The Green Lotus Peasant Girl

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Chapter 54: New House

The journey went smoothly. There were usually a lot of people renting rooms in the village. In addition, some people prepared a house especially for visitors. They also helped feed the horses and prepared hot water, but the couple didn't find a doctor.

They chose a house that was clean and asked about a doctor.

The village had a doctor, but unfortunately he didn't treat dogs. He was worried that if he tried to treat the dog's fractured bones, they might not be treated but would only be further damaged. If that happened, the dog would really become lame. Therefore, the doctor suggested letting the dog rest and heal the wound on its own.

After leaving the doctor's house, the two returned to the place where they were staying. Zhou Chengkang asked, touching the puppy's leg, "Why don't I... help him relocate the bone?"

Li Qinghe looked at him suspiciously. "You can fix a dislocated bone?"

"I learned about it a little bit." Zhou Chengkang smiled and asked the host to prepare a plank, and continued. "Uncle Tiger taught me before. I can fix a simple dislocated bone. Anyway, it's better than just ignoring it."

After half a day of work, the puppy's leg had been wrapped in a bandage, and both of them felt quite accomplished.

On the way home the next afternoon, the two had not only pulled a wagonload of stuff, but Li Qinghe was also holding an injured puppy.

Once the two returned, everyone found out they had gone to the county without saying a word, and returned quite smoothly.

Seeing the material Li Qinghe brought back, many people asked about the price. Originally, each item was worth eight cents. In the end, many people asked for more. Third Aunt Lu was the first to ask, so she couldn't refuse to sell it. After that, she couldn't refuse anyone else anymore. If she had known, she would have brought more silver; she really didn't think this could earn her silver.

Following a half day of activities, the Zhou family finally got a chance to rest after washing up, after running around for two days.

Both of them got up late the next morning. Li Fu has been feeding the fish in the pond for the past two days in their absence. It wasn't that Li Qinghe didn't want to find Mrs. Zhou, but she had never fed a fish before, and Li Fu had helped her quite a few times and already knew how much to feed them.

Li Qinghe went to the Li's house after breakfast, picking up the bag Zhao Wanwan asked her to bring. She arrived to find Mrs. Qian washing laundry in the yard, but she did not see Li Fu. The main door was open, so he should be inside.

As soon as Mrs. Qian saw her, she averted her eyes and did not greet her. It appeared that she was really angry with her.

Li Qinghe placed the bag in front of Mrs. Qian, who continued to wash the clothes and said, "No need."

The two words were crisp and clear.

"You’re not thinking that I'm going to make amends by buying you something, are you?" Li Qinghe growled angrily.

Mrs. Qian snorted in disgust.

"You really don't want it?" Li Qinghe asked again.

"No." Mrs. Qian wrung out the clothes and hung them to dry. Li Qinghe reached out and picked up the bag, saying, "Since you don't want it, I can use it for firewood."

As she walked to the kitchen, she raised her voice and said, "It's a pity that Wanwan asked me to bring it back from so far away, but you don't want it!"

The next instant, Mrs. Qian rushed to her with the speed of wind and snatched it. "You should have said this earlier!"

Is it my fault?

Li Qinghe smiled angrily. "Give it back. I won't keep it for myself. I will return it to her when I return next year!"

"Who knows if you want to keep it for yourself." Mrs. Qian was not polite.

What nonsense! How could Li Fu think Mrs. Qian was so wonderful that he wanted to associate with her behind Mother Xu's back? Other than looking better than her peers, what else would set her apart from others? In terms of beauty, Mother Xu was no less attractive than Mrs. Qian at the beginning, but now she has been pampered for years and has become far more attractive than Mrs. Qian.

During their conversation, Li Fu, who heard the noise outside, came out, and Li Qinghe didn't bother to speak to Mrs. Qian anymore. She gave him the refreshments she brought.

When Li Fu saw it was a snack, he was very pleased. "You eat it yourself, why do you have to send it to me?"

"I didn't buy much in town. You should try it." Mrs. Qian was still standing outside, looking at her with one eye. Li Qinghe did not want to stay any longer, so she got up and left.

Over the next few days, the couple's minds were mostly occupied with the new house, just waiting for the housewarming on the fifth of October.

At home, the atmosphere was off as the two were moving, but they were both busy over there and didn't give it much thought.

The housewarming was different from other happy occasions. They helped make preparations for the next day and, since they couldn't light a fire there, they all went back to the Zhou house for dinner.

Compared to previous times, many people were eating and it was relatively difficult to cook. Not only her sister-in-law Mei Shi, but also Zhang Haiyao, who was pregnant, came to help. Plus, they didn't speak inappropriately to Li Qinghe, which was uncommon.

Everyone in the family helped. The fourth day went smoothly. The fifth day, early in the morning, Li Qinghe began to pack up her things, and since there were many people today, they helped Li Qinghe move furniture and other items.

The previous day, Mrs. Zhou had told them privately that they should remove all the furniture in this house. It was better so that others would not have any idea that they could take them for themselves.

Li Qinghe's room was originally part of a newly constructed house. Apart from a bed, all the furniture in the room was her dowry. Her room would be empty if the good furniture were removed.

Basically, friends and family, who they were familiar and close with, helped them. After more people had come to help, all of the furniture was moved in one trip, and then it was time to honor Zaoshen[1]. They lit the fire and began cooking.

The food was also pretty good. Li Qinghe served fish as well as Mei Shi's tofu dishes to each table. She also put a plate of vegetable dishes. The vegetables were planted long after the date was set, and the meat was purchased fresh. Banquets like this in the village, where there was a fish per table, couldn't be considered bad. Most guests thought it was quite great.

Just like any happy event, the housewarming ended up being very lively. Even if there were disagreements, they wouldn't pick today to start making trouble. It was Mrs. Qian who walked by her several times without attempting to speak to her. There was no discomfort like the other day, and several times, she tried to speak as if she wanted to say something.

Both of them were praised by the guests for the quality of their house, especially the courtyard wall. Mrs. Zhou was also praised for having a good son and daughter-in-law. Also, the guests told her she could move into the new house if she wanted to.

Everyone dispersed after the excitement. Mrs. Zhou and Fifth Sister Zhou stayed to help clean the yard. Mei Shi helped make the tofu that Li Qinghe wanted, then took a day off and didn't do any business. She was cleaning the yard at the time, and even old lady Liu was there. Li Qingmiao was sweeping the ground with a broom. Zhang Haiyao, who was pregnant, was sweeping as well.

The sisters-in-law helped each other out, and secretly they were also making a point of not knowing each other. From time to time, they secretly glared at one another.

However, there was no quarrel. There were many people who helped, so before dark, the inside and outside of the house, as well as the yard, were quickly cleaned up. Li Qinghe warmed up the rest of the food and the Zhou family ate their dinner.

After dinner, Mrs. Zhou took the family and left. Both Li Qinghe and Zhou Chengkang stood at the door, watching them walk further and further away, and now, they were the only ones left in the courtyard. Li Qinghe smiled and looked at the person beside her. She held out her hand saying, "Congratulations to Brother Chengkang on the housewarming."

Zhou Chengkang smiled and held out his hand as well and said, "Congratulations to Mrs. Zhou on her happy housewarming."

They looked at each other and laughed loudly. They entered the house holding hands.

Either because they were excited about the new home or because it was their first night in the new bed, the two tossed and turned half the night before falling asleep.

When Li Qinghe woke up the next morning, the side next to her was already cold. Zhou Chengkang was cleaning outside the kitchen when she awoke, and after putting away the broom, he knocked on the door and said, "Madam, the meal is ready. Do you want to eat now?"

Li Qinghe laughed lightly as she leaned back on the pillow. "What if I don't eat now?" she asked.

“If you don't eat, you are not hungry. When you become hungry, I will heat it up again for you." Zhou Chengkang smiled, pushed the door, and entered the room. Squatting in front of the bed, he asked, "Does madam have any orders?"

"Who is this person?" Li Qinghe poked his forehead and asked with a smile, "This is the big one. Where's the young one? I don't have any orders, you go out first."

Zhou Chengkang held and kissed her fingers that were poking his forehead. He picked up the clothes on the side. "Do you want to change? I can help you with that."

"It's not over yet, is it?" Li Qinghe sat up. "Do you want me to send you to perform at the big show?"

Zhou Chengkang lay on the bed, buried his head in the quilt, and laughed. After a long time, with tears in the corners of his eyes, he lifted his head slowly and held her hand. Although he seemed to be smiling, he looked extremely serious. "Qinghe, last night after you slept, I didn't fall asleep at all. It felt like a dream."

Li Qinghe felt sour and sweet at the same time. The same serious expression was on her face as she touched his stubble chin. "You're not dreaming!"

Despite staying up all night, Zhou Chengkang was in good spirits. Once the two had finished eating, he went to feed the fish and the chicken on the right of the yard. As soon as he got back, he started to make a dog house for the little rhubarb[2].

Earlier, when this house was built, a lot of wooden boards were left in the house, so he brought some and began working on it. Li Qinghe was squatting on the side with Little Rhubarb.

On the hills behind the house, there were two people and a dog living harmoniously. The pond in front of the house looked like a painting sketch.

A woman leaning on her waist came cautiously to the side of the painting sketch. The door was not closed, and Li Qinghe looked up to see Zhang Haiyao coming from a distance. Because of this move, they were far away, and they were also unable to find Li Qinghe easily.

As Zhang Haiyao watched Zhou Chengkang cut the wood loudly. She asked curiously, "What are you doing, brother and sister-in-law?"

"Building a dog house." Li Qinghe stood up; her legs were sore from squatting. She rubbed her legs and asked, "What is your sister doing here?" With such a big stomach, wasn’t she afraid of falling on the way?

Zhang Haiyao approached the door. "I have something to talk about with you." Looking at Li Qinghe's suspicious face, she replied with a straight face. "It's business."

1. Zaoshen: Zàoshén is a god that superstitious people offer near the pot and stove, believing that he is in charge of the family's fortune and prosperity.

2. Little Rhubarb: their dog's name.

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