“I had some friendship with her late mother when we were young, so I bought the two of them and vowed that I would find a good place for both of them.”
When she spoke to this point, Mrs. Li couldn’t help but sigh. They were all from peasant families, and none of them could afford to keep concubines. Moreover, the marriage law of Qihuang Kingdom was very clear that although there were the seven rules for women to abide by, there were also the ‘three years’ that men had to abide.
Of course, there was no need to elaborate on the seven rules but the so-called ‘three years’ was put in place to protect women who had no maternal family when their husbands wanted to divorce. The idea was that if a husband and wife got married when they were poor and humble, and then the husband wanted to dissolve the marriage after becoming rich; the husband had to accompany his wife to undergo three years of mourning for his parents-in-law, and he could not divorce her during that time.
If the husband did not meet that condition, he could legally not divorce his wife. However, if a man’s heart changes and he no longer wants his wife, even if she is protected by the law, he will still be able to find a loophole to drive her out.
Zhang Cuilan’s maternal parents had recently died, so her husband could not legally divorce her for some time. However, her in-laws pretended to be sick and said that they needed money to save their lives. In the end, they used the ‘need for money to cure her husband’s parents’ as an excuse to sell the mother and daughter together. Back then, her mother-in-law had even wanted to sell them directly to a brothel.
However, Mrs. Li stepped in at that point and negotiated to buy the mother-daughter pair due to her old friendship with Zhang Cuilan’s mother. She wanted to help them in remembrance of her old sisterly bonds, however, she didn’t have much power and there was only so much she could do.
Because she didn’t want to separate them, she could only sell the mother and daughter together, which was why ever since they had arrived Mrs. Li tried to sell them whenever the opportunity arose. Zhang Cuilan herself was fine, but her daughter was only ten years old and couldn’t really do any serious work.
As a result, not many buyers were interested. The people who wanted Zhang Cuilan to do work for them at home didn’t also want to bring back an extra little girl to feed who was too small and weak to do any real work.
And the people who would usually be willing to buy a young girl would be buying her to be trained into a maidservant, and they would generally not need an older woman like Zhang Cuilan. And besides, there weren’t many large families in Qinghe Town in the first place, so the matter had been delayed until now.
When Mrs. Li had heard Su Tang’s requirements, she decided to take a chance and see if she might be able to get this little girl to buy them both. However, her small thoughts were instantly seen through and Su Tang even warned her. So, seeing that Su Tang was so alert, she could only say the matter out directly.
When she heard Mrs. Li’s explanation, Su Tang could only sigh. Sure enough, no matter which era, it seemed that the presence of scum men was just too overwhelming. Just look at how many she had encountered already in her short time here.
“Is there anyone else suitable beside them?” Eventually, Su Tang didn’t speak out her thoughts on the mother-daughter pair and just asked if there was anyone else.
When she heard that question, Mrs. Li felt there was no hope this time again, so she changed gears and continued to introduce her other slaves, “There is a 20-year-old girl surnamed Bai who can work, and there is also a 24-year-old young widow. Why don’t I ask them to come over and you can take a look miss?”
Although Mrs. Li was running a slave business, she didn’t actually have that many people on hand at any one time, and the people she mentioned were pretty much the only ones who met Su Tang’s requirements.
“Alright.” Su Tang nodded. Words were unreliable so, of course, it was better to see with her own eyes if the people were appropriate.
When Mrs. Li heard her agree, she hurried to go back and bring the people out. However, just as she was walking back, she heard Su Tang say, “Bring that that mother and daughter out as well. Let me take a look.”
“Understood miss, just wait a moment.” Mrs. Li was overjoyed. Anyway, it was better if the buyer would at least take a look at those two.
After a while, Mrs. Li brought four people over.
“Hurry up and greet this miss!” Mrs. Li prompted them to give their greetings.
Su Tang glanced at the gathered women. There was a young woman with patched clothes whose hairstyle showed she was unmarried, however, she was not too young. Then there was a woman who was dressed in fine clothes and had a voluptuous body. When she walked over, her stride was so enchanting that Su Tang couldn’t help but wonder if she would hurt her back by walking like that.
Finally, there was a young woman leading a skinny girl.