Li Yu rushed towards the town. By the time she arrived, the market had already dispersed. Occasionally, people would rush past on the streets. The shops on both sides became cold and cheerless. It was a completely different scene from the lively scene she saw when she first arrived in town.
Li Yu looked at the shops on both sides as she walked. Although the town was small, the variety of shops was still very complete. There were all kinds of Sapporo hanging at the entrance of the shops.
Li Yu saw a cloth shop and went in to buy 15 kilograms of cotton. There was also a sky-blue and a jade-green thin cloth, an earth-white coarse cloth, ten feet of gauze, and more than ten feet of plain white cotton cloth. Two mosquito nets and a handful of needles and thread cost two taels of silver. The lady boss happily gave her a handful of thread and a bag of cloth.
Li Yu placed the items in the cloth shop and walked to the end of the street before finding the blacksmith. The blacksmith was snoring as he leaned against the bamboo chair at the door.
The blacksmith was a middle-aged man wearing a dark rough coat. His face was tanned black and red. Li Yu shouted at the blacksmith, “Uncle, wake up. I want to buy something.”
The blacksmith was startled by the sudden awakening. He opened his eyes to see a young girl and patted his chest. “Ouch! I was almost scared to death by you, little girl.”
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Li Yu looked at him innocently. “Uncle, you cant blame me. I cant just go in and take what I need!”
The blacksmith laughed heartily. “Of course, of course. What would you like to buy, miss”
Li Yu went into the shop and asked for two iron pots, a few locks, two hoes, a shovel, a kettle, two sickles, and fire tongs and a spatula. Finally, Li Yu saw a dagger. After picking it up and playing with it, he looked at the blacksmith and said, “Uncle, how much is this dagger”
The blacksmith looked at what Li Yu had chosen. “Young lady, an iron pot costs six hundred copper coins a piece. A spatula costs thirty copper coins. Together, its four thousand nine hundred and ten copper coins.”
Li Yu calculated and said, “Uncle, how about this Four taels of silver and nine taels of silver. Can you give me another handful of nails”
The blacksmith nodded readily. “Ill sell it to you, young lady. Can you carry two iron pots that big”
Li Yu thought to herself,
Looks like I have to buy a backpack to fit so many things.
“Uncle, where can I find a piggyback nearby”
The blacksmith pointed diagonally across the street to the grocers shop. “Eh, theres one diagonally across the street from Chow Jis.”
Li Yu looked at those things and instructed the blacksmith, “Uncle, pick two better iron pots for me. Ill go buy a backpack before coming back to get it.”
“Little girl, dont worry. Everything in my ship is good.” The blacksmith boasted about his things and watched Li Yu go to the grocery store opposite.
Li Yu entered the shop and saw that it was indeed a grocery store. There were all kinds of food and necessities inside. The shop assistant eagerly welcomed her and looked at Li Yu with a smile. “Miss, what do you want to buy Our food is good and cheap.”
Li Yu took a look and pointed to the large ingredients. She said to the shop assistant, “Please weigh the grass fruits, star anise, cinnamon, fragrant leaves, peppercorns… three taels each, and a pound of chili.”
“Alright!” The shop assistant quickly weighed the items and put them into the oiled paper bag. He smiled and asked Li Yu, “Miss, what else do you need”
Li Yu pointed at the oil in the jar and asked, “What oil is in here”
“Vegetable oil, thirty-five copper coins a catty squeezed from rapeseed. Want some”
Li Yu thought for a moment. “Five catties! If I buy so much, you have to give me a discount later!”
The clerk smiled and nodded. “Okay. Ill give you a discount when youve chosen.”
Li Yu bought another two catties of brown sugar, two catties of salt, soy sauce, vinegar, a wooden steamed bun, bowls, chopsticks, ladles, and a pile of miscellaneous things.
In the end, it was a total of 915 copper coins. The shop assistant accepted 900 copper coins from Li Yu. After Li Yu paid, the shop assistant looked at the pile of things and at Li Yu worriedly. He thought to himself, “How can such a small body carry so many things”
“Can you carry it, girl”
“Help me pack it. Im thinking about buying some more lard. Wheres the meat seller”
The clerk pointed to the street where Li Yu had come from. “Head south of town. Theres an alley on the right. Thats where the meat sellers are.”
“Thank you.” Li Yu went to the blacksmith shop opposite and paid. After counting the items, the blacksmith helped Li Yu move the items to the provision store. He looked at the pile of items and persuaded Li Yu, “Young lady, how can you take so much back I advise you to go to the town entrance and hire a car!”
“Its okay. Its a hassle to walk around. Ill hire a car when Ive found a suitable one at the town entrance.”
Seeing that Li Yu was unwilling to hire a car, the two of them could only say, “W-Well help you pack your things.”
The blacksmith waited for the clerk to put the bowls and chopsticks and the fragile things into the backpack. He placed the pot in the backpack and put the other things into the pot. He fixed it with a rope. The blacksmith looked at the thin man and advised Li Yu worriedly, “Young lady, if you cant carry it, dont force yourself and be careful not to crush your body.”
“Uncle, dont worry, I can carry you.”
Li Yu squatted down and easily carried the backpack. The shop assistant looked at Li Yu in surprise and hurriedly handed the shovel and broom to Li Yu.
Li Yu carried the basket in one hand and a broom in the other. She smiled and said, “Thank you. Ill take care of you next time I want buy something.”
They both laughed. “Sure!”
Seeing how relaxed Li Yus footsteps were, the blacksmith realized that she was naturally strong. He sighed and walked back, thinking, What a pity. If it was a man, I would have taken him in as my disciple.
Li Yu looked around as she walked. She walked to the cloth shop to get the things she had stored. She walked for a while before reaching the alley the shop assistant had mentioned.
Li Yu looked inside. There was still a meat stall that had not been closed. Li Yu walked over and saw a few bones on the meat stall. There was a pair of pigs lungs, a set of chicken crown oil, and a piece of hind leg meat that weighed about three to four catties.
“Uncle, are you still selling this meat” Li Yu asked Tuhu, who was napping on the meat stall.
The fat butcher looked up and saw a young lady carrying a big pot on her back. He was stunned for a moment before smiling amiably. “Yes! You came a little late today, so this is all thats left. When I go home, Im afraid of the nagging at home. Girl, let me help you put down your backpack first.”
Li Yu waved her hand. “Theres no need to trouble yourself. Hurry up and tell me how much you sell these for. If the price is right, you can wrap them up for me. Itll save you the trouble of guarding them on a hot day.”
The butcher pointed at the cockscomb oil and the hind legs. “The two together will be six copper coins a catty. The pigs lungs will cost you two copper coins a catty. Ill give you the bones!”
Li Yu nodded readily. “Alright, how much do you want”
The butcher weighed it. It was a total of nine catties and two taels. After Li Yu paid, the butcher looked at the things Li Yu was carrying. “Miss, where do you live in West Mountain Village If its on the way, Ill drive you there.”
Li Yus eyes lit up. “What a coincidence. I live in West Mountain Village too.”
“Thats right! What a coincidence that you live in West Mountain Village too. Its been almost three years since my family moved to West Mountain Village. Why havent I seen you”
“I used to live in the county. I only came home today.”
“I see! My surname is He and I live at the end of the village. Its the one that collapsed a section of the courtyard wall. Just go over a little. Take my ox cart back!”
“Thank you, Uncle He. My surname is Li. You can call me Xiaoyu! My house is the one where the wall collapsed. My brother and I just came back today. Uncle He, I didnt expect us to be neighbors.” Butcher He went up to help Li Yu put down the backpack.
“What a coincidence.” Butcher He packed up his stall tools. “Xiaoyu, wait for me here. Ill bring the cows over.”
“Okay.” After Li Yu agreed, he placed the meat and bones into the pot and placed the pigs lungs in the kiln. Butcher He brought the cow over.
After Butcher He got Li Yu into the car, the two of them rode the ox cart towards West Mountain Village.
“Your house is closer to the ditch below. Theres also a well in the courtyard. I wanted to buy your house, and wed already agreed on a price. Then your second uncle said he wasnt selling it anymore, so I bought a foundation from the village chief and repaired it myself.”
Li Yu didnt expect the Zhang family to want to sell the Li familys house too. They probably gave up on the idea because they couldnt get the deed from Little Li Yu! She didnt expect there to be such a greedy and shameless person in the world.
“Uncle He, I didnt know that my family was going to sell the house! Besides, that house was left to my brother by my parents!”
“Oh!” Butcher He thought to himself that there must be something fishy about the person selling the house. Fortunately, he didnt buy it. Otherwise, it would be troublesome.