Fortunate Wife Ch 38

Chapter 38 – Birthmark

It felt as if the teenage boy’s clear and clean gaze could purify her thoughts. Li Man suddenly felt as if her emotions weren’t as unsettled as before.

Seeing that her expression was gradually improving for the better, Li Hua gently smiled. “Alright, don’t have any wild thoughts. Rest for a bit. I’m going to go prepare lunch.”

Seeing him turning around to leave, Li Man grabbed his hand in panic. “You still haven’t told me what happened.”

“Huh?” Li Hua turned his head to look at her.

Li Man pointed at the words that she had previously written, then she hand the branch to him. “Tell me.”

Li Hua seemed to be internally wrestling with what to tell her. Perhaps, it would better if she didn’t know the truth. And so, he wrote out, “It was just a dispute between neighbors. It didn’t have anything to do with you. It’s already been resolved.”

A dispute with a neighbor? Li Man thought about what she had witnessed. His answer seemed reasonable enough. When that woman had come over last night, her appearance and manner had seemed quite improper. Today, she had grabbed hold of her on the path with seemingly ill intentions. After that, that woman had fought with Li Shu, and they ended up going to that old man’s home at the end.

Right, it was just a dispute between neighbors. Since she was a member of this family, she naturally got dragged into this argument and suffered too.

Thinking of it like that, Li Man felt relieved. She looked at Li Hua again. He was only wearing a thin, round-collar inner robe that was heavily patched up. It looked a bit too small for him. Almost half of his arms were exposed, and the collar was ragged. It seemed that the belt couldn’t be properly tied on either, so the inner robe was only loosely tied, and his thin and delicate clavicle was exposed. There was a cinnabar mark on the left side of his clavicle. The mark resembled a blood-red flower petal.

“What’s wrong?” Seeing that she was staring at him, Li Hua couldn’t help feeling a sense of uncertainty.

Li Man hastily looked away. She handed over the outer robe that he had wrapped around her. “You can have this back, thank you.”

Suddenly seeing her radiantly snow-white arm, Li Hua’s eyes felt hot, and his attractive face flushed red. The cinnabar mark on his exquisite collarbone looked increasingly eye-catching.

“It’s okay, you can wear it.” Li Hua took his outer robe and draped it over her body again. Although he didn’t meant to, his trembling fingers accidentally touched her soft, snow-white skin. He panicked as if he had gotten an electric shock and lost his grip on his robe. The outer robe slid down.

Simultaneously, they bent over to pick up the robe. A whiff of a delicate fragrance entered Li Hua’s nose, and he felt light-headed for a moment. Li Man had already picked up the clothing. However, she quickly stuffed it back into his hand and said, “You should wear it. I have other clothes in the wardrobe.”

Li Hua suddenly felt as if he didn’t dare to keep looking at her. Hugging his outer robe to his chest, he fled the hut in panic.

Why was he running way? Looking at his anxiously feeling figure, Li Man found it a bit funny. She opened the wardrobe and took out another upper garment.

As she was taking off her ripped top, she notice that her arm had a cinnabar mark on her right arm too, but it wasn’t in a pretty shape like Li Hua’s.

No wonder the mark had felt somewhat familiar. Did all members of Li family have a similar birthmark?

Right after Li Hua excited the hut, he saw that his oldest brother, third brother, and youngest brother were all waiting by the door.

Li Mo asked with worry, “How is she?”

Li Hua felt as if his throat and mouth were dry. By the time he pursed his lips and was about to reply, Li Shu had already walked to his side and suspiciously asked, “Why is your face so red?”

“Eh?” Li Hua unconsciously touched his face. “Is it? It’s probably because it’s too hot today.”

 

T/N: P.S. By word count, we’re less than 5% of the way through the novel. After chapter 163, the length of each chapter will become much longer.

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Fortunate Wife Ch 37

T/N: Added my schedule for February on the sidebar ^^.

Chapter 37 – Believing

Frightened by this sudden and unexpected attack, Li Man shrieked and hid herself in Li Mo’s arms.

Li Mo tightly hugged her, and Li Hua quickly took off his outer robe and covered her with it.

Even so, everyone had seen her beautiful, snow-white arm, especially that cinnabar dot. It had dazzled their eyes. Everyone clearly understood what that dot symbolized, ah.

Even if there hadn’t been a life contract, the cinnabar dot by itself would be enough to prove Li Man’s virginal status and that she definitely couldn’t have come from a brothel.

This also proved that Xing-niang had been speaking without thinking. How could she have said that Li Man used her feminine wiles on the Li brothers?

Chunni suddenly felt somewhat gratified. Didn’t this prove that nothing had happened between Li Man and older brother Hua?

Li Mo icily glared at Chunni for a moment, then he picked up Li Man and started to walk towards the entrance in large strides.

Li Shu and Little Five followed after him. Li Hua had originally been planning on leaving immediately too, but he decided to bid farewell to the village head first, “Village Head, excuse us for troubling you. As for your family letter, I finished writing it. If there’s any problem with it, you can come to my home, and I’ll fix any errors. I’ve also finished everyone else’s letters as well. If there’s nothing else, I’ll be leaving first.”

“Stay here and eat lunch with us before leaving,” the village head courteously said. This child had come here early in the morning and had been here since then. He hadn’t even had a drink of water.

Lianhua also hurriedly went forward and tried to persuade him. “Older brother Hua, eat lunch with us before going. My mom already prepared the food.”

“No thanks. I’ll be taking my leave first,” Li Hua politely refused. He turned around and started walking out.

“Older brother Hua -” Lianhua wanted to chase after him, but her father stopped her and said, “Enough, let him go back to his home.” After such an incident had occurred, how could they expect that child to stay here and do nothing?

“Big Kui, Second Gouzi, bring Second Shun’s wife and Chunni to the shrine. Keep a close watch over them.”

“Understood.”

Li Man felt like a silkworm. Li Hua had tightly wrapped the robe around her so that not even her eyes were showing.

Li Mo was also holding her especially securely. Her face was pressed against his chest, and she could clearly hear his strong heartbeat.

It didn’t take long before they arrived home. Li Mo brought her straight to her bed in the western hut.

Unwilling to wait any longer, Li Man tugged down Li Hua’s robe. He had wrapped her so tightly that it felt hard to breathe.

“Are you okay?” Li Mo didn’t dare to look at her exposed arm and hastily rewrapped Li Hua’s robe around her. “You must have felt scared.”

Actually, Li Man was feeling okay. She was just startled when that girl had grabbed her. She didn’t think it was a big deal that her arm had been exposed.

Seeing that Li Man was only blankly blinking her large eyes without saying a word, Li Mo thought she had been scared too badly and hadn’t recovered yet. His heart was filled guilt, but he didn’t know how to comfort her. Fortunately, at this time, Li Hua had returned home too. Lo Mo hurriedly got up and said, “Fourth brother, say something to help her feel better.”

After saying this, he led Li Shu to leave the room with him.

Li Man blankly looked at Li Hua, then she picked up a branch that she had left on the windowsill and wrote on the ground, “What was happening before?”

“It’s nothing. It’s already been resolved.” Li Hua looked at her with a great deal of pity and tenderness. Since this girl had been brought into their family, her life hadn’t been going smoothly. Previously, she had almost been hanged. And now, today, people had said such slanderous words about her.

“It seemed like those people were targeting me?” Even if Li Man wasn’t especially acute, she could sense the feelings those people felt towards her.

Li Hua took the branch from her hand and wrote, “You don’t need to be afraid. We’re here for you.” After writing this, he softly placed his hands on her shoulders. With a gentle, but firm gaze, he looked at her asked, “Do you believe me?”

 

(T/N: The floor in the hut is most likely just dirt, that’s why Li Man is able to easily write on the floor with a branch.)

Fortunate Wife Ch 36

Chapter 36 – Punishment

Chunni immediately stamped her feet in anger. “Second Shun’s wife, you’re talking nonsense. What have I said to you?”

“Weren’t you the one that said Li family got a wife and she looks like a temptress? It only took you one look to see that she came from that type of place and what not.” Not showing any weakness, Xing-niang stared back at Chunni

“Y-You’re just venomously slandering me!” Chunni’s large eyes immediately reddened. Aggrieved, she sobbed out, “I didn’t say that. I would never say those type of words.”

Xing-niang felt annoyed. It was this little brat that had originally egged her on and now she was denying it. “Despicable girl, you’re the one that’s telling a bold-face lie. You were clearly the one that told me that woman only knew how to seduce men and that she had completely bewitched the Li brothers. You said, who knows where she learned those feminine wiles. You also said -”

“Shut up!” Li Mo coldly interrupted her unbearable tirade. He said to the village head, “Village Head, please take charge over the matter and uphold justice.”

Li Shu joined in and said, “Yeah, Village Head, Second Shun’s wife slandered my wife. She wrongfully accused my wife of being a prostitute and also tried to frame me and said that I want to do something to her. With the Heavens as my witness, I swear that even the idea of touching her finger disgusts me, much less touching her. She should go back home and look in the mirror -”

Li Mo stopped Li Shu from continuing further, “Third brother, what’s the point in saying all that? Village Head will give us justice.”

Li Shu relaxed his furrowed brow. Whatever, everything that should be said, had been said.

The village head dryly coughed and nodded at Li Mo. “Of course.” Then, he imposingly swept his gaze across the crowd until it coldly stopped on Xing-niang. “Xing-niang, you didn’t have any proof before spreading slanderous rumors about Li family’s wife. It’s clear who’s the guilty party and who’s the innocent party in this case. This village head can’t help you this time.”

“Village Head, I -” Frightened by the village head’s stern gaze, Xing-niang felt as if her liver was trembling.

The village head dignifiedly issued the punishment, “Big Kui, Second Gouzi, bring her to the shrine. Hand her over to the goddess to be dealt with.”

“Understood.” Two burly, middle-aged men stood up and walked towards Xing-niang.

Xing-niang screamed out in fear. “Honorable Village Head, it wasn’t me, ah. Chunni was the one that told me to say those words. I didn’t do it deliberately. This is just a misunderstanding, ah.”

Anxious, Chunni shouted in wild abandon, “You’re lying, I never said those words.” If older brother Hua found out that she had been the person who had instigated Xing-niang, would he never talk to her again?

“It was you. Village Head, if you’re going to punish someone, she should be the one that’s punished.” Xing-niang desperately grabbed onto Chunni and wouldn’t let go.

Lianhua, who had been coldly watching everything from the side finally spoke, “Daddy, I think you should send both of them to the goddess. The goddess will fairly deal with them.”

“Older sister Lianhua, how could you?” Chunni hatefully glared at Lianhua. She was abusing her father’s official authority for her own private interests and to avenge her personal wrongs. Did Lianhua think she would be able to get close to older brother Hua after getting rid of her? Dream on. “Let me tell you something, older brother Hua will never like you.”

“You?” Angry, Lianhua glared at her.

The village head also became angry. “What are you squabbling about? Chunni, whether or not you said anything, go to the goddess and tell her yourself.”

“Village Head.” Chunni was dumbfounded. She was an unmarried maiden. How could she enter the shrine? “No, I won’t go.”

Xing-niang wasn’t scared anymore. If someone else was being sent there with her, it was much better than enduring the hardships by herself.

In a fit of anger, Chunni rushed over and yanked Xing-niang‘s hair and shoved her back onto the ground.

Xing-niang wasn’t a meek person either. She immediately fought back.

What an unsightly scene. With his eyebrows raised disapprovingly and holding Li Man’s hand, Li Mo said to his younger siblings, “Let’s go home.”

They were deciding to not get involved and just leave? Chunni felt envious hatred, especially as she saw Li Hua walking by Li Man’s side like a bodyguard, who’s mission was to protect a flower. No longer caring about her struggle with Xing-niang, she abruptly rushed over, pushed Li Hua aside, and pulled Li Man’s sleeve.

Because she had used so much force, half of Li Man’s sleeve was ripped away, and a snow-white, beautiful arm was exposed. There was an especially conspicuous cinnabar dot on her arm.

 

(T/N: The most famous, mythical method of virgin detection was the gecko cinnabar mark. Supposedly, if a woman had a cinnabar dot on her arm from powdered dried gecko that had been fed cinnabar, it meant that she was still a virgin.)

Fortunate Wife Ch 35

Chapter 35 – Life contract

Li Shu crossed his arms and sneered as he asked, “So if a girl is pretty, has white skin, slender and delicate hands, that automatically makes her a brothel girl? How ridiculous. Our village’s Mudan is also pretty, has white skin, slender and delicate hands. Based on your words, is she a brothel girl too?”

Xing-niang was struck dumb. “I… I didn’t say that. Besides, she… how can she be compared to Mudan?”

Li Mo stopped paying attention to her. He directly said to the village head, “Village Head, it’s true that I brought her here, but I didn’t buy her from a brothel. Of course, she’s not an ordinary family’s daughter either -”

Acting as if she had gotten information that could be used against them, Xiang-niang immediately hooted,”Yo, so I was right.”

Li Mo didn’t even bother looking at her. He continued, “She was a servant girl from a noble family.”

As soon as these words were said, everyone’s gaze uniformly went towards Li Man.

Li Man was at loss of what to do. Why were they all looking at her? Could it be that these people had discerning eyes and could tell that she a soul from a different world? Had they really been planning on executing her that night?

Reassuringly squeezing her hand, Li Mo added, “I’m not sure about the specifics, but that noble family did something wrong, and the entire family was sent to exile. On the day all of the servants were being sold off, I happened to meet her by chance at the market and saved her.”

“Oh.” Everyone nodded. This type of things wasn’t considered strange in the Goddess’s Ravine. They had seen women from noble families that had fallen onto hard times being taken into the local landlord’s estate.

Moreover, anyone would be willing to add this type of woman into his household. A woman that was born in a noble household, even if she had only been servant, would still be more well-mannered and intelligent than a daughter from an ordinary family. It was only that this type of opportunity rarely came along. They couldn’t help thinking that Li Mo had been very lucky to be given the opportunity of meeting such a satisfactory and agreeable woman by chance.

The crowd’s gaze disdainful gaze turned into an envious one. Their gazes made Li Man feel quite alarmed. What were they planning on doing to her? She hadn’t said anything. Why were they looking at her?

“A servant girl from noble family?” Xing-niang would have never guessed that the truth would turn out like this.

Chunni had been looking forward to watching an entertaining show, but in the end, it turned out to be like this. She could only blame Xing-niang for being too stupid, so she could only ask the question herself, “You want us to believe this story without any proof?”

“I don’t care if you don’t believe it,” Li Shu said.

Li Mo ordered Li Hua, “Fourth brother, go home and bring back the life contract.”

In this time period, taking a servant into your household was considered a big deal, so there would be a life contract to document this matter. This way, if the servant ran away, it would be easier to find him or her.

The life contracts would be vary based on the individual person’s status. This would be clearly documented on the life contracts.

Li Hua assented, turned around, and started walking out.

Looking at his back figure, Li Man didn’t know why he was leaving, but she wanted to follow after him. But, it was to no avail. Li Mo had her hand grasped in his. Since everyone was watching them, she was scared of doing anything would cause any unnecessary trouble and could only hold her breath as she obediently stood by Li Mo’s side. She was hoping that no one would pay attention to her.

The village head led everyone to patiently wait. It didn’t take long before Li Hua returned with the life contract. Moreover, he opened it and let everyone examine it.

Everyone looked at it. Although they couldn’t read a single word on it, they didn’t think it was possible to fake a life contract. Besides, since they dared to take it out, it was even less likely for it to be fake.

Since there was even a life contract as proof, everyone believed in Li Mo’s words even more.

The village head nodded and said, “Li family’s fourth son, you can put the life contract away.” Then, he turned and glared at Xing-niang, “Gossiping woman, you went around babbling nonsense and sowing discord. What do you have to say for yourself now?”

Xing-niang gradually lost her vigor and her somewhat unpleasant gaze drifted over to Chunni. That rotten girl had been the one that told her this originally. “Village Head, this isn’t my fault. I heard this from Chunni.”

Fortunate Wife Ch 34

T/N: I’ll be back to regular releases on Tuesday, January 29th (around 8PM PST). Going to be busy until then and went through my stockpile of buffer chapters =/.

 

Chapter 34 – Proof

Soon after, Li Man followed the Li brothers inside and was greeted with this scene. She felt a bit flabbergasted.

The village head hadn’t been able to stop his woman from pouring the water in time, but he was worried that these two would start fighting. He hurriedly stood up and said, “What’s gotten into you? Go back inside and start cooking. Li family’s fourth son is going to eat lunch with us at noon.”

“The second this woman came here, she started crying like she was at a funeral. I just was helping her out by washing away the bad luck.” Zhang-shi disdainfully looked at Xing-niang. If this woman hadn’t seduced her oldest son, her daughter-in-law wouldn’t have miscarried. Her future grandchild wouldn’t have disappeared from this world before being born.

“Ah, I don’t want to live anymore.” Overwhelmed with anger, Xing-niang‘s eyes rolled back, and she collapsed onto the ground. Her voice was sharp as she continued to wail, “Everyone bullies First Shun because he’s a fool and Second Shun because he’s a cripple. You’re all trampling on me and pushing me towards death, ah.”

The village head found this type of woman the most bothersome and berated her in a stern voice, “Second Shun’s wife, what are you doing? Quickly, get up.”

Looking at the village head, Li Man remembered what had happened the last time she saw him. Her heart trembled, and she moved closer to Li Mo’s side in fear.

By chance, Li Mo had his eyes lowered and saw her deathly pale face and the obvious fear in her eyes. Without thinking, he held her little hand and comfortingly squeezed it. In a low voice, he said, “Don’t be scared. I’m here.”

“En?” Li Man raised her head to look at him. Looking at his resolute gaze, her spirit felt as if had been magically strengthened. She didn’t feel so scared anymore. But, for some reason, her heart was still beating erratically.

Li Hua folded the letter and handed it to Third-daye. He hurriedly came over and asked Li Mo, “What happened?”

Li Mo’s expression was a bit stiff. This matter was related to a woman’s purity before marriage and had to be properly resolved today.

Li Hua glanced at Xing-niang. Remembering the words that she had said to Li Man yesterday night, he more or less could guess what had happened, so he quietly whispered advice into Li Mo’s ear.

Several men in the courtyard were friendly with Xing-niang. And yet, seeing her in this state, not a single one of them dared to step forward and say a few words on her behalf. There was no one for Xing-niang to direct the anger in her heart. She rolled around the ground. There were tears streaming from her eyes and mucus dripping from her nose. “I don’t want to live anymore. Just let me die here. Anyways, my family only has an idiot and a cripple. No one treats me with respect. Just kill me.”

The village head was so angry that even his beard trembled. He said to Li Mo, “Li family’s oldest son, pull her up. Who is she acting out this unreasonable fuss for? If there’s anything she needs to say, she can say it standing up.”

Before Li Mo could agree, Li Shu wickedly smiled and said, “I’ll do it.”

“Don’t touch me.” Hearing his voice, Xing-niang panicked and scrabbled at the ground as she hurriedly stood up to avoid him. If that hoodlum pulled her up, nothing good would come of it. He would probably dislocated her shoulder or fracture her bones, then pretend it was an accident. Wouldn’t that be suffering a loss for no good reason?

“Yo, I though you were really going to die. So, you’re still capable of standing up by yourself, huh?” Li Shu sneered.

Xing-niang‘s already flushed face turned to the color of pork liver. She shouted, “Li Shu, you barbaric -”

“You -”

“Third brother,” Li Mo called out to stop Li Shu.

Then, facing Xing-niang, he said, “Second Shun’s wife, its time for you to stop causing trouble too. Right now, in front of the village head, let’s clear everything up.”

“Clear things up?” Xiang-niang cried out, “Alright, say whatever you want. Do you think this old mother is scared of you? Your family’s wife is a girl that’s been around the block. What do you have to say about that?”

Furious, Li Shu shouted, “You despicable woman -”

With one hand, Li Mo grabbed him and pulled him back so that he was standing behind him. In a deep voice, he asked, “Do you have proof?”

“Proof?” Xing-niang was stunned for a moment before she pointed at Li Man and said, “Look at her. She’s as pretty as a flower, her skin is white and tender, and her hands are delicate and slender. Does she look like a person that’s done work before? Would a daughter from an ordinary family look that fragile and pampered?”

“That’s not proof.” Li Mo thought this reasoning was laughably absurd. Although he didn’t know Li Man’s origin, he absolutely didn’t believe she was that type of woman.

Fortunate Wife Ch 33

Chapter 33 – Feeling jealous

The group of people suddenly turned to a different direction. Li Man didn’t know where they were going, but based on their postures, it seemed that situation had become more serious.

Feeling very gloomy, Li Man could only hold hands with Little Five and follow after Li Mo.

The village head’s home was located at the western side of the village. It was also the first home that people would see when they entered the village. It was a collection of rooms constructed with mud bricks and surrounded by large trees. It was simple and neatly laid out home with a courtyard at the center.

Today, the village head’s home was very lively. There were about a dozen villagers sitting on stools in the spacious courtyard and chatting with the village head.

At the side of the courtyard, Chunni and the village head’s young daughter, Lianhua, were sitting on different sides of the table and adoringly looking at Li Hua.

With her hands propping up cheeks, Chunni praised, “Older brother Hua, your calligraphy looks really good.” She had already said these words dozens of times before.

“Of course, older brother Hua is the best.” Lianhua’s eyes were totally focused on Li Hua. She thought he looked so attractive when he was focused on writing.

Chunni sneered at her. She wished she could cover the eyes that Lianhua used to look at Li Hua. “Older sister Lianhua, am I remembering this correctly? You’re one year older than older brother Li Hua, right?”

Lianhua couldn’t take these words lying down. She harshly glared at her. “Chunni, is there nothing for you to do at your home? You’ve already been here all morning. Are you planning on staying here to eat lunch too?”

Chunni knew that she had offended Lianhua. She hurriedly apologetically smiled at her. “Older sister Lianhua, aren’t you happy that I came here to keep you company and chat with you?” If older brother Hua wasn’t here, there was no way that she would be willing to come here.

Looking at Chunpi with contempt, Lianhua harrumphed and said, “Who wants your company?” Then, she turned around and moved close to Li Hua. She was enchanted by the faint scent of ink that clung to Li Hua. “Older brother Hua, are you thirsty? Do you want Lianhua to pour you some tea?”

Not willing to be outdone, Chunni took out a handful dried jujubes from her pocket. “Older brother Hua, I still have jujubes left, do you want some?”

Li Hua raised his head, looked at the two girls, and lightly said, “No thanks.” Then, he got up, picked up the letter that he had finished writing, and brought it to a villager. “Third-daye, I finished writing your letter. I’ll read it aloud for you. If there’s anything missing, I’ll add it to the letter.”

(T/N: Daye is a term of respect for an older man.)

“Ai, good, good…” Third-daye coughed a few times because of the smoke from his tobacco pipe. His wrinkled face was filled with a smiling expression. He gratefully looked at Li Hua.

Standing at the side, Li Hua seriously read aloud the words that the elder had asked him to write. His voice was crystal clear. Even when he was only reading an ordinary letter from one family member to another, it still sounded especially nice. The sound of conversation and laugher from the nearby villagers puttered to a stop. They all seriously listened to him reading the letter. As for third-daye, he nodded along as he listened…

In the midst of this fine, tranquil scene, the arrival of an exaggerated screechy crying sound abruptly broke the peaceful atmosphere.

As soon as Xing-niang entered the village head’s home, she preemptively ran towards him and said, “Honorable Village Head, you have to give me justice, ah. I’m being prosecuted to death.

As everyone in the courtyard was stunned by the sudden noise, they saw Xing-niang running over in a sorry state. She dropped to the ground on her butt. Crying and bawling, she said, “Village Head, if you won’t give me justice, I won’t be able to keep living. Li family’s third son is a beast, ah…”

A bucket of water that had been used to wash vegetables came pouring down on her head. Xing-niang was totally soaked. When she looked up, she saw the village head’s wife, Zhang-shi standing in front of her and holding a wooden bucket.

(T/N: If a name has –shi suffix, then it means this a married woman’s maiden last name.)

Zhang-shi pointed her finger at Xing-niang and scolded, “Little hussy, why did you come to my home to cause a fuss? What kind of place do you think this? Is this a place for you to act like a hoodlum?”

It was a bad idea to offend Zhang-shi. Last year, the two of them had fought over a matter related to Zhang-shi‘s oldest son. Xing-niang had lost miserably, but she hadn’t expected that this old witch would still be holding a grudge a year later.

Fortunate Wife Ch 32

Chapter 32 – Rumor

Before Li Shu had time to respond, Xing-niang had already hurriedly pushed herself up from the ground after seeing Li Mo. She tearfully shouted, “Aiyo, Li family’s oldest son, you finally returned. Your family’s third son is utterly devoid of conscience. He bullied me. Seeing that I wouldn’t comply him, he even hit me…”

Li Mo stared at her with a severe gaze. Xing-niang‘s heart thumped for a beat. Feeling a bit guilty, she stopped speaking.

Li Mo turned his head and said to Li Shu, “Third brother, tell me what happened.” Everyone in the village knew exactly what type of person Second Shun’s wife was. Although his younger brother was a short-tempered person, he wouldn’t hit someone without a reason.

“Oldest brother, that rotten woman has been going around to spread lies about our wife,” Li Shu angrily said.

“Who’s telling lies? This old mother has only been saying the truth. Everyone, look at that girl. Look at her beautiful face and figure. Her skin looks young and tender enough to squeeze out water. Could an ordinary family have a daughter as fresh-looking as her?” Seeing that more and more people had come over to spectate, Xing-niang wasn’t scared anymore. Instead, she wanted to make the situation worse. It wasn’t fair the Li brothers were protecting that woman in every possible way while she had been married to that useless person and had to endure the villagers’ supercilious looks.

“Shut your mouth!” Li Mo and Li Shu berated in unison.

Xing-niang felt that she had suffered a loss today. Even if she had to die, she would drag someone down with her too. Her eyes flickered to look at Li Man’s body. With an insincere smile, she said, “Humph! I wonder, this girl is in the budding beauty stage of her life, and she looks so beautiful. How could they have been willing to sell her?”

Once these words were said, all of spectators furrowed their brows and disdainfully looked at Li Man.

Faced with their cold gazes, Li Man felt as if she was being stabbed all over. But, the worst part was that she had no idea what was going on. Although she knew that woman’s words were targeted at her, she didn’t know what she was saying and didn’t even have the ability to refute her words.

“Despicable woman, you’re talking bullshit. I’m going to beat you to death.” Li Shu suddenly went forward and slapped her.

Xing-niang wasn’t able to dodge in time, and her other cheek ended up getting a red mark too. It was just enough to make each side of her face swollen to the same height.

Li Mo coldly watched and didn’t say anything until after Li Shu had slapped her. “Third brother, don’t be so impulsive.”

“Oldest brother…”

Clutching her face, Xing-niang wailed like a ghost, “Aiyo, everyone, you saw what just happened, right? Li family’s third son wants to kill me…”

Li Mo grabbed hold of his third brother, who looked as if he was going to slap her again, and said, “Second Shun’s wife, has your husband come home yet?”

Xing-niang dropped her hand. With tears dripping from her eyes, she complained, “Who knows where that useless person has gone? Li Mo, you and that useless person usually treat each other like brothers. But now, you’re working together with your younger brother to bully me. This old mother is tell you now, even if that useless person comes here, I won’t let you off.”

Li Shu felt renewed anger, “You rotten woman, how dare you say that? It’s me that’s not going to let you off.”

Scared, Xing-niang took a step back.

Li Mo stopped his younger brother from taking a step forward. Looking at Xing-niang with a heavy gaze, “Since Second Shun isn’t home today and there’s no one to discipline you, then I’ll find a place and properly discipline you for him.”

“What are you planning on doing?” Xing-niang looked at him in alarm.

Li Mo let go of his third brother and ordered, “Bring her to the village head’s home.”

Hearing these words, Xing-niang thought she had gotten exactly what she wanted. Once they reached the village head’s home, she would definitely cause a fuss. “Fine, let’s go. I can walk there by myself.”