Translated by Maggie Edited by Pete Proofread by Simple
Lian Ze was furious; his face was like heavy clouds before the arrival of the storm.
Without waiting for her brother to burst into rage, Lian Fang Zhou smiled and said leisurely: “Aunt, isn’t your marriage certificate at your own home? How come you have gone to search for it here? Seeing you this anxious to find it, do you want to remarry?”
Mrs. Qiao and Lian Ze both froze. Before long Lian Ze couldn’t stop himself from laughing, but he tried to bite his lip, lower his head and mask it with a cough. Mrs. Qiao was embarrassed so much that anger showed on her face. She noisily spat on the ground.
( TN : this gesture it usually appears when someone says something unlucky. Kinda like trying to prevent a jinx. I’m sure there’s some Chinese drama that has a dude saying “you won’t be able to marry” or “you’ll get ill” and another dude will go pah pah pah as if to dismiss the jinx/rejecting that thought ).
Then she said with a cold smile: “No wonder these days there’s an uproar saying you changed into a different person. Sure enough, it’s true. What rubbish are you spouting from your mouth! Is that how you speak to your elder?! Are you not afraid of hurting your tongue?”
“Elder?” Lian Fang Zhou smiled coldly and said: “I nearly thought you came here to rob us! So you’re actually an elder! I’m not afraid of hurting my tongue, but I worry you might sprain your waist!”
“You!” Mrs. Qiao had never suffered such a rebuke before and for a while, she couldn’t say anything. After a moment she harrumphed: “Stop feigning ignorance in front of me; where’s your marriage certificate with the Yang family? Quickly bring it out!”
Lian Fang Zhou couldn’t help becoming angry: “Why should I?!”
“Why?” Mrs. Qiao placed her hands on her waist, stepped closer and said fiercely: “Because I am your Aunt! Your Uncle and I are your elders! Of course, these important things should be given to us for care taking!”
“No need!” Lian Fang Zhou smiled coldly and said: “My parents are gone, so now in this family, I am the elder! Our family’s matters don’t need you managing them!”
“Outrageous! What are you saying?!” Mrs. Qiao was angered till her bursting point.
“Aunt please return! What my sister said is right. Now she is our family head. Our business doesn’t need aunt worrying about it!” Lian Ze also said indifferently.
Mrs. Qiao couldn’t find the thing, trying to snatch it also failed and her was heart was burning with rage. Just when she was thinking of what to say next, she heard an old woman yelling outside: “Is anyone here? Lian Fang Zhou? Lian Fang Zhou get out! We, the Yang family have come to break off the engagement!”
Lian Fang Zhou and Lian Ze subconsciously exchanged looks. No wonder Mrs. Qiao came to look for the marriage certificate! She was actually aiming for the ten liang of silver!
Lian Fang Zhou lightly harrumphed, then raised her voice and saying: “Coming” and left the room.
Lian Ze also looked at Mrs. Qiao once and followed his sister.
Lian Fang Zhou saw a tall and thin person who was the neat and smart old woman Yang. She said in an indifferent tone: “Did you bring the money?”
Old woman Yang looked at her with contempt. From her inside pocket, she took out the money and shook it: “Ten liang, not one less! However, I want to see the marriage certificate!”
“Of course!” Lian Fang Zhou smiled frankly and said: “One hand giving the money while the other gives the goods is the fairest!”
Old woman Yang harrumphed and didn’t answer in disdain
Lian Fang Zhou turned her head and looked at the Mrs. Qiao who came out of the room: “Aunt, now that there’s no matter for you to take care of here, please return to your home!”
“Wait!” old woman Yang suddenly said: “Your aunt must stay and be the witness, so people won’t say that we, the Yang family are bullying you parent-less kids!” Hearing words like that isn’t good for anyone.
Lian Ze’s face changed and he coldly shot a glance at her.
At the same time, Lian Fang Zhou couldn’t help but be furious. This old woman’s mouth was as stinky as that Hua family’s woman. No wonder they wanted to be in-laws.
“Did you hear that? For now, I still won’t go!” Mrs. Qiao said triumphantly. With that, she pulled out a stool and sat on it in an exaggerated manner. She kept glancing from Lian Fang Zhou to the money in old woman Yang’s hand. She really wanted to snatch it now.
Lian Fang Zhou weighed things out in her head. She couldn’t vouch that after she brought the marriage certificate out, Mrs. Qiao wouldn’t snatch the money.
On the other hand, this old woman Yang was definitely harboring hatred in her heart towards the former Lian Fang Zhou; for not wanting to break off the engagement. It was uncertain what hidden bad intentions she has. If she did something malicious at this moment, then the money would fall into Mrs. Qiao’s hand. Later, when she wanted to cry, she would have no one to cry to.
“Witness? Oh, that’s right! If there’s a witness, then people won’t say that us siblings are playing tricks!”
Lian Fang Zhou laughed and then continued: “However, it isn’t appropriate for Aunt to be the witness. She is part of Lian family. To avoid suspicion, Ah Ze go and invite Aunt Zhang over. Letting Aunt Zhang be the witness is very appropriate!”
Lian Ze looked at Mrs. Qiao once, nodded his head and immediately left.
Mrs. Qiao was stunned. But she couldn’t even say a single word to refute the idea.
Old woman Yang staring coldly couldn’t help but sneer secretly: Sure enough, she’s not only poor, she’s also a sly girl! At that time, the old man was really blind to arrange this marriage!
Not long after, Aunt Zhang came. Seeing the situation, she sighed secretly. Mrs. Qiao shot her a hostile look, but Aunt Zhang pretended she didn’t see it.
Lian Fang Zhou smiled and entered the bedroom to get the marriage certificate.
Mrs. Qiao immediately stood up to follow, however, Lian Ze abruptly stood in front of her: “Aunt, since you want to be a witness, it’s better to wait outside!”
Lian Fang Zhou very quickly brought out the marriage contract.
Seeing that Mrs. Qiao’s eyes lit up, quietly gaining momentum she fiercely rushed toward Lian Fang Zhou, wanting to snatch the marriage certificate in her hand. But Lian Fang Zhou was already prepared, so she dodged to avoid her. Mrs. Qiao nearly tumbled to the ground.
“Bring it to me, so I can see if it’s real!” Mrs. Qiao was inwardly furious, she could only reach out her hand with a sullen face.
Lian Fang Zhou just sneered and coldly said: “What does it have to do with you? It’s not like Mrs. Yang is breaking off the engagement with your household.”
Aunt Qiao saw Lian Fang Zhou walk toward old woman Yang. Once these two exchanged the money for the certificate, it would have nothing to do with her anymore. Such an easy ten liang and she would get no share.
Mrs. Qiao couldn’t help but be anxious. She yelled in a stern tone: “LIAN FANG ZHOU! You dead bitch! What kind of mess do want to create? You’re a girl, do you have any shame? To actually break off an engagement! You may not want any face but the Lian family does. Be sensible and quickly hand the marriage certificate over to me! It is only proper that an elder handles this matter!”
Lian Fang Zhou’s eyes stared coldly at her. With her complexion darkened, she said icily: “Don’t act as an elder in front of me! In the end, you just want the ten liang, right? Let me tell you, you better kill off that desire! This is my own marriage, why can’t I dissolve it myself? Old woman Yang, do you actually want to break it off or not. If not then get the hell out of here, prepare an eight-man sedan and lift aunt here to marry into your house.”
“You, you are simply shameless! Is this what a girl should say?” Mrs. Qiao was trembling in fury.
Aunt Zhang seeing the situation quickly tried to smooth things over saying: “Mrs. Qiao, no need to worry! We came here to witness. All we need to do is watch quietly. This matter, the earlier it is settled the better, right?”
“You see Aunt Zhang, in this village, how can there be such shameless girl!” Mrs. Qiao angrily complained: “I was doing it for her own good! Not knowing shame and breaking off the engagement herself, could she possibly have any good reputation now? In the future, who will marry her? Listen, from her lips there wasn’t a single good word.”
“You don’t need to worry about this,” Lian Fang Zhou sneered and said: “even if your aunt here, in this life, does not marry, I will not go to your family to rely on. Don’t you dare try to control! Old woman Yang, is this marriage broken off or not?”
Old woman Yang originally wanted to anger Lian Fang Zhou and would rather give the money to Mrs. Qiao than to her. But seeing the situation develop she was speechless. What other ideas could she think of? She could only settle this early to avoid complications, so she said repeatedly: “Break off, of course, break off! Here’s the ten liang. Come and bring the marriage certificate here!”
Having Aunt Zhang as the witness, both parties felt more relaxed. Instantly they exchanged their things, then each of them verified the contents looking and feeling satisfied. Mrs. Qiao could only dryly look from the side.
“Since there’s nothing else, please leave. I won’t send you off.” Lian Fang Zhou was satisfied and carefully pocketed the money.
“That’s what I want to say!” old woman Yang glared at Lian Fang Zhou and said: “In the future stay far away from my son, Huai Shan! Don’t seduce him anymore!”
Lian Fang Zhou smiled as she said: “I am only interested in the money, your son holds no interest for me at all! You better manage him well. It should be me saying ‘don’t let your son harass me’ instead!”
“You!” old woman Yang hearing her speak about her proud son like this, couldn’t help but be angered. She fiercely glared at Fang Zhou, pocketed the marriage certificate and turned to leave.
4. Another unexpected guest Translated by Maggie Edited by Pete Proofread by Simple
Lian Ze raised his chin and harrumphed: “My sister already said it very clearly. Why aren’t you leaving? Your parents have hoped for this day for so long. Quickly, scram!”
Lian Fang Qing also ran up, held her sister’s hand and said to Yang Huai Shan: “Bad person, villain! Not allowed to bully my sister!”
Lian Fang Zhou rubbed her head and thought that this young girl in the past, must have bore a lot of her ex-future parent-in-law’s anger.
“As you wish!” Yang Huai Shan smiled coldly: “From now on, you and I have no ties!”
He finished speaking while grinding his teeth. Then, without turning his head back, he left.
“Alright, let’s go back and start dinner!” Lian Fang Zhou sighed in relief.
“I’ll get the bowls!” Lian Fang Qing cheered loudly.
“I’ll get the stools!” Lian Che followed her.
These two little guys are really mature!
Lian Fang Zhou’s heart warmed; and without knowing it, she smiled softly.
She believed that, with her mastery of modern agriculture and the sibling’s unity, in the future, their days would get better and better.
Difficulties would be only temporary.
“Sister, are you really alright?” Lian Ze looked at her. The worry on his frowning brow didn’t match his age.
“Do I look like I am not?” Lian Fang Zhou smiled and replied softly: “Don’t think too much!”
Lian Ze finally cheered up and said: “It’s great that sister is fine. In the future, sister will definitely find someone a thousand times better than the Yang family’s son.”
“Puh… Haha” Lian Fang Zhou burst out in loud laughter. Smiling, she said: “Leave future matters to be discussed in the future, come, it’s dinner time!”
“Ah,” Lian Ze’s forehead smoothed, his mood finally really relaxed. Then he suddenly frowned a bit and asked: “Breaking off the engagement is fine, but sister, why do you want their money?”
His words and attitude suggested he didn’t agree with that.
Lian Fang Zhou then asked him: “How much money does our family still have?”
Lian Ze froze; suddenly feeling somewhat ashamed, he said quietly: “Less than eight hundred wen……”
“Don’t you see!” Lian Fang Zhu patted his shoulder. In a matter-of-fact tone, she said, “Sister knows that you are an upright person, but don’t be too pedantic. This matter was originally their family wronging our family, letting them cough out some blood is natural! And it is nearly winter, we need this money to survive through it, right? Don’t Qing’er and Che’er need to have some winter clothes sewn? Doesn’t this house need repairs, especially the roof and the windows? How else will we last through winter?”
Lian Ze was speechless, although, inwardly he admitted that Lian Fang Zhou’s way was correct, his heart still couldn’t agree.
Lian Fang Zhou could see that, but didn’t say it out loud. She could only think to herself: “This brat! In the future, I’ll have to definitely change his way of thinking…”
The siblings finished dinner, cleaned up and quickly went to bed.
The house was narrow. Originally their parents lived in one room, Lian Ze slept on a loft bed on the ground floor, and the other room was partitioned for the three siblings to live in.
Now that mom and dad weren’t here, the brothers moved to that room.
Lian Fang Qing was always sleeping in one bed with her sister. Once she entered the room, she took off her shoes, crawled up the bed, lifted the patched, worn out quilt and drill into it. She called out to Lian Fang Zhou: “Sister, quickly, let’s go to sleep!”
Actually, Lian Fang Zhou wasn’t used to sleeping with someone else, but when called by Lian Fang Qing’s charming, soft voice, she did not hesitate anymore. She smiled and promised that she would come soon.
Suddenly, she stopped her footsteps with a quiet “Ah!” She started to search every corner of the room.
Lian Fang Qing blinked for a moment in confusion. She rolled over to raise her head, and asked: “Sister, what are you looking for?”
“I’m looking for the marriage certificate, I don’t remember where it was placed!” Lian Fang Zhou answered in a straightforward manner, without a hint of depression.
If the Yang family came tomorrow and she couldn’t bring out the marriage certificate, then that wouldn’t be good, would it?
“Marriage certificate?” Lian Fang Qing froze. She patted the pillow beside her and looking puzzled, asked: “Sister, wasn’t it sewn into the pillow? You told me not to tell anyone; I didn’t even tell second brother and third brother!”
She watched Lian Fang Zhou, her face saying, “Compliment me! I’m a good girl!”
“That’s right! See what kind of memory sister has, Qing’er is the best!” Lian Fang Zhou did as her little sister wished. Her heart was simply elated.
Lian Fang Qing raised her chin proudly and giggled quietly with curved eyebrows.
A night with no words.
The next day Lian Fang Zhou got up early. She tidied up the house, inside and outside. Everything was cleaned, wiped, and sorted out. She brought out all of their bedding to air in the sun.
Lian Che and Lian Qing helped; while Lian Ze was sent to make breakfast.
After tidying up properly, their little group looked at the newly shining house and unknowingly felt happier in their hearts.
After breakfast, Lian Ze said: “Sister, you, Qing’er and Che’er stay at home. I’ll go to the Sixth Water field and collect our taro!”
Lian Fang Zhou thought about it and said: “Today we’ll tidy up our vegetable plot, tomorrow I’ll go with you to the collect taro!” Just perfect; now she would get to know about the family’s land.
Lian Ze didn’t decline and promised to do so.
Leaving the two children to watch the house, the siblings took the hoes and went to the garden.
Lian Fang Zhou led Lian Ze to those dying beans and cucumbers. They pulled them out completely and piled the plants in one corner.
Then she told Lian Ze to go and dilute the manure with some water, using a small hoe. While they used the mixture to loosen the soil, she said:
“Tomorrow we’ll dig up the vegetables first and sort them. At this section, we can plant some carrots and sprinkle some rapeseed around!”
Lian Ze hearing her plans, without any particular reason, felt peace of mind. He nodded and said smiling: “I will obey sister. What sister tells us to do, we will do!”
The two siblings smiled at each other.
Busy until the afternoon, the two of them became tired and out of breath.
Lian Fang Zhou ended up like this; probably because she hadn’t worked for a long time now. While Lian Ze got tired, since after all, he was still a child!
Lian Fang Zhou looked at him and suddenly felt a little pain in her heart; so she said: “The time isn’t early. Let’s return, have lunch and rest a bit. This work won’t be finished in an hour and a half.”
Lian Ze originally didn’t want to return, but he saw the insistence on her face. He knew that if he didn’t return, she would also not go; so he nodded his head with an “alright.” The two siblings returned together.
Last night was sweet potato porridge. This morning was also the same porridge. Lian Fang Zhou lost her appetite.
Her brows frowned slightly, but when she wanted to ask how much grain does the house have since harvest was not long ago, she heard the door creak as someone pushed it open.
The siblings were startled!
Lian Fang Zhou opened her mouth to ask the visitor, why did she come; but before she could say anything, in a flash the brown clothed silhouette rushed into her room like a gust of wind.
Lian Fang Zhou was stunned!
“Aunt, what are you doing?!” The first to recover her senses was Lian Fang Qing.
The wife of father’s elder brother? Judging by this behavior, this was definitely a shameless relative!
Lian Ze rushed to follow the aunt into the room. Lian Fang Zhou heard him ask: “Aunt, what are you doing?!”
“Sister,” said Lian Fang Qing to Lian Fang Zhou quietly: “Aunt definitely came for the marriage contract again!”
Lian Fang Zhou flashed a faint, cold smile and told the twins softly: “You two be good and eat.” Then she entered the room her aunt went into.
Lian Fang Qing wanted to follow, but was held back by Lian Che: “Listen to sister. Don’t go.”
Lian Fang Qing not being able to do anything about it, pouted unhappily, but still obediently sat down.
In the other room, Lian Fang Zhou watched her aunt screech menacingly and demand: “The marriage contract? Where is it!”
The Rumored Fiance Translated by Maggie Edited by Pete Proofread by Simple
Lian Ze froze. So did Lian Che and Lian Fang Qing.
Lian Fang Zhou felt ashamed: so she was always a freeloader….
This Lian Fang Zhou was too unreasonable. For that unwanted betrothal, making her wallow in self-pity until she turned into this?
“How about this, I’ll go to pick the vegetables! Qing’er, you’ll accompany sister, is that okay?” Lian Fang Zhou felt uncomfortable under the gaze of three pairs of eyes.
“Okay, okay! I’ll go accompany sister!” Lian Fang Qing crisply agreed, beautiful eyes laughing til her eyebrow curved.
Lian Che quickly said : “Brother, I’ll look for the hens now.”
Lian Ze still a little bit shocked, replied “Alright” in a daze while watching the two sisters carry the vegetable basket out.
“Brother, don’t you feel that our sister is not the same?” Lian Che raised his small little head towards his older brother
“En.” Lian Ze nodded his head. He rubbed his head and smiling asked: “Don’t you think sister is great now?”
Lian Che thought about it, and nodded his head: “Great!”
“That’s good!” Lian Ze laughed.
Lian’s vegetable patch was not far away from the house’s east wall. Six, maybe seven rows of vegetables. It was not pretty to look at.
It was the end of September, the time of the year when vegetables were the most scarce.
Reaching this season, the ground really lacked in a potential harvest. Beans, chili peppers, and cucumbers were all coming to the end of their life. All the vines and stems were half dry and yellowish with scarce patches of green. An occasional leaf and puny shriveled fruit, really nothing to collect.
Under all that, a barely visible half a plot of red, sweet potato, but with leaves of unhealthy green color.
This made the agricultural graduate Zou Mei lament in her heart.
However, Lian Fang Qing was very calm and said: “Sister, we’ll dig out some sweet potatoes! This morning second brother said that tonight we’ll eat sweet potato porridge!”
In this whole garden only this looked edible. Lian Fang Zhou sighed and nodded: “Alright!”
These sweet potatoes had really small tubers. Even with one glance, Lian Fang Zhou could tell this was the result of growing the plant from a whole sweet potato, unlike the modern method of using a stem or root cutting.
This way of cultivation not only wasted the seeds but also offered low yields. Yet at the same time, she didn’t know if other people knew the method of using cuttings…….
She thought to herself while digging.
The two sisters harvested five, then six tubers. Lian Fang Zhou also picked a handful of shriveled beans and some small chili peppers. Then they went back.
The bean vines were dead and could only be pulled out. As for the chili peppers, if the soil around them was loosened and fertilized, they might possibly revive, become green, bloom and bear fruit again.
She planned to come here tomorrow to tidy up a bit.
Like Aunt Zhang said, this life, she still had to carry on living it!
Wasn’t that right! Now that she was at this place, she could only look forward to the days ahead.
On the way back, Lian Fang Zhou casually asked Lian Fang Qing about the condition of their field.
Lian Fang Qing was still young. Some parts of her answer were clear and some not so much. Lian Fang Zhou could only abandon the inquiries. Better to carefully ask Lian Ze. That child matured early and had to know more.
“Lian Fang Zhou, Qing’er, you came back! Mum told me to send down two bags of beans and a winter melon. I handed it over to Lian Ze!”
The two just reached the yard’s entrance and saw a round-faced girl of a similar age coming out from the house.
Lian Fang Zhou smiled as she gave her thanks while Lian Fang Qing cried out with twinkling laughter: “Sister Juan!”
Lian Fang Zhou then understood this was Aunt Zhang’s daughter, Li Juan.
“Auntie is really generous!” Lian Fang Zhou smiled.
“Say nothing of the kind. Our two families have always been close to each other, I will go back now!” Li Juan smiled as she departed.
“Ah, you can go slowly!” Lian Fang Zhou smiled watching her leave and then she with her sister went inside.
The porridge was nearly done cooking, with a faint aroma coming out from the dark metal pan. Even with a wooden lid on, the smell could be felt. Lian Fang Zhou was really a bit hungry.
The siblings washed the sweet potatoes clean, cut them into pieces and put them in the pan.
Lian Ze then went to chop some firewood. Lian Che watched the fire. Lian Fang Qing was luring the two hens, who were going in circles clucking around the yard, back into the chicken coop.
Lian Fang Zhou looked around, picked up a broom and then started cleaning up the room.
“What did you come for? Our home doesn’t welcome you, get out!”
Lian Ze’s voice suddenly boomed in the yard, the tone was cold and filled with hostility.
Lian Fang Zhou froze as she also heard Lian Fang Qing yell childishly: “You’re not allowed to bully my sister!”
She quickly tossed the broom aside and went out asking: “Ah Ze, Qing’er, who came?”
“Sister!” Lian Ze was starting to panic. He wanted to stop her seeing the visitor. But his efforts weren’t enough.
As she came over, a young man in a somewhat old, bamboo green robe yelled her name looking both surprised and happy.
“What are you doing! Did you not hear me tell you to get out?” Lian Ze was really anxious. He ran to block him while staring coldly.
“Ah Ze!” Lian Fang Zhou frowned slightly, she couldn’t figure out what was going on.
“Sister. Why do you still wish to see him? The Yang family doesn’t have a single good member, why do you still see him? Did you forget what you said just today?” Lian Ze was anxious as well as annoyed. With a dash of distressed anger on top.
“Fang Zhou no need to worry. Breaking the engagement is my parent’s idea. I wouldn’t agree! I just got back from helping at the horse races and heard about it. I came specifically to tell you, I will definitely marry you!”
The young man solemnly said as he looked at Lian Fang Zhou.
Lian Fang Zhou was stunned. This was the deity-like fiance, Yang Huai Shan? His looks were quite pleasing to the eye, with a darker than normal skin and rather nice face. He looked to be of fine spirit and quiet temperament
And he treated her not too bad. No wonder the previous Lian Fang Zhou didn’t want to let go of this engagement.
A pity she wasn’t the previous Lian Fang Zhou and this marriage wouldn’t happen.
“No need!” Lian Fang Zhou’s with a serious face said indifferently: “ Marriage matters are decided by parents. Yours have already matched you with another… You better obey their will!”
“Fang Zhou, I—-”
“Let me finish speaking!” Lian Fang Zhou continued quietly: “Now my parents are both dead. Before my siblings grow up, I will definitely not marry. Since your parents don’t like me, I don’t want to marry into your home and face their scorn all day. So better to forget about this betrothal. However, it’s good that you came today! I’ll tell you this; dissolution of the engagement was initiated by your family. So if you want the marriage contract, bring ten liang in exchange— I hope my conditions aren’t over the top?
Yang Huai Shan was completely lost and shocked, he looked at Lian Fang Zhou as if she was a stranger.
Lian Ze also froze. It looked like he wanted to say something and moved his lips, but he said nothing. He just stood closer to Lian Fang Zhou’s side and silently supported his sister.
“Haha” Yang Huai Shan face paled and he said self-deprecatingly “Ten liang? Is that all? Why don’t you ask for more? So in your heart, our engagement is worth only that much money?”
Lian Fang Zhou looked at him and calmly said: “I actually want more! I’m just afraid your parents would say I have a lion’s big mouth and wouldn’t give anything in anger. That’s not worth it!”
“You!” Yang Huai Shan was so angry that he couldn’t say anything. His heart hurt with disappointment.
He couldn’t believe it. He looked at her with hope and said: “Fang Zhou, this isn’t what you really think. These are words said in anger, right? Or are you in a bind? Don’t worry, I will come back. My business I can decide for myself. I will talk with my parents!”
Lian Fang Zhou sighed in her heart. Shaking her head and meeting his gaze, she said: “Don’t work yourself up, trying to find emotions that are not there! I can swear that these words come from my heart, so not another word. The day isn’t young anymore, so you need to leave quickly. After all, hosting an adult man at this time in one’s home isn’t proper! Listen to your parents and carry on living well. And don’t forget to bring the money to exchange for the marriage contract!”
Yang Huai Shan‘s arms which he held by his sides began to tremble uncontrollably. His heart was extremely sad and extremely angry. For a while, he couldn’t say anything.
The bigger boy frowned. He suddenly turned around saying: “I’ll go get rid of this woman!”
“Wait!” Zou Mei held him back and continued to listen.
The more she listened; the more her brows wrinkled up.
No wonder that girl died of rage. Those words that Mrs. Liu said were really ugly to listen too. Words dripping with venom, mean, vicious, a whole devilish rant.
Facing this not just that girl, but even Zou Mei listening for a while couldn’t help feeling a surge of anger and became fed up.
She suddenly got up, picked the basin from the table and quickly rushed out with a “Crash!” to drench Mrs. Liu with its contents. The woman had her hands on her hips and facing the Lian family home was yelling loudly scattering spit everywhere. Suddenly a basin worth of cold water fell on her out of the blue startling her to a scream “AAAAHH”. That, in turn, made all the water get into her eyes, mouth and nose resulting in lots of squinting and choking.
This was also weather at the end of September, chilly, making it very easy to catch a cold.
“Who, who, is that wicked—-achoo! Achoo!” Mrs. Liu was shocked as well as angry. She wiped the remainder of the water from her face.
“Your family’s aunt!” Zou Mei placed the basin on the ground. She pointed at Mrs. Liu and yelled: “ Dead bitch, you dare run wild at my threshold. Next time it won’t be cold water but manure! And even that won’t stink as much as your mouth does!”
“You, you, you—” Mrs. Liu was so surprised that her eyes opened wide. Not daring to believe the existence of the arrogant little girl in front of her.
Was this the timid eldest daughter of the Lian family? Could it be that her eyes had seen wrongly?
A round of cheering arrived from the distant group of watching villagers, that naturally gathered to spectate the exciting confrontation. Laughter and several words of ridicule were directed at Mrs. Liu who found herself in a difficult situation. Some people though were whispering while stealing glances at Zou Mei.
Clearly, they, like Mrs. Liu were also shocked.
This Lian girl, today her temperament changed completely!
However, even a clay figurine is also three parts soil! If one wanted to assign blame, then it would be on Mrs. Liu’s mouth for being too wicked…
“You dare drench me!” Regaining her wits the woman screamed and charged Zou Mei.
But she was already prepared and sidestepped smiling coldly.
Who would have thought that at the same time the big brother, fearing his sister would be at a disadvantage, collared the younger two to pick wooden sticks and holding a broom rushed out of the house. Yelling “Do not bully my sister!” they rushed at Mrs. Liu together.
Mrs. Liu, in shock, subconsciously took a step back. Caught off guard she slipped and with an “Ouch” fell heavily into the puddle made of water which was just used to splash her. Her whole body got covered in mud.
“Bwahaha,” That embarrassing appearance set the people off into laughter again.
Zou Mei and the siblings couldn’t help but start laughing as well. Particularly Fang Qing, who laughed with the most joy. Her laugh was like a tinkling clear sound.
Mrs. Liu felt shamed and angry. Her flat like a pancake face turned purple. When she was about to get up, she saw Zou Mei standing in front of her. The girl, voice cold and full of condescension, said : “Stop dirtying my doorstep and bug off! Breaking the engagement is no big deal, right? Just bring money! Now scram!”
Mrs. Liu’s face went through various shades of red then back to purple. She choked and choked, and while she really wanted to be like her usual self, hurling vicious, ferocious words at that damn Lian Fang Zhou, her tongue was numb. She couldn’t even spit out a single abusive word. Eventually, after much difficulty, she picked herself up and threw out a “You just wait!” and ran away.
Lian Fang Zhou faced the excited onlookers and bowed to everyone present: “All the uncles, aunties, brothers and sisters, that Mrs. Liu was a beastly bully. Us siblings had no other way than to fight back. If the Hua family comes to look for trouble, please help by being a witness.”
All the people nodded. Everyone agreed and many said the siblings didn’t have it easy.
“Fang Zhou, don’t worry! Bullying a few parentless orphans, justice won’t allow it! If that kind of rumor spreads out, our Dafang village’s reputation will be ruined! If they dare come and make trouble again, everyone will definitely help speak up for you!”
Said a middle-aged woman wearing somewhat old dark red dress stepping out. Other people chimed in and said that she was right. Hearing that the lady dismissed the gathered crowd saying “It’s alright now, it’s alright. Everyone go busy yourself!”
“Aunt Zhang, thank you!” Lian Ze bowed deeply towards the woman.
“Aah, this child, why so polite!” she quickly stopped him from bowing and exclaimed:”Alright, you guys quickly go back! Do what you’re supposed to do, if you need any help, just come to our house and say so. Do not need to hesitate!”
“Aunt Zhang, you have already helped us out so much. In the future, we will definitely repay you and uncle Li.” Lian Ze said gratefully.
Aunt Zhang sighed. She said softly: “Silly child, saying silly things! When your parents were alive, didn’t they also help us many times? We’re all one village, no need to see yourself as an outsider!
As she talked, she turned to Zou Mei— who is supposed to be called Lian Fang Zhou. Embracing Fang Zhou’s hands, she continued: “Good girl, don’t be depressed! No matter what the days are like, carry on living! You are the eldest, so let’s not talk about others, just for your few siblings, you have to be strong!”
Lian Fang Zhou’s heart warmed, she nodded her head and smiled as she said: “Aunt Zhang, thank you. I will. From now on, who would dare to even think about bullying us siblings!”
Aunt Zhang thinking of Fang Zhou’s previous tough behavior, smiled and said: “It’s great that you thought it through!” but she couldn’t help to ask : “You really — promised to break off the engagement?”
“Aunt Zhang.” Lian Fang Zhou laughed and said: “This isn’t the question of whether I am willing or not. The other party already forced their way to the door. Why should I suffer from their pestering?”
Lian Fang Zhou, heart full of gloom, thought: Marriage? She’s too lazy to want this bothersome marriage! If she can break it off, then she’s lucky! If she can’t then that would be bad!
“Well said!” Aunt Zhang couldn’t help but give her a thumbs up: “Have ambition! At last, you can think it through! Your parents in heaven can rest in peace!”
With their parents mentioned, the siblings’ looks darkened.
Aunt Zhang very softly said: “Don’t be sad, sooner or later you will have to face it! It is the truth! For us poor people, the most important thing is to realize the truth. Endure a bit and it will pass! Alright, this auntie should return now. The day isn’t young, I need to hurry home and make dinner. I told Ah Juan to pick lots of beans, and winter melon. In a while, come to my home and get some.”
Lian Fang Zhou and Lian Fang Ze hastily gave their thanks.
Seeing Aunt Zhang go, the siblings also returned home.
Their house had three rooms. There was the main room and two bedrooms. Upstairs attic, that was used for food storage. The kitchen was located outside, under eaves in a corner.
The exterior of the building was perhaps the original stone structure, but due to long years, half of the roof tiles had been replaced with thick bark-based thatch.
While the interior, besides a few pieces of old, rough, wooden furniture and partially missing tea set, was devoid of anything substantial.
It seemed like that Lian Fang Zhou wasn’t a hard working person. With Lian Ze being a boy and Lian Fang Qing and Lian Che very young, the interior was dirty and messy, really chaotic in appearance.
“Sister, you rest a moment. I’ll go cook the rice and after a while, I’ll pick some vegetables from the garden. Ah Che, you watch the fire. Fang Qing go check if the two old hens returned yet. Spread some feed and quickly lock up the chicken cage —but be prudent, don’t use too much.
Lian Ze commanded skillfully and the little guys immediately agreed.
Lian Fang Zhou softly rubbed her forehead: Isn’t she the eldest sister? Shouldn’t she give out the orders? And—
“What about me? What should I do?” Lian Fang Zhou couldn’t help asking.
Translated by Maggie Edited by Pete Proofread by Simple
Zou Mei listened in a daze, she couldn’t understand what the bigger boy said, she felt that if she wasn’t crazy, then he definitely was!
Until she randomly looked at her own hands... Her brain went “whoosh” and exploded.
“Is there a mirror?” Zou Mei suddenly asked.
“Could you bring a basin of water!” Zou Mei felt desperate again.
“I’ll go!” the little boy already finished coaxing Fang Qing and hearing Mei’s request he turned around and rushed out.
Not long after, he came back wobbling under the weight of a wooden basin. The older brother seeing this, rushed to help.
Zou Mei suddenly left the bed. The basin was placed on a broken old square table. She stuck out her head and took a look. The reflection shown her a pale oval face, very big eyes and dark red lips.
These delicate facial features were definitely not her near thirty year old face. Those small arms, thin legs and petite physique definitely belonged to a malnourished fourteen-fifteen year old girl.
Combined with the fact that a moment ago those siblings called her ‘sister’... Zou Mei’s body.
“Sister!” the bigger boy rushed to support her: “Are you alright? Do you want to sit down for a while?”
“I-----” Zou Mei opened and closed her mouth, she realised she didn’t know what to say.
She allowed the bigger boy to help her sit down. She glanced around what could be called the four walls of home. A pang of dismay flashed in her heart.
Sighing secretly, although her heart was a chaotic mess, she had to admit that she was forced to accept this reality
“I’m fine.” Zou Mei smiled reluctantly and said softly: “I will not die, from now on, we are a family……”
“Sister it’s great that you thought it through!” The bigger boy noded vigorously. He seemed a little bit excited. His mouth curved into a smile showing his white teeth.
Zou Mei felt that his thick brows and big eyes made him look really good when he laughed.
“Sister ! Sister !” Fang Qing rushed up to embrace her. Holding her as she sobbed like a spoiled child: “Sister will not die. Sister spoils me the most. I don’t want sister to die…”
Zou Mei smiled, and could not help but to hug her back strongly.
At the moment she could only take one step at a time. These three siblings weren’t that old. Judging by their words and expressions, they were attached to this sister. Getting information from their mouths shouldn’t be hard and no flaw should be revealed in her act---- at such a young age, would they understand reincarnation?
There was no pain nor sickness. No trace of scars on her neck. The body had no wounds and looked okay. Why did these little guys cry and clamour for her not to die?
“Just now, I ---what happened?” Zou Mei asked with a smile.
“Hua family’s fat woman came to our house again and yelled in our courtyard. Sister you listened, and in a moment collapsed onto the ground not breathing” Fang Qing explained quickly.
“The Hua family?” Zou Mei questioned slightly startled.
“Fang Qing!” the bigger boy quietly reproached and faced the puzzled Zou Mei. “Sister don’t you remember the Hua family?”
Zou Mei rubbed her temples smiling ruefully: “I don’t know why, but since I woke up my mind is a bit hazy. There’s lots of things I can’t remember clearly .
The bigger boy, as if suddenly realising something, nodded without suspicions and did not inquire any further. He then said: “Half a year ago our parents passed away in a flash flood in the mountains. Sister’s fiance’s family, the Yangs, wanted to break off the engagement ever since. But sister---”
The boy shot a troubled glance at Zou Mei.
Obviously the former Zou Mei was opposed to that development.
This couldn’t be blamed on her, family in poverty, no dad or mum, left with three underage siblings, once this engagement was broken, which family would be willing to marry her?
She smiled understanding and nodded, then asked: “What happened then?”
The bigger boy, seeing her let go of this issue, felt his spirits lift, and hurriedly continued: “The Yang family couldn’t break off the engagement, but at that time the Hua family’s daughter caught their eye. So they told the Hua family’s people that they have no idea how to make sister break off the engagement. The Hua old woman let her eldest daughter-in-law, Mrs Liu run to our house and heckle / holler. A moment ago, sister was angered by Mrs Liu greatly and fainted.
Fortunately sister is all right. Otherwise I would feud with Mrs Liu forever!
So it was like that!
Zou Mei secretly sighed in her heart, your sister wasn’t angered to the point of fainting but actually died from fury!
That girl’s temperament was too volatile.
Suddenly a sharp voice came from outside the door, Zou Mei couldn’t help but listen. <<<Previous chapter