Chapter 50: Encountering Bandits on the Road
Wu Cuihua gratefully glanced at Song Shi. Although her family had many members, they only had one cart, and they had to carry a lot of things.
Travelling like this every day was really exhausting.
It would be much easier if they had another cart.
Thinking about how her own children were also among those who were clamoring for the Shen family’s grain, Wu Cuihua felt guilty.
“Song, you are really too kind to our family,” Wu Cuihua said, her eyes welling up with emotion.
“Our relationship is close enough, there’s no need to say anything more,” Song Shi said, smiling as she patted Wu Cuihua on the back and handed her a bundle.
Back when they were still in the village, Wu Cuihua had always spoken up for Song Chunzhen whenever something happened.
Wu Cuihua took one of the carts back with her, while the other was given to another family in the village who had a good relationship with her.
At Shen Xingwang’s family, his second daughter-in-law had just been reprimanded and dared not say anything else.
She could only mutter quietly within the group, “She’s really showing favoritism towards others. She gave everything away to others and didn’t even think about us related to them.”
“That’s right. I saw her giving a heavy bundle to Wu Cuihua. I wonder what good things are inside,” said third daughter-in-law, greedily eyeing Wu Cuihua who had returned with the bundle.
Shen Xingwang couldn’t help but feel disappointed as he thought about the various criticisms his sons and daughters-in-law had been making about his second brother’s family these past few days.
He angrily rebuked them, “Shut up! All you ever think about is other people’s things. When did you become like this? We have so much land and food in our family. Although it may be tiring to work outside, when have you ever gone hungry? We were able to collect all this grain thanks to the blessing of your second uncle’s family!”
“You all know that we are one family with your second uncle’s family. If you can’t help when there’s trouble, then at least don’t cause any more problems every time something happens!”
The old man was also extremely angry and scolded them many times. After he finished, he couldn’t stop coughing. However, his three sons didn’t feel any guilt or shame after hearing his words.
“It’s not just because of their blessings. Shen Rong teaches in the town and helps our family’s children.
Isn’t that what he should do? Moreover, it’s not just our family that collects grain. Second Uncle’s family has relationships with other families too,” they retorted.
“We have been taking care of you for so long, and now you have become so biased after staying at uncle’s house for just two days.”
The old man glared at his disobedient children in anger and questioned, “Don’t tell me you didn’t know that the two pounds of grain your wives left for me had gone moldy.”
“What’s wrong with moldy grain? Can’t it still be eaten?”
The old man became so angry that he felt tightness in his chest. While eating regular moldy grain may not cause harm, eating moldy grain that has been soaked in water can be fatal.
In the village, there was once an old person who had no descendants and didn’t want to waste moldy grain. The next day, the old person was found dead.
The second daughter-in-law looked at the old man holding his chest and gasping for breath. She was afraid that they might anger him to death and bring bad luck upon themselves.
She quickly spoke up, “We can’t take care of you anymore, so you should go with Uncle’s family.” After speaking, she gave a signal to Shen Daya to escort the old man out.
Many people heard the commotion between them and looked down on them.
Initially, the old man’s daughters-in-law claimed that they had left a lot of grain for the Shen family to ensure the old man was well taken care of.
As it turns out, it was only two pounds of moldy grain, but nobody intervened. Instead, they felt that it was better for the old man to follow the Shen family than to stay here.
Afraid that the old man would not want to leave, Shen Daya even planned to grab him by the hand and pull him along.
Just as her hand was about to touch the old man, it was stopped by a pair of beautiful hands. Shen Daya looked up and saw Shen Yu’an’s half-smiling eyes.
“Old people have fragile bones. If you do that, people will accuse you of assaulting your elders,” Shen Yu’an said coldly, his smile not reaching his eyes.
Shen Daya was startled and angry. “Shen Yu’an, what are you talking about?” Although many people had witnessed how their family treated the old man earlier, as long as no one spoke up, it would be fine.
By bringing up the issue like this, Shen Yu’an was accusing her of being unfilial, which would damage her reputation and make it hard for her to get married in the future.
Shen Yu’an didn’t even give her a glance and asked the old man obediently, “Grandpa, my father said we’re about to leave and asked me to bring you over.”
After wasting so much time, the sun had already set a bit, and it wasn’t as hot anymore. The Shen family decided to take advantage of this time to hurry back on the road.
In theory, the Shen family had already sold their two carts of grain, and there was no need for Lizheng to follow them.
However, shortly after they set off, Lizheng shouted at the villagers to pack up and follow them.
Lizheng’s eyes were gloomy, and he was very dissatisfied with what had happened in the past two days.
Not only did they fail to obtain any grain, but they were also humiliated by the Shen family. However, when he thought about the big knife in the hands of the Shen family and Shen Yu’an’s ability to take on more than ten people alone, he hesitated for a moment but decided to follow them anyway!
They thought that following Shen Yu’an might come in handy if they encountered any danger.
Shen Yu’an did not ask them to put the knives away. It was precisely because of those knives in their hands that they were able to ward off a lot of trouble in the days that followed.
After two uneventful days of travel, on the afternoon of the third day, Shen Rong and his group finally saw a mountain range.
This should be the nearest mountain range that Shen Rong had mentioned, and they had already used up a lot of their water supply. They could enter the mountains and look for a water source.
“Let’s move forward and find a flatter path to see if we can find a water source. We can replenish our water supply before continuing our journey,” Shen Rong suggested.
“Great!” exclaimed Zhang and his son with joy. They were starting to worry that they wouldn’t be able to make it to their destination without finding a water source.
Their smiles had just appeared on their faces when they heard panicked voices.
“Help! There are band! Help!”
In no time, several panicked men appeared, followed by several fierce-looking bandits holding long knives.
The men also noticed the arrival of the Shen family and the large group behind them, and their eyes lit up with hope.
“Save us! There are bandits coming!” The men exclaimed as they hurriedly ran behind the Shen family.
The bandits chasing after them were forced to stop in their tracks. However, upon seeing a large group of potential “fat sheep” in front of them, their mood instantly brightened.
“Hahaha, brothers, this trip was worth it! We’ve caught a big group of sheep,” one of the bandits exclaimed.
“Stop right there! Surrender and let us rob you!”
The bandits pointed their knives at the Shen family and the villagers from Shen village who were standing in front of them.
Upon seeing the bandits, the Shen villagers were filled with fear and began to retreat, hoping the bandits hadn’t noticed them.
Shen Yu’an quickly counted the number of bandits and realized that there were only eight of them.
However, it seemed that these bandits had been practicing robbery for a long time and had grown fat and strong, even in times of famine and disaster.
The men from the Shen and Zhang families quickly took out their own knives and stood in front of their family members, staring fearlessly at the bandits.