“Right!” Mrs Qiao’s eyes lit up as well as her spirit, triumphantly she harrumphed: “Seems to me, you secretly sold off the grains, then purposely pretended to be pitiful and came to our home to blackmail! Hmph, you siblings calculated well; on one side the grains are pocketed and earn money, and on the other, you come to demand grains again. This is really a cheap matter!”
“Even though your parents aren’t here, as a person you should have some conscience! Don’t be so crooked!” Lian Li continued to speak: “Originally, you being my nephew and niece, we can’t let you off. Three times, five times fighting against our support you can be let off, but you want to trick and have a lion’s big mouth; arrogantly asking for more! Asking for one thousand catties, that’s too outrageous!”
“You, you—–” Lian Ze was angered until he can’t speak; his chest was going up and down at an erratic pace.
He was really shocked and also thoroughly disappointed.
He never thought his own blood-related Uncle and Aunt would have such a mouth and face. What family relationship, what blood connection, in their eyes it’s not even worth a penny!
At this moment, the sorrow in his heart is greater than the anger.
Lian Fang Zhou lightly pulled Lian Ze’s sleeve, patted his shoulder to comfort him and didn’t seem to be anxious; she was not even angry. Indifferently she calmly asked: “ So Uncle and Aunt have decided to refuse about returning the grains to us?”
“Dream on!” Mrs Qiao snorted.
Lian Li was obviously more skilled than his foolish wife, immediately he said: “ Return what? We don’t owe you anything at all, how do we return?”
“That’s right!” Mrs Qiao immediately followed up.
“Haha,” Lian Fang Zhou lightly laughed and said: “Anyway, my Mother told me to come, so I have come. The words that Mother told me to say have been said. But Uncle and Aunt are not willing to admit, so there’s nothing that I can do. Oh, right, my Mother also told me, she said if you don’t return it then she will personally ask you! Us two siblings will take our leave now!”
Lian Li and Mrs Qiao both stared blankly for a moment; they didn’t know what to say. This girl was sharp-tongued, a sharp needle is obviously not a good crop. Looking at her reactions, such a rough situation, unexpectedly she ended it like this?
The resigned words Lian Fang Zhou said were stated very clearly, making Lian Li have a weird unreal kind of feeling.
“You are going to leave, just like that?” Lian Li couldn’t help but ask.
Lian Fang Zhou lightly smiled and said: “I’m not leaving just like that. I believe my mother’s words, you will definitely return the grains to us!”
“HA!” Lian Li sneered toward the heavens, his gaze steadily watching the two siblings as they leave.
“Husband, this… why do I feel like there’s something strange!” Mrs Qiao stammered, she also felt a bit dubious.
“You also think so?” Lian Li turned his head toward her and asked: “Then you say it, how is this strange?”
Mrs Qiao thought for a bit, then said: “You ask me to say, but I can’t say how I just feel that it’s strange! You didn’t see that when Old Woman Yang came to dissolve the engagement, that brat was so unreasonable; now suddenly, today she is not quite right!”
“Hmph!” Lian Li snorted and slowly said: “Didn’t she say that her dead ghost mother will come to find us? Well then, let’s just wait and see!”
Mrs Qiao was scared, hurriedly she said: “Peh, peh, peh! Husband, what nonsense are you saying; since everything is fine, why would she come find to us! We didn’t harm her! ”
“What are you afraid of!” Lian Li calmly looked at her: “I don’t believe it!”
Mrs Qiao’s heart was still jumping, her smile was strained but didn’t say anything else.
“Sister,” leaving Lian Li’s home, Lian Ze was upset as he followed behind Lian Fang Zhou. He said: “I really didn’t think that Uncle and Aunt would act like this! When dad and mom were here, they often came to our home to get some things for free; how could they say those words! Are they really our Uncle and Aunt?”
Lian Fang Zhou briefly laughed and said: “Didn’t you see it? Alright now, no need to be upset, being upset because of them, that’s silly!”
“I’m not……” Lian Li himself also don’t know how to explain his feelings at the moment; he just opened his mouth, closed it and lowered his head.
“Sister, did Mother really come to you in your dream?” Lian Ze couldn’t help but ask, he sighed: “Even if it’s true, then what? I said it earlier, Uncle and Aunt wouldn’t return us the grains! Sister doesn’t need to worry, we will not starve to death; we just need to survive this winter. Wait until next year’s harvest time, I will keep a tight watch and never let them help us again.”
“What time is it now, there is still one year until harvest season!” Lian Fang Zhou rolled her eyes, seeing his sad face, her heart softened; she said softly: “Alright now, you can set your mind at ease, these one thousand catties, we will definitely get them back! But before that, you need to listen to my arrangements!”
Lian Ze looked skeptical at her, Lian Fang Zhou lightly laughed; she had a well thought out plan.
Early the second day, Li Da Mu prepared an ox cart to go call Lian Ze; he wanted to accompany him to the stone quarry to buy the tiles and bricks.
Since bank drafts haven’t been opened yet, Lian Fang Zhou grabbed a pouch with two-three hundred coins, intending to pay the deposit first.
Lian Fang Zhou also wanted to go with them, now that her reputation was smeared, she should take this chance to go out. Looking at the mountain, landform, soil vegetation, and crop conditions are a good idea.
Li Da Mu thought about it, then nodded with a smile.
Lian Fang Qing saw this and pestered to go along with them to play; Lian Fang Zhou didn’t allow it. She told Lian Che and her to stay at home and watch it. Lian Fang Qing’s corner of her lips turned down, obviously not happy.
Lian Fang Zhou saw her pitiful, full of grievances face and couldn’t bear to see it; so she bent down and pulled her closer and quietly said: “Be obedient and stay at home with third brother, wait until evening and sister will make fried eggs for you, OK?”
Lian Fang Qing’s face brightened up, and subconsciously licked her lips with yearning; then shook her head and said: “no, eggs must be kept to sell so we can buy food.”
Lian Fang Zhou’s heart felt a sharp pain and felt sad. She softly spoke saying: “The money to buy food, sister will earn it; no need to sell eggs. From now on our eggs are for you and Che’er to eat.”
“Really?!” Lian Fang Qing was bursting with joy. Hurriedly nodding her head, she also said: “Sister and second brother will also eat it.”
“OK, we will eat it together.” Lian Fang Zhou smiled.
Lian Fang Zhou and Lian Ze sat on the cart and Li Da Mu drove it. The three of them slowly went to the stone quarry.
Once outside DaFang village, Lian Fang Zhou observed the scenery on both sides. She saw that on both sides of the road were mostly undulating hills, or flat ground protruding from the middle of a hill, covered with lush green trees; she roughly looked and saw it was mostly cedar, pine, fir, maple or camphor trees.
There was a lot of gentle slopes, many places had reclaimed the dry land to grow crops this season. The ground was withered and was visibly yellow. The yellow was sweet potato and taro seedlings. A number of bits and pieces were of broken bean curd rack. (ED/N Sorry guys, this paragraph was really hard to decipher.)
Where there was water, it had long been opened up and turned into paddy fields. At this time, one could only see entire fields of rice stubble, now completely dry and yellow.
Lian Fang Zhou didn’t need to ask; in her heart, she could already comprehend it.