Chapter 2: Going Home to Farm
Looking up, Yang Feng saw only stars in the sky.
He was on a highway overpass, with no residential areas nearby, and he was the only one on the bridge.
Could this thing have fallen from the sky?
Yang Feng was stunned for a moment, and without thinking too much, he lowered his head to look at the object that almost hit him.
He lightly kicked it with his foot to make sure there was no danger, then picked it up.
It was quite heavy, and upon closer inspection, he realized it was a gourd.
It was hollow, and the top of the gourd could be removed.
There was a red string tied around the waist of the gourd, like a handicraft.
Shaking the gourd and removing the stopper, he looked inside, but it was empty.
Under the starlight and streetlights, the large seal on the belly of the gourd could be vaguely seen.
It seemed to be a work of some jewelry store.
Yang Feng decided to take it back with him.
It would be a waste to throw it away, and he could put it on display at home.
He stuffed the gourd into his backpack and ignored it.
Dragging his tired body back to his dark and dilapidated rental room, he opened the door and tried to turn on the lights.
He pressed the switch twice, but there was no response.
“Ah, I guess the landlord cut off the electricity again,” Yang Feng muttered to himself.
He took a basin to the public tap and collected some water.
After washing up quickly, he was ready to rest.
However, he couldn't fall asleep no matter how much he tossed and turned on the bed, staring at the old and yellowed ceiling.
Yang Feng didn't know what to do.
“Knock, knock, knock.”
Yang Feng turned his head and asked, “Who is it?”
“It's me, the landlord.”
Yang Feng's expression froze, he sighed, and opened the door.
“Uncle Wang, is there something you need?”
The old man at the door looked at him unkindly and said, “Don't play dumb with me.
Your rent expired yesterday.”
“Um, Uncle Wang, can you give me a few more days? I just lost my job and really have no money right now.”
“A few more days? Are you out of your mind? Let me tell you, either pay the rent tonight or get out.”
Yang Feng felt that no matter what he said now, it would be weak and powerless, so he decided not to say anything at all.
“Since you've been living here for so long, I'll be merciful and let you stay one more night tonight.
But, tomorrow morning, you'll have to pack your things and leave.”
After the landlord left, Yang Feng lay back on his bed and stared at the ceiling, lost in thought.
Paying the rent wouldn't have been a problem with his salary.
However, because he had fought with Ma Fei in the morning and hurt his back, his salary would now have to cover medical expenses.
It seemed like he couldn't make it in this big city anymore, so he decided to go back to his hometown first.
The next morning, Yang Feng left the rental house with his packed luggage after staying there for two years.
As he walked to the end of the alley, Yang Feng looked back at the shabby rented house.
Although it had been tiring before, at least he could come back to this little nest at night and have a place to rest.
Now, there was no place in this city that he felt worth staying for.
When he arrived at the bus station, Yang Feng squeezed the remaining fifty yuan in his pocket.
With only this amount, he could barely make it back home.
There was no direct bus from the city to Yang Feng's hometown, Huangshi Village.
He had to transfer in the county on the way.
He set off in the morning and didn't arrive in the town until dusk.
From there, it was still more than ten miles to Huangshi Village, and he had to walk the rest of the way because it was a dirt road and too narrow for any vehicle to drive through.
Carrying his luggage, Yang Feng walked towards Huangshi Village.
He looked at the familiar terrain along the road, feeling both strange and familiar.
After walking for about seven or eight miles, it was completely dark outside.
The surroundings were pitch black.
In the silent night, he could occasionally hear the croaks of frogs.
Feeling tired, Yang Feng found a large rock leaning against a tree and sat down to rest.
He put his backpack down, and as he did so, he heard a sound like flowing water coming from inside the backpack.
He wondered, “What's that sound of water coming from my backpack?”
While packing his luggage, Yang Feng put in a few pieces of clothes and the gourd.
He opened his backpack and took out the gourd.
“Huh, is there water in here?”
Yang Feng remembered that when he found the gourd, he had shaken it and it was empty.
So how could there be water in it now?
He opened the lid and a cool sensation hit him.
He shook the gourd and there was quite a bit of water inside, filling up its round belly.
It was really strange because he was sure it had been empty when he set out on his journey.
Feeling a little thirsty, but unsure of the origin of the water, Yang Feng decided to wait until he got back home before drinking any.
He picked up his bag and continued walking for another half hour or so, and now he could vaguely see the village ahead.
Yang Feng's thoughts were in turmoil at this moment, remembering that two years ago when he left the village, he had hoped to make a future for himself on his own.
Unexpectedly, two years had passed and he was still worse off than before.
Yang Feng lowered his head and slowly walked towards the village.
The July night was particularly hot, but due to the busy farming season, the golden wheat could be seen everywhere on the roadside drying fields.
At the entrance of the village, there were clusters of big locust trees, under which a group of people sat, fanning themselves with palm-leaf fans and discussing this year's harvest.
Seeing these people, Yang Feng didn't want to join in and planned to quickly walk past them.
However, these people had sharp eyes and could see him even in the late evening.
Suddenly, an old man squinted his eyes and exclaimed, “Hey, isn't this Yang's boy?”
As he spoke, the old men and women who were enjoying the cool breeze all turned to look at him.
Yang Feng looked up and realized it was his neighbor, Zhang Fei, standing at the door.
According to seniority, Yang Feng should address him as “second uncle,” but it was just a formality.
“Um, Second Uncle, it's me,” Yang Feng replied.
Since he had been spotted, Yang Feng felt obliged to respond.
“You're working in the big city, aren't you? How come you're back here today?” Second Uncle Zhang asked.
“I quit my job over there and came back to take a break for a while,” Yang Feng replied.
At this moment, Uncle Yang Feng, who was sitting under the acacia tree, stood up and walked over.
“Little Feng is back! We didn't notice you in the dark,” Uncle Yang Feng said.
“Yes, Uncle, I'm back,” Yang Feng replied nonchalantly.
“Why did you quit your job? It was going well, wasn't it?” Uncle Yang Feng asked.
“The salary was too low, and the work was not satisfying,” Yang Feng explained.
“You young people nowadays are so picky.
As long as you can earn some money, that's enough.
You shouldn't be so choosy,” Uncle Yang Feng scolded.
” Yang Feng rolled his eyes.
That was the reason why he didn't want to come over, it was very annoying.
The people sitting under the shade of the tree chimed in, “Yeah, young people these days are just like that, what was it, they have high eyes, and what was the rest?”
“High eyes and low hands.”
Notes: The saying in Chinese is something like (yǎn gāo shǒu dī), which means having high aspirations but lacking the necessary skills or effort to achieve them.
“high eyes” in Chinese, and it is often used to describe someone who has high expectations or aspirations.
In the Chinese saying “High eyes and low hands.” the phrase ” low hands ” refers to having low skills or not being able to back up one's high aspirations with practical abilities or actions.
It suggests that while it's good to have big goals and ambitions, it's equally important to work hard and develop the necessary skills to achieve them.
“Right, right, right.
Our Xiaodan is much more down-to-earth.
He's been working there for a year, and his boss even gave him a raise last month.”
Yang Feng rolled his eyes, not saying anything.
‘The main purpose of my return this time is to see if I can find a job in my hometown and take care of our two-acre land at home.’
Speaking of land, Yang Feng suddenly remembered that he has been away from home for so many years and the land at home is still being cultivated by his uncle.
He was about to leave when his uncle happened to be here, so he decided to bring it up.
“Uncle, all the wheat has just been harvested this year, and I plan to take back our two-acre land.”
“What? What do you want to do with the land?”
Upon hearing that Yang Feng wanted to take back the land, his uncle's eyebrows furrowed and his face changed immediately.
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