Looking at his wretched appearance, Jiang Rui laughed and shivered.
The bed was already cramped, and with two people, one choking on saliva and the other laughing incessantly, their bodies were inevitably rubbing against each other, and that strange spot in Jiang Rui’s mouth, instead of subsiding, became more invigorated by the touch.
Zhao Nan was so embarrassed that he wanted to get out of bed to escape, but unfortunately his heart wasn’t in the right place.
Besides, privately, he may not really be willing to shy away from it at such a time.
Although he was overwhelmed by the teasing, when he saw her smiling face, he couldn’t take his eyes off her.
As he watched intently, Jiang Rui slowly stopped laughing uncontrollably and slowly moved closer, touching heads with him, forehead to forehead, eyes watering, laugh lines remaining at the corners of her eyes, mouth curving up.
“How lovely ……” she said with a soft sigh.
Zhao Nan became more and more embarrassed as he listened. A big man, almost thirty years old and thick-skinned, being called cute by his twenty-year-old wife would make anyone feel out of place, and even some sensitive ones would be uncomfortable in their hearts.
Before today, Zhao Nan also thought that he would be the one who felt uncomfortable. But now, in his embarrassment, he only felt his heart in his chest beat hard twice, and a boiling heat exploded from his body, sweeping through all his limbs and ironing out every pore in his body.
He couldn’t resist rubbing Jiang Rui into his arms, but his mouth said, “Nonsense again.”
“Consider me nonsense.” Jiang Rui laughed lightly, her fair and slender fingers tapping on his chest like a piano.
With each touch, Zhao Nan’s panting increased. What was left of his senses knew that this would not work, and he wanted to release the person in his arms, but his hands did not obey him at all, instead holding them tighter and tighter.
Jiang Rui stopped teasing and moved her nimble, soft fingers slowly down his taut, firm muscles.
She hadn’t done this before, let alone with finesse.
But Zhao Nan didn’t need her skill at all. Just the slightest unintentional touch had made it difficult for him to hold back, let alone such attentive caressing at the moment.
As long as it was her.
It could only be her.
The next day, Zheng Bin came as promised. Jiang Rui sent a telegram home to report that she was safe, and then went with him to do the formalities.
When family members joined the army, they needed to move their household registration to the army station, and they also needed to transfer their grain relations. After the transfer, Jiang Rui changed from the original rural household registration of Du Bao Qin to an urban household registration, and could receive a grain supply book, and henceforth the required thirty catties of rations every month.
In addition to this, Zheng Bin also helped her to get an access pass to the military compound and later took her to the house assigned to Zhao Nan by the army.
“When the house was assigned before, the house was a bit tense, because Lao Zhao was still single, the house given to him was not big, it was two rooms and two halls, sister-in-law you can live there first, when you two have children later, you can apply for a bigger one.” Zheng Bin explained.
“It’s already very spacious.” Jiang Rui smiled and said, “Thanks to Brother Zheng these two days, when Ah Nan is discharged from the hospital, he and I will treat Brother Zheng to a casual meal together, you can’t refuse.”
Zheng Bin smiled bashfully, “Don’t worry, I’m most interested in things like eating and will never be polite with you.”
“That’s good, if Brother Zheng has other things to do, just go ahead and go about your business, I’ll clean the house a little and just go to the hospital myself later.”
“Don’t, I’ll take you there, I still remember that look in Lao Zhao’s eyes when I took you out this morning, if I accidentally lost my sister-in-law, he would fight me to the death.” Zheng Bin said partly in jest, partly in earnest.
Jiang Rui lost her smile, “Brother Zheng was kind enough to help us, what more could he have to say? I already memorised the route to the hospital and know how to take the bus, so don’t worry.”
Zheng Bin hesitated, he did have some other things on his mind, but he didn’t feel comfortable sending Jiang Rui back to the hospital, nor was it right to leave it to someone else. It wasn’t until Jiang Rui told him which bus to take, where to stop, and what bus to transfer to that he compromised.
“Fine then, I’ll leave now and see you and Lao Zhao at the hospital tomorrow.”
Jiang Rui walked him to the door, “Take care, Brother Zheng.”
Zheng Bin waved his hand, turned and stepped down two steps, then remembered something else and hesitantly stopped, eventually returning to call out to Jiang Rui. “Sister-in-law, there is something I would like to talk to you about.”
Zheng Bin scratched his cheeks, a bit embarrassed to say, “What is it? Yesterday, among the comrades who came to see Lao Zhao, there was a woman named Lin Jiayi, who secretly liked him for quite a long time. The first time I met you, I didn’t even know that the comrade liked him, but only when I met you did I realize that. I don’t mean anything else when I say this today, but I’m just afraid that if you hear a little bit from others, you might misunderstand Lao Zhao, so instead of that, let me say it to make it clear.”
When it came to this misunderstanding, Zheng Bin’s heart was troubled. Two years ago, his wife suspected that he was having an affair with a female comrade, but she didn’t ask him about it, so she guessed on her own and almost divorced him. Later, although the misunderstanding was cleared up, she punished him with a few days of kneeling on a rubbing board on the excuse that flies don’t bite seamless eggs. For a while, he walked with a limp, and when asked about it, he had to say he had accidentally fallen on his foot, which almost killed him.
Although he wanted to watch Lao Zhao’s jokes, but now Lao Zhao was dragging a leg, he really could not withstand the rubbing of the clothesline.
When Jiang Rui heard that, she just kept smiling and said, “I know, thank you, Brother Zheng.”
“How come you’re not surprised or angry at all?” Zheng Bin was surprised, his wife had almost torn him apart.
But Jiang Rui said, “I guessed it a long time ago.”
“What? Has someone told you that?”
“No, I guessed it myself.” Jiang Rui said, “Ah Nan is so outstanding, there must be someone who likes him.”
“Uh ……” Zheng Bin was suddenly feeling a little clogged in his chest, if he had another thirty years to go, he would have known the feeling called: being shoved with dog food unexpectedly.
Now he just feels upset, how can people be so different from each other? How could Lao Zhao be so lucky? He had married a young and beautiful wife, not to mention the fact that she had a good personality and was gentle and understanding.
When he thought of his own wife wielding a rolling pin, Zheng Bin stopped talking, turned around and left in silence, he had to take it easy.
Jiang Rui spent most of the morning cleaning the house properly. Although Zhao Nan had lived there before, he was a big man and it was good enough that he didn’t turn the house into a doghouse, so she didn’t expect it to be neat and clean.
When she finished tidying up, it was already noon, so she found a restaurant on the street, ate lunch and took the bus back to the hospital.
As soon as she pushed open the door to the ward, she met Zhao Nan’s eyes, and when she saw that it was her, his eyes visibly lit up.
“Have you eaten yet?”
“Ate.” Jiang Rui put down the net of apples she had bought and picked one up to peel, telling him what she had done in the morning as she did so.
“Does the wound hurt today? Does it itch?”
Zhao Nan took the apple and handed it to her mouth first, watching her take a bite, “It doesn’t hurt or itch, I asked the doctor, the wound isn’t infected, so I can leave the hospital tomorrow and come back in a month to remove the cast.”
Jiang Rui chewed on the apple and nodded, “It’s a good thing I cleaned up the house today, I don’t have to clean it again when I go back tomorrow.”
Zhao Nan said, “When my leg is well, I’ll do the cleaning.”
“I’m not sure about that,” Jiang Rui looked at him with a derisive smile, “I found a pair of tight trousers, two black and white socks, and a vest under the bed today, all full of dust and spider webs, I don’t know how long it’s been there and who knows what else will be in the corners if you’re the one who cleans up afterwards. “
“Well …… no way.” Zhao Nan was mildly confused.
“What do you think?” Jiang Rui raised the corners of her eyes to look at him.
Zhao Nan replied by bringing the apple to her mouth once again.
The two of them finished eating a whole apple in one bite, Jiang Rui got up and washed her hands, then returned to the bed, “Sleepy? I’ll lie down with you for a while.”
Zhao Nan scooted a bit of space to the side and let her lie down. After talking for a while, he occasionally lowered his head and kissed her forehead until sleepiness overtook him and he fell asleep.
Still awake, Jiang Rui waited for Zhao Nan to fall asleep before propping up her upper body and looking at him from the side.
The Face bore no resemblance to the one in her memory, and if she had not been able to sense him, she would not have been able to recognize that the soul in this body was a part of that high and mighty man.
As she had said to Zheng Bin earlier, for a normal person, Zhao Nan was already rare and outstanding; who would have thought that his soul was not complete, or was even only partially fragmented.
She had come here, to him, to use her own spiritual energy to nurture his soul, which might take a long time, probably as long as a human’s lifetime.
When this life is reincarnated, she will take him back to where he should be.
As far as she was concerned, this was the task, the destiny, the karma.
To achieve her goal, she did not care what tactics she used, or what identity she used to stay by his side.
She could be a friend, a family member, a lover, or even an enemy if need be.
Now she found that the role of lover was, perhaps, more conducive to the task than the others. For only a lover could be there for a long time, while parents and friends would all have their own lives to lead.
In the future, she would probably consider this role first as well.
In the end, anyway, all these soul fragments will go through reincarnation, erasing the memories of the previous life, and when that person awakens from their slumber, they will only remember that they slept for a long time.
Not that anyone will know what happened in the process, as long as the outcome is what everyone wants.
What the author has to say.
Big Shot: You sure I (we) will forget?
 invigorated 精神抖擞 (jīngshéndǒusǒu): spirit trembling with excitement (idiom); in high spirits
heart wasn’t in the right place. 心有余而力不足 (xīnyǒuyú’érlìbùzú): the will is there, but not the strength (idiom) / the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak
 overwhelmed 手足无措 (shǒuzúwúcuò): at a loss to know what to do (idiom); bewildered
 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 / old (of people)
Ah 阿 (ā): prefix used before monosyllabic names, kinship terms etc to indicate familiarity
 Dog food 狗粮 (gǒuliáng): dog food / (Internet slang) public display of affection (term used by singles)
 high and mighty man. 高高在上 (gāogāozàishàng): set up on high (idiom); not in touch with reality / aloof and remote