T/N: This chapter is for last Sunday (2/3).
Chapter 45 – Bandaging
The young woman’s soft and silvery voice was lovely and innocent. Shocked from hearing her voice, Li Mo blankly turned around and saw that Li Man had crouched down next to him without him noticing. Her hands were cupping her cheeks, and she was blinking her large, limpid eyes while looking at him with a child-like gaze.
Seeing that he wasn’t responding, Li Man thought that she hadn’t pronounced the words correctly, and she seriously repeated the phrase again, “Oldest brother, thank you for your hard work.”
Li Mo hastily tried to return to a calm state of mind, but her words and gaze made him feel at a loss. His honey-colored skin was already flushed red. Deprived of his composure, he lowered his head and tried to weave the bamboo strips. But, for some reason, it felt like his fingers weren’t obediently listening to him anymore.
Seeing him like this, Li Man thought she hadn’t done a good job with learning and wanted to return to the hut and ask Li Hua to teach her again.
As soon as Li Man stood up, Li Mo’s fingers paused. A burst of disappointment rose up in his heart. He wanted to try to get her to stay and find words to say to her, but she had already scurried towards the eastern hut.
Staring at the eastern hut’s wide-open door, there seemed to be a person swaying inside. Li Mo’s brows were slightly frozen in concentration before he finally lowered his head back down again and continued the work he was doing. But, he was using a lot more force compared to before. It was if he was feeling sulky over the bamboo strips. Suddenly, he felt a sharp pain on his finger. One of the bamboo strips had stabbed into his left hand’s forefinger, and bright red blood was dripping out.
Startled, he only blankly watched as drop after drop of blood welled out and dripped down his finger. Instead of being aware of the pain, the blood surprisingly reminded him of the cinnabar dot on that woman’s arm.
Li Man animatedly rushed out of the hut again. “Oldest brother, thank… Ah, what happened?!” She had originally wanted to go to Li Mo’s side to show off her new knowledge, but seeing the blood on his finger, she felt alarmed. She hurriedly grabbed his hand to look. His entire finger had been stained by blood, and there was still more blood coming out of the wound on his finger.
“Did you get pricked by a bamboo strip?” Li Man narrowed her eyes and stared at his injured finger. She carefully removed the splinter from the bamboo strip from his finger. “You can’t just leave it like this. You need to disinfect and bandage your finger.”
Li Mo had already been struck dumb. He just watched as she ran back into the eastern hut and came running back shortly after with a small jar of wine as well as a strips of cloth.
Li Hua and Little Five had also followed after her. With a very worried expression, he asked, “Oldest brother, are you okay?”
“I’m fine. I just accidentally stabbed myself with a bamboo strip.” Feeling embarrassed, Li Mo awkwardly curled his injured finger towards his palm to hide it.
Li Man couldn’t understand their conversation and just single-mindedly devoted herself to her task. Half crouched down by Li Mo’s side, she uncurled his injured finger and wanted to use the wine to disinfect it first.
In front of his two younger brothers, Li Mo’s face flushed red again. As if he had just gotten an electric shock, he took his hand back and lowly said, “It’s okay.”
Forgetting that he couldn’t understand her, Li Man gently persuaded, “Your finger is injured. It’s spring right now, the season where harmful bacteria propagate the fastest. If you don’t properly treat it, what will you do if your wound gets infected?” As she said these words, she had already grabbed his hand again and used the wine to gently wipe his injury. After cleaning his injury, she wrapped the clean strip of cloth around his finger.
Li Mo felt as if the wine had been poured into his heart instead of being used to wash his finger. He felt as if he was utterly intoxicated and was completely at Li Man’s mercy.
Even as Li Man instructed Li Mo to not get the bandage wet, he was still dazedly looking at her.
Li Hua, who was also standing at the side, also felt too stunned to react. His ink-colored eyes were as calm as water. As he quietly watched this scene, his heart felt a sense of relief as well as sudden pang of bitterness. He couldn’t explain why there was a painful feeling….