When Jiang Xiaomei went back, she was also very desperate. She thought that she was going to be taken as a concubine, so she didn’t expect that, all of a sudden, just when she turned around, Jiang Zhen came back. It was just that Jiang Zhen looked ferocious . . . So Jiang Xiaomei was also a bit scared.
Jiang Xiaomei looked at Jiang Zhen carefully. When Jiang Zhen saw this, he said, “Why aren’t you coming here! Hurry up or I’ll sell you right away!”
Jiang Xiaomei hurriedly hid behind Jiang Zhen and stood beside Zhao Liu who smiled at her with red eyes.
“You . . . This is my daughter. Jiang Zhen, what do you want? You can’t take my daughter!” old lady Jiang said in a hurry. The groom’s family would be coming soon to pick her up!
There were some things that happened coincidentally; just as old lady Jiang was in a hurry, the other family arrived.
“What’s the matter here? Where is Jiang Xiaomei?” a voice sounded, and then two strangers passed through the Hexi villagers and came over.
One of them was a sturdy woman in her fifties or sixties and another was a gentle-looking man in his thirties. They were the mother and son who came to buy Jiang Xiaomei.
This middle-aged woman had already met Jiang Xiaomei once before, and at that time, she looked at Jiang Xiaomei as if she was livestock, which made Jiang Xiaomei very afraid of her.
Seeing her now, Jiang Xiaomei immediately took a step back and hid behind Zhao Liu and looked at her in horror.
“Where is Jiang Xiaomei?” The woman looked at the commotion around her and frowned. “I heard she ran away? What does this mean? It’s not like we have to have her. If she doesn’t want to marry into our family, I can find another one right away!”
This family’s surname was Liang, and the man who wanted to take concubine was called Liang Fufa while Liang Fufa’s mother’s maiden name was Hu, so everyone called her Liang Hu.
This Liang Hu came to see Jiang Xiaomei a few days ago. The Jiang family members were proud, and Jiang Xiaomei had been working all the time and, seeing that she could work, Liang Hu took fancy to her. When she first learned that old lady Jiang had three sons in the row, she became even more satisfied with Jiang Xiaomei.
But even so, she still felt that Jiang Xiaomei would be climbing up the social ladder with this deal. She was just a country girl but could become a concubine for her son, which should be considered a blessing from her previous life.
How nice was her son! If the other girl was not so disobedient, her son wouldn’t have had to hit her at all!
“She didn’t run. Isn’t she still here?” Old lady Jiang immediately pointed to Jiang Xiaomei and called out to her, “Jiang Xiaomei, come here quickly!”
Jiang Xiaomei didn’t want to go there.
“Jiang Zhen, tell Jiang Xiaomei to come over, or I’ll report you to the county government! You are abducting and trafficking in human beings!” old lady Jiang said again.
Before Jiang Zhen spoke, Liang Fufa suddenly asked with a gloomy face, “Who is that man? Your daughter doesn’t have a lover, does she?”
Liang Fufa’s expression was ugly. Old lady Jiang was afraid that he would no longer want Jiang Xiaomei, so she said, “That is her own brother, my oldest son. How could my daughter have a lover—”
“That’s good—” Before Liang Fufa finished speaking, Jiang Zhen directly slapped him on the face.
Jiang Zhen recognized the man. When he was wandering around the county town, he learned about a lot of things from Yang Jing, and some of these things were related to the man in front of him.
This Liang Fufa liked to beat women and even forbid his wife to say even one word about it to anyone . . . A man who actually hits a woman . . . was not even a man!
“You hit me!” Liang Fufa looked at Jiang Zhen incredulously.
As the young owner of a store in the county town, he had always looked down on people from the countryside, so he never imagined that he would be beaten up by someone when he came to buy a concubine.
But as he looked at him he saw something; this man’s clothes were even better than the clothes he was wearing. Liang Fufa was confused when he received another slap on his face.
“Why do you tell me to get lost!” Liang Fufa was furious, but at that moment, He Chunsheng and others all came back.
These people all wore uniform clothes and were exposed to the wind and sun every day after going out, making them look very fierce. When they came over, they all shouted to Jiang Zhen, “Boss!”
“Get these two out of here!”
He Chunsheng took a step forward and grabbed Liang Fufa and carried him out. Seeing this, all the people of Hexi scattered, and even the elderly second uncle of the Jiang family ran away very fast . . . Only Jiang Ping, who saw his son, and Jiang Xiaomei remained.
Seeing that his son was fine, Jiang Ping breathed a sigh of relief, and then heard Jiang Zhen ask, “How is Li Yuan’s family?”
“They didn’t say anything.” Wang Haisheng said.
The Li family was very sad, but when they went out, they met bandits. They really couldn’t blame Jiang Zhen for such an accident . . . Although it was hard for them, they still accepted the reality.
“Well . . .” Jiang Zhen nodded.
“What happened to Li Yuan?” Zhao Fugui just remembered that all the people from Hexi came back with Jiang Zhen, but he didn’t see Li Yuan with them.
“He’s gone,” Jiang Zhen said.
Zhao Fugui had been happy since he heard that his son would have a child, but soon his heart jumped when he heard this.
When Jiang Zhen went out this time, he lost one of his people? It was not profitable, and people died, this . . .
“Li Yuan is gone? What happened?” Zhao Liu was scared. Li Yuan was a child she saw growing up. How could he be gone now?
“We encountered pirates on the way. Li Yuan was stabbed and died . . . ,” Jiang Zhen said.
Pirates? Zhao Fugui and Zhao Liu become even more worried. Their Jinge, who was pregnant with a child, had unexpectedly met with pirates . . .
“It’s good that the people are all right. As long as they’re all right,” Zhao Fugui said again and again.
Zhao Liu also kept nodding. “Yes, it’s good to come back safely. I left a big rooster and waited for you to come back to kill it. I’ll go and kill it right now.”
Neither Zhao Fugui nor Zhao Liu wanted to ask any more questions, so they hurriedly returned to their house while Jiang Ping was also in a heavy mood.
After glancing at his son, Jiang Ping said, “Come home with me.”
“Mm-hmm,” Jiang Ming responded. He used to think about going out all day long, but this time, after spending a lot of time outside, he was a little homesick. Recently, he had been seeing Jiang Zhen expressing his feelings for Zhao Jinge every day, so he blurted out, “Dad, I miss you!”
When Jiang Ping heard it, his heart soured. This son of his had always been very laid back, and he didn’t expect him to say such a thing. How much must he have suffered outside!
Bringing his son home, Jiang Ping immediately said, “Son, you better not go out from now on.”
“Why?” Jiang Ming asked. He still wanted to go out and do something great.
“Boy . . . going out can let you earn some money, but it is dangerous. What are you doing? Can’t you just marry a wife and live a good life here?” Jiang Ping said.
His son had came back with a small baggage; he saw it. When the boy set out, they had prepared a lot of things for him, but now, he didn’t bring back anything . . . Although his clothes looked new, it was likely just surface polish.
“Dad . . . ,” Jiang Ming gave a helpless cry.
“Anyway, you can’t go. If you can’t tell Jiang Zhen, I’ll help you,” Jiang Ping said.
“Dad, look at this first.” Jiang Ming put his small baggage on the table and untied it.
Whether it was Jiang Ping, Jiang Ming’s mother, or sister-in-law, they all froze. This small baggage . . . was filled with silver; it was unbelievable! That is hundreds of silver, isn’t it?
“Stinky boy, where did you get so much money?” Jiang Ping was startled.
“These are my wages and rewards! Dad, it used to be more, but I bought a lot of things for you in the capital and spent some of it,” Jiang Ming said.
“Where are these things?” Jiang Ping asked subconsciously.
“There were too many things to fit on the boat,” Jiang Ming said. “So we came back first.”
“. . .” Jiang Ping became silent. His son was able to earn so much money on this trip, so it was unreasonable now to stop his son from going out again.
The rest of Jiang Ping’s family were also silent.
After a long period of silence at home, Jiang Ping said, “Li Yuan . . . Would you like to send his family some money? “
“Dad, I have already given five silver and some things,” Jiang Ming said. “Boss gave 300 silver and bought some things, plus what we gave . . . What was taken before, added up to four hundred taels of silver.”
Jiang Ping took a deep breath. He never smoked, but he really wanted to smoke now. He didn’t want his son to take risks, but he knew he couldn’t stop him now.
In Hexi Village, the Li family began to cry while others were more or less frightened. Of course, there were also some unusual situations.
As soon as He Chunsheng and He Xiasheng returned home, they began to look for their younger brother. “Qiusheng!”
“Brother!” He Qiusheng hurriedly went out of the house. “You are back!”
“Qiusheng, brother is back!” He Chunsheng said, “Qiusheng, brother has made money, so even if you don’t want to get married in the future, I can support you!”
“Chunsheng, Chunsheng did you make money? Your father . . .” His mother also came out, and after hearing her son’s words, she eagerly said this. She had not seen her husband for several months, but although her life was better without that man at home, there should always be a man in the family . . . After all, this man was Chunsheng’s father!
“Mother, Li Yuan is dead!” He Chunsheng said. “We encountered bandits out there, and your son almost died. Do you want to use the money your son worked so hard for to pay off gambling debts?”
“Mother, didn’t know. Chunsheng, are you all right?” His mother’s eyes turned red as she was about to cry.
He Chunsheng looked at her like this, he didn’t want to talk to her or even show off his money any more. Before, he had thought about whether or not to bring his father home, but at the moment, he thought that it would be better to forget it. In a few days, he would invite the people from the gambling house for a meal and let them keep an eye on his father.
In the Zhao family, Zhao Fugui and Zhao Liu were already busy cooking. The mud-walled house was cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter compared to those wooden houses. Although it was cold outside, the house was very warm, so Zhao Jinge took off his coat.
He was not actually fat, it was just that his belly was big. It was so obvious that Jiang Xiaomei, who followed him in, just glanced and whispered, “Sister-in-law.”
“En,” Zhao Jinge answered happily.
He wanted to bring some delicious food to Jiang Xiaomei, but he didn’t bring anything with him. He was immediately embarrassed, and then he was eager to find something to entertain his sister-in-law.
Jiang Zhen suddenly became a little unhappy. Why would Zhao Jinge need to treat other women so well?
“Jinge, sit down!” Jiang Zhen said. Feeling that his tone was a little too fierce, he added, “You must be tired from coming back so fast. Why don’t you go and have a rest? I will entertain Xiaomei.”
“All right.” Zhao Jinge nodded.
Jiang Zhen wanted to talk with Jiang Xiaomei alone, so he left them alone and went back to his room.
When Zhao Jinge left, Jiang Zhen looked at Jiang Xiaomei and said, “Xiaomei, what are your plans for the future?”
“I . . . I don’t know.” Jiang Xiaomei’s eyes turned red.
Jiang Zhen could protect her for a while, but he could not protect her all her life. What will she do in the future? Jiang Zhen and Zhao Jinge also had to make a living, and she couldn’t just live in other people’s house . . . And . . . Jiang Zhen didn’t seem to have made any money this time, so he certainly wouldn’t raise her in vain
The author has something to say:
People: Jiang Zhen must not have made any money.
Jiang Zhen: “. . .”
Edited by: Faro