Jiang Zhen brought two bamboo tubes of snake meat but did not give Zhao Jinge any of the bamboo tubes on the spot.

If he gave Zhao Jinge a bamboo tube now, then they each would be holding a bamboo tube and eat snake meat in silence. So how would feelings develop? 

Together with Zhao Jinge, they sat down in the same place as yesterday. Jiang Zhen opened a bamboo tube, took out a pair of chopsticks, and fed Zhao Jinge a piece of snake meat. 

Today, Jiang Zhen did not light candles; the surroundings was much darker than before, but Zhao Jinge could clearly feel the person next to him.

“I cooked this snake meat. Try it.” Jiang Zhen’s voice sounded, at the same time, a piece of snake meat was put on Zhao Jinge’s mouth. 

The smell of the snake meat was very tempting, but it was a tempting smell Zhao Jinge could still resist. He could only think about He Qiusheng, who had asked Jiang Zhen for the snake before though Jiang Zhen did not give it to him to eat. Suddenly, he could not wait to taste the snake meat.

Zhao Jinge opened his mouth and ate the snake meat. Then he saw Jiang Zhen eat one on his own.

The snake meat was a bit tough. Zhao Jinge chewed for a while and then took back his hand only to remove the bone from inside. After that, he felt embarrassed.

Zhao Dahu’s children were not allowed to eat with their hands.

Jiang Zhen did not pay attention to this small action. When he saw Zhao Jinge had finished eating, he took another piece to feed Zhao Jinge. “Is it delicious?”

“Delicious.” He had also eaten snake before but never had such delicious snake meat.

When Jiang Zhen heard Zhao Jinge’s words, he deliberately leaned close to Zhao Jinge’s ear and said, “I’ll give you more tomorrow.”

Zhao Jinge felt that hot air was blowing on his ears, which made his hands and feet tremble a little. When he calmed down, he finally had the strength to chew the snake meat in his mouth and asked the question that had puzzled him for a long time. “He Qiusheng asked you for a snake before. Why didn’t you give it to him?” 

“How do you know that He Qiusheng asked me for the snake?” Jiang Zhen asked, but his heartbeat was a little funny. He had already formed the habit of checking the situation around him at any moment. At that time, Zhao Jinge was hiding behind a tree, but he naturally found him out. After all, in this world, the person he was most familiar with was Zhao Jinge. 

But he didn’t want to expose it from the very beginning; after all, it would be a good performance. Of course, even if Zhao Jinge was not there, he would still perform well. Such a thin ger is really not his type.

“I . . . I heard about it.” Zhao Jinge bowed his head and had no confidence when he spoke. 

This man couldn’t even tell a lie. But Jiang Zhen also liked that. “That He Qiusheng is not as good as you. Does not who I am, so of course, I did not give him your snake. In the future, all my things are yours.” 

Jiang Zhen was showing loyalty, but Zhao Jinge thought he was talking nonsense. 

This man unexpectedly said that He Qiusheng was not as good-looking as he was . . . Are his eyes okay? But the last sentence was true.

He Qiusheng couldn’t see Jiang Zhen in that way, so He Qiusheng wasn’t the one for Jiang Zhen . . . Well, Jiang Zhen knew that, so it’s normal not to give him the snake.

In exchange for what he had already laboriously taken, even if Zhao Dahu’s son, who had been acknowledged as an upcoming scholar, had asked him for it, he would refuse even if Zhao Dahu’s son were the most capable man in Hexi village.

When he thought of it that way, Zhao Jinge figured it out, and he didn’t have to worry about it. After eating a few pieces of snake meat, he thought that he’d better send something to Jiang Zhen. “I will catch eel and send it to you in a few days.” Before his brother’s death, his family had not needed to worry about not having enough food to eat; his father would often take them to find the eel.

It took some time to do that, so when they did it, they often got up early in the morning and stayed at the riverbank for half a day to catch two or three eels.

They used to have leisure time and had good moods but those days were gone.

“You have to work. Don’t do that. I’ll just catch it.” said Jiang Zhen

“Will you?” Zhao Jinge asked. Eel fishing also needed a bit of skill.

“Just learn slowly. I’ll dig ditches first.” Jiang Zhen ate another piece of snake meat. Most of the fields there were paddy fields. Because they all grew rice, the edges of the fields were ditches. 

There were loaches in the fields, and the ditches along the fields were also not without them. When people here wanted to catch fish or loach from the ditches, they usually chose a section of a ditch, which was then blocked by mud on both sides, then they used gourd ladles to scoop water from the ditches. Then they could casually be able to catch fish, shrimp, loach, and eel. They could even see soft-shelled turtle once in a while.

These wild and pollution-free things were very valuable in modern times; however, they were not very valuable in this time. Some fish were too small to take home and could only be caught to be eaten by ducks.

Jiang Zhen had this idea for a long time, but he hadn’t had time to do it before.

“You’re not in good health . . .”

“I’m in good health. Would you like to check?” Jiang Zhen could not help but begin to flirt with Zhao Jinge again. 

Zhao Jinge did not understand. “Check what?”

Jiang Zhen laughed. When he laughed, his breath reached Zhao Jinge’s ear, making him blush again. At the same time, the more he thought about it, the more he felt that there was something wrong with Jiang Zhen’s words.

Jiang Zhen and Zhao Jinge ate all the snake meat in the two bamboo tubes together. When they left, Jiang Zhen left Zhao Jinge’s bamboo basket.

There was not much food in the Zhao family. It was spring now, and it was the time for a much more serious food shortage. He used to go to sleep hungry at night, but today, he had snake meat in his stomach and was particularly satisfied when he fell asleep. 

It’s just that he was full, but his parents were hungry, which made Zhao Jinge feel guilty.

Because of that guilt, after Zhao Jinge got up early the next day, he scooped up the watery part of the rice porridge and left all the rice grains in the pot behind.

At the same time, Jiang Zhen was busy fishing out the rice grains in the pot, eager to get dry rice out of the pot of porridge. 

Speaking of which, this ancient porridge is completely different from the porridge cooked in a pressure cooker electric cooker or even a braised pan in modern times. 

A pressure cooker or something, it can boil up all the grains of rice, but the ordinary iron pot in the farm wants to do this. It will not only take a long time to cook, but also a period of stuffing. 

Who has the time to spend so much time cooking porridge? And that would be too much firewood. As a result, the porridge cooked by people in Hexi Village is often a pot of rice soup with many boiled grains of rice. 

In the past, eldest Jiang always drank porridge soup with few grains of rice, but now Jiang Zhen specializes in fishing for grains of rice. 

After eating enough in the morning, Jiang Zhen went to dig ditches to catch fish, but old lady Jiang was so angry that she wanted to kill her eldest son. 

It’s just that she’s just a village woman, and she dared to swear and beat people, but she didn’t have the guts to kill, not to mention a village woman with what kind of ability, could she kill Jiang Zhen? 

At present, it was still cold, and although the children in the village will try to catch fish with some nets and bamboo baskets, there were still a few people who do so, so the ditches in the village had not been damaged. Jiang Zhen harvest in the morning was also good. But there was no big fish in the ditch, there were, basically, just small finger-sized loaches. Jiang Zhen busied himself for half a day, and the biggest fish he caught were only a few two-finger-width crucian carps.

Crucian carps are small but, when steamed, tasted really good, were very tender. Other small fish . . . such small fish tasted best when fried in oil it. But these days, every family was short in oil; they were already reluctant to add a few drops of oil to steaming fish, so who was willing to use oil to fry worthless small fish?

Jiang Zhen threw the uneconomical fish back into the ditch, dug up the place where he had blocked it with mud, and put the bamboo basket containing small fish and shrimps in the bamboo bushes by the canal. 

When old lady Jiang cooked the meal, Jiang Zhen filled two bowls with rice from the pot, and put two eggs in his arms. But he did not eat them. He took the snake meat that he had not eaten yesterday and went to find Zhao Jinge to eat together.

When Jiang Zhen came to the canal with several bamboo tubes, Zhao Jinge was already waiting for him.

Zhao Jinge did not sit idly and waited for Jiang Zhen. When Jiang Zhen came, he was chopping firewood, and his strong body was exposed to Jiang Zhen through his movements.

In fact, Zhao Jinge did not have a lot of muscles. He could not get enough protein and did not specialize in muscle-building training.

But his body did not have any additional fat and clearly hid a strong force within.

“Here you are.” Seeing Jiang Zhen, Zhao Jinge immediately stood up and fixed his eyes on Jiang Zhen.

When Jiang Zhen met Zhao Jinge’s gaze, Jiang Zhen became slightly agitated. He looked at the past in a more unbridled way and let Zhao Jinge move his eyes away.

Jiang Zhen had a lot of experience with casually eating cold food in the wild. He used to eat dry food with his comrades-in-arms when he went out on a mission, but he had never felt so happy as he was today. 

Although the food did not taste good at all, he still thought it was delicious. 

Zhao Jinge originally did not want to eat Jiang Zhen’s lunch although Jiang Zhen brought a lot of things, but he usually drank four big bowls of porridge. Jiang Zhen himself definitely could finish two bowls of rice.

But Jiang Zhen always had a way to get him to eat.

When Zhao Jinge did not want to eat the egg that he gave him, Jiang Zhen suddenly said, “You should eat more and fatten yourself up. Big-assed gers are good for breeding,” he said while looking at Zhao Jinge’s butt.

Now Zhao Jinge’s black face turned red.

Edited by : Faro

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