Shen Yu’an’s lips curved into a smile, just when everyone thought she was about to apologize.
“Grandpa Lizheng, does that mean you also think I am in the wrong?”
Lizheng frowned at her and remained silent, but his expression clearly conveyed his thoughts.
If they just lifted the curtain of the carriage to let everyone see, there wouldn’t be so much trouble now. Why did they have to let it escalate like this?
Lizheng couldn’t understand how Shen Yu’an, with her father being such a knowledgeable scholar, could have raised a daughter like this.
Impatiently, Lizheng said, “Hurry up. Once everyone is here, we’ll set off. Or do you want to walk on your own?”
He was clearly trying to threaten them, thinking that they were afraid of being expelled from the team.
Next to Lizheng, Aunt Wu held her head high and narrowed her eyes with satisfaction, waiting for Shen Yu’an to apologize.
If she was willing to apologize and show her the things in the carriage, Aunt Wu would reluctantly forgive them and prevent Er Dan from kicking them out.
Even Lin Chunyan and Ma Shi, who were sitting on the ground and forgot to get up, felt relieved.
Although others wanted to say something, they still had to follow Shen Lizhengs’s lead as a family. If they caused trouble, they might also be kicked out of the team.
They have seen the way that group of people outside the city gate were eyeing them yesterday. If there weren’t so many people from Shen’s village, they would have definitely tried to snatch their food.
However, they were all mistaken. Shen Yu’an was not afraid of the family walking alone. In fact, it would be inconvenient to travel with them.
Shen Yu’an casually said, “Then let’s just split up and go our separate ways.”
This statement caused a stir among the group. Everyone was shocked.
Why was Shen’s daughter not playing by the rules?
Shen Lizheng had already suggested apologizing to Aunt Wu to put the incident behind them. Otherwise, it was too dangerous to travel alone in these times.
Wu Cuihua stepped forward and pulled Shen Yu’an, urging her in a low voice, “Girl, now is not the time to be stubborn. It’s too dangerous for you to go out on your own. Just apologize and make things right.”
Everyone knew that Shen Yu’an was not at fault, but Shen Lizheng’s words couldn’t be ignored.
“Auntie, there’s no need to persuade us. We won’t travel with everyone else,” Shen Yu’an said firmly.
Shen Lizheng’s face darkened, feeling that Shen Yu’an had made him lose face.
He angrily said, “Hmph, don’t regret it and beg me to come back.”
After finishing his words, he didn’t even look at her and said to the people from Shen’s Village who were already there, “Pack up and let’s go when everyone is ready.”
“If anyone wants to go with them, don’t stay with the team.”
Wu Cuihua stood between Shen Yu’an and Song Shi, feeling somewhat conflicted.
Her two daughters-in-law came over and pulled her away.
“Mother, don’t be stubborn at this time, let’s go back quickly.”
Song Shi also advised, “Cuihua, you should go back, don’t worry about us.”
Wu Cuihua could only sigh and leave reluctantly.
Slowly, everyone arrived, and those who came later felt that the atmosphere was a bit strange, but they didn’t know what had happened.
Seeing that everyone had arrived, Shen Lizheng asked everyone to set off.
Grandpa Shen’s elder brother, Shen Xingwang and his family, walked to the side of Shen’s family and smiled, “Hurry up and pack up, don’t miss the team.”
Shen Xingwang’s family arrived late and didn’t know what had happened.
Seeing that his younger brother’s family was not yet ready to leave, he urged them with a smile.
Shen’s grandfather’s face suddenly changed, and he explained what had happened.
As he hesitated on how to let his older brother’s family join them, Shen Xingwang spoke up.
“What happened? No, my family will go with you.”
Upon hearing his older brother’s words, the expression on Grandpa Shen’s face softened.
He had been contemplating how to convince his brother to join them on their journey.
Their relationship had always been close, especially since their father had passed away when they were young and their mother had raised them together.
Grandpa Shen was confident that his granddaughter was lucky, and that his family had undergone rigorous training.
Even if they were to travel alone, he believed they would be fine. However, before the two brothers could get too excited, several of Shen Xingwang’s daughters-in-law chimed in, voicing their concerns.
“Father, this won’t work. We may seem like a lot of people, but if we go out there, how many of us can really handle a crisis?”
“Yeah, Father, let’s go with the villagers. There will be someone who can protect us.”
Shen Xingwang furrowed his brows and exclaimed angrily, “Why do we need others to protect our own family? What are you all here for?”
“I don’t care. Anyway, I’m not going with second uncle’s family. If we encounter any refugees or something, these few people are not enough to defend us,” said Shen Xingwang’s second daughter-in-law as she crossed her arms.
The eldest daughter-in-law and the third daughter-in-law also spoke up, emboldened by someone taking the lead: “We…we’re not going with you either. If you want to go, go by yourself.”
“These bastards! Can the villagers protect us better than our own family?” Shen Xingwang pounded the ground with his cane in anger.
The third daughter-in-law added, “I don’t care if you’re family or not, but my life is more important.”
She then rolled her eyes towards Shen’s family.
Shen Yu’an stood quietly on the side, watching the situation unfold without saying a word.
If they were willing to go together, she would certainly protect them well. However, it seemed that they didn’t need her help.
Shen Xingwang was so angry that he was gasping for breath. He looked at his three sons who were standing behind their wives, lost in thought.
“What do you three think? Do you agree with your wives?” he asked.
Shen Yu’an saw them hesitate for a long time before saying, “Father, what my wife and the others said is not wrong. It’s very dangerous to leave the group now. You should come with us. If we fall behind, we won’t be able to catch up later.”
A girl who was also present spoke up in agreement, saying, “My father is right. It’s all because of my cousin’s reckless behavior. If she just apologized to Aunt Wu like Grandfather Lizheng suggests and opened the curtains of the carriage for everyone to see, this matter will be resolved.”
The girl was the granddaughter of Shen Xingwang’s eldest son and was two years younger than Shen Yu’an.
Normally, she disliked her cousin, who looked better, wore nicer clothes, and lived a better life than her.
That’s why now that she had caught her cousin in the wrong, she immediately spoke up.
Shen Xingwang did not expect all of his sons and granddaughter to agree with her daughter-in-law’s causing him to became so angry that he swung his cane at his sons.
“You bunch of useless things! In normal times, the whole family of Rong spent so much effort for your children to go to school, and you dare to say such things. I’ll beat you to death!”
Several people instinctively raised their hands to block, and the second daughter-in-law took advantage of the opportunity to muddy the waters and grabbed Shen Xingwang’s arm, giving him a hard shove.
The elderly man stumbled and fell backwards, unable to maintain his balance. As one gets older, bones become brittle, and a fall could be disastrous.
Shen Rong and Shen Ming, the two brothers, immediately held onto each side of Shen Xingwang and finally stabilized him.
Shen Xingwang trembled and pointed his finger at his unfilial sons in front of him, too angry to speak.
“Since big brother is so good, he won’t blame us for this decision, right? We all want to be safe when we’re out, and you surely can understand that,” the second daughter-in-law looked at Shen Rong and asked.