C37 – The Lady in the House
Following Zhang Xiaoloong’s words, he noticed that Chen Yaru remained lost in the recent scene, as if she were still immersed in it and hadn’t snapped out of it yet.
It wasn’t until Zhang Xiaoloong extended his hand and waved it in front of her eyes that she suddenly snapped back to reality. Her eyes lit up as she exclaimed, “He’s so good-looking!”
Everyone present wore puzzled expressions. After Zhang Xiaoloong reiterated his statement, Chen Yaru blushed bashfully. “Well, it’s not just for the scenery; I also came to visit my uncle and aunt…”
“So your intentions weren’t entirely innocent!” Yang Jingjing playfully teased.
Chen Yaru rolled her eyes. “Yours weren’t entirely pure either, right? Why else would you shower and flaunt it in front of others?”
“What nonsense are you spouting?” Yang Jingjing quickly silenced her. If such a matter were spoken of in front of the two elders, how could she ever show her face again?
“Actually, it might be better to resolve it sooner rather than later,” Chen Yaru acknowledged, realizing her earlier slip-up. “If the greenhouse is indeed constructed, they might cause a bigger issue. Waiting a few more days is reasonable. I believe finding a piece of land in Qinghe Village won’t be too difficult. When the time comes, I’ll come to survey the terrain.”
“Yes, you’re right,” Zhang Xiaoloong nodded in agreement, realizing his own oversight in this matter.
Despite having acquired substantial knowledge, Zhang Xiaoloong was still a student who hadn’t ventured far from home.
He could turn a mud pond into dry land or craft a genuine jade ruyi. He could mold clay into whimsical shapes, which could be deemed magical abilities. However, when it came to understanding human malice, he fell short compared to Chen Yaru and Yang Jingjing.
As the saying goes, wisdom comes from overcoming challenges. This incident served as a reminder to Zhang Xiaoloong about the importance of learning from life’s experiences.
As he contemplated his future journey, he feared encountering individuals akin to Liu Changsheng, who prioritized personal gains and were capable of resorting to even more unscrupulous tactics. He knew he had to exercise caution to avoid falling victim to such schemes.
Following the meal, he bid farewell to the reluctant Chen Yaru. When Liu Mei boarded the car, she handed over half a bag of corn noodles as a parting gift.
Initially, Chen Yaru had considered declining, but the allure was too great to resist. After savoring the corn porridge prepared by Zhang Xiaoloong’s family, she finally comprehended why Liu Changsheng would go to great lengths to seize the corn from the field.
Those corn kernels were indeed treasures, and they wouldn’t remain safe even if left in the yard.
Simultaneously, she began to anticipate a bowl of seemingly ordinary corn porridge. If it could taste this extraordinary, then what about the vegetables cultivated by Zhang Xiaoloong? If that proved to be the case, the upscale hotels in Qingyang City might have a fierce competition on their hands!
She shared her phone number with Zhang Xiaoloong and assured him that once the matter concerning the vegetable field was settled, she would have Yang Jingjing contact her immediately. She was eager to bring the designer over.
Initially, Chen Yaru had been quite intrigued by this matter and had been solely focused on Zhang Xiaoloong. However, her curiosity had now intensified. She was eager to witness the multitude of surprises this enigmatic young man had in store.
Left behind, Yang Jingjing engaged in a lively conversation with Liu Mei. The vibrant reporter had a cheerful disposition, and before long, she had Liu Mei laughing heartily.
This wasn’t surprising at all. For someone of Liu Mei’s age, the most delightful compliment was hearing praise for her son, especially when it came from someone as captivating as Yang Jingjing. A beautiful woman’s words had a doubled effect, no matter how you looked at it.
As their conversation flowed, the two women delved into increasingly animated discussions. Initially, they praised Zhang Xiaoloong for his accomplishments, but later, their conversation took a hilarious turn when they recounted some of his childhood mishaps, causing bursts of laughter.
Observing Yang Jingjing engrossed in conversation with her biological mother as if they were long-lost mother and daughter, Zhang Xiaoloong couldn’t help but admire her. Her skills as a reporter were undeniable. After spending several days in this manner, he feared that he would have no secrets left in her presence.
Fortunately, the small cauldron concealed on his person was known to no one but himself. Otherwise, safeguarding anything under these circumstances would have proven quite challenging.
Noticing the darkening sky, Zhang Xiaoloong bid farewell to the mother and daughter who were still engrossed in their chat and departed on his own.
Liu Changsheng’s matter had been resolved, but he had no intention of renting that piece of land any longer. Even if the avaricious and untrustworthy individual had a change of heart, Zhang Xiaoloong had no desire to engage with him further.
The Zhang family was essentially considered outsiders, with only a few acres of reserved land. According to his father, Zhang Daniu had no intention of allocating additional land for vegetable cultivation. Therefore, Zhang Xiaoloong needed to explore other options.
Reflecting on Chen Yaru’s reminder, Zhang Xiaoloong realized that conventional farmland was not a secure choice for realizing his plans.
Those unfamiliar with rural life might not be aware that families didn’t continuously cultivate the same piece of land. Instead, land was periodically redistributed to accommodate new additions to the family, such as newlyweds, children, or the passing of elderly members. Given the current population, the land allocation process was perpetually evolving.
With each redistribution, the configuration of land holdings for nearly every family would change, often differing from their original plots.
For traditional farmers, this practice posed minimal inconvenience. They would cultivate wherever suitable land was available, particularly when the family expanded. The annual anticipation of land redistribution offered the prospect of increased income.
However, this arrangement didn’t align with Zhang Xiaoloong’s plans. Once his glass greenhouse was constructed, relocating it would be arduous. Yet, when it came time for land redistribution, others would insist on changing locations, even if he wished to remain in the same spot.
To address this issue at its core, it seemed prudent to avoid any disturbance to the current arable land and instead seek a new location for long-term lease.
He was determined this time to formalize matters. He drafted a contract in clear terms and signed a 30-year lease, ensuring the stability of the vegetable land.
While he contemplated this course of action, he recognized that the final decision would not be solely his to make. He still needed to confer with Village Chief Wang Tiezhu.
Qinghe Village was not particularly extensive, and it took Zhang Xiaoloong only a short stroll to reach the front entrance of the village chief’s residence. He pushed open the gate reinforced with iron bars, and a sizable wolfhound not far from the gate sprang up from the ground. Instead of barking, it simply wagged its tail, behaving as if it had encountered its owner, displaying a surprising level of intimacy.
Zhang Xiaoloong found this puzzling. The wolfhound had always been ferocious in the past, reacting to visitors by howling and tugging violently on the heavy iron chain around its neck as if it were on the verge of breaking free.
Yet, this time, there was no such reaction; instead, it affectionately moved its head and tail, seeking to please him. This was indeed an unusual sight.
Without dwelling on the dog’s behavior, Zhang Xiaoloong proceeded directly to the main residence.
He lifted the thick curtain, finding the main door securely closed. Rays of light filtered through the gap between the door and the frame.
Zhang Xiaoloong knocked on the door, and a response promptly emanated from within.
“Why are you knocking? Didn’t I tell you I was taking a shower? If you’re here to pester me, then scram. Seeing you might just agitate me.”