Zheng Jiaxing was completely numb to everything. He forgot how he wrote the IOU as he walked out of Wang Laosi’s house. He lost his bearings as he stumbled back to the street across his house. There he saw a familiar figure standing in the wind as it looked towards him from afar.
Only when Zheng Jiaxing came close did he realize that it was Li Na who was standing at the door!
Li Na’s eyes were very red, and her hair was somewhat disheveled. Her entire being looked dispirited When Zheng Jiaxing saw Li Na, he felt guilt-ridden as he turned extremely flustered. Li Na would likely be angry that he did not return all night, right? Yes, she would definitely be angry What was he to do if she was angry?
But when he came close, Li Na did not scream at him. Instead she said softly, “You returned.”
Zheng Jiaxing subconsciously nodded and was about to say something, but Li Na cut him off. “Go in and wash your face. You look exhausted. Go have some rest. I’ll make you a meal.”
With that said, Li Na went back in. Zheng Jiaxing secretly heaved a sigh of relief when he saw this play out in front of him. He walked in and washed his face. Then he climbed into bed to prepare to rest. At that moment his son, Zheng Xiaoyu, got up. “Dad, you are finally back. Mom called you, but you didn’t pick up the call. She stood outside the entire night.”
Zheng Jiaxing’s heart quivered when he heard that. He was at a loss for words before he tersely acknowledged it. He burrowed himself under the blankets and slept. He had no idea how to face Li Na. All he could think of was to sleep to hide away Simultaneously, he was bitterly pondering how to repay the hundred thousand yuan. It was a huge sum with 4% interest! Compounded, the interest would become a massive number.
However, no matter what he came up with, it appeared as though gambling was the only path left for him. Wang Laosi had agreed to lend him more money. All he needed was luck. He felt that he could soon repay the debt and then, he would quit gambling.
At noon, Zheng Jiaxing got out of bed and called his mother over to take care of Li Na. He went to the farm to work.
At night, Zheng Jiaxing did not return home for dinner. He went straight to Wang Laosi’s house and the moment he entered, he sat down and said, “Laosi, lend me another ten thousand.”
“Aiyah. Jiaxing, you came early today. Why? Don’t you need to inform your woman? Did you get a permission slip?” someone jeered.
Zheng Jiaxing was not in a good mood after losing money and being agitated. Furthermore he had sneaked over there at night. He was already holding back his anger, so when he was denigrated, he immediately flared up. “What do you mean a permission slip? Does a man need to apply for gambling? I can come as I wish. Who can stop me!?”
“You are a real man!”
“That’s what a northeastern man is!”
“Jiaxing, I applaud you!”
Upon hearing them laud him, Zheng Jiaxing felt that he had won back all the face that he had almost lost. He raised his chin up slightly and sat at the tiny chair, as though he was in control of the entire world. It felt like the return of a king! He enjoyed that feeling!
Wang Laosi did not hesitate to lend him the money immediately. In time, smoke billowed as the house began turning decadent. Everyone seemed to be possessed. They would be furious when they lost and laugh when they won. The tiny house seemed to play out all the emotions of humans.
Zheng Jiaxing won in the beginning, making him think there was hope. As his expression turned more excited, it also turned more grotesque. The expression he wore looked more sinister as his smile widened, as though blood was trickling down his mouth.
Two hours later, the door was suddenly opened as a woman walked in. The rowdy house instantly fell silent.
Zheng Jiaxing subconsciously looked to the door and was instantly dumbfounded. It was none other than his wife, Li Na!
Li Na’s eyes were bloodshot as tears welled in her eyes. She squeezed one word through her teeth: “Come!”
Everyone looked back at Zheng Jiaxing with a teasing hint in their eyes as though they were saying: “You were bragging just now, so what about now? Are you a wimp or a hero? It’s time to show it.”
“Come!” shouted Li Na again.
Zheng Jiaxing’s gaze seemed to dodge hers, but he still said, “I’ll return later. Go home first.”
“I’m telling you to come!” Li Na instantly turned infuriated. If this were in the past, Zheng Jiaxing would definitely return if she came for him. But today, he did not return for dinner, making her worry endlessly. Only after searching the entire village did she find him there gambling! He was mixing with the village scoundrels and scum of society! How could anyone understand the disappointment in her. Anger? Disappointment? Worry? Expecting better from him?
Li Na stomped over and pulled Zheng Jiaxing’s hand, hoping to pull him out. Just as Zheng Jiaxing was about to be pulled away, the crowd erupted in jeers.
“Sigh, what strict discipline at home!”
“Jiaxing, quickly go home. Your wife is angry. Be careful that you don’t have to kneel on a washing board.”
“Come again when you have the final say at home.”
“I knew he was just bragging. And indeed that was the case.”
“A child is a child after all. He was watched over by his parents in the past, and now he’s being watched over by his wife.”
With all the talk, when Zheng Jiaxing recalled the hundred thousand yuan debt he had and the high interest he needed to pay as well as the good luck he had been having, how could he be willing to leave? It was not easy for him to begin winning. If he did not take the opportunity to win more, how was he to return the debt? And if he didn’t repay the debt, how was he to continue his days? With this in mind, Zheng Jiaxing flung his hand and retracted it, saying angrily, “What are you doing? I said I’ll return in a while. Didn’t you hear me?”
Li Na was shocked. Zheng Jiaxing had shouted at her! She looked at him in disbelief. “You You shouted at me? Don’t you know that I’m doing this for you? Don’t you know?”
Zheng Jiaxing regretted shouting the moment he did it, but having already shouted, there was no way to take it back. He could only lower his tone and say softly, “Go back first. You don’t understand. My luck is good now. I’m winning money now. If I leave now, it’s equivalent to losing money. I’ll return in a while. I’ll go home.”
“Fine! Zheng Jiaxing, continue gambling here!” After Li Na said that, she turned to leave and slammed the door behind her.
When Zheng Jiaxing looked at Li Na’s back, his mind went blank. He felt as though he had lost the most important thing to him at that instant.
At that moment everyone cheered, “Nice!”
“Jiaxing, what a man!”
“Awesome. That’s how you should be! A man should be able to do what he wants. How can women wag their fingers at you?”
“Alright, cut it out. Let’s continue!” Zheng Jiaxing was feeling mixed emotions as he roared back. When everyone saw this, they chuckled and stopped speaking. They continued their gambling.
As they continued gambling, Zheng Jiaxing discovered that his good luck seemed to come to an end. He kept losing, and he was about to lose all his money. Then he looked at Wang Laosi who shook his head. “Jiaxing, you have lost too much. You now owe me 150,000. I can’t lend you anymore. Why don’t you go home and pool some money. Then you can either continue or repay your debt.”