Title: Fortunate Wife
Chapter 20 - Lending a helping hand
"Older brother Hua, is it really you? When did you come back?" The person asking this question was a fourteen to fifteen year old teenage girl. She was wearing a dress that had a scattered flower design. She had a very pretty, cheerful appearance. Her dark, limpid eyes were focused on Li Hua and filled with joyful surprise.
"Yesterday," Li Hua very politely replied, but he didn't look at her with equal familiarity.
On the other side, Li Shu put the cart down to a resting position. Looking at that girl, he introduced her to Li Hua in a somewhat mocking tone, "She's third uncle's daughter, Chunni." He didn't know if he should say his fourth brother was dense or meticulous. He had a photographic memory, but if he didn't care about someone, he would never be able to remember him or her.
Clutching the shiny braid by her chest and looking at Li Hua, Chunni playfully pouted. "Older brother Hua, did you forget about me again? I even brought jujubes to your house during New Year."
Li Hua remembered the jujubes. After New Year had passed, oldest brother had grabbed two large handfuls of jujubes and stuffed them into his schoolbag. But, he really didn't have any memory of this girl. "Chunni, ah. Are you going to the market too?"
"Yup, my dad and mom are over there." Chunni pointed at the married couple that were behind them and also pushing a cart with bamboo baskets that were filled with fish. She waved at them and said, "Mom, I'm over here."
Taking advantage of this opportunity, Li Hua walked to Li Shu's side and lowered his hands towards the cart. "Third brother, let me push the cart."
Li Shu tactfully moved aside, then he said to Chunni, "Chunni, third uncle's legs and feet aren't good. Hurry and go back to help him push the cart."
Instead of listening to Li Shu, Chunni skirted over to Li Hua's side. As she was leaning over to start helping him, she replied, "It's fine. My mom is over there and helping him."
He stared at her for moment, then he pulled Chunni over and said, "Little girl, there's me and fourth brother here. You should still go back and help third uncle. Besides, third aunt will be unhappy if she sees you over here with us."
"She won't." Feeling a bit anxious, she hurriedly tugged on the other girl that hadn't said a single word yet. "Qiqiao, hurry and tell them. Wasn't my mom the one that told me to come over here to help them?"
Qiqiao looked to be a year or two older than her, but her personality was much shyer. Hearing that Chunni had pulled her into the conversation and faced with Li Shu's long and narrow, peach blossom eyes, her cheeks flushed, and she couldn't utter a single word.
Chunni could only speak for herself. "It's true. Third brother, my mom heard that oldest brother Li was getting married. She's even planning on buying some wedding presents at the market today and having me bring them over tonight."
"What do you mean oldest brother is getting married?" There was something incorrect with her words.
"Third brother, it's not early anymore. If we don't hurry up and get to the market late, it won't be easy to sell the fish." Li Hua didn't like outsiders discussing his family matters. Besides, Li Man and Xiaowu were still waiting for them.
These two people, one of them didn't understand what was going on because of a language barrier, and the other one was too young and pure-minded to understand. He didn't want them to be harmed by an outsider's criticism.
"En, let's go." Li Shu didn't pay any more attention to the two teenage girls and directly walked to Li Hua's side. Although Li Hua was a young man, he wasn't used to doing any type of manual labor or as familiar with pushing a cart as Li Shu. In the past, the cart had almost ended falling into a ditch several times with Li Hua pushing.
Li Shu laughed at his younger brother. He had only spent two years studying, but he was already very clumsy with performing manual labor. He pushed Li Hua to the side and pushed the cart by himself.
At the front, Li Man was holding Li Xiaowu's hand and hadn't paying attention to what was happening behind her at all. The two of them were chatting and smiling as they walked.
Actually, even though they couldn't understand what the other person was saying, the feeling of excitement and expectation over seeing new things was the same in every language.
Li Man asked, "What kind of stuff will the market have? Will there be sugar-coated Chinese hawthorns on sticks? People practicing sideshows? People selling their skills or craft? Someone performing a martial arts trick by breaking a large slab of stone that had been placed someone else's stomach?"
Li Xiaowu said, "Second brother said there'll be a lot of people, yummy food, and fun stuff there. Fourth brother said that after they sell the fish, he’d buy me dumplings with meat."
Li Man added, "Oh right, will there be people selling themselves into slavery in order to earn money to bury their parents? Or, will there be overly dramatic scenes of a local tyrant kidnapping women on the streets? I wonder what the heroes in ancient times will look like."
Li Xiaowu said, "Older sister, oldest brother told me that the market place will be crowded and there might be bad people around. You definitely have to stay close to us when we get to market later."