As soon as they saw Madam Zhang coming, Madam Wen and Madam Tong stopped blocking Chen Xiuxiu and stepped aside. And once she reached the other woman, Madam Zhang immediately started beating Chen Xiuxiu up. For her part, Chen Xiuxiu still wanted to leave a good impression on Wang Changhe, so she didn’t dare to fight back and all she could do was try to shirk and dodge away.
When Su Tang saw that, she actually felt a bit of admiration for her. Although it was true that the woman was very thick-skinned and shameless, it seemed that it was also true that in order to achieve her goals she was willing and able to be ruthless to herself if necessary.
Of course, what Su Tang could see, Wang Changhe could also see, and it made him slightly unhappy. Truth be told, there was probably no one in the crowd that had gathered here today who wanted to see Chen Xiuxiu forced to bear the reputation of a thief more than he did. After all, if that woman gained such a reputation then, even if his son was really tricked by Sun Guihua in the end, he would be able to use her mother’s reputation to stop them from marrying and only let Sun Guihua enter the household as a concubine.
Meanwhile, Madam Zhang wasn’t completely stupid and, when she saw how Wang Changhe was just standing there and watching from the side, she realized that this was her opportunity. Seeing that Chen Xiuxiu wanted to push all the blame onto her, she just needed to use this chance to push the blame back to the other woman.
So, when she realized that Chen Xiuxiu would only hide and dodge away, she began her performance fearlessly, “You should know that I watched those two children, Dani and Dalang, grow up from the time they were babies. That’s why when I saw you sneaking over here, clearly scheming something evil, I deliberately followed behind you.”
“I thought you might try to steal their iron pot, so followed to keep an eye on you and make sure you wouldn’t be able to. In the end, you really dug it up and tried to take it away, so I came out to help guard their property for them. But now you want to pin the blame for your crimes on an innocent person who was just trying to do the right thing? You black-hearted bitch, see if I don’t tear you up!”
The scene was strangely akin to two dogs snapping and biting at each other. Both of them claimed that they were good people who had come with righteous intent and that the other was the thief.
Su Tang watched the two women scrabble at each other for a while before opening her mouth and saying in a slightly disbelieving tone, “Ahem, have the two of you forgotten that there were a lot of people who heard what you were saying to each other just now?”
She really couldn’t help but cut in. Were these two complete idiots or something? While they had been angrily confronting each other just moments ago and all but openly admitting to being thieves, there had been many people around to hear them. But they still wanted to try to wash away their crimes, even until this point? Did they think that everyone else was deaf, dumb, and blind?
Although many villagers were a bit nervous around Su Tang and her brother because of their adverse fate and the general peculiarness about them, some people still couldn’t help but laugh at Su Tang’s words.
“She’s right. You don’t need to fight. We could all hear you clearly just now.” There were also some people who don’t like Chen Xiuxiu or Madam Zhang, who immediately spoke up.
Chen Xiuxiu spent her days going around and gossiping everywhere, sowing discord between people and as often as not turning black to white, so her reputation was terrible in Sujia Village and there were many people that she had offended. Meanwhile, Madam Zhang was known to be very gluttonous and lazy. The rumors around the village said that, although she had only been married into Su Yonggui’s family for a short time, she had already had many conflicts with her mother-in-law, Madam Zhao because of these flaws in her character. So now, since the two of them seemed to be caught in a tight spot, the rest of the villagers just looked at them like they were looking at a joke.
“How could those words be taken seriously? I was just so angry with her a moment ago that I happened to spout some nonsense.”
“That was all just nonsense.”
For a brief moment, Madam Zhang and Chen Xiuxiu developed a tacit understanding, and they both refuted with similar words at the exact same time. After that, realizing that they had spoken together, they resumed glaring at each other angrily, sparks practically flying out of their eyes.
Wang Changhe also had a bit of a headache by this point. Because these two people were so intent on messing around, it was a bit difficult to figure out exactly what happened. And, the key point of ‘what had been taken’ was difficult to establish. After all, there was no way to prove who the things originally belonged to.
Chen Xiuxiu dared to directly claim that the grains were her own because she had seen that they were stored in plain and ordinary grain bags, of the kind that could be found in every household in the village.
“Oh, you were just talking nonsense?” Su Tang snorted.
When Wang Changhe heard Su Tang suddenly speak up, he looked at her and said slowly. “Tang girl, do you have something to say?”
“Of course. I’m sorry to have bothered Village Head Wang to make this trip today, but last night the heavy snow collapsed the roof of my house. Luckily, my brother and I happened to be awake and managed to escape, and in the end we went and stayed the night at Brother Yongshun’s house. Then, this morning, we happened to hear that Chen Xiuxiu had taken our grain and claimed that it was her own. At first, she wanted to take the grain away for herself, but later she changed her story and began saying that she had brought the grain from her own house to give to us siblings.”
Su Tang looked at Chen Xiuxiu and spoke in a tone that was light and indifferent, before turning to face Madam Zhang and continuing, “And then Sanshou’s wife here came over and took the iron pot from my stove, claiming that she was just looking after our things for us.”