Chapter 30 – Travel Companions
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Xi Baichen took Mi Li to a date orchard, and paid the owner 50 yuan to pick a basket.
Mature flame dates had a purple-red appearance, the size of an egg, and their taste was crisp and juicy. Mi Li ate three or four in a row, finding them too delicious to stop eating.
“The flame dates planted in the village taste very good, but it is inconvenient for traffic and difficult to transport to other cities. It also won’t sell in nearby villages and towns.” Xi Baichen washed another flame date and handed it to Mi Li.
“Yes, it’s a pity. But it will be fine once a road is built in the village.” Mi Li took the flame date, hesitating on whether to eat it. The little donkey suddenly stretched out its head, took the flame date from her hand, and chewed where it stood.
Mi Li angrily patted the little donkey that fought with her over food. She looked at the flame dates in the basket, thinking that if she could bring these flame dates back, she would open an online store and sell them in limited quantities, perhaps even making a small profit. Or she could sell flame date saplings and promote planting in another world… As her thoughts spread, Mi Li felt that she was not far from becoming a bigwig in the fruit industry.
“What are you thinking about?” Xi Baichen asked.
“I’m thinking about how to make a fortune and get to the pinnacle of life.” Mi Li regained her senses, looked at the flame date orchard in front of her, and exclaimed, “How is this a flame date tree? It is clearly a money tree.”
Xi Baichen broke her unrealistic illusion, “Although flame dates are delicious, they are grown everywhere and the yield is high. The highest they sell for is seven or eight yuan per catty, and it is one or two yuan on the low end. I think it’s unlikely if you want to make a fortune by selling flame dates.”
Of course it’s impossible in this world, but it’s not the same in another world.
Mi Li waved her hand coldly, not lowering herself to argue with this narrow-minded man.
While the two were chatting, a group of young people in their twenties walked in the distance, wearing sportswear and carrying hiking bags, looking like they were on a trip.
“I say little fatty, are you stupid? This place is still dozens of kilometers away from Qingxia Village. You rushed us off the car and took us to this place where birds don’t sh*t, wasting everyone’s time.” A man in a dark blue hoodie looked at a chubby little fat man with dissatisfaction.
“What should we do now?” asked a girl with a ponytail. “Should we rent a car from the villagers to a nearby town, or go directly to the road and stop passing cars?”
“I think the scenery here is also good, perhaps we should just set up camp here,” a handsome boy beside the ponytail girl said with a grin.
“What’s fun to do here?” The tall girl walking at the end looked around while fanning the wind with her hand, and said in disdain, “In such remote and desolate areas, there is no entertainment other than watching the scenery.”
The group of people talked, and they were already not far from Mi Li. She was a little unhappy when she heard these words.
What “remote and desolate area?” This place clearly has beautiful mountains, clear waters, and is filled with outstanding people. It’s practically a place for immortal cultivation.
At this moment, Mi Li caught a glimpse of a shadow jumping across the date trees, and hurriedly shouted, “Little monkey, come here.”
The shadow on the tree halted and hugged the trunk, revealing a hairy monkey face from among the leaves: Which brother called me?
Mi Li didn’t know if this monkey was the one she possessed last time, but she felt it was about the same.
“Come down, I’ve got something delicious.” Mi Li took out an egg from her pocket and waved it at the monkey.
The monkey stared at Xi Baichen warily, and did not dare to approach.
“Old Bai, move further away.” Mi Li pushed the man beside her.
Xi Baichen didn’t understand but walked to the side, and the group of young people not far away also looked over curiously.
The monkey saw the dangerous human walking away, then cautiously swung over, jumped to the ground, and went to Mi Li’s side.
Mi Li squatted down, whispered to it for a long time, and then handed it the egg in her hand, as if a deal had been struck.
She stood up and shouted to the group of young people, “Hey, do you want to eat dates? Fifty yuan a small basket.”
The group of people looked at the flame date orchard, feeling a little moved.
“You can ask the little monkey to pick dates for you. The dates it picks will definitely be sweet.” Mi Li said again.
What? Let the monkey pick dates for them? This was fun.
The group walked over immediately and looked dubiously at the monkey peeling off eggshells under the tree.
“Will it really help us pick dates?” the man in the hoodie asked suspiciously.
“Of course.” Mi Li had Xi Baichen go ask the old farmer for a few small baskets and distribute them to everyone. “Go over and we’ll calculate the price after you pick them.”
The group took their baskets and walked enthusiastically under the date tree.
Brother Monkey swallowed the egg in a single bite and swiftly jumped up to the treetops. Then they saw dates being thrown down from the tree, accurately landing into everyone’s baskets.
“Aaahhh, that’s amazing!” The girl with the ponytail was so excited, she took out her phone to film the scene.
The others also showed surprised expressions, holding baskets one by one and waiting to catch dates.
After a while, the little fatty suddenly hid the basket behind him. A date was thrown into the air and unsurprisingly fell to the ground. Before he had time to feel smug, another date flew over and hit his forehead.
Brother Monkey grinned and stuck its tongue out at him from the tree: You stupid human, can’t even catch a date! How useless!
Its mocking expression was so vivid that it caused everyone to break out with laughter.
Brother Monkey was very vengeful and stopped picking dates for the little fatty.
The little fatty saw that everyone’s baskets were almost full, with only his half empty, and could not help but turn towards Mi Li with a crying face. He asked, “Little lady, is there a way to let Brother Monkey forgive me?”
Mi Li laughed, “Do you have any snacks in your bag? For example, peanuts, bread and the like.”
“Yes yes yes, I brought bread.” The little fatty quickly took out a piece of bread from his bag.
Mi Li instructed, “Toss your bread over.”
The little fatty did so and threw the bread to Brother Monkey. Brother Monkey got the bread and was in a good mood, and it indeed rewarded him with a few dates despite the earlier transgression.
“Thank you for the reward, Brother Monkey.” The little fatty cried with joy, bowing with cupped hands.
“Hahaha…” Everyone laughed again.
After the baskets were full, everyone still wanted to hang around a little longer. Sitting by the well, they talked and laughed while eating dates.
Mi Li introduced, “There is a river over there, and you can borrow fishing gear from the villagers to go fishing. There are also wild vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots on the mountain which you are free to gather on your own. There is a peach blossom orchard to the west, and it is now the blooming season, very suitable for taking pictures. Most of the villagers here are good at handicrafts: bamboo weaving, bamboo carving, wood carving, and also pickling vegetables and curing meat. Although there are no entertainment venues here, it is authentic and traditional.”
Everyone heard the words and suddenly felt that camping here was also a good choice.
Mi Li did not fool them. Qiming Village surpassed her hometown in terms of both scenery and products. Under vigorous development, there was a unified architectural style, numerous venues, and attentive services. Many so-called specialty local products were actually distributed in the market. Life was getting more and more convenient, but it had also lost some of its original flavor. Of course, for people who were busy in the city all year round, the farm life was relatively simple and relaxed.
“Can the little lady be our tour guide?” the little fatty asked with a smile.
As soon as he finished speaking, the tall girl next to him secretly pulled his sleeves and whispered, “Why would we want a guide for our self-guided tour?”
The little fatty embarrassedly rubbed his nose.
The handsome boy next to her forcefully said, “I also hope this little lady will be our tour guide.”
The tall girl gave him a dissatisfied look.
The man in the hoodie and the girl in the ponytail had no objections, looking at Mi Li together.
“Sorry, it may not be convenient for me.” Mi Li might cross back at any time, so naturally there was no way she would agree.
“Ah, that’s a shame.” The little fatty looked disappointed.
“Little Mi, shall we go back?” Xi Baichen, who had stood to the side and acted as the background the whole time, walked over.
“Okay.” Mi Li stretched out her hand and asked him to mount her on the donkey. She waved to everyone and, riding the donkey, she slowly left.
The little fatty looked at their backs, and suddenly sighed, “Those two are true travel companions.”
“Old Bai, I decided on my own to let those people stay. Would it be a nuisance for everyone?” Mi Li asked as an afterthought.
“No.” Xi Baichen said lightly, “The income of the villagers is not high. It is a good thing for you to generate income for them.”
Mi Li smiled and said, “The land here is fertile and rich in products. Sooner or later, it will be developed.”
“Yeah.” Xi Baichen took a deep look at her. If it weren’t for her donation to build roads, it would take another ten to twenty years for this place to develop. The location of Qiming Village was not good, and its area was not large. It happened to be in the middle of several main roads, surrounded by mountains, and the roads were rugged and inconvenient for entry and exit. For the local ZF, there was not much development value.
In the afternoon, the goods that Mi Li had asked Xi Baichen to purchase were delivered. They included a washing machine, a hair dryer, an electric iron, and a set of farm tools.
Mi Li immediately started a big cleaning, using the limited time to do as much work as possible.
Sheets, blankets, curtains, etc. What needed dismantling was dismantled, and what needed washing was washed. After more than an hour, pieces of silk cloth were aired in the huge yard. They looked spectacular dancing colorfully in the wind.
Taking advantage of the rest time, Mi Li fed the little donkey, bathed it, and brushed its fur, turning it glossy and handsome.
“Okay, handsome little donkey, you can go home,” Mi Li said reluctantly.
Xi Baichen, sitting in the pavilion typing, glanced at her to ask, “Do you like it that much?”
“Yes.” She had never raised such a foreign animal.
“Then keep it.” Xi Baichen retracted his gaze, his fingers flying on the keyboard, and said lightly, “I already bought it.”
“Eh?” Mi Li reacted for a few seconds, then excitedly hugged the little donkey’s neck, “Handsome little donkey, you will be my son from now on!”
The little donkey snorted and bowed its head in her arms.
Xi Baichen lazily said, “I’m the one who bought it.”
“Oh~~ Old Bai.” Mi Li flew over, hugging him from behind, “You’re the world’s best man.”
Xi Baichen was disgusted at heart: Don’t hug me with your hands that just hugged the donkey.
However, although he didn’t let out a single word, the corners of his mouth curled suspiciously.
- The author just had the abbreviation here. Best guess is that it means something like governor, or local government, or some branch of government.