The Green Lotus Peasant Girl

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Chapter 53: County

It was impossible to persuade her.

Li Qinghe thought for a while and suggested, "If it was someone else, I could still mention it to mother, but it's not possible now. Or maybe I can help you convince mother to put off the marriage for a while?" If it was put aside, maybe she wouldn't consider it herself.

Fifth Sister Zhou nodded. "Thank you so much, Sister-in-law. Without you, I would never have said it."

Li Qinghe felt it was necessary to correct this girl's views and said sternly, "Fifth Sister, marrying is not just about determining reliability. You also need to see the person's ability at the very least to support you. For example, if you are sick, he can afford to buy you medicine, if pregnant, he can afford to buy you eggs and meat..... His family is also very important. There can never be too many nor those who don't know themselves......"

It was too much for Fifth Sister Zhou to listen to. She laughed gradually. “Sister-in-law, according to you, I am afraid I cannot get married."

Seeing her smile, Li Qinghe relaxed slightly. "You're willing to take a step back for him, but you have to know if he’s worthy of you. The same goes for your fourth brother. In terms of negotiating a marriage, he's not the best candidate, but I'm willing, and he's worth the effort."

When Zhou Chengkang heard this as he walked to the door, the smile on the corner of his mouth became gentle.

Fifth Sister Zhou turned around when she heard the movement and saw her brother come back. She stood up hurriedly. "I have to go back. Fourth Sister-in-law, tomorrow I'll come to ask for the size. I'll help you after this pair is done."

Zhou Chengkang entered the house after fifth sister left and embraced her, saying, "Say what you said again, I'd like to hear it."

The laughter of the couple came out through the door, and Fifth Sister Zhou, who hadn't gone far, turned around and thought about it.

It's the love between the two people that matters most, right?

Earlier, Li Qinghe had not lied when she said she would go to the county seat. Many of the restaurants in this town didn't use fish much. Also, half of the fish hasn't been used in the last few months. As the fish in the pond grew up, it became inefficient to raise them for a long period.

The couple found time to go fishing for a day. After midnight, they left the village without speaking to anyone and went straight to the county road.

Li Qinghe had never been to the county town in her two lifetimes. On the other hand, Zhou Chengkang had been there several times. It would take a day and a night to travel there by horse-drawn carriage.

From the town to the county seat, there was an official road, but no one had heard of anyone robbing the people on the road. Furthermore, it was not a good idea to stop along the way as the fish would die if they dilly-dallied for too long. So, they brought dry foods with them. As they arrived at the county town after a day and a night, it was still dark and the city gates did not open, and lots of people were blocking the gates. Many of them were vegetable farmers who took advantage of the dawn to sell vegetables.

The carriage was lined up, and Li Qinghe opened the curtain after smothering the fish. People who glanced at it saw several buckets of fish on the carriage, and immediately asked, "How much are these fish worth?"

"Eighteen cents per catty." In the town, Li Qinghe thought the fish was sold for twelve cents per catty. Since they had traveled for so long, she decided to raise the price.

Upon hearing the price, the man's eyes lit up, his body was already pressed forward, and he said, "I'll choose one."

It was not only him who wanted to buy it, but many others around him as well.

Both of them were stunned. Neither of them anticipated that the business would begin even before they entered the city.

The fish in the carriage had been reduced by 30% by the time the vegetable farmers dispersed around the two. In a low voice, Li Qinghe asked, "Did we both sell too cheaply?"

Zhou Chengkang shook his head. "I don't know, I went to the pond to help feed the fish, which is nearly half the length of ours. I just helped feed them for a while, but I don't know how much they sell for."

It was possible that the fish seller in Liujia Village also bought it there rather than in the county seat. It would have been priced higher if it had been bought from the county.

The two inquired about the place where the fish was sold. They met an enthusiastic aunt who offered to guide them.

Since they wanted someone to lead the way, Li Qinghe simply let her get on the carriage.

The aunt was talkative. "Your fish is cheaper than in the city. A catty is not less than two taels. If I didn't think it was too difficult to get, I would have bought one."

Li Qinghe smiled. "Thank you for helping us, when we arrive at the place later, I'll sell you one for fifteen cents."

When the aunt heard this, she was overjoyed. "Your words count, don't they?"

Li Qinghe smiled generously and waved her hand. "Absolutely."

Immediately, the aunt was happier. She told them where they could buy fish, where the bustling markets were, and how much they charge for stalls. Upon arriving at the restaurant, she chose the biggest fish and left with a smile on her face.

The county town was bustling, and they sold out of fish before morning.

After the fish was sold out, the two went to a restaurant. As Li Qinghe looked at the crowd outside, she smiled and said in a low voice, "Our fish can be sent here after they grow. It's a little farther away, but it sells quickly."

There was another reason. The uncle sold fishes in the town, if they also sold their fishes there, it would negatively affect his business. He was the sole earner in his family. He looked uncomfortable when two people sold fish last time. Li Qinghe also understood that. Due to this, the two stopped going to the stalls and instead sold fish directly to the restaurant. This also affected him as the restaurants used to take the fish from him.

The place wasn't very big, so that was a disadvantage. This time, the two came here to test the water as well.

After finishing their meal, the two walked down the street. The county's streets were wide and filled with all kinds of carriages and carts. There were also many people wearing patched clothes, as well as rich people dressed in silk and satin with an entourage.

They went to the cloth shop. Li Qinghe brought some fabrics and exquisite embroidery threads for Yu Yan. Also, she couldn't resist buying some nice utensils. They had just moved into a new house and needed to get everything set up.

The price here was not cheap compared to the town, and it was even slightly more expensive, but there were more choices. There were hundreds of kinds of fabrics, but in the town, there were only a few that could be chosen from.

Because they were already here, they were not in a hurry to leave. The two stayed in the inn near the city gate, planning to stay for one night and then go back the next day.

For the past two days, they have been with the fishes. On their bodies, they could only detect the smell of them. Zhou Chengkang gave the guy a silver so he could prepare some hot water.

It was a young woman who brought the water in. Suddenly, Li Qinghe turned her head inadvertently and found that her back looked very familiar, "Wanwan?" she asked.

It was indeed Zhao Wanwan dressed in a coarse dark cloth shirt, who carried the bucket of water into the tub. When she heard someone calling her, the bucket in her hand slipped and fell straight into the bathtub. She hurriedly grabbed it.

Seeing the water on her face, Li Qinghe came forward to help as she reached out and took a handkerchief to wipe it off. "Why are you here?"

When Zhao Wanwan saw her, she glanced at her and took a step back before saying, "I'm working here. Why is sister here?"

"I came to sell fish." Li Qinghe noticed that her sleeves were wet and pointed. "Sleeves."

Zhao Wanwan put down the bucket and busily went to pull up the sleeves.

The girl was living a hard life. As Li Qinghe glanced at her, she faintly sighed and asked, "I heard that your father is here. Did he find you?"

"My father? No," Zhao Wanwan looked bewildered, "I've never seen him."

For a moment, the two sisters stood silent. Li Qinghe couldn't help but ask, "What's the matter with you? Didn't you say that your presence here is not good for my brother-in-law's reputation?"

Zhao Wanwan lowered her head and looked at the ground. "I live in the inn, and he doesn't know. I don't usually go out. Few people in the county know the two of us and even fewer know of our relationship, and later..... later no one will find out."

Li Qinghe cannot interfere with the affairs of the husband and wife, and Zhao Wanwan was working at her own will and no one forced her. After a long time, all she could say was, "I'll go home tomorrow. If you want to go home, I can take you there."

"I will not go back," Zhao Wanwan shook her head. "I still have things to do over there, and I will be scolded if the water is late." Saying that, Zhao Wanwan turned around and left.

Li Qinghe called her a few times, but she didn't even hear her. Her eyes followed the disappearing figure outside before she turned around and entered the room.

Later on, the lady who came in to collect the water was an old lady. When Li Qinghe asked her about the person who sent the water, the old lady said, "That girl has a hard life. Her parents are gone, her husband is gone. She is miserable."

Li Qinghe: "..." Mrs. Qian was still well at home and was angry with Li Fu. Zhao Tianfu said he would come to find her, but even if he did not, he would be fine. Li Fu, the stepfather, didn't eat much but he was fine too.

This girl unexpectedly lied, and she made up a poor life experience for herself.

If she didn't know the inside story, just looking at the old lady's face full of pity, she couldn't help but shed a few tears of sympathy.

Early the next morning, the two refunded their deposit. Just as they were going to the carriage to leave, Zhao Wanwan suddenly appeared. "Please tell my mother that I am very good here, let her not worry. I'll be better in the future, and I will be filial to her." She also handed over a bag. “These are the clothes I made for her.”

Li Qinghe took it, and when she raised her eyes, she couldn't see anyone again. Since there were several corridors in this inn, it was impossible to tell where she went.

The two mounted the carriage and left the inn. Without delay, they reached the city's gate.

The carriage was filled with barrels when they arrived and also when returning. The barrels were piled up and the carriage was packed with clothes, dishes, and even snacks from the county.

Neither of them was in a hurry when they went back; the carriage was slow. In the afternoon, the carriage suddenly stopped.

Li Qinghe poked her head out. "What's the matter?"

Zhou Chengkang pointed with his finger. "There is a puppy on the road ahead."

He did not have to say anything; Li Qinghe already saw it. A dark yellow puppy was whining near the side of the road, and his hind legs were covered in blood.

Li Qinghe stood up, seeing that it seemed to be fine except for the leg injury, she smiled and said, "Didn't you say you wanted to raise a dog. If it is destined to meet a dog on this road, why not take it back?"

As she said that, she had already jumped from the carriage and had gone to see the "destined" dog.

Zhou Chengkang froze for a moment, reacted, and shook his head with a smile. "Do you need any help?" he asked smiling as he got off the carriage.

The puppy's hind legs were injured, his leg bones were unnaturally bent, and it was unclear whether he was beaten or pressed by the carriage.

Li Qinghe carried it up, and the two got back into the carriage. "We don't know how to move the bones, should this be handled by a doctor?"

Seeing the village in front of him, Zhou Chengkang nodded. The puppy was thrown here, and the village was barely visible. "Why don't we go to the village and see if there is a doctor who can set bones back? By the way, let's borrow a place to stay for the night."

The two of them were in the middle of nowhere that night, and wolves were howling. They were hesitant to sleep, so it would be best if they could borrow a place to stay.

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