Eighty Soldiers 018
His little wife.
The hospital was full of people, and Zheng Bin led Jiang Rui to the door of a ward. He gestured to Jiang Rui to wait outside with a shushing gesture, and knocked twice on the door himself, and pushed the door open.
” Yo, so there are so many people?”
Zhao Nan was not the only one in the ward, several comrades had come to visit him, in addition to several female comrades from the Cultural and Industrial Corps, and when Zheng Bin saw one of them, he looked a little odd.
When they saw him, they greeted him, “Good day, Battalion Commander Zheng.”
Zheng Bin waved his hand, “What a coincidence, you all came to see Battalion Commander Zhao?”
“Yes, today the regiment didn’t have to practice, so when we heard from Company Commander Zhang that Battalion Commander Zhao had been injured, we asked him to bring us to take a look.” A female comrade in a yellow scarf replied.
” Not bad, not bad at all.” Zheng Bin said, secretly glaring at that Zhang Company Commander, glaring at the man, and then looking at Zhao Nan, ” Lao Zhao, how are you feeling today?”
“Not bad.” Zhao Nan was leaning against the bed, one leg in a cast.
Zheng Bin leaned against the door and said with a smile, “Look at you, you look so pitiful, your old brother has prepared a surprise for you, want to guess?”
“Many thanks, my heart goes out to you.” Zhao Nan said in a salty manner.
In the past, when he looked at him like this, Zheng Bin was so angry that he would jump to his feet every time, but today he was not anxious at all, just thinking about the expression on Lao Zhao’s face afterwards made the present endurance all worth it.
” Seriously not looking forward to it at all? I’m telling you, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, after this village there’s no such thing.”
Zhao Nan was not cooperating, lifting his eyes to look at him with a faint expression. It wasn’t that he was deliberately ungrateful, but Zheng Bin’s nature was so out of tune that he didn’t know how many times he had been caught out in earlier years, and only now was he gradually finding a way to restrain him, which was to ignore him.
“Hey, you old Zhao, no fun!” Zheng Bin grunted.
The female comrades of the Cultural Troupe next to him laughed and agreed, “Battalion Commander Zhao and Battalion Commander Zheng are really close.”
Zheng Bin smiled at them and said to Zhao Nan, “Since you are not looking forward to it, I can only take my sister-in-law with me.” With that, he made a gesture to turn around and leave.
Zhao Nan immediately turned his head to look at him, his heart still pondering what he meant by this, how much of it was true and how much was not, but his mouth had already asked out uncontrollably, “What sister-in-law? Who’s here?”
“Yo, I thought you didn’t care? Then why are you asking?” Zheng Bin had a smirk on his face, looking really indebted.
He ignored Zheng Bin and lifted the blanket to get out of bed.
Zheng Bin was startled and took three or two steps to stop him, “Are you crazy Lao Zhao! Do you need your leg?”
Jiang Rui heard the commotion and came out from behind the door.
Zhao Nan was about to push Zheng Bin away, when he looked up and saw her, all his movements stopped.
The people in the ward followed suit and looked at Jiang Rui, a hint of amazement flashed across several faces before they whispered.
Jiang Rui stepped forward and took Zhao Nan’s arm and told him to sit down, with little strength, but she gently pushed down the man that Zheng Bin could not even hold.
Zhao Nan’s face was unusually dumbfounded, staring straight at her.
Jiang Rui looked at him too.
“Bao, Bao ……”
Zheng Bin suddenly shivered, ” Lao Zhao, you’re too carnal! How can you still call your little wife a baby?!”
Zhao Nan finally came back to his senses and gave him a speechless look, immediately looking at Jiang Rui again: “When did you come?”
The two of them had been holding hands since a while ago, and they had no intention of letting go now. Jiang Rui sat on the edge of his bed in this position: “I just got off the train, and it was Zheng who picked me up. How did you get hurt? Does it hurt?”
“It doesn’t matter, it’s just a small injury.” Zhao Nan muddled through, and asked her again, “Are you tired?”
Jiang Rui shook her head, “No, Xiao Bei bought me a bed, and I slept on the way a few times.”
“I should have gone back to pick you up.” Zhao Nan apologized.
” You have to be able to walk then.” Zheng Bin interjected from the side, “Lao Zhao, if you and your little wife have any private conversations, take your time to talk behind closed doors later, there are still so many people watching, just take it easy, take it easy.”
The few people next to him who had been ignored for a long time had already dropped their jaws at the soft tone in which Zhao Nan spoke to Jiang Rui, was this still the Yan Wang Battalion Commander they knew?!
When they finally had a chance to speak, Zhang Dafa, the leader of Zhang Company, asked curiously, “Battalion Commander, is this your wife?”
They had long heard from Commander Zheng that the battalion commander was actually being forced to see a girl when he went home to visit his family, and they were a bit gleeful – the cold-faced battalion commander who crushes them all the time also has a time when he has to be forced!
However, a month later, the old man returned to the team without any displeasure and, like the male bird that builds the nest, he started to decorate his house.
A few of them were so curious that they were scratching their heads. What kind of divine person is sister-in-law that she could easily take down the battalion commander? After meeting her today, they realized that her name was true, a battalion commander would be a battalion commander, what a blessing!
Zhao Nan introduced Jiang Rui to several company commanders under him, and as for the ladies, he only said they were female comrades from the Cultural and Industrial Corps, and did not introduce them one by one, so presumably the relationship was not very close.
The one with the yellow scarf opened her mouth to speak, but was silenced by another good-looking girl beside her.
Zheng Bin’s eyes danced as he watched.
Jiang Rui appeared not to see it and pursed up the corners of her mouth, showing her light dimples as she greeted them.
“Let’s go first, let Lao Zhao and his little wife have a good talk, and some day when Lao Zhao is discharged from the hospital, we’ll go up to his house and make a fuss.” Seeing that those who should know each other already knew each other, Zheng Bin intended to take the uninvolved people away from the scene to save any loose ends.
When he said that, the others couldn’t stay any longer, so they each got up and said goodbye.
Jiang Rui took them to the door, closed it and walked back in.
Zhao Nan’s eyes were on her the whole time, and before she even approached, she reached out to hold his hand, holding it tightly in her palm.
Jiang Rui sat down smoothly, leaning her body forward and leaning gently against his chest.
Zhao Nan wrapped his arms around her and took her in his arms, kissing the top of her head. The anxiety and boredom that had arisen over the past few days because of his injury all disappeared after seeing her, leaving only a sense of peace and contentment.
“How is it at home?”
“The spring ploughing is over and my sister-in-law and I have been taking turns in the fields, but the two of us can’t work as fast as Mum alone. Dad and Big Brother were still running to the mountains every day. They had found a nest of wild bees and were having trouble moving them into the beehives. Also, my sister-in-law told me secretly the other day that Xixi might have someone she likes.”
“Who is it?” Zhao Nan asked.
Jiang Rui shook her head, “Sister-in-law isn’t too sure. It’s not good for us to ask Xi Xi directly, I believe she’s from the same factory as her. Just a while ago Ma was still reciting that once your problem was solved, it would be Xi Xi and Xiao Bei’s turn next.”
Remembering Zhang Li Yun’s tone at the time, she looked up and nodded at Zhao Nan’s chest and laughed, “Mum said that compared to your daunting task, the two of them were mere dribbles, so why do you think you were so disliked?”
Zhao Nan grabbed her finger, put it to his lips and kissed it, “Do you mind?”
“What would you do if I said it was too much?” Jiang Rui looked at him with a raised eyebrow and a smile.
“Dislike would be mine.” Zhao Nan cooed, tightening his arms and lowering his head to kiss her on the lips.
” By the way Lao Zhao-” the door to the room suddenly opened, the visitor took a look inside the room and turned around sharply, looking at the sky and the air, there was nothing here, “Huh? Why can’t I see anything?”
The corners of Zhao Nan’s mouth twitched as he hugged Jiang Rui and didn’t let go, “What is it?”
Zheng Bin glanced out of the corner of his eye and saw no images that would make anyone develop an eye for a needle before he turned back around.
The atmosphere in the room was a bit delicate. Although Zhao Nan looked as normal, Zheng Bin had known him for many years and could see the discomfort beneath his calm performance at the moment.
As for Jiang Rui, she was leaning against Zhao Nan’s chest, as if she was shy and did not raise her head.
Zheng Bin cleared his throat, “So what, I just want to ask you, is my sister-in-law staying here with you tonight, or going back to the military area? If she goes back, I’ll come back later and take her to get the formalities done.”
“You and Lao Zheng go back first?” Zhao Nan asked Jiang Rui in a low voice.
Jiang Rui shook her head and sat upright to look at Zheng Bin, “I want to stay here tonight, if I’m free afterwards, can I trouble Brother Zheng to take me through the formalities again?”
“There is no such thing as trouble, don’t be polite to me sister-in-law, I am free anytime.”
“Thank you, Brother Zheng, then.” Jiang Rui smiled.
Zheng Bin nodded outright and looked at the two again, “Then I’m leaving, I really won’t be back this time, you guys …… whatever, you carry on. But Lao Zhao, the doctor said, your leg can not bump and touch, take it easy ah.”
After saying that, he did not care what the two people’s reaction was, closed the door and left.
Jiang Rui turned her head to look at Zhao Nan, and saw him with a calm face and red ears.
In the corridor, Zheng Bin left humming a song. When had he ever seen Lao Zhao look shy? It was worth the trip back today.
Just after leaving the hospital, he was stopped by someone, the female comrade wearing a yellow scarf from the ward earlier.
“Comrade Chen Ling Ling ah, is there something wrong?” Zheng Bin said with a smile on his face as he came to ask.
Chen Ling Ling opened her mouth and asked, ” Battalion Commander Zheng, is that really the lover of Battalion Commander Zhao from earlier?”
“Of course she is, how can such a thing be false? Lao Zhao has already applied for my sister-in-law to join the army.”
“But, but just how long has Battalion Commander Zhao known her?”
Zheng Bin said: “Fate, this kind of thing, there is no such thing as a short period of time, it has come here. Look at Lao Zhao, he has been single for twenty-eight years, and many people have tried to match him up, but none of them worked out. This time when he came home, he met my sister-in-law and the two of them immediately saw eye to eye and got married right away, this is fate.”
“They have only been together for a few days, does she have a common language with Battalion Commander Zhao? Does she understand Battalion Commander Zhao’s ideals and ambitions? Jiayi, she-“
“Ling Ling, don’t say anything.” Another girl came over and interrupted Chen Lin, “Battalion Commander Zheng, Ah Lin is talking nonsense, you should not take it to heart.”
“It’s fine,” Zheng Bin waved his hand and asked the two of them, “Is Xiao Lin and Xiao Chen going back to the military area or where are they going? If you’re going back, I’ll give you guys a lift slightly.”
“No, thank you, Battalion Commander Zheng, we still want to wander around a bit more.” Lin Jiayi politely declined.
“Then you guys be careful.” Zheng Bin nodded and separated from the two of them, muttering secretly as he walked away, ” Lao Zhao is so insensitive, but he is so blessed, the girls he meets are more beautiful than the others, God is really not open-minded.”
Seeing him leave, Chen Ling Ling tugged on Lin Jiayi’s sleeve, “Jiayi, why didn’t you let me finish?”
“What’s the use of saying it, it would only make people laugh.” Lin Jiayi frowned lightly.
Chen Ling Ling said reluctantly, “I really don’t understand, what’s so great about that girl from the countryside? Just a pretty face, do these men only look at faces? Jia Yi, you’ve been in love with Camp Leader Zhao for so long, why should she steal him away as soon as she appears?”
Lin Jia Yi looked distraught: “How can it be considered a robbery? It wasn’t mine in the first place. The fact that I like him is my own business, and Commander Zhao never gave me the hope that I shouldn’t have.”
” All in all, I just can’t stand it for you!” Chen Ling Ling stomped her foot, “Did you see the clothes she was wearing? Rustic, she’s really from the countryside!”
“Even if it’s rustic, it’s still pretty, look at her when she came in, everyone’s eyes were unconsciously focused on her, it was like she was on stage all by herself. She looked at Camp Leader Zhao with such gentle eyes, how could anyone not be moved by her gazing at them?”
“Geez why are you like that!” Chen Ling Ling was going to give her a hard time, ” Just who is the one with you? Why are you praising your love rival all the time?!”
Lin Jia Yi laughed bitterly, “I’m not even qualified to be her love rival, she and Battalion Commander Zhao are indeed a good match, Ling Ling, don’t say anything about me liking Battalion Commander Zhao in front of others in the future, people will misunderstand if they hear.”
Chen Ling Ling was already so angry that she had no strength, she could only give a haphazard wave of her hand, “I know, I know, I won’t bother anymore.”
In the hospital room, Jiang Rui and Zhao Nan naturally did not continue.
It was getting late and the nurse brought Zhao Nan dinner. Jiang Rui brought her own money and food coupons, and after asking someone for directions, she went to the hospital canteen for dinner.
It was almost dark when she got back and Zhao Nan’s ward was currently only occupied by him, so Jiang Rui could borrow a bed in another ward for the night.
She sorted out the luggage she had brought with her a little, rummaged through the towels and dental jars and other toiletries, went to the washroom to brush her teeth and wash her face, and returned with a bottle of boiled water for Zhao Nan.
Zhao Nan’s legs were not unable to get off the ground, he just needed to use crutches and land on one foot, but that was enough for him, he stood on his own and washed up a little and went to the bathroom with his crutches.
Jiang Rui made no offer to help him there, nor was he weak enough to need help.
When he went back to his room, she locked the door, drew the curtains and pulled up the curtain between the two hospital beds.
Zhao Nan wondered, “Sleeping so early?”
Jiang Rui peeked out from behind the partition curtain, arched her eyes and smiled, “I need to take a bath, no peeking, uncle.”
Zhao Nan let out a sound, and his face began to heat up again.
The thin cloth curtain could only isolate one’s sight, it could not close off the senses of smell and hearing, and even the slightest sound, which was only a subtle one, was amplified because it could not be seen.
The sound of water being raised was all around his ears, and Zhao Nan could even imagine how the water in the towel was squeezed out, how it dripped back into the continuous basin, and how it splashed onto the floor.
The sound of water was followed by a brief moment of silence.
No, it was not actually quiet, there were other sounds.
There was a very slight rustle of the moisture-laden towel, rubbing over the smooth skin.
The already fair and delicate skin must have been even more tender after encountering the water. Every piece of epidermis had absorbed the water, every nook and cranny was tinged with the fresh scent of the soap, and the water and fragrance mixed to create the faint warm scent he was familiar with.
His throat involuntarily rolled up and down, his mouth swallowed unconsciously, and Zhao Nan tried his best to control himself, but his eyesight was like a wild weed that could not be restrained, and he glanced at the partition curtain secretly, surreptitiously, like a thief.
He could not see anything, but he had overlooked one thing – the light would reflect shadows on the curtain.
There was a slender figure on the curtain, long in the limbs, thin in the waist, and delicate and undulating in the–
Zhao Nan turned his eyes away with difficulty, not daring to look again, his ears filled with the sound of a heartbeat like a drum. He even wondered if such a violent sound would be noticed by the person behind the curtain.
When Jiang Rui finished scrubbing and pulled back the partition curtain, she saw Zhao Nan sitting like a bronze statue, straight and erect on the edge of the bed.
“You haven’t laid down yet? Do you want me to scrub you too?”
“…… No need.” Zhao Nan’s eyes followed her figure, watching her like a small, light-hearted butterfly as she moved back and forth across the room, the originally pale and depressing ward becoming full of life and warmth with her in it.
Watching her start to make up the bed on the other bed, Zhao Nan spoke, “Sleep over here at night.”
“Hmm? To sleep in one bed? But the bed is so narrow, will I bump into your legs?”
“No, you’ll sleep on the right side.” It was his left leg that was injured.
“That would have to be for me to smell first.” Jiang Rui suddenly leaned in close to him and took a sniff on his neck.
Zhao Nan stiffened and his throat rolled violently.
Jiang Rui looked at him and laughed lightly, “It’s fine if you want to sleep together, but I smell good from my bath, and you smell like sweat, so I have to give you a bath too.”
Zhao Nan’s heart was at war, it wasn’t that he didn’t like cleanliness, but in this situation, it would be difficult for him to take a bath by himself, he would have to ask Jiang Rui to help him. But he was not at all sure if he could control his body’s reaction when she was helping him. If she saw what she shouldn’t, where should he put his face?
But he was very reluctant to give up the opportunity to share the same bed, to give up that warm and soft body.
It took a while before Zhao Nan nodded his head.
Jiang Rui went to fetch another jar of boiling water and poured the steaming water into the basin as she raised her hands to take off Zhao Nan’s clothes.
“I’ll do it.” Zhao Nan hurriedly blocked her hand.
“Then you can do it yourself.” Jiang Rui sat on the edge of the bed, propping her chin up and waiting for him to take them off in a calm manner.
Under such scrutiny, the originally simple task of undressing became a difficult one. Zhao Nan could see the smile in Jiang Rui’s eyes and knew that she was doing it on purpose, but in his heart he just had no choice but to indulge.
He slowly took off his jumper, leaving a shirt underneath. He felt as if every time he undid a button, Jiang Rui’s eyes shone brighter, and she looked at him without shying away from looking directly at him, like a young hooligan ready to molest a virtuous woman.
Zhao Nan shook his head inwardly, but finished taking off the last of his top, not the bottom.
Jiang Rui looked closely at his upper body and puffed out her lips in discontent, “He’s thinner than he was at home, and he’s got a lot more little cuts.”
Those were marks from a recent mission, and Zhao Nan was getting a little used to being looked at, and had the presence of mind to reassure her, “It’ll be gone soon.”
“I hope so.” Jiang Rui twisted the towel dry, put on a bit of soap and started from the neck and worked her way down bit by bit.
She quickly finished wiping her upper body and naturally went to tug at Zhao Nan’s trousers.
Zhao Nan hastily protected them, stuttering, “There’s no need to wash down there.”
“How can I not need to wash?” Jiang Rui looked at him, as if she thought of something, and suddenly smiled wickedly: “It’s just a body wipe, are you thinking of something strange? Or is there something strange that you want to hide from me?”
Zhao Nan’s face flushed red and his eyes wandered, forcing himself to calm down: “What strange things are there? Don’t think too much about it.”
“I’m not overthinking it, and it’s better if you don’t overthink it either.” Jiang Rui covered her mouth and laughed.
One of them wanted to take off the other’s trousers, and the other was protecting them from it. After a moment of stalemate, Jiang Rui took a step back, “How about this, I’ll twist the towel for you and go out first, can you do it yourself?”
Zhao Nan immediately nodded his head in agreement, even if it was a bit difficult to wash it himself, he had to overcome the difficulties and conquer them.
Anyway, he couldn’t let his little wife wash strange things for him.
By the time both of them had finished washing, it was long past full darkness. Jiang Rui put the changed clothes in the washbasin and tucked them under the bed, ready to be washed in the morning.
With the lights out, the two of them lay down on the bed.
Jiang Rui wanted to have a good talk with him, but there was one thing she couldn’t ignore.
“Uncle.” She suddenly called out sweetly.
Immediately, Zhao Nan’s nerves were on edge, whenever his wife called him that, he had a bad feeling.
As expected, he heard Jiang Rui say very innocently, “Something strange seems to have come against me from my uncle, do you know what it is?”
The ward was silent for a moment before Zhao Nan coughed violently.
The author has something to say.
Jiang Rui:Uncle, why is the colour of this chapter a bit yellow?
Lao 老 (lǎo): prefix used before the surname of a person or a numeral indicating the order of birth of the children in a family or to indicate affection or familiarity
jump to his feet 跳脚 (tiàojiǎo): to stomp or hop about (in anxiety, anger etc)
little wife 弟妹 (dìmèi): younger brother’s wife
bed 卧铺 (wòpù): a bed (on a train)
Yan Wang 阎王 (Yánwáng): Yama, King of Hell
gleeful 幸灾乐祸 (xìngzāilèhuò): lit. to take joy in calamity and delight in disaster (idiom); fig. to rejoice in other people’s misfortune / Schadenfreude
old 老人家 (lǎorénjiā): polite term for old woman or man
name was true 名不虚传 (míngbùxūchuán): lit. name is not in vain (idiom); a fully justified reputation / enjoys a well-deserved reputation
there was nothing here 此地无银三百两 (cǐdìwúyínsānbǎiliǎng): lit. 300 silver taels not hidden here (idiom); fig. to reveal what one intends to hide
ah 阿 (ā): prefix used before monosyllabic names, kinship terms etc to indicate familiarity
talking nonsense 胡言乱语(húyánluànyǔ): babbling nonsense (idiom); crazy and unfounded ravings
yellow: Jiang Rui means sexy/pornographic.