He originally thought that Shen Xiaoling was looking for the both of them, but he soon realized that it wasn't, as Shen Xiaoling's gaze was fixed on three locations.
Following the direction she was looking at, Li He found out that Shen Xiaoling was staring at three bottles: A bottle of Nongfu Spring, a bottle of Wahaha Iced Red Tea and a bottle of Sprite...
Hmm? What was going on?
Li He was curious. When he walked over, he smiled and greeted her while he asked, "Sister Xiaoling, we are back. You must have waited for long…"
Before he could finish his sentence, he saw Shen Xiaoling sprint like a rabbit toward all
the three bottles on the ground and picked them up before skillfully putting them into the canvas bag that she always carried around. She finally said, "You guys are finally back, I was so afraid that they would be taken away by other people!"
Li He was dumbfounded by what Shen Xiaoling had just done. He looked at Shen Xiaoling, then looked at Hong Xiaofu, before asking, "What? What does she collect the bottles for?"
Hong Xiaofu was uncomfortable as he rubbed his nose and replied, "Erm, nothing much."
Since Hong Xiaofu did not say much about it, Li He did not question further and he immediately giggled and said, "Alright, go on and do your things, I'm going to buy the drugs."
Hong Xiaofu and Shen Xiaoling waved together and said, "Goodbye, Brother He!"
After bidding farewell to the both of them, Li He headed to the pharmacy. As he was walking, he suddenly thought that something was off. He remembered Zhang Yang telling him that they were orphans...
Li He finally understood. Watching how skillful Shen Xiaoling had been, she clearly did it often!
The bag she was carrying made drumming noises, too. There must have been more than three bottles inside!
Oh man, did they used to make a living from picking empty bottles?
Li He did not hesitate to turn back and rushed to verify it. He followed Hong Xiaofu and Shen Xiaoling from a distance, about six to seven meters away. While walking, Li He saw that Shen Xiaoling would pick up all the empty bottles along the way and pack them into her canvas bag. He took a deep breath.
His guess was indeed right—she certainly did that often!
Just then, Li He rushed to catch up with them. He stopped Hong Xiaofu in his tracks and asked, "Brother Fu, Xiaoling has always been collecting bottles in exchange for money, right?"
"Huh?" Hong Xiaofu was stunned for a moment. He held Shen Xiaoling's hand and said with a smile, "We had a rough time, sometimes we don't have enough money to fill our stomachs. So when Xiaoling comes out with me, she collects bottles and exchange them for money."
He had not said that before, because he was afraid that Li He would be bothered by it. Little did he know that Li He would still find out about it.
"That's right." Shen Xiaoling did not notice anything, she just smiled and said, "My brother and I used to be so poor… I thought I had to help him in some way. I learned that a bottle could earn me ten cents, so I started collecting them. Brother Li He, if you think about it, five bottles could get me a steamed bun."
After hearing all that, Li He was dumbfounded.
He looked at Shen Xiaoling, then took a glance at her canvas bag... suddenly stretching out his hand and giving himself two slaps on the face.
Hong Xiaofu was shocked. Shen Xiaoling was also confused as she asked, "Brother Li He, what's wrong?"
"It's nothing, my face was itchy." Li He sniffed loudly as his nose stung, and added, "I thought that you just randomly bought two sticks of candied gourd, I didn't know that you had earned them from picking up bottles!
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