Fortunate Wife

Chapter 14

Chapter 14 – Teenager

“Fourth brother,” Li Xiaowu called out while running to Li Hua’s side like a little bird with his arms out to hug his older brother.

Curious, Li Man turned her head to look and saw a sixteen-year-old teenager. He was lightly patting Xiaowu’s head. With a slight smile on his lips, he said, “Xiaowu, you’ve gotten taller again.”

A tall figure, a handsome and elegant face, and a worn out dark blue robe. It had been washed so many times that it was starting lose its color, but it was clean and properly mended. He also had a grey satchel.

Li Xiaowu happily took his older brother’s satchel from him and put it on himself to carry it. Then, he stood on his toes and whispered something into his fourth brother’s ear.

Li Hua turned his head and looked at Li Man with a slight smile. Then, holding his younger brother’s hand, he walked to her side.

Li Man suddenly felt a bit nervous. Who was this teenager?

“Xiaowu told me everything. It’s been hard on you.” His voice sounded young and sweet. It seemed that he hadn’t gone through his adolescent voice changed yet.

Li Man felt confused. Li Xiaowu was peaking out from behind his fourth brother and smiling at her too.

Li Hua thought she was just feeling shy and uneasy, so he held his younger brother’s hand and went inside the eastern hut.

Li Man looked in that direction. The door was open for the eastern hut, but Li Man couldn’t see what they were doing inside.

Anyways, was this teenager also part of their family?

Thinking of their somewhat similar appearances, Li Man though the answer was a definite yes. But, a family of five brothers, that seemed a bit too much.

The sun was about to set behind the mountain soon. The bed sheets and quilt covering that she had hanged in the courtyard had finished drying a while ago. The quilt was also nice and warm from absorbing the sun’s rays. Li Man brought them inside and spread them over the heated bed in the western hut. After that, it was time for her to mend the quilt.

Mending the quilts turned out much more difficult than Li Man had expected. She had originally though that once she had a needle and thread, it would be the same as mending clothes. But just piercing the needle through the quilt once took strenuous effort, and it took the effort a baby exerted to drink milk to pull the needle out on the other side. On her first attempt, she ended up using too much force to pull the needle through and ended up messing up the covering for the quilt, so she had pulled it back into the correct position again.

The next three stitches went as badly as the first one. By this time, she did the fourth stitch, Li Man was exhausted, and her forehead was covered in sweat. Moreover, her fingers ached. The quilt was very thick to begin with. Combined with two layers that were wrapped around it, she had to exert all the strength in her fingers in order to pull the needle and thread through it. After a few times of doing this, her thumb and finger had been rubbed red.

But, she had been the one that took this apart. It would be unreasonable if she didn’t sew it back together.

Gritting her teeth, Li Man continued to sew and silently scolded herself for being meddlesome.

“Ah!” A moment of carelessness and the needle pierced her finger. Beads of dark red blood dripped out.

A pleasant sounding male voice asked, “What’s wrong?”

Before Li Man could react, that tall and thin teenager had put her finger into his mouth and was sucking on it.

Li Man was overwhelmed for a moment. To her surprise, her face flushed and her heart was beating faster.

“It’s okay now.” Li Hua let go of her finger. Looking at the crooked sewing she had done, he chuckled and said, “Let me do it.”

He took out a thimble from a bamboo basket and covered his right thumb with it, then he picked up the needle and started to skillfully and nimbly mend the quit, stitch by stitch.

Li Man felt struck dumb by this sight. There shouldn’t be such a big difference, right?

And yet, this handsome teenager that had a sparkling appearance was sitting in front of her and holding a needle and thread in his long, slender fingers. In and out of the quilt, the needle and thread left behind a fine and graceful line of stitches.

His expression looked focused, and his movements were skilled. His eyes were focused on looking at the quilt, and his long eyelashes were naturally curling up a bit. His slender cheeks were slightly red, his lips were tightly pressed together…

After he was done with the thread, he raised his hand and lightly bit the thread to break it off.

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