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Chapter 5-Part 1

Sister Lian supported Li Hehua’s arm and walked out of the inner room. When they reached the entrance of the main hall, they waited for someone to come and carry Hehua into the flower sedan chair.

In the customs of Great Qi, the bride must be carried out by male relatives and then sent into the bridal sedan chair. However, Li Hehua only had a widowed mother, so she had to borrow someone from the Li family village. Luckily, the entire village traced back to the same family lineage for hundreds of years. The person they borrowed was Sister Lian’s just-turned-fourteen-year-old son, Li Wen. Fortunately, he was quite strong and could at least carry Hehua.

They waited for almost a quarter of an hour, but there was no sign of Li Wen. Sister Lian became anxious and gestured for Xiaoya, who was standing nearby, to go find him. The clever girl darted out.

Sister Lian said with a smile, “Sister Wang, Hehua, don’t worry. My husband and the third one have agreed. He will definitely come.”

Although she said so, she was somewhat anxious. This “third one” was her first son born after giving birth to two daughters. He was spoiled at home and uncontrollable. She had to give him ten copper coins before he agreed to do this.

They had agreed upon it, but as the auspicious time approached, where did he run off to? It would be a disaster if this good deed turned into enmity.

Mr. Lin said Hehua’s future prospects were limitless. Even if she couldn’t rely on her in the future, she couldn’t offend her.

Hehua, under the red veil, remained still, being a quiet bride, but her hand under the wide sleeve grabbed Mrs. Wang’s hand, comforting her.

Originally, they had invited the grandson of the old village chief, but Sister Lian volunteered her son. Out of respect for Sister Lian, they overlooked Li Wen’s lazy and greedy nature and agreed, even preparing a large red envelope for him. However, as the auspicious time approached and he still hadn’t arrived, it was evident that something had gone wrong.

Just as they were thinking, Xiaoya ran in panting, shouting, “Mother, it’s bad! Third Brother is causing trouble again, demanding money from the Lu family. He said if they don’t give it, he won’t carry Hehua out, and he said some very unpleasant things.”

Such as Hehua having no father or brothers; if he didn’t carry her out today, she wouldn’t be able to marry, and so on. Hearing this, she felt embarrassed and couldn’t help but say a few words. Her third brother even threatened to beat her.

Sister Lian’s face immediately turned pale, and she forced a smile. “Sister Wang, Hehua, let me go out and see. I will not delay your auspicious time.”

After Sister Lian went out, the relatives who came to celebrate consoled them for a moment and then followed. Since Mrs. Wang couldn’t hold back her tears, it was awkward for these outsiders to stay inside, so they might as well go out and watch the commotion.

Mrs. Wang choked, “Hehua, it’s all my fault for letting you have no brothers and making you suffer like this when getting married.”

Hehua held Mrs. Wang’s hand and said gently, “Mother, don’t worry. Without brothers to carry me out, I’ll walk out by myself.”

Mrs. Wang was greatly alarmed and forgot to cry. “No, this is not auspicious. In Great Qi customs, the bride can’t touch the ground before reaching her husband’s house. If she does, it’s not a good sign. What kind of life will Hehua have in the future? That’s why I tried every means to find a man from the village to carry you. Who knew there would be trouble at the last minute? My daughter’s fate is as bitter as mine.”

Seeing Mrs. Wang becoming more and more distressed, Hehua had to stand up and embrace her, saying, “Mother, don’t worry. Aunt Lian hasn’t come back yet, but everything will be fine.”

What a headache!

If it were modern times, she could handle it herself. Why bother with such a cumbersome process? If she had known, she would have tried to persuade her mother not to find a brother to carry her. This also reminded her that people are most reliable when relying on themselves.

Mrs. Wang found some hope and finally stopped crying, looking towards the door, hoping that Sister Lian and Li Wen would appear immediately. Before long, a commotion and footsteps came.

She was overjoyed and turned to Hehua. “Hehua, it must be your Aunt Lian coming back. Get ready; you’ll be leaving soon.”

Hehua tidied her red veil and clothes and softly said, “Yes, Mother, don’t worry.”

A group of people entered, led by none other than Lu Junyu, dressed in bright red groom’s attire, handsome as a painting. But Mrs. Wang didn’t admire him; instead, she exclaimed, “Son-in-law, why are you here?”

Lu Junyu should be waiting outside for Hehua to enter the sedan chair and then lead the sedan chair back to the Lu family to bow.

Lu Junyu bowed and solemnly said, “Mother-in-law, today I will carry Hehua out and into the sedan chair. As her husband and family, there is no one better suited than me.”

The people around were stunned. They had attended countless weddings but had never heard of the groom carrying the bride out.

Mrs. Wang hadn’t spoken yet. Hehua’s clear voice said, “Okay.”

In modern times, it’s the groom who carries the bride anyway.

Mrs. Wang took a while to find her voice and said, “But this is not according to the rules.”

Li Hehua said softly, “Mother, our ancestors never said that the groom couldn’t carry the bride out. Let it be like this,Mr. Lu, please hurry; the auspicious time is here.”

Lu Junyu immediately went over, turned his back, and bent down. Li Hehua immediately leaned on him, and as Lu Junyu stood up to walk, finally someone reacted.

An elderly woman said, “No, this is too irregular. If word gets out, our Li family village will lose its reputation. It’s not proper to just call any man to carry Hehua. Go quickly.”

Then others chimed in, mostly agreeing with the elderly woman.

Li Hehua spoke up, “Granny Wan, it’s unnecessary. Let it be like this,I alone cannot represent the Li family village, but we won’t bring disgrace to it.”

Granny Wan was the wife of the old village chief, always rigid and extremely unfriendly towards them. She considered Hehua’s mother a widow and inauspicious, and Hehua herself a liability. She never allowed them into her home. For this reason, she hadn’t invited her grandson to help, despite the old village chief personally offering him to act as Hehua’s brother to send her off.

Granny Wan exclaimed angrily, “I knew you mother and daughter had ill intentions! A widow and a woman who hang around with men holding knives all day—none of you are good people! If I had known earlier, I would have kicked you out of the Li family village to prevent you from harming the people here.”

Mrs. Wang’s tears flowed instantly, crying out because she was a widow; she had been looked down upon by the villagers for years, privately ridiculed by them, and now they wouldn’t even let her daughter enjoy a good day! It was all because of her! If she had known, she would have died long ago.

Li Hehua snorted coldly, about to speak, when Lu Junyu’s cold voice interrupted, “Since when has the court issued a decree that those who have lost their husbands cannot live in their original place? All the land in Great Qi belongs to the emperor. Are you implying… treason?”

Hearing this, the courtyard fell silent. How did the conversation turn to treason? This was a serious crime! They suddenly remembered that this young man in front of them was the first scholar in a hundred miles. He was like the star of literature; in the future, he might even meet the emperor. If he said something, would there be any future for the Li family village?

The timid ones were trembling, thinking of kneeling down to beg for mercy. Even Granny Wan, who was usually unyielding, dared not speak anymore. This man, who can serve as a scholar and eat royal food, is said to be very familiar with the county magistrate.

They had thought he married Li Hehua because of some debt of gratitude towards Widow Wang, but it didn’t seem like he was unwilling.

But this only made her more resentful. Her granddaughter was so good, but she had once sent someone to propose marriage to the Lu family, and they didn’t even respond.

As a result, Widow Wang, this shameless woman, took advantage. Don’t think she didn’t know how many men in the village were attracted to this widow Wang.

It is disgusting that since she was a widow, she should have scratched her own face, which seduces people. Now her daughter was just like her.

Fortunately, they were leaving now. Before leaving, if she could provoke the Lu family against them, Widow Wang would lose her arrogance.

Who knew this Scholar Lu actually didn’t care about such things.

Indeed, mother and daughter, they had only met a few times, and they had already captivated Scholar Lu. Disgusting!

Hearing Lu Junyu’s words, Li Hehua couldn’t help but smile. This Lu Junyu was really not to be trifled with; his voice didn’t even tremble when lying. But fortunately, he was lying to the remote corners of the Li family village, where people hadn’t read many books and naturally had a deep respect for scholars and officials, so he managed to scare them.

But speaking up also resolved her situation.

She whispered in his ear, “Let’s go.”

These people bullied the weak and feared the strong,just because today she was getting married and would not bring out her knives.

Revenge for women may take ten years, but it will come eventually, hmph!

As for the character of the people in the village, she had long known it. If it weren’t for her boldness,the mother and daughter would have been devoured alive by this group long ago.

They wanted to chase them away earlier, but the old village chief couldn’t bear to do it. After all, her family had lived in the Li family village for hundreds of years.


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