After Being Abducted by the General Chapter 74

Chapter 74

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In April, the frogs croaked in the fields.

In the northern regions, April could be scorching hot one moment and freezing cold the next. The weather was unpredictable.

Before lunch, the weather was still scorching hot, but halfway through the meal, dark clouds covered the sun.

Farmers who relied on the heavens for their meals and generals who needed to understand the weather for warfare could both tell that it wouldn’t rain that day. They were confident in predicting weather changes with obvious signs. The only unpredictable thing was sudden rain without any warning, especially heavy rain after a drought. It was because of this that whenever they recalled Yuan Li accurately predicting the rainfall, they would be amazed.

With the sun obscured, working in the afternoon became more comfortable. Although it was only mid-April, after a round of work, these men had all worked up a sweat to some extent. When they gathered to eat, the smell of sweat became stronger, but since everyone smelled, no one minded.

Yuan Li had been busy all morning and was sweating profusely.

Normally, whether in his previous life or in this life, Yuan Li never cared about whether he smelled good or not when covered in sweat. However, at this moment, as he caught a whiff of the faint soap scent emanating from Chu Hechao, he began to doubt how unpleasant his own scent would be to his nose.

He wiped the sweat from his forehead with his hand, pretending to casually move a bit to the side, putting some distance between himself and Chu Hechao.

In Chu Hechao’s eyes, it seemed like Yuan Li was avoiding him.

His lips straightened for a moment, then curved into a smile without much meaning.

They hadn’t seen each other for over ten days, and only they knew how they felt in their hearts.

People have their flaws.

The more they desired something they couldn’t have, the more uncontrollable their wild desires became. Especially when they had tasted each other’s scent, experienced each other’s presence briefly and indulgently. The scorching breath and the surging undercurrents had been etched into their memories like a dream, resurfacing in their minds from time to time during the night, causing them to feel restless, their breathing irregular.

Chu Hechao had said it was a one-time indulgence, and he had meant it. But after not seeing Yuan Li for over ten days, he couldn’t help but think obsessively while suppressing his desires.

He didn’t want to do anything specific; he just wanted to see Yuan Li after restraining himself to a certain extent.

But when he didn’t see him, he wanted to, and when he saw him, he restrained himself.

For example, at this moment, Chu Hechao keenly perceived the aloofness in Yuan Li’s demeanor.

This was the signal Yuan Li gave him, indicating that he wanted to maintain a distant, brother-in-law relationship.

Chu Hechao received the message.

The warmth of their skin touching had turned into coldness. After a few moments of conversation, Yuan Li suddenly smiled at Chu Hechao and said, “After we finish eating, General, take a few of the senior officials and go back. It’s hot and exhausting in the fields, but we’re here, so there’s no need for you to exert yourselves.”

Chu Hechao also smiled, his thin lips curving. “If my sister-in-law is concerned about us getting tired, we can’t disappoint his good intentions.”

A faint expression of indifference appeared on his handsome face. “After we finish eating, we will leave.”

Yuan Li glanced to the side. “Alright.”

The atmosphere felt a bit strange, but the others didn’t perceive the peculiar tension between them. Seeing this scene, they were impressed by Yuan Li’s caring nature towards Chu Hechao.

The others, who were a bit rough, began to praise the bond between them as brother-in-law and sister-in-law.

Yang Zhongfa loosened his belt and spoke sincerely, “General, in the past, you had to take care of the northern frontier and also worry about the rear in Youzhou. Everything was burdened on your shoulders, and you couldn’t show your true emotions. With Lord Yuan stationed in the rear, the front stabilized, and the rear remained unharmed, it’s not just the general who feels relieved, but all of us have also felt a lot easier. This year has been the most peaceful in recent years, something we couldn’t have imagined before.”

He Lang nodded as well and couldn’t help but laugh, “General’s temperament has improved a lot, thanks to Lord Yuan’s good teachings!”

Yuan Li’s heart tightened, and he immediately said, “Master He, don’t talk nonsense. I haven’t taught the general anything.”

“Don’t be so modest,” because Yuan Li was present, He Lang was bold enough to joke with the general, winking, “The general is much more affectionate now, thanks to you.”

Yuan Li only tugged at his lips, used his chopsticks to stir the rice in his bowl, and remained silent.

This comment reminded Yang Zhongfa of Han Jin, and he smiled with a tinge of sadness, “When the general and I went to the Northern Frontier to fight the Xiongnu, Han Jin also mentioned to me about the deep bond between the general and Lord Yuan. Ah, now that I think about it, he’s been gone for five months.”

Yuan Li pursed his lips.

Chu Hechao’s breathing grew slightly heavier, and he raised his hand to pat Yang Zhongfa’s shoulder, “Guan Zhihuai and Yuan Congyun have returned to the Northern Frontier. If you still can’t let go, go find them and have a drink.”

“No, no,” Yang Zhongfa shook his head vigorously like a rattle drum, “After finally being able to stay at home, it’s better to stay with my wife and children and take good care of Yan’er.”

He Lang chimed in, “Isn’t Yan’er already nine years old? Isn’t it time to consider finding someone for her? Han Jin entrusted his daughter to you, so you should find a good husband for her.”

Yang Zhongfa sighed, worried that he wouldn’t find a suitable family that would treat Han Yan well, “My wife is also planning to start looking for a suitable husband for Yan’er this year.”

“Isn’t that too early?” Yuan Li frowned.

“It’s not early. If you want to find a good husband, it takes at least a few years. After reaching marriageable age, they can get married,” Yang Zhongfa said.

Yuan Li shook his head, “It’s okay to start considering potential suitors now, but there’s no need to rush into marriage right after reaching marriageable age. Fifteen is still too young. Sir Yang, please listen to my advice. It’s not good for young girls to marry too early. Keep her at home until she’s eighteen before marrying her off.”

Yang Zhongfa knew that Yuan Li’s words must have made sense, so he didn’t inquire further and simply nodded generously, “Alright, I will follow Lord Yuan’s advice.”

Liu Jixin, who also had a daughter, quickly asked, “Lord, is there any particular reason for this?”

Yuan Li discreetly talked about the disadvantages of early marriage for women.

If a girl’s body hasn’t fully developed, early sexual activity or pregnancy can cause significant harm. After becoming pregnant, the mother’s body may not be able to bear it, leading to a high risk of miscarriage. Even if there is no miscarriage, the child born may have a higher chance of premature death or physical deformities, and their health will not be robust.

It wasn’t appropriate for a man like Yuan Li to say these things, so he used the excuse of having a younger sister and consulted some wandering doctors about marriage customs for women.

Everyone suddenly realized, and Liu Jixin smiled bitterly, “No wonder my wife gave birth to two children who didn’t grow up when we were first married.”

Chu Hechao couldn’t help but think of Chu Mingfeng’s condition.

After thinking of Chu Mingfeng, his expression darkened.

Yang Zhongfa intended to go back and tell his wife to keep Han Yan at home for a few more years. Just as he was about to thank Yuan Li for this advice, he caught sight of Chu Hechao and suddenly had an idea. He stood up and squeezed next to Yuan Li, whispering, “Lord Yuan, please don’t just care about our Yan’er, also pay more attention to the general.”

Yuan Li almost thought that he had figured something out, and his breath paused for a moment. But then he realized he was overthinking and calmly smiled, “Why are you saying this all of a sudden?”

Yang Zhongfa had been urging Chu Hechao to get married for several years, and he had almost given up. But now he saw a glimmer of hope. He grinned and said, “Lord, among the people here, the only one who is still unmarried at the age of twenty-six or twenty-seven is the general. It’s rare even among common folks. Lord, as the general’s sister-in-law, when the general’s parents are not in Youzhou, you should worry about his lifelong matters. If the general doesn’t listen to us, he will still listen to you, won’t he?”

Yuan Li’s smile stiffened slightly, and then he regained his composure and said, “The general won’t listen to me.”

Yang Zhongfa became anxious, “Lord, I don’t believe what you’re saying. Whether the general listens to you or not, don’t you know yourself?”

Yuan Li lowered his eyes.

Yang Zhongfa continued, “Sister-in-law is like a mother and a father. Lord!”

Those words made Yuan Li’s fingers tremble.

Chu Hechao, as the only son of Chu Wang, was destined to marry and have children. If Lady Yang knew that their second son had feelings for Yuan Li, what would they do?

Finally, Yuan Li lifted his gaze, set down what he was holding, and turned to look at Chu Hechao. he spoke softly, “General.”

Chu Hechao turned to look at him, his eyes deep.

Yuan Li opened his mouth, “They hope you will marry soon.”

Chu Hechao’s face remained expressionless, and he didn’t move. His chopsticks twitched, as if he had returned to his senses, and he asked, “What?”

The words got stuck in his throat. Yuan Li coughed lightly and raised his head, smiling naturally with an air of authority, as he earnestly advised, “Hechao, you’re not young anymore. It’s time for you to settle down and build a career. Lady Yang has been worried about you for so many years. It’s time to let go.”

As soon as he spoke, the others quickly chimed in and joined in the persuasion, “Yes, General, listen to Lord Yuan.”

“If you don’t listen to us, at least listen to Lord Yuan.”

“While the border is stable in these years, get married and bring a wife home. You don’t know how good it is to have a woman at home, right, Wu Kai?”

Wu Kai blushed and said, “Lord He, you should know that yourself. Don’t tease me.”

The voices grew noisy.

But Yuan Li felt a strange silence, a silence that was somewhat unsettling.

Chu Hechao lowered his head and looked at him.

A shadow fell over his face, hiding his expression, passing over his forehead, and the bridge of his nose, leaving only the tightly pursed corner of his lips filled with anger.

The anger seemed tangible.

Yuan Li felt as if he could see Chu Hechao’s expression.

It seemed to contain countless emotions, but also a cold splash of bitterness. Chu Hechao’s gaze firmly locked onto Yuan Li, like waves crashing, instantly leaving him disheveled.

Yuan Li felt difficulty in breathing. He struggled to avert his gaze, looking away from Chu Hechao’s piercing eyes.

Chu Hechao remained motionless.

His temples throbbed, and his jaw tensed. His breathing, which had been relaxed, became heavy, and then it became calm again.

“Who told you to interfere in my affairs?”

Finally, the man spoke in a cold, indifferent tone.

Yuan Li couldn’t help but look at him again.

The man straightened up, his handsome face emerging from the shadow. His thick eyebrows pressed down, and the corners of his mouth twisted into a mocking arc. His Adam’s apple protruded as he sneered, “Sister-in-law, whether I marry or not is none of your concern.”

Having said that, Chu Hechao stood up, his powerful legs carrying him away. Looking down on Yuan Li, he glanced at him, let out a light scoff, as if mocking Yuan Li or perhaps mocking himself, and turned to walk toward the horses tied to the tree by the field embankment.

He walked briskly, leaving the stunned people behind, staring at each other.

Yang Zhongfa was dumbfounded and hurriedly stood up, saying, “Lord, it’s my fault for being too talkative. This is not your fault, so please don’t take it to heart. We have been pushing the general to get married and have been annoying him. It’s just his character. When anyone talks about him getting married, he gets irritated. He’s not angry at you. Let me go and talk to him. Please don’t worry!”

Yang Zhongfa respectfully apologized to Yuan Li and quickly followed after Chu Hechao.

He Lang took the last bite of his meal and explained with a roll of his eyes, “Sir Yang is right, Lord. The general is like this with everyone. He even scolded us more harshly before. He’s just annoyed at being pressured to get married. Don’t be angry, please.”

After speaking, he hurriedly left as well.

On the embankment, Chu Hechao had already mounted his horse, raising a cloud of dust as he left with boundless anger.

The man’s figure grew farther and farther away.

Yuan Li’s Adam’s apple moved, and he turned to his subordinates and said, “I made him angry.”

Liu Jixin consoled him, “Lord, as Sir Yang said, the general has always been like this. He gets angry whenever someone talks about him getting married. How did you make him angry?”

Yuan Li shook his head and repeated in a low voice, “It was I who made him angry.”

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