Taking money from Zhao Lan was like cutting off her flesh.
"I told you before that I don't have money, so where would I get it?"
Mu Jingzhe's eyes were a tad cold. "Mom, I'm serious. Little Zhong's condition can't drag on. We've got to get him treated as soon as possible. You can just lend me the money. I'll pay you interest and return it to you after some time. Little Zhong is your grandson too. You also hope that he will speak, right?"
Mu Jingzhe had already relented, but Zhao Lan was still reluctant.
"Even if you just want to borrow money, I still don't have any. Don't listen to what Qihai said. That money was spent long ago."
"Really?" I'll give you another chance.
"There really isn't any money," Zhao Lan said firmly. "Otherwise, as a grandma, I wouldn't be unwilling to get my grandson treated. It can't be helped."
"Fine." Mu Jingzhe's eyes narrowed dangerously. If you can't even lend it to me, then fine, but don't blame me for being unjust.
Zhao Lan avoided Mu Jingzhe's eyes. "I previously already took him to a doctor. He was born mute, so there's nothing we can do."
Mu Jingzhe's eyes turned even colder. "Really? Where's the doctor you took him to?"
"Yes, really. I took him to a doctor before," Zhao Lan answered casually.
Mu Jingzhe was somewhat angered by Zhao Lan's manner.
According to the novel, Shao Zhong never spoke. By the time they had the money to get his condition treated, it was already too late. They had already missed the best treatment period.
Zhao Lan was the main culprit.
At two years old, Shao Zhong had yet to speak. When Shao Qihai had said that he wanted to take him to see a doctor, Zhao Lan had hurriedly offered to take Shao Zhong there and asked Shao Qihai to focus on his work.
Shao Qihai had given her the money and said that if the county hospital wasn't good enough, she could take him to the city to have his condition treated.
Zhao Lan had agreed to it, but she had never once taken him to the doctor. She'd only pretended to do so at the hospital in town. The doctor had suggested that they go to the county hospital, but she hadn't cared. She'd only told them that he couldn't be cured.
Mu Jingzhe had at first wanted to save up some money before taking Shao Zhong to the doctor, but this morning's incident made her push forward her plans. Otherwise, she didn't know when a dangerous situation might arise.
When she saw Zhao Lan, she recalled the plot in the book. She'd only asked because she clearly knew that the woman had hidden the money for treating Shao Zhong.
She had even said that it would be a loan, but she hadn't expected Zhao Lan to be unwilling to even lend the money to her.
Since that was the case, she wouldn't stand on ceremony.
Mu Jingzhe retracted her gaze and saw the five children looking at her with probing eyes.
"That's what I was talking about earlier." Mu Jingzhe looked at Shao Dong and said, "I'll handle this matter. You guys can go to class."
In the afternoon, Mu Jingzhe calmed her mind and focused on making the hair ornaments.
She had bought the materials used to make the hair ornaments the last time she had bought fabrics. She had gotten them upon seeing some scraps of cloth piled up in the back.
She had bought them at a very cheap price because someone had already bought the good edges. What she'd brought back was almost like rubbish.
Mu Jingzhe had suddenly had an idea and made a hair ornament for Shao Bei.
She hadn't expected it to become so popular.
Mu Jingzhe finished using all the materials she had bought. The ornaments she made had bow and flower designs.
Not far away, Shao Zhong watched Mu Jingzhe with his mouth wide open as if she was conjuring magic.
Mu Jingzhe let the two young customers choose what they liked. After they started wearing the ornaments, more and more children in the village asked their parents to get them some.
However, the third customer didn't show up after dinner.
This was normal. Not everyone had the means to buy such a thing.
Instead of other customers, Li Zhaodi, who had secretly come to look for her, visited.
Why did she sneak in? Because she'd brought two pieces of chicken for her daughter.
"It's still warm. Hurry up and eat."
This was the first time Mu Jingzhe felt what it was like to have a mother.
Not only did Li Zhaodi bring her chicken, but she also wanted to bring her back for chicken soup.
"Don't be embarrassed. You have to be thick-skinned and come back. Otherwise, all of it will go into the mouths of Mu Xue and that wild man she picked up…"
Li Zhaodi nagged incessantly. She had to bring up Mu Xue every other sentence or so to criticize her.
Her face was a little long, and she had a mole on her chin. Judging from her appearance, she was definitely not a good person.
In the novel, she and the original Mu Jingzhe were the most annoying people. They disliked Mu Xue and always opposed her.
However, she was a good mother to her children. She was devoted to her husband and children and didn't favor boys over girls because she had suffered enough as a daughter and couldn't bear to let her daughter suffer.
After a few sentences, Li Zhaodi suddenly asked Mu Jingzhe, "Why are you suddenly so concerned about those little brats? Why are you cooking and making clothes for them?"
"No reason. Just… trying to salvage my reputation." Mu Jingzhe found an excuse.
Li Zhaodi believed her, and her eyes lit up. "Jingzhe, you want to change your younger brother-in-law's impression of you? How's your progress these days?"
The corners of Mu Jingzhe's mouth twitched. "No, mom, don't talk nonsense. My brother-in-law is just my brother-in-law. I think I should find someone better and avoid being trapped in the village. If I really ended up with Shao Qiyang, I wouldn't be able to lift my head for the rest of my life."
Li Zhaodi frowned. "You're right. I didn't think it was a good idea either, but you said you liked him, and Mu Xue also seems to be interested in Shao Qiyang. I thought that anyone who catches her fancy can't be that bad."
Li Zhaodi was a weirdo and a brainless woman in the novel, but she had good judgment. She could tell that whatever Mu Xue liked, even men, wasn't bad.
Mu Jingzhe secretly gave Li Zhaodi a thumbs-up. Li Zhaodi really had good taste in this aspect. Whatever the female protagonist liked had to be good.
Unfortunately, like Mu Jingzhe, Li Zhaodi didn't have a good ending.
As Li Zhaodi was standing in front of her alive, the simple words about her ending in the novel induced heartache in Mu Jingzhe.
Mu Jingzhe held Li Zhaodi's hand tightly, thinking that no matter what, she couldn't let Li Zhaodi end up like that this time around.
As she was thinking about it, she heard Li Zhaodi say, "I'll ask around for you. I'll definitely find you a good partner. Although this will be your second marriage, you're still a virgin. I'll make it clear to other people so that it won't be hard for you to marry someone from the city."
Mu Jingzhe was instantly embarrassed. "Mom, stop it."
"What I'm saying is the truth. There's nothing to be embarrassed about. I'm even going to go around and talk about it everywhere."
When they'd gotten married, Shao Qihai had gotten very drunk on their wedding night and hadn't touched her. It was unknown if he had really been drunk or if he had deliberately done that to avoid getting intimate with her. Later on, she'd had her period. When her period had ended, Shao Qihai had gone out to work. Then, he had never returned.
Hence, the two of them hadn't actually consummated their marriage.
Mu Jingzhe was so embarrassed that she wanted to dissuade her mother. However, she suddenly heard a sneer.
It was a male voice.
Li Zhaodi immediately asked, "Who is it? Come out."
No one answered. Li Zhaodi pulled Mu Jingzhe along to chase after that person. They soon found themselves at the Mu Residence.
The Mu Family had already prepared dinner and had no intention of waiting for Li Zhaodi.
When she saw that Li Zhaodi had returned with Mu Jingzhe, Old Madam Mu's expression turned cold.
Mu Jingzhe didn't notice that. Instead, the first person she saw was Mu Xue.
In the simple, unadorned small courtyard was a group of farmers. Mu Xue was very eye-catching among them and was noticeable at a glance. It was impossible to ignore her.
Just like Mu Xue, it was also impossible for the man standing beside her to go unnoticed.
The contours of his face were well-defined, and he was extremely arrogant and intimidating.
As expected, this was the male lead, Tang Moling, whom Mu Xue had saved by accident.
His name sounded like the name of a male protagonist.
The two brothers from the Shao Family, Hai and Yang, were obviously supporting characters, but they themselves didn't know it.
As she was thinking, she met Tang Moling's cold gaze.
Mu Jingzhe: "…"
She didn't do or say anything.