Chapter 16: Unquestioning Filial Piety 16
T /N: This is MTL work. I tried to edit as best as I could, any mistake plz do put your comment and I will edit it ASAP. This is my first attempt on Chinese novel so please cheer me up! I hope you will find this novel as interesting as I do.
The way the house was designed in the country was basically the same. The house will usually have a large courtyard with the main building attached to the side room at both left and right. As for the people who did not have that much money, their house usually consisted of the main building only. Only a few households able to build additional single-sided rooms after they have done completing the main house.
Now, the appearance of the Jiang’s old house had become a wonder to the production team. Whenever they passed by, some people will smile and point at missing west wing of the house.
No one thought that Jiang Liu action was excessive. The walls were made using the stone which had been carefully chosen by him. Since those stones were something that Jiang Liu had been working hard to gather, therefore it was not superfluous for him to use the existing material to build his new house. Besides that, that west wing’s room was something which had already been given to Jiang Liu. Therefore, no matter how Jiang Liu wishes to deal with it, was not something that the people in the house have any say to it.
Jiang Liu’s peer as well as the junior in the commune felt that he did the right things. Although the older generation was quite vocal in regard to this matter, however, it may be due to the previous excessive behaviour of the Jiang’s old couple, that at this time, many of them were keeping their silent.
On the contrary, what puzzled everyone was the reaction of the Jiang’s old couple. They were expecting to see the old couple making a fuse especially the old lady, Miao Caifeng. However, contrarily to their anticipation of violent smashing and shouting, the old lady acted her business as usual. She routinely went to the brigade warehouse to buy the material as she continues to work on her handicraft as if nothing was out of ordinary.
Jiang Chuangen’s old man was even more unusual. He was smiling happily all day befitting his images as a happy grandfather who was anticipating his future grandchildren. Despite that, he did not take the initiative to visit Jiang Liu’s new home. Instead, he usually went to see any people who had recently visited his oldest son. He always asked how his daughter-in-law had been faring while hoping that the children will not be upset inside the stomach. He also asked if Xu Xiuxiu belly had already swelled up or not while wishing that his grandchildren will continue to be good.
It can be said that he cared so much for his unborn grandchild. In the previous years, he had been ignoring his oldest son because of this daughter-in-law. Despite marrying for so long, she still unable to give the Jiang family an heir. However, now that Jiang Liu finally reaches the peak of life, so you finally wanted to compensate for it?
The older people usually have their own calculation. After all, the most crucial point that led to the change in the Jiang’s old man attitude was due to the fact that Xu Xiuxiu was finally pregnant with the blood of the Jiang’s family. The attitude of the elder towards their son who had a child and to those who hadn’t were obviously different.
In the early years, when Jiang’s second son was still small, the old man still treated his eldest son better. However, despite Jiang Liu being married for so long, there was still no movement inside Xu Xiuxiu’s stomach. On the contrary, Wang Xuemei who later married to Jiang Hai had successively gave Jiang’s family two heirs. Due to this, the old couple’s bias becomes even more apparent.
Even Jiang Chuangen, who had always valued his eldest son, gradually stopped talking to him. In the eyes of the elder, this oldest son will not be able to leave any descendants. Therefore, in the future, the Jiang’s old couples, including the Jiang Liu’s couple could only rely on Hai-zi’ sons to pay for the filial piety. Therefore, when they thought of the future, the old couple decided that it was better for them to make the sacrifice.
However, even if everyone was trying to guess the thought of these two old people, everything was already meaningless. The wood already became a boat. Their eldest son who was abandoned by them were now standing at the peak of his life. Even so, the old couple also doesn’t seem to possess a thick face or having any inappropriate intentions against Jiang Liu’s couple. Both sides seemed to mind their own business as they went on with their life.
These things were only discussed among the people in the team and no one seemed to mention it to the involved party themselves. After all, everyone was busy trying to make money. They also have a dream of building a spacious and beautiful two-story house for themselves.
Since last year, shocking news was spread from the town to the countryside.
The news on the rectification of the township’s primary schools was already known by most people especially in the community where Jiang Liu lived in. Because of the increase in the economy worth, almost all children in the team were sent to study at school. Furthermore, the teachers also need to be qualified to hold the position. They were required to sit for a qualification examination. This was indeed a piece of good news to everyone, but for those people who felt that they were under-qualified, they could not help but felt anxious over their future.
This news was related to those who felt anxious and wanted to use their brains in order to sneakily avoid from being rectified.
They didn’t know who had been acting so boldly. That person had sent an anonymous report in regard to this matter. to the town’s education department. It just happened that the provincial supervision department had come down to the local office and saw the report letter. The letter reported several small officers in education departments in Taifeng Province. According to the letter, it also mentioned several leaders who had received a benefit in order to open the back door to some of the teachers.
This report quickly attracted the attention of the higher up. After several investigations, several officers who took bribes were quickly caught. Despite that, there were still two people who managed to get the news early and made a run for it. These two people were still on the hunted list until now.
To think that during this most important phase of the country reformation, there were still such locust existing to ruin everyone efforts. To make it worse, that kind of parasite existed within the education officers. Naturally, the higher up will not easily let go of such parasites. Several officers who had been caught taking bribes were soon facing their punishment while the intensity of the hunt increased in order to capture another two who were still at large.
In addition that, all the teachers who bribed the officers did not only lost their money but, their qualifications to sit for the teaching examination were also directly relinquished. This directly smashed any chance for them to become a teacher.
Some of them may not be confident to be able to take the exam properly. Therefore, when they saw that there were many others who gave money in order to secure their position, they decided to do the same. They were afraid that if they did not spend the money, their opportunity to become a teacher will be ruined. However, rules are rules. This had wasted several years of their hard works. They had become the chicken that was slaughtered in order to put an example to others.
“Uncle Jiang, your second son is teaching at our commune primary school, right? I hope he is not being involved in this big matter.”
During the break, while working in the fields, some people asked Jiang Chuangen about Jiang Hai’s situation. Hearing the question, even the surrounding people stopped working as they erected their ears, waiting for the answers.
Although Jiang Hai was the only teacher in the team, in the hearts of everyone, he was far less intelligent as compared to his brother. This used to be the case before, and now it becomes even more apparent.
That kid had only been to school for a few years and yet he started to regard himself as a cultural person above others. He had always looked down on the people who work hard on the field, bathing their feet in soil. However, if he took a step back and ponder about it, without his parents and brother soiling themselves with the mud every day, providing him with the opportunity to go to school, will he have any ability to lift his chin to look down on other people?
Especially this kid who really do not have any conscience. His older brother had paid so much for him and yet he never shows his gratitude over it. This was also applied to his baby sister. It seemed that whatever was taught in school ended up entering his stomach only. They really could not see anything good reflecting on his moral conduct.
“How could we have that much money at home to bribe the officer? This matter had nothing to do with our home Jiang Hai.”
Jiang Chuangen knew about it, yet he shook his head while giving an excuse of not having that much money.
“I heard that police found several boxes full of money in those people’s houses. It seemed that many people were trying to keep the job that their family also help them with the money. Even if you fork out three or four hundred yuan, it was not guaranteed that those people will help you in the end.”
The person who speaks of it continued as if it was nothing.
“Last year, when you were separated, the old lady already said that you did not have the money, so you only divided the property. Even before then, the old lady still unwilling to let Liu-zi see the doctor due to the lack of money. In this case, how can you have money to let Hai-zi opened the back door, right?”
That man continued as he sighed. Jiang Chuangen who heard this felt his cheeks started to become hot.
Yes, his wife indeed had decided to turn a blind eye when his oldest son needs the money for the hospitalization. Yet, she did not even bat an eyelash to provide such money for her baby son. Why was that?
That night, the atmosphere in Jiang’s old house was very bad. Jiang Hai, who had not returned home for three consecutive days, finally came back. At the same time, he also brought back good and bad news.
The good news was that the small officer whom he had bribed in order to secure his position as a teacher had managed to run away. When he fled, he also brought the money with him. They were afraid that by the time that officer was caught, the money should almost used up by him. Furthermore, in order to alleviate his crime, that officer would definitely provide as little information as possible. He might not confess the entirety of the person he had received the bribe as well as the amount of money involved in order to reduce his criminal’s offences.
The bad news was that the man had run away. In order to secure his seat for the teaching examination, Jiang Hai could not admit that he had bribed that man five hundred yuan. That was to say, whether that man returned or not, the money was basically gone.”
“How come it has gone? This is five hundred yuan we are talking about, five hundred yuan!”
Miao Caifeng felt that she could no longer breathe properly. That money was something that she took out from her private saving. In the future, if she or the old man falls sick then, what should she do about it?
Although she can still earn the money now, that money came from the recent trade they had with the foreigner. Once the order finished, from where will she able to earn that much in future?
Of course, these were not the most important things. As for the teaching position, will her younger son still able to hold into it?
“It’s a trivial matter that money was gone. What most important is that Jiang Hai is fine now.”
For Wang Xuemei, the loss of the five hundred yuan was not that distressing. That five hundred was the amount that Jiang Hai told the old lady. In fact, when Jiang Hai sent the money to that officer, he only took out three hundred yuan. There were still two hundred yuan in their hand unbeknown to Miao Caifeng.
As for that, she preferred to have that money in her hand, rather than having to ask the old lady for it each time.
Wang Xuemei’s gentleness and attentive manner made Jiang Hai’s heart warmed towards her. Contrasting to his mother who only focused on the loss of the money, he could not help favouring his wife who put his safety as her utmost priority.
It just that, he did not outwardly showed his dissatisfaction, instead, he lowered his head as he pleaded guilty.
“The money is already a foregone conclusion. However, this should be a good start for us to pay more attention in the future. As long as the exam is fair, I don’t think that I will lose out to others. I should be able to grab the teaching position for the commune primary school”.
Jiang Hai felt that he need to start working hard preparing for the exam. This is something related to his future. He could no longer deal with it as arbitrarily as before.
“I have a terrible headache. Let me rest for a few days. All of you can go out now.”
Miao Caifeng who had always trusted this son unexpectedly did not express her view on this. Instead, she held into her forehead as she headed back to her room with a tired face.
She still remembered the incident of the college entrance examination which was resumed a few years ago. He son also put a show of confidence over his ability to succeed in that examination. For that reason, she secretly opened her saving in order to support this baby son of hers. As a result, this son of her only managed to barely score 100 points and came back to the village as a joke.
And if he really had the ability, did he still need those five hundred yuan to bribe that small officer of the education department?
For the first time, Miao Caifeng started to doubt her younger son’s ability.
Yet, perhaps because this test really determined his future, Jiang Hai had been seriously studying and reviewing the book. He also frequently did the practice exam. He finally managed to secure his position as a teacher with the marks barely passing the line. Finally he was formally chosen as a teacher.
This incident finally swept away the gloomy atmosphere that had been surrounding the Jiang family. Miao Caifeng headache finally stopped as she started to smile again.
After moving to a new home, Jiang Liu no longer paid much attention to the Jiang old house. However, as for the news of the corrupted officer, with how big it had been blown up, it was impossible for him not to know about it.
Especially at those times, the old house seemed to be quiet as if they were hiding their own tail. This made Jiang Liu guessed that Jiang Hai was among the person who had turned to bribe the officer, yet, because of a special reason, he was not caught, unlike other people.
Jiang Liu looked over them quietly but he decided not to report Jiang Hai to the higher up.
After all, he was someone with a bad heart. He especially likes to watch the tragic appearance of a person who managed to climb up only to be drop down the pedestal in a matter of second.
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