Su Tang looked around at this group of gawkers and sneered in her heart. Her father had been a righteous man for all of his life and only been dead for a few days. So for what reason did this group of people all come out and bully the only descendants he left behind?
Now that Su Tang had addressed Su Yongqiang officially as the patriarch, this matter escalated from simply making an unfounded accusation to wanting to besmirch Su Laochuan’s sterling reputation.
Su Yonggui, who had been watching quietly until now, realized that this girl seemed to have become very powerful after leaving his family. This whole time he had not said anything because he had thought it was too troublesome, but when he heard Su Tang address Su Yongqiang that way, he finally said, “What Madam Zhao and them did was wrong this time, but at the very least she raised you before…”
Su Tang sneered, “Brother Yonggui, you speak so cautiously because you and I both know very well how my brother and I grew up.”
“Today, I happened to remember regarding that peddler so I was able to defend myself, plus there were many other people who were able to verify that I made my clothes myself, so I was able to ultimately prove my innocence.”
“But what if that wasn’t the case? If I forget about the peddler, or if I didn’t know how to verify the clothing, wouldn’t my father’s reputation that he worked all his life to build be ruined?”
“My brother and I were returned by the River God because of our adverse fate. No one dared to ask after us, and no one dared to accept us. If it wasn’t for my father, my brother and I would have nowhere to go. It was only thanks to the kindness of the patriarch and our father that gave us this chance to be adopted.”
“We will always remember that kindness because we are our father’s children. Since we have been adopted, in order to face our ancestors, we can only live in the same way as our father did, in a just and upright manner.”
“We can be poor, we can endure bitterness, but we must lead righteous and upright lives. How could we tarnish our father’s reputation, wouldn’t that be the same as biting the hand that fed us?”
“If she came with her false accusations and we didn’t have clear evidence to defend ourselves, would we have to die to prove our innocence?”
“Doing that would prove our innocence, but how could we be so unfilial and once again let our father’s household fall to the point that there is no one left to light incense before his grave?”
“But if we did not prove our innocence, would we just have to let our household’s reputation be smeared for the rest of our lives? “
Back when Su Tang had worked as an editor she had become very familiar with these kinds of rhetorical tactics. Writers tended to take small things and blow them up into large proportions by going over each minute detail point by point, so something could be made to seem overwhelmingly huge even if the original issue was relatively small.
Su Yonggui had wanted to bring up their previous upbringing and use that to pressure them, so Su Tang cut him off by repeatedly mentioning her father, who had recently passed away, to stop the older man in his tracks.
“Though I have eaten your rice in the past, I have also been working for your family since the time that I could walk, and my brother is the same.”
“Everything that we owed to your family should have been paid back clearly when you pushed us into the Qing River to sacrifice to the River God.”
“Today we siblings only owe a great debt of gratitude to our father, who adopted us into his household. So we have no choice but to come here, stand up for our father and his honor, and not let his reputation be tarnished. We ask the patriarch to administer justice, and to make a decision regarding the innocence of our father and the reputation of our household.”
Bullying two children with no elders and bullying a household were two very different things. Su Tang directly said that she was willing to prove her innocence with her own death, and that she was not prepared to let go of today’s affairs.
Su Nuo had originally only looked at his elder sister with awe and worship. But now when he heard his sister talk about their life at home before, his own eyes turned red and he begged Su Yongqiang alongside her.
“Brother Yongqiang you must make a decision for me and my sister. It took my sister several days to sew me these clothes but today, when I went out, these people were all throwing stones at me with their children, calling me and my sister thieves and beggars.” Su Nuo said.
“We obviously aren’t those things. My sister gets up before dawn every day and then goes to bed very late. Why should other people get to say that I stole the money she worked so hard every day to earn?”
“They always used to do bad things and then blame me. Obviously it was them who would go to the kitchen and steal eggs, but then they would say I stole the eggs instead. If it hadn’t been for the fact they wanted to sacrifice me to the River God, I would never have eaten an egg my whole life!”
tl note: holy shit its a whole chapter of monologuing. I have this uncomfortable itching feeling that I’m breaking grammatical rules by having paragraphs enclosed in quotation marks back to back to back like that but… i dunno. Fixing it seems like it would be hard and also make things less easy to understand