She looks so pale though. What if she falls ill? Would I still be able to take her as my wife?
Li Zhuang then said, “Dad, let’s make some porridge so she’ll have something to eat when she wakes up. When night falls, I’ll sneak into the village physician’s place to steal some herbs.”
Old Woodcutter Li frowned when he heard his son’s plan, but didn’t say anything since he didn’t have any better ideas.
Seeing the unconscious Su Xi-er’s lips move, Old Woodcutter Li went to the kitchen to get started on the porridge while Li Zhuang stayed to watch her.
“Be careful,” Old Woodcutter Li said before going back into the kitchen.
Li Zhuang closed the door to the room and squatted down as he observed Su Xi-er closely, swallowing as he thought to himself. She’s so pretty! She’s probably the most beautiful girl in all of Beimin!
This girl is going to be my wife!
The corner of Li Zhuang’s lips turned up as he leaned in closer to the pale Su Xi-er, planning to steal a kiss as he was mesmerized by her looks. She smells so nice too!
Before his lips could touch hers however, someone banged on the door loudly. It was Ma Zhu from the east of the village who yelled, “Li Zhuang, come out! Soldiers have come to the village, and they seem to be asking around about something. Every villager is to report to them, and it looks like it’s serious, so hurry up!”
Ma Zhu continued his frantic knocking on the door as Li Zhuang quickly covered Su Xi-er with a blanket before exiting the room.
Li Zhuang closed the door right behind him after coming out, surprising Ma Zhu with his speed. “What’s up with you? You’ve never been this quick. Are you hiding something in the room?”
Li Zhuang pushed him away and said, “Stop it. I only have a kitchen and a toilet here, what could I be hiding!”
“I’m just saying. Why are you getting so agitated?” Ma Zhu commented in annoyance before he turned to leave.
Old Woodcutter Li had heard everything Ma Zhu said, and walked up to his son in concern. “Why are there soldiers in the village all of a sudden? Could it be...” He thought of Su Xi-er and the red dress she was in. Though the outfit was dirtied, it was obvious that the fabric was of an expensive and high quality material.
Could the soldiers be looking for that girl? The old man began to panic at the thought. “Son, we can’t have that girl stay here. You’ll still have a chance to get a wife in future. Let’s go tell the soldiers that this girl...”
Li Zhuang cut him off before he could finish. “Dad, I don’t care who that girl is; I want her. They won’t find out as long as we don’t say anything. If she’s unwilling when she wakes up, we’ll just tie her up and force the matter. We can pack up and move to a place far from the capital city afterwards.”
Seeing his father unconvinced, Li Zhuang continued, “Dad, I’m your only son. We both know that it’s unlikely I’ll be able to find a wife given our current situation, so just don’t give anything away later. Let’s go!”
He then tugged at his father’s sleeve and led him towards the village entrance.
The village chief was speaking to one of the guards respectfully. “Officer, though our village is located quite a short distance away from the capital, it’s just a tiny village with a few families. If you don’t believe what I say, you can check each house individually.”
The guard then raised a hand and gave an order to the rest of the men, “You heard him, check each house.”
The men began their search immediately, separating into two groups that covered the east and west sides of the village respectively.
Old Woodcutter Li turned nervous. They’ll be searching my house soon! He looked at his son, signalling to him that they had to come up with some other idea.Previous Chapter Next Chapter