Chapter 39: Attacked From the Back
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Everyone was glad that Xiao Wu could finally speak. Little Bei exclaimed, “So Xiao Wu is really not mute!”
After saying that, she started to teach Xiao Wu to call her ‘Sister’. Shao Xi joined in and asked Xiao Wu to call him ‘Brother’. The duo started quarreling over whether Xiao Wu should say ‘Brother’ or ‘Sister’ first.
In the end, even Shao Dong, who rarely spoke, opened his mouth to teach Xiao Wu to call him ‘Brother’.
Shao Dong felt a little guilty that Xiao Wu was only learning how to speak now. In the past, he had been afraid that his stutter would be passed on to Xiao Wu, so he’d rarely taught him to speak. If he had thought of a way earlier, Xiao Wu might have started speaking long ago.
With this thought in mind, Shao Dong simply taught Xiao Wu to call him ‘Brother’, but in the end, he still stuttered.
Shao Dong’s expression froze. A second later, though, Xiao Wu called him ‘Brother’ loudly.
Little Bei stomped her feet in dissatisfaction, but Xiao Wu smiled at Shao Dong and greeted him again. “Big Brother.”
He liked Big Brother the most.
Xiao Wu then obediently called Little Bei ‘Sister’, successfully coaxing her.
In the end, Shao Qiyang couldn’t help but join in and ask Xiao Wu to call him ‘Uncle’.
Instead of doing that, Xiao Wu went on to address Mu Jingzhe first.
He didn’t say ‘Auntie’. He only managed to utter one syllable: Aunt.
At first, they thought it was an interjection.
Shao Qiyang was the last to be greeted, but he was very satisfied nonetheless.
In the middle of the night, Shao Qiyang could not help going to his older brother’s tombstone to have a chat with him.
“Second Brother, you can leave with peace of mind. Now that Xiao Wu can speak, he’s no longer mute. The days ahead will get better and better. I’ll take good care of them.”
He did not specify which of them were included.
Since Xiao Wu had spoken, Mu Jingzhe kept her word. The next day, she took some eggs to the trumpeter’s house and asked him to teach Xiao Wu.
Seeing that she was sincere and Xiao Wu was likable, the teacher agreed readily.
Two days later, Mu Jingzhe would pick up Xiao Wu again. Although he was still young, he could already replicate the trumpeter’s songs and even create new ones.
At the sight of Mu Jingzhe, Xiao Wu’s eyes lit up. He immediately showed her what he had learned, blowing the trumpet while facing her.
Mu Jingzhe: “…”
She seemed to have heard the words ‘off you go’.
She gazed at Xiao Wu, who seemed to know his way around playing the trumpet, and suddenly remembered that Xiao Wu was a musician who played the piano, cello, and violin according to the book. He was known as the Prince of Music.
Right now… the Prince of Music or whatever didn’t exist yet. He was just a gleeful trumpet kid.
He merrily played a funeral song on the trumpet for her.
Was he sending her off?
Mu Jingzhe was in a daze. She suddenly wondered how his fans would react when they found out that the first instrument the Prince of Music had learned was the trumpet.
It wasn’t like trumpets were bad, but most people were under the impression that this musical instrument had a very special use.
Even though these random thoughts were running through Mu Jingzhe’s mind, on the surface, she clapped her hands and praised Xiao Wu for learning well. She then couldn’t help but stroke Xiao Wu’s head.
This had become her favorite thing to do recently. Xiao Wu’s hair was curly and soft, so it felt very good to the touch and had a therapeutic effect. Mu Jingzhe took advantage of this opportunity to stroke his head while she had the chance.
Xiao Wu didn’t hate it either. He let her touch his head and said with a red face, “Aunt, I also want to learn how to play the flute.”
Thanks to Mu Jingzhe’s encouragement, Xiao Wu mustered up the courage to speak.
The bamboo flute was also one of the instruments available in the village. The reason was that the villagers could make them on their own, and the cost was low.
There was also a bamboo flute player in the village.
Mu Jingzhe nodded in surprise. “Alright, go ahead and learn it.”
Xiao Wu immediately went to learn the flute and then said that he wanted to learn the erhu.
The erhu… was also a common musical instrument among common folks. There was only one erhu in the village.
Mu Jingzhe nodded again.
Xiao Wu was very enthusiastic, and even a leaf became his instrument.
It was just a small leaf, but he could produce a beautiful melody by using it. It wasn’t a tune that everyone had heard before, but something he’d casually played.
Everyone in the village liked to listen to it, for it made them feel happy and comfortable.
Just like that, Xiao Wu learned all the musical instruments available in the village.
Mu Jingzhe occasionally felt that this development was a little strange. However, she convinced herself that music was interlinked. Who said that the piano, the cello, and the guitar were the most elegant instruments? The trumpet and the erhu were also invincible. There was nothing wrong with learning these traditional musical instruments that had been passed down for generations.
She could always let Xiao Wu learn how to play the piano, violin, and cello in the future.
There was no harm in being armed with more skills.
Before the first day of June, Mu Jingzhe met Little Bei’s new form teacher, who asked her opinion on allowing Little Bei to participate in a competition.
It was only then that Mu Jingzhe found out that the town had informed every school that they could apply to participate on the 1st of June1 show. The participants would first compete in their town, and then the first-place winner would be chosen to participate in the cultural performance of the county.
The school had wanted to organize a big choir, but none of them had learned about it early, so it had turned out to be a mess. Plus, they didn’t have uniforms, and most families didn’t have the money to make new clothes either. Thus, they’d given up on the idea.
Later on, since that hadn’t worked out, they decided to have Little Bei represent the school and recite a poem. The important thing was to participate, so they asked her to discuss it with her parents.
However, Little Bei had never told Mu Jingzhe about this.
The reason Little Bei had not said anything was because she felt that she could not win the competition by reciting a poem. If she wanted to compete, she might have to buy new clothes and shoes. Thinking it would be expensive, she did not want to go.
Mu Jingzhe felt very helpless. How should she put it? It was not okay for children to not have a concept of money, but if they had too strong a concept of money at such a young age and were constantly thinking of saving money, it would make an adult’s heart ache for them.
“Isn’t it just a new dress? It’s very simple. You know that I know how to make one. It’s not expensive at all, so go ahead and participate. It doesn’t matter if you don’t win. The important thing is to participate.”
Participating in competitions could boost one’s courage and increase one’s knowledge. Why not?
Little Bei actually did wish to go, so her eyes lit up when she heard that. “Then… Then I’ll participate?”
“Of course you can.”
“But I think simply reciting poetry is kind of dull.”
“Then what do you want to do?”
“I want to do something interesting.”
In the end, Little Bei signed up for it. However, she did not recite a poem. Instead, she created her own performance by doing impressions.
Shao Nan wrote a cute story for his younger sister. Xiao Wu, the only person who did not have to go to school, acted alongside his older sister. Mu Jingzhe also provided her with the greatest support.
Before Children’s Day, Little Bei represented the school at the competition. In the end, she clinched first place with her innovative work, which allowed her to represent the town at the county competition.
When they arrived at the county, they found out that the cultural performance this time was quite important. Even people from the city came. They heard that students who showed potential could get a chance to study in a specialized art school.
The art school was under the radio station. There were children’s music, calligraphy, art, and dancing classes, and so on. There were even acting and hosting classes. They specialized in training child actors, young show hosts, and little dancers.
The school had a collaboration with the radio station. When they needed young talent for programs, galas, and even other festivals, the radio station would contact the art school.
The higher-ups were planning to open a school in the county to groom potential talent. Those who performed well in the joint performance could enroll in the school.
When Mu Jingzhe heard about this, she was very surprised. This was not the modern era, when there were all sorts of art schools for one to choose from. In this time and age, it was difficult to study the arts, so this was a perfect opportunity for Little Bei.
The performance started at night, and a rehearsal was held during the day so the participants could familiarize themselves with the routine. Mu Jingzhe had been watching without resting, and she only had time to go to the toilet after she took Little Bei and Xiao Wu to the resting lounge.
She had planned on buying food originally. However, she was attacked the moment she emerged from the bathroom.
Mu Jingzhe had never thought that someone would attack her in public. When she finally reacted, she felt a sharp pain at the back of her neck before blacking out.