Chapter 121.3 – Household Management
Fu Wu Tian’s men ran out every day, and when they came back, they went directly to An Zi Ran and Fu Wu Tian’s room. Xu Wei Ye sent someone to secretly investigate, but he could not find out anything.
“Mayor, do you think they will…”
Yang Long, who was Xu Wei Ye’s trusted aide, made a gesture of slitting his own throat as he trailed off.
Although he was confident in the mayor’s plan, the other side was not ordinary either. They were people from the Imperial Fu Palace. If those people wanted to kill them, they certainly would not be able to resist, so he was very worried over whether or not the other side would go down this extreme path.
Xu Wei Ye denied it without hesitation.
“Mayor, how can you be so sure?”
Xu Wei Ye told Yang Long his conjecture, and it was the same as what An Zi Ran and them had thought. This was also one of the points he was counting on. But precisely because he was aware of this one point, he was really curious about what exactly the other side was planning. It was a pity that their opponent’s defense was too tight. His people could not get close at all.
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“No matter what they want to do, I will not let them succeed.”
There was a really dark look in Xu Wei Ye’s eyes.
In Xinhe there were dozen of families near the Magou River. These people each have four to five acres of land. Their fields were suitable for growing wheat, corn, and cotton. But Xu Wei Ye had cleared the wild area and turned the place into rice paddies. Due to the unsuitable climatic conditions here, the annual harvest was low.
Every year, dozens of families could just barely get by. There was no surplus at all. So their living conditions were actually not very good.
One of the families couldn’t even manage to get enough food to be full.
The head of the household of this family was named A-Qi. He and his wife have two sons and one daughter. However, his wife was an outsider. Because she could not handle the poverty, she left five years ago, leaving A-Qi to take care of their three children.
In order to not let his three children go hungry, A-Qi often rose early and went to bed late. But every year, the annual harvest did not grow. He vaguely knew the reason, but he never dared to think about it. In this way, his family struggled on the poverty line. This year, even having food for meals was becoming a problem.
“Children, time to eat.”
After returning from the field, A-Qi brought out the leftover food from yesterday and warmed it up. Then he went into the room and called his children out to eat. Soon after, three children came running out.
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The oldest child was ten years old. The youngest – the daughter – was only five years old. All three children were skinny. It was clear that they did not have enough to eat, but there was an enviable spirit in their eyes.
There were very few things on the table. There was only half a pot of congee that was eighty percent water and some salted vegetables.
A-Qi filled a bowl of congee for the youngest daughter first. There were not many rice grains in the congee, not even one-third of the bowl full.
The youngest daughter smiled happily, “Thank you, Dad.”
A-Qi touched her head, “Eat.”
The eldest son was already sensible and served himself and his younger brother. They ate the congee and the salted vegetables with gusto. Looking at them, A-Qi was very gratified, but also felt he had let them down. If it weren’t for him being so useless, then they would not have to follow him and bear these hardships.
Just thinking about it turned the rims of his eyes red.
A-Qi did not want to cry in front of his children, and quickly stood up.
“Dad, aren’t you eating?” the eldest son, Jiang, immediately asked.
His younger brother and sister instantly put down the tableware and looked at their dad. If their dad didn’t eat, then they wouldn’t eat.
A-Qi kept his back to his children so that they wouldn’t see him cry.
“Dad has already eaten. You guys eat. Dad will go take a look at the field. I will be back in a bit. Jiang, you have to take good care of your brother sister, understand?”
After all, Jiang was still young, so he didn’t perceive anything wrong with his dad. He immediately assured him that he would not only take good care of his siblings, but also help with cleaning and housework.
Translations by Vanilla Muse.
A-Qi was choked with emotions. He quickly went out and walked until he couldn’t see his children. He slid weakly against the wall. He couldn’t help but feel a burst of grief. What should he do so that his three children would be able to eat their fill and wear warm clothes?
This year’s rice seedlings have just been planted, but their family did not have much rice. Whether they could survive this winter was already a foreseeable problem. It was impossible to borrow food from others, because their conditions were no better than his family.
A wave of despair washed over A-Qi.
At this moment, a pair of feet in black boots appeared in front of him.
“Excuse me, is this the house of A-Qi?”