Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
Tan Juguo smiled ruefully. “How can I not be worried? Zhao Baolin’s wedding came too suddenly, and it’s odd.”
“Odd?” Fangzheng was surprised.
“That’s right. Although everything looks normal, I have a nagging feeling that there’s something odd about it,” Tan Juguo said.
Fangzheng probed. “Can you tell This Penniless Monk?”
“Yeah, we still have quite a bit to walk. I’ll tell you about it on the way. Zhao Baolin was quite close with me in the past. He likes to tell me when there’s anything, so what I know should be close to the mark.” Tan Juguo nodded.
A month ago, a distant cousin of Zhao Baolin, Meng Huimei, had suddenly come to visit. When she saw Zhao Baolin’s son, Zhao Yuhe, she hugged Zhao Yuhe and wailed, appearing to feel extreme pity for him. Furthermore, she eagerly offered to introduce a partner to Zhao Yuhe.
Zhao Baolin was naturally all for it. However, he knew his son’s condition and did not believe the efforts would bear fruit. It was a mere thought back then.
To his surprise, Meng Huimei brought back a lady not long later. Her looks were okay, and despite not being especially pretty, she was the kind to grow on people the more they were around her. Most importantly, she was completely healthy.
“Brother, this is Han Xiaoran, the daughter of an old classmate of mine. She has been working at a factory in Guangzhou for a long time now. She’s honest, shy, and not very talkative. I’ve told her about Yuhe’s condition, and she wished to visit. Why don’t you let her meet Yuhe?” Meng Huimei told Zhao Baolin with utmost ardor.
Zhao Baolin was instantly dumbfounded when he saw the lady before him! He’d never thought his son could marry a healthy woman. He would be thanking the heavens if his son could marry a disabled person, let alone such a good lady. Now that such a girl was at his doorstep, it felt like a dream.
Moreover, Meng Huimei was his cousin, and the lady had been brought by her. Furthermore, judging from how bashful she seemed, to the point of her not daring to raise her head at all, she was really quite a nice person. The more he looked at her, the more he liked her. Zhao Baolin naturally did not stop them and invited the two into his house. He got some sweets, melon seeds, and peanuts from the cellar and bought some fruits, a kilogram of meat, and pig’s ear from a nearby store. He was afraid he would be lacking in hospitality for his cousin and future daughter-in-law.
In the beginning, Zhao Baolin was still a little worried, worried that his introverted son with a tiny inferiority complex would not be able to face Han Xiaoran. However, by the time he returned, Zhao Yuhe was already in a private conversation with Han Xiaoran in another room. Although Zhao Yuhe couldn’t speak, he knew sign language and could write. Zhao Yuhe would type on his phone, and Han Xiaoran would reply the same way. From time to time, Han Xiaoran’s laughter could be heard.
This elated Zhao Baolin as he put down the dishes and secretly stood by the wall to eavesdrop.
“Old Man, come over here! Don’t disturb our son’s conversation with Xiaoran. I’m telling you that I like this child. I’ll kill you if you screw things up!” His wife, Chai Hong, yanked him to the side and berated him jokingly.
Zhao Baolin could not even close his mouth from his smiling as he chuckled. “How can that happen? Look at our son. He’s having such a good conversation with Xiaoran. Hehe, do you think it will work out?”
“It’s pointless to ask me, ask that cousin of yours. Stop loitering around the kitchen and accompany Huimei. I’ll be cooking,” said Chai Hong with a smile.
Zhao Baolin hurriedly nodded as he happily went out of the house and chatted with Meng Huimei.
This day, Zhao Yuhe and Han Xiaoran had a great time together. Han Xiaoran followed Zhao Yuhe wherever he went. Zhao Yuhe, who seldom laughed in the past, was beaming a lot more. It left Zhao Baolin extremely happy.
However, the joy was only temporary. The next day, Meng Huimei left with Han Xiaoran. As the both of them needed to work, they could not stay for long.
Upon seeing Meng Huimei leave, Han Xiaoran walked a few steps before turning to look at Zhao Yuhe shyly. Zhao Yuhe was crying and although he could not produce any sound, Zhao Baolin could tell that his son did not wish to be separated from her. His heart pained as well as he swore that he had to help his son marry Han Xiaoran regardless of the cost.
For this, Zhao Baolin called Meng Huimei nearly every day to push for the marriage.
However, Meng Huimei did not come with the excuse of being busy every single time.
With time, Zhao Baolin was left in despair due to the numerous rejections.
But a week later, Meng Huimei suddenly told him that she was no longer busy. Han Xiaoran was able to take time off and would come visit in two days.
Zhao Baolin was instantly overjoyed as he hurriedly informed Zhao Yuhe of the news. Zhao Yuhe jumped in joy and made quite a commotion in the yard, startling the livestock. For the first time, Chai Hong did not berate them for this, but instead she stood by the side, laughing happily.
As promised, Meng Huimei brought Han Xiaoran over two days later. The second meeting felt even less reserved.
Han Xiaoran and Zhao Yuhe interacted even more easily. Han Xiaoran knew how to be nice. She helped Zhao Yuhe crack the melon seeds, wash the fruits, and helped Chai Hong prepare meals and wash clothes. She also helped Zhao Baolin carry the firewood. The entire family adored her.
She stayed a little longer this time—three days.
Three days later, when Han Xiaoran was about to leave, not only was Zhao Yuhe unwilling to part with her, but Chai Hong was even worse. She held her hands and wept on the spot.
Han Xiaoran also teared up…
However, Han Xiaoran needed to work, so she bade them farewell amid tears.
With Han Xiaoran gone, Zhao Baolin’s family felt empty. Even their meals seemed to be lacking in taste.
Another week passed and this time, Meng Huimei came alone.
“Sis, tell me for sure. Can this work out?” Zhao Baolin asked nervously.
Meng Huimei said with a bitter smile, “Bro, I’m already here. Do you think it will work out?”
Zhao Baolin instantly tensed up. “Yes?”
Meng Huimei smiled. “Of course. She likes your family as well. But let’s get the unpleasantness out of the way first. Although she likes your family, she’s also an innocent child. I believe you can tell that. But, I was the one who introduced her to you. I have to be responsible. I can’t just push her to you.”
“Sis, look at what you’re saying. Do you think we will treat her poorly? I can’t wait to give my all to treat her well,” said Chai Hong agitatedly.
“If both of you think so, then it’s easy. I’ll be going to her family tomorrow and will discuss the matter with them. If it works out, both sides can meet. But I have to mention this ahead of time, how the children think isn’t all that matters. Marriage isn’t just dependent on the children. It also involves both families. Therefore, you can’t be lacking in the dowry. Don’t be stingy,” said Meng Huimei.
When Zhao Baolin heard that, he immediately knitted his brows. His family had been well-off in the past, but now… He knew that marrying cost money, but it was not something he could necessarily afford. He had forgotten this point in his delirious joy.