Ah Jin opened her eyes, and what she saw made her a little dumbfounded.
The walls were made of mud, the roof was in shambles, the windows were old and leaky, the windowsill was shiny, the bed was uneven, and the quilt was covered with patches.
There was a human-height broken closet with its doors that could not be closed.
It was closing one after another with the wind coming in from the roof, producing the sound of "creak."
There was a small square table with missing legs, with stones replacing the broken portions.
A small oil lamp was placed on the table.
There was a shelf at the door, on which the only intact object of the family, a washbasin, was placed.
The entire house could not be characterized as a family home.
Ah Jin closed her eyes again and let San Qi show her the basic plot.
The client was a sixteen-year-old girl named Fang Zhaodi.
The little girl had a bad life.
At the age of ten, she lost her father.
At the age of fourteen, she lost her mother, and at the age of sixteen, she lost her own life.
She left behind three brothers who had no one to depend on to live by themselves.
It was tough for the adults to live in that very dark age, not to mention the children.
Not long after, Zhaodi's three younger brothers came to her for their reunion.
The client's wish was simple: she wanted to raise her three brothers to adulthood and watch them start a family.
It could be said that this was an example of a good sister.
Ah Jin held her forehead.
It seemed that this was an extremely time-consuming mission.
The original character's body was too weak, and Ah Jin reluctantly propped herself up to sit.
As soon as the original character's physique was strengthened by her energy, she felt stronger.
So she got down to make breakfast for her three children.
In the kitchen, she opened the cupboard.
Inside there was only half a bag of sorghum rice, a few pieces of potatoes, and a small bowl of corn crumbs.
This food was not enough to feed herself, let alone take care of the three children, especially until the autumn harvest of food distribution.
In such an era, everyone earned work points.
The work points were awarded food.
Just one could imagine seeing the original character's small arms and legs.
The three younger brothers were still in school, with Zhaodi's own workforce at home. It was awe-inspiring to last for two years.
Ah Jin added hot water to the pot, boiled it, and then poured the small half bowl of corn crumbs into the pot.
The corn crumbs were too little to make porridge.
Ah Jin picked the smallest potato, chopped it into three pieces, and threw them in.
The meal was barely done, and the grass for the fire was used up.
That morning, Ah Jin already knew that this was the time when there was nothing.
No food, no cloth, no electricity, and even no grass for the fire!
Fortunately, it was already the very end of the 60s, and it would be much better to enter the 70s.
"Eldest sister, I'll go out and collect some grass and come back!"
It was the second child, Fang Jianfu.
He was already twelve years old and in his first year of high school that year.
Fang's parents firmly believed that the only way for children to get ahead was to study.
So the family sent their four children to school even though they were poor.
Unfortunately, both died early, and Zhaodi had to drop out of school to support her three brothers.
The second child saw no grass and was going out to get some, but Ah Jin dragged him back.
"Go to school after eating, and pick up some on the way back from school."
The second child frowned and said, "If I don't go now, what will you cook for lunch?"
Ah Jin pressed him to sit down in front of the small table.
A bowl of corn crumb soup was given to him, plus a piece of potato.
"Hurry up and eat. Why do you talk so much? I'll pick them up myself."
After saying that, she went into the room and called up the third and fourth child to eat.
The third child was named Fang Jianyun, who was 9 years old and just started second grade.
The fourth was called Fang Jianman, who was 7 years old and had not yet started school.
The children of poor families were early risers.
Although the two children were very young, they already dressed themselves and came out.
Ah Jin gave them a bowl of corn crumbs in turn.
The second child looked at Ah Jin and said, "Why don't you have any potatoes! Eat mine!"
With that, he gave the potatoes in his bowl to Ah Jin, and the other two responded.
"Eldest sister, eat mine!"
Ah Jin also transferred the potatoes back.
"You guys are so nosy. You can eat yours. I was hungry earlier, so I ate first."
The second child looked at her suspiciously, "Really?"
Ah Jin shot him a look.
The meal was not much, and it was finished in a few bites, after which the second child put down his bowl and said to Ah Jin.
"Eldest sister, I don't want to study anymore! I will work with you to earn work points, or we will die of hunger."
Ah Jin said, "Yes, but you have to finish high school."
The second child reacted fiercely, "I'm not good at studying, so it's useless to study at all. So I might as well help you and earn work points!"
"No! Father and mother said, it is necessary to finish high school!"
In a few years, the college entrance exams will be resumed.
It was possible that they could continue high school and get admitted to a university.
The second child said, "Then, eldest sister, you should go to school. You are better at studying than me!"
Ah Jin looked at him with contempt.
"How much strength do you have? On your own, this family will really starve to death. The summer holidays are coming up, and the autumn harvest will be ready after the holidays. There is plenty of work for you to do."
The second child had mentioned this matter several times.
He was always rejected each time, and now he was also dismissed.
After eating, Ah Jin cleaned up the pots and pans.
The three brothers took the quilts out of the house to dry in the courtyard.
It would smell after a long time.
There were only two quilts in the house, one for Ah Jin and one for the three brothers.
There were no pillows.
All of them were pillowed with their own clothes.
When the winter season came, their clothes were not taken off, and they slept in a huddle for warmth.
After packing up, Ah Jin sent the two older ones to school and brought the little one with her to the workplace to earn points.
The original character was young and not very strong.
She was given the easy work.
Naturally, the points were minimal.
To not owe points, the original character took a tiny portion of the food, and the remaining points were saved in exchange for some money to pay tuition.
It would be good even if you could exchange it for a penny.
A mosquito's leg was also a slice of meat.
Ah Jin went to the field and worked as the original character.
She worked behind others to sow seeds and remove weeds.
The fourth child had already gone to collect dry branches for cooking at home.
After five minutes of work, Ah Jin became familiar with the process and accelerated sowing seeds.
After a while, she caught up with the people in front of her who dug the pits.
The person who was digging the hole was the village elder, Grandpa Fang.
"Aigoo, Zhaodi is quite fast today. Is she feeling better?"
"Much better, grandpa. Work hard so that when the food is distributed, we can have more."
"Hey, let's keep working. You can keep up."
"Yes, I'm sure I can keep up with you."
The original character was weak and was naturally matched with the elderly.
Grandpa Fang was a bit tired and wanted to stop and wait for Zhaodi, but she was behind him.
Ah Jin looked at him when he turned around.
"Grandpa, you are tired. Let's switch. I will dig the ground, and you sow the seeds for a break."
Grandpa Fang looked at her suspiciously.
"Are you okay? Aren't you tired?"
Ah Jin smiled and said, "No, I'll do it."
She took over the tools in his hand and started to dig the ground.