February 28, 2024

The Analects of Righteous Father’s Collapse [ Fast Wear] Chapter 203

Chapter 203: Tremble, Scumbag 12

Author: 打字机


T/N: A long chapter to make up my relatively infrequent release OTL


“I never expected Jiang’s third son’s buttocks to be whiter than his face.”

“Isn’t that obvious? The buttocks are not exposed to sunlight. Isn’t your buttocks the whitest part of your whole body?”

At this moment, no one cared about Meng Jiao-niang‘s situationEveryoneon was focused on Jiang Liu’s buttocks, especially some of the older women whose sharp laughter pierced through people’s eardrums.

For the ten thousandth time, Jiang Liu felt fortunate that he was a fool, a four-year-old fool—a little fool who couldn’t experience the emotion of embarrassment.

“Wife, Mom is bad.”

Jiang Liu tightened his belt and hid behind Bai Lan. His eyes stared at his mother beside him warily, fearing that she would undress him without his consent.

Bai Lan was also shocked by her mother-in-law’s audacious move. She glanced at the little fool and, considering his current innocence in body and mind, allowed him to hide behind her.

“Has Jiang San gone crazy from the head injury?”

“It seems so; otherwise, how could a normal man react like this?”

“Bai Lan has such bad luck, ending up with a foolish man. You say, with Jiang Liu’s head injury, can he still perform normally in that aspect?”

“Why are you men always thinking about that piece of flesh? I think Bai Lan is fortunate. Jiang San has gone crazy from his head injury; he’s like a child now. Bai Lan could treat him as an extra son to take care of. When Jiang San’s mind was normal before, he never helped with chores. On the contrary, he always spent the family’s money to please his friends outside. I think him going crazy ly a good thing for Bai Lan.”

People nearby were discussing and mostly focused on Jiang Liu and Bai Lan. The central figure of today, Meng Jiao-Niang, was being ignored.

Fortunately, someone finally noticed Meng Jiao-niang kneeling on the ground, swaying as if she would faint the next second.

“Hey, Widow Meng, you better make your words clear. Jiang San does have a mole on his buttocks. If you falsely accuse him of being your adulterous lover, you must explain, right?”

“That’s right. Whose child is in your belly? Just because Jiang San lost his mind and can’t defend himself, you can’t just label him as the green-headed turtle.”

It’s hard for people to believe that Meng Jiao-niang and Jianually had a relationship when she doesn’t even know about such a prominent birthmark on his body. Most people believed what Bai Lan and Jiang Miao-shi said earlier, thinking that Meng Jiao-niang intentionally entangled herself with Jiang Liu because he went crazy.

“I… I remembered it wrong. There… there is a birthmark.”

Meng Jiao-niang‘s forehead was covered in cold sweat. She thought she was the only intelligent woman in the village, but she never expected Jiang Miao-shi, a crude and foolish village woman, could set a trap and lure her into it.

Apart from having a brief encounter with Jiang Liu, it’s just that she has no other way except to cling to her own life.

“Just a moment ago, you didn’t say that.”

Jiang Miao-shi looked at Meng Jiaoniang and sneered, “Everyone saw it. This woman doesn’t speak a single true word. As for the child in her belly, I dare not acknowledge it. Regardless, I am still Jiang Liu’s mother. I have the authority to make decisions in this matter.”

Even if the child in Meng Jiao-niang‘s belly belonged to her Lucky Star, Jiang Miao-shi would never let him be recognized as such.

To be blunt, Jiang Miao-shi doesn’t lack grandchildren, but her Lucky Star cannot be separated from her capable daughter-in-law, Bai Lan. Unless her mind is damaged, she won’t let Meng Jiao-niang, this woman, enter the Jiang family and cause a rift between Bai Lan and them.

“Village Chief, you are also the patriarch of our Jiang family. Today, you must ensure fairness for my son. Otherwise, anyone can take advantage of the fact that my son’s mind is damaged to bully him.”

Jiang Miao-shi pointed at Meng Jiao-niang and said.

“Today, a woman suddenly appeared,d claiming to be pregnant with my son’s child. Will there come a day when a child shows up, saying he is my son’s illegitimate child? If everyone can falsely accuse my son based on these baseless claims, I will risk my life to go to the official and make these wicked people pay.”

Jiang Miao-shi threatened Meng Jiao-niang and the people in the village who looked down on Jiang Liu because he had become mentally disabled.

In any case, her son had her, his mother, protecting him, and he couldn’t be bullied by just anyone.

“Meng-shi, do you have anything to say?”

Village Chief Jiang Youcai thought what Jiang Miao-shi said made sense. After all, he was still the patriarch of the Jiang family and couldn’t let the Meng family bully his own family.

Jiang Dezhu and Meng Jiao-niang‘s affair was kept secret from others, and Jiang Youcai was unaware that the unborn child in Widow Meng’s belly was actually his grandchild. Therefore, Jiang Youcai’s attitude towards Widow Meng and her still-flat belly was very hostile at the moment. He believed that the existence of such a person could ruin the village’s reputation and feng shui.

Jiang Dezhu wanted to speak up for Meng Jiao-niang. Still, with so many people present, he could only stand silently behind Jiang Youcai, looking coldly at Meng Jiao-niang, who was lying on the ground.

“I, I…”

Meng Jiao-niang‘s mind quickly weighed the pros and cons. If she were to expose the true identity of the child’s father in her belly at this moment, would it…

Meng Jiao-niang‘s peripheral vision glanced at Jiang Dezhu, and it seemed that Jiang Dezhu also sensed her thoughts. His expression immediately turned cold, and his gaze sinisterly fixed on Meng Jiao-niang.

Meng Jiao-niang shrank back, retracting her peripheral vision. She understood Jiang Dezhu’s attitude. Obviously, revealing the truth at this time would not benefit her.

“Widow Meng, you better think it through. Suppose you insist that the child in your belly is from my son, fine. I’ll wait for ten months of your pregnancy. When the time comes, we’ll go to the official in town, have the county magistrate’s decision, and conduct a blood test to see if the child in your belly is my son’s offspring. Let me be clear upfront, if you deceive me and deceive everyone else, you and that little wild seed in your belly can forget about staying in the village. I, Jiang Miao-shi, may not have any abilities, but I can shout curses at your doorstep day and night without feeling tired.”

Meng Jiao-niang and Jiang Dezhu’s subtle gaze went unnoticed by Jiang Miao-shi and the others.

“That’s right; our Jiang village cannot tolerate a woman like you.”

After Jiang Miao-shi spoke, Jiang Youcai continued, “That’s right, this woman has no place in our Jiang family village. She has corrupted the good atmosphere in the village.”

Before, Widow Meng was careful with her actions, and others couldn’t catch her in any wrongdoing. But now, things were different. The child in her belly was real, and if she refused to admit who the actual adulterer was, as the village chief, Jiang Youcai had a reason to drive Widow Meng out of the Jiang family village.

“That’s right, this kind of woman should have been driven out long ago.”

“Yeah, always thinking of underhanded ways, seducing the men in the village.”

All the women present agreed. They didn’t blame their men for their lack of self-control but rather blamed Meng Jiao-niang for being too enticing and seductive.

If Meng Jiao-niang is expelled from the Jiang family village, wouldn’t their husbands be able to live honestly with them? This is the shared thought among the women present.

“I, I…”

Meng Jiao-niang has been pushed into a desperate situation. Whether she admits it or not, it won’t gain her any favour.

Looking at the aggressive Jiang Miao-shi, Meng Jiao-niang toughens her heart, feigning extreme anger and collapsing to the ground with her buttocks raised and eyes closed.

Regardless, she decides to play unconscious and evade this disaster for now. She’s currently pregnant, and she believes the villagers won’t be so heartless as to drive her out of the Jiang family village while she carries a child.

She is also tough and decides to endure the pinching and flesh twisting from a few robust women without showing signs of waking up.

Now, everyone is helpless against her. Several strong women carry her back to her renovated small thatched house, and no one suggests finding a doctor for her. After sending her back, they disperse.

That night, the talk of the town around dinner tables is the drama that unfolded in the evening. Everyone is waiting for Meng Jiao-niang to wake up and confess the true identity of her illicit lover.

**********

Meng Jiao-niang, pretending to be unconscious, woke up as soon as everyone left. She immediately sat up on her bed.

“Hiss…”

She touched her scalp, realizing that Jiang Miao-shi had pulled too forcefully, causing several strands of hair to be yanked out. Meng Jiao-niang felt a burning pain on her scalp.

There were also abrasions of varying degrees on her forehead, knees, elbows, and other areas. Some of the wounds even bled. The thought of these injuries potentially leaving scars deepened Meng Jiao-niang‘s resentment towards Jiang Miao-shi and Bai Lan.

In addition to these two women, Meng Jiao-niang also blamed Jiang Liu.

If he did not become foolish and allowed her to have a physical relationship with him, leading them to believe that her child was his, none of this would have happened, and she wouldn’t have been so embarrassed.

Ultimately, it was Jiang Liu’s fault!

“What are you doing here?”

Just as Meng Jiao-niang was resentful, Jiang Dezhu secretly arrived at Meng’s house, avoiding the presence of others. He wanted to warn Meng Jiao-niang not to say things she shouldn’t say.

Seeing the biological father of her child approaching, Meng Jiao-niang‘s emotions did not improve in the slightest. She had observed Jiang Dezhu’s behaviour today and realized that this man was also unreliable.

“My dear, are you angry with me?”

Jiang Dezhu was clever and knew how to approach Meng Jiao-niang in this situation.

“Hmph! What dear? Aren’t I just a beast in your heart? Today, even your father suggested driving us, mother and child, out of the Jiang family village. Yet, you acted like a coward, unwilling to stand up for me and our child.”

Meng Jiaoniang clenched her fists and punched Jiang Dezhu’s chest. “Are you even a man? If you had the guts to marry me openly, I wouldn’t have been humiliated like this today.”

Compared to the superficial Jiang Liu, Meng Jiao-niang valued Jiang Dezhu, who had actual abilities. Unfortunately, Jiang Dezhu was too afraid and never dared to tell his wife about his extramarital affairs.

“But I’m doing this for you too. If my fierce tigress at home finds out about you and the child, she will skin both of us alive.”

Jiang Dezhu relied on the connections of his in-laws in town; they facilitated many of his sourcing channels. Due to this, Jiang Dezhu’s wife held an elevated position within the Jiang family, to the extent that even Jiang Dezhu’s own mother didn’t dare to assert her authority in front of her daughter-in-law.

“What am I supposed to do then? What about the child in my belly?”

Meng Jiaoniang sobbed softly, tears glistening on her long and dense eyelashes. Her face was pale, displaying a fragility and timidity that was different from her usual self, making her appear pitiable.

Jiang Dezhu still had some fondness for Meng Jiaoniang. She was young enough, beautiful enough, and open-minded enough in bed. Furthermore, her current display of helplessness and the attitude of not being able to live without him fulfilled Jiang Dezhu’s vanity, which his wife couldn’t satisfy. It made Jiang Dezhu feel like a truly outstanding man.

However, Jiang Dezhu’s concerns were still numerous, and he couldn’t make any promises to Meng Jiaoniang.

“Here are five taels of silver. I’ll bring some more silver when I come to see you next time.”

Jiang Dezhu took out several pieces of broken silver. “As you know, my tigress wife manages the household finances. Fortunately, she doesn’t keep a very tight watch on the silver. On regular occasions, due to some social obligations, she usually gives me six to eight taels a month. As long as she doesn’t know about our relationship, I can find a way to support you and the child.”

Meng Jiaoniang wasn’t a fool; she understood the meaning behind Jiang Dezhu’s words. He was warning her not to disclose their relationship. Otherwise, they would both face dire consequences and gain nothing.

“But how long can I keep it a secret? Your father openly asked me in front of the whole village to reveal the name of my illicit lover, or else he would expel me and the child from the Jiang family village. I don’t want to leave you.”

The village of Jiang’s family had a simple and honest folk custom. Even if some women didn’t approve of her, they wouldn’t do anything to her, let alone the men. Even if they had relationships, it was consensual. It was unlike some other villages where those scoundrels and ruffians would only bully a helpless widow like her.

The thought of her life after being expelled from the Jiang family village made Meng Jiaoniang shudder.

“As for my father, I will find a way. He is soft-hearted and won’t really expel you from the village.”

Jiang Dezhu frowned. He could tell his father about his relationship with Meng Jiaoniang. His father would definitely help him keep it a secret.

“Then, I will listen to you.”

Meng Jiaoniang lowered her head and looked at the five taels of silver in her hand.

For her, this might be the best outcome. As long as she gave birth to Jiang Dezhu’s child, she wouldn’t have to worry about him not supporting her in the future.

She would have money to spend and beautiful clothes to wear. Apart from not having a proper status, she would be much happier than the women in the village. Besides, having a status might not be a good thing. Thinking of the notorious reputation of Jiang Dezhu’s mother at home, she felt even more liberated now.

Unbeknownst to them, they failed to notice someone outside who had heard their entire conversation while discussing their plans inside the house.

“Darling, I… I…”

Meng Jiaoniang wanted to coax something out of Jiang Dezhu, but a wave of drowsiness overwhelmed her brain before she could finish her sentence. She yawned a few times and couldn’t resist falling asleep.

Jiang Dezhu was slightly better off than Meng Jiaoniang. He looked at her sleeping form and had a vague sense of unease crept into his heart. He pinched his thigh, trying to stay alert, but drowsiness overwhelmed him. He couldn’t resist for long and eventually closed his eyes, collapsing onto Meng Jiaoniang‘s bed.

After about half an incense stick’s worth of time, the unusual fragrance in the room dissipated, and Jiang Liu entered from outside.

This Meng Jiaoniang truly surprised him. He had already decided to give up on the second task, but unexpectedly, she had already conceived the child. Through a twist of fate, she inadvertently allowed him to complete the mission.

Jiang Liu produced a red pill out of thin air. It was a valuable item, a pregnancy-preserving pill that he had purchased for 200 points from the system’s shop.

OrigInitiallyang Liu had no use for this kind of pill. Its customers were mainly female executors who must complete the harem fighting tasks. As the name suggested, this pill acted as a natural protective barrier for the womb. Unless the mother died, no method could harm the child inside her, be it falling, getting angry, or even poisoning.

Jiang Liu took a few steps forward, gripping Meng Jiaoniang’s chin and forcibly placing the pregnancy-preserving pill in her mouth. The pill, a product of the system, dissolved upon contact and transformed into a liquid, flowing down her throat without the need for her to swallow.

As for Jiang Dezhu, the man who had cuckolded the original body in his previous life, Jiang Liu pondered for a moment, then proceeded to strip off his clothes before bundling him up with Meng Jiaoniang.

After completing all of this, Jiang Liu left the Meng family.

Of course, upon his departure, he thoughtfully left the door wide open. A touching love story like Jiang Dezhu and Meng Jiaoniang‘s must be known to the entire village.

Due to the incident in the evening, he expected people to gather at Meng’s house early the following day, waiting for Meng Jiaoniang to confess the identity of her illicit lover. By then, those people would naturally see Jiang Dezhu and Meng Jiaoniang lying together in the nude.

They brought this upon themselves, and Jiang Liu felt that his little retaliation wasn’t excessive.

***************

“Widow Meng! Widow Meng!”

Early the following day few nosy women rushed to Meng’s house, eager to probe Meng Jiao-niang for information. Among them was the little daughter-in-law of the Wang family, who lived next door to the Jiang family, who was particularly thrilled by yesterday’s spectacle.

“Why isn’t anyone answering? Could it be that she’s still not awake?”

The little daughter-in-law of the Wang family pursed her lips and said, “Hmm, why is the door not closed? Whoever brought Meng Jiaoniang back yesterday was careless. But since the door is open, let’s go in and take a look. JuIfomething happened to Meng Jiao-niang, we should call a doctor for her. Although Meng Jiao-niang isn’t great, the child in her belly is innocent.”

After saying so much, the little daughter-in-law of the Wang family just wanted to sneak a few glances inside Meng’s house.

Yet, her words did make some sense and coupled with the fact that most of the people who came to Meng’s house at this time were gossip-loving women like her, under the little daughter-in-law of the Wang family’s instigation, the group of people didn’t hesitate for long. It pushed open the slightly ajar door to enter.

“Oh my, what is this?!”

As soon as they entered the room, the little daughter-in-law of the Wang family saw the two people lying naked on the bed.

She screamed and jumped up, her face flushed red with excitement. This was big news! She even got to see it firsthand.

“Oh dear, how embarrassing! Did I grow eyes on my forehead?”

Several young women blushed and covered their eyes with theirs. In contrast, the older women, who were more accustomed to worldly matters, shamelessly scrutinized Jiang Dezhu on the bed, assessing his worth.

“Isn’t this Jiang Dezhu? No, we have to call the village chief.”

“I’ll go and get someone. This is a big deal!”

The group of people, eager for a spectacle, wanted to gather the entire village by banging drums and making a fuss.

The little daughter-in-law of the Wang family still had a bit of kindness in her, so while the others ran out to call for help, she picked up a thin blanket from the side and covered Meng Jiaoniang.

Compared to Jiang Dezhu being completely naked, Meng Jiao-niang, still wearing undergarments, wasn’t considered overly exposed. However, undergarments were considered intimate clothing during this era, and if someone saw her in just her undergarments, it wouldn’t be much different from being completely naked.

The little daughter-in-law of the Wang family’s decision to cover Meng Jiaoniang with a blanket is not only to save her some dignity but also to prevent her husband from seeing Meng Jiaoniang in that state.

As for Jiang Dezhu beside her, she didn’t care much. After all, he could get involved with a woman like Meng Jiaoniang, so he shouldn’t have much shame left.

“Beast! You are a beast!”

The village chief gasped for breath as he rushed over. Upon seeing his son still sound asleep, he approached him and gave him a few slaps to wake up the drugged Jiang Dezhu.

“Father.”

Jiang Dezhu was still a bit dizzy, but when he saw his biological father in front of him, as well as the expressions of the onlookers, he suddenly realized his predicament and turned to stone on the spot.

*****************

The affair between Jiang Dezhu and Meng Jiaoniang couldn’t be kept a secret. Although Jiang Dezhu kept explaining that everything was an accident and that others manipulated him and Meng Jiao-niang, few people believed his words. After all, they prefer to believe what they see than listen to others’ explanations.

Jiang Dezhu was dragged back to the Jiang family by his father, Jiang Youcai, and in front of the whole family, he was lashed twenty times with a rattan cane. He was also forcibly severed from any improper relationship with Meng Jiaoniang.

While Jiang Dezhu was still nursing his previous injuries, Jiang Dezhu’s wife, who rarely came to the countryside, arrived at the Jiang family village with several of her relatives. She scolded and beat Jiang Dezhu, who dared not fight back, allowing his fierce wife to insult his ancestors for generations.

Although Jiang Dezhu was at fault in this matter, in the eyes of most men, his affair with Meng Jiaoniang could at most be described as a passing romance or even a fleeting affair. Hence, many men considered her reaction as excessive. Yet, Jiang Dezhu, who meekly tolerated his wife’s actions, allowing her to vent her anger on his parents and elders, showed others his weak behaviour.

The once-promising descendant in the village became a soft-hearted man despised by both men and women. The prestige of the village chief’s family had also diminished significantly due to this incident.

As for Meng Jiaoniang, her situation was even more miserable. The tigress of Jiang Dezhu’s family even beat her own husband, let alone the vixen who seduced her husband.

Meng Jiaoniang‘s face was slapped into a swollen bun. The tigress looted some valuable items in her home, as she insisted that Jiang Dezhu had spent his secret money on her all these years. She even produced a ledger. Due to that, even if those things were taken from her, Meng Jiao-niang had no way to seek justice.

When Meng Jiaoniang was driven out of the Meng family, she only received a dilapidated thatched hut. Over the years, she had turned that crumbling hut into a sturdy brick house with her hard work. The furnishings inside were all added by her, including rouge, powder, clothing, and jewellery. These things were not all provided by Jiang Dezhu alone.

The actions of Jiang Dezhu’s wife could be said to have destroyed the efforts Meng Jiaoniang had put in over the years and brought her back to square one.

It didn’t end there. As Meng Jiaoniang watched her house being demolished, Jiang Dezhu’s wife had a servant girl forcibly give her a bowl of abortion medicine, and several rough maidservants kicked her stomach heavily, determined to terminate the child in her womb.

Everyone believed that the child in Meng Jiaoniang‘s womb would not survive. However, even after being forced to drink three bowls of potent abortion medicine, that piece of flesh in Meng Jiaoniang’s belly stubbornly stayed alive.

Even the senior doctor summoned by Jiang Dezhu’s wife couldn’t explain the reasons behind it. A rumour spread from somewhere, saying that the child in Meng Jiaoniang‘s womb was a debt-collecting ghost and wouldn’t leave until the debt was repaid.

This rumour spread with details and credibility. Even Jiang Dezhu’s wife was scared by the resilience of the wild seed in Meng Jiaoniang‘s belly. She took Jiang Dezhu back to the town with her servants, seemingly no longer concerned about the child in Meng Jiaoniang‘s womb.

However, before leaving, Jiang Dezhu’s wife warned Meng Jiaoniang not to approach Jiang Dezhu with that illegitimate child. Otherwise, she would break her legs and leave her unable to walk.

Jiang Dezhu’s wife had some connections with the local authorities, so even if Meng Jiaoniang‘s legs were broken, she could quickly solve the problem with money.

Meng Jiaoniang was frightened. She obediently stayed in that rundown house to protect her unborn child and dared not cause any trouble for the time being.

*************

“Madam Jiang, please wait a moment. Our manager would like to have a chat with you.”

That day, as soon as Bai Lan finished selling her pastries, she was stopped by a young boy dressed as a servant.

Bai Lan glanced at the boy’s attire and then looked in the direction he pointed, realizing that her important customer had arrived.

There was a reason why Bai Lan chose red bean cakes as the first pastry to sell. She remembered that the signature dessert of Wufang Zhai, the largest pastry shop in the area, was red bean cakes. If they heard that a better-tasting red bean cake had appeared on the market, they would def to acquire the recipe.

Bai Lan had learned many pastry recipes in the Marquis’s mansion, including pastries that did not exist in this era. Bai Lan didn’t mind selling a few recipes in exchange for the capital needed to start her shop, and Wufang Zhai was one of her targets.

However, even though she had planned her course of action meticulously when the manager of Wufang Zhai decided to contact her, Bai Lan couldn’t help but feel a little anxious.

After all, considering her current identity and status, if she were to have a dispute with Wufang Zhai, it would be like a chicken bumping into a goose’s egg. If Wufang Zhai wanted to take her secret recipe forcefully, Bai Lan wouldn’t have a chance to resist.

As she approached the tea house where the manager was waiting, Bai Lan couldn’t help but doubt if she had been too impulsive.

“Wife.”

Jiang Liu walked behind her, not expecting to stop suddenly stop, and accidentally bumped into her.

Bai Lan almost lost her balance, but fortunately, Jiang Liu reacted quickly and caught her.

During these days, with good food and drinks, Jiang Liu gained several rounds of weight. Bai Lan glanced at the tall, sturdy boy behind her, feeling more secure.

“Madam Jiang, I believe you already know the intention behind my invitation. Our employer would like to purchase the recipe you possess. Please name your price.”

As the manager of Wufang Zhai, he had the capital to be proud of, even though he was currently in a position of needing a favour from someone.

“What price is the manager willing to offer? The manager has also investigated my background and knows I need much money to treat my husband. If the price offered is too low, I would rather sell my goods at the stall every day. Although it’s hard work, at least the money keeps coming in.”

Bai Lan got straight to the point. If Wufang Zhai offered a sufficiently high price, she would naturally be willing to sell the red bean cake recipe. After all, it was part of her pre-planned strategy.

“Our employer is willing to offer fifty taels.”

The manager’s expression was somewhat proud. Fifty taels was not a small amount. This woman in front of him was just a rural country girl, and being able to improve the red bean cake recipe was like a blind cat stumbling upon a dead mouse. He thought she would be overjoyed to hear the offer of fifty taels.

“Since the manager lacks sincerity, there’s no need to continue discussing.”

While speaking, Bai Lan’s palms were sweaty, but she maintained a calm demeanour.

“Wait!”

Seeing Bai Lan was turning to leave, the manager called out to her.

“Madam Jiang, you have such audacity. Don’t you know what it means to offend Wufang Zhai?”

The manager’s words contained a hidden threat, and his gaze was as sharp as a hawk, fixed firmly on Bai Lan.

“Don’t bully my wife.”

Jiang Liu stood before Bai Lan, baring his teeth at the manager, wearing a fierce expression that suggested he would bite if the manager didn’t listen.

Unfortunately, his gaze wasn’t fierce enough, and it gave off a somewhat ferocious yet cute impression.

Jiang Liu’s reaction made Bai Lan tremble in her heart. She pulled the little fool behind her, sighed deeply in her heart, and didn’t know what to do with this Jiang Liu.

Sometimes, she hoped he would regain his senses so that she could retaliate without reservation. Other times, she hoped he would remain foolish for the rest of his life, and they could live in peace without any troubles. It seemed nice that way too.

“Lord Wu of your esteemed household is a great benefactor who repairs bridges and paves roads. Although I am a rural country woman, I have heard of Lord Wu’s benevolent reputation. I don’t believe Lord Wu would make things difficult for a small woman like me over a pastry recipe.”

The “Lord Wu” mentioned by Bailan was the owner of Wufang Zhai and a well-known philanthropist in the area. Bai Lan had targeted Wufang Zhai precisely because of Lord Wu’s good reputation.

Because such a philanthropist was highly concerned about their reputation, whether genuinely benevolent or putting on a show, they would not engage in unjust acts for a bit of money.

Indeed, the manager’s face changed after hearing Bai Lan’s words. He hadn’t expected this village woman, Bai Lan, to have such courage to use Lord Wu’s reputation against him after his threatening words.

Ultimately, the manager bought the red bean cake recipe from Bailan for five hundred taels, and Bai Lan could no longer sell her red bean cakes. The transaction was concluded with the exchange of money and goods.

***********

At noon, when Bai Lan took out five silver tickets worth one white and two silver each, Jiang Miao-shi almost couldn’t believe her eyes. She repeatedly examined the two silver tickets, occasionally pinching her thigh to ensure she wasn’t dreaming.

“Mother, there’s another good news I have to tell you.”

Bai Lan lowered her head, gently caressing her belly.

“I’m pregnant. These past few days, I’ve been having stomach problems. I thought it was just a cold, so I wanted to get some medicine. When I went to the town to sell pastries during the day, I also went to the pharmacy to have an old doctor check my pulse. The doctor said the baby in my belly was almost three months old. It’s all my fault as a mother for being clueless. I’ve been busy caring for my husband and managing the pastry business, and I never noticed the baby’s presence.”

Bai Lan deliberately chose this moment. On the day she was confirmed pregnant, she received a sum of five hundred taels as income. She wanted to make the old lady believe the child in her belly was their Jiang family’s little lucky star.

She wanted to repay everything she owed this child from her past life.


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