Chapter 50: Request
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Seeing Mu Yangling return home with a bag of millet, Shu Wanniang couldn’t help but be surprised. “Why did you buy so much?”...
“Since I have to buy it sooner or later, I’ll feel at ease if 1 buy it earlier.”
Mu Yangling put the things away. When she came out, she was stopped by Shu Wanniang. “I made clothes for you guys. Come and see if they fit.” “Mother, didn’t Father forbid you from doing needlework? You’re pregnant now. It’s not good for your eyes.”
Shu Wanniang only smiled and pulled her daughter over to try. “Your brother has already tried it. Come and try yours too. I’ll see if there’s anywhere that needs to be altered.”
Mu Yangling obediently put on the clothes for Shu Wanniang to see. Shu Wanniang nodded and smiled. “1’11 help you tighten the sleeves a little.” At this point, she was a little disappointed. Looking at her daughter’s handsome facial features, she said, “Ah Ling, you’ll definitely look good in wide-sleeved clothes. But you’re as mischievous as a monkey…” It was also because of this that Shu Wanniang always made narrow-sleeved clothes for Mu Yangling.
“Wide sleeves impede movement. When I enter the forest, they’ll hook onto branches and rocks and cause the clothing to be ruined.” Mu Yangling took off her clothes for her mother before running to the kitchen to look for food. “Mother, what are we eating for lunch?”
“Your aunt just sent over a sausage. 1 will fry it for you in a while. Now, go and find your brother first.”
Mu Yangling agreed and ran to Goudan’s house to look for her brother.
In the afternoon, the siblings did not go anywhere. They just sat at home practicing calligraphy and studying. Mu Yangling also had to learn needlework.
The two uncles of the Liu family only returned when the sun was about to set. There were still eight rabbits left from the twenty-odd rabbits they had brought out, but they were already very happy. After dividing the rabbits, they returned home.
Since someone saw them coming back with rabbits, when it was time to eat at night, everyone in the village knew that Mu Yangling had brought her uncles into the mountains.
It wasn’t so bad for the others. Although they would say some jealous words, they were still relatives, and there was an unwritten agreement in the past. Besides, it was Mu Yangling who brought Liu Ting and the rest into the mountains, not Mu Shi. Hence, they merely felt jealous and that was it.
However, Mu Yangling’s third great-aunt, Madam Fang-Liu, was indignant. Immediately after finding out, she smashed the basin at home and said hatefully, “Such blatant favoritism. They even know to send things over to West Mountain Village. Why aren’t they taking care of their great-aunt from the same village?”
“What’s so difficult about that? I’ll go look for that little girl from the Mu family tomorrow and ask her to bring me and my younger brother into the mountains. You’re her great-aunt. How dare she not listen to you?” Fang Zhuzi said.
Madam Fang-Liu rolled her eyes and clapped. “Good son, you’re the smartest. 1’11 look for her tomorrow morning. No matter what, I’ll make sure she brings you guys into the mountain, too.”
Madam Fang-Zhao glanced at her mother-in-law and whispered, “I heard that Ah Ling was the one who brought up the matter of entering the mountain. Is it a good idea for us to go to her like this?”
“What’s wrong with that?” Madam Fang-Liu scolded her. “You may not care for our family, but can’t you let me improve our family’s life? Speaking of which, Madam Liu-Zhao is actually your older sister. Yet, I don’t see her helping you much. To think she didn’t even say anything about entering the mountains. Why do we have a daughter-in-law like you…”
Madam Fang-Zhao shrank her neck and did not dare to speak again.
Madam Fang-Liu only stopped ranting when she got tired.
The next morning, Mu Yangling checked the doors and windows before carrying her brother to her mother’s room. She placed him on her bed and whispered, “Mother, I’ve already closed the doors and windows. You guys can continue sleeping for a while more.”
The pregnant Shu Wanniang was sleepy, so she responded in a daze and hugged her son slightly before falling asleep again.
Little Bowen was even more soundly asleep and did not move throughout.
Smiling, Mu Yangling took her bow and arrow, then carried the basket on her back and went out. At this moment, there was already light in the sky, but the sun had yet to appear. There was not even morning light.
Mu Yangling narrowed her eyes and looked over. She could only see someone walking towards her not far away. When they got closer, she realized that something was wrong. It was not four people, but seven.
Mu Yangling frowned.
As Liu Ting approached, he said awkwardly, “Ah Ling, we met Aunt on the way…”
“Ah Ling, since you’re bringing your uncles into the mountains, bring your other two uncles too.” Madam Fang-Liu interrupted Liu Ting and took a step forward. “Your two great-uncles aren’t doing so well, as am 1.1 know you’re a kind child. Since you’re bringing them in anyway, why don’t you bring two more people? I’ll cook delicious food for you later.”
Mu Yangling snorted coldly and took a step back, before rejecting her flatly. “I’ll only bring my four uncles. I can’t afford to bring my other two uncles along. Third Great-aunt, it’s better for you to leave.” With that said, she said to Liu Ting and company, “Let’s go.”
Madam Fang-Liu’s expression was ugly. She couldn’t help but question loudly, “How can you speak to your elders like this? It’s no trouble at all, isn’t it? Since you’re bringing your four uncles, why can’t you bring two more uncles?”
Fang Zhuzi and Fang Genzi also stared at Mu Yangling viciously with obvious displeasure.
Liu Ting frowned, annoyance evident on his face. He could not help but step forward to stand in front of Mu Yangling. “Aunt, are you asking the Mu family to bring you into the mountains?”
Madam Fang-Liu was stunned for a moment before jumping up. “Don’t spout nonsense. When did I say that?”
“Then why are you being so aggressive now? Ah Ling was the one who offered to let us follow her into the mountains. And now, she just said she doesn’t want to bring you guys along.” Liu Ting looked straight at Madam Fang-Liu. “Aunt, if you continue to ask, I can only invite my father over.”
Madam Fang-Liu’s face was ashen. The people from Nearhill Village were forbidden from asking the Mu Family to bring them into the mountains. If they insisted on doing so, they had to pay a remuneration that was more than 30% of the proceeds. This was the established rule in the village.
Mu Yangling pushed Liu Ting away and faced Madam Fang-Liu. “I don’t know what agreement Nearhill Village has with the Mu Family. I don’t want to bring you along simply because I don’t like you.”
Liu Xuan stomped his feet and shouted, “All Ling, what nonsense are you talking about?”
The four uncles felt that Mu Yangling was too straightforward. Even Mu Shi had never been so honest.
However, Mu Yangling snorted and continued, “Your Fang family has been bullying me since I was young. You even bullied my mother from time to time, Third Great-aunt. I’d have to be out of my mind to bring you guys into the mountains. Moreover, those two uncles aren’t obedient people. If anything happens to them in the forest, you’ll tear me apart. Therefore, I can bring anyone into the mountains but not you people.”
As she spoke, she turned around and was about to leave when she saw Madam Fang-Liu glaring at her with hatred. Mu Yangling thought for a moment before saying, “If you dare to bully my mother and younger brother when my father and 1 aren’t around, I’ll dare to smash your house when I come back. If you don’t believe it, try me.”
With a slight frown, Liu Ting said, “Aunt, Shi Tou treasures his wife very much. He’ll be home by noon today.”
Madam Fang-Liu’s chest was heaving up and down rapidly. She pointed at her nephews and said hatefully, “Alright, alright. You’re bullying us orphans and widow, right? 1’11 go to the village chief and complain about you.” As she spoke, she turned around and left in a hurry with her sons.
Liu Yuan frowned. “Cousin, are they really going to look for the village chief?”
“It’s fine. Even if they do look for the village chief, we’ll have no problem defending ourselves. Let’s go. The morning sun is already out.” Liu Ting took the lead to follow Mu Yangling, but he sighed inwardly. He knew that this could very well be one of the last times they entered the mountain like this.
Even if Ah Ling took the initiative to bring them into the mountain, it was too eye-catching and triggered jealousy in too many people. For the sake of peace in the village, their father would probably not agree to let them follow Ah Ling into the mountain again.
This, too, occurred to Mu Yangling, making her feel frustrated..