59. The harassing Xi Que
As to Mrs. Qiao, what Third Aunt said was right. She is an elder after all.
There's a lot of things Lian Fang Zhou can't do. From the beginning, she had asked Third Aunt to keep an eye out on ordinary days. Or else, even if it's a small petty matter, she has no might to dispute with Mrs. Qiao.
If you argue about, then you seem to be stingy, and the younger generation can't act like that. If you don't bother with it, then other will gain an inch and want a foot. Perhaps, a whole other pest may appear!
After getting the taste of benefits, Uncle Li's whole family, Lian Fang Zhou, and the others worked with great drive. Early the next day they headed to the mountain again.
Another three kilns could be dug out in that area. So they'll end up with four holes. With one patch of charcoal, one family could earn around four to five silver! Making a few more rounds, it's also enough for a year's expenditure.
This day, Lian Ze, Ah Jian, Uncle Li, and Li San Ge dugout the new kilns. While the women chopped the firewood and wood for charring.
Because they had the previous experience, and also, more importantly, the abundant profit from the last time, they got three new kilns freshly made in a day and a half! After that, the men joined in chopping wood.
What the mountain has is an endless amount of trees. With two and a half days, not only do they have the wood to be placed in the kiln ready, but they also had firewood for burning the kiln done too.
Ah Jian, Lian Fang Zhou, Uncle Li, and Lian Ze, the four of them filled the kiln and lit it up. Aunt Zhang and Mrs. Qiao continued chopping firewood, looking for wood. Since even if this patch of kilns is finished, they still have a use for them.
And also, under Zhao Ru Jun's order, Xi Que had rushed over to Da Fang village in a horse carriage the next day after breakfast with the address her subordinate found.
Unfortunately, Ah Jian and Lian Fang Zhou were in busy earning money for New Year and had already headed to the mountain. So, Xi Que missed the boat.
Toward this, Xi Que didn't find it too surprising. Rural people ma, how could they not go out and work in the daylight and stay at home? Thankfully, she was prepared for it.
Xi Que took out a large red rectangular invitation from her bosom and handed it over to Third Aunt to let her give it to Ah Jian. Telling her, she'll be coming again tomorrow.
Receiving the invitation, then he'll have to entertain guest or else it's terrible manner! Xi Que mentally praised how smart she was as she walked away pleased with herself.
But she had forgotten that it was her, who dropped in the invitation, and it wasn't Ah Jian willingly accept it.
And also, how could rural people understand these common courtesies? Lian Fang Zhou wasn't an inhabitant of this era, so she even doesn't know.
Therefore, Xi Que's invitation was resplendently ignored.
Ah Jian pushed it to Lian Fang Zhou with a frown. "You go brush it off!"
Lian Fang Zhou responded: "This Zhao Family, how come they're this overbearing!? Can't they peacefully let it go? Let's just ignore them; tomorrow we'll go on like usual!"
Ah Jian strongly approved.
Waiting until the second day, when Xi Que came, Third Aunt returned that invitation without waiting for her to speak. With a face full of contempt, she also said, "This toy is pretty to look at but doesn't have any use at all. It's too hard even to use it to wipe the bottom clean. Take it back! Our family doesn't feed idle people. Ah Jian had already gone to work! While you ah, it's better for you to go back!"
Xi Que was paralyzed from anger. Her hand was gripping on the invitation that Third Aunt stuffed back, somehow unable to recover her sense.
Once she regained her wits, she glared at Third Aunt, and her first sentence was: "I'm the city's Zhao Family's people!"
Third Aunt wasn't the kind of person willing to suffer. Her eyes glared back even more force. "I know that. You said before!"
As she spoke, her lips had curled into a sneer, so what if you're from the city. Is the city that great? If it's so great, then why are you running to our countryside?
Xi Que paused and thought for a moment. She frustratedly laughed at herself: that's right. Rural people don't understand these courtesies. It was her who thought too highly of them. It was like giving coquettish glances at a blind man. This old woman must have never entered the town before so it can be forgiven since she doesn't know Zhao Family.
Xi Que calmly took a look at Third Aunt and opened her mouth to say some words of sarcastic ridicule. But reconsidered, when she remembered that Ah Jian was working for this family. Since she wants to take him from them, she can't start quarreling with her. Otherwise, what should she do, when they don't let him go.
So whatever words she wants to say, can only wait until Ah Jian leave his employment first.
Therefore, Xi Que gave a restrained smile and turned to leave.
The next day during the evening, Xi Que came again.
Seeing her, Third Aunt said with a long face on, "I say, are you a haunting ghost that can't be dispelled? What thing does this poor household have that had pining for it? That is worth a few trips to come here!?"
At Zhao Ru Jun's side, Xi Que gained some importance. She had always compliment herself to be 'more aristocratic than those ordinary family's proper miss.' Hearing Third Aunt's words, she considered how she is aiming at Ah Jian, and her face couldn't help start flushing. She bit her lips and glared at Third Aunt.
How could Third Aunt be afraid of her? She rolled her eyes, impatiently waved her hands as she said, "Leave, leave! Don't poke around here. I need to sweep the ground! In a moment, if you're dress get dirty, then don't blame me!"
Xi Que glanced around the clean ground and became mad. She angerly vented. "I say you rural woman, how could you say this kind of word!"
"Oh, who's family's miss is this? To actually come running to this rural woman to show off!" Third Aunt raised her voice even louder as she took out a bamboo brush from the corner of the corridor.
Xi Que wanted to flare up but can't. She could only resentfully retreated from of the courtyard to the outside. However, she remained there, unwilling to leave.
With this, Third Aunt began wondering. She stretched out her neck to peek at her, mumbling a bit and no longer bother with her. "It couldn't be that this lass got a spell cast on her... "
It can be seen that the sun was setting, but Xi Que still didn't see him come back and anxiety started to set in. Unconsciously, she scraped the mud on under her feet. She still needed to rush back to the city. The sky is about to darken, so it's also not easy for the carriage to travel.
Before the eyes, the remaining strip of sunset disappeared. Xi Que stomped her feet in frustration. She could only enter the carriage and doubled back.
The next day, she had learned her lesson. Dawn had just broken out, and she pressed the driver to head to Da Fang village. That driver had already accompanied her for few trips now and was a bit fed up. Both his thoughts' and words' meaning was: Just attending to you, Miss Xi Que, do still even need to take care of Master, Madam and Young Miss?
Xi Que only stared at him as she harrumphed and spoke. "Today's trip, I won't let you do it for nothing! Thirty coins should be enough right? And also, this task was instructed by Miss. If you have the ability, then don't go!
After finishing, she turned to get onto the carriage.
Zhao Family doesn't have only this carriage. So how could it delay the masters from going out? She knew the driver dislike that he didn't get any reward for transporting her on a few trips.
Towards her attitude, the driver also felt peeved. But for thirty coins, he disgruntledly swung his whips and drove the carriage. His mouth was still mumbling. "So pretentious, acting like a prestigious miss. Few days work, and all I get is just this bit of money. You still dare to brag..."
Xi Que's face turned white in indignation. Inside the carriage, she shot a fierce glare toward the curtain of the carriage that separated the outside and swore she'll definitely get the task done today!
When Xi Que arrived at Lian's home, the Lian family had yet to leave. Only from Third Aunt's mouth, they all know Xi Que had been coming over every day.
Seeing her coming here bright and early, Lian Fang Zhou was slightly speechless. That (found a typo 0.0 was Lian instead of Zhao ) Zhao Family must be really short of staff, otherwise, why are they set on hiring Ah Jian? I have never heard of any employer going this far before. Even the head-hunting company won't be this harassing, right?
"It's better that you go explain it clearly to her! I don't know if she finds it tedious to make a trip after a trip, but I am tired of looking at it!" Lian Fang Zhou glanced at Ah Jian.