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Chapter 5 Is there anything to eat?
Because of what happened during the day, Grandma Li and Li Daniu were actually surprisingly reserved. Other than glaring at her whenever they spotted her, they didn't do much else.
They couldn't wound her through stares alone. Let them stare as much as they wanted to.
At night, something made a shuffling sound outside of the window. It sounded like wind, yet also slightly different.
Glancing at Lin, who slumbered peacefully beside her, Tao Linger pulled on some clothes and walked out.
A bit away under a tree stood a man. It was the same man who had saved her during the day.
"How did you know that I lived here?"
She looked at him suspiciously, eyeing his injured stomach.
It had looked like quite a formidable wound during the day. It hadn't been long, and now he was wandering around freely?
Seemed like he was quite strong. If it were anyone else, they'd probably be stranded in bed for at least half a month before being able to walk again.
"What are you looking at?"
"What, I can't look at your wounds? I'm the one who bandaged them. You're a bit too quick to burn bridges, aren't you?"
"Burn bridges?" The man seemed deep in thought. "I don't think that's the right expression for this situation."
Tao Linger's expression turned dark with embarrassment.
Damn this guy. He knew what she wanted to say, so why call her out? He seemed to be purposefully provoking her.
"Either way, your wound looks like it's healing. So tell me, how'd you figure out that I lived here? Why are you here looking for me?"
She didn't believe he would just coincidentally pass by here in the middle of the night when this was the place that she lived.
Had this man followed her the whole way and waited until the night came to draw her out?
The thought itself was quite scary.
As if seeing through what Tao Linger was thinking, the man frowned. "What on earth kind of thoughts are you thinking?"
"N-nothing! You haven't answered my question yet!"
The man made a face, and then asked, "What's your name?"
"Are you just here to ask my name?"
Tilting her head to the side, Tao Linger had a bit of surprise in her eyes.
Although she'd only come across this man once, that short encounter was enough for her to know that this man wasn't here for something so boring.
During the day she had seen clearly how little regard he seemed to have for her.
"You! Why should I tell you what my name is? Is this how you're going to treat the person who saved you?"
Tao Linger was angry. What in the world was he thinking?
She had saved him. Why was he still being so mean, acting so smug and entitled?
If she'd known he would act like this, she would've just left him to his own devices.
The whole thing made her feel even worse the more she thought about it.
She was new to this strange environment, got picked on by two strangers. In a moment of compassion she'd saved someone. He not only didn't thank her, but turned out to be so mean. It made her feel sorry for herself.
Thinking about it, her eyes began to get red and puffy.
She wanted to go home…
Her tears began to fall suddenly. The man's serious expression faltered.
She seemed fine, so why was she suddenly crying?
He hadn't done anything to cause this, right?
Instinctively he wanted to reach out and wipe her tears away, but his hand couldn't reach out.
Pressing his lips together, he spoke. "Mo Li. That's my name."
Her eyes fluttering, Tao Linger's voice seemed even more wretched.
"I don't want to repeat my name again. Don't cry anymore."
Of course. No matter what era it was, men were afraid of a woman's tears.
Tao Linger was just feeling a bit sentimental, but now she was back to normal.
Reaching out, she smeared the tears on her face away and grinned. "See, that's how it should be. Before asking someone else's name, you have to reveal your own. You have a nice name. Mo Li…um…my name is Tao Linger."
Putting her hands behind her back, Tao Linger straightened her back, although her head was tilted. It was kind of a cute look that even unsettled Mo Li a bit.
This woman is quite unusual, he thought to himself.
"Oh right, you still haven't told me what you're here for."
Mo Li's expression didn't change at all. "Anything to eat?"
If Tao Linger were drinking water right now, she would have spat it all out.
So he was here for food.
It made sense. If he hadn't eaten for a while day, he'd probably get quite hungry.
"Hold on. I'll go see if there's anything in the kitchen."
She tiptoed back into the house and walked toward the kitchen.
Grandma Li was always a light sleeper. Tao Linger didn't want to risk waking her up, or she'd face another shouting match.
After walking around the kitchen, all she found were two steamed rolls. Tao Linger was exasperated. Seemed like the Li family was quite poor, so much that they barely had anything to eat.
No, she had to go out and make a living of her own, or she would starve alongside these people.
Making up her mind, Tao Linger tiptoed out with the two steamed rolls.
Mo Li was standing under the tree waiting for her. She passed him the rolls, "These are the only things we have left, so you'll have to make do. Tomorrow I'll save some out of our meal for you."
"Oh, you're finally thanking me! Good, good, looks like the food wasn't for nothing."
In response to Tao Linger's excitement, Mo Li seemed quite calm. He began to chew on the rolls in an almost elegant fashion.
"Hey, Mo Li. Why did you get hurt? Did you have some kind of enemy on your tail?"
Tao Linger asked this with her head propped up with a hand. That's what she'd seen in those TV shows of ancient times, so that was probably what had happened to him.
Thinking that, she felt a chill run down her spine.
Mo Li had set down the steamed roll in his hand. His eyes were filled with murderous coldness.
Tao Linger was shocked. She just wanted to ask why he was hurt, why would he…
"W-what are you looking at? Suit yourself if you don't want to say. Why are you looking at me like that? Is that how you look at someone who saved you? I risked my life to get food for you, and this is how you treat me?"
Tao Linger said a bunch of nonsense off the top of her head. She might have seemed robust, but she was actually super nervous.
This was the ancient past, and in a village too. If Mo Li wanted to kill her, she had no place to complain to. Plus, she'd lose everything if she died. It took so much effort for her to come back to life that she didn't want to die again. That would just be awful.
Mo Li watched her with a cool expression for a while before confirming that nothing was amiss. Only then did he return to normal, lowering his head to gnaw on the steamed rolls again. Watching him, Tao Linger huffed with anger.
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