OMF V1C109 Getting Away with It

At the teahouse, Madam Zhong faced Li Bo and his two lackeys, her eyes blazing with fury. “You killed my husband!”
Faced with her accusation, Li Bo’s servants both took a step back. Shit! This wasn’t supposed to happen!
“That …” Xiao Guo looked at the other one. “It wasn’t us!”
“How was that not you? Everyone here saw!” Madam Zhong motioned to the women in the back of the room.
Xiao Guo gulped, but Xiao Nuo didn’t want to give up so easily. “We might have punched him once but obviously, one wouldn’t die just because of that.”
“You punched him and now he’s dead! How can you say one would not die because of that?” She didn’t want to argue with those men but those three had come to make trouble and her husband was dead now. She didn’t know who they were but she could guess that the obese man’s identity was extraordinary considering how he dressed and behaved. She had to chase them out now or this would get even worse. She didn’t even dare to think of making them pay for what they had done to her husband.
She only hoped that she could save herself and her son and avoid further trouble for now. It wasn’t what her husband deserved but what could a lone widow do? Especially if she had only come to the capital for a few months? She didn’t know anyone besides her husband’s family. She had no way to make them pay however much she would have liked to do so.
“That …” Xiao Nuo looked at his master. There was really no way to counter what she said.
Li Bo pressed his lips together. “This lady, how can you make such irresponsible remarks? Has anyone actually seen my servants punching your husband?” He looked at the women hiding at the back of the room. He had seen most of them at some sort of gathering before and knew their husbands. Would any of them dare to rat him out?
Unfortunately, Li Bo was right with his assumption. None of the women dared to speak up. They liked the Zhongs but not enough to endanger their own families. Li Bo smiled and looked at Madam Zhong smugly. “You see? It’s all your misconception, Madam. But it’s alright. I won’t blame you. You just lost your husband. It’s expected for you to be a little … addled right now. I’ll give you some time to adjust to your new circumstances. After that, I’ll return and we can calmly talk about how you’ll compensate me for the loss of my horses.” He smiled, waved at his two servants and turned around, leaving the teahouse behind.
Madam Zhong looked at the guests accusingly. All of them had gotten to know her and her husband over the last few weeks. Some had come to the teahouse every single day and talked to them and their son for a good time. But now nobody stepped forward to help.
Madam Zhong shook her head and knelt down beside her husband again, smoothing his hair that had just started to gray. What could she do about it, though? If they didn’t want to, she could plead however much she wanted. They still wouldn’t do it. She could only silently bury her husband and hope that that man wouldn’t remember her and her son.
Unfortunately, Li Bo was dead set on ruining her. After leaving the teahouse, he sat inside his carriage complaining. “Aiya, all this trouble for one small child! You better be right about him being able to boost my business, Xiao Nuo!”
The servant nodded eagerly. “Don’t worry, boss! It’s definitely accurate. That Zhong Gang had a good and steady income with his restaurant before but the teahouse became an instant success and even furthered his earnings from the restaurant after some days. The child is the only explanation. There’s nothing else that makes the teahouse special and the people I asked all said that the women mostly talked about the children. So having that boy in your restaurant would definitely help you a lot, boss!”
“Mn.” Li Bo nodded sedately. “I’m just afraid that woman won’t give him up so easily. And with how good their business has been until now she might be able to pay enough. Even the justice court can’t do anything about it then.”
The servants exchanged a glance but didn’t know how to help.
Li Bo pondered and finally waved at them. “Go spread the message that they’re at odds with me. Let’s see how long these guests will dare to go there. If business dwindles down she won’t have any other possibility but to comply with my demands. Heh heh.” He laughed and rubbed his thighs. He could already see all those coins entering his pockets. And getting that boy would probably not be difficult when the family started losing money.
And yes, the next day his dirty scheme already seemed to come to fruition: Some of the women were having a guilty conscience because they didn’t help and wouldn’t have dared to come anyway but the rest had been scared away by the rumors flying around. Especially since they knew how true those rumors were. If Li Bo didn’t think much about killing a law-abiding citizen in broad daylight, would he be any more merciful to their families? Certainly not!
Madam Zhong looked at all the empty tables and sighed. Jing Yi, who had still followed her to work even though Madam Zhong was afraid he might suffer harm if that man came back, looked up at his mother with a worried gaze.
“Why is there nobody here today, mommy?”
“Who knows? They all knew your father so maybe they are sad he’s gone now and wouldn’t be able to take their grief if they came here.”
Jing Yi nodded and gripped her hand, smiling sweetly at her. Madam Zhong smiled back, though her smile was strained, and patted his head. “It’s alright, Jing’er. Your father … Who knows? He might be reborn as a really important person.” After all, hadn’t that daoist master told them that souls really reincarnated?
After burying her husband’s body the previous evening this was the thought she clung to. He had passed away but his soul lived on and would someday return. Maybe … Maybe they would see each other again in another life.
Thankfully, Madam Zhong had no idea that that was already impossible.
“Well, let’s just hope the guests miss us and sister Nie Huang’s tea and return soon.”
Jing Yi nodded but the only person to run over to the teahouse that day was Shao Hai who wanted to see if Jing Yi was alright. It seemed like hard times were imminent for Madam Zhong and her son and they had no way of countering the culprit. They could only wait and see and hope that the situation would miraculously solve itself.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s