When grandpa Chen heard these conditions, the shock from watching Wenmin being able to write vanished as anger replace them. Even his grandma and aunt look at him like hes trying to rob them of their money. ”How can we give him 10 taels of silver bah? What are we supposed to do with Bowens spending? The county exam is nearing a few months, why should we give a ger so much money? ” Aunt Lihua said with contempt. What does a ger amount to his scholar son? My Bowen will be the future official Lihua is still hoping to be an officials mother, having someone to treat her like those noble women from the capital.

Uncle and the grandparents agreed to what Aunt Lihua said. They put their hopes on Chen Bowen to bring the Chen family prosperity and fame in the village. Grandpa Chen added ”We won be giving Wenmin 10 taels, the most we can give him is only 5 taels. We still need to live bah! Hes still taking our vegetables, even if he didn ask for land, Ill give him 2 mu of wasteland instead to compensate for the other 5 taels of silver. ”

Hearing what Grandpa Chen said, the village elders and Uncle Yichen thought that what he said is good as Wenmin will be living alone. Giving him 2 mu of wasteland is enough, he doesn need to plant any wheat or sorghum like the other gers. They look at Wenmin to see if he agrees with the negotiation or not. They still pity him but they can help too much as its the Chen familys problem. Wenmin look at his aunt and grandpa, and then he noticed another ger beside his grandma. If he remembers it correctly, according to the memories, that ger is called Chen Limei, Aunt Lihuas cherished ger son. Looking at how neat and beautiful Limeis fingers are, he guessed that they wanted him to marry someone with a higher status once Bowen become a Xiucai.

Wenmin smirked, he looked at cun zhang and said ”I agree to the conditions of my grandfather. After we separate, if they come to me to ask for money or make trouble, I hope that Uncle Yichen and the elders who are the witness today can help me in the future. ” They look at each other and placed the paper for Li Wenmin and Grandpa Chen to stamp their thumbprint. Uncle Yichen looked at Wenmin and sighed. If only his Ama is still alive, at least Wenmin doesn have to be alone. Wenmin can see that the village head is a warm person, and decided to be closer to him and his family in the future.

Xinyi and his Ama, who was outside of the house, heard and saw everything. He was surprised to see that Wenmin is literate. Knowing that Wenmins Ama is a hardworking person, he must have learned it from the people in town or even from Wenmins father who was from the capital. Xinyi was envious of Wenmin but he is still happy that Wenmin got the result that he wanted. ”Xinyi ah, look at Wenmin. He seems different from before. Hes also literate too. You must keep a good relationship with him. Maybe he can help teach you some words too. ” said Xinyis Ama, Aunt Bao. Aunt Bao was close to Wenmins Ama when he was alive. She was quite petite and a little fleshy but she was also kind and always give Wenmin some food when Wenmin Ama was too busy at the field or at the town selling things.

After the separation ended, Uncle Yichen rolled the paper and gave another copy to Wenmin. He said, ”Since the land and the house you
e living in right now were bought and owned by your ama, the deed to the land will be yours. I will go to the county office tomorrow to register and settle everything. ” He said and patted Wenmins shoulder. Uncle Zimo who heard that the land and house will belong to Wenmin clicked his tongue and showed a dissatisfied face. He was thinking of getting the land and house to himself as it has a well and vegetables with fruit trees planted. Even if the house is not big, the land is actually 6 mu, which is equivalent to one acre. That is why Wenmin didn ask for any land from the beginning, with the addition of 2 mu of land given by the Chen family, Wenmin now owns a total of 8 mus of land without even having to buy them.

Wenmin saw the dissatisfaction in his uncles eyes, he just smiled at him and pay no heed. He thanked the village head and the village elders and got out of the house. Grandma Chen who saw Wenmin walking out quickly followed Wenmin and grabbed his hand. She said ”Minmin, even though weve already separated, your ama is still my son. Here I give you your amas necklace. He wanted to give to you once youve grown up. I know you may think badly of us but we can feed another mouth in this house. Bowens going to be a Xiucai, he needs a lot of money. Limei is also 16 years old and we need to save for his dowry. Your uncles children are still young and small, they need more food to eat. Don be angry with your grandma. ”

After she said that and handed the necklace, she rushed back to Grandpa Chen and went inside the house. Wenmin looked at the necklace in his hands, it was a dragon shape jadeite pendant with a thin silver chain. For common people to have jade and silver, either Yingyue made a fortune with his business in town or it was given by Wenmins father. Wenmin thought to himself. He wears the necklace and hides it inside his clothes. He looked at the sky and realised that it was going to be evening soon, he needs to feed Heihei and cooked for himself. He saw Xinyi and walked to him and greeted Aunt Bao. ”Xinyi, do you know if theres a river near the village? Can you take me there? ” He asked Xinyi with a smile.

”Hey, I know you didn go out much but you even forgot the river that we used to play in? Come on, Ill take you there before it gets dark. Ama, Ill walk with Wenmin first you go back home ah. Ill come back home before dark. ” Xinyi said to Wenmin and his ama. Xinyi grabbed Wenmins hand and together they went to the river. ”Minmin, you are actually a literate person! Why didn you tell me before? ” Xinyi said while pouting his lips. Wenmin chuckled and replied ”My ama taught me when I was a kid. He said being literate can you with many things. I can also teach you some words and count numbers if you want. ” Wenmin said to Xinyi. The road to the river is pretty big, I think they also use the river for laundry washing and collecting water.

Xinyi looked happy when Wenmin said volunteered to teach her too, but she didn say anything. Maybe shes shy? They arrived at the river and Wenmin started to roll his pants up. ”Minmin… are you trying to catch fish in the river? Be careful! It can be slippery. ” Xinyi said looking at Wenmin slowly getting into the river. The cool temperature of the river cools Wenmins heart that was exhausted because of the Chen family. The water is clear and cool. Not like those rivers in the modern era, filled with pollution. Bet the fish here are fresh. Heihei will surely love the fish. Wenmin thought happily while trying to catch a carp with both of his hands. Xinyi just shook his watching the childish side of Wenmin. Hes still a kid, you can mature that fast.

Xinyi, placed a bucket beside Wenmins shoes for Wenmin to put the fish that he caught. ”Minmin, it is going to become dark soon. Don catch too many or it will be heavy to carry the bucket! ” Xinyi shouted at Wenmin. Wenmin stopped and looked at the sky. He managed to catch 5 carp. Theres extra food for dinner hehe Wenmin hurriedly put the fish into the bucket and wear his shoes. They walked back to Wenmins house, Wenmin invited Xinyi to have dinner with him but Xinyi refused to say that he promised his ama to come back home before dark. ”Xinyi ah, next time Ill cook for you as thanks for bringing the villagers and important people of the village today. Be prepared to taste meals as good as restaurant meals. ” Wenmin boasted while sticking his chest out.

”Aiya Minmin, if you say its good then its good oh! I have never seen you cook before how good is it if you can actually cook. ” Xinyi squinted his eyes at Wenmin. ”I go back home first. Minmin, remember to lock your door properly. And call me if there is something wrong. ” Xinyi left Wenmins house in a rush. Wenmin bolted the door and headed to the kitchen. Heihei greeted him with a meow and rubbed his body at Wenmins legs. ”Heihei, come lets go and cook dinner. Theres some fish here I caught. Lets cook two and leave the rest for tomorrow. ”

They went into the kitchen. Wenmin took a bath and rolled his sleeves to cook. ”Heihei, lets eat steamed fish with pickled vegetables for dinner. Ama left quite a lot of pickled vegetables for us. ” Wenmin said to Heihei while he opened a door to a small room that was connected to the kitchen. Maybe this is what a lingyin looks like? inside the room, there are salted meat and fish, pickled vegetables and a few small jars of salt and sugar. Wenmin went to the pickled vegetable aisle and saw something like kimchi in one of the jars. ”Heihei look! Its spicy pickled cabbage! We can eat it with the steamed fish and congee from breakfast. ” He quickly went out of the room and put the jar on the high table.

”Okay, lets start by heating the congee and boiling the water inside another pot to steam the fish. ” Wenmin heat the congee up and put a wok on another stove, fill it with a little bit of water and lit the fire. While waiting for the water to boil, Wenmin washed the fish thoroughly and pat it dry, he cut the fish at a 45-degree angle a few times on each side of the fish and lay it on a plate. Wenmin went out to the garden and picked some scallions and ginger. He cut the scallions and ginger into 3 pieces and put ⅓ of the scallions and ginger into the mouth of the fish and scattered the rest under and over the fish. Since Heihei will also be eating steamed fish, Wenmin didn put any ingredients and just steam Heiheis fish first.

Next, Wenmin put his fish inside the wok and cover the wok with a lid. He steams the fish for 8 minutes over high heat. While waiting for his fish to steam, Wenmin took Heiheis steamed fish and starts to shred them and pick the bones out. He pours the shredded fish into a bowl and carries it to the dining table. ”Heihei, you eat first ah~ Im still waiting for my fish. ” He rubs Heiheis head and went to the kitchen. He took a bowl and filled it with the heated congee, filled a small plate with the spicy pickled cabbage and carries them to the dining table. Then, when is steamed, he opens the lid and uses a thick cloth to hold the plate and took it out to the dining table. ”Heihei, the fish is cooked! Lets eat. ” He picked the fish and eat it with the pickled cabbage first. ”MMM~ its spicy and a little sour! The flesh is so soft and tender. Yummy~ ”. Wenmin ate the food on the table with relish and burped with satisfaction.

He cleaned the bowls, plates and woks and pots and went to bed. He carried Heihei into his arms and fluffed his pillow. Heihei was sleeping at the end of his legs, which is his usual spot. While he was slowly falling asleep, the dragon jadeite pendant glowed a faintly green and white light. Heihei woke up and stared at the pendant, not doing anything, it seems like Heihei knew something about it. He went back to sleep and left the wrinkled-face Wenmin alone to deal with the mysteries of the pendant in his sleep.

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