Chapter 4: Unquestioning Filial Piety 4
“Liu-zi, you… Is that really what the doctor told you?”
This was a question about the dignity of a man. Everyone was so embarrassed to ask him too straightforwardly. But this news was too shocking that they couldn’t help but ask him again to clarify it.
You must know that, since ancient times, the matter of infertility has always been attributed to women. The same situation also applied to the original body and Xu Xiuxiu, who had been married for ten years, yet no children were still in sight. When others talk about it, they will only say that Xu Xiuxiu’s body was not good. To them, the problem never originated from the original body’s side.
Since his wife had already started cooking the big cock, Jiang Liu finally had the mood to come over and answer everyone’s questions.
He showed a bitter expression as he responded to the question from people around him. He continued rubbing his face with his hand before letting out a long sigh.
“The doctor told me that my essence [T/N should I put holy water? LOL] is not good. It was estimated that the nutrition I consumed from a young age could not keep up with my body. In addition to that, I also had been working too hard all these years. According to my current physical condition, it was estimated that there would be no children in this life. The doctor told me that if I start nursing my body from now on and keep the much-needed nutrition, there may be a glimmer of hope.”
The words of Jiang Liu were pure nonsense. How could a hospital in their small county possibly have any instrument to check the vitality of his sperm? When he visited the doctor that day, he just used the excuse of checking the condition of the wound on his head.
However, the original condition was confirmed. He had not been able to bear a child till the end of his life. However, it was not determined whether the flaw was from his body or Xu Xiuxiu.
Jiang Liu had thought about it. When their day finally settled, he should find a chance to take Xu Xiuxiu to the big hospital for an examination. This was not only to make up for the regret of the original body. From Jiang Liu’s perspective, he also felt that if a family has children as a bond and lubricant, it will bring a lot more happiness in their life.
“So after this…you could no longer do any heavy work..”
This topic was a bit heavy. Everyone present can understand that Jiang Liu wishes for a child of his own. Even without children, he had also been working hard. What is the use of earning so many work points? Isn’t it too cheap for him to work for the sake of his brother and sister?
Jiang Liu had paid enough for Jiang’s family these past years. Jiang’s family’s current house, even when his younger brother and sister were married off, he was the one who supported them. In others’ eyes, he was too involved in the life of others, which resulted in his physical weakness—the reason he could not bear an heir perhaps also related to this matter.
Now he just wanted to live well for himself. What is wrong with his meagre wish to nurse his body?
However, these were not the only things that made people feel bad for him. As a man, he can’t do heavy work in the future. This was a fatal blow. Yet, he was lucky. He met a wife who never gave up on him. The couple had promised to work hard together. The future may not be too bad.
“In the future, you must treat your wife better. As a couple, there is no hurdle that you can’t overcome. That is it, don’t be too stupid in the future. Always listen to your wife. Speaking of it, you have already helped your younger brother and sister for so long. They already have a small family, yet you still need to look after them.”
The people who had a good relationship with Jiang Liu were comforting and persuaded him. On the other side, Miao Caifeng and Jiang Chuangen were also advised by some elders on the team. If they were to force Jiang Liu to work, it was expected that they would be scolded.
Miao Caifeng wanted to ignore the people around her. Yet, some people who talked to her were older than her generation. She can act arrogantly in front of her peers and juniors, but she can’t play in such a way in front of these elders. Therefore, she could only smile and silently listen to their lectures while feeling aggrieved.
After that, Jiang Liu refused to enter the main house. He took the big cock cooked by Xu Xiuxiu, the dried potato porridge, and a soup pot to his compound. He did not leave a single bit for the main house.
“You eat this chicken’s leg.”
Seeing the pot of hot chicken soup, Jiang Liu could not help but swallow his saliva.
After being hospitalized these days, he was afraid to eat much because of the limited food stamps in his hand. Moreover, the supplies in the hospital were scarce. The food provided by the hospital was mostly insipid broth; the types where the vegetables were rare and the meat was invisible.
Of course, this may be because they had no money in their hands. Xu Xiuxiu simply did not dare to buy the expensive stuff.
Since being independent, Jiang Liu has always had a meal with meat. Even when he was at the bottom of his life when he was young, his food was even better than this. Therefore, the food of this era made him suffer.
Therefore, for this meal, Jiang Liu had been waiting for a long time. Now, he was unable to withstand its temptation.
He tore a chicken thigh for Xu Xiuxiu, gave himself chicken wings, and bit into it.
This big cock reared by the old lady Miao was meant to be exchanged for money at the acquisition station at the end of the year. Therefore, she had been raising the chicken very meticulously. The chickens in the farmhouse could be considered of free-range quality. The chicken flesh was not only glutinous, but the scent was also incomparable. It could not be compared with the chicken of the later generations. This lack of hormone-cooked chicken was simply the best chicken ever.
There was also a pot of chicken soup. Even though it contained no spices but adding some salt, onion, and ginger to stew the chicken, the fresh taste made people can’t wait to swallow their tongue.
Jiang Liu couldn’t tell whether it was because the original body had never eaten these good things before or because the chicken soup in front of him was so delicious.
“Are we not going to leave anything for your parents?”
Xu Xiuxiu swallowed and watched the chicken in front of her. She still did not dare to move her chopsticks.
When Jiang Liu observed his filial piety, she felt her days were too bitter. But now, when Jiang Liu decided to abandon his blind worship, she had an unreal feeling.
“Leave? Did they leave anything for us whenever they killed the pigs or slaughtered the chickens at home in the past few years? Xiu Xiu, I wanted to have a child. Now I just killed an old cock. I don’t know how much nutrition my body has lost all these years. Even if I can make it back, there are still you. You have been suffering with me all these years, and your body is also not good. The trick is to be selfish; at least they must wait until we have a child.”
Jiang Liu looked down after saying that. Xu Xiuxiu realized she had poked at her husband’s sadness and suddenly dared not to repeat anything.
“Isn’t it just a chicken? Let’s raise a few more. After eating an egg every day, your body will be better. We will have children.”
Xu Xiuxiu quickly ate the chicken given to her by Jiang Liu. As she bit the big chicken leg, the mouthful of chicken’s scent burst into her mouth, giving her the urge to cry.
Even after she became this big, she had only two chicken stews in her life. The first time was when she was very young. At that time, her mother was still alive. While she took care of her grandmother, she secretly gave her a piece of chicken skin from the pot. She had been chewing the chicken skin for so long because she felt too delicious and reluctant to swallow it.
The second time was the day when she got married. Although she was only given the chicken neck and head leftover from the wedding banquet, Xu Xiuxiu still devoutly licked them. Even the chicken bones were chewed until it was gone.
This time, it was the first time she tasted the meat.
In addition to the feeling of deliciousness, she also felt moved.
“Grandma, I also want to eat chicken.”
In Jiangjia’s main hall, the family silently sat around the dinner table. Wang Xuemei, Jiang Hai’s wife, quickly stretched her leg and kicked her eldest son, Jiang Jianjun.
Jiang Jianjun also gave his mother a face. He immediately knocked on the bowl, showing his protest and wish to eat chicken for dinner.
Seeing Jiang Jianjun act as such, his younger brother, Jiang Jiandang, followed suit.
“Whoever teaches you to knock on the bowl? Do you want to be a beggar? Just eat your rice with the egg. If you do not want it, then don’t eat it.”
Miao Caifeng was angry. Even her grandchildren dared to use her as a punching bag.
“Jianjun, mother will give you an egg to eat.”
When Wang Xuemei saw the situation, she quickly moved the table, split half the egg, and put it in her two sons’ bowls. As for the remaining half, it belonged to Jiang’s old man.
However, Wang Xuemei did not have the same calmness portrayed on her face. After all, it was a big cock. Even during the New Year, they didn’t need to have anything good to eat. Yet, all of this was ruined by big brother.
Only a ghost will believe this old lady was not biased against her son. If she really felt distressed for her grandsons, why won’t she go and ask the elder brother for a bowl of chicken soup and give it to them as a meal?
Wang Xuemei was getting miffed by the second. She felt that her in-laws were playing favourites. They had been good to them because she gave Jiang’s family two grandchildren, unlike their eldest son.
However, when big brother has a child, this old couple’s attitude may not be the same.
How could Miao Caifeng not see the dissatisfaction on her daughter-in-law’s face? But, at this time, if she were to go and ask for the chicken, she was afraid that the elders in the village might come and give her some talk instead. So she had no choice but to swallow it all down.
“Tell me, how many people have you offended with your mouth? Now our old son was probably going to move out of our family.”
That night, Jiang Chuangen suddenly made such talk during the two of them were in bed.
“What have I done? I am not in the wrong!”
Miao Caifeng started to get angry when she heard the accusation from her husband and quickly sat up.
“You told me if I did not make any trouble on the day of our old son’s accident, do you think the team will take any initiative to reimburse half of his medical expense? That is still my dear son. I would never bear to hurt him. If it weren’t for our good daughter-in-law, who does not know how to look at the situation, I would be able to get Big Guan to pay more for him.”
Miao Caifeng was breathing heavily.
“If you want to be a good person, why didn’t you make your stand that day? Instead, you cooperated with me and made me look even worse than the other’s stepmother. Do you think we will be well off if I do not care for our family property? I still need to wreck my brain to help him settle the medical expense.”
It was true that Miao Caifeng was a biased old lady, but to say that she had no feelings for the eldest son was impossible. But this world was too difficult. With the way of her eldest son, the whole family may end up getting dragged down. She can only use the ignorance of a village’s woman to reduce the burden for the entire family.
“Then why won’t you give him an egg when he wanted to have it? You even wanted to make him work on the first day of his discharge.”
After listening to his wife’s words, Jiang Chuangen was silent for a moment. Indeed before he sent his son to the hospital, no one knew how much it would cost them to see a doctor. It might be one hundred coins, or it might be five hundred coins, or even more. Maybe they will not even be able to earn that much money for a lifetime.
After the son returned, they still needed to care for him for a bit.
“Where am I wrong in that? The doctor had released him from the hospital. Doesn’t it mean that his body is all right? He owes the money to the hospital. Yet, he doesn’t want to make money as early as possible to pay it off. Do you think it is easy to make that kind of money?”
Miao Caifeng still felt that she was in the right.
“But because of that, he had been ill-treated and could become infertile. Yet we put so much responsibility on him.”
Jiang Chuangen once again gave a long sigh.
“If this is how it will be, what use of saying anything now? Even though we might have mistreated him, it is not like we wanted to do it like that.”
In fact, Miao Caifeng had more than three children. After giving birth to her eldest son, she was pregnant once again. It was a son, and after that, it was a twin. However, the famine hit the village for nearly three years when the children were young. It was tough. At that time, the field almost turned bald from all the digging.
The Jiang family also lacked food. The second son at that time had been starved to death. Moreover, since he was still small at the time of his death, his name could not even enter the household registration.
There was no other way to keep all children alive, as the old lady had said at that time. Since the eldest son will inherit the family, the mother-in-law insisted on providing more food to Jiang Liu at that time. Of course, the old lady also could not hold herself up. Since they did not want to become the family burden, almost all older people left their hope in life to the younger generation.
This incident was still buried in Miao Caifeng’s heart. So all these years, she had always felt that the eldest son had taken the life of her second son.
Due to that, she had always felt that her eldest son had to pay more to make up for the deficit.
His wife had raised this matter, and Jiang Chuangen could not help but turn silent.
“Forget it. If he wanted to separate, then just separate. If he wanted to eat eggs or chicken, then let him be. We do not have to control him. Let him go through his little days. We have our second child to rely on.”
Miao Caifeng snorted and quickly lay back on the bed before wrapping herself tightly with the quilt.
“To separate, to separate.”
Jiang Chuangen repeated these two words in a complicated mood before letting out another long sigh.
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