Chapter 273 - Divorce

Yu Xiaocao sneered and said, “Is a human life more important or is studying more important? I don’t know how younger uncle’s teacher and classmates will look at you after they find out that you traded his father’s life for him to be able to study.”

“Don’t talk nonsense! Little girl, you’re too malicious! Your younger uncle can’t stay in town anymore because of you. Now, you still want to slander his reputation, but he’s your uncle! Are you still a person?” Madam Zhang’s youngest son was her weakness, so she would never hesitate to argue with someone for him.

She recalled the scene of her grandfather as he laid in a small, black, run down room with wind leaking in, appearing as if he were waiting for death alone. Yu Xiaocao felt her anger skyrocket, “The person who tarnished younger uncle’s reputation is you! Grandfather has worked himself tirelessly everyday for more than twenty years for this family. Furthermore, to save your eldest son, he got ill. Yet when he got sick, you didn’t even spare some money to help him get treated. His minor illness was dragged on until it became serious, and you even threw him into a rundown house. You didn’t even give him any food or water, nor did you help him change his clothes as they got that filthy! My Grandfather is your husband! You just can’t wait for him to die, can you? You’re a ruthless and heartless mother, and younger uncle will sooner or later be dragged down by you!”

Yu Xiaocao’s voice was sharp and clear. The Yu Family’s courtyard wasn’t remote and desolated like their old residence. When their neighbors heard their clamor, they all stretched their necks to eavesdrop for news. When they heard Yu Xiaocao’s words, they saw how Madam Zhang’s gaze had changed. This old woman was quite vicious. She’d rather watch her man die than to spend two taels of silver to get him treated.

They recalled how before Yu Xiaocao’s family had split from the main branch, she also became ill. At that time, Madam Zhang also refused to give Xiaocao’s father any money to get her treated. Yu Hai had to borrow money from everywhere, so that his daughter could see a doctor. They originally thought that it was because she wasn’t her blood related granddaughter, so she was able to steel her heart. But now, it seemed that Madam Zhang really has a poisonous heart. It could be seen that nothing was more important than money in her heart!

When Madam Zhang heard how her neighbors were quietly gossiping about her, she angrily said, “Your grandfather has tuberculosis! There is no cure!”

“Who said my grandfather has tuberculosis? Which doctor gave you this diagnosis? Why don’t you tell us? I’ve studied medicine and from my diagnosis, Grandfather has just received a fright and caught a cold. But the cold wasn’t treated and was delayed, so it became serious! You don’t even want to spend money to get Grandfather’s illness diagnosed. It’s not like you don’t have any money in your hands. What happened to the ten taels of silver my father gave you a few days ago? That’s the money my father gave to Grandfather for him to see a doctor and get medicine. Yet, you don’t even want to spend a copper coin on Grandfather! Is it because my Grandfather is old now, and can’t earn money for you, so you want to just kick him away?” The more angry Yu Xiaocao became, the faster she spoke, giving Madam Zhang no room to refute her claims.

“I knew you were a ruthless person, but I didn’t expect your heart and lungs to be completely black too, rotten into pus! When my father was injured, Uncle Zhao had given you three hundred taels of silver he earned from selling the bear. He gave that money to you and told you to take good care of my father’s leg injury. At that time, you said that there was no hope for my father, so you concealed the three hundred taels of silver that my father had used half of his life in exchange for. When we split households, you obviously had around three hundred to four hundred taels of silver, but you made a big fuss saying that you don’t have any money. In the end, you only gave us some worn-out furniture.”

Xiaocao paused and then continued, “When you saw that we were doing well after the split, you went to the place where we did our business in town and caused a ruckus. You made the older brother, who had moved out and split from the household, to pay the tuition for his younger brother. That was fine. My younger uncle was cheated by a scammer and wanted to walk through the back door to get into Rongxuan Academy, so you stubbornly asked us to give you five hundred taels of silver! When we split our households, you practically made us leave with nothing! Our family was injured, sick, and young. If it wasn’t for Maternal Grandfather’s support, we wouldn’t even have a house to live in for winter! How thick skinned are you? As soon as you reached out your hand, you asked us for five hundred taels of silver.”

 “Okay! It’s fine if you treated my father that way because he’s not your blood related son. But my grandfather is your man, he’s the father of your son and the pillar of this house. You don’t want to part with your money, so you just left him to die in the West Room! Are you still a human? Do you have any humanity in you at all?”

What Yu Xiaocao listed were actual situations that happened. Madam Zhang wanted to refute her, but she didn’t know what to say. She could only sit on the ground, patting her thighs and cried without any tears, “Is there any more law and order? Does it make sense that someone from the younger generation would point their fingers at an elder and scold them? God, why aren’t you striking her to death——”

After Yu Hang finished feeding Grandfather some porridge, he stepped out of the room, and threw the broken bowl at Madam Zhang. The bowl hit Madam Zhang’s head and then shattered into pieces when it hit the ground. Yu Hang pointed at Madam Zhang and angrily said, “If God has eyes, then the first person he’ll strike will be you! You should know all about the vicious things you did!”

Madam Zhang’s heart became fearful because they knew a lot of her weaknesses. She lowered her head and began to bawl, as if she had been greatly wronged.

After the neighbors heard Xiaocao’s accusations, how could they sympathize with her? They looked at Madam Zhang with contempt and disdain.

Yu Xiaocao said coldly, “Elder? Who is my elder? I only called you grandmother because of your relationship with my grandfather. But since you want to kill my grandfather, aren’t you considered to be our enemy? Yet you still have the face to say that we should call you an elder?”

“Cao’er… go invite the village head and your eldest granduncle here... “ Old Yu had recovered some of his energy after eating a bowl of shredded chicken porridge, so he allowed Yu Hang to support him to walk out here.

The neighbors couldn’t help but gasp in surprise when they saw Old Yu’s appearance. They haven’t seen him for over ten days, how did the old man become like this? He appeared emaciated. His appearance was haggard, and his eyes were sunken. From time to time, he would let out a fit of coughing; it was as if he might stop breathing at any moment.

In the past, Old Yu was capable and full of spirit! When he was young, he was able to support his entire family by himself. There were only a few people in Dongshan Village whose fishing techniques were comparable to Old Yu’s! Madam Zhang was really malicious. It hadn’t even been a month, yet she had already maltreated him to this point. Wasn’t she basically trying to kill off her husband?

Yu Xiaocao moved a chair over for Old Yu to sit on. Old Yu was just about to talk, when he began to violently cough again. When he removed the hand that was covering his mouth, the glaring bloodstain on his hand was seen by everyone.

Madam Zhang refused to be defeated as she jumped up from the ground. She took a few steps to the side and cried out, “Look at it! Look at it! He’s coughing up blood, if it’s not tuberculosis, then what is it? Everyone beware and keep your distance from him to prevent yourself from getting infected!”

When the neighbors heard her words, the expressions on their faces changed as they quietly moved away from the courtyard.

“Madam Zhang, don’t try to frighten everyone away! This won’t help you cover up your evil deeds! Everyone, I have studied medicine under Grandpa You for a while. Doctor Sun from town would also give me some pointers. I can distinguish the difference between tuberculosis and a cold! If you don’t believe me, you can invite a doctor over to diagnosis him, and see if he has tuberculosis or just a cold!” Yu Xiaocao fed her grandfather some warm water that was infused with mystic-stone water.

When the neighbors saw how close Yu Xiaocao was standing to Old Yu as well as her firm expression and unhesitating tone, they believed 70% of her words. That’s right, Xiaocao could be considered half a doctor. After Doctor You left, if anyone had a headache or fever, they would always go to Xiaocao to get some medicine. Her medicine was effective as soon as they took it. It was even more effective than the medicine Doctor You prescribed when he was here.

People who studied medicine would never put themselves in a situation where they would risk being infected. Old Yu couldn’t have tuberculosis! How dark was Madam Zhang’s heart? She didn’t allow people to get treated when they were ill. Instead, she forced them to drag their illness until they died! She even falsely accused someone of having tuberculosis.

“Go! Find the village chief for me, I want to divorce my wife!” Old Yu shouted loudly. He was finally able to breathe smoothly. Just that sentence from Old Yu was able to subdue both the neighbors and Madam Zhang’s clamor.

Repudiating his wife? It had been several decades in Dongshan Village since someone divorced his wife. However, Madam Zhang’s actions could be considered as attempted murder on her own husband. It would’ve been impossible for Old Yu to tolerate that. Which man would want the person sleeping next to him to wish for him to die?

Old Yu was seriously ill these past few days, but he wasn’t muddle headed. If he had really gotten tuberculosis, then it would've been fine. But Madam Zhang didn’t even invite a doctor over to give him a diagnosis before sentencing him to death. If he hadn’t died of illness, then he would’ve died from starvation and from all the coughing. With his understanding of Madam Zhang, she would even kill her female cousin to reach her goals. Since she didn’t succeed this time, in the future, when he couldn’t work anymore and became a burden on the family, she would definitely kill him then. Why didn’t he take advantage of this opportunity and break things off once and for all?

He didn’t even need to ask Xiaocao to invite them. There was a busybody among his neighbors, so he already invited the village head and Old Yu’s brother here. Old Yu’s other brothers lived far away, so it would be difficult to invite them over upon such short notice. But the village head and Yu Lichun were both persons of virtue and reputation, so it was enough to have them as witnesses!

In one breath, Old Yu told them all about how Madam Zhang and how Yu Dashan’s family had treated him. In the end, he said despondently, “Madam Zhang, after what you’ve done, I think that divorcing you wouldn’t have been excessive. But for Yu Bo and Caidie’s sake, I don’t want them to have an abandoned mother. It would ruin their reputation, so let’s have a peaceful separation!”

Madam Zhang knew that things couldn’t been undone and since Old Yu was sick to such a point, he wouldn’t be able to live for many days. Even if he didn’t die, his body was too weak to do any heavy jobs, and would just become a burden soon.

Madam Zhang had her head lowered, and her entire mind was thinking about ways to fight for her own interest. There was an ominous glint in her eyes as she raised her head confidently and said, “We can have a peaceful separation, but our youngest son must follow me!”

She had devoted much of her life to nurture her youngest son, hoping that he will pass the imperial exam with a high ranking, giving her fame and glory. Seeing that her youngest son was almost able to reach her goal, how could she be willing to let him go?

“My youngest son needs money for his studies. I can’t do any heavy labor or work, so the house and the money should all go to me! Your body isn’t like what it was before, so you might not be able to go out fishing at the sea again even if you recovered. Our eldest son has called you father for over decades, why don’t you give the family’s fishing boat to him?” Madam Zhang’s abacus was making clack clack clack sounds as she quickly calculated everything, making sure that all the valuables in the family would rest in her hand. She was about to make Old Yu leave this marriage empty handed!

When the village head and the neighbors heard this, they thought that Madam Zhang’s approach to this was too over the top. The Yu Family’s family property had all been earned by Old Yu and Yu Hai. In the end, they would both leave their own house empty handed. The way Madam Zhang handled matters was too extreme!

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Myst's Thoughts

They're finally getting a divorce! But, seriously, where does Madam Zhang get the confidence that Yu Bo is about to reach her goal?

Translator: Vi