Chapter 97 – Suspicious (7)
Li Yan quietly swept his gaze over Li Man, then he went out after saying, “Alright then, fourth brother, I’ll leave her to you.”
Little Five was watching the scene unfold by his place at the doorway. Once second brother departed, he went inside and leaned against his fourth brother. He anxiously looked at Li Man. His eyes were also reddened. He asked, “Older sister, are you going to leave?”
“Leave?” She had thought about this option, but where would she go if she left here?
Li Man gently stroked Little Five’s head and shook her head.
Little Five immediately grasped her hand. His small body snuggled against her, and he raised his head to look at her with a gaze full of reliance.
Li Man suddenly felt her heart softening. This child… He was so pitiful. He didn’t have a mother to spoil him since childhood.
Li Man turned her hand over so that she was the one tightly holding Little Five’s hand. She comfortingly said, “I won’t leave.”
“En.” A smile slowly unfurled on Little Five’s face. Soon after, he looked at Li Hua.
Li Hua also slightly smiled and said to Li Man, “This room is very wet. Let’s go to the other hut.”
Li Man didn’t really want to go over there. She was worried that the other brothers would also be there and felt that it would be awkward. After all, she had recently been uselessly crying.
“Oldest brother and third brother went up the mountain to chop bamboo,” said Li Hua.
Li Man finally nodded her head. The three of them went to the eastern hut together with Li Man holding Little Five’s hand.
Li Yan wasn’t there. Li Man wasn’t sure where he had gone.
Because Li Hua was here, Li Man still felt a bit awkward. When they went into the eastern hut, she sat down by the side of the bed and quietly looked at the window.
Little Five sat down next to her and looked out through the window with her.
The rainstorm had been too heavy last night, so the garden in the backyard was a complete mess. The frame for the cucumbers had collapsed and was pressing down on a lot of chili peppers. Just as Li Man was going to suggest going outside and tidying up the garden, she saw Li Yan’s figure walking over there. He was holding some firewood that was slightly thicker than a person’s thumb. A single glance was enough to tell that he was going to repair the frame.
Li Man quickly looked away and tightly closed the windows shutters.
Once the window was closed, the already dimly lit room became even darker.
Li Hua had originally been planning on studying, but that was obviously impossible with the lack of lighting in the room. And so, he went over to the wardrobe and picked out a few older pieces of clothing that no one could wear. He would alter them so that Little Five could wear them.
Little Five was small for his age and had a thin and weak figure. His older brothers’ old clothing was too big on him. When he wore them unaltered, he looked like he was playing dress up. It wasn’t a good look.
Li Man was seriously observing Li Hua as he threaded the needle. The teenager was skillful with his hands, ah. Even if he was working with old clothes that were already mended with patches, he could transform it into nice-looking clothes that were well-fitted.
Watching as Little Five tried on the newly altered upper garment, Li Man couldn’t resist clicking her tongue in approval and asking, “How did you learn this?” Mending wasn’t difficult, but he had to have learned from somewhere how to alter clothing, right?
Hearing her ask this question, Li Hua felt a bit bashful. “I just had a lot of practice.”
“Have you always been making the clothes for your family?” Li Man felt incredulous.
“Fourth brother has known how to make clothes since he was six years old,” Little Five happily answered for him.
“Six years old?” Wow, what a genius.
There was a bit of bitterness and pain mixed into Li Hua’s smile. Their parents had died young, and his older brothers had been working all day to earn enough to feed their family. They were so busy with struggling to get enough food, so how could they have concerned themselves with something like this? From a young age, he had undertaken the entire responsibility of taking care of his youngest brother and doing the laundry, cooking, and other such chores.
As for learning how to sew, it had started because his oldest brother hunted and would frequently come home with injuries and ripped clothing. He had tried to mend those rips. Later on, he gradually became skillful enough to make clothing for his brothers.
Seeing his like this, Li Man was able to guess a little bit. Their family didn’t have a woman before, and his three older brothers didn’t seem like the type that would pick up a needle and sew.