Last of the five chapters I am uploading for today.

Xu Xiuhua shook, howling even more pitifully, but no tears were seen.  

One villager with a high status stepped forward and tried to mediate.
“Yu family, what are you doing? Speak properly, we are all from the same village, and you are still relatives.”  

For generations, the Yu family has been blacksmiths, and they had always been courteous and honest.
They usually didn’t take the small change from people in Xianhe Village.
Those who knew better would understand the situation and quickly intervened.
“What’s going on, Yu family? If there’s an issue, let’s all talk it out and come to a fair resolution.”  

Lin Cuifen’s anger was still raging, “Yuan Ge’er is feeling unwell today and can’t get out of bed.
When she came to our house, she was being weird and wanted Yuan Ge’er to come out and greet her.
I thought about the child’s condition and allowed her to come in and check on him, but she refused and even called him a little sl*t.
Who is she cursing?”  

This word is generally used to describe women or gers who do not follow proper etiquette.
Using this word to curse one’s own child is extremely offensive and everyone who hears it would be disgusted.  

Xu Xiuhua naturally denied it, “I didn’t! You’re making things up!” 

“You did! I heard it!” Yu Shanwu retorted. 

Children wouldn’t lie about something like this, and the Yu family had always been trustworthy.
The scales in the onlookers’ minds tipped towards the Yu family’s side. 

Seeing that the situation was not in her favor, Xu Xiuhua slapped her hands and vented, “Oh, I can’t go on living! Where is the head of my family? They’re all bullying me!”  

“Is there anyone more heartless than Yuan Ge’er? Since he got married, he hasn’t come back home even once.
Not to mention anything else, even the most basic etiquette of returning to visit his family hasn’t been done! His parents died early, and I raised him like my own son.
He has climbed up to a high branch now and doesn’t recognize me as his aunt!” 

“He can sell cakes, but he can’t come back to see me and his uncle.
It doesn’t matter much to me and his uncle, but he doesn’t care about his own grandmother!”  

Lin Cuifen retorted, “You’re talking nonsense! I went to your place on the second day of the wedding and told you that we would wait until Yuan Ge’er was feeling better before returning to visit.
You clearly agreed!” 

“He can sell cakes at your place! I don’t see anything wrong with him!” 

Qiao Yuan, who had Yu Dameng support him out, just heard this sentence.
He quickly pinched himself, immediately entered the play and wiped his tears, pretending to be sad and said: “Aunt, what are you talking about?”  

Xu Xiuhua was used to being domineering in front of Qiao Yuan.
As soon as she saw him, she went crazy and rushed towards him.  

Qiao Yuan was startled.
This old lady was too rude and overbearing! 

Yu Dameng quickly protected Qiao Yuan behind him, glaring fiercely at Xu Xiuhua who was rushing towards them, looking very intimidating and fierce.  

Xu Xiuhua’s voice trembled for a moment, and she stopped halfway through her movement, but she still stood with her hands on her hips and said, “What? You dare to hit me?”  

Lin Cuifen could hit her, but Yu Dameng couldn’t.
She was Yu Dameng’s elder now, and she didn’t believe that he would dare to hit her. 

Thinking of this, she stood even straighter and sneered at Qiao Yuan, “Oh, Yuan Ge’er, you’re married now.
You must be quite something.
You have someone to back you up.” 

Qiao Yuan was speechless.
He just wanted to live a peaceful life with the Yu family and didn’t want to remember the villain from his original memories.
But she had to come knocking on their door! Qiao Yuan gently nudged Yu Dameng’s arm to signal him not to get angry and then calmly approached the crowd, saying lightly, “Aunt, other married gers are also backed up by their natal family.
But I have to rely on my husband’s family.

Someone couldn’t help but burst out laughing with a “pu chi” sound.  

Zhang, the butcher’s wife, saw Qiao Yuan holding onto his waist and asked bluntly, “Yuan Ge’er, what’s wrong? Why are you holding onto your waist?”  

Qiao Yuan greeted her and then started talking nonsense seriously, “Oh! This is just my old problem.
I injured my waist when I used to carry water, and it hurts again on a cloudy day like today.”  

Everyone knew what “used to” meant. 

Xu Xiuhua couldn’t take it anymore and asked angrily, “What do you mean?” 

Before Qiao Yuan could say anything, Xu Xiuhua’s neighbor, Aunt Wu, said cheerfully, “Don’t you know what it means in your own heart?”  

Aunt Wu’s husband’s family and the Qiao family had been neighbors for several generations, and they had always been peaceful.
However, since Xu Xiuhua married into the Qiao family, the two families have never been quiet, and they often argue over trivial matters.
Aunt Wu can’t stand Xu Xiuhua and enjoyed taking a jab at her, “When Yuan Ge’er was at home, what household chores in your family did he not do? This is just a lingering illness from when he was young!”  

The crowd immediately started discussing, “This is true.
I have seen Yuan Ge’er fetching water at the well with my own eyes.
He walks one step and rests for two steps with his small body.
I couldn’t bear to watch, so I asked my husband to help carry it home.”  

“I’ve seen it too.
In the middle of winter, he washed clothes by the river with such thin clothing that his hands were full of frostbite.

Although women and gers in the village were not idle at home, they only did light and easy tasks, and there was no one who was as troublesome as Xu Xiuhua.
The discerning people could actually see that Xu Xiuhua was deliberately mistreating others, but since it wasn’t their own family’s business, no one wanted to interfere. 

Xu Xiuhua became furious and wanted to charge towards Aunt Wu, but Aunt Wu was not afraid of her.
Several of her daughters-in-law were by her side, and if Xu Xiuhua dared to hit her, they would tear her apart. 

Fortunately, Xu Xiuhua stopped herself.
Her entire rage was now focused on Qiao Yuan, who she thought was the easiest target.
“You ungrateful child! I raised you all these years, and this is how you treat me!” 

While sitting on the ground, she cried loudly as if she had been bullied.  

This move was quite clever, Qiao Yuan thought.
In ancient times, filial piety was highly valued.
Even if it was just for show, Xu Xiuhua had at least provided him with food and shelter.
If he dared to speak disrespectfully to her, he would be considered unfilial and would be betraying Xu Xiuhua’s kindness.
Qiao Yuan thought for a moment and realized that he could just pretend to be pitiful.
‘You know how to do it, and so do I!’ 

He pretended to run into a tree to kill himself, and Yu Dameng was shocked and ran even faster than Qiao Yuan.
Qiao Yuan actually hit Yu Dameng’s hard chest, and it hurt so much that he grimaced in pain. 

“Yuan…Yuan Ge’er, what are you doing?” Yu Dameng hugged Qiao Yuan tightly and spoke in a panicked voice. 

This big idiot! Qiao Yuan held his sore nose from the collision, pinched Yu Dameng’s waist, and gave him a signal with his eyes.
Yu Dameng seemed to suddenly understand something, but still held onto Qiao Yuan and refused to let go.  

Qiao Yuan had no choice but to continue performing in this position, “I don’t want to live anymore!”  

“Yuan Ge’er, why are you saying such things?” someone asked. 

Qiao Yuan pretended to look sad and pitiful, “I’m sure all of you uncles and aunts have heard about me hanging myself on my wedding night.”  

The villagers chuckled, and it was unclear what they were thinking, but they denied with their mouths, “Those are all rumors, don’t…”  

“This is true! But it’s definitely not because of my husband’s family, it’s because of her!”  

Qiao Yuan pointed at Xu Xiuhua and immediately said without giving Xu Xiuhua a chance to react: “She asked for eight taels of silver as betrothal gifts from my husband’s family but didn’t give any dowry.
On our wedding night, I opened the two old boxes and found only some clothes that I usually wear! They were so heavy because she put big stones inside to make up the weight!”  

The scene suddenly exploded, “Eight taels?”  

“This is too much! If only I had married my daughter to the Yu family!”  

“Doesn’t the Yu family still owe debts? How can they afford to give so many gifts?”  

“They have their business in the county town, they definitely paid off their debts!” 

“So many gifts and not even a little dowry! It’s so embarrassing.”  

In Da Chu, because gers are not as easy to raise as girls, the maternal family would usually give more dowry to their sons to ensure their footing in their husband’s family.
At the very least, ordinary families would give new clothes, wedding bedding, a pair of mandarin ducks pillowcases, wedding pots and pans, dressing table, and more.
Besides, the Yu family also gave a lot of betrothal gifts. 

“Aunt treated me so contemptuously! I also thought about the various hardships I suffered at home before getting married, and how I lost my parents at a young age.
I thought I had a miserable life and couldn’t take it anymore.
So I hanged myself…”  

Qiao Yuan wiped away her tears and said, “Fortunately, my husband’s family and my husband are kind-hearted.
They comforted me in every way after I woke up, and I feel that there is hope in my life and started to become optimistic”  

Some older women with soft hearts followed suit and said with distress, “Yuan Ge’er, why are you so foolish? You can’t do this kind of thing again!”  

Qiao Yuan nodded and untied the sweat towel around his neck.
“The injury on my neck is almost healed now.
It was too noticeable before, and I was afraid it would cause misunderstandings if it spread.
So I didn’t go back home for three days, thinking I would wait until the injury healed before returning.
My mother-in-law had already informed my aunt, and she agreed.”  

When everyone saw the red marks still present after several days, they knew the injury was not minor.
Thinking back to the rumors and speculations in the village over the past few days, they could understand why Yuan Ge’er had not returned home for three days.
Going out like this, who knows what kind of story would be made up about him! It’s not like he didn’t want to go back, but his body wasn’t feeling well, and he had to delay for a few days.
In a rural household, there are no strict rules.
Family members should be able to tolerate and understand each other.  

Qiao Yuan continued, “My husband and mother-in-law have been so good to me that I feel guilty.
I happened to hear my husband say that he had eaten this kind of cake at the border, and since I had nothing to do, I decided to try making it.
Originally, it was just for our family to eat, but later on…”  

Qiao Yuan glanced at Grandma Jiang in the crowd, and Grandma Jiang immediately stood up and said, “I can testify to this.
I came to their house because I smelled something, and at that time, the Yu family didn’t want to take any money.
But we bought a lot, and we can’t just take advantage of others for free.”  

Someone with a quick mouth joked, “Auntie, your nose is really sharp!”  

Grandma Jiang has a good temper and is not easily annoyed.
She laughed and scolded, “You can’t sit still when you smell that scent!”  

The crowd burst into laughter. 

Qiao Yuan stood up and bowed, saying: “Today’s farce has delayed everyone’s time.
For those who came to buy cakes today, if you buy two, you will get one for free.”  

Zhang immediately chimed in and said, “Then I’ll have to buy more later! Last time I gave some to my younger sister who had just given birth, she loved it so much.
I’ll buy some more and give it to her.
My eldest son also loves it.”  

The topic suddenly shifted to steamed cakes, and Xu Xiuhua was completely ignored.
She felt that she was not in a favorable position at the moment, so she looked around and tried to find an opportunity to sneak away.  

Her archenemy, Aunt Wu, didn’t want to let her off the hook and sighed, “Ah, if Brother Qiao and Sister-in-law Qiao were still alive, Yuan Ge’er would not have to suffer like this! I remember Brother Qiao used to work at the dock, and Sister-in-law Qiao was good at sewing and made clothes for people in our village.
The two of them earned money together and had a good life!”  

This incident happened too long ago.
If Aunt Wu had not mentioned it, everyone would have almost forgotten it.
Only the slightly younger ones had no idea what happened.
Everyone knew that after Qiao Yuan’s parents died, their properties were taken by Qiao Yuan’s uncle’s family! They took someone’s properties and still bullied the only son.
This was truly heartless! 

Some people who uphold justice and purity cannot tolerate Xu Xiuhua’s actions, while others are jealous that she received eight taels of silver and the inheritance from the Qiao family.
They all criticized and condemned Xu Xiuhua, speaking out against her.
Xu Xiuhua felt guilty and short of breath, feeling like she couldn’t take it anymore.
She got up and fled in embarrassment. 

If you like my translation, a cup of coffee is very much appreciated.
I will post a bonus chapter for every five kofis received.
Thank you!

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