Chapter 91: Justice

The people could not help starting another wave of sighs and whispers. At first, they had already offered five silvers. Now they need to give one more tael of silver? Was that not more than what they had given last year?

How can they be so unreasonable!

“Gentleman,” An old man was persuaded by the crowd to come forth and speak up. He smiled, “We had already given you five silver, didn’t we? Why don’t we give you another five and call it done?”

“Pfft!” The leader sneered at him coldly. He asked with a heavy officer accent, “Do you think so?”

“Er…” The old man felt like he became tiny under his cold gaze. He did not dare to speak a word out of fear as he scurried back into the crowd. 

Since someone spoke up, the mayor had no choice but to say something, even if it was inconvenient. Thus, he smiled, “He’s right, sir. You had always received a tael from us during the previous years. This year, we are all in a difficult position. Ahem, could you please have mercy on us and let us off? Could you request according to what we did previously?”

Lu Xiao Shu scoffed and mumbled sarcastically, “What a cunning man.”

Zhou Si looked at her, a little astonished, as he softly laughed, “I think so too. Obviously, great minds think alike…”

Lu Xiao Shu huffed and turned away from him. Zhou Si smiled gently, keeping his gaze forward.

The mayor’s request was made and everyone agreed with him. They begged the bailiffs to have mercy and be kind to them.

The leader saw that his act had worked, and he made an expression as if he could not bear seeing them suffer. He sighed and nodded before saying solemnly, “Alright! We’re not unreasonable. We are in a difficult position too. If all the work is left for you to do, what’s the use of having us around? You may collect five more silvers. If it’s not enough for our work in the future, we’ll think of a way to deal with it by then. We won’t come asking from you anymore!”

The villagers felt a sudden relief, and they were more than grateful to the bailiffs. 

The leader asked them to settle the matter with the mayor after this because they were busy and had to return to their offices. So, they only left with the money that they received earlier from the mayor. 

Of course, the people would never raise any objection to that, so the crowd started to scatter as they chatted. Even though they were relieved, they were also distraught when they thought about the five more silvers they needed to offer. 

The Lu Family naturally did not need to worry about the five silvers. Lu Xiao Shu did not mind much about it too, but she saw Zhou Si sullenly watching the four bailiffs leaving in satisfaction. She could not help getting an idea as she stood on her toes and patted his shoulder. “Hey!”

As expected, Zhou Si was shocked. He turned around quickly only to find her, so he laughed helplessly. 

“What are you daydreaming about? You look like you’re so mad that you could swallow them up! Haha!” Lu Xiao Shu laughed.

Zhou Si glanced at her and said, “Don’t you think they’re so annoying?”

Lu Xiao Shu blinked and smiled, “They’re government officers. Even if their clothes might be a little shabby, that’s just another way of showing their status. Don’t tell me that you’re thinking of beating them up! Besides,” Lu Xiao Shu squinted her eyes at him and examined him from top to bottom in a sneer, “by yourself? Haha!”

Zhou Si avoided her gaze and bit his lips. He smiled and said softly, “If I want to beat them up? Do you want to join me?”

Huh? Lu Xiao Shu watched him seriously and said, “Are you speaking for real?”

“Would you dare to?” Zhou Si asked her back with a smile. 

How could Lu Xiao Shu put up with it when he was belittling her? Besides, she never liked those officers anyway, and she did not think that being an officer makes them a god. To her, it would be fine to beat them up as long as she did not leave any evidence that would get her family into trouble. 

Lu Xiao Shu huffed and said arrogantly, “Why would I not when you dare to?”

“Fine, let’s go and intercept them on their way.” Zhou Si grinned. 

“Fine, let’s go!” Lu Xiao Shu lifted her head high and said while walking beside him, “We can’t leave any evidence or else we’ll get our family into trouble, or even worse, we might drag the entire village down. Don’t blame me if I push the responsibility onto you. Besides, you’re an outsider who just moved in. If you take the blame, I think no one will think twice about it.”

“…” Zhou Si was in between tears and laughter, but he secretly grew more vigilant. He felt that this whole issue was unfair, and he wanted to play a role in making things right, but just as the girl said, they could not leave any evidence behind. Otherwise, they could not stay in the village anymore even if the villagers did not push the blame onto them. 

The only thing that disappointed him was the fact that Lu Xiao Shu would sell him out anytime without a second thought. He could not help asking, “Do you mean what you said? I’m kind enough to help the villagers beat the crap out of those bastards, but you’d push me to be the scapegoat? Don’t you feel guilty at all? What if something bad happens to me or if I die in their hands? You really… don’t give a damn?”

But the other day on the frozen lake, you risked everything to save that fat boy…

The thought made Zhou Si feel more disappointed. When did he turn into someone so miserable? I can’t even compare to a chubby fat boy with huge ears… 

The comparison is a killjoy!

“What’s wrong with you?” Lu Xiao Shu thought that it was strange that he looked pained and annoyed but suspicious at the same time. She retorted, ”Why should I feel guilty? Damn it! If the villagers blamed you, you’d really admit it? Besides, you’re not from here, and I don’t think you and your uncle are the types of people who are easy to deal with. Won’t you be greasing your shoes by then?”

“Greasing our shoes?” Zhou Si wracked his brain but could not understand. 

“I mean to slip away, of course! Stupid!”

He was startled by that revelation, and he could not hold his laughter back. “So that’s your plan? What if we got caught? What happens then?”

Lu Xiao Shu replied, “Then we escape!”

“But what if we couldn’t?”

“That’s dumb! That’s so stupid!”

“…” He had no idea why he wanted to argue about it, but he continued asking, “What about you?”

Lu Xiao Shu was getting irritated by his continuous rambling. She said, “Me? I’m a girl. A girl’s reputation is really important, so I can only hide. How can I go looking for justice? You should find a way to deal with it. I don’t think the officers could catch you that easily anyway!” 

Was she praising him? Zhou Si thought that she probably was! No, she must be!

He felt slightly pleased with himself. Of course, did you think I’m someone who can be easily caught? Then, he asked right out with a grin, “If I need your help, would you be there for me?”

“Well, of course!” Lu Xiao Shu answered, “Under the premise of self-preservation and you not betraying me, yes, I would definitely be there for you.”

It seemed like that was the best he could ever get from her. Zhou Si accepted it and laughed. He decided not to make himself uncomfortable anymore, so he stopped asking. 

Both of them walked quickly. Once they were out of the village, they stayed on a small path. Not long later, they arrived at a secluded cove that people rarely pass by. They covered their faces and waited in the middle of the mountain. 

That year, there was a shortage of horses. The government only had five horses available for the county magistrate, his deputy, the marshal, and a selected few if they needed to go anywhere. These ordinary officers did not have the privilege to use the horses. The four of them came to Feng Ye village on foot. 

The bailiffs walked unhurriedly and happily while whistling after receiving a considerable amount of money. Lu Xiao Shu and Zhou Si had to wait for a while before the four of them passed by. 

In a blink of an eye, the money had a new owner as it was in Lu Xiao Shu and Zhou Si’s hands. Estimating the weight on their hands, Lu Xiao Shu laughed, “This is fun! They might be going to other villages. Shall we have some fun?”

Zhou Si was torn between laughter and tears as he said, “We shouldn’t keep doing things like this. Once is more than enough. The officers will start investigating if things become too obvious. Do you think we can handle that? It’s good enough that we helped the people of our village!”

Lu Xiao Shu had to agree with him in an afterthought. She was not a kid who only thought of playing anymore. She knew that if things got out of hand, it would be impossible for someone as powerless as her to go up against the government. 

Whatever the plot was, either secret or open could only be put into practice if both parties had the same level of power. If one side could be easily crushed by the other, it would be like smashing an egg against a stone. 

“What a pity that we have to let them off so easily!” Lu Xiao Shu was a little resentful. She added, “What do you think we should do with the money? We can’t throw them into everyone’s yard in the middle of the night, right?”

Zhou Si burst into laughter, “Only you would ever think of such a stupid idea!”

Lu Xiao Shu huffed indignantly. 

He thought about it and said, “I think we should hide it somewhere safe and donate it when difficult times arise in the village. What do you think?”

She grinned, “That works! Your method of money laundering is quite amazing!”

“Money laundering?”

Lu Xiao Shu chuckled at him and asked, “You don’t even understand a phrase so simple? It means to launder the dirty money back to its legitimate source, get it now?”

Zhou Si was startled, his smile leaving his face as he said, “From where did you get ideas like that? Funny how you can think of things like this!”

Lu Xiao Shu stuck her tongue out and made a face. 

The two ended up talking about where the safest place to keep the money would be. They thought of the riverbank, in a cave, the hillside, under their bed, and in the vegetable field. Eventually, they settled on burying it in the safest place they could think of, which is at the water source behind the Lu Family’s forest. Besides, they could keep a close eye on it too. 

On the next day, the officers sent some men to investigate the robbery and assault on the four bailiffs. Everyone in the village was shocked, puzzled, and angry at the news, but silently inside, they were all happy about it. Even if they could not get their money back, it was delightful to hear that karma hit those bullies back for them. 

After a detailed investigation in the village, the officers could not find any evidence. Before they left, they had no choice but to order the mayor to find it for them. 

The mayor promised to do so with respect, but he thought that it was an unacceptable command. How do they expect me to investigate this? This is as if looking for a needle in a haystack!

Besides, this issue was not a small thing, but it was not a large problem either. After some time, everyone would surely slowly forget about it. Because of that, he did not put much attention to it.

— New chapter is coming soon —
- my thoughts:
Hi all, apologies but we've decided to drop this novel due to our team's lack of interest for this novel. Although it's a decent story and it gets better down the chapters, the pacing's much too slow for us. Instead, we've decided to pick up another novel "A Blessed Wife at Home".

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