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65 Dried Fish

    "How impressive! Old Chu's boy has already become a successful man. A million RMB car!"

    "Nobody said otherwise. I guess the city colleges really are impressive! I'm going to make sure my kid studies hard! I can't let him do whatever he wants anymore. If he won't study, I'll just beat him up."

    "Yes, yes. You have to make your kids read books and study if you want them to be better than the other kids. Remember when Chu Xian was young, he was beaten by his father so hard that he didn't dare come home even in the middle of the night!"

    "I wonder if he has a girlfriend. My daughter is not bad!"

    "Don't even think about it. It's not that I'm judging you, but just look at your daughter - she's almost 100kg! And you still dare to dream!"

    ...

    Chu Xian knew nothing of this conversation, and if he did, he wouldn't know whether to laugh or cry.

    The Chu family all sat in the car, impressed by the refrigerator and television, exchanging looks of astonishment and joy. Old man Chu took out a cigarette and put it to his nose, inhaling deeply before lighting it.

    Chu Xian hid a grin as he watched his father. The car drove up to the gate of their house and Chu Xian's mom hopped off to open the gate, letting the car in.

    They all got off the car and Chu Xian opened up the trunk. It was packed full with good liquor for his father, clothes and jewelry for his mother, jewelry and makeup for his sister, and some toys for his niece.

    His whole family was in a festive mood, and smiles covered all their faces.

    Finally, Chu Xian took out a fish tank with some small goldfish inside, showing it to his parents. "Mom, dad, these are the goldfish I sell. Aren't they nice?"

    "I want! I want!" A light voice yelled, and small hands reached out to take it. His niece's big eyes stared cutely at the goldfish in the tank.

    "Ziran. Say hi to your uncle!" Chu Xian said, turning towards his niece, kneeling and holding the fish tank to her eye level.

    The little girl still couldn't speak clearly and yelled randomly with extended hands.

    "Xiao Xian, these are the goldfish you sell? They're beautiful. How much?" Chu Li said, taking the fish tank and holding it in front of Ziran so she could look at the fish.

    "Three thousand each!" Chu Xian replied with a smile.

    "How much? Three thousand each? Why is it so expensive?" Chu Li raised her head and asked in astonishment. Their parents peeked over curiously when they heard the price, looking at the small fish in the tank.

    "All of them are very precious kinds that I cultivated myself," Chu Xian said, giving his cover. "Business is very good! I sold more than a thousand online!"

    "More than a thousand? More than a thousand is more than 3 million! Holy sh*t, there really are many rich people."

    Chu Xian laughed. "Business is very good! Soon, I'll be ready to sell large ornamental fish, and those are worth more than a million each."

    "Haha, good kid. Pretty good, pretty good. I won't understand even if you explain it to me. Just do well and that's good enough for me!" Old man Chu patted Chu Xian's shoulder happily.

    "Heehee. Relax, dad. All you need to do from now on is just enjoy your life. If you want to go to the city, we can buy a house there too!" Chu Xian said with a smile.

    "What city? We've already lived here for so long, there's no need to move anymore. We won't be able to adapt anyway!" His mom said with a smile.

    Chu Xian chuckled and turned to his sister. "Sis, you can ask brother-in-law to come back. I can give you some money and you guys can open up a shop here. There's no need to go out and work for other people!"

    "Okay, okay. I'll call him soon!" Chu Li replied, full of joy.

    Chu Xian nodded. Now that he had money, the first thing he would do was allow his family to live a better life. It was only after he did this that he could truly be a successful man.

    "Xiao Xian, you haven't eaten, right? Are you hungry? I'll go get some food!" Chu Xian's mom asked.

    "En, not yet." Chu Xian nodded.

    "Buy a lot. I'm going to have some drinks with my son!" Chu Xian's father added.

    "You already drank at noon!" Chu Xian's mother glared but didn't refuse and left to get food.

    "Haha. I'm happy! We should drink! I'll call your uncle over and have him bring some dried fish!" Old man Chu said happily, standing up and heading over to the uncle's house. (1)

    Chu Xian's uncle lived next door.

    "Brother, come out!" Chu Xian's father said, pushing open the door and yelling inside.

    "Coming! I was watching TV!" A man came out and looked over at Chu Xian. "Hey, Xiao Xian is here!"

    "Hello, uncle," Chu Xian greeted, offering a cigarette. This was old man Chu's younger brother, Chu Ming.

    "Brother, bring over some of your dried fish. I'm making some food for Xiao Xian," Chu Xian's father said, pointing at the dried fish hanging on a hook.

    "Let me cook. You sh*tty cook, you'll waste my fish!" Chu Ming said, taking down some of the fish.

    "Come, come over. Let's drink!" Chu Xian's old man said.

    When Chu Ming saw the fancy car in the yard, his eyes opened in astonishment. Old man Chu smiled proudly and bragged about how the car was two million RMB and that his son was rich. He took out an expensive bottle of alcohol to finish off with his brother.

    Chu Ming looked over at Chu Xian with astonishment and slapped his shoulder. "Kid, you are the pride of our Chu family!"

    Chu Xian smiled. His uncle had three girls and had already given up on having a son, so his uncle and aunt treated him like their own son ever since he was young. The two families got along very well, and now that the three daughters married into other families, the two brothers were closer than ever and often ate together.

    Chu Ming took the dried fish to the kitchen, and Chu Xian couldn't help but salivate at the thought of his uncle's food.

    Chu Ming's cooking was famous throughout the village, and people often paid him to cook at big events. The taste of his fish was something Chu Xian would never forget, and each year he earned quite a bit by selling his dried fish in the city. He even had some regular customers who ordered fish from him.

    Soon, Chu Xian's mother brought over some food from a restaurant and Chu Ming finished preparing two dishes, one stir-fried and the other steamed. Chu Xian's father opened up a bottle and started to drink happily.

    "Come, come. Cheers!" Chu Xian's father raised his glass.

    "Haha, Xiao Xian is successful now! Our lives will get better and better, haha!" Chu Ming said, raising his glass happily.

    Finishing off his glass, Chu Xian took a piece of dried fish. The fish was a special numbing kind of spicy, had an amazing chewy texture and superb taste - much better than any of those expensive dishes at Gu Dao Recipe.

    "Uncle, your dried fish is amazing as usual!"

    "Haha, of course! I've already spent half my life making these! It's too bad we have to do all these artificial procedures to the fish, compromising the nutrition and taste!"
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