Chapter 116: Encounter at Huan Sha City
At mǎoshí (5a.m – 7a.m) on the first day of the third lunar month, the sun had jutted above the trees, forecasting that today was going to be a nice day.
After bidding farewell to the everyone in and out of the house, as well as the villagers in town, the two carriages, carrying a group of seven adults and two infants, headed towards the North.
If they took the main road to Feng Cheng, the imperial city, they had to cross four cities and thirteen towns.
From the countryside, then Fan Luo City, the first rest point was at Huan Sha City. They arrived at wǔshí (11 am-1 pm), so Lin Si Yao requested the driver to find a restaurant nearby for lunch.
“Shifu! Shiniang!” Before anyone had gotten off the carriage, a familiar voice sounded from the doors of ‘Xue’s Liquor Shop’.
“Shifu, Shiniang, I know you guys will pass by today.” Tian Da Bao smiled, stood and took Lin Long from Bai He. He winked at his innocent junior sister, then lifted his head to smile at the approaching Situ Yun.
“Da Bao, we haven’t seen you for months. You look taller. You really have become an adult now.” Su Shuilian smiled as she observed the slender young man in front of her. He had matured, it was as if one of her children had all grown up.
“Auntie, don’t be fooled by his appearance. Actually, the blood clot in his head hasn’t dissolved completely. He still has his moments.” Situ Yun sniggered, placing his arms around Tian Da Bao’s shoulder.
In front of Lin Si Yao, Situ Yun didn’t dare to joke and call Su Shuilian as ‘beautiful sister’ anymore. He hadn’t forgotten the strict punishment he got last time when he enraged Si Ling! He had to collect horse dung! And then, he had to bury them to make some fertilizer. His Senior Uncle had tortured him for the whole three days. He’s now learned to behave.
“Alright, don’t linger at the door.” After Lin Si Yao had arranged the carriage, he gathered with them. Taking Lin Xiao in Su Shuilian’s hand, he pulled her into the restaurant.
“Oh! Shifu, is that…” Tian Da Bao was teasing and nudging Situ Yun behind Lin Si Yao. All of a sudden, he strode toward Lin Si Yao, pointing at a girl sitting by the window.
Lu Wan’er! Lin Si Yao squinted. He shifted his gaze to Tian Da Bao, as if warning, ‘Don’t (you) dare make trouble!’
‘Of course, not!’ Tian Da Bao nodded. He was no longer the careless Tian Da Bao, who would do anything without thinking. Moreover, Shifu and Shiniang didn’t pay attention to her, it was not his place to cause trouble!”
Bai He asked the shopkeeper for a private room. However, they didn’t have any available rooms. Begrudgingly, they seated at the two tables by the south window, which were, coincidentally, next to Lu Wan’er’s table.
Su Shuilian was focused on the twins. She didn’t notice the other.
However, right after they seated, Lu Wan’er had noticed Lin Si Yao. She had yearned for this man, but he was also the culprit to her foolishness and punishment for half a year.
Lu Wan’er had almost broken the pair of bamboo chopsticks in her hand. Right, she got her mind back. She had recovered well. She wasn’t a fool anymore. And, she couldn’t return to Fan Luo City where she was forced to leave. This city had no place for her to dwell. If she returned, either she was forgotten, or someone would dig up her humiliated past. If so, she would rather stay in Huan Sha City, where no one could recognize her as the Eldest Young Lady of the Lu Family.
Unexpectedly, as soon as she was about to start her new, more glorious life…
She happened upon the man who was crueler than the devil.
“Guye, we checked out. The waiter said that they fed our horses too.” Bai He came back from the counter, and reported to Lin Si Yao.
“Mn, then we’ll depart now.” Lin Si Yao nodded. Seeing Lin Long and Lin Xiao were held by Situ Yun and Liang-momo respectively, he stood up and helped Su Shuilian to stand up. They were about to leave.
“Ah!…” Liang-momo walked behind Lin Si Yao and Su Shuilian when she felt something hinder her leg. She stumbled and Lin Xiao flew out of her arms.
It happened so fast. Situ Yun and Tian Da Bao were walking behind Liang-momo, quickly conversing with each other. They lifted their heads when Liang-momo screamed and caught the glimpse of this dangerous situation. Luckily, Lin Si Yao acted fast. He lifted his right arm even before turning his body around and caught Lin Xiao.
Receiving a sharp slap to the face, Lu Wan’er almost stumbled. Su Shuilian had slapped her.
She was truly infuriated this time.
“Miss Lu. For what reason must you harm my son?” Su Shuilian coldly gazed at Lu Wan Er, whom Situ Yun had pinned to her chair. She had lost her chance to escape. Su Shuilian stopped Lin Si Yao, who was about to take action. It was her job to repay a woman’s grudge.
“What reason? Ha, how eliquate! Blame your husband! One year ago, why did he ruin my reputation and hurt my dignity?” Lu Wan’er stoked her reddened face. As she knew she couldn’t run, so she dropped all pretense. Her jealous eyes shot toward Su Shuilian. She (SS) wasn’t a tender girl with good virtues. Otherwise, one year ago, she (LW) wouldn’t have fallen into this situation, unable to return to her own home.
“Last year? What did he do? Even if he did something, you are not allowed to hurt my kid. The children are innocent.” Su Shuilian was astonished and almost looked back at her husband, Lin Si You, who was standing silently by her. However, she quickly shook off those trivial thoughts to focus on dealing with Lu Wan’er.
“Haha… children are innocent? Then what about me? Am I not innocent? I just loved him too much. Ah, perhaps you don’t know this. Hahaha, it doesn’t matter if you know now, your husband and I had a night neither one of us will forget.” At first, Lu Wan’er just wanted to aggressively attack Su Shuilian with her words. But when she saw that the other was clueless of what had happened, she changed her mind. Lu Wan’er deliberately tried to sabotage their relationship by misleading her grudge with ambiguous words.
Su Shuilian was stunned speechless. A sting in her heart stopped her from continuing talking. A night? With A Yao? Did he perhaps used to like Lu Wan’er?
“Don’t overthink.” Lin Si Yao frowned, pulling her into his embrace and holding her tight. He talked to her in a low tone. It would have been better to let him handle this right from the start. Prevent all of these troublesome things.
“Hay! Da Bao, didn’t you say that you knew that story too? Tell me! Seems that auntie had forgotten what happened last year.” Right when Lin Si Yao shot a deadly glare to Lu Wan’er, Situ Yun spoke with a sneer.
Auntie? Who did he call auntie? Me? Hearing that, Lu Wan Er was enraged as she glared at Situ Yun who was winking at Tian Da Bao. Although Lu Wan’er had wasted one year of her youth because of Lin Si Yao, she was just sixteen years old. Moreover, what her family had the most was money. Whatever rejuvenating powder, nourishing cream, all of them were applied on her face. Other people would think that she was at least two years younger than her actual age! With her youthful appearance, how could anyone dare call her auntie!
“Yeah, I still clearly remember it. Shifu was a married man, shameless as she was, even knowing that fact, she continued to intrude. That night, I heard that she had finally received her retribution and….”
“Shut up!” Lu Wan’er shrilled, cutting off Tian Da Bao. She pointed at Lin Si Yao and Su Shuilian, scolding. “Just you wait!” Then, she wiggled out of Situ Yun’s grip, almost tripping as she ran towards the exit of the restaurant.
“Lady! Lady!” Lu Fu was Lu Wan’er’s maidservant. She had been silently watching everything. Previously in fear, coming to her senses, she called out to her lady as she chased after Lu Wan’er.
“Eh? Turns out, she’s Lu Wan’er, the rumored eldest Young Lady of Lu family, said to be possessed and crazy?”
“Really? She’s not crazy anymore?”
“Well, crazy or not, we’ll never know. Plus, even if she recovered, what if she relapsed again?”
“True that. I heard that the Lu’s only have that one daughter. Unfortunately, she had turned crazy, else one could have enjoyed her family’s wealth for the next three generations!.”
“Tch, possessed or not, it’s not for you to judge. Remember, in the past there were so many fine young men waiting in front of the Lu Family’s house. I heard she was with a different man everyday. And none of those dates were repeated with the same man for a whole year!”
“For real!? So why didn’t the Lu family choose someone to marry her yet? There should be some people who wouldn’t mind her craziness!”
“How would you know that the Lu’s didn’t have such thoughts?”
“Why not? No one wanted to marry her? Even if she’s crazy, her husband will still inherit the Lus’ properties.”
“Oh, you are clueless of the latest news then. I heard from a relative who’s working for the Lu’s in Fan Luo City. Recently, their situation is getting worse every year. Especially last year, their business was at an all time low, and their houses would be broken into regularly. All Lu Family now is just an empty house.”
“Really? No wonder…”
“Perhaps the Lu Family had offended some deity…”
“That’s why I told you, it’d better to find a normal girl and settle down. Life would be tough, but you can work to a better end together. If you married to become Lus’ son-in-law, not to mention your dignity, there is a fear of bankruptcy! Moreover, you have to take care of a mentally incapitated wife. Would it be worse to you then?”
“Yes yes yes! What this brother says does make a lot of sense…”
“Yeah, this kind of thing, I’ve actually thought over last year. Haha… If I had chosen to be a member of the Lu’s, you wouldn’t have a chance to speak to me today…”
“I think after this, no man would want to marry Lu Wan’er.”
“Right, who asked her to not stay content with her own life and disturb my Shifu and Shiniang!”
“Oh, but it’s us who came and provoked the other. No matter what, it’s Huan Sha City. The Lus’ private house is here.”
“Tch, if Shifu and Shiniang wanted, let alone Huan Sha City, they could build a private house in any city!”
“Make sense! That’s why…”
“She dug her own grave!”
Bidding farewell to Da Bao, they got into the carriages.
“Last year…” Su Shuilian put Lin Xiao to bed. Lin Long was playing alone. She lowered her voice as she asked Lin Si Yao. Though she hadn’t understood the whole conversation between Da Bao and Situ Yun in the restaurant, she had a rough idea.
“Right. I shaved her head and scared her until she became crazy. I didn’t expect she would recover that fast.” Lin Si Yao nodded and admitted. If Shuilian hadn’t pulled him back, he wouldn’t have minded to allow the other to remain dim-witted for another three years.
“A Yao!” At this moment, Su Shuilian was speechless. She had been jealous in vain. The man in front of her wasn’t some sort of tender man! He wouldn’t let anyone who peeved him, slip away unscathed.
“Scared? I don’t know mercy and I don’t pity beauty.” Lin Si Yao hugged her tight, asking lightly. He was always like that. If others do not offend him, then he won’t offend others. But if they provoked him, he would pay back hundred fold. No matter if the other was a man or woman. Of course, it was an exception when he was paid to kill or save someone.
“You always treat me and our kids well, don’t you? Then it is fine.” Su Shuilian smiled and replied. He had continuously spoiled her. Whether it was good or bad, as long as she did it, he would tolerate it all.
“Right, you got me in your hands…” Lin Si Yao nibbled her smooth, fair neck, mumbling softly.
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