Jiang Zhen bought only two rings yesterday and planned to use one to propose to Zhao Jinge. But later, when he thought of proposing, he also remembered the same thing.
One of his comrades-in-arms talked about his girlfriend and thought about getting married all day long. As a result, he later stopped talking about it and his comrades in arms thought that he did not do well. Finally, after a long time as a result . . . the girl who was very good to him every time marriage was mentioned did not want to pick up the conversation.
His comrade in arms could not understand it, and after a long time, he finally asked her about it. Then the girl said he had not yet proposed to her, so she was not in a rush to marry him.
Kneeling down to propose seemed to make people happy. . . so Jiang Zhen thought about closing the door at night and giving a ring like that to tease Zhao Jinge before coaxing him to bed. He always liked to see Zhao Jinge acting shy. But . . . there was no doubt that something went wrong in the end. However, the result seemed very good. Seeing that Zhao Jinge was touched by the ring on his hand the next day, Jiang Zhen knew that he must like this ring very much.
Zhao Jinge really liked this ring and wished that everyone could see the ring on his finger, but he was too embarrassed to show it off. Moreover, it was useless for others to only see the ring on his hand. He hoped that others could see the ring on Jiang Zhen’s hand. They wore the same ones! Zhao Jinge frowned and looked serious. One hand rubbed on the ring intentionally or unintentionally. . .
He Chunsheng, Jiang Ming, and the others suddenly felt inexplicable pressure when they faced him.
Zhao Jinge and Jiang Zhen had been together for a long time, but recently, they had become more and more imposing!
When He Chunsheng and others saw Zhao Jinge, they all said hello and left in a hurry.
Zhao Jinge: “. . .”
Zhao Jinge’s mind could not be seen by others, but Jiang Zhen could see it, and after seeing it, he could not help laughing.
He originally felt that wearing a ring would be inconvenient and uncomfortable, and even thought about taking it off after he returned . . . but now he felt it would be good to wear it all the time.
Jiang Zhen was not interested in many luxury goods at this time. In his opinion, those expensive antique calligraphy, painting, porcelain and jade were not as good as gold and silver. If he could buy a flushing toilet for 1000 silver, he would not blink, but a jade bowl for 1000 silver . . . was still just a bowl, and jade was not better than porcelain! In the end, Jiang Zhen didn’t buy any luxury goods and bought mainly practical things, such as . . . charcoal. Even then, he did not buy expensive ones; ordinary charcoal could be used for a long time and cost only a few silver! So although Jiang Zhen bought a lot of things in Fucheng this time, he didn’t spend a lot of money in the end.
By the time they returned to Hecheng County, it was only ten days before the New Year, and people in Hexi had begun to buy New Year goods. For people here, it was mainly dried bamboo shoots, salted fish, and kelp. At the same time, some of them would pickle some pork and prepare chicken, but there was not much more.
On the one hand, most people have no money, but on the other, there were a lot of vegetables to eat in the field this season, so there was no need to hoard other things.
As the new year approached, the village would organize young people to go fishing together, and after catching fishes, the entire village would share it. For New Year’s worship, there must be chicken, fish, and meat. After the fishes were divided, it could still be saved for people visiting after the New Year.
When Jiang Zhen went back with the fleet, the people in Hexi were catching fish, and Zhao Fugui was also there. So when he came back, Zhao Fugui brought back a basket filled with fishes.
“After a village borrowed Jiang Zhen’s fishing boat for the fishing trip this time, the amount of fishes distributed to our family has become especially large.” Putting down the bamboo basket in his hand, Zhao Fugui was in a good mood. In the past, he and Zhao Jinge went to help each year and had to do a lot of work, but in the end, they would get less than half of fishes they got today.
“They are giving Jiang Zhen’s face,” Zhao Liu said, then she put some of the live fish in the tank, and then asked Zhao Fugui to kill the rest of them.
If the fish was killed, some of them could be cooked immediately while some would be preserved as needed.
“Let Cook Li take care of the fish. Dad and I will tidy up the things I brought,” Jiang Zhen said.
Zhao Fugui and Zhao Liu were used to working all the time, so although Jiang Zhen brought back Cook Li and Ruo’er, and Jiang Xiaomei was there to help, they still preferred to do most of the work themselves. However, they were not young, and they had suffered a lot in their early years. So Jiang Zhen stopped them and tried his best to make them work as little as possible. Cook Li and Ruo’er were paid, so it was really nothing for them to do something like killing fishes.
After Jiang Zhen left with Zhao Fugui, Zhao Liu began to talk with her son. Then she saw the ring on Zhao Jinge’s finger for the first time.
“Jinge, did Jiang Zhen buy this for you?” Zhao Liu asked.
“Yes.” Zhao Jinge nodded in a very good mood. Finally, someone asked about his ring! “Jiang Zhen bought two identical ones, and he wore one of them. Also our names were engraved inside the rings.”
Zhao Jinge proudly told Zhao Liu about the ring, and soon after . . . he found that nearby villagers did not look at him but at the ring on his finger! In order not to appear smug, Zhao Jinge tried to restrain himself from giggling, but then . . . People in the village thought that Zhao Jinge was becoming more and more imposing, like a landlord. Zhao Dahu was just like him walking around the village with a big belly.
Zhao Jinge: “. . .”
After he had settled the things he had brought back from Fucheng, Jiang Zhen began to make arrangements about the land he bought and began to train his men. Every day, he took his men to do all kinds of training and asked the men rescued from the pirates to help level the land. As for the women and gers, he arranged for them to weave cloth and make clothes in the county town for the time being.
Even with New Year approaching, Jiang Zhen did not relax, so people in Hexi could not help but marvel at it. At the same time, more and more people asked about Jiang Zhen, hoping to join the team.
Jiang Zhen did not refuse them. He inspected them one by one and recruited dozens of people. When everything got slowly on the right track, Jiang Zhen’s first new year in Daqi arrived.
Jiang Zhen didn’t attach much importance to the New Year when he used to live alone. He did not do anything except to buy some delicious cooked food, but Zhao Liu attached great importance to the New Year. She first worshipped the Bodhisattva, then her ancestors, and finally made a big New Year meal.
On New Year’s Eve, no matter how Jiang Zhen tried to squeeze his subordinates, he gave them a holiday and also stayed at home all day.
Jiang Zhen didn’t pay attention to the previous worship, but he was still looking forward to the New Year’s Eve meal. The meal cooked by Zhao Liu and Cook Li really did not disappoint him, especially the stewed pig head. He found it extremely fragrant.
Jiang Zhen ate several pieces of pig’s head meat in succession but only gave Zhao Jinge one pig ear. Since Zhao Jinge had already eaten all kinds of meat and there was no shortage of chicken, duck, and fish, he was not allowed to eat too much meat. Let him just nibble at the pig’s ear.
“The life in our family got better this year . . .” After dinner, Jiang Xiaomei, Cook Li, and the others went back, leaving only Jiang Zhen, Zhao Jinge and Zhao Fugui, and his wife Zhao Liu, who said it with some emotion.
“It will get better and better in the future,” Jiang Zhen said.
“It will get better and better in the future,” Zhao Fugui happily repeated and then suddenly took out a paper bag pasted with red paper or red envelope and gave it to Jiang Zhen.
“What’s this?” Jiang Zhen was a little surprised, Was this New Year’s money? At his age, there was no need to give him New Year’s Eve money anymore, right?
“Red envelopes,” Zhao Fugui said, “This is your first year of marriage, so I wanted to give you a red envelope.” After he finished, he closed his mouth awkwardly again. The money in this envelope was originally given to him by Jiang Zhen.
Jiang Zhen, who hadn’t received any red envelope for decades, suddenly got a red envelope, and this feeling . . . was not bad.
Edited by: Faro