Li Ji didn’t even spare a glance at Zhang-mama.

Ever since Hua Manman was injured, his eyes never strayed from her body.

Hua Manman thought he was worried about herself, so she said hurriedly:

“The wound isn’t deep, it’s okay.
I’ll be fine once I go home and apply some medicine.”

Li Ji stared directly into her eyes and heard the sound of her inner voice loud and clear:

Hiss! It hurts so bad! That hairpin has never been sterilized before, is there a chance that I’ll get tetanus? Am I going to die from this? wu wu wuu1!

“I don’t need you to save me.
Don’t do stupid things like this again in the future,” Li Ji said coldly.

Hua Manman shut her mouth, aggrieved.

Truth be told, she’s not a very kind person.
Just now she had acted purely out of instinct; her body was already moving by the time her rational brain finally caught up.

But if she had known in advance that she wouldn’t a single word of thanks for saving someone, then she wouldn’t have said she was okay just now.

Wuwuwu, this wound really hurts!

Li Ji ignored Zhang-mama, who was still begging for mercy, and gave a cold order:

“Let’s go back.”

Because Hua Manman’s arm was injured, the duty of pushing Li Ji’s wheelchair fell upon Chen Wangbei.

Before leaving, Li Ji took one last look at the two words written at the top of the arch, “Hai Yan”, meaning “Calm Ocean”.

When his father had written those two words, his father had told Li Ji seriously:

“Ji’er1, as ministers who serve the people, our most important duty is to assist the Emperor so that the Yellow River is clear and the oceans are calm, to achieve peace under the heavens.”

Now his words are still etched in stone, but his father himself has turned into a pile of bones.

And the warmth that once lingered in this yard has already withered away.

… …

After returning to Zhao-wang‘s household, Hua Manman rolled up her sleeves, revealing the wound on her arm.

The wound was not deep, but it was quite long, and bled quite a bit.
The flesh along the edge of the wound was slightly turned outward, which looked a bit scary.

The household’s official doctor carefully helped her clean the wound and wrapped it with a gauze.

Siyun accompanied the household doctor out so that she could also retrieve medicine.

Hua Manman pulled down her sleeve.
When she raised her head, she saw that Zhao-wang was still looking at her.

“I need to change my clothes,” she said, standing up.
“Wangye, please make yourself comfortable.”

Li Ji didn’t move, instead quietly watching as she went around the screen and entered the inner room.

Through the screen, he could vaguely make out the outline of her figure.

She took off the clothes on her body one-by-one, and the curves on her figure became more and more clear.

But Li Ji’s mind wasn’t filled with such charming thoughts.

Instead, his mind was full of the image of Hua Manman protecting him just now.

This woman was obviously very weak, and couldn’t even properly protect herself, yet she had the guts to stand up and protect him at that time.

She really has no self-awareness at all.

Even if a fool like her is sold off by someone, she might just turn around and help pay off their debts3.

Facing the direction of the screen, he cursed in a low voice:

“How stupid…”

Hua Manman changed into a clean dress.
She was still in a daze when she walked around the screen and heard Zhao-wang saying something, but his voice was too low for her to hear clearly.

She couldn’t help but ask:

“What did Wangye say just now?”

Li Ji leaned back.

“Although you are foolish,” he said lazily, “I have always been very clear about rewards and punishments.
Just now, you blocked an attack for me.
Whatever reward you want, just say it.”

Hua Manman never expected to actually be rewarded.

She automatically filtered out the sarcastic jibe from Zhao-wang earlier and immediately began to think.
What sort of reward should she ask for?

Out of the corner of her eye, she caught a glimpse of the bamboo couch nearby and an idea immediately came to mind.

“Wangye, could I have some soft bedding? This bamboo couch is too hard, it’s honestly uncomfortable to sleep on.”

Li Ji really didn’t expect her request to be so small.

He stared into Hua Manman’s eyes.
He wanted to see the truth.
Was this really what she wanted? Or was this a ploy, to act coy while seeking greater benefits?

But even though he stared at her for a long time, he couldn’t hear any calculating thought running through her mind.

She really did just want softer bedding.

Hua Manman couldn’t help but feel anxious when she saw that Li Ji was silent.

“Is it not possible?”





wu wu = a common Chinese onomatopoeia for sobbing. Adding ‘er to a name is a common affectionate nickname in Chinese. Idiom, meaning that she’s easily taken advantage of.

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