Chapter 183 – Su Man’s Rumors
Meanwhile, Su Man next door happened to notice Lu Xia planting peppermint and asked about the reason. After learning about it, she also picked some and planted them directly in her vegetable patch.
Although her small courtyard had a space for vegetables when the house was built, she hadn’t planted many vegetables, and they didn’t grow very well, looking sparse. Now, with the addition of peppermint and some wildflowers she had acquired from somewhere, it felt like a small garden.
But that was her business.
Currently, Su Man’s contact with the educated youths had decreased significantly. Although Lu Xia lived next to her, she often felt like she couldn’t see her and didn’t know what she was busy with every day.
Perhaps she was like what was written in the book, wandering around the town and county’s black market, buying and selling things to make money.
Lu Xia didn’t inquire further; after all, they each had their own lives.
However, soon Su Man got caught up in some trouble—or more accurately, rumors about her started spreading throughout the village.
Some said she had a fiancé but still had intentions to climb the social ladder by pursuing educated youths with better backgrounds.
Others claimed that she came from an ordinary family, and her father was just a common worker who didn’t earn much. They couldn’t figure out how she had so much money and lived so well.
A young and beautiful woman having so much money would easily lead people to speculate in a negative direction.
Moreover, since Su Man’s arrival in the countryside, she gave everyone the impression of being a rich girl, even more elegant than Cheng Yujiao.
Now, hearing that she was just an ordinary person, everyone felt confused, and their impression of her shattered.
And everyone was aware of how close Su Man and Gu Xiangnan had become. The educated youths could also sense it, especially when they saw Gu Xiangnan always helping her during spring farming, and the two often going to town together.
So, if Su Man indeed had a fiancé, then her relationship with Gu Xiangnan would become questionable.
Lu Xia heard about these rumors and immediately knew that Cheng Yujiao must have started causing trouble again, though she didn’t know how Cheng Yujiao had come across this information.
However, Lu Xia wasn’t particularly worried.
After all, Su Man was the female protagonist, not only equipped with the protagonist halo but also very capable. She could likely resolve such a small matter quickly.
But this time, Lu Xia guessed wrong.
Recently, Su Man had found a ginseng and coincidentally met someone urgently in need of it while going to the county. So she sold the ginseng for a considerable sum and also gained a favor in return.
Feeling in a good mood, she also brought the wild animals she had harvested from the mountains and sold them in the black market, where she had made some acquaintances and even befriended some key figures. She felt assured enough to trade the items she found in the mountains.
Now that she lived alone, she didn’t need to be as cautious anymore. She almost had harvests every other day—sometimes wild chickens and rabbits, and other times larger animals like deer or wild boars. During her time in the educated youth spot, she had to give up many of her findings due to inconvenience.
But now that she lived on her own, she could act more freely. Besides keeping some for herself, she prepared everything else to be sold in the black market.
She also traded for some antiques at times. As a wealthy person in the past, she had some knowledge of antiques, and she could acquire valuable antiques at low prices.
Since she was often away from the village, she didn’t know about the rumors that had been spreading for some time. Of course, the main reason was her reduced contact with the educated youths after she moved out. No one specifically informed her of the situation, assuming she must have already known.
As for Gu Xiangnan, he was a man, and he certainly wouldn’t care about such things. No one would intentionally bring up this matter to him either. Moreover, Cheng Yujiao had started clinging to him again, and to avoid her, he rarely left home except for work. With Li Yi around, Cheng Yujiao couldn’t easily come to his place, so he was also unaware of the rumors.
Chapter 184 – Reporting to the Police
As the rumors about Su Man became increasingly unfavorable and because she didn’t bother to explain, people started accepting them as true. Slowly, the rumors escalated, claiming that she was involved with several men and engaged in promiscuous behavior.
Lu Xia was puzzled and wondered why Su Man didn’t take any action to address the situation. Didn’t she care about her reputation?
Then, one afternoon after work, as Lu Xia and Jiang Junmo were walking home, they suddenly heard that something was happening in the village, and a group of people was rushing to the village committee.
Lu Xia quickly dragged Jiang Junmo along to see what was going on.
To their surprise, they found that all the educated youths from the village were present.
The center of attention this time was Su Man!
Lu Xia was astonished. Had Su Man finally decided to deal with the rumors?
However, she soon realized that she had been too optimistic when she saw two policemen with big hats accompanying Su Man.
Yes, there were two policemen by Su Man’s side!
And from the discussions around them, Lu Xia learned what had happened.
These days, although Su Man was often not in the village, she still had to go to work. Every day, she would finish cutting the pigweed early before leaving.
Today, when Su Man finished cutting the pigweed, she encountered a middle-aged bachelor from the village.
The bachelor’s name was Chen Laoshi, but he wasn’t actually old; he was just in his thirties. Since he was the only one in his family, he hadn’t married yet due to his lack of abilities. But he managed to support himself, even though he often struggled to have enough food. Still, he enjoyed a comfortable and carefree life.
Lu Xia didn’t know this person, so he probably didn’t stand out much. According to what she heard from the villagers, he was usually quite honest.
However, this seemingly honest man had unexpectedly confronted Su Man today.
In a condescending tone, Chen Laoshi said to Su Man, “Although your reputation isn’t great, I don’t mind. I’m willing to marry you, as long as you behave yourself after marrying me and stop flirting with others. Then, we can live a good life together and have a child.”
Upon hearing this, Su Man was dumbfounded, thinking that this man was harassng her. Filled with anger, she immediately grabbed a stone and threw it at him.
But Chen Laoshi, who believed his attitude was decent, never expected to be attacked out of nowhere. Unable to bear this humiliation, he rushed forward, intending to fight back and show her how powerful he was.
Although Chen Laoshi was a man, his chronic hunger weakened his physical strength. On the other hand, Su Man was still a woman, and she didn’t have a strength advantage either. Thus, they were evenly matched for a moment.
However, Su Man was determined to defend herself. When she realized she couldn’t overpower him physically, she seized the opportunity while he was distracted and picked up another stone from the ground. She fiercely threw it at his head, directly knocking him unconscious.
Afterward, Su Man became more and more furious and terrified when she thought about it. She quickly tied Chen Laoshi up with dry grass and immediately went to the town to report to the police.
By the time the police arrived, the villagers had already discovered Chen Laoshi, untied him, and he had regained consciousness. It seemed that the stone hadn’t caused serious damage to his head.
However, he was still fuming with anger and demanded that someone take him to the village committee to seek justice from the village officials.
When the village chief and others heard the details of the incident, Su Man arrived with the police.
Seeing the police, the village chief’s legs almost gave out from fear.
After all, these days, there were rarely any reports to the police about murder and arson incidents in the countryside.
Moreover, such an incident in the village, coupled with reporting to the police, would also affect the village’s reputation. At the very least, the chances of being selected as the advanced brigade by the county government in the future would be slim.
Thinking of this, the village chief looked at Su Man with resentment in his eyes.
But now was not the time for that, so he had to brace himself to deal with the police.