Although Chen Xiuxiu was a greedy woman, she still had a bit of brains in her head. By this point, it seemed that the evidence was conclusive and she realized that she wouldn’t be able to escape. As soon as she had this realization, she directly knelt down in front of Su Tang and slapped herself across the mouth while saying woefully, “It was all because I was blinded by my greed for a moment Tang girl. I know I was wrong, and I will never dare to do such a thing again. You should know that I have my old parents and my young daughter to take care of, so please forgive me this once.”
“And what about Sanshou’s wife?” Su Tang narrowed her eyes and looked down at the kneeling woman before asking with a cold smile.
Without even taking a second for breath, Chen Xiuxiu immediately pointed at Madam Zhang and shouted, “Don’t be deceived by that woman. It’s true that I was too greedy, but I only wanted food to lighten the burden of surviving through the winter for my family. But that woman is different. As soon as she heard that you two siblings had been crushed to death, she only thought of coming to take away your iron pot, chopsticks, bowls, so she could bring them to town and change them for money. If I’m lying, may the heavens strike me down! Now that I’m already like this I don’t have any reason to lie to you anymore.”
Chen Xiuxiu began to feel that there was light at the end of this tunnel. After all, in the final analysis, although she took advantage of the situation to rob some food, what she had taken was only worth a few copper coins at most. As long as Su Tang was willing to forgive her, it could just be considered a small and trivial matter. Moreover, there was Madam Zhang, who stole the iron pot which was worth much more than a few grains as a comparison.
Su Tang nodded. “It seems that it’s a pity I didn’t die then.”
Chen Xiuxiu’s face turned awkward, “Tang girl, I really know I was wrong. Please forgive me this time!”
“Well, since Auntie Sun said so…” As Su Tang spoke, the light smile never left her face.
Of course, Wang Changhe had no desire to let things go so easily, so he spoke up to try to persuade, “Tang girl…”
“Hm, Village Chief, the people in our Sujia Village have always been simple and honest folk. We all know that stealing is wrong, and since even Auntie Sun says she knows that she was wrong, I…”
By now, even Madam Qin and Madam Zhou could hardly believe what they were hearing. They remembered very clearly that Su Tang didn’t have such an easy-going personality! The last time something like this had happened, she had been very ruthless and decisive, so what was going on here? Did she suddenly have a change of heart or something?
Su Tang chuckled, “Oh, actually there was something else. Auntie Sun, don’t you remember how I made these cloth bags for you with all my heart? Of course, satin should cost one or two silver taels per yard, so they are a bit expensive, but I still made them since you said wanted them so badly!”
Su Tang’s words were full of hints. Didn’t you, Chen Xiuxiu, say that the bags were yours? Now I’ve said how much they’re worth, and if you spend some money to buy them from me, then, of course, the bags won’t be stolen, because they will have been yours all along!
Chen Xiuxiu was no fool. Now that Su Tang had already spoken to this point, how could she not understand what was going on? She suddenly looked up at Su Tang and growled, “You want to blackmail me?”
“Huh, what are you saying Auntie Sun? Didn’t you yourself say that these cloth bags were yours? Or, could it be that it turns out the bags were actually mine…” Su Tang made a show of looking very surprised.
Then, still looking into Chen Xiuxiu’s eyes, she subtly moved her gaze over to Wang Changhe as a silent reminder. Telling the older woman: Didn’t she still want her daughter, Sun Guihua, to marry into Wang Changhe’s family? Would that ever be possible if she had a reputation as a thief?
Chen Xiuxiu knew very well that Su Tang was intentionally bullying her, but in this situation, all she could do was gnash her teeth. Fortunately, she had recently found a lover in town, so she actually did have a few valuables in her hands right now. She calculated quickly. If her daughter could really marry into a good family, then her life would get much better as well, but if she became known as a ‘thief’ and made it impossible for her daughter to marry, wouldn’t that ruin everything? In a split second, she was able to see exactly which side was worth more when comparing the things in her hands to her daughter’s marriage prospects.
And as for Su Tang, this brat who was twisting her arm, Chen Xiuxiu knew she could only grit her teeth and bear it for now. But she wrote it all down in her heart, fully intending to come back and collect this debt later on.
Although her heart was full of hatred and unwillingness, Chen Xiuxiu squeezed out a smiling face. “Oh right, actually, because of all this mess, I had nearly forgotten to pay you as we agreed!”
Chen Xiuxiu reluctantly took a silver bracelet from her arm and looked down at it sadly. She had only gotten this bracelet from her lover in town very recently and now, before she could even wear it for a few days, she had to give it away.