This chapter is dedicated to Karli for their Kofi support. Really appreciate you ଘ(੭ˊᵕˋ)੭ ੈ♡‧₊˚
“I’ll go invite the village head and clan uncles.” Li Changfeng stood up and was about to go out.
The old man Li exclaimed firmly, “Shouldn’t we feel ashamed? If we want to split, we should do it within our own family! It has only been two years since one of the Li sons got married out, and we have already divided into two households! What kind of image are we projecting to the villagers?”
“You mean, do it in secret?” Li Changfeng looked at Old Man Li with a mocking face.
Li Ama objected, “Why is it a problem to divide it secretly? First of all, where will they live if they leave now? The fields haven’t been harvested, so how can they be divided? We don’t have any extra food at home either!”
Holding his youngest son’s hand tightly, Eldest Li’s wife felt a deep sadness in his heart. With no food left in the household, even if they were to separate, they would have nowhere to go and no money to sustain themselves. Li Ama was not going to give them any money either, as the family’s savings had been depleted when the third Li, Li Laosan, was preparing for his exam the previous year. Furthermore, Eldest Li was an honest man who never kept any private money. Despite being married for many years, he and his wife had not been able to save even a single tael of silver.
Li Laosan and his wife held their youngest ger son while sitting on the side, refraining from interrupting or speaking. Li Xiao’er and Wang Lei were also unable to say anything, as they had just returned to be witnesses for the matter at hand.
“It’s alright, second brother. Ama, we can divide privately among ourselves,” said the eldest Li, trying to avoid further arguments and scolding towards Li Changfeng.
Li Ama raised his eyelids.
“Currently, we don’t have any extra money in the family, and we can barely afford our daily necessities. Since it’s not yet the harvest season, we don’t know how much we will earn. We only have two old hens and four big roosters in the house.” Li Ama added, as he glanced at his third son’s wife whose belly hadn’t started showing yet.
Li Ama continued “We can’t give you the hens. We need it for the third son’s wife when he gives birth, so we can’t afford to lose any. As for the tools, we don’t have many, so you can only take one. And the pig, it’s still a half-sized piglet, so let’s discuss it later. Regarding the living situation, Da Niu and Xiao Niu are currently sharing one room, and the eldest son and his wife are also in another room. Those two rooms should be enough for you. We can share the kitchen together.”
Upon noticing the tense expressions of eldest Li and his wife, Li Ama chuckled and interjected, “Well, this is the reality of our situation. If you want to divide, go ahead. But if not, things will stay as they are.” He twirled his fingers as he spoke.
Li Xiao’er couldn’t contain his frustration any longer and spoke up. “Ama, Da Niu will be ready for marriage in a few years, and Xiao Niu will eventually get married too. How will they fit in these two rooms?”
“What are you talking about? Shut up.” Li Ama was about to scold Li Xiao’er, but when he noticed Wang Lei standing next to him, he changed his mind.
“I won’t shut up, it’s not fair! After second brother and I left, there were two spare rooms available. Now, the third brother has a study room and his own bedroom. Even Xiaoyao (Li Laosan’s ger son) has his own room. Why can’t we give an extra room to the eldest brother’s family?”
When Li Xiao’er became excited, he spoke up to fight for the injustice of eldest brother Li. At the same time, he couldn’t help but feel chilled by the eccentricity of Li Ama and the rest of the family.
“What’s the meaning of this? Are you saying that you don’t want me to study? I’m not refusing to share with my elder brother,” Li Laosan retorted, his tone filled with displeasure. His wife, noticing his frustration, reached out and tugged at him to get him to stop.
“Calm down,” Wang Lei interjected, quickly grabbing Li Xiao’er and urging him not to get involved in the war.
Li Xiao’er was about to continue, but he stopped when he saw Li Chengfeng’s disapproving look.
“What’s the point of such a division that is almost like no division?”
Upon hearing Li Changfeng’s question, Li Ama grew annoyed and replied, “Why not? If the family is divided in this way, they can take care of themselves and their own responsibilities. However, when there is a lot of work to be done, they will still have to come together and work as a family.”
“It’s okay, then, let’s divide it!” Eldest Li and his wife whispered a few words and agreed with what Li Ama said.
Old man Li angrily tossed his cigarette butt onto the table and stormed out.
After following Old Man Li for a few steps, Eldest Li looked back at his two children and stopped.
“Third brother, you’re literate, so I’m sorry to trouble you with drafting the separation contract.”
Li Laosan got up and pretentiously said “Hey, what are you saying is trouble, big brother. Of course, I’m more than happy to assist you.” He then gestured towards his wife to fetch paper and ink from their room.
Only after receiving the separation letter from Li Laosan, Eldest Li’s wife finally grasped the reality that their family had truly separated from the old Li family. Originally, he thought that if he continued his life with Eldest Li, he might not be able to separate for the rest of his life.
Upon completing the letter of family separation, Li Laosan and his wife returned to their room, while Li Ama also departed, leaving only Eldest Li, Xu Qing, and others in the yard.
“I apologize for bringing you all here for this.” Eldest Li said to Li Changfeng and Li Xiao’er with some embarrassment.
Li Xiao’er expressed his discontent, “That’s not a problem, but it’s unfair how you guys have been treated in this matter.”
Eldest Li’s wife heard Li Xiao’er’s comment and felt that it was somewhat inappropriate. However, he responded with a smile and added, “Haha, as long as your big brother and I are not lazy and work hard, our situation will undoubtedly improve. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll even be able to build our own house!”
“Absolutely, if you ever need any help in the future, don’t hesitate to come to us,” Xu Qing offered his assistance. He then hugged Tuan Tuan, extended his free hand, and petted the head of Xiao Niu, who had been watching Tuan Tuan. “Do you want to hold Tuan Tuan?”
Xiao Niu smiled timidly, glanced at his mother, and then said shyly, “I think…”
Upon hearing this, Xu Qing gently placed Tuan Tuan in Xiao Niu’s arms.
Tuan Tuan, who was originally nestled in his mother’s arms, was now being held by a small, skinny child. He became dissatisfied and started wriggling, trying to find his way back to his mother.
However, the others could not understand what Tuan Tuan was trying to convey and assumed that he was enjoying being held by Xiao Niu.
“Uncle, Tuan Tuan is so cute.” Da Niu stood protectively by his younger brother’s side, watching as Tuan Tuan was held in Xiao Niu’s arms. He couldn’t help but admire Tuan Tuan’s chubby and adorable little face and turned to Xu Qing to express his thoughts.
As a parent, it’s natural to feel pleased when your child is praised by others.
“It’s alright, you can come to Uncle’s house to play. Tuan Tuan gets lonely at home by himself, so it would be great if you all could come and keep him company,” Xu Qing suggested warmly.
“Um,” Da Niu and Xiao Niu responded with enthusiasm, and immediately began to tease Tuan Tuan, making the little one laugh.
Although his own mother had ignored Tuan Tuan’s initial protests, he was now thoroughly enjoying the attention of his two older brothers and was laughing and giggling along with them.
“Second brother, this time, it’s all thanks to you.”
Eldest Li’s wife whispered to Li Changfeng while Eldest Li was talking to Wang Lei.
Li Changfeng waved his hand modestly and replied, “It was nothing. It was only a matter of time before the elder brother realized it himself. I just offered some words of advice. Besides, my two nephews are growing up, and as their uncle, I can’t just stand by and watch. Even though they’re still young, it’s important to start preparing for their future.”
Li Changfeng had a lot of responsibilities growing up, and he knew the feeling of hardship and boredom that came with it. While other children played, he had to follow his father around and do tasks beyond his age.
“It’s getting late, we should start wrapping things up and leave,” said Li Changfeng as he bid farewell to Eldest Li and his wife.
“Then you go carefully. I still have things to do here, and I apologize for not treating you to lunch. Next time, when everything is settled down, we will have a good meal!” Eldest Li felt relieved that despite the upcoming tough times, at least their future looked positive.
After Li Changfeng and Xu Qing had dropped off Li Xiao’er and Wang Lei, they were on their way back to the village when Li Changfeng spotted Chen Qi in the crowd. “Wife, wait for me for a while,” he said to Xu Qing.
Xu Qing also noticed Chen Qi in the crowd. Although he was unaware of Chen Qi’s health situation, he knew that Chen Qi’s wife had recently left him.
Li Changfeng approached Chen Qi, who seemed to be lost in thought. “Why do you still look so down?” Li Changfeng spoke first since Chen Qi was unaware of his presence.
Translated on ho lo lo novels dot com.
“Oh, Changfeng, sorry I didn’t see you. You’re out shopping with your wife and Tuan Tuan? You’re truly blessed to have such a wonderful family.”
Upon noticing Li Changfeng, Chen Qi glanced around and spotted Xu Qing and Tuan Tuan seated on the donkey cart. He couldn’t help but express his envy.
Li Changfeng addressed Chen Qi, “I have to attend to some matters later, so I won’t be able to stay long. It’s almost noon, why are you still wandering around instead of heading home?” He glanced at Tuan Tuan and Xu Qing, who were waiting on the donkey cart, and continued, “We don’t have a place to sit and chat here, so why don’t you come to our house instead? We can catch up there.” Xu Qing hadn’t eaten much this morning, so he must be feeling hungry by now.
“I’m hiding! My wife refuses to come back home with me, and now my parents are pressuring me to marry that ger. I have nowhere else to go, so I’m just wandering around the town. Who knows, maybe I might run into my wife by chance!”
Chen Qi wore a sorrowful expression as he recounted how his wife had left him because he believed he was infertile and had no face to continue staying any longer. His mother suggested that he should remarry during this time and have children to continue their family line.
Li Changfeng’s expression turned serious as he recalled the conversation he had with Lin Fangliang regarding Chen Qi’s wife. He felt the need to inform his good friend, but the topic was sensitive, concerning a man’s pride, and he was unsure how to approach it.
Chen Qi noticed Li Changfeng’s hesitant expression and asked, “Do you have something to tell me?” Li Changfeng appeared reluctant to speak, which was unusual for him since he usually spoke openly and honestly. Chen Qi couldn’t help but feel curious about what Li Changfeng was holding back.
Li Changfeng hesitated for a moment before saying, “It’s not that I don’t want to tell you, but I’m not sure how to say it.” He knew that this was a sensitive topic and he didn’t want to hurt Chen Qi’s feelings but he still had to say what had to be said, “Have you ever considered getting a checkup with your wife together?”
“Of course, after we got married for a year without any results, my mother got worried that something might be wrong with us, so he suggested that my wife and I see a doctor. The doctor said we were still young and there was no need to rush. I also thought that it was just a matter of time and fate, and the child would come eventually.” Chen Qi thought he would need to reassure his wife once more that even if they couldn’t have children in this lifetime, he would never consider leaving her.
“I have to go now, I can’t chat with you anymore. Let’s grab a drink together when we have the chance. And don’t forget to pass on my regards to your wife!” With that, Chen Qi hurriedly departed. He had to go to An Le Village and speak with his wife.
Li Changfeng heaved a small sigh as he watched Chen Qi’s retreating figure, then without uttering a word, he made his way towards Xu Qing and Tuan Tuan, who were still waiting on the donkey cart.
Thingyan: Li Ama, you’re pissing me offffff!!!!! Anyway, more chapters to come later today. Be aware, BE VERY AWARE muahahaha (..◜ᴗ◝..)
Li Ama is really something.
As far as I know, parents usually put the most importance on their eldest son. I get that they are biased to the “wanna-be-future-prime-minister” moron of a third son, but that they are using their eldest son so blatantly as a working tool….
I kind of want for eldest Li and his small family to … maybe being hired as workers at the shop of Wang Lei or something, so they’ll be able to save money and build their own house. I want them to physically separate from those people.
And Cheng Qi seriously needs to drink a few liters of MC’s spring water!
Eldest Li seems like a hardworking, diligent guy, so without his baggage of the old Li couple and Li Laosan family, I think they’ll get by quite well 🤔
*hopes I’m allowed to post this time*
I agree with you. That small family of four deserves better. Let’s hope they’ll be lucky and have a Happy Ending!