The Green Lotus Peasant GirlChapters List
Chapter 14: Self-reliant
Zhao Wanwan had always been non-committal about these matters. Even after Li Qinghe flatly refused, Xu's mother didn't give up, "I haven't thanked you for your help yesterday morning, so it's only right to give you a ride."
"It's really not necessary." Li Qinghe refused again. Her face was cold, refusing others.
Father Xu became impatient, "We need to go back earlier, this ox cart is too hard for Changjie's legs to bear."
As the ox-cart moved away, Zhao Wanwan on her side whispered, "Sister, are you really giving up on Mr. Xu?"
At that, Li Qinghe was curious, "Why do you think I have my heart set on Young Master Xu?"
"Because you put your life on the line to save him," Zhao Wanwan took it for granted.
Li Qinghe raised her eyebrows, "Didn’t I also ask the Xu family for twelve taels of silver? And why don’t you mention anything about me and the Zhou family's fourth brother?"
Zhao Wanwan said casually, "Twelve taels of silver, if you are willing to marry the Xu family, is it not from the left hand in exchange for the right hand, with the bride price as a reason. As for the Zhou family's fourth brother ......," she paused, "he does not seem to come to you anymore."
Li Qinghe had discovered this long ago, she didn’t know why when she first came back, this Zhou Chengkang couldn't wait to run to her eight times a day, but since she bought the wasteland, she had seen him very little.
The reason that he changed his mind was something Li Qinghe didn't believe in. Others did not know but she knew that Zhou Chengkang in her last lifeguarded her tombstone and never married. He lived in a thatched house next to it. It didn't make sense that he retreated before marrying her.
While talking the two sisters had already reached the village entrance. When they returned home, Mrs. Qian was preparing dinner. When she saw the two sisters enter, she did not look at Li Qinghe and instructed Zhao Wanwan, "Come in and serve the food."
Zhao Wanwan bowed her head and entered the kitchen. Li Qinghe went directly back to her room and put away her money. When she came out, she heard Mrs. Qian's cursing in the kitchen, "You damn girl, I am doing it for your own good. What are you doing as a little girl holding the money for? Be careful of letting people swindle you."
When Li Qinghe arrived at the kitchen door, she saw Zhao Wanwan clutching her chest tightly, where her copper coins were placed. Mrs. Qian scolded with a serious face, "I am your mother, I have no other child, I can still ignore your money? If you hadn't born off my body, I wouldn't bother to care about you, Qinghe has so much silver, do you see if I've asked?"
"Are you not going to eat?" Li Qinghe asked idly, with her arms around her chest.
Mrs. Qian didn't know when Li Qinghe came, after raising her eyes and seeing her, she hurriedly reduced the anger on her face, "Soon."
Li Qinghe was not hungry, but if she did not eat now, she might get hungry late at night. The family sat at the table in silence, and Mrs. Qian handed a steamed bun to Li Fu, saying in passing, "Recently, food has been coming down so fast that I'm afraid I won't be able to catch it."
Thinking of something else, she looked at Li Qinghe and asked, "I heard you bought food to honor your eldest aunt?"
She was really not allowing her to rest well. Li Qinghe put down her chopsticks and wanted to have a good discussion with her, but Li Fu already reprimanded her, "I won't starve you, and I won't stop you from eating. My parents live there. We don't ever send any food, so what's wrong with Qinghe sending some over there? Why are you being so weird? You haven't honored them even for a day since you entered the house!"
It was a rare occasion that Li Fu was actually angry with Mrs. Qian this time. Inexplicably happy, Li Qinghe explained clearly, “The reason I sent food over is that grandpa helped me cut grass on my land. The eldest aunt also did not receive that food freely. Their whole family helped me clean the pond for two days, even grandma helped by cooking for us." It was not in vain.
Mrs. Qian didn't listen to her, instead, her eyes turned red and she said to Li Fu, "Is it because I'm not willing to honor the elderly? They don't like me. If they hadn't been unwilling to pay the bride price, how could you and I have missed out for so many years and now be looked down upon by the village people? Besides, when I came out of the Zhao family, my parents wished to help me to remarry, I insisted ...... I should have known, I should have obeyed my parents' wishes to remarry, and save you from blaming me now!”
(TN: In case it isn't clear, Mrs. Qian’s mother wished for her to remarry others (not Li Fu) but Mrs. Qian insisted on marrying Li Fu. So Mrs. Qian is implying that she should have obeyed her parents’ wishes (to marry another) so Li Fu wouldn’t be blaming her right now.)
Later, she did not eat the meal, only whimpered and cried.
"Why do you say these things in front of the children?" Li Fu said, although still reprimanding his tone had softened, "I do not blame you, originally we ought to send food to my parents over there ."
"Then I didn't say we shouldn't either," Mrs. Qian was aggrieved, "I only said one word, and you were mean to me."
Li Qinghe tore open the steamed buns and pinned some vegetables into it, pinched the buns close, and got up to go out, staying here she not only could not eat but also got a bit nauseous.
If a girl of 17 or 18 years cries so much, it would be pitiful, but this 30-year-old woman in commoner clothes crying while lifting her voice was not the same thing at all.
After being exhausted these two days, she went to bed after returning to her room. The next morning when she got up, Mrs. Qian was already well and had gone to see the crops in the field with Li Fu. In the kitchen, Zhao Wanwan was cooking breakfast and when she saw her enter, she whispered, "Sister, if you hadn't come in yesterday, my mother would have taken away my copper plates."
Li Qinghe glanced at her, went next to her, picked up the knife, and started cutting vegetables, and casually said, "You didn't give it to her yesterday, but there's no guarantee she won't ask again."
Zhao Wanwan looked alarmed, "Sister, what should I do?"
Li Qinghe smiled, "You should think that by yourself." In the end, it was still necessary to learn to refuse. In her last life, she was not familiar with Zhao Wanwan. Her impression was that she was hardworking, but timid and fearful. She had later gotten married to someone out of town and was never seen again.
But it seemed that as the two get along, it was true that Zhao Wanwan was timid, but she was not stupid.
Zhao Wanwan remained silent. The two sisters prepared the meal and were setting it up when many people were passing by heading to the west of the village. When Li Qinghe saw Mrs. Xu, she smiled and asked, "Auntie, you're in such a hurry, where are you going?"
When Mrs. Xu saw her, she didn't stop and said quickly, "Someone is looking for trouble with the Zhou family, I'll go see!"
The Zhou family?
Seeing that she was in such a hurry, it should have something to do with her. And remembering that her daughter Qingmiao and Zhou Chengwu had verbally agreed to marry each other, Li Qinghe frowned, straightened her sleeve, and said to Zhao Wanwan, who was setting dinner, "You don't wait for me to eat, I'll go check it out."
The Zhou family's house was the same as the surrounding families. The courtyard was particularly large, and at that time the originally empty courtyard was full of people, most of them were from the village. In the middle was a group of people from outside the village, there were men and women, some were also holding sticks and rods. At a glance, the people who came were looking for trouble. The woman at the head of the crowd called out, "Let the Zhou family come out."
The woman did not forget to explain to the growing number of people around her, "We are a reasonable family, we will not quarrel and make trouble, but the Zhou family does not do anything! We only want to reason with them, not fight!"
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