42.Don't know whether to cry or laugh.
Nothing could scare Third Aunt more than a talk of sending her back to her husband's family. Now at Lian Family, she felt more and more comfortable--even though from the start Lian Fang Zhou didn't allow her to be the head. So it's better to honestly admit her misdeeds!
In one day, Third Aunt really outdid herself. Cleaning the yard and chopping the firewoods was the guy's work. While she at it, she told him to husk the rice. Afterward hearing from Lian Fang Qing that the taro have yet to be harvested, she took him to the field. And she ordered him to dig them out, carry it back and even hang them on the beam of the corridor.
"WHAT!?" Lian Fang Zhou's eyes widen. "You actually told him to work in the field? How could you do that!"
"No. It wasn't me!" Third Aunt saw that Lian Fang Zhou was absolutely furious, she immediately became anxious. She rushed to explain. "He, he came to tell me that he wanted to go to the nearby mountains to pick some medicinal herbs for his wounds. So I thought he's going to the mountains, might as well let him... on the way...on the way..."
Lian Fang Zhou felt with Third Aunt, she really didn't know what to say! She stamped her feet as she angrily scold: "What good things you have done! He even said he's picking medicinal herbs for his wounds and you still made him do manual labour! Third Aunt, if it spreads out how we treat our saviour, what will people think of us then? And also, Qing'er and Che'er are still young. If they learn from this example, you'll ruin them! If something like that happens again, Third Aunt, we dare not let you stay."
Third Aunt was irritated that Lian Fang Zhou keeping using these words, but that was her weakness. So no matter how mad, she could only endure. Except for that threat, Lian Fan Zhou always treated her fairly. Way better than her husband's family.
So Third Aunt grudgingly answered: "I understand, I understand."
Lian Fang Zhou, still extremely annoyed, continued on: "You should sincerely mean it. Don't just agree with mouth! Didn't you want to go to the vegetable patch? Go on!"
"Yes," Third Aunt nodded. Then all of a sudden, she came closer to Lian Fang Zhou again.
"From what I see, why don't we let the guy stay. The guy got endless amount of energy. He's good at manual work and also honest and obedient--"
Seeing Lian Fang Zhou pointedly glare at her, she shrunk her neck and immediately dropped the subject: "I'm going to the veggie patch!"
"Really---" Lian Fang Zhou let out a long sigh. She swiftly washed her hands and face and patted dust off her before turning away from the house, to go to the village.
She was going to ask for some medicinal tincture for the guy. Originally she said she would get it for today but who knew that she completely forgot once she went out early this morning. Causing him to find some medicinal herbs by himself. And be conveniently exploited by Third Aunt--
Then again, she also have some fault in this too.
But unexpectedly this guy, who forgot he himself was, actually understood herbal medicine?
Very soon Lian Fang Zhou returned and entered the house with a vial of a medicinal tincture in hand.
The guy was sitting in the middle of the room talking with Lian Ze and the two little ones. The twins were curious about the events on that day when he rescued their family. The children kept asking questions.
Seeing Lian Fang Zhou enter, they stopped talking and greeted: "Sister!"
Lian Fang Zhou acknowledged them and continued: I have something to talk about with this uncle, you guys go back to your room."
The three of them agreed as they stood up. Lian Fang Qing cheekily winked at her sister. She giggled as she corrected: "It's not uncle. It's big brother!"
Lian Fang Zhou came to a stop. The lass has already entered her room with a laugh. She could only helplessly laugh.
Lian Fang Zhou tightened her grip on the vial and held it out to him. With a very apologetic smile, she said: "Originally I should have gotten the medicinal tincture in the morning. But it flew out of my mind. Here, take it and rub on your wounds."
The guy smiled: "That's very kind of you Eldest Miss! My wounds are really superficial. When Third Aunt asked me to help with digging taro, I happened to see some herbs I could use by the mountain side and picked some. When I came back, I ground them in the pestle and I smeared them on my skin. . I just need to apply it a few more times and it'll be better. There's really no need to trouble Eldest Miss."
Hearing this, Lian Fang Zhou gritted her teeth: Third Aunt actually lied to her face! She slyly reversed the order of events!
"Just take it! A tincture is more effective than raw herbs!" Not letting any room for discussion, Lian Fang Zhou placed the vial into his hand. Then with some embarrassment: "You saved us, so you're our benefactor. Just rest properly. If Third Aunt tells you to do any more work, you don't need to bother with her. I'm the head of this family, so don't mind her! And also, don't call me Eldest Miss. Call me... Miss Lian!"
Lian Fang Zhou suddenly remember Third Aunt mention letting him stay. She immediately felt a bit out of place and guilty and thought: The person in front of me is obviously our saviour. But was made into a servant by that unreliable Third Aunt.
Seeing the situation, the guy accept the vial and gave his thanks and kept speaking: "Miss, Miss Lian. Please don't blame Madam Third Aunt, she--"
"Madam Third Aunt!" Lian Fang Zhou was filled with rage. She immediately felt an impulse to teach Third Aunt a good lesson--so embarrassing!
"Our family don't have any Madam Third Aunt," Lian Fang Zhou done her best to make her expression pleasant. With a slight smile: "In future please don't use such way of addressing. If other people hear, they'll be bent double laughing. Just like we are doing, call her Third Aunt!"
Afraid that Third Aunt would still say nonsense behind her back in future, with a stern face, she said: "Listen carefully, in this house, I make the decisions. It's enough if you just listen to me! If Third Aunt ever tell you to do something again, come discuss it with me first!"
The guy didn't care much about these title matters, so he agreed with no second thoughts. Then continuing the previous topic: "As a matter of fact, I really only have some superficial injuries. It's really not hard for me to work, so don't blame Third Aunt!"
With a sheepish grin, "Honestly speaking, it's a fact that you saved me. So it's only right that I work for you."
Lian Fang Zhou gave a gentle sigh: It's better to stop here, cause if we keep quarrelling about this matter, no telling when we'll reach an agreement.
"Then let's say we don't owe each other! So in future, let's not mention it, alright? Now relax while you nurse your injuries!" Lian Fang Zhou grinned and decided to go see how Third Aunt is doing with the dinner.
Though his injuries weren't serious, he's still not completely well. No matter what Lian Fang Zhou doesn't have the heart to tell him to leave.
"Miss Lian!" The guy called out to stop her. His voice sounded a bit desperate.
Lian Fang Zhou halted and turned around. "Is there something that concerns you? If you have any requests, don’t hesitate to ask!"
Although he looked unusual, he did not seem to be a person that could use blackmail or tricks to gain an advantage. That's why Lian Fang Zhou said this completely straightforwardly and happily.
"No matter what request, Miss Lian will promise me?" The guy's eyes brightened up and he as he quickly followed up. This made Lian Fang Zhou felt like he was waiting for her to say these words.
Sunday, 8 April 2018
41. Third Aunt take charge
Edited By Sekirei
When Lian Ze returned with Mrs Zhao, he was irritated already and her snippy comment made him seething. Standing behind her, he lifted his eyes and shot a glare at her.
Li Juan's face turned red when she heard it. She blurted with embarrassed anger: "Is Sister-in-law complaining that I am too slow? But I could only move this fast. I guess I shouldn't come at all then!"
"I didn't mean it like that!" Mrs Zhao became anxious when Li Juan took the criticism to herself. She looked over at Lian Fang Zhou with an embarrassed smile. She felt that Lian Fang Zhu would help explain her intention, given how polite and easy-going she became.
But Lian Fang Zhou just stood on a side looking down at something as if she never heard her speak.
Lian Fang Zhou stood close to her and Li Juan and the forest around them was really quiet. Everyone, including Mrs Zhao, knew Lian Fang Zhou is merely acting as if she did not hear anything.
Lian Fang Zhu did it deliberately. She had no debt of gratitude to Mrs Zhao just because Aunt Zhang and Uncle Li were so nice. She doesn't need to lower her head in front of Mrs Zhao.
Mrs Zhao is “gain an inch, want a foot” person. If she yields to her, it will only create trouble in the future.
If Mrs Zhao has any requests, as long as they are not too bothersome, she would agree. But her words were overboard, hardly different from saying it out straight.
In fact, Lian Fang Zhou didn't take advantage of Li Juan. Whenever they chanced upon mushrooms she would call Li Juan to collect them together.
At home, Li Juan was doted by her parents and brother, so she never done any hardwork before. Today she joined their mountain hike mostly to see something new, so after collecting for a bit, she lost interest and her hands became slower.
However for Lian Fang Zhou it is not an outing but hard work to get enough money for her family. She wants to pick as many mushrooms as she can before the start of winter and to sell them over the New Year.
Next year they need to buy different kinds of seeds, tools and rent a bullock for the field work. Which doesn't require money?
So of course the two of them ended up with different amounts.
Mrs Zhao saw that Lian Fang Zhou was ignoring her, understood that her words were a bit overboard. Her cheeks flamed up slightly from embarrassment while secretly she was thinking: My parents-in-law help you a lot, right? Especially my mother, who nearly raised you like a real daughter! You should help me save face!
Even though in her heart she was displeased, Mrs Zhao kept it to herself. Hearing Li Juan say she won't come tomorrow, she was afraid of trouble so she said quickly: "Sister-in-law misunderstood. It was a joke! A joke! Ah Juan don't be mad! Hehe, isn't that right Fang Zhou?"
Only then did Lian Fang Zhou opened her mouth: "If Saozi was joking, then it's fine. Or else I don't know how I could ever face Aunt Zhang! It's better if Saozi doesn't say words like this in future. I can't take such scare!"
Mrs Zhao, even more ashamed, quickly replied: "I won't, I won't."
"Then that's good! I can rest at ease now! Otherwise, I would have to apologise to Aunt Zhang!" Lian Fang Zhou grinned.
Meaning, if you speak nonsense again, then don't blame me for telling off.
Lian Fang Zhou was actually really worried about Mrs Zhao's pratling. Once or twice it's no problem. Even if Aunt Zhang and Uncle Li know her personality well, if it happens a lot the relationship would suffer. Then it would be terrible (literally it said not worth it).
Mrs Zhao paused. Her heart rapidly beat, as she felt a bit afraid out of nowhere.
Not waiting for her to respond, Li Juan has already grasped Lian Fang Zhou's and said in a complaining tone: "Fang Zhou what are you saying? It's not that serious!"
"I was just worried!" Lian Fang Zhou half-serious replied Li Juan. "I don't some grudge to appear between our two families. Isn't it good that we can all live in harmony? Your family has helped us a lot. If conflict were to happen, I really don't know what to do with the unease in my heart."
"You thinking too much. It definitely won't happen!" Li Juan quickly followed up. And turned to Mrs Zhao: "Isn't that right Sister-in-law?"
Mrs Zhao suddenly thought of how Lian Fang Zhou doesn't really have it easy. And her behavior improved a lot.
Before, she only know how to ask for things from her family and her family's help was never paid back.
Now? Yesterday, she gave them half a catty of meat!
Mrs Zhao silently sighed. She couldn't help regret saying those words a moment ago and thought: it's embarrassing to be petty with a girl a lot younger than me.
"Fang Zhou, Saozi really doesn't mean it, you-"
"Saozi, say no more!" Lian Fang Zhou hearing her say it like this, she knew she has already thought it through. It was better not to let her finish, so she quickly said with a smile: "Saozi was joking, I get it. It's pretty late, we should get on moving."
Mrs Zhao paused and then the knot inside her loosened. She laughed: "That's right, that's right. Just joking!"
Saying this, the three young women burst out laughing.
Lian Fang Zhou called over Lian Ze and the four of them made their way back.
Once Fang Zhou and Ah Ze entered the yard, they saw the guy they rescued chopping firewood and Third Aunt with hands on hips.
"Oh, you have return! How did it go? Gathered a lot? Hey, quickly come over and take them!" Seeing Lian Fang Zhou and Lian Ze, Third Aunt cheerfully greeted them and then hollered toward the man while glaring at him. As if blaming him for not being tactful.
The man answered and clapped his hands. He walked over to Lian Fang Zhou and Lian Ze.
After few steps, he suddenly stopped: who should I go over to first? Logically Lian Ze is younger so he should take his. But Lian Fang Zhou is a female. Female can't handle heavy work. But, if he take Lian Fang Zhou's just because she is a female, he need to avoid being obvious.
So such a simple matter put the guy in such a dilemma.
"Oh, why are you still standing there! Not one bit clever at all!" Third Aunt yelled with unhappily.
"Third Aunt!" Lian Fang Zhou and Lian Ze already put their shoulder pole down. Lian Fang Zhou frowned, said with displeasure to Third Aunt: "How could you order him around? He's still recovering and anyhow he had saved us, didn't he?"
Third Aunt was about to explain herself but the man quickly exclaimed: "Eldest Miss, it's no problem! My injuries are fine, and they were superficial to begin with, nothing serious! This minor work does not hurt at all.”
"Eldest Miss?" Lian Fang Zhou's voice contained some bewilderment. She glared at Third Aunt: No need to ask. Such strange way of addressing someone is definitely Third Aunt's work! He isn't their servant, so how could she make him address them like this?
Lian Fang Zhou was furious: To treat a saviour like this, not only her own conscience won't allow it, but one has to consider the children too. Lian Ze is fine, as he could tell what's right or wrong since he's not little anymore. But what if Qing’er and Che’er learn from her and in future grow up in the wrong direction?
What if the little ones learn from example! Who knows what other amazing examples Third Aunt could produce.
"Ah Ze, quickly take this sir inside to let him rest!" She must have a good talk with Third Aunt.
"Ok," Lian Ze looked over at Third Aunt and then he took the man inside.
That guy reflexively glanced at Lian Fang Zhou. Seeing that her expression wasn't good, with sudden realisation he felt a bit afraid. He didn't dare disobey her words and went inside with Lian Ze.
Third Aunt felt a bit guilty and with an ashamed tone she said: "Um, it's about time to make dinner. I'll go to the vegetable patch and gather some veg..."
"Stop!" Lian Fang Zhou gave a low shout. In few steps she was in front of Third Aunt. With a heavy face, she asked: "Why are you ordering him around today, Third Aunt?"
"I wasn't ordering around!" Third Aunt quickly explained: "He asked if there was any way he could help, and then I..."
Lian Fang Zhou felt so frustrated like it felt like a chicken talking to a duck. She thought, 'Third Aunt ah! You aren't a three year old child. They are being polite when they ask like that. How could you take advantage and take it seriously?'
"And then?" Lian Fang Zhou gritted her teeth as she asked.
ED comment: Third Aunt and Mrs Zhao are very similar, not wicked but impulsively selfish. But once she nurses Mr. Savior to full health, Lian Fang Zhou will make him work even harder -- and with a better profit.