Li Yu carried the two pheasants to the village chiefs house. When she walked to the backyard, she saw that the door was wide open. Li Yu stood at the door and looked in. She saw Madam Li standing under the eaves and grinding.
Li Yu stood at the door and shouted, “Auntie Li, youre busy!”
Madam Li turned around and saw Li Yu standing at the door with two pheasants in her hands. She hurriedly put down the grinding handle and went to the door. She whispered, “Xiaoyu, why did you send wild animals over again We wont be able to eat two pieces even if you send them over. Why dont you sell them for money Remember not to send them over next time.”
Li Yu smiled and replied softly, “Auntie Li, didnt the Zhang family return my familys money Its not safe to leave it at home. I want to find the village chief and grandfather to buy the wasteland behind my house.”
Madam Li took the pheasant and nodded with a smile. “Buying land is a good thing. Remember! Dont send prey over in the future. Save it for Ah Qing to study.” Madam Li pulled a chair for Li Yu to sit down and pointed into the house. “Wait for me. Ill call my father-in-law for you.”
Li Yu smiled and nodded. After a while, Madam Li called the village chief over. The village chief glanced at Li Yu and asked, “Xiaoyu, your aunt said that you want to buy wasteland, but there are no good wastelands in the village anymore!”
Li Yu stood up and bowed to the village chief. “Grandpa Village Chief, there wont be much food left after paying taxes. I want to buy the wasteland behind my house. What do you think”
The village chief frowned when he heard that. “Even if the wasteland behind your house is tilled, Im afraid it will take a few years to develop. Besides, its not convenient to water it. Have you considered it”
“Thank you for your advice, Village Chief. I just want it to be convenient for me to take a close look at it.”
When the village chief saw that Li Yu had made up her mind to buy it, he did not persuade her. “Because the terrain in that barren mountain is not good, no one has ever wanted it there.” The village chief paused for a moment. “The mayor came to measure it two years ago. There are a total of 82 acres. The price is 200 copper coins per acre. Including the contract tax, its a total of 20 taels. Hand over the money first and Ill go to the government office to settle the land deed for you. Also, if you dont pay taxes for the first three years in the wasteland, youll have to pay 20 copper coins per acre.”
Li Yu took out the silver and handed it to the village chief. She said politely, “Thank you, village chief.”
The village chief took the silver and waved his hand. “You dont have to be so polite. Its not easy for you siblings either. Ill get it done for you tomorrow morning.” The village chief took the silver and returned to his house.
After the village chief left, Madam Li looked at Li Yu and said worriedly, “Xiaoyu, you bought so much land and Ah Qing is still studying. What are you going to do as a girl”
Li Yu smiled. “Auntie Li, dont be afraid. When the time comes, Ill hire people to plant it.” Li Yu looked at the stone mill and asked Madam Li, “Auntie Li, where can I buy a stone mill”
“Stonemason Craftsman Chens house at the east end of the village makes them. Do you want to buy a stone mill” Madam Li looked at Li Yu and asked.
Li Yu counted on her fingers. “There are still a lot of things to buy! I want to buy a stone mill and a rice mill and a stone mortar. I also want to buy chickens and pigs.”
Madam Li untied her belt and said with a refreshing smile, “There are all of them in these villages. Follow me, Ill bring you there.”
Madam Li brought Li Yu to the family selling incubated chicks to buy more than ten chicks. Then, she went to the family raising sows to order two piglets before bringing Li Yu to Craftsman Chens house.
Li Yu saw that Master Chens house was filled with all kinds of stone tools. The ones for the millet rice were also stepping vertebrae that he had seen in the countryside before. Li Yu bought a plate of medium-sized stone mill, a stepping vertebra, and a small stone mortar.
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After Madam Li bought it with Li Yu, she bade farewell to Li Yu and returned home.
Li Yu brought Craftsman Chen, carried the chick, and helped Stonemason Chen push the handcart. He pulled the stone mill and stone mortar and stepped on them home.
When Laidi saw that Li Yu had returned with the chickens, she happily went forward to carry them to the wasteland outside the house to release the chickens. Li Yu asked the stonemason to install the stone mill and stepping vertebrae under the eaves outside the woodshed. After installing them and sending the stonemason away, she returned to the house and began to stir-fry the big ingredients. She prepared to make pickled vegetables and bean paste after grinding them down. Then, she washed the stone mill, stone mortar, and rice mortar to dry.
When Li Qing returned home from school at around nine oclock, he found Li Yu and said with a red face, “Sister, Ive made you wait for a long time. I only found a chance to ask Sir today. Sir said that Great Yong is preceded by Great Chen. Great Chen has been around for more than 300 years, and Great Yong has been around for more than 150 years.”
When Li Yu heard this, she lowered her head and thought that she might have been reborn into a parallel universe. In that case, Li Yu decided not to think about it.
Looking up at Li Qings blushing face, she smiled and comforted him. “Ah Qing, Im not in a hurry. You dont have to feel embarrassed about how long it took.Sigh! Youve been studying for more than a month. How do you feel about it”
Li Qing looked at Li Yu and said seriously, “Sister, I want to study hard. Firstly, the things in the books are too interesting. Secondly, I want to get an academic title so that the Zhang family wont dare to bully you again.”
Li Yu heard from Li Qing that he first felt that studying was interesting before he wanted to take the scholarly examination. She felt that it was good for him to have such an understanding. After all, no matter what he learned, he had to be interested in it first. Coupled with the goal of fighting for it, it would give people the motivation to study hard.
Li Yu looked at Li Qings serious expression. “You have to do what you can. Its not something that can be done overnight. Dont force yourself.”
Li Qing nodded and said, “Ill remember that. Ill go chop some firewood first before doing my homework.”
“Alright, make your own arrangements.” Li Yu watched as Li Qing left with the machete and rope. She called Zhaodi over to cook and began to sharpen the ingredients.
Li Mei and her husband did not return until evening, each carrying a tray of chili peppers, two baskets of peas,beans and a basket of vegetables.
Li Mei wiped the sweat off her face and said to Li Yu with a smile, “Yuer, I told the villagers to send the excess vegetables to our house. The peas, chili, and vegetables we bought today are all 1 copper coin for 2 catties. The dried beancurd and beans are 1 copper coin for 500 grams. We only spent less than 200 copper coins on so many things.”
Li Yu looked at Li Meis sweat-soaked hair. “Aunt, its been hard on you and Uncle. Hurry up and take a shower. Leave this to me.”
Seeing that Li Yu was concerned about her, Li Mei felt warmth in her heart. She smiled and said, “Its not hard work. In the past, I was busy from morning to night and even got scolded. Thats why I complained.”
Liu Changmin put beans into a sack and went to take a shower. Zhaodi set up the dishes and came out. “Mom, Cousin is eating.”
“Okay.” Li Mei looked around but did not see Li Qing and Laidi. “Where are Ah Qing and Laidi”
“One of them went to cut firewood while the other went to release chickens outside the courtyard,” Zhaodi said as she pointed at the stone mill and stepping stones outside the woodshed. “Mother, you havent noticed, right”
Only then did Li Mei discover the stone mill and pedals under the eaves. She happily went over to push the mill around twice and touch the pedals. “Zhaodi, Ive wanted these two things for a long time. Your grandmother just doesnt take out money to buy them. Now that Im free, Ill make some beans and make tofu pudding for you.”
Li Yu didnt expect Li Mei to know how to make tofu. She smiled and said, “Aunt, if you know how to make tofu, why dont you sell it”
Li Mei laughed. “I learned how to make tofu pudding from your mother in the past. When I moved to Old Lius house, I had to work. I was always beaten and scolded by that old woman. How could I have the mood to help her earn money!”
Seeing how happy Li Mei was, Zhaodi also felt that life was getting better. She smiled happily. “Mother, now no one will scold you anymore.”