The Matchmakers Visit
Li Yu returned home. After boiling the oil and putting it into an oil can, she stir-fried a pot of rice and ate it. She began to wash the wild boars internal organs. Just as she finished washing and rinsing the water, Li Mei returned with Li Qing and two young ladies.
Li Yu saw that Li Meis eyes were red and swollen. Li Qing had an angry expression on his face. There were also two young ladies tugging at Li Meis clothes with sad expressions.
Li Qing looked at Li Yu and complained angrily, “Sister, Aunts mother-in-law is so fierce! She beat Aunt and told her to get lost. She even scolded her for being a hen who occupied her nest and couldnt lay eggs. I got angry, so I brought Aunt and our cousins back.” After Li Qing finished speaking, he looked at Li Yu nervously, afraid that Li Yu would disapprove of his actions.
Li Yu went forward and patted Li Qing. “Ah Qing, you did the right thing.”
Li Qing pursed his lips and smiled when he heard that. Li Yu walked to Li Mei, who was sitting under the eaves and in a daze. She patted Li Meis shoulder and comforted her. “Aunt, no matter what decision you make, Ah Qing and I will support you.”
Li Mei sobbed as she looked up at Li Yu, her face filled with tears. “Yuer, Im just angry that your uncle cant say a word for us. He listens to his mother regarding everything. The same thing happened. Second Brothers family also had two daughters. Just because her man was willing to speak up for her and someone from her family stood up for her, that old woman didnt dare to make things difficult for Sister-in-law. If she wasnt so detestable back then, why would your father entrust you to the Zhang family and make you suffer in the Zhang family I hate myself for not daring to come back from the Liu family back then…”
Li Mei cried uncontrollably. Li Yu looked at the fierce and straightforward Li Mei crying her heart out and felt uncomfortable. She looked at the two cousins standing behind Li Mei and persuaded Li Mei, “Aunt, dont be sad. Those are all in the past. We have to look forward as humans and throw away what needs to be thrown away. Now that Ah Qing and I have also returned home, we still have to rely on you to handle many things. You have to think about it on account of the two cousins.”
Li Mei sobbed and wiped the tears off her face. She looked at Li Yu in embarrassment. “Yuer is right. I still have you guys. Dont worry that I wont do anything stupid.”
Li Yu nodded and asked Li Qing to get a basin of water for Li Mei. She went to the kitchen to start cooking.
Li Mei washed her face and went to the kitchen. When she saw the pig intestines in the basin, she asked curiously, “Yuer, where did so many pig intestines come from”
Li Yu smiled faintly. “I came back from hunting in the West Mountains today. Uncle He, the butcher next door, has already helped me sell it. All thats left is these internal organs.”
Li Mei was shocked when she heard this. She hurriedly pulled Li Yu over to check her entire body before complaining, “Why are you so bold Youre a girl, yet you dare to go hunting in the mountains. Have you forgotten how your father left”
“Im fine!” Li Yu smiled. “Minister Huangs house in town will be open for three days. I still want to hunt some prey tomorrow morning and send them to Minister Huangs house.
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“Aunt, theres a mountain beam thats full of goji berries. Go to the potters house and buy a few more pieces of flat bamboo and bamboo baskets. Well go to the mountain to pick goji berries tomorrow.” As Li Yu spoke, she suddenly remembered that she had not asked Li Qing about going to school. “Hey! Have you settled the matter of Ah Qing going to school”
Thinking that Li Qing would be able to go to school, Li Mei finally felt happy about something. “Its done. Scholar Zhou taught Ah Qing for a while and asked Ah Qing to recite it to him. After hearing it and feeling satisfied, he accepted Ah Qing. He will charge four taels of silver a year for the cultivation. If Ah Qing eats lunch at his place, it will be five taels a year. I dont think theres much distance for Ah Qing to go home to eat.”
Li Yu felt that it was very expensive when she heard that. She smiled and nodded. “Alright, do I still need to buy a master-disciple gift”
Li Mei smiled. “This Scholar Zhou is also interesting. He has the childs apprenticeship gift, as well as brush, ink, paper, inkstone and the entire set of books. He even said that we dont have to trouble ourselves.His items are supposedly cheaper than elsewhere, so I bought it and asked Ah Qing to buy it to deliver the apprenticeship gift.”
“Can this be done” Li Yu felt that Scholar Zhou was either greedy or not bothered by trifles.
Li Mei took out the remaining silver and handed it to Li Yu. “Yuer, this is the remaining silver.”
“Aunt, Ill leave this money with you for now. Go to the carpenters house and buy a cupboard and a bathtub. Theres also a wicker basket and sun pads.”
“Good. Ill sow those vegetables before I go and ask your two cousins to put the fire to wash them.”
Li Mei called over her two daughters and pointed at the two of them. She smiled at Li Yu and said, “These are your two cousins. The older one is called Zhaodi. The younger one is called Laidi.” She then said to the sisters, “This is your Cousin Yu.”
The two children shouted softly at Li Yu, “Cousin Yu.”
After Li Yu agreed, she smiled. “Cousin, lets call each other by our names in the future!”
The sisters smiled timidly and nodded. At this moment, Li Qing returned with a washed hoe.
Having eaten the braised pig intestines, stir-fried pig liver, and stir-fried vegetables that Li Yu made, their mouths were filled with oil. Li Qing touched his round stomach. “Sister, its too delicious. Look, my stomach is round.”
Li Mei patted Li Qings hand gently. “Ah Qing, dont touch your stomach after eating. Go take a few steps to digest your food.”
Li Qing smiled and agreed. “Got it, Aunt.”
After dinner, Li Mei went to the village to buy something. Zhaodi and Laidi fought to wash the pot and wash the dishes. Li Yu stewed the pigs lung in the pot and let Li Qing carry a wild rabbit and pheasant to Chen Yaohuis house.
Li Yu saw that Zhaodi and Laidis clothes were very old. She took out the remaining cloth and asked Zhaodi with a smile, “Zhaodi, do you know how to make clothes”
Zhaodi nodded shyly and said softly, “I do, Cousin.”
Li Yu placed the cloth beside Zhaodi. “Then Ill leave this cloth to you. Make our new clothes. There are still cloth heads in the bags in the house. Take a look and get whatever you need yourself.”
“Cousin, are Laidi and I going to have our clothes made too” Zhaodi looked at Li Yu and thought that she had heard wrongly.
Li Yu smiled and nodded. “Yes, thats right.”
The sisters looked at Li Yu with red eyes. “Thank you, Cousin.”
At this moment, an old woman in fancy clothes stood at the door and asked, “Is this the Li family”
“Yes, who are you looking for” Li Yu asked her.
The old woman walked into the courtyard and chuckled when she saw Li Yu. “Miss Li, Im Matchmaker Zhao from town. Madam Chen from town invited me to propose marriage to Miss Li for her son, Chun Sheng.”
Li Yu frowned at Matchmaker Zhao and thought to herself, We just got home and someone came to propose marriage. It would be strange if it wasnt the Zhang family.
Li Yu looked at Matchmaker Zhao coldly. “No one in our family wants to talk about marriage. Im afraid youre mistaken.”
Matchmaker Zhao said anxiously, “It cant be wrong. Madam Chen said that the family lives in West Mountain Village. Theres only the Li family left. I asked around.”
Li Yu was even more certain that the Zhang family was behind this. She pulled Matchmaker Zhao out and looked at her coldly. “Then go back and tell Madam Chen that no one in the Li family wants to matchmake.”
When Matchmaker Zhao saw that Li Yu didnt even give her a sip of water and even chased her out, she was so angry that her face turned red. She shouted, “Little girl, youre just someone who has been rejected. Now that someone wants you, its all thanks to your good deeds in your previous life. I came to propose marriage with good intentions, but you still chased me out. Be careful that you wont be able to get married in the future.”
Li Yu looked at her and sneered. “You dont have to worry about me. Just stay where you are!”
“Damn girl, just stay at home and be an old maid for the rest of your life!” Matchmaker Zhao was so angry that she walked towards the village.
Zhaodi and Laidi looked at Li Yu angrily. “Cousin, she doesnt look like a good person. She looks like my granny.”
When Li Yu heard that, she burst out laughing. “Laidi, is your granny also dressed like this”
Laidi gestured animatedly. “Granny is even better dressed than my mother. Shes always bluffing and scolding my mother and my sister. She would be crying, but she would immediately smile when she saw Third Uncles Baoyin.”
Zhaodi looked at her and laughed. “Youre such a gremlin. Do you dare say it at home”
Laidi rolled her eyes. “Id be surprised if Granny didnt beat me to death at home.”
Li Yu looked at the two sisters; one was active and the other was quiet. She felt that it was quite good.
Suddenly, she remembered that she still had to build a few rows of shelves to dry the rice seedlings. Also, there were a lot of mosquitoes in the night. She took the back hoe and machete and said to Zhaodi, “Zhaodi, Ill go chop bamboo. You stay at home and watch the house. Come, Ill go and cut some wormwood.”
After hearing this, Laidii ran in to get a sickle and pulled Li Yu as if they were close. “Cousin, lets go!” Li Yu nodded and went to the wasteland outside the backyard with Laidi.