T/N: I’ll be back to regular releases on Tuesday, January 29th (around 8PM PST). Going to be busy until then and went through my stockpile of buffer chapters =/.
Chapter 34 – Proof
Soon after, Li Man followed the Li brothers inside and was greeted with this scene. She felt a bit flabbergasted.
The village head hadn’t been able to stop his woman from pouring the water in time, but he was worried that these two would start fighting. He hurriedly stood up and said, “What’s gotten into you? Go back inside and start cooking. Li family’s fourth son is going to eat lunch with us at noon.”
“The second this woman came here, she started crying like she was at a funeral. I just was helping her out by washing away the bad luck.” Zhang-shi disdainfully looked at Xing-niang. If this woman hadn’t seduced her oldest son, her daughter-in-law wouldn’t have miscarried. Her future grandchild wouldn’t have disappeared from this world before being born.
“Ah, I don’t want to live anymore.” Overwhelmed with anger, Xing-niang‘s eyes rolled back, and she collapsed onto the ground. Her voice was sharp as she continued to wail, “Everyone bullies First Shun because he’s a fool and Second Shun because he’s a cripple. You’re all trampling on me and pushing me towards death, ah.”
The village head found this type of woman the most bothersome and berated her in a stern voice, “Second Shun’s wife, what are you doing? Quickly, get up.”
Looking at the village head, Li Man remembered what had happened the last time she saw him. Her heart trembled, and she moved closer to Li Mo’s side in fear.
By chance, Li Mo had his eyes lowered and saw her deathly pale face and the obvious fear in her eyes. Without thinking, he held her little hand and comfortingly squeezed it. In a low voice, he said, “Don’t be scared. I’m here.”
“En?” Li Man raised her head to look at him. Looking at his resolute gaze, her spirit felt as if had been magically strengthened. She didn’t feel so scared anymore. But, for some reason, her heart was still beating erratically.
Li Hua folded the letter and handed it to Third-daye. He hurriedly came over and asked Li Mo, “What happened?”
Li Mo’s expression was a bit stiff. This matter was related to a woman’s purity before marriage and had to be properly resolved today.
Li Hua glanced at Xing-niang. Remembering the words that she had said to Li Man yesterday night, he more or less could guess what had happened, so he quietly whispered advice into Li Mo’s ear.
Several men in the courtyard were friendly with Xing-niang. And yet, seeing her in this state, not a single one of them dared to step forward and say a few words on her behalf. There was no one for Xing-niang to direct the anger in her heart. She rolled around the ground. There were tears streaming from her eyes and mucus dripping from her nose. “I don’t want to live anymore. Just let me die here. Anyways, my family only has an idiot and a cripple. No one treats me with respect. Just kill me.”
The village head was so angry that even his beard trembled. He said to Li Mo, “Li family’s oldest son, pull her up. Who is she acting out this unreasonable fuss for? If there’s anything she needs to say, she can say it standing up.”
Before Li Mo could agree, Li Shu wickedly smiled and said, “I’ll do it.”
“Don’t touch me.” Hearing his voice, Xing-niang panicked and scrabbled at the ground as she hurriedly stood up to avoid him. If that hoodlum pulled her up, nothing good would come of it. He would probably dislocated her shoulder or fracture her bones, then pretend it was an accident. Wouldn’t that be suffering a loss for no good reason?
“Yo, I though you were really going to die. So, you’re still capable of standing up by yourself, huh?” Li Shu sneered.
Xing-niang‘s already flushed face turned to the color of pork liver. She shouted, “Li Shu, you barbaric -”
“Third brother,” Li Mo called out to stop Li Shu.
Then, facing Xing-niang, he said, “Second Shun’s wife, its time for you to stop causing trouble too. Right now, in front of the village head, let’s clear everything up.”
“Clear things up?” Xiang-niang cried out, “Alright, say whatever you want. Do you think this old mother is scared of you? Your family’s wife is a girl that’s been around the block. What do you have to say about that?”
Furious, Li Shu shouted, “You despicable woman -”
With one hand, Li Mo grabbed him and pulled him back so that he was standing behind him. In a deep voice, he asked, “Do you have proof?”
“Proof?” Xing-niang was stunned for a moment before she pointed at Li Man and said, “Look at her. She’s as pretty as a flower, her skin is white and tender, and her hands are delicate and slender. Does she look like a person that’s done work before? Would a daughter from an ordinary family look that fragile and pampered?”
“That’s not proof.” Li Mo thought this reasoning was laughably absurd. Although he didn’t know Li Man’s origin, he absolutely didn’t believe she was that type of woman.