“I’ve seen that Su Fuhua from Brother Yongshun’s family goes fishing on the Qing River and then takes his catch to the town to sell every day. And these days, I’ve also been able to fish up a few fish from the Qing River and then bring them to town to exchange for money.”
“Don’t all of us villagers rely on the mountain and the river to live? I went to town and sold my fish for money, then used the money to buy some material to make clothes, but somehow after doing that, I became a thief? Everyone else can make their money this way, but my brother and I can’t? Is there such a ridiculous thing in this world?”
Su Tang looked around at the group of people who had been curious about how she got her money just now. They all lived in the same village, didn’t any of them see Su Tang going to fish on the Qing River every day?
It seemed that maybe when these people saw the two siblings wearing their two sets of fresh new clothes, they felt deep down at the bottom of their hearts Su Tang and brother should always stay as the same poor wretches they were before. If the sibling’s situation ever got even a little better, maybe it made some of these people a little uncomfortable in their hearts? The so-called crab mentality.
Su Tang’s eyes were firm and unwavering as her gaze swept the crowd. Her black pupils seemed especially deep, dark, and intimidating to many of the gathered people. Whenever her eyes would pass over them, they would feel a strange tingle of guilt. It was true that some of the people here had seen Su Tang fishing on the Qing River but they had all subconsciously disregarded that. After all, the two children had only just been adopted into an empty house, did they really have the leeway or the ability to fish on the Qing River and then sell their catch for money?
As soon as Madam Wu saw the current situation, she knew something was wrong. At the same time, on the side, Madam Zhao immediately gave Madam Zhang a stern look so Madam Zhang stood up and responded. “You are talking nonsense. We all live in Sujia Village here, who doesn’t know that the current of the Qing River is very fast and that it is very difficult to catch fish from the riverside. I don’t even know how risky it is to try catching fish that way. How old are you? Do you really think anyone would believe that you have the ability to fish on the Qing River for money?”
What Madam Zhang said was true. The flow of the Qing River was very fast near Sujia Village so fishing was a dangerous activity and there weren’t many villagers who could make their living by fishing. For instance, though Su Fuhua was considered to be a good swimmer, even he could not catch many fish every day, and his income from fishing was unstable at best.
But after Madam Zhang finished speaking, without giving the people around time to think about her words at all, Su Tang cut in directly, “How about we have someone throw you into the Qing River then, if you are able to come back then you will also be able to fish. Nephew’s wife, why don’t you try it out?”
When Madam Zhang heard what Su Tang said, she cursed, “Bullshit, if you want to die you can jump in the river, I don’t want to!”
“So you do know that offering a sacrifice to the River God means death. And here I thought you didn’t know!” Su Tang sneered sarcastically.
Finally, she looked over at the group of lively onlookers, “You want to know if I can catch fish or not? If anyone doesn’t believe me, I can go over to the Qing River and fish one up for you now.”
“Everyone, take a good look. Although my brother and I are still young, we have already been adopted by our father and we will be in a mourning period to show our filial piety to our father for the next three years. So, of course, I will certainly have to work hard to earn money. I still need to go and bring my brother’s family back to bury them with our parents so that our family can be reunited. Even if I have to work hard every day or late into the night, I’ll do whatever it takes to earn the money to bring them back.”
“We are all from the same village, aren’t we? Who here doesn’t need to earn the money we use to live on your own? You think that it’s fine that you have the ability to make money, but you have a problem when I have the same ability?”
“Why? Because I’m eight?”
“I’ve been doing chores since I was three years old, and I’ve been responsible for the stove since I was four, so why can’t I take my brother out to earn money?”
“Today, I used the money I earned to make two new sets of clothes for my brother and I, and here you are, saying that we are thieves. In the future, when I build a house, will you be back again? Asking where my money came from, where did I steal it, and who did I steal it from?”
Today, of course, someone deliberately sowed seeds of dissension which led to this situation, but it was not like Su Tang’s words were without merit. Although she and Su Nuo had long been adopted by Su Laochuan, in actuality, there were many people in the village who still thought that they were only two children and did not treat them as if they were a separate family at all. That was why Su Tang was showing such a strong attitude in front of those people today.