Chapter 35: Clearly Forced
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Madam Zhao brought Madam Li and Madam Zhou into the house, and they saw the cured meat hanging over the stove.
“Third Sister-in-law, everyone in the village says that Sanlang never leaves the mountains empty-handed. I didn’t believe it before, but now I believe it.”
Madam Li said sarcastically. There were at least a dozen of them here. It was no wonder that this family had gained weight. How could they not gain weight if they often had meat to eat?
Madam Zhou was also shocked. She did not say anything sarcastic like Madam Li, but she was also jealous of Madam Zhao.
While they were being scolded and tortured by Madam Wang, Madam Zhao was living a comfortable life. Originally, it should have been Madam Zhao who was being bullied and tortured. Just thinking about it made Madam Zhou feel uncomfortable.
Madam Zhao said calmly, “Eldest Sister-in-law, Second Sister-in-law, our family no longer has anything to do with the Su family. Why are you here now?”
Madam Zhao could sense that Madam Li and Madam Zhou were up to no good. She had always been weak, but now that she knew how life could be, she did not want to go back anymore. Now, she had the courage to stand up for herself.
Even if not for her own sake, she had to do it for the children, didn’t she?
Madam Li and Madam Zhou did not expect that not only had Madam Zhao changed in appearance, but her courage had also changed.
The two of them looked at each other. Then, Madam Li said with a smile, “Third Sister-in-law, at the end of the day, we’re still a family. Previously, it was also because Third Brother angered Father and Mother first that they made you all leave and calm down.”
Madam Zhou added, “That’s right. It’s been a few months now, and Father and Mother have already calmed down. Since you’re still part of the Su family, we can’t bear to see your family wandering around outside. Tell Third Brother to go home and apologize to Father and Mother tomorrow. Then, your family can come home too.”
As Madam Zhou said that, she wanted to reach out and hug Su Xiaolu. Before her hand could touch Su Xiaolu, Su Xiaolu burst into loud sobs.
Su Xiaolu, who was almost three months old, had a strong body and was in better shape than ordinary babies. When she cried, it was like a thunderstorm. It was urgent, fierce, and loud. Madam Li and Madam Zhou immediately covered their ears.
This noise was really unbearable, but Madam Zhao did not feel that way. Her heart ached as she hugged Su Xiaolu and coaxed, “Simei, be good, don’t cry.”
Su Xiaolu soon stopped crying.
Madam Zhou did not have the urge to hug her anymore. Her cries made her want to beat her to death.
Madam Li dug her ears and said, “Third Sister-in-law, you can talk to Third Brother about this when he comes back. No matter what, we’re family. Even if our bones are broken, our tendons are still connected. Father asked me and Second Sister-in-law to pass a message to you. You guys should just give in and let this matter pass. Since the message has been delivered, we’ll go back first.”
She had said what she needed to say. She was not the one who should be worried.
Madam Li wanted to leave.
Madam Zhou’s ears were uncomfortable from Su Xiaolu’s crying just now. She said, “Third Sister-in-law, I’ll be waiting for you to come home.”
After saying that, Madam Li and Madam Zhou left through the door.
Looking at Su Sanmei squatting by the door, Madam Li smiled. “Sanmei, I miss you. Hurry up and go home.”
When Madam Zhou saw the new cotton clothes that Su Sanmei was wearing, her eyes lit up. She said to Su Sanmei, “Sanmei, I miss you and Simei too. When we get home, I’ll get Yufang to help you take care of Simei.”
After saying that, Madam Zhou pulled Su Yufang away.
Before leaving, Su Yufang looked back at the new clothes on Su Sanmei.
Su Sanmei couldn’t help wiping away her tears.
Madam Zhao stood by the door. When she saw this scene, her heart ached. She said softly, “Sanmei, come in.”
Su Sanmei followed her into the house. The moment she entered, she cried and asked, “Mother, Yufang said that we’re going back to that house. She even said that if we go back, I have to let her wear my new clothes. Is that true?”
Before Madam Zhao could answer, Su Sanmei said in a choked voice, “Mom, I don’t want to go back… I’ll be very hungry and cold when I go back. Grandma would even hit me. Grandma doesn’t like Simei either. Mom, can we not go back? Aren’t we fine now?”
Su Sanmei was very sensible, but she was not an adult. She did not understand why the adults were in a difficult position and why Madam Zhao did not say no.
Madam Zhao looked at Su Sanmei and also shed tears. She hugged Su Sanmei and cried silently.
She did not know how to tell Su Sanmei that she had no right to make decisions, that women could only rely on men in their lives.
Su Xiaolu felt uncomfortable being hugged by Madam Zhao, but she felt more sorry than anything.
She really didn’t like the idea of her family going back, but she was still a baby, and the decision to make was still up to her father, Su Sanlang.
Madam Zhao cried for a while. She still had to do what she had to do.
Su Sanmei did not get an answer and did not ask again. She just held Su Xiaolu and could not make herself happy anymore.
Su Xiaolu could not smile either.
If they went back, she would not have a good life either.
It was almost dark when Su Sanlang returned with his two sons. They had gone far. They checked the traps when they went and checked them again when they came back. They found something every day.
Today, he was carrying two pheasants, one still alive and the other one had a broken foot. As soon as he arrived at the house, Su Sanlang said, “Darling, boil some water. It’s not easy to raise this chicken with a broken foot. I’ll kill it later and we’ll eat it.”
Madam Zhao replied from inside the house with a nasal voice.
Su Sanlang thought that Madam Zhao had caught a cold and immediately put the pheasants in a cage before entering the house.
Su Chong and Su Hua went to look for Su Sanmei. Su Sanmei was unhappy. Although they didn’t know why, they could tell at a glance.
“Sister, what’s wrong?”
Su Chong asked carefully.
Su Hua even took out a bag of wild peaches from his waist pouch and handed it to Su Sanmei. “Sister, eat it. It’s so sweet. I even washed it clean.”
When they went into the mountains with their father, they would always encounter some wild fruits. Every time, they would bring them home to share with Su Sanmei.
Su Sanmei looked at her brothers and tears started falling from her eyes.
“Big Brother, Second Brother… Boohoo…”
Su Sanmei cried. She looked at her two innocent brothers and didn’t know how to tell them that their family still had to go back to that house to starve and be bullied.
Su Chong and Su Hua were at a loss when they saw Su Sanmei crying. They did not know what to do, but Su Chong quickly shouted, “Father, Sister is crying. Sister is crying.”
Su Sanlang had just entered the house and before he could talk to Madam Zhao, he heard his son shouting. He was about to go over and take a look when Madam Zhao, who was by the stove, looked up and called out to him, “Sanlang, Eldest Sister-in-law and Second Sister-in-law came today.”
Under the light of the fire, Madam Zhao’s eyes were glistening with tears too. Her eyes were red and swollen. Her teary eyes seemed to be telling Su Sanlang about her grievances.