Chapter 1: Change

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

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

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

Idea is the key

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

Li Qinghe was startled awake in a dim room by the high-pitched crowing of a cock. When she moved, there was a sharp pain in her chest. She felt stunned as she glanced around with the help of the faint light coming from the sky. She felt that her strange surroundings seemed a little familiar. This seemed to be the house she had lived in before she was married. The sound of the cock crowing outside was mixed with occasional dog barking, and the sharp pain in her chest reminded her that this was not a dream.

She had died once.

Not only had she died, but she had also been married then. Thinking of her marriage, feelings of regret and anger instantly filled her chest, and the wound seemed to hurt even more, bringing exhaustion.

Xu Changjie, the son of the Xu household, looks handsome and has been reading books for several years. He works as a bookkeeper in a shop in the town. He travels between the town and the village every day. He was easy-going and knows many people. He wears a blue gown and is suave and romantic. Many girls were secretly infatuated with him, and Li Qinghe was similar to those girls in her past life.

But now, she and the other person only had an encounter from a distance and didn't know each other. The two of them would meet each other again, but we must start with the story of how she was injured first to understand why.

While she was coming back home from the town, she happened to run into someone who was holding a knife facing Xu Changjie. Seeing that her sweetheart was in danger, she believed that she could save him with her strength and ran over to fight the bad man. As a result, she was injured in the chest. And because the commotion had drawn people, the hoodlum escaped. In return, the Xu family came to thank her.

It was explained in the novel that to repay the favor of Li Qinghe successfully saving Xu Changjie, he had to devote his life to her. Li Qinghe abruptly proposed that instead of a gift as thanks, she wanted to get married to the elegant and graceful young master.

Everyone present at the scene was stunned. The Xu family only said that they would consider it at the time, but two days later they came over to send xiăodìng. Because she took the initiative to propose marriage, the Xu family's betrothal gift was almost negligible, but she hadn’t cared. The joy of marrying her sweetheart had made her feel that such things were unimportant.

[T/N : xiăodìng - Elders conclude marriage preliminary formalities, the groom goes to the bride's with ornaments and so on as a scheduled ceremony.]

After getting married, Xu Changjie went and stayed in town for a month or two before returning home. The jade-like young master was still unattainable. Even after they had gotten married, she couldn't get close to him. The relationship between them husband and wife was cold, and her excitement was as if drowned into a pot of cold water.

The Xu household has a lot of family members and as such, has many complicated affairs to take care of. She had a pile of complex household tasks to do every day. Mother Xu often found excuses to scold her, and she had to go to the farm alone to plant crops in spring and harvest them in autumn.

All the longing she had felt for her husband before marriage was broken by the realistic environment after their marriage, and her naivety as a young girl was no more. She had originally thought that Xu Changjie was different, but what if he was really just the same as others? Whose fault was it that she had lived her life fulfilling his family’s daily necessities and domestic trivialities?

Later, she also learned that Xu Changjie had a sweetheart from before he married her. A year later, the bookshop Xu Changjie was working for was bought by someone, and overnight, the owner was left with nothing. Thus, the owner had to sell all his property and move to the countryside and live next door to the Xu family. Xu Changjie took good care of the owner and his family, especially Yang Lanrou, his daughter.

Li Qinghe had felt surprised when she had seen Xu Changjie scolding others. It turned out that he could also comfort people with tender whispers and soft talk. When there was meat dish at home, he would deliver a part of it to the bookshop owner’s family. If she spoke about how he was bothering too much about outsiders, he would stop her and profoundly say, “You know, I am a person who knows how to repay debts.”

As soon as this remark comes up, Li Qinghe had no more words to say. If it weren't for him repaying the debt, how could have it been possible for the both of them to get married? This kind of care for outsiders gradually wiped away her affection for him, leaving only jealousy behind.

On the other hand, the heavy housework made her health decline. After two years of marriage, she suddenly fell ill one day and became so dizzy that she couldn't even get up. No one in the Xu family had wanted to hire a doctor for her. After half a month, she remained sick. Her mother had accidentally learned that she was ill, so she had asked a doctor to treat Li Qinghe but she still couldn't be saved.

After her death, she arrived in a white space with a book in front of her. When she opened the book and saw the characters with familiar names, she suddenly realized that she was not a native of Anguo at all, and that she had transmigrated into the novel after losing her memories. She was originally from a place where there was equality between sexes and people had the freedom to love whomever they wanted. It was no wonder that after she transmigrated as a peasant daughter in a remote village located in Anguo county, she had very low standards for confirming that someone has thoughts of deep affection towards her. She had thought that when the Xu family didn't refuse the marriage proposal, Xu Changjie would have at least held her in a friendly regard.

While reading that book, she felt so angry that her heart, liver, spleen, lungs, and even her kidneys hurt. Xu Changjie was the male protagonist, and Yang Lanrou, the owner’s daughter, was the female protagonist, and her, Li Qinghe was the one who insisted on marrying the male protagonist to cause misunderstandings for them both. The grievances of the female protagonist due the marriage between her and the male protagonists made it impossible for the lovers to get married. It wasn't until Li Qinghe passed away two years after getting married that the lovers could finally come together.

Towards the end of the novel, Xu Changjie constantly regretted that he had promised to marry Li Qinghe and that Yang Lanrou had to be a second wife.

While Li Qinghe was thinking about her past life, the door squeaked open. A thin figure walked in lightly and asked, "Sister, is it still hurting?" Her younger sister Zhao Wanwan, who came by, touched the bed and handed Li Qinghe a bowl of water. "Sister, drink some water."

Li Qinghe was indeed feeling very thirsty. Enduring the pain, she sat up and took a sip from the bowl with her hand and asked in a low voice, "Wanwan, why didn't you sleep?"

Zhao Wanwan didn't answer and whispered, "Sister, I heard that the Xu family will come to thank you after dawn, you..."

Li Qinghe clutched her chest and said in a gloomy tone, "I almost lost my life. If they don't come to thank me, the Xu family is afraid they can't continue to live in Wàng village."

Later in the farmhouse, Li Qinghe was clutching her chest while sitting on a chair. Li Fu sat at the head. Her stepmother, Zhao Wanwan's mother, Mrs. Qian, was busy serving tea to the guests. The people sitting with them were the Xu family and Xu Changjie.

When Li Qinghe's eyes swept over Xu Changjie's profile, she felt complicated and speechless, but she did not have any of the anxiety or shyness of her previous life.

Xu Changjie’s mother looked kind and amiable. “We came to your house today to thank Qinghe for helping our son. She has suffered such a serious injury. If there is anything our family can do to help, you can ask of it. Even if we don’t have it, I’m willing to try my best to fulfill your request.”

Li Fu’s complexion eased a little bit after hearing this. “Qinghe was injured and cannot go to work. Maybe she’ll be fired. You can give her the money she will lose from her wages and help. She also paid for the medicine..."

Li Qinghe held her chest with one hand and a bowl of black medicine in the other. The bitter smell of medicine pierced into her nostrils even from far away, and she regretted something in her heart. No matter how good a man is, it's not as important as your own body, isn't it?

It hurts so much, but no one could help her endure the pain.

Hearing this, she hurriedly added, "There is also the cost of replenishing my body, the fear in my heart after the knife wound, and then the spiritual compensation."

Mother Xu's expression stiffened. She was just being polite, she had never expected the Li family to take her words literally. She pinched Father Xu secretly and smiled reluctantly. "Our two families used to have little contact with each other, but now that we have this life-saving debt, we will have to maintain closer relations in the future. Qinghe is kind and affectionate, it is better for me to accept her as a daughter. As a godmother, when she marries in in the future, I will present her with another dowry to be considered as a token of gratitude. Is that alright?"

Li Qinghe raised her eyebrows. As expected, Mother Xu was just as generous as before. Whenever anyone mentions silver, she starts to feel emotional. Just now in her remarks, the word "marriage" had a very strong tone, which was quite suggestive.

Qinghe felt a little surprised. In her previous life, she was just an ordinary girl. It was out of the ordinary for her to propose marriage. Maybe she had been inadvertently given hints by Mother Xu like just now, resulting in her rashly proposing it. She still remembered how Li Fu and Mrs. Qian were very surprised at that time. Even Zhao Wanwan, who was boiling water in the kitchen, had run out.

"Not good," Li Qinghe rebuffed, "I have suffered such a serious injury. Who knows if someone will like me when I have to marry in the future? It might even be because of this injury that I won't get married, so your family has to compensate me. Do you mean to say that I got this wound for nothing?"

Mother Xu couldn't hide the surprise from her eyes and quickly reacted. She looked at Xu Changjie who had remained silent until now and said, "Changjie, you haven't thanked Qinghe yet."

Xu Changjie then got up and gave her a serious salute. "Thank you, Ms. Li, for saving my life. I am very upset that you got so seriously injured. If you have any requests, we can discuss it."

These words were quite good, and Li Qinghe was satisfied. But Mother Xu’s complexion became even more stiff. She stared at him without even a trace of happiness, and then reluctantly smiled. “Our elderly are old, there are also many children, and the situation is difficult at home. No one thought that such a thing would happen. It was really out of the blue. It’s a disaster, I really don’t understand why those people came to trouble Changjie..."

Li Qinghe stretched out a finger and interrupted Mother Xu’s endless talk, "Twelve taels of silver."

"What?!" Mother Xu was surprised, and Xu Changjie's expression changed.

Father Xu also frowned and looked at Li Fu, "Brother Li. This is too much, right?"

"Is your son’s life not worth twelve taels of silver?" Li Qinghe endured the pain in her chest, and counting with her fingers said, "It is said that he earns three silver taels a month. So it is only worth 4 months of his income. There are many months in a person's life, but if the knife had pierced him, he may have died. I don't think it is too much."

Li Fu was robbed of his words by Li Qinghe, and so fell silent immediately.

Mother Xu also felt that this was inexplicably justified, but twelve taels of silver was not a small amount. In all the farmhouses in Luoyue Town, there were not even five families that could take out ten taels of silver. She was naturally unhappy. She turned her eyes and smiled. "Qinghe is fourteen this year, right? About her marriage..."

"I promise to give you the money!" Xu Changjie interrupted his mother somewhat anxiously.

Li Qinghe smiled with satisfaction, knowing Xu Changjie would not be happy with the marriage. She then looked at Zhao Wanwan, who was quietly peeking out, and said, "Wanwan, go get a pen and paper. Let us sign a letter as evidence!"

Mother Xu's face turned ugly. She stopped Xu Changjie who was about to write and looked at Li Qinghe. "It is said that a life-saving grace must be paid with the body. You always had some affection towards Changjie even before going to his rescue. It is better to set up a marriage for you both. It’ll be a good story."

What good story, Li Qinghe had been married into the Xu family once. Even if Mother Xu proposed the idea now, she didn’t want to repeat getting married to him.

In the same way, Xu Changjie was unwilling. He pushed his mother's hand away and quickly wrote down, "I owe the Li family..."

Li Qinghe hurriedly reminded him, "Li family’s Li Qinghe. Also write that you will pay it in half a month."

Twelve taels of silver for the medicine will be paid back within half a month.

— On August 13, Shunping 32nd year, Xu Changjie

Li Qinghe took the paper and folded it within her arms with satisfaction. Father Xu’s expression looked ugly. He couldn't do anything to his son in front of others. He said in a deep voice, “My younger siblings are growing up year after year, so I won’t be able to help return this money."

After he finished speaking, he took Mother Xu who was also full of irritation and left. She could still hear Mother Xu whisper as they walked away, "Isn't it just to heal a wound? Where does it take twelve taels to treat? Besides, if she has no intention of approaching Changjie, why did she rush to save him..."

"I will send the money as soon as possible," Xu Changjie promised and reminded, "If my mother comes to say something about marriage or something, you can't agree."

Li Qinghe smiled, "Don’t worry, she can’t change my mind."

Xu Changjie was speechless for a long while and looked carefully at her expression. In her eyes, he couldn't see the affection from before, and he felt a little confused.

After sending Xu Changjie away, Mrs. Qian looked at Li Qinghe’s chest several times and started to say something, but Li Qinghe ignored it. When she turned around and wanted to go back to the room, someone came from outside the fence yard.

The young man was dressed in commoner clothes and had a tall stature. With an anxious face, he raised his legs above the fence and jumped in before running to her in a few steps, "Qinghe, how are you?!"

Li Qinghe: "..." My house has a door.

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

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