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Published at 21st of September 2019 09:26:24 AM


Chapter 145

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The Discussions About the Dowry (2)

Wangshi suddenly had a bad feeling. So she raised her head to look at her husband and said with indignation, “And why shouldn’t I ask? Since you have already asked, I will definitely give the same amount of dowries to the two girls! But they are both the granddaughters of Old Madam! Is Old Madam planning to treat them differently?”

Sheng Hong replied coldly, “Although Old Madam has put the words that she would add one thousand and five hundred ounces of silver to each girl, she still presented Hualan way more than that! You think I don’t know about that?”

Wang shi argued closely, “But Hualan was raised by Old Madam since her childhood!” Then she stopped talking abruptly. Because she remembered that Minglan had also been raised by Old Madam Sheng.

Sheng Hong couldn’t conceal the disappointment in his eyes when he was staring at Wang shi. He said slowly, “My mother has already paid a lot of money for helping me with my career. Now I won’t let anyone covet on her savings! She can give her money to whichever person she wants!”

Then Wang shi thought, ‘Of course you won’t mind how much money she would give to each daughter, since you gave birth to all the girls.’

Sheng Hong glared at Wang shi and eased his tone, “Old Madam is a sentimental person. It’s reasonable for her to add more money to Hualan and Minglan’s dowries since she has raised them. We have already disobeyed her by forcing Minglan to marry to Gu Tingye for Rulan. You cannot say a word about how much Old Madam would give Minglan as her dowries! Otherwise...”

As he spoke that, he thumped on the table fiercely, which even made Wang shi tremble. After that, he shouted angrily, “For all these years you have married into our family, you are disobedient to your mother-in-law and unkind to the illegal children who were given birth by my concubines! I have only tolerated you for so long for the sake of your mother and your brother. Do you really think that I know nothing about that? Also, do you really have nothing to do with Wei shi’s death?”




Hearing that, Wang shi trembled violently with her face turning deadly pale as if she had been stricken by a lightning. Ever since she had become a devout believer in Buddha dharma, she started to believe the retribution for sin as she heard the Buddhist abbots preaching over and over again. Moreover, Concubine Lin had already paid for what she had done by living in poverty on the country estate and Molan also had a bad time in Liang family. Wang shi couldn’t help but wonder what kind of punishment she would get.

With her face as white as a sheet, she said in a low voice, “As you wish, my master.”

Though Wang shi was a bit narrow-minded and always acted begrudgingly, she was still a decisive person. Once she agreed to it, she wouldn’t change her mind.

The second day, she entrusted the family issues to her daughter-in-law, “... I will have to leave at the beginning of the next year, and these days I still need to prepare the dowries for your two sisters. You have to take charge of the affairs in our family now. If you have any questions about preparing the New Year’s presents, you can come to me, or Old Madam after I leave. I understand if you will feel uncomfortable or reluctant to move due to your pregnancy. Just call Rulan and Minglan to help whenever you need.”

Hai shi had already taken charge of most of the family affairs, so Wang shi’s order seemed pretty simple to her. As Hai shi agreed to everything Wang shi had said, she also noticed Wang shi’s red eyes and became suspicious. The next few days, Hai shi heard that Wang shi wanted to open the storeroom to take out the silks and brocades as well as the valuable timbers in stock. Also, Hai shi learned that all the things which had been taken out were divided into two parts equally. Then she understood why Wang shi had been depressed.

As a sensitive person, Hai shi spoke to Wang shi instantly, “Since my two sisters are going to be married, I should also give them some presents as their sister-in-law. I will find something delicate for the girls as the congratulations to their weddings from Changbai and I.”

Wang shi disagreed loudly immediately. She was really good at math and could still do the calculation in her mind. Hai shi’s son, who was also Wang shi’s grandson, would have all of Hai shi’s property by himself if Hai shi’s dowries stayed untouched. However, if Hai shi gave part of the dowries to Rulan, then Minglan would surely get the same amount. Recently, Wang shi had already felt as though her heart was cut in pieces when she made an inventory of the two girls’ dowries, by no means would she agree to give Minglan her grandson’s share!

“Changbai doesn’t earn too much with that job in the Imperial Academy now and your child is still too young. You need to spend money on so many things in the future! Forget about this idea! I’ll take care of the dowries of your sisters. It’s not like we cannot afford that. And besides, our family never covet on the daughter-in-law’s dowries!” Wang shi held Hai shi’s hand tightly and put her off.

However, as a tactful woman, Hai shi was not totally convinced by Wang shi’s words. So after Hai shi had gone back to her residence, she discussed with Changbai and still prepared lots of precious jewelries for Minglan and Rulan.


……

Perhaps the dowry was an eternal topic for every family. And the people who got involved in this always included the mother-in-law, the daughter-in-law and the sister-in-law, etc. When compared to the harmonious atmosphere in Sheng family, Yuan family was truly in an ugly situation.

In the main hall of Marquis Zhongqin’s mansion, all the doors and windows were closed. The floor was covered with tea and broken porcelain pieces. The blending of the fragrance of tea from the floor and the sweet sandalwood flavor from the knocked-over censer produced a strange scent.

With Master Yuan’s face turning absolutely livid, he pointed to Madam Yuan who was standing there tremblingly, “You, you, you, how dare you?! How dare you use our daughter-in-law’s dowries to help out with Wenying’s dowry! Are you out of your mind?!”

Madam Yuan took a look at Yuan Wenshao who was standing aside, feeling super embarrassed, then she retorted, “She is one of our family since she has already married into our family! All her dowries belong to Yuan family! Once her mother-in-law asks it from her, she should present it without any complaints! Who taught her to grumble to her husband!”

Madam Yuan flapped on the table violently, which made everyone there shiver. Then he growled with his beard trembling, “Shut up! How shameless of you to find fault with our daughter-in-law! Do you forget about all the money from Yuan family that you have given to your mother’s family and Zhang family? And don’t get me start on your own dowries! As a daughter-in-law of our family, have you ever thought that your dowries also belong to our family?!”

Madam Yuan was choked by Master Yuan’s words. Seeing her husband spilling out the secret about her in front of their son with a fierce look in the eyes, Madam Yuan then realized that her husband really got mad this time. So she could only take out her handkerchief to cover her face while pretending to cry, “I only did that for our daughter! Her husband has so many brothers. If I don’t prepare a huge amount of dowries to her, her sister-in-laws will turn up their noses at her! Master, I know you pity our daughter-in-law. But what about your own daughter! She’s our only daughter!”

At first Madam Yuan only faked her crying. However, when she thought about her daughter, she couldn’t help weeping for real. The more she talked, the more grieved she got. Then she cursed, “That bitch, I’ll tear her mouth apart! She must have instigated my son to disobey me! She’s my daughter-in-law and obeying my orders is what she should do! Or what, she wants to tread on me?” On these words, she turned around and rushed to Yuan Wenshao. After that, she beat him with her fist while cursing and sobbing, “... Why should I live such a miserable life! After all the things I have been through for raising you up, you only care about your wife! I simply just asked a few dowries from your wife, and the only thing you did was telling your dad! You ungrateful boy! I should just beat you to death!”


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Yuan Wenshao had no guts to push his mother away and could only dodge her fists. However, he still took a few beatings. Seeing that, Madam Yuan flew into a rage instantly. Unlike the scholars like Sheng Hong, Madam Yuan cared nothing about formalities. So he strode forward and dragged his wife who was making a scene now and slapped on her face.

Bam!

That was rather a heavy slap. Madam Yuan couldn’t believe what had just happened and looked at her husband surprisingly, “You, you, how could you do this to me in front of our son... I don’t want to live anymore!”

As she cried about it, she pounced on Master Yuan. Then he dragged her violently to the ground, saying coldly, “Do you still remember what my mother said when she was alive?”

Yuan Wenshao was confused about Master Yuan’s words, but Madam Yuan fell into silence right away with terrified expression showed on her face.

Madam Yuan said slowly with a grim look, “My mother has said to my sister and us that you are a stupid and greedy woman who forgets mortality at the sight of money. She never wanted you as her daughter-in-law but had to put up with you because you already gave birth to the children. Before she died, she ordered me to write down a divorce letter. And I still remember the things she has written on the back of the letter ‘It was really hard for Yuan family to regain the title of nobility. We cannot allow any mistakes to happen. If your wife is too stubborn and gets our family into trouble, you can divorce her without giving consideration to the three years’ mourning rule for your parents.’ I still have that letter locked in table in the ancestral hall!”

Yuan Wenshao was shocked because he had never heard of that. At the moment, Madam Yuan had already stopped crying and only trembled fiercely. With a disgusted look flashing in Master Yuan’s eyes, he cursed, “Would you just look at yourself? Are you anything like the madam of Yuan family?! I have tolerated you for so long because I didn’t want to embarrass you in front of our two daughters-in-law! But you have gone too far!”

Madam Yuan looked utterly pale out of fright. Yuan Wenshao held her up slowly and helped her to sit on the chair. He knew that the divorce letter was meant to frighten his mother. It wouldn’t look good for everyone in the Marquis Zhongqin’s family if his parents got divorced.


Nobody uttered a single word anymore. Only Madam Yuan was still weeping while Master Yuan was breathing heavily due to his anger. Suddenly, the door of the hall was pushed open violently. It was Yuan Wenying who broke into the room with tears on her face. As she saw her father trembling with anger and her mother losing her wits in the messy room, she went down on her knees right away and kowtowed to her parents, crying bitterly. Yuan Wenshao who saw that the situation was getting worse rushed to the door and closed it at once.

With tears still hanging on her pretty face, Yuan Wenying choked with sobs while saying, “I’ve heard everything from eldest sister-in-law. It’s all my fault. Father, mother, please stop fighting because of me!”

Master Yuan favored this daughter a lot. Seeing Yuan Wenying being like that, he could only sit down and snorted, “Your eldest sister-in-law did pass on the message quickly! How come she never has any other skills other than gossiping!”

Hearing Master Yuan’s critical words about her niece, Madam Yuan pounced on the ground and held her daughter, crying, “My poor Wenying! Look what your ruthless father and brother have done to you!”

With a displeased look, Yuan Wenshao couldn’t help but say, “Mother! I wouldn’t have said anything if you only asked a few dowries from us. But the thing you asked for is Hualan’s manor! That includes a dozen hectares lands in the suburbs. Much less that Sheng family live right next to that manor. Do you think they would have no idea that the owner of the lands is changed?! You, you, you tell me, mother, how I am supposed to face the people in Sheng family? And how could Hualan go visit Sheng family again?”

As Yuan Wenshao mentioned about that, Master Yuan got furious again. Then he pointed to Madam Yuan and abused her, “Wenshao is right! I know exactly how many properties you have taken from our second daughter-in-law in these years! I admire Hualan’s parents’ kindness for not minding this! The dowry belongs only to our daughter-in-law, and we cannot ask too much from her even if we have urgent needs! And what have you done?! You are one more step to robbing her! Shame on you!”

While Master Yuan got angrier, something occurred to his mind. And he shouted, “The other day, my two brothers from the third old master’s family came to pour out their grievances to me. They said that all their marriage proposals have been turned down. And you want to know why? It’s all because your shameless behaviors which ruined our reputation! People out there all say that you are mean to our daughters-in-law and have occupied their dowries! Now nobody dares to marry their daughters to our family! And how dare you still assume yourself as the eldest sister-in-law in front of all the women in our family! Even I feel shameful for you!”

Thinking of his old brothers, Master Yuan showed a guilty look on her face. Considering that Yuan family had always in a medium status, it was difficult for the men in the family to find women who were good matches to them. Madam Yuan’s foolish actions had already influenced Master Yuan’s relatives, which made him burn with anger. So he cursed a few more words.

There was aggrieved expression showing on Madam Yuan’s face. She knew that Countess Shoushan had never really respected her. However, the more Madam Yuan was disdained, the more she wanted to show off in front of Countess Shoushan.

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