He remembered very clearly that, at the time, his kind first wife, Madam Liu, had a weak body and they were very poor . Despite that, she still happily received her younger cousin and her cousin’s son . In the beginning, Madam Zhang rushed to do all of the work around the house and treated his son and daughter better than she treated her own son . In addition, she also did her best to take care of her older cousin, who was bedridden . He didn’t say anything in regards to this and only spent long days out of the house fishing and gathering seafood to subsidize their income .
Under Madam Zhang’s tender care, Madam Liu’s condition started to improve and even the doctor said that after she finished the last two prescriptions she would be almost fully recovered . However, no one expected that, after she finished the two medications, Madam Liu’s illness would recur .
Everything that was of value at home had been sold off, and they had already borrowed money from those who could afford it . Madam Liu continued to take medication but she never recovered again . Her body, which had originally been weak, only managed to hang on for another month or so before death came to get her .
Not long after Madam Liu passed away, he felt like that having his home lack a female figure wasn’t good . During that time, Madam Zhang had been extremely hardworking and also treated his two children well . Thus, he took her as his second wife . In the beginning, she managed to be fair to everyone in the family . However, after his third son was born, Madam Zhang’s heart began to change . The change was most marked when their third son left to go to school . Madam Zhang became extremely stingy and would save every copper coin in order to pay for their third son’s schooling fees .
“Yes! That’s right!” Madam Zhang cackled crazily as she stared fixedly at the roof beam . She acted as if she was talking to someone, “My dear sweet older cousin! I was the one who swapped out your medication and let you, who was about to recover, die in the end!! I was doing this for the good of your two children!! If you didn’t die, then you guys would have had to sell them to get the money for your medication!!”
Old Yu looked at Madam Zhang, who had a malevolent expression on her face, with shock . Apparently Madam Liu’s illness didn’t come back, and she was actually killed by Madam Zhang . . . He would have never expected that the woman who he had slept in the same bed for over twenty years was actually a venomous viper .
Outside, Yu Hang and Xiaocao exchanged stupefied looks . Xiaocao clasped her hands over her mouth and remarked in disbelief, “Our biological grandmother was murdered by that old shrew!! She murdered our true grandmother and even treats our branch so cruelly . Is she not afraid our biological grandmother would come back and find her?”
Yu Hang gritted his teeth as he quietly replied, “That old shrew has done too many bad things, so the heavens will punish her! Tonight she’s acting so weird . Do you think our true grandmother came back to settle the bill with her?”
“Ahhh——don’t kill me! I know I was wrong!! I shouldn’t have switched out your medication and shouldn’t have married off your daughter to a widower who lived far away . I shouldn’t have restricted your son’s and grandchildren’s food and expelled them out of the family during their toughest time!! I confess to everything, don’t take my soul away, don’t take me away——my son will pass the imperial examinations in the future and become a high-ranking official . I need to become an official’s mother!! Spare me!!” The fears within Madam Zhang’s heart finally bubbled up, and she didn’t try to act nonchalant anymore . She sobbed bitterly as she knelt on the kang bed and kowtowed furiously towards the direction of the roof beams . A rhythmic knocking sound could be heard .
Madam Zhang saw the ghostly Madam Liu in front of her eyes . The other woman had long, messy hair that cascaded down, and she was dressed entirely in white . The apparition’s eyes dripped with blood as they fixedly stared at her . Madam Zhang saw the ghost stretch out a hand with long fingernails towards her neck . She immediately felt her breath hitch in her throat and fainted back with her eyes rolling up into her head .
The old woman had her own hands around her neck, tightly squeezing . Her face had turned blue from lack of air and her tongue lolled out of her mouth . Although Old Yu was incredibly shocked inside, he couldn’t watch Madam Zhang suffocate to death . He hurriedly went over and forcefully pried her hands off her neck .
Madam Zhang felt as if she was a fish who had been thrown out of the water . She truly thought she was about to die . Regrets swirled within her . At the time she had fled her previous husband’s home with her son, even her own parents and older brother refused to shelter her . Only her distantly related older cousin was willing to take her in during her time of greatest need, saving her from the slow death of starvation and sickness . However, she bit the hand that fed her and switched her older cousin’s medicine, causing the other woman to pass away . However, this was destiny . Why else did she fall in love with her cousin’s husband? If her cousin didn’t die, how could she possibly marry a man as kind as her cousin’s husband and become the de facto head of the family? Thus, Madam Zhang previously only had guilt within her heart but no regrets .
When she was strangling herself, Madam Zhang put all of her strength into it . Old Yu had to use all of the strength in his body to slowly pry her hands from her neck with great difficulty .
The old woman gasped heavily for air and turned her head to faintly see Old Yu . It was as if she was trying to grasp her last lifesaver . She clutched onto his arm and whined hysterically, “Cousin, you can’t blame me!! Just blame your husband for being such a good man, he’s the model of a good man in my heart——good tempered, loves his family, and works hard . . . that’s right! I blame your husband for being too good, tempting me to have bad thoughts . He’s the troublemaker . You need to find him, don’t go for me, stay away from me!!”
As she ranted, her eyes roved around crazily . When she saw the blanket on the kang bed she catapulted herself towards it and pulled it over her body . She hid herself underneath as she trembled from fright .
Old Yu looked at Madam Zhang with disbelief . It was said that a married couple was just a pair of separate birds, once catastrophe arrived, they would fly their separate ways . Sure enough, Madam Zhang finally revealed her true selfish side . When it came to saving her own skin or her husband’s, she quickly chose her own and easily shoved her partner, who had been with her for over twenty years, to take the blame .
Outside the room, the two siblings, who were eavesdropping, suddenly sensed someone heavily breathing behind them . They plastered themselves against the wall and looked behind them in alarm . To their surprise, they saw their father, who was doing his best to restrain his sorrow as he gripped his hand tightly into a fist . When did their father come over? Did he also hear the old shrew’s confession?
Tonight, Yu Hai had found out the truth behind his mother’s death . In fact, he had called his mother’s murderer ‘mother’ for over twenty years . That fact caused his heart to squeeze in pain, and it wasn’t a type of pain that any person would be able to endure!
The tiny golden kitten, which had followed the two siblings over, had its fur standing straight up in indignant anger . It waved its claws and a tiny glittery golden light pierced through the wall and went into Madam Zhang’s head .
“Ahhhh——” Madam Zhang flipped out of the blankets and a more horrified expression appeared on her face . She clutched her clothes and screeched, “Don’t take me away! I admit my guilt, I confess to all of it!! Just give me one more chance, okay? My youngest son hasn’t passed the prefectural exams yet and my daughter is about to get married, they can’t go without a mother ah!!”
“You say your son and daughter cannot go without a mother, but what about my daughter and son who were only seven to eight years of age ah? They could go without a mother then? If I died and you took good care of my children, that’d be one thing . Wasn’t it enough that you had to make my children’s lives difficult? You’re such a cruel woman, you even forced my son to split from the family with nothing but the clothes on his back . Now, you have the nerve to demand money from him, and you even ask for two hundred taels!” Within Madam Zhang’s consciousness, her long-dead cousin was accusing her and criticizing her with every word .
“My son’s entire family did their best for you, but that still wasn’t enough? Why do you still have to be so stingy and greedy, do you really need to suck every last bit of blood from him ah?? Your children are children, but does that mean my son and daughter aren’t children? That’s not okay, I demand that you come with me to hell tonight! Someone as evil as you, murdering people and abusing their children, deserves to go to the eighteenth level of hell!!”
When Madam Zhang saw the two deities of hell next to Madam Liu stringing the chains around her neck, she frantically struggled again, “Older Cousin, I was wrong! I was truly wrong!! I shouldn’t have been so selfish and killed you!! I shouldn’t have abused Dahai’s entire family! I’ll change, I swear I’ll change in the future——give me one last chance to change . I’ll never dare to be like this again . . . don’t take me away! I don’t want to go to hell!”
Rivers of sweat dripped down Madam Zhang’s entire body and her white hair stuck up crazily on her head like a bunch of straw . She resembled a malaria patient who was in the throes of sweats and chills and looked like a fish that was about to die . Although Old Yu felt deep anger at the knowledge that she was the one who murdered his first wife and abused his first wife’s children, she was still the wife he had lived with for over twenty years .
His youngest daughter had already delayed her marriage by three years waiting for her fiance's mourning period to be over . If Madam Zhang had something happen to her now, he wasn’t sure that Yu Caidie would be able to preserve her engagement . When another three years passed and her fiance’s family cancelled their agreement, then his daughter’s future would be entirely ruined .
Old Yu let out a deep sigh . More than twenty years had passed, and he could no longer really remember what Madam Liu looked like anymore . Those who were living still needed to move on!
“Cuiyun ah! I know you died full of resentment, but if revenge breeds revenge, will there ever be an end to it all? I know you’re a kind hearted person . You even had to help a stray injured puppy that managed to encounter you . This family temporarily can’t be without Madam Zhang, please be merciful and let her off this one time!! Don’t worry, I’ll keep an eye over her and I will not let her harm Dahai’s family ever again!! Please do this for the sake of our previous relationship, let her go!” Old Yu seemed to have aged in this short time period . His voice seemed powerless and tinged with deep emotion .
Madam Zhang also loudly promised nervously, “Older Cousin, let me go this one time . In the future, I’ll live out the rest of my days atoning for my crimes——I make a vow to the heavens, I will never cause Dahai trouble again . I will treat Dahai and his family well…”
“Enough!!!” Yu Hai couldn’t handle it anymore and kicked open the door . He rushed in and sneered at Madam Zhang, who was on the kang bed, kowtowing endlessly, “I don’t think I can bear taking your good will! I am not like my mother, who nurtured an ungrateful tiger in her midst and then was murdered by that thankless wretch!!”
Madam Zhang was disheveled from head to toe and was hunkering down on the corner of the kang bed . When she saw Yu Hai come in, the pupils in her eyes shrunk, ‘How come Yu Hai is here? Just how much did he overhear?’
Old Yu coughed and weakly said, “Dahai, she’s your elder…”
“How is she considered my elder? I don’t have any elders who murdered my mother!! I truly hate, hate myself for recognizing my mother’s murderess as my mother for over twenty years; hate myself for letting my wife and kids be abused without doing anything, hate myself for ignorantly giving up all of the money I earned to my mother’s murderess to provide for her children~~” Yu Hai trembled as he howled out his grief!
Madam Zhang felt frightened, disappointed and distressed by the look of pure hate that was within Yu Hai’s eyes . In the future, she could never use her identity as his stepmother to threaten Yu Hai to do anything for her . She had become his enemy who had slain his mother . The fact that Yu Hai didn’t want to take revenge on her for killing his mother was already considered a miracle .