Fortunate Wife - Ch 0109-17

Title: Fortunate Wife
Chapter 109 - Fated Marriage String (1)

Li Man felt a burst of dizziness, and even her ribs felt pained from being pressed down by his body. She stretched her hands out to try to push him off, but his sturdy body was like a millstone that firmly pressed down on her without leaving any gaps.

After opening her mouth wide to take in a deep breath of air, she felt a bit better.

Li Man was sure that he had a fever, and it was quite serious. She tried calling his name several times, but there was no reaction from him. She only felt his uncomfortable weight on top of her.

It really wouldn't do to carry on like this. The ground was dirty and cold. Drat, she had just changed into new clothing too.

She took another deep breath before shouting towards the outside, "Little Five -"

But, there was no response to her calls. She could faintly hear the sound of dogs barking. Where had Little Five, that brat, gone off? She hadn't seen his shadow since lunch. But, she really didn't want anyone else to see her current predicament.

Fretful and not having any other options, she shouted, "Li Hua!"

As expected, she heard the sound of footsteps after calling his name only a few times. Just as she was feeling hopeful that Li Hua was going to come over and pull Li Yan off of her, she saw a tanned man enter the kitchen. His face was unshaven, and his eyes were cloudy and bloodshot. She couldn't guess his age.

Li Man thought he was a random drunkard that was trespassing. She fearfully screamed, "Who are you? Get out! My family is right behind this wall! Don't you dare do anything bad!"

Because she was too nervous, she had slipped back to speaking in Mandarin instead saying those words in the local dialect. That person was obviously stunned, but a moment later, he responded with a foolish-looking smile. "Are you my younger brother's wife?* Is Li Mo not at home?" Then, he leaned over to take a look. Shocked, he asked, "Ah, what's wrong with Li Yan?"

* T/N: (This person is only saying this to indicate closeness between him and the Li family. He's not related to the Li brothers.)

Was this a family friend? Li Man slightly relaxed and hastily did her best to answer in the local dialect, "Uncle, Li Yan has a fever. Could you help me by pulling him up?"

That person's murky eyes lingered over Li Man's face, and he was a bit stunned before hastily looking away. He said, "Sure," and continued nodding as he helped pull Li Yan up.

Li Man immediately got up once the weight was lifted off of her. After dusting off the dirt on her clothes, she hastily led the two people to the eastern hut. "Please bring him into this hut."

"Oh." That person agreeably helped bring Li Yan into the eastern hut and placed him down on the bed.

"Thank you." Li Man said as she stretched her hand out to check Li Yan's temperature. Too hot.

Because Li Yan was unconscious, the man felt it was a bit improper for him to be alone with this woman.  Standing behind them, he awkwardly scratched his head and said, "Younger brother's wife, I'll come back in the evening since Li Mo isn't here."

He was about to leave right after saying this. 

At this time, Li Hua had hurried over here. Seeing the visitor, he was slightly surprised. "Second Shun?"

"Ah, Li Hua, you're not at school? I came over here to see your oldest brother." Seeing Li Hua, Second Shun greeted him with a beaming smile, but his expression had become a bit reserved.

Li Hua replied, "My teacher gave us a few days off." He looked at Li Yan, who was lying on the bed, and hastily went forward. "What's wrong with second brother?"

"He has a fever." Li Man was sitting on the bed and using a dry towel to wipe the sweat from Li Yan's forehead. Seeing that Li Hua was here, she requested, "Bring over some lukewarm water." 

"Oh." Seeing that his second brother was unconscious and that his handsome face was looking so pale, Li Hua listened to Li Man's words and brought back lukewarm water from the kitchen.

Li Man got up, took the basin of water, and placed it down on a nearby stool. Then, she dipped the towel into the warm water and wrung out the excess water from the towel. She said to Li Hua, "Untie his belt."

"Eh?" Li Hua was stunned for a moment, but he still obediently untied the belt. 


Chapter 110 - Fated Marriage String (2)

Li Man tried to hand over the prepared warm towel. "Wipe him down. Wipe his neck, armpits, chest, palms, and everything else. Every spot needs to be wiped."

Li Hua only doubtfully looked at Li Man。

"Go on, it'll help cool him down." Li Man directly stuffed the damp towel into his hand and continued to say, "He probably got sick because he took a rinse using cold water yesterday and was working outside in the rain all morning today."

Li Hua thought her words were very logical and hurriedly followed her directions in wiping down Li Yan.

Once he was halfway done, Li Man took the damp towel from him, cleaned the towel in the water, and wrung out the excess water again before handing it back to him. After that, she gently checked Li Yan's temperature by touching his forehead. Although his temperature had dropped after being wiped by the towel, it was quickly going back up again.

Second Shun was still standing in the hut. Seeing that the two of them were so busy that they had forgot about him, he opened and closed his mouth before quietly saying, "Li Hua, should we get a doctor to come over to check on him? It won't be good if his cold gets worse.”

Li Hua's expression was solemn as he put the towel into the basin. He said to Li Man, “Watch over him for a bit. I'll call oldest brother over."

Medical treatment was poor in ancient times, so even a minor illness like a cold could take someone's life. Li Man also started to worry. She hurriedly nodded. "Okay."

Li Hua rushed out to look for Li Mo.

A few moments later, three brothers came into the hut.

Li Shu was the first one to run to the bed and worriedly asked, "What's wrong with second brother? Wasn't he okay before?"

Li Mo followed him over and stretched his hand out to check Li Yan's temperature. His expression became graver. "I'll go find the doctor and bring him here."

"Oldest brother, I'll go with you," said Li Hua.

Li Mo glanced at him and said, "No need, stay at home and take care for your second brother. It'll be enough for me and your third brother to go." Fourth brother was much more cool-headed than their third brother. If something happened at home, he would feel less worried if he remained here.

Li Hua glanced at Li Man. With second brother sick, he would worry too if she was the only other person left here, so he said to Li Mo, "Okay. Oldest brother, take some money with you. That way, if the doctor gives you a prescription, you'll be able to buy the medicine before coming back. It'll save you a trip."

After agreeing, Li Mo walked over to the wardrobe and took out a small bag. When he opened the bag to look inside, his eyebrows slight furrowed. He stuffed the entire bag into his clothes, turned around, and said to Li Shu, "Third brother, let's go."

"En." Li Shu wiped the sweat from his forehead and followed after his oldest brother.

Li Man saw that the two of them were going out just like this. It was misty outside from the rain, and she didn't know how far that doctor's house was. If they were out in the rain for too long, she was worried that the two of them would get sick too. She hurriedly followed after them and said, "Do you not have any raincoats, bamboo hats, or umbrellas?"

Umbrellas were something that only rich people used. However, a raincoat... Li Mo suddenly remembered. "We do have a raincoat. I'll go get it." He hastily ran to the kitchen and pulled out a raincoat from the pile of junk that was behind the cupboard. He had woven this raincoat from Chinese alpine rush several years ago. Although it was covered in dust, it looked passable after he shook off the dust. At the very least, it could provide some cover from the rain.

Li Mo went back and gave the raincoat to Li Shu, “Third brother, put this on, and we’ll leave."

"Oldest brother, what about you?" Li Shu asked while he put on the raincoat.

Li Mo shook his head. "I'm okay."

The two of them walked straight into the misty rain.

Second Shun hurriedly followed after them. "Li Mo, wait. I have a raincoat at my home. Wait a bit. I'll bring it over."


Li Man was standing at the doorway.  The three of them had already walked far way. Was Li Mo even wearing a raincoat? Sigh. The men in this family were really awful at taking care of themselves.

"Fourth brother." Li Yan's weak voice suddenly sounded from behind.

Sitting on the side of the bed, Li Hua hurriedly answered, "Second brother, I'm here."


Chapter 111 - Fated Marriage String (3)

Li Man hastily went over to the bed.

Seeing that Li Yan had half-opened his eyes and was struggling to get up, Li Hua hurriedly tried to stop him. "Second brother, you're sick. Lie back down. Oldest brother and third brother have already left to get the doctor."

"I -" Li Yan seemed to not realize he was sick. He turned his confused gaze towards Li Man.

Li Man had to say, "You have a fever."

"Oh." Li Yan slightly closed his eyes and lightly said, "No wonder I feel so bad."

Li Hua promptly asked, "Where are you feeling uncomfortable?"

"That's just what happens when you have a fever. Your entire body will feel feeble, and your limbs will ache," Li Man answered for Li Yan. After that, she told Li Hua, "Bring over another basin of warm water. He'll feel better if you wipe him down again."

"En." Li Hua quickly left to get more water.

Li Yan lightly opened his eyes again. He looked at Li Man with a dim gaze. "Are you annoyed? Do you find me too useless?"

Her annoyance was towards how much he liked to torment himself. Not only did he take a cold rinse, he let himself get soaked by the drizzling rain too. Looking at his current state, Li Man didn't want to make him feel worse, so she only said, "This is just a minor cold. It's no big deal. The doctor will be here soon. You'll be fine after eating the medicine that he prescribes."

"What if..." Li Yan's gaze dimmed further. "What if I don't make it?"

"How could that be possible?" Li Man was frightened by the sorrowful look in his dim eyes. "It's only a fever. You're so healthy. You’ll probably be fine by tomorrow if you just rest today. You might not even need to eat medicine."

Li Yan wryly smiled. What scared poor people the most? Getting sick.

It was especially true in this impoverished mountain village. There had been people who had died from catching the cold. There was even a person that had gotten bitten by an unknown bug and died two days later.

He felt so uncomfortable. It felt as if there was a blazing fire raging inside his body.

Li Man couldn't quite understand. Why had his thoughts pessimistically strayed to death? He was a grown man, and it was only a minor fever.  Seeing that Li Yan had closed his eyes and wasn't saying anything, she wanted to go to the kitchen and check why Li Hua hadn't returned yet.

Right after she turned around and was about to leave, her wrist was seized. Li Man turned her head to look at him. His gaze was blurry, and he was pleadingly looked her. "Keep me company."

"No, I'm just going over there to take a look...."

Before she could finish speaking, he tightened his grip on her wrist and pulled her to the edge of the bed to sit down. "Stay here with me."

"You?" He seemed like he still had plenty of energy.

But, Li Yan had already closed his eyes in exhaustion. And yet, his hand was still tightly holding her wrist as if he was scared she was going to run away.

Li Man could only shake her head. He was acting so childish. It was only a fever. What was there to be so scared about?

A while later, Li Hua finally returned with a basin of warm water.

"Why did it take so long?" Li Man picked up the towel on Li Yan's forehead and rinsed it in the warm water.

"There wasn't any more boiled water, so I had to boil some more," answered Li Hua. He looked at Li Yan. "Second brother, are you feeling any better?"

Li Yan didn't want his brother to worry, so he said, "Better."

Hearing that his voice was a bit hoarse, Li Man quickly said to Li Hua, "Bring over a bowl of drinking water."

"En." Li Hua got up and went back to the kitchen.

Li Yan suddenly chuckled. “You seem very comfortable with ordering fourth brother around."

Why was he speaking so sarcastically? Li Man rolled her eyes at him. After wiping his hands and neck, she placed the damp towel back on his forehead.

At this time, Li Hua came back with a bowl of water. It had just been boiled and was still very hot.

"Let it cool down first before giving it to your second brother to drink," said Li Man

"En." Li Hua nodded. At this time, his gaze towards Li Man had slightly changed. "You seem to know a lot?"


Chapter 112 - Fated Marriage String (4)

"It's common knowledge that it's good for people to drinking more warm water when they have a fever or cold.” Li Man fidgeted and tried to pull her hand out Li Yan's tight grasp, but his five fingers seemed like unbreakable pincers.

Li Hua could see this from a single glance, but since Li Man had deliberately leaned over to try to hide the sight, he pretended that he hadn't seen anything. He brought the hot water outside to cool it down and didn't come inside until he thought the water was cool enough to drink.

"I'll help him drink it." Li Man stretched one hand out and tried her best to move her other hand too.

Sure enough, when Li Yan heard these words, the corners of his lips curved up, and he obediently loosened his grip on her hand.

Li Man hurriedly stood up, rubbed her hand that had turn red from being held too tightly by Li Yan, and said to Li Hua, "Help your second brother. Make sure he drinks plenty of water."

Li Hua saw his second brother staring at her fleeing figure with a vexed look. He chucked and asked, "Second brother, can you sit up?"

Li Yan glanced at him, then he pulled up the quilt to cover his face. "Not thirsty. I don't want to drink."

"Second brother." Li Hua was stunned for a moment. Why was his second brother acting like a child? He helplessly looked at Li Man, who was standing at the doorway.

Li Man hadn't expected that Li Yan would have this type of temperament either. However, it was more important to go along with a sick person's wishes. She could only come back into the room, take the bowl from Li Hua, sit down at the edge of the bed, and said to Li Yan, who had tucked himself into bed, "You have a fever. You can't cover yourself up like this. Come on, drink some water." As she said this, she tugged the quilt down.

The damp towel fell to the side of the pillow. His bright and clean forehead was sweating, and his handsome face was as white as frost. His dried lips had almost no trace of red.

He was already in such a bad state but still throwing a tantrum. Sigh. Li Man gritted her teeth as she watched him. She scooped up some water and brought it to his lips, "Here, take a sip."

Li Yan slowly opened his eyes and stared at her unwaveringly before his lips slowly parted.

He was really going to be that picky about who gave him the water? The corners of Li Man's mouth twitched. She lightly poured the mouthful of water into his mouth.

He slowly swallowed. Furrowing his brow, he complained, "It's so tasteless."

"You're sick, that's why you think it doesn't taste good. Here, drink some more," Li Man softly explained as she scooped up another spoonful of water and brought it to his lips.

"I really don't want to drink it." It was as if there was a knot between Li Yan's brows, but since Li Man was attentively serving him, he reluctantly opened his mouth and swallowed another mouthful of water. 

Spoonful by spoonful, Li Man fed him the water. Li Yan was probably feeling better after drinking the first few sips of water, so he stopped fussing and obediently drank the water. 

Once the bowl of water was finished, Li Man stood up and reminded Li Hua, "Watch him and wipe his body from time to time. He's okay right now. If his fever rises and he fall unconscious or babbles nonsense, come look for me."

Before Li Hua could say anything, Li Yan was already anxious enough to open his eyes again to stare at her. "Where are you going?" 

"Have a good rest," said Li Man tactfully. She turned around and left the hut. If she stayed, that fellow probably wouldn't rest peacefully.

"How heartless." Li Yan was somewhat furious. She wasn't even willing to accompany him when he was sick. 

As Li Hua wiped his palm for him, he said, "Second brother, take a nap for now. Oldest brother and third brother will be back soon."

"Oh." Li Yan could only close his eyes. He really did feel bad and ended up drifting off into sleep.

Li Man had merely gone to the kitchen. She opened the windows to let in the fresh air and started tidying up the pile of bits and bobs that Li Mo had rummaged through to find the raincoat. She tossed the unusable items in one pile and decided that she would toss all of it out when she had the free time.

After she was done with this, she washed her hands and returned to the eastern hut. Li Hua was still sitting at the side of the bed, and Li Yan had already fallen asleep.

Li Man quietly walked over and whispered, "Why haven't your older brothers returned yet? Is the doctor's house far from here?"


Chapter 113 - Fated Marriage String (5)

"They should be back soon." Li Hua was actually very anxious too. There was only one doctor in the Goddess's Ravine. This old doctor lived in a village that was about a kilometer away from here. It was raining today too, so it definitely wouldn't be easy to walk here. He was very worried that the doctor wouldn't be willing to come here, that's why he had asked his oldest brother to bring more money along. If the doctor didn't come, it would be good to get a prescription from him and buy back medicine at least.

"Oh." Li Man looked Li Yan. He had fallen asleep, but his breathing was heavy. She stretched her hand out and touched his forehead. His temperature was still too high.

Seeing how worried Li Man looked, Li Hua comfortingly said, "Don't worry. The doctor will be here soon."

"En." If they were in modern-day, she definitely wouldn't be worrying. But, in this era, people would die from lack of medicine. She wasn't worrying that he would die. She was worried that the illness would become worse and that he would get pneumonia, tuberculosis, and what not.

"Oh, hey, you should drink more water too." Li Man remembered that Li Hua had gotten wet from the rain too and hurriedly pulled him towards outside. When they reached the doorway, she said, "Stay here. The room is too stuffy. I'll pour some water for you."

"It's okay. I can do that myself," Li Hua politely refused.

Li Man didn't listen to him. She went to the kitchen, poured boiling hot water into a bowl, and brought it to him. "Drink more water. It's easy to get catch a cold or get a fever during this season. It'll be best to stay well hydrated."

Li Hua took the bowl and asked, "What about you?"

"Oh, I'll drink water later," said Li Man. Remembering something, she hastily went inside the eastern hut. She climbed onto the bed and cracked open a window to let in fresh air. The open window was far away enough that the wind wouldn't blow on Li Yan, but it would improve the air quality inside the hut. Then, seeing the thin quilt that was covering Li Yan, she decided it wasn't enough and lightly covered him with Li Hua's sheet too.

Li Hua was standing at the doorway. He watched her movements and couldn't help feel a sense of uncertainty. He waited until she came out to ask, "Why did you do that?"

"Since his body temperature is high from the fever, it'll feel too stifling if I cover him up with another quilt," answered Li Man. Seeing that the amount of water in the bowl that he was holding hadn't changed, she said, "Drink it quickly. It'll get cold."

"Oh." Li Hua drank the water, but he still felt worried. After he finished drinking, he couldn't resist saying, "But, I heard from other people that when someone has a fever or a cold, you should cover them up with more quilts They'll get better once they sweat the illness out."

"Sweating it out is one method, but doing that might lead to other complications," Li Man explained, "Actually, the fever itself isn't an illness. It's a symptom. Right now, what we're doing is physically helping him cool down -"

Seeing Li Hua was looking straight at her, Li Man suddenly realized that she had said too much. She awkwardly laughed and continued, "Actually, I don't know much either. I just heard this from elderly people. Let's listen to what the doctor has to say when he comes."

"En." Li Hua nodded. However, he felt even more doubtful towards her. Not only was his wife literate, she also had medical knowledge.


Inside the hut, Li Yan was in a state of deep slumber. During this period of time, Li Man had helped him by wiping his palms, underside of his feet, neck, and armpits with alcohol. Then, she applied a cold towel to his forehead. From time to time, she would change out the towel. After this was done repeatedly, Li Yan's temperature really did fall a lot, and even his breathing became much lighter.

Li Hua was watching from the side. One part of him admired Man for knowing so much, and the other part felt happy that his second brother had taken a turn for the better.

And yet, Li Mo and Li Shu had been gone for almost half the day. Why hadn't they come back yet? Li Hua and Li Man started to worry about those two. The roads were slippery on rainy day. Hopefully, they hadn't met with an accident.

Seeing that the sky was getting darker, Li Hua really wanted to go out to look for his oldest brother and third brother. And yet, he didn't feel comfortable with leaving Li Man alone.

"Let's wait a little bit longer." Seeing that Li Hua was feeling anxious, Li Man comfortingly said, “Nothing bad will happen to your oldest brother and third brother. Perhaps, the doctor is busy today, so they had to wait longer to see him."

He could only hope that this was true. Fortunately, second brother's condition had improved.


Chapter 114 - Fated Marriage String (6)

Shortly after, Little Five came back.

When the little fellow that they hadn't seen for half an afternoon came back, his body was covered in mud. Li Hua and Li Man were truly startled to see him looking like a mud creature.

"What happened? Did you fall?" Li Hua hurriedly came to the doorway and turned him around to check. He didn't stop worrying until he confirmed that Little Five was okay.

Little Five's dirty little face looked as if it was holding back more tears. His voice sounded brittle as he said to his fourth brother, "Shitou pushed me."

Li Man rummaged through the wardrobe to find Little Five's clothing while asking, "Who's Shitou?"

“Shitou, ah.” Little Five wiped his tears while lamenting to his family members, "He wanted to let out the water in the water dam I made. I wouldn't let him do that, and he pushed me."

The kids here usually didn't have much that they could play with. The adults found the rain bothersome, but it was a boon to the children. On rainy days, all of the village children liked to run to entrance of the village. They would frolic in the mud in their bare feet, make little water dams, and dive into the ravine.

Little Five was a big fan of playing these types of games too. After eating lunch and hearing the sound of other children playing outside, he ran outside to join them too. But, he was small and weak, so the other village children liked to bully him.

He had been perfectly fine when he went out, but he came back in such a poor state.

"Who told you to go play with him again? Don't you remember that you ended up with an awful nosebleed last time? Did you forget?" Li Hua looked brother's pitiful appearance. He felt both angry and distressed.

Li Man came out with a clean set of clothing. She rubbed Little Five's head and said to Li Hua, “It's normal for boys to like to fight. Don't scold him. Little Five, come with older sister, I'll give you a bath."

After saying this, she took Little Five from Li Hua and brought him into the kitchen.

Li Man moved the bathtub and added water to it while ordering Little Five, "Hurry, take off your wet clothing."

Little Five bit his lip. Seeing that Li Man was really going to give him a bath, he felt so bashful that his left foot kept stepping on his right foot.

"Quickly, undress." Li Man had already filled the tub. Seeing that Little Five was still dillydallying, she stood up and pulled him over. She laughed and said, "Little creature, you're not feeling shy, right?" After saying this, she reached out to undress him.

Little Five was truly a shy child. He shrunk back and shouted, "Older sister, I can bathe myself!"

"You do?" Li Man didn't believe him. While efficiently undressing him, she teased, "Why do I see dirt plastered to the back of your neck then? You probably don't know how to scrub yourself properly clean, right?"

"I -" His shirt had been taken off, but Little Five wouldn't let Li Man take off his pants. He desperately kept his legs locked together.

Li Man glared at him in exasperation. "Little imp, you're way too young to be acting this way."

Then, she called Li Hua to come over.

Li Hua had gone inside the eastern hut. It was because Li Yan had awoken. After he had only said a few words to his brother, Li Hua heard Li Man's voice and hurriedly ran over to the kitchen.

Li Man gave the bath towel to Li Hua and instructed, “Wash him thoroughly. Make sure to wash his hair too. There's a lot of mud in it. I'm going to heat up some more water. You can pour it into the bathtub once the bathwater has cooled down."

After saying this, she ladled out several scoops of water from the water jar to the pot and covered the pot once she was done. Then, she went behind the stove to start a fire.

But, how could she have known that lighter would have gotten too damp from the rain? No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't get the fire to start. She felt discouraged after spending a long time and still failing to get a spark.

Li Hua had already finished helping his younger brother wash his hair. Hearing Li Man grumbling behind the stove, he wrapped Little Five's hair in the towel and went over there himself. "It won't light?"

"En." Li Man quickly stood up and handed him the lighter. "Here, you do it. I'll wash Little Five."

Right after saying this, she headed over to Little Five's side.


Chapter 115 - Fated Marriage String (7)

Little Five was using a towel to dry his hair. As soon as he saw Li Man coming over, he shrunk back in panic. He wished that he could hide his entire body in the bathtub.

Li Man couldn't resist the urge to smile when she saw him. She crouched down, grabbed his arm, and start using a wet towel to scrub his body.

"Even if you hide, I'm still going to scrub you clean. Don't think about coming out until you're completely clean."

Little Five's tender little face immediately flushed. His face was red enough that it looked as if blood could drip from it. He didn't dare to look at Li Man, and his head was hanging low enough that it could touch the edge of the bathtub.

Li Man didn't care. He was only a young child. If they were in modern-day, she would be old enough to be his mother. Actually, in her heart, she really thought of him as her own child.

She scrubbed most of the mud from his body with the towel, then she used her hand to clean the rest of the dirt off.

Little Five felt very itchy and couldn't resist giggling. His little body started to squirm around in the bathtub.

Li Man held him down with one hand and quickly washed him with the other hand. After she felt that she had cleaned enough, she had Li Hua bring over the hot water and poured it over Little Five to rinse him off. Then, she dried him off with another towel, wrapped him up in a bed sheet, and had Li Hua carry him to the eastern hut so that Little Five could slowly get dressed there.

As for Li Man, she decided that she would wash Little Five's dirty clothes later and dumped them into the bathtub to soak for now. The wood was still burning in the stove, so now was a good time to cook some ginger soup. Little Five definitely had to drink some of it. When Li Mo and Li Shu returned, it would be good for them to drink some ginger soup too.

She found a piece of old ginger, washed it, sliced it into thin pieces, and put into the pot of water. After bringing the soup to a boil, Li Man brought over a small bowl of soup to the eastern hut.

At this time, Li Yan had already gotten up and was sitting in the bed. Li Hua put a folded quilt behind his brother's back so that he would feel more comfortable. 

Li Hua had lectured little Five, so he was now obediently curled up in own bedding with only his little head poking out. When Li Man came inside, Little Five spooked and pulled his head back into his quilt.

"Not afraid of suffocating?" Li Hua lightly looked at Little Five in askance. 

Li Yan seemed to be doing much better, and his gaze seemed more lucid too. "Hmm, is that for me?"

"Are you thirsty? Do you want to drink some water?" Li Man asked before calling to Little Five, “Come on, get up and drink some ginger soup. It'll be troublesome if you end up getting sick too."

Little Five only poked his little face out. He looked very embarrassed.

Li Hua pulled Little Five out of his quilt, took the bowl of soup from Li Man, and handed it over to his younger brother. "Drink this while it's still hot."

"Oh." Little Five snuck a glance at Li Man and obediently drank the ginger soup with a blushing face.

Observing this from the side, Li Yan quietly looked at Li Man and asked, "Where's mine?"

"I'll bring you some water." Li Man wasn't bothered by his entitled tone. It was okay to deal with him however she liked when he was healthy, but if he was sick, it would trouble the entire family, not just her. 

Seeing that she was being obediently cute, Li Yan felt satisfied. 

Li Man went back to the kitchen and poured a bowl of water. Just as she was coming out, she saw Li Mo and Li Yan rushing home with worried expressions.

Standing under the eaves, Li Man asked, "Did the doctor not come?"

Li Mo's expression was solemn, but Li Shu couldn't wait to complain, "Don't mention it. The doctor wasn't home, so we went to look for the wise woman, but she wasn't home either. That's why we ended up being delayed with coming home until now."

Li Mo didn't bother with Li Shu. He approached Li Man and asked, “How's second brother?"

"Much better," Li Man said, "Oh, there's still ginger soup in the pot. The two of you should drink some while it's still hot."


Chapter 116 - Fated Marriage String (8)

"I'm going to go look at second brother." Li Mo felt very guilty that he hadn't been able to bring back the doctor. He was worried that his second brother had taken a turn for the worse, but the looming dread finally dissipated once he entered the hut and saw Li Yan sitting on the bed, "Second brother, how are you feeling? Doctor Wang wasn't home, and I'm not sure when he'll returned, but I'll go check his house tomorrow."

"Oldest brother, I feel much better." Li Yan felt bad when he saw that his oldest brother's face was dripping. It was either sweat or raindrops or both.

"That's good." Li Mo came over and touched his forehead to check his temperature. It was still a bit hot, but it wasn't as bad as before. "You're really do seem better." After saying this and seeing that his younger brother was only wearing thin clothing and not even covered up by a quilt, he hurriedly pulled up the quilt to cover him.

But, Li Yan refused. “Oldest brother, wife said it's not necessary."

Li Mo was stunned.

Hearing voices coming from the hut, Li Man came inside with the bowl. She brought the warm water to Li Yan, "Drink some while it's still warm." Then, she explained to Li Mo, "His temperate was too high because of his fever, so he needs to cool down."

Li Mo still didn't understand after hearing these words. Didn't you get better from a fever by sweating? It would be worse if his second brother got a cold on top of his fever from being too cold.

Seeing Li Mo's expression, Li Hua elaborated, “Oldest brother, let's listen to her. Second brother really has gotten much better."

Li Mo was flabbergasted. He looked somewhat incredulously at Li Man. Was it because of her that second brother had gotten better?

At this time, Li Shu had already drank a large bowl of ginger soup in the kitchen and brought over another bowl. "Oldest brother, here. This is the ginger soup that wife cooked. You should drink some."

"Oh." Li Mo took the bowl and deeply looked at Li Man. Warmth and affection flashed through his eyes. "Thank you."

Li Man felt a bit embarrassed by his response. "Why are you being so polite? Hurry, drink the soup before it gets cold. You worked so hard all afternoon. You should take a rest after you drink the soup." As she said this, she looked at Li Mo and Li Shu's muddy feet. With her brow furrowed, she said, "There's warm water left in the kitchen. The two of you should go soak your feet first."

"Soak our feet?" This was the first time that Li Shu heard of such a thing. When their feet became dirty in the past, they would only pour cold water over their feet to clean off the dirt.

Li Man ignored him and said to Li Mo, "I'm going to go wash Little Five's clothes. The two of you should take some warm water to soak your feet. It'll help dispel the lingering cold. Otherwise, you're likely to get sick from walking barefoot outside in the rain all day."

"Okay, I'll listen to wife," said Li Shu.

Li Mo looked embarrassed. He was a grown man. For him to doing something like soaking his feet... Still, he would do it since his wife had asked him.

Once Li Yan and Li Mo had finished drinking water and ginger soup, respectively, Li Man took their bowls back to the kitchen.

Only the Li brothers remained in the hut.

Little Five curled back into his quilt with a happy smile. 

Li Shu walked to the side of the bed and asked Li Yan, "Second brother, how are you feeling now?"

"Much better." His brothers' genuine concern left Li Yan feeling as if his heart was overflowing with warmth.

"That's good then." Li Shu let out a long, comfortable sigh. He and his oldest brother had been feeling anxious and angry that they hadn't been able to bring the doctor back. On the way back, oldest brother had been so worried that he slipped and almost fell into a pond when they passed by it. Fortunately, he had grabbed onto a branch that was by the pond and didn't fall into the water.

Li Mo glanced at Li Yan, then he said to Li Shu, "Alright, third brother, let your second brother rest so that he can recover." As he said this, he tugged his younger brother out of the room with him and headed straight for the kitchen.

Li Shu suddenly remembered. Right, they still had to wash and soak their feet.

Inside the kitchen, Li Man was washing Little Five's clothes. Seeing the two of them coming inside, she said, "I poured the warm water into a bucket. Once you're washed your feet, you're not allowed to keep walking around in barefoot.

"En," Li Mo assented. He picked up the bucket and headed outside. Li Shu hurriedly picked up a basin and followed after him.


Chapter 117 - Fated Marriage String (9)

The two of them first went to the hand pump water well to wash away the dirt on their feet, then they moved the stools over, sat down beneath the eaves, and soaked their feet in the warm water.

The soles of their feet had felt cold and numb from walking barefoot on the muddy paths. Once their feet were soaking in the warm water, they sighed in pleasure.

"Ah, so comfortable." Li Shu let out a deep breath. Turning his head towards the kitchen to look at Li Man, he said, "Wife is the best."

Li Mo slightly smiled. His gaze, which was focused on Li Man, heated up and became increasingly affectionate.


Once she had finished washing the clothes, Li Man moved the bamboo laundry pole from underneath the eaves to her hut. For now, she would hang up Little Five's clothes. She might have to rewash these clothes once the weather was better.

After finishing her work here, she went back to the eastern hut to take a look. She relaxed when she saw that there weren't any signs of Li Yan's fever getting worse. She quietly returned to the kitchen by herself and started to prepare for dinner.

Seeing that his brothers were all in the eastern hut, Li Mo thought about going to the kitchen to help Li Man. However, just as he was going to rush over there, he felt somewhat embarrassed doing so in front of his brothers. After all, even his third brother, Li Shu, wasn't rushing to go over there. If he went over there, would it be too...

Li Hua was sitting on the side of the bed and reading a book. Seeing that Li Mo was lost in thought, he quietly said, "Oldest brother, she doesn't know how to start a fire. You should go help her."

"Ah? Oh." Li Mo flushed in embarrassment. He swept his gaze over Li Yan and Li Shu.

Li Yan had his eyes closed. Li Shu and Little Five were sitting by Li Hua's side and asking him about the book.

"I'll go take a look then," Li Mo quietly said. He hastily headed out as if he worried that Li Shu was going to snatch this chance from him.

They had eaten noodles for lunch, so Li Man had originally wanted to cook something different for dinner. However, Li Yan was sick, and the others had gotten soaked in the rain. She decided that it would better for them to drink soup to warm up their stomachs. And so, she scooped out some flour and kneaded the dough.

The sky was gradually getting darker, and the kitchen slowly became dim too.

Li Mo came into the kitchen and saw that she was kneading dough by the window, so he helpfully lit an oil lamp and placed it by the stove. The warm saffron glow instantly made people feel nice and warm and swept away the rainy day's hazy gloom.

Li Mo walked to her side, slightly turned his head to stare at her sweet, beautiful face from the side. He pretended to casually ask, "We're eating noodles for dinner?"

"Oh, I'm going to make dough drop soup. It'll be easy to digest." Li Man answered as she continued kneading the dough.

(T/N: Below is a picture of dough drop soup.)

"En," Li Mo murmured.  Leaning against the stove, he tried to think of something he could help with.

After Li Man had been kneading the dough for a while, just as she was going to get the ladle to sprinkle some water onto the dough, Li Mo took the initiative of bringing the ladle in front of her.

"Eh?" Li Man was taken aback. "Why didn't you go back to rest?"

A burst of cold wind suddenly came through the partially open window, and the candlewick flickered for a few moments. Li Mo hurriedly used his hand to block the wind while replying, "I'll start a fire."

The kitchen wasn't big to begin with. In addition, the lighting was dim, so when Li Mo stood by her side, he cast a large shadow over her. She suddenly felt an indescribable sense of oppression. "It's okay. I can do this by myself. I'm not going to cook anything else except for the soup."

"Let me to do it." Li Mo glanced at her warmly, then he went over to the lower part of the stove and prepared to start the fire. However, as soon as he got the firewood, he suddenly remembered something and came back.

Seeing him suddenly approaching her with a tense expression and a heated gaze, Li Man felt panicky. "Is there something else?"

Li Mo suddenly didn't dare to keep looking at her. Instead, he took out the fated marriage string that he had hidden in his clothes all day. He pressed it into her hand. "This... It's for you."

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