The Green Lotus Peasant GirlChapters List
Chapter 83: Mr. Yang
Mrs. Xu didn't let her get into the carriage. Li Qinghe didn't know about it at first, Zhou Chengkang didn't know about this either. Both of them had surprised expressions on their faces.
Zhang Haiyao turned her head angrily to look at this side of the carriage, but after seeing their surprised expression, she once again turned angry at Mrs. Xu, "Then why didn't you tell me earlier?"
Mrs. Xu spoke in a gentle voice, "I also didn't know about it before. The coachman came today and told me that your father had specially instructed him to let you stay in the village and lead a good life. I was also surprised by this news. Originally, we agreed that I would inform you when the coachman arrived to pick me up, but I didn’t even ask anyone to inform you, before you pack your luggage and get ready to leave…The coachman was also embarrassed to tell you."
"If you have to go to the county, that's fine. Since I'm on my way there, I'll just drop you to the main entrance of the county. From there, you must find your own way home and pretend we didn't go there together. You know my status in your family, Haiyao. Please don't make things difficult for me, okay?"
As she spoke, Mrs. Xu's tone was very gentle, and at the end, her voice sounded a bit pleading. Zhang Haiyao's expression changed in the influence of the gentleness and she tightened the grip on her bag. She knew that if she went to Zhang's house by herself, entering the house would be very difficult for her.
Mrs. Xu looked at the sky, "Do you still wish to go? Hurry up and decide. It's a long way to the county, so we must hurry."
Over there, in the Zhou family courtyard, the child in third brother Zhou's arms suddenly cried out, "Mother ......"
Hearing the word 'mother', Zhang Haiyao came back to her senses. Looking at the tears on her child's face, she gritted her teeth and said, "I'm not going."
As soon as she finished saying these words, she rushed into the courtyard with her bag and took her child from the third brother's arms. She entered the house while coaxing her child.
Seeing this turn of events, Mrs. Zhou, who had been watching quietly from inside the house all this time, was also relieved.
The carriage in the front started moving again and Li Qinghe leaned back into her carriage. The road to the town was not far and they quickly passed through the town to reach the intersection that would lead to the county.
The carriage in front stopped yet again. Mrs. Xu stepped out of the carriage and stopped Li Qinghe from getting off from the carriage. She said while glancing at the child in her arms, "Don't come down. You have to be careful so that the baby doesn't catch a cold from the wind. Please live happily and don't make me worry about you. If something happens, you can always find me in the county. I have already told you the address of the…"
As she kept on nagging, tears pooled in her eyes. She reached out to wipe them, turned, and walked back into the carriage. As Li Qinghe looked from within the carriage, she noticed that her pace was fast in small steps, almost as if she was running. Mrs. Xu waved, "It's cold, you should go back." Her voice was shaking as if she was about to cry.
Bin'er also stuck his head out from the carriage and waved at them, while Li Qinghe sat in the carriage and watched them go further and further until they disappeared.
She didn't blink, tears pooled in her eyes as well. Zhou Chengkang stretched out his hand to cover it, "Don't look. It's a very cold day, we must head back now."
There was a little sadness in her heart from the parting. Because they had the child with them, they decided to not go to the market in the town and head back to the village instead. She was looking at a big tree at the entrance of the village, when Li Qinghe retracted her gaze and saw the child in her arms twitching the corners of his mouth. She was a little surprised that the child was smiling almost always. And every time she saw him smile, she would feel content in her heart. Suddenly, the little sadness in her heart dissipated.
As soon as their carriage arrived home, they saw third brother Zhou walking towards their house with a small bag in his hand. After approaching them, he stuffed the bag into Li Qinghe's arms and said, "Sister-in-law, thank you for what happened today."
"What is this for?" Li Qinghe was trying to give it back, "I didn’t do anything to deserve this."
Third brother Zhou smiled, "Since your mother helped me, and she loves you so much, you should receive my gratitude on her behalf. I have to go back to take care of my daughter."
He waved his hand and left quickly.
When Zhou Chengkang pulled the horse back to the backyard and came out, he could only see the back of third brother’s back. He saw the bag in Li Qinghe's hand. As she was still holding the child, he quickly reached out to hold the bag, "why was he here?"
Li Qinghe answered a little helplessly, "He said he was thanking my mother by gifting me on her behalf."
They took the bag inside the house and opened it. The bag contained a dozen eggs. The third brother Zhou and third sister-in-law Zhou didn’t raise any chickens, but they heard from Mrs. Zhou that they would feed an egg daily to their daughter. These eggs must have been for her.
Zhou Chengkang's expression was indifferent, "If he is willing to give it, you should just accept it."
Since he himself agreed, Li Qinghe accepted the gift.
It has been raining every day recently. Li Qinghe had to take care of the child, while Zhou Chengkang was busy cooking meals and when he was free he had to wash the diaper clothes. Just as they had predicted, they didn't have any spare time to go to the mountain to cut the firewood at all. Just a few days after Mrs. Xu left, it started snowing. It snowed almost every year in Wang Village, but it wasn't heavy. This year the snow was very heavy and the roads were almost fully covered in white snow.
Nothing could be done while it snowed outside.
The two took care of the child and cooked three meals every day all by themselves. They felt quite cozy and enjoyed their days. After about ten days, the snow started to melt and people started walking on the roads again.
Zhou Chengkang went to find a butcher to kill the pigs. Seeing them butchering the pigs, the next-door Yang family also butchered their pigs.
The Yang family called a butcher from the town to kill the pig. Zhou Chengkang didn't know about this matter beforehand. Originally, it was hard to sell even a single pig in the village and now there were two pigs killed in a day. The Yang family spread the news that they were selling the pork and the price of the pork was twelve cents per catty.
Now in December, the cost of fatty meat was 16 cents per catty and lean meat was more than 12 cents. When people heard of this news, they were embarrassed to go to Yang's house from Li Qinghe's street. Hence, they deliberately went to their house from the village entrance road.
On Li Qinghe's side, however, they did not reduce the price of the pork as they would normally do. It wasn't that Li Qinghe did not want to compete with the Yang family, but this pig was fed by Zhou Chengkang himself, and she did not want his hard work to become cheap.
Mr. Yang was able to reduce the price so lightly as it was the chef, who cared for the pig.
So even after Li Fu and Li Kui, and some people who came along with Mrs. He from Tang Village, bought the meat from Li Qinghe, most of it was still left over.
Mrs. Zhou was a little worried. she found Li Qinghe, and whispered, "Why don't we make it cheaper?"
"No." Li Qinghe didn't care, "We can keep it for ourselves instead. It can last for about half a year when marinated with salt. Besides, next spring I still need to hire people to plant the land, so I wouldn’t need to buy it that time."
Mrs. Zhou had also thought that 12 cents per catty for pork was too cheap. To be honest, if Li Qinghe hadn't killed their pig, she would have also wanted to buy from the Yang family. Hearing her explanation, she also felt that it made sense, "Then go and bring the salt."
Li Qinghe went to find the salt and asked Mrs. Zhou and eldest aunt Liu to help with the marinating. When they were busy marinating, Mr. Yang came over to her house with his hands behind his back. He entered the courtyard with a smile on his face, "I'm sorry, we didn't discuss it beforehand and killed the pig on the same day. Don't think too much into it, it was purely a coincidence."
"Never mind." Zhou Chengkang wasn't angry, but he didn't smile either. He didn't have a good impression of both the Yang and Xu families, "We have decided to keep it for ourselves. Have you visited us for something?"
His desire to chase the guest out was obvious from his words. Neither of them wanted to get close to the Yang family. And the Yang’s definitely can't enter and leave their house as they pleased!
Mr. Yang didn't seem to catch the dislike in his words, he smiled and said, "That's right, I originally planned to invite some close people to eat after the pig was killed, but the meat was robbed, and we don't have anything to eat. I heard that your family has fish, why don't you catch some for me?"
"Fifty cents per catty." Zhou Chengkang said blandly, "Besides, I sell on credit."
Mr. Yang's smile froze. Not to mention the price of the fish, which was very expensive, his last sentence was mocking him.
In the beginning, when the Yang family bought the land next door, they hired people to level the foundation to build a house and even to clean-up up the wasteland. All the workers were hired, but they weren't paid the wages for the work. It was said that the Yang family was going to pay them through a one time settlement of 25 cents per day. But due to the result of this year's autumn harvest… The Yang family's field was planted with barley just like the villagers did before with no sweet potatoes. And also since it was their first time planting on the wasteland, the produce was almost next to nothing. But the workers didn't comply with them. The other day, when it was raining there was a huge commotion in front of Yang's family house. The man was holding a hoe in one hand and a kitchen knife in another and the woman was crying as she howled for the Yang family to pay their wages. As a result, Mr. Yang went to the village chief and wrote an IOU. He changed the wages to 30 cents per day and said that he would pay them next fall. The matter ended this way.
So, for building a house and for farming, the Yang family now owed the village people at least a dozen taels of silver money for their work.
He didn't care whether the Yang family had money or not. Not to mention, the Yang family had just sold the pig, so it was impossible for them to not have money. But he still said that obviously on purpose. Mr. Yang couldn't smile anymore and said, "Isn't it too expensive?"
Zhou Chengkang didn't think so. He moved the marinated meat into the house, and said casually, "Master Yang may not know, I usually go to the county town to sell fish, and everyone will buy it for 40 cents per catty. If I were to sell it to them, you wouldn’t have been able to buy the fish at this price. Today in the entire Louyue Town, except for my pond, you can't find a single fish..."
This was not a lie. Since the summer drought, the fish were not available for sale. When the restaurant in the town wanted to buy the fish,they had to go to Li Qinghe's house. Before, Li Qinghe and Zhou Chengkang had to go door to door to sell the fish at a cheaper price hence the people were willing to buy from them. Zhou Chengkang still delivers the fish by himself.
Listening to him talk for around half a day, Mr. Yang, who was a businessman himself, understood the fact that the fish was a scarce thing, and he also realised that Zhou Chengkang was not good to him at all. He interrupted him and said, "Then go and catch me one."
Zhou Chengkang went to the pond to fish, and Mr. Yang, who was squatting beside him, couldn't help but say, "If you sell the fish for a cheaper price when my daughter gets married in spring, I will order one fish per table from you, how about it?"
"We'll talk about it at that time then." Zhou Chengkang waved his hand, "I can't predict whether the price of fish will be as little as a few cents a catty at that time."
Zhou Chengkang deliberately caught a big fish that weighed over five catty. The price of this fish was two hundred and fifty cents. Holding the shiny copper coins in his hands, he finally showed him a smile, sent Mr. Yang away, and said, "Come here often!"
Mr. Yang marched away without turning back,carrying the fish in his hands.
As the two people went on with their separate ways, the marination of the pork was also complete. Li Qinghe had them go to the kitchen to cook something for themselves to eat, while she carried her baby back in the room to change the diaper cloth. Zhou Chengkang brought the copper coins inside and put them safely in the safe. He smiled and said, "In the spring of next year, the Yang family is going to have a wedding."
However, he smiled sarcastically, "In the past life, many people said that it was too difficult for the two of them to get together, and their union was delayed because of you. Now that you have married me early, there is no obstruction between them, yet they are getting married this late… they also said it was true love…"
He sneered. Li Qinghe heard his words, looked outside the room, saw that everyone was in the kitchen, and glared at him, "Don't talk nonsense. Who cares what people do, we just need to live our own lives."
It was true, no matter what, it was most important to live your life for yourself.
The food was ready, and tables were set. Zhou Chengkang brought out some wine. The dinner lasted for an hour, and since it was getting late, Mrs. Zhou and the others cleaned up the dishes and washed them. They were ready to go home when they suddenly heard a noise from the Yang family next door.
It was not the kind of noise made by one or two people. When they heard the noise, they realised that the time for the workers to demand their wages had arrived.
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