Chapter 204 – Hou Chen’s Suspicion

Hou Chen slightly furrowed his brow. “Mom, what are you talking about? I don’t understand.”

“Chen’er, don’t you feel that Jiang Xiao was very different before and after the wedding, and even more so now?”

“I just felt that one day she woke up, and suddenly I felt she had changed.”

“She changed twice. Once was the day after you got married.”

“The second time was last year…”

“And I think there’s something very wrong with her eyes.”

“Those eyes, they don’t look like they belong to a young person at all. Instead, they seem older than mine, as if they’ve experienced much more.”

“You say she takes care of me and the three children. Yes, it seems that way, but I always feel that this care is calculated, not genuine.”

“Especially when she talks about you, her eyes become even stranger…”

“…”

Cai Juhua spoke about her feelings towards Jiang Xiao, describing all the things that felt off bit by bit.

Finally, she said, “Son, the feeling she gives me, it’s as if she isn’t Jiang Xiao, but rather possessed by a wandering ghost.”

“I’m scared, scared that this ghost is targeting you and the three children.”

Cai Juhua cherished her son Hou Chen and her three grandsons the most. She could sense Jiang Xiao’s schemes towards them.

Jiang Xiao’s eyes, seemingly beautiful, were actually muddy and cunning, not the eyes of a good person.

Having lived together for more than a year, Cai Juhua could truly feel it.

But she didn’t dare to say anything, fearing that this wandering ghost might do something bad.

So she held it back, waiting for her son to come home so she could tell him.

She had to make her son stay away from that strange woman.

After listening to his mother, Hou Chen was about to refute her, but his longstanding trust in her kept him from speaking up. Instead, he fell into deep thought.

He began to analyze his mother’s words bit by bit, contemplating whether there really was something off about Jiang Xiao.

Just as this thought surfaced, a sudden sharp pain struck his head.

The unexpected pain made Hou Chen clutch his head with his hand.

“Son, what’s wrong?” Cai Juhua was startled.

“My head hurts…”

“Thinking about it makes my head hurt.”

Hou Chen struggled to speak, his face showing his pain.

Given Hou Chen’s background, he had endured harsh training and even injuries during missions without uttering a sound.

He was considered a tough man.

But now, his headache was so severe that he couldn’t help but groan, and beads of sweat appeared on his forehead.

The pain was so intense that he couldn’t think straight.

The more he tried to think about what was wrong with Jiang Xiao, the more his head hurt.

It was as if there was a barrier in his mind, preventing him from thinking about anything suspicious regarding Jiang Xiao. Whenever he tried, the barrier triggered the pain.

At first, Cai Juhua didn’t realize what was happening, but soon a suspicion formed in her mind.

That woman must have placed some kind of curse on her son.

“Son, don’t think about it. Relax, don’t think about it. Think about something else and see if the pain goes away.”

Hou Chen followed his mother Cai Juhua’s advice and stopped thinking about what was wrong with Jiang Xiao, instead focusing on his experiences in the military.

Instantly, his headache vanished.

Hou Chen was suddenly taken aback.

“Son, how is it?” Cai Juhua asked.

Hou Chen didn’t respond immediately. He tried thinking about the oddities concerning Jiang Xiao again, and his previously calm head started to ache once more.

“Don’t think about it,” Cai Juhua urged.

Hou Chen shifted his thoughts to other matters, and his headache disappeared again.

This time, although the pain was gone, Hou Chen’s expression grew more serious.

He repeatedly tested this, and each time he tried to think about Jiang Xiao’s peculiarities, his head hurt. When he avoided those thoughts, the pain stopped.

Initially, Hou Chen hadn’t taken his mother’s words to heart.

He thought perhaps his mother was displeased because he was giving too much attention to Jiang Xiao.

Hou Chen could understand this, as he had always been his mother’s only companion since childhood. His mother saw him as her only focus.

Naturally, his attention should be on his mother.

But now that he was married, his attention was divided, with more of it going to his wife and children.

It was understandable that his mother might feel slighted and thus harbor dissatisfaction towards Jiang Xiao.

However, the recurring headaches associated with thoughts of Jiang Xiao made Hou Chen suspicious.

Why did his head hurt only when he thought about what might be wrong with Jiang Xiao?

When he didn’t think about it, there was no pain.

It felt as though something was subtly preventing him from contemplating these unsettling thoughts.

Such invisible control over one’s mind and body was truly frightening.

As a soldier, Hou Chen quickly recognized the bizarre nature of this situation.

Could Jiang Xiao really be unusual as his mother suggested?

“Son, do you believe me now?” Cai Juhua asked.

“But what can we do about your condition?”

“It must be that woman who cast some spell on you, causing this.”

“You need to stay away from her, Chen’er.”

“Son, I’m sorry. If I had known, I would never have allowed you to marry Jiang Xiao. It’s my fault that you’re in this situation.”

“I never imagined something like this would happen to her.”

Cai Juhua had initially thought highly of Jiang Xiao and genuinely wanted her to marry her son. Now, she was truly terrified by Jiang Xiao’s eerie changes.

Before the wedding, Jiang Xiao had been a wonderful young woman.

She was simple, kind, beautiful, with clear, bright eyes and no hidden agendas, an ideal daughter-in-law.

Back then, Jiang Xiao’s gaze was soft, clean, and bright, without a hint of impurity.

But now, her eyes were filled with weariness, ambition, and calculation…

This version of Jiang Xiao was terrifying.

Moreover, Cai Juhua had learned from her close friends in the village that after the wedding, Jiang Xiao seemed to have some ambiguous relationship with a male educated youth from the production brigade. However, for some reason, the relationship eventually ended.

This incident was real and undeniable.

Cai Juhua couldn’t imagine the old Jiang Xiao behaving this way. The reason Jiang Xiao acted like this now had to be because she was no longer the same person.

Of course, Cai Juhua hadn’t told her son about this. If possible, she hoped there was a way to bring the original Jiang Xiao back.

Though she wasn’t sure if that was even possible.

Meanwhile, from the moment Hou Chen entered Cai Juhua’s room, Jiang Xiao, who had been washing clothes, had been quietly watching.

Initially, she didn’t pay much attention, but as Hou Chen stayed longer in Cai Juhua’s room, Jiang Xiao’s face darkened, her expression growing more troubled.

She was very curious about what the mother and son were discussing.

Could it be that Cai Juhua was speaking ill of her?

Jiang Xiao didn’t like her mother-in-law, Cai Juhua.

Even though Jiang Xiao had been trying to please her since her regression, and on the surface, Cai Juhua seemed to get along with her, Jiang Xiao felt that Cai Juhua didn’t really like her. Sometimes, when she turned around unexpectedly, she would catch Cai Juhua watching her with a deeply probing look that made her feel uneasy.

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