Aerial Rain
Translating Web Novel

TGCF Ch 6 – Want Me to Go Back? No Way!

Xia Mian turned around and went downstairs to join the local gossip group at the entrance of the apartment building.

“What’s the matter? She won’t open the door?” someone said sympathetically.

“Yeah, she’s likely too embarrassed to face anyone,” Xia Mian glanced at the window on the second floor and spoke louder, “After all, now everyone in the neighborhood knows she’s a mistress and a child abuser.”

“What are you planning to do now?” A middle-aged woman known for her love for gossip couldn’t contain her curiosity.

Xia Mian replied, “Sue in court, of course. The police station has already opened the case, and once Xiao Feng’s medical examination report is out, I’ll go to court. At that point, the police can’t do much; just find a lawyer and go to court, and if it comes to it, sentence her. If necessary, I’ll directly sue the Municipal Procuratorate. Let’s see if she can still bribe her way out.”

“How did Xiao Feng’s medical examination go?” asked a white-haired elderly lady who lived downstairs. “If you need to speed it up, I’ll have our Xiao Bai push for it.”

The elderly lady’s surname was Mi, a retired high school teacher, thus she was known simply as Teacher Mi in the compound. Her husband, Engineer Chen, was a senior engineer at Huagang before retiring. The couple were respected figures in the compound, and the Xiao Bai she mentioned was the son of their daughter. The original ‘Xia Mian’ had heard a lot about him but had never seen him in person.

Apparently, the grandson was a genius, a 23-year-old medical doctor who returned from studying abroad. Originally a native of the provincial capital Yan City, he chose to work at a hospital in this small city out of concern for his maternal grandparents.

Ever since this genius moved into the residential compound, he had become the most desired marriage target within a radius of a dozen miles. As a result, an influx of young women dressed to impress began to appear in the compound.

But that had nothing to do with Xia Mian. For her, having a doctor downstairs was merely convenient. Still… she always felt she was overlooking something.

But Xia Mian wasn’t one to trouble herself with unforeseen matters. Seeing everyone’s concern for Xiao Feng, she showed them the medicine in her hand, “Aside from his face and arms, he has bruises all over his body, and the most severe issue is moderate malnutrition, which needs careful attention.”

No matter how many times it was mentioned, Xia Mian’s anger remained unabated, especially because: “That vile woman actually used needles to prick Xiao Feng’s mouth!”

“What?!”

“That’s too cruel.”

“What a beast!”

Everyone voiced their condemnation.

Aunt Liu was furious, “She’s a beast! I heard Xiao Feng crying before and knocked on the door to tell her off for hitting the child like that, but I never imagined she would…”

“Exactly, she deserves to be cut a thousand times!”

“If she dares to go out, she’ll be drowned in spit!”

The crowd was filled with righteous indignation. Xia Mian looked at the fleeting figure disappearing in the second-floor window and sneered inwardly. The law might not deal with you, but what about public opinion?

Won’t let her in? Then she’ll just have to spread the word. There was even a ready-made audience right by the door — only a fool wouldn’t use them.

Even though there was no internet in this era, interpersonal relationships are much closer. People living in the same residential compound almost all know each other, and neighbors in the same building are closer than relatives. Being despised by your neighbors and treated like a street rat was not a small matter in this era.

The Zhang family still wanted to pretend to be virtuous? Well, that’s not up to them to decide!

“Such a small child,” Teacher Mi sighed, her heart aching as she gently touched the child who had been quietly nestled in Xia Mian’s arms.

Xiao Feng’s fear seemed to be limited to younger women and was a bit shy towards the old lady’s actions. He glanced sideways at Xia Mian, hesitant.

Xia Mian touched his head and softly said, “This is Grandma Mi, say hello.”

Xiao Feng obediently called, “Hello Grandma Mi.” His voice was not loud and still timid, but everyone knew his ordeal and could only feel sympathy for him.

“Ah, such a good boy.”

“Indeed, and to think people said this child was naughty and troublesome.” Someone mocked, “I was really deceived before. Thinking about it now, when has this child ever caused trouble?”

“Right, children with stepmothers have a hard time. Who would have thought Huang Xiaojuan could be so malicious?”

“Zhang Qiming doesn’t care either. It really is true that once there’s a stepmother, there’s a stepfather.”

“Luckily, his aunt came. Otherwise, who knows how much suffering this child would have endured?”

At this point, someone worriedly asked, “What is your plan now? Are you leaving? What will happen to this child if you go?”

Xiao Feng understood what it meant and immediately looked at Xia Mian. His trembling little hands were tightly clasped together and his eyes filled with unease, yet he did not say a word.

Seeing this, everyone felt heartbroken. It was children’s nature to be capricious and emotional, but this child, not yet five years old, was so cautious.

Xia Mian firmly stroked his back, “Don’t worry, Auntie won’t leave Xiao Feng. We will always stay forever, alright?”

The boy let out a sigh of relief and showed a big smile, revealing a row of small white teeth.

Xia Mian was stunned; this was the first time she saw this child’s smile. Perhaps because of the ordeals he had to endure, this smile was even more precious.

Xia Mian kissed his little face, and others quickly changed the subject, “Xia Mian, where is your family from? How did you come to their house?”

“I’m from Mingxi County,” Xia Mian made a sad expression, “My dad passed away early. Since my sister was killed by them four years ago, my mom fell seriously ill and also passed away at the beginning of this year. I’m the only one left in my family, so the relatives discussed who would take care of me. I was supposed to be with my grandmother, but then my former brother-in-law said I could come to the city to study, where the conditions are better, and I could also attend a better school.”

“My grandmother thought that education is important. Since I would attend high school, I could stay in the dormitory during school terms. The money left by my parents is also enough for me to complete university, and we still have a house. I wouldn’t be a burden to anyone; they just need to look after me a bit.”

Upon hearing this, the neighbors exchanged glances with each other, and one of them asked, “Your brother-in-law, Zhang Qiming, has he always been close to your family?”

“It was normal. In the beginning, right after my sister’s death, he came to our house and cried until he passed out. Later on, he would send gifts during festivals and holidays, but since we lived far away, we’ve had less contact in the last two years.”

As Xia Mian spoke, she rifled through her memories, and couldn’t help but feel amazed. No wonder people had a good impression of Zhang Qiming; it was hard to find fault in his actions.

But even the most cunning fox will eventually show its tail.

“So, you came with him?” someone asked.

“I mainly wanted to come to the city for school,” Xia Mian explained, “I didn’t plan to trouble them too much. After school starts, I will live in the dormitory. But my former brother-in-law mentioned that finding a school would be somewhat troublesome.”

In fact, the original ‘Xia Mian’ longed for the big city. A teenage girl in her rebellious phase, constantly hearing how wonderful big cities are from the eldest daughter of her second uncle’s family and how backward and poor the small county town of Mingxi was, naturally wanted to escape.

Moreover, her second uncle was indeed eyeing her property, so when Zhang Qiming casually mentioned the matter of the school, ‘Xia Mian’ immediately rushed over.

But she ended up entering the tiger’s den after escaping the wolf’s den. Otherwise, why would Zhang Qiming’s ‘casual remark’ be so timely?

Thinking this, Xia Mian suddenly said, “Teacher Mi, how much would it cost to transfer to Huagang High School? A few thousand yuan?”

Teacher Mi was startled, “Transfer depends on the grades. If the grades are good, you just need to pay a few hundred yuan in tuition fees. Who said it requires a few thousand?”

“A few thousand yuan?” Aunt Liu was surprised, “Are the teachers in that school made of gold? That’s so expensive!”

Xia Mian said, “But Huang Xiaojuan said it would cost several thousand, and because she wasn’t sure how much, she took my passbook and pin, saying she would handle it…”

“That’s nonsense,” Aunt Liu tapped her cane, frustrated, “Silly girl, how could you just give anyone your parents’ passbook?”

“She’s right, you shouldn’t give your passbook to just anyone,” said Teacher Mi.

“I gave it in front of my former brother-in-law, trusting his character. Plus, I didn’t know before that Huang Xiaojuan was abusing Xiao Feng,” Xia Mian sighed in exasperation. “The wrongdoing they did to my sister was only revealed to me by my mom before she passed away.”

“My mom never raised a fuss because she thought it would be better for Xiao Feng if we didn’t have a rift with them. She also hoped they would treat him well out of guilt, but who would expect..”

“Only decent human beings would try to make amends out of guilt,” said Teacher Mi. “For people without conscience, there is no guilt, only oppression and exploitation.”

Aunt Liu was more blunt, “They only find the child harder to tolerate because of their guilt. If he was ruined, they could conveniently avoid any future troubles.

“Do you know how much she has spent your money?” Aunt Liu couldn’t help but worry.

“I don’t know. The passbook is with her, and I’ve told her the pin,” Xia Mian said. She then consulted, “I remember how much money is in the account. If it’s missing, would that be considered theft? Can we report her to the police?”

At this moment, the window on the second floor clicked open, and everyone instinctively looked up to see a crack opening in the Zhang family’s window.

“You should probably head back,” Sister Wang said with a laugh.

“Why go back? Let’s chat some more.” After shutting them out, why should they go back just because Huang Xiaojuan calls them back? Who does she think she is!

Besides, most of the people who gathered here were local loudspeakers, full-time gossipers, and chatterboxes. What a rare opportunity! Not to mention, gossiping in the crowd was quite exhilarating!

Xia Mian continued to inquire, “How much money has to be stolen before it results in jail time?”

“Seems like it’s over two hundred,” Teacher Mi said.

Xia Mian said, “They say that harsh environments breed crafty people, and now I’ve seen it for myself. Huang Xiaojuan’s family is just too poor, so poor that they’ve lost all their morals.”

“Is their family condition really that bad?” People immediately became curious.

“Of course!” Xia Mian said. “Even worse than in the village.”

Xia Mian then proceeded to provide the enthusiastic audience with vivid details about Huang Xiaojuan’s family background, which she had obtained by reading the novel. Because of how detestable they were, she remembered the details quite clearly.

“Her dad was one of the educated youths sent to the countryside. He had never gotten a job after returning to the city and thought running a private business was beneath him, so he had been living off his elderly parents.”

“Her mom was a country girl he married, shrewd and fierce, keeping a tight leash on him, and was smart enough to follow him back to the city. Including Huang Xiaojuan, the couple had five children, with the family heavily favoring boys over girls…”

“The seven of them live in a cramped old house of just over forty square meters… With no stable income, the whole family has no moral bottom line when it comes to money…”

This fresh gossip was very entertaining. Conveniently ignoring the constant opening and closing of the window on the second floor, the crowd listened with great enthusiasm.

Xia Mian concluded, “If her family conditions were good, would she be Zhang Qiming’s mistress? But she has a city residence registration and is good at pretending. I’ve heard adults say that Zhang Qiming probably wanted to climb up status by marrying her.”

With this explanation, combined with the detailed situation of the Huang family that Xia Mian provided, everyone immediately speculated about the cause and effect. Zhang Qiming was someone who cared about appearances and liked to pretend to be dignified. Though he was just an ordinary factory worker, he could be mistaken for an official at first glance. Huang Xiaojuan always hinted at having good family conditions and city registration. The two people, both harboring ulterior motives, ended up together…

On the second floor, Huang Xiaojuan’s face turned green with anger, regretting her actions. She originally thought the girl would have realized Qiming’s influence after seeing her smoothly come out from the police station. If Xia Mian had a brain, she should have known who she needed to be obedient to if she wanted to continue staying in the city. Unexpectedly, the girl turned out to be even more daring!

Not only did she continue to smear their family’s reputation, but she also boldly mingled with the crowd in the yard, chatting without a hint of timidity. Even more baffling, how on earth did she know so much?!

Huang Xiaojuan listened as Xia Mian aired out all those details she had desperately tried to hide. Gritting her teeth, she was about to swallow her pride and call out to them.

Suddenly, someone in the crowd exclaimed, “Oh, Qiming is back.”

 

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  • Greetings, Ninth Uncle

3 thoughts on “TGCF Ch 6 – Want Me to Go Back? No Way!”

  1. Qiming is back…. I’m a little scared about him….

    But can xia Mian stay with them anymore after this? Id expect no. How will she get little feng to safety if she has to go to school?

  2. I came here after seeing it in the last 2 updated of MSRV capters..
    And it’s so addicting 😳😳

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