After she was done eating, when she just wanted to deliver the empty bowl to the kitchen, she saw a person’s figure flashed from her door way that made her paused for a while.
Walking out, she found Li Shu leaning on the wall’s edge, tweaking his ears and scratching his ears with an anxious appearance.
Li Man thought to go over and ask him, but when she recalled what he had done to herself, she suddenly lost the will to go.
Right at this time, Li Shu lifted his head up and looked at Li Man, he strode forward with big steps, “Wife, are you done eating? There’s still some inside the pot, I’ll help you ladle one bowl more.”
Saying this, he grabbed the empty bowl inside her hand and eagerly went to the kitchen.
Li Man of course didn’t feel hungry, how could she feel hungry after eating one big bowl of meat soup? So she also followed to the kitchen, saw Li Shu was scooping out the soup for her from the pot, she hurriedly said, “Li Shu, I’m full.”
“Only a bowl and you’re already full? Eat a bit more, Second Brother’s stewed soup is really fragrant.” As Li Shu was saying this, the bowl was already filled.
Li Mo gave his seat for Li Man.
Li Man sat down near Little Fice, then looked at them all gnawing on corn steamed bun next to a bowl of thin porridge, she can’t help but became stupefied, “Isn’t there any meat left in the pot?”
Li Mo said, “You and Third is still hurt, so you guys should nourish your body.”
“Hehe.” Li Shu smiled while pushing a bowl of chicken soup to Li Man, “Wife, eat more.”
Li Man immediately grabbed the bowl to Little Five, “Little Five, c’mon, eat while it’s hot.”
“Sister, I won’t eat.” Little Five smelled the savory fragrance and became somewhat greedy, but it was made to nourish sister’s body, so he held himself back, “Sister eat.”
“Sister already ate, you eat this one.” Li Man looked at him not touching the soup, so she grabbed a chopstick, pinching a shred of meat to his mouth, “Little Five, be good, eat.”
Little Five looked at his several brothers not having any objection, so he grinned and ate the soup happily.
Li Man then passed the bowl to him, then gave a glance towards the three brothers, her heart was suddenly moved when she saw their sincere and honest gaze on her.
Having these many men loving her dearly was her fortune, perhaps the god compensated her in this lifetime.
Getting up, Li Man walked to the kitchen range and took two clean bowls, then scooped some more meat and soup from the pot, giving it to Li Mo and Li Yan, one person one bowl, “This much, you two have to finish this all, I won’t allow any leftover.”
After instructing them like so, she looked at Li Shu, this fellow’s appetite was really huge, alright, looking at his eager expression, Li Man also ladled him a bowl, “You spitted that many blood yesterday, you have to nourish your body properly.”
“En.” When Li Shu heard her, he took the bowl with joy and sipped a mouthful of soup, then he suddenly realized the taste was so delicious, he was surprised, how can it be different from the bowl of soup he drank before?
Li Mo and Li Yan looked at Li Man acting like that, they both smiled slightly.
At afternoon, Li Mo and Li Yan both went to the field, Li Shu was sleeping inside the East Room, Li Mo was feeling bored without nothing to do, so she looked at Little Five who was learning characters in the courtyard.
She didn’t realize when, but she felt the sun hanging up high basking people under it, she moved the small stool under the peach tree, seeing that the tree was already full with fruits. Realizing that she could eat that sweet peach before long, her heart became extremely happy.
“Little Five.” At this time, a girl’s voice lightly called out from outside the gate.
Little Five lifted his head and looked over, he was shocked, “Sister Mudan?”
Li Man abruptly turned her head and looked over, seeing Mudan standing in a timid manner at the side of the wattled wall, as if wishing to come in but didn’t dare to.
“Little Five, come here and see.” Recalling how the last time Mudan came over and the brothers got into a quarrel, finally, Li Yan still had to came back with battered nose and swollen face. Although she believed numerous times that there was something going on between Mudan and Li Yan, and she indeed did want to help them together, but Li Yan’s attitude towards this was very clear, he really didn’t have any affection towards Mudan. So, Li Man felt that she might as well won’t get her hand on this matter, and directly let Little Five dismiss her.
Little Five ran over, “Sister Mudan, is anything the matter?”
Even Little Five’s attitude was estranged, Mudan’s heart felt unwell as the rim of her eyes became red, “Is your second brother home?”
“Second Brother went to the field to work.” Little Five answered.
“Oh.” Mudan’s eyes looked sideways at the girl under the peach tree, “I want to talk a bit with your wife.”
“Ah?” Little Five paused a bit, when his mind came back again, his small face was flushed red from shyness, and he gave his agreement, “Okay, I’ll help you call her.”
Saying this, Little Five ran back, “Sister, sister Mudan was searching for you to talk a bit.”
“Oh.” Li Man actually didn’t want to talk with this girl, to be precise, after noon today, her mind had a great change.
Before, she thought that Mudan and Li Yan was childhood sweethearts, an inherent couple, but nowadays, Li Yan was hell-bent on being her man.
Having her own man being coveted with greedy eyes by another woman, this feeling was really not good.
“Little Five, write down this poem once, later I want to dictate it.” After ordering Little Five, Li Man got up and walked to the gate.
“Miss Mudan.” She looked at Mudan with a slight smile, “What do you need searching for me?”
Mudan’s beautiful eyes deeply looked at Li Man, without speaking, her eyes became red like she wanted to cry.
Li Man was astounded, “What happened?”
“The day after tomorrow, the Shen family will send betrothal gifts.” Mudan said with bead of tears rolling down her face, “Furthermore, Shen family’s master will come too, they will come and discuss about this marriage with my mother and father, my parents thought that the faster the marriage is, the better it would be, I might be married away in fifth or sixth month.”
Li Man felt a bit of sympathy on her, “If you’re not willing, you should discuss it clearly with you mother and father. You’re their daughter, they won’t force you.”
“No.” Mudan shook her head, like a weeping beauty, she looked at Li Man with implore, “Can you help me send a message to Li Yan?”
Send a message? Li Man muttered to herself then shook her head, “You should directly tell him yourself if you have anything to say.”
“I-I’m afraid that he won’t want to see me. Last time, my dad and brother was like that to him, I… I don’t have any face to see him.” Mudan’s face was smeared with tears.
She must be talking about the last time Li Yan came back with blooded nose.
However, the matter about feelings, Li Man thought that she can’t help anymore. The thing was, she tried, but Li Yan…
“My apologies, I can’t help you with this thing anymore.”
Mudan lifted her head in shock, “Are you afraid that I would snatch Brother Li Yan so you don’t consent to help me?”
Ehh? Why is she talking like that? “No, about this matter, I only think that it’s best if the concerned people discuss it face to face.”
“You said it clearly last time that you would help me get him.” Mudan’s tear-filled eyes was smeared with wrath a bit, it looks like she has a hand in how my relationship got sour with Brother Li Yan!
Li Man was bewildered all of a sudden, she felt it hard to talk about this kinda thing, however, she indeed had some faults, “I’m sorry, I was too self-opinionated before, but, feeling is not an object that can be given however we want, if there’s really a heartfelt love between you both, then there would be no need for me to help.”
Mudan felt frustrated, “But I only want you to send a message for me.”
“What message?” Li Man had no choice but to ask.
Mudan’s eyes lightened in a split of a second, she got closer to Li Man a bit and said, “Tell him to meet me tomorrow at yinshi [3-5 a.m.] at the same place, be sure to wait there!”
At the same place? Li Man’s heart thumped a bit, they had a usual designated place to meet already, surely there’s something unusual between them.
Seeing Li Man with a wooden look, Mudan told a line with a small voice, “Sister Li Man, you definitely has to help me, help me send this message to him, if he’s not coming, you won’t be seeing me anymore in the future.”
“…” Why does her words have a hint of menace? Li Man wanted to persuade her, but when she saw Mudan’s expression, she suddenly felt her whatever her words may be, it would only be useless.
Alright, Li Yan owed this love’s debt, he should go himself and take care of it.
“Okay, I’ll be sure to send this message to him, but it’s his own matter if he wants to go or not.”
“He definitely will go.” Calmly looking at Li Man, Mudan’s eyes rippled with a determination to win.
Looking at her willowy frail figure of her, Li Man thought, such a stubborn and persistent woman, if she truly could be with Li Yan…
Damn it, why so persistent at this time? Her heart abruptly became agitated.
On the road when Mudan was going back, the tears on the corner of her eyes already dried up, she especially took the time when the men of the Li family wasn’t at home to come over, only to say this words to Li Man.
Coming once, can state clearly her determination to not give up on Li Yan, coming twice, it depended on Li Yan’s attitude towards her, regardless of what she said, he would not hear her, so she can only take this chance to meet with him alone.
“Yo, isn’t this younger sister Mudan?”
All of a sudden, a coquettish voice came over from her front, startling Mudan to lift up her head. She saw Xing niang coming back from who knew where, with a face beaming with satisfaction.
“S-second Shun sister in law.” Mudan had a good manner, even to Xing niang who was loathed by everyone in the village, she still would be courteous and greet her. [T/N: it’s not that Xing niang is her sister in law, in Chinese she said: 二顺嫂子which means the married woman of Second Shun family]
When Xing niang heard it, her eyes opened with happiness, intimately came over and seized her hand, smilingly said, “Aiyoyo, I see, all said that younger sister Mudan’s pair of hands were more beautiful than Vega.”
Mudan busily pulled back her hand and retreated a step, “Second Shun sister in law, I still have some matters I need to do.”
“Why so anxious?” Xing niang pulled her arm and went to a nearby house’s corner, Xing niang’s eyes frimly measured Mudan all over, “What happened? Who bullied younger sister? Your eyes are red.”
“N-none—” Xing niang’s reputation in the village wasn’t good, Mudan didn’t want to be tangled up with her and harm her own good name, so she busily shoved her wanting to leave.
Xing niang’s strength was big, she pulled her to stay as she said, “Younger sister, no need to say, your sister in law already know, Ahh, he’s not worth younger sister ah, you say, what else that Li Yan got other than his handsome look? Unexpectedly, he doesn’t want such a beautiful woman like sister? He’s so stupid.”
The former words made Mudan’s heart moved, but when she said that Li Yan was stupid, Mudan suddenly felt unhappy, “Brother Li Yan isn’t a stupid man.”
“A,a, what is this? Sister in law was only talking about him one sentence and your heart already hurting ah?” Xing niang teased her.
Mudan lowered her eyes in a bashful manner, “Sister in law, what are you talking about? I want to go back.”
“No need to be so anxious, there’s no one here, your sister in law won’t talk about it to other person.” Xing niang didn’t let go of the person and said in a low voice, “Younger sister, don’t lie to me, your sister in law is someone who has had the experience, my family and Li family is only separated by a wall, what happened to you and Li Yan could be seen clearly by me, don’t try to deceive me.”
“Sister in law?” Mudan was startled, what is this smelly woman wants to do? Talking nonsense everywhere and damaging my reputation everywhere? However, she’s not afraid, if it’s known by everyone, perhaps mother and father would have no other alternative and let Li Yan come and marry her.
“Don’t be afraid.” Xing niang reassured her, “Sister in law only wants to help you.”
“Help me?” Mudan can’t see what method she can use to help her.
Xing niang nodded her head, as she got closer to her, she mysteriously said in a low voice, “You also know what sister in law did before, although it didn’t appear decent, but it’s just that old woman saying the grapes are sour when in fact she can’t eat them, they don’t have any man but insisted on cursing me.”
Mudan frowned her eyebrows after hearing it, “If there’s anything to say, please say it directly.”
“Alright ah.” Xing niang also became blunt, “Sister in law have a drug here, if a man eat this, guaranteed that he will become as ferocious as wolves and tigers, not to mention with you, such a beautiful woman and inexperienced, he would feel like he ascended the heaven.”
Mudan was in great alarm, “What you said is… aphrodisiac?”
“Hush, this is only a drug to liven things up.” Xing niang lightly looked askance and smiled, “Wait until you and him cooked the rice, would there be any need to fear that he doesn’t want you?”
“I…” Mudan hesitated.
“Alright, alright, I only pulled you here because I took a pity on you. You see, ever since that girl came to Li family, how come you became so thin like this only after a few days gone by? It’s because Li Yan is being fickle and infatuated with that girl.” Xing niang said.
“No buts.” Xing niang was impatient and interrupted her, stuffing a small bottle of medicine inside her hand and instilled, “It’s very simple, just put in this drug inside his tea and let him drink it, in less than an hour, I guarantee he would be mad and toss you.”
“I don’t want.” Mudan’s face all red and she forcefully gave back the medicine.
Xing niang was panic-stricken, her finger jabbed Mudan’s forehead, “Foolish young girl, you’re really such a mule. You can’t always be a blockhead if you want to get a man, you had to have a bit of ability ah. Your appearance isn’t less than that girl, your temper is better than her, you say, how can Li Yan suddenly didn’t care about you when she came?”
Mudan felt a stab in her heart, she was also in suffering like this.
Xing niang continued, “That woman can entice them by flattery, can dress herself, don’t start with her face that looked pure as jade and clean as ice, her innermost nature should be one of a whore. Pulling her men in broad daylight to do that kind of thing, I already caught them in the act several times.”
“Ah?” Mudan’s heart jumped, it was hard to believe.
Xing niang curled her lips in absolute disdain, “It’s you who are foolish ah, just think about it, who in Goddess’ Ravine Village act so wanton like her, you say, do you think she has no skill handling those men together?”
Mudan stared blankly, so she actually used this kind of embarrassing and despicable thing to win men’ hearts?
Xing niang looked at her expression and she already knew that her heart was swayed, so she pushed the drug inside her hands again, “Don’t be naive, take it. Man ah, all of them are animals who think with their lower parts, if you don’t give him a bit of benefit, don’t hope for them to be hell-bent on you.”
After saying this, she turned around while swaying her waist and walked away.
Mudan who was left behind was now stood in the same place, staring blankly at the drug in her hands.