Chapter 41: No Longer Related
“One of these is for your parents. You can keep one copy for yourselves. The other is for me to hand it over to the county office and be stored in the archive. This means that if anything happens in the future, it won’t be settled according to emotions. When that time comes, things will be black or white. It’s still not too late to regret now. After you put your fingerprints on it, you won’t be able to change it anymore.”
As Old Master Li wrote, he explained the effect of the letter thoroughly. He was afraid that the two sides would not understand what it meant. He made things clear and made sure both sides considered it carefully before making a decision.
Otherwise, once the papers are submitted, they wouldn’t be able to reverse the effects easily.
During this time, no one spoke. They all seemed to tacitly approve of this handling.
After the proof was written, Old Master Su and Madam Wang immediately pressed their fingerprint on it and even got Su Dalang and Su Erlang to do the same.
By the time they finished, it was Su Sanlang’s turn.
Su Sanlang did not hesitate. He pressed the red clay and put his fingerprint on the papers. He said calmly to Madam Zhao, “Darling, come and press yours on it too. Get Sanmei, Chong and Hua to come here too. Bring Simei over as well.”
Su Sanlang’s decisiveness made Grand Duke Su and Fourth Duke Su shake their heads and sigh.
The village chief, Old Master Wang, also sighed. Su Sanlang was too stubborn. He really did not want to admit his mistakes at all. Even if his parents were in the wrong, they were still his parents. What was wrong with enduring it?
How could a son be so stubborn with his parents?
Su Sanlang simply did not understand this way of thinking. Since things had already come to this, there was nothing anyone could do.
After pressing her thumbprint, Madam Wang said to Su Sanlang and his family in a vicious tone, “All of you, get lost. I’d rather give this house to a dog than to you.”
Maybe it was because she had finally vented her anger, Madam Wang felt that the inflammation in their mouths had mostly subsided.
Looking at Su Sanlang and his family, who were even more depressed than drowning dogs, Madam Wang felt relief in her heart. It was useless to have such a disobedient son. It was good to get rid of him as soon as possible.
Seeing that Su Sanlang was about to leave with his wife and children, Madam Wang rolled her eyes and shouted, “Stop right there.”
Su Sanlang and Madam Zhao’s heavy footsteps stopped.
Su Sanlang knew he shouldn’t have any more expectations, but he wasn’t willing to give up hope.
Unfortunately, just as this thought arose, it was quickly extinguished by Madam Wang’s next words.
Madam Wang said coldly, “Eldest daughter-in-law, second daughter-in-law, go and search them to see if they took anything that belongs to our Su family. They spent our Su family’s money on their clothes.”
Hearing these heartless words, Su Sanlang trembled and coughed lightly. Madam Zhao exclaimed, “Sanlang…”
Su Sanlang was so hurt that he spat out a mouthful of blood.
Madam Zhao was terrified. Tears streamed down her face as she supported Su Sanlang, not knowing what to do.
“It stands to reason that the clothes they’re wearing can be brought along with them, but not the silverware.”
Old Master Li frowned and said. Watching Su Sanlang spit out blood with a look of sorrow and despair, Old Master Li couldn’t bear it. He thought that there might be something he didn’t know in this situation.
However, now that it had been notarized, there was no point in talking about it anymore. Besides, Su Sanlang didn’t look like someone who would take back his words. If he’d been willing to give in, they probably wouldn’t have come to this point.
Old Master Li could only sigh. He was afraid that he could only let time prove who was right and who was wrong.
Since the director had already spoken, Madam Li and Madam Zhou could only stop and look at Madam Wang.
Madam Wang frowned and said, “The clothes can be worn away, but who knows if they’re hiding money? Eldest daughter-in-law, second daughter-in-law, search them.”
Madam Li and Madam Zhou looked helpless. The two of them stepped forward and said to Madam Zhao, “Third Sister-in-law, please cooperate with us. There’s nothing we can do, right?”
Madam Zhao’s tears fell like pearls. She could not say a word and did not resist.
If even their parents were like this, there was no need to mention Su Chong, Su Hua, and Su Sanmei.
After the body search, Su Dalang and Su Erlang also went forward to search Su Sanlang’s body to confirm that there was no silver hidden.
Madam Wang said, “Alright, get them to scram.”
Su Sanlang’s body swayed. Madam Zhao supported him with all her might.
Su Sanmei carried Su Xiaolu, her eyes filled with confusion.
Su Chong and Su Hua’s ignorant and clean eyes were also filled with confusion and fear. They leaned tightly against Su Sanlang and Madam Zhao and looked at Su Sanlang worriedly, but they did not know what to do.
Su Sanlang took a deep breath and said with difficulty, “Darling, let’s go.”
Madam Zhao wiped away her tears and nodded.
The family walked away slowly. No one looked back.
The renovated courtyard dam and thatched hut were very different from before. The four acres of land at the back of the mountain were also green and tender.
Someone in the crowd sighed and muttered, “What a sin.”
As Su Sanlang’s family left, the onlookers also dispersed.
Old Master Li also said, “Since this matter is over, I’ll go back now.”
Old Master Su smiled and sent everyone off. “Thank you, everyone.”
The village chief, Old Master Wang, said, “Old Master Su, I still have something on. I’ll get going.”
The people invited by Old Master Su stood up and returned.
Madam Li and Madam Zhou had already entered the inner room and turned the house upside down. Finally, they found some silver. Before Madam Li could open it, Madam Wang had already rushed over and snatched it away.
“That damnable thing. I told you he hid silver. He actually hid so much.”
Madam Wang opened it and took a rough look. There were more than ten taels of silver, which was about what she had estimated.
Madam Li and Madam Zhou both pursed their lips.
Madam Li asked obsequiously, “Mother, Third Brother and his family have earned a lot in the past few months. How much money is in there? Are there any missing?”
Madam Zhou added, “That’s right. I heard from the villagers that there are at least ten taels of silver.”
Madam Wang snorted coldly and gritted her teeth. “More or less. Bring these blankets back, as well as the meat and livestock. What a wastrel. I wonder how many have been eaten by them already.”
If these were exchanged for money, they could make a few more taels of silver.
Madam Wang cursed as she left.
Madam Li and Madam Zhou looked at each other and did not say anything else.
They packed up in silence. Their common expectation now was for their children to study and take the imperial examinations.
With Madam Wang’s temper, if Madam Zhao had not suffered in their place, Madam Wang would torture the two of them instead. As daughters-in-laws, they would have no choice but to endure it until Madam Wang grew old and they gain more power.
Su Sanlang’s family gradually walked past the village. Su Sanlang was very weak, and he almost rested his entire weight on Madam Zhao. The family walked very slowly.
As they walked from one end of the village to the other end, Su Sanlang finally fainted. Madam Zhao did not manage to support him and Su Sanlang collapsed. Madam Zhao knelt beside him and called out helplessly, “Sanlang, wake up. Don’t scare me…”