The Green Lotus Peasant Girl

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Chapter 31: Profound

Li Qinghe has never been there either, but Zhou Chengkang has, and the person who sold her the fish told her about it once. So she replied, "If you take the carriage, it will take approximately two days."

Even though the girl was a little disappointed, she did not want to give up, "So can I get a ride from town to the county?"

"Yes, but you'll have to look for the carriage yourself." As Li Qinghe said this, she casually examined the girl's clothes. She remembered that when they brought her back, she was dressed in a very simple dress, and there was no jewelry on her body. As a result, there is probably nothing she had to hide. Therefore, the clothes belonged to the third aunt.

She had no silver, so she had no way to leave. But if she really wants to leave, she should actually return the money for the medicine and chicken soup to the third aunt. For the farmer, these were not small expenses.

 "That's it." The girl lowered her tone and asked again, "Does anybody in the town buy embroidery?"

"Yes, there's the Zhang Family Cloth House in town, which makes embroidery." Recalling the calluses on her hands, Li Qinghe continued, "Some of the more delicate embroideries are extremely expensive."

The girl's eyes lit up, "Thank you." She then remembered something, "My surname is Yu, Yu Yan."

Third aunt came out of the house holding a bowl of black medicine. A smile spread across her face as she asked, "Qinghe, are you coming back from feeding the fish so soon?"

"Qinghe?" Yu Yan wondered, "What is your surname?"

Li Qinghe smiled, "My surname is Li. Many people in Wangcun have the surname Li."

It will soon be time for the sun to set. She hung her quilt to dry in the morning, and if she didn't take it off soon, the autumn mist was going to make it wet once again and all of her work would be wasted.

"I have to go back. My family lives here," Li Qinghe pointed to her yard. "You can come and speak with me if you have time."

When she returned home, she saw Zhao Wanwan looking out the door in the yard.

Zhao Wanwan asked in a low voice when she saw her coming back,"She has really woken up?"

Li Qinghe casually said, "She's awake. She appears to be better now."

"It looks like she was sold secretly, doesn't she?" Zhao Wanwan followed her, "Isn't there an old man in the village who said that the wives of the big family sold their concubines quietly? Would she be the same... If this is the case, the third aunt and others are truly blessed."

'You think a lot', Li Qinghe thought.

Li Qinghe went directly to the backyard to get the quilt, brought it back to the room, and sewed it again. In winter, it was too cold without a thick quilt, and one couldn't possibly survive without one.

It was not early in the evening and the sun had already set.

To avoid the glare of the night lamp, Li Qinghe opened her room door slightly. Zhao Wanwan came to her and helped her clean up. "Sister, when will you set your wedding date?"

"I've just gotten engaged so it's too early. Maybe next year." Li Qinghe replied casually.

Zhao Wanwan sighed, "I wish I could get married sooner. Since you already know about my marriage, I always feel uneasy. If they withdraw our marriage…"

Li Qinghe pretended not to listen to Zhao Wanwan's words and continued sewing the quilt.

After a while, Zhao Wanwan said, "It would be nice if I could get five taels of silver."

Although Li Qinghe had the silver to buy the land and fish, the amount was not enough, so they believed that the Xu family provided the funds. Nobody knew how she taught her aunt to make cakes, and no one knew that she had made a few taels of silver and hadn't spent it.

Although people who were in the bakery that day saw that she hadn't been there in a while, most of them assumed because she had helped before, the owner had asked her to do a day's work and would not have thought the way the cakes were made was her idea.

Thus, Zhao Wanwan said this, not because she admired or sought her talent, but because she wanted her to help persuade Li Fu.

It had been so long since that conversation; she does not know if it was discussed privately, but in front of her, she hadn't seen Zhao Wanwan or Mrs. Qian persuading Li Fu.

Families are busy cleaning up the farm ground, and those who have time are also cutting wood to prepare for winter.

In the meantime, Li Qinghe was also busy. She wanted someone to mark a part of the land for her. In the spring of next year, she planned to begin raising chickens. She also wanted to mark another part of the land to grow some crops next year. The land would be useless if nothing was done.

Now that she owns the wasteland, no food tax will be charged for the first three years. Then for the next three years, she will have to pay 50 percent of the harvest as taxes. In ten years, the land will be just ordinary land. She will not be charged taxes if there has been no harvest. In this case, she does not pay taxes at the time.

Therefore, she needed to hire someone. Despite her and Zhou Chengkang's combined efforts, there was little they could do.

No matter what others think, she believes it is a good idea to ask her uncle's family for help or ask them to find a few more people. It is still possible for Eldest Aunt to cook, and the big deal is to pay her, which is the easiest method. Mrs. Qian was not someone she could rely on.

The next morning, she went to Li Xingwang's house. When she arrived at their house, the family was already up. After Eldest Aunt heard Li Qinghe's intentions, she immediately agreed, "Bring the grains, and I'll help you make it."

Li Xingwang scolded, "There are grains at home. What's the need to bring more?"

Li Qinghe hurriedly said, "That's not correct, one size does not fit all1. The fact that my eldest uncle is willing to work is already a big help to me, so how can I ask you to pay for it yourself?"  

As soon as the Elder Aunt heard her words, her stiff expression returned to normal and she said, "Auntie will help you. You do not need to pay for it, you can just come and eat."

Li Qinghe was not upset when her Eldest Aunt refused to pay for the food, since she doesn't have to. The act of showing such affection to a niece with whom you haven't corresponded for many years would seem a bit out of place. She will even let the Eldest Uncle's family take advantage of it for the sake of the two elderly people.

She then went back to her house to take the money and planned to go to the town to buy grain with it.

Zhou Chengkang and she were already engaged, so she naturally went looking for him. He has a carriage that rides fast, and she will not have to carry the grain herself.

Today was not a market day. There should not be many people going to the town, but as soon as they left the village, they noticed a girl walking slowly by the side of the road.

Upon approaching the girl, they realized she was Yu Yan.

She still looked somewhat sickly pale. When she saw the carriage, she waved her hand to stop it. Seeing Li Qinghe sitting in front of the carriage, she smiled and said, "Qinghe, can you take me for a ride?"

"I'll pay you the silver. It's just I have to owe it for some time," she added.   

This girl's candidness in saying that there is no silver makes people feel cuter after they saw Zhao Wanwan's trick and Mrs. Qian's trick to entice people to back off voluntarily. The carriage was stopped and she was let into it.

The carriage arrived very quickly in the town. After a quarter of an hour, the carriage had reached the town's entrance.

Li Qinghe showed her the way before she went to buy grains with Zhou Chengkang.

After purchasing the grains, they passed the auntie's bun shop, where she bought some buns. On the display were a few cakes of the kind she had made before.

Li Qinghe smiled and asked, "How is the business now?"

The aunt smiled and said, "Well, business is good, but I can't sell it mostly during normal business hours." As she lowered her voice, she said, "I blame myself for not being able to use the finer ingredients. The rice and fine flour are so expensive."

It was only then that Li Qinghe noticed the aunt had replaced the white rice with yellow rice.

It's no wonder...

Nonetheless, the aunt has been in business for many years, and there was no way to convince her. All people have their own ideas, and she understands that.

When Mrs. Xu learned about Li Qinghe's engagement, she ran back to her house, so Li Qinghe bought snacks and went to the cloth shop.

The atmosphere at the cloth store remained the same; Mrs. Xu watched her son practicing calligraphy as she sat in the backyard.

As soon as Li Qinghe arrived, Mrs. Xu was ecstatic, "You don't have to bring snacks, I don't lack anything here. It's great if you come and visit me more often."

Li Qinghe's arrival made Mrs. Xu very happy,

Then she spoke of Zhao Wanwan's marriage in a low tone, "The Hu family had already settled the marriage with the people from the Liu Village. But Zhao Tianfu had gone to their house and made a fuss. The Hu family's mother and son didn't dare to change their minds, and the matchmaker came to see them. Many people in town know about this."

Li Qinghe was unaware of this. She suddenly remembered that Mrs. Qian had quietly run out to meet Zhao Tianfu that morning. This must be the reason.

Mrs. Xu sneered, "I wonder what your father will think when he finds out that his beloved wife and Wanwan's father are still in contact."   

It will be very troublesome if Li Fu discovers this. Although Li Fu accommodates Mrs. Qian's wishes and is reluctant to see her cry, he has a serious temper when he is angry.

It would have been unrealistic not to communicate with Zhao Wanwan, who was sandwiched between two of them.

Adding some interest to the conversation, Li Qinghe said, "The Hu family has a very high attitude. At first, they asked for my pond, and the next time they came to my door, they asked for a bride price of five taels." The condescending phrase 'discuss it among yourselves' does not look like a threat.

Mrs. Xu sneered, "If they dare to scheme against you, see if I don't tear their faces off. What bride price do they want? With the mess Zhao Tianfu created, they would be obliged to marry his daughter."

As she remembered something, she asked, "Did they mention anything about the land being put up in the Hu family's name after they won the talent show?"

Li Qinghe was silent.    

As Mrs. Xu viewed her expression, her face turned cold: "Mrs. Qian is so calculating. She wants to give the land to him and he is her son-in-law. If something happens to Li Fu, can anyone in the Li family ask for the land back? Who will dare to demand land from him once he becomes a real scholar? You are the only child of your father. You should own all the land and houses in this family! Giving everything to Zhao Wanwan, isn't he afraid to choke to death!"

Sure enough, old ginger is indeed more spicy². Considering the future so far in advance.

Although it's really too far away. It is still too early to consider that Hu guy as a talent.

Before Li Qinghe left, Mrs. Xu gave her another piece of cloth. "Make some clothes for Chengkang with it. Instead of going to the farm and working, make two more sets of clothes." She also muttered, "I don't know what's good about farming in the countryside. Nonetheless, watch out for tanning."

Li Qinghe walked out from the backyard holding the fabrics in her arms. Yu Yan was flipping through a booklet at the counter.

A boy at the side reminded her repeatedly to be careful while asking at the same time, "Do you know how to embroider or not?"

Yu Yan was already annoyed, but she held back and pointed out a few complicated patterns before asking the price.

She was waiting for the boy to bring the fabrics when she saw Li Qinghe come out. She hurriedly said, "Qinghe, wait for me. I'll be finished with my matters soon. Please take me back for the ride." In addition, she said, "I will certainly pay you after I embroider these patterns."

Li Qinghe glanced through the patterns in the booklet. Few people are proficient in embroidering. They should be able to earn a lot of money if they know how to embroider.

1. A Chinese idiom used to emphasize not mixing two things. Like, even if someone is on good terms, it has nothing to do with our business.

2. A Chinese idiom for saying that older people are more knowledgeable, more experienced, and more powerful.

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