Madam Wu was so angered by what Su Tang said that she almost fainted but, in fact, there was nothing wrong with Su Tang’s words.
Su Tang was now higher than her in seniority and all of Su Yonggui’s family knew it, but because of their previous relationship, it was impossible for them to really treat Su Tang as an elder.
Of course, Su Tang knew that they didn’t want to, which was why she deliberately angered them with those words.
“Brother Yongqiang, I wonder who will be hitting them with the board.” After Su Tang finished taunting Madam Wu, she turned and asked that to Su Yongqiang with a smile.
Su Yongqiang was nearly 50 years old but for some reason, at this moment when he looked at the little girl called Su Tang, inexplicably he felt a cold chill sweep up his spine. But then when he looked again, all he saw was a smiling little girl.
Su Yongqiang told himself not to think too much, after all, she was just an eight-year-old girl. Even if she was a little smarter, what could she do? On top of that, considering her age, if she really was soft-tempered the way a girl should be then she would only be easily bullied.
In the end, this was because of her trip into the Qing River. The people who had met the River God and survived the disaster had now become fierce.
So, squashing his doubts, Su Yongqiang found several able-bodied women to detain Madam Zhao and her daughters-in-law and ordered people to hit them with the boards directly using his authority as the patriarch.
On the side, Su Yonggui’s face turned red. He had lived to this age and he had always been able to put on airs and act like he had was a man with dignity in Sujia Village. However, today, his wife and his three daughters-in-law were all ordered to be beaten by the patriarch. How could he stand that?
“Brother Qiang…” He started to say.
Su Yongqiang really didn’t like this brother of his, Su Yonggui, at all. When you saw how cruel he and his family were to Su Tang and her brother, anyone with any sense would know not to be friendly with these people. Since they could go this far against their own relatives, was it possible that they could be kind to outsiders? Ridiculous.
“Yonggui, don’t say another word. Although the Su family is not rich or noble, we are not a family that has no rules. If you do wrong, you will be punished. If your money was stolen or if it was lost, you could have found the answer yourselves or else directly reported to the officials.”
“But instead your family decided to willfully slander people instead. Don’t forget how Su Laochaun helped you back then, but now look at how your family has treated his only children. And you still want to speak for them? If you aren’t careful, people might think that your family is intentionally trying to harm Su Laochuan’s household.”
What Su Yongqiang said was too heavy for Su Yonggui to bear. If Su Tang and her brother were still just two children from any Su Yonggui’s household, he could have settled things however he wanted to. After all, these kinds of matters could just be written off as parents dealing with their children, it would have been a family matter and outsiders wouldn’t have been qualified to say anything at all.
But now the actual situation was that Su Tang and her brother had already been adopted and were now the last living members of Su Laochuan’s household. It had been turned into a matter of accusing them of stealing money and slandering them as thieves. No one could guarantee that after the two children were slandered that things would end there. In the worst case, they would have to atone for their crime with death, and then Su Laochuan’s household would be broken and destroyed.
So now that the representatives of Su Laochuan’s household, Su Tang and Su Nuo, had both personally declared that they wanted a fair judgment, Su Yongqiang, as the patriarch, could not just set the matter down gently.
He could only have them beaten with the boards because Madam Zhao, on the spur of the moment, seemed to have forgotten that Su Tang and her brother were no longer members of her family.
If they were willing to be punished and showed an attitude of repentance that would be one thing. But if Su Yonggui instead pleaded for mercy and asked for his family not to be punished, then wouldn’t the other villagers all become suspicious? After all, Su Yonggui did send these two children to serve the River God once already, it wouldn’t be strange for people to think that he had other thoughts.
Like, perhaps, wanting to end Su Laochuan’s family line. That kind of vicious thing.
Su Yonggui hadn’t thought that far at all. He only felt ashamed, so he hadn’t wanted to watch his family beaten by boards in front of everyone like this. But when he heard the meaning in Su Yongqiang’s words, his eyes widened and he was truly startled, “How could that be!”