People Must Bow their Heads Under the Eaves1
While Hua Manman was sleeping soundly, she suddenly felt a sense of crisis, as if she were being targeted by some ferocious beast.
She was so frightened that she opened her eyes immediately.
It just so happened that the first thing that greeted her sight was a pair of long and narrow eyes that were as black as ink.
Li Ji was just quietly sitting in his wheelchair, silently staring at her.
It was impossible to tell how long he had been there for.
Upon seeing her open her eyes, a please smile slowly bloomed across his face.
“Are you awake?”
The sense of crisis in Hua Manman’s heart gradually dissipated, but she didn’t completely let go of her vigilance.
She sat up, clutching her quilt in her hands, and looked out the window.
She saw that the sky had only just started to lighten with dawn’s morning rays.
There were no clocks here so she couldn’t tell what time it was exactly, but she could guess that it was almost six in the morning.
That means it’s been no more than three hours since she fell asleep.
Only three hours!
Even the evil exploiter, Zhou Bapi, in the story “The Rooster Crows at Midnight”2 wouldn’t abuse people like this!
The corners of Hua Manman’s mouth twitched, revealing a business smile that’s standard for people in the working class.
“Wangye, why did you wake up so early?”
Li Ji was still wearing that snow-colored undergarment tunic.
That image, coupled with his long black hair scattered behind him, gave off a lazy and casual impression.
“Is this early?” he said slowly.
“I always got up at this time in the army.
in the future, you must become accustomed to waking up this time.”
Hua Manman’s smile froze at the thought of having to wake up at the crack of dawn every morning.
This man must be deliberately making things difficult for her! Right, right, right?!
She used to think that she would be able to start a new life by avoiding entering the emperor’s imperial harem as a concubine.
Yet unexpectedly she leapt out of the tiger’s den only to jump into the wolf’s cave!
Life is not easy, Manman let out a sigh.
Li Ji could hear her thoughts clearly and the corners of his mouth could not help but curl upwards as his amusement became more obvious.
“In a little while, I will go to the Duke’s estate to greet my mother,” he said with a smile.
“You are required to go with me.”
Zhao Wang‘s mother was Rou Wan Junzhu, a princess of the third rank, and was also the wife of Duke Zhen.
Duke Zhen had passed away five years ago.
Now Rou Wan Junzhu was living as a widow within the Duke’s household, and rumors were saying that she was not in good health.
On regular days she rarely leaves the estate and shows her face.
Even yesterday, although Zhao Wang‘s household held a marriage ceremony, she never showed up once from beginning to end.
Because Hua Manman is going to see her mother-in-law soon, she can’t afford to delay.
She hurriedly got up from the bed and called someone in to come wait upon them for dressing up and washing.
Li Ji refused to be served by the maids, and instead his long and narrow phoenix eyes just stared unblinkingly at Hua Manman.
His intent was clear.
Hua Manman: “…….”
Whatever, everyone has to bow their heads under the eaves.
She couldn’t divorce her husband, so she could only walk over resignedly and personally serve Zhao Wang as she helped change his clothes.
When the maids saw this scene, they were all secretly surprised.
They had heard the rumors that Hua Ruren had jumped into the lake to commit suicide in an attempt to avoid getting married to Zhao Wang.
Considering Zhao Wang‘s tendency to seek revenge for even the smallest grievance, there was no way he would let Hua Ruren off easily.
Once she passed that door into his house, there would be no good fruits for her to eat in the future.
But looking at how the two of them seemed to get along in front of the maids, Zhao Wang was obviously very satisfied with Hua Ruren.
The maids decided they needed to re-evaluate this Hua Ruren.
As someone capable of taking care of and winning over Zhao Wang, who was infamous for his volatile temperament, in just one night, this Hua Ruren must be incredible!
After dressing and washing, Hua Manman pushed Li Ji to the dining room for breakfast.
If nothing else, at least the meals in the Zhao Wang household were good.
Looking at all the delicious dishes set upon the table, Hua Manman’s worries and grievances seemed to melt away.
She picked up a bowl and a pair of chopsticks and was just about to dig in when she saw Gao Shan, the housekeeper of the Zhao Wang estate, walking in.
He carried a bowl of medicinal soup with him.
Gao Shan placed the steaming bowl of medicinal of soup in front of Zhao Wang.
“Wangye, this is your medicine,” he said respectfully.
“The imperial physician said to drink it before meals.”
(End of Chapter)
People must duck their heads under the eaves = an idiom to say that if you need help from someone, you must bow your head towards that person/ask subserviently. The Rooster Crows at Midnight = a short story in which farmers work under a(n evil) landlord named Zhou Bapi.
At midnight the roosters would crow, so the farmers would have to go out to work, since roosters usually only crow at dawn.
If they didn’t work, Zhou Bapi would get upset.
One day a farmer decided to keep watch to see why the roosters were crowing at night, and realized that it was because Zhou Bapi himself was going in to rouse the roosters and make them crow.
The farmers all get upset and rebel and get revenge.
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