The Green Lotus Peasant GirlChapters List
Chapter 108: Neighbors
Whenever this matter was mentioned before, someone would always interrupt and change the topic. But now, Mrs. Zhou took the initiative to bring it up.
"How did he get lost?" Li Qinghe questioned out of curiosity.
Zhou Chengkang patted her shoulder and said, "Qinghe, go and check if the meal is ready yet. The handwriting practice is much more tiring than working in the fields. I am very hungry."
Hearing his words, Mrs. Zhou came back to her senses and interjected, "Studying takes a toll on your health. I have seen many scholars who are delicate and weak, and so they easily fall sick. You need to eat some good food to make up for your nutrition. I have nothing to do these days, so tomorrow I will take Xiyu with me around town and buy some meat on the way back… He's still far too young afterall. He doesn't need to study as hard as you both. Wait for two more years, and then get him to work hard."
After she finished speaking, she went to the kitchen. They heard her ask Mrs. Chen, "Is the food ready?"
Xiyu dropped his pen and followed his grandmother.
Li Qinghe kicked Zhou Chengkang's foot and asked him with a teasing smile, "You are growing more and more courageous. You dared to pat and interrupt me so that I wouldn’t ask about it, huh?"
Though Mrs. Zhou was in a trance, her voice still had a calm in it. So why couldn't she ask her?
"Big brother and third brother probably took me out to play and then they threw me into the woods on purpose. Such kinds of pranks are common among children, but it is quite hard for parents to cope with such a situation. It will make mom sad if you bring it up again." Zhou Chengkang gently squeezed her hand and said, " Let us just try to live our lives well. Don't think so much about what has already happened.What's the use of bringing up the past in the very different present anyway?"
Li Qinghe snorted softly in playful sarcasm, and teased again "Aren't I just worrying about you?"
"Yes, yes, my beloved wife loves me a lot." Zhou Chengkang bent down, kissed her hand softly, and said. He continued with a smile, "It changes a lot when one reads a book. You know this better, with the fragrance of ink on your hand."
Even though Li Qinghe was usually thick-skinned, her face blushed upon hearing his praise. The fragrance of the ink was not from the hands but from the ink that stained her hands. If one dedicatedly reads something, then they are bound to get an easy recognition of the characters. But in the case of writing, in addition to talent, one has to practice a lot. The course of writing was not something that could happen overnight. In their case, putting this much effort was not needed since they were just getting started.
On this day, she again heard the quarrel from the next door. It didn't take long before Yu Yan came to her house with her embroidery supplies. When she saw Li Qinghe practicing her calligraphy, she laughed and said, “It looks like you are turning into a model student. Even the noises from next door aren’t able to waver your focus."
Li Qinghe looked up at her and said with a smile, "Go ahead and feel free to pour out some tea for yourself. I can’t do it since I am quite focused on studies at the moment."
"The Yang family is really…" She shook her head in disappointment, "Min Rui just came back from the next door and he said that the people from the Xu family had come over. Xu Changjie's mother…" She shook her head once again, but this time her face had an indescribable expression. She lowered her tone and said, "Isn't the house next door written in Xu Changjie's name? Now, his mother came over and said that after his second brother gets married, he will come and live here with them."
Li Qinghe looked up in surprise, "Really?"
Mrs. Xu was quite a thick-skinned person.
That house obviously belonged to the Yang family. Although it was under Xu Changjie's name now, it still belonged to the young couple. Now she wanted to directly use it as the Xu's family's house.
No wonder, Mrs. Yang, who was always so very sophisticated, was willing to argue with her.
In fact, it was the Yang family who was at a greater disadvantage in this fight. They had already managed to offend so many people in the village by borrowing so much money and not returning it back wisely. If they really were to quarrel head-on, even the Xu family being the ones at fault, no one would come ahead to help and side with the Yang family.
The house next door was silent at night time.
The very next day, news had already spread around that the village chief was asked to settle the matter and Mrs. Yang had finally agreed to let Xu's family's second son marry his bride in the house. However, after the ceremony, he had to move out.
In the afternoon, Xu Changjie's younger brother's brides' family had come to the Yang family's house to get the measurements and sizes of the bridal chamber.
This was done because the bride's family gives dowry in the form of different furnitures for the new bridal chamber in her husband's house. According to what was agreed, they were just going to borrow the house for the marriage, so what was the need to measure the room size for?
It obviously meant that Xu Changjie's brother was going to stay there for a long time, right?
There was a lot of hustle-bustle from the next door yesterday. It was quiet for the first half of the day, in the morning, and now the hustling had started again.
Li Qinghe occasionally paid some attention to her neighbors, especially after Xu Changjie had moved in. It was not easy for her to put aside the fact that the enemy who murdered her in her previous life had moved in right beside the house she resided in now, with her life going all peacefully.
Now that they didn't harm her, she couldn’t find a reason to attack them either. But seeing them not doing so well, she inexplicably felt happy; her quench of revenge was filling up. She was such a narrow-minded person!
In the end, Mrs. Yang compromised again. But Yang Lanrou was angry and she drove Xu Changjie out of the house.
Li Qinghe came to know about this because that night Mrs. Zhou suddenly remembered that she had left a knife in the backyard of the old house. It was the autumn season, there would be dew in the morning. The knife will definitely catch rust if it gets wet from the dew. Working was the most important thing for a farmer's family. Zhang Haiyao might not go to the backyard. Even if she did end up going, she would not pay attention to a knife. So Mrs. Zhou decided to do it herself and insisted on going to the back to pick up the knife. Li Qinghe had then went to see off Mrs. Zhou.
After Mrs. Zhou left, she went to the fishpond and squatted near it to watch the fish. She had sold one round of fish this year and now she had just added in some more fish a month ago. She was wondering about how big the fish might grow by the time of Chinese New Year, however, she suddenly heard footsteps behind her.
At this time around, the sun was setting down and the moon was coming out. It was soon going to be dark. After their pond was raided by thieves two times, Li Qinghe now paid special attention to the security. She whipped around her head, completely alert and on guard. She saw Xu Changjie approaching her with his hands behind his back.
She seldom saw him in this life and even less times since she got married. She ignored him and was not at all interested in greeting him. She continued to watch the fish. There wasn't much lighting so she couldn't see anything clearly.
She ignored him, but Xu Changjie called her again.
Li Qinghe didn't look back and asked a bit annoyedly, "What's the matter?"
Xu Changjie walked near to the pond and looked into it, "Your pond is a pot of gold. I heard that you sell two rounds of fish every year. You must earn a lot of silver from it, right?"
"It's enough to buy the rations." She answered casually. She had a lot of land, and even though they were not growing sweet potatoes any longer, they could just make up the earnings from the pond.
Even though her attitude was cold, Xu Changjie was interested in talking, "This pond is the gift I gave you to express my gratitude."
The pond was indeed bought with the money given by him as a token of appreciation, but it can't be considered a gift from him, now can it?
Even though Li Qinghe didn't want to get entangled with him, she still emphasized as she said, "What you gave back then was just the money. This is the land I bought myself!"
Xu Changjie smiled slightly, "It's all the same."
How can it be the same?
Li Qinghe didn't want to talk to him anymore, "It's so late, what are you doing here? My pond has been attacked by thieves before and you are here at this time, so obviously it will make me misunderstand. Be careful, or else I will report you to the police for trespassing!"
Xu Changjie didn't speak. He looked at the pond and after a while, his voice came through the moonlight, "Have you never regretted it?"
Although he didn't explicitly state it, Li Qinghe somehow felt that he was referring to the fact that she should have taken that opportunity to ask him to marry her.
"Actually, I regret it. No matter how gentle and kind a girl is, she will change after marriage." He let out a long sigh, "They become calculative and only care about money and house…"
After two years of being married to him in her past life, even if she hadn't spent much time with him, and Li Qinghe would have taken the trouble to get to know him a bit, this was indeed what Xu Changjie would have said.
Although he did not continue with his studies, he still had some of the innocence of a scholar who did not know the world. It was also Mrs. Xu who took care of him well and did not let him go hungry.
Of course, he will also subconsciously choose women who were beneficial to him. Like Yu Yan and Yang Lanrou.
Without enough money, it would be impossible to raise someone with delicate skin despite their good looks and family background.
Xu Changjie on the side continued to sigh, "Such kind of gentle and kind girl like Lanrou actually kicked me out of the house."
Then it suddenly struck Li Qinghe. No wonder he was still wandering outside this late, it was because he was kicked out.
In fact, what he said was true. Yang Lanrou was really gentle. If it was someone else, she would not just have kicked him out but would have also kicked his mother out along with him. She would become a shrew who would disrespect her elders.
The sky was getting darker and the moonlight was shining brightly. Li Qinghe got up, dusted her hands, and turned around. She saw Zhou Chengkang standing at the door. Seeing her get up, he smiled and said, "It's getting dark, why are you still outside? Hurry up and come home. The hot water is ready, wash up already, dear."
Yes, let's go home.
Li Qinghe smiled and walked towards him.
Xu Changjie watched her take brisk footsteps toward Zhou Chengkang. He watched them enter the door, talking and laughing in low voices, and then closed the door.
When she entered the house, she saw that the hot water was already in the bathroom and both the father and son had already washed up.
When Li Qinghe washed and walked out of the bathroom, she saw Zhou Chengkang standing outside the bathroom, with his arms folded. When she saw the silhouette, she jumped in fright. After seeing that it was him, she teased him, "Why are you here? Do you want to peep, you pervert!" She stretched out her hand and pinched his face lightly.
Zhou Chengkang held her hand and squeezed it seductively. He kissed her fingertips and said solemnly, "I don't need to peek. I can openly look." He reached out to take the bucket in her hand, then he wrapped his arms around her waist, and put his head on her shoulder. He whispered into her ear, "I have to watch you more closely. I just went to take a shower and someone was already looking at you."
In fact, it was just a joke. There was enough trust between the two. Especially Zhou Chengkang, who had a lot of trust in her. For those things, he understood that it was definitely impossible for her to turn back. No matter how deep feelings she had for Xu Changjie, after being poisoned by him, those feelings probably also got tainted.
Li Qinghe rolled her eyes, "It was enough to be blind for one whole lifetime."
"Yes." Zhou Chengkang nodded in agreement, "That's why you came to me after you opened your eyes."
She couldn't help but laugh, "How can you so shamelessly brag about yourself?"
"Am I not good enough though?" Zhou Chengkang pinched his chin, pondered for a long time, and said, "It seems I have to treat you better than before."
The two laughed and joked as they entered the door.
Many people went to chop firewood in autumn. The firewood cut by the Zhou couple earlier was basically useless now. They don't have time to cook these days and as for Mrs. Chen and Mrs. Zhou, they used the straw to burn. The wood they bought earlier was still kept as it was.
After a few rainy days in the autumn, it seemed like winter had begun. In mid-October, there was a big wedding held next door. It was of Xu Changping, who brought back his bride.
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