The Rebirth Of An Ill-Fated Consort
Chapter 8 (2)

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Chapter 8 : Gifting Plum Blossoms to Someone (Part II)
"What words?" The housewife was getting slightly impatient, "There are so many pairs of ears here. Don't tell me that you are the only one who can hear it speak?"
"It is not heard, but seen," Jiang Ruan stared at the water. Amongst the crowd, a curious lad craned his neck, "Has it spoken already?"
"Didn't it?" Jiang Ruan replied him with her own question. With her thin body wrapped under a loose robe, she should have a weak posture. Instead, she exuded extraordinary determination. It was as if there were no matters serious enough in this world that could sway her calmness into submission.
The onlookers could not decipher the mystery. One by one, they looked towards the basin, yet they could not spot anything that would explain it. After a moment, someone cried out in surprise, 'Look! There is something on the water surface!"
A thin layer of grease surfaced on the clear water and its golden color was extremely noticeable.
Jiang Ruan spoke, "After Old Mister finished his deep-fried dough cakes, he grabbed his bronze coins. Therefore, it is common for the grease on his fingers to graze upon the money. It's just that, I do not know how you caused the grease to brush against the money? Don't tell me that you are recalling now that you or Maiden Qiao also bought some deep-fried dough cakes?"
Oddly, one could hear a cadence within her flat tone. She was able to explain the entire sequence of events clearly with just a few sentences. Killing two birds with one stone, she stifled the housewife's possible arguments completely. If the housewife continued to quarrel, others would instead feel that her attempts to cover the matter up would only worsen it.
"So this is how it is!" Someone exclaimed, "The money belongs to the old man, because he bought some deep-fried dough cakes and grazed it with oil. The truth can only be revealed when the money meet the water. Isn't this the money speaking?"
The crowd was full of discussion. Each and every one of them was astonished at Jiang Ruan. At such a young age, this bright mind was worthy of admiration. The old man continued to watch her every action. She freed him from their accusations easily. Naturally, he was overwhelmed with a mixture of joy and great surprise. His gaze softened a few notches towards Jiang Ruan, seemingly different from the person who rejected her so stubbornly earlier.
Hugging the child, the housewife still wanted to argue, "Your one-sided statement-"
"Sir," Jiang Ruan did not listen to her words at all and turned towards the old man, "This matter is very simple. Since there are so many people who are unable to defend you with justice, you probably don't need to waste your time here. Why not ask around at the prefectural county magistrate of East Street? There may be someone who can serve you justice."
Naturally, the magistrate of East Street had the authority to uphold justice in the perfectural county, which included the West Street. Since ancient times, the people would not challenge officials. Even though everyone from West Street was prejudiced against outsiders, when it concerned their own gains, no one was willing to wade through muddy waters. The crowd that originally surrounded them dispersed immediately.
With the situation turning unfavorable and Jiang Ruan shifting her previously gentle attitude to ruthlessness, the housewife knew that there was no use continuing the dispute. She picked up the child immediately, "I won't argue with people like you. Qiao, let's leave."
After the housewife left, Jiang Ruan retrieved the coins from the money from the basin and passed it over to the old man. He accepted it and looked at her searchingly, "Young girl, you are quite interesting. Which manor are you from?"
"Sir, you are also quite headstrong. I wonder if you are an official from any manor," Jiang Ruan replied coldly.
Startled, the old man did not expect the young girl that had been helping him to treat him so coldly out of a sudden. He spoke in confusion, "Do you have a bone to pick with me?"
"I do," Jiang Ruan spoke. The old man's blank stare met her. She continued nonchalantly, "When you come across such a circumstance, where the dispute can't be settled decisively, you should report it to the authorities immediately. Sir, you have aged beyond decades. Surely, you can recognize the logic that everything has its own limits. If I were not here today, even if you argued for an entire day, settling this matter would have been unlikely. Perhaps, even more accusations may have been piled up against you."
"Young girl," the old man's neck stiffened, "I originally thought that you possessed chivalrous courage when you lent me a helping hand. However, it never crossed my mind that you are also similar to the others. Of course, I need to make it clear who is right or wrong. I am right, hence I am unafraid to confront them."
Jiang Ruan thought for a moment, "You are right. Despite being past your prime, you still argued in the streets. The strength of your character is deserving of admiration. I think that your younger self must have been similar as well. With the need of having the final say in an argument, no one could forcefully make you concede."
With her unchanging expression and gentle voice, one would not know if her speech was meant to praise or disparage the old man. "The sharpness of the blade is honed on the grindstone and the fragrance of the plum blossoms originates from the bitter winter. Your character is quite similar to these plum blossoms. Bai Zhi, gift them to him as an acknowledgement of this fated chance that brought us together."

Translated by : togekiss
Edited by : Anks & Ely