Mo Yan didn’t want Lu Junming to carry her again, so the two of them slowly walked back to Mo Yan’s home, with Lu Junming helping her out.
Mo Yan’s second grandmother took a detour to retrieve her clay pot from the well.

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When they returned, Mrs.
Liang was messing with the medicinal herbs.
When she saw Lu Junming enter, she greeted him, “Junming, you’re here.
I was going to ask Mo Yan to invite you over in the afternoon!”

Lu Junming replied calmly, “Mrs.
Liang, I’m sending Mo Yan back home because she was injured.”

“Hurt? Where? Why are you so careless? Do we need to ask Mr.
Cao to come over and take a look?” Mrs.
Liang said that like she was worried about Mo Yan’s injury, but she didn’t come over to see how Mo Yan was injured.

Mo Yan held up her injured hand, “There’s no need.
Sir Lu already applied medicine on my wound.”

Only then did Mrs.
Liang realise her daughter and injured her hand, “You injured your hand when harvesting medicinal herbs? How will you ever harvest wheat sorghum?”

Mo Ling had come back from the market by then and saw Lu Junming standing in the courtyard, “Hello young Mr.
Junming, come in and sit down! The meal will be done soon.”

Mo Ling already referred to Lu Junming as ‘young Mr.
Junming’, so Mo Yan felt like it’d be impolite to call him by his name.

When no one was looking, she tilted her head to look at Lu Junming and called him “Young Mr.
Junming” mischievously.

When Mo Ling called him that just then, he felt calm and collected, but when Mo Yan called him that, Lu Junming became embarrassed and blushed, “Don’t call me that!”

Liang put down what she was working on and invited him to come over for a meal, but he refused, “I don’t want to trouble you, and Aunt Zhang is already cooking.”

“How can her cooking compare to my mum’s? Since you’re here now, let’s have lunch instead of dinner.”

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Thinking of how important this meal was, Mrs.
Liang verbally hinted at Mo Yan to ask Lu Junming to come in and sit down while she went to the kitchen to cook.

Mo Yan took Lu Junming inside, “We don’t have any good tea at home.”

“It’s fine, I’m not thirsty.”

The fan that Cao Zhang gave to Mo Yan was on the table in the living room.
Lu Junming picked it up and opened it.
The words “ascend with every step” were written on it.

Lu Junming laughed and said, “Does Cao Zhang dream of becoming an official?”

Mo Yan only said that everyone had their aspirations and didn’t say anything else.
Even if Cao Zhang didn’t become an official, Mo Yan still hoped that he’d live a good life.

When Mo Feng came back home from school for lunch, he smelled the fragrant smell coming from the kitchen and rushed in, “What’s cooking? It smells so good!”

As she chopped the vegetables, Mrs.
Liang reminded him, “Lu Junming is here, so you must behave yourself during lunch later.”

“No matter what, at least I’m not a mistress-born…”

“Shut up! Don’t say these words again!”

Mo Ling tended to the fire as Mrs.
Liang cooked the dishes.
They served four dishes: stir-fried pork with garlic, stir-fried bean curd, grilled eggplants, and fried egg with cucumber.

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They were all simple household dishes, but they’d be lucky to even eat this much twice every year.
Even Mo Ling was salivating at the dishes.

After the last dish was cooked, Mrs.
Liang cut some salted eggs in half with a knife and placed them on a plate.
The golden yolks of the eggs were bright and dazzling.

Liang wiped the table clean and then stood at the kitchen door and called out, “Yan’er, ask Junming to come out for lunch!”

When the two of them entered the kitchen, Mo Yan habitually went to grab a bowl of sauce.
Liang scolded her in a low voice, “Why are you still taking that? What kind of host would serve sauce to someone?”

Lu Junming took the bowl of sauce from Muyi’s hand and put it on the table, “I’ve heard that Mrs.
Liang’s sauce is good, but I’ve never tasted it before!”

Now that he has spoken, Mrs.
Liang couldn’t say anything else, so she hurriedly asked Lu Junming to sit down.
Mo Feng arrived uninvited and sat down where he usually sat.

Mo Ling brought over a basket with dried food which was covered with a cloth, and lifted it to reveal two different types.
Aside from the pieces of cornbread they usually had, there was also white bread which was placed tidily.

Mo Feng immediately grabbed a piece of white bread and started eating.
Liang opened her mouth, but didn’t say anything.
She took another piece and handed it to Lu Junming, “Junming, have some.”

Mo Ling self-consciously took two pieces of cornbread, and Mo Yan was also about to reach out for a piece when Lu Junming passed the white bread in his hand to her, “Eat this.”

Liang said with a smile on her face, “Junming, you don’t need to mind her.
She’ll eat whatever she wants to.”

Muyi took a bite of the cornbread and smeared sauce on it with chopsticks, exclaiming that it tasted good as she ate.

Liang said, “Don’t mind her”, and enthusiastically piled food onto Lu Junming’s plate, never forgetting the reason they invited him over.

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“Two days ago, my Feng’er had offended Junming by his words.
I hope this meal will make you forgive him for his actions.”

Lu Junming looked across the table at Mo Feng, who was just frantically eating his food without even lifting his head.

“You didn’t have to do so much, Mrs.
I was also reckless that day and hit Mo Feng.
I hope Brother Mo will forgive me.”

He stared at Mo Feng as he spoke.
Liang nudged her son with her elbow, urging him on in a whisper, “Say something!”

Only then did Mo Feng stop moving his chopsticks.
He mumbled vaguely with his mouth full, “No harm done”, and then filled his mouth with another piece of meat from his plate.

She only mentioned the reason she invited him here, but was unable to say what she was planning to say next.
When she had been initially offered the job, she had refused, but now that they had hired someone else, she was accepting the job again.

Mo Yan picked up half a salted egg and put it in front of Lu Junming, “Try this.”

Lu Junming picked out the egg yolk with his chopsticks, and after eating it, he repeatedly said it was delicious.

“Is my mum’s food good?” Mu Yan asked.

Lu Junming nodded, “Yes, it’s tasty and just salty enough.”

“Is it better than Mrs.
Zhang’s cooking?”

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Lu Junming seemed to have picked up on what she was trying to say and paused for a moment before replying, “Grandpa hired Aunt Zhang, so I’m not in a position to talk about her cooking.
But Mrs.
Liang, do you sell these salted eggs?”

Without waiting for Mrs.
Liang’s and Mo Ling’s reaction, Mo Yan immediately replied, “Yes!

“Then sell some to us later! I think they’re delicious.”

This time Mrs.
Liang finally responded, “Yes, yes, I’ll steam them and send them to you later.
You live very close to us anyways.”

“Ok, thank you Mrs.

Lu Junming put down his chopsticks after eating only a piece of white bread, while Mu Feng had already eaten three and was trying to reach out for another one.
Liang patted him on the arm and said, “Feng’er, please serve soup to everyone.”

If she had told him that normally, he would have been reluctant and would have asked why aren’t Mo Yan or Mo Ling doing it instead.
But today, for the sake of the white bread and food, he did not say anything and got up to serve the soup.

First he served himself a bowl and took a couple of sips right in front of the stove, before getting another bowl and handing it to Lu Junming.

Post-edit notes: Next chapter might be a little late due to real life problems, but I’ll try to get it out within four days.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
[1] Yet another documented case of Mrs.
Liang’s negligence.
[2] This is a common Chinese phrase wishing good luck in your career.
[3] Meat was fairly uncommon to eat in China back then and some households couldn’t afford it on Chinese New Year.

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