Chen Xiuxiu, who had been blackmailed by Su Tang and had lost her bracelet, was feeling very suffocated. Her lover had only given that bracelet to her two days ago and, before she could even enjoy the feeling of wearing it herself, she had been forced to hand it over to Su Tang. And the worst was that it was made from real silver, and was worth at least a few silver taels, so it was actually something very good. There were many women in Sujia Village who would never even dream of being able to afford such a good bracelet.
Chen Xiuxiu gritted her teeth and glared hatefully at Madam Zhang. If that woman hadn’t stopped her just now, things would never have turned out like this. If she hadn’t been slowed down by that wretch, she definitely would have already taken those bags home with her and she would have not only earned all the grain inside but even the two pieces of satin as well.
Everything was because of Madam Zhang! Chen Xiuxiu hated Su Tang, but she also hated Madam Zhang for ruining the good thing she had stumbled across. So now, remembering Madam Zhang’s accusations, she began to snicker creepily before retorting.
“Aiya, what a joke, just who is trying to frame you? Who forced you to come to someone else’s house and tear up their stove to take away their iron pot? Tch, who was it just now that was saying that this iron pot could sell for a hundred copper coins at the pawnshop in the town? You really are a money crazy woman.”
No matter whether or not anyone else believed it, it was already an established fact that she had given her money to Su Tang in exchange for the bags she ‘had been wanting to buy’, which meant that she was safe from being called a thief. Having firmly grasped Su Tang’s olive branch and protected herself, of course, there was no way Chen Xiuxiu would spare Madam Zhang, so she immediately began satirizing and humiliating the other woman.
When Madam Zhang heard that, she was so angry that she wanted to beat Chen Xiuxiu to death. Unfortunately for her, because Wang Changhe had left, when she went forward to start beating Chen Xiuxiu again, she found that the other woman no longer tried to hide and dodge away, but instead fought back directly.
“Bah, you shameless bitch! You want to frame your grandmother here when you were the thief all along? Who else is like you and won’t even let go of the iron pot in someone else’s stove?” Chen Xiuxiu had always been someone with a sharp tongue, and soon she was beating Madam Zhang while scolding her at the same time.
The villagers standing around only watched the fight with confused expressions. In fact, they all understood what had really happened here, but for some reason, Su Tang, the victim of the theft, had jumped out to protect Chen Xiuxiu. Also, it seemed that she didn’t intend to say a word on Madam Zhang’s behalf.
Su Yonggui only felt that this whole farce was causing him to lose all of his old face, so he hurriedly gestured for Madam Wu to go pull Madam Zhang back. At the same time, he glared at Su Tang and said, “Tang girl, Madam Zhang was just… well…”
Seeing how Su Yonggui was acting, everyone could tell that he was hoping that Su Tang could casually dismiss Madam Zhang’s crime the same way she had done for Chen Xiuxiu.
Obviously, Su Sanshou could also read his father’s intentions so, although he hated Su Tang in his heart, he hurriedly squeezed out a smile and saluted politely. “Father’s right, you have always been generous, and it was only a moment of impulse…”
“Aiya…” Without waiting for father and son to finish speaking, Su Tang suddenly let out a theatrical sigh.
As she sighed, Su Tang let her gaze drift over Su Yonggui’s family, finally stopping on Madam Zhang and Chen Xiuxiu, who were still tussling wildly, with eyes as if she were looking at something pitiful and ridiculous. Su Yonggui saw her expression and secretly felt a little unhappy, but decided to bear it for now.
“Back when Xiao Nuo and I were still living in your household, you would always tell us that the family was too poor, and you couldn’t afford to feed us, which was why we could only consider ourselves lucky if even two bites in a whole a bowl of porridge had any rice in them.”
“Back then, when I always saw you all wearing fine cotton clothes and expensive jewelry, I just thought that you were lying to us. I really didn’t expect that it turned out to be true, and nowadays poor Madam Zhang even has to go over to other people’s homes trying to find things to pawn just to survive.”
Su Yonggui’s face directly turned black. He always knew that Su Tang was a difficult character to deal with, but he had never expected that she would suddenly bring up the past like this.
Back when she and her brother had been living in his household, of course, they had not been very kind to them. There was only so much food at home, and wasn’t it a waste to give too much to them? Wasn’t it fine as long as they didn’t die? And besides, didn’t they have a hard fate anyway? It wasn’t so easy for them to die.
Of course, back then a lot of the other villagers had been vaguely aware of how Su Yonggui’s family was treating these two children but, at the end of the day, it could be considered another family’s matters, so it was difficult for outsiders to say anything. Plus, most of the other villagers had only ever heard vague rumors, and it wasn’t as if they had personally seen the situation themselves.
tl note: This ‘hard fate’ comes up all the time so this is a quick reminder that my translation is shitty and the actual term has a meaning that is something like: a fate that causes misfortune for the person’s immediate relatives, causes the person themselves to also go through hardships, and ultimately makes the person “hard” or “tough” and long-lived. Like ‘a survivor’ in English, but also with negative connotations for the immediate family.