T/N: There wasn't a title for today's chapter either.
Title: Fortunate Wife
Seeing that the steamed meat bun had been returned to her bowl, she really wanted to stab it with her chopsticks and fling it back.
Her little face looked as if she was undergoing a bitter hardship as she said, "I genuinely don't like to eat steamed buns." She moved the steamed bun to Li Mo's bowl and looked at him with a baby deer's mesmerizing gaze and a pitiful expression.
Li Mo's heart violently skipped a beat. He hurriedly lowered his head to count the rice in his congee. He had even forgotten about the steamed bun.
Finally freed from having to eat that hated food, Li Man gave a soft, beautiful smile. Her large, bright, black eyes curved into crescent moons. It was a sight that overflowing with charm and beauty.
On the other side, the other three people were struck dumb by this sight.
After dinner was finished, Li Mo was scrubbing the pots and bowls himself, so there wasn't anything for her to do. So, she went back to her room to rest first. She had walked too much today. The soles of her feet felt so sore.
Climbing onto the heated bed, Li Man was so sleepy that she couldn't keep her eyes open. In her half-awake state, she seemed to have heard persistent knocking. She wanted to say that they could come inside, and she thought that she had said those words aloud, but she couldn't win the battle with her eyes to open them again tonight.
Holding a bucket of hot water and standing by the heated bed, Li Mo felt conflicting thoughts as he looked at the woman on the heated bed that was wiggling around.
After a day of walking, she would feel better if she washed up and soaked her feet before going to bed.
But, this woman seemed to be exhausted.
Just as he was about to turn around and leave, he heard Li Man groaning and starting to roll over the edge of the heated bed. Li Mo hastily stretched his hand out to stop her and that oh so soft body rolled into the crook of his arms
He hurriedly put down the bucket of water, carried her back onto the bed, and pulled up the quilt up so that she was properly covered.
Unexpectedly, right after he was standing straight, Li Man rolled over again. She raised one leg and somehow pulled the entire quilt so that she was on top of it. Her small, palm-sized face rubbed against the quilt. With a furrowed brow, she let out quiet grumbling sounds like a disgruntled kitten that couldn't find a comfortable position.
Li Mo knew that she was exhausted from walking today, and her body was feeling sore. He heard from Little Five that on the way to the market, she had sat in the cart for part of the way, but on the way back, she had walked the entire way. His gaze inevitably drifted towards her little feet. It was only now that he noticed she hadn't taken off her shoes or socks.
No wonder she was feeling uncomfortable in her sleep!
A hint of a gentle smile appeared in Li Mo's eyes. He leaned over and removed her shoes and socks for her. Her little feet were white and tender. It was small enough that he could easily hold it in his palm. Then, he saw that the soles of her feet were very red. There were even broken blisters on her feet. He felt a rush of limitless pity and tenderness. He brought the bucket of water over, then he placed Li Man's little feet into the warm water and started massaging her feet.
The sleeping Li Man let out a comfortable moan because of the relaxing sensation of soaking her feet in warm water. But, she wasn't being a good sleeper. Her little feet kicked forward in the bucket and the water splashed Li Mo’s face.
Li Mo raised his head in shock. Seeing that Li Man was still asleep, he chuckled and wiped his face with his sleeve. Then, he dipped his hands back into the water and went back to massaging her feet. The only difference was that he used less strength than before.
It was only when the warm water had cooled that Li Mo finally took her flushed little feet out of the water. He dried her feet and tucked them underneath the quilt.
After he securely closed the window, he picked up the bucket and oil lamp and left the hut.
Right as he was closing the door to Li Man's hut, Li Mo heard Li Yan's voice behind his ear, "Oldest brother?"
Startled, Li Mo felt as if his heart had stopped beating for a moment. For an inexplicable reason, he broke out in cold sweat. He turned around and saw that his younger brother was already next to him. "Second brother, you're back."
"Oldest brother, did you come out of this hut?" Li Yan suspiciously looked at the door, then he looked at Li Mo again.
"En. She's asleep," said Li Mo.
"Oh." Li Yan was a bit disappointed. He hadn't seen her all day. "Oldest brother, what are you doing with that bucket?"
"I brought this water for her so she could wash up." Li Mo suddenly felt the tips of his ears getting hot. "She... she's sleeping, so I brought it back out."
"Oh?" Li Yan deeply looked at him. He clearly didn't believe him.
Li Mo didn't say anything else. Instead, he passed the oil lamp into Li Yan's hand and headed towards the courtyard with the bucket.
"Oldest brother, since she's not using the water to wash up, I'll use it. I feel uncomfortably sweaty and hot." As he was saying this, he walked toward Li Mo.
Li Mo pretended that he hadn't heard anything and poured out all of the water at once.
"Oldest brother?" Li Yan looked at the empty bucket in bewilderment.
As if he just realized something, Li Mo said, "Ah! Oh, you wanted to wash up? This water isn't warm anymore. Oldest brother will heat up more water for you."
Li Yan paused for a moment before replying, "Oh, okay." In his mind, he was wondering what exactly his older brother had been doing in that woman's hut.