In the end, Jiang Chengxiang could only rent a house and hid in it every day when he went to the country town. After hiding for a day, he would go out and look for something he could do.
When Zhu Shufen had a child, none of the Jiang family members went to the country town much, so this was well concealed by him. However, this time, Jiang Chengwen followed him and exposed him. The Jiang family became so noisy that Huang Min and Zhu Shufen gave birth prematurely together.
Although Huang Min was lazy, it was the second time she had a child. She soon gave birth to a boy and asked for something to eat just after giving birth, but Zhu Shufen was different. It was Zhu Shufen’s first child, and it was not an easy birth. So afterward, she couldn’t walk around much. Even if she had lived in the countryside, she couldn’t walk to the gate. It was a premature birth . . . In the end, giving birth was difficult.
She ran out of amniotic fluid before giving birth to a skinny girl with great difficulty, leaving her half dead.
Jiang Chengxiang couldn’t even take care of himself, and he obviously didn’t have the ability to take care of his wife and child. In desperation, he could only turn to old lady Jiang for help.
Old lady Jiang followed Jiang Chengwen and Huang Min, but when her youngest son was in trouble, she could not help it; she helped Jiang Chengxiang take care of Zhu Shufen and Jiang Chengxiang’s daughter.
Old lady Jiang had to take care of Zhu Shufen, so naturally, she neglected Huang Min. After Huang Min did not have enough diapers to change her son, she immediately became angry and told old lady Jiang to not take care of Zhu Shufen; otherwise, she won’t support old lady Jiang!
Jiang Chengwen and Jiang Chengxiang, old lady Jiang was always partial to Jiang Chengwen’s second son. What more Jiang Chengwen gave her two grandchildren already! Old lady Jiang loved Huang Min’s two sons deeply, but Zhu Shufen’s little girl, she hated from the moment she saw her and even wished she had died early to save food. For such a child who was sobbing all day but couldn’t cry louder while mother had no milk yet . . . In old lady Jiang’s opinion, it was impossible to support her. And with her in trouble with Huang Min, old lady Jiang was no longer willing to take care of Zhu Shufen.
When she gave birth for the first time, not only did Zhu Shufen not have the help of her mother-in-law, Butcher Jiang was also away, working like a soldier.
Old lady Jiang didn’t live a good life, so why should Zhu Shufen succeed? She was no longer willing to take care of Zhu Shufen, making Jiang Chengxiang angry as well. Originally, he turned a blind eye to Butcher Jiang helping Chengwen do the farm work, but since then, he no longer allowed Butcher Jiang to help.
Butcher Jiang was very disappointed in Jiang Chengwen and liked Jiang Chengxiang even more, hoping that Jiang Chengxiang could provide for his old age. Naturally, he didn’t want to offend Jiang Chengxiang and started to refuse to help Jiang Chengwen.
Before all this . . . although their family split up, Butcher Jiang and old lady Jiang continued to sleep in the same room, but soon, they had separated rooms. The separation of the family became even more clear-cut.
The four houses of the Jiang family were clearly separated in half by the Jiang family’s two brothers, and they also coincidentally took some things to block the boundary, determined not to communicate with each other.
The farce of the Jiang family finally became the talk of the villagers, and everyone started to dislike their family more and more. When old lady Jiang went to the river to wash diapers, she was also driven away. “We are going to wash rice and vegetables here. Can’t you wash diapers somewhere far away?”
“Yes! You are so ignorant!”
“This river doesn’t belong to your family.”
. . .
Old lady Jiang froze and took the basin to the canal to wash, and then, after a short walk, she met Zhao Liu.
Zhao Liu also came out to wash clothes, but she didn’t hold a wooden bucket and basin. Cook Li held them for her. After being fed by Jiang Zhen for more than half a year, Zhao Liu’s face became ruddy, and she no longer looked like an old lady. But in reality, she was several years older than old lady Jiang.
Old lady Jiang looked at her increasingly dry and thin arms and was stunned. But she was only stupefied for a moment before she went back to work. There was still a lot of work to do at home, and she still had to do all the farm work on the fields. She needed to finish washing the diapers quickly.
When old lady Jiang reached the edge of the canal, she suddenly saw Butcher Jiang carrying a basin of diapers and washing them.
When old lady Jiang gave birth, Butcher Jiang did not want to help wash diapers and would only gave old lady Jiang some water to drink. For many years, he had not even washed his own clothes. But now . . . His clothes were a little smelly and Butcher Jiang was washing diapers.
Old lady Jiang and Butcher Jiang did not speak, but they both had the same complex mood.
Jiang Zhen heard about the Jiang family’s situation, but he didn’t take it seriously. At the moment, what he was most concerned with was Zhao Jinge’s situation. With Zhao Jinge’s belly growing bigger, the child moved from time to time. Jiang Zhen no longer dared to do anything to Zhao Jinge. Even when he had some ideas, he only let Zhao Jinge help him with his hand. Although Zhao Jinge could still run around with a belly, Jiang Zhen had been very worried. The only thing that made him happy was that he was strict with Zhao Jinge. He always told Zhao Jinge to eat less, so he would not gain too much weight and the child would not be too big.
In the twinkling of an eye, it was the Qingming Festival.
The winter wheat planted by Butcher Jiang a year ago was almost ready. Zhao Liu and Cook Li also went to get a lot of wheat ears back to soak, letting it grow malt, and then used that malt to make malt sugar and malt pancakes. This was a bit of waste of food to do, but the Zhao family was not short on food now. So she could prepare as much as she wanted.
Zhao Jinge liked sweet food very much, but he didn’t like these two things very much. Unfortunately, Jiang Zhen had forbidden him from eating more, and he was only allowed to eat two malt pancakes every day.
Eating a cake while walking, Zhao Jinge came to the place where bricks were burned and heard cheers coming from there. The father and son bought by Jiang Zhen started making very good bricks, and they have mastered the whole process! Jiang Zhen said at the beginning that if they could do it, they would be rewarded with two silver each.
“Jiang Zhen said that although you have signed a contract of sale with him, he will reward you for your good work. In the future, for every ten bricks you give, he will give you a reward of one copper coin. A thousand bricks is one hundred copper. If you are too busy, you can choose some of the people we give you as apprentices to help you,” Zhao Jinge said.
This was what Jiang Zhen told him some time ago. The father and son’s eyes brightened when they heard these words. Originally, they did not intend to accept apprentices, wanting to hide their knowledge so the boss would value them, but now . . . If there were more people, it wouldn’t take long for them to burn a thousand bricks! They immediately planned to get a few more apprentices to help them, and they were full of enthusiasm for brick burning.
In the place where they used to stay, the teachers were slow in firing bricks. They were never willing to burn more bricks for their master. They were afraid that the master would not allow them to fire less bricks if he saw they could fire more. They were going to do the same, but now . . . They’d better burn more bricks and make more money!
As Zhao Jinge’s belly got bigger and bigger, Jiang Zhen’s dock had almost been built, and even his and Zhao Jinge’s house was done.
When building docks, Jiang Zhen could not put forward any suggestions and could only let the Zheng family guide him. But when he was building his own house, he worked very hard and ran over there every day, asking for advice all day.
Jiang Zhen’s aesthetic was not very good and his greatest requirement for the house where he wanted to live was sturdiness and then convenience. Unwittingly, it was nearing the end of March, and Zhao Jinge had been pregnant for more than nine months and might give birth at any time. Still, Zhao Jinge was still very energetic and would go to the brick kiln every day. Jiang Zhen thought it would be good for him to walk more, so he did not stop him and only let Ruo’er and Cook Li follow him around.
That day, Jiang Zhen went to the site of their house early in the morning. After watching the workers for a while, he suddenly saw Zhao Jinge approaching.
“Jinge, what are you doing here?” Jiang Zhen immediately greeted him.
“I have a stomachache,” Zhao Jinge said.
“What!” Jiang Zhen was stunned.
Edited by: Faro