Jiang Rui shook her head and took a small step back, “I can’t accept it, you can take it back.”

“You don’t like it?” Zhao Nan frowned slightly.

“It’s not that I don’t like it, you should take it back and give it to your family, they would be so happy.”

Zhao Nan said sullenly, “I bought these for you.” He pointed to the three scarves in his hand, “Those are for them.”

Zhang Xiaohua glanced at the cloth bag. Other than the four scarves, there were two large packets of fruit candy and toffee sweets. Although she coveted them a little, they really couldn’t accept it.

Thinking about it from another angle, if she was from the Zhao family, her son was already gifting big and small things to the female party after only meeting for the first time. They weren’t even married yet but he had already forgotten his mother, would she be happy? Besides, these things were not a small amount, maybe the Zhao family would wonder if she and Baoqin coaxed Zhao Nan into it. At that time, even if the Zhao family were satisfied with Du Baoqin, they would still have a knot in their hearts.

Seeing that the two were in a deadlock, she was about to speak when she heard Jiang Rui say softly: “You take it home first, whether it’s a scarf or candy, let Aunt Zhao and Qianqian choose first, and the rest, if Aunt Zhao asks you to gift it to me, I will then accept it, okay?”

Zhang Xiaohua swallowed her words after hearing this. It seems that there was no need to persuade him. Her words, one hundred sentences may not even be compared to the one sentence that her little sister-in-law said softly. Did you not see that when Zhao Nan left, it was as if he was floating?

They said that they were going to the supply and marketing cooperative to get things, but it was just a pretext. After Zhao Nan was gone, they also started to walk home.

As soon as they got home, Wang Tonghua greeted them with Xiao Shanzha in her arms, “You’re back?”

“We’re back. You’ve worked hard today, Mom.” Zhang Xiaohua took her daughter.

“That’s my eldest granddaughter, it wasn’t hard.” Wang Tonghua looked at the faces of the two and lowered her voice, “How was it, did it go well?”

Jiang Rui walked into the house with her head lowered, as if shy to talk about this issue, “Mom, I’ll go back to the room and change my clothes first.”

“Are you still shy even after seeing each other?” Wang Tonghua joked, then asked Zhang Xiaohua, “Hurry, tell me now, it’s making me anxious.”

Zhang Xiaohua shook Xiao Shanzha in her arms, smiled, and said, “With Baoqin’s appearance and personality, how could anyone not like her? Don’t worry, Zhao Nan is fine, now we have to see what the Zhao family has to say.”

“That will do!” Wang Tonghua clapped her hands with joy, “There wouldn’t be any problem with the Zhao family. Their family is more anxious than ours. Your aunt Zhang told me a long time ago that as long as the two children nodded, the wedding date can be discussed immediately.”

After speaking, she rubbed her hands and walked to the kitchen, ready to make something delicious for the evening to celebrate.

In the room, Du Baozhen was reviewing her homework by the desk in front of the window. When she saw Jiang Rui, she threw the book away, “Sister, you’re back, is the county town fun?”

“It’s alright, it’s quite lively.” Jiang Rui took off the new clothes she was wearing, put on an old cotton-padded jacket, and when bending over, showed a little skin around the waist, fair and delicate.

Du Baozhen leaned over immediately, “Sister, when did you become so white? My eyes were dazzled just now.”

“How can it be so exaggerated? Maybe because it’s winter and there’s not much sun.” Jiang Rui pushed away her hand that was going to pull at the hem of her clothes, “How are your studies? The New Year is coming soon, and at that time, it will not be as quiet as it is now.”

Du Baozhen rubbed her stomach and puffed out her lips, “I always get hungry just looking at it, I can’t concentrate at all.”

She inhaled suddenly and sniffed Jiang Rui twice. She closed her eyes for a moment, then opened her eyes and said with certainty, “It’s the smell of meat, so fragrant!”

Jiang Rui laughed and tapped the tip of her nose, “You have a dog’s nose.”

Du Baozhen wrapped her hands around her, “Is it meat, it’s meat right? Sister, what did you eat today? Is it delicious?”

“Yes, it’s meat. I ate braised pork with plum vegetables, it’s pretty good.”

“I’ll take a smell again,” Du Baozhen leaned against her, a face full of yearning for meat, “Was it that Zhao Nan who invited y’all to eat? It seems that he is not bad.”

“Just by treating me to a meal with meat, he’s not bad?” Jiang Rui asked with a smile.

Du Baozhen nodded affirmatively and said, “It’s better than not having a meal with meat.”

“Okay fine, you are a foodie, and meat is of paramount importance.”

Du Baozhen admitted as she giggled, then touched her tummy with self-pity, “My poor belly, I haven’t seen meat for a long time, I don’t know if it will still recognize meat the next time I see it?”

Jiang Rui changed her clothes and walked out, “I’m afraid even if you can’t remember your surname, you still won’t forget about meat.”

“Hahaha, Sister, you know me so well!”

In the next room, Zhang Xiaohua was breastfeeding the child, and Du Baoqiang, by her side, asked her, “How’s Zhao Nan?”

“What about it? He’s better than you.” Zhang Xiaohua gave him a sideways glance.

Du Baoqiang did not get angry, and said, “Didn’t you say before that it’s not good to be with a soldier, I’m worried about Baoqin…”

“Why would Baoqin need you to worry? Besides, it’s too late to worry now.”

Today’s matter allowed Zhang Xiaohua to understand clearly that marrying Zhao Nan would be a relief for Du Baoqin. In the future, she would follow him to the army, and there would only be the two young couples outside. They wouldn’t need to wait on a big family, and they don’t have to look at the faces of their in-laws. With Zhao Nan firmly in her hands, she had money and the person by her side, is life not happier than an emperor’s? The rest of the family, I’m afraid they won’t be able to keep up with her.

On the other side, Zhao Nan returned to Zhao’s house and was also surrounded by a group of people.

After Zhang Liyun gave an order, the others backed away, and she started the interrogation.

She first looked up and down at Zhao Nan. She knows her son, and although his face had no expression, she could still tell whether he was happy or not. When he went out this morning, he was clearly a little reluctant and not very happy. But when he came back just now, the sound of his footsteps was different. Obviously, he went out for a while, and after seeing the girl, he was now willing.

“Talk to Mom first, you didn’t make the girl unhappy today, right?”

Zhao Nan, dressed in his military uniform, sat on the small bench, recalled a little, then shook his head.

Zhang Liyun put down some snacks and said, “What have you all done today? Let’s hear about it.”

Zhao Nan recounted the happenings one by one, from meeting on the roadside in the morning to riding on the bus together, then shopping in the department store, and after, having a meal together.

Hearing him talk about being at the restaurant, Zhang Liyun asked, “Did you see your brother? Did he come out to say hello?”


“If you are half as good as him at smooth-talking, I wouldn’t need to worry so much.”

Zhang Liyun shook her head and even asked about what dishes he ordered in the restaurant. Finally, she took the cloth bag he brought back and took out the contents. When she saw that all the scarves were of women’s styles, and there were seven of them, she understood in her heart.

“Our family, including your sister-in-law, me, and Qianqian, would only need three, who did you buy the other four for?”

Zhao Nan was silent for a while, and finally said, “You pick three.”

Zhang Liyun raised her eyebrows and looked at him, “After I picked the three, are you going to send the rest to the Du family right away?”

Zhao Nan didn’t answer, and took out the two packets of candies as well, “Pick the sweets too.”

Zhang Liyun was angry.

Before, her son doesn’t want to get married, and she was anxious. Now, he finally had someone he likes, but he only met her once, yet he was already buying things for the other girl and it was even more than the things he bought for home. In the future, when the daughter-in-law is married into the family, would there still be a position for her, this old lady?

Fortunately, he still knows that when he bought something, he had to take it home first, let his old mother choose, and then use the rest to please the girl.

But she thought about it again, with the pitiful worldly wisdom of her son’s mind, could he have thought of doing this? Could it be that this was also under the instruction of others?

Zhang Liyun sighed helplessly, and she could only enlighten herself: Forget it, raising sons and daughters was all about repaying debt. When they grow up, the debt would not be considered repaid until they get married and have children. Expecting them to reciprocate, it would be better to grow sweet potatoes!

However, thinking about it this way, she still ruthlessly put away all the scarves and candies. Meeting Zhao Nan’s eyes, she sneered unceremoniously, “What are you looking at me for? You, stinky boy, still have a time when you need to use me. Now you wish to go to someone’s house to show courtesy, you haven’t even agreed on a date and you still had to see if others would allow you. If I didn’t take the initiative to visit them and talk about your marriage, didn’t help you two get together, would there be a daughter-in-law for you to marry? Dream on.”

Zhao Nan watched his mother take everything away, sat alone for a while, then silently got up to chop wood.

In the room, Zhao Qianqian, with toffee in her mouth, looked at the yard through the window for a while, then turned to Zhang Liyun and said, “Mom, Second Brother won’t be angry, right?”

“He dares?” Zhang Liyun did not lift her head as she looked through the cabinet for their birth dates and eight characters, “It is said that the tide turns. Last night, I went to great lengths to get him to meet the other party. Today, it’s his turn to beg me. If he dares to give me attitude, I’ll be cold to him for two more days and we’ll see if he’s in a hurry or I’m in a hurry.”

Zhao Qianqian stuck out her tongue and whispered, “Older gingers are spicier, can’t afford to offend.”

Zhang Liyun glanced over, “Don’t think your mother is blind and deaf, I’m not old yet. You little girl, too, whoever you like in the future, come back home, politely serve your mother tea, massage my shoulders, knead my legs. When you make me happy, then I’ll consider whether or not to approve your marriage.”

“Mom, you’re an old lady of the feudal society!” Zhao Qianqian was speechless.

“I’d rather be that old lady, whoever is not pleasing to the eye will be served by the family law, and those who do not obey will be subdued one by one, see who dares to give me an attitude.”

Zhao Qianqian patted her small chest and shook her head, feeling that her mother was a little possessed. Looking around again, she saw her second brother who was in the yard chopping firewood like tofu, and she shook his head again. It seems that this future second sister-in-law was not easy, and only after one meeting had bewitched both of them.

Zhang Liyun finally found the eight characters, and when she saw Qianqian shaking her head and muttering, she came over and flicked on her forehead, “What are you mumbling about, go to the yard and tell your second brother to stop chopping, the ground of our house is not that strong, I’m afraid he will split open the floor.”

When she turned around, she muttered again, “If his hand was hurt, would it not make this old mother feel bad. If you had the ability, go play dumb in front of the girl, if you are able to make people feel distressed and worry, then it’s a skill.”

She pinched the red paper and looked at it, planning to go to the Du’s house after dark. Her son was old enough and not to be kept by her side, most importantly, he couldn’t be held on to, a hook from others and he was stolen away. 

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