Chapter 33 – Feeling jealous
The group of people suddenly turned to a different direction. Li Man didn’t know where they were going, but based on their postures, it seemed that situation had become more serious.
Feeling very gloomy, Li Man could only hold hands with Little Five and follow after Li Mo.
The village head’s home was located at the western side of the village. It was also the first home that people would see when they entered the village. It was a collection of rooms constructed with mud bricks and surrounded by large trees. It was simple and neatly laid out home with a courtyard at the center.
Today, the village head’s home was very lively. There were about a dozen villagers sitting on stools in the spacious courtyard and chatting with the village head.
At the side of the courtyard, Chunni and the village head’s young daughter, Lianhua, were sitting on different sides of the table and adoringly looking at Li Hua.
With her hands propping up cheeks, Chunni praised, “Older brother Hua, your calligraphy looks really good.” She had already said these words dozens of times before.
“Of course, older brother Hua is the best.” Lianhua’s eyes were totally focused on Li Hua. She thought he looked so attractive when he was focused on writing.
Chunni sneered at her. She wished she could cover the eyes that Lianhua used to look at Li Hua. “Older sister Lianhua, am I remembering this correctly? You’re one year older than older brother Li Hua, right?”
Lianhua couldn’t take these words lying down. She harshly glared at her. “Chunni, is there nothing for you to do at your home? You’ve already been here all morning. Are you planning on staying here to eat lunch too?”
Chunni knew that she had offended Lianhua. She hurriedly apologetically smiled at her. “Older sister Lianhua, aren’t you happy that I came here to keep you company and chat with you?” If older brother Hua wasn’t here, there was no way that she would be willing to come here.
Looking at Chunpi with contempt, Lianhua harrumphed and said, “Who wants your company?” Then, she turned around and moved close to Li Hua. She was enchanted by the faint scent of ink that clung to Li Hua. “Older brother Hua, are you thirsty? Do you want Lianhua to pour you some tea?”
Not willing to be outdone, Chunni took out a handful dried jujubes from her pocket. “Older brother Hua, I still have jujubes left, do you want some?”
Li Hua raised his head, looked at the two girls, and lightly said, “No thanks.” Then, he got up, picked up the letter that he had finished writing, and brought it to a villager. “Third-daye, I finished writing your letter. I’ll read it aloud for you. If there’s anything missing, I’ll add it to the letter.”
(T/N: Daye is a term of respect for an older man.)
“Ai, good, good…” Third-daye coughed a few times because of the smoke from his tobacco pipe. His wrinkled face was filled with a smiling expression. He gratefully looked at Li Hua.
Standing at the side, Li Hua seriously read aloud the words that the elder had asked him to write. His voice was crystal clear. Even when he was only reading an ordinary letter from one family member to another, it still sounded especially nice. The sound of conversation and laugher from the nearby villagers puttered to a stop. They all seriously listened to him reading the letter. As for third-daye, he nodded along as he listened…
In the midst of this fine, tranquil scene, the arrival of an exaggerated screechy crying sound abruptly broke the peaceful atmosphere.
As soon as Xing-niang entered the village head’s home, she preemptively ran towards him and said, “Honorable Village Head, you have to give me justice, ah. I’m being prosecuted to death.
As everyone in the courtyard was stunned by the sudden noise, they saw Xing-niang running over in a sorry state. She dropped to the ground on her butt. Crying and bawling, she said, “Village Head, if you won’t give me justice, I won’t be able to keep living. Li family’s third son is a beast, ah…”
A bucket of water that had been used to wash vegetables came pouring down on her head. Xing-niang was totally soaked. When she looked up, she saw the village head’s wife, Zhang-shi standing in front of her and holding a wooden bucket.
(T/N: If a name has –shi suffix, then it means this a married woman’s maiden last name.)
Zhang-shi pointed her finger at Xing-niang and scolded, “Little hussy, why did you come to my home to cause a fuss? What kind of place do you think this? Is this a place for you to act like a hoodlum?”
It was a bad idea to offend Zhang-shi. Last year, the two of them had fought over a matter related to Zhang-shi‘s oldest son. Xing-niang had lost miserably, but she hadn’t expected that this old witch would still be holding a grudge a year later.