Chapter 81 – Rainy Night
Seeing no movement in the courtyard and presuming that those brothers wouldn’t be coming outside soon, Li Man hastily came out and took down the clothes that had been drying in a corner of the courtyard. Once she folded the clothing, she stacked it up and placed at the head of her bed. Of course, the men’s clothing was also in this stack. After dinner, she could have Little Five take these clothes over.
Speaking of dinner, Li Man checked the time by looking at the color of the sky through her window. She decided that it was about time to prepare dinner, so she quietly entered the kitchen.
There weren’t many ingredients available, so how about making some handmade noodles? Fortunately, this family of men wasn’t picky eaters. She felt very satisfied that they would eat until nothing was left every time she cooked.
She went to the back garden, picked some green vegetables, washed them, and decided to cook them with the noodles.
In less than fifteen minutes, she finished cooking the noodles and vegetables for dinner. By this time, the sky had darkened. She lit an oil lamp first, then she left the kitchen to call them over for dinner.
After the afternoon had passed, Li Man had already completely forgotten the embarrassing incident that had occurred at noon. And so, there wasn’t any awkwardness during the dinner.
After dinner, just as usual, they didn’t ask her to do the dishes.
Once she had Little Five take the men’s cleaned clothes, she decided to heat up some water so she could take a bath in her hut.
She eagerly put on the new clothes that Li Hua had made her after taking a bath.
It was so unexpected for that teenager to be so skillful with his hands. Not only did he know how to mend quilts, he also knew how to make clothes. Look at how the fine and uniform these stitches were. It could be compared to the work done by using a sewing machine.
Furthermore, he had chosen a good material for the undergarment halter top, and the sizing was perfect. It fitted wonderful on her body. There was a cloth band at the top that could be slipped over her head and two pieces of string at the bottom that could be tied together.
Once the strings were tied around her waist, it showed off the exquisite curves of her body in great detail. What’s more, the pink color of the cloth set off her delicate as china skin so that it looked even better than snow.
Li Man liked the undergarment halter top a lot as soon as she put it on. After that, she happily tried on the two sets of outer clothing.
It was only after she had put on one of the outfits that she realized how talented Li Hua was. He had completely copied the style of the dress she had tried on in that clothing store. The only difference was that the outfit in the clothing store had knotted buttons, and he had made a belt for this outfit.
(T/N: Below are pictures of knotted buttons (pankous). They’re decorative fasteners at the neck and chest area of qipaos. If you want to read more about qipaos, there’s a detailed guide here. [http://www.thepankou.com/qipao-cheongsam-parts-comprehensive-guide/]
Although knotted buttons were elegant and beautiful, the belt had a sophisticated chicness.
It was really amazing!
She definitely had to thank him again tomorrow. It must have taken him a lot of effort to make all these clothing for her in such a short period of time.
After smugly appreciating how good the clothing looked on her, Li Man finally took off the outer layer, neatly folded it up, and placed it at the head of her bed. She went to bed with only the undergarment halter top and the matching bottom. Wearing the close-fitting and snug clothing, she felt extremely comfortable as she drifted off to sleep.
However, just as she was lingering in a sweet dream, there was a flash of lightning through the window as well as a thunder that sounded like an exploding bomb. It was loud enough to startle her awake. As she opened her eyes, she felt coolness on her cheeks and lips as water unceasingly dripped down from ceiling.
There was a rumble of thunder again. It was deafeningly loud. As the lightning flashed by, the room seemed to be illuminated with a white light for a moment.
“Ahh!” Terrified, Li Man covered her ears. At this time, she was alarmed to see that a large patch of the thatched roof was soaked through, and pieces of the roof were falling down. Giant drops of water continued to fall from the ceiling, and she could feel wetness seeping through the quilt at her feet.
In the neighboring hut, Li Mo suddenly opened his eyes. Without explaining himself, he flung back the covers and dashed outside.
With the exception of Little Five, who was young enough to sleep deeply, the claps of thunder and Li Man’s scream had also awaked everyone else. Right after Li Mo left, one by one, they ran to the western hut without even putting on their shoes first.
Inside the western hut, Li Man had already gotten out of bed and was standing by the head of the bed. She was blankly looking at the roof. After the flashes of lightning had passed, she saw that the soaked portion of the roof was on the verge of collapsing as the wind blew through it.
What was she suppose to do? The roof looked like it was going to collapse.
Just as she was struggling over whether or not she should go over to tell them, Li Mo kicked the door open. The cold wind poured into the room, but Li Man didn’t care about the cold. She looked at Li Mo like he was her knight in shining armor. She hurriedly went over, grabbed Li Mo, and pointed at the roof. “Look, is it going to fall?”
At this time, the other three brothers entered the hut, but no one was looking at the roof. Instead, their gazes were all directed at Li Man.
Just as Li Man was feeling puzzled, another flash of lightning went by. When the dazzling white light illuminated the hut, she suddenly remembered what she was wearing. With a whoosh, she ran to her bed and wrapped the soaked quilt around herself.
Li Mo turned his head and fiercely glared his younger brothers, “All of you, go back to our room.”
“Oldest brother, wife…” Li Shu wasn’t reassured, but before he could finish speaking, Li Mo had already walked to the bed and scooped up Li Man along with the quilt that was wrapped around her.
Li Mo stared at her large, dazed eyes and said, “It’s raining too heavily tonight. It’s dangerous for you to stay here.”