Chapter 16Part 1

“Second Aunt…” Sang Wan’s face was stiff, like Shi Fengju not long before, it would’ve been rude to vigorously shake those hands that were holding on to hers off. As such, she was dragged first into the house.

The corner of her eyes glanced in the direction of Shi Fengju, as if praying and giving him a bitter smile. Having experienced once, Shi Fengju immediately avoided the affectionate eyes of Sang Pingliang and looked at Sang Wan. He pursed his lips as if wanting to laugh, but held back and gave Sang Wan a few nods.

“Come, come, come, sit, sit!” Sang Pingliang urged Shi Fengju and Sang Wan in as he warmly greeted them, and at the same time pushed Sang Hong abruptly to a side. Fortunately, Sang Hong was accustomed to the way the old couple behaves and did not pursue the matter. Quietly, he followed behind.

“Cousin-in-law, Sister Ah San, have some tea!” Once seated, Sang Yan shyly served the tea. There were however, only two cups of tea on the platter.

Seeing so, Liu Ya hastily received the cups and handed one to Shi Fengju and the other to Sang Wan.

Sang Wan’s eyes gently swept across the room and found her older brother sitting by the corner of a wall beside a small bench. Sang Wan’s anger boiled; their actions may not have meant much, but what do they take her for?

“Take this to Brother Sang Hong; I’m not thirsty. Have Brother Sang Hong also come and have a seat here!” Sang Wan said gently as she cast a glance at Liu Ya.

“Yes Ma’am!” Liu Ya answered crisply before turning and heading towards Sang Hong.

Sang Pingliang and Li Shi exchanged glances with one another. As if gaining an enlightenment, they suddenly remembered that Sang Hong also came together with Shi Fengju and Sang Wan!

“You careless lass. How could you forget about your cousin Sang Hong? Quickly pour a cup of tea for him!” Sang Pingliang glared at his daughter before turning to smile at Sang Hong, “come, come, come my eldest nephew, have a seat! You ah, we’re a family so why do you still need your uncle to invite you to have a seat here? Quickly come!”

“No, no need!” Sang Hong hurriedly stood up and frantically waved that invitation away. Hearing how Sang Pingliang crafted those words, Sang Hong felt a little guilty, as if he’d rejected the kindness of his uncle and hurt his uncle’s feelings.

“Uh, anyway, I’ll be returning first. Enjoy your chat, keke! Second uncle, second aunt, come over to our house later for lunch. It’s a rare occasion for Ah Wan to return, so let us gather together to enjoy!” Sang Hong smiled as he bid farewell.

“That’s true, that’s true! We’re a family! Well, you go your way first, we’ll head over there later.” Sang Pingliang smiled affectionately and nodded.

Sang Hong glanced at Shi Fengju and nodded before leaving, but not without a feeling that he was abandoning the scene and was fleeing back home.

“Come, Ah Wan, let us go into my room and have our heart to heart conversation! Second Aunt has many words she’d like to speak to you with! It has been a long time since your younger sister had seen you so she too might also want to speak with you!” Li Shi smiled as she dragged Sang Wan up.

Sang Wan could somehow foresee what the vile woman wanted to say. Nothing more than inquiring about the wealth of the Shi family, her treatment in the Shi family, imploring her to never forget her second aunt, and to remember them so on and so forth. Those words, Sang Wan wanted to hear nothing of them! Hearing so would’ve made her feel disgusted.

“It seems the time isn’t early anymore. Sister-in-law might have already prepared the lunch already. It would be best if we have our lunch first, it isn’t too late if those words were to wait after the meal. But we shouldn’t make older brother and sister-in-law wait!” Sang Wan said softly.

“That is so, let us go then.” Shi Fengju quickly agreed.

Sang Pingliang and Li Shi may be able to display their authoritative power over Sang Wan, but they were powerless in front of Shi Fengju. Instead, any words said by Shi Fengju were like the imperial verdict. Upon hearing so, the two immediately agreed and smiled, “You two go ahead first. We’ll arrive soon after!”

Not forgetting about Sang Yan, she said, “Ah Yan, go and accompany your cousin, and talk with her as she heads back. You and your cousin should forge a good relationship!”

Hiding in the shadows, Sang Rou peeked anxiously. She gazed at Sang Wan helplessly, in hopes that the look of Sang Yan could remind her of her other cousin. So long as Sang Wan raised that question, her stepmother can do nothing to refuse having her to be present for the gathering.

Sang Wan’s eyebrow raised a little and her lips pursed slightly. Indeed, she was reminded of Sang Rou and was about to ask of her whereabouts. However, she held that back. In the past, she was not close with Sang Rou and well, that was not that good of a person to be with anyway. Still, since this was not her problem, why become nosy?

Seeing Sang Wan left with a group of others, Sang Rou was disappointed and couldn’t help but give a few points of hate to Sang Wan. She softly cursed to herself and returned quietly back to her room. Thinking reminiscing her late mother, she could not help but lay on her bed and weep.

The moment Sang Wan and the group left, Sang Pingliang and Li Shi began to indulge themselves in the gifts given to them.

Part 2

Seeing so many colorful gifts, soft and silky fabric, and gold jewelry, Li Shi grinned from ear to ear. She could not believe what was in front of her, pinching herself to affirm that she was not dreaming. Her hands slowly glided across a layer of the silk fabric.

“Just look at this gold hairpin, it’s embedded with a gem! Zézé, the design and the weight of this…this may even be the one and only in this village! It may probably be better than the one the wife of Village Head Chen has!” Li Shi grinned as she wore the gold hairpin. Going through all the gifts with her hands, she saw a list of gifts and handed it over to Sang Pingliang. “Read it out to me! There’s so many that my eyes might even turn blind from reading them!”

Sang Pingliang cleared his throat and began to read the list out loud. As the gifts got mentioned one by one, Li Shi’s heart gradually did a few flips, and the edges of Sang Pingliang’s mouth rose the more he read.

Hearing that there was also a hundred silver included among the gifts, the couple flipped through all the gifts in search for it.

Sang Pingliang cleared his throat and began to read the list out loud. As the gifts got mentioned one by one, Li Shi’s heart gradually did a few flips, and the edges of Sang Pingliang’s mouth rose the more he read.

Hearing that there was also a hundred silver included among the gifts, the couple flipped through all the gifts in search for it.

“I’ve found it, it’s here! Aiyo, it’s a banknote ai! Li Shi found a red envelope and opened it before waving it in the air.

“Give it to me!” Sang Pingliang’s eyes glistened and pounced forward to snatch it away. Li Shi involuntarily avoided it.

“What are you doing? Give that to me!” Sang Pingliang glared at Li Shi.

Li Shi was never a pushover but dared not go against her husband. Seeing his face flipped to a nasty one and giving her a glare, she reluctantly handed the envelope over.

Sang Pingliang frantically grabbed it. “I’ll save it up, lest you go around spending it! Also, that jewelry, do not touch them. I’ll have it kept once we returned!”

“This was what my niece gave me!” Li Shi refused.

“If you want a jewelry, just buy it in the village. It’ll bring a lot of attention if you wear this out. What if you get robbed? And what do you mean by your niece? That is our Sang family lass, she is my niece! Aiai, will you take that pin off quickly! Don’t you have any shame if you were to wear this for lunch?” Sang Pingliang said ruthlessly.

Li Shi felt as if someone had poured cold water on her. Her heart was first joyous, but that joy did not last.

Her husband was known throughout for a name of hiding all the valuables that he got his hands on. And as for those valuables, they were never to be seen then! How much of those private possessions he had kept, even she does not know. When he was not home, she and her youngest daughter would go around searching numerous times, every corner of the house and even under the bed was unturned, however, not a single valuable could be sighted. These silvers and gold jewelry, she could only crave for them. Surely, there’ll be none for her!

“Yes ah, she’s your niece!” Li Shi sneered and said sourly, “Not sure if she did so to give you face, or because she did it sincerely! Remember that big carriage filled with gifts, all that was brought here were just these little number of gifts. Hei! Even though you’re their elder, our hundred silvers here might be just a small fraction of what Sang Hong and his family have gotten!

The Sang Pingliang, who was matching the gifts to the list, hesitated for a moment. His heart suddenly felt a little unjust.

Li Shi was right. He had personally seen that large carriage filled with gifts. However, the gifts that are now in this house are just only a fraction of it! And as for those silvers, Sang Hong’s family might have even gotten a thousand of it!

Sang Pingliang began to feel more and more grudging. Glaring at Li Shi, he scolded, “And you have the right to say that? Who was it that treated her so badly? If it weren’t for an obstacle like you, she could have treated us better! My good name has been tarnished by you! Be thankful that she’d sent gifts to us! Now roll along to a corner!”

Her heart flared. Who would’ve known that such a rich family like the Shi family would have a poor lass marry into the family! What’s more, weren’t you the same? Have you ever treated her well? Among all those good words you said, not even half of them were real!

Li Shi discreetly released her anger, but dared not take back to her husband. “Still, we’re their elders, that fact remains true even if the sky were to fall!”

Sang Pingliang snorted but said nothing. However, deep down, he plotted that once the obstacles are gone, he would go and ask for more from Sang Hong. There are still things he could still gain!

Sang Pingliang entered his room and hid the jewelry temporarily before heading out with Li Shi to Sang Hong’s house to have lunch.

There, the dishes were already prepared and served. Fang Shi was coaxing Sang Nuan and Sang Quan to show hospitality to the guests as children are normally not allowed on the table.

Raising her head to see Sang Pingliang and his wife enter, one with an unsatisfied face and the other with a listless face, she cared not and turned her head and deduced that most of the members had already arrived. Smiling towards them, she said, “Second uncle, Second aunt, you’re here! Quickly, they’re waiting for you inside the house!”

On a normal day, Fang Shi would not speak so gleefully towards those two, and thus, the two had never been able to tame her. However, for her to be smiling towards them, the couple felt extremely unhappy. For sure, if this Fang Shi is acting this way, the family must have received quite a big number of gifts!

They snorted and entered the house. Fang Shi sneered from behind.

“Second uncle, second aunt, you’re both here! Quickly, have a seat!” Sang Hong hurriedly went to welcome them. Shi Fengju and Sang Wan immediately stood from their seat. Sang Yan sighed heavily; there was nothing she and Sang Wan could talk about! Just by sitting right beside her made her feel uncomfortable.

“Keke please sit, sit! Sorry to have kept our son-in-law waiting!” Sang Pingliang said apologetically towards Shi Fengju before smiling.

With that, everyone took a seat. Seeing the table filled neatly with many dishes from chicken and duck meat, to a pot of good wine, the old couple’s face brightened up a little.

During the meal, Sang Pingliang hailed Shi Fengju numerous of times, making him feel miserable and awkward. Hurriedly, he worked his fingers with the chopsticks before announcing that he was full and went off to a side to sip tea. Seeing that Shi Fengju had left the table, Shi Pingliang and Li Shi became no longer polite and let their wild stomach loose, eating almost everything left in an instant.