Although Tong Fu (同alike/same福 wealth/good fortunate) in Luo Yang is not the biggest inn, food is not the best, but it has become common practice in the era of literature and art with the support from already existing inns such as Zhu Feng Zhai, Zui Yue Ge, and Jin Xiu that suddenly the place has become one worth recalling, and reputation would gradually expand.
Shao Zi thought that it will continue to develop like this, the demons of the inn also firmly believe so without a doubt. But now…
She stood in front of the inn looking incomparably distressed, and looks at the announcement pasted on the old door, her heart and lung lacerate.
The affable innkeeper unexpectedly wants to sell the inn.
Shao Zi’s extremely sad thus all night would lean on innkeeper’s window, listening all night, the main points are: I have grew from a little innkeeper to a big innkeeper, now that I am an old innkeeper, it’s time to return to one’s roots (hometown) to enjoy one’s later years.
When Shao Zi recovers from shock, she found out the group of demons were also shifting their ears to the window to eavesdrop. Thus the group became collectively sullen, squatting into a group circle in the yard, and sigh ah sigh.
The early dawn came, the sun instantly enveloped the earth, the sunshine broke through the dawn mist, thus begins a sunny day.
Old innkeeper carry the pail over, took a ladle full with water, skillfully sprinkle water, the drops of water enveloped in dawn rays fall on the flowers, his hands cleansed of previous night’s worries. He looked at the plants already watered in the yard, and suddenly face weaved with tears: “It’s a pity I cannot bring you guys along, if uprooted I’m afraid you guys cannot live.”
The water drop on the green leaf slightly shakes off, when the old shopkeeper left the yard, a half a meter tall peony shook, turned into a seventeen to eighteen year old girl, dressed in powder white breasted jacket with a skirt that is short and reveals half of the arm, hair as black as ink, face is like a painting, as if green bamboos behind the rain, mist that covers towering mountains, beautifully splendid but ethereal.
In a short time, the magnolia, rhododendron, cypress one by one turn into different human shapes. On top of head “thump”, that bottle gourd on the rack turned into a big plump man, when falling on the ground a loud exploding sound suddenly rang.
Everyone promptly raise and slowly sigh at him loudly, plump gourd also slowly sighed. Immediately in a low voice he would ask Shao Zi (peony) in the front: “Boss, if gramps (innkeeper) leaves, but the next owner is a vulgar man then what are we going to do?”
Shao Zi seem to contemplate for a long while, slowly turned around, her eyes vicious, raising her hand in the direction of the neck and in a deep voice: “Cook him!”
All at once every one cast Boss with mighty and majestic eye expressions then feeling perfectly contented, return to the soil for moisture.
People with the intent to purchase the inn continuously came, but the old innkeeper refused to sell. It’s not that the prices are unfair, nor are the people too overbearing, but the old innkeeper insisted on adding three agreements to the contact.
First, the name of the inn is not allowed to change. Naturally the buyer agrees, originally the inn has a long-established reputation with this name.
Second, cannot remove the flowers, plants, and gra.s.s in the backyard. This one is no harm in agreeing because the backyard is unseen anyway.
Third, cannot decorate inn, it has to maintain its original appearance.
The third point is the one that makes people stop, leave aside that the room decorations are very simple, but the front door is more important, compare with the Jin Xiu inn across, really a difference between copper coins and gold ingots. Granted that it has a long-standing reputation, one must take into account the appearance as well. Businessmen with the sincere desire to buy dispersed by waves, after two weeks, no one has asked.
Old innkeeper is not urgent, every day would open the inn after finished watering the plants, and life of each day would pa.s.s tepidly.
Nothing can surpa.s.s the happiness Shao Zi and the demons felt, early morning would rise to drink enough clean water and then would face the cool breeze blow ah blow, extremely pleased. Today it’s the third month, only the magnolias bloom while peony and rhododendron leaves are still green. The whole yard verdant in color, amongst it lies a single branch of red flower.
“Really is ‘purple chalk contains a point of flame, red rouge dyed small lotus**‘, innkeeper has tended an extremely good garden, magnolia flowers bloom very beautifully.”
**purple chalk entraps flames, red paint dyes lotus flower
Small breeze blow by, swinging the flowers and gra.s.s one direction. Shao Zi turns to the pleasant voice, she saw a young man wearing plain grey cotton clothing, his figure tall and straight, his brows and eyes carry a light smiling expression, his face is pale and is full of a scholarly air, like a person stepping out of an ink painting.
Xin niang saw that was she complimented, turn her hips, her face was more open/fresh than before, smile to the point of her spray* shaking.
*sprig of a plant with blossoms and leaves
Everyone saw and clicks their tongues: “Xin niang begins to commit her starry-eyed infatuation, be a bit reserve ah.”
Xin niang snorted, it’s rare to see such a high quality gentleman, to not commit starry-eyed infatuation is unworthy of oneself as flower, you mustn’t betray your flower soul okay?
Flower demon and gra.s.s demon there chirp chirp. Old innkeeper and Scholar only heard the rustling sound of the wind blowing the leaves.
Scholar suddenly said: “Can only ask innkeeper to part with this cherished place, I really like this place.”
“Pu!” Shao Zi suddenly raises her head upward and looks attentively at the scholar that before thought was bright and clear, almost move leg to kick him in the mud.
Old innkeeper asked: “Will you follow the three agreements?”
Scholar laughed: “Can.”
Old innkeeper readily said: “Deal.”
Xin niang with unmatched, magnificent style (beauty) also was dumbfounded, immediately went to hug Rhododendron: “Gramps like this will sell us, no one will take care of us, waa. waa.”
The whole yard fluttering and floating about, the sounds of leaves rustling still rang.
Night the wind was calm, and lights rise.
Under the many ardent eyes of “let’s kill the scholar” of the demons, Shao Zi resolutely jumped into the scholar’s room. Crouching near the windowsill, she looked at the young man reading under the lamp, rubbing chin, step by step, toes touching the ground, and instantly turned into a long-haired white female…. ghost…
Shao Zi peers in front of the mirror for a bit, looked in the mirror green face red eyes and was satisfied. Complacently sat across the table, try blowing the lamp, the lights in the room flicker.
Scholar remains unmoved.
Shao Zi stretches her head out, approaches and blows cold air against his face.
Scholar is still reading a book.
“Bookworm ah bookworm, we want to take care of Tong Fu inn, you will lose money if you follow this rhythm (trick).” Shao Zi shook her head, raising her hand to block the book page, her hand gradually appears vivid, yet he is still indifferent!
Shao Zi looks at hand, mortals can see it clearly, before this method can scare the vulgar and brawny ruffians in trouble and cause them to run. Sees formidable opponent, altogether Shao Zi’s body appears, bouncing vivaciously around him, sometimes would blow cold air onto his neck, sometimes would raise hand to block his view, and even kick the windows to crackle and rattle (sounds).
Half shi chen (equals to one hour) later…
Demons squatting in the yard, silently look at the Tian room to wait for Shao Zi to return victorious, unable to take one’s eyes off of the jumping figure appearing on the window paper, puzzling: “What is Boss doing there? Colorful jumping to seduce the Scholar ah?”
Plump gourd said: “Must be using the old ghost trick to scare.”
A shi chen (two hours) later…
Shao Zi collapses on the table, desolately cries: “I am ghost … a ghost ah! Can you at least spare me a glance? Pretend to be scare to one’s soul will do ah, cannot be like this! waa”
Shao Zi faintly sees his mouth twitch, there’s a curve, and clearly he is trying to refrain from laughing ah! Shao Zi turned her head, use the tears to cleanse the colorful powder on face and look at him: “Stupid Scholar, you see me, right?”
Absent-minded a bit, sees him indifferently turned a page, where to see smiling expression on the corners of his mouth. Shao Zi scratches her head, was it an illusion? Heard outside a familiar sound of footsteps, and immediately hid herself.
“Chu gongzi (gentleman), probably asleep?”
Scholar hurriedly responded and finally put down the book in his hand and went to open the door.
Shao Zi saw old innkeeper carrying a wrapped cloth bag on back, the tears flow even more so, lying on the door frame and helplessly watched him hand the deed to Scholar, heard him say told Scholar to properly water the plants and spread the manure, almost end up crying while lying down: “Gramps … ”
Old innkeeper was unaware, explain everything, a soft sigh in one go, filled with nostalgia and attachments, held his wife’s hand and left.
Shao Zi does not have the mood to scare Scholar anymore, follow the old innkeeper all the way to the door, barefoot hit the bluestones on the road, and watches as the two old backs linking in arm for support gradually disappear under the red lanterns until they are no longer seen.
The inn still ends up being sold.
He had said together they would protect the inn and they just left like that.
Shao Zi felt depressed.
But even more sadness has appeared.
In the morning they would always wake up to welcome the dawn just like in the past, habitually wait for the well water to come and cool them down. That Scholar sure enough appears, bent over and threw the barrel down the well, carries a full bucket up. The demons earnestly look at him, but saw him scoop what seems to be too much, yet already spill half, everyone has mixed feelings of this gentleman like willow in front of the wind. *
* Implying he gets sway by the wind easily; weak
Then … the scholar directly carries the barrel, walks, straight, across! Fundamentally it’s not to water them!
The demons comforted each other that he must have forgotten, wait for a bit will do. Wait and wait ah etc. until noon, even with spring sunshine drying for long will feel burnt. Shao Zi almost wanted to move her legs to jump in the well relieve oneself (moisture), then the back door quietly opened, Scholar returns with buckets. After that he finally went to the well, scoop a bucket full of water, with great effort he moved to the flowerbeds, leaned over and grabbed a ladle.
Shao Zi swallowed hard: “Is he not going to…”
Finished speaking, Scholar scooped a ladle of water, his hands lifted.
Screams suddenly resonated the yard:
“I will die, what is he doing?!”
“Help ah! I will be a dead burnt demon!”
“Mother, my heart is ill.”
Scholar swings his arms, at first he wanted spill the water out, the results did not clenched the barrel tightly, it slips out and swiftly flew, hit “bang” Shao Zi’s head…
The cold breeze slowly rises, murderous aura filled the sky…
“Boss! Boss! Are you all right?!”
“Boss please wake up ah!”
“Ai ya ya! You dare hit boss, let me fight you!”
Scholar shook his head and said: “I really do not have a gardening talent ah,” When he finished, he pours the bucket full of water into flowerbeds, and satisfactory clapped her hands, “This way is very good.”
Shao Zi with cheeks streaming with tears, scratch her heart and lung – Great, you big arrogant idler’s good ah! Tonight I will swallow you alive, even your bones I will not spit out ah!