The Reborn Wife is Farming

Chapter 26

West Mountain Village

The mountain behind the Mu Residence was Chef Mountain, which surrounded half of Mingshui County. Chef Mountain was extremely tall and deep, and there were many wild animals and many wild fruits. Among them, there were the most wild dates. It could be said that Chef Mountain was not only half a barrier surrounding Mingshui County, but it was also one of the pillars of survival for the local people.

The Chef Mountain behind the Mu Residence extended all the way from the east. It was already the end here, so the people of Mingshui County collectively called this part the West Mountain or Tail Mountain. This was all because the few mountains here were on the small tail of Chef Mountain.

If Mu Yangling wanted to go from Nearhill Village to West Mountain Village, she only needed to cross that last mountain. In the past, for convenience, the villagers of the two villages walked a thin and small path over the mountain. It shortened the traveling time by more than 50%, as compared to bypassing the West Mountain and taking the main road.

Mu Yangling was used to walking in the mountains, so she was not afraid at all. Carrying a basket that was about the same height as her, she walked up the mountain with light footsteps. Along the way, she even tugged at the flowers excitedly and hummed a tune as she walked forward.

Because no one had walked on the path for a long time, the grass and trees had become much denser. Fortunately, traces could still be seen. Mu Yangling hummed a song as she jumped over rocks and whipped the things on the roadside, as she walked towards West Mountain Village.

When she emerged from the mountains, she immediately saw the village at the foot of the mountain. Smoke had already drifted out from a few houses. Looking up at the sun in the sky, Mu Yangling saw that it was not noon yet, about 11 o’clock.

Mu Yangling weighed the basket on her back and thought to herself, ‘The timing is just right. It’s neither too early nor too late.’

Mu Yangling did not know where her Great-aunt’s house was, so she could only go to the village to ask around first. Hence, she carried the basket on her back and rushed down the mountain.

Madam Ma-Zhang was picking out the peeled rice when she saw a young lady coming from the foot of the mountain with a large basket on her back. Seeing this unfamiliar face, she could not help but take a few more glances. Unexpectedly, the young lady ran towards her.

Madam Ma-Zhang could only stop in her tracks. The little girl asked her with a smile, “Auntie, do you know how to get to the house of Granny Liu who married over from Nearhill Village?”

Married over from Nearhill Village and was called Granny Liu. Wasn’t that her aunt?

Sizing up the little girl, Madam Ma-Zhang asked, “Little girl, where are you from? Why are you looking for Granny Liu?”

“I came from Nearhill Village. Granny Liu is my great-aunt. Auntie, do you know how to get to my great-aunt’s house?” Mu Yangling didn’t say why she was here, only revealing her identity.

“I do. So my aunt is your great-aunt. Then you have to call me Aunt, since your great-aunt is my aunt.” Madam Ma-Zhang picked up the basket and said, “Wait for me. I’ll bring this rice home before leading the way for you.”

“Thank you, Auntie.” Mu Yangling would rather call her Auntie, since they were only considered very distant relatives.

Madam Ma-Zhang’s house was not far away, so she came out very quickly. She looked curiously at Mu Yangling’s basket and asked, “What’s this?” As she spoke, she reached out to pull it.

However, Mu Yangling seemed to have eyes on her back as she quickly took a few steps forward, causing Madam Ma-Zhang’s hand to miss. As she walked briskly, she said with a smile, “It’s nothing spectacular. It’s just some food I brought from home. My mother said that she hasn’t come to visit Great-aunt in a long time and asked me to bring it over.”

Fortunately, when she was in the mountains, she was worried that the prey inside would be exposed to the sun, so she picked many large leaves to cover it.

Madam Ma-Zhang was a little embarrassed. “Your mother made pickled vegetables or something?” Seeing that Mu Yangling only smiled foolishly and didn’t answer, she asked, “You said that my aunt is your great-aunt, but why haven’t I seen you before?”

“This is my first time here, so Auntie naturally hasn’t seen me before.” Mu Yangling looked around and asked, “Auntie, is my great-aunt’s house far away?”

“It’s not far. Look, it’s the adobe houses ahead.”

Mu Yangling looked up and couldn’t help but stop in her tracks. These were the worst adobe houses she had ever seen. The three adobe houses were right next to each other, and there were mud blocks hanging sparsely on the walls. Mu Yangling believed that the houses would probably collapse in the strong wind. The wall in front was made from mud and about a meter tall.

Mu Yangling did not expect her great-aunt’s family to be so poor. Even though life in Nearhill Village was not very good, there weren’t such lousy houses.

Oblivious to the fact that this house had shocked Mu Yangling’s soul, Madam Ma-Zhang said as she walked in front and led the way, “Let’s go. Your great-aunt is probably in the fields at this time. I wonder if your cousins are at home.”

Because Mu Yangling ate nutritious foods and had been practicing martial arts, she was slightly bigger-sized than ordinary nine-year-old girls. This was not obvious in the town or county, but in this village, Madam Ma-Zhang thought that she was already 11 or 12 years old. After all, in a place where everyone barely ate anything and had thin frames, Mu Yangling’s stature was indeed that of an 11 or 12-year-old girl.

Madam Ma-Zhang pushed open the door of Mu Yangling’s great-aunt’s house and shouted, “Xiulan, Xiulan, are you home? You have a guest.”

A thin and weak little girl ran out of the kitchen and looked at Madam Ma-Zhang warily. Upon taking a closer look, Mu Yangling realized that it was the little girl she had seen a few days ago.

The seven-year-old girl looked like she was only five years old. She looked at Madam Ma-Zhang uneasily with her big eyes, making Mu Yangling’s heart ache.

She took the initiative to step forward. “Cousin, do you still remember me? We just met in town two days ago.”

Only then did Ma Xiulan see Mu Yangling. Her eyes lit up as she nodded and said softly, “You’re Uncle’s daughter.”

Mu Yangling immediately smiled and praised, “Cousin, you have a good memory. My mother asked me to come and visit Great-aunt. The last time my father went back, he mentioned that he bumped into Great-aunt. Only then did my mother remember that Great-aunt used to marinate delicious pickled vegetables and beans. Coincidentally, my mother is pregnant and really craves sour foods, so she asked me to come and see if your family has any marinated pickled vegetables and beans.”

Now that she understood the situation, Madam Ma-Zhang frowned and glanced at Mu Yangling in disdain. From the looks of it, Mu Yangling’s basket didn’t weigh much, so she assumed that she had covered the top with leaves to make it appear less embarrassing.

No wonder she refused to show it to her earlier. It turned out that there was nothing inside and she was here to take advantage of her great-aunt.

Madam Ma-Zhang instantly lost interest and said lazily, “Since I’ve already brought you here, I’ll go back and get busy.”

“Thank you for bringing me here, Auntie.” Mu Yangling sent Madam Ma-Zhang out with a smile.

Seeing that Madam Ma-Zhang had finally left, Ma Xiulan heaved a sigh of relief and smiled at Mu Yangling. “Cousin, quickly come into the house and have a seat. I’ll call my grandmother and sister back.”

Mu Yangling pinched her cheek and said, “There’s no need to specially call them since they’ll probably be back soon. Are you going to cook? I’ll help you.”

Ma Xiulan was conflicted. The three of them ate porridge every afternoon, with only a side of pickled vegetables. Her cousin was a guest, so she couldn’t offer her these, right?

However, Mu Yangling had already entered the house with the basket on her back. She took out all the leaves and retrieved a pheasant from within. “Do you have a lot of pickled vegetables at home?”

Staring blankly at the four wild animals in the basket on her back, Ma Xiulan couldn’t help but swallow. She didn’t hear Mu Yangling’s question at all.

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