Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 19
The first account recorded in Qi shi‘s account book could be traced back to when she first married into the Chen family, when Chen Tingjian was already an official in the capital.
Over the past twenty years, with Chen Tingjian’s several promotions, Qi shi had received more and more tributes, and the amount of each tribute had become higher and higher.
Qi shi was a careful person, and at the end of each year, she would deliberately calculate the total income for that year.
Hua Yang was curious about how much Qi shi had embezzled at this point. She flipped through the pages very quickly, basically reading ten lines at a time, and only paused slightly when it came to large sums of money.
Chen Jingzong remained silent until Hua Yang turned to last year’s accounts and he held down the page.
Hua Yang knew he wanted to take a closer look.
No matter how ugly the quarrel between the family, he was still the son of the Chen family. This account book held significant importance, and Chen Jingzong couldn’t afford not to take it seriously.
Some of the Qi shi‘s income came from local officials, and some came from gentry merchants, under various pretexts.
Hua Yang frowned: “What these people want to bribe most is Father or your brothers. If they come to you directly, they must have been sternly rejected, so they went a roundabout way to find Qi shi. But Qi shi has no power, and she also won’t dare to speak for others to you. If nothing can be done, why do those people keep sending money to Qi shi?”
Chen Jingzong: “Qi shi is not stupid. If people ask for something immediately and she can’t do anything, she won’t dare to accept it. But some people have a long-term view and just want to establish a good relationship with the Chen family first, and then ask for help in the future. This kind, Qi shi dares to accept. The people who sent the money thought that if the money went into the Chen family, it would be equivalent to having a handle on the Chen family, and the old man would have to help cover it up in the future, so they dared to keep giving it away.
“There is another situation where someone gives money and goes out to show off their might, then others who are afraid of the Chen family will be willing to facilitate them. In this way, the money spent is worth it.”
The couple were reading while talking when suddenly, Hua Yang saw an unusual account.[10th of Third Month. The capital sent two pieces of old ginseng. Replace the decoction with Phytolacca roots, and they were resold for three thousand taels.]
In her previous life, Hua Yang had only seen the general account of Qi shi‘s account book from Jinyiwei‘s files, and only looked at detailed entries that clearly involved official corruption. She had never heard of these two pieces of old ginseng worth three thousand taels.
Behind her, Chen Jingzong’s breathing became heavy.
Hua Yang tilted her head and saw Chen Jingzong’s gloomy expression, obviously angry.
Hua Yang looked at this line of words again and suddenly understood.
The old lady of the Chen family died of illness in the first month of this year, but she must have been sick before her death, and even lingered in sickbed for many years. Father-in-law was filial but he couldn’t go back to visit his ancestral home, so he bought two pieces of expensive ginseng from the capital and sent them over to take care of the old lady’s health. However, Chen Tingshi was useless, and everything in the ancestral home was manipulated by Qi shi. Qi shi was a black-hearted woman who only wanted money from outside. She actually replaced the old lady’s life-extending ginseng with Phytolacca roots!
If Qi shi had not done this, the old lady might have lived a few more years!
As soon as Hua Yang spoke, Chen Jingzong suddenly pulled her aside. He grabbed the account book and walked out. He was so fast that by the time Hua Yang chased him out, Chen Jingzong’s figure had already gone!
There was still some muddy water left in the yard. Hua Yang stood under the eaves, thinking that the evidence was already in hand. No matter whether Chen Jingzong went to find her father-in-law or did something else, it would only be Qi shi who suffer.
Chen Jingzong left Chen House with a serios face, turned north, and met Sun shi and others dozens of feet away.
Chen Jingzong walked towards that side.
Sun shi thought that the Old Four was here to pick her up. Just when she was happy that her son still cared about her as a mother, she realized that something was wrong with her son’s face.
Sun shi was stunned. The last time her son was this angry was when her husband used family law to force him to give up martial arts and concentrate on studying!
“Old Four, what’s wrong with you?”
Seeing that her son didn’t even look at her, fiercely walked past her, Sun shi hurried over and grabbed her son’s arm with all her strength.
Chen Jingzong pried his mother’s hand without looking back. Seeing that his eldest brother Chen Bozong was also coming to stop him, Chen Jingzong didn’t want to waste time, so he took out the account book, turned to the ginseng page, and then thrust the account book into his brother’s hand.
“Qi shi’s private account.”
He only said these four words, and Chen Bozong understood. Looking at the account again, Chen Bozong’s usually serious face was as gloomy as rain.
When he looked back, Chen Jingzong had already walked some distance away.
Chen Xiaozong couldn’t stop his younger brother, so he ran to his mother and eldest brother and asked suspiciously.
Chen Bozong let them read the account book, and coldly ordered the boy servant beside him: “Go and ask Master to return immediately, just say there is an emergency at home.”
The boy hurriedly ran to deliver the message.
Chen Bozong was not at ease and asked his third brother to take care of this side while he hurried after his fourth brother.
The family of five in the east house had just come down from the mountain.
Qi shi also looked up the mountain frequently, feeling lost.
Chen Jizong complained in confusion: “What good thing did you lose? We almost turned over that piece of land just now. If you tell us, we can still help you, but you just refuse to tell us.”
Qi shi’s face was as white as paper.
Chen Tingshi felt a little distressed: “Maybe it fell down in the shed? Otherwise, I will go up with you to look for it?”
Qi shi shook her head numbly. Impossible, she pressed the bag when she left the shed, and the account book was clearly inside.
Everything was fine until the Old Four suddenly showed up and said there was a snake on her body…
Suddenly, Qi shi’s pupils shrank as she stared nervously and hatefully at the figure striding in front of her.
But as Chen Jingzong got closer and closer, a pair of eyes stared at her gloomily, more sinister and terrifying than any snake. Qi shi no longer had the strength to hate, and was only left with a bone-chilling fear.
Sure enough, Chen Jingzong took the account book, right? When the matter is revealed, how will Chen Tingjian and Sun shi deal with her?
Qi shi once looked down on her husband Chen Tingshi the most, but now she thought of her husband first, trembling like chaff and hiding behind Chen Tingshi, her hands tightly grasping his arms.
“Wait, Old Four, stop, what are you doing?”
Seeing that his nephew was not slowing down at all and was almost about to collide with him, Chen Tingshi stretched out his hand to stop him!
Chen Jingzong was still staring at Qi shi behind him, but when Chen Tingshi spoke, he suddenly punched him in the face!
Chen Tingshi was a farmer when he was young. Later, his family became more and more prosperous. Qi shi thought it was embarrassing for him to farm, so he was not allowed to work anymore. Chen Tingshi, who had been idle for many years, naturally had no strength, and was directly knocked to the ground by Chen Jingzong’s fist. Qi shi tried to help him, but was also thrown down. The couple fell into a mud puddle together, their clothes were in a mess, and there were mud spots on their hands and face.
Everything happened so fast. The couple’s only son, Chen Jizong, was dumbfounded. His wife screamed in fright, and their three-year-old son even cried loudly!
“I’ll fight you!”
Although Chen Jizong was a playboy, he was also a vigorous young man, and he saw his parents being humiliated with his own eyes. When he came to his senses, he yelled and rushed towards Chen Jingzong with his eyes wide open!
Chen Jingzong avoided his fist, raised his leg and kicked Chen Jingzong straight into another mud pit!
Qi shi deserved to die, but fundamentally, it was his second uncle who was too cowardly. He let Qi shi control everything in the family, even to the point that he couldn’t even monitor what kind of medicine his grandmother took while she was ill!
Chen Jingzong disdained to hit women, so he picked up Chen Tingshi’s collar, raised his fist and was about to hit him.
Chen Bozong rushed over and pulled down his arm with all his strength.
When the two brothers were in a stalemate, Chen Tingshi supported Qi shi while moved away from their nephew with urgency. He glared at his nephew with red eyes, “Old Four, what are you making a fuss about! If your second aunt and I have wronged you, speak up first and let us hear it. If we are truly at fault, I’ll kneel down and let you hit me, won’t that be enough?”. No matter how cowardly Chen Tingshi was, he couldn’t stand his nephew beating people indiscriminately.
Chen Jingzong sneered: “That punch is for my grandmother. If you want to kneel down, kneel down to her!”
Chen Tingshi was stunned.
Chen Bozong stopped in front of his fourth brother and looked at Qi shi who was still hiding behind his uncle. He also said coldly: “Second uncle, do you know that the two old ginsengs sent back by Father last year were sold by Qi shi at a high price, and she used Phytolacca root to decoct grandmother’s medicine instead?”
As soon as these words came out, it was like a thunderbolt hitting Chen Tingshi!
The two old ginsengs…
Chen Tingshi remembered that in order to honor his mother, his wife always cooked medicine for his mother in person, saying she was afraid that the cook would be clumsy and ruin the good things sent by elder brother.
“Nonsense, what evidence do you have!”
Seeing that his father was shaken and actually wanted to doubt his own family, Chen Jizong ran over, supported his shaky mother with one hand, pointed at the two brothers from the eldest house and roared, as if his loud voice would make their family more reasonable.
“Whether it’s true or not, we will find out clearly when Father comes back.”
Chen Xiaozong came over with the account book, stood in a row with his brothers, and glared at everyone from the east house.
When Qi shi saw the familiar account book, even the last glimmer of hope was gone. Her eyes rolled and she fell down limply.
“Mom!” Chen Jizong hurriedly hugged his mother.
Chen Xiaozong held up the account book and said, “When she was rummaging around just now, this is what she was looking for.”
Chen Tingshi looked at the account book and thought about his wife’s previous actions. What else did he not understand?
So, what the nephews said was true. Qi shi actually coveted his eldest brother’s old ginseng and delayed his mother’s medical treatment?
The old mother’s thin and sick face came to mind, and all kinds of absurd, regretful emotions swept over him like a flood. Chen Tingshi covered his head in pain, howled twice, suddenly turned around, and snatched his unconscious wife from his son’s arms. His left hand held Qi shi’s collar, while his right hand was raised high, and after a slight pause, he slapped her!
It’s okay for his wife to look down on him, it’s okay to bully him for being weak, but she should never bully his mother!
The severe pain on her face made Qi shi wake up from her coma. She opened her eyes blankly and saw her honest and cowardly husband.
The forty-year-old woman still looked beautiful, with messy black hair hanging down from her bun.
Chen Tingshi, who wanted to slap her again, had pain flashing in his eyes, suddenly changed direction, and slapped himself hard!
Blame him, blame him for not knowing himself!
Qi shi broke off from his trembling hand and fell to the ground, with a stream of blood slowly flowing out from the corner of her mouth.
Her face was already stained with mud, now the mud mixed with blood, making her looked like a sorry figure and miserable.
Chen Jizong rushed over to protect his mother, and cursed at his own father who dared to attack his mother: “You believe other people after just a few words. Who is your family? If they say that I stole the money, you want to beat me too?”
After saying that, he glared at the three brothers from the eldest house angrily.
The three brothers were indifferent.
Who does Chen Tingshi trust more?
Looking at Qi shi who did not dare to raise her head, Chen Tingshi fell to the ground, beat his chest and cried: “Mother, this son has wronged you!”
The heartbreaking cries spread far and wide, causing the neighbors near Chen House to drop what they were doing and run out to look in this direction.
“Okay, let’s go home first. Don’t embarrass yourself outside.”
Sun shi, who had been watching for a long time, finally spoke.
Chen Tingshi still cried. Chen Jizong hugged his mother who was about to lose half her life, with tears and snot streaming down his face. He shouted loudly that his uncle’s family was bullying others: “There’s no justice! You are enjoying a good life in the capital, and our family has been filial to the old lady for so many years. But as soon as you come back, you throw all kinds of stigma on us!”
Sun shi indifferently looked at him howling, in this world’s lawsuit, it was not the one who played trick who could win.
She told her sons: “Old One and Old Three, go and help your Second Uncle up.”
“Old Four is fast on his feet. You go back first and ask the guards to surround the house. Not a single person and a single box are allowed to leave the Chen family’s gate until the matter is found out.”
Qi shi was so greedy, even if Chen Tingshi was kept in the dark by her, there must be Qi shi‘s accomplices among the servants in the ancestral house, either to cover up for her or to sell the stolen goods for her.
On this matter, she and her sons could find out without her husband having to come forward!