BLL Chapter 16 The Village

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The matter of selling tofu pudding slowly went on track. The sound of the grindstone could be heard from the Lin residence every morning. The stars hadn’t disappeared for the night when a small figure quietly knocked on the Lin resident’s door. It was little Tian Yang, who learned characters with Ger Yan for a while.

Lin Lixuan didn’t expect this little boy with delicate hands and feet to have such great perseverance. He was not enthusiastic about literacy only for a little while, but he was able to persist for a long time. Tian Yang had a resolute character. Kids from poor families knew how to manage the household from a young age. This boy came to the Lin residence not only to beg Ger Yan to teach him characters, but after learning that the Lin residence made tofu, he would sometimes come early in the morning to help grind beans.

Tian Yang was wearing a simple shirt that was a bit too long. His wide sleeves were tattered and extremely ill-fitting. Who knew who these clothes used to belong to before they were altered. The gray fabric seemed to be hanging off of his body. The wind was a bit strong in the morning. Zhao Liniang asked if he was cold. The healthy boy smiled and shook his head. “Not cold…hehe…not cold.”

Although Tian Yang was thin and small, he was at least ten years old, and he often helped his widowed mother do things at home. He was strong from all the work he did, and was decent at pushing the spinning disc around. He didn’t lose to the adults at all. Tian Yang wore little clothes, and it was indeed a bit cold when he’d first arrived at the Lin residence, but after pushing the grinding disc around a few times, his body and bones warmed up and he became hot. Adding on the fact that the child had a warm body, he started becoming really hot.

“Youngster Tian, have a bowl of soy milk.”

“Thank you, auntie,” Tian Yang hugged the bowl of soy milk and smiled. His eyebrows curved.

Tian Yang drank the soy milk while squatting on the ground. He held a branch and started to write. Lin Lixuan glanced at him casually when he walked past him and pointed to a word on the ground and side, “This word, there’s a horizontal line missing here.” With that, he picked up a stone and wrote the character correctly in the open space beside him.

“Ohh, thank you, Lin-dage.” The little boy with thick eyebrows and big eyes nodded hurriedly.

Ger Yan also saw this scene. He blushed a little, because he was the one who taught Tian Yang this character. He had also made this mistake when he wrote the character. He was so stupid…

And so, Ji Yan pulled Lin Lixuan away and said, “Lin-dage, you should teach Tian Yang, I…I can’t.”

Ji Yan didn’t know any characters himself. Although he had been studying carefully, but…there would always be . mistakes. He himself had written the characters incorrectly, so how could he teach others? It was okay to teach his own brother, Ger Yu, but to teach other people’s children? Teaching them incorrectly was not good.

Lin Lixuan smiled and rubbed his face. “You ask that boy, Tian Yang. Ask him if you teach well or not.” According to him, Ger Yan taught Tian Yang pretty well. Ger Yan’s level was a little higher than the other party’s, so the two of them could learn from each other. Besides, after having Ger Yan teach those two children, his learning progress was much faster than before.

“Ger Yan teaches well,” Tian Yang agreed from the side. He was a sensible kid. It was good enough that someone was willing to teach him, so how could he complain about them?

Ji Yan was a bit embarrassed. He wasn’t a confident person. When he was still at the Ji residence, he always lowered his head out of habit when he walked around and did things, and he didn’t like to talk much. Especially when he spoke with others, he rarely looked them in the eyes. After coming to the Lin residence, Lin Lixuan learned of this problem and asked Ji Yan to look him in the eyes when talking to him. It was only then that he slowly started to change this habit of his…

However, not much had changed still.

He remained cowardly and unconfident in many things.

Tian Yang took the initiative to come to their house to work in the morning without taking any wages. The Lin family originally wanted to give him some, but he refused to accept it, saying that he was helping out his teacher. Besides, it was his choice to help out, so how could he accept money? Plus, the Lin family would also give him a bowl of soy milk to drink and a bowl of tofu pudding to eat. He thought this was already good enough. Zhao Liniang asked him to bring some tofu pudding back for his mother later. He was very grateful to the Lin family.

After finishing making tofu pudding in the morning, they brought it to the county town to sell. Lin Lixuan’s tofu pudding stall in the county town not only sold sweet tofu pudding now but also sold savory tofu pudding. Savory tofu pudding was very simple. Take a scoop of tofu pudding, then add a scoop of soy sauce, then finally add a handful of coriander or shallots and a simple bowl of savory tofu pudding was ready.

As soon as savory tofu pudding was launched, it won the hearts of many people in All Water County.

The original sweet tofu pudding looked like children’s food in the eyes of some people, and the people who came to buy it were mostly parents who purchased it for their children or for the elderly who have bad teeth. Then there were also the adults who hadn’t had sweets for a long time and wanted to eat some sugar to quell their craving. But this savory tofu pudding was different. Some just loved eating savory tofu pudding, and others had different thoughts. They would purchase a bowl or two to take home and add for their meals that day. It could be regarded as a new dish.

Lin Lixuan rubbed his chin and looked at the current situation. He thought it wouldn’t be long before they could just come to the county town and sell tofu pudding. If their family could open up an actual shop in the county town—then they wouldn’t have to stick to the current humble street stalls. They could try some fresh tricks. There were so many different soy products, and they could slowly gain support.

The ideal was beautiful, but the reality was—they didn’t have money!

To buy a small shop in the county town, they needed at least 100 taels or more. If the location was good with a spacious shop, it would cost at least 500 or 600 taels. Lin Lixuan also inquired about the rental prince of a shop. It was at least three taels a month. They only earned 200 to 300 wen a month. After deducting the daily expenses, they still needed to afford rent and have enough to live a good life—and, they needed to buy livestock first.

Lin Lixuan no longer wanted to ride Uncle Liu’s ox cart.

Ever since the villagers knew that Lin Lixuan, who was originally a foolish Xiucai, took his wife, Ger Yan, to the county town everyday to sell tofu pudding, they were all sorts of gossip. At first, they laughed at Lin Lixuan’s depravity. He was a noble Xiucai who had studied official matters, but he needed to run to the county town now and open up a small stall. This made them all secretly laugh at the Lin family.

Afterwards, according to the people who often went to the county town, their stall was very popular. Some people counted with their hands and gestured in front of everyone. They said the Lin family could earn over a hundred wen a day. Over a hundred wen!! As soon as they heard this number, many people in Jade Creek Village were dazzled. How could they make so much money? Although they couldn’t guess how they were able to earn over 100 wen a day, to the farming villagers, being able to earn over ten wen a day was already amazing. These few hundred wen was jaw-dropping.

One must know that workers who labored at the docks in the county town only earned 30 or 40 wen a day.

There weren’t many villagers who were close to the Lin family. It could even say that there weren’t any. The only ones who could be regarded as good friends now were Tian Yang and his family. Of course, since they started making tofu, Zhao Liniang also sent some of their tofu pudding for their neighbors and fellow villagers to try. They all smiled and accepted the food Zhao Liniang sent over.

Later, after knowing this food could make money, the gossip began. The woman who used to help Zhao Liniang get needlework from the county town said some sour words to Zhao Liniang and said, “Now that you can make money selling tofu, you look down on these rough jobs, huh? Your hands are too expensive now, huh?”

Some people gathered around the Lin family to inquire about the recipe for making tofu. They wanted to also get a piece of the pie.

Liu Shu was amongst them.

“Xiucai Lin? How do you make tofu pudding?”


“Is it made from soybeans?”


“Bring a bowl out and let me have a taste…”

In the face of the prying eyes of the other villagers, they were able to avoid them, but as for the owner of the ox cart, they really couldn’t avoid him. On the way to the county town, Lin Lixuan listened with a belly full of annoyance. He told Ger Yan to act like him and pretend to be deaf and just ignore Uncle Liu. But Uncle Liu didn’t care if they were listening or not, he still vigorously harassed them.

They were full of annoyance during the whole ride.

“Brother, the tofu pudding is delicious.” The little Shuang’er’s’s eyes were shining. There were still some crumbs left on the corners of his mouth. Ger Yu slipped out of Ji residence to go to the Lin residence to play.

This was because something had happened at the Ji residence, so his parents didn’t have time to watch over him.

“Do you want another bowl of soy milk?” Ger Yan couldn’t help pinching his little thin face. His bulging little face didn’t have a lot of meat on it even as he drank the soy milk.

However, Ger Yu said that ever since Ji Qian married the hunter family’s daughter, Song Qiao’er, their family was able to eat game meat every once in a while. Even if there wasn’t much meat on the hares and pheasants caught from the mountains, the Ji family was a big family with more than a dozen people, so every person only had a tiny share. Still, their family’s vegetarian diet had improved.

Ger Yu could also eat a little better, but he was still thin.

Ji Yu said that Song Qiao’er’s relationship with their grandmother and big brother (Song Qiao’er’s husband) wasn’t good. Big brother disliked Song Qiao’er’s vulgar manners and strong appearance. He thought she didn’t match him at all. The Ji family’s grandmother wanted to sell the game Song Qiao’er brought back in the county town for money for her grandson, Ji Shu, but Song Qiao’er didn’t listen. Song Qiao’er couldn’t stand the Ji family’s light diet. The game she hunted using her own abilities, why did she have to give the benefits to the Ji’s third family? This game was for their family to eat.

Fortunately, Song Qiao’er had the skills of a hunter, and she had a footing within the Ji family.

The Ji family always had big quarrels every three days and small quarrels every two days. Song Qiao’er was a really strong woman, who not only dared to fight against her husband, she also had yelling matches with the mean and stingy grandmother. Old Lady Ji was old and wasn’t a match for her. And although the little pretty boy, Ji Qian, said he disliked her, he was still afraid of her. Song Qiao’er was pretty happy that she was able to control her husband.

However, something happened in the Ji family recently that made Song Qiao’er’s position unstable. Zhao Qingqing, who entered the family the same day as her, was pregnant. A Shuang’er was able to get pregnant before her. Ji Qian laughed at her and called her a hen that couldn’t lay any eggs. And who knew why, but Eldest Ji and his wife started favoring Zhao Qingqing.

Of course, Ger Yan knew the inside story. Back then, Second Ji’s family promised to give Ji Yan and Zhao Qingqing’s first child to Ji Qian. To Eldest Ji and his wife, the baby in Zhao Qingqing’s belly was this first grandson.

“Ge, I won’t drink anymore. I’m full.”

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