Two years passed in a flash as spring went to autumn.
The second child, Jianfu, turned fifteen and graduated from junior high school.
Now he was a head taller than Ah Jin, basically the height of an adult man.
At dinner that day, the second child asked Ah Jin, "Eldest sister, I have graduated and can go to work on the brigade."
Ah Jin looked at him and said solemnly, "No, you still have to go on to senior high school!"
The second child looked wide-eyed.
"Eldest sister, this is different from the original agreement ah. You said, after completing junior high school, I don't have to study!"
"I only said that after you finish junior high school, we will discuss it. I didn't say that you can stop studying."
The second child put down his rice bowl.
"I don't care. I don't want to study."
Ah Jin asked him again, "Do you want to join the army as a soldier?"
When the second child heard this, his eyes were glowing, "Yes! I dream of it!"
"Then you should go to senior high school and finish your studies before joining the army. If not, you are not allowed to go!"
As soon as the second child heard about this, he immediately lost hope.
"Eldest sister, what is the relationship between becoming a soldier and studying ah?"
Ah Jin replied, "Of course, it has something to do with it! If you finished senior high school, you could stay in the army for a longer period. And if you have failed to finish your studies, you may be driven back in a few years."
The second child was stunned.
"Really? You're not lying to me, right?"
Ah Jin did not explain.
"Believe it or not. Right now, you are young. The army does not want you. After completing senior high school, you are just old enough to join the army."
The second child hesitated.
"But we do not have a senior high school in the village. We have to go to the County Town."
Ah Jin replied firmly, "Then you go!"
"No way! I won't go! What will you do if I leave?"
Ah Jin added, "There is one less person to eat when you are not at home. I will be relaxed."
The second child tightened his grip on the chopsticks in his hand.
How could it be easy?
The tuition fee of senior high school was more expensive than that of junior high school.
He had to go to the County Town, live in school, and the living expenses.
"I do not ..."
Ah Jin interrupted him.
"It's settled. I will take some time off with the brigade tomorrow and go to the County Town with you to take the entrance exam."
Ah Jin looked at his reluctant face and added, "I heard from the brigade that we can apply for a scholarship for rural residents. Each semester they give 3 yuan. Every Sunday, you have to come back to work in the brigade. The points you earn are your own living expenses. Don't expect me to give you money!"
The second child was relieved.
The following day, Ah Jin took him to the County Town for the entrance examination.
The two walked there because they didn't have a vehicle, and it took nearly two hours.
These two years, under the temptation of meat, the second child's performance was considered so-so.
The entrance exam could be regarded as to get through a daunting experience without mishap.
Ah Jin gave him a year of tuition and accommodation fees, a total of 10 yuan to spend.
In the past two years, Ah Jin earned more work points and saved a lot of money.
It would have been too much to pay for the three children to study otherwise.
The two then strolled around the County and brought some snacks for the two family members at home.
Ah Jin rented a donkey cart and returned to the village.
She instructed the second child to find a donkey cart when he returned on Sundays.
Otherwise, he would not have time to work in the brigade if he walked home.
He felt that it was a waste of money, but it was also right when he thought about what Ah Jin said.
He could earn 3 to 5 work points for one more afternoon's work, which could be exchanged for 2 to 3 yuan a month.
The donkey cart was only 20 to 30 cents a time.
It was a good deal.