When Zhao Nan is released from the hospital, the two of them will really shut up and live their life.
Zhao Nan rested at home for a period of time because of his leg injury, and he was often visited at home. As a result, Jiang Rui met a group of officers’ spouses, one or two of whom she got to know well and slowly became friends.
As the weather gradually warmed up, Jiang Rui changed into the spring and summer clothes she had brought from home, but after going out for a while, she noticed a problem: the clothes she was wearing were not quite the same as those worn by the people here.
In other words, she’s earthbound.
Whether it was earthy or not, she originally did not care. When she was in the Xishan Brigade, she wore whatever people wore, and she could put on any kind of clothes, because she knew that in order to integrate into a place, one must not be too alien.
When she came to the big city, it was different. Two years ago, even the leaders had spoken out about the need for reform and openness.
This is most evident in the way women dress, style and groom themselves. A few years ago, when you walked down the street, there were still military uniforms, full of green and grey. In the past two years, there has been an explosion of new clothing, especially for young girls, who are more stylish and fashionable than ever.
In contrast, Jiang Rui couldn’t care less.
It’s okay for her to be earthy when people are earthy, but it’s not fine for her to be fashionable when people are fashionable.
On a few occasions in particular, she heard a few young lasses from the Cultural Troupe calling her a village girl behind her back. Jiang Rui felt she couldn’t take it personally with the young lasses, but as a woman, she was a bit offended by being judged in this way.
When she got home, she took the money and the tickets for the cloth and went to the department store, but when she came out, she didn’t buy the new bell-bottom trousers and toadstools then, but bought some cloth to make her own – she didn’t see those clothes in the shop, she wanted to make some unique ones to make the people who had ridiculed her for her rusticity swallow their words back.
The sewing machine she had purchased for her wedding was back home, so Jiang Rui decided to sew it herself, stitch by stitch, as her hand and eyesight were much faster than normal people anyway.
Zhao Nan’s leg should have been fixed for another month or two after the cast was removed, but he couldn’t be bothered and returned to the team early.
Jiang Rui wasn’t worried, as she was there and wouldn’t let him suffer any after-effects.
When Zhao Nan came home from the camp in the evening, he didn’t hear the familiar sweet words of you’re back when he entered the door, and there was no smell of dinner in the air; the whole house was quiet and peaceful. He searched through the living room, kitchen and bedrooms one by one, and finally found Jiang Rui in the vacant guest bedroom.
She sat cross-legged on the floor with various fabric needles and threads scattered around her and a piece of white cloth in her hand, stitching intently left and right.
Zhao Nan stood for a moment, and when he saw that she was ignoring him, he had to speak up and say, “I’m back.”
Jiang Rui did not even raise her head and gave a sound.
In the past, she would have asked if he was hungry, but Zhao Nan waited, but when he didn’t, he spoke up again, “Are you hungry?”
“I don’t want to eat.” Jiang Rui still didn’t look at him directly.
Zhao Nan then went to the kitchen, took off his jacket, rolled up his sleeves, poured the rice into the pot, and after a while of banging pots and pans, brought out two bowls of rice that were not dry and not thin, a dish of scrambled egg flowers that were a bit burnt, and a bowl of leftover winter melon and pork ribs soup at noon.
He went to call Jiang Rui over to eat, but Jiang Rui answered with her mouth but her body did not move.
After waiting for a long time, Zhao Nan simply leaned down and picked her up and put her on a chair at the dining table.
With a needle still in her hand, Jiang Rui blinked, looked at the meal on the table, then at him, and suddenly said, “You’re back.”
Zhao Nan said helplessly, “I’m back, but what are you doing?”
“Making summer clothes, the ones I brought from home earlier, they were too ugly to wear out.” Jiang Rui answered him as she picked up her rice.
With chopsticks in place, Zhao Nan asked, “Who said it was ugly?”
“It doesn’t matter who said it.” Jiang Rui took a chopstick of egg flower and chewed it twice to narrow her eyes.
“What’s wrong? Did the salt not melt? Spit it out quickly.” Zhao Nan kept an eye on her and immediately said when he saw this.
Jiang Rui shook her head, swallowed the rice in her mouth and said with a smile, “It’s not that the salt didn’t melt, it’s that it’s so delicious, Uncle’s cooking is so good.”
Zhao Nan blushed a little at her compliment and held his tongue for a moment before saying, “It’s merely a cooked dish, there’s no such thing as skill.”
That said, he took the burnt ones from the plate of scrambled eggs and put them in his own bowl, leaving the tender ones for Jiang Rui.
Jiang Rui added, “I feel like it’s fun to make clothes, so when those are done, I’ll make two for you too.”
Zhao Nan nodded, he thought it was good that Jiang Rui had something to pass the time, but still explained, “Next time, you can’t forget to eat.”
Jiang Rui worked on it for two days in a row and finally made an outfit, a white long-sleeved shirt and a long red and white checkered skirt that reached down to her calves, with a pair of white sandals under her feet.
One sunny day, she went out to buy vegetables in her new clothes and basket.
As soon as she stepped out of their family building, she received a lot of attention and many people whispered behind her back.
She listened intently, but only one or two said something unpleasant, the rest were mostly discussing whether it was a new model from the department store and they wanted to buy it too.
She listened and felt a little smug.
Jiang Rui turned around and saw that it was Zheng Bin’s lover, Song Chun Yan, “Sister-in-law, you’re going grocery shopping too?”
“Oh my, it’s really you!” Song Chun Yan took a few steps to catch up with her, dragging her to see left and right, “I just looked at you from afar and thought to myself, ‘Who is this girl, dressed in such a fashionable way? When did you buy this outfit? It looks very nice on you.”
Jiang Rui raised her chin slightly and smiled, “I made it myself.”
“You’re not lying to me?” Song Chun Yan couldn’t believe it, and when she got a positive reply, she even circled around her, praising her incessantly, “It’s so pretty, so pretty, I think it looks much better than the bell-bottom trousers on the street now, those two big trouser legs flopping around, what’s the point? What’s the point of those big legs flopping around? It’s not as nice as your skirt, which is so elegant and sharp.”
Jiang Rui pursed the corners of her mouth, as if she was a little embarrassed by the compliment, “I made it myself and wore it randomly, sister-in-law praised me so much, people would laugh if they heard.”
“Who dares to laugh?” Song Chun Yan said nonchalantly as the two walked side by side, “Why did you suddenly think of making clothes to wear?”
“It’s nothing, it’s just that it’s hot and my old clothes don’t fit.”
Song Chun Yan hummed, “You don’t have to hide it from me, did those uncultivated people say something that you heard?”
Jiang Rui didn’t retort, she only said, “Sister-in-law also knows?”
“Nowadays, young girls are always saying that people are from the countryside, without thinking about it. The young people are not as simple as we used to be, their eyes don’t look at the good things, they just look at what people are wearing and what they are carrying, and there are some shameless ones who look at other people’s husbands.” Song Chun Yan had a point to make.
Jiang Rui knew that she was talking about something that happened a while ago. A soldier in the compound was promoted to a higher rank and was able to have his family accompany him. The family member, who was also very strong-minded, was unable to tolerate the grievance and stirred up the matter. The soldier was disciplined and demoted and transferred elsewhere, but the young girl not only did not benefit from the incident, but also got a bad reputation as well.
The story was making the rounds in the family building.
“A man who cheats on his wife is not a good thing either.” Song Chun Yan finally came to a conclusion, “If our family’s Old Zheng dares to mess around with women, see if I don’t break his legs.”
Jiang Rui puffed out a laugh, ” Brother Zheng respects his wife so much, he definitely won’t do such a thing.”
“What’s the point of respect? It is not as good as a finger of your family’s Lao Zhao. Sister-in-law tells you, don’t take those little girls’ words to heart, they are mostly jealous of you in their hearts. Jealous of your beauty, jealous of Zhao’s youth and talent, and jealous of Zhao’s devotion to you alone. You don’t have to do anything, just keep Lao Zhao tightly bound and watch them get jealous.”
” I remembered all that sister-in-law said.” Jiang Rui said with a smile.
Jiang Rui hung around outside in her new clothes and managed to attract several people to come up and ask her where she had bought her clothes before she carried her basket home.
When Zhao Nan came back for lunch, he saw her and stared.
“Does it look good?” Jiang Rui asked him.
“Good looking.” Zhao Nan looked at her carefully and nodded seriously.
“I wore it out today and many people said it looked good too.” Jiang Rui said as if she was taking credit.
Zhao Nan listened, but frowned slightly, “Already wore it out?”
“I wore it when I went grocery shopping this morning, what’s wrong, am I not allowed to see people in this outfit, eh?” She poked Zhao Nan’s chest.
Zhao Nan held her hand. Of course he didn’t think she was unattractive, he just felt a little twinge at the thought that she was dressed like this and he wasn’t the first person to see her. He had always known that his little wife was pretty, but whether she was pretty or not, he didn’t like people staring at her.
It was even more awkward for him to say such things.
“Next time you wear a new dress, I will be the first to watch it for you.” After a long moment of sulking, he managed to come up with an excuse that seemed more reasonable.
Jiang Rui only pretended not to notice his little thought and agreed with a smile.
In the afternoon, she went out again and finally met the little girls from the Cultural Troupe, walked in front of them and went home satisfied.
She didn’t fight with the little girls, she just showed them her new clothes.
What the author has to say:.
The female lead: Who says a young lady of several hundred thousand years can’t have a girl’s heart?
PS: Some readers have reported that the progress is a little slow, here is a little explanation, this world is set in the early eighties, when the author is writing, he will consciously write about that era, because if not written at all, I think the era background will be meaningless. Of course, the world after that won’t be so wordy, there is not much left in this world, and the Big Shot II and Big Shot III and Big Shot IV are already hungry for it. We’ll take our time and wait to be teased one by one.
young lady 小姐姐 (xiǎojiějie): little girl who is older than another young child (e.g. her playmate) / (neologism c. 2017) (slang) young lady (amiable form of address for a young woman of about one’s own age or a little older)
explosion 雨后春笋 (yǔhòuchūnsǔn): lit. after rain, the spring bamboo (idiom); fig. rapid new growth / many new things emerge in rapid succession
unique 独一无二 (dúyīwú’èr): unique and unmatched (idiom); unrivalled / nothing compares with it
winter melon 冬瓜 (dōngguā): wax gourd (Cucurbitaceae, Benincasa hispida) / white gourd / white hairy melon / Chinese squash
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