Chapter 38: Completely Cut Off
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
The words ended in bleakness.
When Su Sanlang finished laughing, he looked at Old Master Su. His eyes were even more determined than before. His lips were cracked, and because of his laughter, blood was oozing out. He was so tired after a long day. At this moment, his heart was broken, and his figure seemed to have shrunk by three inches.
He had thought that the day his fourth daughter was born would be the saddest moment of his life, but now he knew that it was not. That day was far less painful today.
Su Sanlang knelt down and kowtowed heavily.
He said nothing. He finished one kowtow, then a second, a third, a fourth…
Everyone was relieved to see him kowtow.
Su Dalang sighed. “Third Brother, why do you have to be like this? It’s fine as long as you admit your mistake now. Father and Mother will forgive you.”
Su Erlang also smiled and agreed. “Big Brother is right. You’re too stubborn. Filial piety comes first. If you continue being like this, you’ll have to go to jail. Father and Mother have already treated you well enough. You have to know how to be grateful.”
Old Master Su recovered from his shock and his expression softened. When he heard Su Sanlang’s laughter just now, he thought that Su Sanlang was going to rebel to the end.
It seemed that he was overthinking things. No one could survive if they were removed from the family tree.
By suppressing Su Sanlang this time, it meant that Su Sanlang had completely complied. From now on, Su Sanlang would not have a rebellious streak. The third branch was already useless. As an uncle, Su Sanlang should do everything he could to help his nephews.
Once his nephews become successful, he would have someone to rely on in his retirement.
Seeing that Su Sanlang’s forehead was bleeding, Old Master Su felt that this punishment was enough. He said calmly, “There’s no need to kowtow anymore. This matter is over. Just remember not to do it again. Help your nephews in the future. Then, when you’re old, you’ll have someone to rely on.”
Su Sanlang finished nine kowtows. Blood trickled down his forehead as he stood up and spoke in a flat tone.
Su Sanlang shouted, then looked up. His face was expressionless as he said very calmly, “I choose to be removed from the family tree. Father and Mother, go and invite the officer and our relatives to come testify tomorrow. Just tell me when the time comes.”
Old Master Su did not expect Su Sanlang to disobey him after kowtowing. He was so angry that his hand trembled as he pointed at Su Sanlang. “You, you, you…”
Old Master Su couldn’t say a word for a long time. He felt as if there was a huge rock in his chest, making him angry and breathless.
“I’ve never had any complaints about your arrangements. When Eldest Brother married Eldest Sister-in-law, he married her officially after layers of etiquette. When Second Brother married Second Sister-in-law, it was the same. When it came to me, Mother said that our family was poor and could not get a wife for me. Madam Zhao only cost one tael of silver to buy in as my wife. I even agreed to that.”
“Madam Zhao is kind-hearted and had no complaints about me. She did whatever she was told to do. Even if she was tortured by Mother, she secretly endured it. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t disobey Father and Mother for her, but when did Father and Mother treat her like a human being? When Eldest Sister-in-law and Second Sister-in-law gave birth to their eldest sons, they were in confinement for twenty days. When Madam Zhao gave birth to Chong, she only slept for three days before she had to go work in the fields. I didn’t say anything to either.”
“Eldest Sister-in-law knocked Chong’s head when she was carrying him. It’s such a big bump. Father and Mother only blamed Madam Zhao for not taking good care of Chong, and Chong became a fool. When Hua was four years old, he had a high fever. It was also Mother who refused to use money for Hua to get medicine, and Hua also became stupid. Clearly, these are not Madam Zhao’s fault, but Father and Mother only blamed Madam Zhao.”
“Madam Zhao is my wife. Since Father and Mother despise her so much, how can you say you have me in your hearts? All these years, I’ve been working hard with Madam Zhao and didn’t even dare to rest to take a single breath. In Father and Mother’s hearts, my family is just doing nothing. Now, I’m just living my life well and not letting Father and Mother see what they want to see. You clearly want my family to be treated like labor for the Su family, but you still want to use the excuse of it being good for my family.”
“This is the most ridiculous joke I, Su Sanlang, have ever heard in my life. Therefore, even if my family has no fixed residence and we starve to death in the mountains, I will not return to the Su family. This is all I want to say.”
With that, Su Sanlang turned and left without any hesitation.
He didn’t shout at the top of his lungs. He spoke calmly, as if he were telling someone else’s story.
However, anyone could hear how disappointed, how hurt, and how determined he was.
Therefore, when Su Sanlang spoke, no one from the Su family cut him off. Even the clamoring Madam Wang remained silent.
Old Master Su’s expression was dark as he looked at Su Sanlang’s back and said fiercely, “If he’s tough, then I’ll see how tough his bones are. Eldest Brother, Second Brother, go to the officer’s house and then to your Grand Duke Su’s house. I want to chase this unfilial son out of our village in front of the entire village tomorrow.”
“Looks like this unfilial son has a deep grudge against us. This unfilial son, why can’t the heavens open their eyes? Why don’t they send a bolt of lightning to kill this unfilial son?”
Madam Wang also came back to her senses and cursed loudly.
Su Dalang and Su Erlang did not expect this at all, but since Old Master Su had spoken, they had to go.
In any case, they weren’t the ones who were going to be in trouble.
Madam Li and Madam Zhou were both frightened out of their wits. They hurriedly got their children to return to their rooms while they diligently cleared up the table.
The last time he chased Su Sanlang’s family out, there was no witness. This time, if he wanted to remove them from the family tree, those in Su Sanlang’s house would have to return home.
He also had to hand over the money that their family earned.
In this cold weather, no matter how capable Su Sanlang was, could he still defy the heavens?
Su Sanlang left the Su residence and trudged home.
He stared at the thatched cottage, blurred in the night. Tears rolled silently down his cheeks. His footsteps were heavy. He hated himself for being so useless, for ending up like this.
Although Madam Zhao was bought in, they had been together for so many years and she was devoted to him. Su Sanlang was not a blockhead, so how could he be indifferent?
When he reached home, Su Sanlang wiped away his tears. Just as he was contemplating what to say to Madam Zhao, her gentle voice sounded by the fence door. “Sanlang, you’re back.”
Madam Zhao had been standing outside the house for a long time. She was leaning against the fence door, as if she was one with the night. That was why Su Sanlang did not see her.
Hearing Madam Zhao’s voice, Su Sanlang’s heart ached.
As if she knew everything, Madam Zhao did not ask questions. Instead, she said gently, “Sanlang, go in and eat first. You must be hungry too. The children are waiting for you.”
Madam Zhao opened the door and waited for Su Sanlang to come in. She took the initiative to hold his hand and said firmly, “Sanlang, no matter what, whether I live or die, I’ll follow you. Don’t be afraid. You won’t be alone.”