The Green Lotus Peasant Girl

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Chapter 72: Dangerous

Seeing that it was her, Li Qinghe didn't hide the surprise on her face. "Miss Yang, is there something wrong?"

Yang Lanrou looked cautiously at the dog house's door. Little Rhubarb was not in the courtyard and had already entered his house due to the cold weather. She then stepped into the door with peace of mind. "I have something to discuss with you."

If there were something to discuss, she would need to enter the house. Li Qinghe led her sideways through the door. "What's the matter?"

"In the morning, I saw an official come over." She then paused before continuing. "I heard that Ms. Yu bought that piece of land behind your house."

"I was going to buy that land."

No one owned the wasteland and Yu Yan went to the village chief first to get the land deed. That piece of land already belonged to her. To put it bluntly, even if it was just barren land, it was written in Yu Yan's name now.

She wanted it even more now, and as long as Yu Yan didn’t agree, it was a pointless thought.

"That's unfortunate." Li Qinghe replied casually.

"It's like this." Yang Lanrou didn't mean to give up. "I know you and Miss Yu have a good relationship. Can you help me talk to her and have her sell half to me? I will only use it for the foundation, and then I can be neighbors with you two?"

The Yang family lived behind the chicken coop, an acre of land away from Li Qinghe's house. In a village, this distance would mean there could be four or five families between them, so it was impossible for them to be neighbors.

Li Qinghe raised her eyebrows. "Doesn't your family have a house?"

Hearing this, Yang Lanrou blushed. "I want to get married, and I want to move there then."

She must be sick in the head!

Some people in the village had secretly talked about Li Qinghe and Xu Changjie quarreling with each other. They had not mentioned it for the past two years, but Yu Yan… Mrs. Xu had quarreled with her in front of the house. If they become neighbors then the rumors might surround them for the rest of their lives.

She asked with a last glimmer of hope, "Are you engaged?"

Yang Lanrou's face turned even redder. "Well. We've known each other for several years, so if we don't get engaged, I'll be sixteen and he'll be twenty, so outsiders will be gossiping. Anyway, sooner or later, we’ll have to settle down."

Li Qinghe didn't know what expression to put on her face. With a blank expression, she said, "Go and talk to Yan'er yourself."

If it were up to her, she would definitely not want to be neighbors with these two. Of course, Yu Yan should also think the same.

"There is no business in this world that can't be negotiated." Yang Lanrou raised her head and looked at her seriously. "As long as you help mediate, I would like to give you two taels of silver as payment. As for Miss Yu's side, I will talk."

It looked like she had to have the land.

However, judging from the memory of her previous life, the Yang family had been desperate to move to the village to live at this time. They had already bought wasteland to build a house. Yet, they wanted to buy more land and build a house while they still hadn't paid the wages.

How can she be so unbelievable?

Seeing her expression, Yang Lanrou coughed lightly. "I really don't have any money right now, but I can write an IOU. I can even write more money."

What was the use of writing an IOU even for 100 taels if she couldn’t take it out and spend it?

"I'm sorry." Li Qinghe looked serious as she said, "I don't want to earn any silver from you."

It was evident Li Qinghe didn't want to help mediate and asked her to discuss her dilemma with Yu Yan herself.

Yang Lanrou was very disappointed and gritted her teeth. "Five taels?"

That was even more unreliable. The land behind was less than two acres, and Yu Yan only spent more than five taels. If Yang Lanrou wanted five taels to pay the middleman, she must be sitting on a gold mine!

Li Qinghe got up and walked to the courtyard gate to open the door. Her meaning of seeing off the guest was evident, and one might almost say that it was an act of chasing someone away.

Yang Lanrou looked sad as she said, "I won't lie to you. I don't want to live with you either, but I don't want to be too far away from my parents. They have silver and want to spend it on my brother. They told me frankly that my dowry would be to pick a piece of land to build a house. Then they won't care about me. So, the silver will definitely be given to you people…"

Hearing this, Li Qinghe suddenly realized that no matter how much she decided to pay, it would be her parents who would pay. Hence she was very generous with her offer. She also wanted to live close to her parents’ house to take advantage of them, which was a good calculation to live a good life.

As for why the Yang family hadn’t bought it in advance… if they bought the land from the villagers, they could write an IOU. But if they bought it from the officials, the IOU wouldn’t be accepted.

Li Qinghe didn't want to be neighbors with her, and her tone grew impatient. "Miss Yang, please."

After two days, Yu Yan asked someone to come and start working on the foundation. She planned to start construction after the spring plowing the next year and wait until the second of the next year to move in.

Building a house was not a matter of a day or two. The weather was getting colder and colder, and it was the twelfth lunar month. Li Qinghe and Zhou Chengkang took time to find the butcher in the town, took the two pigs away, and on the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month, they found someone to kill the remaining two pigs.

They killed two pigs at once because the Chinese New Year was approaching, so each family bought more than last time. Some of it was still left. It was fine as they could eat it themselves. Li Qinghe had learned of a new meat recipe, so she sprinkled salt on it and let it dry.

Then, the couple began to fish and sell the fish again. Throughout the twelfth lunar month, the couple was quite busy. Someone with a quick-witted mind secretly calculated the money the two earned in the past two months. From selling five pigs, so many fish, and chickens and eggs for more than two months, their two-month income already exceeded the money earned from farming for several years.

No matter how outsiders guessed, no one asked the couple.

This year's New Year was the same as last year. Mrs. Zhou had already informed everyone to go to the Zhou family's house to eat on New Year's Day. As usual, Li Qinghe brought fish, and Zhang Haiyao brought a piece of meat. Mei Hua, in addition to tofu, also bought a lot of snacks.

Li Qinghe was still in charge of the kitchen. Mei Hua had a big belly, and she stood at the door of the kitchen with her arms at her back. Mrs. Zhou was happy today, and there were no sour words from Old Lady Liu at the dinner table. Nobody mentioned her, and when they talked about the marriage of Fifth Sister Zhou, Mrs. Zhou said, "It would be good if the fifth child's marriage could be decided by next year."

Hearing this, Fifth Sister Zhou blushed and everyone made fun of her again.

At that moment, Mei Hua got up to go outside, and Elder Brother Zhou hurriedly got up. "Do you want to use the bathroom?"

Then he helped her out. Everyone saw this and didn't care much about it and continued to laugh. It didn't take long before they heard a cry from outside. Then they heard Elder Brother Zhou shouting, "Mei Hua, are you okay?"

Which was followed by the woman's cry of pain.

The people in the room looked at each other and ran out the door at once.

The sky was still light and wasn't yet dark. Mei Hua was lying in the courtyard, her face gradually flushing red. When Mrs. Zhou saw this, her expression changed slightly. "Fourth Child, go and bring the midwife."

Then, she turned to Third Brother Zhou and said, "You go inside and boil water. Tell your wife to watch the baby."

Then she asked Elder Brother Zhou to take Mei Hua back to the room, while she followed behind closely. Only Li Qinghe and Fifth Sister Zhou were left behind. They looked at each other and said, "The food will definitely not be eaten, so let's put away the tableware first."

Fortunately, they had almost finished eating. The two packed up the dishes and went to the kitchen. Fifth Sister Zhou boiled water to wash the dishes. Li Qinghe thought about it and went to Elder Brother Zhou's house. It was not that she didn't want to help just now, but that the room was not big enough, and the number of people would obstruct things even more.

Elder Brother Zhou was the eldest son of the Zhou family. When he had married, he had used an old house to live in. Mei Hua didn't ask for the bride price, so naturally, the dowry was not prepared either. When Li Qinghe walked into the house, it was mostly empty. She saw Mei Hua sitting on a chair and instructing Elder Brother Zhou and Mrs. Zhou to make the bed.

Li Qinghe glanced at it and saw new quilts piled on the side while the mother and son were busy spreading the old patched quilts.

Are they… afraid of soiling the quilt?

She hurriedly stepped forward to help, and when she got close, she heard Mrs. Zhou scolding her son in a low voice. "Why is there a need to make a bed now? Do we have to make it? Is human life not more important than this quilt?"

Her voice was low, probably because she was afraid that Mei Shi would hear.

Elder Brother Zhou looked helpless but did not refute her. Li Qinghe then realized Mei Hua had asked them to use old quilts. The quilts had been purchased by the husband and wife, and Mei Hua was afraid of getting them dirty. Although it was understandable, who knew how the fetal position would be affected if she delayed it?

At that moment, the three people quickened their movements and spread the sheets much faster. Then, they helped Mei Hua lie down on the bed. Seeing the blood under her, Mrs. Zhou frowned. "Why isn't the fourth child here yet?

Today was New Year's Day, so the midwife must be at her home. As they were talking, Zhou Chengkang had already arrived with the midwife.

When Mrs. Wen entered the room, Li Qinghe and Elder Brother Zhou were sent out.

But after a few seconds, Mrs. Zhou hurriedly came out of the room. Afraid that Mei Hua would hear her, she lowered her voice and said, "Fourth Child, take the carriage to the town and bring over a doctor."

She then looked at Elder Brother Zhou and said, "The fetal position is stable. How can you be so careless?"

After finishing her sentence, there was no time to continue scolding. Then, she hurriedly turned around and entered the room.

Li Qinghe and Zhou Chengkang went home and led the carriage to the town quickly. It was cold at night, so they went to pick up Dr. Huang, who was proficient in dealing with pregnant women. When they returned to Zhou's house, it was dark.

Mei Hua screamed in pain all night, and at noon the next day, a thin and weak child was born. Both mother and child were injured.

The child was only a few minutes old, and his cries were weak. Elder Brother Zhou's hands were bigger than the child's. As for Mei Shi, they managed to save her life using valuable medicine. She may no longer be able to bear children as a result of this injury.

Zhou Chengkang and Li Qinghe didn't go back to sleep and went to feed the fish in the morning. That was how New Year's Day passed in the second year of their marriage.

After returning, they unpacked the carriage in the yard. When Zhou Chengkang entered the house, he was apprehensive, and asked, "How about we postpone… having a child?"

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