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53 Zhiqi Village
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Ultimate Rice System
Author :Dism
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53 Zhiqi Village

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*Guk*Guk*Guk*Creak*

Xin Fan's whole body was thrown to the front of the carriage after a sudden stop. The dust inside was kicked up and everyone started to cough. It has been a few days after the journey started with nonstop movement. Everyday, they would sit still in the carriage, watch the scenery and eat food while relaxing. It certainly was unexpected that they stopped anytime soon.

"Cough...cough. Why did we stop."

Xin Fan slowly crawled out of the the carriage to get a breath of fresh air. The cloud of dust that was kicked up slowly vented through the window and door of the carriage. Three moons illuminated the night sky shining upon many of the evergreen trees. At one point of the journey, the landscape changed from a rocky mountain terrain to a snowy terrain. The fresh snow blanketed the trees forming what seemed as something straight out of picture book. Xin Fan looked around to see the other four carriages also stop with many of the children slowly exiting. From the distance, Xin Fan could see some dim lights and hearty laughter.

"Okay children. This is where we rest for the night."

Wang Mei slowly patted of the accumulated dust off her robe and hopped off the carriage. She then looked towards the children and ordered them to line up.

"In the distance, would be our first stop, Zhiqi Village. We would stop here for around a day or two to resupply."

She then took out a large piece of paper and pinned it upon the tree for all to see.

"I expect your best behaviour. This list is who's home you are going to stay with...I repeat, be on your best behaviour...or else."

Xin Fan scanned the list to see his name next to someone called 'Lu Nan'. He then moved aside to let the next person find their name. It seemed that both Tianfei and Chilong also had the same person. Wang Mei may have just chosen the groups based on those who hung out together. The process took a few minutes before everyone was ready. As Xin Fan waited, he spotted Tianfei and Chilong staring at a white rabbit. It's red, beady eyes shimmered as it reflected the moon. The two stayed at least a meter away lest they scared it away however as usual, they were bickering.

"Runt, You don't know how good rabbit tastes in harsh environments. You are missing out."

"How cruel. That thing is innocent. How could you say that!"

Xin Fan moved over to take a closer inspection. Xin Fan looked at its eyes for just a moment before it's ears perked up and it dashed off into the underbrush.

"Ah! It ran off."

"What a shame."

Tianfei looked quite disheartened as she turned to Xin Fan.

"What... You can see it again anytime. Besides, I am here to tell you that everyone is done, we can get going."

Xin Fan waved his hands to signal them back into the group. And so, as a collective of 50 students, they trudged slowly against the snow into the village. As they approached, the light only became brighter as did the sounds of laughter. They seemed to be having a feast at the village center. There were children running around the tables laughing as they played tag together. There were also adults pouring alcohol to each other. A wave of nostalgia hit Xin Fan as he thought back to the times his own village had a feast. Every time a child was born. Every time someone had a marriage. Every time, during a cultural celebration, they would have a feast much like this one. As the man at the head of the table was being poured a cup of wine, he spotted Wang Mei. He was much older than everyone else so Xin Fan automatically assumed that he was the village chief. After a few moments of observation, the chief's eyes lit up.


"If it isn't my little Wang Mei!"

Wang Mei's complexion turned slightly pink as the old man slowly walked over.

"G...Grandfather, I am on official school business."

"Ahh...Who cares, you are my favorite granddaughter first in my eyes. Here have some food."

The old man took a few pieces of meat off the table and handed it over to Wang Mei. She respectfully accepted it and finished it all. The chief looked at the 50 or so children and guided them to the empty tables.

"We just started. Come! Eat!"

When the children all sat down, food was presented to them. There were may aunties and uncles grilling meat in their homes and taking it out to feed them. At the main table, Wang Mei turned to her grandfather.

"So what's the occasion?"

"Oh? My granddaughter is coming back. What is there to say?"

"Grandfather!"

"Ahh fine, It's just the harvest was great this season and we wanted to celebrate. Also since you are coming over for a day or two, we just chose to have it today."

"I...Is that so?"

"How's that deadbeat son of mine? Is he still riding that bird?"

"F...Father is doing fine?"

Wang Mei was quite shaken. Although she had an uncaring exterior, in front of family, she was forced to be on her best behavior. For her students, this side was quite fresh.

"How is it with Lu Nan's son? You mustn't let such a good man like him get away?"

"H...He's just like a little brother to me!"

For the entire night, the the chief slowly getting drunker kept teasing his granddaughter. His face kept getting redder and redder as did his granddaughter albeit for different reasons. As they did so, Xin Fan and his group slowly feasted and was absorbed into this cheerful atmosphere. As the feast ended, all the students were sent over to be introduced to their host. Xin Fan, Chilong and Tianfei were introduced to their host, Lu Nan. She was large in figure, wore an apron and resembled a stereotypical housewife.

"So you're Xin Fan, Hei Chilong and Bai Tianfei, am I right?"

"Yes!"they said collectively.

"As you know, I am Lu Nan, You can call me Aunty Lu. If you have any problems, just ask me."

Aunty Lu guided them into their rooms. She was cheerful to say the least and was open to show them around her home. The group had an easy time to settle into their room and fall asleep after a great meal. It was the first time in a while where they could sleep in a proper bed and they wanted to take every opportunity they had.

When they are all asleep Aunty Lu slowly peeked in their rooms and checked if they are sleeping properly. Seeing that they are all sleeping soundly, she smiled and went off to bed on her own.

"Good children..."
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