Footsteps could be heard coming from outside, the noise kept reminding them, who were in the house, that the clock was ticking. The desire between them was gone as fear took hold of her heart, making her shiver in horror.
“Oh my god! What should we do?” Madame Xia’s teeth were chattering. She shivered as panic shone in her eyes. The widow was committing adultery as the “Master Juren’s mother”. Their third great uncle was already displeased with her. If anyone found out about this, death would be her only option!
She was only 38 years old and she did not want to die yet!
“I’ll leave first, you should think of something.” Butcher Hu was also in jitters. He hastily put his shoes back on before escaping from the window.
“There he is! Hey! He escaped from that side of the house! Go and check if anything’s missing!” The people were yelling in panic. Half of them went after Butcher Hu while the rest barged into the room.
They yelped in shock when they saw clothes strewn on the floor and found a horrified Madame Xia with her hair in an utter mess. Seeing her bare, snow-white shoulder and arms, a few men’s eyes sparkled as they swallowed down their lust.
“Get out! All of you!” Their leader was their third great uncle’s youngest son. The scene in front of him left him in shock, and he quickly ordered everyone to leave, only allowing two women to stay.
“Aunt Xia, are you alright?” The two women came forth and exchanged suspicious glances while thinking to themselves: How improper it is for a widow to sleep naked!
“I, I’m, er… I’m fine…” Madame Xia decided as she managed a smile in response.
The two grew more skeptical. Madame Xia’s attitude was too unusual. On any other day, she would never smile at anyone, always keeping her head held high and ignoring everyone else. Especially when Miao Chu He became a Juren but she did not receive any benefits, she acted like everyone in the village was her enemy and ignored them if she ran into anyone.
As they took a closer look, her hair was messy and there was a lingering blush on her cheeks. Her eyes were watery and her expression looked guilty, it was obviously—
“Hey, what’s this?” One of the women yelped in shock as she bent down and picked up something lying in front of the bed.
The other two glanced over and they blushed. Meanwhile, Madame Xia clenched her teeth tightly together to stop them from chattering as she shivered in fear.
It was obviously a man’s belt!
Madame Xia could not even form a proper sentence of words to beg them from reporting what they saw. The two women could not ignore what they saw as one of them stayed to watch over her and the other went to fetch their third great uncle. Madame Xia’s face was pale as ash in this situation. Neither did she put her clothes back on nor did she move an inch as she sat on her bed like a frozen statue made from wood and clay.
The woman carried a stool over and sat down as she watched Madame Xia coldly. She frowned disapprovingly: A widow committing adultery. Tsk tsk! How shameless! If it wasn’t for the Master Juren, I wouldn’t have kept it a secret for her. I would’ve happily spread the word to everyone! Such a woman like her should be cast away by the entire village!
Their third great uncle was angry as he was woken up from his slumber. Isn’t it just a thief? Why did they have to make such a fuss that even I have to be woken up in the middle of the night? Are they daft?
Unexpectedly, stopping a theft turned out to be stopping an adultery instead! He shook his head and was suddenly wide awake. He hastily woke his wife and eldest daughter-in-law up before asking them to bring Madame Xia here, while ordering someone else to call their fifth great uncle over.
“She’s such a shameless b*tch! The Miao Family’s reputation has been completely ruined by her! She brought us terrible luck! I knew from the beginning that she is no good! She has ruined Chu He’s image! Now, all of you listen carefully,” their third great uncle’s expression darkened as he snapped, “What happened tonight must never be spoken of again! We cannot afford to lose face over this! If I find anyone of you breathing a word of this, your entire family can pack up and leave this village! You’ll become a traitor to the rest of us!”
The woman, who reported the situation, paled as she hurriedly swore to never tell a soul about it.
Soon, Madame Xia was brought to their third great uncle’s house. In the well-lit hall, their third and fifth great uncles were sitting at the front while the third great uncle’s wife, eldest daughter-in-law, and the two women from earlier stood at the side.
“Spill it! Who’s the man?” Their third great uncle slammed his hand against the table as he snapped.
Madame Xia quivered in fear. Her face was flushing red as she hung her head down in silence.
“Not telling? Do you want to receive punishment?” Their fifth great uncle was starting to get impatient.
Madame Xia’s pupils shrank as she gaped, “You, you can’t, can’t do this to me! I, I’m Miao Chu He’s mother!”
Their third great uncle scoffed, “So you remember that you’re his mother now? Have you ever reminded yourself of that when you were committing something so shameless? Don’t you dare use that as an excuse to avoid your punishment! If you still refuse to tell, then you can go home and kill yourself! Would you prefer to drown instead?”
“No! I don’t want to die!” Her body was limp and her face was as pale as a ghost. She knew that their third great uncle was not kidding. They wanted her dead and it was not just a warning. However, there was no one who would stand up for her or avenge her death.
Madame Xia felt hopeless, and she turned that into resentment for Miao Chu He, for everyone in front of her, and for Butcher Hu—who accidentally dropped his belt when he escaped.
Under the pressure of their third and fifth great uncles, Madame Xia finally collapsed and told them everything as tears streamed down her cheeks. Apparently, she had been in contact with Butcher Hu two years ago, which greatly pissed both third and fifth great uncles off.
Madame Xia kept kowtowing to them, crying and begging them to spare her life. She finally realized how precious it was to be alive now that death was knocking on her door.
Their third and fifth great uncles ordered her to be put under temporary arrest in their home to prevent her from escaping. They discussed what to do and decided to send someone to call for Miao Chu He first thing in the morning. They could not keep this situation from him.
On the next day, Miao Chu He arrived early in the morning. After hearing about the whole ordeal, he was stunned as he continuously sighed several times. However, Madame Xia was not his birth mother and their relationship was never on good terms. Other than their relationship tying him to her, she was no one to him. When they reached the discussion about her punishment, he considered that although she had committed a crime, a life was still a life! However, who knew what she could be up to if she were allowed to live? They were lucky this time that they killed the news before it spread. If things got out of hand next time, even he would be criticized! It was not worth it to ruin his namesake just to save that evil woman.
While they were in a dilemma, Butcher Hu unexpectedly arrived arrogantly.
Their third and fifth great uncle was so furious that their beards were shaking as well. They swore and cursed at him when they saw him step into their house.
On the contrary, Butcher Hu couldn’t care less as he bowed to them with a smile on his face. He suggested, “Third Old Master Miao and Fifth Old Master Miao, since this situation had gotten slightly out of hand, I suppose there’s no use for me to keep hiding. I know that you must be mulling over what to do with Madame Xia. Why not let her remarry me and banish her from the Miao Family’s village? She would never have any relationship with the Miao Family that way. What do you think?”
Their third and fifth great uncles’ eyes twinkled as they fell into deep thought. Miao Chu He was hit with a sudden realization as well.
He thought that he could never chase Madame Xia out of the Miao Family in his lifetime, but unexpectedly, this was the best chance to get rid of her.
“This would benefit everyone! Please agree to it, Old Masters and Master Juren!” Butcher Hu bowed again.
“Chu He, do you think—” Their third great uncle glanced at Miao Chu He with a questioning look.
Miao Chu He simply replied, “She’s still young, and since she’s unwilling to preserve chastity after my father’s death, we can’t force her into it as well. Besides, I’m not her biological son, so I don’t think I have a say in it. Why don’t we ask her for her opinion…”
They felt the heavy burden lifted off their shoulders since Miao Chu He did not even acknowledge her as his ‘mother’. It was obvious that he did not want her to stay. In any case, now that she had done something like this, how could anyone still bear to be around her? It would be considered very kind to spare her life and banish her from the Miao Family’s village without bringing any possession she received through her marriage into the Miao Family.
Their third great uncle nodded in agreement, “Alright then!” He then had his wife and eldest daughter-in-law get Madame Xia’s opinion. On the surface, they were asking for her opinion, but the truth was that this was a threat and a choice that Madame Xia could not refuse.
Once she heard it, she glanced ahead in joy. Why would she refuse? Instead, she was worried that they would regret it, so she hurriedly conceded to it, saying that she would leave the village as soon as possible and swore to never step foot into the village ever again. As for leaving empty-handedly, she was initially unwilling to do that, but her life was on the line, so she agreed to their terms grudgingly.
The matter was settled and their third great uncle’s wife kept an eye on Madame Xia, following her everywhere to make sure she did not have a chance to take anything from the house. Two days later, Madame Xia left the Miao Family’s village with a low profile. From then onwards, she was not a part of the Miao Family anymore. The invisible prison that had restraint Miao Chu He was finally opened.
In the meantime, Madame Xia was oblivious that it was a huge scheme planned by Lu Xiao Shu and Butcher Hu. She was grateful to Butcher Hu for being her saving straw, so she was willing to spend the rest of her life with him.
Unfortunately, her willingness and contentment were completely different. Soon, she kept urging Butcher Hu to cause trouble for Miao Chu He and Miao Cui Lan’s families. However, Butcher Hu was not dumb, and he wanted Madame Xia to give birth to a son for the sake of his inheritance. He would not dare to give any trouble to the Miao and Lu Families. After all, he did owe Lu Xiao Shu a favor. Anyway, he knew that he was no match for the two families. Miao Chu He was a dignified Juren, while he was an ordinary man. If he went looking for trouble with the Master Juren instead of living his normal everyday life, he probably would not live a long life.
In the beginning, Butcher Hu kept giving her excuses and ignoring her requests, but as time passed, he lost his patience and finally scolded her and gave her a severe warning. Since then, Madame Xia gave up and stayed content.
Without that mother and son duo, Miao Cui Lan and Miao Chu He’s families lived in peace. During annual festivals, the elders’ birthdays, or any important matters like weddings or funerals at the Miao Family’s village, Miao Chu He would return with his wife. Otherwise, he lived in Feng Ye Village with his sister and brother-in-law. His third great uncle turned a blind eye to it. As long as he had the Miao Family’s village in his heart and never forgot them even when he became successful, they were fine with it.