Chapter 305 – Already Torn Apart
Zhuang Hongmei had been taken aback by Su Man’s swift decision to report to the police, but when she saw her return, she breathed a small sigh of relief. Still, she refused to admit her actions.
“It really wasn’t me, I didn’t take it. She’s falsely accusing me!”
However, others were already starting to doubt her story.
Even people from the village chimed in, seeming to remember something, “A while back, I noticed Chen Er’s wife frequently going to the village entrance while heavily pregnant. It seemed odd; who would have thought she was blocking the mailman?”
“Yeah, I noticed it too. She claimed she was taking a stroll for her health, but why would she go to the village entrance every day? Especially in such cold weather.”
“Indeed, that’s heartless. No wonder Educated Youth Su got angry.”
“Yes, this concerns her whole life!”
Hearing the villagers’ remarks, Zhuang Hongmei grew even more anxious. She glanced at Su Man, who regarded her like trash. Somehow, she thought of those educated youths who had been accepted into universities. They could return to the city soon and have bright futures. They would become admired university students.
Meanwhile, she remained stuck in the countryside, her prospects dim. This contrast left her deeply uncomfortable.
In the end, for reasons she couldn’t fathom, Zhuang Hongmei decided to come clean. “Yes, I took it. So what?”
Su Man’s gaze turned icy upon hearing this. “Where’s the admission notice?”
“It’s gone!” Zhuang Hongmei had given up any pretense, seemingly relishing the image of Su Man’s displeasure.
She even burst into laughter. “I tore it up as soon as I got it! Hahaha! What can you do to me now? Without the admission notice, you can’t go to university either. You’re stuck in the countryside like me for the rest of your life!”
The crowd fell into silence after her words.
No one knew quite what to say. Some felt sorry for Su Man, while others saw Zhuang Hongmei as malicious. Regardless of the opinions, Su Man had fallen into a big pit this time, with Zhuang Hongmei destroying her admission notice.
Seeing Zhuang Hongmei’s arrogance, Su Man seemed to realize this as well. Instead of resorting to violence, she stared at her expressionlessly and said, “Do you think I’m helpless against you? Do you think destroying the admission notice will prevent me from reporting this to the police? You’re mistaken. Once I involve the police, I wonder how many years you’ll get for deliberately damaging someone else’s admission notice. You might spend your next lifetime in prison.”
Without waiting for her response, Su Man turned away, pushing the bicycle to leave.
This time, no one stopped her from leaving. Everyone realized that Zhuang Hongmei had gone too far, and they had no grounds to intervene.
The village chief sighed, feeling disheartened that their village was going to be “famous” again.
Meanwhile, Zhuang Hongmei was in shock. She hadn’t expected her actions, done in a fit of anger against Su Man, to escalate to this point. She didn’t realize how frightening she had appeared just now. She began to fear that if she didn’t intervene, she might actually end up in jail.
In her hysteria, she shouted, “Come back, don’t go! Su Man, come back!”
But Su Man acted as though she couldn’t hear her, continuing to push the bicycle away.
Seeing this, Mrs. Chen wanted to stop her. No matter how bad Zhuang Hongmei was, she was still pregnant with her eldest grandson, so she had to give birth to a grandson.
However, there was someone even quicker than her.
Just as Su Man was about to get on the bicycle, a small figure suddenly appeared in front of her and knelt down…
Su Man was momentarily stunned. Upon closer inspection, she saw a child who looked to be about three or four years old, probably a girl. She appeared thin and gaunt, with a dusky complexion and dirty clothes. The most striking feature was her large eyes.
Chapter 306 – Zhaodi
Su Man hadn’t fully grasped the situation when she heard the girl say, “Could you not take my mom away?”
Su Man was momentarily stunned, instantly recognizing who the girl was.
By now, the villagers had also realized.
“Well, isn’t this Chen Er’s eldest daughter? She’s grown up so much?”
“Yeah, she’s so thin. I heard she’s been doing household chores from a young age.”
“This is tragic. Such a young child is already begging for her mother’s sake.”
Su Man hesitated for a moment, looking into the child’s pleading eyes. Despite the child’s plea, she remained resolute. She looked straight at the girl and said, “Your mother stole my admission notice and ruined my future. She deserves the appropriate punishment.”
Having said that, Su Man ignored her and prepared to walk past her.
But then she heard the little girl say, “The thing is still here!”
Su Man halted in her tracks, her curiosity piqued. “What are you saying?”
Seeing Su Man stop, the girl thought there might be hope. She quickly said, “The thing my mom stole is still here. She secretly hid it. I’ve seen her take it out and look at it secretly. I know where it is. I’ll get it and give it back to you. Will you stop being mad at my mom then?”
Su Man wasn’t sure if the girl was telling the truth, but she felt a glimmer of hope. It could save her from a lot of trouble. So, she gave the girl a reassuring smile.
“If what you bring me is what I’m looking for, then I won’t be mad anymore.”
The little girl finally smiled. “Okay, I’ll get it for you!”
With that, she hurried away with quick, small steps.
Meanwhile, Zhuang Hongmei finally understood the situation. She hadn’t realized that her own daughter would turn against her. She shouted after her, “Zhaodi, you disobedient girl, come back here!”
However, the little girl quickly disappeared from view.
Lu Xia and the others stood in place, exchanging puzzled glances, not understanding what was happening.
Soon enough, they saw the little figure stumble back.
Breathless, she handed a letter envelope to Su Man. “Is this it?”
Seeing the envelope, Su Man had a hunch it might be the one. After all, she had seen what other admission notice looked like before.
Looking at Zhuang Hongmei’s agitated expression upon seeing the envelope, Su Man was quite sure she was right.
Upon opening it, she saw her name written on the letter. It was her admission notice.
Su Man finally let out a sigh of relief.
Even the village chief and others gathered around, surprised to see that it was indeed Su Man’s admission notice.
“Turns out it’s real. Who would’ve thought we had another university student in our village!”
“Yeah, it was nearly lost. Chen Er’s wife is truly malicious!”
“Absolutely, she even lied to Educated Youth Su about tearing up the admission notice. And now, even at this point, she shows no remorse!”
“It’s a good thing this girl Zhaodi noticed it!”
Meanwhile, the group of educated youths also gathered around, and Su Man didn’t hold back, showing them the letter.
Lu Xia looked at the university name on the acceptance letter: Beijing Foreign Trade University, majoring in English.
It was a decent university, and she remembered that this university would undergo reforms in the later years, making it a prestigious institution. It seemed Su Man had performed quite well in her exams.
After congratulating her, they finally remembered the matter with Zhuang Hongmei.
Su Man put away the admission notice and saw the little girl, who had been watching her eagerly, as well as the resentful Zhuang Hongmei.
Addressing Zhuang Hongmei directly, she said, “This is the last time. I’ll spare you for your daughter’s sake. But I believe you won’t have a good future from now on.”
Finally, she cast a regretful look at the frail young girl beside her. “Your daughter truly is pitiable!”
Zhaodi – If the first-born child was a girl, it was common up until the 1970s for parents to give her the name Zhaodi (招弟) — literally meaning “invite younger brother,” which indicated a preference for male children.