Xue Gouzi came to his senses and looked at the face that had haunted his dreams for years.
"You're right. I won't think about it any more." After a pause, he added, "I just wanted to emphasize one thing. Will you stop calling me Gou’er?"
Zhao’er asked doubtfully, "But I am always calling you like that. If I don't call you Gou’er, what's the name?"
Xue Gouzi hesitated a moment, "you call me Tingxiang."
"Tingxiang? Is that your name? Gou’er, why do you call yourself that?" Soon she realized that the son of the eldest family, Juncai under the because of his own age, was always sneering at Gou’er and Heizi having the same name.
Her eyes flashed a sense of heartache, repeatedly nodded, "Gou’er, no, Tingxiang, learned people is not the same, and this name is so good. Later I won’t call you Gou’er, and I won't let outsiders call you that. Just Tingxiang." Anyway, in her heart, Gou’er said everything is good.
Xue Gouzi, no, now it's called Xue Tingxiang. He's a little depressed, He's only less than two years younger than Zhao'er, but he can't walk through the deep stream in his whole life. Having simply said this, he added, “and can you not call yourself sister to me in the future?"
This next action made Zhao’er more surprised, even handed to touch his forehead and said, "What's wrong with you, Ting'er? Is there something wrong? You have been calling me big sister when you were a kid."
Xue Tingxiang took a deep breath and smiled, "but you are not my sister. You are my wife. How could a man call his wife sister?"
He used to be pale, half leaning on the quilt on the bed. Suddenly, with such a smile, his eyes and eyebrows were clear and handsome, he gave people a feeling of not being able to look directly at him.
The Zhao’er's face became red with a splash, and the words are not clear, "Gou’er, what do you say, I, I..."
"Don't you want to be my wife and have children for me?" He got closer.
She jerked up and said, “As a little man, why do you say about this?" You haven’t grown all you hair yet! She said the most disliked remark for Xue Tingxiang, but also not consciously. She continued, "What you need to do now is to keep your body well, as for these things, we will talk about them later!"
Her eyes were fierce and her voice was fierce, too. Then she lowered her head and scooped rice from the bowl and fed it to Xue Tingxiang's mouth. He took a look at her and ate honestly. Suddenly, he was in a good mood.
Maybe in the future, two people can change the way they get along. If they don't like it, they can change it. There's no need to wait for her to understand.
After throwing away the mess, Zhao'er turned around and went back to the house, leaving a large group of people to eat lunch in a depressed atmosphere.
During this time, Sun tried to find some topics to say, but no one answered her.
Yang can't eat. If her parents in law were here and she didn't want to lose face in front of the two younger sisters in law, she would have thrown chopsticks away. But now she can only restrain her anger and grievance and eat the food she hated.
After meal, Sun left with Mao Dan, knowing that his son had caused trouble today, for fear that he would be punished later. Zhou took Xue Tao'er to clean the table and take all the dishes to the kitchen. Xue Qingbai helped her. The Zhou can't carry such a heavy bowl alone. Usually, Sun can only carry by herself and her daughter when Xue Qingbai is not at home.
There were only the eldest family, grandpa Xue and Zhao in the room.
Yang stood up and wanted to go back to the east room, but she was stopped by Mr. Xue.
Mr. Xue took out his tobacco bag, took out some of his own cut tobacco from the dark blue tobacco bag, rolled them into a ball and pressed them into the pipe, then lit them with a fire fork.
His movements are very slow. People who know Mr. Xue's character well know that he has something in mind.
It's really something in his mind. If it's nothing, and he won't stop his daughter-in-law rarely.
"Juncai and Youcai go back to the house first. I have something to say with your mother."
Xue Youcai looked at his mother and wanted to say something, but he was pulled away by his eldest brother Xue Juncai.
"Dad, if you have anything to say, just talk to me."
Yang is thirty-four years old this year. In the countryside, a woman in her thirties is no longer young. It's sunny and windy here, so women look old.
But Yang's maintenance is excellent. Her face is like a disc, and her skin is white, just there are several fine lines on the corner of her eyes. She is dressed in a half new stone-blue beautiful vest. Her black and shiny hair was tied in a bun at the back of her head. A gilded hairpin was inserted in it, and a pair of old silver earrings were worn on her ears. It's not scallion sharp, but it's also white, soft and greasy, wearing a gold ring.
It's not too much to say that she is the grandmother of the landlord's family, even Zhao is not as good as her.
Mr. Xue, with his old eyes, made several turns on Yang's body, which made her uncomfortable to stand.
She just wanted to say something, grandpa Xue said first suddenly, “Eldest daughter-in-law, how many years have you married into our family?"
Yang was scared, and answered, "17 years. I married to the Xue family when I was 17."
"How do you feel about the treatment of you mother and I?"
"Father and mother treat me like their own daughter." Yang said in fear and trembling.
Mr. Xue nodded and took a smoke. The light blue smoke began to curl around his old face again, making it hard to see the expression on his face.
“You are the eldest daughter in law, and your mother are always like you. Your mother and I also want Juncai to be successful as well as you and your husband.”
Yang's heart was relaxed, and she couldn't help laughing, "Juncai is so serious about studying. Even my father said that he is a rare young man. It's easy to be a scholar."
When it comes to Xue Juncai, Mr. Xue can't help smiling.
Seeing that the father-in-law's face was softer, Yang took the advantage of the situation and said, "Father, however, you know that when it comes to the important points, it's not just reading at home. In the beginning, Juncai's father also listened to my father's words. He went to the Qinghe school for two years, got to know some classmates, and was appreciated by his teacher. Then he took the opportunity to leave deep impression in front of the county magistrate, and passed the country exam. As long as the grade of the county trial is not bad, the government trial is half sure. It's just that when getting to the hospital examination, just to rely on great luck. Juncai's father is just unlucky, so he failed many times.”
This is the real reason why Yang was valued by the old couple in Xue's family, not only because her father was a Tong Sheng, but also because of his kindness in giving advice to Xue Qingshan.
Yang's statement seems absurd, but it is true. The county government's two trials are not strictly controlled, especially the county trial, which is presided over by the county magistrate.
County test has a total of five, mainly to see the first performance. This time, people need to test two pieces of eight part essays and one poem. As long as it's not a combination of wrong words but smooth writing, they can all pass. Compared with people he doesn't know well, the county magistrate is willing to take some familiar people.
And to go to a good school is to provide an opportunity to venture in front of the county magistrate. Dachang has always attached great importance to the selection and admission of talents. How many outstanding talents can the county produce, and even how many outstanding scholars can be selected, are considered as political achievements. No matter how stupid or incompetent a county magistrate is, this kind of scene is also necessary.
And if anyone can enter a good school, he will not only increase contacts, but also vision.
For example, the county test is about the four books and five classics，the sacred edict， extensive training, how to write and what taboos can't be violated, which need advice. Even if you write a wonderful article but you make taboos like temple taboo, imperial name taboo and holy taboo, you will not take it.
And in rural areas, many private schools are set up by some old Tong Sheng for their lives. They also want to test a scholar to change their fortunes. How can they teach children in private school carefully.
Xue Qingshan is just like this. So he makes great efforts to send Xue Juncai to Qinghe school.
Yang thought that her father-in-law wanted to tell her about sending Xue Juncai to the school. But she didn’t know that her words really hit old Xue's heart, because Mr. Xue didn't mean to tell her that.
Mr. Xue took a deep breath of smoke and said, "I've been told by my eldest son you mentioned. Let's talk about it later. You are Juncai's mother. It's not wrong to plan for your son, but you need to know that we don't have only your eldest room in the whole Xue family."
The father-in-law's tone was a little meaningful. Yang was stunned and forced a smile, "Father, of course I know that the Xue family is not only our room, but you can rest assured that if Juncai and his father are successful, they will not forget to be filial to you and mother." Seeing her father-in-law's dark face, she added, "There are other people in the family, but Juncai can always remember that he has to study, and all of this needs to be thankful for aunts and uncles.”
Mr. Xue nodded, "If you know this, you should understand that the other three rooms have been sacrificed for your family. Don't mention it from afar, just say the third and fourth. All the land in the family was farmed by them. I am so old that hands and feet are not as quick and neat as before. After finishing his work at home, the fourth son had to pick up some goods and sell them. He didn't know how many pairs of shoes to wear out in a year, but all the money he earned was given to the whole family, not for himself and he didn't dare to complain a word. What are others working so hard for? It's not for our family. It's for the eldest room."
Yang's face reluctantly and said, "Dad, why is this for us? Isn't Qingshan’s diligence for a bright face? Because Juncai's father is Tong Sheng, everyone in the village looked up to us. Even the Zheng family gave us comity. This is for the overall situation, for the descendants of our Xue family..."
Grandpa Xue sighed and interrupted, “Your mother and I know what you said. But as the saying goes, the board doesn't hurt when it's not on your own. What would you think if you put yourself in the third brother and fourth brother’s feet? They do the most work. They can't even get the good ones into their mouths. All of good things get into other people's mouths."
This was just the answer to the words of Zhao’er. Yang's face was red immediately.
"Dad, why is it called into my mouth? I..."
Mr. Xue ignored her and scolded Zhao, "It’s you, too. You are eccentric. You can continue to do what you want to do just hurt the two young brother. And then you will cause family separation. How about you going to farm the land for the eldest brother and Jun to take the imperial examination!"
At the end of the speech, his voice was full of exclamation and he regretted that son’s offspring does not live up to his expectations.
Zhao didn't want to hear this, muttering, "How am I partiality? What is my partiality? I still don't think that Qingshan and Juncai need to study. It's a waste of brains to study and I should give them more supplements. Do you mean that all the good ones fall into my mouth?"
The more she said, the angrier she could not help but scold, "They are so headstrong. If parents are not alive, then anyone will not separate family. Even if I can spare them, the ancestral system can't.”
Mr. Xue smiled bitterly. If it wasn't for these two elders and their ancestors, Maybe that would have been different. Who would like to do the work for others? They are so tired and still being fiddled with.
He turned his eyes to Yang's body: and said, "You also understand the situation at home. Your mother and I manage for a while but not for a lifetime. If you want to send Juncai to school in the town, you should make good use of other family numbers."
"Before your mother doted on you, I never said anything. You can tell which is right or wrong. But since tomorrow, you and the third and fourth families will share the work of the the whole family."
After Xue finished, he stopped talking and just smoked. Yang can't stand here. She hurried out of the main room with her head down.
As soon as Zhou cleaned the kitchen and came out of it, she saw that the eldest sister-in-law went back to the east room with her head down, and her face was not very good.
Her eyes flashed, and she glanced south at the west room, which was a fourth wife’s house.
There was a person behind the window in the courtyard. Zhou knew that Sun had been watching. Pretending not to see it, she wiped her hands on her apron and went back to the house. When it came time to cook in the evening, Yang unexpectedly wore a coarse cloth dress, and came to the kitchen to work with Zhou.
Zhou couldn’t refuse, but Yang smiled and said Zhou was too tired and Let her have a rest.
Zhou was pushed out of the kitchen by her, just opposite Sun who was standing at the gate of the west room. They were also surprised.
However, they were still surprised because from this day on, Yang changed his attitude and did all kinds of housework. Although she has not been involved in any work for many years, now she is clumsy in her work, she does it.
Not only to do it, but also to be very generous. They often take the initiative to persuade Zhao to take some money to buy some meat or take some eggs to come out and cook for the whole family.
And Xue's family, who had been provoked by Zhao'er's words, was crushed. During this period, Xue Tingxiang finally got well and was able to move around.
This day, after getting up early in the morning to eat breakfast, Zhao'er planned to go to town.
The rags she took back from the embroidery workshop have been made into handbags and embroidered shoes. After saving for many days, she should sell them in the embroidery shop.
She put everything in the back basket. Before she left, she told Xue Tingxiang that it was a fine day today, so she asked him to go out for more sun-bathe.
Xue Tingxiang nodded his head and agreed, and she left the door at ease.
Not long after she left, Xue Tingxiang walked out of the room.
The yard was very quiet. The curtains of each room were lowered. He couldn't see if anyone was there.
He stood in front of the door for a while, then he walked to the door. Heizi, who was lazily basking in the sunshine, stood up immediately and went out with him at his feet.
The author has something to say:
In fact, in ancient times, if the poor children wanted to be outstanding, they had to use the power of the whole family or even the clans.
So ancient people paid special attention to clans. After someone was successful, there were many bad relatives. Occasionally, they met some relatives who almost couldn’t be called relatives. They were still served by good foods, and some money was given when they left.
One is for reputation, the other is that he or his ancestors had received the favor of others, and the third is to leave a way for himself or even his grandchildren in later life. Whoever dares to guarantee that he or she will be rich forever, and his grandchildren will never ask for help in the future. It's not the same as we're just taking care of our own things now.