“If there’s nothing else, please go back!” Li Zheng said indifferently. He was disheartened for the world to actually have such cold-blooded people.
“Okay, I will remember that,” Sang Yufei gave a thin smile but refused to even call the man ‘Mister Sang’. Together with Sang Hong and Fang Shi, he bid farewell to Li Zheng and left.
Sang Pingliang carefully kept his document, and left with Li Shi.
Although the matter had been resolved, Sang Hong and Sang Yufei left Li Zheng’s house feeling a little miserable – the hurt and disappointment that they felt were indescribable. In the past, the Sang brothers would always initiate their apology and appease their uncle regardless of what happened, so conflicts like this had never been blown up. But who would have guessed that the moment they stopped giving in, matters would escalate so quickly.
Just thinking about it, if they had not given in all those times in the past, would Second Uncle have long broken ties with them?
But compared to how Sang Hong and Sang Yufei was feeling, it was the opposite for Fang Shi. She was feeling exceptionally great as she left Li Zheng’s house, with a wide smile plastered on her face and her footsteps lighter than ever.
“Let’s go home quickly! We still haven’t had our lunch! Nanny Xu must’ve already prepared it for us!” Fang Shi smiled.
Sang Hong sighed quietly as he looked towards Sang Yufei, and said, “Second Uncle had warned us not to eye his assets, but when have we ever?”
“I don’t know too!” Sang Yufei shook his head before reminding his brother again, “It’s no longer Second Uncle, but ‘Mister Sang’. Remember that, otherwise, we’ll be made fun of if we greet them incorrectly!”
Fang Shi giggled and curled her lips into a sneer, “You guys really don’t know? Well, I do! He doesn’t have any sons but two daughters. He’s afraid that the two of you would yearn for his assets! Heh, it would be miracle if he doesn’t greed for someone else’s possession, even more so to claim that others are eyeing his possessions!”
That could really be it! Sang Hong and Sang Yufei looked at each other speechlessly.
“Enough, enough, the issue is already over so stop thinking about it. What matters now is that we get home quickly! We’ve still got to clean our house thoroughly inside out when we get home; who knows when the group will be here to announce the good news?!” Fang Shi smiled.
“Sister-in-law is right!” Sang Yufei nodded with a smile as he secretly let out a sigh of relief. He couldn’t wait to see the expressions on Sang Pingliang and Li Shi when they hear the news!
Needless to say, the trio went home. As for Sang Pingliang and his wife, they headed for home as well.
When night came, Fang Shi slaughtered two large roosters, a duck, and even fried a large plate of eggs, as she prepared a scrumptious meal while the Sang brothers invited Li Zheng and a few of the respected village elders to eat together. Announcing to everyone present that their house no longer had an elder to speak for them, the Sang brothers voiced their trouble in hopes that the elders would step in to help them in an event a conflict arise.
At the thought of how few in members the Sang family had since their only closest relatives had cut ties with them and leaving them with a few distant relatives from another province, everyone could not help but feel sympathetic; what’s more, they had even expressed their sincerity by preparing a large meal. As such, the village elders generously accepted their requests.
The first thing Sang Pingliang did when he got home was the hide the document carefully before bring up the next matter on his mind. Seeing a deflated look on his wife’s face, he glared at her as he waved his hands in front of her, “Ai, what’s the matter with you? Come back to your senses, will you?!”
“If I may say, I think we’re the ones at the losing end here!” Li Shi sighed before going on, “What good is there in breaking ties with them? Would it have been better—”
Even though Fang Shi hated her, speaks sarcastically, and rolls her eyes behind her back, she still had to show some respect towards her elders. Not only that, they could often mooch off from Fang Shi and Sang Hong. But now that the ties between the two families were broken, wouldn’t they not be able to do so in the future?
Although it felt really good for that moment, Li Shi just had a feeling that something wasn’t quite right.
After all, they had to respect those who were older than them since they belonged to the younger generation! But most importantly, has Sang Hong’s family ever managed to gain any benefits them?
“What do you know!” Sang Pingliang scolded, “Don’t be fooled by the little things! How could you feel pleased over little gains like that? You unintelligent woman! They’re waiting to gain something even greater from us! Otherwise, why would they be so accommodating towards us?”
“How dare they!” Li Shi instantly reacted to her husband’s words and fumed, “This old woman isn’t dead yet, they’ll never get a chance!”
“Then what happens after you die?” Sang Pingliang questioned.
“You!” Li Shi was furious.
“What if we died? Who do you think would inherit our wealth and assets?” Sang Pingliang said coldly, “We have no sons, but only two daughters!”
Li Shi was dumbfounded, and her face turned pale in that split moment, “Yes, yes ah, a hundred years later—”
If a family had no sons in a hundred years, all inheritance would go to their nephews. That is the way of the society or there wouldn’t be stories of how a widow got kicked out of the house while the dead husband’s inheritance was divided among his brothers. Sang Hong and Sang Yufei were his closest relatives, and were the most justified to inherit after him.
Immediately at that thought, Li Shi became even more furious than her husband, “No,no, that cannot happen! How can we give our hard earned assets to outsiders just like that!”
But who else was there to blame other than herself? Birthing only daughters and no sons. Li Shi was hit by grief and she secretly shed a few tears.
“Mister, I think we should just leave Yan’er* at home and let her marry a man into the family!” An answer arrived quickly arrived in Li Shi’s head and she clapped cheerily, “I think we should go ahead with it! Then in the future, their kid will have our surname to pass!”[TL Note: Yan’er is Li Shi’s daughter]
Hmph, keep dreaming! Sang Pingliang disagreed, “Marry a husband in? Do you think that’s reliable? While we’re alive, we can still bind him tightly and keep him loyal, but what happens when both our feet are raised in the air? With Yan’er’s character, do you think she can remain firm and control him? When that time comes, not only will that man do as he fits, all our family assets will belong to him and no longer recognized as ours!”
“Then, then what should we do? Are we going to just let those two brothers inherit what’s ours?” Li Shi was at a loss. Sang Pingliang words made absolute sense, there was no way they could still control their son-in-law after death! After all, which man would willingly marry in and become another family’s son for the rest of his life?
“I already have an idea,” Sang Pingliang shot a faint glance at Li Shi before speaking indifferently, “I’ve decided to get a concubine.”
“What? A concubine?!” Li Shi’s eyes widened and she instantly jumped from her seat, “You, say that again!”
“What’re you getting agitated for!” Sang Pingliang frowned, “You almost gave me shock! If the concubine gives birth to a son, then wouldn’t everything be solved?”
“You, you, you heartless person! I’ve been with you for so many years, yet you’ve the heart to tell me that you want a concubine! You heartless person! I want to die, I don’t want to live anymore!” Li Shi fell back onto her seat and began wailing.
“Keep it down, will you?” Sang Pingliang showed no signs of concern as he glared coldly into her eyes, “What’s there to fuss over a concubine? The concubine will still have to respect you, and the son she gives birth to will also have to greet you as ‘Mother’. Hmph, and you’ve the cheek to make a scene! If you think you’re competent enough, then give birth to a son for me!”
Alas, Sang Pingliang regretted not having come up with that idea in the past, and that maddened him even more. With a scowl, he went on, “If you were virtuous, you would have already went to find a concubine for me to continue our ancestral line! How dare you have the courage to make a scene now! If we continue down this ‘dead end’, I would really do away with you!”
“You, you!” Furious, Li Shi shivered, but that anger quickly extinguished and she dare not remain dismayed as she was completely familiar of Sang Pingliang’s temperament. Being sure she could not give birth to a son, if she were to also prevent him from getting a concubine, it wouldn’t be difficult for him to get rid of her if he wishes so. Her parents wouldn’t be able to do much, other than make a scene! After all, there are three ways to be unfilial to one’s parents, and having no sons is the worst.
“Since Mister wishes for it, then what can I say?” Li Shi snorted before adding, “I’ll go around and help you find a missy who’s capable of birth!”
“There’s no need for you to bother,” With just a few words, Sang Pingliang eased his wife’s discomfort. “I’ve decided to make a trip to town. You’ll stay at home and tidy up the house and change the bed mattress before I get back!”
Li Shi’s face immediately turned white and her heart was in turmoil. He is going to town to buy from a middleman! At the thought of waking up to a young missy in the house the next day, Li Shi was feeling overly uncomfortable and overly jealous that the cold beads of sweat which formed on her forehead turned sour.
“Mister,” Li Shi forced a weak smile and said, “I think we shouldn’t rush this, and slowly ask around to get to know the missies around town instead of buying from a middleman. Those missies bought from a middleman is never good, who knows if they’re trouble!”
Sang Pingliang grunted at her, and said, “That does not concern you! Do you think I’m that foolish? Hmph, that middleman cannot run away, if he were to trick me, then I’ll not let him off! Besides, if I’m not satisfied with my purchase, then I’ll just buy another, it’s not an issue! So don’t you forget to get this house tied up before I return! Do it yourself, and don’t ask Sang Rou to do it since what does that lass know? I’ll warn you, if you dare to do something funny, then get ready to move out from our bedchamber!”
Li Shi was entirely speechless, her heart ached, but she suppressed it by clenching her teeth tightly together, “Mister, don’t worry. I’ll be sure to tidy it up so nicely that you and the concubine will be pleased!”
Just you wait, once you bring her home, just watch how I’ll deal with her! A purchased good still has its benefit since there isn’t a family behind to shelter her from trouble; she’ll be easy controlled! Hmph, once she gives birth to a son, I’ll be sure to sell her off and keep the son!
That thought relieved Li Shi’s mind in an instant and she didn’t feel as miserable as before. Instead, she went on to get on her husband’s good side, “Hubby, are you thirsty? I’ll brew a cup of tea for you!” Striding into the kitchen, she cleared her throat before yelling, “Ah Rou, Ah Rou! Where have you died to? Go and start the fire quickly and boil a hot pot of water!”
On the next morning, Sang Wan and Shi Fengju woke up in the inn. After getting ready, they ordered for breakfast to be served.
“Zhan Huan has already gone around to inquire, the group with the news will be arriving in town today. I believe they’ll head over to your house tomorrow so let’s stay here for another night before hurrying there tomorrow morning!” Shi Fengju smiled.
Sang Wan wouldn’t say no to that. “Okay,” Sang Wan nodded with a smile.
Breakfast was soon served onto the table. Although it was not as extravagant as those served in the Shi household, it was still plentiful. There was fresh shrimp with shredded chicken porridge, black rice porridge, jasmine rice porridge, dumplings, steamed buns, siew mai, almond tea, lotus leaf tea with cinnamon, cream buns, and pumpkin cakes. There were also a few side dishes to complement the porridge, but those were brought from the Shi household.
“Ma’am, have a taste of this! Nubi specially went to Li Ji to buy this, although nubi isn’t sure if it still tastes the same as those bought in the past!” Liu Ya chuckled and stepped forward as she presented a bowl of smooth beancurd to Sang Wan.
“Oh, how thoughtful of you!” Sang Wan smiled before explaining to Shi Fengju, “I’ve always liked to eat this, and it’s not often that this lass would buy a bowl for me!” As she spoke, she used a spoon to stir the piping hot beancurd before raising a spoonful into her mouth. After a taste, she nodded to Liu Ya with a bright smile, “It tastes just the same, delicious!”
“Then, please have more of it, Ma’am!” Liu Ya was glad for making the trip and she ushered with a broad smile plastered on her face.