Chapter 44 – Cutting cloth
Oldest brother and fourth brother were working together to bully him! Half-collapsed on the table, Li Shu thumped his chest as he continued to cough. He felt as if his brothers were horribly tormenting him.
Seeing this sight, Li Man was slightly worried. But, since Li Hua had already assured her that Li Shu was fine, she didn’t ask any more questions.
Fortunately, Li Shu quickly recovered and resumed eating lunch with gusto. He simply treated this experience as his oldest brother and fourth brother being jealous of him.
After lunch was over, the brothers each went their own way to do their work. Little Five was the only one that stayed to help Li Man clean up the plate and bowls.
Very quickly, Li Man finished washing the pots and bowls, and Little Five also finished with wiping down the table. The two of them left the kitchen together and decided to go to the backyard to see how Li Shu’s construction of the pigpen was coming along.
Seemingly by chance, Li Hua came out of from the eastern hut at this time. Seeing Li Man and Little Five, he waved at them and shouted, “Come over here for a second.”
“What’s wrong?” Li Man walked over to him. Seeing that he was holding a scissor, she couldn’t help feeling curious.
Li Hua smiled. He had just been about to cut the cloth to make her clothes. After all, he could guess her overall measurements just by looking at her. But, when he was about to cut the cloth, he lost his confidence. She wasn’t the same as his brothers. Girls usually care more about beauty, and clothes had to fit well to look good. It wouldn’t be good if he made a mistake with the measurements. Just to be safe, it would be better to have her come over so that he could get her measurements. As a matter of fact, as soon as he heard movement from the neighboring building, he hurriedly came out of the hut without remember to put down the scissors first.
Li Hua went inside the hut first, put down the scissors on the heated bed, and took out a measuring tape from a bamboo basket. “Come over here.”
Seeing the newly purchased cloth and then the measuring tape that Li Hua was holding, Li Man immediately understood. Very pleasantly surprised, she asked, “Are you making clothes for me?” She straightened her body and very cooperatively opened her arms of her own initiative.
Looking at her happy appearance, Li Hua pursed his lips and smiled too. Holding the measuring tape, he took her measurements: neck circumference, shoulder width, arm length…
Seeing that he was only measuring without writing anything down, she mimicked writing with her hands and reminded him, “Don’t you need to write down the numbers to remember them?”
Li Hua pointed at his head and said with a slight smile, “I can remember them here.” He continued to take her other measurements.
Li Man didn’t say anything else. This didn’t take very long; Li Hua was very quick with taking measurements. After this was done, he unrolled the snow-white fabric onto the heated bed that been cleared of clutter and started cutting.
“You know how to make clothes? Do you just use needle and thread to sew the clothes?” Li Man curiously picked up the needles and colored threads that had been prepared and placed on a flat basket-tray in advance. Looking at his skillful technique in cutting out the fabric, she felt even more impressived with this teenage boy.
He was good-looking, a scholar, had an extremely good memory, knew how to sew quilts and how to cut out fabric to make clothes without a pattern….
Li Hua put down the cloth he had cut out, turned around to pick up the needle and thread from the flat basket-tray, and happened to meet Li Man’s large, limpid, black eyes that were glimmering with little starts. Feeling uncertain, he asked, “What’s wrong?”
Li Man sincerely raised a thumb up at him. “You’re so amazing. Can you teach me this too?”
Li Hua slightly smiled and nodded. He would love it if she wanted to learn from him.
Li Man just felt happiness in her heart. She silently decided that she would learn the dialect for this place as fast as possible. Otherwise, it really would be too difficult to communicate with the people here.
Thinking of this, her thoughts slightly turned to a different direction. Li Man charmingly smiled and wrote on the ground, “Thank you for your hard work. How do you say that?”
Li Hua curved his lips into a smile and chuckled. Then, he cleared his throat and seriously taught her how to pronounce that phrase.
Li Man very seriously listened to his pronunciation. After quietly repeating what he said and feeling as if she had got the pronunciation correctly, she curtsied at Li Hua, astutely smiled at him, and said, “Thank you for your hard work.”
Before Li Hua had time to respond, Li Man had already scurried out of the hut. Seeing that Li Mo had already finished erecting a bamboo fence and was using a knife to carve the remaining bamboo into thin strips, she carefully walked over, crouched down by him, and softly said, “Oldest brother, thank you for your hard work.”
T/N: I’m not sure if this was already mentioned in the novel? They’re just speaking a different dialect than her, so there’s going to be similar sounding words that she already knows, and the grammar is the same. It’s not like she’s trying to learn a totally new language.
P.S. I’m surprised that Li Hua didn’t feel awkward when he was measuring her bust size.