The Green Lotus Peasant Girl

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Chapter 32: Farmer Girl, Qinghe

Yu Yan spotted Li Qinghe looking at the booklet, so she took two samples of embroidery and some fabric and went out with her. She laughed and whispered, "If you want to learn, I can teach you."

Li Qinghe replied, "Okay."

In fact, she felt she wasn't capable of doing such precise work, but she should learn some basics. No one in the village was good at embroidering.

Upon returning to the village, Li Qinghe carried the grain sack straight to Li Xingwang's house without taking it back home. Before she returned home, she agreed with them to start working from tomorrow.

In the yard, Zhao Wanwan was squatting beside the rabbit and was teasing it. Li Qinghe was inevitably reminded of Mrs. Xu's words when she saw Zhao Wanwan.

Even without a dowry, the Hu family would not dare to not marry her. Having a dad who isn't stingy is not a bad thing.

At present, Hu's family could actually be threatened by Zhao Tianfu. In the following years, the higher Hu Yanxi's position, the more concerned he will be with fame, and the more he will accommodate. Zhao Wanwan will then have a very happy life.

Zhao Wanwan looks pitiful, but in reality, through the help and care of her two fathers, her life was much better than her own.

As Zhao Wanwan heard some movement, she turned around and smiled, "It's so cute. Elder sister, shall we go hunting again?"

The next moment, she saw Li Qinghe holding the fabrics in her hands and asked her, "Sister, did you buy the fabrics? Is it for dowry?"

Humming, Li Qinghe turned a blind eye to the gaze of Zhao Wanwan which was directed at the fabrics, and walked into the house.

During dinner in the evening, Mrs. Qian smiled and said, "Qinghe brought the fabric back today. Is it for the dowry? Can you set aside some for your father? He hasn't made new clothing in two years."

Li Qinghe was speechless. Does Li Fu not making new clothes still have something to do with her?

Even so, the fabric can be given to Li Fu, "It's not a good fabric. My mom gave it to me. I'll have to cut out a few pieces."

Mrs. Qian already guessed that Mrs. Xu had given it to her. Who in their right mind would buy so much fabric? The entire Zhou family is making new clothes together, and they don't need to buy a single piece of fabric

Mrs. Qian didn't care much, "That's not bad, Wanwan..."

Li Fu glared at her, "Are you eating or not!"

The meal has to be eaten naturally. There was some rabbit meat leftover from yesterday.

Zhao Wanwan didn't utter a word and gnawed cheerfully with her head buried in the bowl. Then, after she finished eating, she stared at the bones on the table and said, "I wish I could hunt as well."

The next morning, Li Qinghe took a hoe and a knife and went into the field early to clear the wasteland.

As long as it doesn't rain, they can work in the fields. With her, Li Xingwang's family, and Zhou Chengkang, they still have quite a few people. They worked very hard all day, as they were not lazy.

Li Fu only came to see her occasionally, and Li Qinghe also understood that he had to clean their large land areas all by himself.

Furthermore, Li Kui must have to stab him with a few words every time he comes. Both Li Kui and Li Fu, the father, and son, find that they have to fight every time they meet, feeling that the other owes them something.

There were several happy events in the village following the autumn harvest. The day finally arrived when Zhou Chengwu would enter the Li Family. Compared to his older brother's marriage, this one was much more lively. The marriage was witnessed by the entire Luoyue Village.

In a more demanding situation, the bride will also ask the groom to change his surname. Of course, Li Qingmiao and her parents didn't ask such a thing.

Li Qing Mao's parents let her walk to the Zhou family. Together with Zhou Chengwu, she kowtowed to Mrs. Zhou, then the two returned to her family to kowtow to her parents. It could be said that the ceremony was completed.

Li Qinghe also helped cut vegetables and clean. Her relationship with Li Qingmiao was more intimate and familiar than that with the Zhou family.    

During the wedding, people discussed how soon it would be Zhou Lao San's¹ turn. 

It was indeed Zhou Lao San's turn. It was only a few days later that news from Zhou's family came that Zhou Chengcai's wedding was set to take place on the 20th of the twelfth lunar month, exactly two months from now.

The joyous events of the Zhou family this year were envied by many. There were not many people during last year's New Year's celebrations, but it looks as if this year will be more lively.   

Li Qinghe and the others have cleaned up a wasteland for a full month. They have cleared more than three acres of land. Li Qinghe has picked up all the small rocks inside the newly opened land, which is thinner except for the soil, which appears quite flat. Another ten days were needed to circle a piece of land and construct a simple chicken shed. She just had to wait for the weather to warm up after the New Year so she could start feeding the chickens.

Even though people were still working outside, Li Qinghe thought it was unnecessary as it was already winter. Then she went to Li Xingwang's house to pay their wages.15 copper taels each per day. At this price, people in the village can do part-time jobs, and no one was worse off.

The three grandchildren of Li Kui plus her uncle and Aunt Liu, a total of five people worked with her on the land. However, Aunt Liu insisted that she didn't need to pay them and more than a month's work would amount to a lot of money. Aunt Liu looked uncomfortable as she said, "It can't accept it. I was promised that I would get my share of the food when I agreed to cook. If people find out I helped you cook and also charge you money for work, I fear they will die laughing. Besides, your sister also ate, so wouldn't I have to pay you for the meal?"

Li Kui and his wife also didn't want money, so Li Qinghe forcefully stuffed the money into their hands and fled quickly.

More than a month's wages and the food she brought back totaled nearly four silver taels. The family didn't have much money left. Fortunately, the fish in the pond were growing and will be sold in the New Year. This should provide an additional source of income.

No one was hanging out outside anymore since it was getting cold. She noticed a slender figure from a distance when she was about to get home, and it wasn't until she approached that she realized it was Yu Yan.

After taking up embroidery work, Yu Yan spent all day embroidering, either at home or in the yard, and did not go out for leisure. Nearly after two months without seeing her, there are still several people in the village who don't know her. 

After that morning when she awoke to ask about the way to the county town, she never heard her mention leaving again. Occasionally, Li Qinghe would hear the third aunt mention how polite Yu Yan was and how grateful she was, and how she would give them some silver that she earned from her embroidery work.

As she smiled and looked healthy, with a hint of red on her cheeks, Yu Yan addressed her first, "Qinghe, it's so cold, where did you go?"

Li Qinghe said casually, "I went to my uncle's house. Where did you go?"

Yu Yan blushed, and Li Qinghe was a bit aggravated. Her question was casual and she did not mean to inquire, but now that she looks like this, it is evident that something is going on. It appears...spring heart has sprung.

Li Qinghe did not intend to listen to other people's secrets, so she turned around and walked into the yard, and asked with a polite smile, "Would you like to sit down?"

"Okay." Yu Yan agreed.

She looked so refreshed that Li Qinghe was taken aback. Li Qinghe was being polite when invited her, but she didn't expect Yu Yan to accept her invitation without any hesitation.

When Li Qinghe returned to her senses, she hurriedly said, "Come in quick then."

She took Yu Yan inside the house, which was much warmer. Li Qinghe lit the brazier and brushed away the ashes from the charcoal fire, making the house even warmer. She poured the warm tea into a cup and handed it over to Yu Yan, saying, "I also said that I would learn embroidery with you. But I wasn't free a few days ago. From tomorrow, I'll probably be free."

Hearing that, Yu Yan didn't seem to be offended, and she smiled and said, "Then why don't I come over to your house to teach. My room is cold. I'm not very good at lighting fires. Even though Godmother has taught me several times, it still goes out often."

Putting charcoal in a brazier, Li Qinghe asks, "Would you like to go home?" As it burns, the fire becomes more vigorous.

"I used to think, now..." A smile adorned Yu Yan's face as she thought of something. She went into a daze for a moment, but quickly recovered, "I heard you saved Master Xu, right?" She asked.

Xu Changjie?

Li Qinghe had been very occupied during this period, and she fell asleep upon her return, and she had little time to remember the bad things in her past lives, and she also didn't deliberately interact with him, and she hadn't seen or heard him for a long time.

In response to her curiosity and shyness, Li Qinghe smiled a bit. "I saved him. How did you know him?"

Yu Yan turned a little bit shy as he said, "I often send embroidery products to town and have seen him several times. We have even been together twice." In the end, her voice became lower, "Did you ever treat him..."

Then, raising her eyes to look at Li Qinghe's expression, she explained,

"At the time you almost lost your life by saving him, many people said you might have a heart for him, but I don't know why you didn't set up a marriage. Can I take the liberty to ask a question, why did you save him and didn't propose to tie the knot?"

"Because he has a sweetheart." Li Qinghe replied frankly, "What you can't get is always the best. The girl's family won't approve of this marriage. I don't desire to marry someone who doesn't see me in his eyes."

"That's it." Yu Yan thoughtfully said, "Thank you for telling me." She pulled out a silk handkerchief with an orchid about to bloom embroidered on it, and said, "This is for you."

Li Qinghe took it, admired it for a while, then handed it back to her, "It's too expensive. You can exchange it for silver."

Yu Yan put it in her hands again, "Just hold it and play with it. This news is very important to me. Besides, you and Brother Chengkang helped me a lot before I woke up. It's time to give a thank you gift."

 After saying a few more words, Li Qinghe sent her out and looked back when she saw her enter the yard next door. She really did not expect Yu Yan to meet Xu Changjie.

She would like to persuade her if she can. It seems that Yu Yan is a good person, however, she is an adult and comes from outside. She has a lot more experience and ideas than she does. Yu Yan must be able to figure it out on her own since she has said all these things.

It was getting colder and colder. Yu Yan has come to their house to embroider every day since then. Li Qinghe also followed her to learn some simple skills. A half-month later, Li Qinghe's embroidery was beginning to look a little bit better.

The two of them were embroidering again in the house on this day, and their third aunt was also present. They were talking leisurely about interesting things happening in the village.

The atmosphere was harmonious. There was a knock on the door soon. As if something were urgent, the knock was hurried and quick.

Upon opening the door, Li Qinghe discovered an unexpected person waiting by the gate of the yard.

——Xu Changjie's mother.

She still accompanied Zhao Wanwan after she returned from helping in the town. After Mrs. Xu asked her to help with the ox cart, she only saw her from a distance, but she didn't expect her to show up again. (T/N: Mrs. Xu referred here is Xu Changjie's mother.)

Moreover, she appeared angry as she violently shook the fence gate, which was not always stable, "Open the door, I've got something to do!"

Mrs. Qian went to open the door. "Mrs. Xu, what's the matter?"

Li Fu also stepped out into the courtyard. As he stared at her, he frowned.

The person who came didn't have good intentions.

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