Zhao Jinge didn’t know how to deal with the current situation. He seemed completely dazed; his eyes were full of confusion while Zhao Liu . . . Zhao Liu was entangled with Li Liu until Jiang Zhen showed up. And when he got rid of Li Liu, she hid to one side. Then she watched Jiang Zhen teach Li Zugen a lesson.
At first, she was a bit grateful to Jiang Zhen. Although she had considered persuading Zhao Jinge to agree to the Li family’s marriage proposal before, the behavior of the Li family today made her very angry, so she was very happy to see Li Zugen get beaten up. Of course, she was still a bit scared. As a result . . . Jiang Zhen unexpectedly said that he had a crush on her Jinge?
Zhao Liu, who already had red eyes after entangling with Li Liu, suddenly heard such a remark and subconsciously shed tears. She was frightened and a bit surprised. Her Jinge was unexpectedly being liked and pursued. Zhao Liu suddenly cried, which made the villagers of Hexi feel more sympathetic towards her.
Fortunately, the Zhao family refused Li Zugen before, but they didn’t expect to get in trouble with this evil star right then. That Jiang Zhen was so ruthless towards his own parents that if he really got married to Zhao Jinge, he might drive out Zhao Liu, this old lady who couldn’t do any work and still needed to see a doctor and take medicine from time to time.
“You-You . . .” Li Zugen looked at Jiang Zhen and regretted that he couldn’t speak at this moment. If he had known that there was such an evil spirit around Zhao Jinge, he would not have come to meet him.
“You? What you?” Jiang Zhen patted his face with his bamboo pole. “Don’t you ever come near Zhao Jinge again. You know, if I see you in Hexi Village in the future, I will beat you up at once!” The words Jiang Zhen said really frightened the Li family.
Although Li Zugen yelled that the people from Lijia Village would come out to stand up for him, he could only call in a few uncles of his own family at most. It would have been enough to deal with the Zhao family that had no support in Hexi, but now there was this Jiang Zhen . . .
The people in Lijia were no fools. Who would want to offend an evil star who even dared to beat up a yamen official just to get a wife for Li Zugen? Therefore, Li Zugen and his family might not even be able to persuade their own family’s uncles, so they could only end up being beaten up for nothing at the moment. Speaking of which, had it not been for Jiang Zhen, this Li family’s coercion might really have ended with Li Zugen marrying Zhao Jinge.
Zhao Fugui and Zhao Jinge were honest people. They were not good at talking and could only hide when confronted by someone. They wouldn’t have been able to solve the matter with the Li family by themselves. When Zhao Jinge’s reputation started to become bad, everyone tried to persuade him to marry. In order to not let his parents worry, he might really have been wed forcefully . . . But now . . . Apart from Jiang Zhen’s act of showing up to drive people away, it was Zhao Jinge himself . . . He liked Jiang Zhen in his heart, so he would never agree to marry Li Zugen.
The Li father and his four sons were thrown out one after the other by Jiang Zhen and finally left in disgrace. Some good people from Hexi also followed them. They were going to Lijia to talk to the people they were familiar with in order to spread Jiang Zhen’s “prestige.” However, some people stayed behind, wondering what Jiang Zhen and the Zhao family would do next.
“What are you looking at? Get out of here!” Jiang Zhen frowned, looking around. It was okay to let these people watch the hustle and bustle just then, but now, he didn’t want people watching him.
The people who were stared at by Jiang Zhen all ran away. Even Zhao Liu wanted to hide in her own house.
“Mother, wait a minute,” Jiang Zhen stopped Zhao Liu.
Zhao Liu was a bit confused. She looked at Jiang Zhen stupidly. Did she hear correctly? This man called her mother?
After Jiang Zhen came here, he never called old lady Jiang his mother, but when he called for Zhao Liu, there was no such reservation. Zhao Liu was an ordinary rural woman with many shortcomings, but she was really much better than old lady Jiang. At least, she really loved Zhao Jinge and didn’t do anything harmful to other people. In the past, when the Zhao family’s situation was still good, she even gave some food to Eldest Jiang when she saw that he was hungry.
“I didn’t bring anything back with me this time. You can take these back, Mother, and cook them.” Jiang Zhen took out the freshly cut meat, a few salted fishes, and some kelp from the parcel he carried, and stuffed them in Zhao Liu’s hands.
These things were not light. Jiang Zhen held them easily, but when Zhao Liu held them, she felt her hands become so heavy that she almost stumbled forward.
Jiang Zhen helped her up and said, “Mother, go back to your house and have some rest. I will come to propose marriage tomorrow.” In fact, he also wanted to imitate that Li Zugen and enter the Zhao family. But he thought that the Zhao family would like to have a good talk and a discussion first, so he didn’t want to get involved yet.
Zhao Liu went inside the house in a daze while Zhao Jinge looked at Jiang Zhen hesitantly. The worry and joy in his eyes couldn’t be hidden.
“Jinge, what do you want as a marriage gift?” Jiang Zhen asked. He had given Zhao Jinge five ducklings in addition to the food he gave him. Now that they were getting married, shouldn’t he give them something to wear?
Zhao Jinge became stiff and hurried to his home. He didn’t know if it was because he didn’t look ahead, but he bumped against the doorframe. Then he finally came to his senses and entered the house quickly, closing the door behind him.
Jiang Zhen touched his nose and couldn’t help laughing.
“Jiang Zhen, this . . .” Wang Haisheng looked at Jiang Zhen foolishly and was a bit confused by the current situation.
He got along with Jiang Zhen for a month and always thought that Jiang Zhen was a good man with a helpful and gentle temper. As a result . . . Previously, when they met some difficult clients in the city before, he was angry that Jiang Zhen didn’t take it seriously. How could Jiang Zhen suddenly be so . . . fierce?
“Tell me, what do you have to prepare for a marriage?” Jiang Zhen asked. Eldest Jiang’s two younger brothers were married, but because old Madam Jiang never let him have any money on his hand, he didn’t know exactly what to prepare for the marriage. He only knew that a lot of work needed to be done at that time.
“It’s not the same everywhere, so I don’t know. At that time, I took Sun Xiaoshan to make a new set of clothes, bought a quilt, some dishes, ten kilos of pork and a chicken, and we lived together,” Wang Haisheng said.
When he saw Jiang Zhen looking forward to getting married, he immediately felt that Jiang Zhen must have become so angry because he lost his temper. If someone were to pester his ger, taking advantage of his absence, he would lose his temper too. And . . . Jiang Zhen didn’t really do anything to those people. Wasn’t he just bluffing? In fact, it was nothing.
Wang Haisheng recovered some peace of mind, while Jiang Zhen was thinking about how to get married. After pondering on it for a while, it suddenly occurred to him that he should not worry about it alone. Knowing from Eldest Jiang’s memories that the Zhao family intended to marry someone into the family, he decided to go to the Zhao family. In this case, the marriage should be considered by the Zhao family.
Some men would feel ashamed of being humiliated, but Jiang Zhen didn’t really have this thought. He would just have a child with the surname Zhao birthed by Zhao Jinge.
In modern times, he didn’t have any family, so he didn’t need to carry on the family line. And when he came here, there was no need to carry on the family name for those of the Jiang family that were no good. Naturally, there was no need to fight for a surname. In addition, there was not much difference between being married into the family and marrying a wife . . . Furthermore, as far as he knew, in the countryside, those families who had brought in their son-in-law were generally holding onto their son-in-law. Nowadays, the wife could run away and the man could run away as well, even though men were more likely to run away than women who were taught to take care of their families. Of course, there were still men who were being oppressed, like Eldest Jiang, and there were still men who didn’t know how to run away. And the more such a person behaved like that, the easier it was for their family to grow more and more arrogant each day.
But the son-in-law was a big man. He would be the pillar of the family. Who could cause him trouble? So now he didn’t have to worry about getting married. He just needed to figure out what gift to give Zhao Jinge.
While Jiang Zhen went back to his house and pondered over this matter while cooking, Zhao Jinge and his mother looked at each other and were both speechless. After a while, it was Zhao Liu who spoke first. “Jinge, what can we do now?”
Zhao Jinge was silent for a moment, then he finally said, “Actually . . . it would be nice to marry Jiang Zhen . . . I don’t have to be a stepmother. You’ll still live nearby.”
Before, Zhao Jinge had refused to marry Li Zugen, so Zhao Liu didn’t expect that he would be willing to marry Jiang Zhen. Suddenly, when she heard what Zhao Jinge said, she was so stunned that she thought she had heard it wrong.
After a while, Zhao Liu said, “Jinge, you don’t have to wrong yourself for your parents. If you don’t want to marry, we won’t make you marry anyone. In the worst case, we can move away secretly, then Jiang Zhen won’t be able to follow us.”
Zhao Jinge, who once thought about his whole family moving away, so that he could marry Jiang Zhen: “. . .”
. . .
Zhao Fugui finished his work earlier that day, and went home sooner. As he was going back, he planned to fill their water tank with water and cut some firewood along the way. As a result, when he was walking along Hexi’s river as usual, he suddenly noticed that there was something wrong with the way some people were looking at him and someone even sighed at him.
What happened to these people?
Zhao Fugui couldn’t comprehend this situation. Then he saw that one passerby left after giving him a sympathetic look before turning his head.
What on earth is going on? Is it . . . Something happened at home?
Zhao Fugui got worried and didn’t dare to delay any longer. He hurried back home. As a result, as soon as he arrived at the door, he smelled the strong aroma of cooked meat. Zhao Fugui had eaten fish and eggs in his boss’s house a few days ago because of the busy farming period, but he hadn’t had any meat. At the moment he smelled the meat, he felt that he was drooling. The thing was, how could his family suddenly cook meat? Zhao Fugui habitually pushed the door with his hand, but didn’t want to open it. He was puzzled and knocked on the door. “I’m back.”
Zhao Fugui just knocked a few times and the door was opened. Before him stood Zhao Liu, who came to open the door, her eyes red and swollen.
“Why are you crying? What’s the matter?” Zhao Fugui asked anxiously.
“Nothing . . . Come in and have a meal,” Zhao Liu said, letting Zhao Fugui enter the house. As soon as Zhao Fugui entered the room, she immediately bolted the door, as if there were robbers outside.
Zhao Fugui was confused, and it got even weirder when he saw Zhao Jinge sitting at the table that was full of dishes.
There were five dishes and a soup on the table—a big bowl of braised pork, a big bowl of stewed pork with dried beans, a bowl of steamed salted fish, a bowl of fried garlic, a bowl of fried pork slices with cauliflower, and a bowl of salted vegetable soup.
Even during the New Year’s Festival, their family would not eat so much. How much meat did they cook? Where did this meat come from?
“What’s going on?” Zhao Fugui asked eagerly. The more he thought about it, the more he felt that the situation was not right.
Hearing Zhao Fugui’s question, Zhao Liu sobbed again.
Zhao Fugui only felt his heart sink. This is . . . Something big happened?
“Fugui, Jinge he . . . he . . .” Zhao Liu choked up twice before she spoke again, “Jinge said, he likes Jiang Zhen!” After that, afraid that Zhao Fugui would not understand, she added, “By the way, Jiang Zhen is Jiang Zhenwei. Jinge said that he changed his name to Jiang Zhen.”
At the beginning, Zhao Liu didn’t want to accept the things Jiang Zhen gave them. She thought of returning the meat and then turning down Jiang Zhen, but unexpectedly, Zhao Jinge said, he liked Jiang Zhen! Her family’s Jinge unexpectedly liked that Jiang Zhen! Zhao Liu was shocked, inexplicably becoming sadder, and then ruthless. She cooked everything Jiang Zhen gave her. If it wasn’t for the limited time, there would have been another kelp dish on the table.
“Jinge likes Eldest Jiang?” Zhao Fugui repeated in shock.
Zhao Jinge bowed his head and felt a little sorry for his parents.
“What should I do? That Eldest Jiang, is he willing to marry our Jinge?” Zhao Fugui frowned. He always hoped Jinge would marry someone he liked. After all, he himself . . . Although he didn’t tell anyone about it, it was because he had fallen in love with Zhao Liu that he went to propose marriage. But that Eldest Jiang . . . the former Eldest Jiang would probably be willing to marry Zhao Jinge. But what about the current Eldest Jiang? His Jinge was probably going to be sad.
Edited by : Faro