There was a teenager walking on the country road.
He was dressed in a cyan topcoat, as if he hadn't seen the sun for a long time, and his skin was pale. And he looked very thin, but his expression was very leisurely. Although he was dressed in shabby clothes, the village path was also very uneven, and there were even cow shit and chicken shit on the road, it seemed that he was strolling.
It was time for spring ploughing, everyone was busy ploughing, and few people could be seen on the road in the village. Occasionally some women were sewing in the yard and saw the man walking on the road from a distance. They all looked intently for a few times before they recognized who he was.
"Gouzi, where are you going?"
Xue Tingxiang looked at the woman who was talking to him, smiled and said, "Auntie, I just take a stroll."
She just said casually and did not say any more to him, and turned into the room to get her things, and the mother-in-law in the room asked her:
"The third child’s wife, who did you just talk to?"
"The child of Xue Lianxing's second wife. Hey, mother, it's strange that he passed by the door just now, but I didn't recognize him for a moment. I always felt that he was different from what he used to be. "
Her mother-in-law disagreed: "what he can become, can not change his appearance, I remember that child recently fell ill."
The wife said, "I think he is going to the back mountain." There is a mountain behind Yuqing Village. If there are any dead villagers in the village, they will be buried there, and the ancestral graves of the Xue family are also there.
Hearing this, her mother-in-law sighed, "not to mention, it's a pity that even the second son of the Xing family passed away and left the child alone. It's really pitiful."
This is just gossip between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, and while they are talking, Xue Tingxiang has taken Heizi into the back mountain.
The back mountain is called the back mountain, which means the mountain behind the Yuqing Village.
The mountain is nameless and the mountain is not high, but it is very deep. Anyway, so far, no villager has been able to walk back and forth from this mountain, and most of them are just working in the periphery of the mountain.
The Xue family's ancestral grave is built on a hill not far from the village. The Xue family is not only the Xue Tingxiang family, but the ancestors of the entire Xue clan are buried here.
At the middle of such a big mountain are the graveyards of the clan leader’s family, which spreads out into branches of various families. The graveyards of Father Xue’s family is located at the foot of the southwest mountain.
Because the couple both died young and Xue Qingsong died of a terrible disaster, they were buried at the edge of these graveyards.
When Xue Tingxiang got to the place, he began to pull up the grass around the the grave.
There were not many weeds. He had just cleaned them during the Spring Festival. He gathered the grass on the ground at will and sat down around the grave.
On a piece of land in this mountain, there are two small graves, each of which stands a small bluestone tablet, on which the names of the couple are written.
This tablet was laid down by Zhao'er at that time.
There are three kinds of people who cannot erect a monument after death, those who die accidentally, those who die young, and those who have no children. Xue Qingsong died in an accident.
Although no one said anything openly, they all felt that people who had suffered an accident had grievances after death, which was not conducive to geomancy in their ancestral graves, so they did not erect a monument. People also want him to forget who he is and avoid causing trouble.
But at the same time, there is also a saying that there is no monument after death is a lonely ghost, can not stand the incense of future generations. At the beginning, the funeral of the couple was run by the Xue family, and they followed the old custom by default. At that time, Xue Tingxiang was still young and didn't know anything about it, but Zhao'er. understand.
She talked to the Xue family about erecting a monument, but it was stopped, and the Xue family took turns to persuade them. Later, Zhao'er stopped talking about it and took the money to find someone to make these two simple tablets and stand them in front of the grave.
By the time the Xue family knew it was already late, they could not tear down the monument in front of the villagers. They could only regard it as no such thing. After all, they were still ashamed at that time.
The villagers were also surprised to see the monument, but they understood when they thought about the death reason of the second child of the Xue family.
Therefore, Xue Qingshan also fell a good name, would rather fight to ruin the family’s geomancy, to erect a monument to his brother, is really benevolent and righteous, this matter would not be mentioned at this time.
With all kinds of thoughts in his mind, Xue Tingxiang took out a piece of cloth from his arms and slowly wiped the tombstone.
The handwriting above is still written by him, and his handwriting is so immature but one can still tell what is written on it in the end.
Today is the anniversary of the death of Father Zheng. Zheng Hu brought his two sons to the grave to worship. Country folk are not so fastidious, only prepared some steamed bread, wine and meat and so on, after the father and his two sons burned paper money in front of the grave, the worship ended.
Zheng Hu's father always had deep feelings, so he was inevitably depressed, so he let his two sons go back first, while he sat in front of the grave smoking a tobacco while talking to his father.
After talking for a while, he stood up and was ready to go back.
There was still work to be done in the field. Zheng Hu did not want to waste time so he planned to take a shortcut. When he passed near Xue Lianxing's ancestral grave, he suddenly heard someone crying.
There are graves on the two hills near here, surnamed Xue on one side and surnamed Zheng on the other. This is neither a New year nor a holiday. If it were not the anniversary of the death of an elder like Zheng Hu, no one would have come to such a place.
In particular, there may be many dead people buried here, the trees are dense, and sometimes it is gloomy during the day. Hearing this strange sound, Zheng Hu was frightened and his legs were a little weak.
After decades of living, he listened intently and quietly, and it took a long time to understand that it was a boy's voice.
Thinking about whose grave it was, he ventured closer, went around a big tree, and saw in the distance a young man in cyan sitting in front of the grave .
There is also a big black dog swinging its tail.
It is the dog of Xue Lianxing's second wife.
Zheng Hu breathed a sigh of relief, and the voice was carefully heard in his ears: "...Dad, what should I do?".
Uncle wants to send brother Juncai to the school in town. I thought I could go, too. But when my aunt came to home a few days ago, she told me to let brother Juncai go, but..."
The voice of the teenager was full of hesitation and confusion. Zheng Hu did not expect to hear the private affairs of the Xue family in such a place. He was so surprised that he didn't know the smoke in his hand left. He didn't react until his foot was hit by the tool of smoking, and then hurriedly picked up the tool and left.
He didn't know that the lonely child stopped crying after he left.
These days, Xue Tingxiang has been looking for an appropriate opportunity, and then suddenly thought of Zheng Hu.
Zheng Hu's father died in spring ploughing, not at the end of his life, but in an accident. He was accidentally squeezed by his own cow under the ridge of the field and died.
The ridge of the field was not very high, and countless villagers fell off the field every year, but Father Zheng died unluckily.
There was a lot of buzz about it in the village for a while, so Xue Tingxiang remembered it very well.
Since it is the anniversary of his father's death, Zheng Hu, as a son, will certainly come to the grave, and Zheng Hu is used to taking shortcuts, so he will certainly pass through this area, so there is no one more suitable than him.
The most important thing is that the Yuqing Village looks small, but Xue family and Zheng family have been competing with each other secretly for a long time. Zheng Hu's uncle is village head when Zheng Hu knows, the village head Zheng knows.
Xue Tingxiang didn't stay much and soon went home with Heizi.
The courtyard was still silent. He found a stool and put it in front of the door. He sat there quietly enjoying the sunshine, thinking that Zhao'er who had gone to town.
Zheng Hu trotted all the way and went to village head Zheng's home without even going home.
Yuqing Village head Zheng is also the clan leader of Zheng clan. The house of the family is naturally unique in Yuqing Village, however, the house of the clan leader Xue can be compared with it.
Here are all green brick houses, and the courtyard walls are also made of green bricks. The most conspicuous one is the ancestral temple of Zheng family. However, this ancestral temple will not be opened until a specific time, and the two black paulownia doors are closed all the year round.
Go around to the side, and that's the courtyard of village head Zheng's house.
The yard is very large, unlike other barns, barns, stoves, etc. are all in the front yard, village head Zheng's front yard is a large empty yard, only two sycamore trees are planted in the yard. Whenever there is a big event in the village, the yard is always crowded with people.
There are three main rooms facing the face, the east wing room and the west wing room on the left and right, respectively, all of which are green bricks and black tiles.
When Zheng Hu arrived, only village head Zheng and his wife Tian were at home.
As soon as Tian saw his nephew coming, he said, " Huzi, why are you here now?" Do you want to ask your uncle for help? "
"Yes, it is."
With that, Zheng Hu hurried to the house. Tian shook his head, thinking that something might have happened, because Zheng Hu was always calm.
When Zheng Hu went in, he turned to the east room.
Sure enough, his uncle village head Zheng was sitting cross-knee on the bed in the east room smoking a tobacco.
"Why are you in such a hurry?"
Zheng Hu sat down on a stool under the bed, gasping for breath, unable to speak for a moment.
Village head Zheng looks in his sixties, with a long face and medium-sized eyes. Judging from his appearance, he is just an ordinary banker, and even the clothes he wears are ordinary. Only that motionless composure, at first glance, looks like a man of sophistication.
With a cigarette holder in his mouth, he pushed forward the teapot on the table of the bed. Zheng Hu was at ease, stood up and poured a bowl of tea and drank it.
"Uncle, let me tell you something happened today."
"What's the matter?"
"Today is the anniversary of my father's death. I took it early in the morning..."
In the middle of, village head Zheng, Zheng Hu sat up from the bed and listened attentively.
Seeing his uncle's reaction, Zheng Hu knew he was right. After hearing the words of the only son of Xue Lianxing's second wife, he realized that this was an opportunity, an opportunity to suppress Xue's prestige in Yuqing Village.
He spoke in more detail, repeating almost every word, while village Zheng was smoking a tobacco and his eyes narrowed.
Zhao'er didn't come back until the afternoon. When she came back, she looked a little pale.
Xue Tingxiang looked at the basket behind her. Every time Zhao'er came back, it was always full, but today he knew there was nothing in it.
"What's the matter?"
Zhao'er was thinking, when she was asked by the little man, she was stupefied for a moment, and then said, "Nothing. I brought you meat buns from town. I'll heat them up for you to eat later."
How can it be nothing? It's must have something.
Xue Tingxiang glanced at her, but since she didn't want to say any more, he didn't want to ask questions. Zhao'er went back and forth to the town, covered with dust. She went to the kitchen to boil water and took a bath in the bath room. The Xue family has a special room to take a bath in the vegetable field in the backyard. The house is small, three meters square, the ground is covered with bluestone, there is a sewer in the corner, and the bath water can flow directly along that mouth into the vegetable field.
Zhao'er took off her clothes and rubbed soap on her body, but a burst of sadness came to mind.
In fact, something really happened, but she didn't say it because she was afraid that he would be worried.
She managed to find a way to get the money and was robbed.
The robber was none other than the boss of embroidery workshop who took Zhao'er’s embroidered shoes.
In fact, Zhao'er is quite clever, bought rags from the owner of this embroidery workshop, but the finished product is not sold to this one, but changed to another one. It's just that she didn't expect that the two bosses were relatives, and she didn't know how they knew about it, but when she went there again, they didn't want to sell her rags any more.
Not only does this embroidery shop have no rags, the owner of this embroidery workshop also ordered people to buy all the rags of other embroidery shops. Zhao'er didn't know about it until she went to many embroidery shops.
She is ready to pay for him to study in town at her own expense. She has asked about the Qinghe School, which costs five tales of silver of the remuneration to teachers a year. Among them, because many students live too far away, they can choose to live in schools. If the school children live in school, the monthly food and accommodation fees will be added together, and one tael of silver will also be required.
Zhao'er wanted Xue Tingxiang to live at school. She felt that the Xue family was not a good place to study. There were too many troubles in the family, that is to say, she had to prepare six tales of silver to send him to school.
She had thought that she would be able to raise enough money in a few times of the business, but this thing happened.
Thinking that Zhao'er had already taken a bath, she wrapped her hair in a veil and dressed before she went back to the house.
Xue Tingxiang was sitting on the bed reading a book, which was his only book called the Instructions for Preschool Education he had. When he saw her coming in, he looked up at her and said, "it's still cold, so dry your hair quickly."
Hearing this, Zhao'er was a little moved.
These days the he had changed a lot compared with before, this change was naturally good, so although she was worried, she could not help showing a smile.
She climbed onto the bed and took a cloth towel out of the cabinet of the bed. Xue Tingxiang sat on the side and inevitably gave way to her. As she passed by, a sweet smell of soap crept into his nose. He could not help moving his nose, his eyes fell on her, and he was close to her.