Just like this, Jiang Chengwen was idling at home all day just like before.
Butcher Jiang did not take it seriously. But Jiang Chengwen became more anxious. Five days ago, after he returned home from the town, he broke down and cried.
It turned out that since Butcher Jiang was refusing to give money and Jiang Chengwen was reluctant to give up on this business, Jiang Chengwen actually ended up borrowing money to invest in that so-called business!
He borrowed 120 silver to raise it into the 150 silver with the thirty silver he had in his hand. Then those people who were reportedly traveling for ten days to buy precious medicinal materials from outside disappeared without a trace.
After waiting for a few days, Jiang Chengwen finally couldn’t sit still. He went to those people’s homes to look for them only to find that the buildings were already empty.
It turned out they rented this big house in the country town! The pharmacy they took him to also said that they didn’t even know those two men at all.
Jiang Chengwen was devastated; he had been cheated out of 150 silver! Of that amount, 120 silver was borrowed from loan sharks!
Although Liu Heitou, the main moneylender, was accepted as Jiang Zhen’s subordinate, in Hecheng County, Liu Heitou was not the only one doing such “business.” But others were no more merciful than Liu Heitou.
Jiang Chengwen has agreed to borrow it for a month and then return 130 silver. But now, from where was he going to take out 130 silver? If he couldn’t pay it back, the interest would grow as well as his debt. He might even get his hands and feet cut off in the future!
As soon as Jiang Chengwen got anxious, he went home and began to cry.
Butcher Jiang and old lady Jiang were so angry that they cursed those who cheated money and Butcher Jiang beat Jiang Chengwen. But after they finished, they still had to find a way to solve the problem.
No matter how unlikeable Jiang Chengwen was right then, he was still their son; they definitely needed to save Jiang Chengwen . . . Of course, at that point, there was no way for them to save him. Those people who lent money to Jiang Chengwen, if they couldn’t get money, they would certainly come to them for it. Are they were . . . going to have to sell their land?
They sold their land last time, and right after, they needed to sell again . . . They would soon become poor people from being one of the rich in Hexi!
Butcher Jiang and old lady Jiang were both reluctant to sell their land, or at least they had to find a way to sell less of it. They thought about it and finally came up with one thing.
Wasn’t Jiang Xiaomei being talked about by others? Jiang Xiaomei was sixteen years old. Someone has come to propose to her, but she still hadn’t decided yet . . . Now, if they married her into a good family . . . maybe her bride price could cost forty, fifty silver or even more? This way, they would be able to sell less of the land!
After discussing it with Butcher Jiang, old lady Jiang thought it was feasible, but . . . For this who had decent face and a good family background and was able to afford a 40 to 50 silver dowry, who would be willing to marry Jiang Xiaomei? Such bride price was for a daughter of a scholar!
Moreover, there are many women who wanted to marry in such families. Some of these women or gers were cherished by their families, so they allowed the bride price to become part of dowry and go with the bride when marrying over!
Usually, for ordinary people, a bride price of twenty silver with some betrothal gifts was already good. If the bride’s family were to give more dowry, or they really liked her a lot, they would be willing to give more. Forty or fifty silver was not something that ordinary people were willing to give.
The bride’s parents who really wanted to receive this bride price, were not marrying their daughter but selling her. At the beginning, Zhao Liu’s parents planned to sell her for 40 silver to a man who could be her father.
Because of that, it was impossible for Jiang Xiaomei to marry into a good family, especially . . . the Jiang couple still needed money. But sometimes thing just happen even if it’s coincidence.
There was a family in the county town who had previously married a daughter-in-law, but she couldn’t give birth to children, so they wanted to take a concubine for their son, and they were willing to pay fifty silver.
This family was not really rich, even worse than the former Jiang family. They wanted concubine because there was only one son in their family, and they also wanted another woman to help with the work. Therefore, they required that the woman should be able to have children and work.
That household reputation was no good. It was said that their daughter-in-law was pregnant with their son’s child before, but because her husband beat her up, she lost the child and couldn’t get pregnant anymore . . . such a family still wanted a concubine. Of course, most people were reluctant to marry their daughter over, so they could only buy one with 50 silver.
It wasn’t that Butcher Jiang and old lady Jiang didn’t know about these things, but they still agreed. Jiang Xiaomei refused, but they told her such things.
“That man beat his wife, but he won’t necessarily beat you.”
“Although you’ll be a concubine, you will still be the one to give birth. When you give birth, everything in that family will be yours. Isn’t it good?”
“Little girl, who else do you want to marry? If you can get married to a family like that, you will be happy!”
. . .
That was what the Jiang family said, but it was not the truth . . . Jiang Xiaomei inquired casually and heard even more information.
For example, although this family lived in the country town and run small shop selling soy sauce, they didn’t make any money. The women in the family had to get up early and weave cloth from early morning to late night to sell for money.
For example, the son of that family beat his wife so badly, she was almost killed by him.
When Jiang Xiaomei married him, she would not only be a concubine, but she will need to kept working. . . Just thinking about it, Jiang Xiaomei was not happy. After that, the family came to their door to see Jiang Xiaomei. After seeing her, they on one hand agreed to pay the money; but on other, since she would be a concubine, there would be no need to hold a marriage.
Butcher Jiang and old lady Jiang made an agreement with them about Jiang Xiaomei, but as it turned out . . . that day, they couldn’t even find Jiang Xiaomei.
Finally, they sought out the Zhao family.
“Zhao Liu, hurry up and hand over Jiang Xiaomei! If you don’t hand her over, I won’t be polite!” old lady Jiang said.
Zhao Liu’s was a bit shocked. “I really don’t know where Jiang Xiaomei is.”
“How could you not know? Someone saw her coming towards you!” Old lady Jiang looked at Zhao Liu angrily.
“I really don’t know. Anyway, why would I hide your daughter?” Zhao Liu only felt wronged. She had heard that the Jiang family had set such a marriage for Jiang Xiaomei, and she pitied her a little, even saying a few words to someone, but she definitely wasn’t hiding Jiang Xiaomei.
With Jiang Zhen away, she didn’t dare to offend anyone.
“Didn’t you say we weren’t good to Jiang Xiaomei before? Who is it if not you?” Old lady Jiang already hated Zhao Liu for some time, so she slapped her. “You’re not a good person, you abducted my son and now tried to take my daughter away. You just can’t see me live a good life, can’t you?”
“Jiang family, how can you just hit someone?” Village Chief Jiang Ping rushed in and was startled.
“What’s wrong with me beating her up? She wanted to hurt me! Why can’t I just hit her?” Old lady Jiang cried, “My daughter is missing. She probably abducted her. Village Chief, you must make it right for me!”
“How could she have abducted her?” Jiang Ping said; however, his words were quickly drowned in the voices of the Jiang family members who came along with old lady Jiang.
“Someone saw Jiang Xiaomei coming here. If she didn’t hide her, who would do it?”
“Zhao Liu’s, you’ll be fine if you hand over Jiang Xiaomei.”
“Or let’s search.”
. . .
The life of the Zhao family was getting better and better, making many people in the village jealous. Jiang Zhen had been away for more than four months, and they did not know when he will come back or if he would even come back. So they came with the Jiang family to take advantage of it.
After hearing this, old lady Jiang had another idea. “Zhao Liu, you need to pay! If you got my daughter and ruined her marriage, you will need to repay money for me!”
“This . . . Why should I repay you money?” Zhao Liu covered her face. Sun Xiaoshan tried to protect her, but she was already shivering.
“I’m not leaving until you pay me money,” old lady Jiang said again. At first, she didn’t want Zhao Liu to pay her money, but the more she thought about it at the moment, the more she thought it was a good idea, making her eyes lit up.
“Nonsense! Jiang family, your daughter is not a child. She ran away by herself. Why should Zhao Liu pay you money?” Jiang Ping said. At the same time, more people from the village came.
These people were all close to the Zhao family or did not like the Jiang family, so they naturally criticized old lady Jiang.
“Jiang family, you not only sell your daughter but also come to blackmail!”
“Jiang family, you have gone too far.”
“Why should Zhao Liu pay you money?”
“It’s crazy to want money!”
. . .
The number of these people was much greater than those brought by old lady Jiang. When she saw these people, she knew that her request for money from the Zhao family was probably not going to work.
What was even more unfortunate at that time was the person who pulled a red-eyed Jiang Xiaomei. “Xiaomei was hiding in the forest by the river, crying . . .”
Jiang Xiaomei was not in the Zhao family at all, and the place where she was found was far away from the Zhao family.
The villagers’ eyes suddenly changed when they looked at old lady Jiang. Even people who came with her became embarrassed. They listened to what old lady Jiang said and decided that Jiang Xiaomei was indeed in the Zhao family, but it turned . . . Jiang Xiaomei was not there at all?
Old lady Jiang was stared at by so many people; she couldn’t face it for a moment. But then she suddenly scolded Zhao Liu, “Zhao Liu’s, don’t be so proud of yourself even if your family is better off now. In the end, he is still my son! Your Jinge can’t give birth to a child, so in the future, my son, who wants to pass his family name, will definitely need a concubine. You’ll just help raise my grandson!”
. . .
“You’re talking nonsense!” Zhao Liu wasn’t mad about being slapped before, but right then she was really angry.
“Where did I talk nonsense? I’m telling the truth! Matchmaker He has said that your son can’t give birth,” old lady Jiang said.
Then not knowing who it was, someone suddenly shouted, “Jiang Zhen is back!”
Jiang Zhen is back? Old lady Jiang shivered and wanted to turn around and flee. However, Jiang Zhen pushed the crowd aside and already reached them.
Edited by: Faro