Chapter 25: The Hu Family

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

----- THIS TRANSLATION BELONGS TO konila.com -----

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

Soon, the three of them arrived at the Li family’s house. When Li Fu reached the entrance door, he said to Mrs. Qian, “Prepare dinner.”

“Didn’t you just eat it earlier?” asked Mrs. Qian, coming out of the house.

As Zhou Chengkang was watching them, Li Fu did not like being refuted and immediately reprimanded Mrs. Qian, “If I say it, you should just do it.”

Mrs. Qian saw Zhou Chengkang standing next to Li Fu and realized the dinner was for him.

With a smile, she said to Zhou Chengkang “Fourth child, thank you for your help. Did you eat your dinner? You don’t have to be polite, come inside the house, Aunt will specially cook dinner for you.”

A smile appeared on the face of Zhou Chengkang when he glanced at Li Qinghe.

He declined the invitation, saying, “No, my sister prepared dinner for me earlier. When I arrive home, she will set the table for me.”

After he finished speaking, he turned and left. Li Fu called out his name twice, but Zhou Changkang had already gone far so he couldn’t hear Li Fu’s call behind him.

As Li Fu turned around, he met Mrs. Qian’s gaze. His expression showed his disappointment in her. Without saying a word, he walked to the well and fetched a bucket of water, and went to the bathroom.

Mrs. Qian tried to talk to him several times, but Li Fu ignored her. After a few failed attempts, Mrs. Qian also stopped talking.

Li Qinghe raised her eyebrows and went to boil water in the kitchen.

Zhao Wanwan was still washing dishes inside the kitchen. She smiled when she saw Li Qinghe entering the door and greeted her, “Did brother Chengkang come?”

Li Qinghe nodded, “Yes, he helped us carry two bundles of wheat stalks.”

Then the kitchen became quiet. The sisters were bonding well a few days ago, but now their relationship seems to have cooled off due to the marriage matter.

From the outside, they could hear Mrs. Qian’s aggrieved voice, saying, “I just made a casual comment, but before I could say what I meant, he had already left. How can you blame me? I’ll go make dinner for him and ask Qinghe to invite him now.”

Mrs. Qian entered the kitchen and shook Li Qinghe's hand hard, “Go and ask him over for dinner. Otherwise, your father will talk about it endlessly. He will never be denied a meal by the Li family, and I will prepare it for him.”

Tears streamed down her cheeks as she spoke, showing that she had been wronged.

Li Qinghe stood up and carried a hot water basin and walked to the bathroom. Outside, she saw Li Fu standing with a sullen expression.

Mrs. Qian didn’t let the matter slide and said loudly from the kitchen, “ Qinghe, go and invite the fourth child to eat!”

Li Qinghe scoffed, “He doesn’t lack food. Since you said you’d prepare a special dinner just for him, how can he have the heart to stay here and eat?”

Zhou Chengkang had not intended to dine at their house and Li Fu must have just asked him out of politeness, but Mrs. Qian said the word ‘specially’ meaning that our family had already eaten dinner and now she’ll cook a meal again for him. The tone of her words sounded overly polite and deliberate.

After Li Qinghe finished speaking, she ignored the two of them and walked to the bathroom.

Li Fu’s sulky voice could be heard outside. “Tomorrow you’ll come with me to the farm.”

Mrs. Qian at once stopped crying and asked, “I don’t feel well, how can I go to the farm?”

“Where are you feeling unwell?” Li Fu replied. “If you feel unwell, then go to the doctor. We share the same bed every day, so tell me, what are you feeling unwell about?”

Mrs. Qian sat in front of the stove. On her face, a layer of ash formed from the fire that came out from the stove. Only a small amount of water remained in the pot after Li Qinghe took most of the water out. As soon as Zhao Wanwan saw it, she took a basin full of water and added some cold water to the pot.

Li Fu asked again, standing at the kitchen door, “Where are you uncomfortable?”

After a long time, Mrs. Qian said in a low voice, “I’m afraid of getting sunburn.”

What kind of reason is that?

Li Fu frowned, “If you wear your hat properly, you won’t tan much. Besides, when the autumn harvest is over and winter comes, won’t you turn white again?”

“I will not go,” Mrs. Qian adamantly refused. “I am two years younger than Qinghe’s mother, but I look older than her because of all the work I do.”

Li Qinghe heard her words when she walked out of the bathroom carrying a bucket. She couldn’t help but laugh at her words. She was confused before about why Mrs. Qian refused to help out this year, but now she realizes that Mrs. Xu prompted her to do so.

There is only one thing in common between Mrs. Xu and Mrs. Qian, and that is their beauty; otherwise, they are very different.

When Mrs. Xu was a girl at her maiden house, except for helping her family during spring planting and autumn harvest, she never worked in the farm.

She would just deliver tea and water to the people working at the farm.

Later, she married Li Fu and soon got pregnant. So she wasn’t able to work at the farm. Then she went to town to work as a nanny and soon was accepted as a concubine. Now it was even more difficult to step outside of the house.

It can be said that, after marrying Li Fu, she spent most of her time indoors, totally covered under a roof, and did not have to work under the sun.

In contrast, Mr. Zhao, who had previously married Mrs. Qian, was a lazy bastard. As a result, Mrs. Qian was obligated to manage all household affairs. She later separated from him and returned to her maiden family. She had to work there too to support her family. After she married Li Fu, she did the household chores and helped him with the farm during the planting and harvest seasons.

For the past two days, she did not want to work at the house and farm. It turned out to be because of this.

The expression on Li Fu’s face changed when he heard Mrs. Xu’s name. Even though they amicably divorced to allow him to get married to Mrs. Qian, it is a fact that Mrs. Xu climbed into someone else’s bed when they were still married. Although she did that for money, it proved that he wasn’t as good as others.

In a bad tone, he inquired, “When did she arrive? Why wasn’t I aware of this?”

Li Qinghe immediately responded, “My mother heard that I was getting married so she came to see me and also to take a look at Zhou Chengkang. But she only stayed for a few minutes, and she didn’t even drink the tea.”

Mrs. Qian retorted, “That’s because she didn’t think it was suitable to drink, not because I didn’t prepare it.”

After Li Fu saw that Mrs. Qian was going to start quarreling again, his face became serious. Then he shouted, “We’re going to the farm together tomorrow. Qinghe and Wanwan are enough to handle household chores. It won’t be good for us if you try to escape work again. After all, I'm not as good as others.”

After speaking, he went inside.

Mrs. Qian was at a loss. Li Fu never once yelled at her or criticized her in all the years they were married.

This was the first time he shouted at me, and all this was because of Mrs. Xu! Although she is married, she still won’t let me live in peace!

Over the next few days, every family in the village will get up early and work until dark, but they are very happy that the weather has been good this year and that the harvest is abundant.

Li Qinghe feeds the fish twice a day, once in the morning and once at sunset. After feeding the fish, she stops by Li Fu’s farm to help him.

The rest of the time, she helps with cooking at home.

Mrs. Qian didn’t go to work at the farm. Despite Li Fu’s coldness towards her, she still prepared tea for him every day, but she was adamant to not go to the farm to help him.

All the harvest from the Zhou family was collected after they worked busily for several days. The next day, Zhou Chengkang came here to help out. Li Fu was pleased, especially since Zhou Chengkang’s work was not worse than his, so he was very satisfied. To express his happiness, Li Fu gave Li Qinghe some money and asked her to go to town to buy meat, return home, and fry it.

Meanwhile, the Hu family visited them again one afternoon.

Li Qinghe was also at home this time. She intended to feed the fish after the sun was less bright in the sky. Standing under the eaves, she saw the mother and son of the Hu family coming.

With a smile, she welcomed them, “Hello auntie.”

Mrs. Hu’s face was red from the sunburn. Her smile was reluctant as she asked Li Qinghe, “Qinghe, is Auntie Qian at home?”

Her voice had already been heard, and Mrs. Qian had hurriedly emerged from the house, “Yes, I’m at home. Hello sister, come in, and let’s sit down.”

She then turned around and called Wanwan, “Wanwan, your aunt is here.”

In addition, she also instructed Li Qinghe, “Go and prepare tea.”

Li Qinghe was silent and didn’t bother to refuse her. She wanted to avoid any suspicion and Mrs. Qian greeted the Zhou family cordially when they visited their house. So she went inside the kitchen to prepare tea. She prepared more so that later she could send some to Li Fu.

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----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

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