"Well great, you Wang Zhao’er. You are really a white-eyed wolf1. Our family has raised you for nothing for so many years..."
Zhao'er stepped out of the main room and threw Zhao shi's curses behind her.
The moon was sparse and the night breeze was cool, but she was full of exhaustion.
If it was before, she would never talk like that, but today, for some reason, those words that she had been holding back for a long time just popped up like this. Maybe it was because there were too many schemes in this family recently, which had consumed all her patience. Or maybe it is because she was too tired recently.
However, Zhao’er soon knew exactly why. It turned out that her period came.
She only found out when she went back to the house to undress and lay down. She had troubles with her monthly period, and her abdominal pain was unbearable every time it came. As a result, she has an extreme temper and is not as patient as usual.
Zhao'er took out the menstrual pad from the cabinet and put it on, threw the soiled clothes and pants on the side of the kang, and then changed clothes and laid down. There was a dull pain, and all the feelings were concentrated in that one place. She turned over on the kang, and finally found that curling up was more comfortable, so she was lying curled up on the bed.
What should have been a warm bed was bitterly cold.
Zhao’er’s hands and feet were cold. She lay there and thought silently: Zhao shi originally wanted to take the opportunity to make trouble, and her tantrum was just what she wanted. Probably tomorrow she would have someone call the little man back from the town to cry and complain about what happened.
Who will the little man turn towards? No matter what the case is, Zhao shi is also his grandmother. So even if he is on her side in his heart, he will definitely use a superficial appearance to calm things down, and may even scold her.
Zhao’er had already thought it out, so that is why this outburst occurred.
Women are supposed to be the immature one, isn’t it? Like the Eldest family, Third family, and Fourth family, isn’t it always the case? Women are the ones who should speak of something impolite and untimely, so that even if there is a mishap, men don’t have to worry about being personally embarrassed.
In a daze, Zhao'er fell asleep, and when she fell asleep, she still felt so cold in her dream.
However, she still underestimated Zhao shi's troublemaking antics. After she left, Zhao shi started to make trouble in the main room, forced Xue Qingbai to go to town and knock on the door of Qingyuan Academy. He called Xue TingRang on the grounds that his grandmother was seriously ill and needed him to come back.
When Xue Qingbai was on the road, he briefly told TingRang what had happened: "Don't blame your grandma, she is too anxious for your little aunt’s sake. It's also Zhao’er’s fault. If you have something to say, why can't you say it properly. Using those kinds of words to make your grandma angry. Your grandma's old illness has relapsed."
Zhao shi had pain in her chest, but it was not serious, and occasionally, she had also visited the doctor, but the doctor was unable to see anything.
In the entire Xue family, probably only Xue Qingbai was still deceived by Zhao shi. Anyway, Xue TingRang knew that Zhao shi’s heart problem was precisely the killer move for her sons, and she never used it normally.
No wonder Third uncle came and not Fourth uncle. It is estimated that Fourth uncle refused, and his grandma will use the best choice, Third uncle. Xue TingRang thought silently in his heart.
"Your little aunt actually dared to do such things. I just heard your grandpa say that your little aunt is pregnant, and she is forced to pass the door. And the Zhao family actually took advantage of the situation and declared not to give the bride price. This matter, your grandma also wants to save face for your little aunt, so as not to let her be in a disadvantageous state."
Probably because of the rush in the night, Xue Qingbai said a lot today. On the silent path, only a deadly wind lamp was in front of the mule cart, and a small orange light illuminated the road ahead.
This lamp was newly bought by Zhao’er and it cost a lot of money.
The two soon arrived at Yuqing Village, and before they even entered the village, there were dog barks one after another.
With the dog barking all the way to the door of Xue's house, Xue Qingbai drove the cart into the yard and Xue TingRang jumped out of the cart as soon as it stopped.
Seeing him hurriedly rush to the Second Family’s house, Xue Qingbai also said: "Ting Rang, don't scold Zhao’er."
Xue TingRang ignored him and entered the room.
The room was dark, and only a bulge on the kang could be seen from the window. After Xue TingRang came in, he realized that Zhao’er had forgotten to bolt the door. She never did that.
He walked to the kang and touched Zhao'er's forehead, which was cold.
Zhaoer woke up in a daze and said: "Why did you come back at this time."
Xue TingRang didn't speak, and a voice calling him sounded outside the door. It was estimated that they could not wait any longer. He stretched out his hand and patted her, told her to go back to sleep, and then went out.
When he went to the main room, Elder Xue, Zhao shi and Xue Cui'e were still waiting, but the others went back to their rooms.
"Gouzi2, do you know what Zhao'er did? She actually angered my mother until she fainted!" Xue TingRang had just stood still when Xue Cuie first wickedly complained.
Xue TingRang looked at her face, feeling unfamiliar yet familiar.
What is unfamiliar is that he seems to have not seen her for a long time, and what is familiar is the look on her face. His little aunt is best at hitting back and being the wicked one to first complain. If it weren’t for the easing up between him and Zhaoer, would it currently be like the one in that dream. His preconceived thoughts caused trouble, not only wanting to protect Zhao’er, but also concerned about the reputation of himself and Zhao'er. In the end, he could only do what the others had wanted.
Even though he knew Zhao'er was innocent, he still scolded her after returning, so that the relationship between the two of them, which had finally eased up, became rigid again. Later, when he thought back, he knew how badly he was wrong then.
However, in that dream, his little aunt did not get pregnant before she was married, but she was still not living well. Actually, thinking about it, how could someone who takes the initiative to please yet still loses favor live well? Especially his great grandma, she never liked Xue Cui'e.
Xue TingRang thought sarcastically, but Xue Cui'e and Zhao shi's coordinated speech, he didn't even listen to it.
"Little aunt." He suddenly yelled, and the voices of the two people on the opposite kang stopped.
"I also know that you are impatient, but when impatient, you should not do things like this."
After saying this sentence, he no longer cares about Xue Cui'e and Zhao shi, but looks at Elder Xue and said: "Grandpa, grandma thinks that she is afraid of losing little aunt’s face, so she wants her to marry gracefully. But have you thought about it. Since this has happened, there has been no gracefulness at all."
Under the dizzy yellow light, the boy looked innocent and naive.
In fact, Xue TingRang has the kind of appearance that is easy to deceive people, looking fair and gentle with a naive face. No one could bear to scold him for this kind of thing, and because of this, he clearly said a little too much, yet the three people on the Kang didn't say anything. Maybe they were thinking about the meaning in his words, and didn't react in time.
"You see that my sister-in-law is unscrupulous, and she had intimate interactions with a man before marriage. In the countryside, if this happened to a girl, she would be sent in the pig cage, and the whole family would be scolded and be poked at for a lifetime. They can’t raise their heads and be a human being. If there are other girls in the family, don’t expect to marry in the future. It’s a ugly thing that is full of evils. It’s because of this soft spot and the Zhao family’s disregard for relatives that this kind of thing occurred."
Following his words, Zhao shi's heart twitched, Xue Cui'e felt ready to burst into violence several times, yet she endured it. However, Elder Xue's face became darker and darker.
Knowing that these shameful things cannot be seen, the Xue family dare not talk about it. And Elder Xue only knows the seriousness so he will annoy his two sons. He knows that this act of forcing his sons to pay is excessive, but he always has to think about it for the rest of the family. If the situation became disadvantageous for them, it was the whole Xue family that would have no face to go out to meet people.
So he knew that the two sons didn't want to, so he let the old woman make trouble. He knew it was wrong, but what could he do? The eldest son had no money and this matter couldn't delay for a day. He wanted to solve it immediately.
So we can only sacrifice the ego and complete the big ego.
Nowadays, no one in the family dared to mention things, yet it was said so nakedly by Xue TingRang, and the words were so well-founded that Elder Xue was frightened, and at the same time, he was annoyed by his own wife and this incompetent daughter.
"But Grandpa, have you ever thought that this is the short of our family, and it is also the short of Zhao's family. If this grandson remembers correctly, then Zhao Jinrui seems to be studying too. A scholar who doesn’t understand etiquette, justice, and shame, actually fornicates with another girl and the two unmarried people have lived together. That aside, they actually dare to use this matter to intimidate the woman. How is this different from those rascals who go to the prostitute but don't want to pay after pulling up their pants."
Having said this, he smiled shyly and said, "This grandson has lost politeness, but this is the truth. So I said that grandpa and grandma are blindfolded and our family is anxious. In fact, his family is more anxious, don't forget. While we are worried about the shortcomings of this incident, his family is also worried that the shortcomings of this incident will ruin the future of the son, not to mention little aunt is still holding the opponent's biggest shortcoming."
"What is the shortcoming?" Xue Cui'e completely forgot that she was still annoyed by Xue TingRang's comparison of prostitutes with herself, and asked.
"The child in my little aunt’s belly." Xue TingRang smiled, "If they have the ability, then I dare them to not want their Zhao family’s grandchild!"
Father Xue was silent and seemed to be weighing the pros and cons.
Xue TingRang said again: "Grandpa, Grandma, you have to think about my little aunt. If this head is lowered, my aunt will not be able to hold her head up in Zhao's house for the rest of her life."
"He dare!" Zhao shi cried out, forgetting to pretend to be weak.
"Grandma, they already dare. You take a look, if they care about your old face, would his Zhao family dare to do such a thing?"
Zhao shi suddenly closed her mouth, and her old face twitched involuntarily, as if saddened that her mother’s family would treat her this way. In fact, Xue TingRang was right. If the Zhao family really feared Zhao shi, would they do this.
"So little aunt, what are you anxious about, you can just wait at home. I promise that it won’t take long for the Zhao family to come to our door. When that day comes, what we say will be done, and let the Zhao family beg you to marry over. Not like right now where we are taking the initiative to please them yet they don’t care."
The room was very quiet, and all three people on the kang were thinking about it.
After a while, Elder Xue suddenly slapped his thigh and said, "what Gou’er said is justified, so lets do it." After speaking, he glanced at Xue TingRang and said, "It's different after going to school in town. You understand many truths. But you should pay attention to what you say in the future."
Xue TingRang smiled shyly, and Elder Xue waved his hand and said, "Go back to the house and rest, it's not too early." For Zhao shi making a mess of the house and calling Xue TingRang back, it was not mentioned at all.
It wasn't until he exited the main room door that Xue TingRang’s eyebrows showed a bit of coldness.
The lotus seed is bitter in the heart, but the pear is sour in the abdomen. Today’s evil fruit will be received tomorrow, and it is nothing but your own sin.
After Xue TingRang returned to the house, Zhao'er was still asleep.
This is not normal. Thinking about her previous appearance, Xue TingRang touched her forehead again.
He woke Zhao'er up and asked her, "Are you feeling unwell?"
Zhaoer didn't answer him, just frowned under the quilt. It wasn't until he pressed with urgent question that she said: "Don't worry, I'm not uncomfortable."
Her appearance was so familiar, until he touched her forehead again, and she reached out and pushed him away, did he remember one thing. Xue TingRang went to the cupboard and opened it, touched something in the old place, took it and went to the kitchen.
It was almost a quarter of an hour before he came back with a bowl filled with reddish-brown sugar water.
"Get up and drink some."
Zhao'er didn't discover what it was until the sugar water entered his mouth.
"Where did you get the brown sugar?" Zhao'er felt more comfortable after drinking some brown sugar water, and her cold body became much warmer.
"Don’t you usually drink sugar water at this time? I took it from where you put the red sugar."
"How do you know that I always drink sugar water and where I put my brown sugar?"
Isn't that nonsense. He must have seen it, if he had not seen it, how could Xue TingRang know this?
Since then, Zhao'er finally showed embarrassment in front of Xue TingRang.
When she was ten years old, her period came, but at the time she didn't understand this at all and thought she was dying of an incurable disease. At that time, Qiu shi3 was still there. It was Qiu shi who comforted her, told her what it was, and made period pads with her.
Qiu shi said that menstrual affairs are filthy and must not be known to men. This is Zhaoer's only understanding of the difference between men and women. Not only this, but also the body of a girl cannot be shown to a man, nor can it be touched by a man.
Now that the little man knew about her menstrual affairs, and he knew about it a long time ago, no wonder Zhao'er felt embarrassed. She lay back under the quilt pretending to be nonchalant, only the red ears revealing the feelings in her heart.
"Quickly rest, it's getting late."
Xue TingRang took the bowl back to the stove, and cleaned himself up with the hot water left on the stove before returning to the room to rest.
There was silence in the room, and Zhao’er turned over and turned over again.
"What's wrong with you?"
"It's nothing, you go to bed."
Xue TingRang stretched out his hand to touch her hand. Not to mention others things, there was not a trace of heat in her bed. Zhao'er's hands were also very cold.
"Are you cold?"
"I'm not cold, you go to bed. You still have to go to school tomorrow."
Xue TingRang didn't speak any more, and Zhao’er thought she had successfully avoided the topic, but then the quilt was suddenly lifted, and a person squeezed in.
"I know you are cold, you always warm up the blankets or me, so I will warm them for you today."
Zhao'er hardly had any resistance and was hugged from behind. A very strange and not strong body clung to her from behind. This feeling is extremely strange. She subconsciously wanted to struggle, but the opponent clamped her hands and feet tightly from behind.
"I'm not cold. I don't need you to warm them for me."
"Just treat it as if I want you to warm them for me. Go to bed, it will be warm in a while."4
- white eyed wolf: phrase for an ungrateful person (devoid of gratitude). I think it comes from a folktale. ↑
- Another variation of Ting Rang's nickname "Dog" ↑
- Qui shi: Xue TingRang's mother (deceased) ↑
- there are a lot of names in this novel, and it can get a bit confusing. Please let me know if you would like me to create a character list. If you don't like a character list, I can create a footnote after each chapter that describes all the new characters mentioned. ↑