After talking with Zhao Fugui for a long time, Jiang Zhen finally convinced him to eat at least one egg a day. He knew that when he and Zhao Jinge weren’t there, Zhao Liu and Zhao Fugui would certainly not be willing to buy meat to eat, so he let Zhao Fugui catch fish every day. The big ones had to be brought home to be eaten, and if there were eel loaches, they had to eat them too instead of feeding them to the ducks.

Eating fish and eggs every day was already enough for elder people . . . Jiang Zhen put his mind at ease and thought that when he left this time, it would be best to prepare more seasoning, oil, and salt at home. When Zhao Fugui and Zhao Liu cooked, they wouldn’t spare even the oil.

Jiang Zhen had already decided to specifically boil a can of lard that couldn’t be stored for a long time in high summer and leave it at home before setting off.

While Jiang Zhen and Zhao Fugui were busy outside, Zhao Liu was preparing food with Zhao Jinge. They killed a rooster, then took out the eel they had caught and kept in the tank. Zhao Liu had discovered a long time ago that Jiang Zhen seemed to be particularly fond of eating eel loaches, so they had specially reserved it for him.

“Jinge, how are you and Jiang Zhen doing? Is he good to you?” Zhao Liu asked her son.

“Mother, he is very kind to me,” Zhao Jinge said.

Jiang Zhen was really good to him, which always made him fear that one day Jiang Zhen might no longer like him. The other day, he dreamed that Jiang Zhen had turned back into the same Eldest Jiang who didn’t like talking and kept his head bowed all day. He called him over and over again but was ignored by him.

“So how are you two doing at night?” Zhao Liu asked again.

“Mother!” Zhao Jinge lowered his head and blushed.

“It’s good that you make out at night. This way, you can have a baby early,” Zhao Liu said. “Speaking of which, it has been two months since you got married, so maybe you already have a baby in your belly . . .”

Zhao Liu spoke cheerfully at first but quickly frowned again. “If that’s the case, wouldn’t it be bad for you to go to the capital with him?”

Jiang Zhen had already told Zhao Liu about them going to the capital. Zhao Liu felt that it would be a good thing for Jiang Zhen to go to the capital, but for Zhao Jinge . . .

“Mother, it’s nothing, right? Which one of the women or gers in the village doesn’t work until they give birth?” Zhao Jinge said.

Some people were kind to their young wives who were pregnant with children and would give them some eggs or something, but even so, those women still had to work. Most families lacked manpower, so everyone needed to go to the fields.

When he was very busy planting rice seedlings in the past, Zhao Jinge saw a woman with a big belly planting rice. Because both of her legs were stuck in the mud, her waist didn’t need to bend too much and she planted very quickly. Later, she had a stomach ache, so she went home after washing up. After a while, news came that she had given birth to a daughter.

He used to think that even if he were lucky enough to get married and have children, he would have to work until he gave birth. But now, he was just going out and following the fleet and occasionally moving goods, which was really nothing.

When Zhao Liu thought about it, she also felt it would be fine. The people in their village were not as delicate as the people in the city. And . . . even though she wanted her son to have a child soon, she was actually just giving lip service and didn’t really have much hope.

When Jiang Zhen and Zhao Fugui went out in the morning, they brought the chicken and ducks with them, but when they came back at noon, they were replaced by fluffy little chicken and ducklings.

Zhao Liu was now very fond of small chicken and ducklings, so much that she touched them one by one and after lunch, she started tossing food for these small things again.

Jiang Zhen, on the other hand, called Wang Haisheng and the He brothers from their village, and then helped Zhao Fugui with his work, such as cleaning out chicken and duck excrements. There were no chemical fertilizers these days, and the chicken and duck manure was a good thing. Zhao Liu and Zhao Fugui kept most of it for their own use and gave the remaining half away to others. When giving the manure away, they inevitably had to say a few words.

“Jiang Zhen is very good. As soon as he came back, he went back to work and didn’t even take a break. Fugui wanted to help him, but he stopped him, saying that he would do it.”

The smug look on Zhao Liu’s face made many people envious and jealous.

“Jiang Zhen has always been  hard-working . . .” the person who spoke to Zhao Liu lamented. “Before, the Jiang family had a lot of land and not enough fertilizer for it, so he even went to the river to dig pond mud to use as fertilizer, but now, without him . . . tsk, tsk that land of the Jiang family, the harvest is reduced by at least one-tenth.”

The mud in the pond could also be used as fertilizer, but it was very tiring to do so and it needed to dry for days, so, usually, no one would do it.

“Yeah, he’s especially hardworking. I used to think that my family’s Jinge was hardworking, but now . . . I heard that when he went out this time, he even asked Jiang Zhen to cook for him!” Zhao Liu scolded Zhao Jinge again. (Yup, scolding, and at the same time showing off XD)

While they were talking, many people heard them and soon someone smiled at Zhao Liu and said, “Zhao Liu, stop talking. Can’t you see that old lady Jiang is angered by you? Tsk, tsk! She must be having a hard time.”

Earlier, old lady Jiang was also working alongside them.

Zhao Liu went outside and pissed-off old lady Jiang again while, on the other side, Jiang Zhen, Zhao Fugui, and the others cleaned up the area where the chicken and ducks were raised. They plowed the ground to plant vegetables and separated it with a fence.

When the vegetables started growing, they couldn’t let the chicken and duck damage them. But when they had grown, they could put them over and let them eat as much as they wanted.

“Father, the next time you go to the Zheng mansion to deliver chicken and duck eggs, you can also drop off some vegetables,” Jiang Zhen said as he finished his busy day’s work and went to clean himself in the river.

In summer, they all went to the river to wash, and even women and gers were no exception, but even if they had to wash, the young women and gers hid and took turns washing, most of them still wearing clothes, but the older ones . . .

Jiang Zhen, Zhao Fugui, and the others were washing in the river. Not so far away, some middle-aged women were watching them, laughing and smiling.

“That Jiang Zhen’s body looks really sturdy!”

“This Zhao Fugui is already so old but still looks interesting.”

“Those two brothers from the He family aren’t bad either . . .”

 

….

 

Edited by : Faro

Proofreader: Taalia

Support translation:

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