Chapter 94 – Suspicious (4)
As soon as Li Man returned to her hut and closed her door, she went to her bed and blankly sat down. She didn’t notice the wetness of the bed or the water dripping from the roof.
Her mind kept churning out memories of interactions she had with Li Yan, Li Shu, and Li Hua along with chorused calls of, “wife”. It felt like a magicians’ spell that left her with a splitting headache.
She agitatedly rubbed her head. Eventually, there was a huge knotted mess in her hair, but who would come here to untangle this mess for her?
What exactly was going on? Why was she feeling so weird?
“Oldest brother, did no one tell her anything after you bought her and brought her back here? Did you not saying anything either?” Li Yan’s successive questioning broke the silence in the kitchen.
Li Mo’s brow was deeply furrowed. In a sinking voice, he said, “It’s a long story.”
An outrageous idea suddenly popped up Li Hua’s mind. “Why? Could it be that you didn’t buy her at a slave market?”
Li Yan and Li Shu were also silently looking at Li Mo. Not only did Li Man have a beautiful appearance, she was also literate. It wasn’t just the Goddess’s Ravine, even outside this cluster of mountain villages; there would be very few women like her. After all, a woman without talent was considered virtuous. It was rare even in noble families for a woman to be literate.
Thinking of this, they thought that Li Man couldn’t have come from a slave market. After all, if she had really been sold there, with her qualifications, their family wouldn’t have been able to afford that high price.
For a moment, the brothers inexplicably felt slightly panicky.
Li Mo swept his gaze over them and said, “It’s not what you guys are thinking. I really did buy her at a slave market.”
The three brothers let out a sigh of relief in unison.
Shortly afterwards, Li Mo continued the discussion with, “”But…”
The three brothers immediately felt their hearts rising up in alarm.
“But, what? Oldest brother, tell us!”
Li Mo had a complicated expression as he finally said, “Actually, when I met her in the slave market, she was very different from how she is now.”
“Eh?” Everyone felt confused and doubtful. “What was she like?”
Li Mo saw everyone’s puzzled gazes, and he couldn’t help recollecting that day in the market.
On that day, he had left home early in the morning with savings that had taken several years to accumulate. When he arrived at the slave market, he was just thinking that he wanted to buy an honest woman for his brothers as their shared wife.
However, after walking a lap around the slave market, he didn’t see anyone that he was satisfied with. Either the price was too high and he couldn’t afford it, or the price was okay, but he didn’t like the person. He definitely didn’t want to buy a woman from a brothel. Shun family’s wife, Xing-niang, was a good example of why that would be a bad idea.
There were also some young petite women from impoverished families. They were malnourished and had sickly appearances with dull eyes. He actually considered buying one of them, but he was worried that she would eventually die after he bought her back home. And so, he hadn’t been able to find a suitable wife after walking around the market.
Just as he was about to return home in disappointment, someone ran into him. A solid man holding a stick was chasing this person.
The person that had run into him was Li Man. At the time, her clothes were shabby, her hair was messy, and her face was bloodstained. It wasn’t possible to see her real appearance.
At the time, Li Man had desperately clung to his clothes as if he was her last chance at hope. She said a bunch of words that he couldn’t understand, but he could tell from her eyes that she was pleading for help.