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Jiang Zhen came out to see his new house, but his true intention was to meet Zhao Jinge.
However, Zhao Jinge went to work at Zhao Dahu’s family house early in the morning. In the end, he didn’t get to see anyone at all, not even Zhao father or mother.
Zhao Fugui went out to work early like Zhao Jinge, as for Zhao Liu, she was too afraid to come out. She closed the house door and never left her house.
Touching his nose, Jiang Zhen felt a bit awkward, then he thought, For the villagers, I’m afraid I have already become almost like a monster.
It’s reasonable to say that when so many people were gathering to build houses, the women in the village would come to have a chat, and the children would come to play, but in fact, this time . . . Jiang Zhen never saw a child or a woman around when he came here.
Even the men who worked here, when he came, all of them worked harder and didn’t dare say even a word.
These people worked so hard that he might even be able to move in to his new house tomorrow . . . Thinking of this, Jiang Zhen asked Jiang Quan, the eldest son of the village head, who was arranging for others to do things not far away, “When can I live in this house?”
“Tomorrow. You will be able to live there tomorrow,” asked by Jiang Zhen, Jiang Quan hurriedly replied. Seeing that Jiang Zhen’s face was not good, he quickly changed his words, “We’ll work harder. You may even be able to start living here tonight.”
“Well, just get it ready for me for tomorrow. Where’s your father?” asked Jiang Zhen.
“My father went to the yamen to get your household registration.” Jiang Quan did not dare hide it from Jiang Zhen.
“I see. Bring it to me as soon as it’s ready,” Jiang Zhen said and then waved at Jiang Quan, allowing him to leave. He was still penniless and dressed in other people’s clothes, but that attitude . . . it was just like that of the Jiang family members towards him before.
Jiang Quan didn’t even think there was anything wrong with it. People in their village were now afraid of Jiang Zhen. After Jiang Quan left Jiang Zhen’s side, there was even a man beating at the mud wall who pulled Jiang Quan to ask, “I want to take a piss, can I go? This way, Jiang Zhen won’t come to hit me, will he?”
After Jiang Zhen came, they all wanted to run away, but they were afraid that Jiang Zhen would make trouble for them, so in the end, they didn’t dare to run and had to stay and continue working.
Fear is contagious. When a group of people get together, they do not become bolder but, instead, more afraid.
Under Jiang Zhen’s supervision the house was built very quickly. By lunchtime, several walls had already been put up.
When the walls were finished, the next step was to frame the doors and windows, and then put the beams in order to make the roof.
At this time, there was another problem.
When people in the countryside build houses, they must prepare the wooden beams, doors, and windows as early as possible, but the Jiang family never intended to build a house for Eldest Jiang. The houses for Jiang Chengwen and Jiang Chengxiang had already been built, so naturally, they couldn’t come up with the wood needed for building a house.
What about someone else? Although some people in the village had prepared all these things, they had to build their own houses, so they were naturally reluctant to give them to Jiang Zhen.
Jiang Quan, who was in charge of building the house, could not get the wood he needed from Butcher Jiang, so he could only look at Jiang Zhen in embarrassment.
Jiang Zhen had already moved a chair and sat down. At that time, he sneered. “If the house is not built, it will not be built. It doesn’t matter if I continue to live in Jiang Chengxiang’s house when the people from the yamen come to find me.” Saying that, Jiang Zhen kicked Yang Jing, who was standing beside him, again.
Butcher Jiang used to dislike his eldest son because he could not handle his own affairs and didn’t speak. But at that moment, he felt that his then silent son was actually quite good.
All the people from the village who came to help looked at Butcher Jiang, and some of them even blamed him. If the yamen officer didn’t return quickly, would the people from the city arrest them all? Butcher Jiang, why don’t you know how to get things done quickly?
Butcher Jiang ground his teeth and could only limp around, asking the village people if they had suitable wood. He was willing to pay for several pieces.
Worrying about Jiang Zhen, Zhao Jinge went home especially at noon and was just in time to hear Butcher Jiang asking if anyone had wood suitable for making beams at home.
Zhao Jinge subconsciously said, “I have . . .” His brother was already sixteen when he died and his family was preparing to build a house for him, so they saved some wood. His father also gathered many stones and piled them behind their house.
Later, when his eldest brother had an accident and his family become poor, they also had the idea of selling the wood. However, every family could cut trees and prepare the wood themselves. Because they could not sell the wood for money, they could only keep it at home.
In the end, Butcher Jiang bought wood from the Zhao family. Zhao Jinge helped him move it piece by piece. When he came to the place where Jiang Zhen’s house was being built, his eyes drifted to Jiang Zhen.
He had been looking at Jiang Zhen, but when his gaze really met Jiang Zhen’s, he immediately rushed to lower his head.
Many people in the village were like Zhao Jinge, so no one thought his behavior was strange. A man who had a good relationship with Zhao Jinge said, “Jinge, you think Jiang Zhen is terrible too, right? Luckily, I haven’t bullied him before.”
Zhao Jinge answered vaguely with his head lowered silently. He was not afraid of Jiang Zhen. But after seeing Jiang Zhen, he couldn’t help thinking about what happened last night, making the blood rush to his face.
He could not bear to see Jiang Zhen at the moment.
As soon as Zhao Jinge finished moving the wood, little sister Jiang came and said timidly, “Can . . . You can eat.”
“Food is ready?” Jiang Zhen took a look at Jiang Xiaomei then shouted to the people present, “All of you, follow me to eat, and eat enough to fill your stomachs. No need to be polite.”
When he finished speaking, he also glanced around the circle of people. “Who dares not to go . . .” Jiang Zhen didn’t finish this sentence, but the threat in his eyes was clearer than ever.
Others only thought that Jiang Zhen wants everyone to eat more of the Jiang family’s food. Only Zhao Jinge, who was about to leave, was moved. Was this Jiang Zhen’s way to have dinner with him?
These days, Jiang Zhen has been telling him that he couldn’t go hungry and always brought him food. Although they couldn’t talk right now, Jiang Zhen still remembered to take care of him.
Zhao Jinge felt warm in his heart, but the people around him didn’t think much about it. They put down all the different tools in their hands and followed Jiang Zhen to the Jiang family house. Some people didn’t even dare to go to the toilet, afraid that Jiang Zhen would think they were leaving.
He was a guy who even dared to beat a yamen officer, and the same official who used to be so powerful now didn’t even dare to make a sound in front of Jiang Zhen.
The party soon arrived at the Jiang family house where three tables had been set up, which old lady Jiang borrowed from her neighbors.
When someone in the village wanted to build a house, everyone else would help. There was no need to pay for it, but they must make sure that they could eat their fill. . . Chicken, duck, and pork might not be served, but there must be at least two bowls of fish and eggs while the vegetables couldn’t just be boiled but must be stir-fried in oil.
However, old lady Jiang only prepared pickled vegetables soup, boiled cauliflowers and vegetables; these vegetarian dishes unexpectedly did not even have tofu.
Old lady Jiang was a face-saving person. In the past, even if she was stingy, she did well on such a big event. But today, not only did the family have to give all their money to Jiang Zhen, but they also needed to borrow a lot from other families. How could old lady Jiang be willing to spend money to buy fish and eggs in this situation?
Everyone in the village knew about the Jiang family’s situation, so they didn’t say anything. Jiang Zhen sneered, “You’re going to give me these?”
“There’s nothing left at home,” old Madam Jiang said.
“That’s your business. I want to eat meat!” Jiang Zhen said, holding the waist knife belonging to Yang Jing and pointing it directly at him.
This knife didn’t even touch Yang Jing, but it still made him stumble.
Realizing that if he did not comply with the evil star’s wishes, he would suffer, Yang Jing didn’t hesitate to shout at old lady Jiang, “Old woman, bring meat quickly!”
Old lady Jiang was startled by Yang Jing and rushed to cook. She had no place to buy fresh meat at the moment, but there was some bacon at home.
Not long after, old lady Jiang brought up a bowl of bacon and scrambled eggs.
Sure enough, he had to force the Jiang family . . . The fried eggs with bacon were very fragrant. Jiang Zhen wanted to give Zhao Jinge some of them, but he also knew he couldn’t do it in front of everyone. Not able to give them to Zhao Jinge, he took a big bite.
Yang Jing stood beside him swallowing, but Jiang Zhen didn’t speak, so he didn’t dare open his mouth to eat. He just felt that he was going to faint from hunger.
Yang Jing, the government official, stood there unable to eat, which made the villagers tremble and feel scared.
Noticing this, Jiang Zhen took a bowl of boiled cauliflower to Yang Jing. “You eat this!”
Jiang Zhen didn’t give him a proper meal, but Yang Jing was already satisfied with the bowl of boiled cauliflower. He even felt that that bowl of cauliflower, which was short of oil and salt, was the best one he had ever eaten . . . He was really hungry.
Jiang Zhen ate two bowls of rice then took the rest of the eggs and fried bacon back to the room. He was ready to take a nap.
Before taking a nap, he carefully put the fried eggs into his bamboo tube.
Yang Jing saw this scene, but he didn’t know what Jiang Zhen was going to do, and he didn’t dare to ask. He could only shrink in the corner of the room, holding his stomach and remaining silent.
A bowl of boiled cauliflower was not enough; he was still hungry now. Fortunately, the house would be built soon . . .
After swallowing down his saliva, Yang Jiang suddenly missed his wife.
When his wife got married to him, he found she was not beautiful but not ugly either. However, she became fat after giving birth to two children. She always asked people around him to not let him gamble and drink. Gradually, he became more and more annoyed with her and didn’t even want to go home. He didn’t lack food or drink outside, and he had good friends, not to mention how comfortable life was. What was the point of going home?
But now, Yang Jing became homesick.
Although his wife was fat, she cooked very delicious food. His two children were also very clever and his parents treated him well . . .
If it weren’t for Jiang Zhen’s threat to kill his family, he wouldn’t have remembered the good times with his family, and the more he remembered them, the more homesick he became.
To tell the truth, his wife was very devoted to him. If she knew that he was suffering here, she would surely find a way to save him. As for his lover, he was not the only lover of the little widow. She may not even remember him.
And his two children . . .
Yang Jing had never cared about his two children before and knew nothing about their daily lives, but now, he couldn’t help but wonder at Jiang Zhen’s attitude towards his own parents.
If his two children were not raised well and became someone like Jiang Zhen, what would he do when he became old?
Even if they do not become like Jiang Zhen, but like himself. . . Yang Jing suddenly remembered that, after he became a yamen officer, he had never taken money home.
He was suddenly ashamed.
Next time he had money, he must take it home and teach his two children well . . . Of course, the most important thing was to let his wife make him a pot of braised pork coupled with delicious white rice to eat two bowls!
Yang Jing swallowed again.
At this time, Jiang Chengxiang finally returned home from town.
Exhausted, he entered the house and dejectedly sat down on a chair.
When he and Jiang Ping went to the county town to help Jiang Zhen with his household registration, they didn’t encounter any trouble. Because of the corvée and military service, they were all based on the same household registration, so in the yamen, they were eager to help them separate the households. But when he went to his house to get money, he got in a huge fight with his wife.
Zhu Shufen refused to give him money and kept crying. He tried talking and begging her for a long time, but she remained unmoved . . . Later, he was really helpless. He cruelly robbed Zhu Shufen’s ten silver coins from the bottom of her box.
Zhu Shufen become furious. Before he returned home, she already packed up and went back to her family house.
There were a lot of things on his side . . . Jiang Chengxiang had a headache.
Forget it. There was no use thinking about it anymore. He’d better settle Jiang Zhen’s problem first and then go get Zhu Shufen back.
After taking a nap, Jiang Zhen went to the place where the house was being built and stared at it. By the time he had dinner, his house had almost been built, but it was still empty. The stove had not yet been built, and there was no furniture.
Jiang Zhen was still very satisfied with this progress. What’s more, Zhao Jinge, who came back from working in Zhao Dahu’s home, also came to help and wandered in front of him for a long time.
Unfortunately, before dinner, Zhao Jinge made an excuse and went home to cut firewood, so he would not go with the others to the Jiang family for a meal.
However, he was sure that Zhao Jinge would still come to see him tonight . . .
Edited by : Faro