These comments were all heard by Jiang Zhen, which made him feel complicated. People in this era really did not value human life as much as modern people did . . . Of course, this wasn’t such a bad thing for him. Just look at these days, countless people were scrambling to become his subordinates.
Every time someone arrived, the suona would be played for a while, and when everyone showed up, the banquet would begin.
There was no tradition in Hexi of only eating vegetarian dishes during a funeral, in general, there would only be tofu rice served on the first day of funeral. Only on the evening of the burial would a meat dish appear on the table . . . After all, everyone was poor.
But the Li family was different. After the start of the banquet, they first served four dishes of green vegetables and tofu on each table, and pig lard dregs were placed on the top of these bowls of tofu. There was also meat in the soy sauce tofu served later and pieces of egg and shredded meat in the tofu soup.
There were four bowls of green vegetables and tofu, two bowls of braised tofu, and two bowls of tofu soup. A total of eight bowls on each table, and each bowl had some meat, such as in the tofu rice. It was definitely very generous.
At some tables, there were children who made a scene after getting to eating oil and meat, but Jiang Zhen sat at this table with several of his men who were from Hexi. They all ate well these days, so they didn’t rush to grab food.
Everyone ate in silence, and even Jiang Ming, who had been relatively jumpy, was silent and quiet.
“This green vegetable tofu tastes good,” Jiang Zhen said to Zhao Jinge and then picked up the bowl of green vegetables and tofu in front of him and put some into Zhao Jinge’s rice bowl; the tofu was tender, so it was not easy to pick up with chopsticks.
“Hmm.” Zhao Jinge nodded and lowered his head to pick up rice, seeing that Jiang Zhen had also started eating.
As soon as Jiang Zhen moved his chopsticks, a man came to Jiang Zhen, lowering his head and pleading in a low voice, “Boss, can you not drive me away? I was wrong before . . . I am willing to follow you.”
“I always keep my word.” Jiang Zhen looked at the other person.
This man was also from Hexi Village, one of his former subordinates. When they encountered the pirates, Li Yuan and another Hexi villager were seriously injured, and this person then said a lot of disheartening words and expressed his regret for following Jiang Zhen.
At that time, Jiang Zhen was very unhappy, so he told this person not to follow him in future . . . This was what he said, but because they were on the journey that time, he was still regarded as his subordinate by everyone.
That man suffered light injuries then, so he did not follow Jiang Zhen to fight the pirates later on. Still he was given compensation by Zheng Yi, and later, Jiang Zhen gave everyone a small bonus, so he was not short on money . . . Seeing so much money, he wanted to continue to follow Jiang Zhen.
Later, Jiang Zhen did not talk about not wanting him. so he thought that Jiang Zhen had forgotten about it. He did not expect for Jiang Zhen to tell him he was no longer one of his men when they returned to Hexi.
When he came back from the capital, he brought back a lot of things and silver. Everyone envied him, and he was also a bit elated, but then . . . Jiang Zhen drove him away? He was unwilling, so he came to talk to Jiang Zhen about it today. He begged, “Boss, I will definitely be obedient in the future . . .”
“It’s useless for you to say this now,” Jiang Zhen said.
Seeing Jiang Zhen’s cold expression, he didn’t dare to speak anymore and left, dismayed.
“I knew he would regret it sooner or later,” Jiang Ming said. “It’s good to follow the boss. You can drink and eat spicy food!”
Jiang Zhen looked at Jiang Ming. “I will increase the training in the future, and if you guys can’t finish it, there will not be good food and drinks in the future.”
During the trip to the capital, Jiang Zhen found a lot of shortcomings within him, not to mention his men. Their training time was a little too short. Since he was not short on money, he was able to let Zhao Jinge live a good life, so it was better to live quietly and train his men and lay his own foundation, so that he could develop better in the future. Of course, before that, he had to sell the goods he brought back from the capital and build up the house.
Early the next morning, a lot of people gathered in Li Yuan’s family house. Everyone helped to dig a hole on the ground selected by the Li family to bury the coffin that contained Li Yuan’s clothes then performed the rituals. After eating two more meals, Li Yuan’s funeral was over.
The Li family’s tofu rice was very rich for the villagers, especially the last meal, where not only was there braised pork served but also sliced chicken. And the tofu soup was cooked with chicken! However, such a meal was so-so for Jiang Zhen. After all, the Zhao family’s food was also very good these days.
However, for the time being, he would not be able to eat Zhao Liu’s food. After attending Li Yuan’s funeral, Jiang Zhen planned to go to Fucheng and sell the goods he had brought back from the capital.
That night, after a round of “fetal education,” Jiang Zhen told Zhao Jinge about his plans.
“I’ll go too,” Zhao Jinge immediately said.
“Jinge, you are pregnant with a child . . .” Jiang Zhen said with some hesitation. He did not intend to take Zhao Jinge with him this time. After all, he would only be gone for a few days. The goods were easy to sell since Zheng Yi had introduced him to several merchants. He did not worry about selling the goods.
“I want to go too,” Zhao Jinge said.
Jiang Zhen thought about it for a while then agreed. Then he approached Zhao Jinge. “Jinge, are you reluctant to leave me?”
Zhao Jinge said, “En.” Of course, he is reluctant to give up Jiang Zhen and . . . he was also afraid that some goblin would seduce Jiang Zhen while he was not there.
When Jiang Zhen got Zhao Jinge’s reply, he felt very happy. He threw himself at him and then kissed him several times.
“Be careful . . .” Zhao Jinge hugged his belly.
“I’ve been very careful,” Jiang Zhen said, bowing his head and kissing Zhao Jinge’s belly then he began to take off Zhao Jinge’s clothes.
Zhao Jinge has always felt that his body was not good-looking, and with him pregnant with a child, he felt that it was even more ugly. Fortunately, it was so cold that he was always under the quilt, so Jiang Zhen could not see it.
This day, as usual, after a while, Zhao Jinge was stripped off his clothes by Jiang Zhen, and he finally lay naked on the quilt.
Jiang Zhen’s hand touched Zhao Jinge for a while and then suddenly stopped.
Recently, the weather was getting colder and colder. So when he and Zhao Jinge did things, it was very inconvenient, because the whole time, they had to be under the covers. Because of this, he had not seen Zhao Jinge’s body for a long time and many positions were also inconvenient. If Zhao Jinge were not pregnant, it would have been okay, but he was, so he couldn’t have Zhao Jinge freezing at all.
“Jinge, wait for me,” Jiang Zhen said to Zhao Jinge opened the door and walked out.
Zhao Jinge was a little confused. Why did Jiang Zhen leave?
After a few steps outside, Jiang Zhen entered the kitchen and found several earthen pots and dug up some charcoal before going back.
Taking the earthen pot and charcoal back to the room, Jiang Zhen lit in the circle around his and Jinge bed.
“What are you doing with this fire?” Zhao Jinge asked inexplicably, feeling a little distressed. Charcoal costs money, so he has been reluctant to use it. But Jiang Zhen used so much.
“Making the room a little warmer,” Jiang Zhen said as he lit a brass foot warmer.
This brass foot warmer was bought by Jiang Zhen when he was in the capital. It was a little smaller than commonly used washbasin and was made from thick brass underneath. There was a lid with holes in it so after putting charcoal fire into it, it could be used to warm the feet and dry other things. If it were made even smaller, it would be called a hand-warming stove.
On the ship, Jiang Zhen would put some charcoal in it and then use the brass stove to dry and heat up the bed. However, Hexi Village was not as cold as it had been on the ship and Zhao Liu would dry their quilt as long as there was sun so they had never needed to use it.
At this time, Jiang Zhen put a lot of charcoal in it and put it inside the bed again.
“Be careful not to burn the quilt,” Zhao Jinge said. They never put so much charcoal in it before . . . Usually, they only put small-size pieces of burning charcoal and a lot of plant ash, so it would not be too hot.
“It’s all right. I can always move it,” Jiang Zhen said.
Zhao Jinge nodded and then couldn’t help wondering, “You . . . What are you doing?”
He was lying naked on the bed, and Jiang Zhen had lit a stove beside him. That was not enough, there was even another makeshift brazier on the ground. What did he want to do?
“Eat you,” Jiang Zhen said.
Zhao Jinge only thought that he had heard wrong. “Eat me?” What does that mean? Jiang Zhen . . . He doesn’t eat people, right!
“I’m cooking, I’ll eat you when I’m done.” Jiang Zhen smiled at Zhao Jinge.
That smile meant a lot. Zhao Jinge vaguely felt something was wrong, just . . . Jiang Zhen should be joking, right? The fire was so far that it could only make him warm but it couldn’t actually cook him!
“Jinge, do you have anything you want to eat? I will cook it for you.” Jiang Zhen looked at Zhao Jinge and saw his bewilderment, so he stopped teasing him.
“Then… roasted sweet potatoes?” Zhao Jinge asked.
“Good.” Jiang Zhen nodded and went to find a few more sweet potatoes. After their exercise, it would be a great time to eat some sweet potatoes.
And the room wouldn’t be heated up for a while, so he could cook something else to eat first.
Jiang Zhen found some grain in the kitchen, and took the rice left over from the night as well as a small piece of salted meat and three eggs to the small iron pan used on the ship.
“Do you want me to help?” Zhao Jinge sat up and got up from the bed to get dressed. He thought that Jiang Zhen must be hungry after tossing around for so long in the middle of night, so . . . he shouldn’t want to do anything with him . . .
“No need for you to help.” Jiang Zhen did not hesitate to snatch away Zhao Jinge’s clothes and put them on the box far away.
Zhao Jinge: “. . .” Jinag Zhen did not want him to get dressed?
“Come. I will make popcorn for you to eat,” Jiang Zhen said, and then he threw the shelled rice into the fire.
Edited by: Faro