Chapter 5: You can't do speculative things!

Jiang Mu took the initiative to approach Sun Quan when she saw his reticent behavior.
“Have you ever been to the city?”   Sun Quan shook his head, the furthest place he had ever been was to the local school.
  ”Wait, your sister will show you the world in the future.” Jiang Mu smiled brightly and flaunted wantonly.
  Sun Quan seemed to be dazzled by this smile.
Seeing that Jiang Mu didn't seem to care about his shabby clothes, he began to speak boldly.
“This is a grain and oil store, and we usually buy rice here.
There is a grocery store in front, so we go there for soy sauce and vinegar.” 

“This is a hair salon run by Aunt Wang.
It costs 50 cents for a haircut, which is very expensive…”   …
  Twilight fell as the two walked around the surrounding area.
Sun Quan was indeed very familiar with the local shops and buildings, and through his explanations Jiang Mu basically understood the general situation.
  When on the way back to the old house, Jiang Mu bought a large bundle of red wool and a large bundle of black wool, as well as two sets of needles, and cut two catties of pork belly along the way.
  Sun Quan was stunned to see her spending ten yuan without blinking an eye.
Ten yuan could last for a month in their family.
  Jiang Mu thought his reaction was funny and told him, “Stretch out your hand.”   ”What are you going to do?” Sun Quan was puzzled, but he did it anyway.
Looking at them, Jiang Mu could see that his palms were red in several places and swollen from the cold.
Sun Quan was suffering from chilblains.
  Jiang Mu put a toffee in his palm, “Thank you for accompanying me today.”   Looking at the white packaged toffee in his hand, Sun Quan pursed his lips and swallowed, but still shook his head firmly in the negative.
“Grandma said that we will be neighbors in the future, you don’t have to thank me for these small things.”   “This candy is quite expensive too, so you can eat it yourself.” Sun Quan glanced at the pork belly and wool in her hand, hesitated and said, “You shouldn’t spend money like this in the future.
It costs a lot of money to go to school, and Aunt Zhao is raising you alone which will be very hard for her.”    Jiang Mu didn't explain everything to him even though she was being regarded as a child who spent money recklessly.
She peeled off the candy wrapper and stuffed it into his mouth saying, “Nah.”


The thick milky smell of the candy hit his nose and Sun Quan realized he had never eaten such delicious candy in his 15 years of life.
It’s not easy for grandpa and grandma to take him in, and life and school are very expensive as well.
They don’t have any extra money for luxuries like candy.
  ”Now that you’ve eaten my candy, we will be friends from now on.” Jiang Mu said.
  Sun Quan showed a big smile, nodded heavily while patting his chest, “Big brother will protect you from now on.”   Jiang Mu raised her eyebrows and compared the heights of the two them with her hands.
She jutted out her jaw and said, “Call me big sister!”   Looking at the girl who is half a head taller than him, Sun Quan still said, “Your brother will protect you from now on.”   Jiang Mu burst out laughing, this little kid is quite stubborn.
  *   In the evening, every household starts cooking.
  Zhao Yue had moved here and within a day, basically everyone in the shanty town knew about it.
  ”Have you heard that the daughter of the Zhao family who married into the capital has come back? I heard that she can't give birth to a son and he husband doesn't want her anymore.
“I also heard that her in-law’s family is also cruel and that they didn’t give her any money.
They kicked her out directly.”   ”See how arrogant the old Zhao family is? All these years they have been showing off a lot, and they are arrogant all day long.
Now their daughter is kicked out, I bet they’re feeling so ashamed!” “She used to be so arrogant when she came back from her big house in the capital, let’s see what she can be proud of in the future.”   “A woman without a family, with no job and no money, with a kid to carry along as well, her hard life is just beginning.”   Zhao Yue obviously became the laughingstock of everyone after dinner.
Gloating and ridicule poured into the ears of the mother and daughter.
  Jiang Mu was a little angry.
In this day and age, divorce is not a glorious thing, and it is easy to be gossiped about by others.
  Looking at Zhao Yue who was stewing meat, she opened the door a little, and the smell of braised pork wafted far away along with the heat.
  Zhao Yue's cooking skills are very good, and she is willing to put in oil and seasonings.
The strong meaty aroma makes people salivate, and the fragrance lingered for miles.
  Most of the people living in this area are poor families, and some of their conditions are acceptable.
However, it is not always possible to eat meat at every meal, and many of them can only eat some during the Chinese New Year.
Few people are willing to pay out so much money on regular weekdays.
  Smelling the aroma of the meat and seeing Jiang Mu coming out with a bowl full of it, everyone didn’t understand how this mother-daughter pair could afford it.
  Come on, don't gossip about others, they are doing well.
Look at this meat, the color is bright, the meat is mellow, and there must be a lot of oil and sugar.
Other people can live much better than them.
  A woman who was about to fetch water from a public faucet stared at the braised pork in her bowl and asked, “MuMu, where are you going?”   Jiang Mu showed a bright smile, “I’m going to Grandma Sun's house to deliver some food.
We bought briquettes today thanks to Grandpa and Grandma Sun’s help.”   Several people looked at each other; this is a bowl of meat, no matter how much is inside, it costs two yuan.
This family is really generous.
They looked at Jiang Mu’s figure as she walked to the Sun’s house.
From their spot they could clearly hear the sounds of surprise from the Sun family.


The women returned home in a huff.
Smelling the smell of meat in the air, and looking at the sweet potato porridge, radish and pickles in their own bowls, they no longer wanted to take a bite.
  Sun Family house   Sun HongFen looked at the tempting braised pork and declined, “MuMu, it's really not necessary, we’re all neighbors, and it's just a matter of pulling a cart of coal, so don't be so polite.”   Jiang Mu directly put the bowl on the dining table while smiling at the people around her.
“I'm not being polite, I’m here to ask Grandma Sun for help with something.
Sun Quan told me that grandma is very good at knitting.
The sweaters he wears are all knitted by grandma herself.
Do you know how to knit gloves?”   ”So you wanted to knit gloves today?” Did you buy all that wool to weave gloves?” Sun Quan suddenly realized.
  Jiang Mu nodded with a smile.
  Sun HongFen smiled kindly, “Isn't it just a pair of gloves? Don't worry, don't look at my age.
When I was young, I came from a large state-owned textile factory.
It doesn’t take much work.
Bring the needle.” Jiang Mu trotted home without giving the old woman a chance to refuse again.
  The Sun family is very poor, the poorest family in the already poor shanty town.
The couple is old, with their young grandson to support, and the family relies on grandpa taking a bicycle to collect junk for a living.
Living such a difficult life, they can just barely eat food and have clothes to wear, let alone eat meat.
  ”Eat, Xiao Quan, you eat more.
You are growing your body, you need to eat more to grow stronger.” Sun HongFen took the biggest piece out of the bowl for her grandson.
  ”Your grandma is right, you should eat more.” Grandpa Sun also grabbed a piece of meat with his chopsticks for his grandson with a smile.
  ”Grandpa and grandma should eat some too.” Sun Quan also gave each of the two old people a piece.
  The meat was so fragrant that Sun Quan couldn't bear to swallow it.
His lips were glistening with oil.
Seeing that his grandparents were reluctant to eat, he picked up a few more pieces for the two elderly people.
  ”Grandpa and grandma, I will earn a lot of money in the future, and our family will eat braised pork every day!”   ”Okay!” The old couple smiled happily.
In a house of more than ten square meters, the light bulbs have the lowest wattage, and the lights are dim and yellow.
The poorest family is the warmest.
  Jiang Mu didn’t waste any time and immediately brought the wool and needle with her back to the Sun’s home.
Sun HongFen looked at her bright red wool and knew it was a good product without even touching it, so she was more careful when starting to craft the gloves.
  ”Grandma, I want to learn how to knit.
Isn't it the Chinese New Year? I want to knit a pair of gloves for my mother,” Jiang Mu was a little embarrassed to admit it.
  ”Good girl, it’s great that you’re so filial, you should make an effort to treat your mother well.
She doesn’t have it easy.” Sun HongFen felt distressed when she thought of Zhao Yue’s situation.
  Needless to say, Jiang Mu also knew this.
When she went back today, she saw her mother was making plans.
She already knew that their family didn’t have enough money.
Under such circumstances, when she went home with the wool and meat, her mother didn't say a word.
She was still the same as before, only smiling gently.
Zhao Yue was such a good mother, Jiang Mu naturally wanted to let her live comfortably.
  ”Weaving gloves looks difficult, but it's actually very simple.
You're so smart, you'll definitely be able to learn it in no time.” Sun HongFen reassured her kindly.
  Jiang Mu also felt that she would definitely be able to learn it, especially since she wasn’t actually only 15 years old.
However, the reality was that by the time Sun HongFen had already finished knitting one, and she hadn't even finished knitting two rows.
  Even by the time Sun Yue called Jiang Mu to go home and sleep, she still hadn't finished the palm part of the glove.
  ”You'd better let the wool go.” Looking at the red wool that was almost in a mess, Sun Quan was speechless.
“Grandma will knit two pairs for you tomorrow.
This wool is good stuff, and it won't stand up to your mistreatment,” Sun HongFen joked with a smile.
  Jiang Mu was a little embarrassed, so she left all the needles and threads at the Sun’s house and went home.
  As soon as she went out, the lights in Sun's house went out.
Seeing this, Jiang Mu felt that she had overlooked something.
  ”Don't stay at your grandma's house for too long at night.” Zhao Yue reminded her softly when she returned.
  Jiang Mu instantly understood; the electricity bill must be very expensive for them.
  Zhao Yue thought she was upset by her slip-up, and added, “But you can invite Grandma Sun's family to our house.
In the future, when mom is not at home, there will be someone to take care of you.”   Jiang Mu hugged her arm and snuggled up to her, “Mom, you can be at ease when you go out, don't worry about me.
I'm not a child and I can play with Sun Quan, you don't have to worry.”   Zhao Yue patted her head feeling very relieved.
  *   Early the next morning, after Zhao Yue and Jiang Mu had breakfast, Zhao Yue went out, and Jiang Mu went to Sun's house.
  Unexpectedly, Grandma Sun's hands were so fast; the two pairs of red gloves had already been knitted.
  ”MuMu, let's see if you are satisfied?” Sun HongFen handed over the gloves.
Jiang Mu put them on directly and they were soft and warm.
  The gloves are finely woven and although there are no patterns, they are bright red and very festive.
Seeing them, Jiang Mu is more confident about the next part of her plan.
  ”Grandma Sun, can we weave the kind of gloved that have each finger separated?”   ”It takes a little more effort, but I can still weave it.”   ”Grandma, how about we do a business?” Jiang Mu sat down and asked with a smile.
  Sun HongFen was getting old, so she didn't quite understand what she said, so Sun Quan asked, “What do you want to do?”   Jiang Mu pointed to the two big balls of wool on the bed, “The rest of the wool will be woven into gloves.
20 cents for one pair; 30 cents for a pair with five fingers separated; 50 cents for one with patterns on it.”   Sun Quan understood her plan in an instant.
“MuMu, selling items is hard work to do.
It won’t be easy for you two.
You and your mother have a different life now than you did before.
You need to save money.
I don’t have anything to do at home and it’s easy to knit a pair of gloves.
I don’t want your money.”   Sun HongFen hasn’t yet realized what Jiang Mu wants to do yet.
  ”You want to sell gloves?” Sun Quan understood immediately.
Before Jiang Mu could speak, Grandma Sun turned pale when she heard the offer and grabbed her hand to persuade her.


“MuMu, you can't do such speculative things.
What will happen if you get caught by the police?”


The old woman was really worried about her, Jiang Mu felt warm in her heart.
She held the rough palm of the old lady and smiled cutely, “Grandma, don't worry, it's different now.
The radio said, 'Let some people get rich first.’ This is a policy encouraged by the state and you won't be arrested.”


Even so, Sun HongFen was still a little worried, “Then let Xiao Quan go with you.
He’s a boy and he can protect you in case something happens.”


“Yes, I will protect you.” Sun Quan agreed.


The matter of knitting gloves for sale was settled in this way.


Jiang Mu did not give up and continued to learn, but the facts proved that she might not have much talent in this area, even a boy like Sun Quan was better than her.


Even using the old needles at home, within half a day he went from unskilled to proficient.
He succeeded in making three pairs of gloves with the simplest thumb and palm separated pattern.


In comparison, Jian Mu had finally finished knitting the palm part, but there was a hole on the left and a hole on the right.
Her weaving was loose flimsy.


It turned out that Grandpa Sun had also worked in a textile factory before and was very experienced.
She was the only one lacking.


Jiang Mu packed the knitted gloves into her schoolbag just before all the adults were set to get off work, and she took the bus with Sun Quan for half an hour to an electronic parts factory.


This is a T-junction where traffic stops, but the two sides of the street are not very lively.
There are only a few small restaurants, newsstands and grocery stores along the street.


Jiang Mu chose a place on the side of the road, spread a light blue long cloth on the ground, and put the gloves on top.


“Can this work? Will anyone buy it?” Sun Quan looked around, but no one paid attention to them, so he was very doubtful.


In fact, Jiang Mu didn't know much about selling things.
Although she planned well, this was the first time she sold something in her two lifetimes.


However, it's one thing to be uneasy in the heart, and she still had to hold back to protect her face.


Jiang Mu smiled confidently, “Don't worry, just watch your sister!” The iron gate was pushed open and groups of workers poured out of the factory, some pushing bicycles, some walking, and the street became lively in an instant.



T/N: There's something about a character being poor and then to rising to the top that is so fun to read! I hope you guys are enjoying as well!

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