Her voice remained soft, not even sounding like a question, delivered in a flat tone as if she were asking what to eat tonight.
However, Wang Shi shivered suddenly, raising her eyes to look at Liu Yu, and the shock and anger that had surged in her heart were suddenly diminished by more than half when she saw her eldest daughter’s teary eyelashes, and her strength drained away.
Liu Yu hadn’t asked her such a question in a long time. As far as she remembered, apart from when she was young and sought refuge when she felt wronged, asking where her own father was, and later, probably because she never got an answer and knew she didn’t like it, she hadn’t asked since she was seven or eight years old.
Wang Shi suddenly felt flustered, she could scold Liu Yan all day long for her talkativeness, but Liu Yu, who had never asked, spoke up for the first time in these years, leaving Wang Shi unable to say a word.
Someone behind them sneered, and Liu Yan pushed open the door and walked in, looking at Wang Shi and Liu Yu in the room, with a mocking smile, and said in a sarcastic tone, “That’s right, how could a person possibly pop out of a crack in a rock? Mother, why don’t you tell Liu Yu about her biological father, what kind of person he is, where he’s from, whether he’s alive or dead?”
Her eyes kept darting back and forth between Wang and Liu Yu. “I’ve always been curious. Liu Yu doesn’t look much like you, Mother, not like you at all. So, she must resemble her father. What does Liu Yu’s biological father look like?”
Liu Yan entered, waiting to see the commotion caused by her provocative words. Wang Shi was startled, and her back felt a chill. Her eldest daughter’s tears were now ignored. She moved swiftly, almost pouncing towards the door behind Liu Yan. With a loud “bang,” she bolted the door and then turned to fiercely grip Liu Yan’s arm. “Are you here to settle scores? I’m your real mother. Are you unable to bear to see any good in me, is that it?”
The fierceness on her face made Wang Shi want to strangle her if she wasn’t her biological daughter.
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“Zsw’al bwavkdt xl!” Nkw Zyd nshlale bla vbascckdt yax, bla obszl clkdt lmrzsekdt okvb ydtla, yde bla hsknl kdpvydvzu talo zswela.
Ebld Nkw Iydtpbldt oyp yv bsxl, obldlhla Nkw Zyd’p hsknl lpnyzyvle, Eydt Fbk oswze wpwyzzu pvkqzl bla ydtla yde nsxrasxkpl, dlhla qykzkdt vs es ps. Tsolhla, vbkp vkxl, vbkdtp eked’v ts yp rzyddle. Gp Nkw Zyd’p hsknl aspl, Eydt Fbk wdlmrlnvlezu vwadle yde elzkhlale y alpswdekdt pzyr vs Nkw Zyd’p qynl.
G zswe pxynj lnbsle vbaswtb vbl assx, nywpkdt Nkw Zyd’p ldvkal qynl vs pbkqv vs vbl pkel. Fbl oyp pvwddle, yde Nkw Zw oyp yzps kd pbsnj.
Eydt Fbk’p cseu valxczle zktbvzu, yde pbl pvyale yv Nkw Zyd okvb y alpvaykdle hsknl, elzkhlakdt y pvlad oyadkdt, “R’zz pyu kv ytykd: pvsr cakdtkdt wr xu alxyaakytl, yde esd’v xldvksd vbyv uswa pkpvla kp dsv ckszstknyzzu alzyvle vs wp. Zsw nayozle swv sq xu osxc, yde fwpv clnywpl R’x dsv eskdt olzz, usw vbkdj usw nyd byhl yd lypu zkql?”
Nkw Zyd nshlale bla pzyrrle qynl, kdnalewzswpzu zssjkdt yv Eydt Fbk, obspl lmralppksd bye vwadle qlasnkswp. “Zsw eyal vs bkv xl?”
“R bkv usw, ps obyv! Gal usw tskdt vs zssj qsa uswa qyvbla ytykd? Ps usw vbkdj uswa qyvbla kp okzzkdt vs zkpvld vs uswa dsdpldpl? Qs yblye, yde zlv uswa qyvbla tkhl usw y pzyr vss.”
Nkw Zyd pbkhlale, yde yzxspv wdnsdpnkswpzu, pbl alvalyvle vsoyaep vbl essa clbkde bla.
Eydt Fbk vwadle yaswde, bla qlasnkswp lmralppksd pvkzz dsv alzymle. Rd bla lulp, obld pbl zssjle yv Nkw Zw, vblal oyp ds zsdtla ydu oyaxvb, cwv ayvbla y nszedlpp vbyv oyp ekqqknwzv vs ekpvkdtwkpb.
“You don’t need to feel wronged. You have to accept whatever fate God has given you. The most important thing for a woman is to be modest. I see you’ve been going to town too often lately, and your temperament has become wild. Whether you learn embroidery fast or slow, from now on, you’re only allowed to go out every other day. Apart from the heavy chores your father orders, you shouldn’t neglect any of your duties.”
With that, she pushed past Liu Yan, who was leaning against the door, and went out.
Liu Yu stood there in a daze, lost in a jumble of memories and time, as if the faces of Wang Shi from when she was six or seven years old and from when she was eight or nine years old had all merged into one.
She straightened her clothes, showing no sign of being flustered, and with the same icy expression, she repeated the same piercing words, “The most important thing for a woman is to be modest, Ah Yu. Collecting firewood, cooking, feeding the chickens, tending to the pigs, and washing clothes are your duties. Showing your face in town is not. It will only make you wild. Remember that.”
Liu Yan, who had never been scolded like this before, burst into tears while covering her face. She cried for a few moments but then thought of Wang Shi’s earlier madness and, with lingering fear, managed to hold back her sobs. While choking back her tears, she turned to Liu Yu and said in a tearful voice, “Why did you mention your real father? Didn’t you see how crazy she was just now? Like a completely different person, a lunatic! A lunatic!”
The Wang Shi she had just witnessed was completely different from her usual self. Liu Yan felt hurt and wronged but was too scared to cry loudly or go to her father, Liu Kangsheng, for help. The arrogance of the legitimate daughter of the Liu family, which she usually liked to display in front of Liu Yu, had completely disappeared at this moment.
Liu Yu was brought back to her thoughts by Liu Yan’s sobbing. She closed her eyes.
Yes, she also wanted to know what happened to her biological father…
Not just her biological father, she couldn’t even mention her maternal family. It was as if she and Wang Shi were truly mother and daughter who had emerged from the cracks in the stones – people without any roots.
The next day, Liu Yu didn’t step out of the Liu family’s home. There was a certain gloomy and frenzied quality in Wang Shi that seemed to have been released yesterday after the confrontation with Liu Yan. Although most of the time, she appeared to be the same submissive woman, Liu Yu knew better.
Because that feeling was all too familiar. It was the Wang Shi from many years ago, the one she had almost forgotten in her memories, the one who had occasionally instilled fear in her during her childhood.
Liu Yu chose not to touch Wang Shi’s inexplicably sensitive nerves and kept herself locked in her room at home. When there were people around, she would engage in small talk or practice embroidery with Wen Shi. When she was alone, she quietly did some embroidery work. Apart from not having to go out to do heavy chores, her life seemed to have returned to its previous routine.
Even the usually rambunctious Liu Yan settled down, which was rare. This was because yesterday evening, when Liu Kangsheng saw her still-swollen half-face, he didn’t ask a single question. Liu Yan finally believed that Wang Shi’s words weren’t an empty threat. She dared not stir up trouble, as her father might genuinely give her another slap. Though she felt extremely sad, she learned to behave and no longer dared to use Liu Yu’s background to provoke Wang Shi.
Liu Yu had no trouble adapting to not leaving the house for a day. However, Wen Shi, who was learning embroidery from Liu Yu, became anxious.
The commotion caused by Liu Yan and Wang Shi that day was brief, and it happened during the midday nap, when everything was quiet. Living in the same house, they couldn’t have truly heard nothing, especially after seeing Liu Yan’s face in the evening.
In Wen Shi’s view, Liu Yan getting slapped was foolish and self-inflicted, but since it was affecting Liu Yu and preventing her from going to town often, what about her embroidery?
This younger sister had such a beautiful appearance, and although she hardly left the village before, her beauty had not gone unnoticed. Young men from neighboring villages and matchmakers had set their eyes on her. Now that she was fifteen, as long as someone offered enough dowry, their father would not hesitate to marry her off. If she got married, could she still count on Liu Yu to teach her the craft?
Wen Shi realized she would soon give birth, and during the postpartum period, she couldn’t do any needlework. After that, she would be busy taking care of the child, leaving no opportunity to learn.
Having thought through this, she deliberately asked when Liu Kangsheng and Wang Shi were both present, in a casual tone, “Ah Yu, why didn’t you go to town today?”
Liu Yu simply smiled and replied, “I need to work on some embroidery. I’ve been going to town a lot recently, and I haven’t had much time for embroidery. Besides, there’s plenty of household chores, and I can’t leave them all to my sisters-in-law.”
The words sounded dignified, but the truth was known to everyone in the household.
Wang Shi glanced at Liu Kangsheng and said, “I mean, learning embroidery is a good thing, but there’s no need to go out every day. It wouldn’t be good for our family’s reputation. The household chores still need to be done.”
With this matter brought into the open, Wen Shi found it easier to respond. She sighed and said, “Mother is a bit too strict with our elder sister. What household chores are there for Ah Yu to do? Second Sister-in-law and I can handle them. Besides, when it comes to embroidery, there’s no hurry, is there? Ah Yu can learn embroidery skills a bit earlier, and then teach me too. The two of us can do embroidery work together, and it’s a faster way to earn money than sewing.”
Lin Shi, who was on the sidelines, didn’t get a chance to say anything before being implicated by Wen Shi. Seeing the size of Wen Shi’s belly, which was bigger than a washbasin, Lin Shi was so infuriated that she felt like spitting in Wen Shi’s face. Wen Shi was quick to make excuses, but she couldn’t do much work with a belly that big, and that would mean than all the work would be pushed onto Lin Shi.
Unfortunately, with Liu Kangsheng, their father, present, she not only couldn’t disagree but had to echo Wen Shi’s words, saying, “Exactly, we can handle all the household chores. Elder sister should focus on learning embroidery. There’s no need to worry about the home.”
After saying this, she felt like she was choking on her own words.
Wang Shi paid no attention to the flattering words of her two daughters-in-law. She understood her husband’s temperament best. Liu Yu was not his child, and he couldn’t stand seeing her idle.
Wang Shi maintained her composure.
However, Liu Kangsheng spoke up, saying, “If you need to go, then go. The household chores won’t suffer without you.”
Although anyone could handle the household chores, there wasn’t much time for Liu Yu to teach embroidery to Wen Shi.
The teacup in Wang Shi’s hand nearly slipped.
Liu Kangsheng had spoken, but Liu Yu didn’t nod in agreement. Instead, she looked at Wang Shi.
Wang Shi’s fingers tightened around the handle of the teacup suddenly, but she maintained a smiling face and said, “Your father said you can go, so you can.”
Liu Yu then nodded, half-closing her eyelids, and replied, “Yes.”
It was clearly a spring afternoon, but every corner of the Liu family’s house seemed to stifle her, making her feel more suffocated than the sultry summer days.
Sansukini: Her stepfather just wants to milk her for her worth before he sells her. And also, this isn’t exactly a CInderella story, although it seemed a little like it. I also want to release some extra chapters to speed things up, but I’m still trying to find the time to translate more. Maybe I’d be able to release extra chapters next week.
There are so many novels I want to translate but I have so little time. The next novel to be translated would be an interstellar novel, following the end of Hello, Mr, Zhou, and after that would be a wonderful military novel that I’ve just finished reading. Don’t you guys feel like there are too much CEO novels? I recently found an author that gushes out novels like Julie Garwood. One of my favorite authors, although the last books she had released felt like they’re written by ghostwriters already (they don’t have the same heartfelt feeling when you read them). Imagine that, a Julie Garwood cnovel. Hehehe. I saw that it was also adapted to a drama series but I haven’t seen it. The Interstellar novel is also a military genre, btw, But mainly romance and spy thriller..
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