“Second Uncle Sang——”
“Hehe! Don’t be so polite with second uncle!” Not waiting for Sang Hong to complete his sentence and bow with his hands cupped together, Sang Pingliang grabbed his arm intimately. “Let’s go, let’s go, follow your second uncle!”
“Second Uncle Sang!” Sang Hong couldn’t help but furrow his eyebrows. He snatched his hand back and said with a straight face, “Second Uncle Sang, if you have something to tell me, please do!”
When a person is nice with no reason, that person must be up to no good. Just because Sang Hong was an honest man did not mean he was dumb.
“Aiya, this is not the place to talk!” Sang Pingliang disregarded Sang Hong’s distant way of address and attitude. Wearing an affectionate smile, he said, “Go, go. Follow your second uncle and you will know!”
“There is still an hour until my lesson ends. I will have to ask Second Uncle Sang to wait a while more!” said Sang Hong courteously.
“Why are you so serious over those few unbecoming students! Come with me!”
“Second Uncle Sang!” Sang Hong said with a straight face, “I have already received their tuition payments, so how can I be so irresponsible! Second Uncle Sang, please wait for me!”
“You really —— alright, alright, then you go ahead. I’ll wait for you here!” Sang Pingliang relented and sighed.
This was really abnormal! Sang Hong was secretly shocked. This was bad. Did he find out anything?
Sang Hong went back to his class uneasily and found himself unable to remain calm.
An hour later, class ended and Sang Hong got off from school. Just when he thought Sang Pingliang had left, he saw him get up from a rock and pat the dust off his rear before smiling as he forcefully pulled him, “Let’s go, let’s go, follow your second uncle!”
“Second Uncle Sang, please, I can walk on my own!” Sang Hong let out a deep sigh and followed him.
“Oh, Ah Hong, you’re finally here!” Right outside the school, Li Shi was waiting for them. Sang Hong was startled by the couple’s unusual behaviour. He was not sure what tricks were up the old couple’s sleeves.
After walking a stretch of road unconsciously, Sang Hong raised his head and saw Li Zheng’s house right in front of his eyes. Sang Hong was stunned for a moment and stopped in his tracks immediately. “Second Uncle Sang, Second Aunt Sang, this is?”
“Hehe, come, come, you will know as soon as you get in! Quickly go in!” Sang Pingliang and Li Shi pulled and shoved Sang Hong into the house.
“Who is this!” Li Zheng’s wife heard the commotion and came out to check what was going on. Seeing the three and the two plump chickens in Li Shi’s hand, she was momentarily startled, “Oh? This is ——”
These two were the village’s infamous scrooges. If so, why were they so generous as to bring two chickens? Not only that, they usually disliked the Sang brothers, so why were they all smiles towards Sang Hong today?
“Hehe, Sister, is Li Zheng at home today? We have some things that we need him to help us with!” Li Shi said hurriedly.
“Oh, he’s inside. Quickly, come in then!” Li Zheng’s wife gave them a baffled look as she moved aside to let them in.
“Why are you guys here again? Is there something else?” Li Zheng could not help but furrow his eyebrows when he saw the couple.
“Hehe, we have something urgent that we need you to help us decide!” Li Shi quickly smiled placatingly while holding up the two chickens in her hand. “Please accept our chickens; consider it our goodwill! This hen can still lay eggs, hehe!”
Li Zheng’s eyebrow arched slightly and said, “You can just put those aside. Have a seat first before saying what you wish for me to help you with!”
“Ahem, ahem!” Sang Pingliang immediately coughed twice when he saw how Li Shi was being meddlesome and glared daggers at her
“Er, Mister, you speak, you speak!” Li Shi stopped talking in embarrassment.
Sang Pingliang cupped his hands respectfully and began launching into his request. Of course, he purposely did not bring up yesterday’s event. First, he complimented Li Zheng in a few sentences, then followed it with a long rant about how he had no son even though he was over fifty years old and how his life in the future would be miserable. He let out a long and deep sigh as he went on about his agony.
As Li Zheng listened, his expression softened a little but became even more disgruntled. Oh, so you guys know this principle. If so, why are you still being so stingy and unreasonable? Fancy treating your blood nephew with such coldness and harshness; your wealth was all just waiting to be buried in your grave together with you!
After ranting, Sang Pingliang suddenly changed the subject and revealed his true purpose for being here today. Then, he tried his best to squeeze out two drops of tears and bowed deeply to Li Zheng before saying, “Please, help us!”
Li Shi also imitated her husband actions and said, “Li Zheng, please pity us!”
Sang Hong was dumbfounded and the expression on his face changed entirely!
He never had thought that Second Uncle and Second Aunt would plan out something like this!
Having finally gotten yesterday’s outcome, Sang Hong knew he could never accept this matter. So how should he handle this? After all, they were being sensible!
Li Zheng was also stunned and he asked again in disbelief, “What did you say? Say that to me again!”
Sang Pingliang did so.
Li Zheng’s face contorted in indignance, his lips moved but he remained silent in the end.
“Ridiculous! Stop fooling around!” Those were the words he actually wanted to scold out.
This couple’s age added up to be more than fifty so why did they always do something so absurd? Yesterday, they were so insistent on breaking ties, yet today, they wanted to adopt a son for their own. If their heads weren’t kicked by a donkey, then what?
Or, were they treating me as a monkey to play with!
Li Zheng controlled his temper with great difficulty and suppressed his urge to give them a scolding. He sighed and said in one long breath, “Old Brother Sang, you’ve to think this through clearly. If Xiao Fei really becomes your son, in a hundred years, your property and land will belong to him! Have the two of you thought this through clearly?”
“We did, we did!” Sang Pingliang and Li Shi nodded fervently. “Li Zheng ah, we have thought it through very clearly! Once Xiao Fei becomes part of our family, he will be like our own son, everything that belongs to us will be his in the future! He just needs to send us off properly when we pass on!”
“Alright then!” Li Zheng nodded, “If you have thought about it clearly, then I will not allow for this to be changed again. So in the future, you can never change it, so don’t come finding me for this again!”
Sang Pingliang and Li Shi were even more pleased after hearing his words and happily agreed.
Although Li Zheng thought they were acting strange today, it didn’t actually caused any trouble for him, so he did not think too deeply into the matter. He turned his head and smiled at Sang Hong, “Ah Hong, have you heard? I think —”
“Li Zheng!” Sang Hong finally plucked up his courage and said, “For this matter, I cannot accept! Please forgive me.”
“What!” Li Zheng was bewildered.
The first thought in his mind was: this whole family must have eaten the wrong medicine today!
Sang Pingliang was momentarily stumped as he glared at Sang Hong, preparing to erupt any time soon, but was quickly stopped by Li Zheng.
“Ah Hong,” said Li Zheng. “You have to think this through clearly, if Xiao Fei is adopted, he will be the only son in the Second House. In the future, everything from the Second House will be passed down to him; that’ll relieve some of the burden on your and your wife!”
“Right!” Sang Pingliang said impatiently, “Doesn’t Xiao Fei like to study? We have the money, we can let him study! What are you worried about!”
Upon hearing this, Sang Hong could not help but get angry. That was his blood-related brother. If he didn’t worry about him, who would? Them? Where were they when we needed their help and concern in the past? Why did they only make such promises now?
“Li Zheng,” Sang Hong ignored Sang Pingliang completely and looked directly at Li Zheng, saying, “I don’t think you have forgotten about yesterday’s matter? If Second Uncle Sang had wanted to adopt Xiao Fei in the past, I would not be able to reject his request; but now, things are different! Firstly, we no longer have any ties so they cannot force us to accept this; secondly, I don’t feel at ease letting my brother be adopted by them —”
“What do you mean by that!” Sang Pingliang became very agitated when he heard what Sang Hong had said. “How are we not family? Yesterday’s, yesterday’s matter doesn’t count! It’s easy, isn’t it? Just tear that piece of paper!”
“That’s right!”Li shi quickly chimed in, “Ah Hong, we are doing this for your own good. Xiao Fei coming with us will help you to cut down on your expenses. Your family still has a son and daughter waiting for you to prepare their wedding dowries! Furthermore, how can you just watch as your uncle and aunt do not have a son to send them off? You really are this unfilial ah, you!”
“Mister Sang, Auntie Sang!” Furious, Sang Hong trembled slightly. He didn’t know how he should argue and could only address them strongly to remind them that they were no longer family.
Sang Pingliang and Li Shi refused to relent. They immediately put on an aggressive stance and forcefully questioned Sang Hong, pressuring him to agree with them immediately.
Unable to tolerate their absurdity, Sang Hong said, “Li Zheng, you were also a witness to yesterday’s event, yet you wish to go back on your words after no more than a day? Let’s not talk about ourselves, but won’t you be condemned for this? Also, can I ask what is with the Second Uncle Sang and Second Auntie Sang’s sudden change in attitude? After considering everything, it’s difficult for me to trust Xiao Fei with you guys! He is my blood-related brother after all!”
“Have your wings have grown too big? How dare you talk back!” Sang Pingliang trembled in anger.
“You still dare to talk about yesterday! You guys must have done it on purpose yesterday! Yes, on purpose!” At that sudden thought, Li Shi unwittingly said something she should not have.
“Right, that is enough!” Li Zheng cut them off with displeasure, “If you want to quarrel, go back and quarrel!”
Li Zheng sighed to himself. He had almost messed up because of sympathy! He really thought that these two had really changed for the better, but it looks like that wasn’t the case at all!
Sang Hong’s words really struck a chord and he wanted to find out why too.
Also, from the way the couple behaved, it would only taint his reputation if he gave in, just like what Sang Hong had said.
“Adoption is a big matter,” Li Zheng finally decided and said, “Old Brother Sang, don’t blame me for being straightforward with you, but it was you guys that were very determined to cut ties with them yesterday. Now, you want to accept Xiao Fei as your son? There is too big of a difference between yesterday and today’s attitude! If you do not clarify what the real reason behind this is, then forgive me for not offering my help!”
It was all because of this Sang Hong brat that made things more complicated! Sang Pingliang glared at Sang Hong resentfully and proceeded to smile placidly at Li Zheng, saying, “Really, there isn’t any reason at all! The only reason is the one we said just now! We have no sons –”
“You have had no sons for many decades already, it’s not like you just found that out yesterday! Your reason is a little too far-fetched, don’t you think?” Li Zheng cut him off.
The Sang couple would never reveal the true reason. They continued to insist that they had not realized it until they gave some thought about it the night before which immediately made them decide to come today.
“Is that really true?” Li Zheng looked at them suspiciously. “Then why did I hear Sister Sang saying something about yesterday’s event being done on purpose? On purpose? On purpose for? What does that mean? ”
“Xiao Fei is –”
“Shut your mouth!” Sang Pingliang stopped Li Shi immediately and glared at her. How could she talk absentmindedly? Things would turn bad if she revealed the truth!