The next day, Zhong Cheng came with his carriage and two baskets of duck eggs, asking Mrs. Liang if she wanted him to help sow seeds.
They hadn’t even exchanged a few sentences when Mrs. Zhang came to theirs, “Mrs. Liang, and who is this? The husband you found for Mo Ling?”
This angered Mrs. Liang, who knew she was to blame for the rumours.
“Shut your trap and get out of my house!”
Mrs. Zhang retorted coldly, “I wasn’t the one who seduced your daughter!”
Zhong Cheng asked Mrs. Liang, “What happened with Mo Ling?”
Mrs. Zhang replied before she could, “Nothing much, she just wanted a husband and got into an ambiguous relationship with the teacher. If only her mother had let her marry!”
Her words became more and more despicable, and Mrs. Liang was so mad she started beating her up. Mrs. Zhang started screaming, “You can’t teach your daughter well, and now you’re attacking someone else? If you just-”
Zhong Cheng had roughly figured out what was going on and pushed her out of the door, “How could you besmirch the good name of a young lady like that?”
Mrs. Zhang twisted her body to get out of Zhong Cheng’s grasp, “She hasn’t taken a fancy to you at all! Her mother wants her to marry closer so she can serve her at her beck and call.”
Mrs. Liang started smacking her with the broom. Because Mrs. Zhang was restrained by Zhong Cheng, she had to take the hits.
However, she wasn’t willing to take this easily and shouted at the top of her lungs after escaping, “The Mo family’s daughter had another man, and started beating me up when I found out the truth. How is that right?”
The Mo family got instantly surrounded by a crowd of people, and no one saw Mo Ling slip out and run to the pond. On the way, she encountered Mo Yan, who had just finished her morning run. Mo Yan thought she just wasn’t in a good mood and wanted to clear her mind by walking along the pond, so didn’t stop her.
Then, she saw Mo Ling walk up to the well and unhesitatingly jump into it. Mo Yan did a double take before confirming, Mo Ling jumped into the well.
She ran along the pond, shouting, “Help! Help! My sister!”
But because of the adrenaline, her voice was blocked and became more like a whisper. No one in the crowd was able to hear her.
Mo Yan saw Lu Junming across the pond and cried out for him. Her voice was still quiet and choked, but by some miracle, he heard her. Seeing her frantically wave for him, Lu Junming felt something was wrong and immediately ran out.
“Yan’er, what happened?”
Mo Yan choked out between tears, “My sister, she-she-she jumped into the well.”
Lu Junming quickly ran towards the well to see Mo Ling down in it. Thankfully, the water was below head height, and it was too small to sit down in, so Mo Ling was still safe for now.
He yelled towards his house, “Grandpa, grab rope, someone’s fallen into the well!”
His yell was loud, and not only his grandpa heard it, but also the crowd surrounding the Mo family. Someone said, “I think I saw Mo Ling head towards the pond.”
Mrs. Liang didn’t argue with Mrs. Zhang anymore and immediately ran towards the pond. However, because she had expended a lot of energy during the argument, she started coughing after running a few steps.
Dagan also heard, and ran over with a long pole. Zhong Cheng ran to the pond as well, and the others followed them.
When they arrived, Sir Lu was already there with the rope. Despite his advanced age and missing eye, he was actually very adroit.
He unspooled the rope and held one end, telling Lu Junming to feed the other end down to her. Lu Junming went down as well to take her back up, while ZHong Cheng and Dagan helped pull the two of them back up.
Mo Yan sat there, not daring to look. Mrs. Liang had recovered from her coughing fit and rushed over, asking, “Is it Mo Ling?”
Mo Yan nodded her head. She also sat there and broke down, “If only you could’ve sorted it through and decided not to jump! That Mr. Tian didn’t really like you, he didn’t treat you well at all. The dowry I asked for was just a test, so he wouldn’t take advantage of you…”
Zhong Cheng turned back and said, “Mrs. Liang, don’t talk about this now!”
Mrs. Liang slumped her head while drying her eyes.
That was when the people heaving on the rope pulled Mo Ling up, with the rope on her waist. Lu Junming supported her from behind.
The well wasn’t deep, and someone in as good shape as Lu Junming could get back up without needing to use rope at all.
Zhong Cheng set her down, and Sir Lu untied the rope. Lu Junming climbed back up, his white robe stained by the algae on the well.
Mo Ling didn’t have her head under the water and was just soaked by it. The well’s water was cold, and she was so freezing her lips turned purple.
Zhong Cheng carried her back to her home, and Mrs. Liang hurriedly followed after her. When they arrived, Mrs. Zhang stood at her home’s entrance and only went in when she saw them.
Mo Yan didn’t follow and sat by the pond blankly. Lu Junming sat in front of her, “Don’t worry, your sister’s safe and sound now. You got quite a scare!”
She looked at him with reddened eyes, “Lu Junming, do women have to die if their name is ruined?”
Lu Junming shook his head, “People should live for themselves and the people they care about. My mum kept living after being insulted and taunted because of me.”
He pulled Mo Yan up and asked, “Do you want to go to mine for a bit? Your home will be pretty chaotic for quite some time.”
“It’s fine, I want to go back home to see her.”
When she returned home, Zhong Cheng stood in the courtyard not knowing what to do. Mo Yan said, “Brother Cheng, go back first! Sis probably doesn’t want to see anyone right now.”
Zhong Cheng nodded his head and left, and Mrs. Liang went to the kitchen from her room. Sounds of chopping came out from the kitchen. Mo Yan went in and saw her chopping ginger. As she was making ginger soup for Mo Ling, she hurriedly started boiling the water.
Mrs. Liang only thought about Zhong Cheng after seeing the two baskets of duck eggs in the kitchen. After knowing he went back from Mo Yan, she sighed, “I’m afraid he won’t be coming back anytime soon!”
In the Zhang family, Dagan was yelling, “Mum, this is your fault. You almost killed a person!”
Mrs. Zhang was eating while saying, “Just you wait! She’ll be begging for you to marry Mo Ling any day soon. You won’t even have to pay a single silver tael!”
“I’m not doing something that despicable!”
“It’s not my fault she got interested in Mr. Tian! I didn’t make that up!”
Post-edit notes: This is probably common knowledge, but if you’re having suicidal thoughts, please contact a suicide prevention hotline. Your life is still worth living.
On a slightly more upbeat note because this is a little too much doom and gloom, I really hate Mrs. Zhang right now and want her to get her comeuppance.