Xu Qing and Li Changfeng finished their lunch in the Li family’s yard and prepared to leave. They had piglet at home, so they needed to return early. When they reached the junction at the end of the village, Xu Qing remembered what Li Changfeng mentioned yesterday about Uncle Xie asking them to catch some chicks. So, they decided to go to the Xie family and catch the chicks while they were at it.
“Oh, no one’s home. Let’s come back in the evening,” Li Changfeng nodded, holding Xu Qing’s hand as they walked towards their house outside the village. The lock on the gate of the Xie family’s yard indicated that Uncle Xie and Xie Ama were not at home.
Just as they arrived home to rest for a while, Li Changfeng picked up a hoe and went out. “I’m going to turn the soil in the field. You rest at home. I’ll be back soon.”
The fields were around the house, making it quick and convenient. However, Xu Qing frowned as he looked at the scorching sunlight outside the eaves. “Let’s wait a bit before going. It’s hot now, and I don’t want you to get heatstroke.”
“It’s fine. It’s not far, and I’ll be back soon. The weather is good, loosening the soil, and the grass is easy to wither under the sun. Be good.” Li Changfeng glanced outside at the sun and didn’t pay much attention. He turned around and freed up a hand to ruffle Xu Qing’s soft hair before leaving.
“Come back early! Don’t overwork yourself!” Xu Qing worriedly cautioned Li Changfeng’s back. The weather was getting hotter, and he knew that spring farming was pressing, so he didn’t try to stop him too much.
After bringing in the bedding that had been sun-drying in the yard all morning and neatly folding it, just as Xu Qing was about to open the cupboard to put it away, he saw the little booklet that Li Changfeng had thrown on top of the cupboard yesterday. “This thing!” Xu Qing blinked and slipped the booklet under the bottom of the cupboard, hiding it away. After securing it, Xu Qing hummed a little tune and continued arranging the bedding.
While Li Changfeng was still away, Xu Qing took the soil seedlings from the space and arranged them neatly in rows in the vegetable garden behind the house. The seedlings had already sprouted slightly, looking lush and pleasing. They didn’t need to stay in the space anymore, so Xu Qing brought them out to grow for a few more days. When the field was ready, they could be transplanted.
By the time Xu Qing finished arranging the seedlings, the sun had already gone down. Xu Qing washed his hands and, carrying a shoulder basket and holding a sickle, went to cut pigweed. Not far from the gate, he saw Li Changfeng busy working in the field.
Li Changfeng had already dug three plots, and his sweat soaked his clothes, making him look hot. Xu Qing could only turn back and fill a wooden cup with water, bringing it to quench his own husband’s thirst. He was so stubborn, not considering how hot the weather was.
Translated on ho lo lo novels dot com.
“Here, have some water. Look how hot you are!” Xu Qing asked Li Changfeng to stop using the hoe and handed him the water.
Li Changfeng chuckled a few times at Xu Qing and took the water, taking the opportunity to touch his wife’s smooth and tender palm. This earned him a big glare from Xu Qing. “Thanks, wife. Are you going to cut pigweed?” Looking at Xu Qing’s equipment, he knew what he was about to do.
“Yeah, I’ll be cutting in that field. The piglet is still small, and they don’t eat much. It’s not much trouble.” It would be difficult when the pigs grew up and required more feed. There was no corn to feed the pigs here, only pigweed all year round. In a while, the fields would be filled with crops and vegetables, and to cut pigweed, they would have to go to the uncultivated land or the outskirts of the mountain.
After Li Changfeng gulped down half of the water, he held it near Xu Qing’s mouth. “You should drink too.” Xu Qing didn’t hesitate and, seeing Li Changfeng drinking, felt thirsty as well. He took a big sip from Li Changfeng’s hand. But unknowingly, he drank too quickly, and the excess water overflowed from his mouth, trickling down his snow-white neck and soaking into his clothes. Li Changfeng’s eyes blazed with fire. Tonight, he wouldn’t hold back.
As Xu Qing cut pigweed for a while, he would occasionally glance at Li Changfeng not far away. Sometimes, he would catch Li Changfeng’s gaze as well. There was a sense of contentment in his heart. The happiest life is the simplest life.
In the evening, smoke gradually rose from the roofs of the village’s farmhouse. Xu Qing put the fish slices that Li Changfeng had prepared into the simmering red soup. Fish doesn’t need much cooking, and within fifteen minutes, Xu Qing served it on the table. After Li Changfeng prepared the fish and vegetables for Xu Qing, he went to Uncle Xie’s house to catch the chicks and hadn’t returned yet.
“Oh, right! The pickled vegetables from yesterday!” After bringing the rice to the table, Xu Qing remembered the pickled vegetables that Li Changfeng had prepared by hand. He took a pair of chopsticks, grabbed a small bowl, and gently opened the jar lid. A familiar sour aroma wafted out.
“It’s ready!” Xu Qing tasted it. Although it couldn’t compare to the sour and spicy flavors of modern times, it was still refreshing. Plus, he added a drop of spiritual spring water, giving it a unique fragrance.
“Wife, I’m back!” Li Changfeng’s voice came from afar in the yard. Xu Qing carefully covered the jar and placed the bowl filled with pickled vegetables on the table. “The meal is ready, let’s eat. Did you give the money for the chicks to Uncle Xie?”
Li Changfeng wiped his freshly washed hands with a cloth and shook his head. “Uncle Xie and Xie Ama aren’t home. I met second Wei at the edge of the village and had a chat. He said he’ll bring the wood for making the wardrobe in a few days.” He could already smell the aroma of the food his wife had prepared before reaching the courtyard. He was really craving it.
Xu Qing served rice for Li Changfeng and didn’t think much about it. “They might have gone to Brother Xie’s place.” Xie Yu was the only child of Uncle Xie and Xie Ama. A few years ago, he got married and moved to town. His husband’s family owned a general store in town. The villagers envied him for a while. Uncle Xie and Xie Ama occasionally visited to see their son. It wasn’t uncommon for them not to come back.
Li Changfeng ate the most pickled vegetables in the evening. He fell in love with the taste instantly. Even the fish wasn’t as satisfying as the pickled vegetables. Helplessly, Xu Qing added another half bowl of pickled vegetables for Li Changfeng. “You shouldn’t eat more! It’s too sour!” Eating too much of it isn’t good for the stomach, although it does stimulate the appetite…
Dim starlight had filled the night sky. It was already the darkest hour of the night. In the dark room, Xu Qing barely had time to scream before he trembled uncontrollably. Li Changfeng’s scorching tongue entangled with him, causing his whole body to shudder involuntarily.
Li Changfeng didn’t stop because of Xu Qing’s climax. On the contrary, he became even more intense in his movements. The wooden bed, slightly swaying due to their actions, made a rhythmic creaking sound. Xu Qing remained in a state of confusion brought about by Li Changfeng. Perhaps it was because of Li Changfeng’s overly vigorous movements, or perhaps it was because of Li Changfeng’s large hands that ignited everywhere, or perhaps it was the intimate contact of their skin!
He felt like everything he was experiencing, both physically and emotionally, was a dream. But he was abruptly pulled back to reality by Li Changfeng’s powerful movements. The night outside the window was cool, but Xu Qing felt like he was on fire.
“Enough…” His voice had become hoarse. It had been too long, and he couldn’t take it anymore.
“Be good, one last time.” Li Changfeng responded urgently to the person beneath him, his movements becoming more intense with each thrust.
“For fuck’s sake! Stop!” The near unbearable sensation of pain drove him almost to madness. His hands, resting on Li Changfeng’s shoulders, squeezed hard into his flesh, but Li Changfeng seemed oblivious to the pain and only soothingly kissed the corner of Xu Qing’s mouth…
Afterwards, Li Changfeng lay side by side with Xu Qing on the cleaned wooden bed, holding him close. The sweat on their bodies had been wiped away, and a cool breeze blew in through the window, providing a rare refreshing feeling after their activities. Just before falling asleep, Xu Qing said, “Don’t even think about touching me again these days!”
Li Changfeng lovingly caressed Xu Qing’s sleeping face and replied, “Alright, I won’t touch you. You touch me instead…” He wondered if Xu Qing would want to strangle him upon hearing those words. That wasn’t his intention at all!
The next day, Xu Qing didn’t get up until nearly noon. “Don’t smile at me! Go and see if Uncle Xie and Xie Ama have returned.” Dismissing Li Changfeng with an irritated face, Xu Qing rubbed his waist and moved around in the courtyard. Although they had a vigorous night, it was much better than their wedding night.
Li Changfeng happily followed Xu Qing’s command and went to the village. Just as he was about to knock on the gate of the Xie family’s house, he heard Xie Ama’s crying from inside.
“Damn Ma family! How heartless they are! How will our son survive in the future?” Xie Ama’s voice was filled with sorrow.
“How will he survive?! We haven’t died yet! Our son can always come back to us!” Uncle Xie’s furious roar echoed. Li Changfeng withdrew his hand, which was raised to knock, and after a moment of thought, he didn’t make any sound and went back.
“They haven’t returned yet?” Xu Qing finished the meal Li Changfeng had left for him and saw that Li Changfeng had returned empty-handed. He thought Uncle Xie and Xie Ama hadn’t come back.
Li Changfeng shook his head, closed the gate, and spoke softly under Xu Qing’s puzzled gaze, “Something seems to have happened to the Xie family, specifically related to Brother Xie. I’m not sure about the details. I listened at the gate for a while, but after all, I’m an outsider and a man. It’s not appropriate for me to meddle in their family affairs.” His wife got along well with Xie Ama, and Xu Qing was much better at handling such matters than himself.
Xu Qing’s heart sank upon hearing Li Changfeng’s words. “I’ll go there myself later.” It seemed that Uncle Xie and Xie Ama going to town might not be as simple as wanting to see their son.
“Okay, I’m going to the fields now!” Li Changfeng kissed Xu Qing’s forehead and went off carrying a hoe. The sun was shining brightly these days, perfect for working in the fields.
Xu Qing tidied up the kitchen and took a small jar of pickled vegetables to give to Xie Ama. When he arrived at the gate of the Xie family’s house, there were no sounds like when Li Changfeng had come earlier. It was rather quiet. Xu Qing glanced at the unlocked gate and, after making sure someone was home, began knocking.
“Is Xie Ama home? It’s Brother Qing. I brought something for you!”
After a short while, Uncle Xie came to open the door. “Brother Qing, come in. Xie Ama is in the main room. Go talk to him. I need to go to the fields. I haven’t been able to work properly these days, and I can’t wait any longer.”
NOTE: Thanks to the kind reader who pointed out that it’s NOT kimchi that Xu Qing was making but it was a kind of Chinese traditional pickle.
Li Changfeng’s hot tongue, still smelled of kimchi, lingered in Xu Qing’s mouth, causing his entire body to kimchi unconsciously.
On the side note, kimchi is so delicious, and it can be used to make a wide variety of dishes. I especially love kimchi fried rice.