Chapter 09 Refining Water
The arm cannot resist the thigh, Zhang Jiaohua was raised up by father by his collars from the bank. Jinhu, et al, also followed in coming ashore. The mudfishes in the bamboo basket didn’t increase again. In this short while of casual work, inside of it was unexpectedly 12 jin of mudfish. What a pity, that in the town the mudfish sell for a few mao for a jin. [TLNote: Mao aka Jiao, is equivalent to one-tenth of a Yuan or 10 fen]
The people in rural areas think of selling off even the useless things. Zhang Youping carrying the basket of mudfish was actually thinking of trading them for a few taels of perfumed oil. The perfumed oil is precisely rapeseed oil, with rich fragrant. However, many people do not like that rich fragrance of rapeseed oil. However, this kind of fragrance when used to cook up the fishy smelling mudfish is actually much better.
Since rice fields are to be planted for two seasons, if oilseed rape is planted, then it is easy to delay the farming season. As a result of planting oilseed rape, paddy fields cannot be plowed ahead of time. Moreover, once the rapeseed is harvested, if there is a water shortage, there would most likely be no means to transplant rice seedlings. The yield of rapeseed is not high, mainly for one’s own personal use. The people in the rural area generally do not like consuming rapeseed oil, therefore not many oilseed rape are planted every year.
The perfumed oil in Zhang Jiaohua’s house had already been used up, now after disposing of these many mudfish, several more meals could be eaten. However, every time using perfumed oil, made Zhang Youping feel somewhat embarrassed.
Zhang Jiaohua after being dragged out from the ditch by his father was walking on the road in a listless manner. No matter how the father tried to tease him, he wouldn’t show any smile. Obviously was still mad at his father.
Zhang Jiaohua was unhappy, Jinhu et al, were also not happy, and one by one looking at Zhang Jiaohua’s mannerisms, began walking with drooping heads, pouting mouth, dispiritedly.
Hearing the sound of footsteps in the courtyard, Liu Qiaoye came out to welcome from the room, “Precious son, what happened? Weren’t you able to catch mudfish today? Aiya, I see, today you aren’t so happy? You usually do not commit wrong while catching mudfish with father? Whether or not father beat you. Tell your mother, your mother will sort him out.”
Liu Qiaoye looked towards her husband, “With great difficulty, he managed to adapt somewhat today, why did you scold him?”
“Ai, you don’t understand.” Zhang Youping didn’t want to raise the matter from before again. He didn’t want his wife to be too worried. For some matters, it falls upon the man to take responsibility.
“I wouldn’t understand? You scolding my precious son is not right. The village people talk about our precious son behind our backs. What did our precious son do? Doesn’t eat from them, doesn’t wear from them, also doesn’t steal from them. Obstructing them. You don’t even dote on your precious son, sigh. You even add fire onto oil, what kind of father are you?” Liu Qiaoye immediately just like a mother hen protects her son, showed her frighteningly shrewish side.
Zhang Jiaohua who wasn’t originally feeling well immediately felt an unusual sense of grievance. Without crying, nothing can be achieved. Therefore, without a moment’s hesitation, he cried. The crying point of little brats is really low, as long as the mood is fermented slightly, then at once would be capable of crying a river.
As Zhang Jiaohua cried, Mother suddenly panicked, promptly embraced the precious child, and tried to cheer and comfort. Also without a moment’s hesitation scolded Father for a prolonged duration.
Don’t know why, but when Mother was scolding Father, Zhang Jiaohua’s mood immediately became much better. Later, when from don’t know where Mother took out hard candy, a smile emerged on the face.
When Zhang Jiaohua was eating the candy, Jinhu, et al., were staring at the candy in Zhang Jiaohua’s hands, incessantly swallowing back their saliva. Brats didn’t have the notion of sharing happiness amongst peers.
At lunch time, from don’t know where, Mother got a small jar of perfumed oil, and deep fried both sides of the mudfish to yellowness, then from a jar took out a red hot pepper and stir-fried it to savoriness. Zhang Jiaohua sweated profusely while eating.
“Precious child, is the mudfish delicious?” Liu Qiaoye smiled and asked upon seeing Zhang Jiaohua eating like that with great relish.
“Delicious Delicious, it’s even more delicious than salted vegetables.” Zhang Jiaohua spoke while eating big mouthfuls, his words were somewhat unclear.
After eating lunch, he took out that little bell and began fiddling with it. Later, he tied up the bell on his wrist.
Zhang Jiaohua was sitting on the threshold leaning on the gate. Jinhu et al., were also sitting alongside Zhang Jiaohua on the threshold.
While sitting, all of a sudden everything turned dizzy, Zhang Jiaohua fell asleep all of a sudden.
The Old Daoist Priest was again standing before Zhang Jiaohua, “Today is the beginning of spring, before the sound of the first spring thunder, you must be able to practice refining water. Starting from now, every day in the fourth earthly branch (Early morning five-six a.m.), every day refine three times. Must be able to refine for seven-sevens forty-nine days. I will accompany you to practice for first seven days. Later, you will refine on your own. Remember. Before refining water, you must wash your hands, wash your face. During water refining, you must maintain abstinence, even husband and wife cannot have sexual intercourse, going to the bathroom cannot expectorate anywhere you like. Starting from the first day of refining water, you must guard against three loathings for your entire life, otherwise, your water refining will get corrupted by the loathing, and will not work. Refining water requires refining character, must always maintain a good conscience, must respect Master, must respect Ancestors, help those in distress, help the destitute, must not deceive master, or forget ancestors, or use force to bully the weak, or fantasize of evil thoughts, or use dharma to injure someone. Do you understand?”
Zhang Jiaohua naturally didn’t understand, “Abstinence” is what meaning? “Husband and Wife cohabitation” is again what meaning? “Three Loathings” is what meaning?
However, Zhang Jiaohua at this time was just like a controlled puppet, couldn’t speak his innermost thoughts. However, what made Zhang Jiaohua startled was that he even in this circumstance of no control, spoke: “Master, what are the three loathings?”
Old Daoist Priest nodded, “Three loathings, precisely refer to the Sky loathing pigeon, water-loathing alligator tortoise (soft-shelled turtle), earth loathing dog. Cannot eat pigeon, alligator tortoise, and dog meat.”
Zhang Jiaohua was unusually frightened, who was it that spoke just now? It was obviously spoken by himself, however what he spoke was not what he wanted to speak. What is all this about? Only Zhang Jiaohua didn’t have enough time to think about this issue. His body had again begun to move without his control.
Zhang Jiaohua was carrying a porcelain ceramic bowl in his left hand, middle finger and ring finger bent towards the palm, thumb, index finger and little finger forming the three legs of a tripod to hold the bowl. The right hand’s thumb covered the ring finger and the little finger. Stretching out the index finger and middle finger, forming a sword finger shape, which seemed straight yet not straight, bent at an angle of 210°. Then on one side, reciting incantations, on the other side, draw the taboo word. From the request of Hua Tou Imperial edict Meishan Institution Wild Soldiers had started, after continuous refining till now, finally the refining has formed Water Dharma. Hold the bowl, draw the taboo word, refine water.
Although, in the entire process, Zhang Jiaohua’s body was acting on its own, however, these movements were getting engraved in Zhang Jiaohua’s heart one by one. The feeling was similar to the way of doing things of Daoist priests on television, however here each and every action, compared to television Daoist priests required even more, exquisiteness.
Every time there was a mistake, the Old Daoist priest wouldn’t let Zhang Jiaohua have an easy time. Obviously, he was lacking the freedom to act voluntarily, but while getting beaten, the pain was really piercing.
The first time of water refining, he was hit countless times. While approaching the time of conclusion, he was again hit by Old Daoist Priest three times. Really painful. Zhang Jiaohua suddenly woke up from the pain, the back of the head hit the door frame, and the bump made a sound.
Zhang Jiaohua didn’t touch his head, rather rubbed his hands. Clearly, he was in a dream, then why did it feel so painful?