The next morning, Li Qinghe joined the rest to go to town again. When she walked to the door, she noticed Li Fu standing on the road with his hands behind his back, not knowing how long he had been standing there for, he appeared to be waiting for someone.

When he saw her coming over, Li Fu took two steps forward, “Qinghe.”

Li Qinghe was a little surprised and gestured to Mei Shi to go ahead first, “Father, what’s the matter?”

"Why didn't you return?" Li Fu looked serious.

Li Qinghe was stunned. The girls, who were married somewhere near, in this village didn't have to return home. Besides, they were supposed to pick her up. She seemed to have woken up too early that morning and left. Thereafter, she never heard about Mother Zhou and the others saying that someone would pick her up.

"It’s been so busy and I’m also very busy over there. Since it’s so near, I don’t see a need to return.” Seeing Li Fu's stern face, she thought for a while, "It will be the Dragon Boat Festival in a few days. I’ll definitely be back at that time." In fact, the Dragon Boat Festival was more than half a month away.

Li Fu's complexion eased a little, and then he asked, "I heard that you’re living separately. Is there any food to eat at home? There are still some ingredients in the backyard. If you don't have any, you can come home and pick them."

This was a kind intention, and Li Qinghe nodded in response, “Thank you, Father.”

Li Fu's expression was complicated, "I'm your father, there’s no need for thanks. If you build a kitchen or a house, just come back and tell me. I will help you."

What’s going on?

Li Qinghe was quite surprised. Her father used to be very cold towards her. When she used to be a helper in the town, she sometimes didn’t even get to meet him, let alone seeing him having such a worried look.

He turned his gaze to the hunted animals in her hands, feeling a little relieved, "Hurry and go, the value of these things will drop if they are left for a long time. If you have time, come back and visit."

Until she walked far away, Li Qinghe looked back and could see him still standing in place. She was actually not afraid that others would treat her badly, at most people would just be cold and indifferent towards her. Once they’re nice to her, she would not be able to control her soft heartedness.

In a blink of an eye, she saw Mei Shi waiting at the entrance of the village. Li Qinghe put away her thoughts and quickly walked over.

The two of them seemed to have gotten closer after last night, but it seemed nothing more than that.

"Was that your father just now? What did he say to you?" Mei Shi was curious.

Li Qinghe shook her head, "Nothing much. He asked me when I would go home. Maybe there was something he needed to ask from me.”

Mei Shi nodded, and asked, "Is your sister coming back? It seems that the list will be released these few days."

"I don't know." Li Qinghe didn't care much.

Hearing that, Mei Shi felt a little strange. She looked at her a few times and couldn't help but said, "I realize that you really don't care. If your brother-in-law succeeds, then you’d be the older sister of a scholar." She moved a little closer, “Didn’t they ask you for money last time?"

“Where do I have the money to lend others?” Li Qinghe waves her hand, “Let’s hurry. Else it’ll be late when we reach the town.”

"Hey, you... I’m really doing this for your own good. If your sister has any problems, you should help while you can. Otherwise, when she becomes the wife of a scholar, you won’t stand a chance to help even if you want to." Mei Shi gave a mysterious face, "They say that it is easy to add icing on the cake, but it is difficult to help a person in need. So if you want to help someone, it must be when they can remember your kindness.”

Everyone knows the principle, so Li Qinghe's heart was a bit complicated. It is correct to help a person, anyone knows. But she just didn't want to do this, besides, she never wanted to reap any benefits from Hu Yanxi.

She ignored it and Mei Shi said that she didn't mean anything. So they gradually became quiet. The town was not far away so they didn’t feel it was far after getting used to the walk.

When they arrived in the town, Li Qinghe separated from the others as usual. She first went to the restaurant to sell her hunted animals and bought some steamed buns. The auntie saw her and even gave her another. Although the cakes/biscuits over there were not selling as well as they used to at the beginning, the steamed buns were not too bad and have made some profits in this time.

The steamed buns were bought and there wasn't much food remaining at home since they brought over a few kilos when they first separated the family. Since she was already in town and Zhou Chengkang had no time, she went to buy some grains, and thick noodles, and after thinking for a while, she bought some fine noodles.

It's turned out to be quite heavy. When she went back, she could feel her arm turning a little sore as she carried it. In fact, when she was buying, she had deliberately estimated her own strength.

After walking more than half of the journey, Li Qinghe put down the bag of grains and planned to take it after a short break. It was not that she couldn’t carry it but it was because her arms were sore. At this moment, a bullock cart stopped beside her and the one sitting on it was Xu Changjie.

He smiled, "Qinghe, come up and I will give you a ride."

He was not the only one in the cart. Yang Lanrou was sitting behind him, with a shy expression and guarded eyes looking at her.

Li Qinghe was a little at a loss. She hasn’t heard about Xu Changjie's lately. So the two are not feeling shy anymore?

Back then Zhou Chengkang and her were also not shy. Although they didn’t state clearly, they both rushed to get married. These two...without anyone in between, are pretty good.

“No need. We’re almost reaching.” Li Qinghe rejected. She would have hopped on if it was someone else. Yang Lanrou’s gaze relaxed the moment she heard the rejection.

Watching the bullock cart heading to the village, Li Qinghe counted with her fingers. It seemed that the incident at the Yang family was only recently. After that, the yard next to the Xu family was going to be sold, and so they moved to live next to the Xu family, becoming neighbors.

When she brought the grains to the door of Li's house, Li Fu happened to come out of the backyard with an axe. Seeing the heavy bag in her hand, he frowned, "Why are you doing this kind of work?"

“It was along the way.” Li Qinghe replied casually.

Yet Li Fu had opened the yard door and walked out. He couldn’t help but to take them, “I’ll send you back and also take the chance to check out the Zhou family.”

Actually, in normal situations, this should be done before the marriage by Li Qinghe’s mother, instead of Li Fu. But since her mother was not in town and could not return, logically it should be Mrs. Qian doing so. For example, the Hu family in town have already visited thrice before Zhao Wanwan even got married.

But for the Zhou family, Li Fu hasn’t even been there once till today.

The father and daughter fell into silence. Seeing that they were reaching the door of Zhou's house, Li Fu whispered, "How is Zhou's family? Has anyone bullied you?"

"They’re pretty good." Li Qinghe replied with a smile, "No one bullies me. Even if there is, Chengkang will also help me."

Li Qinghe opened the door of the yard, brought him in, and took him directly to the outside of her house. Li Fu looked around, "The new house is pretty good. But it is a little small. I heard that your family quarreled over the kitchen. Do you want to build one?"

"Not for the time being." Li Qinghe really didn’t want to build a kitchen here. She’d rather save the money to build one near the pond.

After finishing her words, Li Qinghe felt that she was too cold, and explained, “I want to save the money and move to the pond, and take care of the fish pond and those chickens in the meantime.”

Li Fu nodded in agreement. After looking around and thinking that although this house was a bit small, this place felt rather decent since a new house will be built there. "Okay, you can look for me at home if there’s anything. I’ll go back now. I have to plant vegetables in the backyard.”

"Father, do you want to have dinner before going back?” Li Qinghe hurriedly stopped him.

"Another day." Li Fu waved his hand and left quickly.

For the next few days, Zhou Chengkang came back with firewood and rabbits every day. Li Qinghe went to the town every day, as usual, coming back to feed the fish, and then cook. In the afternoon, she would either do some business in the backyard or the pond. The days were busy but very fulfilling. That day, when Mei Shi came back from the town in the afternoon, Li Qinghe happened to be cooking dinner. She ran to the kitchen, "Qinghe, are you cooking?"

In fact, since Mei's new kitchen was completed, she almost never came here. When Li Qinghe looked up and saw that it was her, she felt rather strange, "What's the matter?"

Mei Shi was mysterious, "There is news about the scholars who went to the county town for the exam."

"Oh?" Li Qinghe was curious, "How was it?"

Seeing her curiosity, Mei Shi smiled, "I thought you didn't care. Guess if anyone got it this time? And how many?"

Li Qinghe waved her hand, "I can't guess."

Mei Shi wanted to keep the suspense, but seeing that it wasn’t working, she stretched out three fingers, “There were three pupils but no scholars.”

"I thought someone got it. At that time, everyone in the town was talking about someone from the Hu family, and even being so certain that he would pass it in one try.” The one who said this was Zhang Haiyao. She leaned on the kitchen door frame with her arms folded and laughed, "Sister-in-law, the Hu's family seems to be your sister's home. Are you happy or unhappy that your brother-in-law didn’t succeed?"

Li Qinghe glanced at her, "What do you mean by this?"

Zhang Haiyao spread her hands, "Everyone knows in their hearts that you and your sister only have a superficial relationship. You may appear to be unhappy, but deep in your heart… Hehe…”

"You blocked the light and I can't see." Li Qinghe continued to knead the noodles without raising her head.

Zhang Haiyao saw the fine noodles in her basin and couldn't help but say, "Sister-in-law, I’m sure fourth brother has been eating more than enough noodles since you’ve been kneading noodles everyday, right?"

Exceptionally annoying!

Li Qinghe raised his eyes, "Who are you to care?" After thinking of something, she asked again, "Third sister-in-law, why haven't I seen you go back to your family a few times? The Zhang family is so rich. Let alone noodles, you can eat however much rice you want to eat."

Hearing her praising the Zhang family, Zhang Haiyao was a little proud, "That is right. I'll be going back in two days."

Li Qinghe was serious and agreed, "Go back to eat rice, of course, you should go back!"

But these words didn’t sound right, especially the tone, which was very weird, as if she went back to her family’s home to leech on their wealth. Just when she was about to rebut, she saw Li Qinghe taking out a piece of meat and started chopping. She couldn’t help but to ask, “Is my sister-in-law steaming buns?”

"Yeah." Li Qinghe replied casually.

Zhang Haiyao tried to test it and asked, "Can you sell me two?"

Although she asked to sell, it wasn’t like Li Qinghe could charge her silvers for selling just two buns. If she doesn’t charge, should she give some to Mei Shi then?

It’s not that she couldn’t bear from these buns but because it was rare that she made buns and she was already very busy from it. She didn’t have time to make and give away the buns, so she shook her head and said, “I’d need to give some to my mother. There won’t be much left.”

Firmly deciding in her heart, once the blueprints for the house near the pond are already out, she would quickly start construction and move out.

The next morning, when Li Qinghe returned from sending the rabbit to the town, she stopped by the village chief’s house and said about building a house.

Building a house in the village actually does not require money. As long as it was your own land and does not involve other people, one can just drop a message and start the construction.

On the way home passing by Li's house, she noticed that Zhao Wanwan, whom she hadn't seen for a long time, had actually returned.

She was dressed in a veil, with her hair rolled up and held with a hairpin. She stood in the yard with dignity, talking to Qian Shi who was washing clothes by the well. When she saw Li Qinghe passing by, she greeted enthusiastically, "Sister, come back for lunch at noon."

Was she being generous? Did she make a fortune from taking an exam?

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