They could still hear the sounds from inside, as they stood still waiting for fifth sister Zhou and her husband.
They intended to go inside with them.
Fifth sister Zhou frowned slightly, "What is the third sister-in-law arguing about"
"It might be the third sister-in-law's business." Li Qinghe whispered.
As they waited at the door, they heard most of the argument and figured out why the fight had taken place between them.
It seemed that the eldest brother Zhou and Mei Hua wanted to take Mrs.
Zhou to live with them in the town.
Then Zhang Haiyao got into a fight with them.
Zhang Haiyao wasn't fighting for Mrs.
Rather she found a reason to fight with the couple to get back at eldest brother Zhou for mocking her yesterday.
She was ready to abandon her husband and child to go to the county, but her father refused to let her come.
Bringing up this topic in her presence would only make her angry.
"Let's go in." Zhao Liyuan said.
In fact, he was a little embarrassed, but he was already at the door, and it wouldn't be appropriate to turn around and leave.
As soon as they entered the house, the voices disappeared immediately.
If it was just Zhou Chengkang and Li Qinghe who had entered, the fight would have escalade more fiercely.
But the situation was now different as the fifth sister Zhou and Zhao Liyuan were also present.
Fifth sister Zhou was a married woman and brought her husband back to her maternal home.
Zhao Liyuan was a guest of the Zhou family.
If they fought indiscreetly in front of him, it would be embarrassing for fifth sister Zhou, if Zhao Liyuan went back and told his parents about the fight.
Zhang Haiyao was the one to respond fastest, "Ah, Liyuan is here.
I'll go cook for them."
Mei Hua also walked to the kitchen with her lowered behind her.
Li Qinghe naturally also followed them.
The atmosphere in the kitchen was awkward.
Speaking of the daughters-in-law of the Zhou family, Mei Hua had no maiden family, and Zhang Haiyao's maiden family was in the county.
She couldn't go there on the first day of the new year and return early.
And as for Li Qingmiao, she already lived with her parents.
So it was only Li Qinghe who went back to her parent's house.
Mei Hua looked at the living room and said in a low voice, "Fourth sister-in-law, we weren't arguing just now.
Mother is supposed to live with and take care of her eldest son.
It's convenient for us to live in the town to earn money, so we can't just move back here for mother's sake.
It just doesn't make any sense, right"
Li Qinghe hummed.
Mei Hua shook her head and said, "But mother is not willing to live there."
"Second sister-in-law and third sister-in-law can persuade her for this matter, but I can't." Li Qinghe then got up to take out a piece of meat from the storage container.
Zhou had prepared this meat, especially for fifth sister Zhou and her husband to eat on the first day of the new year.
She washed the meat with hot water.
As she cut the meat, she said, "Mother lives with me now and if I try to persuade her to go with you, she will think that I don't want her to live with me.
It would be uncomfortable between us then."
Mei Hua sneered, "It is said that the emperor loves the eldest son, and the countrymen love the youngest son.
It is indeed not a lie.
Why should mother help your family work She also helps you take care of the child and cook meals for your family.
I, second sister-in-law, and third sister-in-law don't have such a good life."
Li Qinghe and Zhang Haiyao looked at each other secretly.
If Mei Hua had not been married once, the betrothal gift she would have received would not be less than hers.
When she got married, elder brother Zhou didn't even want a dowry.
If it wasn't for the rest of the brothers who were in a hurry to marry, Mrs.
Zhou would have never allowed her to marry in the Zhou family.
The two didn't answer.
Today was the first day of the new year.
Who wanted to quarrel with her
Seeing they were silent, Mei Hua again spoke, "I know you all think that it was not good for us to come back and help mother during the busy period of autumn harvest… When I got married, I didn't receive betrothal gifts, and second sister-in-law didn't ask for them as she recruited her husband to marry into her family.
What is the difference between mine and their situation I have already married into the family, what else should I help with"
Her words were completely ridiculous.
Even if they were busy at home, shouldn't they come to help a little if there was too much work Li Qingmiao and second brother Zhou came to help more than once or twice.
Not to mention sons, even the son-in-law came to help Mrs.
Li Qinghe didn't want to quarrel with her, she just wanted to cook the meal and send the guests off.
Zhang Haiyao was not the one to swallow her anger, she put the wooden bowl in her hand on the table with a thud, and sneered, "Look at yourself before you make analogies.
You were a widow with a mother-in-law, it can be considered good enough that the eldest brother-in-law wanted to marry you.
But to say that you were recruited to marry… With granny Liu as your elder, why didn't you find someone to recruit instead"
"What do you mean" Mei Hua's expression looked ugly.
If the mention of not going to the county was Zhang Haiyao's sore spot, then for Mei Hua it was mentioning her past.
Zhang Haiyao said, "It seems that you are living a good life and forgot about the pain in the past.
I'm just reminding you!"
She brought that upon herself.
Li Qinghe also said, "Yes, mother lives with me and she does help with work.
But she also helps second and third sisters-in-law with their children.
Sometimes, the two children stay at my house for a whole day and they fight amongst themselves.
I didn't say anything about it.
You willingly ran to live in the town and now you are complaining that mother won't help you take care of your child… Sister-in-law, don't you think you're being unreasonable"
Mei Hua was dumbfounded and said angrily, "You are saying this because you both are just jealous of me!"
"How much wealth do you have" Zhang Haiyao sneered, "Fourth brother and sister-in-law have 40 to 50 acres of land, and they aren't flying in the sky like you.
I can be jealous of her, but not you.
"Don't make any noise." Mrs.
Zhou entered the room, "The guests are still here.
What nonsense are you talking about"
For the rest of the time, Mrs.
Zhou stayed in the kitchen and helped cook.
Mei Hua didn't dare to cause any more trouble.
After the fifth sister Zhou and her husband finished eating, they went back.
Zhou closed the courtyard gate and said, "I won't go to the town." She looked at Mei Hua and said, "If you want me to take care of the child, you let her stay here with me.
But if she gets sick, you will have to come back and take care of her yourself."
"I will live where I want to live.
I'm quite comfortable staying at the fourth child's house and I'm willing to live there.
If you're not comfortable with it, then just hold it back for my sake!"
Hearing what Mrs.
Zhou said, no one could say anything else.
The eldest couple then went back to the town with their child.
Zhou cleaned up the main house, she really returned to the west side of the village to Li Qinghe's house.
As Li Qinghe said to Mei Hua, Mrs.
Zhou lived with her and she could not drive her mother-in-law away.
Besides, with Mrs.
Zhou helping her with taking care of the child and house, she would be stupid to drive her away.
Zhou was the only person she could trust to watch Xiyu if she wanted someone to help her with taking care of him.
After the New Year, every family in the village began plowing the fields.
This year, Li Qinghe's family had many acres of land, and they would definitely hire a lot of people, so everyone wanted to finish the work in their fields in a few days.
In the village, Li Qinghe and Zhou Chengkang were famous for paying wages quickly.
They would pay as soon as they finish their work.
They also provided afternoon meals and sometimes there would be meat dishes.
All in all, it was a very good job.
Every year, Li Qinghe's land was the last to be planted, and she was not in a hurry.
This year, there were more sweet potato seedlings than in the previous two years.
She had planned for a long time that all the sweet potatoes would be planted in the wasteland on the mountain.
Just when the villagers were busy with spring plowing, Mrs.
Qian quietly came back.
After recovering from her injuries she had been staying with the Hu family in town these days.
Hu was not a fuel-efficient lamp.
Although she didn't directly drive her away, she would indirectly say words wanting her to leave.
Sometimes, she would also deliberately not leave meals for Mrs.
It reached to a point that Mrs.
Qian couldn't live there anymore.
Not a fuel-efficient lamp: be someone smart and sophisticated yet not easy to deal with (usually negative)
When she returned to the Qian family, she and Mrs.
You had a complete falling out and the two families didn't communicate with each other at all.
Qian had lived with Zhao Tianfu and his family.
Now that she was living there again…the villagers would definitely speak about it.
Many people put their land under Qian Laixing's name through Mrs.
It can be said that they put a lot of effort into this.
When they went to ask Mrs.
Qian for help, they gave her gifts, in hope that they would get some advantage.
Instead, they received a three-year fine on grain tax and were worried for a long time.
Now that Qian Laixing was dead, all the blame was put on Mrs.
Since they can't trouble her directly, the villagers started to gossip about her and Zhao Tianfu.
For a while, it was all anyone could talk about.
Fifth sister Zhou gave birth to a daughter at the end of the first month.
Zhao Liyuan loved his daughter very much.
Zhao was a little disappointed, she gradually became happy when she looked at the infant child every day.
She also had a daughter before Zhao Liyuan.
By the time of the washing ceremony, she had already accepted that she had a granddaughter and praised her granddaughter as cute with a smiling face to everyone.
Washing ceremony: To celebrate the birth of a child, the family would invite the midwife to wash the baby on the third day after the birth.
The family, relatives, and friends would come to congratulate and watch the washing of the baby.
In February, when the villagers were done with their work, Li Qinghe began to hire people.
As a large number of people were hired, all the land was planted in a few days.
Then, she hired a few more people to go into the forest and cut down the small trees and weeds.
Huang set aside a few herb seeds for her to plant.
She will plant less scale this year and after the plants grow, she will get more seeds.
Then she can plant on a large scale next year.
By March, they finished planting several acres with common medicinal herbs.
Huang said that though they were common medicinal herbs and their price was not high, as they planted them on a large scale, there would be no problem in selling with profits when the concoctions needed to be prepared.
When Li Qinghe asked Dr.
Huang about the medicinal herbs, she already said that she would share 10% profits with him.
Huang refused but she insisted and even asked the magistrate to come over and write a contract.
As a result, Dr.
Huang had to pay special attention to the medicinal herb seeds and the field where they were planted.
He ran to the village every three days to look after them.
Not only that, Li Qinghe had thought long ahead.
She needed to rely on him whether to dry the herbs in the sun or kneaded or whether to cut only the leaves or the roots to create the concoction.
Although he was willing to answer her questions without charging any silver, it would be wrong on Li Qinghe's part.
And it was definitely much better to have Dr.
Huang look after them.
In fact, the soil in the forest was much better than that of the barren grassland.
Most of the soil in the forest was nourished by the decay of dead leaves for many years.
She and Zhou Chengkang also took time to take some of the forest soil and cover a few acres of wasteland with a layer.
The grain harvest from that area was much better.
It was also suitable for medicinal herbs.
After being busy for three months, they were finally free.
Although Li Qinghe didn't have to go to the field to work day and night, there were a lot of chores at home and she was quite busy with them.
From the time they had started clearing the wasteland last year to planting seeds this year, the two of them paid more than a dozen taels of wages to the workers, which can be seen by everyone.
Therefore, she was not surprised when someone came to borrow silver again.
Some of the people who came to ask for money also worked for her.
She would sometimes hear from them that their family was short of money and asked for a loan.
Li Qinghe was willing to pay a little money to them before work but she would only lend money to the people she was familiar with.
There were some people, to whom she would never lend at all.
Like, the next-door Yang family.
The Yang couple sat in front of her.
They looked much older compared to when they moved here.
Yang said, "Does your family have a misunderstanding about us We are all neighbors now, why don't we even get along"
"We can't get close." Zhou Chengkang said directly, "Perhaps we had a grudge in our previous life."
Yang obviously choked, not believing what he said.
But in fact, they really had a grudge in their past lives.
The bowl of medicine that Li Qinghe drank was said to have been brought by Mr.
Yang Lanrou gave it to Xu Changjie.
As she stood beside him and watched him feed it with her eyes.
In the end, she cried, "I don't want to do it."
"Brother Zhou is joking." Mr.
Yang forced a smile, "Actually, I want to get along well with my neighbors."