----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----
----- THIS TRANSLATION BELONGS TO konila.com -----
----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----
----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----
Lin Miao’s mother soon appeared and sat down next to her.
She had taken note of everything that happened today.
Lin Miao embraced her mother, “Mommy.”
Her voice choked with sobs. Maybe it’s the norm here. She was confused to the point of not knowing how her life should be when she grows up.
Her heart was filled with sorrow. Sadness would surge through her body whenever she thought of Xiao Mei and her child hurrying away.
“I know it must be hard for Shuishui to accept this, but this is how girls from villages are.” Lin Miao’s mother patted Lin Miao’s head, “The parents want a boy, and they want their children to be like them when they grow up.”
Lin Miao’s tears rushed down her cheeks.
“But I don’t want this.” It became apparent to her that her childhood days were long gone.
Lin Miao’s mother sighed. All the girls in the village were kind children, they were great friends to Lin Miao.
Lin Miao grew up in the town as her parents used to work there. She only came to the village when she grew a bit older.
All of the girls other than Little Ling were older than Lin Miao. Lin Miao used to be short and skinny, and since she came from the town, everyone took her as their younger sister.
Lin Miao once said that Golden Gong sausages were delicious, but the village’s stores didn’t offer them.
So, when they went to the town’s pharmacy to sell the leaves of the japanese honeysuckle, they each took one Yuan and bought a sausage together for Lin Miao.
Lin Miao’s mother let out another sigh. “This is why you need to work hard. Don’t let your next generation live this kind of life.”
At the end of the day, Lin Miao was still without an answer. She wanted to visit Little Ling.
Out of all her friends at the village, her age gap with Little Ling was the smallest. In fact, Little Ling was even a bit younger than her.
Little Ling was the girl who didn’t want to be adopted.
Lin Miao took out her presents and headed for her house on the edge of the village.
Lin Miao and her friends mostly gathered around Lin Miao’s and the village head’s houses. Little Ling’s second uncle didn’t look welcoming, so they rarely went to her house.
When she arrived, she discovered that Little Ling wasn’t home. Her second uncle and aunt welcomed her warmly, “Shuishui is quite promising.”
Lin Miao was stunned. She had never seen LIttle Ling’s second uncle and aunt smile so brilliantly before.
Beside them, Little Ling’s brother gathered all of the candy and fruits Lin Miao brought beside him and started eating.
“Second uncle, is Little Ling not home?” Lin Miao asked.
“She went to her mother-in-law’s house.” The aunt said.
Lin Miao was astonished. Yesterday, during dinner, she had only heard that Little Ling had agreed to marry. She didn’t think that she had already married.
“Where’s her in-law’s house? I want to visit her.” Lin Miao was clueless about when she would come to the village again. She was afraid that everything would change next time she returned.
“She married very far away. It might take her a few days to come back.” The second aunt said. “Shuishui, where’s your dad working? Is it okay for him to take care of Zhiqiang for a bit? His studies aren’t good, but he’s a really hard worker.”
Lin Miao paused. “I don’t know.”
She then quickly disappeared out the door.
Lin Miao didn’t like Little Ling’s younger brother. Second aunt must’ve been mistaken about him being hard-working.
Lin Miao and her family had planned to leave in the afternoon, but the rain inconvenienced them.
They decided to stay for another night instead. Since Little Ling wasn’t here and they only planned to stay for the night, Lin Miao handed the presents to Xiao Ying for her to pass them on to Little Ling.
Xiao Ying was the village head’s third daughter and the younger sister of Da Mei and Xiao Mei. She was a simple and honest girl.
Receiving the presents, Xiao Ying commented, “Isn’t older sister Little Ling at home?”
“Huh? Her family said she was away.” Lin Miao was confused.
“I think she’s home.” Xiao Ying said. “Older sister Little Ling wanted to run away from home a few days ago, but her second uncle caught and beat her…”
Lin Miao furrowed her brows together. Little Ling had wanted to escape her home for a long time. She and her friends used to persuade her not to all the time.
The rain was pouring during the night. Lin Miao rose up after her mother had fallen asleep. She snuck outside, putting on the village head’s raincoat and rolling up the pant legs.
It wasn’t dark, at least for someone that had walked at night all the time during childhood. She could still see the path ahead of her.
Lin Miao went back to the second uncle’s home.
They seemed to all be awake. Lin Miao stealthily approached the house under the cover of the rain.
“Shuishui looked so honest and obedient when she was little. Now, not so much.”
It was the second aunt’s voice.
“Whatever, mom, I’ll go find a job myself. We don’t need to plead with other people. Plus, don’t we have money anyways?”
Lin Miao was unsure of what to do, having rushed here in the middle of the night.
She didn’t even know what she could do.
“That money is for when you marry a wife, you can’t spend it on random things.” The second uncle spoke.
“Whatever, I’m going to sleep.”
They didn’t mention Little Ling, and her voice couldn’t be heard either.
Standing outside against the dirt wall, Lin Miao didn’t know what she should do next.
Her impulsive mind had told her to run here upon hearing that Little Ling was home—she didn’t even have a plan in mind.
Lin Miao decided to stay for a bit longer. She then heard the second uncle say, “Is Little Ling still refusing to eat?”
“Whatever, if she doesn’t want to eat, so be it. It’s not like she’d die in one or two days without eating. How could she still dare to run away after we’ve raised her for so long. That’s why I said to send her back when we got Zhiqiang.”
“Stop saying that, it’s not like we haven’t tried to give her back. They don’t want her, nor do they want to give our money back. We can’t just let the three thousand Yuan we gave at that time go to waste, can we? We only have thirty thousand betrothal gifts, it’s not like that we can get another thirty thousand for her out of nowhere. You darn old lady, can’t you think about the consequences of things?”
Lin Miao felt as if she had been drained of her blood.
Little Ling had always wanted to return to her birth parents. She had thought that her second uncle and aunt were only mean to her because she was adopted.
Only now did LIn Miao understand the series of events regarding LIttle LIng’s past.
She had never experienced such horrid things herself.
The cold winter winds and storms all couldn’t compare with the coldness of those few sentences.
Lin Miao only came back to her senses after they had gone to sleep. Then, she discovered that there was a room with a locked door.
Lin Miao bit her lips. She would admit it even if it meant a serious scolding and beating from the adults.
She searched for an iron rod and broke open the lock.
The room was a bit dark. Lin Miao slowly walked inside, quietly calling, “Little Ling, Little Ling…”
A response quickly came, “Shuishui?”
Lin Miao’s eyes were rapidly adjusting to the light levels of the room. She found Little Ling on the bed.
She looked so feeble.
“Shuishui…” Little Ling’s voice was mixed with tears.
Lin Miao helped her up. Her body was very hot. She must’ve caught a cold. Little Ling also didn’t dare open the lights, so she wept in the dark.
Lin Miao didn’t understand why they would become this way when they grow up.
Whether it was Xiao Mei or Little Ling...
Lin Miao carried Little Ling on her back, covering her with the raincoat. “I’m bringing you to doctor Li”
Resting on her back, Little Ling spoke, “Shuishui, don’t go find the adults, they won’t help me. If I die, burn some paper money for me when you return during the New Year as well.”
“You won’t die, you’re just going through a cold.” Lin Miao thought of the time when she would play with her friends at the village and pick chestnuts. She was a bit stupid back then. Little Ling would have to carry her back whenever she accidentally stepped on a chestnut shell while wearing slippers.
Little Ling was the most industrious of all of them. She was very fast in picking firewood and mushrooms. She would also share her findings...
Out of the three, Little Ling also knew how to climb trees. She used to teach Lin Miao...
“Little Ling, you’ll make it.” Lin Miao walked out of the yard with Little Ling on her back.
“Shuishui, you have to study hard.” Little Ling said tiredly. “Put me down, you’d also get punished if others find out.”
Little Ling was feeling hopeless. She had successfully snuck mid way down the mountain before she was caught and brought back.
She had only learned today that Lin Miao had returned. She just wanted to see her face again.
“Shuishui, listen to me. We’re not going to the doctor, bring me back.” Little Ling said. “Or else you’d get in trouble too.”
Lin Miao stopped, a thought quickly grew in her head. The idea became unstoppable once it sprouted.
“Little Ling, run away from home.” Lin Miao said in the pouring rain.
When they were little, Little Ling often cried. She had said that she wanted to leave her current home even if it meant becoming homeless.
Lin Miao was too naive back then. Da Mei and Xiao Mei were more knowledgeable. They thought that Little Ling wouldn’t be able to live by herself at such a young age, so they said that everything would improve once she got older.
At that time, Lin Miao also thought that everything would be better once she grew up.
However, now as Lin Miao was supporting Little Ling, she realized that even though Little Ling had grown up, nothing became better. Instead, they only became worse.
“I can’t leave.” Little Ling said with exhaustion.
Lin Miao shook her head and spoke with determination, “You can.”
Little Ling was skinny and light on her back.
It was her friend, it was someone whom she vowed to be friends forever with, it was someone whom she promised to keep in contact with even after she grew up.
Lin Miao changed directions without hesitation.
Suddenly, in this dark night, Little Ling felt as if she was living again. “Shuishui…”
She didn’t know anything, she had never been out of the village.
Everything outside the mountains was unknown to her. Her last attempt at leaving had failed.
In that attempt, she had also learned that no one would help her.
But now, hope sparked in her heart, and strength came flowing through her veins. “Shuishui, I can walk by myself. Just lead me down the path, I don’t know the way down the mountain.”
Little Ling struggled down. The rain seemed to have stopped when she stood back on her two feet.
Lin Miao hastily pulled Little Ling down the mountain.
It was a bit dark in the forest, but the two weren’t scared because of each other.
Little Ling was happy, traces of joy could still be identified from her dry voice. “Shuishui, I want to go to work. I’ll buy you candy when I get paid.”
“Great.” Lin Miao said.
They finally reached the base of the mountain after nearly three hours of trekking. The sky was still dark, so they walked slowly.
There was a road at the base of the mountain, but there weren’t any bus stops at this point.
The two continued their way to the town along the main road.
At the town, Lin Miao wanted to bring Little Ling to the clinic. However, it was not open yet, so they booked a hotel room together. Lin Miao had participated in many competitions away from home, so she was quite familiar with hotels.
Little Ling felt quite awkward. “Shuishui, I’ll definitely give this money back once I get a job. You just go back soon, or else they’ll be suspicious of you and ask you for where I am.”
Lin Miao thought for a moment and agreed, so she gave her some more money. “Wait for me here, I’ll go back first and return tomorrow to take you to the doctors.”
Little Ling was a bit shaken. “Can you not tell your parents?”
She had lost all her trust for the adults. She felt that they’d all betray her.
Lin Miao nodded immediately.
Lin Miao was still worried about Little Ling on her way back. When she passed by a bank, she remembered something and went inside.
She still had to go through the forest on her return trip, so she walked a lot faster.
Back at the village, she took a detour and went to Little Ling’s house.
Lin Miao thought that she wasn’t a little kid anymore. She could do more than just comforting Little Ling while listening to her cry now.
She had grown up, she was mature, and she shouldn’t act like a kid.
She should do things like an adult.
At Little Ling’s house, she realized it was still too early for anyone to wake up.
She returned to the village head’s house to change clothes.
Looking at the time, she noticed there was still some time for her to sleep. She rested beside her mother, hugging a bag.
Lin Miao woke up after two hours. Checking her phone, she let out a sigh of relief as it wasn’t late into the morning yet. There was no one beside her; her mother had woken up already.
Lin Miao sat up, instinctively feeling her forehead. It wasn’t hot. Good good, I didn’t catch a cold.
The author has something to say: Little Ling had appeared before in the part where her story made Lin Miao refuse to be adopted.
The Young Master: “Oh.”
----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----Awesome!
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