RCFTAT: Chapter-2 (Part-1)


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It was not easy to sell a book. After a day of hard work, Xu Zhen exchanged two cakes with a book to bring back home.

Xu Zhen’s back was aching after squatting for a day to sell books in the market.

For the next few days, Xu Zhen took care of the girl and tried hard to chat with her.

But, the girl never spoke.

Xu Zhen teased the girl while feeding her medicine.

“What is your name? Are you eight-years-old?”

Xu Zhen helped her to sit up, and said, “Sit up and drink some medicine first.”

The girl was wearing a big shirt with thickly rolled sleeves. She sat up with the help of Xu Zhen and took the medicine bowl to drink it.

Xu Zhen pinched the girl’s cheeks and said, “Why did you steal the book?” 

After a pause, she added, “A student should not steal. Are you a student? Can you read or write?”

The girl stared at Xu Zhen with downcast eyes, looking like a statue.

The small scar near her eyes added a touch of solemnity to her face.

Xu Zhen had gotten used to the girl’s silent behavior. After a while, she said with an embarrassing smile, “This is the last medicine for the day. Don’t try to sleep yet.”

Xu Zhen looked at her eyes and found the little girl’s eyes were a darker shade of blue. 

A color was specific to the ‘Hu’ people. 

There were rumors that the people of the Hu community eat raw flesh and drink warm blood.

As someone who had come from a different world, Xu Zhen didn’t believe in those baseless rumors.

Xu Zhen asked with a little hope, “Are you from the Hu community?”

The little girl slightly opened her mouth and said something in a very low voice.

Xu Zhen wasn’t able to hear it and asked with some surprise, “What do you want today?”

The girl again spoke, and said, “Thank you.”

Xu Zhen got happy after listening to the girl’s words. Hence, she tried to chat with her.

But, the girl didn’t speak again, after a while Xu Zhen asked her to take a rest and went out by closing the wooden door.

Xu Zhen went back to her room to take a nap, but remembering about all the expenses, she hurried to the cabinet to check her deposits. 

After checking, she found only twenty copper plates were left. 

She was too poor. Besides doing the good deeds, she also needed to earn money for her survival. 

After hiding her money, Xu Zhen went to the kitchen and took a meat patty. After taking a few bites, she went out of the kitchen.

The outside was noisy with the sound of pedestrians’ hurried walking, the sounds of horses rushing, and the other kinds of sound. 

The cluster of trees, smog, and bustling streets created a beautiful picture.

Xu Zhen looked dizzily at the picture while eating her meat patty.

When she walked to the market, a voice called her, “Sir!”

Xu Zhen found that voice was quite familiar, and when she looked back, she had found that it was the man who had previously purchased the book of flowers, birds, and fishes from her.

She stopped, she had always been patient with her customers.

The old man said, “Are there any other books?”

Xu Zhen froze and said, “Other books? There was only an undergraduate book.”

The old man replied, “Yes, that book!”

Xu Zhen had always kept those books with her to sell them, she immediately pulled the book out of her arm and said, “I have ten copies of this book. How many books do you want?”

The old man took a look at the book and hurriedly said, “No, not this one.”

Xu Zhen asked again, “What is wrong? This is the same book you have brought earlier.”

The old man said, “I have already read his book, but this book does not contain some of the grass and trees from the neighborhood.”

Xu Zhen was feeling helpless, there were so many plants and trees, she couldn’t write about each of them.

Xu Zhen said, “That book is gone.”

The old man was disappointed but he still bought the other book.

When the old man came back with the book, his neighbor was watering a plant with broad leaves.

This plant was expensive and known for its delicious fruits. 

Watching his neighbor watering the plant, the old man called out, “This plant is only watered once a week.”

The neighbor turned towards the old man and scolded, “What kind of books are reading nowadays? How can the plant survive without water?”

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