TOFUH – Chapter 36 – Ship repair and news

Sun Xiaoshan was not feeling well last night, but he felt better today and was able to sit up.

These days, the nine-year-old child could do almost everything at home, so Wang Haisheng asked Wang Yuer to take care of Sun Xiaoshan and took Jiang Zhen to clean up the boat.

The ship was a little dirty, but it was well cared for. It could be seen that the owner loved it very much.

“This ship was newly built seven years ago when the previous one got too broken to hold on. At that time, I had some money saved, so I changed it,” Wang Haisheng said when he cleaned the ship according to Jiang Zhen’s requirements, then he said where the ship needed to be repaired and where more shelves could be added.

“Can you?” Jiang Zhen asked.

“Yes. I’ve been dealing with ships for a long time, so I can repair them. I have several tools,” Wang Haisheng said. “If I had enough materials and a few more tools, I could build another one.”

When he was a child, he lived on a fishing boat with his parents. At that time, the boat was a bit broken in the beginning and had to be repaired from time to time. When he was looking for someone to build the boat, he watched the whole process and learned something about shipbuilding.

Wang Haisheng didn’t think that what he could do was amazing. After all, many people who depended on fishing for a living could repair their boats and build them. But Jiang Zhen was surprised nevertheless. He even wanted to ask Wang Haisheng why he didn’t live on this, but he soon realized that in these times craftsmen were worthless.

Everyone was equal, but knowledge was important. In these times, people didn’t care much about craftsmen. Many people who mastered exquisite skills were classified as craftsmen, but they had no freedom at all.

It was true that being a carpenter in the countryside could lead to a better life than being an ordinary farmer, but it was also limited. There were such carpenters in almost every village already and no newcomer was accepted.

After learning about Wang Haisheng’s skills, Jiang Zhen specially went to cut down a few trees. After repairing the boat, he made some furniture together with Wang Haisheng. Carpentry was not very difficult. If you didn’t pay attention to appearance, you could easily make some stools or the like.

People these days liked heavy furniture with fine carvings, but Jiang Zhen and Wang Haisheng had limited skills, so their furniture was very simple and ugly.

It couldn’t be sold for money, and some pieces of their furniture couldn’t even be used, which was related to the wood they had chosen. Not all wood was suitable for furniture making. They didn’t understand it at first. Fortunately, even if that wood couldn’t be used as furniture, they could practice their skills and use it as firewood afterwards.

Jiang Zhen and Wang Haisheng had been busy for more than ten days. In those ten days, it rained almost every day, but not all day long.

In some places, spring rain was as expensive as oil, but here, spring rain went on and on.

The days were warm and the rain abundant. Hexi Village, which was full of green even in winter, looked lusher, and the camphor trees started losing their leaves. After a year’s growth, the old green leaves from the winter would fall from the trees in spring. At the same time, the new green leaves would soon cover the whole crown of the trees.

For Wang Haisheng’s family, it used to be a very sad time when it rained all day.

Although the mud house was wet, they could at least make a fire and dry their clothes, but it was very troublesome on the boat. When the clothes and quilts were wet, they could only be used like that.

Sometimes, some parts of the ship were not well cared for, and even the clothes in the wooden dresser would become moldy and rotten.

In such an environment, people always got sick easily. One of Wang Haisheng’s children got sick before and died. Because of this, Wang Haisheng was very grateful to Jiang Zhen, who took his family in.

After finishing his job with Jiang Zhen that day, he took the bamboo baskets he stuffed with earthworms and went to the river to catch fish, intending to give the best fish to Jiang Zhen.

“Fisherman, why are you staying with Eldest Jiang recently instead of living on the fishing boat?” Carrying back a basket full of fish, Wang Haisheng was suddenly stopped.

“You are asking me?” Wang Haisheng looked at the man and then said, “I sold the fishing boat to Jiang Zhen.”

The man was talking about Eldest Jiang. Isn’t that Jiang Zhen? 

The person who asked Wang Haisheng a question pondered for a moment before looking at Wang Haisheng with great sympathy. Did Jiang Zhen rob this man’s boat?

Not only did he rob this man’s boat, but now, his whole family seemed to be working for Jiang Zhen. The six-year-old boy dug a basket of wild vegetables and directly gave it to Jiang Zhen.

The villager who stopped Wang Haisheng didn’t dare to ask any more questions, let alone speak ill about Jiang Zhen. After looking at Wang Haisheng sympathetically, he shook his head and left. However, Wang Haisheng was so confused that he didn’t know what happened.

If he didn’t understand, he didn’t understand. Wang Haisheng found Jiang Zhen and gave him the biggest fishes in his hands. Jiang Zhen received the fish and gave him rice of the same weight as the fish.

Wang Haisheng didn’t lack fish to eat. In fact, his whole family was tired of eating fish. But they were always short of rice so they thought it was delicious.

If Wang Hai was tired of eating fish, Jiang Zhen was even more tired of eating fish at this moment.

In modern times, fried, roasted, sweet and sour, spicy, or steamed, there were all kinds of seasonings and cooking methods, as well as many types of fish. If you let someone eat fish every day for a year, even people like him who were not picky would get tired of it, but the key point was that there was no such condition here at all.

He hadn’t seen chili at all. Because the oil extraction technology lagged behind, oil was very expensive; soy sauce was not cheaper than salt either. But even if it tasted bad, it was still necessary to eat and let Zhao Jinge eat with him.

Jiang Zhen killed several fishes, choosing one to stream on the steaming rack and salted another one to make salted fish. In fact, people here were all very fond of salted fish. Unfortunately, salt was too expensive, so they usually didn’t use salt for the fish. Jiang Zhen was already considered a big spender.

Jiang Zhen wanted to give Zhao Jinge food, so he always started a fire separately from Wang Haisheng’s family. He finished making the fish dish that night, eating the head and tail parts himself and leaving the best middle parts, then he waited for the night to come.

When it got dark and Wang Haisheng’s family next door had fallen asleep, Jiang Zhen took the fish with him and went to meet Zhao Jinge.

He has been sleeping with Zhao Jinge these days.

After he was accidentally seen by Zhao Liu, he was very careful. He used all his anti-reconnaissance skills learned from his last life so that no one found out that he stole incenses and jades every night.

Of course, he didn’t steal incense or jade . . . Zhao Jinge was very busy every day, and the two of them were not married yet, so it was naturally impossible for him to really do anything to Zhao Jinge.

He handed the fish to Zhao Jinge through the window. When Jinge took it, he quietly entered Zhao Jinge’s room. Then he took out a small piece of candle and lit it.

In the candlelight, Zhao Jinge slowly started eating the fish.

Zhao Jinge was actually fed up with eating fish too, but it was brought to him to eat by Jiang Zhen. No matter how tired he was or how bad it was, he would eat it clean. What’s more, he’s not an ungrateful person. It was clear to him that Jiang Zhen asked him to eat fish for his own good.

Although he didn’t get sick before, he often had sore knees and cramps. Recently, those problems had not manifested.

Zhao Jinge ate fish in silence and didn’t speak. Jiang Zhen looked at him quietly and didn’t speak either. This was because they were afraid of being discovered by Zhao Fugui and Zhao Liu, but also because . . . it was good to stay together without talking.

That night, they chatted with each other under the quilt.

Jiang Zhen once again made use of his strong self-control. Although he used to live with his comrades in arms, they were all straight, so he never had any ideas about them. But Zhao Jinge was different, he was the person he liked. The person he liked was lying next to him, and he didn’t make any moves. That was also a kind of skill!

Of course, on the surface, he didn’t move. But in fact . . . God knows how often Zhao Jinge’s tofu had been secretly eaten by him, and Zhao Jinge himself should also know.

Maybe he didn’t know the first night, but later, when Jiang Zhen moved his hands, he was clearly awake but kept pretending to be asleep.

Early in the morning, Jiang Zhen left, taking the bowl he had brought with him.

Jiang Zhen and Wang Haisheng had almost completely renovated the fishing boat. They were making wooden boxes by the river when suddenly, an acquaintance came to the riverside. He was wearing a yamen officer’s clothes; it was Yang Jing.

These days, it was raining all the time, and there was nothing to do in the yamen. Yang Jing was tired of staying at home. He couldn’t help but want to go to the gambling house to play. However, a few days ago Jiang Zhen asked him about a couple of things which scared him. He was not in the mood to go out drinking and gambling with the others.

But it was so boring and there was nothing to do. In the end, Yang Jing simply ran to the dock in the rain and messed around with Jiang Chenxiang while helping Jiang Zhen inquire about the seafood business at the same time. Now that the Jiangs’ third son had enough trouble and he also learned what Jiang Zhen asked him to inquire about, he came to Hexi Village.

Yang Jing’s previous experience in Hexi Village had cast a psychological shadow on him. He didn’t want to come to the village and be seen. Therefore, when he saw Jiang Zhen staying by the river, Yang Jing immediately displayed his joy.

“Boss!” Yang Jing greeted Jiang Zhen.

“Any news?” Jiang Zhen asked.

“I have news, boss. Those who go to the seaside to buy seafood from town will leave tomorrow. They are also willing to take you with them. If you want to go, you can go to the west of the dock early tomorrow morning to meet them,” said Yang Jing.

Jiang Zhen nodded and asked for some details while Yang Jing carefully told him everything he knew and then said, “People living by the seaside like grain very much. If you have some good grain, you can sell it at a good price.”

Yang Jing spoke a lot, then he finally said, “Boss, I have something to tell you.”

“What’s the matter?” Jiang Zhen asked.

“It is about Jiang Chenxiang. He lost his job.” Yang Jing giggled twice.

No one knew how many people were craving for Jiang Chengxian’s job. It was not easy for him to keep this job like before.

Although Yang Jing was a yamen officer, it was impossible for him to find fault in a big way. He simply contacted a person who wanted Jiang Chengxiang’s job and helped that person a little . . .

That man was capable and had an uncle who worked as a steward at the dock and who also helped him squeeze Jiang Chengxiang out. After getting Jiang Chengxiang’s job yesterday, he also gave Yang Jing two silver as a thank-you gift.

Yang Jing was very proud of it but, at the same time, he looked at Jiang Zhen carefully, afraid of making Jiang Zhen angry.

However, Jiang Zhen didn’t get angry and just smiled. “There are so many fields in the Jiang family. Butcher Jiang and Chengwen can’t possibly plant them themselves. He should come back home to help.”

“Yes, that’s right.” Yang Jing nodded repeatedly, finally breathing a sigh of relief.

After talking with Jiang Zhen for a while, Yang Jing left. Jiang Zhen was thinking about the next day. He went home with Wang Haisheng while making a special detour to the Jiang family house.

When they arrived near the Jiang house, Jiang Zhen really saw Jiang Chengxiang, who Yang Jing mentioned to him not too long ago.

Jiang Chengxiang always dressed elegantly and combed his hair meticulously, but now, he looked a bit messy.

Jiang Chengxiang was having a hard time these days.

After Jiang Zhen released Yang Jing, he thought his life could gradually return to normal, but the facts proved that he was thinking too much.

He encountered a lot of troubles, such as Zhu Shufen’s unwillingness to return home with him or someone always picking on him at the dock.

He still liked Zhu Shufen very much, and even more Zhu Shufen’s family situation—Zhu Shufen’s father had great chances of being admitted for the test!

Because of this, he went to the Zhu family house several times in the past few days, apologizing and apologizing again.

Zhu Shufen was already married to him, and although the Zhu family were not satisfied with him taking the money from Zhu Shufen’s box, it was impossible for them to take Zhu Shufen back or for Zhu Shufen to leave him.

As a result . . . just after Zhu Shufen returned, his job was gone!

He used to earn two silver a month at the dock, so he could live comfortably in the county town. But now, he had lost his job and all of his previous savings had been lost to Jiang Zhen. 

In the end Jiang Chengxiang could only bring Zhu Shufen back to Hexi Village. Otherwise, they might not even be able to eat.

Now, Jiang Chengxiang, who had just returned, saw Jiang Zhen who had harmed him at a glance.

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Edited by : Faro

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This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Fluffy_bear

    The story is moving along well, I can’t wait to read more.

    I’m intrested in editing for you, I send an email

  2. mrfunplace

    Ah….i want the misunderstandings to be over so they can date then focus on getting rich heheh

  3. allroundfangirli

    Thank you for the update

  4. Jwel

    Thanks for the chapter!

  5. Isola~

    Isn’t the acronym very well suited for this novel? Jiang Zhen secretly eating Jinge’s TOFUH~

    Can’t wait for Jiang Zhen to become the local tyrant and for them to get married!

    Thanks for the update 💕

  6. Awl

    I think it’s interesting that they keep repeating how unpalatable the food in ancient times is. They even eat weird things like tiny fish from ditches, snakes and hedgehogs. In fact I think this is more reasonable than other ancient China transmigration stories where the transmigrator can cook delicious food. Many spices probably don’t exist and the others are expensive, even common ones like salt and oil; meat and eggs are luxury, the rice is the brown and tough and the meals are repetitive, if you’re poor you just eat porridge every day. The cookware is rudimentary so food is mostly boiled, steamed or stir fried. Even the amount of firewood consumed has to be limited, plus you have to chop it yourself.
    It really stresses how unpleasant it would be to actually transmigrate so far back. The toilet is a hole in the ground. Soap and candles are a luxury. The house becomes humid when it rains. When falling ill you can only wait it out, die or cause your family to fall into poverty.
    It’s really too wretched to lead a life like this after getting used to modern standards.

    1. Son

      Let me add that certain infections and diseases were real nasty even a little over a hundred years ago. Those are deterrent enough imo, forget the threat of mehrder. Yes, even a small cut can kill you 😭 And germ theory was non-existent. Even the most basic soap needs fat 😖

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