Zhao Fugui’s reaction was totally unexpected for Zhao Liu and Zhao Jinge.
Zhao Liu subconsciously said, “He gave me five kilos of meat, salted fish and some kelp today, and said he would come to propose marriage tomorrow.”
Zhao Fugui asking that before was, in fact, his subconscious reaction. As soon as he heard that Jiang Zhen was willing to come to propose marriage, he got worried. “Wait a minute. Then Eldest Jiang is not a good match? Won’t Jinge be wronged if he gets married to him?” If Eldest Jiang went crazy, what could he do, if he beat up Zhao Jinge?
“No way,” Zhao Jinge whispered. Although he had been worried that Jiang Zhen would start disliking him, he was sure that Jiang Zhen was a good man. Because Jiang Zhen was so good, he was even more worried.
“He doesn’t even have a piece of land, nor does he have a serious business . . .” The more Zhao Fugui thought about it, the more worried he got. If Zhao Jinge followed such a person, how would he live in the future?
“I can work,” Zhao Jinge said again. He was young and strong. He could certainly support himself and his parents, and Jiang Zhen now had a boat. Even if he just caught fish and shrimps, he could always support himself. If that really didn’t work . . . he could always eat less.
Although Zhao Fugui was silent and taciturn, he still knew his son very well. Looking at Zhao Jinge’s appearance, he knew that he was very determined. It was just that, when did his son fall in love with Eldest Jiang? Why didn’t he know that his son had contact with that Eldest Jiang?
Wait a minute, his son actually had a lot of contact with that Eldest Jiang . . . Zhao Fugui suddenly thought of the small fishes and shrimps his son brought home for a period of time, which were sent by Eldest Jiang. Later, when Eldest Jiang left his family, his son seemed to have broken off contact with him, but in fact . . . After that, his son still brought back some fish and shrimps and even meat, like the rabbit previously. He only thought his son was lucky to catch them, but now it seemed . . . were those things sent by Eldest Jiang?
Zhao Fugui, who didn’t smoke much, suddenly wanted to smoke. Eldest Jiang had planned to kidnap his Jinge! It was just . . . If his son didn’t get married now, he might not be able to marry in the future, let alone marry the person Jinge himself liked.
Li Zugen’s family had land, but he was dragging his parents and his four children along with him. Eldest Jiang did not own any land, but in the end, he was alone . . .
The house was quiet and no one spoke any longer. Finally, Zhao Jinge said, “I will send some meat to Jiang Zhen.”
Jiang Zhen bought such a piece of meat and gave it all to them. He certainly didn’t have anything left to eat . . . He felt it was necessary to send some to Jiang Zhen.
Zhao Jinge took a bowl of meat from the table and left home with his head down, forgetting that he had not eaten yet.
Zhao Fugui and Zhao Liu were both worried, and Zhao Liu started crying again. Their hard-grown cabbage was going to be eaten by a pig. No, their Jinge couldn’t be called a cabbage but a tree, so . . . the tree they planted was hit by a pig?
“Let’s eat!” Zhao Fugui said. Zhao Liu had already cooked all the meat. At that moment, Zhao Fugui just wanted to eat all the meat.
On the other hand, when Zhao Jinge found Jiang Zhen with the meat, Jiang Zhen had already eaten a good meal.
Wang Haisheng went out with him. Because he wanted to leave more capital, he did not pay wages, but gave him food—salted fish and kelp. Wang Haisheng used the salted fish to exchange for two kilos of pork in the county town. Seeing Jiang Zhen give away all the meat he bought, Wang Haisheng served Jiang Zhen a bowl after cooking the meat at home, so Jiang Zhen ate fairly well.
When Zhao Jinge came, Jiang Zhen had just taken a bath and was washing clothes. He found out that he had been careless and seemed to have torn the stitching of the cuff. After washing, he needed to sew it all over again.
“Jiang Zhen!” Zhao Jinge called.
“Zhao Jinge?” Jiang Zhen was surprised to see Zhao Jinge. He had seen Zhao Fugui return home before, so he thought it was impossible for Zhao Jinge to come to him today. Unexpectedly, he saw Zhao Jinge so soon.
“Have you eaten yet? My mother asked me to bring you some meat.” Zhao Jinge instinctively wanted to improve the relationship between his parents and Jiang Zhen.
“I have already eaten, but what about you? Have you eaten?” Jiang Zhen asked.
Zhao Jinge had’t eaten yet. Jiang Zhen looked at Zhao Jinge’s expression and knew that he must not have eaten yet. He said, “I cooked too much, can you eat here?” Seeing that Zhao Jinge was about to refuse, Jiang Zhen spoke again, “I have something to say to you.”
Zhao Jinge stayed for dinner. Then Jiang Zhen started filling him in, from how he set out to the seaside to how he sold kelp in Fucheng, retelling everything for an hour before he finished.
While retelling, he also held Zhao Jinge’s hands and kissed them a few times.
Zhao Jinge had only gone to the county town several times, so he knew nothing about the outside world and was fascinated. He didn’t feel the passage of time. At the same time, he inevitably adored Jiang Zhen and looked at him with sparkling eyes.
Jiang Zhen was very proud. In fact, if they really wanted to talk about it, Zhao Jinge’s insight was not on the same level as his. They actually lacked a common language. But wasn’t common language something that could be cultivated? So he was not worried at all. What’s more, no matter who he looked for these days, they didn’t share a common language with him.
Zhao Jinge stayed with Jiang Zhen for more than an hour before going home. When he went back, he had an empty bowl in his hands and found that the table was empty too.
“Have you eaten?” Zhao Fugui had been waiting for Zhao Jinge to come back for a long time, but he didn’t see him return. He got angry and asked Zhao Liu to put away the food from the table. As a result, when he saw his son come back, he was worried that his son would be hungry.
“I have eaten,” Zhao Jinge said.
“It is not good to go to eat at his house without an engagement.” Zhao Fugui was a little unhappy.
“In fact, I have eaten there before . . .” Before, Zhao Liu had been too excited, so Zhao Jinge spared her a lot of things. Now that his father and mother were both there, he finally talked about his relationship with Jiang Zhen.
No wonder Zhao Jinge, who only had porridge at home, had gotten a little fatter in the past few days. It turned out that someone had been giving him an extra meal at noon. No wonder Jiang Zhen always came to feed the ducks in his family. It turned out that he had bought the ducks for Zhao Jinge.
“Jiang Zhen really sent you food at noon every day?” Zhao Fugui asked. Because Zhao Jinge emphasized several times that the name of the eldest son of the Jiangs was now Jiang Zhen, he also called him by this name.
“Yes,” Zhao Jinge said. In fact, Jiang Zhen also gave him food in the evening, but he was too embarrassed to say it.
“In this way, he is not bad,” Zhao Fugui said. They said that Jiang Zhen was fierce, but he just hit someone and severed relations with his parents, and he had a reason for that. Before that, the Jiang family had really gone a bit too far.
Zhao Fugui was more knowledgeable than the other villagers about short-term jobs. In fact, he held some admiration for people like Jiang Zhen. Before, he was mainly worried that Jiang Zhen would be bad for Zhao Jinge, but now it seemed that . . .
“Our family is poor, and there is nothing to covet. I think it’s because you saved his life, that he wanted to repay you for being so kind and marry you. If you think about it this way, it’s good to marry him. At least, he knows how to be grateful,” Zhao Fugui said again.
He had heard about Li Zugen’s entanglement with Zhao Jinge from Zhao Liu. After hearing this, he was really scared, breaking into a cold sweat. It was impossible that the Li family really wanted to marry his son. They probably wanted to find a strong laborer for their own family by targeting his son. In contrast, Jiang Zhen, who sent food to his son every day and didn’t try involving his son in his own troubles, was sincere. Zhao Fugui’s impression of Jiang Zhen got much better.
At this time, Jiang Zhen found Wang Haisheng and asked him to accompany him to the county town.
You just came back from the county town. Why do you want to go to the county town again? Wang Haisheng was a bit puzzled.
“I’m going to the Zhao family’s house to propose tomorrow!” Jiang Zhen said. Although he planned to enter into the Zhao family, he would not just treat himself as a woman and wait for the Zhao family to ask for his hand in marriage. In his opinion, Zhao Jinge was his wife anyway. Proposing marriage . . . that is, he still had to do it! They were going to get married, so he wanted to give something to Zhao Jinge.
“So it is like that.” Wang Haisheng nodded and hurriedly stood up, ready to go to the county town with Jiang Zhen.
“Wait a moment.” Jiang Zhen suddenly stopped him. “Ask your wife what he likes.”
Jiang Zhen’s voice was not small and Sun Xiaoshan could hear him in his room. Before Wang Haisheng could ask, he walked out slowly.
Sun Xiaoshan’s child was nine years old, and he was not young. Because they used to live and sleep on a fishing boat, he looked even older than other timid unmarried girls. With his head down, Sun Xiaoshan’s voice was very low. “Before . . . the gers in our village all liked rouge and powder. And if they get married, they all want the same jewelry . . . It’s usually a silver bracelet . . . or earrings are still good . . . It’s better to pay some more. . .. A new set of clothes is also needed. The color of the clothes can be brighter. They are to be worn on the wedding day . . . Of course, it’s better to give something affordable. Haisheng let me eat a chicken by myself . . .”
Sun Xiaoshan got married more than once, but he was more impressed by the clothes and the chicken that Wang Haisheng bought for him than the jewelry and dowry money that never reached his hands. So he had a better impression of the clothes and the chicken that Wang Haisheng had bought for him. He was already so old, but he had never eaten a whole chicken by himself except for that one time!
Sun Xiaoshan’s voice was low but Jiang Zhen was able to hear it clearly. When hearing about makeup, Jiang Zhen scoffed. A beautiful girl looked better after dressing up, so it was normal to give cosmetics, but Zhao Jinge . . . It was hard for him to accept that Zhao Jinge, who looked like a tough man, would paint his face white. These days, makeup didn’t have many colors to choose from. They only had white. So this one could be forgotten. And jewelry . . . what jewelry did big men wear? It didn’t make any sense . . . Wait a moment!If he didn’t buy it for Zhao Jinge, he could actually buy some for Zhao Liu!
He had a comrade-in-arms who went to his girlfriend’s house to meet her parents. He bought his mother-in-law a set of skin care products and a necklace for two thousand yuan. When his mother-in-law was happy, he was immediately able to marry his girlfriend!
Jiang Zhen and Wang Haisheng rushed to the county town immediately. Because it was already dark when they got in the county town, they slept on the boat all night and went shopping in the city early the next morning.
Jiang Zhen first went to the place where jewelry was sold, then after estimating the size of Zhao Liu’s wrist, he exchanged the same weight of silver for a small and lovely silver bracelet, and then gave twenty copper pennies for the bracelet. After that he went to the place where rouge and powder were sold.
Zhao Liu stayed at home all day and her skin was very white, so he didn’t need to buy her whitening powder. He just bought a box of rouge and a few boxes of facial ointment, which she and Zhao Jinge could use. Then they went to the clothing store.
Jiang Zhen took a red cloth and put it on Wang Haisheng. He found it would be a tragedy for people with darker skin to wear red clothes. After that, he gave up buying red clothes and chose some sturdy clothes for Zhao Jinge according to the color that men often wore here. Finally, thinking that he had to buy something for Zhao Fugui, Jiang Zhen went to buy a pot of wine and a few pieces of meat.
Jiang Zhen didn’t buy many things, and no matter how ordinary the people in the village were, they also wanted to propose with such things. However, he refrained from buying too much because he wanted to save some capital for doing business.
After shopping, Jiang Zhen planned to go back, but when he went by the dock, he suddenly saw many people selling chicken and ducks. Jiang Zhen always thought that the Zhao family should find a way to make a living and thought about it over and over again . . . He thought the best thing for them was to raise chicken and ducks.
It was almost summer, and he still had his fishing boat. It would not be difficult to feed the chicken and ducks with snails and small fish every day. When the chicken and ducks grew up, they could sell them for money and make some profit. Thinking this way, Jiang Zhen simply bought twenty-five ducklings and five chicken in one go. Because the chicken still had to eat feed, he didn’t buy more.
By the time they returned to Hexi, it was already getting late, and many people had already finished their noon meal. Jiang Zhen picked up the cloth and meat he had bought at the beginning, and asked Wang Haisheng to pick up the chicken and the ducks. Accompanied by the quacking ducklings, he walked all the way to the door of the Zhao family’s house, which also attracted the attention of the people in the village.
What happened to this Eldest Jiang? Why is he taking this flock of chicken and ducks to the Zhao family’s house?
Even Zhao Liu, who came to open the door, was confused when she heard the noise. Jiang Zhen was carrying a load of clothes and meat. Although it was very ordinary clothes, a bit shabby to bring to his future relatives, it was still at least normal. What was the matter with these chicken and ducks behind him? Never mind that he had sent five ducklings to Jinge before. Why did he bring more when he came to propose marriage?
Edited by : Faro