Chapter 379 – Conclusion
Seeing the state of the Zhao family, the Shi family realized that they couldn’t produce the amount of money initially demanded. So, they lowered their expectations. After a lengthy negotiation, both parties finally agreed on a price that was somewhat acceptable to both sides.
Even so, it still drained the Zhao family of their savings accumulated over many years. None of the Zhao family members were particularly happy about it, especially his younger siblings. It almost led to a divorce in the family.
After receiving the money, the Shi family reluctantly took Shi Chunyan back to the countryside.
From then on, the matter came to a conclusion.
Upon reading the details of this aftermath, Lu Xia couldn’t help but sigh. She never expected that the Shi family would succeed in their endeavors. Still, she didn’t feel sympathy for Shi Chunyan, considering what she had done to Jiang Junmo in the past. She saw it as a form of karma.
After learning about the outcome, Lu Xia lost interest in the village’s affairs. Shen Qingqing was still living in the village, and there were several months until the start of the new school year in September. So, Lu Xia wrote her a letter, sent some books, and encouraged her to read more in the meantime.
Afterward, she continued to focus on her own activities.
Jiang Junmo was doing well with his exam preparations. Occasionally, he attended lectures in the architecture department and was keeping up.
Lu Xia’s part-time translation work didn’t stop either. It had evolved from simple documents to more complex literary reports and books. The demands were higher, requiring more effort, but the results were excellent. Her English proficiency was gradually improving, and her learning efficiency had greatly increased.
At that moment, they received news that the renovation of their courtyard had been completed, and they could go for the inspection at any time.
Lu Xia was delighted to hear the news and wanted to go immediately, but she knew she had classes to attend. So, she had to wait until the holidays.
Finally, when the weekend arrived, Lu Xia woke up early and rode her bike with Jiang Junmo to the courtyard.
The alley still appeared somewhat desolate, and upon arrival, they noticed that the main gate of the courtyard hadn’t been replaced; it had only received a fresh coat of paint, making it look new.
As they approached, they spotted Grandma Liu from across the street.
She came out and greeted them, saying, “Oh, you young couple finally came. Is the house repaired?”
Jiang Junmo smiled at her and nodded, “Yes, Grandma Liu, we’ve come to inspect it.”
“Oh my! It’s finally fixed! It’s been several months, right? People have been coming and going, making noise, and I have no idea what they were fixing. They didn’t tear down the whole house and rebuild it, did they?”
Jiang Junmo shook his head, “No, we just did some interior renovations. Because it wasn’t urgent, it took a bit longer.”
“Oh, I see.”
Lu Xia noticed Grandma Liu’s curiosity and smiled, saying, “The house has just been renovated, so it needs some time to air out. After a while, when we move in, we’d like to invite Grandma Liu to come and see it.”
Finally satisfied, Grandma Liu smiled and said, “Sure, I’ll definitely come over to take a look when the time comes.”
With that, they didn’t waste any more time chatting and entered the courtyard.
At first, there wasn’t much change that could be seen; the screen walls still obstructed the view.
However, as they walked past the screen walls, they could immediately see the significant changes. At the very least, the courtyard had been cleared of weeds and looked much neater. The pathways had been paved with bricks and appeared clean.
The jujube tree that had stood in the courtyard before was still there, but its branches had been pruned.
The stone benches and stools under the tree were also still in place. There wasn’t much difference in appearance, but it gave off a distinct feeling.
It was challenging to pinpoint the exact changes, but there was a different atmosphere altogether.
Chapter 380 – The Renovated Courtyard
During the renovation process, Jiang Junmo had visited a few times, but Lu Xia hadn’t come over until now.
Looking at the cross-shaped brick pathway in the courtyard, it was originally designed to divide the space into four approximately 9sqm plots. However, one of them had a jujube tree and stone benches, so it was also paved with bricks. The remaining three plots were still quite spacious.
Lu Xia asked, “These areas are quite large. Did you intentionally leave them for gardening?”
Jiang Junmo smiled and replied, “I just thought that covering all of it with bricks would be a waste. We can use it for planting vegetables or flowers.”
Lu Xia nodded, “Alright, let’s plant some vegetables then. Even though it’s a bit late in the season, they should still grow.”
Jiang Junmo agreed, “Okay, we can start planting tomorrow.”
Afterward, Lu Xia noticed an old well at the edge of one of the plots. She asked, “Is this well still in use? Didn’t they say the house already has tap water?”
Jiang Junmo explained, “Yes, we did plan to fill it in originally. However, when we tried drawing water from it, we found that there was still a lot of clear water inside. Since not many nearby households use tap water, and we put in a lot of effort to set it up, we decided to keep it. Just in case it might come in handy if the tap water supply ever has issues.”
Lu Xia agreed but added, “We should put up a fence around the well; it could be dangerous if someone accidentally gets too close.”
Jiang Junmo nodded, “That’s already in the works; it should be installed in a few days.”
Seeing that he had everything arranged properly, Lu Xia didn’t say much more about it.
Next, they entered the rooms.
As soon as they entered, they found themselves in the main hall. The old-fashioned layout of the grand mansion’s front door had disappeared, replaced by a living room. However, the tables and chairs from before had been retained.
The space was quite large and felt open and well-lit despite being somewhat empty.
“The furniture here hasn’t been purchased yet, so we haven’t decided on a layout. We’ve just done some basic renovation and repainting,” Jiang Junmo explained.
Lu Xia looked around and suggested, “This place is quite spacious. I think we can divide it into two sections: use the left side as the living room and the right side as the dining room, with the entrance in the middle. What do you think?”
Jiang Junmo agreed to her suggestion, saying, “Sounds good. Let’s go with that.”
Satisfied that he had no objections, Lu Xia continued, “I’ve looked at it, and the original large table in the house isn’t small. We can use it as the dining table. Although it might look a bit bulky, it’s practical. We don’t need to buy a new one. We can just get a tablecloth to cover it, and it will look clean. As for the living room, we can buy a sofa and a coffee table, but nothing too large, since we probably won’t have many guests over.”
After arranging the living room, they proceeded to the master bedroom.
This room had also undergone significant changes. Except for the cabinet connected to the secret passage, all the other items, including the low bed and the tables and chairs, had been removed. The room had been redecorated, with white walls that gave it a clean and spacious appearance.
The two rooms had been combined, resulting in a large overall space.
Lu Xia expressed her satisfaction, saying, “What happened to the old bed and the chest? Where did they go?”
“They’ve been moved to the storage room in the side building. That bed was too small; I was worried you wouldn’t be comfortable sleeping on it.”
Lu Xia agreed with his decision, nodding, “Let’s buy a new one then, a larger bed. This room has plenty of space. I think we can use it as a study instead of needing a separate study room. We can just place a desk in here.”
Jiang Junmo also liked the idea, saying, “Let’s start by putting a desk in here, and if we need a dedicated study later, we can arrange that as well.”
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