Chapter 4: Strong As An Ox
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Shao Qiyang was at the door, so he happened to hear the children of the eldest branch scolding the five kids.
He was so angry that his face turned green. Shao Fu, who hadn’t seen Shao Qiyang, used his ultimate move to threaten Shao Xi. “If you don’t give it to me, I’ll get Grandma to kick you out. This is our house. If you don’t give it to me, I won’t let you stay here anymore.”
As he took advantage of Shao Dong and the rest, who halted, a smug look flashed past Shao Fu’s eyes. He was about to hit them when…
Shao Qiyang then said with a sullen expression on his face, “Shao Lu, return Little Xi his comic book.”
“Why should I?” Shao Lu refused to give in. “Why can’t I take his comic book when they’re living in our house?”
“Who taught you to speak like this?” Shao Qiyang was furious.
Mu Jingzhe glanced at him and got straight to the point. “If you don’t want them to stay in your house, then return their house to them.”
“Since when do they have a house?” Shao Lu asked in turn.
Mu Jingzhe pointed at the imposing new house next door. “It’s the house you’re living in now.”
“That’s our house!” Fu, Lu, Shou, and Xǐ retorted angrily.
“So you’re living in your family’s house? That house was built with Shao Dong’s father’s allowance. It has nothing to do with you. You shamelessly lived in their good house and gave this lousy house to them to live in, yet you even dare sound so self-righteous?”
“To be honest, you guys are the ones who borrowed the house. If you’re not happy, return the house to them. They don’t even care about your lousy house.”
Mu Jingzhe startled everyone with her words.
This was the first time Fu, Lu, Shou, and Xǐ heard this. Though they were furious, they felt guilty for some reason when they saw Mu Jingzhe’s expression.
“No way, that’s our house.”
“Ask your third uncle if you don’t believe me.” Mu Jingzhe pointed at Shao Qiyang.
Shao Qiyang was silent. What Mu Jingzhe had said was an undeniable truth.
This made Fu, Lu, Shou, and Xǐ feel uneasy. They were used to being the tyrants of the village and flaunting their big house. Now, it had suddenly been revealed that the house didn’t belong to them?
Shao Lu was about to lose his temper when he heard a sound coming from the room Shao Qiyang was staying in.
“What’s that sound?”
Mu Jingzhe took two steps forward. “Who is it? Who’s inside?”
No one answered.
Shao Fu and Shao Lu looked at each other and didn’t speak. Shao Nan glanced at them and suddenly said, “It must be a thief.”
Shao Qiyang was stunned and found it a little strange, but Mu Jingzhe had already reacted.
“A thief?” Her expression changed. “Hide behind me!”
She picked up an old spade and stepped forward.
“You inside the house, you’re surrounded. If you know what’s good for you, come out with your head in your hands. Otherwise, I won’t be polite.”
No sound came from inside.
“If you don’t come out soon, I’ll break the door.”
The person inside stammered and made some noises, but they didn’t speak properly.
Mu Jingzhe frowned. With so many children in the house, it would be terrible if they got injured or something. And this thief wasn’t coming out when he was told to?
Shao Qiyang felt that something was amiss and was about to stop Mu Jingzhe. However, he suddenly saw her lift her leg and kick.
With a bang, the sturdy new door that had been previously put in place to keep out Mu Jingzhe was kicked open.
Shao Qiyang and the nine children in the courtyard were stunned.
Mu Jingzhe raised her iron spade and charged in. “Let’s see where you will run to.”
“Ah… Don’t hit me, it’s me! It’s me!”
A familiar voice was heard in the room. This time, it was trembling.
After a wave of dust, everyone saw a horrified-looking Zhao Lan, who had nearly been smashed by the door, as well as Mu Jingzhe, who was still carrying the iron spade.
Zhao Lan’s face turned green, and her lips turned pale. She was truly scared out of her wits.
She rubbed her chest and glared at Mu Jingzhe.
Mu Jingzhe frowned. “Oh, it’s you.”
It was her mother-in-law, Zhao Lan.
“Why were you hiding here quietly?”
“Who says I was hiding quietly?” Zhao Lan retorted. Just as she was about to say something, she saw the door on the ground and then the iron spade in Mu Jingzhe’s hand and shut her mouth abruptly.
Since when had Mu Jingzhe become so strong? Or had the door decayed?
Shao Qiyang withdrew his gaze from the broken wooden door with difficulty and furrowed his brows as he looked at Zhao Lan.
“Mom, why are you here?”
He scanned the room with his gaze and saw obvious signs of chaos.
Shao Qiyang’s expression turned even uglier. Without even asking, he knew that she was there to look for his salary again.
He was now a temporary worker at the post office, so he received a smaller salary than a permanent staff member. It was very hard on him, yet Zhao Lan had to take all his salary.
When Shao Qihai had passed away, Shao Qiyang had said that he had to raise his nephews and niece, so he had stopped giving his salary to Zhao Lan. He hadn’t expected Zhao Lan to come straight to his room and rummage through his belongings for it.
“I’ve said this a few times already. I have to keep my salary for the next two months to pay for Little Dong and the other kids’ tuition fees. School is starting soon.”
Among the four children—Dong, Nan, Xi, and Bei—the older two were in second grade, while the younger two were in first grade.
“Of course I know school is starting. You can just ask me for the money when the time comes.” Zhao Lan was determined to get the money.
Shao Qiyang and Shao Dong looked at her without saying anything. Neither of them believed that she would hand over the money as promised.
Zhao Lan’s pockets had always been empty, and she only took and never gave.
When Zhao Lan saw that Shao Qiyang wasn’t saying anything, she turned around and scolded Shao Bei. “Why was she taken to the hospital when she was merely feeling hot? The money for the hospital fees would be enough to pay for her tuition fees. She’s just a girl. Why send her to school when she will get married eventually when she grows up? You might as well save the money and get a wife…”
Shao Bei was unhappy to hear that. She was about to say that she was a good student and ask why she couldn’t go to school, but Shao Nan stopped her.
As Shao Nan lowered his eyes, a hint of mockery that didn’t match his age flickered across them. He stopped Shao Bei from arguing unnecessarily lest she got beaten up.
Anyway, it was good enough that their tuition fees hadn’t been stolen.
Although Shao Nan hadn’t seen Zhao Lan enter the house, he had guessed that it was her. He’d been afraid that their tuition fees would be taken away, so he had deliberately suggested there was a thief in the house.
He wasn’t lying. After all, his grandmother, Zhao Lan, was indeed a thief in his eyes.
Unexpectedly, he had gained quite a lot from claiming there was a thief.
Shao Nan looked at Mu Jingzhe. She had been the biggest surprise today.
Mu Jingzhe, who hadn’t noticed Shao Nan’s gaze, stared at the unceasing Zhao Lan and frowned impatiently.
She was most afraid of this kind of nagging. Hearing it made her want to hit someone.
Mu Jingzhe raised her foot and stomped on the door, causing it to crack.
Zhao Lan’s entire body stiffened. Only then did she remember that this jinx was still there. This unlucky woman even had designs on her third son.
As she was looking at the completely ruined door, Zhao Lan couldn’t even be bothered to look at Mu Jingzhe’s hair and notice the change in her appearance.
“How… How dare you call me noisy? I’m your mother-in-law.”
Zhao Lan spoke in an incredibly weak tone. It was as if she was a completely different person from the woman who’d kept calling the original Mu Jingzhe a jinx after Shao Qihai’s death.
“What does this have to do with you being my mother-in-law?” Mu Jingzhe glanced at her and said, “Other than the tuition fees and books, we still have to buy clothes, shoes, and exercise books when school starts.
“Their uncle is paying for their tuition fees, so you should be in charge of the clothes, shoes, and exercise books. Right, mother-in-law? You didn’t buy them for the new year because you wanted to buy them before school starts, right?”
Since Zhao Lan had shown up of her own accord, Mu Jingzhe wasn’t going to let her off easily.