The Green Lotus Peasant GirlChapters List
Chapter 121: Separation
The Yang family's courtyard was separated from theirs by a tall courtyard wall. Also, Zhou Chengkang put a thorn barrier on the road leading to the Yang family courtyard last year, so people could no longer access it.
But if Mrs. Xu were living there, then the barrier would definitely be removed. Or maybe they could cut and make a brick wall with a door in the middle.
The next day the weather was pleasant and the sun shone brightly, which was rare. Li Qinghe and Mrs. Xu went to look at the courtyard next door. Though the house was built only two years ago since it was empty for months, there was dust all over the house making it look like an old courtyard. They would have to clean the house before moving in.
After cleaning the house, it would be the best house in the village.
As days passed, the news that Mrs. Xu bought the Yang family's house soon spread like wildfire. Many people sighed: This is being rich!
Of course, some people said some sour words: It's because she is good-looking she could take advantage of it.
Everyone in the village knew that the Yang family's house was the best in the village. It was just that no one could afford to buy it. Even if they could afford to buy it, they chose not to as the house was a bit far from the village.
As for Mrs. Xu, it would be better for her to stay away from the village. Although she used to live in this village, after so many years, she was no longer familiar with the villagers.
The courtyard was in good condition, so no outsiders were hired to clean it.
They asked Mr. Yu and Mrs. Chen to help with cleaning the courtyard for a few days. They plucked the weeds and planted vegetables in the backyard. Soon, the house looked quite nice and neat.
After picking a date, Mrs. Xu moved into the house. It was already winter when she moved in. She also invited the villagers for a housewarming banquet after settling down.
The banquet was very lively. Li Qinghe was pregnant and Mrs. Xu was afraid of taking her help out of fear that she would hurt herself. So she asked Li Qinghe to rest instead in her room.
Mrs. Xu specially prepared a room for Li Qinghe in her house. The room had a girlish tone, with pink quilts and curtains.
Many people from the village came to the banquet. Even Li Fu came. He also brought Mrs. Liu with him. Li Fu appeared calm during the whole banquet, but it was the others who were awkward. Li Fu didn't feel any awkwardness and said with a smile, "It's good that Qinghe's mother is living next door to her. Now I can be at ease. After the horrible things that happened, I couldn't sleep at night getting worried for her. Now, it's fine."
Mrs. Xu's maternal family also came to the banquet but Mrs. Xu only treated them as ordinary neighbors from the village and they were not close at all. The Xu family actually blamed their daughter for leaving her daughter behind and running to the town to become somebody's concubine. They mainly blamed her for tarnishing Xu's family's reputation. Seeing that Mrs. Xu wasn't getting close to them, they also didn't approach her and were just indifferent to her.
Li Qinghe was talking to someone in the house when she heard someone in the kitchen say that there were not enough basins. She got up to bring them. Before she had even walked a few steps out of the yard, Mrs. Zhou chased after her, "Qinghe."
"Did you tell your mother what I said to you the other day?" Mrs. Zhou lowered her voice and reached out to support her.
Li Qinghe was not used to being this close to her and backed away a bit, "No, initially my mother herself did not intend to live with us for a long time."
"It was wrong of me to think bad about her. She has so much silver, even if she lived with you, she will not treat you poorly."
Hearing the words, Li Qinghe felt something was wrong but she brushed it off and waved her hand, "I'm going to my house to get the basins, you don't have to come with me."
The housewarming banquet went well, and Mrs. Xu officially settled down. The weather was getting colder and colder. Soon it was the Chinese New Year and no one came from the county town. Li Qinghe went to bring Mrs. Xu and Bin'er to celebrate the New Year with her. This year, the Zhou family really didn't celebrate the New Year together. Everyone celebrated separately.
On the second day of the first month, fifth sister Zhou and her husband visited her with gifts. Zhang Haiyao and Li Qingmiao also visited their house to wish them. Mei Hua also came. Recently, they got along fine. They didn't have that tit-for-tat attitude with each other. After all, everyone had their own lives.
Bin'er would go up the mountain with Zhou Chengkang whenever he was free, and occasionally help their family with work. The siblings also got to know each other better.
After the new year, every family in the village was busy with spring plowing. Mrs. Xu had no land and she didn't plan to buy anytime soon. So she would boil nutritious soup all day and then feed it to her daughter.
The scenery in the spring season was the best, especially in March. After the spring plowing, everyone had a lot of free time. The villagers would now run to their surrounding forests to collect herbs and sell them. If they were lucky they could earn money, and the side job was not a waste of time.
On one such spring afternoon, a carriage from the county arrived at the village and went straight to Li Qinghe's house. It was not Wu Li this time, but Mr. Zhang.
In her two lifetimes, she had only seen this man a handful of times. She was quite surprised to see him when she opened the door, "Are you looking for my mother?"
"Yes, I haven't had time to visit in the past few days." Mr. Zhang rubbed his palms together and said, "I'm here to find Bin'er."
From what she heard from Mrs. Xu, after the Zhang family moved to the county their business grew bigger and bigger. She didn't know whether he came to look for his child or his child's mother and it wasn't her place to ask. She closed the door behind her and said, " My mother is living on her own now. I'll take you there."
Though the distance between the house was only a few meters, it was tiring for Li Qinghe to walk. As soon as Mrs. Xu opened the door, she quickly supported Li Qinghe and took her inside. She then looked at Mr. Zhang. After a few seconds of silence, she invited him, "Come in."
Mr. Zhang stepped into the house, looked around, and sighed. "You have suffered."
"It's actually not bitter." Mrs. Xu laughed, "It's pretty good here. By the way, how is Mrs. Yu now?"
Hearing her question, Mr. Zhang sighed, "She fell a few days ago. She was in a critical condition and both the mother and child passed away."
Li Qinghe was surprised, and couldn't help standing more firmly on her feet.
Mrs. Xu didn't seem surprised. She squinted at the sky in the yard, and said, "When I was pregnant with Bin'er, and was about to give birth, I also slipped. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to stand still, and my child and I were safe."
Mr. Zhang's lips twitched, "Do you want to go back? I'll take you back with me."
"No need." Mrs. Xu looked at him, "Over the years, the only person to whom I owe is my daughter, and I want to be with her. Master, there are always new people around you, but my daughter has only one mother."
Li Qinghe was walking quietly to her room when she saw Bin'er leaning against a window and peeking inside the living room. When he saw her, he hurried over to help her and supported her to sit on the bed, "Sister, sit."
Li Qinghe looked at him with a smile, "Your father is here to pick you up."
Bin'er looked outside and lowered his voice, "Actually, I don't want to go back. There are a lot of rules and people at home. There are three concubines of my father alone. It's nice to be here, there are not so many people and not so many rules. My eldest brother is married. If my mother takes me back then, my first aunt would try to send me marriage proposals. She used to send a lot of matches for me before and the best match was of her niece, but mother rejected them all."
Is it so complicated?
The two siblings were whispering to each other in the room, and the two people outside also entered the opposite room to talk. After half an hour, Mrs. Xu brought Mr. Zhang to Li Qinghe's room.
Looking at the two siblings in the house, Mr. Zhang looked at Bin'er and said with a smile, "In the future, you should study well, and if you encounter difficulties, you can still come to me." After patting his son on the shoulder, he turned around and went out, got into the carriage, and left.
Mrs. Xu stood at the door with her son and watched his carriage go away. Then turned around and smiled at her son, "Bin'er, he agreed to separate your brother and your family."
Rather than separating the family, it could be said that they were driving the concubine and son away from the house.
"They say that when a man has had enough fun, he will return to his wife," Mrs. Xu turned to close the door, "and there's some truth to that."
Looking at the two siblings in confusion, she went in and carried a box out, and opened it. She took out the bank notes and land deeds inside, and said with a smile, "These are for us, mother and son. The madam is sick, and it's quite serious. Master promised to stay with her only in the future, so there will be no one else."
It wasn't that Mrs. Xu didn't want to go back, but she couldn't. Sure enough, her instinct was right. Even so, it was good to see her expression was the same as usual. She didn't show any emotions of sadness or anger.
Not many people in the village knew about Mr. Zhang's visit, and Mrs. Xu's behavior was no different from usual. When she came back and bought the house, most people guessed that she was probably sent back.
It was just speculation before, but now it is true. In fact, being able to bring her son home with her was the best ending for a woman who became a concubine. If she were to wait for Mr. Zhang to die of old age at Zhang's house, she didn't know how many years it would take. And by that time, Mrs. Zhang would be in charge of the division of the family assets. How much to divide would be decided by her and maybe it would not be as much as she had now.
Li Qinghe was pregnant, so she didn't need to do the work in the field, and she didn't even need to worry about it. Zhou Chengkang did it himself. After he was done with spring plowing, he also started planting medicinal herbs. This year he was finally able to acquire many medicinal seeds and planted the entire 40 acres of land.
Some of the seeds were acquired with Wu Li's help. Last year, the entire harvest of medicinal herbs was bought by him, and the price was not bad. In fact, growing medicinal herbs was more profitable than growing rice. So he simply bought another 60 acres of waste forest by the side of his land. Recently, Zhou Chengkang was busy clearing the forest land and planting herbs.
It was worth mentioning that the newly purchased forest land was also bought under Li Qinghe's name. Of course, outsiders did not know of this.
Dr. Huang would come to the forest every three days for medicinal herbs. Xiyu now finally had a teacher who taught him seriously, his uncle. Bin'er had never slacked off in his studies over the years. He had been sensible since he was a child after becoming aware of his mother's status and difficulties in the Zhang household and always took his studies seriously. Although he hadn't given the county exam yet, he was capable enough to teach Xiyu.
For the villagers, it was quite surprising that Li Qinghe and her husband bought such a large waste forestland. They now had 100 acres of wasteland. They still had some advantages because of it. When it was time to hire people to clean the land and plant herbs, the couple would always hire the villagers first.
In the blink of an eye, it was the middle of April. They hired people to work every day. Mrs. Xu would often come and help her with housework. Mrs. Zhou too would come often, but she didn't live with them this time. After helping them out, she would definitely go back to her house.
Now in the Zhou family's house, only the eldest son's and third son's family lived. Though they occasionally quarreled with each other, they respected their mother. Mrs. Zhou lived alone, but she was in fact living a good life.
The only reason the mothers came to her house often was that… Li Qinghe's belly was getting bigger and bigger and she was about to give birth anytime.
Zhou Chengkang was very nervous regarding Li Qinghe's pregnancy. He bought the forest a few days ago. After he ran for two days and arranged for good people to work, he asked his second brother to look after it while he stayed at home.
It was a summer night, and the couple was sleeping in their room, listening to insects chirping outside. He placed his hand on her stomach and felt the movement of the child inside, and couldn't help but laugh, "Is the child moving?"
Li Qinghe couldn't help but laugh, "I don't know."
"From tomorrow onwards, I won't go anywhere, I'll just watch over you." Zhou Chengkang hugged her, "From now on, we really can't have another baby. After you give birth, I'll start taking medicine."
"Didn't you say you wanted a daughter?" Li Qinghe smiled and said, "What if it's a son? Do you still not want to have a baby?"
"No!" He sounded serious, "If it's not a daughter this time, then I don't have a daughter in my destiny."
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