In Shangxi village.
Shi Qingluo slowly opened her eyes and was greeted by a small farmhouse.
She had a terrible headache and many memories that did not belong to her surfaced.
Before she regained her senses, someone suddenly grabbed her arm tightly.
"Damned girl, you still want to fake your death in front of me? You are a jinx. Even if you die today, I will still send your corpse to that county."
After that sarcastic woman finished speaking, she angrily raised her hand and wanted to slap her in the face.
Shi Qingluo instinctively raised her hand and grabbed the hand that was about to slap her.
Because of these additional memories, she instantly understood what had happened.
She looked at the woman coldly and said, "I'm not going. That marriage was decided by you. If you want to go, you may."
It was saddening that this woman happened to be the biological mother of Shengyuan, Mdm Niu.
Back then, she was in a dystocia giving birth to Shengyuan. Hence, she treated her as a jinx. She always abused her and treated her harshly.
When Shengyuan was five years old, a priest came to the village and built a Taoist temple halfway up the mountain. He needed some children aged five to twelve to be Daotong.
Every month, these families could collect a hundred cash from this temple.
Shengyuan was sent to the temple by her parents until two months ago, the Taoist temple suddenly exploded, killing the priest and three other children.
Shengyuan escaped this misfortune as she went down the mountain to fetch water.
Her parents arranged a marriage for her after she returned home. It turned out that her fiancé was the young master of the wealthy Wu family in the town.
Shengyuan was honest and kind. She really believed Mdm Niu's claim that she owed her and had to find her a good marriage.
But last night, she accidentally overheard her parents' conversation when she was in the bathroom.
It turned out that the wealthy Young Master Wu had suddenly fallen seriously ill recently. He was so sick that he could not get out of bed. His time was about to come.
Young Master Wu was very adored at home and the Wu family could not bear to let him go without a wife.
Therefore, they wanted him to get married before his death, so that his wife could die with him on that day. Hence, he would not be lonely in the afterworld.
The Wu family also knew that this wasn't an easy matter. Hence, they released the news that they were willing to spend a hundred taels of silver on the betrothal gift.
They would follow the usual procedure for a marriage and bury his wife together with him. As long as the bride's family agreed, the government would not be able to interfere.
If Young Master Wu was fine, countless families would have rushed to marry their daughter here.
However, the bride had to sacrifice herself as his wife. Therefore, no crazy family would want to marry their daughters here.
Coincidentally, Shengyuan had such crazy parents.
For the sake of a hundred taels of silver, they don't mind ruining her future. Such a family was rare. In fact, they were the only ones in the entire village.
Today, the Wu family sent someone to the Shi family. They were fetching the bride to town to prepare for the wedding the next day.
Of course, after Shengyuan found out the truth, she wasn't willing to go.
Hence, Shengyuan's biological mother forcefully dragged her away. She even gave a few slaps and beat her on the ground.
While she was trying to dodge, her head accidentally hit a sharp stone. Shi Qingluo's soul took over her body when she succumbed to her injuries.
Mdm Niu did not expect her honest and weak daughter to have the gut to grab her hand and resist.
She was so angry that her face turned black. "Damn girl, you don't have a choice."
Her other hand reached out to pull her, wanting to drag her out of the main door.
The Wu family's carriage was waiting there.
Shi Qingluo avoided her hands and broke free her other wrist from her.
As Mdm Niu retreated, she immediately rushed into the woodshed.
She quickly found a few small black balls scattered on the ground at the corner of the woodshed and walked back to the courtyard.
Mdm Niu wasn't the only one in the courtyard. Shengyuan's grandparents, eldest uncle's family, second uncle's family, and fourth uncle were all present.
However, they turned a blind eye. Her fourth uncle, who had already passed the tongsheng1 entrance exam, was also the mastermind behind this marriage.
Otherwise, it was impossible for Shengyuan's parents, who had lived in the village their entire life, to know about the Wu family.
Last night, Shengyuan had heard Mdm Niu and her husband mention that after receiving a hundred taels of silver, they would give her fourth uncle fifty taels as allowance for his scholar entrance exam, and reserve thirty taels for the family's expenditure.
Therefore, no one in the Shi family was innocent in selling her away.
At this moment, Mdm Niu rushed over with a cane in her hand.
"Damn girl, you should count yourself lucky to marry into the Wu family. Don't be a jinx who doesn't cherish your fortune."
Ever since she gave birth to her, she had given birth to three more daughters in a row. As a result, their family didn't have a son yet and continued to be humiliated.
She had always thought that this daughter was a jinx who frequently cursed her.
She really believed that this jinx was very fortunate to be part of Young Master Wu's funeral.
Shi Qingluo rolled her eyes. "Since marrying into the Wu family is such a great fortune, why don't you marry yourself over? I'll let you have such fortune."
This b*tch said it very comfortably.
The people sitting in the courtyard also did not expect Shi Qingluo to say such words. It was simply unfilial.
Mdm Niu choked. This wretched girl's words were too vicious. If other people knew about it, how would she be able to live her life with dignity?
She was extremely angry and picked up the cane to whip Shi Qingluo. "You're a jinx. How dare you say such nonsense? I'll beat you to death."
Shi Qingluo was not Shengyuan, who had to be filial in light of the kinship. She wouldn't hide even if she was beaten up.
Shi Qingluo nimbly dodged Mdm Niu's cane. The two of them chased around in the courtyard.
At this moment, an old granny from the Wu family, specially sent to pick her up, frowned.
"If we delay any longer, it'll be too late to return to the city."
Old Lady Shi smiled apologetically at first upon hearing her words.
She turned around and berated Mdm Niu with a sullen face, "The Wu family's carriage is still waiting outside. Don't dawdle and make others anxious."
That's when Mdm Niu decided to stop. She turned around and glared at her man. "Why aren't you coming over to help?"
Shi's third brother, who was originally sitting, stood up with a fierce look on his face.
He looked at Shi Qingluo impatiently. "Bastard, are you coming over yourself, or should I come over to catch you?"
Shi Qingluo knew that Shengyuan's family would not let her off for a hundred taels of silver.
In ancient times, filial piety was greater than the heavens. Children do not have the right to object to their parents' decision for a marriage.
Even if the parents sold their daughter, it wasn't a problem, let alone breaking the law. Worse come to worse, the outsiders would just pass a few negative comments.
Actually, Shengyuan had already sneaked out in the morning to beg the village chief and the clan elders.
However, they told her that this was a family matter and couldn't interfere. They even took the initiative to send her back to the Shi family.
They tried to persuade her family to reconsider their decisions but were rebutted by Mdm Niu. Furthermore, Shengyuan's fourth uncle was a tongsheng2, so they couldn't care much and left.
After returning home, Shengyuan's excellent parents were so furious that they beat her and locked her up.
They only released her when the Wu family came.
Shi Qingluo always believed that she should rely on herself instead of others and be independent in all matters.
Therefore, she had come up with a plan to save herself.
tongsheng - An honourable rank given by the royals to male students who did well in the exams.