The people of Hexi village were so happy, as if there was a festival that day. In their village, there is a big man now!
Jiang Zhen was very, very powerful. He went out on trip, and when he got back, he got one—no no, several big ships and suddenly became a big businessman! It was estimated that Jiang Zhen now had more money compared to Zhao Dahu.
Before, when Jiang Zhen was only slightly richer than the rest of the people in the village, people might still be jealous of him, but now that Jiang Zhen’s wealth far exceeded that of the villagers, they did not envy him, but looked up to him instead.
At the moment, the villagers looked very proud, and when they saw the Jiang family, the last of their reluctance disappeared. Compared with the Jiang family, their situation was much better!
Seeing the dejection of the Jiang family who drove away their blessing, they, in contrast, just have a good friendship with Jiang Zhen in advance, so it was really nothing.
Seeing the Jiang family hanging their heads in despair, some people who did not have a good relationship with them went up to gloat.
“Jiang Chengwen, did you know that Jiang Zhen’s ship was coming today?” a young man of the same age as Jiang Chengwen and had been in with him since he was a child asked.
“What ship? I didn’t see it!” Jiang Chengwen said in an unpleasant voice.
“Of course, you couldn’t see it. The canal here is too small for that boat to get here, so it docked in the river.” The man laughed.
“Yes, Jiang Zhen’s ship is really big, and from this ship, many things were brought back,” someone next to him said, then more and more people began to speak up.
“Jiang Zhen also has more than this one boat. He has several of them!”
“Jiang Ming and He Chunsheng bought down things from this ship worth more than twenty silver. How much do you think they have made on this trip?”
“I heard that on just this trip, they each earned almost a hundred silver! Tsk, tsk. Jiang Chengxiang used to earn only two silver a month on the docks, right?”
“These people have earned so much, so how rich should Jiang Zhen be!”
The crowd spoke in front of the Jiang family, making their faces turn darker and darker.
“This can’t be! Jiang Zhen must be cheating! It’s all a lie!” old lady Jiang said in a loud voice.
“Everyone in the village saw it, so how could it be a lie?” the men said before leaving in a good mood.
The Jiang family looked at each other and returned home, covered in gloom. At this time, the people who were close to their family came and finally explained the whole story to them, trying to persuade them again.
“You should be more open . . .”
“Don’t offend Jiang Zhen in the future.”
“Well, if only you had been nicer to him at first?”
. . .
The Jiang family became even more depressed after hearing their advice.
But at this time, the Zhao family was jubilant. In the morning, Zhao Fugui and Zhao Liu didn’t make breakfast because they went to move things, so at noon, Zhao Liu cooked a very big meal. Moreover, she was already used to using a little oil, and now was even more willing to use oil.
For the green vegetables, she only used water to blanch it in and then it was stir-fried. The duck, she not only fried it in oil but put wine to braise it! The chicken, she didn’t even think of boiling chicken for the soup but steamed it in an earthen pot!
. . .
Of course, this was not Zhao Liu’s idea, who was a rural woman with little experience. In fact, all the cooking was done under the guidance of Cook Li, and she learned that cooking could be done this way.
“Did you make all the meals Jinge had before?” Zhao Liu smelled the rich fragrance of the duck in the pot and asked.
“Yes, his lordship asked me to cook specially for his wife,” Cook Li said to Zhao Liu in her accented voice.
“Jiang Zhen is really kind to him.” Zhao Liu was very happy in her heart. She had been busy all her life, so wasn’t it just right for her child to have a good life? Now her son had a good life.
Zhao Liu thought like this in her heart, and so did the others. Jiang Xiaomei, who looked over at Zhao Jinge, envied him a little. She also went to see the excitement before and became a little scared. She didn’t know that her elder brother was so good . . .
She has such a powerful big brother. In the future . . . as soon as Jiang Xiaomei thought like this, cold water was poured over her.
Jiang Zhen has been talking to Zhao Jinge, Zhao Fugui, and Zhao Liu, but he didn’t look at her at all. Her eldest brother had thoroughly become a family with the Zhaos. Although he had not changed his surname, it was still the same. While she was surnamed Jiang.
Because of this, Jiang Xiaomei didn’t dare to be complacent at all. At that moment, she was still busy helping Zhao Liu.
Jiang Zhen enjoyed the meal very comfortably. He liked to eat meat, and although there was no pork on the table that day, he could eat chicken and duck freely. Especially the chicken . . .
The chicken had been steamed in the earthen pot for some time, so the meat was not hard at all and the flavor was condensed inside the meat . . . Two chicken wings were all chewed clean by Jiang Zhen.
Zhao Fugui also liked to eat meat rather than to chew on the bones. In addition, the taste of the duck this time was especially good. In the past, the ducks cooked by Zhao Liu had always had unpleasant duck smell, but this time, the duck did not smell and also had not lost its flavor. Moreover, the soup was very tasty. Even those vegetarian dishes were very delicious.
After eating, Jiang Zhen told Zhao Fugui and his wife that he was going to build a house. “Mom, Dad, we will have more people in the family in the future, so we will definitely not be able to fit everyone here in the future. Later, I will go to the county town and buy a piece of land, so we can build a house by the canal.”
“Good.” Zhao Fugui nodded again and again. He was now very convinced by Jiang Zhen, so he would not refute Jiang Zhen’s decision.
“Mom, Dad, why don’t you try on your new clothes and come with us to the country town for a stroll?” Jiang Zhen said again.
“All right.” Zhao Fugui nodded again.
At this time, Zhao Liu mentioned Jiang Xiaomei, “You might as well bring the Xiaomei as well.” Jiang Xiaomei, like Jiang Zhen before, was treated badly by the Jiang family, which made Zhao Liu have some kind of empathy for her, and she liked this child very much. Moreover, no matter what others would say, she was still Jiang Zhen’s younger sister. Even if it were for Jiang Zhen’s sake, she would not be unkind to Jiang Xiaomei.
“It’ll be better to wait for the next time. I don’t even have the right clothes now.” Jiang Zhen looked at Jiang Xiaomei, who was still wearing shabby clothes, and then said, “As soon as Cook Li and Rou-er are done, please show them around the village. Their luggage will be moved to your house, and they will live with you for the time being. If you find it inconvenient, you can get some curtains or something to separate the area.”
Jiang Zhen didn’t hate Jiang Xiaomei, but he hadn’t interacted with Jiang Xiaomei that much, and he couldn’t say that he liked her. Jiang Xiaomei was just a passerby to him.
It was precisely because of this that he had never taken care of Jiang Xiaomei before. However, even if he did not have feelings for her, the former Eldest Jiang had liked Jiang Xiaomei very much, so he would help her. But even if he did help Jiang Xiaomei get rid of the Jiang family and find her a marriage partner, he did not intend to let her integrate into his family.
“Good,” Jiang Xiaomei answered.
“I’ve brought back more cloth. There’s a dark red one in it. I will ask someone to bring it to you later, so you can make two new sets of clothes,” Jiang Zhen said again.
In modern times, Jiang Zhen was not young; he was already in his thirties. Coupled with the education he has received, he was always more tolerant of minors—they were just children. As long as they were not vicious nor did they break the laws and commit crimes, he had nothing to worry about.
Therefore, when He Qiusheng asked him for help, he did not get angry, and he would save him when it came to it. He was looking for someone to serve Zhao Jinge and was tender-hearted to the skinny Rou-er at the first sight, wanting to help find an easy job for the child. Zhao Jinge was not a difficult person to serve.
It’s Jiang Xiaomei’s turn soon. He didn’t mind letting her improve her situation because it didn’t cost him much to help.
Jiang Zhen went to the county town this time on that big ship. Both Zhao Liu and Zhao Fugui wanted to take the ship, so he naturally wanted to satisfy them.
“It’s a wonderful ship.” After Zhao Fugui got on board, he took in the ship with a burning gaze.
“Don’t rub about, or you’ll get your new clothes dirty.” Zhao Liu stood beside Zhao Fugui and reminded him. After a word of warning, she turned her head in a slightly stiff way and looked around curiously.
Before getting on board, both Zhao Fugui and Zhao Liu changed into the new clothes brought back by Jiang Zhen from the capital. In addition, Zhao Liu also put on several pieces of the jewelry that was brought back by Jiang Zhen.
After putting a gold hairpin in her hair, Zhao Liu was afraid to move her head for fear that the pin in her hair would fall off, and the gold bracelet on her wrist made her feel like she didn’t know what to do with it. She wanted to show others the gold bracelet on her hand, but she was afraid that others would try to rob it . . .
As a result, Zhao Liu inevitably got entangled. It could be said that she couldn’t sit still. Seeing Zhao Jinge, she quickly took Zhao Jinge’s hand.
“Jinge, come here quickly. Come and help Mother see . . . the hairpin on Mother’s head is not crooked, right?”
“Mother, the hairpin on your head is not crooked. It’s fine,” Zhao Jinge said.
“It’s good that it’s not crooked . . .” Zhao Liu sighed in relief and looked at Zhao Jinge with a frown. “Jinge, why don’t you wear some jewelry?”
“I don’t like it,” Zhao Jinge said.
“You have to wear them even if you don’t like them. Men like women and ger to wear bright clothes and jewelry,” Zhao Liu said. “If Jiang Zhen bought you jewelry, it’s better for you to take it out and wear it.”
“Mother, Jiang Zhen doesn’t like these either, he didn’t even buy jewelry for me.” Zhao Jinge said, Jiang Zhen bought some jewelry for Zhao Liu’s, but not for him.
Zhao Liu became speechless hearing that. “He didn’t buy jewelry for you? How come he didn’t buy jewelry for you?” She had gotten a lot of jewelry but not Zhao Jinge?
“Because I don’t like it,” Zhao Jinge said, not wanting to talk to Zhao Liu about it anymore.
He looked like this, wearing jewelry really would not look good on him.
Hexi Village was not far from Hecheng County, so the ship did not take long to arrive at Hecheng.
Zhao Liu had not been to the county town for a long, long time. After getting off the ship she could not help but look around but soon restrained her desire to do so. She was wearing such nice clothes, so she should act more dignified. If she kept looking around, she would certainly embarrass Jiang Zhen . . . She’d better bear with it and stop looking around.
Jiang Zhen noticed Zhao Liu’s discomfort and took the initiative to explain, “Mother, look over there. There is the fabric store. I went there to sell fabric before. And there is a tea stall. You can get a pot of tea for a penny . . .”
“Drinking water costs money . . .” Zhao Liu sighed, listening to Jiang Zhen’s explanation. Her whole person became more and more relaxed.
Zhao Liu’s health had not been good over the years, so she didn’t go out much. Her skin in the village was considered fairly pale. Now when she smiled, full of kindness, she really looked like an old lady from a wealthy family.
Zhao Fugui looked at her and saw many people around at her, so he could not help but grunt twice.
“Father, I’m going to go buy the land. You guys stroll around first, and when I’m done with my business, I’ll find you guys before we go to the restaurant for dinner,” Jiang Zhen said to people around him as they strolled around.
Edited by: Faro