This slap made everyone around take a step back, and it left old lady Wang bewildered. Despite Shao Yunan being younger, he was still a man, a physically capable one so his blow carried real force. He also didn’t hold back, and the slap sent Wang’s mother’s face to the side. The few women who had been restraining old lady Wang were so shocked that they loosened their grip, and she ended up sitting on the ground.
“If you can’t keep your mouth clean, don’t blame me for being impolite!” Shao Yunan coldly uttered a warning, then turned his attention to the stupefied Wang Zhisong. He walked over to Wang Zhisong and raised his hand.
A vicious slap landed on Wang Zhisong face, making him stagger backward. Old lady Wang, who had just started to regain her senses, let out a wailing cry as she rushed towards Shao Yunan, intending to hit him. Shao Yunan swiftly turned and delivered a kick, sending old lady Wang to the ground again, clutching her belly and unable to get up.
“I didn’t want to hit a woman, but some people truly deserve it!” Shao Yunan, with a stern expression, declared. He then turned his gaze towards a teary-eyed Wang Zhisong and said coldly: “Wang Zhisong, I’ll make myself clear today. You will never be allowed to participate in the imperial examination in your lifetime. If you want to die, then die, but I absolutely won’t stop you. My senior brother was originally planning to write a letter of recommendation for you, but with the way your family has behaved today, let me tell you, it’s all nonsense!”
Upon hearing this, Wang Zhisong body trembled, and he stared at Shao Yunan with disbelief. The surrounding people were equally stunned. So, the Kang Rui was planning to write a recommendation letter for Wang Zhisong? Then, why did all this turmoil occur today, led by old lady Wang and Wang Dali?
Wang Zhisong’s body went weak, and he fell to his knees with a loud cry: “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, sister-in-law, please forgive me, please forgive me!”
Shao Yunan kicked him away. At that moment, several people from the Wang family appeared at the gate. Subsequently, a group of guards from the Wang residence charged out and surrounded the villagers with drawn knives. This display frightened everyone. Shao Yunan didn’t look back and shouted, “Bring the indenture!”
Wang Dali, who was hidden among the crowd, shuddered, and he no longer cared about anything else. He rushed out of the crowd, yelling: “Don’t take it! Don’t take it!”
Shao Yunan said, “Hold him down!”
The guards from the Wang residence rushed forward and restrained Wang Dali.
The indenture. The villagers of Xiushui Village were all aware of this document. As long as the Wang family caused trouble again for Shao Yunan and Wang Shijing, the entire Wang family would become servants of the Wang residence.
A cry went up in the crowd. Wang Guo cried out: “Shao Yunan! Lord Shao! This, this… this, it has nothing to do with me! It wasn’t me who had them come here! It was Wang Zhisong! It was him who incited Father-in-law to divorce and divide the family. That dead old lady came to trouble you, not me!”
Wang Tianyan was almost wetting himself: “Not me, not me!”
Wang Zhisong, clutching his face, tried to approach Shao Yunan, but two guards with sharp eyes restrained him.
Yan Fusheng returned, handing a piece of paper and a brush to Shao Yunan. Shao Yunan ordered: “Read.”
Yan Fusheng opened the deed and read it.
Wang Tianyan and Wang Guo Zha ware crying, behind the threshold, King Rong made a gesture, guards standing behind him rushed out and kicked the legs of Wang Tianyan, Wang Guo Zhao before pulling them out of the crowd.
Shao Yunan: ”Housekeeper Yan, go get a pen and paper and write the deed of sale, from now on, all seven members of the Wang family are my Shao Yunan’s lackeys. After writing it, have them draw a pledge.”
Yan Fusheng turned and walked away.
“It has nothing to do with us! Nothing!”
“We are just dividing the family!”
“Wang Zhimeng, you’re the unlucky star! If you want to die, just go ahead, but don’t drag me with you!”
Wang Tianyan and Wang Guo struggled to approach Wang Zhisong. Wang Dali, who had never seen such a situation, became so frightened that he couldn’t say a word. As for Wang Zhisong, who had been hit by Shao Yunan and was being pinned down, all these events had overwhelmed him. Rather than feeling reassured, his situation only became worse, and he was now contemplating ending his own life.
Old lady Wang, who was clutching her stomach and couldn’t get up, heard that Shao Yunan intended to enslave her whole family. Seeing her sons being held, she had nothing to lose anymore so she screamed at the Wang residence: “Wang Shijing! You bastard, come out! You come out, you bastard! You’re a bastard!”
Shao Yunan didn’t hold back with this slap, and old lady Wang mouth was injured. Shao Yunan clenched his fists in anger and threatened: “If you dare to talk nonsense again, I’ll cut off your tongue!”
Someone approached him, patted his shoulder, and spoke: “Is the Village Head, Zhao Lizheng, here?”
The Village Head quickly came forward and said, “I am.”
Although he didn’t know the identity of Lord Wang, he felt apprehensive towards a person who arrived in the village with dozens of guards.
King Rong said: “Wang Shijing is the adopted son of Elder Cen Yuebai, who is the contemporary Imperial Tutor younger martial brother. The estrangement contract between Wang Shijing and his birth family is here. He has also moved out of the family, and the Wang family’s false accusations have rendered this contract invalid, a grave offense. As the Village Head, you should have them arrested and send them to the county yamen, where County Magistrate Jiang Kangning will personally handle this case.”
Yan Fusheng added at the right time: “You should all kneel in the presence of Lord Wang!”
Kneeling everywhere! Old lady Wang had been completely defeated. A lord? This was an existence they, common villagers, could only dream about. The way everyone looked at Shao Yunan changed drastically. It turned out that the residence of Shao Yunan and Wang Shijing housed a lord! In all of Great State of Yan, there was no villiger who housed a lord! This… had their family suddenly become rich and noble?
King Rong continued sternly: “Except for the offenders, you may rise.”
The villagers stood up, still supporting each other. In Xiushui Village, it was a rare privilege to meet a lord, and their legs felt weak. Even the Village Head had to be assisted to stand by Zhao Yuande and Zhao Yuanqing.
With a dark expression, Shao Yunan said, “Uncle Murong, there’s no need for trial. She accused him of being a bastard; let her produce evidence! If she can’t, she can await her own death. If I let her go today, I wouldn’t be Shao Yunan anymore!”
Hissing sounds filled the air.
Uncle Murong!! Shao Yun’an called the lord “uncle”!
Ignoring the “hissing” sounds around him, King Rong advised: “Shijing is no longer here, I’m afraid it’s not right to talk about Shijing’s life in front of so many people.”
Shao Yunan: “There’s nothing wrong, it’s the unclear and ambiguous things that are wrong. If she only speaks half the truth, how will Shijing continue to live in the village when he returns? That old hag! If you can’t explain everything today, I’ll sell your son and daughter into the brothel, and they’ll be used by men every day!”
Shao Yunan’s words were definitely harsher than a hundred curses from old lady Wang. Old lady Wang eyes rolled back as if she was about to faint, Wang Zhisong cried silently and dared not make a sound, but at this moment, Wang Dali spoke up.
“Shijing, Shijing, it’s not, not my son.”
Shao Yunan narrowed his eyes, and the people holding Wang Dali dragged him out. Wang Dali lowered his head and didn’t dare to look at Shao Yunan, his hands and feet trembling, but he still said: “Whenshe married, me, she was already, already, pregnant.”
What kind of courage did Wang Dali have to reveal family secrets like that! Perhaps Wang Dali’s actions gave Wang Zhisong a glimmer of hope. He shouted from the side: “It’s my mother fault for not keeping her virtue! My father, didn’t even know whose child it was.”
Shao Yunan shot a glance, and Wang Zhisong trembled. His pants gradually got wet.
“He wet his pants!” A child shouted, and Wang Zhisong’s eyes rolled back. Unable to bear the embarrassment, he fainted, or perhaps it was a way to escape. He had originally intended to clear himself, but he didn’t realize that by doing so, he had completely ruined his own future.
Wang Dali had exposed Wang Shijing’s true parentage in the most disgraceful way. Shao Yunan was so grateful that Wang Shijing wasn’t at home right now. Behind the threshold, Nizi, who was tightly held by Jiang Moxi, cried silently. Qin Niang and Zhou Mian wanted to take her away, but she stubbornly refused to go. Kang Rui held the two children in front of him, anxious about how Shao Yunan would handle this situation to minimize the damage.
When Wang Zhisong fainted, Shao Yunan didn’t ask old lady Wang who Wang Shijing’s biological father was. Instead, he looked at Zhao Lizheng and asked: “Elder Zhao, I have a question for you.”
“I recall that only married people can apply for pregnancy fruits at the yamen, right?”
“So, if you’re not married, the yamen would never grant pregnancy fruits, right?”
Shao Yunan nodded. “Then I’m curious.” He pointed at old lady Wang: “If when she married Wang Dali, she was already pregnant then where did the pregnancy fruit come from?”
Zhao Lizheng: “…”
Someone spoke up, “Either she stole someone else’s or someone applied for her. Either way, it’s a punishable offense.”
The person who spoke up was Zhao He, who had arrived from behind.
Shao Yunan nodded again and continued: “I heard that when Wang Zhu married Wang Dali, it was very rushed, and the Zhu family gave a generous dowry. Isn’t that suspicious? Wang Dali has no abilities, and the Zhu family is a well-respected and influential family in Daxian Village. I remember that Wang Zhu was also the only daughter of the main Zhu family so why would they marry their only daughter to a weak man like Wang Dali, Zhao Shu, if it were you, would you do that?”
Zhu Shu definitely shook her head.
Some villagers whispered quietly: “Of course not.”
“Who would be so foolish?”
“Isn’t it possible that the Zhu family only hurriedly arranged this marriage after they found out?”
Shao Yunan continued: “All signs indicate that the Zhu family knew that their daughter had not been chaste before marriage and had taken pregnancy fruits. So, I want to know, Wang Dali, how did you find out she had taken pregnancy fruits? Did she tell you?”
Wang Dali remained silent.
“Speak!” Shao Yunan kicked at him.
Wang Dali cowered and was reluctant to speak.
Shao Yunan said, “Hit him!”
Wang Dali quickly said: “Yes, she… she…. had a fruit embryo in her.”
Wow wow wow—
How could revealing such a private matter not cause a commotion? Old lady Wang had lost all sense of shame, and she couldn’t ignore the discussion about her private life. She lunged at Wang Dali to shut his mouth but was pulled away by the guards.
“Wang Dali! I must have been blind to marry a wimp like you!”
King Rong said: “Block her mouth.”
Soon old lady Wang mouth was blocked.
With his hands behind his back, Shao Yunan continued: “I recall that after taking pregnancy fruits, the fruit embryo lasts for two months. Women carry for ten months, and men produce offspring in eight months. Let’s suppose that old lady Wang ate the pregnancy fruit before marrying Wang Dali, and she already had a concealed pregnancy. That should mean she would give birth after ten months. So, when did old lady Wang give birth to her first child?”
Shao Yunan certainly wouldn’t reveal when Wang Shijing was born as it would connect him to this family.
Master Sun stepped forward and said: “Shijing was born in September, I remember clearly. Wang Zhu had a difficult delivery and got medicine from me. I diagnosed her, and it was a full-term pregnancy.”
Shao Yunan said: “Good. Shijing was born in September, and if Wang Zhu didn’t have an early delivery, then counting back ten months, it should have been in November, right?”
Master Sun calculated and nodded: “Yes.”
Others who could calculate also nodded, saying: “Yes, it was November of the previous year, no doubt.”
Shao Yunan continued: “Alright, let me ask again. In which month did Wang Zhu and Wang Dali get married?”
Again, Master Sun replied: “I think it was in September.”
Wang Wenhe, who had also come over, said: “It was definitely September.”
Shao Yunan sneered: “Married in September, pregnant in November. Wang Zhu had a fruit embryo when she married Wang Dali. That should mean the marriage took place two months after she consumed the fruit. Even if she married immediately after taking pregnancy fruits, being pregnant in October means it happened two months after the wedding. So, how can Wang Dali not be the father? If she didn’t eat pregnancy fruits and got married, then her pregnancy would have lasted over ten months. I’ve only heard of premature births, not pregnancies lasting eleven or twelve months.”
Master Sun said: “Shijing and Uncle Dali are like peas in a pod. How can he be someone else? Dali, you haven’t seen your uncle but we from the older generation have all seen him.”
Wang Dali, with his head hung low, remained silent. Old lady Wang sobbed and stared at Shao Yunan like he was her enemy. Shao Yunan said: “Clan head Wang, did you know that Wang Zhu had lost her chastity before coming to your family?”
Wang Wenhe angrily said: “I had no idea! The Zhu family kept it a secret; none of us knew. If I had known, I wouldn’t have let such a corrupt woman marry into the Wang family!”
Shao Yunan nodded, “I believe you didn’t know. But the Zhu family definitely did. They deliberately married such a woman into your Wang family to tarnish your family’s reputation, which is malicious. That’s not all; they also slandered Shijing reputation. Slandering Shijing reputation is slandering my father’s reputation, and I absolutely won’t allow that!” He turned and bowed: “Uncle Murong, I would like to ask your people to bring the head of the Zhu family from Dashan Village for questioning. I cannot let Shijing suffer this kind of humiliation.”
Upon hearing this, King Rong had understood what was happening. He immediately said: “Men, go to Dashan Village and bring the Zhu family members here.”
“Yes!” Five guards brought out five horses from inside the Wang residence and rode off in a cloud of dust. Shao Yunan insisted: “This matter isn’t over until it’s thoroughly explained. Housekeeper, write a contract for selling oneself, and after this is settled, have the whole family sign it!”
“Yes, Young Master.”
Wang Dali body swayed, and he fainted, as did Wang Tianyan. Wang Guo began to wail. Upon learning that Wang Chunxiu wasn’t in the village, King Rong decided to take charge, instructing someone to go to the county town and bring her back. He also sent people to get Jiang Kangning back and stop Wang Shijing and Wang Qing, instructing them to not let them return to the village for now.
Edited by: Jaisland