. “Are you hurt?” she asked. “Is there any pain anywhere? Where did she hit you?”
Qiáo Jǐng Yún did not speak.
“She hit gēgē (1),” Qiáo Wàng Shū said, holding onto the small white dumpling.
Qiáo Wēi quickly released them and took her son’s face into her hands. “Where did she hit you?”
“Nowhere,” Qiáo Jǐng Yún answered, his small face blushing lightly. “It doesn’t hurt.”
“You’re talking nonsense!” Qiáo Wàng Shū cried out, her heart distraught. “It was definitely painful; I saw her hit your butt!”
What?! Dare to hit her son’s butt?
Madame Liú was just getting up from the ground. Her head was still spinning but when she saw Qiáo Wēi fiercely making her way towards her, she immediately felt her stomach twist in fear. “The one with the surname Qiáo!” she cried out. “What are you doing?”
“What am I doing?” Qiáo Wēi coldly repeated. “I should be the one asking you this. Someone your age, bullying a four-year-old child, do you have no shame?”
“I have no shame?” Despite being in a disadvantageous position, when Madame Liú heard this, she immediately straightened her spine. “Ha! Why don’t you ask your precious son what he did to my son? Tiě Niú, come!”
The seven-year-old Tiě Niú hurriedly obeyed his mother. He obviously had been crying as his eyes were reddened and snot was still flowing freely from his nostrils. Madame Liú motioned towards his neck. “Do you see it? This is all your son’s fault! Your son had that dog bite my son. So what if I punish him?”
Qiáo Wēi glanced at the three scratches; even without examining it closely, she had a very clear idea what had caused it. It wasn’t a dog, Qiáo Wēi thought, looking over at the small white dumpling that was tightly holding onto Qiáo Wàng Shū’s neck.
Qiáo Wēi blinked and turned towards her son. “Jǐng Yún,” she said. “What happened? Did you have it bite Tiě Niú?”
Qiáo Jǐng Yún bowed his head.
“No, mother!” Qiáo Wàng Shū interjected anxiously. “That’s not what happened. It was Tiě Niú who was bullying gēgē! He even called a lot of people over to hit him. That’s why Xiǎo Bái went over to help.”
Qiáo Wēi’s cold gaze fell onto Tiě Niú. “Tiě Niú, is this what happened?”
Tiě Niú shuddered at her icy glare and threw himself into Madame Liú’s arms. “What are you doing yelling at my son?” she cried out angrily. “A foreign, loose woman like you, if it wasn’t for us kindly taking you in, who knows where you would have died! Not repaying our kindness and instead seeking to hurt us! You worthless person!”
“I’m worthless?” Qiáo Wēi repeated. “Then what does that make you? A seven-year-old unable to win against a four-year-old and still finding others to help him gang up. Taking sides and involving yourself in something like that, you really have no shame.”
Madame Liú was rendered speechless, unable to refute, and could only give her son a hard pinch. “You useless thing!”
Tiě Niú immediately cried out in pain, “It was he who struck me first! He did it first! He had it bite me the moment he saw me. That’s why I called people to help me beat him up.”
Qiáo Wēi turned to ask her son, “Did you struck first?”
Qiáo Jǐng Yún bit his lip and nodded.
“Why did you hurt him?” Qiáo Wēi asked. “Mother believes that you are not the kind of person that just randomly stirs up trouble. Tell mother why you hurt him.”
Qiáo Jǐng Yún clenched his fists but did not say anything.