The next morning, Chang Le still got up on time, but his eyes were dark and exhausted, clearly indicating that he hadn’t rested well.
“Brother Le, did you not sleep well yesterday?” Yu Qingze asked with concern when he saw Chang Le with his panda-like eyes.
Chang Le quickly shook his head and gestured twice.
During this period, Yu Qingze had been learning sign language from Chang Hao and had learned the meanings of many gestures. He guessed, “Are you saying that there were mosquitoes in the bed curtain, and that’s why you couldn’t sleep well?”
Chang Le nodded slightly, then quickly lowered his head. He felt embarrassed about lying, but fortunately, it seemed that Big Brother Yu believed him.
Seeing the darkness in his eyes as if he hadn’t slept all night and his tired complexion, Yu Qingze felt distressed. He furrowed his brows and said, “Brother Le, stay at home and rest today. Chang Hao and I can manage.”
Chang Le shook his head, indicating that he was fine and insisted on going out.
Yu Qingze said, “You don’t look well, and it’s hot outside. Be a good boy and rest at home.”
Chang Le persisted in wanting to go.
At that moment, Grandpa Chang also woke up and asked, “What’s going on?”
Yu Qingze said, “Grandpa, Brother Le didn’t sleep well yesterday. I told him to rest today, but he doesn’t want to. Please persuade him.”
Grandpa Chang looked at Chang Le’s complexion and straightforwardly said, “Xiao Le, you rest at home today. I’ll go.”
Chang Le wanted to argue, but Grandpa Chang’s face suddenly turned serious, and he simply said two words, “Obey me.”
Seeing that Grandpa was getting angry, Chang Le could only nod, feeling somewhat frustrated.
After having breakfast and seeing them off at the door, Chang Le didn’t go back to catch up on sleep. He finished his household chores and put on a straw hat, carrying a hoe and a dung bucket, and went to the field. He had been busy with business lately and neglected the fields. He didn’t know how the crops were growing.
He walked through the several plots of land at home, and the crops looked good. He had pulled out the weeds from most of the fields, except for one plot that he hadn’t gotten to yet.
Immediately, Chang Le rolled up his pant legs and went to the field to pull out the weeds.
After pulling for about an hour, the weather gradually became hot, and Chang Le started feeling a bit weary. He stood up and sat down on the edge of the field path to take a rest.
At this moment, Wen Li came along the path, carrying a dung bucket. When he saw Chang Le, his eyes lit up, and he walked over.
“Hey, Brother Le, why are you at home today? Aren’t you going out with Aze to open the snack stall?” Wen Li asked.
Chang Le felt a headache when he saw Wen Li, but he still nodded and pointed to the field, indicating that he was pulling weeds.
“Oh, you’re pulling weeds,” Wen Li placed the dung bucket down and squatted in front of Chang Le. He whispered, “Hey, Brother Le, can I ask you something? Did Matchmaker Liao go to Aze yesterday to propose a marriage?”
Chang Le hesitated for a moment, then nodded gently.
“It turns out he went to propose to Aze! Ah, he beat me to it!” Wen Li regretfully slapped his leg and then asked, “Which family’s son is it?”
Chang Le looked at Wen Li and remained silent.
Wen Li poked him with his finger and urged, “Hey, tell me, which family’s son?”
Chang Le shook his head, refusing to tell him. If Wen Li found out, who knew what rumors would spread outside? It would be awkward for Big Brother Yu and Brother Qiao later.
“Hey, you, am I really your uncle?” Wen Li scolded him and then said, “Well, regardless of which family it is, the most important thing is, um, did Yu Qingze agree?”
Chang Le’s eyes flickered, unsure whether to nod or shake his head. Regardless of nodding or shaking his head, it wouldn’t lead to anything good.
He decided to play dead again, remaining silent, neither nodding nor shaking his head.
His behavior infuriated Wen Li, who grumbled, “If I hadn’t been out yesterday, I wouldn’t need to ask you! Tell me, what kind of gers does Aze like?”
Chang Le was lost in thought. He also wanted to know what kind of gers Big Brother Yu liked.
“Ah, you probably don’t know the answer to this question either,” Wen Li continued when Chang Le didn’t respond. “With his successful snack stall business, there must be many suitors coming to propose in the future. Although he’s a bit older, for a man, being able to earn money and support a family is the most important.”
Chang Le barely listened to Wen Li’s ramblings, but he caught the phrase “many suitors coming to propose in the future,” which immediately ignited the pent-up frustration and irritation that had plagued him all night. His brows furrowed tightly, and he felt a sudden sense of suffocation.
Unaware of Chang Le’s change in expression, Wen Li nudged him with his elbow and asked, “Hey, Brother Le, do you think there’s any hope for Brother Yue?”
Chang Le abruptly turned his head and stood up, glaring at Wen Li with tightly furrowed brows.
Was Wen Li out of his mind? Brother Yue wasn’t even fifteen years old yet, and he… he… He was lazy and couldn’t even compare to Big Brother Yu! He was even more suitable than himself!
More suitable than himself?
Chang Le suddenly froze.
“Why did you suddenly stand up? You scared me. You almost gave me a heart attack,” Wen Li exclaimed, clutching his chest as he stood up. However, he didn’t give up on his question. “Hey, Brother Le, you still haven’t answered me.”
Chang Le remained in a daze, devoid of any reaction.
After calling out to him a few more times and receiving no response, Wen Li realized it was fruitless. Grumbling to himself, he slung his dung bucket over his shoulder and left.
Even after Wen Li had been gone for quite some time, Chang Le remained in a state of shock…
Did he just, did he just think of something shameless?
How could he think of such a thing!
Even more suitable than himself…
More suitable for what?
To become Big Brother Yu’s partner?
Chang Le vigorously shook his head, trying to shake off these crazy thoughts, but he couldn’t suppress a small corner in his heart where a tiny seed called “hope” was desperately sprouting, pushing through the soil.
He couldn’t help but fantasize for a moment, imagining himself as Big Brother Yu’s partner…
Thinking about the little moments he had spent with Big Brother Yu during these days, Big Brother Yu teaching him how to write, Big Brother Yu’s fingers brushing past his cheeks, Big Brother Yu’s warm hand patting his head, and his gentle gaze and smile, his broad chest…
Chang Le’s face instantly turned red, from his face to his ears to his neck, all burning up, the temperature almost scorching.
He felt embarrassed and frustrated, raising his hands to cover his face and giving it a hard pat, trying to snap himself out of it.
Chang Le! Are you going crazy too!
Thinking about all this nonsense! Big Brother Yu is such a good person, how dare you imagine such things! Have you ever thought about yourself, with those ugly scars and the inability to speak, who knows if you can even have children!
Just you, why do you think you can be Big Brother Yu’s partner?!
A bucket of cold water poured over him.
All the tenderness, fantasies, and hopes instantly vanished without a trace…
Chang Le stood there blankly for a while, touched the scar on his forehead, and then mechanically picked up the hoe and hung the bucket on his side, walking back in a daze.
His head was spinning, and he needed a good sleep to clear his mind.
In the evening, when Yu Qingze and the others returned, they noticed that Chang Le’s complexion was still haggard. His once bright eyes lacked their usual luster, causing some concern among the group.
“Brother Le, are you feeling unwell? Did you rest properly today?” Yu Qingze approached him, reaching out to touch his forehead, afraid that he might be sick.
Unexpectedly, when Chang Le saw his hand reaching out, he suddenly took a step back, looking alarmed, and shook his hands to indicate that everything was fine.
Yu Qingze: …He felt a sense of rejection.
Seeing this, Chang Hao walked over and asked, “Brother, what’s wrong with you? Are you feeling unwell? You look so out of spirits.”
Chang Le shook his hand and gestured to indicate that he just hadn’t slept well.
“You didn’t rest during the day?” Chang Hao furrowed his brows and asked.
Chang Le nodded and shook his head, indicating that he had slept, but couldn’t fall asleep.
After confirming that he wasn’t sick and it was indeed just lack of sleep affecting him, everyone felt relieved.
Translated on ho lo lo novels dot com.
But not having slept well was a difficult issue to solve, so they could only try to sleep early that night.
After dinner, Chang Hao was writing in the main hall while Yu Qingze and Chang Le were in the kitchen making cold noodles and liangpi. Grandpa was making immortal tofu.
“Aze, the jelly made from the mountain fruits is almost out of season. We picked all the fruits on the mountain before, and in a few days, it will probably be gone.” Grandpa crushed the immortal leaves while speaking to Yu Qingze.
“Yeah, it’s a seasonal food, there’s nothing we can do. I’ve already come up with a new food item. I’ve asked the village chief to make a snack cart. Tomorrow, I’ll go to the blacksmith shop and have a mold made. Once it’s ready, we can introduce the new food.” Yu Qingze replied as he pulled the noodles.
Yu Qingze had already started considering new food options, and Grandpa Chang curiously asked, “New food? What is it?”