Li Qinghe also hired many people. With a dozen or so people working, the result was so obvious that it could be seen with the naked eye. After each hour they could see that a large part of the land had been cleaned and cleared.

With so many people working on the other side of the mountain too, even though there was nothing odd about it, it was a rare thing in the village. When everyone watched them carefully, they found something seemed wrong.

The people hired by the Yang family didn't look like the people who were used to doing any farm work. They did look big and strong but they didn't do much of the work. They didn't do it as smoothly as the villagers usually did.

The weather was gradually getting colder. The villagers were not going outside as much anymore, but the workers from the house next door were still working. Today, Mrs. Zhou came to visit their house.

This year, she lived by herself. At first, she ate meals at Zhang Haiyao's, but later she cooked and ate by herself. She would also occasionally come to visit Xiyu.

As soon as she entered, she asked, "Qinghe, has your side of the courtyard wall been enclosed?"

Since there were so many strangers living next door, they didn't want to encounter any strange situations. So Zhou Chengkang dug thorns and planted them there. It directly cut off the road between the Yang family and their house. Not only did this prevent the people next door from getting into their house, but it also cut off their way to get to the town easily. Now they would have to go around the village.

But this was only a temporary setting. The Yang family can't support more than a dozen people for a very long time. Even Li Qinghe couldn't afford to pay wages to clean her land for a long time. After some time when the workers would leave, then it would be okay for them to remove the thorns.

It was very simple to remove them. They could just cut it and then use it as firewood.

Seeing her nod, Mrs. Zhou breathed a sigh of relief, and said in a low voice, "I heard from your aunt next door say earlier today, that the Yang family quarreled yesterday. Those people were caught roasting fish after stealing from the Yang family."

"I'm afraid they will come to steal your chickens." Mrs. Zhou sighed, "Those people are not to be messed with, I don't know where the Yang family brought them from. It's not worth offending them for the sake of chickens. It's better to stay separated from them."

By the end of October, it began to rain, and the climate became even colder at home. The two pigs that Li Qinghe fed were already big enough to be butchered. On the last day of October, the family slaughtered the pigs, and many people came to help them with it.*


Because it had been raining a lot lately, many people didn't go to the town. Since it was cold, buying extra meat and storing it won't spoil that. Before noon, half of their pork was sold out.

There were still a lot of people that hadn't bought it yet. Taking advantage of the fact that the butcher was still there and there were also many people, so why not let them help pull out the other pig and kill it too?

One pig was not enough for everyone, and two pigs were too much. In the end, some of the meat was still left. By afternoon, basically, everyone purchased the pork and went home. Li Qinghe also asked Mrs. Chen to cook. Zhang Haiyao, Li Qingmiao, Yu Yan, Li Fu, Zhao Dashan, and the butcher were still there and she needed to prepare dinner for them.

Everyone who was there was either talking or cooking when someone knocked on their door.

The people who came were Xu Changjie and his second brother. Regardless of how close their families lived, the two families basically had no contact between each other at all. He was dressed in a long green shirt and looked gentle, "Is there any meat left in your family to sell?"

Zhou Chengkang greeted him and replied, "Yes, there is still some left, but our family will hire workers after the New Year. It's kept for preparing bacon, so we won't be selling it anymore."

Xu Changjie was a little disappointed, and asked again, "Can you just sell two catties to me? It has been really inconvenient for me to go all the way to town recently, and my family is also very busy. The people who help us are also working very hard. Just take a little pity on them."

"Doesn't your family have a carriage?" Zhou Chengkang refused, "It's really not available for sale."

Xu Changping frowned, "Why are you being so narrow-minded? We are from the same village and are even neighbors now. So why can't you just sell a little bit of it to us? I think your family is aiming at us…"

Since he was being impolite, Zhou Chengkang no longer cared and said rudely, " Fine, I'm indeed targeting you, what are you going to do about it?"

"I knew it. You must think that since our family dug a fish pond and is growing medicinal herbs, we are copying you." Xu Changping folded his arms, "But in this village, there is no rule that only your family can raise fish and grow medicinal herbs!"

He knew that this was inappropriate and somewhat unkind before he took it to his heart.

But the fact was, Li Qinghe and Zhou Chengkang really didn't take these things seriously. Even if there were ten fish ponds, it would not be enough for the people in the country town to eat. As for medicinal materials, it was even more ridiculous. There were so many people in the world, and there were many sick people, no amount of medicinal materials would ever be enough.

Zhou Chengkang didn't even bother to talk about this to such people. He just shouted, "Rhubarb!"

Rhubarb rushed out immediately.

Xu Changping turned around and ran away. Dogs generally don't bite people, especially Rhubarb. He was smart, but no matter how smart he was, he was still a dog. When he sees someone running, he subconsciously chases after them. So he instantly chased after Xu Changping.

Xu Changjie still stood there. He frowned slightly and asked, "Brother Zhou, isn't this a bit too much?"

Zhou Chengkang directly raised his hand to close the door, "I'm sorry, I have guests today, so I can't entertain you anymore."

Rhubarb chased after Xu Changping until the end of the village and only returned after biting him in the end.

Since there were many people, they had to set up two tables for dinner. At night, after dinner, the crowd dispersed.

The next morning, it was still raining outside, and the window glass was covered with mist. Zhou Chengkang got up and went to light the brazier to heat the house. Just as he was about to lie down on the bed, he heard someone scolding, "It is great to raise a dog, but letting it bite people is not at all acceptable. If you don't bring a doctor to bandage my husband's wound, I won't let this matter go!"

The shrill voice was of a female and after hearing it clearly, one can know that it should be Xu Changping's wife without looking. A person who can live in her sister-in-law's house with peace of mind for so long, can someone still expect her to be a reasonable person?

If the reasoning didn't make any sense, there was no need to talk about it either. Zhou Chengkang went out and opened the door a little bit. Rhubarb jumped and rushed out of the gate. A few seconds later, he could hear the woman's screams going farther and farther away.

Seeing that she ran away, Zhou Chengkang called Rhubarb back, closed the door again, and went back to sleep.

After listening to the commotion outside, Li Qinghe couldn't help but twitch the corners of her mouth, and said with a smile, "People would say that you look down on them after you became rich, and now you just let dogs bite people."

Zhou Chengkang pulled the quilt and covered them, "Rhubarb doesn't bite everyone. We have kept him for so many years, and he only bit a few people in total."

For them, the two brothers next door were the people they hated the most, and no one else.

After this incident, the already unfamiliar relationship between the two families can now be said to be bad.

The two families had no contact at all, and the relationship was very bad. In the winter season, it was snowing every day. During these days, no one really went out to work, including the dozen or so people hired by the Yang family.

Because there was no meat and oil, they only had sweet potatoes for meals. Day after day, the workers’ appetite kept on increasing. Even if they didn't work, they still needed to eat.

Li Qinghe never went out, and occasionally heard someone say that Mrs. Xu complained that the workers ate too much.

In the afternoon, someone came to their house. The person who arrived is considered to be the elder brother of Li Qinghe from the Li family, called Li Qingsong. Both he and his wife arrived, and they also brought Li Fu with them. He said that his father was very ill at home and wanted to ask if they had any medicinal herbs, so they could take them back to boil and feed his father.

"Qinghe, it's not that we haven't shown him to a doctor. We did but the doctor said that it will be difficult for my father to endure his illness and he may pass away in autumn… Now that the weather is getting colder, he is getting worse. If we really don't give him any medicine, he may really…" His eyes turned red, "He hasn't eaten rice or had water for several days. You can just give me some medicine that will help him ease his pain. I will boil it and feed it to him myself when I go back. Maybe if he drinks it, the pain will go away."

If a person hadn't eaten rice or drank a sip of water for several days, it meant that he was dying. To put it simply, asking for medicine was just for psychological comfort.

Li Qinghe turned around and entered the house, grabbed the herbs, and gave them to him, saying, "This medicine will turn black as soon as it is boiled, it doesn't take that much time."

After sending the couple away, Li Fu entered the house, "He came specially to find me, just because he was afraid that you would not give him medicine."

It was true that if someone came to Li Qinghe's door to ask for medicinal herbs, she would definitely refuse to give it to them. How can medicine be given casually? She was not a doctor, and what if someone blamed her for it? Even if it didn't hurt them, it will definitely delay the treatment of the illness. Therefore, no matter who came to ask for medicinal materials, they were all refused, and had to go to the doctor.

"Third brother was also quite good to me, I did not expect that this would happen...... in just these two days." He shook his head, "It's really meaningless even after spending a lifetime." As soon as he finished speaking his words, Xiyu entered the room.

Li Fu's face immediately burst into a smile, the corners of his mouth stretched to his ears, "Xiyu is here, do you miss Grandpa?"

Seeing his happy appearance, it didn't look like his life was boring.

Sure enough, two days later, Li Qinghe's uncle passed away. It was snowing that day.

No matter how cold it was, if there was a funeral in the village, everyone still had to come to help. Naturally, Li Qinghe would also go, as she was considered a close relative. Her grandfather's cousin's son was the grandfather of Li Qingsong.

Li Kui sent off his cousin a few years ago, and now he had to send off his nephew, which was quite sad.

Funerals were always sad. Even if good things were happening in someone's family, they would not show too much joy at people's funerals.

Generally, the mourning period lasted for more than two days, and the food was simple and the same for the earlier days. The food will be better only on the day of the burial.

Some people were busy tying up the coffin and preparing to take it up to the mountains and on the other side the feast was about to begin. At this moment, a group of people came to the door.

All of them were tall and rough and looked fierce. They were the group of people who lived in the Yang family.

Everyone knew that the Yang family had recently hired many people to work. They lived in the Yang family outhouse, but these people don't usually come out. They go to work in the mountains when they come out, and they don't know the people in the village at all.

This was probably the first time that villagers had come into contact with them at close range. As soon as they arrived, they immediately went to the table, sat there, and yelled for food to be served. If one looked closely, they could easily notice that they were not at all the strong laborers of ordinary farming families. Rather they looked like... robbers from somewhere?

The crowd couldn't help but stay away from them. The group was of men, so especially the girls and daughters-in-law were hiding in the kitchen and did not dare to come out.

Seeing this, someone quietly went to the host's house to find out whether the food will be served to them or not. Firstly, they didn't help. Secondly, they just sat down as soon as they came inside. It didn't look like they were there for a funeral.

Li Qingsong was helping with tying the ropes on the coffin. This was very important. The coffin must not fall to the ground before they reach the burial place, otherwise it would be unlucky. Therefore, the rope had to be tied strongly so that it could not slip off. It was a laborious task. Even on a cold day, there was a fine layer of sweat on his forehead.

Hearing this, he looked at the people sitting at the table. He frowned and said, "Help me ask what does the Yang family mean by this? Tell them to come and collect their people."

The person who came to report was not an outsider. Upon hearing this, he turned around and slipped out of the yard to go to the Yang family immediately.

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