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The boy nodded timidly. His exposed chin pressed against the blanket as his gaze focused on the coarse thread in the corner.
Ger Yan, otherwise known as Ji Yan, thought that he’d married a fool. He never expected such a change to happen this morning. Compared to the current Lin Lixuan’s sharp eyes, he would rather see the smirk and childlike eyes of his husband from yesterday.
To him, it was much better to marry a fool than a stranger.
They were both from Jade Creek Village, but Ji Yan and Lin Lixuan weren’t familiar with each other. In the past, because Lin Lixuan was educated, the Lin family thought their family was different from others. When Lin Lixuan became a Xiucai later on, he felt that his family was superior. His relationship with the people in the village had never been good.
When Lin Lixuan turned into a fool, the villagers were sympathetic on the surface, but they were secretly enjoying his downfall.
Your son is a literary genius? He’s even a top scorer?
Dream on! He’s already become a fool.
The youth’s black jewel-like eyes were filled with mist. He was inexplicably afraid and worried about the future.
Lin Lixuan swept his hair from his chest to his back. He wasn’t used to hair this long, and because he didn’t get enough nutrition, his hair wasn’t healthy. He couldn’t wait to shave it off and feel lighter.
Seeing the youth’s face full of fear as he looked at him, he didn’t feel displeasure, which was rare for him. If his subordinates had shown such a timid expression in front of him, he definitely would have criticized them in the past. He hated people who weren’t confident. However, this youth’s palm-sized face and emancipated body were like a stray milky cat’s. Lin Lixuan felt a pity. His tone involuntarily slowed as he said, “Does your body still hurt?”
The other party shook his head desperately. A touch of red blushed his pale face. The action of shaking his head became more exaggerated, affecting the injury on his body which was still slightly painful. The corners of his mouth twitched as he sucked in a breath.
Lin Lixuan smiled. “Be careful and don’t move. Just rest.” After speaking, he walked forward, stumbling, but fortunately didn’t fall. He looked down at the wooden pen holder. Bamboo was carved on the top of the pen holder, but because it was too worn out, the original pattern was hazy. The outline of the bamboo leaf could barely be distinguished, and there was also a red stain that was also unclear, which left behind a faint red mark.
Since he’d tripped on the pen holder, it rolled on the ground, making a crisp sound. Ji Yan, who was originally timid and hadn’t dared to raise his head, was startled by this sudden sound. He looked up.
The handsome man was half-squatting in embarrassment. Seeing him like this, the youth’s heart seemed to have settled down a bit. He felt the distance between him and the other party shorten a bit. He knew Lin Lixuan was handsome. Even if the fool’s smile and actions were silly yesterday, he didn’t hate it. However, he never expected Lin Lixuan, who had cured himself of being a fool, would be like this…like an immortal. Since Ji Yan had never read before, he didn’t know how to describe this. He felt that the Lin Lixuan in front of him was different from everyone else in the village. He couldn’t tell how they were different, but he knew something was off. Right, he’d (LLX) studied before and was also a Xiucai. He was the first person in their village to become a Xiucai.
Lin Lixuan didn’t know the turmoil that was happening in his (JY) heart. All he was thinking about was clearing up the room since this was where he would live in the future. He couldn’t stay in a place that was set up like a grocery stall.
He even tripped here.
Setting up the pot, lighting a strong fire, then covering it with a lid, Zhao Liniang quickly ran out of the room to boil the water in the kitchen. His mind was a mess. She felt extremely satisfied for a while, but then she felt empty. It was as if she had stepped on a cotton cloud.
She couldn’t stop her work. The water in the pot hadn’t boiled yet, but her heart felt hot and feverish like it was boiling.
Her son was better.
He came back to his senses.
“Bodhisattva bless us, bless us…” She put her hands together and muttered those words in her heart. After pulling three incense from the wooden frame, lighting it and bowing three times, she respectfully inserted them into the incense burner. The picture of Guanyin1 Bodhisattva displayed on the earthen wall was a bit darkened and curled up, but it didn’t hinder her devotion.
There was still unburned paper money2 in the copper basin at her feet. She had gotten up early this morning to burn the paper money for Old Man Lin. Zhao Liniang took a pile of yellow paper money, blew life back into the residual flame in the basin, and used the bright light. The yellow flame instantly engulfed the paper in her hand.
“Old man, did you know our son is okay now… How nice it would be if you were still here. Our family of three…no…it’s not four people, we would have lived happily…”
Although she was a bit sentimental, the living had to continue. Zhao Liniang, who had been a mess since the death of Old Man Lin, began to feel hope again.
Her child was better now. He would definitely become a big official in the future, just like the old man had imagined when he was still alive. The two of them will be the father and mother of an official in the future. Everyone in the village would be jealous. As long as she thought of this, she could bear any hardships.
She clapped her hand and rubbed it against her clothes. The yellow powder fell out of her hands as she returned to the kitchen to take a look.
Lin Lixuan picked up the yellowed towel that was soaking in the water from the wooden basin, wrung it out, folded the towel, then stretched her hand out and handed it to the young man who was still nested inside the quilt.
The youth retreated a bit in panic. Lin Lixuan burst out laughing. Seeing the youth tremble like a panicked bird lost in the forest, he felt bad and said to him, “Do you want me to help you wipe your body?”
The youth became even more panicked. He could only hide in the bed naked. Yesterday’s clothes had long been torn and had mixed with some inexplicable things. He could no longer wear them. His face was flushed as he mustered up the courage to say, “I…I can do it myself…”
Lin Lixuan didn’t force him and handed the youth the towel. He brought the wooden basin to the side of the bed and placed it on a small wooden stool. “Where did you put your clothes? I’ll get them for you.”
The youth pursed his lips. Joy flashed in his eyes as his slender arm pointed to a wooden box in the corner of the room. Lin Lixuan guessed that it should be his “dowry”.
The box was old with a rugged surface. Lin Lixuan lifted the lid of the box, and there were a few tattered clothes inside the wide box. He was speechless for a while. In his eyes, these patchy clothes were not as valuable as the box.
Lin Lixuan knew that he’d transmigrated into a poor family, but he couldn’t imagine what poor meant in this era.
Now he knew.
After the two in the room freshened up, Zhao Liniang called them for lunch. Correct, when they got up, the sun was already high in the sky. After washing up, it was lunchtime. Farmers usually ate early.
Ger Yans sat on the wooden bench and twisted in his seat. Fortunately, Zhao Liniang was an experienced mother-in-law, plus she was in a good mood today. If it was a strict mother-in-law, they would have fixed their daughter-in-law’s laziness. On the second day of marriage, he got up late and even made the mother-in-law cook. If this was known by others in the village, he would be labeled an incompetent daughter-in-law, and his family would lose face.
The Lin family’s dining table was a small square table that didn’t even come up to Lin Lixuan’s knees. At this height, one had to lower their body to eat.
There were two dishes on top of the neither large or small dining table. One dish was a pile of stir-fried vegetables, and the other, Lin Lixuan couldn’t say what it was. In his previous life, he’d died of stomach cancer. Eating was a kind of torture for him before he’d died. Every time he’d swallowed, he’d felt great pain. What was even more terrifying was that he’d completely lost his desire to eat and could only rely on infusions of liquid food every day. Now he was in a healthy body. What made Lin Lixuan the happiest was that he had regained his appetite and ignited his desire for food.
In this life, he had to be good to his stomach.
Of course, when he picked up the bowl of rice, he couldn’t eat. The rice at this time wasn’t as clean as modern rice. It wasn’t very white nor did it taste as fragrant. The rice grains were swollen and twice as large as the rice he usually ate. It was scattered and not chewy or sweet and tasted like chewing wax.
In this family, Lin Lixuan was the only one with the privilege to eat rice like this. His mother sitting across from him and Ger Yan sitting beside him only had dry brown rice in their bowls. Lin Lixuan tasted it, and the taste was so coarse he felt like he’d returned to when he was still sick. It was like swallowing glass fragments. He didn’t know how the two beside him ate it.
The vegetables didn’t taste good either. It was not so much fried as boiled. There was no trace of oil to be found. It was fresh, with a bright green color. One could tell at a glance that it was freshly picked. The roots were also slightly bitter when chewing.
The other dish was long pieces that were tangled together, and Lin Lixuan didn’t know what it was. He didn’t eat it. The other two didn’t eat it either. Was it also special for him? Lin Lixuan let out a bitter laugh. He didn’t want this kind of special treatment… The original owner had this kind of privilege since he was young. He would eat rice, fish, and meat. His parents would only eat brown rice and vegetables. Mother and Father Lin doted on him to the highest level and gave all the best food and clothes to him…It was no wonder the original owner’s temperament had cultivated until it was as high as the sky.
Lin Lixuan forced down the food as he thought about how to earn money…
It was actually oil dregs! Lin Lixuan forced himself not to throw it up and ate a big mouthful of rice before swallowing. Could this be regarded as a good thing? He couldn’t eat it.
He took a piece and placed it in the youth’s bowl. He was overwhelmed with favor and raised his head and batted his eyes at him before looking at Zhao Liniang. Zhao Liniang’s eyes narrowed, and the youth slowly returned the food back to Lin Lixuan’s bowl.
Looking at the piece of oil dreg, Lin Lixuan wanted to cry without any tears. Did they want him to eat this entire plate?
During the meal, Lin Lixuan ate without enjoying it, but the other two were satisfied. Especially Ji Yan. He had a full meal, which was a rarity in his life.
Although all he ate were greens, the Lin family’s vegetables were stir-fried with cured meat. He wasn’t able to eat any meat, but he tasted the flavor. He was very satisfied. One had to know that in their village, it was already good if a family could taste meat once a month.
In the Ji family in the past, the meals at home were fixed. If one was late, they might not get a portion and would go hungry. The Ji family was a large family. They didn’t cook rice but had a pot of porridge for every meal. Before the porridge was cooked, Old Lady Ji would count how much rice was put in. It was never extra or missing a single grain. Old Lady Ji would take a ladle and distribute it one by one. The thick, full of rice portions would be given to the men, and the remaining rice soup with a bit of porridge leftover would be given to the women and Shuang’ers.
Despite the smaller portion of food, Ji Yan also had to go down to the field to weed, help carry water home, and wash clothes…The work was endless, and he would have to do it on an empty stomach. He was already this big, but he never knew what it felt like to be full. As long as he has food he can eat, it would eat it immediately so he didn’t go hungry.
At the Lin family, perhaps it was because Zhao Liniang was accustomed to it, but she cooked the amount of food according to before Old Man Lin had passed. Despite having an extra Ji Yan in the house, Ji Yan was still able to eat more. He felt that he had eaten twice as much as usual. He was secretly glad. Fortunately, Zhao Liniang didn’t dislike him.
The only troublesome matter now was that before he’d married in, his mother had told him to listen to his mother-in-law. As long as he listened to his mother-in-law, he wouldn’t be chased out. Because the person he was marrying was a fool, he wasn’t taught how to get along with his new husband… Now that his husband wasn’t a fool anymore, what should he do?
I’m reading as I translate, so I have no idea what happens in this novel, but I hope there’s food p*rn!! Teehee
If you’re excited about the novel, don’t forget to add it to your novelupdates 🙂
- Guanyin is the most popular Bodhisattva in China and is associated with compassion. Read more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guanyin ↩︎
- Chinese believe that you go to the afterlife when you pass and still need to spend money to live. People will burn fake paper money or paper clothes, cars, food, etc so their passed love ones can use it. ↩︎