Zhao Jinge came out of Eldest Jiang’s broken-down hut and went back to his own house.
The Zhao family’s acres of paddy fields have all been sold, but there are still more than one acre of dry land left. They grow potatoes and vegetables, and their house is right next to this place.
Zhao Jinge stepped into the house and smelled the aroma of food. At the same time, his mother, Zhao Liu, also welcomed him home. “Jinge, you are back?”
“Well, I don’t have any work to do today, so I came back first.” Zhao Jinge said that he had done almost all the work, so he had spoken to his employer and came back early. He planned to turn over his land and plant something in the afternoon.
“Jinge, you’ve worked hard.” Zhao Liu looked at her youngest son’s tough face and the deep scar on his eyebrow. She felt sad. If it wasn’t for Jinhu, how would Jinge suffer so much?
He’s a ger who wants to support his family like a man.
When Zhao Jinge saw his mother’s appearance, he knew that she was thinking too much. He could not comfort people. He just said, “Mother, do you have anything to eat?”
“Yes. Mother made sweet potato porridge,” Zhao Liu said, lifting the lid of the pot.
In the pot is orange sweet potato porridge. The porridge is made with sweet potatoes and a bit of rice. As for the steamer rack, there is a large bowl of pickles.
They usually eat two meals a day, and these are basically what they eat.
Zhao Liu wanted to get a bowl for Zhao Jinge, but Zhao Jinge grabbed a big porcelain bowl first and filled the bowl with porridge. “Mother, I’ll go out.”
“What’s the matter?” Zhao Liu asked puzzled.
“Eldest Jiang asked me for something to eat.” Zhao Jinge walked towards the door.
Eldest Jiang, the one who hasn’t spoken for years, still wants to eat? Zhao Liu’s face showed her surprise, and she said, “Isn’t this Jiang family having a wedding? Will he have nothing to eat? The Jiang family gave meals when they invited their neighbors to help them prepare yesterday. The people who went there said that they had a very good meal. Why did Eldest Jiang want food from others?”
“He is lying there. I guess he hasn’t eaten for days.” Zhao Jinge pointed to the road that led to the broken-down thatched cottage about half a mile away from Zhao’s house and strode over there after he had spoken.
Zhao Liu was shocked when she heard her son’s words. The dilapidated hut had not been inhabited for a long time. What had happened to Eldest Jiang, who had just fallen into the water a few days ago? Moreover, these days, she clearly had not heard anything, nor had she seen anyone coming from Jiang family.
This Jiang family is too hard on Eldest Jiang.
Zhao Liu couldn’t help sighing, but by that time, Zhao Jinge had already carried the bowl inside the thatched hut.
Jiang Zhen was very weak at the moment, barely supporting himself. When he saw Zhao Jinge return, he breathed a sigh of relief. He was finally saved.
Zhao Jinge did not know Jiang Zhen’s thoughts. He entered the house to support Jiang Zhen, and he placed the porridge bowl to his mouth.
The sweet taste of sweet potatoes made Jiang Zhen want to eat the porridge in one bite, but considering his physical condition, in the end, he still ate slowly in small bites.
The porridge was no longer hot, but it was still warm. Jiang Zhen felt like he had come back to life after the bowl of porridge was eaten.
“Thank you.” Jiang Zhen thanked Zhao Jinge for the bowl of sweet potato porridge and water, but it made his throat bitter.
“No.” Zhao Jinge watched Jiang Zhen drink up the porridge and immediately let Jiang Zhen go. He let Jiang Zhen lie in the hay pile and asked, “Would you like me to help you go to Jiang’s house?”
Hearing the words, “Jiang house,” Jiang Zhen felt a tightness in his chest. This sentiment does not belong to him, and it seems that Eldest Jiang is still unwilling.
“They don’t care about me.” Jiang Zhen looked at Zhao Jinge again. “The Jiang family . . . what are they doing now?”
“Today is your third brother’s day of marriage,” Zhao Jinge said with a puzzled look at Jiang Zhen. When Eldest Jiang mentioned Jiang family, he was too distant.
“I see. Thank you.” Jiang Zhen once again thanked him.
Zhao Jinge heard Jiang Zhen’s thanks twice in succession. He was a little embarrassed and asked, “Are you full? Shall I fetch you another bowl?”
“No. I’ll go home after getting more rest,” said Jiang Zhen. He couldn’t eat so much at the moment.
“Um,” Zhao Jinge answered, “then I’ll go first.”
Zhao Jinge left soon, and Jiang Zheng closed his eyes.
Perhaps because of the fever, his eyes were so sore that even opening them was a burden. After closing them, he finally felt better.
Jiang Zhen was powerless, but because of his strange experience, he was drowsy and wanted to fall asleep when he suddenly felt that the door had been opened again.
He listened to the footsteps twice. He was already familiar with them. Who was it if it weren’t Brother Zhao Jinge?
After entering the house, Zhao Jinge’s saw that Eldest Jiang was sleeping, his eyes closed. Zhao Jinge’s footsteps could hardly be heard. He came to Jiang Zhen’s side and covered him with some straw. He also laid bundles of straw around Jiang Zhen.
Country people often rely on straw to warm themselves up in winter. When the bed is covered with thick straw, they regard it as a mattress. Zhao Jinge was afraid that Eldest Jiang was too cold to cover himself up.
Zhao Jinge laid down the straw and left again. Jiang Zhen, however, could not help but find the memories of Zhao Jinge in his mind.
Jiang Zhenwei, in fact, had originally thought of Zhao Jinge. Knowing that his parents would not let him marry, he wanted to go to the Zhao’s house as a son-in-law and marry Zhao Jinge.
His life in Jiang’s family was very difficult, so he did not care about Zhao’s family situation at all. Zhao Jinge was ugly, but he did not care. But although he had this idea, he could not speak or dare to speak. So until he died, nobody knew about this except himself.
This Eldest Jiang’s life is a bit of a mess . . . The more memories Jiang Zheng uncovered, the more annoyed he was. Instead, he did not care about those people in the Jiang family. As soon as he packs up his belongings, he would go directly to the Zhao family and rely on Zhao Jinge.
Of course, that’s a bit shameless . . . Jiang Zhen pondered that he still had to take good care of his health as soon as possible and then think about other things. Food is very important if he wants to be healthy.
Jiang Zhen thought about what to do next, smelled the scent of straw, and finally fell asleep.
When Jiang Zhen woke up again, it was already dark.
He had been dying before, but after drinking a bowl of porridge and sleeping, he had recovered, but his hands and feet were still weak. . . This body’s constitution is still good, but it had been through too much hardship before and it still falls short.
Jiang Zhen took a deep breath and stood up and walked out of the hut.
It’s still cold that day. He doesn’t want to spend the night in this thatched hut.
With his memories as a guide, Jiang Zhen went all the way back to Jiang’s house.
Now it’s very late, but the Jiang family is still awake. Jiang’s family had been at its busiest with Jiang Chengxiang getting married. They waited until the wedding was over, and they tidied up their home again before they had time to sit down and eat together.
After the banquet, Madam Jiang shared some of the various dishes they served to people who came to help them and kept a lot for herself. Now the food is being eaten by the whole family.
“Little sister, don’t you like chicken wings? Here you go.” Madam Jiang clipped a chicken wing with chopsticks to give to Jiang Xiaomei and put two chicken legs in an empty bowl next to her. “Yuan Wen likes to eat chicken legs. I specially kept them hidden in the house and did not serve them on the table. I will give them to him when he wakes up tomorrow.”
Yuan Wen is the only grandson in old lady Jiang’s family. He is two years old. Since he was born, he has been the sweetheart of old Madam Jiang. Now he is asleep.
Jiang Chengwen, the second eldest son of Jiang’s family, put a piece of pork in his mouth with chopsticks and suddenly remembered. “Where is the eldest?” Today, the third married. He was so busy that his feet had not touched the ground, but Eldest Jiang had not shown his face . . .
Jiang Chengwen also studied for two years when he was a child, but he did not like reading and did not want to continue after two years. Since he had stopped studying, he was supposed to cultivate the fields, but Eldest Jiang was so capable that, even though he was now twenty years old, he could not do any work. He went to the fields only twice.
Today, when Jiang Chengxiang got married, he just helped to lift the table and serve the dishes. He could not bear it. He could no longer stand it and complained about Eldest Jiang. If Eldest Jiang had been here, how could he be required to do these jobs?
“The debt collector doesn’t know where the hell you are going, so don’t come back if you can!” Old Madam Jiang said, her face with its drooping eye corners looked extremely mean.
When Jiang Zhen entered the house, he happened to hear such a remark, and there was another burst of indignation in his heart.
It was not his emotion. He would not get angry with such a remark.
“Big Brother?” Jiang Xiaomei was the first to see Eldest Jiang.
Among so many people in the Jiang family, Eldest Jiang’s favorite is Jiang Xiaomei. Although Jiang Xiaomei likes to be lazy and delicate, she is the only person in the Jiang family that will take Eldest Jiang’s opinion into account. For example, during the New Year’s festival, the family has made some dumplings and other kinds of food. Madam Jiang refused to let Eldest Jiang eat them, and no one else would think of giving them to him to eat, but Jiang Xiaomei will take some to Eldest Jiang.
Only Jiang Xiaomei would call Eldest Jiang as elder brother. Jiang’s second and third eldest brothers had always directly called Eldest Jiang “Eldest.”
Jiang Zhen took a look at Jiang Xiaomei, who was gnawing on chicken wings. His eyes fell on the other members of the Jiang family, and he remembered all their looks and demeanor.
“You’re dead, little beast! There’s no one at home who’s not busy!” When old lady Jiang saw her eldest son come in quietly, she immediately cursed at him angrily.
Jiang Zhen looked at her coldly. “I had a fever. I spent three days lying in the thatched hut on the western side. I was hungry for three days, and no one delivered a meal.”
Eldest Jiang used to bow his head all day, but Eldest Jiang looked up and revealed to them his appearance completely so that one could clearly see his thin face and cold eyes.
Old Madam Jiang is cold-hearted when she looked at her eldest son. However, she does not care about his feelings and continued to curse at him, “Little bastard, you dare to talk back to me. You are such a big person, do you have to be fed?”
As soon as old Man Jiang saw that Jiang Zhen looked haggard, he was still a little uncomfortable. But after hearing the scolding of old lady Jiang, he frowned again. His son has been acting strangely all day, and now he’s blaming them? Even if you’re hungry, don’t you know how to squeak? Does such a big man need his parents to deliver meals to him?
Madam Jiang continued to scold, and had she not been eating still, she would have found a stick to beat him with. But both Jiang couple and Jiang Xiaomei looked at Jiang Zhen in some surprise—This man actually spoke? And such a long sentence?