Autumn's Concerto / Next stop, happiness 下一站幸福 Chapter 7.1


Chapter 7.1 - 7th Stop: The Taste of Jealousy (3)

She ever thought that perhaps they’d feel a sense of regret or they might be at loggerheads or they might just stare blankly at each other and realise that the love between them no longer exists if they meet again.

Or perhaps they might be able to let everything rest and be friends again, or they might just ask each other to take good care of themselves and pretend to be strangers from then on.

She has thought of many other possibilities, but none of them had anything to do with him forgetting her. He has forgotten about her…was it for real? Or perhaps it was just to spite her?

“You… don’t remember who I am?” A stunned Mucheng asked.

“Who are you? Why must I know you?” Guangxi said. “Where on earth is this place? Why am I lying around here?”

 “This is the village head’s office. You fainted on stage just now.”

“I fainted?” Guangxi frowned. He felt so useless. A little pollen and he had to faint in front of everyone. He scanned the surroundings and got really upset once he got reminded of the fact that he was at the countryside. His eyes landed on the woman standing in front of him. He was stunned for a moment for he did not expect to see such a lovely looking lady in the countryside.  “Who are you?” He asked again.

Mucheng felt the pain as he asked the same question again. She smiled weakly and said, “I’m Liang Mucheng.”

“Miss Liang.” He nodded like an emperor would do to his subjects. “Where is your village head? I want to see him now.”

She stared at him without moving a single inch.

“Didn’t you hear me? I want to see your village head.”

“——”

“Miss Liang, Liang Mucheng!”

She felt really shocked when he called her full name. For a moment, she thought she had seen the old Guangxi but no, all she saw in his eyes now was a cold expression instead of the teasing looks he had in the past.

He has really forgotten about her. What on earth really happened?

“Why aren’t you responding? Are all the people living in the countryside like this?” An upset Guangxi questioned.

He was the one who was rude. Mucheng frowned. He’s Guangxi indeed. He was just as rough and emotionless as he was in the past.

She wanted to reply him when the village head opened the door. “Mucheng, has Mr. Lawyer regain his consciousness?”

“Yes, he has.” Mucheng stood up and moved aside. “He was looking for you too.”

“Sir, I don’t think I’m well enough today for the welcoming party. Let’s just forget about it” Guangxi said. He didn’t want to have anything to do with the villagers in the very first place.

“Of course. We thought of that too.” The village head said. “You should rest since you’re unwell. We’ve discussed about it just now. Our village is small and we don’t really have hotels here. You can live with Mucheng for the time being since she has an empty room in her house. Moreover, your three meals would be taken care of as she can cook well.”

“Village head, what did you say?” Mucheng was caught off guard. “I have an empty room but…”

“Mucheng!” The village head knew that she was going to reject him. “Mr. Lawyer here is our guest, we should do our best to make him feel at home.”

“But…” Why must she be the one who should do that?

“What’s the matter? Are you afraid that I’ll be a free-loader?” Guangxi felt a little upset that she was trying to push him away. “Don’t worry; I’ll pay you for it. Let’s just do that then.”

***

In order to show that she cared and wanted to play a part for the village, Mucheng had to accept the village’s head proposal and host the guest from Taipei who was here to “save” them all.

She cleaned the guest room and laid the sheets properly. She also moved the only fan in the house into his room. She then checked for his daily necessities. She thought that everything was fine but Guangxi still had to pick on many matters.

“What is this? Tatami flooring? You don’t have a bed here? Are you implying that I’d have to sleep on the floor? Isn’t there any air-conditioning here? Wouldn’t that mean that I’d feel terribly warm at night?”

“It’s pretty cool here at night. A fan would be enough.”

“What about your bathroom?”

“It’s over there.” She pointed to a small hut that was about 10 metres away from their house.

“What? That’s the bathroom?” Guangxi was disgusted.

Mucheng rolled her eyes. “Don’t worry. There are light and water sources in there and I have cleaned the place up already. You won’t die from poisoning of fumes if you go in there.”

“Goodness gracious, where on earth am I?” That was the exact message that Guangxi’s expression sent.

Mucheng gave him a sarcastic look. He was a rich man’s son indeed. He actually dared to mention that he could put up with all the adverse situations.

“What was that for?” Guangxi looked at her and he frowned again.

“It’s nothing. If there’s nothing else, I’ll have to go and cook now.” Mucheng turned away and decided to ignore him.

“Hey, you…” Guangxi suddenly grabbed hold of her shoulder. Mucheng shook a little because of that. “What’s that reaction for?” Guangxi was taken aback by her reaction.

Indeed, why was she so tensed? Mucheng bit onto her lips. All she could say was that she felt a current moving through her body when he touched her.

“Please don’t touch me as you wish in future.” She said stubbornly so that he wouldn’t see the change in her feelings.

Guangxi thought that she had treated him as a pervert and that made him really angry. “Woman, do you think I’m trying to take advantage of you? Please, I wouldn’t be interested in a country bumpkin like you.”

“I know. You’ve such a beautiful fiancee.” She sounded really sarcastic.

He was stunned. “You know of Yiqian?”

“Please. You’re so famous, Mr. Ren. Tabloids of your relationship can be seen everywhere.”

 “It’s so unexpected that news can actually travel to such the countryside too!” Guangxi’s lips rose. “Since so, you should know that I was recently voted as the “Bachelor of the Year”, right?”

“So what?” Mucheng answered coldly.

“So what? Don’t you feel honoured that you are hosting me? It’s a once in a lifetime thing, you know.”

Did he think that she was trying to butter him up and get into his good books so that he’d be interested in her? She smiled coldly. “Didn’t you just mention it yourself? I’m just a country bumpkin and I know my own limitations. It’s none of my business even if 100 different magazines chose you as “The Bachelor of the Year” too.”

“You!” Guangxi’s blood boiled. How can this woman manage to make him angry every time she spoke? To make things worse, he didn’t know why he cared so much about what she had to say.

“If there’s nothing else, I’ll go and prepare dinner now.” She ignored him and walked into the kitchen.

***

Even though he was upset with Mucheng, he didn’t want to deny the fact that she had pretty good culinary skills.

He never thought that there would be good food in the countryside but Mucheng had proved him wrong. Every dish she served him was not only delicious but was all his favourites too. In the end, he ate so much that he had 2 bowls of rice within a meal.

“Uncle Alien, you’re eating a lot.” Xiaole said out of curiousity. “Is it because you’re starving? Have you forgotten to have your shots of crystals?”

Shots of crystals? Guangxi was lost.

“Xiaole, that’s enough. Uncle here is not an alien.” Mucheng signaled to her son to stop talking.

“Really? But he has the communicative device that you said, Mummy.” Xiaole replied, pouting again.

What? Mucheng paused for a moment. He was still wearing the wristband that she gave him? She looked at his wrist and was disappointed to see nothing on it. She immediately laughed at herself for still having any hopes on the matter.

“It’s for real! I saw it just now. Then Uncle hid it from me.” Xiaole emphasized.

“Your son is really talkative.” Guangxi said, putting down his chopsticks. “Is this trait from his father or from you?” Guangxi chided.

Mucheng was caught off guard by his words. Before she could reply, Xiaole interrupted.

“My Daddy’s an alien, Uncle.” Xiaole announced proudly. “He went back to his planet to report on his findings. He’d be back for me after his work is done.”

What nonsense is he sprouting? Guangxi raised his brow and looked at Mucheng, making the latter feel really embarrassed.

“Xiaole, that’s enough. Hurry up and eat your dinner now. Here you go. This is your favourite pork ribs.”

“Okay.” Xiaole started tucking in obediently. He ate till his whole face was filled with rice grains. Mucheng immediately took a piece of napkin and wiped the rice grains off for him gently. She even took a rice grain from his face and ate it.

The mother and son interacted with each other as though there was no one around. Guangxi’s heart raced without a reason after seeing their actions. He didn’t know why he was touched by the act, but it seemed like he didn’t have any similar memories of such. He realised that even though he had a peaceful relationship with his mother, they lacked something. There seemed to be a gap between them, causing them to be unable to touch each other’s hearts.

Mucheng would hug his son and stroke him gently. Xiaole, on the other hand would kiss his mother’s cheeks. These acts of love made Guangxi really envious. He’d eavesdrop on them when he passed by their room at night. Even though all they had to talk about was silly stuff like aliens and shots of crystals, it’d always put a smile on his face.

Has he gone mad?

Guangxi realised that he was losing ground and he cursed under his breath while walking back to his room to sleep.

The next day, Guangxi started his C.W.O. He reported at the village’s head office and provided free legal advice for the villagers. Not only did he have to deal with the case of the land ownership but there were other cases too. For example, there was someone’s child who was stealing his neighbour’s fruits and another case when a man quarreled with his wife. He wanted some peace and wished from the bottom of his heart that the villagers would stop bothering him over such silly matters.

But he had to continue to do so in order to gain the trust of the villagers and in turn help his prospective father-in-law solve his problems.

During these sessions, he heard some gossip about Mucheng. The villagers immediately warned him about her when they knew he was staying at her place.

“She came to our village 6 years ago and in a few months’ time, we all knew she was pregnant. I wonder whose child she was carrying.”

“Everyone thought that it was Aunt Hua’s son but she insisted that it wasn’t. I guess it isn’t too; if it really was Tuoye’s, he would have married her already.

“I heard that she seduced a rich man’s son and got herself pregnant. They didn’t accept her so she had to leave.”

“That’s so pitiful. How can that man cheat her like that?”

“How do you all know that it’s not the other way round? I heard she’s not very innocent either; if not how is it possible for her to be an unwed mother at such a young age? She’s such a disgrace to her family.”

“That’s enough, ladies.” The village head stopped them immediately after hearing their conversation. “Mucheng didn’t step on your toes, did she? She has been relying on her own two hands to earn her keep and feed her son all these years. Talking about innocence; there were plenty of men in our village who wanted to marry her but she has never been close to any man except for Tuoye.”

“That’s why we say that there’s a problem between Mucheng and Tuoye! It’s just Aunt Hua just refuses to admit that her son has been smitten by Mucheng ----”

“Okay, that’s enough!”

That was the end of the gossip session. But Guangxi had already heard enough to know that his current host was an unwed mother and had an unclear relationship with a man named Hua Tuoye.

It seems like this country bumpkin is quite a catch here.

Guangxi thought unhappily to himself. He felt a discomfort in his chest that he couldn’t seem to get rid of.

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