Chapter sponsored on Ko-Fi by Lalorena and Anon
Jiang Zhen and Zhao Jinge didn’t spend so much time in the county town and went back early. Meanwhile, the village head, Jiang Ping, had already gone to the Jiang family house and talked about the fact that someone wanted to buy their land.
At first, Jiang Ping was worried that the Jiang family would ask who was willing to buy the land, but unexpectedly, the Jiang family didn’t ask.
“Someone wants to buy it? What is the price?” old Madam Jiang asked.
“Twenty silver for 1 mu of land. Your land is not the best and there are no crops on it, so I couldn’t sell it any more expensive,” Jiang Ping said.
Old lady Jiang immediately hesitated, while Butcher Jiang smoked in silence.
“Do you really want to sell the land? It’s hard to buy land after it’s sold . . . ” Jiang Ping advised them. Land was the lifeblood of the villagers! Except for Zhao Liu who was ill and waiting for life-saving help, or He Qiusheng’s father who owed money due to gambling debts that could potentially get his head chopped off, no one was willing to sell land.
The Jiang family didn’t have a lot of land before. They had 4 or 5 mu of paddy fields plus a few mu of dryland. It took Butcher Jiang a lot of effort to increase his family’s properties, which they possessed today. Who didn’t envy the Jiang family for having 15 mu of paddy field? Unexpectedly, they were willing to sell 4 mu in one breath.
“Sell! We want to sell,” Butcher Jiang affirmed. He was so upset that he didn’t even ask who wanted to buy it.
There were several reasons why the Jiang family wanted to sell the land. One of the reasons was that they couldn’t plant it. Rice was very troublesome to grow. First, you have to turn the ground over and over again, and then you have to raise and transplant seedlings, and then you have to keep weeding it . . . In the past, Eldest Jiang and Butcher Jiang went to the fields together. When they were busy, old lady Jiang would plant the rice. But now, they couldn’t plant all the land. Of course, if they couldn’t plant the rice, they could always rent the field to someone else. Some people in the village had little land and wished that someone would rent them a field, but . . . Jiang Chengxiang and Jiang Chengwen had asked them for money.
The cause of this matter was that Jiang Chengxiang had found a job in the county town, but he needed twenty silver to secure it, so he came home to ask for silver. Butcher Jiang hoped that he could find a good job, so he promised to find a way for him and give him 22 silver. As a result, Jiang Chengwen overheard this and was very dissatisfied.
In the past Jiang Chengwen went to school for less than two years, while Jiang Chengxiang studied for six or seven years. The Jiang family spent more money on Jiang Chengxiang than on Jiang Chengwen. But after Jiang Chengxiang became successful, he didn’t give any money to his family.
Jiang Chengwen thought that they were both the Jiang family’s sons. Butcher Jiang gave Jiang Chengxiang so much money to study and then gave him money to find a job, so why didn’t he give any to him? Then he immediately asked his parents for forty-two silver, saying that he would use it to start his own business.
Both Jiang Chengwen and Jiang Chengxiang desperately asked for money, but at the same time, someone came to collect debts. Despite all kinds of mistreatment that Eldest Jiang had suffered, Butcher Jiang and old lady Jiang really loved Jiang Chengwen and Jiang Chengxiang very much. At last, the couple discussed the matter and decided to sell the land.
After selling the land, they would give Jiang Chengxiang twenty silver to secure the job, and then they would give Jiang Chengwen forty silver to start a business. The rest would be used to pay off the debts.
Old lady Jiang had always been full of confidence in her son, Jiang Chengwen. Even though her son was lazy, she firmly believed that he would be able to do business and make a lot of money.
When old Madam Jiang and Butcher Jiang agreed to sell the land, Jiang Ping went to the Zhaos’ house again.
Jiang Ping was trustworthy. With Jiang Zhen around, Zhao Fugui was not afraid of him tricking his family. He just simply gave Jiang Ping the money and asked him to buy the land.
Jiang Ping had always been a good man, so he didn’t refuse. He also helped with the purchase of the 20 mu of bamboo forest for the Zhao family.
The next day, Jiang Zhen got the title deed. He just glanced at it and gave the deed to Zhao Jinge. At the same time, the story that the Zhao family had bought the land also spread around Hexi. No, it shouldn’t be said that the Zhao family bought the land, but that Jiang Zhen bought the land for them.
When Jiang Zhen left the Jiang family house, he had only forty silver on his hands. But now, he alone could buy 4 mu of paddy field! By marrying him, if nothing else, Zhao Jinge wouldn’t have to go hungry in the future!
Before, people in Hexi were afraid of Jiang Zhen. But now, when they went to see Jiang Zhen again, they found out that Jiang Zhen did nothing terrible. He was even very good to Zhao Jinge . . . Hadn’t they seen Zhao Jinge always wearing new clothes now? The Zhao family also ate meat every day. That Zhao Liu used to be very thin, but now, she not only had a ruddy complexion but also wore rouge!
For a while, people envied the Zhao family. When they envied the Zhao family, they had to mention the Jiang family and sympathized with them.
When Jiang Zhen was in the Jiang family, he worked hard and did all the work in the fields, letting the Jiang family live a very good life. But the Jiang family used to pick on him and drove him out. Now that Jiang Zhen had gone to the Zhao family’s house, the life of the Jiang family turned sad while the Zhaos’ household prospered.
In the past, people in the village were afraid of Jiang Zhen. When they fought with Jiang Zhen and the yamen was called, they were scared that it would affect them a lot. Now they noticed that Jiang Zhen didn’t seem to cause any trouble in the village, so they no longer feared him. Of course, they were still in awe of him, so no one dared to offend him.
Many people came to the Zhao family to inquire about the news. Zhao Liu raised her head and boasted proudly about Jiang Zhen, “When the land was bought yesterday, my Jinge wanted to go plant the land. But it turned out, Jiang Zhen refused to let him go and said that he was going to get married soon. ‘How could you do such rough work?’ So this year, we can only grow one season of rice.”
“Before, when we weren’t well-off, we thought pig’s head meat tasted good. Today, Jiang Zhen went to the county town to send some porcelain and brought back a pig’s head . . . Really, such a big pig’s head. How can the few people in our family finish eating it?”
“He also gave me this rouge. At first, he only gave me this box of rouge, but recently, he also gave me a box of eyebrow powder.”
“My Jinge is doing nothing at home all day now. If it continues like this, he will get lazy.”
Jiang Zhen overheard the praise and was immediately speechless. Zhao Liu praised him, but also boasted a bit too much . . .
Jiang Zhen did not let Zhao Jinge farm, but Zhao Jinge was by no means idle. Not only was he cooking all the meals at home, but he also collected snails by the river every day and then raised them in the pond of the bamboo forest, waiting for the ducks to eat them later.
If Jiang Zhen hadn’t stopped him, he would have dug out all the mud in the pond and filled it with the land from the bank of the pond, so they could have a piece of fertile land that could grow crops. However, the feeling of being praised was not bad, so Jiang Zhen went to work with a smile on his face.
Zhao Liu’s face was full of spring every day, making her whole person seem ten years younger. Meanwhile, the Jiang family were experiencing the opposite.
Their land was bought by Jiang Zhen. This . . . This . . .
Old lady Jiang’s heart was filled with so much anger that even her liver hurt, and she kept scolding. At first, Butcher Jiang was alright with it. He thought that his land was in the hands of his own family and not some cheap outsiders. But as soon as he heard that Jiang Zhen was going to marry into the Zhaos’ house, he trembled in anger. The land of his family was going to become the Zhao family’s!
“Mom, Dad, don’t worry. If that Jiang Zhen can make money to buy land, so can I,” Jiang Chengwen said to his parents. “In the beginning, Jiang Zhen was doing business with forty silver. He turned them around and made so much money . . . I’m sure I can do it too!”
“Yes, you can do it too!” Old lady Jiang said to Jiang Chengwen. After that, her mood improved.
. . .
He was about to get married, but Jiang Zhen was still busy. Together with Wang Haisheng, he went to the bamboo forest he just bought and made a bamboo fence, trying to build a chicken coop and a duck coop.
Ducks were not afraid of rain, so their coop could be simple. But the chicken coop needed to be well-built. This project was not a small one, so Jiang Zhen thought it would be better to do it after he got married. Now his main task was to level the land.
At present it was only the fourth month of the lunar calendar, but the weather was already hot. Jiang Zhen had only been working for a while, but he couldn’t help taking off his clothes and going shirtless. It was common for men to go shirtless, not to mention, no one was around.
“Who’s there?” Jiang Zhen thought that no one would come here, but he heard the sound of rustling behind him, and immediately turned his head.
“It . . . It’s me. “ He Qiusheng came out of the bushes.
After not seeing him for a few days, He Qiusheng looked haggard. He didn’t dare to look at the shirtless Jiang Zhen and lowered his head.
“What’s the matter with you?” Jiang Zhen frowned slightly and put on his clothes again.
“I . . .” He Qiusheng clenched his teeth and could not speak.
He Qiusheng came here because his parents had forced him to. He hadn’t suffered many grievances as a child. Although Jiang Zhen saved him and made him have a good feeling for Jiang Zhen, after being ignored by Jiang Zhen, he didn’t want to stick his hot face on his cold shoulder, but his parents didn’t think so.
Although Jiang Zhen beat up Liu Heitou, Liu Heitou still wanted their family to pay off their debts. Jiang Zhen didn’t help them to solve this problem, that is to say . . . Liu Heitou would still come to ask for the money that his father owed!
Father He was feeling restless these days. Although he had owed money before, he could send He Qiusheng as payment for his debts. But after Jiang Zhen beat up Liu Heitou, he no longer wanted He Qiusheng but wanted him to pay off his debt . . . Where would all of this come from?
Father He was afraid that Liu Heitou would come to make trouble for him, so he told He Qiusheng to go to Jiang Zhen for help. Jiang Zhen could beat Liu Heitou; it should be enough for Liu Heitou to stop asking for the repayment of the debt, right? After all, after borrowing Liu Heitou’s money, he gambled all his money away in Liujia Village, and many of the people who gambled with him were Liu Heitou’s people. That was to say . . . as it happened, that 30 silver went to Liu Heitou’s pocket again.
As long as Jiang Zhen went to talk to them about it, he would certainly be able to get rid of his debts! Father He had such an idea, but he didn’t dare to go to Jiang Zhen, so he sent He Qiusheng. After learning that Jiang Zhen bought land and had money on his hands, he asked He Qiusheng to snatch Jiang Zhen. He’d better squeeze out that Zhao Jinge and marry Jiang Zhen himself, so that their family would have nothing to worry about in the future.
He Qiusheng felt very embarrassed, but his mother agreed. He Qiusheng’s mother was a very weak but also a very good woman. She was very good to her three children and her husband. She always regarded her husband as God. Now that her husband got into trouble with Liu Heitou and her family couldn’t solve this problem, she pinned all her hopes on He Qiusheng and asked him to beg Jiang Zhen for help.
Well, since Jiang Zhen saved He Qiusheng, he must have been fond of him for some time. He was marrying Zhao Jinge only because Zhao Jinge saved him before . . . Mother He thought it would be useful for He Qiusheng to give it a try. However, Mother He didn’t ask He Qiusheng to squeeze out Zhao Jinge. She thought it would be better to be Jiang Zhen’s concubine than Liu Heitou’s. At least, Jiang Zhen wouldn’t torture his concubine to death. Therefore, she asked He Qiusheng to keep a low profile, when he went to meet Jiang Zhen and Zhao Jinge.
He Qiusheng could refuse his father, but he couldn’t refuse his mother’s tears. After that, He Qiusheng came to meet him.
Edited by : Faro