A Gallop on the Embankment with Spring Breeze Chapter 30: Victory or Defeat
Proofread by Fu Tianying
"Oh, god, the boy is going to grab the Thread-woven Ball!" At this time, Tian Ronghua knew that what Ma Tian'en had done before was purposeful. Now he was intended to win the competition.
The other two lions suddenly understood and made reactions. They ran to the high stairs to stop Ma Tian'en. But the lion played by Ma Family looked like recovering from life. It leapt from here to there with fast speed, just like a loach that one can't catch. It took a few times for the lion to flee on the high stair. Ma Tian'en held the Thread-woven Ball in one hand and with the other hand he grasped the drumstick to strike the brass gong. At this moment, however, the lion played by Tian Family just grasped the tail of the lion of Ma Family.
Ma Tian'en jumped from the high stair with the tail of the lion, and also turned a somersault in the air, landing firmly on the stage. Then she stood up, vacillated to the left and to the right with the Thread-woven Ball in her hand. Every movement and expression showed her joy and pride.
Outside the competition court, the audience gave a big applause and cheer. The men who bet that Ma Tian'en could win stared at her as if she were a Mammon (the Chinese god that is believed to bring one wealth). Someone in the crowd took the lead to call Ma Tian'en, and the crowd echoed his call.
The man who hadn't thought that Ma Tian'en could win was Officer Liu. When Ma Tian'en held the Thread-woven Ball and stood in front of him, he still couldn't believe it and stared at her for a long time. Last time, in the grove, he only felt that Ma Chaosheng plotted it carefully and didn't think that Ma Tian'en was involved in that thing. But today, without Ma Chaosheng, this young man beat the great lion. It seemed that the future of the second zha was promising.
In light of this, Officer Liu took the reward which was prepared by the office and gave it to Ma Tian'en.
"Since ancient times, the hero is always from the youth. It's great that you restrains yourself before rising, and have both courage and wisdom. You should be more diligent in the future and make contributions to our nation." As a local officer, Officer Liu always balanced their relations when dealing with these local big families. He didn't want any of these big families to be the No.1. After Ma Chaosheng was injured, he was afraid that Tian Family could be so powerful that he couldn't take charge of him. Now, it seemed that Ma Tian'en might be a surprise.
Accepting the reward, Ma Tian'en held it up. Her eyes shone like the stars in the sky. The audience gave a big applause immediately. The eyesight of Ma Tian'en landed on the crowd, trying to find where Wu Zhong was. But suddenly, she felt uncomfortable, as if she were stuck by the needle. When she looked at the crowd again, she didn't find anything wrong.
Ma Tian'en ran towards Wu Zhong, but she didn't expect that the crowd who came to express their congratulations surrounded her. Ma Tian'en gave her responses mindfully. It took much effort to come to Wu Zhong. Ma Tian'en was very proud and she naturally held Wu Zhong's hands and shook them joyfully when she found that Wu Zhong looked at her with a big smile.
"Sir, did I do a good job?"
"Well done. Some of your servants returned to the family to deliver this good news. Mrs. Ma is making preparations to have a celebration now." Wu Zhong said while he withdrew his hands hesitatingly. But in the meanwhile, he couldn't help taking out the handkerchief, wiping the sweat on the forehead of Ma Tian'en.
"Great. Let's go home together. I want my mother to praise me. No, not only praise, I still want her to increase my monthly payment..." Ma Tian'en said happily while he called the men of Ma Family to come back home with her. On the way home, men came to congratulate him continuously. The scene could be compared as a No.1 scholar in Emperor Exam parading through the street. Ma Tian'en was forthright by nature; in addition, because of the pride of youth, she walked while flaunting. It took two hours for her to come back home. As usual, it only took half an hour.
Guo Qi always followed her in a certain distance. He despised her in his heart: she just won a small lion-dancing competition, and how could she beam with such joy? She couldn't deserve the title of the head of Ma Family.
Upon approaching the door of Ma Family, Ma Tian'en was welcomed by all the servants. The house of Ma Family was decorated with lanterns and streamers. It seemed that the family was going to have a big party.
"It's no need to celebrate so grandly. My dad is still ill." Although Ma Tian'en was happy, she felt a little guilty because of the splendid scene.
"It is because Mr. Ma is ill that the celebration should be grand. For one thing, it could show our power, telling others that Ma Family would be more prosperous instead of declining. For another thing, it could Chongxi (a Chinese custom which is intended to save a patient's life by giving him a wedding or a big celebration to counteract bad luck)." Wu Zhong said half seriously and half-jokingly. But he was indeed happy for Ma Tian'en from the bottom of his heart. He totally understood the arrangement of Mrs. Ma. It was intended to frighten the man who wanted to frame their family up.
"Chongxi? Should I marry a girl? Sir, did you see it? Just now, many girls gave me perfume satchels and handkerchiefs. Even Zheng Mingwei, the daughter of Zheng Family also praised me. This girl liked to fight with me when we were little children. I always..." Ma Tian'en paused before finishing her words.
These children who grew up on the canal bank didn't have any consciousness of gender. They always played together. When Ma Tain'en was a little child, her health was not in good condition and was not tall, so she was always bullied. However, she became clever later and learned some Kongfu. Although it was not skillful, it was enough for a playboy.
But, the point was this student forgot she was a girl again. He thought of this and her holding his hand just now, and a little flush appeared on his face. He slowed down and then was stuck by the man behind him. He didn't stand firm and fell down onto Ma Tian'en in front of him.
"Sir..." Ma Tian'en was proud at that moment and was bumped by Wu Zhong unprepared. She wobbled for a few steps before she could restore her balance. She also held Wu Zhong thoughtfully.
Wu Zhong didn't think that he could strike on Ma Tian'en. At first, it was just an accident. But he stayed so close to Ma Tian'en and was held by her firmly. He was a little absent-minded at that moment, as if he had drunk three pods of wine fermented with osmanthus flowers, so he felt the beauty standing on the cloud.
"Sir, how are you?" Ma Tian'en shook her hand in front of Wu Zhong and asked him with worry.
"Nothing, I didn't control the balance just now. Did I hurt you?" Wu Zhong then recovered from his thoughts. In order to cover up his strong heartbeats, he tried his best to calm down.
"Of course I am fine. Sir, you are so weak. How about me teaching you some Kongfu?" Ma Tian'en imagined the feeling with which she could teach Wu Zhong immediately. She could be called as his teacher. If she was punished to transcribe book, she could punish him to do a martial-art squat. This feeling was great.
"Master, you must be hungry. This is the dessert I made, and please taste it." Concubine Zhao carried a plate of dessert and stood in front of Ma Tian'en.
"I am really hungry. Aunt Zhao, thanks a lot." Ma Tian'en took a piece of dessert and gobbled it.
"No, spit it out." At this time, the sharp voice of Mrs. Ma rang out.
The dessert stuffed her mouth. Ma Tian'en noticed that her mother came quickly. She knocked over the plate and caught Ma Tian'en's neck to let her spit it out. Ma Tian'en had no preparations so that she was almost choked.
Ma Tian'en swallowed half and spat out half. She squatted on the ground and coughed because of choking. At this time, Ashun took some water hurriedly from the hall. Mrs. Ma was still angry.
"You stupid thing. I have told you many times that you should be careful when eating something. Why do you eat it? Aren't you afraid of being poisoned?"
"Mother, I am not. Aunt Zhao is not a stranger." Ma Tian'en was not convinced.
"Idiot, she is a bitch servant, and you shouldn't call her aunt." Mrs. Ma was angrier because Ma Tian'en helped Concubine Zhao.
"Madam, please don't be angry. It's my fault. I thought the master might be tired and hungry after lion-dancing, so I made some dessert for him. All I did is for master, and I cared about her. The dessert was made by myself, how could it be poisonous?" Concubine Zhao cried poorly, kneeling on the ground.
"Don't wear such a pitiful expression. The old master is still lying on the bed, and who will watch you crying? You said it has no poison, so you eat it now." Seeing her pitiful expression, Mrs. Ma was furious. The old master was cheated by this disguised pitiful expression.
"Mom, the dessert was knocked down, and it can't be eaten. Come on, let's go to see my father. Dad will be happy to see me." Ma Tian'en drank some water and wanted to help Concubine Zhao. She didn't know that what offended her mother was his helping for Concubine Zhao. Her mother was madder after hearing that Ma Tian'en asked her to let this thing go.
Mrs. Ma picked some dessert from the ground and walked in front of Concubine Zhao. Holding her chin, she stuffed it into Concubine Zhao's mouth.
"Mom..." Suddenly, Ma Tian'en felt her mother became scary. Although her mother had a bad temper before, today she was overdone.
Ma Tian'en still wanted to say something, but was held by Wu Zong. Because Wu Zhong knew that whatever she said was not helping, but made the thing more terrible.
Concubine Zhao's mouth was stuffed with dessert. Her eyes were full of tears, but she didn't dare to cry. After putting all dessert into her mouth, Mrs. Ma felt a little satisfied.
"Now that you like making dessert, don't squander them. You are not allowed to go back to your room before eating all the dessert on the ground." Mrs. Ma said without mercy.
"Yes." Concubine Zhao didn't dare to revolt but to nod. Ma Tian'en couldn't stand it when she saw Concubine Zhao picked another piece of dessert and ate it. She rushed to Concubine Zhao, picking up a piece of dessert and putting it into her mouth.
"I company you. Should you eat them all? I will eat for you." After saying this, she looked at Mrs. Ma defiantly.
In a fit of anger, Mrs. Ma felt dazzled and fell down on the ground.