The Green Lotus Peasant GirlChapters List
Chapter 41: Debt Repayment
A lot of people were in the house, making a lot of noise, so when Mrs. Zhou saw her enter, she smiled and said, "I think you are tired today. Go back to bed."
Zhou Chengkang first helped her fetch water to wash up, and the two of them washed up before they went back to their rooms. It's worth noting that the Zhou family had two bathrooms, one for the males and one for the females.
"Third sister-in-law asked for it, and mother thought it would be more convenient. It was just completed a few days ago." Zhou Chengkang explained in a low voice, pulled her into the room, and helped her wipe her hair with the towel.
Her hair was thick, and it took a long time to wipe and dry. As Zhou Chengkang leaned closer to her, he could only feel the sweet scent emanating from her body rushing down his nose. "I finally married you," he sighed contentedly, placing his hands on her slender waist.
Li Qinghe laughed.
Upon hearing her chuckle, Zhou Chengkang smelled her hair and was very pleased. "I always find this so unreal," he said.
Li Qinghe wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. She stretched out her hand and pushed him, saying, "My hair is still wet, wipe it quickly. You are hugging me, but you still don't believe it?"
Zhou Chengkang didn't move but bent over and hugged her.
When he realized she was about to exclaim, he quickly hushed her and said, "There are so many people outside."
Li Qinghe glared at him and whispered, "Candlelight."
There was light in the room, and people's shadows sometimes reflected on the window. Zhou Chengkang smiled sweetly at her and placed her gently on the red blanket before getting up to blow out the candlelight.
There was still a long night ahead.
In the morning, Li Qinghe was awakened by someone next to her ear. Instead of talking, he just blew into her ear. She opened her eyes and saw the sky outside; it was still early, so she turned and stared at him, "Are you not tired yet?"
"I haven't slept a wink. I kept thinking of being good to you, our future days and our children...."Zhou Chengkang said as he held her hand.
Li Qinghe could no longer bear it, she took the quilt to cover her head, "I'm tired!"
She could not sleep because of his low laughter beside her. The two of them got up early, went to the pond to feed the fish, and looked at the chickens. A few chickens died a few days ago, and others died recently. Now that the weather was warm, and the chickens were much bigger, there were not many dead chickens.
After feeding the fish and chickens, they walked to the field to look at the crops. The crops in other fields were lush and green, but the crops in theirs were not as tall. They looked wilted and yellow as if they were dying.
"It should be better next year." Zhou Chengkang comforted her.
After the two returned home, the sun came out. The fifth sister Zhou was feeding the pigs in the yard. The first thing they heard was Zhang Haiyao's exaggerated voice, "The sun is already high, and she hasn't gotten up yet. I thought she was lazy. I didn't expect it ... "
When Zhou Chengcai saw the two outside the courtyard, he frowned and reprimanded, "Talk fewer sentences."
When Zhang Haiyao heard that, she became angrier, "Why don't you say there is one more person in the family, why should you be paying for it? It's time for me to cook."
In an instant when she saw the two people at the door, she looked at the house that belonged to Zhou Chengkang over there with surprise, then looked at the two people at the door, "You have gone out?"
"We went to feed the fish." Zhou Chengkang's face was cold and solemn as he said, "My sister-in-law doesn't have to prepare our meals anymore."
Zhang Haiyao was still feeling embarrassed at the time. They went to work and got back, and she wasn't being lazy by staying in bed. When she heard this, she couldn't help but say, "That's simple to say. If I don't cook for you guys, Mother will scold me."
Zhou Chengkang didn't reply but looked at Zhou Chengcai.
"My mother never scolded you," Zhou Chengcai immediately reprimanded her.
Zhang Haiyao snorted and walked into the kitchen.
Zhou Chengkang and Li Qinghe went to the well to wash their hands. He whispered, "The eldest brother and sister-in-law will take the aunt to the town to sell tofu in the morning. They don’t come back to eat. Usually, the third brother and the others eat at home most often, and the mother let the third sister-in-law and fifth sister cook at home, so they don't have to go to the farm."
Using this calculation, there weren't many people eating at home when Zhou Chengkang wasn't married.
Suddenly, they heard Zhang Haiyao shout, "Qinghe, come and help me start the fire."
Taking her to the room, Zhou Chengkang patted her on the shoulder and said, "You didn't sleep very well last night, go back and rest."
He was to blame for her lack of sleep.
As Li Qinghe watched him enter the kitchen, she frowned and followed. She saw that he had already burnt the fire, and Zhang Haiyao was looking at him with a stunned look, "No, why are you here? What does this look like?"
"I can't start a fire?" Zhou Chengkang asked rhetorically.
"It is too shameless of your wife to ask you to work when she went to rest..."
Before she could finish her sentence, Li Qinghe, who was standing outside the kitchen door, said, "I'll do it." As she spoke, he forced Zhou Chengkang out.
"That's more like it." Zhang Haiyao's face was satisfied, "I'm telling you, one of us will cook the meals in the house every other day or every other meal, and my sister-in-law will wash the dishes. This rule was set by my mother after I moved in."
Li Qinghe agreed without a second thought. There were fewer people eating breakfast than last night. There was only one table set up. After eating, they were cleaning up the dishes and chopsticks when someone came outside.
He was accompanied by a woman in her fifties who was neatly dressed and wore 90% new clothes.
Mrs. Zhou hurriedly greeted, "Auntie, come and sit down." Then she introduced Li Qinghe to her, "This is my aunt, you can call her aunt, she has helped our family a lot."
Li Qinghe greeted her nicely, and Aunt He was very happy. Looking up and down, she said, "She's a good girl, the fourth child is blessed."
As a guest arrived, they quickly cleaned up the dishes and chopsticks. After Li Qinghe had finished cleaning the table and was about to leave, Mrs. Zhou called her. "Qinghe, call your sister-in-law and others. We need to talk about some things."
From the moment the guests arrived, Li Qinghe had already guessed what was going on. Yesterday was a happy event, today someone showed up at the door looking like they were collecting debts.
Nowadays, the most common gifts people give are copper plates. The Zhou family received a few gifts yesterday as well.
Li Qinghe didn't ask too much, just knowing something deep in her heart. When Zhang Haiyao heard that something was to be discussed, she was puzzled. Upon seeing everyone arrive, the aunt smiled and said, "When the Zhou family was in difficulty, I gave your family a loan of twelve taels of silver. A few days ago, my son said he wanted to move to town and wanted a courtyard. The courtyard is really nice. There is a good balance of light and feng shui, as well as the size. After several years of searching, it is difficult to find the right one, but the silver is a little bit less in our hands."
The unfinished meaning has been understood by everyone.
Mrs. Zhou was a little nervous, and Li Qinghe lowered her head without speaking. Over there, Zhang Haiyao immediately said, "I remember that my quilt hasn't dried yet, so I will return soon."
Mrs. Zhou was sure that she would not return if she ran away so she hurriedly said, "Haiyao, there is no hurry to dry the quilt right now."
As Zhang Haiyao turned around, her face was very unpleasant and her tone was not polite. "What does mother want to say?"
As Mrs. Zhou lowered her eyes, she said, "The Zhou family is poor, and everyone knows that. When the oldest son married, he took only five silver taels. The second child also took five silver to purchase new clothes.
I know I wasn't a good mother to my children and caused them pain. However, with regards to the third child, initially, there's a deposit of three taels of silver, and after that, there are also five taels for the bride price, plus the red seal on the sedan chair. He married a wife, but did not anticipate spending so much silver on her."
"So what do you want now?" Zhang Haiyao looked straight at her, "I have been living in the house for a few months, and now you are settling these accounts with me, what do you want? How can you make the daughter-in-law pay back your bride price debt?"
"The silver was what I am supposed to borrow," Zhou Chengcai said, pulling her hand. "At first I said I wasn't able to get five taels of bride price, and you told me to borrow it."
"Bullshit!" Zhang Haiyao got angry, "I advised you to borrow the money but I did not hint that the debt would wait for me to repay it."
"You can discuss it, I will come back tomorrow," Aunt He got up and said when she saw this.
She added, "The land lease will be paid for the courtyard the day after tomorrow." After saying that, she left the house.
Aunt He sighed, "Don't blame your mother for what happened, she's already suffering enough." And looking at Zhang Haiyao, "You also do not think that the Zhou family cheated you. You must have known the story of the Zhou family in your heart when you and the old three got together, so you could guess how much the bride price would be. A normal marriage will cost two silver taels at most, plus the bride price and gifts. You want so much, for what only you know in your heart."
"What am I doing it for?" Zhang Haiyao questioned, "What's wrong with me getting a bride price for my marriage?"
"Even the daughter of the mayor's family, who is not comparable to you, will ask for five taels when she gets married. In fact, I do not hesitate to say that you are trying to extort money from the several brothers of the Zhou family." Her tone was solemn, and she spoke with full conviction. Then she looked at Zhou Chengcai and said, "Old three, this is the wife you were married to. Since you are already married, you should take care of your wife. Do you still wish your mother would work her ass off to pay off your debt?"
Zhou Chengcai said nothing. When she saw this, Zhang Haiyao became even more enraged. As she glanced over at the silent fourth couple, a thought flashed, "What about Qinghe. Her dowry is also five taels!"
Li Qinghe raised her eyebrows, "I didn't ask for that, it was the Zhou family who took the initiative to send it." Between the words, there was no intention to take it out.
Upon seeing this, Zhang Haiyao was a little proud, and quickly said, "I won't return it unless she pays it back!"
Aunt He waved her hand, "I'll go back, you can discuss it among yourselves."
Mrs. Zhou looked sad, "I'm not afraid to tell you guys, to marry you few, last year, the food was sold out, and this year, the food is being borrowed, awaiting the return of the money after the autumn harvest."
Zhang Haiyao frowned and said, "If you can't go on, separate the family and feed yourself separately."
The room became quieter as soon as these words were spoken. No matter what kind of family it was, parents were always there. Separating families in advance always means cursing elders to die quickly. After closing her eyes for a long time, Mrs. Zhou said, "I have raised you to this very day, and I hope that I am worthy of the Zhou family. Wait until the oldest and others return, and then invite the second child. I am making it clear today."
Mrs. Zhou opened her eyes and looked at Zhang Haiyao, "Generally a girl's family will marry into the house, and two taels of silver will do. Initially, your family asked for three taels of silver for the bride price and after that, you didn't want it. You are from the town, and we have wronged you by marrying into our family, and I had to do more than just accept that before we brought the matchmaker. I didn't agree with the bride's price, but the old three himself insisted that we borrow the money. You have to pay for this silver anyway."
Zhou Chengcai agreed glumly, and Zhang Haiyao grew angry, "What about Qinghe?"
"The fourth child, he also borrowed it himself. This account, I'm not responsible to pay for it either." Mrs. Zhou lowered her head, her voice was heavy, and her shoulders seemed to be a little more broken.
"I will repay the silver. I hope my third sister-in-law will also keep her word." Li Qinghe felt uncomfortable when she saw her like this.
"What!" Zhang Haiyao was stunned.
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