Chapter 10: The Xiao Family
Translated by Sakura Time
Now that Wang Wei said so, Wang Mu lowered her eyelids and said no more.
The Wangs’ New Year’s Eve dinner is finally a little sumptuous. The rice was steamed with cornmeal mixed with new rice, and each person receives two steamed buns made of white flour. A large platter of fried beef, a large plate of eggs, and stewed pickled cabbage noodles with bones have been served.
Unfortunately, even the nicest things in the Wang family couldn’t entice Xiao Xiao to swallow them. She simply ate the steamed bun in silence without touching the others.
Wang Wei watched anxiously at the side: Why don’t you eat such good food? He touched Xiao Xiao, signaling her to take the dish, but Xiao Xiao shook her head, saying she would just eat the steamed bun.
Wang Wei had no choice but to put his own food into Xiao Xiao’s bowl. Xiao Xiao wanted to refuse, but when she thought of Wang Wei’s meal size, she acquiesced.
Zhao Yan looked sour again: “Fourth, do you really need to do that? Sister-in-law is not without hands. If she wants to eat, she can just grab it herself, right?”
Wang Wei opened his mouth to retaliate, but was held down by Xiao Xiao, “Sister-in-law is right, I’ll do it myself.” Thinking about it, she was really wrong in thinking that she shouldn’t take her share of the food. Anyway, she could just leave her leftovers to Wang Wei.
So Xiao Xiao began to frequently clip a piece or two of every dish, and also specifically the meat dishes.
Zhao Yan’s mouth twitched. She shouldn’t have said too much.
Except for Xiao Xiao, the Wangs’ bowls are as clean as if they were washed after the meal. Her rice bowl was still brimming with food. Xiao Xiao pushed her bowl to Wang Wei in front of everyone, as if no one was looking, and said, “You eat them. I’m already full.”
Why would you put such a large amount of food in your bowl if you couldn’t eat that much? How could you squander that much food?” Wang Mu admonished calmly, while Wang Ying stared at the meat in Xiao Xiao’s bowl and skimmed her lips: “Yes, even Shandong and Shanxi know they can’t waste food.” The children in the family, according to their age, are called Shannan, Shanxi, and Shandong.
Xiao Xiao blinked: “This is my own share of food, ah. It won’t really be a waste since I’ll give them to my… man. ” Xiao Xiao paused for a moment, her face red, signaling to everyone that she was very shy about saying the word ‘man’: “What’s the problem? My two sisters-in-law clipped food for their kids. You, too, shared your food with little sister Wang Ying.” Then she opened her eyes and looked at everyone innocently.
Wang Wei’s heart began to throb as he saw Xiao Xiao thinking about him and protecting him. It was as though a massive ripple had begun to form in a calm lake.
Xiao Xiao’s voice was soft, not too loud, and not in a rush, as one would expect from a female. Others couldn’t argue with what she said, but Zhao Yan couldn’t help herself: “You really are good with words! Your mouth is extremely slippery! Know what you can and can’t do!”
Wang Wei took the bowl of rice “earned” by Xiao Xiao for him and finished it at an extremely slow speed that had never been seen before.
The following meals, with the exception of the New Year’s Eve feast, were not as lavish, though they were still better than usual. Every time they eat, Xiao Xiao swiftly pulls her share of the dish onto her plate. She then pushes it to Wang Wei, as she is still struggling to eat and can only eat a small portion.
The Wang family who watched this scene were all silent. Who doesn’t take a bite of food these days? Is Xiao Xiao a fool? She was starving herself and giving all her meals to her man…
No one believes Xiao Xiao’s claim that she can’t eat. The New Year’s food was so good, if she couldn’t even eat those, then what else could she eat? Besides, the life of the Xiao family was much more difficult than that of the Wangs’. They hadn’t heard of Xiao Xiao being this picky about food when she was at her old house!
Wang Laoda grumbled about Zhao Yan when they returned to their room that night, which instantly sparked Zhao Yan’s temper. The couple had a fight in the house. Wang Laoda argued that he didn’t know if Zhao Yan really loved him at all. She didn’t leave anything for him every time she ate, and often pulled things from his bowl. His remarks made Zhao Yan even more angry. “You still have the face to say that I ate the food in your bowl by myself? Didn’t I give it to Shandong and Shanxi? Aren’t they our children? You only know how to complain! Didn’t you see how Fourth helped his wife cook? Why do you always act like the master of the house! You couldn’t even hold a broom!”
The house was full of cats and dogs. Wang Fu finally could not stand it anymore and reprimanded them outside.
Even Wang Wei questioned whether it was because Xiao Xiao adored him so much that she would rather go hungry than deny him food. As a result, Wang Wei made Xiao Xiao eat as well. But he didn’t dare feed Xiao Xiao again after seeing her vomit.
Xiao Xiao leaned against his shoulder with red eyes and whispered, “Don’t feed me anymore, just eat. Look how thin you are. And you know, I really can’t eat much…” In order to win his trust completely, she deliberately blurred some points, and as for what Wang Wei would think, it was entirely up to him.
When she said this, Wang Wei believed that Xiao Xiao had deliberately saved something for him to eat. His throat choked, and his eyes turned slightly red. He disappeared early the next morning and didn’t come back until the afternoon, bringing back two fish for Xiao Xiao.
The fish is fresh, and Wang Wei’s grilling skills are also very good. Xiao Xiao didn’t know what he did, but if ordinary people ate it, they would agree that there was no fishy smell at all. For her, it was indeed the most filling meal she had eaten in so many days.
Xiao Xiao knew how difficult it was for Wang Wei to get those two fish from the way he was shivering and how late he had returned. She sighed tersely as she covered her stomach, which was finally full, and said sincerely, “Don’t do it again in the future. I just really don’t have an appetite for the time being, but I’ll be fine when spring starts. If something happened to you, what would I do?” Although Xiao Xiao was trying to win Wang Wei’s trust and gain his favor, she wasn’t without feelings. Seeing Wang Wei at first glance, you’d think that he was hard to approach, but in fact, he was actually the kindest. She can’t really wait to repay him in the future.
Xiao Xiao thought that such people should have been loved…
On the second day of the New Year, it was customary for each family’s already married daughter to pay a visit to her parents’ home. Since Xiao Xiao didn’t know anyone, she naturally didn’t want to go to the Xiao family’s house. “You should go back. After all, it’s your parents’ house.” Wang Wei said, seeing through her fear. “I’m here, so don’t worry.”
So Xiao Xiao followed Wang Wei to the Xiao family.
The Xiao family lived at the end of the village, at the foot of the mountain, and not far from the place where the educated youths were resettled in Xiaoqian Village. Now, everywhere was covered with a thick layer of snow, and the educated youths did not come out.
When the Xiao family saw their daughter back, they didn’t look happy. As a matter of fact, they looked a little unnatural. In particular, Xiao Fu, who was already dark and thin, looked especially shorter in front of the tall Wang Wei.
He looked very restrained in front of Wang Wei. He rubbed his hands together and carefully asked Wang Wei to sit on the bed. Xiao Xiao was a little upset to see the old couple so afraid of Wang Wei. How kind Wang Wei is! Don’t these people’s attitudes make Wang Wei feel worse?!
Xiao’s mother said a few words and took Xiao Xiao to leave. Before coming, Wang Wei had made it clear to her about the Xiao family. Xiao Xiao didn’t panic at the moment and obediently followed Xiao’s mother to leave.
Wang Wei sat on the bed and never opened his mouth again after they entered the Xiao family’s door and called out to her parents. Faced with this small former village bully, although now his son-in-law, Xiao’s father is still very afraid. Before, when Xiao’s mother asked questions, the atmosphere was not too stiff, but now that Xiao Xiao and Xiao’s mother left, the two of them could only look at each other, speechless.
Xiao Fu felt that the room was suddenly cold like ice. He trembled and pushed the cup on the table in front of Wang Wei, saying, “Drink… Drink water.”
Wang Wei pulled the corners of his mouth and smiled, trying to get along with his father-in-law, but Xiao Fu swished his hand back like a frightened rabbit.
Wang Wei: “……”
Xiao Mu pulled Xiao Xiao to a room where there were four girls inside.
“The second sister is back!” They were very happy to see Xiao Xiao.
Xiao Xiao didn’t know any of them, so she just smiled at them. It was good that Xiao’s mother wanted to speak privately to Xiao Xiao and waved her hand to let these girls go out.
When there were only two of them left in the room, Xiao Mu took Xiao Xiao’s hand and began to cry: “Xiao’er, you don’t blame us right? Mom and Dad also have no choice. Your brother’s illness can’t be delayed. Other people in the village think you are thin and weak, and couldn’t do heavy work to earn work credits.” She cried bitterly, then wiped a handful of tears and continued: “Mom knows you like Li Zhixin, but he is an educated youth ah. If he goes back to the city, he won’t want you. Even if he did take you, he wouldn’t marry you.”
Good, it seems like she doesn’t really need to ask since the lady already said it all by herself. But she really didn’t expect the Xiao of this world to be involved in such a predicament.
Thinking of the cold, she said quietly, “I went to the health center the night I got married and had a bad fever.”
As soon as she said that, Xiao’s mother cried even more fiercely: “Mom has been worried about how depressed you were. The reason why mom wouldn’t let you have a relationship with that educated youth was for your own good. But you still went off and jumped into the freezing well. If your husband knows about it, see if he does not beat you to death! Fortunately, you’re looking better now. Live a good life with your husband in the future. Then later, when you have separated from the Wang family, you can help pull your brother out.”
Surprisingly, she also jumped into the well. No wonder I had a fever on the day of our marriage.
“Okay, I’ll have a good life with Wang Wei in the future.” She doesn’t know anyone here. Who else could she be with but Wang Wei? As for what Xiao’s mother said about pulling her younger brother, Xiao Xiao thought that she couldn’t understand the thinking of primitive people very much. Everyone is an independent individual. Who pulls whom?
Xiao’s mother was stunned when she saw Xiao Xiao talking so well, and then said happily, “That’s right. It’s said that when a woman marries, her heart must be directed towards her own man.” But thinking of Wang Wei’s reputation as a wolf cub, she was worried and asked, “Xiao-er, your husband didn’t beat you right?”
Xiao Xiao shook her head: “No, he’s fine.”
Xiao’s mother even said, “That’s good, that’s good.
Xiao’s mother didn’t need Xiao Xiao to cook, so she asked her to go and stay with Wang Wei, but Xiao Xiao couldn’t wait. She was eager to go back to the main house.
Xiao Xiao’s father was relieved to see Xiao Xiao back and said, “You guys sit here. Your mother needs to cook, so I’ll go chop some firewood.”
As soon as Xiao’s father left, Wang Wei pulled Xiao Xiao to sit next to him, “Your mother didn’t notice anything, did she?”
Xiao Xiao shook her head. The lady was so focused on crying that she didn’t even notice that she hadn’t even called her mother.
Wang Wei still wanted to say something else, but a head suddenly poked out of the door and waved to Xiao Xiao: “Second sister, come here.” Seeing Wang Wei look over, the girl was startled and hid back.
Xiao Xiao pursed her lips. Why is everyone doing this to Wang Wei?! She was unhappy and didn’t want to go, but Wang Wei nudged her: “Go, your sister is calling you.”
Only then did Xiao Xiao get up. The one looking for her was the original’s third sister. She was about 15 or 16 years old. When she saw Xiao Xiao come out, she dragged her to their own room.
There are four girls in the room, as well as a two- or three-year-old boy who is currently sleeping soundly. All the girls were thin and had a vegetable face. Only the little boy was chubby and ruddy.
The author has something to say.
Xiao Xiao (unhappy): Her husband is so kind and so soft on the inside. How much harm does it do to his body and mind when these people reject him so much!