BECOMING RICH OVERNIGHT
He Yan returned home with the money.
Fortunately, Qing Mei didn’t notice as He Yan searched for the chest in which she had kept silver and pieces of jewelry. After emptying its meager contents, she filled in the treasure she had earned that night.
Perhaps it was because she had won a huge amount of money that night, she was in a good mood and slept soundly. She dreamed of those good, old days when she used to gamble with the soldiers under her. In her dream, the men yelled: “Open! Open!” Seeing that He Yan was reluctant, one of them laughed loudly: “General, what’s the matter? Did you lose again?”
“Did General win even one round tonight?” The Deputy General shook his head, apparently disappointed. “Ah… General isn’t good at this.”
“Shut it! Haven’t you people heard the saying ‘the one who loses in gambles wins in love’? Our General may have lost this time but I tell you, he’ll be invincible when it comes to his love life!”
He Yan guffawed when she heard that.
As she laughed, she felt someone pushing her. Her eyes fluttered open. Qing Mei’s face appeared in front of her. “Miss, did you dream of something good? You were smiling happily while sleeping.”
The room was bright because of the sunlight flowing in through the windows. He Yan shielded her face from the light with her hand. She was shaken inside. It was the first time she had woken up so late.
Spring days were really comfortable for sleeping.
She recalled the dream she had. Back then, the men had consoled her saying that her love life would be successful, but they didn’t have any idea how wrong they were. Perhaps she won several rounds last day because her conjugal life was a failure.
He Yun Sheng’s indignant voice came from the door: “He Yan, the sun is already up, aren’t you going to work today?”
It was hard to believe that the person who said this was the same as the one who strongly opposed the idea of her going to work.
“Wait for me.” He Yan swiftly changed into clean clothing.
Just as Qing Mei walked out carrying a basin of water, He Yun Sheng entered the room and said: “Why are you so slow today… He Yan?!”
“What?” He Yan is busy tying up the sandbags to her limbs as she met He Yun Sheng’s furious eyes. Puzzled, she asked: “What’s wrong?”
He Yun Sheng pointed to the chair: “What’s wrong?! See for yourself what’s wrong!”
There was fury in the young man’s voice. It felt as if he could burn down the entire household just with the fire in his voice. He Yan looked towards the direction he was pointing to. There was the maroon long coat, carelessly crumpled in a chair, the one she had ‘borrowed’ from He Yun Sheng to go to the casino. After returning, she simply took off the coat and threw to the chair. She hadn’t given it much thought until now.
Not waiting for He Yan to respond, He Yun Sheng took a step forward and took a look at the coat. The coat was crumpled up by He Yan, it was also dirty and smudged. Upon closer look, there was a cut in the middle. Altogether, it looked rather wretched.
“So this is what you wanted to sew for me?” Nothing could diminish He Yun Sheng’s raging fury now. To think that he was so touched when He Yan expressed willingness to sew his clothes for him. He had come to the conclusion that He Yan did love her brother but looking at the coat… she was definitely sent by God to punish him!
“This is a misunderstanding, I can explain.” He Yan tried to calm down the lad.
“Explain? How would you explain this? Do you know…” He Yun Sheng’s voice was full of wrath at first, but now, he suddenly choked and his eyes turned red. He said: “This was my only coat… you cut it into pieces, what would I wear now?”
He Yan’s head started to ache.
He Yan really, really, really couldn’t stand seeing someone cry. Especially when it came to an aggressive, young lad who cried in such a heart-broken manner.
He Yun Sheng felt wronged.
Young men like He Yun Sheng were rather concerned about their dignity. If they were poor, they could be considered good if they had filial piety and worked hard. Even so, everyone had at least a little bit of vanity. He had worn this coat for many years. When worn, this was the only piece of clothing that made him look like a ‘young master.’
Although He Yan’s clothes could not be compared to those of the rich families’ girls, she did buy one or two pieces of fashionable clothes every year. Since He Sui doted on her excessively, He Yun Sheng could not utter a word of opposition. Girls ought to carry themselves in style and manner, why should boys care about their external appearance?
Yet, at this month, He Yun Sheng felt that he was being denied justice.
He Yan stammered while speaking: “S-Since this is spoiled, let’s buy another one. We’ll find the best tailors in Jing Cheng to make a new coat for you, one with those embroidered patterns, okay? The cloth used will be the finest too, d-don’t cry, I didn’t do that on purpose… Alright? Y-Yun Sheng?”
He Yan had never coaxed him with such a soft and gentle voice, so unknowingly, his anger was half gone, but he still held some resentment within him: “We don’t have a single penny!”
“Says who?” He Yan took opened the chest and showed him, “We have got lots of money.”
He Yun Sheng’s eyeballs nearly dropped out of their sockets. He tried to regain his composure: “Where did you get the money from?”
The next moment, He Yun Sheng rushed up to her and said, clearly bewildered: “Your face…”
Face? He Yan was startled. Did her face change too? That couldn’t be, she had washed her face thoroughly with the water from the tank outside the house when she returned last night.
She walked towards the mirror while He Yun Sheng’s angry voice sounded from behind her: “Who hit you?”
The reflection of the girl in the mirror hadn’t changed. Her brows were as elegant and refined as ever and her pair of watery eyes had the moist gleam of autumnal waves. However… He Yan’s gaze moved down her face and stopped at the light bruise near her lips. The bruise looked clearer against her fair skin.
When Qing Mei had woken up He Yan, she couldn’t see it because He Yan covered her face with her hand. But now, He Yun Sheng obviously saw it.
As He Yan’s skin was tender and delicate, it could not withstand anything. She recollected the memories of last night. Someone had hit her on the face but it didn’t hurt a lot, so He Yan put it to the back of her mind. Who knew it would actually leave a mark on her skin.
He Yun Sheng kept questioning her: “What actually happened? This money… these clothes…” He was suddenly horrified, then dejected: “You…”
Seeing that this young boy was thinking too much, He Yan lightly hit his head, “How far did your imagination go? I borrowed your clothes and wore them to a casino last night, gambled a round or two and won the money. Some people came to me looking for trouble so I taught them a lesson and in the process, got hurt. It’s fine, the mark will be gone tomorrow.”
She said it so casually, but she was unaware that her words had made the young boy’s heart tremble.
He Yan went to a casino? He Yan went gambling and even won money? He Yan was in trouble and taught them a lesson after winning money?
No matter what, He Yun Sheng wasn’t easily convinced. He even doubted that someone had stealthily substituted his sister. (Editor: You are right, boy)
Or else, how could he explain the inconceivable things his sister had done?
“Yes,” He Yan explained calmly, “Because we’re too poor, I wanted to try my luck out at the gambling house and hit jackpot. Maybe this was God’s will. I was frightened of those people who wanted to harm me, but my strength had considerably grown after climbing the hill and chopping wood with you.” He Yun Sheng was still stunned, so He Yan continued, “If you don’t believe in what I said, you can go to Le Tong Gambling House to verify the facts. Trust me, I never lied to you.”
He Yun Sheng was still muddleheaded, but looking at He Yan’s confident expression, his instincts told him that she was speaking the truth.
“Oh, right,” He Yan smiled, “Since we have money now, we won’t be selling Da Nai cakes anymore.”
“Then what will we do?” He Yun Sheng asked, mumbling.
“Of course we’re going to the drill fields. Yun Sheng, don’t you want to go to college?” She asked.