Chapter 319 – Visiting the Small Courtyard
The next day, both of them, who had slept well, got up early.
When they went downstairs, they found that Aunt Wang had already prepared breakfast.
Even though the Lunar New Year was approaching, Uncle and Aunt Jiang still had to work. Aunt Jiang didn’t have to be on duty this year, but she would only have a holiday on New Year’s Day. Uncle Jiang had to return to the army for the New Year. In short, the whole family was quite busy.
After breakfast, Aunt Jiang asked Lu Xia and Jiang Junmo what they planned to do that day.
With only two days left until the New Year, Lu Xia and Jiang Junmo had nothing particular to do. Seeing that the house wasn’t prepared for the festivities yet, they thought about going out for a stroll and to buy some New Year goods.
Aunt Jiang was pleased to hear this and handed them some money directly.
Lu Xia wanted to refuse, but Aunt Jiang was quite forceful in making her accept it.
“Take it. You don’t need to spend your own money on New Year goods. Besides, if you like anything else, you can buy that too. Let Junmo take you shopping.”
Jiang Junmo nodded. “Aunt Jiang, don’t worry. I understand.”
Lu Xia gave him a helpless look and could only accept the money.
After Uncle and Aunt Jiang went to work, Lu Xia and Jiang Junmo planned to go out for a stroll. However, not wanting to trouble Grandpa Jiang, they decided not to have Xiao Yu send them. Instead, they planned to take a bus.
However, this would make it inconvenient to bring Kang Kang along.
Unexpectedly, Grandpa Jiang said, “Go ahead. Leave Kang Kang with me, this old man. You two can have fun outside. You don’t need to rush back for lunch. Go to the state-owned restaurant and have something good to eat.”
After hearing this, both of them looked at Kang Kang and saw that he didn’t seem unwilling, so they felt relieved.
Thus, they packed up, slung bags over their shoulders, and left the house.
As the Lunar New Year approached, there were more people in the courtyard. Some were out buying New Year goods. When they saw Jiang Junmo, many recognized him and greeted them with smiles.
In fact, the news about Jiang Junmo’s return and his joint admission to Peking University with his wife had already spread. After all, Grandpa Jiang had shown off quite a bit yesterday.
So now that they saw Jiang Junmo and his wife, everyone was quite friendly, and they didn’t look down on Lu Xia either.
This made Lu Xia feel a bit emotional. It seemed that the people in the courtyard were all nice.
After going outside, they didn’t immediately go to the department store to buy New Year goods.
Since they weren’t planning to return at noon according to Grandpa Jiang’s suggestion, they wanted to take advantage of the time. Jiang Junmo intended to take Lu Xia to the small courtyard.
“No rush, we can go after the New Year,” Lu Xia said.
Jiang Junmo smiled. “Let me show you around. It’s not like we’re moving in immediately. However, the small courtyard has been vacant for so many years, so it’s likely in a dilapidated state. If we plan to move there, we’ll need to renovate it.”
Lu Xia nodded, but still had some doubt. “Hasn’t anyone occupied it all these years? In this day and age, housing is so scarce that many vacant houses are forcibly occupied by the authorities.”
Jiang Junmo shook his head directly. “Don’t worry, that won’t happen. Grandpa and the local neighborhood committee have made arrangements. They’ll help take care of it.”
Lu Xia understood. With Grandpa Jiang’s influence, it was unlikely that the small courtyard would be assigned haphazardly.
The small courtyard was located in the East City District, and it took them about half an hour by bus to get there.
When they got off the bus, they found themselves in an alleyway. The alley wasn’t particularly spacious, but it looked quite clean. There weren’t too many residents around, and the place didn’t seem too noisy—just the right balance between hustle and tranquility.
Jiang Junmo led Lu Xia into the alley and turned a corner. Soon, they arrived at their destination—the small courtyard. The front gate was intact, the walls were high, and there was even a roof above, giving it the appearance of a large and affluent family estate.
Jiang Junmo took out a key from his bag and directly opened the lock on the front gate. Then, he pushed the gate open.
Chapter 320 – Small Courtyard Layout
After the door was opened, Lu Xia took a look inside and was met with the sight of a decorative wall that blocked the view of the courtyard.
They walked in afterward.
As they bypassed the decorative wall, they could see the layout of the courtyard—a typical quadrangle courtyard design.
Directly in front of them were the main living room and several main rooms. On both sides were several side rooms, and in the center was a large courtyard.
In the left corner of the courtyard was a well, though they weren’t sure if it was still functional. In the middle of the right side stood a large jujube tree, with stone tables and benches placed under it, arranged in an elegant manner.
Of course, this was if you ignored the weeds growing on the ground.
Lu Xia was surprised when she looked around. Jiang Junmo had mentioned that it was a small courtyard, so she had thought it would be much smaller. However, it turned out to be quite spacious. There must have been around ten rooms just from the exterior.
But that wasn’t all.
Jiang Junmo directly led her to the back of the main building.
Unexpectedly, there was a small garden here!
Although it was abandoned, you could still see the artificial rock formations, and the garden area wasn’t small.
Afterward, Jiang Junmo explained, “Actually, this small courtyard is an ‘entrance and a half.’ It’s said that my grandfather was fond of cultured elegance and enjoyed fishing. However, due to his poor health, he didn’t want to venture far, so he dug a small fish pond in the backyard to raise fish.
After my grandfather passed away, my grandmother didn’t have the heart to maintain it, so the fish pond fell into disuse, and the flowers and plants in the garden were replaced with vegetables. Of course, the artificial rock formations and such weren’t discarded.
If you’re willing to take care of it in the future, we can tidy it up again.”
“There’s even a small fish pond here?” Lu Xia was surprised. A courtyard like this in the capital was truly remarkable.
She looked around with satisfaction. “This place isn’t small. We can leave some space for planting flowers and use the rest for growing vegetables. That way, we won’t need to buy them in the future.”
Jiang Junmo knew that she had a knack for gardening, so he allowed her to make arrangements as she saw fit.
Afterward, they finally went inside the main building.
As soon as they entered, they found themselves in a large living room. It was just like what you’d see in TV dramas about wealthy families—the main table and side tables were neatly arranged.
And the tables, chairs, and benches had a vintage feel to them.
Lu Xia initially wanted to touch them, but when she saw a layer of dust on top, she gave up.
Curiously, she asked, “Are these antiques?”
Jiang Junmo shook his head. “Although they’ve been passed down from the Republican era, the materials used are average. They’re made from ordinary boxwood.”
Lu Xia wasn’t disappointed upon hearing this. “They look quite nice and match the courtyard well. We should keep them.”
Afterward, they went into the two bedrooms on either side of the living room.
There were two bedrooms on each side of the living room, and all of them were quite spacious.
However, the interior furnishings were quite old. Jiang Junmo looked inside and said, “If we plan to move in here, we’ll have to renovate it. We can combine the two bedrooms on one side into a larger one. We’ll also need to partition off a section for a bathroom.”
Lu Xia nodded. “But won’t it be inconvenient to have a toilet here?”
Jiang Junmo shook his head. “We can ask about that later. I think it’s doable.”
This put Lu Xia’s mind at ease.
Then, Jiang Junmo looked at the bedroom on the other side. “It’s the same on that side. Once it’s renovated, we can leave it for Kang Kang and our future children.”
Lu Xia was speechless. Kang Kang was so young, yet he was planning to give him his own room?
But it seemed like Jiang Junmo had already thought this through. It looked like he had been dissatisfied with Kang Kang sleeping with them for a while.
Seeing this, Lu Xia could only shake her head helplessly.
Afterward, they also made arrangements for the side rooms—one would become a study, the other a kitchen, and the remaining rooms would be simply tidied up to serve as guest rooms.
That pretty much covered everything.
However, while it sounded simple, the actual implementation would be quite a project…
They could only deal with it after the New Year.