The Green Lotus Peasant GirlChapters List
Chapter 34: The first time she talks about her family and future plans
Since she doesn't have a family, if she is accustomed to living in this tiny town, she really has no reason to return.
A short while later, Yu Yan tentatively inquired, "So the Xu family gave you a thank-you gift?"
"No." Li Qinghe shook her head, "I didn't expect them to send it. That day, when I saw a person covered in blood by the roadside early in the morning, I couldn't just watch him die!"
"It seems that the Xu family isn't so good after all." Yu Yan said thoughtfully.
After that, Li Qinghe agreed with her and changed the subject since she did not want to talk any longer about the Xu family. She smilingly said, "It's not okay if you don't know people here if you want to live in the village in the future. In a few days, Zhou's family will celebrate a happy event. Would you like to be there to assist?"
Yu Yan replied, "Okay."Then she teased her, "Brother Chengkang is a nice person. You haven't gone to feed the fish these days?"
The fish were usually fed by Zhou Chengkang.
Li Qinghe was not embarrassed. She nodded with a smile: "I usually go to check them every few days."
Everyone in the past few days had been preparing for the New Year, and Li Fu was no exception. Li Fu often went to town with Mrs. Qian to buy snacks and other necessities, but this did not concern Li Qinghe.
Within a blink of an eye on the twelfth lunar month, the third son of the Zhou family got married. Around the New Year, the village often witnessed many happy events. Still, the Zhou family's happy occasion was a bit special. The bride, for instance, was a young woman from the town. Even though she was born to a concubine, she still belonged to a merchant family. Compared with the peasant girl, she ate comfortably and was well taken care of every day.
She had a body as fragile as glass and never ate coarse grains. She also had a servant girl...
This was what everyone heard.
Early in the morning, Li Qinghe and Yu Yan went to the Zhou home to help with the wedding. She chopped vegetables while Yu Yan helped her arrange them on plates. Yu Yan's work was a little leisurely, but she helped. She also met many villagers in the kitchen.
At noon, the bride arrived soon after the meal had been prepared.
Everyone in the kitchen squeezed out to see the excitement, and Yu Yan pulled Li Qinghe out as well to join in the fun.
Outside the gate of Zhou's house, a red sedan chair slowed down. Zhou Chengcai gestured at the crowd watching the excitement around him. The courtyard was filled with roaring noises from within and from outside.
After the matchmaker spoke auspicious words, she waited for the bride to exit the sedan. When she pulled out a red silk thread, everyone started to joke and tease Zhou Chengcai about holding hands directly. Zhou Chengcai reached out his hand to the sedan chair as this was not uncommon.
The crowd's roar gradually subsided as he waited. The matchmaker, probably noticing the bride's shyness, laughed hurriedly, "The red silk ties the marriage is tied by a thread, till the couple turns gray..."
In the end, her voice trailed off and the crowd laughed again.
By this point, it was already the second time the matchmaker hinted the bride should get off the sedan. But after waiting a long time, the bride still did not get off.
At this moment, everyone realized something was wrong, and could not help but go to the door.
Is the bride unwilling to marry or is something else going on?
Afterward, the servant girl, who arrived with the bride, cleared her throat, and when everyone turned their attention to her, she laughed and said, "My master is from the county. According to the custom there, the bride is supposed to get down from her sedan chair after receiving red packets from her in-laws when she gets married. The more red packets you give her, the more you like her. My master often misses her hometown, which is too far away, and she can only rely on the customs of her hometown to alleviate her nostalgia. My girl doesn't need these red packets, but she is doing it out of filial piety for her father, and she wants her mother-in-law to fulfill it."
Nobody understood what the red packet had to do with Master Zhang's nostalgia. All these words were said just so that she can receive some red packets!
She still wants her mother-in-law to fulfill this. What happens if it isn't fulfilled? Would she not come down then?
Mrs. Zhou was waiting in the living room to receive the bride's gift. As soon as her maiden sister-in-law realized something was wrong, she quietly ran in and informed her.
Mrs. Zhou's complexion changed on the spot. Her sister-in-law saw her like this and hurriedly pulled her sleeves, "So many people are watching, let's just fool around first. We can discuss it later."
Her voice was hesitant. "But it is not possible to put the silver directly in the red packet..." That really cannot be done. The person who often takes the red packet knows how much silver it has.
The amount of silver in the red packet doesn't matter as long as Mrs. Zhou has some silver with her. But since so many people are going to look at this packet, it won't work if it has too much and too little silver.
"It would be better if you found a purse. Then it wouldn't be so obvious?" The more she thought about it the more she felt it was a good idea, "That newcomer from your town, Yu Yan, her embroidery is exceptional. Ask her for a purse."
She got up and went outside after speaking. She found Li Qinghe watching the excitement out in the crowd and whispered the matter to her.
As Yu Yan listened, she tore off the purse tied around her waist, removed the dried flowers inside, and handed her the empty purse.
The sister-in-law thanked Yu Yan and turned to Li Qinghe and said, "You are sensible. Auntie likes you."
Li Qinghe was speechless. After the sister-in-law went away, she said, "You are the one who gave her the purse. So why is she so fond of me?"
Given that the red packet was for the bride, it goes without saying that the purse will not be returned to them.
Yu Yan couldn't help but chuckle.
As soon as the purse was delivered, the servant over there took it and smiled, " It should have been three gifts, but this is only one!"
What's going on?
This purse is a gift, isn't it? Do they want two more?
The sister-in-law couldn't tolerate it anymore and said,
"Although when one marries a wife, they should follow all the customs expected of the bride, so many people are waiting now. If we do not hurry, we may miss the auspicious time. No matter how much importance is attached to this red packet, or how much is attached to filial piety, it is not as important as the bride herself. It's important to have a smooth and peaceful life, isn't it?”
The last sentence was said to everyone. She then pulled Zhou Chengcai's hand in secret and glared at him.
Zhou Chengcai understood her and tugged the thread tied to his hand and the bride got out of the sedan finally. Suddenly he reached out to follow her, and the crowd roared as the couple walked in.
As the bride was unhappy, Zhou Chengcai whispered, "Yaoyao, it is almost time for the wedding. Don't make trouble. So many people are watching. My mom can't bear the money. What if you make trouble again, she will not accept you?"
Zhang Haiyao was furious. She stepped on his foot hard while pretending to be unable to see the road clearly.
When everyone saw it, they didn't take it seriously. There was another round of laughter. Then Yu Yan took Li Qinghe to the table and said in a low voice, "Your third sister-in-law will be quite troublesome."
As she lowered her voice, she asked, "If there is really such a rule, why didn't they tell in advance?"
Li Qinghe agreed with her as well. This should have also been negotiated in advance, just like the dowry amount.
In addition, their family has lived in Luoyue Town for decades. Do they still remember the old customs?
Such rules don't exist here in Luoyue Town, and that must be known to the Zhang family as well. But if they really wanted a red packet, they should have said so in advance. Mrs. Zhou would have prepared a red packet seriously if she had known earlier. Rather than saying it at the last minute, which caught Mrs. Zhou off guard.
There was nothing bad about the meal at Zhou's family banquet. In short, the people didn't have anything to say about it. Li Qinghe went to the pond after eating. She still had to feed the fish.
It will soon be New Year's Eve after the Zhou family's happy event. Food harvest this year was good, and Li Fu was in a good mood. Furthermore, it will be the last time that Li Qinghe and Zhao Wanwan will celebrate New Year at Li's family house.
Even if the wedding date has not been set yet, they ought to have set one after Chinese New Year, and in next year, only Li Fu and Mrs. Qian will be the only ones left to celebrate the new year together.
Li Qinghe went to the pond to feed the fish after eating. When she reached the pond, she saw Zhou Chengkang already there, fishing. The fish weighed more than three kilograms. It was medium-size, and it seemed quite fat. "It can be sold, ideally a long time ago."
Even though the fish-feeding appeared simple, it required her to walk quite a distance each day, which was a tedious task. Now that the fish could be sold, Li Qinghe was very happy, "We can go to sell the fish the day after tomorrow and then again on the twenty-eighth."
The 26th day of the lunar month is usually considered as the last day before the year ends. The town will be much busier than normal, plus there are 28 and 29 days, which were also very busy. And on the 30th day, there will be no one on the street.
So, the next day, the two fished together for a whole day.
They caught almost ten barrels of fish and went to the town in the middle of the night. During the Chinese New Year, no matter what kind of meat it was, it will be more expensive. Typically, the fish sold for 13 or 14 cents, but now it is worth 18 cents. But still, many people purchased the fish. On New Year's Eve, people who usually can't afford to buy fish are willing to be generous. There was a circle of people in front of their stall because so many people were there, and the uncle who was selling fish on the other side was also surrounded by people and was very busy.
Li Qinghe sold the fish for a lower price in the afternoon. She sold some blanched fish and gave some away. More than two hundred fish were sold, and she earned 5 taels of silver and a box of copper coins.
The two returned to their carriage and counted the money. There were over nine taels of silver, which was quite heavy.
They looked at each other, smiles on their faces, "We earned it!"
Then Zhou Chengkan said, "Congratulations."
Li Qinghe was very happy as well, and she also responded with a bow, "Same to you, brother. You are also to be credited for this. How much money should we split?"
Zhou Chengkang waved his hand, "Everything I have belongs to you. No need for that!"
Li Qinghe still divided and gave him the box of copper coins despite what he said. "Just take this, I'll take the silver taels. That is a better arrangement."
Zhou Chengkang answered, "I'll give you the silver after I take it and change it."
Does he also intend to let me take charge of the silver?
Li Qinghe looked at him suspiciously.
Zhou Chengkang smiled and approached her in a low voice, "I found that your eyes were shining when you were counting silver." His voice was filled with smiles. As he leaned closer, his hot breath sprayed onto her face.
"Are you saying that I got charmed by money?" Li Qinghe raised an eyebrow and stretched out her hand to push him. "What do you mean ?" she asked.
But her hand was held by a pair of warm hands, Zhou Chengkang said, "Nothing. I just want to see you happy."
It was better to look into those soulful eyes than at the cold tombstone of her in the previous life. Even now, occasionally, he wakes up in the middle of the night feeling unreal. He had to go to the wasteland to see the pond to ease. Looking at the fish swimming in the pond, he felt that she was very close to him. She was alive, just within his hand's reach.
Suddenly wanting to be close to her, he squeezed her hand and embraced her, "Qinghe, let's get married, okay?"
He moved so suddenly that the tip of Li Qinghe's nose hit his hard chest. She was about to cry out in pain when she heard these words, and the corners of her mouth started curling up. "I'm so busy now....".
"The wedding date has been set for next year," Zhou Chengkang said excitedly.
Now it's the 26th day of the lunar month, can't it still be before the year?
Li Qinghe laughed, reached out and hugged his waist, and answered, "Good!"
Their carriage had a strong smell of fish, and the two of them smelt the same. They were hugging and didn't know who laughed first, both of them laughed loudly.
Copper plates were relatively easy to use, but they were too much. Li Qinghe leaned against the carriage to make up for her sleep. Zhou Chengkang went to the bank alone to change money. When she awoke again, she was at the front door of the house.
Zhou Chengkang touched her forehead, "Go back and rest earlier."
"You should go back and rest earlier." With this, she hopped out of the carriage and said, "We will go fishing again tomorrow. Don't forget, let's go early and catch them all. When spring comes, we can raise them again."
Zhou Chengkang nodded. Li Qinghe remembered something, "You take a few fish back to eat."
Zhou Chengkang laughed and nodded again, "Hurry back."
Li Qinghe stood at the door watching his carriage go home and turned around to see Zhao Wanwan standing in the courtyard curiously asked, "Sister is back. How did you sell the fish?"
"It's sold out." Li Qinghe only felt the heavy scent on her body and went straight to the kitchen to boil water to wash up.
Zhao Wanwan stared at her as she entered the kitchen, and hurried to catch up with her, "Are you hungry, sister? I left you some food."
Li Qinghe waved her hand, "I'm not hungry, I'd like to wash."
Zhao Wanwan responded immediately, "I also boiled the water for you."
Upon hearing this, Li Qinghe thanked her and filled the bucket with hot water. Zhao Wanwan stepped forward to help and laughingly asked, "Sister, did you make a lot of money?"
Having guessed that she would ask, Li Qinghe smiled and said, "I guess it must be five taels."
Zhao Wanwan looked surprised. "So much."
Li Qinghe reminded her, "I bought the fish at the beginning, and it cost about 5 taels. I also fed all the bran during this time and I added wheat shreds to it as well. I bought all of them, and I haven't earned back yet."
In response, Zhao Wanwan nodded and said, "Yes, but when you sell for another 5 taels tomorrow, you will definitely make a profit."
Zhao Wanwan carried the hot water bucket to the bathroom, and also poured a bucket of boiling water on the floor so that there was some heat in the water room, and so it wouldn't be as cold.
Upon seeing Li Qinghe finished washing up and came out, she followed her into the house, "Sister, I would like to discuss this with you…"
Li Qinghe wiped her hair on the dressing table and replied, "Say."
The girl usually likes to work, but never follows her in this manner, so she must have a request.
Zhao Wanwan glanced at her back and asked tentatively, "Sister, can I take your two fish?"
"For what?" Li Qinghe asked softly.
She sent a fish to Li Kui's house and brought two large fish back to her house after she finished fishing yesterday. They shouldn't have finished eating it yet.
Zhao Wanwan glanced at her again, and her voice became small, "I want to send it to the Hu family..."
As Li Qinghe thought of helping her boil water, she nodded, "I'll bring you back after fishing tomorrow."
Seeing her agree so quickly, Zhao Wanwan was very happy. She happily got up and went out, "I'll help you heat the food."
The next day, Li Qinghe got up and went fishing. Zhou Chengkang went directly to the door to pick her up. Li Xingwang also came to help after daybreak.
It was almost dark when the three of them finished fishing. As for the rest of the fish, it wasn't much, so they simply kept it for themselves to eat.
Seeing more than a dozen barrels of fish, Li Xingwang helped them get into the wagon, and was very happy. The man asked, "You sold fish yesterday, and a lot of people said that business was good. Are you going to watch tonight so that it won't be stolen?"
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