Zhao'er quickly made breakfast and ate with Xue TingRang. While washing the dishes, Gao Sheng drove the cart over.
" Zhaoer Ji, is Ting Rang packed up yet?"
Gao Sheng got up early and had already gone out to collect a cart of vegetables. Because Xue Qinghuai was also busy outside, so he had agreed in advance that he would come to pick up Xue TingRang when he went to town.
"Yes. Have you eaten Shengzi1? I'll make some for you if you haven't eaten."
"I’ve eaten. I’ve eaten very early already. Please don't busy yourself, Zhaoer Jie."
While they were walking, Xue TingRang already took the book bag and walked out with the baggage that had been packed in advance. Before, Zhao’er would have said a few words to him, but today she didn't say anything.
"Then I'm leaving?" Xue TingRang took the initiative to speak.
He glanced at her again before getting into the mule cart. Gao Sheng bid farewell to Zhaoer and then they drove away in the mule cart.
Looking at the back of the cart, Zhao'er stayed in front of the door for a while. Until a villager came to this side from a distance, she recovered for her daze.
She shook her head and went back to the house.
The Kang was messy. She patted the two pillows and put them aside. While folding Xue TingRang's quilt, a pair of underpants fell out of it.
It was the underpants Xue TingRang had changed into before.
"I don’t see anything dirty, so why does he need to change one." Zhao'er muttered to herself, and as she unfolded it, a very strange smell came to the tip of her nose.
Naturally, it was not the smell of urine or body odor, but was a very strange smell. She was puzzled, and as she was about to put it aside, she suddenly felt a wet spot.
It was slimy. She spread out the underpants to look. When she saw where the wetness was, she felt dizzy as if she had been hit by a hammer.
She couldn't remember exactly where she heard it, but she knew that the sign of boys growing up was getting their underpants dirty. If the boy gets his underpants dirty, it means he is thinking about a girl.
Thinking about a girl? Dirtying his underpants!
So, the little man is thinking about a girl?
Who is the girl he thinks about? She thought of that voice again in her ears--
"I'm not young anymore, we will get married next year, and then we can also do what Zhao Jinrui did to little aunt."
Xue Cuie's belly couldn’t wait, so the wedding date was set on the 20th of next month.
There was less than a month to prepare the wedding dress and dowries. The entire Xue family was so busy with this matter.
The first was the dowry. Zhao wanted to buy two cabinets for Xue Cui'e, but she was in a hurry. It was too expensive to go to town to buy ready-made products. Xue Qinghuai and Xue Qingbai were driven out and ran several times just because of this cabinet.
Zhao'er's mule cart was also used. Fortunately, because there was extra money on hand, Zhao’er bought a mule cart for Gao Sheng to use for business a few days ago. Otherwise, it would have impacted their business.
However, Zhao'er also explained clearly to Zhao shi and Xue Cui'e. You can use it if you want, but only in the afternoon. Zhao's and Xue Cui-e's complaints were aroused because of this, but Zhao'er ignored them.
Time passed slowly while they were busy. During this time, Xue TingRang also came back twice, but Zhao'er, instead of choosing to stay at home at this time like in the past, appeared very busy and often could not be seen.
However, she really has been very busy recently, because with the addition of Gao Sheng and others, their business has expanded to Anyang Township next door. It's in the initial stages over there, so Zhao’er does not feel reassured without seeing it through herself.
Especially recently, she has been thinking about buying land again. She looked around and couldn't make up her mind. The price of land is too expensive. With so little silver in her hand, she can only buy a few mu2 at all, and she needs a lot of land.
When she came back from outside on this day and passed the end of the village, Zhao'er's eyes swept across the back mountain, and suddenly her eyes lit up.
In the next two days, she seemed to be worried yet excited. She always took Heizi up the back mountain and no one knew what she was doing. On the day when Xue TingRang was back for break, she bought a lot of vegetables and cleaned the house thoroughly.
Zhao'er is a clean person. She hates messy things. But recently the house has not been cleaned up for some days because she has been too busy. When Xue TingRang came back in the evening, he saw the bright and clean room and the person in the room wearing a very bright smile.
Xue TingRang still understands Zhaoer, knowing that she must have something to ask him.
Sure enough, Zhao'er told him the matter during dinner.
"Do you want to buy the hillside of the hill?"
The back mountain is said to be a mountain, but it is just a few continuous hillsides, and a long distance further in is the real mountain. But Yu Qing Village likes to call it Houshan3.
The place Zhao'er fancied is the tomb of the ancestors of the two surnames Xue and Zheng, which is a small hillside far away. This place is at the end of the village, and a dirt road leads directly outside. The slope is not steep because the villagers cut down trees for firewood all year round. There are few bare trees on it, but there are many thorns, weeds and rotten roots, which have been abandoned for a long time.
“I’ve been thinking that after all, collecting other people’s vegetables is not a long lasting business strategy. The folks first eat them by themselves before selling them. And there are too few varieties of vegetables. The ones we want are not there, and there are plenty of the ones we don’t need. If it’s just a small business, just harvesting the farmers’ vegetables is enough, but if we want to grow bigger, I think we still have to have land in our hands to produce the vegetables."
"So you want to buy Houshan?"
Zhao'er nodded without concealing: "I don't have much money in my hands now, and I can't buy more than a few acres of land. There is no one in the back mountain. Even the villagers who chop wood hate those thorns and cannot bear to burn it. Anyway, it is deserted. It’s also deserted, but it’s different if you buy the land to grow vegetables. Vegetables are not as delicate as other foods. You can grow them by throwing a little bit of soil and seeds. It’s just that we have to discuss with the village head."
"Do you want me to tell Zheng Lizheng?"
"I really want to go, but after all, I am a foreigner and a woman. Zheng Lizheng will probably not pay attention to me. You are different.”
"Where is it different?"
Zhao'er's eyes flashed, and suddenly she stopped talking like a dull gourd whose mouth was sewn.
"Exactly what's the difference?"
Zhao'er still did not speak. Xue TingRang no longer looked at her but picked up chopsticks to eat. It wasn't until he had eaten half a bowl of rice that Zhao'er blushed and said, "Anyways, you have to go. Even if you don't want to, you have to."
He raised his eyebrows and glanced at her.
She slammed the kang table and exclaimed: "You are the only man in the family. Who will go if you do not go!"
Xue TingRang put down the bowl, looked at her and deceptively said: "Are you finally admitting that I am your man?"
- shortened way of calling Gao Sheng. Also a little more affectionate ↑
- ancient unit for land/property
1 mu = 4840 sq. yards ↑
- Houshan = back mountain ↑