Shao Yunan touched the fire on the stove and relit the oil lamp, then he pushed open the kitchen door and went back to the room. As soon as the door was pushed open, someone said, “It’s late. Let’s go to sleep.”
In the dim light, Shao Yunan saw that Wang Shijiang was already lying down. At a distance of one person from him another quilt was laid neatly, a big red wedding quilt from Shao Yunan’s dowry. Wang Shijing also washed and scrubbed himself properly. Having been dirty in the morning when he separated from his family, he was finally in the mood to take care of himself.
Shao Yunan was quite satisfied with Wang Shijing’s self-consciousness. Although he was a pure zero, it doesn’t mean that he wasn’t a man. He was not in the mood for romance. Closing the door and putting the lamp on the broken wooden table, Shao Yunan blew out the oil lamp and climbed into the bed in the dark.
Because he just drank spiritual water, Shao Yunan wasn’t sleepy. This dark, dilapidated house has a musty smell that hinted it wasn’t lived in from a long time. The bed was also very hard but the bedding was very clean and new. After all they just got married, so old lady Wang had to prepare two new quilts. No matter if Wang Shijing was already asleep or not, Shao Yunan said, “If you go to the country town tomorrow, do you have any money?”
A few seconds later, he heard the response.
“Yes. We will get by this year and after we save some money, we can buy this piece of land next year or build a new house. “
Wang Shijing did not have any land but Shao Yunan did not ask him how he would earn money so he only said: “You and I do not know each other well, but I want to treat you as head of family and husband but I can’t do it yet. You and I can get along as brothers at first. You and I are in the same boat. I will help you share the burden of this family and take care of your children, but you have to promise me that you won’t force me.”
Wang Shijing’s voice was very flat. “If you have someone you like, I will write you a letter of divorce. This marriage, I also used you.”
Wang Shijing’s answer was a bit unexpected to Shao Yunan, so he turned his face in the shadow suddenly becoming interested. “Hey, I don’t understand. Your parents… oh… why are your parents treating you so badly? Did they bring you in just like me?” In the darkness, Wang Shijing tilted his head slightly and asked, “You were brought in?” He still hasn’t forgotten what Shao Yunan had said during the day.
Shao Yunan said, “I think I was brought in. Anyway, it wasn’t from a proper channel, so I don’t remember whose family I belonged to and how I ended up in the Shao family. But I have secretly heard old lady Shao and old man Shao complaining that they should not have brought me in or saying they should have sold me earlier. According to what they said, they didn’t bring me in for a good reason. Old lady Wang was right about one thing, my eight characters are false and just something that the Shao family made up. It was just a fluke that the eight characters they made up just met the needs of your third brother.”
In the dark Wang Shijing wrinkled his eyebrows, not minding Shao Yunan’s name for his own mother. The State of Yan imposed a heavy penalty on the sale of children from good families. Even during the famine years, it was not allowed to buy and sell children from good families; they only dared to buy and sell them in private and once they were found out they would be exiled or beheaded. The original Shao Yunan knew he was not properly adopted, but because of his personality and environment, did not think about it too much. But the ‘him’ whose memories fused with the original Shao Yunan easily thought of this point. He was not familiar with the laws of the State of Yan, but he still knew some of them thanks to the original body owner’s memories. It’s just that the original body owner did not remember where he came from, so Shao Yunan was unable to help the original body owner get justice and it was still unknown whether he can gain a secure foothold in this world.
“Do you want to find your real parents?” Wang Shijing asked.
“I have no such intention. If we meet in the future, we can talk about it. Who knows what happened back then. I don’t want to make a big deal about it, but the Shao family will make trouble about it anyway. If this matter was stirred up and brought to the attention of the government, how much impact will it have?”
Wang Shijing said truthfully. “The Shao family would at least be exiled. Shao’s family patriarch can also not escape and would be sentenced for at least five years. You can go to sue them.”
The ancient population was not prosperous in the first place. In recent years, the State of Yan also had mandatory military service due to the war. The population gap became even greater, so the punishment for the sale of children from a good family became even more heavy.
Shao Yunan said, “This is enough to handle them. If they don’t have eyes and try to mess with me again, I will let them learn a lesson. I don’t remember where I came from, so even if I won the case, my life would still be a mess. As long as they’re smart enough, I’ll let them off the hook for now.” After a pause, he couldn’t help but ask, “What about you? You still haven’t said what’s going on with you. Are you their real son?”
Wang Shijing became silent. Shao Yunan didn’t expect the other man to reveal his heart to him right away, so he just turned around and laid down. After a long time, just as Shao Yunan was ready to fall asleep, he heard a low voice near him. “I also want to know if I am their real son.”
The melancholy and sadness in these words caused Shao Yunan’s heart to tremble inexplicably, sniffing softly he said, “If you regret it, it may still not be too late.”
“No regrets.” Wang Shijing rolled over, turning his back to Shao Yunan. “Go to sleep. You have to get up early tomorrow.”
Shao Yunan also rolled over. Turning his back he thought, ‘This kind of family can’t be happy.’
Edited by: Jaisland