Seeing Zhao Liu coming, Jiang Zhen stopped his movements and called his mother a bit confused.
He and Zhao Jinge were about to get married, so why was it still Zhao Liu delivering the meal? Wouldn’t it be nicer if Zhao Jinge was the one to deliver his meal? He found a bird’s nest before and picked up seven or eight eggs from it. He wanted to give them to Zhao Jinge.
“Jiang Zhen, it is time to eat,” Zhao Liu said and went to greet Wang Haisheng, who was working on the other side.
In addition to the meal, Zhao Liu also delivered him water. Jiang Zhen and Wang Haisheng were really hungry and tired, so they ate and drank the water happily. When they had enough to eat and drink, Zhao Liu finally figured out what she was going to say to Jiang Zhen, but with Wang Haisheng around, she couldn’t open her mouth, so she said, “Jiang Zhen, please show me this land!”
Zhao Liu was not a person who could hide her emotions. Jiang Zhen could see everything on her face. Jiang Zhen knew that she had something to say, so he took her to the place where he planned to build a chicken coop.
Sure enough, Zhao Liu soon said, “Jiang Zhen . . . What do you know about the He family? He Qiusheng’s father is a waste that can’t even support the walls of his own house. In his good days, he lost all his family’s belongings. Those two boys of the He family are working hard to earn some money to buy food, but as soon as they turned around, he stole the grain and sold it for money.”
Zhao Liu originally wanted to speak ill of He Qiusheng, but He Qiusheng didn’t do anything bad, so she talked about He Qiusheng’s father instead.
“He is the kind of man that, when you get entangled with him, he will never let you go. When some kind hearted person lent him money once, he kept coming every day to borrow more. He even borrowed a hundred copper from our family and still hasn’t paid it back!”
“This kind of person can even sell his own children, so it is best to stay away from him,” Zhao Liu said again, racking her brains to talk more about the He family’s bad circumstances.
“Mom, I know,” Jiang Zhen said. He didn’t know why, but looking at Zhao Liu saying that there was something wrong with the He family, he always felt the urge to start laughing.
Zhao Liu finally felt relieved. “It’s good that you know. Please don’t get entangled with them.”
Jiang Zhen was confident. “No way.” He didn’t like He Qiusheng’s style at all . . .
Zhao Liu said all she wanted to say, but then, Jiang Zhen asked, “Mother, do you know anything about Liu Heitou’s family?”
Zhao Liu came from Qiaotou Village and had the same surname as Liu Heitou.
“Although I have the same surname, my family has nothing to do with his family. When I got married, Liu Heitou was barely able to walk, and his family was still poor. I didn’t know him very well,” Zhao Liu said. Liu Heitou, in her early thirties, had been a troublemaker for nearly ten years. In the following ten years, she had not much contact with her family.
Jiang Zhen did not intend to ask Zhao Liu anything more. He just spoke to Zhao Liu casually and went to work again.
Zhao Liu returned home with the basket, thought about it over and over again, and still did not feel at ease. Finally, she slapped her thigh and called Zhao Jinge, who was building a mud stove.
“Mom, what’s the matter?” Zhao Jinge asked. There was only one stove in their family before, and they could only use one iron pot on it. Now that Jiang Zhen had bought another iron pot, he and Zhao Fugui worked together to rebuild the stove.
This job dealt with mud, and Zhao Jinge was covered in mud at the moment. Zhao Liu looked at her son and recalled what He Qiusheng looked like when she saw him before. She couldn’t help but start worrying again.
“Jinge, don’t do this. Go and wash yourself and change into the new clothes that Jiang Zhen bought for you, then bring water to Jiang Zhen,” Zhao Liu said.
Zhao Jinge was confused. He just wanted to deliver food to Jiang Zhen, but Zhao Liu stopped him and refused to let him go. How could he deliver water now?
Zhao Fugui also said, “Didn’t you just deliver him water? I still need Jinge’s help here.”
“It must be sent over even If I just delivered some water. Let me help you.” Zhao Liu rolled up her sleeves.
Zhao Jinge and Zhao Fugui didn’t know why, but at Zhao Liu’s insistence, Zhao Jinge took a bath and went to Jiang Zhen with some water.
When Jiang Zhen saw that Zhao Jinge came shortly after Zhao Liu left, he felt the urge to laugh.
With Wang Haisheng around, Jiang Zhen couldn’t flirt with Zhao Jinge. He just gave Zhao Jinge the bird eggs he got and the snake he caught. He asked Zhao Jinge to take it back in order to add more variety to their food. He also gave Zhao Jinge a handful of wildflowers he picked before and asked him to take them back and keep them in a bamboo tube.
Zhao Jinge came here especially to deliver water and went back soon after.
Zhao Liu couldn’t help Zhao Fugui at all. She was not in the mood to help either and was waiting for Zhao Jinge’s return. Seeing Zhao Jinge come back with a bouquet of flowers, bird eggs, and a snake, she finally felt relieved. Before, He Qiusheng left empty-handed. As expected, Jiang Zhen left the best to her Jinge.
Wait. Wait a minute. These bird eggs, snake, and these flowers were not all things that Jiang Zhen got in that short time, right? In that case, just now, why didn’t Jiang Zhen give her something? She also left empty-handed . . .
On the Zhao family’s side, Zhao Liu was just a bit depressed. On the side of the He family, Father He was scolding He Qiusheng that he was no good. He couldn’t even handle Eldest Jiang, who had never seen the world before.
He Qiusheng’s mother was usually very fond of him, but now that Father He was angry, she didn’t even dare to say a single word.
She just cried while trying to persuade him, “Why don’t you go to meet Eldest Jiang once again? Qiusheng, mother really can’t help you . . .”
He Qiusheng didn’t want to lose face. Jiang Zhen had pointed an axe at him. How could he be willing. He refused without even thinking about it.
When Father He saw this, he jumped up, trying to slap He Qiusheng, but was stopped by He Chunsheng.
These days, the life of He Chunsheng and He Xiasheng was also very difficult. Their resentment towards their father was growing bigger day by day.
Father He was pushed to the ground, and He Chunsheng and He Xiasheng pulled their younger brother out of the house.
“Qiusheng, when we went to the county town before, didn’t the son of the bakery owner like you very much? He even came to see you later . . . Marry him. If you go to the county town, Liu Heitou won’t dare to do anything to you,” He Chunsheng said. No matter how fierce Liu Heitou was in the countryside, he wouldn’t dare to make trouble in the county town. If He Qiusheng were to go to the county town, he would certainly be able to avoid him. As for their family . . . He Qiusheng was the only ger in their family, so there was nothing to worry about.
The son of the bakery owner was the best of all the people who liked He Qiusheng, but there was more than one son in his family and the baker’s wife was very young and powerful, so He Qiusheng didn’t want to marry him before. But now . . .
“Then what are you going to do?” He Qiusheng cried again.
“There is always a way,” He Chunsheng said, wiping his eyes.
In fact, He Chunsheng was also one of the old bachelors who couldn’t get a wife in Hexi. He was already twenty-three years old, but no one had ever talked about marriage with him.
No, as a matter of fact, there were still some people who had taken a fancy to He Qiusheng and wanted to exchange marriage with his family. But when he heard that He Qiusheng was going to be exchanged for some woman, he kicked them out.
“Then let’s think of another way! I’ll go find Eldest Jiang again,” He Qiusheng said, before his father was troubled by Liu Heitou. Though he really didn’t care about him, he still had a mother and two brothers.
“About Eldest Jiang . . . Qiusheng, what did Eldest Jiang say when you went to see him before?” He Chunsheng asked.
At home, He Qiusheng did not want to be laughed at by his own father, so he only said that Jiang Zhen was unwilling, but now, with his brothers, he told the whole story in detail. Jiang Zhen’s words were repeated one by one.
He Chunsheng listened. At first, he felt wronged for his brother but finally could not help becoming quiet and murmuring, “Didn’t do it right at the beginning?”
It suddenly occurred to him that he and He Xiasheng despised the former Eldest Jiang, who was bullied all day and had a life even worse than his and He Xiasheng’s. But now? Jiang Zhen was not afraid of Liu Heitou.
He didn’t do it right at the beginning . . . Well . . . Could they become as good as Eldest Jiang?
“Qiusheng, you go to our uncle’s house. I and Xiasheng will figure out a way,” He Chunsheng said.
He Qiusheng was persuaded to go to their uncle’s house by his two brothers. He Chunsheng and He Xiasheng went to find Jiang Zhen together.
Jiang Zhen was about to finish work and go home, when he saw He Chunsheng and He Xiasheng, and immediately frowned. “You guys are not done yet?”
“Boss Jiang, can you teach us how to be powerful?” He Chunsheng asked.
Jiang Zhen raised his eyebrows in surprise. He Chunsheng pulled He Xiasheng and himself to their knees and asked again, “Boss Jiang, teach us how to fight! We don’t want to go on like this anymore!”
With that, He Chunsheng and He Xiasheng kowtowed to Jiang Zhen together.
Edited by: Faro