The Green Lotus Peasant GirlChapters List
Chapter 57: Amazed
(T/N: Mrs. You is the wife of the adopted son of the Qian family.)
There was a brief moment of silence in the courtyard, and then the people began discussing among themselves. Qian Laiwen was also present. The look on his face was very ugly as he asked, "Why didn't you tell me at that time?"
Thinking about this made one feel sick to their stomach. It was terrible. To fulfill their son's request, the old couple went to get money from either the adopted son or the married daughter. It was especially difficult for the family of the adopted son to provide money over the years for Qian Laiwen's education. The old couple even argued with their married daughter when she came home, for money.
They didn't hesitate to accept a high bride price even against their girl's will when she got married. Once they had the silver, they spent all of it on the son, and now they didn't expect that the son who had been treated like this would kill them with his own hands.
"Sister-in-law, don't make a fuss about this. Although you did wipe the aunt's body, it didn’t have any injuries. If he really did it, how could there be no traces?" It was a woman about the same age as Mrs. You. She didn't question her, but raised a few doubts.
Mrs. You was dumbfounded. "How could I possibly say that at the time? I was too scared about finding this. This has been causing me nightmares for the past six months… The last time I saw it was more than six months ago, but this time I saw it for myself. Father hasn't gotten out of bed in a long time. I provide food, and clothes and bedding are changed by my child's father and I wash them. Why did he suddenly want to go out? Why didn't he ask for help?"
The village chief entered the door. He had heard a lot outside the courtyard and entered the door solemnly. "So you mean Old Man Qian was deliberately killed by your brother-in-law?"
Mrs. You did not dare to admit this. "I cannot admit it, but I have some doubts about the deaths of my parents."
First, Mrs. Qian entered the house. She looked at her unbreathing father and cried out. After listening to the external discussions, she went outside and asked, "Then why didn't you tell me? Even if you didn't tell them, why not even me?"
Qian Laiwen followed behind her. "Sister-in-law, what are you talking about? I have read the law; everything needs evidence, otherwise you will go to jail!"
Mrs. You paled. "I didn't make a false accusation, I just spoke about something suspicious. Since everything is fine, just carry on with the funeral, but we really don't have the money. Now, this funeral…"
Everyone also remembered that at the time of Old Lady Qian's funeral, it was indeed the family of Mrs. You who contributed the most silver for the funeral, along with Li Fu.
Qian Laiwen spoke eloquently, "If it hadn’t been for my parents, my elder brother would’ve been sent away and perhaps killed by these people. Now you all refuse to contribute to my parents' funeral; I’m afraid my parents would’ve been angry if they knew. Aren't you worried you’ll lose face in front of your family and neighbors?!"
Mrs. You's face turned pale at this. She had two sons, one of whom had gotten married only last month after earning some money, and they planned to stay in this village for a long time. The family's primary source of income was carpeting. They mostly earned money by making furniture for houses all around the village. They could suffer direct consequences if their reputation was ruined, since there were many carpenters in the village.
Mrs. You gritted her teeth. "You are the son of the second elder. Even if we treat them as parents, they still have two children and we have already contributed to pay for one elderly person; we have already committed enough."
"I only read books on weekdays. How can I have silver?" Qian Laiwen frowned. "You guys pay the silver to help my parents with the funeral. Consider it as a loan."
Mrs. Qian wanted to speak but was held back by Li Fu, so she immediately lowered her head.
Li Fu's thoughts were also simple. In the years past, he had been their son-in-law, so he considered himself having devoted enough to them. If things had been the same as last time, he would have given the money for the funeral. Also, if the second elder didn’t have a son or his son wasn’t there, it was a different matter, but now that the adopted children and parents were there, he had no reason to take the lead.
In the courtyard, there was a stiff atmosphere, yet it was inappropriate for relatives and neighbors to speak out. If it had been Old Lady Qian's funeral, her maternal family members could still have spoken out, but now it was Mrs. Qian's father, a man who wasn’t the most respected elder in the family. When the atmosphere became anxious, the village chief coughed, and as he was about to speak, Mrs. You said, "Let us pay for the costs and we will arrange the funeral."
"Why?" Qian Laiwen responded quickly, frowning. "The funeral ceremony is to pay respect to the elders and I’ll return the money to you in the future. As relatives, can't you help me out a little?"
The reason Mrs. You said so much was because she was dissatisfied with Qian Laiwen's actions after the last funeral ceremony, since he went straight to the county seat and didn't stay at all, leaving an old father with mobility problems waiting for them to serve him.
Previously, when the adoptive parents were still alive, it wasn’t appropriate for them to make trouble and make them contribute money and effort. After all, they had been kind to them, so they helped them when they could. Now that those old people had passed, why should they suffer? Furthermore, she had sons, and later on there would be grandchildren, so how long would they have to bear the cost?
After hearing Qian Laiwen refuse to give her the lead in handling the funeral ceremony, Mrs. You blurted out, "You hurt your parents, isn't that for the funeral ceremony money?"
After saying those words, she regretted it immediately. This was a ridiculous reason, and what sort of person would be so heartless?
The more she thought about it, the more sense it made, and at that moment she shouted, "I'm reporting it, something is wrong with my parents' death." Turning back, she looked at her husband and said, "He killed mother and father!"
Mr. You's husband was a taciturn and honest-looking middle-aged man. He had been taking care of Old Man Qian for years and was a very honest man. He was surprised when he heard the words and turned to the village chief. "Village Chief, I want to inform the official of what happened to my parents today to resolve their grievances. I don't know what happened to my mother last time, but what happened today was indeed what my wife saw, and I know she won't lie.”
The funeral of the Old Man Qian was like a farce. At noon, when the matter became more serious, the mayor sent someone to take Qian Laiwen for interrogation.
The funeral was then conducted there. The money was still paid by Mrs. You, but the village chief said that since she paid it, and the funeral ceremony money would be collected by her family.
Then they heard Qian Laiwen had been transferred to the county jail. He repeatedly insisted that he would return to his father's funeral service. When Mrs. You learned of it, she cursed, "That bastard, it’s good he couldn't come here in the end. I'm afraid the two old people won't be able to rest in peace with him here."
There was only testimony from Mrs. You. In normal circumstances, this case will most likely remain unsolved. If no evidence was found, Qian Laiwen would naturally come out. However, a woman from the brothel house told her benefactor two days later that Qian Laiwen once boasted to her, when he was drunk, that his mother had died because he had covered her face with a pillow.
When another witness appeared, the magistrate who was not taking the case seriously finally opened a trial for Qian Laiwen. Qian Laiwen confessed after being questioned a few times that it was him who had choked Old Lady Qian to death by pillow, as well as pushed Old Man Qian down in the guise of helping him walk out of the house.
Many thieves in the village had committed petty thefts. As the people heard about the appalling things that were happening around them, they first felt incredulous, and later they were sterner with their teachings towards their children.
Old Man Qian was buried, and the verdict against Qian Laiwen was delivered. He was executed immediately, and his corpse couldn’t be collected!
It was already the fifteenth day of the lunar month when Old Man Qian was buried. As soon as the verdict of Qian Laiwen was announced, everyone talked about it for a few days before preparing for the New Year.
Li Qinghe and Zhou Chengkang began fishing for fish to sell. As the Chinese New Year approached, the big fairs in the town were very lively. Since there were only two people in their family, they didn't need to purchase a lot of New Year's goods. In addition, Mrs. Zhou had already said that they could go to the Zhou family house for the New Year. Everyone would eat in her main room, so there was no need to prepare meat and vegetables for the New Year. She also deliberately set aside a big fish to take to the Zhou house.
The couple fished out all the big fish from the pond and sold them.
She also sent a fish to Li Fu. Mrs. Qian laid sluggishly on the bed. Upon learning that Qian Laiwen was about to be executed, she pestered Li Fu to take her to the county. It was her first time visiting the county and also seeing someone executed. It wasn't known if she was tired or scared, but she hadn't recovered in more than a month.
The married daughter couldn’t go back to her birth family for the New Year, and Li Qinghe didn't plan to spend the New Year at home, so she gave away the fish and left.
Within the blink of an eye, it was the 30th day of the twelfth lunar month, and the two went to the Zhou house early in the morning. Two months had passed since they moved, and the number of times they had returned could be counted on one hand. The atmosphere at home was the same as before. Fifth Sister Zhou and Old Lady Liu had a very low sense of existence. Mei Shi and Zhang Haiyao were displeased with each other. Ms. Zhou was just as strict with her Elder Brother Zhou and her Third Brother Zhou, regardless of whether they were good or bad.
Even though Mrs. Zhou called everyone back to eat, they couldn't really eat for free. Li Qinghe brought a fish, and Zhang Haiyao brought a piece of meat. As for Mei Shi… she brought a piece of tofu.
At the time, Zhang Haiyao, with her protruding stomach, glanced at that tofu and sneered, "Sister-in-law is going to live life yet refuses to take out food for the family. Speaking of which, your family has the…"
Her thoughts drifted and she glanced at Mrs. Zhou intentionally or unintentionally as she placed her hand on her belly, saying, "There will be three people in my family by next year." She laughed after speaking.
Mei Shi also knew that she was at a loss, so she kept her head down and went to help wash the vegetables.
If the other person didn’t respond when quarreling like this, the discussion would get boring. Zhang Haiyao also got bored after saying those few words alone and turned to other things afterward.
Li Qinghe chopped vegetables, but no one wanted to fry them after cutting. She decided to fry the vegetables herself. As soon as the dishes were ready, everyone set up the table filled with dishes and sat down.
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