It's 32 on QI.
First chap after a long while, so apologies to you guys for being sooo late. Had some family situations and a tiny tiny bit of procrastination.
I just threw this chap to Grammarly and probably the future chaps too. So I'll apologize to grammar frantic now for my lack of editing talent. Sorry, guys.
33.Who enter the town. who stay at home.
Lian Fang Zhou didn't move. Lian Ze lowered his head with an indifferent face, pretending he didn't hear anything. He couldn't help lift his complaining eyes to look at his sister: Sister is really muddled-headed, why did you take the initiative to bring back this trouble.
Lian Fang Zhou sneered inwardly, but not one bit was obvious on her face, treating as if Lian Xiao Man didn't say anything at all. She picked up her chopsticks without a care, then grinned toward her siblings: "It'll be cold in a moment, so quickly eat it while it's hot."
Only then did she smiled toward Lian Xiao Man. In a steady tone, she said: "Third Aunt, this is what our family has always been eating, so made Third Aunt suffer. Anyhow Third Aunt you could endure today, then tomorrow, how about Lian Ze and I send you back?"
Lian Xiao Man's expression changed, face slightly sunk: "What are you saying? Driving me away?"
Her eyes turned, mouth just opened to start crying "Aiya---", when Lian Fang Zhou coldly called out "Third Aunt!" Making her(Xiao Man) stop suddenly.
Lian Xiao Man was never someone with little courage/guts. But don't know why, Lian Fang Zhou at this time, make her a bit scared for some reason.
"I am an elder!" Lian Xiao Man strengthened herself and she bolstered her courage as she coldly harrumphed.
"I didn't say you weren't," Lian Fang Zhou blandly said: "I also didn't say driving you out, but you are a married off aunt, your husband's family is your home. You won't deny this, right? Since you aren't used to my house's food, so is there something to pick at when I say sending you back? You, an elder, need us, younger generations to take care of you, hmph, still have the heart to be picky! I will ask your husband's family, can it be that they the Tian Family doesn't feed their own daughter-in-law, forcing the daughter-in-law to return to the maternal family to rely on still kids nephew and nieces to be taken care of?"
"You--" Lian Xiao Man's face paled, didn't dare say anything anymore.
If she was staying at Lian Li's home, taking care of her for a while is reasonable, since Lian Li is her brother. Even if taking her over to in-law family to talk, it's both side's arguments, just seeing whose mouth is better at talking.
But now she's staying at Lian Fang Zhou's, then everything's different.
If Tian Family let their own daughter-in-law return to maternal home to eat parentless nephew's and niece's, then Tian Family's back(reputation) will definitely be broken by someone! This reputation would be ruined.
In order to avoid getting back breaking, Tian Family will force her to return, and after returning--
Lian Xiao Man was startled as well as afraid, for a while her anger dissipated
"Fang Zhou, Great Aunt said the wrong thing, don't be angry!" Lian Xiao Man hurriedly put on a smiling face, apologetically smiled: "I won't say it anymore! I'll stay together with you, and can help with managing the household!"
Help them manage the household? Lian Fang Zhou nearly laughed!
She doesn't what kind of person her own deceased father was like, would it be like Big Uncle and Third Aunt? Considering these two were deserved to be called siblings.
"If Third Aunt wants to stay, then stay. As to managing the household, no need to trouble Third Aunt! Our family has me as the family head!" Lian Fang Zhou bluntly refused.
"You're a child, what would you know! Unless you don't trust Third Aunt?" Lian Xiao Man was the kind that wouldn't turn around after hitting a wall unless she lost half her life then she'll turn around.
Lian Fang Zhou thought can I even trust you?
Of course, she can't say this out loud, she glossed over it: "In the end, Third Aunt doesn't count as our family member anymore, sooner or later will have to return! So don't need to be this problematic! If Third Aunt doesn't feel satisfied or unhappy, you could leave tomorrow!"
"No, no!" Lian Xiao Man's face changed when leaving was mentioned. She quickly begged: "Fang Zhou, everyone in that house hate me to death and torment me. I can't go back there! You also saw how your Uncle and Aunt treat me like a foe. They won't give me justice and say some fair words. I have no husband or maternal family to count on. Going back means sending myself to death! I, I won't mention about the matter of being the family head, alright? Fang Zhou, you can't drive me out!"
Hearing her say it that tragically, Lian Fang Zhou couldn't help have some pity. She(Xiao Man) as a person is really detestable, can see that her mouth is fierce, and have some presumptuous cleverness(smart in petty tricks), deep down she's not a bad person--- also need what it takes to be bad.
Just like she said, driving her out is sending her to death. Thinking about it, her days weren't good, even though it wasn't as severe as she said it was. And there's nothing bad having one elder in the house.
Another thing, one sentence Mrs. Qiao said right, there's enough food to eat now. And having her (Xiao Man) look after the two little ones, she herself can free up more effort to focus on other matters.
Lian Fang Zhou has already made up her mind, but still with an expressionless face, said: "As long as you don't cause trouble, you can stay Third Aunt. What we eat, is what you eat, anyway, we won't treat you bad. But you also have to do some housework. If you're willing, then stay. If not, tomorrow, we'll send you back!"
Lian Xiao Man felt a burst of vexation, and thought, aren't you telling me to stay as an old maid? She wanted to disagree in a fit of pique, but also afraid that Lian Fang Zhou would really send her back tomorrow. When thinking about her husband's family situation, she weighed up the two side and she finally reluctantly nodded in agreement.
The two smaller ones were young and ingenuous, didn't understand what's going on, however, Lian Ze was relieved.
"Then that's fine!" Lain Fang Zhou also slightly smiled, and said: "Quickly eat, if not it'll be cold!"
Lian Xiao Man didn't dare be picky again and started eating with them.
At night, when going to bed, the sisters and Lian Xiao Man shared one room. Luckily the original partition wasn't taken down, so Lian Xiao Man slept in the inner one and the two sisters slept in the outer.
Lian Xiao Man quietly mumbled: "This house is a bit small. It would be better to build a bigger one!"
Just finished speaking, Lian Fang Zhou glanced over. She then shut up.
The second day, starting from the morning, Lian Fang Zhou didn't let Lian Xiao Man be idle. Made her help with meals, washing the clothes, tidy up the room and rest. Lian Xiao Man dare not butt head with her (Fang Zhou), so could only stomach her anger.
From time to time, she deeply sighed and sulkily hammered her waist, pretending to be tired. Lian Fang Zhou just act as if she didn't see and ignore her. Lian Xiao Man was pissed, however, couldn't do anything to Lian Fang Zhou and only honestly endure.
The mushrooms were already sun-dried, so Lian Fang Zhou planned to go to the market the next day. Since the road is really long and there's a lot that needed to be brought, Lian Fang Zhou spent 15 coppers to rent a donkey cart from Uncle Wang in the village.
Hearing about going into county town tomorrow, Lian Fang Qing was so excited and wanted to go. However Lian Che sensibly held her back: "Fourth Sister, it's better that we wait for Sister and Second Brother at home. Don't go with them. Sister and Second Brother is going to work!"
How would Lian Fang Qing be willing to listen? She shook her head: "Don't want to! I want to go, I could also help Sister and Second Brother with work!"
Lian Xiao Man gasped and said: "We're working, so where would we have time to take care of you! Third Aunt is telling you, in town, there are loads of kidnappers who purposely kidnap children. Being kidnapped by thorough kidnappers, you'll be sold to a wealthy family as a maid and never see your brothers and sister again!"
Lian Fang Qing was frightened, she was really somewhat afraid. She looked toward Lian Fang Zhou.
She was skeptical of Third Aunt's words, but she believed her own sister's.
Lian Fang Zhou wasn't willing to lie to her-- the younger siblings trust her that much, so she doesn't want to lose their trust.
She gently rubbed Lian Fang Qing's head, softly said: "Although it's not as terrible as Third Aunt said, there are kidnappers. You be good and stay at home, I'll buy yummy food to bring back for you to eat, alright? Wait until when we're free, I'll take you there!"
"Sister, you and Second Brother come back soon, we'll stay at home, don't worry!" Not waiting for Lian Fang Qing to speak, Lian Che quickly spoke out.
Lian Fang Qing pouted, but didn't continue to pester, only reminded Lian Fang Zhou: "Sister don't forget to buy us yummy food!"
"Alright, I remembered!" Lian Fang Zhou smiled, then grinned toward Lian Xiao Man: "Third Aunt, tomorrow I'll trouble to watch over Qing er and Che er at home!"
"What?" Lian Xiao Man paused, then quickly said: "I stay back? Naturally, I should go with you to town! Since I'm an adult and a lot of matters you children won't understand ah. Like when buying things, get tricked! Is there any need to watch over Qing er and Che er? They grew up here and no longer little toddlers!"
Author Note- Cough, a new character is about to appear.