After Being Abducted by the General Chapter 8

Chapter 8

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On the way back, Yuan Li kept turning his head to look at Chu Hechao, his gaze fixed on the dark belt around his waist.

Chu Hechao became irritated by the scrutiny and coldly sneered, catching Yuan Li’s gaze. “What are you looking at, Sister-in-law?”

Yuan Li told the truth, “I’m looking at your belt.”

Even a single copper coin was treasured and picked up, Chu Hechao seemed to be even more destitute than Yuan Li had imagined.

The man had broad shoulders, a narrow waist, and a classic inverted triangle figure. The muscles beneath the belt were sturdy and taut, brimming with explosive strength. Looking at his belt was almost the same as looking at his waist.

After uttering those words, Yuan Li felt Chu Hechao’s gaze grow even colder. It dawned on him that his statement might have been misunderstood.

It seemed like a provocation.

Yuan Li touched his nose and tried to remedy the situation. “General, the pattern on your belt is quite nice.”

Chu Hechao tugged at his lips. “These clothes were prepared by Sister-in-law.”

As he spoke, his gaze shifted to Yuan Li’s waist. His sister-in-law, who hadn’t yet turned 20, was still a young lad with slender limbs. He couldn’t be called weak, but he was completely inadequate in a military camp. Chu Hechao playfully looked at Yuan Li’s figure, intentionally circling around his slim waist, and mocked, “Not as good as Sister-in-law’s.”

“Oh no, no,” Yuan Li responded politely, “Yours is even better.”

Two grown men discussing whose belt looked better in this context was indeed quite awkward. Chu Hechao chuckled and didn’t continue the conversation.

That night, the two of them stayed at the farmstead.

The farmstead was teeming with mosquitoes and noisy with the sounds of cicadas, frogs, chicken clucks, and pig grunts. Yuan Li couldn’t fall asleep until midnight, and when he woke up the next day, there was a tinge of blue under his eyes.

Today, they were going to plant rice seedlings. After finishing breakfast, Yuan Li, as usual, advised Chu Hechao, “Father’s fields are on the outskirts of the farm, deep within the forest, and the road is long and secluded. It would be better for you to stay at the farmstead.”

Chu Hechao chuckled, his slender fingers in black leather gloves caressing the reins, resolute in his stance. “What are you saying, Sister-in-law? We’re family, and with elder brother not here, how can I let you work alone?”

This was the first time Yuan Li had heard the term “elder brother” from Chu Hechao’s mouth.

He had been gathering some information these days and heard rumors about the strained relationship between Chu Hechao and Chu Mingfeng. It was said that when Chu Hechao was on the verge of death on the battlefield, Chu Mingfeng was in the capital city, treating his colleagues to drinks and reciting poetry while consuming Five Stone Powder (a potent herbal medicine). When the news arrived, the expression of the Young Gelao didn’t change, and he sighed while smiling at his friends, “Whether he lives or dies, it’s all fate.”

With that, he downed a glass of wine.

Everyone said that it was thanks to Chu Mingfeng and Chu Hechao sharing the same parents that Chu Mingfeng went out of his way to raise military funds for Chu Hechao and sent them to the northern frontier. If they didn’t share the same parents, Chu Mingfeng wouldn’t have cared about Chu Hechao’s life or death.

Since Yuan Li entered the Chu household, he often saw traces of grief and desolation on the faces of Chu Wang and Madam Yang. However, Chu Hechao had never shown any sorrow for his dying brother, and in fact, he seemed particularly indifferent and apathetic.

Yet, when Chu Mingfeng was mentioned at this moment, Chu Hechao’s tone remained relatively calm.

Yuan Li pondered for a moment and replied, “Since General says so, let’s go then.”

Yuan Li understood the art of conversation well—mixing truth and falsehood so that it became difficult to distinguish between them. It was true that Father liked farming, and it was true that there was a plot of land near the farmstead. However, this plot of land belonged to Yuan Li, nestled in a tranquil mountainous area with clear springs, and beside the fields stood a simple and rudimentary wooden cottage.

Feeling somewhat like a carefree hermit in this secluded paradise, Yuan Li enjoyed the leisurely atmosphere.

The fields had already been prepared with water, and upon reaching the location, Yuan Li took off his shoes and socks, rolled up his trousers, and began planting the rice seedlings in the fields.

Chu Hechao watched his skilled movements, narrowed his eyes, and walked over to sit in the shade of a tree, taking a break.

With a handful of seedlings in his hand, Yuan Li looked at the neatly planted rows, forming a straight line that looked remarkably beautiful. A sense of satisfaction and accomplishment welled up in Yuan Li’s heart, and he continued working with renewed vigor. However, as he worked, the sense of accomplishment gradually turned into exhaustion.

The lingering effects of the sleepless night began to manifest, and Yuan Li occasionally stood up to massage his waist, feeling the weariness creeping in. He worked until everything seemed to go dark before his eyes. Wiping the sweat from his forehead, he turned his head and realized that, oh boy, he had only planted two fen (a Chinese unit of area) of the entire acre.

If he were to do it alone, he wouldn’t finish even by nightfall.

Yuan Li lowered his head and looked at the water’s surface, swaying his feet, causing ripples to spread across the paddy. A few insects swiftly skimmed across the water’s surface, then perched quietly on the rice seedlings, observing this foolish fellow, Yuan Li.

The midday sun was hidden behind thick clouds, and the weather was hot and dry, making one’s mouth parched.

Yuan Li was thirsty. He took slow steps toward the bank, picked up the water bag from the ground, and sighed as he looked up at the blazing sun above.

Exhaustion was bearable, but this heat was truly aggravating.

When they came, Yuan Li only brought Lintian, a young servant. He had told Chu Hechao that he wanted to fulfill his filial duty to his father, so he couldn’t let the servant help him in the fields. By now, it was close to noon, and Lintian knew Yuan Li’s habit of having lunch, so he had already returned to the farmstead to bring him his meal.

In this vast mountainous wilderness, only Yuan Li and Chu Hechao remained.

Yuan Li drank half of the water from the bag in one gulp, glanced at Chu Hechao leisurely lying under the tree, and sighed.

He immediately felt displeased.

Yuan Li walked over to the base of the tree and kicked Chu Hechao’s leg with his muddy foot.

Chu Hechao opened his eyes, looked down at the mud stains on his pants, and squinted at Yuan Li, his gaze slightly intimidating.

Yuan Li grinned, neither friendly nor unfriendly. “We’re all family, General. Get up and do some work for me.”

His fair and handsome face was now reddened by the sun, sweat droplets clung to his eyelashes, and his recently rubbed eyes appeared red. Strands of hair stuck to his neck and face, revealing a somewhat pitiful and aggrieved appearance, as if he were about to complain to his elders.

Chu Hechao was about to sarcastically remark on how Young Master Yuan, known for his filial piety, was fulfilling his duties to his father like this. But before the words could escape his mouth, he swallowed them impatiently. The man stood up and walked toward the field.

Yuan Li had initially thought he would refuse, but he was taken aback and watched the man’s figure as Chu Hechao headed to the field.

Chu Hechao’s farming skills were even more adept than Yuan Li had imagined. Yuan Li shamelessly rested and slacked off openly on the embankment, but Chu Hechao glanced at him a few times and said nothing.

After all, Yuan Li was his sister-in-law. With a man from the Chu family present, it was not Yuan Li’s turn to do the farming.

Yuan Li comfortably sat on the embankment for a while and almost fell asleep. It wasn’t until Chu Hechao had planted almost half of the field that Yuan Li lazily stepped into the muddy ground and followed behind Chu Hechao, pretending to work.

When he lowered his head to plant a rice seedling, he would raise his head and see Chu Hechao’s sweaty back.

Droplets of sweat trickled from his hair onto the back of his neck, soaking a large patch of his clothes and emitting a hint of a sweaty odor. Yuan Li helplessly watched as a bug flew past and landed on Chu Hechao’s back.

With a loud slap, Chu Hechao’s face turned pale and he turned around. “What are you doing?”

Yuan Li blinked. “There’s a bug.”

Chu Hechao’s forehead twitched twice, but before he could say anything, two muffled thunderclaps suddenly sounded from the distance, catching them off guard. The sky and earth instantly darkened.

It was raining.

The two of them hurriedly ran into the small wooden house, and as soon as they entered, the rain poured down heavily. It was like a torrential fog, pounding the muddy ground and forming puddles.

A strong gust of wind blew, slamming the wooden door against the wall, and the mud and dust scattered all over the floor.

The previous heat was completely gone, replaced by a dominant chill that made Yuan Li shiver involuntarily.

Chu Hechao brought a table over to brace the door and walked to the window, furrowing his brow as he watched the pouring rain outside.

“On a spring day, a child’s face,” Yuan Li also approached. The window was made of bamboo, and the wind and rain poured in at an angle, almost hitting him in the face. “Such heavy rain, it might only last for a while. Let’s wait a bit, maybe it will stop in fifteen minutes.”

However, fifteen minutes later, instead of easing up, the rain grew heavier.

Chu Hechao stared at Yuan Li with a smile that didn’t reach his eyes.

Yuan Li remained unfazed. “I didn’t expect the rain to come down so heavily.”

Chu Hechao sneered, stood up from his chair, but as soon as he stood up, his stomach rumbled.

He halted his steps, turned to look at Yuan Li, and didn’t find it embarrassing to be hungry. He calmly said, “Sister-in-law, I’m hungry.”

Yuan Li was also hungry. After thinking for a moment, he walked to the door and glanced at the vegetable garden in front of it. He ordered, “Go pick some chives.”

Chu Hechao didn’t say anything. He lifted the table and walked into the rain. After a moment, he briskly returned, completely drenched, with rainwater covering his handsome face.

Using the available ingredients, Yuan Li prepared a simple dish of chive and egg noodles.

Fortunately, the people at the farm knew that he was coming to work in the fields and had prepared plenty of things in the wooden house. Otherwise, they would have been stuck there, waiting for the rain to stop on empty stomachs.

With such heavy rain, Lintian probably couldn’t come over either.

Chu Hechao was uncomfortable with his wet clothes clinging to his body. He took off his outer robe and wrapped all the upper garments around his waist, revealing his strong and sturdy upper body. When he saw Yuan Li picking up an axe to chop firewood, he frowned and walked up to snatch the axe directly from Yuan Li’s hand.

With his strength and firm muscular arms, he effortlessly split the firewood in half with a single swing of the axe, which landed on the ground with a thud.

Rainwater slid from the man’s back down to his waist.

In the narrow wooden house, the overpowering masculine aura couldn’t be concealed, and it aggressively surged towards Yuan Li.

Yuan Li’s eyes twitched, feeling uncomfortable, and he averted his gaze, focusing on what he was handling in his hands.

The fire quickly ignited, dispersing the chill in the house.

After finishing their meal, the torrential rain surprisingly showed no sign of stopping.

This time, it continued into the evening.

With the windows and door cracks blocked to prevent rainwater from leaking in, the small wooden house had become a solitary boat in the sea. It was impossible to even see how heavy the rain was outside.

Yuan Li was truly exhausted and laid down on the bed, falling into a deep sleep. When he woke up again, all he could see was pitch darkness.

Feeling disoriented, Yuan Li sat up, and the bedding rustled slightly.

In the midst of the darkness, a hoarse voice suddenly sounded, “Awake?”

Yuan Li followed the voice but couldn’t see anything in the deep night.

“Chu Hechao?” he called out tentatively.

The man lazily responded.

Yuan Li breathed a sigh of relief. He felt thirsty and groped his way out of bed to find water. However, his foot tripped over something, causing him to lose his balance and fall forward.

The next moment, a muffled sound echoed. Yuan Li fell directly onto Chu Hechao, his head colliding with something. Both of them let out a groan.

Yuan Li’s left hand landed on scorching firm skin, while his right hand rubbed his head. Due to this sudden impact, he instantly snapped out of his drowsiness.

Chu Hechao’s voice turned dark and menacing, “Get up.”

Yuan Li couldn’t see anything and fumbled his way up by touching the person in front of him. However, Chu Hechao let out two more groans, and his voice suddenly turned from annoyance to anger, resembling a low roar that was extremely intimidating. He said in a low, furious voice, “Get lost!”

Yuan Li trembled, as if he had touched something terrifying. In an instant, he took several steps back and leaned against the wooden bed.

The atmosphere in the room became stagnant, with only two awkward breathing sounds echoing.

Yuan Li vigorously wiped his hands, only then realizing that the chives seemed to be a d*mn Zhuang Yang*.
* boosts male sex drive

After a long silence, as if intentionally breaking the tension, Chu Hechao suddenly spoke.

“Sister-in-law,” his voice was cold in the darkness, “Do you know where Yang Zhongfa’s missing goods are?”

Author’s Note:

Here it comes.

Chu Hechao: Serious mode activated.jpg

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