I’ll Be the Male Lead’s Sister-in-Law - Chapter 2
Translated by ShainaG Translations
“Brother Ji…” she said tearily.
“Mingwei…” Heartbroken by her expression, he finally gave in and pulled her into his arms.
“Come back. Uncle Jiang and I have been waiting for you all this time. Now, everything can go back to before.”
Oh, how touching!
A shallow smile hung from Mu Mingtang’s lips, and the longer she listened, the more she felt like a joke. Jiang Mingwei and Xie Xuanji were childhood sweethearts, yet a single misunderstanding was able to tear their relationship apart. Now that they had reunited and reconciled, all that was left for them to do was to get married with the blessings of both their parents and then live happily ever after.
What an enviable and tear-jerking story. In this story, Mu Mingtang was the third party, the substitute who didn’t know her place and was an outsider from start to end.
That’s right—the so-called “she” and the “substitute” Jiang Mingwei and Xie Xuanji were referring to was her, Mu Mingtang.
As Xie Xuanji had said, Mu Mingtang came from a humble background, especially when compared to the two of them. Xie Xuanji was an imperial prince who was granted the title of “the Prince of Jin” and Jiang Mingwei was the daughter of a high-ranking official.
Meanwhile, Mu Mingtang had been born in Xiangyang. Her family was neither a scholarly family nor an official family, but a merchant’s family filled with the stench of copper. Although they weren’t wealthy and influential, her parents loved each other, and they didn’t suffer from a lack of money. Nurtured by her parents’ love, Mu Mingtang blossomed from infanthood to adolescence without much difficulty.
Originally, her life should have followed the same track as the lives of most little village girls did. Once the ordinary her came of age, she would marry an equally ordinary man, and form her own, ordinary family.
However, when she was twelve years old, her peaceful life was shattered.
In the third year of the Hongjia Era, Xiangyang was besieged. After a few days of resistance, the northern barbarians broke in in full fury. Desperate for his life, the prefecture chief left the large city of Xiangyang and all of its citizens overnight. With him went the elite troops and weapons of the whole city. Consequently, without weapons or command, the citizens were unable to resist as the northern barbarians slaughtered their way through the city.
Mu Mingtang’s parents died in order to cover her escape. Unfortunately, even then, she failed to escape Xiangyang. After all, the world was filled with ordinary people who could neither fly over eaves and climb up walls with martial arts nor keep calm in the face of danger. During her escape, she was discovered. If it wasn’t for the timely arrival of the Marquis of Wu’an, she would have been sent to accompany her parents in the afterlife.
After that, along with many other refugees, Mu Mingtang traveled northward in search of a place to live. After the destruction of her home city, she was reduced from being a well-off merchant’s daughter to a homeless refugee who could be stepped on anytime, and by anyone. It wasn’t hard to guess what hardships the beautiful, twelve-year-old girl had to suffer from then on.
Her journey was difficult, but in the latter half, she met Granny Zhou, who had also lost her home and became a refugee. Granny Zhou vowed to help and protect Mu Mingtang as if she was her own granddaughter, and it was only with her help that the young girl was able to survive for so long.
Eventually, Mu Mingtang and Granny Zhou settled down in Chenliu and started a new life together. Although they had started out as strangers, after the long and arduous journey to the north, Mu Mingtang naturally regarded Granny Zhou as her own grandmother. She’d planned to support and accompany her until death. The two depended on each other for everything, whether it was sewing, washing clothes, or weaving bamboo strips.
Unfortunately, one day, Granny Zhou fell ill from overworking.
Mu Mingtang exhausted everything in her possession to seek treatment for Granny Zhou, but to no avail. When the elderly woman died before the next spring, the devastated girl vowed to give her a proper burial. It was said that heroes rose during troubled times, but Mu Mingtang and Granny Zhou were just ordinary people without the strength nor the charisma to make a difference. People like them could only live like mustard grass, forced to resign to their circumstances and muddle by each day.
Granny Zhou could not afford to live with dignity when she was alive, so Mu Mingtang hoped that through a proper burial, she would be able to at least enter the afterlife with dignity.
Alas… the Heavens refused to grant her even this. When Mu Mingtang went to the pawn shop in hopes of being able to sell her possessions and gather enough money for the burial, the owner of the pawn shop took a fancy to her appearance and devised a trap in order to get his hands on her. He accused her in public of being a thief; after all, how could a weak woman like her possess so many pawns?
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